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The Paris Of Our Grandparents
by [?]

“No one thought of buying jewelry anywhere else. It was from the windows of its shops that the fashions started on their way around the world. When Victoria as a bride was visiting Louis Philippe, she was so fascinated by the aspect of the place that the gallant French king ordered a miniature copy of the scene, made in papier-m�ché, as a present for his guest, a sort of gigantic dolls’ house in which not only the palace and its long colonnades were reproduced, but every tiny shop and the myriad articles for sale were copied with Chinese fidelity. Unfortunately the pear-headed old king became England’s uninvited guest before this clumsy toy was finished, so it never crossed the Channel, but can be seen to-day by any one curious enough to examine it, in the Musée Carnavalet.

“Few of us realize that the Paris of Charles X. and Louis Philippe would seem to us now a small, ill-paved, and worse-lighted provincial town, with few theatres or hotels, communicating with the outer world only by means of a horse-drawn ‘post,’ and practically farther from London than Constantinople is to-day. One feels this isolation in the literature of the time; brilliant as the epoch was, the horizon of its writers was bounded by the boulevards and the Faubourg Saint-Germain.”

Dumas says laughingly, in a letter to a friend: “I have never ventured into the unexplored country beyond the Bastille, but am convinced that it shelters wild animals and savages.” The wit and brains of the period were concentrated into a small space. Money-making had no more part in the programme of a writer then than an introduction into “society.” Catering to a foreign market and snobbishness were undreamed-of degradations. Paris had not yet been turned into the Foire du Monde that she has since become, with whole quarters given over to the use of foreigners,-theatres, restaurants, and hotels created only for the use of a polyglot population that could give lessons to the people around Babel’s famous “tower.”