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STUDENT LIFE IN PARIS. groups of ladies knitting; and whole squadrons THE resident in Paris who does not live in the of bonnes, with infinite varieties of the Paris
I fashionable quarters thereof; whose purse baby, crawling, and squeaking, and tottering, compels him to exist upon the nourriture simple and tumbling about them. All the boys are et fortifiante of a student's hotel, instead of pay- little soldiers; and those young fellows who are ing daily visits to Vachette's, or even to the not aspiring drummers are mimic generals. To Diner de Paris ; generally chooses the neighbor- the serious observer, the recruits, parceled out in hood of the Panthéon for his quarters. For, detachments of six, and occupying the ground hereabout he may have the wildest kind of social from the steps of the Palace gardens up to the liberty. He may wear the hat he pleases to gates of the Park, look sad specimens of military adopt, without remark; he may give free vent glory. As they make their first attempts to to the exuberance of his fancy in the matter of shoulder arms; as they receive the rough thrusts trowsers. Nobody will interfere with him, if he of the peppery little drill sergeants; as they have a relish for a pipe in the Palace gardens undergo the minute inspection of the commandclose by. Having had his two dishes for break-ing officer (who has a push for one, an angry fast, about ten, with his half bottle of vin ordi- word for another, and a threat for a third), their naire, he should be off to his business—perhaps set expression of feature gives to them a deadened to the dissecting-room of a hospital, or to the look, that has something awful in it. Their eyes studio of some great painter, his master. But are fixed, looking forward; the head is held the day is cloudless, and the Panthéon stands stiffly; the lips are motionless; all volition apout against the intensely blue sky, reminding pears to be at an end. At the sergeant's word of him of a sketch by Roberts.
command firelocks are shouldered; then lowered; On such a day the dissecting-room or the close then the right hand is upon the cartouche-box; atmosphere of a studio is insupportable. To then the cartouche is lifted to the mouth, and stroll out, past the interminable book-stalls, inserted in the musket; then the ramrod is apcrammed with yellow-covered books; to meet a plied ; and the bright rods rise and fall along the friend, and then saunter into the Luxembourg line with the precision of steam machinery ; then gardens, to promenade while the band of one of the musket is again shouldered. Those who the regiments is playing, is certainly a more have been in any degree slow or awkward, are pleasant proceeding. There is a laziness in the savagely reproved; then the officer makes a dash very air ; it is impossible to do any thing worth with his sword at a musket dangling carelessly, speaking about. And then, if the stroller be an or seizes a man's cap, and puts it jauntily upon artist, may he not, in his walk, study character? his head as a soldier should wear it. All the There are, unhappily, twenty different ways of men stand like statues, and appear so closely to reconciling the conscience to idleness. On some resemble one another, that you wonder how they mornings of lassitude the artist rises with weak sort themselves, and recognize their companions eyes; the medical student wakes with an un- when they are once dispersed. At a word they steady hand; the writer jumps out of bed with presently fall on one knee (that which was obthe reflection that the brain wants relaxation and served encased in a leather band to preserve the repose, like the body; the government official is scarlet trowsers from the dust) to receive a charge disturbed from his sleep by the suggestion that a of imaginary cavalry ; then they rise and advance day in bed will strengthen his naturally delicate one step at a time, with their bayonets pointed at constitution, and that a medical certificate must an advancing enemy; in reality at a formidable certify to that fact; the prima donna, rising with row of laughing nurses and delighted children. a slight wheeziness, feels that to sing at the con A drum rolls, and suddenly they stack their cert she is engaged to perform at that morning muskets; the rigidity of their faces is relaxed : would be madness. And thus we all cheat our- and they skip away to join the crowd gathering selves occasionally.
| about the band posted half way down the avenue. These mornings of self-deceit are, I fear, a Now they are playing all kinds of practical jokes little too frequent with the gentlemen who are with one another. Hats are knocked off; mock supposed to study near the Panthéon. On such fights go on ; unobserved pulls of the ears are occasions they may be generally found grouped given; and jokes are played even with the about the Luxembourg gardens--some reading swords. Pipes are produced ; tobacco is freely Le Mousquetaire in the shade of the trimmed borrowed, and as freely lent; clouds of smoke chestnut trees; others watching the evolutions rise into the air; the officers unceremoniously of the soldiers in the long walk that stretches light their cigarettes from their men's pipes; the away from the Palace to the Observatoire. Then corporals group together as the sergeants group billiard matches are got up, and appointments together; and the lieutenants chatter apart, made for the Closerie des Lilacs. Here may be while a few privates hop about to the polka seen excellent samples of the Paris student; which the regimental band is playing. It is a from the beardless young fellow with his rough gay scene of cheerful life. The officers, with hat upon the back of his head, and his extremi- their hands buried deep in their wonderfullyties cased in trowsers fitting him like gaiters; to capacious scarlet trowsers, bulging from their the solemn student, with his dingy volume under remarkably small waists, laugh, and talk, and his arm, spectacles on his nose, and his cravat smoke, and forget to look rigid and military ; tied carelessly about his throat. Here, too, are ladies cluster about, talking lively things; students four abreast, and arm-in-arm, stroll rounding that a gallery of paintings by modern French the large circle ; and grisettes, in their snow- artists should be formed in one of the wings. To white caps, and little black mantles, chatter about carry out this project some of the more remarkthe last quadrille Chinoise they danced at the able examples of French art in the Louvre and Closerie. These groups, with children chasing the royal palaces were removed hither. This huge wash-leather foot-balls in every direction, exhibition, which included some celebrated works and a few old men sunning themselves on the by David Gros, and Gerard, was opened to the benches, make up a scene to which the fountain public for the first time in eighteen hundred and before the Palace, and the splendid rows of trees eighteen. And this collection is now free to all leading to it, furnish a pretty background. who have an hour to spare, and who are armed
For the student who is inclined to be idle to with passports. have a scene like this within five minutes' walk The way to the gallery, up a narrow stone of his hotel is to be powerfully tempted. When staircase, is not impressive. It is unlike a French he is tired of the soldiers, he can stroll into the approach to an art-gallery, although it might splendid kitchen gardens of the Palace, to watch serve such a purpose without notice in England. the growth of the vines, or to sniff the perfume A ring at a bell on the first floor summons an of the fruit-blossoms. Then, there is a iittle important person in a cocked hat, and green and café, absolutely in the Palace grounds, under the red livery, who examines the applicant's passshade of some magnificent trees. Thence he port, takes his cane (for the care of which he may lounge past the orangery, to the pretty gar-charges him two sous), and lets him loose in the dens close to the Palace, surrounded by statues gallery. The pictures in the collection are, genof the queens of France. Here the children of erally, very well known : it is with the copyists the neighborhood swarm; here priests, in thin that the idle student's interest will lie. Here he black cassocks and three-cornered hats, walk is certain to meet some friends; and, as he strolls leisurely about ; and ladies sit to read romances from one easel to another, with a lively word for or work embroidery ; while dozens of little boats each acquaintance, and a criticism on each copy, swim about the fountain basin, and two swans the time flies onward to his perfect satisfaction. receive their daily supply of biscuits de Rheims. These copyists are a peculiar class in Paris, from the paddling, screaming, delighted little who supply the picture-market in all parts of the ship-owners.
world, but mostly in Paris, with imitations of When the burning mid-day sun drives the idler popular paintings. The visitor, entering the from the gardens, the Palace of the Luxembourg, | gallery for the first time, if he have been many built for Marie de Medicis—which the genius of weeks in Paris, knows almost every picture. Rubens was employed to decorate-remains to Copies of them are to be seen in any quarter of be visited. In the two hundred and thirty years the capital : they are heaped up in the shops in during which the Palace has stood, how many | the Rue de Seine-they choke up the gateways scenes of terrible interest have passed within its on the Quai Voltaire-they dangle in the wind walls; upon how much ruined greatness have its outside the gates of the Louvre. And here they iron gates turned! Here the Dowager Queen are by dozens, lying against the walls, under the of Spain, widow of the first Louis, and daughter originals. Four persons, with their easels inof the Regent, passed her widowhood and died. geniously grouped within the narrowest possible Here Rubens's decorations and illustrations of space, are painting Scheffer's Charlotte Corday: Marie de Medicis were exhibited ; and here were three distinct copies of Rosa Bonhem's masterly first shown to the public, in seventeen hundred Plowed Field are peeping from the canvas: De and fifty, a few of the best works of the old mas- la Roche's Death of Queen Elizabeth is being reters in the possession of the Royal Family, which produced on four or five different scales: the picbecame the nucleus of that splendid collection of ture of the Last Victims of the Reign of Terror, paintings now gathered within the walls of the by Muller, with André Chenier as the central Louvre. But when, in seventeen hundred and figure, is being either copied wholesale, or being seventy-nine, Louis the Sixteenth gave the palace mercilessly dissected into “studies;" some copyto his brother, the Count de Provence (afterward ists taking only the head of the poet: others snatchLouis the Eighteenth), Rubens's pictures and ing the face of a terrified woman. The Young the works forming the public gallery were re- Princes in the Tower, by De la Roche, are being moved, and set apart to be added to the collection as mercilessly murdered by two copyists as they in the Louvre. While the gloom of the Revolu- were, in reality, by the hired assassins. One tion was over the capital, dark days fell upon the glance at these imitators, however, is more interPalace. Presently, however, it was decorated esting and pleasing than two at the copies. Many for the Directory; then for the Senat Conserva- are women-some young women-negligently teur; then again, in eighteen hundred and two, dressed. Their cloaks and bonnets are put aside a gallery of old masters was collected within its in a heap, and some black lace, or a coquettish walls, to be withdrawn finally to fill up gaps in handkerchief, is gracefully tied over the head. the Louvre gallery in eighteen hundred and They have generally a sad, careworn, business fifteen. It was that same Count de Provence, look, and they proceed with their painting as who once held the Palace as his private property, listlessly as the seamstress goes on with her sewand who gave importance to the building after-ing. They are undisturbed by the stare of visitors, ward occupied by his chamber of peers by order- and hear passing criticism without the least er.
hibition of pleasure or resentment. The hopes , intelligence that he has a subject in hand. And, of fame have been crushed, the ardor with which considering that two medical students are enthey once contended for prizes is quenched. They titled only to five subjects-as they delicately have reached the summit of their art-destiny; call them-per' annum between them, it will be and every attempt to soar higher has failed. There seen that to be in actual possession of one of these they sit upon their little deal stools, with shabby, is to be in luck's way entirely. “We have two dirty paint boxes beside them, wielding huge bodies and a half each," said a ghastly little student pallets, and adding their browns and greens with to us one day, as he handed us the biscuit de mechanical industry. So do some old ladies, Rheims, which represented our dessert on the who wear spectacles, and a dingy costume, and occasion. It was fortunate that the subject who appear to have been at work in the same rapidly changed to one of punch. To get up a manner for forty or fifty years.
punch party is, in the estimation of the student, The male copyists are a motley race. Some a highly pleasant way of finishing an idle mornare finished dandies, others are the most slovenly ing; and it is amusing to watch the excitement fellows it is possible to imagine ; some have with which the diners who drop in to the table their hair beautifully brushed and pomatumed, d'hôte are requested to add their fifteen sous to and sport shining coats, apparently worn for the the punch subscription, A sufficient number of first time: others are in greasy, threadbare gar- contributors having been obtained, the best availments, adopt the negligent style of coiffure, and able rooms are selected, and the contractor for are not sufficiently ostentatious to wash hands or the entertainment proceeds to buy three or four face very frequently. It may be perhaps noticed pounds of lump sugar, two or three bottles of that the latter are, generally, better artists than brandy, a bottle of Kirsch water, one of rum, a the well-pomatumed copyists. One very dandi- heap of biscuits, and a huge baba! These matefiod old gentleman who attends the gallery may rials are arranged upon the mantelpiece of the be remarked for the care with which he envelopes room selected for the entertainment; the guests his arms up to the elbows in black satin bags, assemble, each mạn bringing his own tumbler to preserve his coat from contact with paint or from his own washing-stand; two or three walk varnishes.
up and down learning off songs from bits of paper, The student's idle day is spent altogether near with an excited air; and the landlady sends up a the Panthéon. There are many cafés at hand, message, declaring that she will not allow any where, when he is tired of the pictures and the singing on the part of messieurs les locataires gardens of the Luxembourg, he may have his after eleven o'clock. This message is received absinthe or his billiards : or there are cabinets with shouts of derision; the young fellows skip where he can have his two sous worth of popular about the ponch bol (which is the French-Enliterature. But he is possibly not inclined even glish for a common brown earthenware pan); for the lightest reading, and strolls back to the examine the contents of the bottles; and stop nourriture simple et fortifiante : which he enjoys every man who begins a song, by declaring that at his hotel, together with his lodging, for about he is anticipating the entertainment. Then the four dollars per week. The simplicity of the food master of the ceremonies opens the proceedings to be had at a student's hotel, at this price, is as by making a kettleful of green tea over a spirit questionable, perhaps, as its fortifying qualities. lamp. This accomplished, he half fills the bowl Yet, at dinner, it includes two or three dishes, a with sugar; then empties a bottle of brandy and dessert of course, and wine. But then a cauli- a considerable quantity of rum upon it. The next flower is a course in itself, and a tea-spoonful of proceeding is to light the spirit. This accomjelly supports, unaided, the dignity of a dessert. plished, all the candles are extinguished, and to Still the student is gay at his dinner ; and will the glare of the blue flame from the punch bowl, get up, between the courses, with one of his com- which mounts a considerable height, the wild panions, dance a polka round the table, and re- young fellows open their concert. As they sume his seat. He eats his simple and fortifying gesticulate and shout about the bowl, they look fare, laughing at it all the time. Perhaps this like the burlesque demons, blue and tinseled, laughter helps his digestion. We remember the which are the delight of children in the opening ecstasies with which a young fellow was one day of a Christmas pantomime. Their songs are received at dinner, who had returned from the chiefly laments over the degenerate days of the Longchamps fair in the Champs Elysées, with old Quartier Latin. the intelligence that there was a living skeleton The punch having burned for about three quarexhibiting there, who, he said, had been brought ters of an hour, is ladled out to the guests; pipes up at a student's hotel, on nourriture simple et are lighted; and lively conversation is carried on. fortifiante. On another occasion the production Suddenly it is suggested that the hour for dancing of an omelette au rhum caused a great sensation has arrived. The door of an adjoining room is at the same student's hotel: the wild guests skip- thrown open, disclosing an apartment regularly ping round the table, shouting, as they pointed cleared for a polka. A stranger instantly wonto the effort of culinary genius, “Ah! Quel ders where the ladies are coming from; but he is luze !" What a luxury!
soon relieved from any doubt by an invitation The dinner conversation is interspersed gener- from one of the young men to dance with him. ally with medical and legal anecdotes. One gen- The night is warm; the windows are thrown tleman excuses his absence from a party by the open; the students remove their coats; and then, to the fiddle of a fellow-student, dance a quadrille , caught are small but stoutly built, formed to reamong themselves. The quadrille is followed by sist some degree of bad weather, and having, al a polka; and then the second bowl of punch is most invariably, excellent sailing qualities. The lighted—this time a bowl of Kirsch punch. Then latter, indeed, is a necessary qualification in a the great cake or baba is cut up and demolished, vessel intended for this business, as the success amidst practical jokes, usually played in England of a voyage, in many instances, depends on a by children not exceeding the age of twelve. And vessel getting to a certain place, where fish have then follow songs; and eau-de-vie de Dantzig ; been discovered, an hour sooner or later. The and romping; and the usual consequences of crew, consisting of from eight to twenty hands, punch. With a light song, however, and a steady according to the size of the vessel, are not paid a candlestick, the gay fellows skip off to bed, push-salary, but have a community of interest, all uniting and playing practical jokes upon one another, ing to pay the expenses incurred for provisions, as they run up the broad staircase of the hotel. etc., the vessel's share, the captain's percentage,
etc., the remainder of the catch being divided in HOW MACKEREL ARE CAUGHT. the exact proportion which each man's original M ACKEREL fishing affords a livelihood to a catch bears to that of the rest. The captain is 11 large number of the hardiest inhabitants of generally an old and experienced fisherman, and our northeastern Atlantic shores. The fishery on him devolve the cares and responsibilities of is pursued in small vessels of from thirty to one finding and keeping the run of the mackerel, hundred and twenty tons, and invariably of the keeping the reckoning of the vessel, ordering and “ schooner” rig, that is, having two masts, and superintending the making and taking in sail, go“ fore and aft” sails. The business commences ing into harbor, etc. He has, however, no digin the latter part of March, when the mackerel nity, but receives obedience only from the acfirst return to our coasts from their winter's ab- knowledged principle that every well-regulated sence in more southern waters, and lasts until household should have a head. A mackerel the end of November. At that time the fish- vessel is indeed as complete a little republic as and of course their pursuers also have made the one could well find, ability being the only criteentire circuit of our eastern coast, from the capes rion of merit, and one's "standing in society" of Delaware, off which they are first seen in early being regulated pretty much by his usefulness to spring, to the extreme borders of Maine and the the community, that is, by his skill as a fisherbays of British America, and back again as far man. as the headland of Cape Cod. Thence the fish The total number of American vessels employ-about Thanksgiving Day--take their final de- ed in this fishery is somewhat over eighteen hunparture for their as yet undiscovered winter quar dred. Fully one third of this number are owned ters. All attempts made by enterprising fisher- in Cape Ann, where a large amount of capital is men to follow the mackerel after they leave the invested in fisheries of various kinds. The greatCape” have hitherto proved utterly futile, every er part of the Cape Ann fleet has for some years trace of the vast school which annually congre past resorted to the Bay Chaleur, and the waters gates there being invariably lost within fifty miles surrounding Prince Edward's Island for, its fair of the south shoals of Nantucket. Many differ of fish, Here their success has, as is known, ent surmises have been offered to account for raised the envy of the colonists, who, in the vertheir sudden disappearance, and various theories itable dog-in-the-manger spirit, religiously prestarted, by those curious in such matters, to ex-served by these devoted adherents to Old Fogyplain the why and wherefore of the eccentric mo- dom, have petitioned their government to forbid tions of a school of mackerel. But the matter is the further encroachments of enterprising Brother apparently just as much in the dark as ever, and Jonathan on these vast preserves, which, howtheir disappearance about Thanksgiving time re ever, they themselves have not sufficient entermains as much a subject for speculation as the prise to use. similar annual disappearance of swallows. Many, Of the balance of the mackerel fleet three-fourths wise in such matters, think that the fish, after is owned on various parts of Cape Cod, and the leaving our coast, lie at the bottom of the sea, in remainder in the many little harbors scattered comparatively shoal water, in a state of stupefac-along our eastern coast. The Bay Chaleur fleet tion, until the return of warm weather; others is, of course, entirely separated from the rest, suppose that they emigrate to warmer latitudes, which follow up the mackerel frequenting our where they swim deep beneath the surface, in coast more particularly. These latter form a order to keep themselves in a temperature suited fleet of from six hundred to a thousand vessels, to their nature ; and many old fishermen devoutly cruising in one vast body, and spreading over believe that after leaving us they are, somehow, many miles of water, and keeping up a constant changed into fish of an entirely different species, although silent and imperceptible communication, and are met with in the tropical seas as albicores, by means of incessant watching with good spybonita, etc. All that we know on the subject is glasses, which is so complete that a vessel at one that those which leave us at the beginning of end of the fleet can not have mackerel " alongwinter are of moderate size, but very fat; while side," technically speaking, five minutes, before those which return in the spring are large, ex- every vessel in a circle, the diameter of which may tremely poor, and ravenously hungry.
be ten miles, will be aware of the fact, and every The vessels in which the fish are pursued and man of the ten thousand composing their crews will be engaged in spreading to the wind every clothing, comforters, and the sundry other appliavailable stitch of canvas to force each little bark ances in vogue among fishermen and sailors, to as quickly as possible into close proximity to the exclude salt water, and include comfort. This coveted prize. And then commences the trial of done, I took passage in a little schooner bound to speed. Then the best helmsman is called to the Cape, and was soon merrily gliding up the steer, and every eye watches the sails, to see crowded waters of the East River, with favoring that they draw well, and every hand is ready to wind and tide. At noon we passed through Hurljump to remedy any defect. Then is the anxious gate, that dread of the sturdy Dutch settler, who moment for fishermen, for they see spread out whilom saw in its whirling eddies, impetuous curbefore them a vast school of fish, in the midst of rents, and roaring breakers, the angry struggles which lie the few favored vessels which have suc-of many demons, eager to swallow up his frail bark ceeded in raising them, and are now reaping a and himself. Thanks to the science of Professor golden harvest. This is indeed the most exciting Maillefert, and the liberality of our great Uncle scene in the experience of a mackerel catcher. Samuel, the worst of the dangers attending the It happened some years since that “the fleet" passage of this strait are now removed, and had, upon occasion of an approaching storm, gone Hurlgate is divested of its terrors to the coasting into the harbor of Cape Ann. After lying there skipper. A strong breeze and favoring tides two days the weather moderated and became fine, urged us quickly past the beautiful shore of Long and the fleet got under way very early one morn- Island, and midnight already saw us nearing the ing. The first little squad of about a dozen ves- eastern extremity of “the Sound," and in plain sels, who were probably the most eager fisher- sight of Block Island Light, beacon of joy to many men, had about forty minutes' start of the main a tempest-tossed, voyage-wearied whaleman, who body of the fleet. They had hardly got well in it sees the first glimmering of a near approach clear of the land before they “struck" mackerel, to home with all its happiness. The morning and at once "hove to" and never got under way found us passing the group denominated the again until their decks were filled the fish biting Elizabethan Isles, and gliding rapidly by Tarpauall the time as fast as possible. In the mean lin Cove, Holmes' Hole, and the Shoals. At 11 time the balance of the fleet had just time to get o'clock A.m. we were safely moored in the little to the entrance of the harbor, and in plain sight harbor whence I was to start on my fishing exof their fortunate companions, when it fell a dead pedition. calm; and they were actually forced to lie there, After a stay of a few days on shore, I took mywithin three or four miles of a vast school of fish, self and luggage on board a smart-looking little without feeling a bite. Could any one imagine clipper, the Mary H., which had been in want of any thing more tantalizing than such a situation? a hand. Taking advantage of a favoring wind,
The fish are caught with hook and line, each we were soon on our way to join the fleet, which fisherman using two lines. When hauled on was at the time cruising off the Isles of Shoals, board they are “struck" off by a peculiarly quick away down East." My short stay on shore did motion of the right hand and arm, into a “strike not give me as many opportunities as I wished for, barrel" standing behind and a little to the right and afterward had, of observing the general habof its proprietor. The same motion which leaves its of the people while on shore, and the nature the mackerel in the barrel also suffices to project of the country in which they grow up. It sufthe hook (which has a little pewter run on its ficed, however, to convince me that the Cape is shank) back into the water, and the fisherman not the most pleasant spot on the surface of our immediately catches up his other line, going globe. The face of the country affords a not overthrough the same manœuvre with it. So raven- agreeable diversity of views, consisting of sand ously do the fish bite, that a barrel full is some- hills and salt water marshes, scrub oaks and times caught in fifteen minutes by a single man. stunted pines, the ground-work and filling-up of
The bait used to entice them alongside, and the picture being sand, the abundance of which keep them there afterward, consists of a mixture amply entitles the country to the name bestowed of clams, and a little fish known by the eupho- upon it by a late traveler, “the Great Desert of nious name of “ porgies.” The last are seined Cape Cod.” The people evidently place greater in great quantities every summer in the mouth of value upon articles of utility than of luxury, are the Connecticut river, and the adjacent waters, very shrewd, even to the little children, good caland are used by farmers as manure for their land, culators, and are noted far and wide for their as well as by mackerel catchers as bait. This bait smartness and enterprise, which almost invariably is ground up fine in a mill provided on board for insure them success in any pursuit in which they the purpose, and is then thrown out on the water. embark, and without which it seems to me they It sinks to the depth at which the fish lie, when would fare but poorly on so sterile a soil as they they, in their eagerness for it, follow it up until possess. they get alongide the vessel, when they bite in- Detained by calms and head winds, we get discriminately at bait or naked hook.
| along but slowly on our way down East. The Almost any kind of fishing is likely to be rather monotony of our life is occasionally broken into by damp work. My first care, therefore, after having a short conversation with some homeward-bound made up my mind to "go a-fishing," was to pro- fishermen, whose news from the fleet makes us vide myself with a plentiful supply of flannels, anxious to be with them. The arrangement of mittens, stockings, sea-boots, sou’-westers, oil our fish-gear, in which true fishermen, as is well