Paris: With Pen and Pencil eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Paris.

The origin of the Luxembourg palace was as follows:  about the middle of the sixteenth century, one Robert de Harley erected a large house in the middle of the gardens.  In 1583 the house was bought and enlarged by the duke of Luxembourg, and in 1612 Marie de Medicis bought it for ninety thousand francs, and then commenced the present palace.  During the first year of the revolution it was used for a prison; then for an assembly-room for the consuls; still later as the chamber for the peers, and now the French senate meet in it.  It contains a large library, but the people cannot have access to its well-stored shelves.  Students can, however, by making proper application, consult the library.

One evening while walking in the Luxembourg gardens, the band playing exquisite music, and the crowd promenading to it, I met a friend, an American, who has resided in Paris for seventeen years.  Taking his arm we fell into the current of people, and soon met a couple of quite pretty looking ladies arm-in-arm.  They were dressed exactly alike and their looks were very much of the same pattern, and as to their figures, I certainly could not tell one from the other with their faces turned away.

“They are sisters,” said my friend, “and you will scarcely believe me when I tell you that I saw them in this very garden ten years ago.”  I replied that I could hardly credit his story, for the couple still looked young, and I could hardly think that so many years ago they would have been allowed by their anxious mamma to promenade in such a place.  I told my friend so, and a smile overspread his countenance.  He then told me their history.  Ten years ago and they were both shop-girls, very pretty and very fond of the attentions of young men.  As shop-girls, they occasionally found time to come and hear the music in the gardens of an evening, and cast glances at the young students.  Soon they were student’s mistresses.  Their paramours were generous and wealthy young men, and they fared well.  For four years they were as faithful, affectionate, and devoted to the young men as any wives in all France.  They indulged in no gallantries or light conduct with other men, and among the students were reckoned as fine specimens of the class.  Four happy years passed away, when one morning the poor girls awoke to a sad change.  The collegiate course was through, and the young collegians were going back to their fathers’ mansions in the provinces.  Of course the grisettes could not be taken with them, and the ties of years were suddenly and rudely to be snapped asunder.  At first they were frantic in their grief.  When they entered upon their peculiar relations with the students, they well knew that this must be the final consummation, but then it looked a great way off.  That they really loved the young men, no one can doubt.  It would not be strange for a little shop-girl to even adore a talented university student, however insignificant he might be to other

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Paris: With Pen and Pencil from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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