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WE live just round the corner Street," "North Pole Street,' from Seek Midday Street, but “The Street of the White it is our metropolis. Our own

Our own Queen,” and so on. Truth and little street is reserved, its tall Paradise are but passages, and house fronts contain but barred there is also a passage of windows and portes cochères, it Hell and a passage of Sighs. is a passage-way between pri- Health is only an impasse, vacies. Here humanity with- and so, appropriately enough, draws itself, while in Seek Mid- is "Rothschild.” But the prize day Street the humanities are street names of Paris are perspread abroad. Shop - fronts haps“ The Street of the Mule's flaunt, and shopkeepers smile March,” “The Street of the welcome; the motor omnibuses Wolves' Breach,” and “The charge lumberingly over the Street of the Fishing Cat," if rough pave; street hawkers one excepts the “ New Street desert their barrows-filled with of Cannon - balls." Amongst the spoils of Spanish gardens these names our Seek Midday or of Canaries' groves—they Street takes no inconspicuous discuss over a glass of pinard place, and is perhaps for the in the bistro; cabs reel reck- ignorant the most puzzling to lessly to the danger of the set an origin to. Midi in pedestrian ; and the melan- French, as well as midday, choly squeaker of the chair- means the cardinal south, or mender makes weird music the southerly provinces of through the din.

France, or colloquially chercher I feel that Seek Midday midi a quatorze heures is the Street can vie for strangeness equivalent of “crying before of christening with any of the you are hurt.” So that amongst queerly-named streets of Paris, too many possible meanings though for sure some of the we would be in danger of names are queer enough. The getting lost, had not the French do not disdain a poetic old sundial maker's sign suror a descriptive touch. I like vived from which the street the street of “Beautiful has derived its

It Leaves," or that of “A Drop is a pity that Hazlitt did of Gold,” or The Little Street not espy this old sign ; he of Lilac," "The Basket of would have slipped it into Flowers," "The White Pea- his piece upon the sundial, cock," "The Little Fathers," though, indeed, the old sunThe Valley of Grace," "The dial maker

maker depicted would Old Pigeon House," “Doll hardly have fitted the essayist's



theme- Horas non numero bread from a seeker after Truth, nisi serenas.

or to purchase sausages from Up there he is limned eter- a theorist in Utopia. nally, day or night, wet or Yet who am I to be so posi. shine, serene or gusty, hunting tive; the French are a queerly with stretched callipers for that intellectual race. Can I answer midday, to be found no more for the baker! Why, I have than Keats' Arcadian lover never

him. His wife might achieve the half-shaped serves in the shop, and he kiss. For ever he seeks mid- might live at the bottom of a day as persistently as a phil- well with Truth herself, for all osopher pursues the phantom I can swear. truth. He should be canonised : With the sausage-maker I Saint Cherche-Midi, patron of feel on safer ground. He cannot Utopists.

deal in Utopias ... and yetBut the street heeds him There's something about the not; now and again some pedes- sausage-maker which reminds trian archæologist with up-me of the French Revolution. lifted stick may point him out, He is Defarge, of the 'Tale of now and again some sparrow Two Cities,' a black and red will perch upon his ledge, but man, black hafr, red cheeks, in general the godfather of the black eyes, red hands, and a street goes on quietly seeking, lusty joviality ; the laughing till the day shall come for his man of the street. Yet clap translation from the hurly-burly a bonnet of liberty on his head, of these new times to the calm and he would split you with recesses of a museum and to his long knife as nonchalantly the honour of an explanatory as he slices ham. And the tombstone.

revolutionists, sans culottes and No, the street doesn't heed all, did set out to make Utopia. him ; it does not seek midday, So I'll not answer for the except perhaps as an interlude, sausage - maker, second which the rich odours of the thoughts. pot-au-feu and the clink of the His wife, a serene beautiful aperitif glass announce allur- woman, plump and motherly, ingly. It seeks rather seven without children, was a shorto'clock when the shutters go hand-typist. In England it is up; it seeks but the cessation difficult to imagine our buxom of the one day's toil, little car- young typist retreating coming, during a few evening hours placently from the clerkly table of leisure, that toil begins again to the desk of a sausage shop. to - morrow; it doesn't seek We are not a nation of shopmidday but rather midnight, keepers, we are a nation which not the clear light of knowledge, despises shopkeeping.

shopkeeping. I disbut the reposing shadows of covered the former profession nescience. It is, indeed, better of the Charcutière by chance. 80 ; fancy having to buy one's In paying my account for some


slices of ham and pickled cu- Harang de Norvège—the luxuries cumber, for some olives and of the season and none of the filets of herring, I saw on the necessities. cash pulpit a sheet of note- Last spring the shop was paper scribbled with Pitmanic new painted, and all the artist symbols.

clients were consulted with some “Oh yes,” she answered to anxiety. Should it be dark my startled query, "I was a green with an orange stripe, or typist, and had a very good should it be black with a red place. But I only use short- ornament? Dark green won hand now when I wish to the favour, but then the exact arrange my thoughts.”

shade. Thoughtful sausageArrange my thoughts ! No! maker. We took his advice I'll not stake my faith on the about sausages ; he submitted sausage - maker. Who ever to our judgment about colour. heard of an English sausage. We accorded him a meet serimaker's wife who had thoughts ousness. A more reckless man to arrange; and what thoughts would have blundered along, could a sausage-maker's wife and would have had his shop have that need such arrange- any old tint. ment ? Logic looms ahead, and what are logic and Utopia Seek Midday Street makes but first cousins.

life very easy for us casual I suggested that the change artistic folk. It takes off our from typing to sausage-making hands the careful worry of the was not small.

housekeeper and the labour of “After all,” said the Char- the kitchen. If you want soup, cutière, one has one's little a five minutes' jaunt with an position, you know" she earthen jug to the bistro-restauwiped her meat-stained fingers rant supplies you with an exon her apron,-"and then, to cellent bouillon ; for your hors be mistress of one's own place d'ouvres our sausage - maker has its gratifications, monsieur." offers his plenitudes ; a word

What delectable things they to the oyster-stall, and Portukeep in their cleanly shop, gaises or marennes, claires or bright tins of sardines, of tunny, vertes, come ready opened, garof fois gras, of little peas built nished with lemon sweetened into pyramids ; coils of saus

coils of saus- with the smile of a girlish ages, Frankfort, Strasburg, An- messenger. The baker, for douillette-Lilliputian sausage sixty centimes, will roast you cheek by jowl with Brobding any dish, and you can buy all nagian sausage ; a mounting your vegetables prepared and line of pâtés culminating in the cooked for less than you would noble hams, Paris or York; waste in time, trouble, and olives glimmering through glass femme de menage. If you disjars, saur kraut lurking in its like the contemplative labour tub, rilettes de La Sarthe and of the coffee-mill, the folk at


the dairy will fresh grind your want my shopkeeper to be a coffee as you wait. With ten human being; he would be a minutes' forethought your din- nuisance. Tant pis pour vous. ner makes itself, and that with You spend some time reading less extra expense than you magazines for your amusement, would pay for the coal in the why not read shopkeepers both kitchener.

for amusement and for huBut it is not only the material manity. During the war a comfort, the simplicity of exist- Serbian professor said to me, ence which attracts us to Seek “I think that the English have Midday Street, it is rather the a more profound sense of the humanities. The Street is no gregarious, the art of living in mere street of shopkeepers, it a crowd, than any other nation is a street of personalities. To in Europe. When I first came every purchase there is at- to England, and I hear every tached a bon prime. If you one saying, 'Good-day, fine buy in the bazaars or in the weather,' I think to myself, co-operative stalls, you 'What imbecility. Good-day, gain bon primes, ten of which fine weather, indeed. Pah ! entitle you to a baby's rattle, I live in a hotel. Whenever I thirty to a knife and fork, one go up or down I say something hundred and twenty to a dinner to the lift boy. In time I find service, one thousand to a

to a that I have used up all my mantelpiece clock, and so on. ordinary thoughts upon the lift Once Jo was attracted by this boy, and I must puzzle to find method of getting something something appropriate to say for nothing, and collected bon to the lift boy. Then I find primes from the large grocer's that the lift boy occupies too around the corner. For two much of my thoughts. Then hundred coupons she received Eureka ! it dawns

me. a set of cutlery which was of 'Good - day, fine weather.' excellent appearance, but which What could be better. It exhad the habit, very irritating presses my common humanity in cutlery, of curling up if one with the lift boy, it relieves my tried to cut anything. Our brain. Good - morning, fine bon primes are more subtle and weather,' to the lift boy. Oh more satisfying. They are yes! The English are a very merely little glimpses of per- subtle nation. They are not sonality, little hints of hu- understood, not in the least. manity or of interest, as we But I have understood them. pass from shop to shop. After 'Good-morning, sir, good-mornall, I believe we English are a ing to you. Parfait.'" nation of shopkeepers ; at least I fear that our professor was our shopkeeper is a shopkeeper, but an egoist after all. He was the French are a nation of concerned with his relations to human beings keeping shops. the lift boy, he must say some

You may retort, but I don't thing new to the lift boy each


day. But if he had contrived ional is not held to be an to make the lift boy say some- animal lover, yet I would wager thing new to him every day that in no town of the world he might have discovered, who is the cat so esteemed as in knows, what was in the soul Paris ; indeed, should you posof that undeveloped, uniformed sess a rare or a valuable cat, button pusher. It is not always a blue Persian or a Siamese or more blessed to give than to a Manx, you will be wise to air receive.

it on a leash ; a Parisian is no

. more to be trusted with a cat I like to think of Yorick's in than a nigger with a fowl. The terview with the glove-maker's Paris cat is large, sleek and wife in the 'Sentimental Jour- cosy; some far back strain of ney.' Had we a glove-maker in Persian has dowered even the our street I am sure that I veriest gutter tramp with a could point you out the very coat of silken texture as though shop where it occurred, so well the Paris cat, like the grisette, has he caught the general carries all her wealth upon her humour of French shopkeeping. back. In almost every shop Sterne's glove-maker is not a window on a warm day you particular, she is a universal, will see the Paris cat asleep; and even allowing for the social in the Teinturiere's she coils upheavals since his day, she up amongst the new - dyed has changed in temperament blouses of the economical ; in and in technique not a jot. the sausage-maker's she sprawls But though we cannot give on the sardine-tins; the cast you a glove-maker, I must shop displays a live cat amidst present to you a few of our the stiff and pallid plasters. other tradesfolk.

You will find her companioning If Paris is to be remarkable wine bottles, Japanese curios, for one thing, and you had corsets, cabbages, antiques, biasked me what that one thing cycles, lingerie, literature, art was, I would point out her materials, jewellery, wireless, cats. The architect will sug- or clocks and watches ; no gest her deep vistas of perspec- shop front-I talk of shops, not tive, the painter her ordered of emporiums—no shop front, pleasure gardens, the provin- I say, is complete without its cial will talk of the Boulevard somnolent cat. and of the Butte de Mont. Yet this Parisian love of the martre, the archæologist of her cat can be a selfish-nay, a Gothic palaces, the gourmet of heartless love. Madame Roher “Silver Towers."1 I choose chelle, our groceress, is often her cats ; de gustibus non est indignant with the family which, disputandum. ... The merid- travelling to other parts, can

1 Le Tour d'Argent, quai de la Tournelle, is one of the most recherché restaur. ants of Paris.

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