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Title: Bohemian Paris of Today - Second Edition
Author: Morrow, W. C. (William Chambers)
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Bohemian Paris of Today - Second Edition" ***

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BOHEMIAN PARIS OF TO-DAY

By W. C. Morrow

From Notes By Edouard Cucuel

Illustrated By Edouard Cucuel

Second Edition

Philadelphia & London J. B. Lippincott Company 1900

[Illustration: 0001]

[Illustration: 0008]

[Illustration: 0009]



INTRODUCTION


THIS volume is written to show the life of the students in the Paris of
to-day. It has an additional interest in opening to inspection certain
phases of Bohemian life in Paris that are shared both by the students
and the public, but that are generally unfamiliar to visitors to that
wonderful city, and even to a very large part of the city's population
itself. It depicts the under-side of such life as the students
find,--the loose, unconventional life of the humbler strugglers in
literature and art, with no attempt to spare its salient features, its
poverty and picturesqueness, and its lack of adherence to generally
accepted standards of morals and conduct.

As is told in the article describing that incomparably brilliant
spectacle, the ball of the Four Arts, extreme care is taken to exclude
the public and admit only artists and students, all of whom must be
properly accredited and fully identified. It is well understood that
such a spectacle would not be suitable for any but artists and students.
It is given solely for their benefit, and with the high aim, fully
justified by the experience of the masters who direct the students,
that the event, with its marvellous brilliancy, its splendid artistic
effects, and its freedom and abandon, has a stimulating and broadening
effect of the greatest value to art. The artists and students see in
these annual spectacles only grace, beauty, and majesty; their training
in the studios, where they learn to regard models merely as tools of
their craft, fits them, and them alone, for the wholesome enjoyment of
the great ball.

It is a student that presents the insight which this volume gives into
the life of the students and other Bohemians of Paris. It is set forth
with the frankness of a student. Coming from such a source, and having
such treatment, it will have a special charm and value for the wise.

The students are the pets of Paris. They lend to the city a
picturesqueness that no other city enjoys. So long as they avoid riots
aimed at a government that may now and then offend their sense of
right, their ways of living, their escapades, their noisy and joyous
manifestations of healthy young animal life, are good-naturedly
overlooked. Underneath such a life there lies, concealed from casual
view, another life that they lead,--one of hard work, of hope, of
aspiration, and often of pinching poverty and cruel self-denial. The
stress upon them, of many kinds, is great. The utter absence of an
effort to reorganize their lives upon conventional lines is from a
philosophical belief that if they fail to pass unscathed through it all,
they lack the fine, strong metal from which worthy artists are made.

The stranger in Paris will here find opened to him places in which he
may study for himself the Bohemian life of the city in all its careless
disregard of conventions. The cafés, cabarets, and dance-halls herein
described and illustrated have a charm that wholesome, well-balanced
minds will enjoy. The drawings for the illustrations were all made
from the actual scenes that they depict; they partake of the engaging
frankness of the text and of its purpose to show Bohemian life in the
Paris of to-day without any effort at concealment.

W. C. M.



BOHEMIAN PARIS



OUR STUDIO

WE were in wonderful Paris at last--Bishop and I--after a memorable
passage full of interest from New York to Havre. Years of hard work were
ahead of us, for Bishop would be an artist and I a sculptor.

[Illustration: 8023]

For two weeks we had been lodging temporarily in the top of a
comfortable little hotel, called the Grand something (most of the
Parisian hotels are Grand), the window of which commanded a superb view
of the great city, the vaudeville playhouse of the world.

_Pour la première fois_ the dazzle and glitter had burst upon us,
confusing first, but now assuming form and coherence. If we and
incomprehensible at could have had each a dozen eyes instead of two, or
less greed to see and more patience to learn!

Day by day we had put off the inevitable evil of finding a studio.
Every night found us in the cheapest seats of some theatre, and often we
lolled on the terraces of the Café de la Paix, watching the pretty girls
as they passed, their silken skirts saucily pulled up, revealing dainty
laces and ankles. From the slippery floor of the Louvre galleries we had
studied the masterpieces of David, Rubens, Rembrandt, and the rest; had
visited the Panthéon, the Musée Cluny; had climbed the Eiffel Tower,
and traversed the Bois de Boulogne and the Champs-Elysées. Then came the
search for a studio and the settling to work. It would be famous to have
a little home of our very own, where we could have little dinners of our
very own cooking!

It is with a shudder that I recall those eleven days of ceaseless
studio-hunting. We dragged ourselves through miles of Quartier Latin
streets, and up hundreds of flights of polished waxed stairs, behind
puffing concierges in carpet slippers, the puffing changing to
grumbling, as, dissatisfied, the concierges followed us down the stairs.
The Quartier abounds with placards reading, "_Atelier d'Artiste à
Louer!_" The rentals ranged from two hundred to two thousand francs
a year, and the sizes from cigar-boxes to barns. But there was always
something lacking. On the eleventh day we found a suitable place on the
sixth (top) floor of a quaint old house in a passage off the _Rue St.-
André-des-Arts_. There were overhead and side lights, and from the
window a noble view of Paris over the house-tops.

[Illustration: 0023]

A room of fair size joined the studio, and from its vine-laced window we
could look into the houses across the court, and down to the bottom of
the court as well. The studio walls were delightfully dirty and low in
tone, and were covered with sketches and cartoons in oil and charcoal.
The price was eight hundred francs a year, and from the concierge's
eloquent catalogue of its charms it seemed a great bargain. The walls
settled our fate,--we took the studio.

It was one thing to agree on the price and another to settle the
details. Our French was ailing, and the concierge's French
was--concierges' French. Bishop found that his pet theory that French
should be spoken with the hands, head, and shoulders carried weak spots
which a concierge could discover; and then, being somewhat mercurial, he
began floundering in a mixture of French and English words and French
and American gestures, ending in despair with the observation that the
concierge was a d------ fool. At the end of an hour we had learned that
we must sign an iron-bound, government-stamped contract, agreeing to
occupy the studio for not less than one year, to give six months' notice
of our leaving, and to pay three months' rental in advance, besides the
taxes for one year on all the doors and windows, and ten francs or more
to the concierge. This was all finally settled.

As there was no running water in the rooms (such a luxury being unknown
here), we had to supply our needs from a clumsy old iron pump in the
court, and employ six flights of stairs in the process.

Then the studio had to be furnished, and there came endless battles
with the furniture dealers in the neighborhood, who kept their stock
replenished from the goods of bankrupt artists and suspended ménages.

[Illustration: 0025]

These _marchands de meubles_ are a wily race, but Bishop pursued a plan
in dealing with them that worked admirably. He would enter a shop and
price an article that we wanted, and then throw up his hands in horror
and leave the place as though it were haunted with a plague. The dealer
would always come tumbling after him and offer him the article for a
half or a third of the former price. In this way Bishop bought chairs,
tables, a large easel, beds, a studio stove, book-shelves, linen,
drapings, water pitchers and buckets, dishes, cooking utensils, and
many other things, the cost of the whole being less than one hundred and
fifty francs,--and thus we were established. The studio became quite a
snug and hospitable retreat, in spite of the alarming arrangement that
Bishop adopted, "to help the composition of the room." His favorite
cast, the Unknown Woman, occupied the place of honor over his couch,
where he could see it the first thing in the morning, when the dawn,
stealing through the skylight, brought out those strange and subtle
features which he swore inspired him from day to day. My room was filled
with brilliant posters by Chéret and Mucha and Steinlen,--they were too
bold and showy for the low tone of Bishop's studio. It all made a pretty
picture,--the dizzy posters, the solemn trunks, the books, the bed with
its gaudy print coverings, and the little crooked-pane window hung
with bright green vines that ran thither from a box in the window of
an adjoining apartment. And it was all completed by the bright faces
of three pretty seamstresses, who sat sewing every day at their window
across the passage.

Under our housekeeping agreement Bishop was made cook, and I chambermaid
and water-carrier. It was Bishop's duty to obey the alarm clock at six
every morning and light the fire, while I went down for water at the
pump, and for milk at the stand beside the court entrance, where fat
Madame Gioté sold _café-au-lait_ and _lait froid ou chaud_, from a
_sou_'s worth up. Then, after breakfast, I did the chamber work while
Bishop washed the dishes. Bishop could make for breakfast the most
delicious coffee and flapjacks and omelette in the whole of Paris. By
eight o'clock all was in order; Bishop was smoking his pipe and singing
"Down on the Farm" while working on his life study, and I was off to my
modelling in clay.

Bishop soon had the hearts of all the shop-keepers in the neighborhood.
The baker's dimple-cheeked daughter never worried if the scales hung a
little in his favor, at the boucherie he was served with the choicest
cuts of meat, and the fried-potato women called him "_mon fils_"
and fried a fresh lot of potatoes for him. Even Madame Tonneau, the
_marchande de tabac_, saw that he had the freshest packages in the shop.
Often, when I was returning home at night, I encountered him making
cheerily for the studio, bearing bread by the yard, his pockets bulging
with other material for dinner. Ah, he was a wonderful cook, and we had
marvellous appetites! So famous did he soon become that the models (the
lady ones, of course) were eager to dine _avec nous_; and when they did
they helped to set the table, they sewed buttons on our clothes, and
they made themselves agreeable and perfectly at home with that charming
grace which is so peculiarly French. Ah, those were jolly times!

The court, or, more properly, _le passage_, on which our window looked
was a narrow little thoroughfare leading from the Rue St.-André-des-Arts
to the Boulevard St.-Germain. It bore little traffic, but was a busy
way withal. It had iron-workers' shops, where hot iron was beaten
into artistic lamps, grills, and bed-frames; a tinsmith's shop; a
blanchisserie, where our shirts were made white and smooth by the pretty
blanchisseuses singing all day over their work; a wine-cellar, whose
barrels were eternally blocking one end of the passage; an embossed
picture-card factory, where twoscore women, with little hammers and
steel dies, beat pictures into cards; a furniture shop, where everything
old and artistic was sold, the Hôtel du Passage, and a bookbinder's
shop.

Each of the eight buildings facing the passage was ruled by a formidable
concierge, who had her dark little living apartments near the entrances.
These are the despots of the court, and their function is to make life
miserable for their lodgers. When they are not doing that they are
eternally scrubbing and polishing. They are all married. M. Mayé, _le
mari de notre concierge_, is a tailor. He sits at the window and mends
and sews all day long, or acts as concierge when his wife is away. The
husband of the concierge next door is a sergeant de ville at night, but
in the early mornings as, in a soiled blouse, he empties ash-cans, he
looks very unlike the personage dressed at night in a neat blue
uniform and wearing a short sword Another concierge's husband _fait des
courses_--runs errands--for sufficient pay.

[Illustration: 9030]

Should you fail to clean your boots on the mat, and thus soil the glossy
stairs, have a care!--a concierge's tongue has inherited the warlike
characteristics of the Caesars. Rugs and carpets must not be shaken out
of the windows after nine o'clock. Ashes and other refuse must be thrown
into the big bin of the house not later than seven. Sharp at eleven in
the evening the lights are extinguished and the doors locked for the
night; and then all revelry must immediately cease. Should you arrive
_en retard_,--that is, after eleven,--you must ring the bell violently
until the despot, generally after listening for an hour to the bell,
unlocks the catch from her couch. Then when you close the door and pass
her lodge you must call out your name. If you are out often or till very
late, be prepared for a lecture on the crime of breaking the rest of
hard-working concierges. After the day's work the concierges draw their
chairs out into the court and gossip about their tenants. The nearer the
roof the lodger the less the respect he commands. Would he not live on a
lower floor if he were able? And then, the top floor gives small tips!

It is noticeable that the entresol and premiers étages are clean and
highly polished, and that the cleanliness and polish diminish steadily
toward the top, where they almost disappear. Ah, _les concierges!_ But
what would Paris be without them?

Directly beneath us an elderly couple have apartments. Every morning at
five the old gentleman starts French oaths rattling through the court by
beating his rugs out of his window. At six he rouses the ire of a widow
below him by watering his plants and incidentally drenching her bird-
cages. Not long ago she rose in violent rebellion, and he hurled a
flower pot at her protruding head. It smashed on her window-sill; she
screamed "Murder!" and the whole court was in an uproar. The concierges
and the old gentleman's pacific wife finally restored order--till the
next morning.

Next, to my room are an elderly lady and her sweet, sad-faced daughter.
They are very quiet and dignified, and rarely fraternize with their
neighbors. It is their vine that creeps over to my window, and it is
carefully tended by the daughter. And all the doves and sparrows of the
court come regularly to eat out of her hand, and a lively chatter they
have over it. The ladies are the widow and daughter of a once prosperous
stock-broker on the Bourse, whom an unlucky turn of the wheel drove to
poverty and suicide.

The three seamstresses over the way are the sunshine of the court. They
are not so busy sewing and singing but that they find time to send arch
glances toward our window, and their blushes and smiles when Bishop
sends them sketches of them that he has made from memory are more than
remunerative.

A young Scotch student from Glasgow, named Cameron, has a studio
adjoining ours. He is a fine, jovial fellow, and we usually assist him
to dispose of his excellent brew of tea at five o'clock. Every Thursday
evening there was given a musical chez lui, in which Bishop and I
assisted with mandolin and guitar, while Cameron played the flute.
For these occasions Cameron donned his breeks and kilt, and danced the
sword-dance round two table-knives crossed. The American songs strike
him as being strange and incomprehensible. He cannot understand the
negro dialect, and wonders if America is filled with negroes and cotton
plantations; but he is always delighted with Bishop's "Down on the
Farm."

[Illustration: 0033]

Life begins at five o'clock in our court. The old gentleman beats his
rugs, the milk-bottles rattle, the bread-carts rumble, Madame Gioté
opens her milkstand, and the concierges drag the ash-cans out into the
court, where a drove of rag-pickers fall upon them. These gleaners are
a queer lot. Individuals and families pursue the quest, each with a
distinct purpose. One will seek nothing but bones, glass, and crockery;
another sifts the ashes for coal; another takes only paper and rags;
another old shoes and hats; and so on, from can to can, none interfering
with any of the others. The dogs are the first at the bins. They are
regularly organized in working squads, travelling in fours and fives.
They are quite adept at digging through the refuse for food, and they
rarely quarrel; and they never leave one bin for another until they have
searched it thoroughly.

The swish of water and a coarse brush broom announces the big, strong
woman who sweeps the gutters of the Rue St.-André-des-Arts. With broad
sweeps of the broom she spreads the water over half the street and back
into the gutter, making the worn yellow stones shine. She is coarsely
clad and wears black sabots; and God knows how she can swear when the
gleaners scatter the refuse into the gutter!

The long wail of the fish-and-mussel woman, "_J'ai des beaux maquereaux,
des moules, poissons à frire, à frire!_" as she pushes her cart, means
seven o'clock.

The day now really begins. Water-pails are clanging and sabots are
clicking on the stones. The wine people set up a rumble by cleaning
their casks with chains and water. The anvils of the iron-workers are
ringing, and there comes the tink-tink-tink of the little hammers in
the embossed-picture factory. The lumbering garbage-cart arrives to bear
away the ash-bins, the lead-horse shaking his head to ring the bell on
his neck in announcement of the approach. Street-venders and hawkers of
various comestibles, each with his or her quaint musical cry, come in
numbers. "_J'ai des beaux choux-fleurs! O, comme ils sont beaux!_" The
fruit- and potato-women come after, and then the chair-menders. These
market-women are early risers. They are at the great Halles Centrales
at four o'clock to bargain for their wares; and besides good lungs
they have a marvellous shrewdness, born of long dealings with French
housewives.

Always near eight may be heard, "_Du mouron pour les petits oiseaux!_"
and all the birds in the court, familiar with the cry, pipe up for their
chickweed. "_Voilà le bon fromage à la crème pour trois sous!_" cries
a keen-faced little woman, her three-wheeled cart loaded with cream
cheeses; and she gives a soup-plate full of them, with cream poured
generously over, and as she pockets the money says, "_Voilà! ce que
c'est bon avec des confitures!_" Cream cheeses and prayer! On Sunday
mornings during the spring and summer the goat's-milk vender, blowing
a reed-pipe, invades the passage with his living milk-cans,--a flock of
eight hairy goats that know the route as well as he, and they are always
willing to be milked when a customer offers a bowl. The tripe-man with
his wares and bell is the last of the food-sellers of the day. The
window-glass repairer, "_Vitrier!_" passes at nine, and then the
beggars and strolling musicians and singers put in an appearance. In
the afternoon the old-clo' man comes hobbling under his load of cast-off
clothes, crying, "_Marchand d'habits!_" of which you can catch only
"'_Chand d'habits!_" and the barrel-buyer, "Marchand de tonneaux!" The
most musical of them all is the porcelain-mender, who cries, "_Voici le
raccommodeur de porcelaines, faïence, cristal, poseur de robinets!_" and
then plays a fragment of a hunting-song.

[Illustration: 0037]

The beggars and musicians also have regular routes and fixed hours. Cold
and stormy days are welcomed by them, for then pity lends activity to-
sous. A piratical old beggar has his stand near the entrance to the
court, where he kneels on the stones, his faithful mongrel dog beside
him. He occasionally poses for the artists when times are dull, but he
prefers begging,--it is easier and more remunerative. Three times a week
we are treated to some really good singing by a blind old man, evidently
an artist in his day. When the familiar sound of his guitar is heard
all noises in the passage cease, and all windows are opened to hear.
He sings arias from the operas. His little old wife gathers up the sous
that ring on the flags. Sometimes a strolling troupe of two actors and
three musicians makes its appearance, and invariably plays to a full
house. There are droves of sham singers who do not sing at all, but
give mournful howls and tell their woes to deaf windows. One of them, a
tattered woman with two babies, refused to pose for Bishop, although he
offered her five francs for the afternoon.

Her babies never grow older or bigger as the years pass.

We all know when anybody in the passage is going to take a bath. There
are no bath-tubs in these old houses, but that difficulty is surmounted
by a bathing establishment on the Boulevard St.-Michel. It sends around
a cart bearing a tank of hot water and a zinc tub. The man who pulls the
cart carries the tub to the room, and fills it by carrying up the water
in buckets. Then he remains below until the bath is finished, to regain
his tub and collect a franc.

Since we have been here the court entrance has been once draped in
mourning. At the head of the casket of old Madame Courtoise, who lived
across the way, stood a stately crucifix, and candles burned, and there
were mourners and yellow bead wreaths. A quiet sadness sat upon the
court, and the people spoke in whispers only.

And there have been two weddings,--one at the blanchisserie, where the
master's daughter was married to a young mechanic from the iron shop.
There were glorious times at the laundry that night, for the whole court
was present. It was four in the morning when the party broke up, and
then our shirts were two days late.

Thus ran the first months of the four years of our student life in
Paris; in its domestic aspects it was typical of all that followed. We
soon became members of the American Art Association, and gradually made
friends in charming French homes. Then there was the strange Bohemian
life lying outside as well as within the students' pale, and into
the spirit of it all we found our way. It is to the Bohemian, not
the social, life of Paris that these papers are devoted--a life
both picturesque and pathetic, filled with the oddest contrasts and
incongruities, with much suffering but more content, and spectacular
and fascinating in all its phases. No one can have seen and known
Paris without a study of this its living, struggling artistic side,
so strange, so remote from the commonplace world surging and roaring
unheeded about it.

On New Year's Day we had an overwhelming number of callers. First came
the concierge, who cleaned our door-knob and wished us a prosperous and
bonne année. She got ten francs,--we did not know what was coming. The
chic little blanchisseuse called next with our linen. That meant two
francs. Then came in succession two telegraph boys, the facteur, or
postman, who presented us with a cheap calendar, and another postman,
who delivers only second-class mail. They got a franc each. Then the
_marchand de charbon_'s boy called with a clean face and received fifty
centimes, and everybody else with whom we had had dealings; and our
offerings had a steadily diminishing value.

We could well bear all this, however, in view of the great day, but a
week old, when we had celebrated Christmas. Bishop prepared a dinner
fit for a king, giving the greater part of his time for a week to
preparations for the great event. Besides a great many French dishes, we
had turkey and goose, cooked for us at the rôtisserie near by, and soup,
oysters, American pastries, and a big, blazing plum-pudding. We and our
guests (there were eight in all) donned full dress for the occasion,
and a bonne, hired for the evening, brought on the surprises one after
another. But why should not it have been a glorious evening high up
among the chimney-pots of old Paris? for did we not drink to the loved
ones in a distant land, and were not our guests the prettiest among the
pretty toilers of our court?

[Illustration: 0042]



THE ÉCOLE DES BEAUX-ARTS


IT is about the fifteenth of October, after the long summer vacation,
that the doors of the great École des Beaux-Arts are thrown open.

[Illustration: 0043]

The first week, called "_la semaine des nouveaux_," is devoted to the
initiation and hazing of the new students, who come mostly from foreign
countries and the French provinces. These festivities can never be
forgotten--by the _nouveaux_.

[Illustration: 0044]

Bishop had condescendingly decided to become _un élève de Gérôme_--with
some misgivings, for Bishop had developed ideas of a large and free
American art, while Gérôme was hard and academic. One day he gathered
up some of his best drawings and studies (which he regarded as
masterpieces) and, climbing to the impériale of a Clichy 'bus, rode
over to Montmartre, where Gérôme had his private studio. He was politely
ushered in by a manservant, and conducted to the door of the master's
studio through a hall and gallery filled with wonderful marble groups.
Gérôme himself opened the door, and Bishop found himself in the great
man's workshop. For a moment Bishop stood dazed in the middle of the
splendid room, with its great sculptures and paintings, some still
unfinished, and a famous collection of barbaric arms and costumes. A
beautiful model was posing upon a rug. But most impressive of all was
the white-haired master, regarding him with a thoughtful and searching,
but kindly, glance. Bishop presently found a tongue with which to
stammer out his mission,--he would be a pupil of the great Gérôme.

The old man smiled, and, bidding his model retire, inspected carefully
the array of drawings that Bishop spread at his feet,--Gérôme must
have evidence of some ability for the magic of his brain and touch to
develop.

"_Sont pas mal, mon ami_," he said, after he had studied all the
drawings; "_non, pas mal_." Bishop's heart bounded,--his work was not
bad! "_Vous êtes Américain?_" continued the master. "_C'est un pays que
j'aimerais bien visiter si le temps ne me manquait pas_."

Thus he chatted on, putting Bishop more and more at his ease. He talked
of America and the promising future that she has for art; then he went
into his little office, and, asking Bishop's name, filled out the blank
that made him a happy pupil of Gérôme. He handed it to Bishop with this
parting-advice, spoken with great earnestness:

"_Il faut travailler, mon ami--travailler! Pour arriver, travailler
toujours, sérieusement, bien entendu!_"

Bishop was so proud and happy that he ran all the way up the six flights
of stairs to our floor, burst into the studio, and executed a war-dance
that would have shamed an Apache, stepping into his paint-box and nearly
destroying his sacred Unknown. That night we had a glorious supper, with
des escargots to start with.

Early on the fifteenth of October, with his head erect and hope filling
his soul, Bishop started for the Beaux-Arts, which was in the Rue
Bonaparte, quite near. That night he returned wise and saddened.

He had bought a new easel and two rush-bottomed tabourets, which every
new student must provide, and, loaded with these, he made for the Ecole.
Gathered at the big gates was a great crowd of models of all sorts, men,
women, and children, fat, lean, and of all possible sizes. In the court-
yard, behind the gates, was a mob of long-haired students, who had a
year or more ago passed the initiatory ordeal and become ancients. Their
business now was to yell chaff at the arriving nouveaux. The concierge
conducted Bishop up-stairs to the Administration, where he joined a
long line of other nouveaux waiting for the opening of the office at ten
o'clock.

Then he produced his papers and was enrolled as a student of the Ecole.

It is only in this government school of the four arts that the typical
Bohemian students of Paris may be found, including the genuine type
of French student, with his long hair, his whiskers, his Latin Quarter
"plug" hat, his cape, blouse, wide corduroy trousers, sash, expansive
necktie, and immense cane. The Ecole preserves this type more
effectually than the other schools, such as Julian's and Colarossi's,
where most of the students are foreigners in conventional dress.

Among the others who entered Gérôme's atelier at the same time that
Bishop did was a Turk named Haidor (fresh from the Ottoman capital), a
Hungarian, a Siamese, an American from the plains of Nebraska, and five
Frenchmen from the provinces.

They all tried to speak French and be agreeable as they entered the
atelier together. At the door stood a gardien, whose principal business
is to mark absentees and suppress riots. Then they passed to the gentle
mercies of the reception committee and the _massier_ within.

The _massier_ is a student who manages the studio, models, and _masse_
money. This one, a large fellow with golden whiskers (size and strength
are valuable elements of the massier's efficiency), demanded twenty-five
francs from each of the new-comers,--this being the _masse_ money, to
pay for fixtures, turpentine, soap, and clean towels, _et pour payer
à boire_. The Turk refused to pay, protesting that he had but thirty
francs to last him the month; but menacing stools and sticks opened
his purse; his punishment was to come later. After the money had
been collected from all the nouveaux the entire atelier of over sixty
students, dressed in working blouses and old coats, formed in line, and
with deafening shouts of "_A boire! à boire!_" placed the _nouveaux_
in front to carry the class banner, and thus marched out into the _Rue
Bonaparte_ to the _Café des Deux Magots_, singing songs fit only for
the studio. Their singing, shouting, and ridiculous capers drew a great
crowd. At the café they created consternation with their shouting
and howling until the arrival of great bowls of "_grog Américain_,"
cigarettes, and _gâteaux_. Rousing cheers were given to a marriage-party
across the Place St.-Germain. The Turk was forced to do a Turkish dance
on a table and sing Turkish songs, and to submit to merciless ridicule.
The timid little Siamese also had to do a turn, as did Bishop and
W------, the American from Nebraska, who had been a cowboy at home.
After yelling themselves hoarse and nearly wrecking the café, the
students marched back in a disorderly mob to the Ecole. Then the real
trouble began.

The gardien having conveniently disappeared, the students closed
and barricaded the door. "_A poil! à poil!_" they yelled, dancing
frantically about the frightened nouveaux; "_à poil les sales nouveaux!
à poil!_" They seized the Turk and stripped him, despite his desperate
resistance; then they tied his hands behind him and with paint and
brushes decorated his body in the most fantastic designs that they could
conceive. His oaths were frightful. He cursed them in the name of Allah,
and swore to have the blood of all Frenchmen for desecrating the sacred
person of a Moslem. He called them dogs of infidels and Christians. But
all this was in Turkish, and the students enjoyed it immensely. "_En
broche!_" they yelled, after they had made him a spectacle with the
brushes; "_en broche! Il faut le mettre en broche!_" This was quickly
done. They forced the Turk to his haunches, bound his wrists in front of
his upraised knees, thrust a long pole between his elbows and knees,
and thus bore him round the atelier at the head of a singing procession.
Four times they went round; then they placed the helpless M. Haidor on
the model-stand for future reference. The bad French that the victim
occasionally mixed with his tirade indicated the fearful damnation that
he was doubtless dealing out in Turkish.

A circle was then formed about him, and a solemn silence fell upon the
crowd. A Frenchman named Joncierge, head of the reception committee,
stepped forth, and in slow and impressive speech announced that it was
one of the requirements of the Atelier Gérôme to brand all nouveaux over
the heart with the name of the atelier, and that the branding of the
Turk would now proceed. Upon hearing this, M. Haidor emitted a fearful
howl. But he was turned to face the red-hot studio stove and watch
the branding-iron slowly redden in the coals. During this interval the
students sang the national song, and followed it with a funeral march.
Behind the Turk's back a second poker was being painted to resemble a
red-hot one.

The hot poker was taken from the fire, and its usefulness tested by
burning a string with it. Haidor grew deathly pale. An intense silence
sat upon the atelier as the iron was brought near the helpless young
man. In a moment, with wonderful cleverness, the painted poker was
substituted for the hot one and placed quickly against his breast. When
the cold iron touched him he roared like a maddened bull, and rolled
quivering and moaning upon the floor. The students were frantic with
delight.

It was some time before Haidor could realize that he was not burned to
a crisp. He was then taken across the atelier and hoisted to a narrow
shelf fifteen feet from the floor, where he was left to compose himself
and enjoy the tortures of the other nouveaux. He dared not move,
however, lest he fall; and because he refused to take anything in good-
nature, but glared hatred and vengeance down at them, they pelted him at
intervals with water-soaked sponges.

The Hungarian and one of the French nouveaux were next seized and
stripped. Then they were ordered to fight a duel, in this fashion: they
were made to mount two stools about four feet apart. The Hungarian was
handed a long paint-brush dripping with Prussian blue, and the Frenchman
a similar brush soaked with crimson lake. Then the battle began. Each
hesitated to splash the other at first, but as they warmed to their work
under the shouting of the committee they went in with a will. When the
Frenchman had received a broad splash on the mouth in return for a chest
decoration of his adversary, his blood rose, and then the serious work
began.

[Illustration: 0051]

Both quickly lost their temper. When they were unwillingly made to
desist the product of their labors was startling, though not beautiful.
Then they were rubbed down vigorously with turpentine and soiled towels,
and were given a franc each for a bath, because they had behaved so
handsomely.

Bishop came next. He had made up his mind to stand the initiation
philosophically, whatever it might be, but when he was ordered to strip
he became apprehensive and then angry. Nothing so delights the students
as for a _nouveau_ to lose his temper. Bishop squared off to face the
whole atelier, and looked ugly. The students silently deployed on three
sides, and with a yell rushed in, but not before three of them had gone
down under his fists did they pin him to the floor and strip him. While
Bishop was thus being prepared, the Nebraskan was being dealt with. He
had the wisdom not to lose his temper, and that made his resistance
all the more formidable. Laughing all the time, he nevertheless dodged,
tripped, wrestled, threw stools, and did so many other astonishing and
baffling things that the students, though able to have conquered him
in the end, were glad to make terms with him. In this arrangement he
compelled them to include Bishop. As a result, those two mounted the
model throne naked, and sang together and danced a jig, all so cleverly
that the Frenchmen were frantic with delight, and welcomed them as _des
bons amis_. The amazing readiness and capability of the American fist
bring endless delight and perennial surprise to the French.

[Illustration: 0053]

The rest of the nouveaux were variously treated. Some, after being
stripped, were grotesquely decorated with designs and pictures not
suitable for general inspection. Others were made to sing, to recite, or
to act scenes from familiar plays, or, in default of that, to improvise
scenes, some of which were exceedingly funny. Others, attached to a rope
depending from the ceiling, were swung at a perilous rate across the
atelier, dodging easels in their flight.

At half-past twelve the sport was over. The barricade was removed,
the Turk's clothes hidden, the Turk left howling on his shelf, and the
atelier abandoned. The next morning there was trouble. The director was
furious, and threatened to close the atelier for a month, because the
Turk had not been discovered until five o'clock, when his hoarse howls
attracted the attention of the gardien of the fires. His trousers and
one shoe could not be found. It was three months before Haidor appeared
at the atelier again, and then everything had been forgotten.

Bishop was made miserable during the ensuing week. He would find himself
roasting over paper fires kindled under his stool. Paint was smeared
upon his easel to stain his hands. His painting was altered and entirely
re-designed in his absence. Strong-smelling cheeses were placed in the
lining of his "plug" hat. His stool-legs were so loosened that when
he sat down he struck the floor with a crash. His painting-blouse was
richly decorated inside and out with shocking coats of arms that would
not wash out. One day he discovered that he had been painting for a
whole hour with currant jelly from a tube that he thought contained
laque.

Then, being a _nouveau_, he could never get a good position in which to
draw from the model. Every Monday morning a new model is posed for the
week, and the students select places according to the length of time
they have been attending. The nouveaux have to take what is left. And
they must be servants to the ancients,--run out for tobacco, get soap
and clean towels, clean paint-brushes, and keep the studio in order.
With the sculptors and architects it is worse. The sculptors must sweep
the dirty, clay-grimed floor regularly, fetch clean water, mix the clay
and keep it fresh and moist, and on Saturdays, when the week's work is
finished, must break up the forty or more clay figures, and restore
them to clay for next week's operations. The architects must build heavy
wooden frames, mount the projects and drawings, and cart them about
Paris to the different exhibition rooms.

At the end of a year the _nouveau_ drops his hated title and becomes a
proud ancient, to bully to his heart's content, as those before him.

Mondays and Wednesdays are criticism days, for then M. Gérôme comes down
and goes over the work of his pupils. He is very early and punctual,
never arriving later than half-past eight, usually before half the
students are awake. The moment he enters all noises cease, and all seem
desperately hard at work, although a moment before the place may have
been in an uproar. Gérôme plumps down upon the man nearest to him, and
then visits each of his _élèves_, storming and scolding mercilessly
when his pupils have failed to follow his instructions. As soon as a
student's criticism is finished he rises and follows the master to hear
the other criticisms, so that toward the close the procession is large.

[Illustration: 0057]

Bishop's first criticism took him all aback. "_Comment!_" gasped the
master, gazing at the canvas in horror. "_Qu'est-ce que vous avez
fait?_" he sternly demanded, glaring at the luckless student, who, in
order to cultivate a striking individuality, was painting the model in
broad, thick dashes of color. Gérôme glanced at Bishop's palette, and
saw a complete absence of black upon it. "_Comment, vous n'avez pas de
noir?_" he roared. "_C'est très important, la partie matérielle! Vous
ne m'écoutez pas, mon ami,---je parle dans le désert! Vous n'avez pas
d'aspect général, mon ami,_" and much more, while Bishop sat cold to the
marrow. The students, crowded about, enjoyed his discomfiture immensely,
and, behind Gérôme's back, laughed in their sleeves and made faces at
Bishop. But many others suffered, and Bishop had his inning with them.

All during Gérôme's tour of inspection the model must maintain his pose,
however difficult and exhausting. Often he is kept on a fearful strain
for two hours. After the criticism the boys show Gérôme sketches and
studies that they have made outside the Ecole, and it is in discussing
them that his geniality and kindliness appear. Gérôme imperiously
demands two things,--that his pupils, before starting to paint, lay on a
red or yellow tone, and that they keep their brushes scrupulously clean.
Woe to him who disobeys!

After he leaves with a cheery "_Bon jour, messieurs!_" pandemonium
breaks loose, if the day be Saturday. Easels, stools, and studies are
mowed down as by a whirlwind, yells shake the building, the model is
released, a tattoo is beaten on the sheet-iron stove-guard, everything
else capable of making a noise is brought into service, and either the
model is made to do the _danse du ventre_ or a _nouveau_ is hazed.

The models--what stories are there! Every Monday morning from ten to
twenty present themselves, male and female, for inspection in _puris
naturalibus_ before the critical gaze of the students of the different
ateliers. One after another they mount the throne and assume such
academic poses of their own choosing as they imagine will display their
points to the best advantage. The students then vote upon them, for and
against, by raising the hand. The massier, standing beside the model,
announces the result, and, if the vote is favorable, enrols the model
for a certain week to come.

There is intense rivalry among the models. Strange to say, most of the
male models in the schools of Paris are from Italy, the southern part
especially. As a rule, they have very good figures. They begin posing
at the age of five or six, and follow the business until old age retires
them. Crowds of them are at the gates of the Beaux-Arts early on Monday
mornings. In the voting, a child may be preferred to his seniors, and
yet the rate of payment is the same,--thirty francs a week.

[Illustration: 0061]

Many of the older models are quite proud of their profession, spending
idle hours in studying the attitudes of figures in great paintings and
in sculptures in the Louvre or the Luxembourg, and adopting these poses
when exhibiting themselves to artists; but the trick is worthless.

Few of the women models remain long in the profession. Posing is hard
and fatiguing work, and the students are merciless in their criticisms
of any defects of figure that the models may have,--the French are born
critics. During the many years that I have studied and worked in Paris
I have seen scores of models begin their profession with a serious
determination to make it their life-work.

[Illustration: 9062]

They would appear regularly at the different ateliers for about two
years, and would be gratified to observe endless reproductions of their
graces in the prize rows on the studio walls. Then their appearance
would be less and less regular, and they would finally disappear
altogether--whither? Some become contented companions of students
and artists, but the cafés along the _Boul' Mich'_, the cabarets of
Montmartre, and the dance-halls of the Moulin Rouge and the Bal Bullier
have their own story to tell. Some are happily married; for instance,
one, noted for her beauty of face and figure, is the wife of a New York
millionaire. But she was clever as well as beautiful, and few models
are that. Most of them are ordinaire, living the easy life of Bohemian
Paris, and having little knowledge of _le monde propre._ But, oh, how
they all love dress! and therein lies most of the story. When Marcelle
or Hélène appears, all of a sudden, radiant in silks and creamy lace
petticoats, and sweeps proudly into the crowded studios, flushed and
happy, and hears the dear compliments that the students heap upon her,
we know that thirty francs a week could not have changed the gray grub
into a gorgeous butterfly.

"_C'est mon amant qui m'a fait cadeau,_" Marcelle will explain, deeming
some explanation necessary. There is none to dispute you, Marcelle. This
vast whirlpool has seized many another like you, and will seize many
another more. And to poor Marcelle it seems so small a price to pay to
become one of the grand ladies of Paris, with their dazzling jewels and
rich clothes!

An odd whim may overtake one here and there. One young demoiselle,
beautiful as a girl and successful as a model a year ago, may now be
seen nightly at the _Cabaret du Soleil d'Or_, frowsy and languishing, in
keeping with the spirit of her confrères there, singing her famous
"_Le Petit Caporal_" to thunderous applause, and happy with the love,
squalor, dirt, and hunger that she finds with the luckless poet whose
fortunes she shares. It was not a matter of clothes with her.

It is a short and easy step from the studio to the _café_. At the studio
it is all little money, hard posing, dulness, and poor clothes; at
the _cafés_ are the brilliant lights, showy clothes, tinkling money,
clinking glasses, popping corks, unrestrained abandon, and midnight
suppers. And the studios and the _cafés_ are but adjoining apartments,
one may say, in the great house of Bohemia. The studio is the
introduction to the _café_; the _café_ is the burst of sunshine after
the dreariness of the studio; and Marcelle determines that for once she
will bask in the warmth and glow.... Ah, what a jolly night it was, and
a louis d'or in her purse besides! Marcelle's face was pretty--and new.
She is late at the studio next morning, and is sleepy and cross. The
students grumble. The room is stifling, and its gray walls seem ready to
crush her. It is so tiresome, so stupid--and only thirty francs a week!
Bah!... Marcelle appears no more.

All the great painters have their exclusive model or models, paying them
a permanent salary. These favored ones move in a special circle, into
which the ordinaire may not enter, unless she becomes the favorite of
some grand homme. They are never seen at the academies, and rarely or
never pose in the schools, unless it was there they began their career.

Perhaps the most famous of the models of Paris was Sarah Brown, whose
wild and exciting life has been the talk of the world. Her beautiful
figure and glorious golden hair opened to her the whole field of
modeldom. Offers for her services as model were more numerous than she
could accept, and the prices that she received were very high. She
was the mistress of one great painter after another, and she lived and
reigned like a queen. Impulsive, headstrong, passionate, she would do
the most reckless things. She would desert an artist in the middle of
his masterpiece and come down to the studio to pose for the students
at thirty francs a week. Gorgeously apparelled, she would glide into a
studio, overturn all the easels that she could reach, and then shriek
with laughter over the havoc and consternation that she had created. The
students would greet her with shouts and form a circle about her, while
she would banteringly call them her friends. Then she would jump upon
the throne, dispossess the model there, and give a dance or make a
speech, knocking off every hat that her parasol could reach. But no one
could resist Sarah.

She came up to the _Atelier Gérôme_ one morning and demanded une semaine
de femme. The _massier_ booked her for the following week. She arrived
promptly on time and was posed. Wednesday a whim seized her to wear her
plumed hat and silk stockings. "_C'est beaucoup plus chic_," she naively
explained. When Gérôme entered the studio and saw her posing thus she
smiled saucily at him, but he turned in a rage and left the studio
without a word. Thursday she tired of the pose and took one to please
herself, donning a skirt. Of course protests were useless, so the
students had to recommence their work. The remainder of the week she sat
upon the throne in full costume, refusing to pose. She amused herself
with smoking cigarettes and keeping the _nouveaux_ running errands for
her.

It was she who was the cause of the students' riot in 1893,--a riot that
came near ending in a revolution. It was all because she appeared at le
Bal des Quat'z' Arts in a costume altogether too simple and natural
to suit the prefect of police, who punished her. She was always at
the Salon on receiving-day, and shocked the occupants of the liveried
carriages on the Champs-Elysées with her dancing. In fact, she was
always at the head of everything extraordinary and sensational among the
Bohemians of Paris. But she aged rapidly under her wild life. Her figure
lost its grace, her lovers deserted her, and after her dethronement
as Queen of Bohemia, broken-hearted and poor, she put an end to her
wretched life,--and Paris laughed.

The breaking in of a new girl model is a joy that the students never
permit themselves to miss. Among the many demoiselles who come every
Monday morning are usually one or two that are new. The new one
is accompanied by two or more of her girl friends, who give her
encouragement at the terrible moment when she disrobes. As there are no
dressing-rooms, there can be no privacy. The students gather about and
watch the proceedings with great interest, and make whatever remarks
their deviltry can suggest. This is the supreme test; all the efforts
of the attendant girls are required to hold the new one to her purpose.
When finally, after an inconceivable struggle with her shame, the girl
plunges ahead in reckless haste to finish the job, the students applaud
her roundly.

[Illustration: 0067]

But more torture awaits her. Frightened, trembling, blushing furiously,
she ascends the throne, and innocently assumes the most awkward and
ridiculous poses, forgetting in that terrible moment the poses that she
had learned so well under the tutelage of her friends. It is then that
the fiendishness of the students rises to its greatest height. Dazed and
numb, she hardly comprehends the ordeal through which she is now put.
The students have adopted a grave and serious bearing, and solemnly ask
her to assume the most outlandish and ungraceful poses. Then come long
and mock-earnest arguments about her figure, these arguments having been
carefully learned and rehearsed beforehand. One claims that her waist is
too long and her legs too heavy; another hotly takes the opposite view.
Then they put her through the most absurd evolutions to prove their
points. At last she is made to don her hat and stockings; and the
students form a ring about her and dance and shout until she is ready to
faint.

Of course the studio has a ringleader in all this deviltry,--all studios
have. Joncierge is head of all the mischief in our atelier. There is
no end to his ingenuity in devising new means of torture and fun. His
personations are marvellous. When he imitates Bernhardt, Réjane, or
Calvé, no work can be done in the studio. Gérôme himself is one of his
favorite victims. But Joncierge cannot remain long in one school; the
authorities pass him on as soon as they find that he is really hindering
the work of the students. One day, at Julian's, he took the class
skeleton, and with a cord let the rattling, quivering thing down into
the Rue du Dragon, and frightened the passers out of their wits. As his
father is chef d'orchestre at the Grand Opéra, Joncierge junior learns
all the operas and convulses us with imitations of the singers.

[Illustration: 9070]

Another character in the studio is le jeune Siffert, only twenty-three,
and one of the cleverest of the coming French painters. Recently he
nearly won the Prix de Rome. His specialty is the imitation of the cries
of domestic fowls and animals, and of street venders. Gérôme calls him
"mon fils," and constantly implores him to be serious. I don't see why.

Then there is Fiola, a young giant from Brittany, with a wonderful
facility at drawing. He will suddenly break into a roar, and for an hour
sing one verse of a Brittany chant, driving the other students mad.

Fournier is a little curly-headed fellow from the south, near Valence,
and wears corduroy trousers tucked into top-boots. His greatest delight
is in plaguing the nouveaux. His favorite joke, if the day is dark, is
to send a nouveau to the different ateliers of the Ecole in search of
"le grand réflecteur." The nouveau, thinking that it is a device for
increasing the light, starts out bravely, and presently returns with a
large, heavy box, which, upon its being opened, is found to be filled
with bricks. Then Fournier is happy.

Taton is the butt of the atelier. He is an ingénu, and falls into any
trap set for him. Whenever anything is missing, all pounce upon Taton,
and he is very unhappy.

Haidor, the Turk, suspicious and sullen, also is a butt. Caricatures of
him abundantly adorn the walls, together with the Turkish crescent, and
Turkish ladies executing the _danse du ventre_.

Caricatures of all kinds cover the walls of the atelier, and some are
magnificent, being spared the vandalism that spares nothing else. One,
especially good, represents Kenyon Cox, who studied here.

W------, the student from Nebraska, created a sensation by appearing one
day in the full regalia of a cowboy, including two immense revolvers,
a knife, and a lariat depending from his belt. With the lariat he
astonished and dismayed the dodging Frenchmen by lassoing them at will,
though they exercised their greatest running and dodging agility to
escape. They wanted to know if all Americans went about thus heeled in
America.

There is something uncanny about the little Siamese. He is exceedingly
quiet and works unceasingly. One day, when the common spirit of mischief
was unusually strong among the boys, the bolder ones began to hint at
fun in the direction of the Siamese. He quietly shifted a pair of brass
knuckles from some pocket to a more convenient one, and although it was
done so unostentatiously, the act was observed. He was not disturbed,
and has been left strictly alone ever since.

One day the Italian students took the whole atelier down to a little
restaurant on the Quai des Grands-Augustins and cooked them an excellent
Italian dinner, with Chianti to wash it down. Two Italian street-singers
furnished the music, and Mademoiselle la Modèle danced as only a model
can.

[Illustration: 0072]



TAKING PICTURES TO THE SALON


EVER since New Year's, when Bishop began his great composition for the
Salon, our life at the studio had been sadly disarranged; for Bishop had
so completely buried himself in his work that I was compelled to combine
the functions of cook with those of chambermaid.

[Illustration: 9073]

This double work, with increasing pressure from my modelling, required
longer hours at night and shorter hours in the morning. But I was
satisfied, for this was to be Bishop's masterpiece, and I knew from the
marvellous labor and spirit that he put into the work that something
good would result.

The name of his great effort was "The Suicide." It was like him to
choose so grisly a subject, for he had a lawless nature and rebelled
against the commonplace. Ghastly subjects had always fascinated him.
From the very beginning of our domestic partnership he had shown a taste
for grim and forbidding things. Often, upon returning home, I had
found him making sketches of armless beggars, twisted cripples, and
hunchbacks, and, worse than all, disease-marked vagabonds. A skull-faced
mortal in the last stages of consumption was a joy to him. It was
useless for me to protest that he was failing to find the best in him
by developing his unwholesome tastes. "Wait," he would answer patiently;
"the thing that has suffering and character, that is out of the
ordinary, it is the thing that will strike and live."

The suicide was a young woman gowned in black; she was poised in the act
of plunging into the Seine; a babe was tightly clutched to her breast;
and behind the unspeakable anguish in her eyes was a hungry hope, a
veiled assurance of the peace to come. It fascinated and haunted me
beyond all expression. It was infinitely sad, tragic, and terrible, for
it reached with a sure touch to the very lowest depth of human agony.
The scene was the dead of night, and only the dark towers of Notre-Dame
broke the even blackness of the sky, save for a faint glow that touched
the lower stretches from the distant lamps of the city. In the darkness
only the face of the suicide was illuminated, and that but dimly, though
sufficiently to disclose the wonderfully complex emotions that crowded
upon her soul. This illumination came from three ghastly green lights
on the water below. The whole tone of the picture was a black, sombre
green.

That was all after the painting had been finished. The making of it is
a story by itself. From the first week in January to the first week in
March the studio was a junk-shop of the most uncanny sort. In order to
pose his model in the act of plunging into the river, Bishop had rigged
up a tackle, which, depending from the ceiling, caught the model at the
waist, after the manner of a fire-escape belt, and thus half suspended
her. He secured his green tone and night effect by covering nearly all
the skylight and the window with green tissue-paper, besides covering
the floor and walls with green rugs and draperies.

The model behaved very well in her unusual pose, but the babe--that was
the rub. The model did not happen to possess one, and Bishop had not yet
learned the difficulties attending the procuring and posing of infants.
In the first place, he found scores of babes, but not a mother, however
poor, willing to permit her babe to be used as a model, and a model for
so gruesome a situation. But after he had almost begun to despair, and
had well advanced with his woman model, an Italian woman came one day
and informed him that she could get an infant from a friend of her
sister's, if he would pay her one franc a day for the use of it. Bishop
eagerly made the bargain. Then a new series of troubles began.

The babe objected most emphatically to the arrangement. It refused to
nestle in the arms of a strange woman about to plunge into eternity, and
the strange woman had no knack at all in soothing the infant's outraged
feelings. Besides, the model was unable to meet the youngster's frequent
demands for what it was accustomed to have, and the mother, who was
engaged elsewhere, had to be drummed up at exasperatingly frequent
intervals. All this told upon both Bishop and Francinette, the model,
and they took turns in swearing at the unruly brat, Bishop in English
and Francinette in French. Neither knew how to swear in Italian, or
things might have been different. I happened in upon these scenes once
in a while, and my enjoyment so exasperated Bishop that he threw paint-
tubes, bottles, and everything else at me that he could reach, and once
or twice locked me out of the studio, compelling me to kick my shins in
the cold street for hours at a time. On such occasions I would stand in
the court looking up at our window, expecting momentarily that the babe
would come flying down from that direction.

When Bishop was not sketching and painting he was working up his
inspiration; and that was worst of all. His great effort was to get
himself into a suicidal mood. He would sit for hours on the floor, his
face between his knees, imagining all sorts of wrongs and slights that
the heartless world had put upon him. His husband had beaten him and
gone off with another woman; he had tried with all his woman-heart to
bear the cross; hunger came to pinch and torture him; he sought work,
failed to find it; sought charity, failed to find that; his babe
clutched at his empty breasts and cried piteously for food; his heart
broken, all hope gone, even God forgetting him, he thought of the dark,
silent river, the great cold river, that has brought everlasting peace
to countless thousands of suffering young mothers like him; he went to
the river; he looked back upon the faint glow of the city's lights in
the distance; he cast his glance up to the grim towers of Notre-Dame,
standing cold and pitiless against the blacker sky; he looked down upon
the black Seine, the great writhing python, so willing to swallow him
up; he clutched his babe to his breast, gasped a prayer....

At other times he would haunt the Morgue and study the faces of those
who had died by felo-de-se; he would visit the hospitals and study the
dying; he would watch the actions and read the disordered thoughts of
lunatics; he would steal along the banks; of the river on dark nights
and study the silent mystery and tragedy of it, and the lights that gave
shape to its terrors. In the end I grew afraid of him.

But all things have an end. Bishop's great work was finished in the
first days of March. Slowly, but surely, his native exuberance of
spirits returned. He would eat and sleep like a rational being. His eyes
lost their haunted look, and his cheeks filled out and again took on
their healthy hue. And then he invited his friends and some critics to
inspect his composition, and gave a great supper in celebration of the
completion of his task. Very generous praise was given him. Among the
critics and masters came Gérôme and Laurens at his earnest supplication,
and it was good to see their delight and surprise, and to note that
they had no fault to find,--was not the picture finished, and would
not criticism from them at this juncture have hurt the boy without
accomplishing any good? Well, the painting secured honorable mention in
the exhibition, and five years later the French government completed
the artist's happiness by buying one of his pictures for the Luxembourg
Gallery.

But about the picture: the canvas was eight by ten feet, and a frame
had to be procured for it. Now, frames are expensive, and Bishop had
impoverished himself for material and model hire. So he employed a
carpenter in the court to make a frame of thick pine boards, which we
painted a deep black, with a gold cornice. The whole cost was twenty-
five francs.

Next day we hired a good-sized _voiture-à-bras_ at eight sous an hour,
and proceeded to get the tableau down to the court. It was a devilish
job, for the ceilings were low and the stairs narrow and crooked. The
old gentleman below us was nearly decapitated by poking his head out of
his door at an inopportune moment, and the lady below him almost wiped
the still wet babe from the canvas with her gown as she tried to squeeze
past. The entire court turned out to wish Bishop good success.

The last day on which pictures are admitted to the Salon, there to await
the merciless decision of the judges, is a memorable one. In sumptuous
studios, in wretched garrets; amid affluence, amid scenes of squalor and
hunger, artists of all kinds and degrees have been squeezing thousands
of tubes and daubing thousands of canvases in preparation for the
great day. From every corner of Paris, from every quarter of France
and Europe, the canvases come pouring into the Salon. Every conceivable
idea, fad, and folly is represented in the collection, and most of them
are poor; but in each and every one a fond hope centres, an ambition is
staked.

Strange as it may seem, most of these pictures are worked upon until the
very last day; indeed, many of them are snatched unfinished from their
easels, to receive the finishing touches in the dust and confusion and
deafening noise of the great hall where they are all dumped like so much
merchandise. We saw one artist who, not having finished his picture,
was putting on the final touches as it was borne ahead of him along the
street on the back of a commissionnaire.

[Illustration: 0079]

And all this accounts for the endless smearing everywhere noticeable,
and for the frantic endeavors of the artists to repair the damage at the
last moment.

One great obstacle to poor artists is the rigid rule requiring that all
tableaux shall be framed. These frames are costly. As a result, some
artists paint pictures of the same size year after year, so that the
same frame may be used for all, and others resort to such makeshifts
as Bishop was compelled to employ. But these makeshifts must be
artistically done, or the canvases are ignored by the judges. These
efforts give rise to many startling effects.

It was not very long, after an easy pull over the Boulevard St.-Germain,
before we crossed the Seine at the Pont de la Concorde, traversed the
Place de la Concorde, and turned into the Champs-Elysées, where, not far
away, loomed the Palais des Beaux-Arts, in which the Salon is annually
held in March. The Avenue des Champs-Elysées, crowded as it usually is
in the afternoons, was now jammed with cabs, omnibuses, hand-carts, and
all sorts of moving vans, mingling with the fashionable carriages on
their way to the Bois. The proletarian vehicles contained art,--art
by the ton. The upper decks of the omnibuses were crowded with artists
carrying their pictures because they could not afford more than the
three-sous fare. And such an assortment of artists!

There were some in affluent circumstances, who rolled along voluptuously
in cabs on an expenditure of thirty-five francs, holding their precious
tableaux and luxuriantly smoking cigarettes.

[Illustration: 0081]

The commissionnaires had a great day of it. They are the ones usually
seen asleep on the street corners, where, when awake, they varnish boots
or bear loads by means of a contrivance on their backs. On this day
every one of them in Paris was loaded down with pictures.

Many were the hard-up students, like Bishop, tugging hand-carts, or
pairing to carry by hand pictures too large to be borne by a single
person. And great fun they got out of it all.

Opposite the Palais de Glace was a perfect sea of vehicles, artists,
porters, and policemen, all inextricably tangled up, all shouting or
groaning, and wet pictures suffering. One artist nearly had a fit when
he saw a full moon wiped off his beautiful landscape, and he would have
killed the guilty porter had not the students interfered. Portraits
of handsome ladies with smudged noses and smeared eyes were common.
Expensive gold frames lost large sections of their corners. But still
they were pouring in.

With infinite patience and skill Bishop gradually worked his _voiture-à-
bras_ through the maze, and soon his masterpiece was in the crushing
mass at the wide entrance to the Salon. There it was seized and rushed
along, and Bishop received in return a slip of paper bearing a number.

While within the building we reconnoitred. Amid the confusion of
howling inspectors, straining porters bearing heavy pictures, carpenters
erecting partitions, and a dust-laden atmosphere, numerous artists were
working with furious haste upon their unfinished productions. Some were
perched upon ladders, others squatted upon the floor, and one had his
model posing nude to the waist; she was indifferent to the attention
that she received. Thoughtful mistresses stood affectionately beside
their artist amants, furnishing them with delicate edibles and lighting
cigarettes for them.

Some of the pictures were so large that they were brought in rolled
up. One artist had made himself into a carpenter to mount his mammoth
picture. Frightful and impossible paintings were numerous, but the
painter of each expected a _première médaille d'honneur_.

It was nearing six o'clock, the closing hour. Chic demoiselle artistes
came dashing up in cabs, bringing with them, to insure safe delivery,
their everlasting still-life subjects.

Shortly before six the work in the building was suspended by a commotion
outside. It was a contingent of students from the Beaux-Arts marching up
the Champs-Elysées, yelling and dancing like maniacs and shaking their
heavy sticks, the irresistible Sarah Brown leading as drum-maior. She
was gorgeously arrayed in the most costly silks and laces, and looked
a dashing Amazon. Then, as always, she was perfectly happy with her
beloved _étudiants_, who worshipped her as a goddess. She halted them in
front of the building, where they formed a circle round her, and there,
as director of ceremonies, she required them to sing chansons, dance,
make comic speeches, and "blaguer" the arriving artists.

The last van was unloaded; the great doors closed with a bang, and the
stirring day was ended. All the students, even the porters, then joined
hands and went singing, howling, and skipping down the Champs-Elysées,
and wishing one another success at the coming exhibition. At the Place
de la Concorde we met a wild-eyed artist running frantically toward the
Salon with his belated picture. The howls of encouragement that greeted
him lent swifter wings to his legs.

The pictures finally installed, a jury composed of France's greatest
masters pass upon them. The endless procession of paintings is passed
before them; the raising of their hands means approval, silence means
condemnation; and upon those simple acts depends the happiness or
despair of thousands. But depression does not long persist, and the
judgment is generally accepted in the end as just and valuable. For the
students, in great part, flock to the country on sketching tours, for
which arrangements had been already made; and there the most deeply
depressed spirits must revive and the habit of work and hope come into
play. Year after year the same artists strive for recognition at the
Salon; and finally, when they fail at that, they reflect that there is
a great world outside of the Salon, where conscientious effort is
acceptable. And, after all, a medal at the Salon is not the only reward
that life has to offer.

And then, it is not always good for a student to be successful from the
start. Just as his social environment in Paris tries his strength and
determines the presence or absence of qualities that are as useful to
a successful career as special artistic qualifications, so the trial by
fire in the Salon exhibitions hardens and toughens him for the serious
work of his life ahead. Too early success has ruined more artists than
it has helped. It is interesting also to observe that, as a rule, the
students who eventually secure the highest places in art are those whose
difficulties have been greatest. The lad with the pluck to live on a
crust in a garret, and work and study under conditions of poverty and
self-denial that would break any but the stoutest heart, is the one
from whom to expect renown in the years to come. Ah, old Paris is the
harshest but wisest of mothers!

"_H! ah! vive les Quat'z' Arts! Au Molin Rouge--en route!_" the lamplit
streets of Paris as cab after cab and bus after 'bus went thundering
across town toward Montmartre, heavily freighted with brilliantly
costumed revellers of les Quat'z' Arts. Parisians ran from their dinner-
tables to the windows and balconies, blasé boulevardiers paused in their
evening stroll or looked up from their papers at the _café_-tables,
waiters and swearing cabbies and yelling newsboys stopped in the midst
of their various duties, and all knowingly shook their heads, "_Ah, ce
sont les Quat'z' Arts!_"?

For to-night was the great annual ball of the artists, when all artistic
Paris crawls from its mysterious depths to revel in a splendid carnival
possible only to the arts. Every spring, after the pictures have been
sent to the Salon, and before the students have scattered for the summer
vacation, the artists of Paris and the members of all the ateliers of
the four arts--painting, sculpture, architecture, and engraving--combine
their forces in producing a spectacle of regal splendor, seen nowhere
else in the world; and long are the weeks and hard the work and vast the
ingenuity devoted to preparations,--the designing of costumes and the
building of gorgeous floats.

During the last three weeks the _élèves_ of the _Atelier Gérôme_
abandoned their studies, forgot all about the concours and the Prix de
Rome, and devoted all their energies to the construction of a colossal
figure of Gérôme's great war goddess, "Bel-lona." It was a huge task,
but the students worked it out with a will. Yards of sackcloth, rags,
old coats, paint rags, besides pine timbers, broken easels and stools,
endless wire and rope, went into the making of the goddess's frame, and
this was covered with plaster of Paris dexterously moulded into shape.
Then it was properly tinted and painted and mounted on a chariot of
gold. A Grecian frieze of galloping horses, mounted, the clever work of
Siffert, was emblazoned on the sides of the chariot. And what a wreck
the atelier was after all was finished! _Sacré nom d'un chien!_ How the
gardiens must have sworn when cleaning-day came round!

The ateliers in the Ecole are all rivals, and each had been secretly
preparing its coup with which to capture the grand prix at the bal.

The great day came at last. The students of our atelier were perfectly
satisfied with their handiwork, and the massier made all happy by
ordering a retreat to the Café des Deux Magots, where success to the
goddess was drunk in steaming "grog Américain." Then Bellona began her
perilous journey across Paris to Montmartre and the Moulin Rouge.

[Illustration: 0087]

This was not an easy task, as she was fifteen feet high; signs and lamp-
posts suffered, and sleepy cab-horses danced as their terrified gaze
beheld the giant goddess with her uplifted sword. Crowds watched the
progress of Bellona on the Avenue de l'Opéra, drawn by half a hundred
students yelling the national hymn. The pull up the steep slope of
Montmartre was heavy, but in less than two hours from the start at the
Ecole the goddess was safely housed in the depths of the Moulin Rouge,
there to await her triumphs of the night.

Bishop, besides doing his share in the preparation of the figure, had
the equally serious task of devising a costume for his own use at
the ball. It was not until the very last day that he made his final
decision,--to go as a Roman orator. Our supply of linen was meagre, but
our only two clean bed-sheets and a few towels were sufficient, and two
kind American ladies who were studying music and who lived near the old
church of St. Sulpice did the fitting of a toga. The soles of a pair
of slippers from which Bishop cut the tops served as sandals, and
some studio properties in the way of Oriental bracelets completed his
costume. I was transformed into an Apache Indian by a generous rubbing
into my skin of burnt sienna and cadmium, which I was weeks in getting
rid of; a blanket and some chicken-feathers finished my array. Our
friend Cameron, next door, went in his Scotch kilts. After supper we
entered the Boul' Mich' and proceeded to the Café de la Source, where
the students of the _Atelier Gérôme_ were to rendezvous.

[Illustration: 0090]

The Boul' was a spectacle that night. Time had rolled back the curtain
of centuries; ancient cemeteries had yielded up their dead; and living
ghosts of the ages packed all the gay _café_s. History from the time of
Adam had sent forth its traditions, and Eves rubbed elbows with ballet-
girls. There was never a jollier night in the history of the Quartier
Latin.

We found the Café de la Source already crowded by the Gérôme contingent
and their models and mistresses, all en costume and bubbling with
merriment and mischief. It was ten o'clock before all the students had
arrived. Then we formed in procession, and yelled and danced past all
the _café_s on the Boul' Mich' to the Luxembourg Palace and the Théâtre
de l'Odéon, to take the 'buses of the Montmartre line. These we quickly
seized and overloaded in violation of the law, and then, dashing down
the quiet streets of the Rive Gauche, headed for Montmartre, making a
noise to rouse the dead. As we neared the Place Blanche we found the
little streets merging from different quarters crowded with people in
costume, some walking and others crowding almost innumerable vehicles,
and the balconies and portes-cochères packed with spectators. The Place
Blanche fronts the Moulin Rouge, and it was crowded and brilliantly
lighted. The façade of the Moulin Rouge was a blaze of electric lights
and colored lanterns, and the revolving wings of the mill flamed across
the sky. It was a perfect night. The stars shone, the air was warm and
pleasant, and the trees were tipped with the glistening clean foliage
of early spring. The bright _café_s fronting the Place were crowded
with gay revellers. The poets of Bohemia were there, and gayly attired
cocottes assisted them in their fun at the _café_ tables, extending
far out into the boulevard under the trees. At one corner was Gérôme's
private studio, high up in the top of the house, and standing on the
balcony was Gérôme himself, enjoying the brilliant scene below.

As the Bal des Quat'z' Arts is not open to the public, and as none
but accredited members of the four arts are admitted, the greatest
precautions are taken to prevent the intrusion of outsiders; and
wonderful is the ingenuity exercised to outwit the authorities. Inside
the vestibule of the Moulin was erected a tribune (a long bar), behind
which sat the massiers of the different studios of Paris, all in
striking costumes. It was their task not only to identify the holders of
tickets, but also to pass on the suitability of the costumes of such
as were otherwise eligible to admittance. The costumes must all have
conspicuous merit and be thoroughly artistic. Nothing black, no dominos,
none in civilian dress, may pass. Many and loud were the protestations
that rang through the vestibule as one after another was turned back and
firmly conducted to the door.

Once past the implacable tribunes, we entered a dazzling fairy-land, a
dream of rich color and reckless abandon. From gorgeous kings and queens
to wild savages, all were there; courtiers in silk, naked gladiators,
nymphs with paint for clothing,--all were there; and the air was heavy
with the perfume of roses. Shouts, laughter, the silvery clinking of
glasses, a whirling mass of life and color, a bewildering kaleidoscope,
a maze of tangled visions in the soft yellow haze that filled the vast
hall. There was no thought of the hardness and sordidness of life, no
dream of the morrow. It was a wonderful witchery that sat upon every
soul there.

This splendid picture was framed by a wall of lodges, each sumptuously
decorated and hung with banners, tableaux, and greens, each representing
a particular atelier and adorned in harmony with the dominant ideals
of their masters. The lodge of the _Atelier Gérôme_ was arranged to
represent a Grecian temple; all the decorations and accessories were
pure Grecian, cleverly imitated by the master's devoted pupils. That of
the Atelier Cormon repre sented a huge caravan of the prehistoric
big- muscled men that appeal so strongly to Cormon; large skeletons of
extinct animals, giant ferns, skins, and stone implements were scattered
about, while the students of Cormon's atelier, almost naked, with bushy
hair and clothed in skins, completed the picture. And so it was with all
the lodges, each typifying a special subject, and carrying it out with
perfect fidelity to the minutest detail.

The event of the evening was the grand cortège; this, scheduled for one
o'clock, was awaited with eager expectancy, for with it would come the
test of supremacy,--the awarding of the prize for the best. For this was
the great art centre of the world, and this night was the one in which
its rivalries would strain the farthest reach of skill.

Meanwhile, the great hall swarmed with life and blazed with color and
echoed with the din of merry voices. Friends recognized one another with
great difficulty. And there was Gérôme himself at last, gaudily gowned
in the rich green costume of a Chinese mandarin, his white moustache
dyed black, and his white locks hidden beneath a black skull-cap topped
with a bobbing appendage. And there also was Jean Paul Laurens, in the
costume of a Norman, the younger Laurens as Charlemagne. Léandre, the
caricaturist, was irresistible as a caricature of Queen Victoria. Puech,
the sculptor, made a graceful courtier of the Marie Antoinette régime.
Willett was a Roman emperor. Will Dodge was loaded with the crown,
silks, and jewels of a Byzantine emperor.

Louis Loeb was a desperate Tartar bandit. Castaigne made a hit as an
Italian jurist. Steinlen, Grasset, Forain, Rodin,--in fact, nearly all
the renowned painters, sculptors, and illustrators of Paris were there;
and besides them were the countless students and models.

[Illustration: 0094]

"La cavalcade! le grand cortège!" rose the cry above the crashing of the
band and the noise of the revellers; and then all the dancing stopped.
Emerging from the gardens through the open glass door, bringing with it
a pleasant blast of the cool night air, was the vanguard of the great
procession. The orchestra struck up the "Victor's March," and a great
cry of welcome rang out.

First came a band of yelling Indians dancing in, waving their spears and
tomahawks, and so cleaving a way for the parade. A great roar filled
the glass-domed hall when the first float appeared. It was daring and
unique, but a masterpiece. Borne upon the shoulders of Indians, who were
naked but for skins about their loins, their bodies stained a dark brown
and striped with paint, was a gorgeous bed of fresh flowers and trailing
vines; and reclining in this bed were four of the models of Paris, lying
on their backs, head to head, their legs upraised to support a circular
tablet of gold.

[Illustration: 0095]

Upon this, high in air, proud and superb, was the great Susanne in all
her peerless beauty of face and form,--simply that and nothing more. A
sparkling crown of jewels glowed in her reddish golden hair; a flashing
girdle of electric lights encircled her slender waist, bringing out the
marvellous whiteness of her skin, and with delicate shadows and tones
modelling the superb contour of her figure. She looked a goddess--and
knew it. The crowd upon whom she looked down stood for a while spell-
bound, and then, with a waving of arms and flags, came a great shout,
"Susanne! Susanne! la belle Susanne!" Susanne only smiled. Was she not
the queen of the models of Paris?

Then came Bellona! Gérôme, when he conceived and executed the idea
embodied in this wonderful figure, concentrated his efforts to produce a
most terrifying, fear-inspiring image typifying the horrors of war. The
straining goddess, poised upon her toes to her full height, her face
uplifted, her head thrust forward, with staring eyes and screaming
mouth, her short two-edged sword in position for a sweeping blow,
her glittering round shield and her coat of mail, a huge angry python
darting its tongue and raising its green length from the folds of her
drapery,--all this terrible figure, reproduced with marvellous fidelity
and magnified tenfold, overwhelmed the thousands upon whom it
glowered. Surrounding the golden chariot was a guard of Roman and Greek
gladiators, emperors, warriors, and statesmen. From the staring eyes of
Bellona flashed green fire, whose uncanny shafts pierced the yellow haze
of the ball-room. Under a storm of cheers Bellona went on her way past
the tribune of the judges.

[Illustration: 0097]

Following Bellona came a beautiful reproduction of Gérôme's classical
"Tanagra," which adorns the sculpture gallery of the Luxembourg. The
figure was charmingly personated by Marcelle, a lithe, slim, graceful
model of immature years, who was a rage in the studios. Gérôme himself
applauded the grace of her pose as she swept past his point of vantage
in the gallery.

[Illustration: 0099]

Behind Tanagra came W------, also of the Atelier Gérôme, dressed as an
Apache warrior and mounted on a bucking broncho. He was an American,
from Nebraska, where he was a cowboy before he became famous as a
sculptor. He received a rousing welcome from his fellow-artists.

The Atelier Cormon came next,--a magnificent lot of brawny fellows
clothed in skins, and bearing an immense litter made of tree branches
bound with thongs and weighted down with strong naked women and children
of a prehistoric age. It was a reproduction of Cormon's masterpiece in
the Luxembourg Gallery, and was one of the most impressive compositions
in the whole parade.

Then came the works of the many other studios, all strong and
effective, but none so fine as the three first. The Atelier Pascal, of
architecture, made a sensation by appearing as Egyptian mummies, each
mummy dragging an Egyptian coffin covered with ancient inscriptions and
characters and containing a Parisian model, all too alive and sensuous
to personate the ancient dead. Another atelier strove hard for the prize
with eggs of heroic size, from which as many girls, as chicks, were
breaking their way to freedom.

After the grand cortège had paraded the hall several times it disbanded,
and the ball proceeded with renewed enthusiasm.

The tribune, wherein the wise judges sat, was a large and artistic
affair, built up before the gallery of the orchestra and flanked by
broad steps leading to its summit. It was topped with the imperial
escutcheon of Rome--battle-axes bound in fagots--and bore the legend,
"_Mort aux Tyrants_," in bold letters. Beneath was a row of ghastly,
bloody severed heads,--those of dead tyrants.

The variety and originality of the costumes were bewildering. One
Frenchman went as a tombstone, his back, representing a headstone,
containing a suitable inscription and bearing wreaths of immortelles
and colored beads. Another, from the Atelier Bon-nat, went simply as a
stink, nothing more, nothing less, but it was potent. He had saturated
his skin with the juice of onions and garlic, and there was never any
mistaking his proximity. Many were the gay Bacchantes wearing merely a
bunch of grapes in their hair and a grape-leaf.

At intervals during the evening the crowd would suddenly gather and form
a large circle, many deep, some climbing upon the backs of others the
better to see, those in front squatting or lying upon the floor to
accommodate the mass behind them. The formation of these circles was the
signal for the _danse du ventre_.*


* The danse du ventre (literally, belly-dance) is of Turkish origin,
and was introduced to Paris by Turkish women from Egypt. Afterward these
women exhibited it in the Midway Plaisance of the Columbian Exposition,
Chicago, and then at the California Midwinter Exposition, San Francisco.
As danced by Turkish women it consists of astonishing control and
movements of the abdominal and chest muscles (hence its other name,
muscle-dance), varied with more or less graceful steps and gyrations,
with adjuncts, such as castanets, scarfs, etc., and the seemingly
perilous use of swords. Such clothing is worn as least obscures the play
of the muscles. It is danced to a particular Turkish air, monotonously
repeated by an orchestra of male Turkish musicians, with Turkish
instruments, and the dance is done solus. A dance closely analogous
to it, though of a wholly independent origin, is the hula-hula of the
Hawaiian women; but the hula-hula lacks the grace, dash, and abandon of
the Turkish dance. The danse du ventre, as danced by French and American
women who have "picked it up," is very different from that of the
Turkish women--different both in form and meaning. Whatever of
suggestiveness it may be supposed to carry is, in the adaptation,
grossly exaggerated, and whatever of grace and special muscular skill,
evidently acquired by Turkish women only from long and thorough drill,
is eliminated. W. C. M.


[Illustration: 0103]

The name of some favorite model would be yelled, and the orchestra would
strike up the familiar Oriental strain. And there was always a model to
respond. Then the regular dancing would be resumed until another circle
was formed and another favorite goddess of the four arts would be called
out.

It was three o'clock when supper was announced by the appearance of two
hundred white-aproned waiters carrying scores of tables, chairs, and
hampers of plate and glassware. The guests fell to with a will and
assisted in spreading and setting the tables; almost in a moment the
vast hall was a field of snow pricked out with the brilliant costumes of
the revellers. Then came a frightful din of pounding on the tables for
the supper. Again marched in the two hundred waiters, loaded with cases
of champagne, plates of creamy soup, roasts, salads, cheeses, creams,
cakes, ices,--a feast of Bacchus, indeed. The banquet was enjoyed with
Bohemian abandon.

The twelve wise judges of the Tribune now gravely announced their award
of prizes, and each announcement was received with ringing applause.
The _Atelier Gérôme_ received first prize,--fifty bottles of champagne,
which were immediately taken possession of. The other ateliers received
smaller prizes, as their merits deserved, and all were satisfied and
happy. The banquet was resumed.

Now here was Susanne, not content with her triumph of the early evening,
springing upon one of the central tables, sending the crockery and
glassware crashing to the floor with her dainty foot, and serenely
surveying the crowd as it greeted her tumultuously, and, seizing a
bottle of champagne, sending its foaming contents over as wide a circle
of revellers as her strength could reach, laughing in pure glee over her
feat, and then bathing her own white body with the contents of another
bottle that she poured over herself. A superb Bacchante she made! A
general salute of popping corks and clinking glasses greeted her, and
she acknowledged the compliment with the danse du ventre. Susanne was
so sure of the adoration and affection of the ateliers! Her dance was
a challenge to every other model in the chamber. One after another, and
often several at a time, they mounted the tables, spurned the crockery
to the floor, and gave the danse du ventre. The Moulin was indeed a wild
scene of joyous abandonment, and from an artistic point of view grand,
a luminous point in the history of modern times. Here were the life,
the color, the grace of the living picture, with a noble background
of surrounding temples, altars, statues,--a wonderful spectacle, that
artists can understand and appreciate.

[Illustration: 0103

The feast wore merrily through the small hours until the cold blue dawn
began to pale the lights in the ceiling. Strangely beautiful was this
color effect, as the blue stole downward through the thick yellow
glamour of the hall, quickening the merry-makers with a new and uncanny
light, putting them out of place, and warning them thence. But still the
ball went rolling on.

Though the floor was slippery with wine and dangerous from broken glass,
dancing and the cutting of capers proceeded without abatement. The
favorite danse du ventre and songs and speeches filled the night to
the end of the ball, and then the big orchestra, with a great flourish,
played the "Victor's March." This was the signal for the final
procession. The vast concourse of students and artists poured forth into
the cool, sweet morning air, and the bal was at an end.

Paris was asleep, that early April morning, save for the street-sweepers
and the milkmaids and the concierges. But the Place Blanche was very
much awake. The morning air was new wine in stale veins, and it banished
fatigue.

"_En cavalcade! en cavalcade!_" was the cry; and in cavalcade it was.
A great procession of all the costumers was formed, to march ensemble
across Paris to the Quartier Latin. Even the proud Bellona was dragged
along in the rear, towering as high as the lower wings of the now
motionless red windmill. She seemed to partake in the revelry, for she
swayed and staggered in an alarming fashion as she plunged recklessly
down the steeps of Montmartre.

[Illustration: 0107]

The deserted Rue Blanche re-echoed the wild yells and songs of the
revellers and the rattling of the string of cabs in the rear. The rows
of heaped ash-cans that lined the way were overturned one after another,
and the oaths and threatening brooms of the outraged concierges went for
nothing. Even the poor diligent rag- and bone-pickers were not spared;
their filled sacks, carrying the result of their whole night's hunt,
were taken from them and emptied. A string of carts heavily laden with
stone was captured near the Rue Lafayette, the drivers deposed, and the
big horses sent plunging through Paris, driven by Roman charioteers, and
making more noise than a company of artillery.

When the Place de l'Opéra was reached a thousand revellers swarmed up
the broad stairs of the Grand Opéra like colored ants, climbed upon the
lamp-posts and candelabra, and clustered all over the groups of statuary
adorning the magnificent façade. The band took up a position in the
centre and played furiously, while the artists danced ring-around-a-
rosy, to the amazement of the drowsy residents of the neighborhood.

The cavalcade then re-formed and marched down the Avenue de l'Opéra
toward the Louvre, where it encountered a large squad of street-sweepers
washing the avenue. In an instant the squad had been routed, and the
revellers, taking the hose and brooms, fell to and cleaned an entire
block, making it shine as it had never shone before.

Cabs were captured, the drivers decorated with Roman helmets and swords,
and dances executed on the tops of the vehicles. One character, with
enormous india-rubber shoes, took delight in permitting cabs to run over
his feet, while he emitted howls of agony that turned the hair of the
drivers white.

[Illustration: 9110]

As the immense cavalcade filed through the narrow arches of the Louvre
court-yard it looked like a mediaeval army returning to its citadel
after a victorious campaign; the hundreds of battle-flags, spears, and
battle-axes were given a fine setting by the noble architecture of
the Pavillon de Rohan. Within the court of the Louvre was drawn up a
regiment of the Garde Municipale, going through the morning drill; and
they looked quite formidable with their evolutions and bayonet charges.
But when the mob of Greek and Roman warriors flung themselves bodily
upon the ranks of the guard, ousted the officers, and assumed command,
there was consternation.

[Illustration: 0111]

All the rigid military dignity of the scene disappeared, and the drill
was turned into such a farce as the old Louvre had never seen before.
The officers, furious at first, could not resist the spirit of pure fun
that filled the mob, and took their revenge by kissing the models
and making them dance. The girls had already done their share of the
conquering by pinning flowers to military coats and coyly putting pretty
lips where they were in danger. Even the tall electric-light masts in
the court were scaled by adventurous students, who attached brilliant
flags, banners, and crests to the mast-heads far above the crowd.

To the unspeakable relief of the officers, the march was then resumed.
The Pont du Carrousel was the next object of assault; here was performed
the solemn ceremony of the annual sacrifice of the Quat'z' Arts to the
river Seine. The mighty Bellona was the sacrifice. She was trundled
to the centre of the bridge and drawn close to the parapet, while the
disciples of the four arts gathered about with uncovered heads. The
first bright flashes of the morning sun, sweeping over the towers of
Notre-Dame, tipped Bellona's upraised sword with flame. The band played
a funeral march. Prayers were said, and the national hymn was sung; then
Bellona was sent tottering and crashing over the parapet, and with a
mighty plunge she sank beneath the waters of the Seine. A vast shout
rang through the crisp morning air. Far below, poor Bellona rose in
stately despair, and then slowly sank forever.

The parade formed again and proceeded to the Beaux-Arts, the last
point of attack. Up the narrow Rue Bonaparte went singing the tired
procession; the gates of the Ecole opened to admit it, cabs and all,
and the doors were shut again. Then in the historic court-yard of the
government school, surrounded by remnants of the beautiful architecture
of once stately chateaux and palaces, and encircled by graceful
Corinthian columns, the students gave a repetition of the grand ball
at the Moulin Rouge. A strange and incongruous sight it was in the
brilliant sunshine, and the neighboring windows and balconies were
packed with onlookers. But by halfpast seven every trace of the Bal des
Quat'z' Arts had disappeared,--the great procession had melted away to
the haunts of Bohemia.

[Illustration: 5114]



BOULEVARD SAINT-MICHEL


[Illustration: 0115]


OF course the proper name for the great thoroughfare of the Quartier
Latin is the Boulevard Saint-Michel, but the boulevardiers call it the
Boul' Mich', just as the students call the Quatre Arts the Quat'z' Arts,
because it is easier to say.

The Boul' Mich' is the student's highway to relaxation. Mention of it
at once recalls whirling visions of brilliant _café_s, with their
clattering of saucers and glasses, the shouting of their white-aproned
garçons, their hordes of gay and wicked damsels dressed in the costliest
and most fashionable gowns, and a multitude of riotous students howling
class songs and dancing and parading to the different _café_s as
only students can. This is the head-quarters of the Bohemians of real
Bohemia, whose poets haunt the dim and quaint cabarets and read their
compositions to admiring friends; of flower-girls who offer you un petit
bouquet, seulement dix centimes, and pin it into your button-hole
before you can refuse; of Turks in picturesque native costume selling
sweetmeats; of the cane man loaded down with immense sticks; of the
stems a yard long; of beggars, gutter-snipes, hot-chestnut venders, ped-
lers, singers, actors, students, and all manner of queer characters.

[Illustration: 9116]

The life of the Boul' Mich' begins at the Panthéon, where repose the
remains of France's great men, and ends at the Seine, where the gray
Gothic towers and the gargoyles of Notre-Dame look down disdainfully
upon the giddy traffic below. The eastern side of the Boul' is lined
with _café_s, cabarets, and brasseries.

This is historic ground, for where now is the old Hôtel Cluny are still
to be seen the ruins of Roman baths, and not a great distance hence are
the partly uncovered ruins of a Roman arena, with its tiers of stone
seats and its dens. The tomb of Cardinal Richelieu is in the beautiful
old chapel of the Sorbonne, within sound of the wickedest _café_ in
Paris, the Café d'Harcourt.

[Illustration: 0117]

In the immediate vicinity are to be found the quaint jumbled buildings
of old Paris, but they are fast disappearing. And the Quartier abounds
in the world's greatest schools and colleges of the arts and sciences.

It was often our wont on Saturday evenings to saunter along the Boul',
and sometimes to visit the _café_s. To Bishop particularly it was always
a revelation and a delight, and he was forever studying and sketching
the types that he found there. He was intimately acquainted in all the
_café_s along the line, and with the mysterious rendezvous in the dark
and narrow side streets.

American beverages are to be had at many of the _café_s on the Boul',--a
recent and very successful experiment. The idea has captured the fancy
of the Parisians, so that "_Bars Américains_," which furnish cocktails
and sours, are numerous in the _café_s. Imagine a Parisian serenely
sucking a manhattan through a straw, and standing up at that!

The Boul' Mich' is at its glory on Saturday nights, for the students
have done their week's work, and the morrow is Sunday. Nearly everybody
goes to the Bal Bullier. This is separated from the crowded Boul' Mich'
by several squares of respectable dwelling-houses and shops, and
a dearth of _café_s prevails thereabout. At the upper end of the
Luxembourg is a long stone wall brilliantly bedecked with lamps set in
clusters,--the same wall against which Maréchal Ney was shot (a striking
monument across the way recalls the incident). At one end of this yellow
wall is an arched entrée, resplendent with the glow of many rows of
electric lights and lamps, which reveal the colored bas-reliefs of
dancing students and gri-settes that adorn the portal. Near by stands
a row of voitures, and others are continually dashing up and depositing
Latin-Quarter swells with hair parted behind and combed forward toward
the ears, and dazzling visions of the demi-monde in lace, silks, and
gauze. And there is a constantly arriving stream of students and gaudily
dressed women on foot. Big gardes municipaux stand at the door like
stone images as the crowd surges past.

[Illustration: 0121]

To-night is one-franc night. An accommodating lady at the box-office
hands us each a broad card, and another, au vestiaire, takes our coats
and hats and charges us fifty centimes for the honor. Descending the
broad flight of softly carpeted red stairs, a brilliant, tumultuous,
roaring vision bursts upon us, for it is between the dances, and the
visitors are laughing and talking and drinking. The ball-room opens into
a generous garden filled with trees and shrubbery ingeniously devised to
assure many a secluded nook, and steaming garçons are flying hither and
thither serving foaming bocks and colored syrups to nymphs in bicycle
bloomers, longhaired students under tam o'shanters, and the swells
peculiar to le Quartier Latin.

"_Ah! Monsieur Beeshop, comment vas tu?_"

"_Tiens! le voilà, Beeshop!_"

"_Ah, mon ange!_" and other affectionate greetings made Bishop start
guiltily, and then he discovered Hélène and Marcelle, two saucy little
models who had posed at the École. There also was Fannie, formerly
(before she drifted to the _café_s) our blanchisseuse, leaning heavily
upon the arm of son amant, who, a butcher-boy during the day, was now
arrayed in a cutaway coat and other things to match, including a red
cravat that Fannie herself had tied; but he wore no cuffs. Many
other acquaintances presented themselves to Bishop, somewhat to his
embarrassment. One, quite a swell member of the demi-monde, for a
moment deserted her infatuated companion, a gigantic Martinique negro,
gorgeously apparelled, and ran up to tease Bishop to paint her portrait
à l'oil, and also to engage him for la prochaine valse.

[Illustration: 0123]

The musicians were now playing a schottische, but large circles would
be formed here and there in the hall, where clever exhibitions of fancy
dancing would be given by students and by fashionably gowned damsels
with a penchant for displaying their lingerie and hosiery. The front of
the band-stand was the favorite place for this. Here four dashing young
women were raising a whirlwind of lingerie and slippers, while the crowd
applauded and tossed sous at their feet.

Next to us stood a fat, cheery-faced little man, bearing the
unmistakable stamp of an American tourist. His hands were in his
pockets, his silk hat was tipped back, and his beaming red face
and bulging eyes showed the intensity of his enjoyment. Without the
slightest warning the slippered foot of one of these dancers found his
shining tile and sent it bounding across the floor. For a moment the
American was dazed by the suddenness and unearthly neatness of the
feat; then he emitted a whoop of wonder and admiration, and in English
exclaimed,--"You gol-darned bunch of French skirts--say, you're all
right, you are, Marie! Bet you can't do it again!"

He confided to Bishop that his name was Pugson and that he was from
Cincinnati.

"Why," he exclaimed, joyously, "Paris is the top of the earth!
You artists are an enviable lot, living over here all the time and
painting-- Gad! look at her!" and he was pushing his way through the
crowd to get a better view of an uncommonly startling dancer, who was at
the moment an indeterminate fluffy bunch of skirts, linen, and hosiery.
Ah, what tales he will tell of Paris when he returns to Cincinnati, and
how he will be accused of exaggerating!

The four girls forming the centre of attraction were now doing all
manner of astonishing things possible only to Parisian feminine anatomy.
In another circle near by was Johnson, the American architect, stirring
enthusiastic applause as he hopped about, Indian fashion, with a little
brunette whose face was hidden in the shadow of her immense hat, her
hair en bandeau, à la de Mérode. Could this really be the quiet Johnson
of the Ecole, who but a week ago had been showing his mother and
charming sister over Paris? And there, too, was his close friend,
Walden, of Michigan, leading a heavy blonde to the dance! There were
others whom we knew. The little Siamese was flirting desperately with a
vision in white standing near his friend, a Japanese, who, in turn, was
listening to the cooing of a clinging bloomer girl. Even Haidor, the
Turk, was there, but he was alone in the gallery. Many sober fellows
whom I had met at the studio were there, but they were sober now only in
the sense that they were not drunk. And there were law students, too, in
velveteen caps and jackets, and students in the sciences, and students
in music, and négligé poets, littérateurs, and artists, and every model
and cocotte who could furnish her back sufficiently well to pass the
censorship of the severe critic at the door. If she be attractively
dressed, she may enter free; if not, she may not enter at all.

[Illustration: 0125]

The gayety increased as the hours lengthened; the dancing was livelier,
the shouting was more vociferous, skirts swirled more freely, and thin
glasses fell crashing to the floor.

It was pleasanter out in the cool garden, for it was dreadfully hard
to keep from dancing inside. The soft gleam of the colored lamps and
lanterns was soothing, and the music was softened down to an echo. The
broken rays of the lanterns embedded in the foliage laid bright patterns
on the showy silks of the women, and the garçons made no noise as they
flitted swiftly through the mazes of shrubbery.

At one end of the garden, surrounded by an hilarious group, were four
wooden rocking-horses worked on springs. 'Astride of two of these were
an army officer and his companion, a bloomer girl, who persistently
twisted her ankles round her horse's head. The two others were ridden
by a poet and a jauntily attired gri-sette. The four were as gleeful as
children.

[Illustration: 9128]

A flash-light photographer did a driving trade at a franc a flash,
and there were a shooting-gallery, a fortune-teller, sou-in-the-slot
machines, and wooden figures of negroes with pads on their other ends,
by punching which we might see how hard we could hit.

We are back in the ball-room again,--it is hard to keep out. The gayety
is at its height, the Bal Bullier is in full swing. The tables are piled
high with saucers, and the garçons are bringing more. The room is warm
and suffocating, the dancing and flirting faster than ever. Now and then
a line is formed to "crack the whip," and woe betide anything that comes
in its way!

[Illustration: 0131]

Our genial, generous new friend from Cincinnati was living the most
glorious hour of his life. He had not been satisfied until he found and
captured the saucy little wretch who had sent his hat spinning across
the room; so now she was anchored to him, and he was giving exhibitions
of American grace and agility that would have amazed his friends at
home. For obviously he was a person of consequence there. When he saw
us his face beamed with triumph, and he proudly introduced us to
his mignonette-scented conquest, Mad-dem-mo-zel Madeleine (which he
pronounced Madelyne), "the queen of the Latin Quarter. But blamed if I
can talk the blooming lingo!" he exclaimed, ruefully. "You translate for
me, won't you?" he appealed to Bishop, and Bishop complied. In paying
compliments thus transmitted to Madeleine he displayed an adeptness
that likely would have astounded his good spouse, who at that moment was
slumbering in a respectable part of Paris.

But the big black Martinique negroes,--they haunted and dominated
everything, and the demimonde fell down and worshipped them. They
are students of law and medicine, and are sent hither from the French
colonies by the government, or come on their private means.

[Illustration: 0132]

They are all heavy swells, as only negroes can be; their well-fitted
clothes are of the finest and most showy material; they wear shining
silk hats, white waistcoats, white "spats," patent leathers, and very
light kid gloves, not to mention a load of massive jewelry. The girls
flutter about them in bevies, like doves to be fed.

At exactly a quarter-past midnight the band played the last piece, the
lights began to go out, and the Bal Bullier was closed.

Out into the boulevard surged the heated crowd, shouting, singing, and
cutting capers as they headed for the Boul' Mich', there to continue the
revelries of which the Bal Bullier was only the beginning. "A la Taverne
du Panthéon!" "Au Café Lorrain!" "Au Café d'Harcourt!" were the cries
that range through the streets, mingled with the singing of half a
thousand people.

[Illustration: 0133]

In this mob we again encountered our American acquaintance with his
prize, and as he was bent on seeing all that he could of Paris, he
begged us to see him through, explaining that money was no object with
him, though delicately adding that our friends must make so many calls
upon our hospitality as to prove a burden at times. He had only two days
more in Paris, and the hours were precious, and "we will do things up in
style," he declared buoyantly. He did.

Bishop's arm was securely held by a little lassie all in soft creamy
silks. She spoke Engleesh, and demurely asked Bishop if "we will go to
ze _café_ ensemble, n'est-ce-pas?" and Bishop had not the heart to eject
her from the party. And so five of us went skipping along with the rest,
Mr. Pugson swearing by all the gods that Paris was the top of the earth!

When we reached the lower end of the Jardin du Luxembourg, at the old
Palais, the bright glow of the _café_s, with their warm stained windows
and lighthearted throngs, stretched away before us. Ah, le Boul' Mich'
never sleeps! There are still the laughing grisettes, the singing and
dancing students, the kiosks all aglow; the marchand de marrons is
roasting his chestnuts over a charcoal brazier, sending out a savory
aroma; the swarthy Turk is offering his wares with a princely grace;
the flower-girls flit about with freshly cut carnations, violets, and
Maréchal Niel roses,--"This joli bouquet for your sweetheart," they
plead so plaintively; the pipe man plies his trade; the cane man mobs
us, and the sellers of the last editions of the papers cry their wares.

[Illustration: 9134]

An old pedler works in and out among the _café_ tables with a little
basket of olives, deux pour un sou. The crawfish seller, with his little
red écrevisses neatly arranged on a platter; Italian boys in white
blouses bearing baskets filled with plaster casts of works of the old
masters gewgaw pedlers,--they are still all busily at work, each adding
his mite to the din.

The _café_s are packed, both inside and out, but the favorite seats are
those on the sidewalk under the awnings.

[Illustration: 0135]

We halted at the Café d'Harcourt. Here the crowd was thickest, the
sidewalk a solid mass of humanity; and the noise and the waiters as they
yelled their orders, they were there. And des femmes--how many! The Café
d'Harcourt is the head-quarters of these wonderful creations of clothes,
paint, wicked eyes, and graceful carriage. We worked our way into the
interior. Here the crowd was almost as dense as without, but a chance
offered us a vacant table; no sooner had we captured it than we were
compelled to retreat, because of a battle that two excited demoiselles
were having at an adjoining table. In another part of the room there was
singing of "Les sergents sont des brave gens," and in the middle of the
floor a petite cocotte, her hat rakishly pulled down over her eyes, was
doing a dance very gracefully, her white legs gleaming above the
short socks that she wore, and a shockingly high kick punctuating the
performance at intervals.

[Illustration: 0137]

At other tables were seated students with their friends and mistresses,
playing dominoes or recounting their petites histoires. One table drew
much attention by reason of a contest in drinking between two seasoned
habitués, one a Martinique negro and the other a delicate blond poet.
The negro won, but that was only because his purse was the longer.

Every consommation is served with a saucer, upon which is marked the
price of the drink, and the score is thus footed à la fin de ces joies.
There are some heavy accounts to be settled with the garçons.

"_Ah! voilà Beeshop!" "Tiens! mon vieux!" "Comment vas-tu?_" clamored
a half-dozen of Bishop's feminine acquaintances, as they surrounded our
table, overwhelming us with their conflicting perfumes.

[Illustration: 0139]

These denizens of the Boul' have an easy way of making acquaintances,
but they are so bright and mischievous withal that no offence can be
taken; and they may have a stack of saucers to be paid for. Among the
many _café_ frequenters of this class fully half know a few words
of English, Italian, German, and even Russian, and are so quick of
perception that they can identify a foreigner at a glance. Consequently
our table was instantly a target, principally on account of Mr. Pugson,
whose nationality emanated from his every pore.

[Illustration: 0141]

"Ah, milord, how do you do? I spik Engleesh a few. Es eet not verra
a beautiful night?" is what he got. "You are si charmant, monsieur!"
protested another, stroking Bishop's Valasquez beard; and then, archly
and coaxingly, "_Qu'est-ce que vous m'offrez, monsieur? Payez-moi un
bock?_ Yes?" Mr. Pugson made the garçons start. He ordered "everything
and the best in the house" (in English); but it was the lordliness of
his manner that told, as he leaned back in his chair and smoked his
Londrès and eyed Madeleine with intense satisfaction. In the eyes of
the beholders that action gave him the unmistakable stamp of an American
millionaire. "Tell you, boys," he puffed, "I'm not going to forget Paree
in a hurry." And Mademoiselle Madeleine, how she revelled! Mr. Pugson
bought her everything that the venders had to sell, besides, for
himself, a wretched plaster cast of a dancing-girl that he declared was
"dead swell."

"I'll take it home and startle the natives," he added; but he didn't,
as we shall see later. Then he bought three big canes as souvenirs for
friends, besides a bicycle lamp, a mammoth pipe, and other things. A
hungry-looking sketch artist who presented himself was engaged on the
spot to execute Mr. Pugson's portrait, which he made so flattering as to
receive five francs instead of one, his price.

At a neighboring table occupied by a group of students was Bi-Bi-dans-
la-Purée, one of the most famous characters of the Quartier and
Montmartre. With hilarious laughter the students were having fun with
Bi-Bi by pouring the contents of their soup-plates and drinking-glasses
down his back and upon his sparsely covered head; but what made them
laugh more was Bi-Bi's wonderful skill in pulling grotesque faces. In
that line he was an artist. His cavernous eyes and large, loose mouth
did marvellous things, from the ridiculous to the terrible; and he could
literally laugh from ear to ear. Poor Bi-Bi-dans-la-Purée!

[Illustration: 0143]

He had been a constant companion of the great Verlaine, but was that no
more, since Verlaine had died and left him utterly alone. You may see
him any day wandering aimlessly about the Quartier, wholly oblivious to
the world about him, and dreaming doubtless of the great dead poet of
the slums, who had loved him.

Here comes old Madame Carrot, a weazened little hunchback, anywhere
between sixty and a hundred years of age. She is nearly blind, and her
tattered clothes hang in strips from her wreck of a form. A few thin
strands of gray hair are all that cover her head.

"_Bon soir, Mère Carrot! ma petite mignonne, viens donc qu'on
t'embrasse! Où sont tes ailes?_" and other mocking jests greet her as
she creeps among the tables. But Mère Carrot scorns to beg: she would
earn her money. Look! With a shadowy remnant of grace she picks up the
hem of her ragged skirt, and with a heart-breaking smile that discloses
her toothless gums, she skips about in a dance that sends her audience
into shrieks of laughter, and no end of sous are flung at her feet. She
will sing, too, and caricature herself, and make pitiful attempts at
high kicking and anything else that she is called upon to do for the
sous that the students throw so recklessly. There are those who say that
she is rich.

In the rear end of the _café_ the demoiselle who had anchored herself
to the Martinique negro at the Bal Bullier was on a table kicking the
negro's hat, which he held at arm's length while he stood on a chair.
"_Plus haut! plus haut encore!_" she cried; but each time, as he kept
raising it, she tipped it with her dainty slipper; and then, with a
magnificent bound, she dislodged with her toe one of the chandelier
globes, which went crashing with a great noise to the floor; and then
she plunged down and sought refuge in her adorer's arms.

The night's excitement has reached its height now. There is a dizzy
whirl of skirts, feathers, "plug" hats, and silken stockings; and there
is dancing on the tables, with a smashing of glass, while lumps of sugar
soaked in cognac are thrown about. A single-file march round the room is
started, each dragging a chair and all singing, "_Oh, la pauvre fille,
elle est malade!_" Mr. Pugson, tightly clutching his canes and his
Dancing-Girl, joins the procession, his shiny hat reposing on the pretty
head of Mademoiselle Madeleine. But his heart almost breaks with regret
because he cannot speak French.

I began to remonstrate with Bishop for his own unseemly levity, but the
gloved hand of Mademoiselle Madeleine was laid on my lips, and her own
red lips protested, "_Taisez-vous donc! c'est absolument inexcusable de
nous faire des sermons en ce moment! En avant!_" And we went.

It was two o'clock, and the _café_s were closing, under the municipal
regulation to do so at that hour, and the Boul' was swarming with
revellers turned out of doors.

At the corner of the Rue Racine stands a small boulangerie, where some
of the revellers were beating on the iron shutters and crying, "_Voilà
du bon fromage au lait!_" impatient at the tardiness of the fat baker
in opening his shop; for the odor of hot rolls and croissants came up
through the iron gratings of the kitchen, and the big cans of fresh milk
at the door gave further comforting assurances.

Lumbering slowly down the Boul' were ponderous carts piled high with
vegetables, on their way to the great markets of Paris, the Halles
Centrales. The drivers, half asleep on the top, were greeted with
demands for transportation, and a lively bidding for passengers arose
among them. They charged five sous a head, or as much more as they could
get, and soon the carts were carrying as many passengers as could find a
safe perch on the heaped vegetables.

"_Aux Halles! aux Halles! nous allons aux Halles! Oh, la, la, comme
ils sont bons, les choux et les potirons!_" were the cries as the carts
lumbered on toward the markets.

Mr. Pugson had positively refused to accept our resignation, and stoutly
reminded us of our promise to see him through. So our party arranged
with a masculine woman in a man's coat on payment of a franc a head, and
we clambered upon her neatly piled load of carrots. Mr. Pugson, becoming
impatient at the slow progress of the big Normandy horses, began to pelt
them with carrots. The market-woman protested vigorously at this waste
of her property, and told Mr. Pugson that she would charge him two sous
apiece for each subsequent carrot. He seized upon the bargain with true
American readiness, and then flung carrots to his heart's content, the
driver meanwhile keeping count in a loud and menacing voice. It was a
new source of fun for the irrepressible and endlessly jovial American.

Along the now quiet boulevard the carts trundled in a string. All at
once there burst from them all an eruption of song and laughter, which
brought out numerous gendarmes from the shadows. But when they saw the
crowd they said nothing but "_Les étudiants_," and retreated to the
shadows.

As we were crossing the Pont-au-Change, opposite the Place du Châtelet,
with its graceful column touched by the shimmering lights of the Seine,
and dominated by the towers of Notre-Dame, Mr. Pugson, in trying to hurl
two carrots at once, incautiously released his hold upon the Dancing-
Girl, which incontinently rolled off the vegetables and was shattered
into a thousand fragments on the pavement of the bridge--along with Mr.
Pugson's heart. After a moment of silent misery he started to throw the
whole load of carrots into the river, but he quickly regained command
of himself. For the first time, however, his wonderful spirits were
dampened, and he was as moody and cross as a child, refusing to be
comforted even by Madeleine's cooing voice.

The number of carts that we now encountered converging from many
quarters warned us that we were very near the markets. Then rose the
subdued noise that night-workers make. There seemed to be no end of the
laden carts. The great Halles then came into view, with their cold glare
of electric lights, and thousands of people moving about with baskets
upon their backs, unloading the vegetable carts and piling the
contents along the streets. The thoroughfares were literally walled and
fortressed with carrots, cabbages, pumpkins, and the like, piled in neat
rows as high as our heads for square after square. Is it possible for
Paris to consume all of this in a day?

Every few yards were fat women seated before steaming cans of hot potage
and _café_ noir, with rows of generous white bowls, which they would
fill for a sou.

Not alone were the market workers here, for it seemed as though the
Boul' Mich' had merely taken an adjournment after the law had closed its
portals and turned it out of doors. The workers were silent and busy,
but largely interspersed among them were the demi-mondaines and the
singing and dancing students of the Quartier, all as full of life and
deviltry as ever. It was with these tireless revellers that the soup-
and coffee-women did their most thriving business, for fun brings a good
appetite, and the soup and coffee were good; but better still was
this unconventional, lawless, defiant way of taking them. Mr. Pugson's
spirits regained their vivacity under the spell, and he was so
enthusiastic that he wanted to buy out one of the pleasant-faced fat
women; we had to drag him bodily away to avert the catastrophe.

In the side streets leading away from the markets are _café_s and
restaurants almost without number, and they are open toute la nuit, to
accommodate the market people, having a special permit to do so; but
as they are open to all, the revellers from all parts of Paris assemble
there after they have been turned out of the boulevard _café_s at two
o'clock. It is not an uncommon thing early of a Sunday morning to see
crowds of merry-makers from a bal masqué finishing the night here, all
in costume, dancing and playing ring-around-a-rosy among the stacks of
vegetables and the unheeding market people. Indeed, it is quite a common
thing to end one's night's frivolity at the Halles and their _café_s,
and take the first 'buses home in the early morning.

The contingent from the Boul' Mich', after assisting the market people
to unload, and indulging in all sorts of pranks, invaded the élite
_café_s, among them the _Café Barrette, Au Veau Qui Tête, Au Chien Qui
Fume, and Le Caveau du Cercle._

[Illustration: 0149]

At this last-named place, singing and recitations with music were in
order, a small platform at one end of the room being reserved for
the piano and the performers. Part of the audience were in masquerade
costume, having come from a ball at Montmartre, and they lustily joined
the choruses. Prices are gilt-edged here,--a franc a drink, and not less
than ten sous to the garçon.

The contrast between the fluffy and silk-gowned demi-mondaines and
the dirty, roughly clad market people was very striking at the Café
Barrette. There the women sit in graceful poses, or saunter about and
give evidence of their style, silk gowns, India laces, and handsome
furs, greeting each new-comer with pleas for a sandwich or a bock; they
are always hungry and thirsty, but they get a commission on all sales
that they promote. A small string orchestra gave lively music, and took
up collections between performances. The array of gilt-framed mirrors
heightened the brilliancy of the place, already sufficiently aglow with
many electric lights. The Café Barrette is the last stand of the gaudy
women of the boulevards. With the first gray gleam of dawn they pass
with the night to which they belong.

It was with sincere feeling that Mr. Pugson bade us good-by at five
o'clock that morning as he jumped into a cab to join his good spouse at
the Hôtel Continental; but he bore triumphantly with him some sketches
of the showy women at the Café Barrette, which Bishop had made.

As for Madeleine, so tremendously liberal had she found Mr. Pugson that
her protestations of affection for him were voluble and earnest. She
pressed her card upon him and made him swear that he would find her
again. After we had bidden her good-night, Mr. Pugson drew the card
from his pocket, and thoughtfully remarked, as he tore it to pieces,--"I
don't think it is prudent to carry such things in your pocket."

[0152]



BOHEMIAN CAFÉS


[Illustration: 0153]


VERY often, instead of having dinner at the studio, we saunter over
to the Maison Dar-blay, passing the wall of the dismal Cimetière du
Montparnasse on the way. The Maison Darblay is in the little Rue de
la Gaieté, which, though only a block in length, is undoubtedly the
liveliest thoroughfare in the Quartier. That is because it serves as a
funnel between the Avenue du Maine and five streets that converge into
it at the upper end. Particularly in the early evening the little street
is crowded with people returning from their work. All sorts of boutiques
are packed into this minute thoroughfare,---jewelry-shops, pork-shops,
kitchens (where they cook what you bring while you wait on the
sidewalk), theatres, _cafés chantants_, fried-potato stalls, snail
merchants, moving vegetable- and fruit-markets, and everything else.

In the middle of the block, on the western side, between a millinery-
shop and a butcher-shop, stands the Maison Darblay, famous for its beans
and its patrons. A modest white front, curtained windows, and a row of
milk-cans give little hint of the charms of the interior. Upon entering
we encounter the vast M. Darblay seated behind a tiny counter, upon
which are heaped a pile of freshly ironed napkins, parcels of chocolate,
a big dish of apple-sauce, rows of bottles containing bitters that work
miracles with ailing appetites, and the tip-box. Reflecting M. Darblay's
beamy back and the clock on the opposite wall (which is always fifteen
minutes fast) hangs a long mirror resplendent in heavy gilt frame; it
is the pride of the establishment, and affords comfort to the actresses
when they adjust their hats and veils upon leaving.

[Illustration: 9154]

M. Darblay is manager of the establishment, and when it is reflected
that he weighs two hundred and sixty pounds, it may be imagined what
accurate adjustments he has to make in fitting himself behind the small
counter. When a boarder finishes his meal he goes to M. Darblay and
tells him what he has had, including napkin and bread, and M. Darblay
scores it all down on a slate with chalk and foots it up. After the bill
is paid, the tip-box is supposed by a current fiction to receive two
sous for Marie and Augustine, the buxom Breton maidens who serve the
tables; but so rarely does the fiction materialize that, when the rattle
of coins is heard in the box, the boarders all look up wonderingly to
see the possible millionaire that has appeared among them, and Marie and
Augustine shout at the top of their voices, "Merci bien, monsieur!"

[Illustration: 8155]

At the opposite end of the room, in full view, is the cuisine, with its
big range and ruddy fires. Here Madame Darblay reigns queen, her genial,
motherly red face and bright eyes beaming a welcome to all. She is from
Lausanne, on Lake Geneva, Switzerland, and the independent blood of
her race rarely fails its offices when M. Darblay incautiously seeks
to interfere with her duties and prerogatives, for he retreats under
an appalling volley of French from his otherwise genial spouse; on such
occasions he seeks his own corner as rapidly as he can manage his bulk
to that purpose. She is a famous cook. The memory of her poulets rôtis
and juicy gigots will last forever. But greatest of all are her haricots
blancs, cooked au beurre; it is at the shrine of her beans that her
devoted followers worship.

And her wonderful wisdom! She knows intuitively if you are out of sorts
or have an uncertain appetite, and without a hint she will prepare a
delicacy that no epicure could resist. She knows every little whim and
peculiarity of her boarders, and caters to them accordingly. The steaks
and chops are bought at the shop next door just when they are ordered,
and are always fresh.

There are eight marble-top tables lining the two walls, and each table
is held sacred to its proper occupants, and likewise are the numbered
hooks and napkins. An invasion of these preserves is a breech of
etiquette intolerable in Bohemia.

Even the white cat is an essential part of the establishment, for it
purringly welcomes the patrons and chases out stray dogs.

Situated as it is, in a group of three theatres and several _café_s
chantants, it is the rendezvous of the actors and actresses of the
neighborhood. They hold the three tables but one from the kitchen, on
one side, and they are a jolly crowd, the actresses particularly.

[Illustration: 0157]

They are a part of the Quartier and echo its spirit. Although full of
mischief and fun, the actresses would never be suspected of singing
the naughty songs that so delight the gallery gods and so often wring
a murmur of protest from the pit. There are ten who dine here, but from
their incessant chatter and laughter you would think them twenty. On
Friday evenings, when the songs and plays are changed, they rehearse
their pieces at dinner.

[Illustration: 0159]

Bishop is openly fond of Mademoiselle Brunerye, a sparkling little
brunette singer, who scolds him tragically for drawing horrible
caricatures of her when he sits before the footlights to hear her sing.
But it is always she that begins the trouble at the theatre. If Bishop
is there, she is sure to see him and to interpolate something in her
song about "_mon amant Américain_," and sing it pointedly at him, to the
amusement of the audience and his great discomfiture; and so he retorts
with the caricatures.

Upon entering the restaurant the actresses remove their hats and wraps
and make themselves perfectly at home. They are the life of Darblay's;
we couldn't possibly spare them.

One of the actors is a great swell,--M. Fontaine, leading man at the
Théâtre du Montparnasse, opposite.

[Illustration: 9160]

His salary is a hundred francs a week; this makes the smaller actors
look up to him, and enables him to wear a very long coat, besides
gloves, patent-leather shoes, and a shiny top-hat. He occupies the place
of honor, and Marie smiles when she serves him, and gives him a good
measure of wine. He rewards this attention by depositing two sous in the
tip-box every Friday night. Then there are M. Marius, M. Zecca, and
M. Dufauj who make people scream with laughter at the Gaieté, and M.
Coppée, the heavy villain of the terrible eyes in "Les Deux Gosses," and
Mademoiselle Walzy, whose dark eyes sparkle mischief as she peeps
over her glass, and Mademoiselle Minion, who kicks shockingly high
to accentuate her songs, and eight other actresses just as saucy and
pretty.

The students of the Quartier practically take charge of the theatres
on Saturday nights, and as they are very free with their expressions of
approval or disapproval, the faces of the stage-people wear an anxious
look at the restaurant on that evening. The students will throw the
whole theatre into an uproar with hisses that drive an actor off the
stage, or applause, recalls, and the throwing of two-sous bouquets and
kisses to an actress who has made a hit.

Promptly at six-forty-five every night the venerable M. Corneau enters
Darblay's, bringing a copy of _Le Journal_. He is extremely methodical,
so that any interruption of his established routine upsets him badly.
One evening he found a stranger in his seat, occupying the identical
chair that had been sacred to his use every evening for six years.
M. Corneau was so astonished that he hung his hat on the wrong hook,
stepped on the cat's tail, sulked in a corner, and refused to eat until
his seat had been vacated, and then he looked as though he wished it
could be fumigated. He has a very simple meal. One evening he invited
me--a rare distinction--to his room, which was in the top floor of one
of those quaint old buildings in the Rue du Moulin de Beurre. It could
then be seen what a devoted scientist and student he was. His room
was packed with books, chemicals, mineral specimens, and scientific
instruments. He was very genial, and brewed excellent tea over an
alcohol-stove of his own manufacture. Twenty years ago he was a
professor at the Ecole des Mines, where he had served many years; but
he had now grown too old for that, and was living his quiet, studious,
laborious life on a meagre pension.

At one table sit a sculptor, an artist, and a blind musician and his
wife. The sculptor is slender, delicate, and nervous, and is continually
rolling and smoking cigarettes. His blond hair falls in ringlets over
his collar, and he looks more the poet than the sculptor, for he is
dreamy and distrait, and seems to be looking within himself rather than
upon the world about him. Augustine serves him with an absinthe Pernod
au sucre, which he slowly sips while he smokes several cigarettes before
he is ready for his dinner.

[Illustration: 0162]

The artist is his opposite,--a big, bluff, hearty fellow, loud of voice
and full of life. And he is successful, for he has received a medal and
several honorable mentions at the Salon des Champs-Élysées, and has a
fine twilight effect in the Luxembourg Gallery. After dinner he and M.
Darblay play piquet for the coffee, and M. Darblay is generally loser.

[Illustration: 0163]

The blind musician is a kindly old man with a benevolent face and a
jovial spirit. He is the head professor of music at the Institution des
Aveugles, on the Boulevard des Invalides. His wife is very attentive to
him, taking his hat and cane, tucking his napkin under his chin, placing
the dishes where he knows how to find them, and reading the papers to
him. He knows where everybody sits, and he addresses each by name, and
passes many brisk sallies about the room.

One poet is vivacious, not at all like the dreamy species to which he
belongs. True, he wears long hair and a Quartier Latin "plug," but his
eyes are not vague, and he is immensely fond of Madame Darblay's beans,
of which he has been known to stow away five platefuls at a meal. Often
he brings in a copy of _Gil Bias_, containing a poem by himself in the
middle of the page and with illustrations by Steinlen.

A strange, solitary figure used to sit in one corner, speaking to no
one, and never ordering more than a bowl of chocolate and two sous of
bread. It was known merely that he was an Hungarian and an artist, and
from his patched and frayed clothes and meagre fare it was surmised that
he was poor. But he had a wonderful face. Want was plainly stamped upon
it, but behind it shone a determination and a hope that nothing could
repress. There was not a soul among the boarders but that would have
been glad to assist in easing whatever burden sat upon him, and no doubt
it was his suspicion of that fact and his dread of its manifestation
that made him hold absolutely aloof. Madame Darblay once or twice made
efforts to get nearer to him, but he gently and firmly repulsed her.
He was a pitiable figure, but his pride was invincible, and with eyes
looking straight forward, he held up his head and walked like a king. He
came and went as a shadow.

None knew where he had a room. There were many stories and conjectures
about him, but he wrapped his mantle of mystery and solitude about
him and was wholly inaccessible. It was clear to see that he lived in
another world,--a world of hopes, filled with bright images of peace and
renown. After a time his seat became vacant, and I shall presently tell
how it happened.

These will suffice as types of the Maison Darblay, though I might
mention old M. Decamp, eighty-four years of age, and as hearty and
jovial a man as one would care to see. In his younger days he had been
an actor, having had a fame during the Empire of Napoléon III. And there
were a professor of languages, who gave lessons at fifteen sous an hour,
a journalist of the _Figaro_, and two pretty milliner girls from the
shop next door.

The great event at the Maison Darblay came not long ago, when M.
Darblay's two charming daughters had a double wedding, each with
a comfortable dot, for M. Darblay had grown quite rich out of his
restaurant, owning several new houses. The girls were married
twice,--once at the Mairie on the Rue Gassendi, and again at the Eglise
St. Pierre, on the Avenue du Maine. Then came the great wedding-dinner
at the Maison Darblay, to which all the boarders were invited. The
tables were all connected, so as to make two long rows. The bridal-party
were seated at the end next the kitchen, and the front door was locked
to exclude strangers. M. Darblay was elegant in a new dress suit and
white shirt, but his tailor, in trying to give him a trim figure, made
the situation embarrassing, as M. Darblay's girth steadily increased
during the progress of the banquet. He made a very fine speech, which
was uproariously cheered.

[Illustration: 9166]

Madame Darblay was remarkably handsome in a red satin gown, and bore so
distinguished an air, and looked so transformed from her usual kitchen
appearance, that we could only marvel and admire. Then came the kissing
of the brides, a duty that was performed most heartily. Madame Darblay
was very happy and proud, and her dinner was a triumph to have lived
for.

Bishop sat opposite the wicked Mademoiselle Brunerye, and he and she
made violent love, and behaved with conspicuous lack of dignity. M.
Fontaine, the great, had one of the chic milliners for partner. Old M.
Decamp told some racy stories of the old régime. When the coffee and
liqueurs came on, the big artist brought out a guitar and the poet
a mandolin, and we had music. Then the poet read a poem that he had
written for the occasion. The actresses sang their sprightliest songs.
Mademoiselle Brunerye sang "_Ça fait toujours plaisir_" to Bishop. M.
Fontaine gave in a dramatic manner a scene from "_Les Deux Gosses_," the
heavy villain assisting, the cook's aprons and towels serving to
make the costumes. Bishop sang "Down on the Farm." In short, it was a
splendid evening in Bohemia, of a kind that Bohemians enjoy and know how
to make the most of.

[Illustration: 0167]

There was one silent guest, the strange young Hungarian artist. He ate
with a ravenous appetite, openly and unashamed. After he had had his
fill (and Madame Darblay saw to it that he found his plate always
replenished), he smiled occasionally at the bright sallies of the other
guests, but for the most part he sat constrained, and would speak only
when addressed,--he protested that his French was too imperfect. It
was so evident that he wished to escape notice entirely that no serious
effort was made to draw him out.

That was a hard winter. A few weeks after the wedding the Hungarian's
visits to the Maison Dar-blay suddenly ceased. The haunted look had been
deepening in his eyes, his gaunt cheeks had grown thinner, and he looked
like a hunted man. After his disappearance the gendarmes came to the
restaurant to make inquiries about him. Bishop and I were present. They
wanted to know if the young man had any friends there. We told them that
we would be his friends.

"Then you will take charge of his body?" they asked.

We followed them to the Rue Perceval, where they turned us over to the
concierge of an old building. She was very glad we had come, as the lad
seemed not to have had a friend in the world. She led us up to the sixth
floor, and then pointed to a ladder leading up to the roof. We ascended
it, and found a box built on the roof. It gave a splendid view of Paris.
The door of the box was closed. We opened it, and the young artist lay
before us dead. There were two articles of furniture in the room. One
was the bare mattress on the floor, upon which he lay, and the other was
an old dresser, from which some of the drawers were missing. The young
man lay drawn up, fully dressed, his coat-collar turned up about his
ears. Thus he had fallen asleep, and thus hunger and cold had slain
him as he slept. There was one thing else in the room, all besides,
including the stove and the bed-covering, having gone for the purchase
of painting material. It was an unfinished oil-painting of the
Crucifixion. Had he lived to finish it, I am sure it would have made him
famous, if for nothing else than the wonderful expression of agony in
the Saviour's face, an agony infinitely worse than the physical pain of
the crucifixion could have produced.

There was still one thing more,--a white rat that was, hunting
industriously for food, nibbling desiccated cheese-rinds that it found
on the shelves against the wall. It had been the artist's one friend and
companion in life.

And all that, too, is a part of life in Bohemian Paris.

On the Rue Marie, not far from the Gare Montparnasse, is the "Club," a
small and artistically dirty wine-shop and restaurant, patronized by
a select crowd of musketeers of the brush. The warm, dark tones of the
anciently papered walls are hidden beneath a cloud of oil sketches,
charcoal drawings, and caricatures of everything and everybody that the
fancies of the Bohemians could devise. Madame Annaie is mistress of the
establishment, and her cook, M. Annaie, wears his cap rakishly on one
side, and attends to his business; and he makes very good potages and
rôtis, considering the small prices that are charged. Yet even the
prices, though the main attraction, are paid with difficulty by a
majority of the habitués, who sometimes fall months in arrears. Madame
Annaie keeps a big book of accounts.

Of the members of the club, four are Americans, two Spaniards, one an
Italian, one a Welshman, one a Pole, one a Turk, one a Swiss, and the
rest French,--just fifteen in all, and all sculptors and painters except
one of the Americans, who is correspondent of a New York paper. At
seven o'clock every evening the roll is called by the Pole, who acts as
president, secretary, and treasurer of the club. A fine of two sous is
imposed for every absence; this goes to the "smoker" fund. Joanskouie,
the multiple officer, has not many burdensome duties, but even these few
are a severe tax upon his highly nervous temperament. Besides collecting
the fines he must gather up also the dues, which are a franc a month.
All the members are black-listed, including the president himself, and
the names of the delinquents are posted on the wall.

The marble-top tables are black with pencil sketches done at the expense
of Giles, the Welshman, who is the butt of the club. He is a very tall
and amazingly lean Welshman, with a bewhiskered face, a hooked nose,
and a frightful accent when he speaks either English or French. He is an
animal sculptor, but leaves his art carefully alone. He is very clever
at drawing horses, dogs, and funny cows all over the walls; but he is
so droll and stupid, so incredibly stupid, that "Giles" is the byword of
the club. Every month he receives a remittance of two hundred and fifty
francs, and immediately starts out to get the full worth of it in the
kinds of enjoyment that he finds on the Boul' Mich', where regularly
once a month he is a great favorite with the feminine habitués of the
_café_s. When his funds run low, he lies perdu till mid-day; then
he appears at Madame Annaie's, heavy-eyed and stupid, staying until
midnight. Sometimes he varies this routine by visiting his friends at
their studios, where he is made to pose in ridiculous attitudes.

The "smoker" is held on the last Saturday night of each month, and all
the members are present. Long clay pipes are provided, and a big bowl
of steaming punch, highly seasoned, comes from Madame Annaie's kitchen.
Mutually laudatory speeches and toasts, playing musical instruments,
and singing songs are in order. The Spaniard, with castanets, skilfully
executes the fandango on a table. Bishop does the danse du ventre.
Joncierge gives marvellous imitations of Sarah Bernhardt and other
celebrities, including Giles, whose drawl and stupidity he makes
irresistibly funny. Nor do Gérôme, Bouguereau, and Benjamin Constant
escape his mimicry. Haidor, the Turk, drawls a Turkish song all out of
tune, and is rapturously encored. The Swiss and the Italian render a
terrific duo from "Aida," and the Spaniards sing the "Bullfighters'
Song" superbly. Sketches are dashed off continually. They are so clever
that it is a pity Madame Annaie has to wipe them from the tables.

On Thanksgiving-day the Americans gave the club a Thanksgiving dinner.
It was a great mystery and novelty to the other members, but they
enjoyed it hugely. The turkeys were found without much trouble, but the
whole city had to be searched for cranberries. At last they were found
in a small grocery-shop in the American quarter, on the Avenue Wagram.
Bishop superintended the cooking, M. Annaie serving as first assistant.
How M. Annaie stared when he beheld the queer American mixtures that
Bishop was concocting! "Mon Dieu! Not sugar with meat!" he cried,
aghast, seeing Bishop serve the turkey with cranberry sauce. A dozen
delicious pumpkin-pies that formed part of the menu staggered the old
cook. The Italian cooked a pot of macaroni with mushroom sauce, and it
was superb.

"The Hole in the Wall" eminently deserves its name. It is on the
Boulevard du Montparnasse, within two blocks of the Bal Bullier. A small
iron sign projecting over the door depicts two students looking down
at the passers-by over bowls of coffee, rolls also being shown. It was
painted by an Austrian student in payment of a month's board.

The Hole is a tiny place, just sufficiently large for its two tables and
eight stools, fat Madame Morel, the proprietress, and a miniature zinc
bar filled with absinthe and cognac bottles and drinking glasses.

The ceiling is so low that you must bend should you be very tall, for
overhead is the sleeping-room of Madame Morel and her niece; it is
reached by a small spiral stair.

[Illustration: 0173]

A narrow slit in the floor against the wall, where the napkin-box hangs,
leads down to the dark little kitchen. It is a tight squeeze for
Madame Morel to serve her customers, but she has infinite patience and
geniality, and discharges her numerous duties and bears her hardships
with unfailing good-nature. It is no easy task to cook a halfdozen
orders at once, wait on the tables, run out to the butcher-shop for a
chop or a steak, and take in the cash. But she does all this, and much
more, having no assistant. The old concierge next door, Madame Mariolde,
runs in to help her occasionally, when she can spare a moment from her
own multifarious duties. Madame Morel's toil-worn hands are not bien
propre, but she has a kind heart. For seven years she has lived in this
little Hole, and during that time has never been farther away than to
the grocery-shop on the opposite corner.

Her niece leaves at seven o'clock in the morning to sew all day on the
other side of town, returning at eight at night, tired and listless,
but always with a half-sad smile. So we see little of her. Many nights
I have seen her come in drenched and cold, her faded straw hat limp and
askew, and her dark hair clinging to her wet face. For she has walked
in the rain all the way from the Avenue de l'Opéra, unable to afford
omnibus fare. She usually earns from two to two and half francs a day,
sewing twelve hours.

The most interesting of the frequenters of the Hole is a Slav from
Trieste, on the Adriatic. He is a genius in his way, and full of energy
and business sense. His vocation is that of a "lightning-sketch artist,"
performing at the theatres. He has travelled all over America and
Europe, and is thoroughly hardened to the ways of the world. Whenever
he runs out of money he goes up to the Rue de la Gaieté and gives
exhibitions for a week or two at one of the theatres there, receiving
from fifty to sixty francs a week. The students all go to see him, and
make such a noise and throw so many bouquets (which he returns for
the next night) that the theatrical managers, thinking he is a great
drawing-card, generally raise his salary as an inducement to make him
prolong his stay when he threatens to leave.

But he is too thoroughly a Bohemian to remain long in a place. Last week
he suddenly was taken with a desire to visit Vienna. Soon after he had
gone four pretty Parisiennes called and wanted to know what had become
of their amant.

D------, another of the habitués of the Hole, is a German musical
student. Strangers would likely think him mentally deranged, so odd is
his conduct.

[Illustration: 8175]

He has two other peculiarities,--extreme sensitiveness and indefatigable
industry. He brings his shabby violin-case every evening, takes out
his violin after dinner, and at once becomes wholly absorbed in his
practice. If he would play something more sprightly and pleasing
the other habitués of the Hole would not object; but he insists on
practising the dreariest, heaviest, and most wearing exercises, the most
difficult études, and the finest compositions of the masters. All this
is more than the others can bear with patience always; so they wound
his sensibilities by throwing bread and napkin-rings at him. I hen he
retires to the kitchen, where, sitting on the cooler end of the range,
he practises diligently under Madame Morel's benevolent protection. This
is all because he has never found a concierge willing to permit him to
study in his room, so tireless is his industry. If I do not mistake,
this strange young man will be heard from some day.

Then there is W------, a student in sculpture, with exceptionally fine
talent. He had been an American cowboy, and no trooper could swear more
eloquently. He has been making headway, for the Salon has given him
honorable mention for a strong bronze group of fighting tigers. His
social specialty is poker-playing, and he has brought the entire Hole
under the spell of that magic game.

Herr Prell, from Munich, takes delight in torturing the other habitués
with accounts of dissections, as he is a medical student at the Académie
de Médecine. The Swede, who drinks fourteen absinthes a day, throws
stools at Herr Prell, and tries in other ways to make him fight; but
Herr Prell only laughs, and gives another turn of the dissection-screw.

The glee club is one of the features of the Hole. It sings every night,
but its supreme effort comes when one of the patrons of the Hole departs
for home. On such occasions the departing comrade has to stand the
dinner for all, after which, with its speeches and toasts, he is
escorted to the railway station with great éclat, and given a hearty
farewell, the glee club singing the parting song at the station. Bishop
is leading tenor of the glee club.



LE CABARET DU SOLEIL D'OR


IT is only the name of the Cabaret of the Golden Sun that suggests
the glorious luminary of day. And yet it is really brilliant in its own
queer way, though that brilliancy shines when all else in Paris is dark
and dead,--at night, and in the latest hours of the night at that.

[Illustration: 8177]

My acquaintance with the Golden Sun began one foggy night in a cold
November, under the guidance of Bishop.

Lured by the fascinations of nocturnal life in the Quartier Latin, and
by its opportunities for the study of life in its strangest phases,
Bishop had become an habitual nighthawk, leaving the studio nearly every
evening about ten o'clock, after he had read a few hours from treasured
books gleaned from the stalls along the river, to prowl about with a
sketchbook, in quest of queer characters and queer places, where strange
lives were lived in the dark half of the day. His knowledge of obscure
retreats and their peculiar habitués seemed unlimited. And what an
infinite study they offer! The tourist, "doing" Bohemian Paris as he
would the famous art galleries, or Notre-Dame, or the Madeleine, or
the _café_s on the boulevards, may, under the guidance of a wise and
discerning student, visit one after another of these out-of-the-way
resorts where the endless tragedy of human life is working out its
mysteries; he may see that one place is dirtier or noisier than another,
that the men and women are better dressed and livelier here than there,
that the crowd is bigger, or the lights brighter; but he cannot see,
except in their meaningless outer aspects, those subtle differences
which constitute the heart of the matter. In distance it is not far from
the Moulin Rouge to the Cabaret du Soleil d'Or, but in descending from
the dazzling brilliancy and frothy abandon of the Red Mill to the smoke
and grime of the Golden Sun, we drop from the summit of the Tour Eiffel
to the rat-holes under the bridges of the Seine; and yet it is in such
as the Cabaret of the Golden Sun that the true student finds the deeper,
the more lastingly charming, the strangely saddening spell that lends to
the wonderful Quartier Latin its distinctive character and everlasting
fascination.

Though Bishop spoke to me very little of his midnight adventures, I
being very busy with my own work, I began to have grave apprehensions
on the score of his tastes in that direction; for during the afternoons
ridiculous-looking, long-haired, but gentlemannered persons in shabby
attire, well-seasoned with the aroma of absinthe and cigarettes, would
favor our studio with a call, undoubtedly at Bishop's invitation. They
brought with them black portfolios or rolls of paper tied with black
string, containing verses,--their masterpieces, which were to startle
Paris, or new songs, which, God favoring, were to be sung at La Scala or
the Ambassadeurs, and thus bring them immortal fame and put abundant fat
upon their lean ribs! Ah, the deathless hope that makes hunger a welcome
companion here!

Bishop would cleverly entertain these aspiring geniuses with shop talk
concerning literature and music, and he had a charming way of dwelling
upon the finish and subtlety of their work and comparing it with that
of the masters. It usually ended with their posing for him in different
attitudes of his suggesting. Why waste money on professional models? As
Bishop's acquaintances became more numerous among this class, we finally
set aside Tuesday afternoons for their reception. Then they would come
in generous numbers and enjoy themselves unreservedly with our cognac
and biscuits. But ah, the rare pleasures of those afternoons,--as much
for the good it did us to see their thin blood warmed with brandy and
food as for their delightful entertainment of us and one another.

The studio was warm and cheerful on the night when Bishop invited me
to accompany him out. I had been at work, and presently, when I had
finished, I flung myself on the divan for a rest and a smoke, and then
became aware of Bishop's presence. He was comfortably ensconced in the
steamer-chair, propped up with pillows.

"Aren't you going out to-night?" I inquired.

"Why, yes. Let's see the time. A little after eleven. That's good. You
are finished, aren't you? Now, if you want a little recreation and wish
to see one of the queerest places in Paris, come with me."

I looked out the window. A cold, dreary night it was. The chimney-pots
were dimmed by the thick mist, and the street lamps shone murkily far
below. It was a saddening, soaking, dripping night, still, melancholy,
and depressing,--the kind of night that lends a strange zest to in-door
enjoyment, as though it were a duty to keep the mist and the dreariness
out of the house and the heart.

But the studio had worn me out, and I was eager to escape from its
pleasant coziness. And this was a Saturday night, which means something,
even in Paris. To-morrow there would be rest. So I cheerfully assented.

We donned our heaviest top-coats and mufflers, crammed the stove full of
coal, and then sallied out into the dripping fog.

Oh, but it was cold and dismal in the streets! The mist was no longer
the obscuring, suggestive, mysterious factor that it had been when seen
from the window, but was now a tangible and formidable thing, with a
manifest purpose. It struck through our wraps as though they had been
cheesecloth. It had swept the streets clear, for not a soul was to be
seen except a couple of sergents de ville, all hooded in capes, and
a cab that came rattling through the murk with horses a-steam.
Occasionally a flux of warm light from some _café_ would melt a tunnel
through the monotonous opaque haze, but the empty chairs and tables upon
the sidewalks facing the _café_s offered no invitation.

[Illustration: 0181]

In front of one of these _café_s, in a sheltered corner made by a glass
screen, sat a solitary young woman, dressed stylishly in black, the
light catching one of her dainty slippers perched coquettishly upon a
foot-rest. A large black hat, tilted wickedly down over her face, cast
her eyes in deep shadow and lent her that air of alluring mystery which
the women of her class know so well how to cultivate. Her neck and chin
were buried deep in the collar of her sealskin cape. A gleam of limp
white gauze at her throat lent a pleasing relief to the monotone of
her attire. Upon the table in front of her stood an empty glass and two
saucers. As we passed she peered at us from beneath her big hat, and
smiled coquettishly, revealing glistening white teeth. The atmosphere
of loneliness and desolation that encompassed her gave a singularly
pathetic character to her vigil. Thus she sat, a picture for an artist,
a text for a moralist, pretty, dainty, abandoned. It happened not to be
her fortune that her loneliness should be relieved by us.... But other
men might be coming afterwards.... All this at a glance through the cold
November fog.

As we proceeded up the Boul' Mich' the _café_s grew more numerous and
passers-by more frequent, but all these were silent and in a hurry,
prodded on by the nipping cold fangs of the night. Among the tables
outside the _Café d'Harcourt_ crouched and prowled an old man, bundled
in ill-fitting rags, searching for remnants of cigars and cigarettes
on the sanded sidewalk. From his glittering eyes, full of suspicion, he
turned an angry glance upon us as we paused a moment to observe him, and
growled,--"_Allons, tu n' peux donc pas laisser un pauv' malheureux?_"

Bishop tossed him a sou, which he greedily snatched without a word of
thanks.

[Illustration: 8183]

At the corner, under the gas-lamps, stood shivering newspaper venders
trying to sell their few remaining copies of la dernière édition de la
presse. Buyers were scarce.

We had now reached the Place St.-Michel and the left bank of the river.
We turned to the right, following the river wall toward Notre-Dame,
whose towers were not discernible through the fog.

Here there was an unbounded wilderness of desolation and solitude. The
black Seine flowed silently past dark masses that were resolved into big
canal-boats, with their sickly green lights reflected in the writhing
ink of the river. Notre-Dame now pushed its massive bulk through the
fog, but its towers were lost in the sky. Near by a few dim lights shone
forth through the slatted windows of the Morgue. But its lights never go
out. And how significantly close to the river it stands! Peering under
the arches of the bridges, we found some of the social dregs that sleep
there with the rats. It was not difficult to imagine the pretty girl in
black whom we had passed coming at last through dissipation and wrinkles
and broken health to take refuge with the rats under the bridges, and
it is a short step thence to the black waters of the river; and that the
scheme of the tragedy might be perfect in all its parts, adjustments,
and relations, behold the Morgue so near, with its lights that never go
out, and boatmen so skilled in dragging the river! And the old man who
was gathering the refuse and waste of smokers, it was not impossible
that he should find himself taking this route when his joints had grown
stiffer, though it would more likely end under the bridges.

The streets are very narrow and crooked around Notre-Dame, and their
emanations are as various as the capacity of the human nose for evil
odors. The lamps, stuck into the walls of the houses, only make the
terrors of such a night more formidable; for while one may feel a
certain security in absolute darkness, the shadows to which the lamps
lend life have a baffling elusiveness and weirdness, and a habit of
movement that makes one instinctively dodge. But that is all the trick
of the wind. However that may be, it is wonderful how much more vividly
one remembers on such a night the stories of the murders, suicides, and
other crimes that lend a particular grewsomeness to the vicinity of the
Morgue and Notre-Dame.

We again turned to the right, into a narrow, dirty street,--the Rue du
Haut-Pavé,--whose windings brought us into a similar street,--the Rue
Galande. Bishop halted in front of a low arched door-way, which blazed
sombrely in its coat of blood-red paint. A twisted gas-lamp, demoralized
and askew, depended overhead, and upon the glass enclosing it was
painted, with artistic flourishes,--"Au Soleil d'Or."

This was the cabaret of the Golden Sun,--all unconscious of the mockery
of its name, another of those whimsical disjointings in which the
shadowy side of Paris is so prolific. From the interior of the luminary
came faintly the notes of a song, with piano accompaniment.

The archway opened into a small court paved with ill-fitted flint
blocks. At the farther end of it another gas-lamp flickered at the head
of a flight of stairs leading underground. As we approached the steps a
woman sprang from the shadow, and with a cry, half of fear and half of
anger, fled to the street. At that moment memories of the cosiness
of our studio became doubly enticing,--one cannot always approach
unfamiliar underground Paris with perfect courage. But Bishop's coolness
was reassuring. He had already descended the steps, and there was
nothing left for me but to follow.

At the foot of the stairs were half-glass doors curtained with cheap red
cloth. A warm, thick, suffocating gust of air, heavy with the fumes of
beer, wine, and tobacco, assailed our cold faces as we pushed open the
doors and entered the room.

For a moment it was difficult to see clearly, so dense was the smoke.
It was packed against the ceiling like a bank of fog, diminishing in
density downward, and shot through with long banner-like streamers of
smoke freshly emitted.

The human atmosphere of the place could not be caught at once. A
stranger would not have known for the moment whether he was with thieves
or artists. But very soon its distinctive spirit made its presence and
character manifest. The room--which was not a large one--was well filled
with an assortment of those queer and interesting people some of whom
Bishop had entertained at the studio, only here their characteristics
were more pronounced, for they were in their natural element, depressed
and hampered by no constraints except of their own devising. A great
many were women, although it could be seen at a glance that they were
not of the nymphs who flitted among the glittering _café_s, gowned in
delicate laces and sheeny sculptured silks, the essence of mignonette
pervading their environment. No; these were different.

[Illustration:0187]

Here one finds, not the student life of Paris, but its most
unconventional Bohemian life. Here, in this underground rendezvous, a
dirty old hole about twenty feet below the street level, gather nightly
the happy-go-lucky poets, musicians, and singers for whom the great
busy world has no use, and who, in their unrelaxing poverty, live in
the tobacco clouds of their own construction, caring nothing for social
canons, obeyers of the civil law because of their scorn of meanness,
injustice, and crime, suffering unceasingly for the poorest comforts of
life, ambitious without energy, hopeful without effort, cheerful under
the direst pressure of need, kindly, simple, proud, and pitiful.

All were seated at little round tables, as are the habitués of the
_café_s, and their attention was directed upon a slim young fellow with
curling yellow hair and a faint moustache, who was singing, leaning
meanwhile upon a piano that stood on a low platform in one corner of
the room. Their attention was respectful, delicate, sympathetic, and, as
might be supposed, brought out the best in the lad. It was evident that
he had not long been a member of the sacred circle. His voice was a
smooth, velvety tenor, and under proper instruction might have been
useful to its possessor as a means of earning a livelihood. But it was
clear that he had already fallen under the spell of the associations to
which accident or his inclination had brought him; and this meant that
henceforth he would live in this strange no-world of dreams, hopes,
sufferings, and idleness, and that likely he would in time come to
gather cigar-stumps on the sanded pavement of the Café d'Harcourt, and
after that sleep with the rats under the bridges of the Seine. At this
moment, however, he lived in the clouds; he breathed and glowed with
the spirit of shiftless, proud, starving Bohemianism as it is lived in
Paris, benignantly disdainful of the great moiling, money-grubbing world
that roared around him, and perhaps already the adoration of some girl
of poetic or artistic tastes and aspirations, who was serving him as
only the Church gives a woman the right.

There was time to look about while he was singing, though that was
difficult, so strange and pathetic a picture he made. The walls of the
room were dirty and bare, though relieved at rare intervals by sketches
and signs. The light came from three gas-burners, and was reflected by a
long mirror at one end of the room.

No attention had been paid to our entrance, except by the garçon, a
heavy-set, bull-necked fellow, who, with a sign, bade us make no noise.

When the song had finished the audience broke into uproarious applause,
shouting, "_Bravo, mon vieux!" "Bien fait, Marquis!_" and the clapping
of hands and beating of glasses on the marble-topped tables and pounding
of canes on the floor made a mighty din. The young singer, his cheeks
glowing and his eyes blazing, modestly rolled up his music and sought
his seat.

We were now piloted to seats by the garçon, who, when we had settled
ourselves, demanded to know what we would drink. "_Deux bocks!_" he
yelled across the room. "_Deux bocks!_" came echoing back from the
counter, where a fat woman presided--knitting.

Several long-haired littérateurs--friends of Bishop's--came up and
saluted him and shook his hand, all with a certain elegance and dignity.
He, in turn, introduced me, and the conversation at once turned to art,
music, and poetry. Whatever the sensational news of the day, whatever
the crisis in the cabinet, whatever anything might have been that was
stirring the people in the great outside commonplace world, these men
and women gave it no heed whatever. What was the gross, hard, eager
world to them? Did not the glories of the Golden Sun lend sufficient
warmth to their hearts, and were not their vague aspirations and idle
hopes ample stimulants to their minds and spirits? They quickly found a
responsive mood in us, and this so delighted them that they ordered the
drinks.

The presiding genius at the piano was a whitehaired, spiritual-looking
man, whose snowy locks gave the only indication of his age; for his face
was filled with the eternal youthfulness of a careless and contented
heart. His slender, delicate fingers told of his temperament, his thin
cheeks of his poverty, and his splendid dreamy eyes of the separate life
that he lived.

Standing on the platform beside him was a man of a very different type.
It was' the pianist's function to be merely a musician; but the other
man--the musical director--was one from whom judgment, decision, and
authority were required. Therefore he was large, powerful, and big-
stomached, and had a pumpkin head, and fat, baggy eyes that shone
through narrow slits. He now stepped forward and rang a little bell,
upon which all talking was instantly hushed.

"_Mesdames et messieurs_," he said, in a large, capable voice, "_J'ai
l'honneur de vous annoncer que Madame Louise Leroux, nous lira ses
dernières oeuvres--une faveur que nous apprécierons tous_."

[Illustration: 8192]

A young woman--about twenty-three, I should judge--arose from one of
the tables where she had been sitting talking with an insipid-looking
gentleman adorned with a blond moustache and vacant, staring-eyes; he
wore a heavy coat trimmed with astrachan collar and cuffs, which, being
open at the throat, revealed the absence of a shirt from his body. A
Latin Quarter top-hat was pushed back on his head, and his long, greasy
hair hung down over his collar. Madame Leroux smiled affectionately at
him as she daintily flicked the ashes from her cigarette and laid it
upon the table, and moistened her thin red lips with a yellow liqueur
from her glass. He responded with a condescending jerk of his head, and,
diving into one of the inner pockets of his coat, brought forth a roll
of paper, which she took. A great clapping of hands and loud cries
of her name greeted her as she stepped upon the platform, but it was
clearly to be seen from her indifferent air that she had been long
accustomed to this attention.

The big musical director again rang his bell.

"_Il était une Fois,_" she said, simply. The pianist fingered the keys
softly, and she began to recite.

[Illustration: 0193]

The room was as still as a chapel. Every one listened in profound
absorption; even the stolid bull-necked waiter leaned against the wall,
his gaze fastened upon her with respectful interest. She spoke slowly,
in a low, sweet tone, the soft accompaniment of the piano following the
rhythm of her voice with wonderful effectiveness. She seemed to forget
her surroundings,--the hot, close room, crowded with shabby, eccentric
geniuses who lived from hand to mouth, the poverty that evidently was
her lot,--even her lover, who sat watching her with a cold, critical,
half-disdainful air, making notes upon a slip of paper, now nodding
his head approvingly, now frowning, when pleased or displeased with her
performance. She was a rare picture as she thus stood and recited, a
charming swing to her trim figure, half reclining upon the piano, her
black hair falling loosely and caressing her forehead and casting her
dark eyes in deeper shadow, and all her soul going forth in the low,
soft, subdued passion of her verses. She reminded one greatly of
Bernhardt, and might have been as great.

During her whole rendering of this beautiful and pathetic tale of "other
times" she scarcely moved, save for some slight gesture that suggested
worlds. How well the lines suited her own history and condition only
she could have told. Who was she? What had she been? Surely this strange
woman, hardly more than a mere girl, capable of such feelings and of
rendering them with so subtle force and beauty, had lived another life,-
-no one knew, no one cared.

Loud shouts of admiration and long applause rang through the room as
she slowly and with infinite tenderness uttered the last line with
bowed head and a choking voice. She stood for a moment while the room
thundered, and then the noise seemed to recall her, to drag her back
from some haunting memory to the squalor of her present condition, and
then her eyes eagerly sought the gentleman of the fur-collared coat. It
was an anxious glance that she cast upon him. He carelessly nodded once
or twice, and she instantly became transfigured. The melancholy of her
eyes and the wretched dejection of her pose disappeared, and her sad
face lit up with a beaming, happy smile. She was starting to return to
him, all the woman in her awaking to affection and a yearning for
the refuge of his love, when the vociferous cries of the crowd for
an encore, and the waving of her lover's hand as a signal for her to
comply, sent her back on guard to the piano again. Her smile was very
sweet and her voice full of trippling melody when she now recited a gay
little ballad,--also her own composition,--"_Amours Joyeux_,"--in so
entirely different a spirit that it was almost impossible to believe her
the same mortal. Every fibre of her being participated in the rollicking
abandon of the piece, and her eyes were flooded with the mellow radiance
of supreme love satisfied and victorious.

Upon regaining her seat she was immediately surrounded by a praise-
giving crowd, who shook hands with her and heartily congratulated her;
but it was clear that she could think only of him of the fur collar,
and that no word of praise or blame would weigh with her the smallest
fraction of a feather's weight unless this one man uttered it. She
disengaged her hand from her crowding admirers and deftly donned her
little white Alpine hat, all the while looking into the face of the one
man who could break her heart or send her to heaven. He sat looking at
his boot, indifferent, bored. Presently he looked up into her anxious
eyes, gazed at her a moment, and then leaned forward and spoke a word.
It sent her to heaven. Her face all aglow and her eyes shining with
happiness, she called the garçon, paid for the four saucers upon the
table, and left the room upon the arm of her lover.

"How she does adore that dog!" exclaimed my friend the musician.

"What does he do?" I asked.

"Do?" he echoed. "Nothing. It is she who does all. Without her he would
starve. He is a writer of some ability, but too much of a socialist to
work seriously. In her eyes he is the greatest writer in the world. She
would sacrifice everything to please him. Without him her life would
fall into a complete blank, and her recklessness would quickly send her
into the lowermost ranks. When a woman like that loves, she loves--ah,
_les femmes sont difficiles à comprendre!_" My friend sighed, burying
his moustaches in a foaming bock.

Individual definition grew clearer as I became more and more accustomed
to the place and its habitués. It seemed that nearly all of them were
absinthe-drinkers, and that they drank a great deal,--all they could
get, I was made to understand. They care little about their dress and
the other accessories of their personal appearance, though here and
there they exhibit the oddest finery, into whose possession they fall
by means which casual investigation could not discover, and which is
singularly out of harmony with the other articles of their attire and
with the environment which they choose. As a rule, the men wear their
hair very long and in heavy, shaggy masses over their ears and faces.
They continually roll and smoke cigarettes, though there are many pipes,
and big ones at that. But though they constitute a strange crowd, there
is about them a distinct air of refinement, a certain dignity and pride
that never fail, and withal a gentleness that renders any approach
to ruffianism impossible. The women take a little more pride in
their appearance than the men. Even in their carelessness and seeming
indifference there abides with nearly all of them the power to lend
themselves some single touch of grace that is wonderfully redeeming, and
that is infinitely finer and more elusive than the showy daintiness of
the women of the _café_s.

As a rule, these Bohemians all sleep during the day, as that is the best
way to keep warm; at night they can find warmth in the cabarets. In the
afternoon they may write a few lines, which they sell in some way for a
pittance, wherewithal to buy them a meal and a night's vigil in one of
these resorts. This is the life of lower Bohemia plain and simple,--not
the life of the students, but of the misfit geniuses who drift, who have
neither place nor part in the world, who live from hand to mouth, and
who shudder when the Morgue is mentioned,--and it is so near, and its
lights never go out! They are merely protestants against the formalism
of life, rebels against its necessities. They seek no following, they
desire to exercise no influence. They lead their vacant lives without
the slightest restraint, bear their poverty without a murmur, and go to
their dreary end without a sigh. These are the true Bohemians of Paris.

Other visitors came into the Soleil d'Or and sought seats among their
friends at the tables, while others kept leaving, bound for other
rendezvous, many staying just sufficiently long to hear a song or two.
They were all of the same class, very negligently and poorly attired,
some displaying their odd pieces of finery with an exquisite assumption
of unconsciousness on its account, as though they were millionaires and
cared nothing for such trivial things. And the whimsical incongruities
of it! If one wore a shining tile he either had no shirt (or perhaps a
very badly soiled one), or wore a frayed coat and disreputable shoes. In
fact, no complete respectable dress made its appearance in the room
that night, though each visitor had his distinctive specialty,--one
a burnished top hat, another a gorgeous cravat, another a rich velvet
jacket, and so on. But they all wore their hair as long as it would
grow. That is the Bohemian mark.

The little bell again rang, and the heavy director announced that
"Monsieur Léon Décarmeau will sing one of his newest songs." Monsieur
Léon Décarmeau was a lean, half-starved appearing man of about forty,
whose eyes were sunk deep in his head, and whose sharp cheek-bones
protruded prominently. On the bridge of his thin, angular nose set
a pair of "pince-nez," attached by a broad black cord, which he kept
fingering nervously as he sang. His song was entitled "Fleurs et
Pensées," and he threw himself into it with a broad and passionate
eagerness that heavily strained the barrier between melodrama and
burlesque. His glance sought the ceiling in a frenzied quest of
imaginary nymphs, his arms swayed as he tenderly caressed imaginary
flowers of sweet love and drank in their intoxicating perfume instead
of the hot, tobacco-rife smoke of the room. His voice was drawn out in
tremendous sighs full of tears, and his chest heaved like a blacksmith's
bellows. But when he had ceased he was most generously applauded and
praised.

During the intervals between the songs and recitations the room was
noisy with laughter, talking, and the clinking of glasses. The one
garçon was industriously serving boissons and yelling orders to the bar,
where the fat woman sat industriously knitting, heedless, as might have
been expected of the keeper of the Cave of Adullam, and awakening to
activity only when the stentorian yells of the garçon's orders rose
above the din of the establishment. Absinthe and beer formed the
principal beverages, though, as a rule, absinthe was taken only just
before a meal, and then it served as an appetizer,--a sharpener of
hunger to these who had so little wherewithal to satisfy the hunger that
unaided nature created!

The mystery of the means by which these lighthearted Bohemians sustained
their precarious existence was not revealed to me; yet here they
sat, and laughed, and talked, and recited the poetry of their own
manufacture, and sang their songs, and drank, and smoked their big
pipes, and rolled cigarettes incessantly, happy enough in the hour of
their lives, bringing hither none of the pains and pangs and numbing
evidences of their struggles. And there was no touch of the sordid
in the composite picture that they made, and a certain tinge of
intellectual refinement, a certain spirituality that seemed to raise
them infinitely above the plane of the lowly strugglers who won their
honest bread by honest labor, shone about them as a halo.

Their dark hours, no doubt, came with the daylight, and in these
meetings at the cabaret they found an agreeable way in which to while
away the dismal interval that burdened their lives when they were not
asleep; for the cabaret was warm and bright, warmer and brighter than
their own wretched little rooms au cinquième,--and coal and candles are
expensive luxuries! Here, if their productions haply could not find a
larger and more remunerative audience, they could at least be heard,--by
a few, it is true, but a most appreciative few, and that is something
of value equal to bread. And then, who could tell but what fame might
unexpectedly crown them in the end? It has happened thus.

"But why worry?" asked the musician. "'Laugh, and the world laughs with
you. If we do not live a long life, it is at least a jolly one,' is our
motto and certainly they gave it most faithful allegiance."

I learned from Bishop that the musical director received three francs a
night for his services. Should singers happen to be lacking, or should
the evening be dull for other reason, he himself must sing and recite;
for the tension of the Soleil d'Or must be kept forever taut. The old
white-haired pianist received two francs a night, and each of these
contributors to the gayety of the place was given a drink gratis.
So there was at least some recompense besides the essential one of
appreciation from the audience.

Glasses clinked merrily, and poets and composers flitted about the room
to chat with their contemporaries. A sketch artist, deftly drawing the
portrait of a baritone's jolly little mistress, was surrounded by
a bantering group, that passed keen, intelligent, and good-natured
criticism on the work as it rapidly grew under his hands. The
whitehaired pianist sat puffing at his cigarette and looking over some
music with a rather pretty young woman who had written popular songs of
La Villette.

The opening of the doors and the straggling entrance of three men sent
an instant hush throughout the room.

"Verlaine!" whispered the musician to me.

It was indeed the great poet of the slums,--the epitome and idol of
Bohemian Paris, the famous man whose verses had rung throughout the
length and breadth of the city, the one man who, knowing the heart and
soul of the stragglers who found light and warmth in such places as
the Soleil d'Or, had the brains and grace to set the strange picture
adequately before the wondering world.

The musical director, as well as a number of others in the place,
stepped forward, and with touching deference and tenderness greeted the
remarkable man and his two companions. It was easy to pick out Verlaine
without relying upon the special distinction with which he was greeted.
He had the oddest slanting eyes, a small, stubby nose, and wiry
whiskers, and his massive forehead heavily overhung his queerly shaped
eyes. He was all muffled up to the chin; wore a badly soiled hat and a
shabby dark coat. Under one arm he carried a small black portfolio.

[Illustration: 8202]

Several of the women ran to him and kissed him on both cheeks, which
salutations he heartily returned, with interest.

One of his companions was Monsieur Bi-Bi-dans-la-Purée--so he was
called, though seemingly he might have been in anything as well as soup.
He was an exceedingly interesting figure. His sunken, drawn, smooth-
shaven face gave terrible evidence of the excessive use of absinthe. A
large hooked nose overshadowed a wide, loose mouth that hung down at the
corners, and served to set forth in startling relief the sickly leaden
color of his face. When he spoke, a few straggling teeth gleamed
unpleasantly. He wore no overcoat, and his jacket hung open, disclosing
a half-opened shirt that exposed his bare breast. His frayed trousers
dragged the ground at his heels. But his eyes were the most terrible
part of him; they shone with the wild, restless light of a madman,
and their gaze was generally flitting and distrait, acknowledging no
acquaintances. Afterwards, when Verlaine was dead, I often saw Monsieur
Bi-Bi-dansla-Purée on the street, looking most desolate, a roll of white
manuscript in his hand, his coat and shirt wide open, exposing his naked
breast to the biting cold wind. He seemed to be living altogether in
another world, and gazed about him with the same unseeing vacant stare
that so startled me that night in the Soleil d'Or.

When Verlaine and his companions were seated--by displacing the
artist--the recitations and songs recommenced; and it was noticeable
that they were rendered with augmented spirit, that the famous poet of
the slums might be duly impressed with the capabilities and hospitable
intentions of his entertainers; for now all performed for Verlaine, not
for one another. The distinguished visitor had removed his slouch hat,
revealing the wonderful oblong dome of his bald head, which shone like
the Soleil d'Or; and many were the kisses reverently and affectionately
bestowed upon that glistening eminence by the poet's numerous female
admirers in the throng.

A reckless-looking young woman, with a black hat drawn down over her
eyes, and wearing glasses, was now reciting. Her hands were gloved in
black, but the finger-tips were worn through,--a fact which she made all
the more evident by a peculiar gesture of the fingers.

As the small hours grew larger these gay Bohemians waxed gayer and
livelier. Formalities were gradually abandoned, and the constraint of
dignity and reserve slowly melted under the mellowing influences of
the place. Ceremonious observances were dropped one by one; and whereas
there had been the most respectful and insistent silence throughout the
songs, now all joined heartily in the choruses, making the dim lights
dance in the exuberance of the enjoyment. I had earnestly hoped that
Verlaine, splendid as was his dignity, might thaw under the gathering
warmth of the hour, but beyond listening respectfully, applauding
moderately, and returning the greetings that were given him, he held
aloof from the influence of the occasion, and after draining his glass
and bidding good-night to his many friends, with his two companions he
made off to another rendezvous.

Monsieur le Directeur came over to our table and asked Bishop to favor
the audience with a "_chanson Américaine_." This rather staggered my
modest friend, but he finally yielded to entreaties. The director rang
his little bell again and announced that "Monsieur Beeshup" would sing a
song _à l'Américaine_. This was received with uproarious shouts by all,
and several left their seats and escorted Bishop to the platform. I
wondered what on earth he would sing. The accompanist, after a little
coaching from Bishop, assailed the chords, and Bishop began drawling out
his old favorite, "Down on the Farm." He did it nobly, too, giving the
accompanist occasion for labor in finding the more difficult harmonies.
The hearers, though they did not understand a word of the ditty, and
therefore lost the whole of its pathos, nevertheless listened with
curious interest and respect, though with evident veiled amusement. Many
quick ears caught the refrain. At first there came an exceedingly soft
chorus from the room, and it gradually rose until the whole crowd had
thrown itself into the spirit of the melody, and swelled it to a mighty
volume. Bishop led the singers, beating time with his right arm, his
left thumb meanwhile hooked in the arm-hole of his waistcoat. "_Bravo!
Bravo, Beeshup! Bis!_" they yelled, when it was finished, and then the
room rang with a salvo of hand-clappings in unison: 1-2--3-4-5--1-2-3-
4-5--1-2-3-4-5--1--2--3!! A great ovation greeted him as he marched with
glowing cheeks to his seat, and those who knew him crowded round him
for a hand-shake. The musician asked him if he would sing the song in
private for him, that he might write down the melody, to which Bishop
agreed, on condition that the musician pose for him. Bishop had a
singularly sharp eye for opportunities.

The sketch artist sauntered over and sat down at our table to have a
chat with Bishop. He was a singular fellow. His manner was smoothed by a
fine and delicate courtesy, bespeaking a careful rearing, whose effects
his loose life and promiscuous associations could not obliterate. His
age was about thirty-two, though he looked much older,--this being due
in part to his hard life and in other part to the heavy whiskers that
he wore. An absurd little round felt hat sat precariously on his riotous
mane, and I was in constant apprehension lest it should fall off every
time he shook his head. Over his shoulders was a blue cape covering a
once white shirt that was devoid of a collar. His fingers were all
black with the crayon that he had used in sketching. He said that he had
already earned twelve sous that evening, making portraits at six sous a
head! But there was not so much money to be made in a place like this as
in the big _café_s,--the frequenters were too poor.

[Illustration: 0206]

I asked him where he had studied and learned his art, for it could be
easily seen that he had had some training; his portraits were not half
bad, and showed a knowledge of drawing. He thereupon told me his story.

He had come to Paris thirteen years before from Nantes, Brittany, to
study art. His father kept a small grocery and provision-shop in Nantes,
and lived in meagre circumstances. The son having discovered what his
father deemed a remarkable talent for drawing when a boy, the father
sent him to Paris, with an allowance of a hundred francs a month, and he
had to deny himself severely to furnish it. When the young man arrived
at Paris he studied diligently at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts for a while,
and became acquainted with many of the students and models. He soon
found the easy life of the _café_s, with the models for companions, more
fascinating than the dull grind of the school. It was much pleasanter to
enjoy the gayety of the nights and sleep all day than drone and labor
at his easel. As his small allowance did not permit of extravagance, he
fell deeply into debt, and gave more heed to absinthe than his
meals,--it is cheaper, more alluring, and brings an exhilaration that
sharpens wit and equips the soul with wings.

For a whole year the father was in total ignorance of his son's conduct,
but one day a friend, who had seen the young man in Paris, laid the ugly
story in his father's ear. This so enraged the father that he instantly
stopped the remittances and disowned his son. All appeals for money, all
promises to reform, were in vain, and so the young madcap was forced to
look about for a means of subsistence. And thus it was that he drifted
into the occupation of a sketch artist, making portraits in the _café_s
all night and sleeping in daytime. This brought him a scant living.

But there was his mistress, Marcelle, always faithful to him. She worked
during the day at sewing, and shared her small earnings with him. All
went fairly well during the summer, but in winter the days were short,
Marcelle's earnings were reduced, and the weather was bitter cold.
Still, it was not so bad as it might be, he protested; but underneath
his easy flippancy I imagined I caught a shadow,--a flitting sense of
the hollowness and misery and hopelessness and shame of it all. But I am
not certain of that. He had but gone the way of many and many another,
and others now are following in his footsteps, deluding self-denying
parents, and setting foot in the road which, so broad and shining at the
beginning, narrows and darkens as it leads nearer and nearer to the rat-
holes under the bridges of the Seine, and to the grim house whose lights
forever shine at night under the shadow of Notre-Dame.

Had monsieur a cigarette to spare? Monsieur had, and monsieur thought
that the thanks for it were out of all proportion to its value; but they
were totally eclipsed by the praises of monsieur's wonderful generosity
in paying for a glass of absinthe and sugar for the man who made faces
at six sous apiece.

The quiet but none the less high tension of the place, the noise of the
singing, the rattling of glasses and saucers, the stifling foul air of
the room, filled me with weariness and threatened me with nausea. Things
had moved in a constant whirl all night, and now it was nearly four
o'clock. How much longer will this last?

"Till five o'clock," answered the musician; then all the lights go out,
and the place is closed; and our friends seek their cold, cheerless
rooms, to sleep far into the afternoon.

We paid for our saucers, and after parting adieux left in company
with the musician and the aesthetic poet. How deliciously sharp and
refreshing was the cold, biting air as we stepped out into the night! It
seemed as though I had been breathing molasses. The fog was thicker than
ever, and the night was colder. The two twisted gas-lamps were no longer
burning as we crossed the slippery stone-paved court and ascended to the
narrow street. The musician wrapped a gray muffler about his throat and
thrust his hands deep into his pockets. The poet had no top-coat, but he
buttoned his thin jacket tightly about him, and shivered.

"Shall we have some lait chaud and a croissant?" inquired the musician.

Yes, anything hot would be good, even milk; but where could we get it?

"Ah, you shall see!"

We had not gone far when it gave me a start to recognize a figure that
we had seen in the Boul' Mich' on our way to the Soleil d'Or. It was
that of an outcast of the boulevards, now slinking through the shadows
toward the river. We had been accosted by him in front of one of the
brilliant _café_s, as, trembling and rubbing his hands, a picture of
hopeless dejection and misery, and in a quavering voice he begged us to
buy him a drink of brandy.

[Illustration: 0210]

It probably saved him from an attack of delirium tremens that night, but
here he was drifting, with a singular fatality, toward the river and
the Morgue. Now, that his day's work of begging was done, all his jackal
watchfulness had disappeared, and an inner vision seemed to look forth
from his bleared eyes as their gaze strained straight and dull toward
the black river. It may have been a mere fancy, but the expression in
his eyes reminded me strongly of similar things that I had seen on the
slabs in the Morgue.

We crossed the Rue du Haut-Pavé again to the river wall, and arrived
at the bridge leading back of Notre-Dame and past the Morgue. On the
farther end of the bridge, propped against the parapet, was a small
stand, upon a corner of which a dim lamp was burning. In front were a
number of milk-cans, and on a small counter were a row of thick white
bowls and a basket of croissants. Inside, upon a small stove, red with
heat, were two kettles from which issued clouds of steam bearing an odor
of boiling milk. A stout woman, her face so well wrapped in a shawl
that only the end of her red nose was visible, greeted us,--"_Bon jour,
messieurs. En voulez-vous du bon lait bien chaud?_"

She poured out four bowls of steaming milk, and gave us each a roll.
For this luxury we paid three sous each; and a feast it was, for the
shivering poet, at least, for he licked the hot bowl clean and ate the
very crumbs of his croissant.

As we were bound for widely separated quarters, our Bohemian friends
bade us an affectionate good-night, and were soon swallowed up in the
gloom. We turned towards home and the Boul' Mich'. All the _café_s were
closed and dark, but the boulevard was alive with canal-boatmen, street-
sweepers, and rumbling vegetable- and milk-carts. The streets were being
washed clean of all evidences of the previous day's life and turmoil,
and the great city was creeping forth from its lair to begin another.

[Illustration: 5213]



THE CAFÉ PROCOPE


IN the short, busy little street, the Rue de l'Ancienne-Comédie, which
runs from the Boulevard St. Germain, in a line from the Théâtre National
de l'Odéon and connecting with the Rue Mazarin, its continuation, the
heavy dome of the Institut looming at its end, is to be found probably
the most famous _café_ in Paris, for in its day it has been the
rendezvous of the most noted French littérateurs, politicians, and
savants. What is more, the Procope was the first _café_ established in
Paris, originating the appellation "_café_" to a place where coffee
is served, for it was here that coffee was introduced to France as an
after-dinner comforter.

That was when the famous _café_ was in its glory. Some of the great
celebrities who made it famous have been dead for nearly two hundred
years, though its greatest fame came a century afterwards; and now the
_café_, no longer glorious as it was when the old Théâtre Français stood
opposite, reposes in a quiet street far from the noise and glitter and
life of the boulevards, and lives on the splendid memories that crowd
it. Other _café_s by the thousand have sprung into existence, and
the word has spread to coffee saloons and restaurants throughout
Christendom; and the ancient rive droite nurses the history and relics
of the golden days of its glory, alone in a quiet street, surrounded by
tightly shut shops, and the calm of a sleeping village.

Still, it retains many of its ancient characteristics and much of the
old-time quaintness peculiar to itself and setting it wholly apart, and
it is yet the rendezvous of littérateurs and artists, who, if not so
famous as the great men in whose seats they sit, play a considerable
rôle in the life of modern Paris.

The front of the _café_ is a neat little terrace off the street,
screened by a fanciful net-work of vines and shrubbery that spring from
green painted boxes and that conceal cosey little tables and corners
placed behind them. Instead of the usual showy plate-windows, one still
finds the quaint old window-panes, very small carreaux, kept highly
polished by the tireless garçon apprentice.

Tacked to the white pillars are numerous copies of _Le Procope_, a
weekly journal published by Théo, the proprietor of the _café_. Its
contributors are the authors, journalists, and poets who frequent
the _café_, and it publishes a number of portraits besides, and some
spirited drawings. It is devoted in part to the history of the _café_
and of the celebrities who have made it famous, and publishes portraits
of them, from Voltaire to Paul Verlaine. This same journal was published
here over two hundred years ago, in 1689, and it was the means then by
which the patrons of the establishment kept in closer touch with their
contemporaries and the spirit of the time. Théo is proprietor and
business manager, as well as editor.

[Illustration: 0215]

The following two poems will give an idea of the grace of the matter
contained in Le Procope:


À UNE ESPAGNOLE


               Au loin, quand, l'oil rêveur et d'ennuis l'âme pleine,

               Je suivrai sur les flots le vol des alcyons

               Chaque soir surgira dans les derniers rayons

               Le profil triste et doux d'Ida, de ma sirène.

               La figure et de lys et d'iris transparente,

               Ressortira plus blanche en l'ombre des cheveux

               Profonds comme un mystère et troublants et mes yeux

               Boiront dans l'Idéal sa caresse enivrante.


               Et je rechercherai l'énigme du sourire

                Railleur ou de pitié qui luisait dans ses yeux

               En des paillettes d'or sous ses beaux cils ombreux....


               Et je retomberai dans la tristesse... et dire

               Qu'un seul mot me rendrait et la vie et l'espoir:

               Belle, mon rendez-vous n'est-il point pour ce soir?

                        L Birr.



PETITE CHANSON DÉSOLÉE


                   Je suis seul dans la grande ville

                   Où nul n'a fêté mon retour,

                   Cour vide, et cerveau qui vacille,

                   Sans projet, sans but, sans amour

                   Je suis seul dans la grande ville.


                   Le dos voûté, les bras ballants,

                   Je marche au hasard dans la foule

                   A longs pas lourds et nonchalants,

                   On me pousse, heurte, refoule,

                   Le dos voûté, les bras ballants.


               Je suis accablé de silence,

               De ce silence intérieur,

               Tel un brouillard subtil et dense,

               Qui tombe à plis lourds sur le cour,

               Je suis accablé de silence.


               Ah! quand viendront les jours heureux,

               Quand viendra la chère attendue

               Qu'espère mon cour amoureux,

               Qu'implore mon âme éperdue,

               Ah! quand viendront les jours heureux!

                        Achille Segard.

Here is a particularly charming little poem, written in the musical
French of two or three centuries ago:


UN BAYSER


                   Sur vostre lèvre fraîche et rose,

                   Ma mye, ah! laissiez-moi poser

                   Cette tant bonne et doulce chose,

                   Un bayser.


                   Telle une fleur au jour éclose,

                   le vois vostre teint se roser;

                   Si ie vous redonnois,--ie n'ose,

                        Un bayser.


               Laissiez-moi vous prendre, inhumaine,

               A chascun iour de la sepmaine

                        Un bayser.


               Trop tôt viendront vieil aage et peine!

               Lors n'aurez plus, l'eussiez-vous reine,

                        Un bayser.

                        Maistre Guillaume.


The modern gas illumination of the _café_, in contrast to the fashion of
brilliant lighting that prevails in the showy _café_s of the boulevards,
must nevertheless be a great advance on the ancient way that it had
of being lighted with crude oil lamps and candelabra. But the dim
illumination is in perfect keeping with the other appointments of the
place, which are dark, sombre, and funereal. The interior of the Procope
is as dark as a finely colored old meerschaum pipe. The woodwork, the
chairs, and the tables are deeply stained by time, the contrasting white
marble tops of the tables suggesting gravestones; and with all these go
the deeply discolored walls and the many ancient paintings,--even the
caisse, behind which sits Madame Théo, dozing over her knitting. This
caisse is a wonderful piece of furniture in itself, of some rich dark
wood, beautifully carved and decorated.

Madame Théo is in black, her head resting against the frame of an
old crayon portrait of Voltaire on the wall behind her. A fat and
comfortable black cat is asleep in the midst of rows of white saucers
and snowy napkins. The only garçon, except the garçon apprentice, is
sitting in a corner drowsing over an evening paper, but ever ready to
answer the quiet calls of the customers. For in the matter of noise and
frivolity the Café Procope is wholly unlike the boulevard _café_s. An
atmosphere of refined and elegant suppression pervades the place; the
roystering spirit that haunts the boulevards stops at the portals of the
Procope. Here all is peace and tranquillity, and that is why it is the
haunt of many earnest and aspiring poets and authors; for hither they
may bring their portfolios in peace and security, and here they may
work upon their manuscripts, knowing that their neighbors are similarly
engrossed and that intrusion is not to be feared. And then, too, are
they not sitting on the same chairs and writing at the same tables that
have been occupied by some of the greatest men in all the brilliant
history of France? Is not this the place in which greatness had budded
and blossomed in the centuries gone? Are not these ancient walls the
same that echoed the wit, badinage, and laughter of the masters? And
there are the portraits of the great themselves, looking down benignly
and encouragingly upon the young strugglers striving to follow in their
footsteps, and into the ghostly mirrors, damaged by time and now sending
back only ghosts of shadows, they look as the great had looked before
them. It is here, therefore, that many of the modern geniuses of France
have drawn their inspiration, shaking off the endless turmoil of the
noisy and bustling world, living with the works and memories of the
ancient dead, and working out their destiny under the magic spell that
hovers about the place. It is for this reason that the habitués are
jealous of the intrusion of the curious and worldly. In this quiet and
secure retreat they feel no impinging of the wearing and crippling world
that roars and surges through the busy streets and boulevards.

[Illustration: 0221]

M. Théo de Bellefond is the full name of the proprietor, but he is
commonly known as M. Théo. He is a jolly little man, with an ambitious
round stomach, a benevolent face covered with a Vandyke beard, and a
shining bald head. A large flowing black cravat, tied into an artistic
négligé bow, hides his shirt. M. Théo came into possession of the
Procope in 1893, a fact duly recorded on a door panel, along with the
names of over a score of the celebrities who have made the Procope
their place of rest, refection, and social enjoyment. M. Procope was a
journalist in his day, but now the ambition that moves him is to restore
the ancient glory of the Procope; to make it again the centre of French
brains and power in letters, art, and politics. To this end he exerts
all his journalistic tact, a fact clearly shown by the able manner
in which he conducts his journal, _Le Procope_. He has worked out the
history of the _café_, and has at the ends of his fingers the life-
stories of its famous patrons.

The Café Procope was founded in 1689 by François Procope, where it now
stands. Opposite was the Comédie Française, which also was opened
that year. The _café_ soon became the rendezvous of all who aspired to
greatness in art, letters, philosophy, and politics. It was here that
Voltaire, in his eighty-second year, while attending the rehearsals of
his play, "Irène," descended from his chaise-à-porteur at the door
of the Café Procope, and drank the coffee which the _café_ had made
fashionable. It was here also that he became reconciled to Piron, after
an estrangement of more than twenty years.

Ste.-Foix made trouble here one day about a cup of chocolate. A duel
with the proprietor of the _café_ was the immediate result, and after
it Ste.-Foix, badly wounded, exclaimed, "Nevertheless, monsieur, your
sword-thrust does not prevent my saying that a very sickly déjeuner is
une tasse de chocolat!"

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, after the successful representation of "Le Devin
de Village," was carried in triumph to the Procope by Condorcet, who,
with Jean-Jacques on his shoulders, made a tour of the crowded _café_,
yelling, "Vive la Musique Française!" Diderot was fond of sitting in a
corner and manufacturing paradoxes and materialistic dissertations to
provoke the lieutenant of police, who would note everything he said
and report it to the chief of police. The lieutenant, ambitious though
stupid, one night told his chief that Diderot had said one never saw
souls; to which the chief returned, "M. Diderot se trompe. L'âme est un
esprit, et M. Diderot est plein d'esprit."

Danton delighted in playing chess in a quiet corner with a strong
adversary in the person of Marat. Many other famous revolutionists
assembled here, among them Fabre d'Eglantine, Robespierre, d'Holbach,
Mirabeau, Camille Desmoulins. It was here that Camille Desmoulins was to
be strangled by the reactionists in the Revolution; it was here that the
first bonnet rouge was donned. The massacre of December, 1792, was here-
planned, and the killing began at the very doors of the _café_. Madame
Roland, Lucille Desmoulins, and the wife of Danton met here on the ioth
of August, the day of the fall of the monarchy, when bells rang and
cannon thundered. It was later that Bonaparte, then quite young and
living in the Quai Conti, in the building which the American Art
Association now occupies, left his hat at the Procope as security for
payment for a drink, he having left his purse at home. In short, the old
_café_ of the Rue des Fossés-St.-Ger-main (its old name) was famous as
the meeting-place of celebrities. Legendre, the great geometrician,
came hither. One remembers the verses of Masset: "Je joue aux
dominos quelquefois chez Procope." Here Gambetta made speeches to the
reactionist politicians and journalists. He engaged in more than one
prise de bec with le père Coquille, friend of Veuillot. Coquille always
made sprightly and spirited replies when Gambetta roared, thundered, and
swore.

Since then have followed days of calm. In later times Paul Verlaine was
a frequenter of the Procope, where he would sit in his favorite place
in the little rear salon at Voltaire's table. This little salon, in the
rear of the _café_, is held sacred, for its chair and table are the
ones that Voltaire used to occupy. The table is on one side of the small
room. On the walls are many interesting sketches in oil by well-known
French artists, and there are fine ceiling decorations; but all these
are seen with difficulty, so dim is the light in the room. Since
Voltaire's time this table has become an object of curiosity and
veneration. When celebrated habitués of the _café_ died this table was
used as an altar, upon which for a time reposed the bust of the decedent
before crêpe-covered lanterns.

During the Revolution Hébert jumped upon this table, which had been
placed before the door of the _café_, and harangued the crowd gathered
there, exciting them to such a pitch that they snatched the newspapers
from the hands of the news-venders. In a moment of passionate appeal he
brought down his heavy boot-heel upon the marble with such force as to
split it.

In the _café_ are three doors that are decorated in a very interesting
fashion. On the panels of one, well preserved in spite of the numerous
transformations through which the establishment has gone, M. Théo
conceived the happy idea of inscribing in gold letters the names of the
illustrious who have visited the _café_ since its founding. Many of the
panels of the Avails are taken with full-length portraits by Thomas,
representing, among others, Voltaire, Rousseau, Robespierre, Diderot,
Danton and Marat playing chess, Mirabeau, and Gambetta. There are
smaller sketches by Corot, d'Aubigny, Vallon, Courbet, Willette, and
Roedel. Some of them are not fine specimens of art.

M. Théo is a devoted collector of rare books and engravings. His
library, which contains many very rare engravings of the eighteenth
century and more than one book of priceless value, is open to his
intimate friends only, with whom he loves to ramble through his
treasures and find interesting data of his _café_.



LE MOULIN DE LA GALETTE


BISHOP had been industriously at work upon a large black-and-white
drawing. The subject was a ball-room scene,--of evident low degree,
judging from the abandon of the whirling figures and the queer types
that were depicted. White lace skirts were sweeping high in air,
revealing black-stockinged ankles and gauzy lingerie in a way unknown to
the monde propre.

[Illustration: 8228]

In contrast to the grace and abandon of the female figures were the
coarseness and clumsiness of their male partners.

The work was nearly finished, but Bishop professed to be dissatisfied
with the foreground architecture and with the drawing of a hand
belonging to one of the male dancers. After boring me at length with a
speech on the necessity of having a model for that hand, he sheepishly
asked me if I would pose for the elusive member. It was then that
curiosity prompted me to inquire where he had found the original of this
remarkable scene.

"_Mon enfant sculpteur_," he replied, with the patronizing air of a man
of the world, "this is the Moulin de la Galette."

"And where is that?" I asked.

"I will show you to-morrow night, if you agree."

To-morrow would be Sunday. When it had passed and the evening was come,
and after we had enjoyed two courses of Madame Darblay's juicy gigots
and irresistible beans, with the incomparable sauce afforded by the
presence of the sunny actresses who were there, we walked over to the
Boulevard St.-Jacques and waited for the Montmartre 'bus to come along.
These small, ancient omnibuses are different from the other vehicles of
that breed in Paris, in that instead of having a narrow curved stairway
at the rear leading up to the impériale, there are but three or four
iron foot-rests against the outside of the rear wall, with an iron rod
on either side to cling to in mounting. Now, the traveller who would
reach the impériale must be something of either an acrobat or a sailor,
because, first, as these 'buses do not stop, a running leap has to be
made for the ladder, and, second, because of the pitching and rolling
of the lumbering vehicle, the catching and climbing are not easy. If you
carry a cane or a parcel, it must be held in the teeth until the ascent
is made, for both hands have all they can do in the ladder exercise.

The gleam of the red lamp coming down the street prepared us for a test
of our agility. As only one could mount the ladder at a time, and as I
was the first to attack the feat, Bishop had to run behind for nearly
a block before I could give him the right of way up the ladder. The
conductor registered deux sur l'impériale as we swung to the top and
took seats forward, just behind the driver. Ladies and fat gentlemen are
rarely, or never, found riding on the impériale of the Montmartre line.

We wrapped up in our big warm coats and lay back smoking three-sous
cigars (always three-sous ones on Sunday), and as the driver cracked his
whip and the heavy machine went rolling along, we enjoyed the wonderful
treat of seeing gay Paris of a Sunday night from the top of an omnibus.
There is hardly anything more delightful, particularly from the top of a
St. Jacques-Montmartre 'bus, which generally avoids the broad, brilliant
streets and goes rolling and swaying through the narrow, crooked streets
of old Paris. Here there is hardly room for such a vehicle to pass, and
one is anxious lest one's feet sweep off the gas-lamps that fly past.
An intimate view of the domestic life of Paris presents itself likewise,
for, being on a level with the second story windows, you have flitting
visions of the Parisian ménage in all its freedom and variety. At this
time of the evening the windows are wide open and the dinner-tables are
spread near them, for a view of the street below.

On, on we rumbled, through seemingly interminable miles of crooked
streets, over the gay Boul' Mich', and the Place St.-Michel; across
the river, which reflected the myriads of lights along its walls and
bridges; past the Halles, the greatest marketplace in the world; past
the grand boulevards, a confusing glitter of colors and lights; past
the Folies-Bergère, where flaming posters announced Loie Fuller in the
throes of a fire dance; and at last to the steep grade of Montmartre.
Here a third horse was added to the pair, and slowly we were dragged up
the slope.

At the Boulevard Clichy we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a
terrific uproar; bells, steam-whistles, hand-organs, bands of music,
drums, and calliopes made the bedlam. The streets were blocked with
moving masses of laughing people, and the scene was gayly illuminated
by rows of lamps overhead and on hundreds of stands, merry-go-rounds,
theatres, circuses, museums, and all kinds of catchpenny attractions
that lined the boulevard. For this was the Fête de Clichy. Far down the
street, almost hidden by a curve, could be seen the illuminated arms of
the Moulin Rouge slowly revolving through the night.

Still on and up crawled the 'bus, now in the very heart of Montmartre,
through the lively, crowded, bright streets on the great hill of Paris.
Here are hot-chestnut venders at the corners; fried-potato women,
serving crisp brown chips; street hawkers, with their heavy push-carts;
song-sellers, singing the songs that they sell, to make purchasers
familiar with the airs; flower-girls; gaudy shops; bright restaurants
and noisy _café_s,--all constituting that distinctive quarter of Paris,
Montmartre.

At last the summit of the hill was made, and the panting horses must
have been glad that it was all down-hill ahead. Bishop gave the signal
to alight a block before the desired street was reached, for by the time
we could touch the ground the 'bus had covered that distance on the
down run. Bishop led the way up a dim little street,--the Rue Muller, I
noticed on the wall. It was very steep, and at last ended at the bottom
of a flight of stone steps that seemed to run into the sky. Their length
was marked by lamps glowing one above another in long rows. It was hard
work climbing to the top.

The top at last! We seemed to be among the clouds. Far below us lay the
great shining city, spreading away into distance; and although it was
night, the light of a full moon and untold thousands of lamps in the
streets and buildings below enabled us easily to pick out the great
thoroughfares and the more familiar structures. There was the Opéra,
there the Panthéon, there Notre-Dame, there St.-Sulpice, there the
Invalides, and, uplifted to emulate the eminence on which we stood,
the Tour Eiffel, its revolving searchlight at the apex shining like an
immense meteor or comet with its misty trail stretching out over the
city. The roar of life faintly reached our ears from the vast throbbing
plain, where millions of human mysteries were acting out their
tragedies. The scene was vast, wonderful, entrancing.

Far above us still a maze of rafters, beams, and scaffolding fretted the
sky,--the skeleton of that beautiful but unfinished Church of the Sacré-
Cour, crowning the very summit of Montmartre.

There seemed to be no life here, for not a soul did we meet, and not a
light shone except that of the moon. Bishop guided me through a maze of
steep stony passages, between the walls of dark gardens, turning now
to the right, again to the left, through archways and courts; and I
wondered how he could remember them all. Before I could fully comprehend
our position we were confronted by two black, gaunt, uncanny objects
with long outstretched arms that cut across the sky like giant skeleton
sentinels forbidding our farther advance. But the sounds of lively music
and the glow of rows of white-globed lamps quickly banished the illusion
and advertised the fact that we were in a very material and sensual
world, for they announced the Moulin de la Galette at the foot of
the passage. The spectres against the sky were only very, very old
windmills, relics of the time, three centuries gone, when windmills
crowded the summit of Montmartre to catch all the winds that blew. Now
they stand, stark, dead, silent, and decaying; their stately revolutions
are no more; and the skeleton frames of their fans look down on a
marvellous contrast, the intensely real life of the Galette.

[Illustration: 0234]

We fell in line with many others at the ticket office, and paid the
fifty centimes admission fee (ladies twenty-five centimes). We were
relieved of our hats and canes by a stout old woman in the vestiaire,
who claimed two sous from each. Following the up-hill passage of the
entrance, the walls of which are painted with flowers and garden scenes,
we entered the great ball-room. What a brilliant scene of life and
light!--at first a blur of sound, light, and movement, then gradually
resolving into the simple elements composing it. The floor was covered
with dancers, and the girls were making a generous display of graceful
anatomy. A large band at the farther end of the room, on an inclined
stand, was the vortex of the din. The promenade encircling the hall was
crowded with hatless laughing girls and smooth-faced boys wearing caps
or flat-brimmed low-crowned hats; their trousers fitted tight at the
knees, and their heads were closely cropped. These were strolling in
groups, or watching the dancers, or sitting at the rows of wooden tables
drinking. All within the vast hall had gone to enjoy their Sunday night
as much as possible. To most of the girls this was the one night in
the week when, not tired out from the drudgery of hard work, they could
throw aside all cares and live in the way for which their cramped and
meagre souls yearned. This is a rendezvous for the humble workers of
the city, where they may dress as best they can, exchange their petites
histoires, and abandon themselves to the luxury of the dance; for they
are mostly shop-girls, and blanchisseuses, and the like, who, when
work fails them, have to hover about the dark streets at night, that
prosperous-looking passers-by may be tempted by the pleading of their
dark saucy eyes, or be lured by them to some quiet spot where their
lovers lie in wait with a lithe and competent black slung-shot. No mercy
for the hapless bourgeois then! For the dear Henris and Jacques and
Louises must have their sous for the comforts of life, as well as the
necessities, and such luxuries as tobacco and drink must be considered;
and if the money wherewith all this may be bought is not produced by
Marcelle or Hélène or Marie, she will get a beating for her slothfulness
or lack of skill, and will be driven into the street with a hurting
back to try again. And so Henri, Jacques, or Louis basks in the sun, and
smokes cigarettes with never a care, except that of making his devoted
little mistress perform her duties, knowing well how to retain her
affection by selfishness and brutality.

This night, however, all that was forgotten. It was the one free, happy
night of the week, the night of abandon and the dance, of laughter,
drinking, and jollity, for which one and all had longed for a whole
impatient and dreary week; and Henri, Jacques, and Louis could spend on
drinks with other of their feminine acquaintances the sous that their
mistresses had provided. The band played lustily; the lights shone; the
room was filled with laughter,--let the dance go on!

Stationed in different parts of the room were the big soldiers of the
Garde Municipale, in their picturesque uniform so familiar to all
the theatre-goers of Paris. They were here to preserve order, for the
dancers belong to an inflammable class, and a blaze may spring up at
any moment. Equally valuable as a repressing force was a burly, thick-
necked, powerful man who strolled hither and thither, his glance
everywhere and always veiling a threat. He wore a large badge that
proclaimed him the master of ceremonies. True, he was that, which was
something, but he was a great deal more,--a most astonishingly prompt
and capable bouncer. The male frequenters of the place were evidently
in mortal terror of him, for his commanding size and threatening manner,
and his superbly developed muscles, contrasted strikingly with the
cringing manner and weak bodies of Henri and his kind; and should
he look their way with a momentary steadiness of glance and poise of
figure, their conversation would instantly cease, and they would slink
away.

We seated ourselves at a vacant table that commanded a sweeping view
of the floor and the promenade. A seedy-looking garçon worked his way
through the crowd and took our order for beer; and mean, stale beer it
was. But we did not care for that. Bishop was all afire with enjoyment
of the scene, for, he protested, the place was infinitely rich in types
and character,--the identical types that the great Steinlen loves to
draw. And here is an interesting thing: The girls all were of that chic
and petite order so peculiar to certain classes of Parisian women, some
hardly so high as Bishop's shoulder, which is itself not very high;
and though they looked so small, they were fully developed young women,
though many of them were under twenty. They wore no hats, and for the
most part, unlike their gorgeous sisters of the boulevard _café_s, they
were dressed plainly, wearing black or colored waists and skirts. But
ah!--and here the unapproachable instinct-skill of the French-woman
shows itself,--on these same waists and skirts were placed here and
there, but always just where they ought to be, bows and ribbons; and it
was they that worked the miracle of grace and style. And the girls had
a certain beauty, a beauty peculiar to their class,--not exactly beauty,
but pleasing features, healthy color, and, best of all and explaining
all, an archness of expression, a touch of sauciness, that did for their
faces what the bows and ribbons did for their gowns.

[Illustration:0240]

Near us a large door opened into the garden of the Moulin; it was filled
with trees and benches and tables, and amidst the dark foliage glowed
colored Chinese lanterns, which sifted a soft light upon the revellers
assembled beneath them in the cool evening air. On one side of the
garden stretched Paris far down and away, and on the other side blazed
the Moulin de la Galette through the windows.

A waltz was now being danced. Strange to say, it was the one dismal
feature of the evening, and that was because the French do not know how
to dance it, "reversing" being unknown. And there was an odd variety of
ways in which the men held their partners and the dancers each other.
Some grasped each other tightly about the waist with both arms, or
similarly about the necks or shoulders, and looked straight into each
other's face without a smile or an occasional word. It was all done in
deadly earnest, as a serious work. It was in the quadrille that the
fun came, when the girls varied the usual order by pointing their toes
toward the chandeliers with a swish of white skirts that made the by-
standers cry, "Encore, Marcelle!" The men, yearning for a share of the
applause, cut up all sorts of antics and capers, using their arms
and legs with incredible agility, making grotesque faces, and wearing
hideous false noses and piratical moustaches.

Securing a partner for a dance was the easiest thing possible. Any girl
was eligible,--simply the asking, the assent, and away they went.

Bishop's pencil kept moving rapidly as he caught fleeting notes of
faces, dresses, attitudes--everything--for his unfinished piece at the
studio. A number of promenaders, attracted by his sketching, stopped
to watch him. That dance was now finished, and the dancers separated
wherever they stopped, and turned away to seek their separate friends;
there was no waste of time in escorting the girls to seats, for that
is not fashionable at Montmartre. The girls came flocking about Bishop,
curious over his work, and completely shut out his view. "Oh!" exclaimed
one saucy petite blonde, "let me see my portrait! I saw you sketching me
during the dance."

"_Et moi,--moi aussi!_" cried the others, until Bishop, overwhelmed,
surrendered his book for the inspection of bright, eager eyes.

"Has not monsieur a cigarette?" archly asked a girl with a decided nez
retroussé. "_Oui_," I answered, handing her a packet, from which with
exquisite, unconscious daintiness she selected one. The whole bevy then
made a similar request, and we were soon enveloped in a blue haze.

"_Vous ferez mon portrait, n'est-ce-pas?_" begged a dark-eyed beauty of
Bishop, in a smooth, pleasant voice. She had a striking appearance. A
mass of rebellious black hair strove persistently to fall over her oval
face, and when she would neglect to push it back her eyes, dark and
melancholy, shone through its tangle with a singular wild lustre. Her
skin was dark, almost swarthy, but it was touched with a fine rosy glow
of health and youth. Her features were perfect; the nose was slightly
romanesque, the chin firm, the lips red and sensuous. When she drew our
attention with her request she was standing before us in a rigid, half-
defiant, half-commanding posture; but when she quickly added, "I will
pose for you,--see?" and sat down beside me, opposite Bishop, her
striking native grace asserted itself, for from a statue of bronze she
suddenly became all warmth and softness, every line in her perfect,
lithe figure showing her eagerness, and eloquent with coaxing.

It was clear that Bishop was deeply impressed by the striking picture
that she made; it was her beautiful wild head that fascinated him most.

"No, I am first," insisted a little vixen, hard-featured and determined.
"_Jamais de la vie!" "C'est moi!_" protested others, with such fire
that I feared there would be trouble. The turmoil had the effect of
withdrawing Bishop's attention momentarily from the beautiful tigress
beside me. He smiled in bewilderment. He would be happy to draw them
all, but---- At last he pacified them by proposing to take them in
turn, provided they would be patient and not bother him. To this they
poutingly agreed; and Bishop, paying no more attention to the girl
beside me, rapidly dashed off sketch after sketch of the other girls.
Exclamations of surprise, delight, or indignation greeted each of the
portraits as it was passed round. Bishop was seeking "character," and as
he was to retain the portraits, he made no efforts at flattery.

All this time the dark-eyed one had sat in perfect silence and stillness
beside me, watching Bishop in wonder. She had forgotten her hair, and
was gazing through it with more than her eyes as his pencil worked
rapidly. I studied her as well as I could as she sat all heedless of
my existence. Her lips slightly curved at the corners into a faint
suggestion of a smile, but as Bishop's work kept on and the other girls
monopolized him, the lips gradually hardened. The shadow of her chin
fell upon her smooth throat, not darkening it too much for me to observe
that significant movements within it indicated a struggle with her self-
control. Bishop was now sketching a girl, the others having run off to
dance; they would return in their order. The girl beside me said to me,
in a low voice, without looking at me,--"_Monsieur est Anglais?_"

"No," I answered.

"Ah! Américain?"

"Yes."

"And your friend?" nodding toward Bishop. "American also."

"Is he----" but she suddenly checked herself with odd abruptness, and
then quickly asked, with a shallow pretence of eager interest, "Is
America far from Paris?" And so she continued to quiz me rather
vacantly concerning a great country of whose whereabouts she had not
the slightest idea. Then she was silent, and I imagined that she was
gathering herself for some supreme effort. Suddenly she turned her
marvellous eyes full toward me, swept the wild hair from her face,
looked almost fiercely at me a moment, and, rigid from head to foot,
asked, half angrily, and then held her breath for the answer,--"Is he
married?"

The question was asked so suddenly and so strangely, and with so
commanding a manner, that I had not a moment to consider the wisdom of
lying.

"No," I answered.

She sank back into her chair with a deep breath, all softness and grace
again, and her wild hair fell back over her face.

She had lost all interest in the ball. While her companions were
enjoying themselves in the dance, she sat motionless and silent beside
me, watching Bishop. An uncomfortable feeling had taken possession of
me. Presently I abruptly asked her why she did not dance.

She started. "Dance?" she replied. She looked over the hall, and an
expression of scorn and disgust came into her face. "Not with that
espèce de voyous," she vehemently added; and then she turned to watch
Bishop again.

I now noticed for the first time that a group of the human vampires,
standing apart at a little distance, were watching us closely and
talking in low tones among themselves. My attention had been drawn to
them by a defiant look that the girl had shot at them. One of them
was particularly repulsive. He was rather larger and stronger than the
others. His garb was that of his species,--tight trousers, a négligé
shirt, and a rakish cap being its distinguishing articles. He stood with
his hands in his pockets and his head thrust forward. He had the low,
brutal face of his kind. It was now pale with rage.

I asked the girl what her name was.

"Hélène," she answered, simply.

Her other name?

Oh, just Hélène. Sometimes it was Hélène Crespin, for Crespin was her
lover's name. All this with perfect frankness.

"Where is he?" I asked.

"_C'est lui avec la casquette_," she answered, indicating the brute whom
I have just described, but I had expected that. "I hate him now!" she
vehemently added.

No, she had neither father nor mother; had no recollection of parents.
Sometimes she worked in a printing shop in the Rue Victor Massé when
extra hands were needed.

After the girl who had been posing was dismissed another took her place;
then another, and another, and others; and still others were waiting.
The girl beside me had been watching these proceedings with increasing
impatience. Some of the girls were so delighted that they threw their
arms round Bishop's neck and kissed him. Others called him endearing
names. At last it was evident that the dark girl could bear it no
longer. She had been growing harder and harder, more and more restless.
I continued to watch her narrowly,--she had forgotten my existence.
Gradually the natural rich color in her cheeks deepened, her eyes blazed
through the tangled hair, her lips were set. Suddenly, after a girl had
been more demonstrative than the others, she rose and confronted Bishop.
All this time he had not even looked at her, and that, while making me
uneasy, had made her furious.

We three were alone. True, we were observed by many, for invasions
by foreigners were very rare at the Moulin de la Galette, and we were
objects of interest on that account; and the sketching by Bishop had
sent our fame throughout the hall.

In a low, quiet voice the girl said to Bishop, as he looked up at her
wonderingly,--"You promised to draw mine long ago."

I had never seen my friend more embarrassed than he was at that moment.
He stumbled over his excuses, and then asked her to pose to suit her
fancy. He did it very gently, and the effect was magical. She sank
into her chair and assumed the indolently graceful pose that she had
unconsciously taken when she first seated herself. Bishop gazed at her
in silence a long time before he began the sketch; and then he worked
with a sure and rapid hand. After it was finished he handed it to her.
Instantly she was transfigured. She stared at the picture in wonder
and delight, her lips parted, her chest hardly moving from her nearly
suppressed breathing.

"Do I look like that?" she asked, suspiciously. Indeed, it was an
exquisite little piece of work, for Bishop had idealized the girl and
made a beautiful portrait.

"Did you not see me draw it while looking at you?" he replied, somewhat
disingenuously.

"Will you give it to me?" she asked, eagerly.

"Certainly."

"And will you sign your name to it?"

Bishop cheerfully complied. Then she took it, kissed it, and pressed it
to her bosom; and then, leaning forward, and speaking with a richness
and depth of voice that she had not betrayed before, and in the deepest
earnestness, said,--"_Je vous aime!_"

Bishop, staggered by this forthright declaration of affection, blushed
violently and looked very foolish. But he rallied and assured her that
her love was reciprocated, for who, he asked, could resist so beautiful
a face, so warm a heart? If he had only known, if I could only have told
him! The girl sank back in her chair with a quizzical, doubting smile
that showed perfect white teeth and changed to bright dimples the
suggestion of a smile that fluttered at her mouth-corners. She carefully
folded the sketch and daintily tucked it away in her bosom.

Bishop had now quitted work,--Hélène had seen to that. She had moved her
chair close to his, and, looking him straight in the eyes, was rattling
away in the untranslatable argot of Montmartre. It is not the argot of
the slums, nor that of the thieves, nor that of the students, but that
of Montmartre; and there are no ways of expressing it intelligibly in
English. Presently she became more serious, and with all the coaxing
and pleading of which her ardent, impetuous nature was capable, she
begged,-- "Let me be your model. _Je suis bien faite_, and you can teach
me to pose. You will be kind to me. I have a good figure. I will do
everything, everything for you! I will take care of the studio. I will
cook, I will bring you everything, everything you want. You will let
me live with you. I will love no one else. You will never be sorry nor
ashamed. If you will only----" That is the best translation I can give;
it is certainly what she meant, though it indicates nothing of the
impetuosity, the abandon, the eagerness, the warmth, the savage beauty
that shone from her as she spoke.

Bishop rose to the occasion. He sprang to his feet. "I must dance after
that!" he exclaimed, catching her up, laughing, and dragging her upon
the floor. He could dance superbly. A waltz was being played, and it was
being danced in the stiff and stupid way of the people. Very soon Bishop
and Hélène began to attract general attention, for never before had
Montmartre seen a waltz danced like that. He reversed, and glided,
and threw into the queen of dances all the grace and freedom that it
demands. At first Hélène was puzzled and bewildered; but she was agile
both of mind and body, and under Bishop's sure guidance she put them to
excellent use. Rapidly she caught the grace and spirit of the waltz,
and danced with a verve that she had never known before. Swiftly and
gracefully they skimmed the length of the great hall, then back, and
wherever they went the dancers watched them with astonishment and
delight, and gradually abandoned their own ungraceful efforts, partly in
shame, partly in admiration, and partly with a desire to learn how the
miracle was done. Gradually the floor was wholly abandoned except for
these two, and all eyes watched them. Hélène was happy and radiant
beyond all ways of telling. Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes sparkled,
her lithe figure developed all the ease, grace, and suppleness of a cat.

Some muttered expressions of contempt spoken near me caused me to listen
without turning round. They were meant for my ears, but I gave no heed.
I knew well enough from whom they came,--Crespin and his friends. And
I realized that we were in for it. True, there were the big guards and
there was the capable bouncer, and they would glance my way now and
then, seemingly to let Crespin know that all was understood and that it
must be hands off with him. There was no danger here, but
afterwards--The waltz came to an end, and the two were vigorously
applauded. This was a critical moment, but Bishop handled it adroitly.
He conducted Hélène to a seat remote from our table, bowed low, and left
her, and came over to me. I told him of my fears, but he laughed. He had
got rid of Hélène with perfect address, and perhaps she was nursing an
angry and aching heart after her glorious triumph; perhaps Bishop had
whispered to her something of the danger and suggested that they have
nothing more to do with each other that evening.

[Illustration: 9251]

Presently I saw her start and look round. Crespin was behind her, livid
with rage. She promptly rose and followed him into the garden. Bishop
had not seen the movement. We were near the door leading into the
garden, and by turning a little I could see the couple outside, not
far away. Crespin was standing with a bullying air, and was evidently
cursing her. She had tossed back her hair and was looking him defiantly
in the face. I saw her lips move in speech. Instantly the ruffian dealt
her a violent blow upon the chest, and she staggered back against a
tree, which prevented her falling.

"Come, let us stop that," I said to Bishop. "Hélène's lover is beating
her in the garden." Bishop sprang to his feet and followed me. As he
glanced out the window at the couple, whom I pointed out, he saw Crespin
approach the dazed girl and deal her a terrible blow in the mouth, and
he saw the blood that followed the blow.

We arrived in the garden as a crowd was gathering. Bishop pushed his way
ahead and was about to spring upon the brute, when Hélène saw him. With
a supreme effort she leaped forward, thrust Bishop aside with a command
to mind his own affairs, threw herself into her lover's arms, and kissed
him, smearing his face with her blood. He glared at us, triumphant. The
guards arrived, and Hélène and her lover disappeared among the trees in
the darkness.

"Oh, another unfaithful cocotte!" laughed one in the crowd, explaining
to the guards; and they returned to their drinking and dancing,
remarking, "Beat a woman, and she will love you."

They had all missed the heroism and devotion of Hélène's interference.
It was to keep a knife out of the body of the man she loved that she
smeared her lover's face with her blood. We saw her no more.

We returned to the hall and strolled round the promenade, for we needed
that to become calm again. And the girls mobbed Bishop, for he had
passed out the word that he wanted a model, and that he would pay a
franc an hour. A franc an hour! And so they mobbed him. Was not that
more than they could hope to earn by a whole day's hard work? Yes, they
would all pose gladly, but only in costume, bien entendu! So Bishop was
busy taking down the names of Marcelle, Lorette, Elise, Marie, and the
rest, with the names of the queer and unheard-of streets in which they
lived, mostly in the quarters of Montmartre and the Batignolles.

The can-can was now raging on the floor, and the tired garçons were
dodging about with their glassladen trays. Dancing, making love,
throwing lumps of sugar, the revellers enjoyed themselves.

We left. The moon cast gaunt shadows across the streets from the old
windmills and the trees. We struck out briskly, intending to catch the
last St.-Jacques 'bus home, and with that purpose we threaded the
maze of steep passages and streets on our way to the Rue Muller. Upon
reaching the top of the hill, behind the great skeleton of the Sacred
Heart, where all was silent and still as the grave, we suddenly
discovered the shadowy figures of men slipping out from a dark little
street. We knew what it meant. With a common impulse we sprang forward,
for it was now a run for our lives. I had recognized Crespin in the
lead. With headlong speed we dashed down the steep incline, swinging our
canes to check an attack in the rear. We had dodged out of our proper
way to the Rue Muller, and now it was a matter of speed, endurance, and
luck to reach blindly some street where life and protection might be
found.

A man clutched my coat. I beat him off with my stick, but the skirt of
my coat was hanging loose, nearly ripped off. A cord went whizzing past
me and caught Bishop's hat, but he went sturdily on bareheaded. Stones
flew past us, and presently one caught me a terrific, sickening blow in
the back. I did not fall, but I staggered in my flight, for a strange
heaviness came into my legs, and my head soon began to ache violently.

Crespin was desperately active. I could hear him panting heavily as he
gained upon us. His long shadow, cast by the moon, showed that he was
about to spring upon Bishop. I swung my cane blindly, but with all
my might, and it fell upon his head and laid him low; but he quickly
scrambled to his feet again. The ruffians were now upon us,--they were
better used to the hill than we.

"Separate!" gasped Bishop. "It is our only chance." At the next corner
we suddenly swung apart, taking opposite directions. I plunged on alone,
glad to hear for a time that footfalls were following,--they meant that
the pursuit had not concentrated on Bishop. But after a while I realized
that I was no longer pursued. I stopped and listened. There was no
sound. Weak and trembling, with an aching back and a splitting head, I
sat down in a door-way and rested. That luxury was quickly interrupted
by my reflecting that possibly Bishop had been overtaken; and I knew
what that would mean. I ran back up the hill as rapidly as my weakness
and trembling and pain permitted. At last I found myself at the corner
where we had separated. There was no sound from any direction. I could
only hope for the best and search and listen blindly through this puzzle
of streets and passages.

Presently I realized that I was near the fortifications of Paris,
close to St. Ouen,--that is to say, at the other end of Paris from the
Quartier Latin, which was eight miles away. There was nothing to do
but walk home. It was nearly four o'clock when I arrived. And there was
Bishop in bed, nursing a big lump on his head, made by a flying stone.
He had reached a street where a gendarme was, and that meant safety; and
then he had taken a cab for home, where he was looking very ridiculous
poulticing his lump and making himself sick fretting about me.

[Illustration: 5255]



A NIGHT ON MONTMARTE


[Illustration: 0256]


NEAR the end of a recent December Bishop received a note signed "A.
Herbert Thomp-kins," written at the Hôtel de l'Athénée, saying that the
writer was in Paris for four days with his wife before proceeding to
Vienna to join some friends. It closed by asking, "Could you call at the
hotel this evening, say at seven?"

This note created great excitement at our studio early one morning, the
facteur having climbed six flights of stairs (it being near to New Year)
to deliver it; for Mr. Thompkins was one of Bishop's warmest friends in
America. His unexpected arrival in Paris at this unseasonable time of
the year was indeed a surprise, but a most agreeable one. So Bishop
spent the whole of the afternoon in creasing his best trousers,
ransacking our trunks for a clean collar to wear with my blue-fronted
shirt, polishing his top-hat, and getting his Velasquez whiskers trimmed
and perfumed at the coiffeur's. It was not every day that friends of Mr.
Thompkins's type made their appearance in Paris.

Bishop, after hours spent in absorbing mental work, at last disclosed
his plan to me. Of course he would not permit me to keep out of the
party, and besides, he needed my advice.

[Illustration: 0257]

Here was Mr. Thompkins in Paris, and unless he were wisely guided he
would leave without seeing the city,--except those parts and phases of
it that tourists cannot keep from stumbling over. It would be both a
duty and a pleasure to introduce him to certain things of which he might
otherwise die in ignorance, to the eternal undevelopment of his soul.
But here was the rub: Would Mr. Thompkins care to be so radically
different here for one night--just one night--from what he was at home?
I could not see how any harm could come to Mr. Thompkins or any one else
with sense, nor how Bishop could possibly entertain him in anyway that
would be disagreeable to a man of brains. But Bishop was evidently
keeping something back. For that matter, he never did explain it, and I
have not bothered about inferences. What Mr. Thompkins was at home I do
not know. True, he was very much confused and embarrassed a number of
times during the evening, but one thing I know,--he enjoyed himself
immensely. And that makes me say that no matter what he was at home, he
was a gentleman and philosopher while exploring an outlandish phase of
Parisian Bohemian life that night under our guidance. He had a prim,
precise way of talking, and was delightfully innocent and unworldly. My!
it would have been a sin for him to miss what he saw that night. So I
told Bishop very emphatically that no matter what Mr. Thompkins was at
home, nobody who knew him was likely to see him in Paris at that time
of the year, and that it was Bishop's duty as a friend to initiate
him. Bishop was very happy over my advice; but when he insisted that we
should take a cab for the evening's outing, I sternly reminded him of
the bruises that our funds would receive on New Year's, and thus
curbed his extravagance. He surrendered with a pang, for after all his
preparation he felt like a duke, and for that night, while entertaining
his friend, he wanted to be a duke, not a grubbing student.

We met Mr. Thompkins at the hotel, and I found him a delightful man,
with a pleasant sparkle of the eye and a certain stiffness of bearing.
It was his intention to have us dine with him, but Bishop gently took
him in hand, and gradually gave him to understand that on this night in
a lifetime he was in the hands of his friends, to do as they said, and
to ask no questions. Mr. Thompkins looked a little puzzled, a little
apprehensive, and withal not unwilling to be sacrificed.

The first thing we did was to introduce Mr. Thompkins to a quiet
restaurant famous for its coquilles St.-Jacques; it is in the old Palais
Royal. This is the dinner that Bishop ordered:

Huîtres Portugaises.

Sauterne. Médoc.

Consommé.

Coquilles St.-Jacques.

Macaroni à la Milanaise.

Filet de bouf.

Pommes nouvelles sautées.

Crème petit Suisse.

Eclairs.

Café.

Mr. Thompkins's enjoyment of the meal was as generous as his praise
of Bishop's skill in ordering it, and he declared that the wines
particularly were a rare treat. By the time that dinner had been
finished he was enthusiastic about Paris. He said that it was a
wonderful city, and that he was entirely at our disposal for the night.

"I suppose, gentlemen," he suggested, "that you are going to invite me
to the opera. Now, I have no objections to that, and I am sure I shall
be delighted,--it is only one evening in a lifetime, perhaps. But I
shall insist that you go as my guests."

Bishop laughed merrily, and slapped his friend on the back in a way that
I never should have employed with a man of so much dignity.

"The opera, old man!" cried Bishop. "Why, you blessed idiot, you act
like a tourist! The opera! You can go there any time. To-night we shall
see Paris!" and he laughed again. "The opera!" he repeated. "Oh, my! You
can fall over the opera whenever you please. This is an opportunity for
a tour of discovery."

Mr. Thompkins laughed with equal heartiness, and declared that nothing
would delight him more than to be an explorer--for one night in a
lifetime.

"The Boul' Mich' or Montmartre?" Bishop whispered to me.

"Montmartre," I replied; "Heaven, Death, Hell, and Bruant."

Never had the Avenue de l'Opéra appeared so brilliant and lively as on
that cold, crisp December night, as we strolled towards the boulevards.
Its thousands of lights, its dashing equipages with the jingling harness
of horses drawing handsome women and men to the Opéra, its swiftly
moving cabs and heavy 'buses rolling over the smooth wooden pavement,
the shouts of drivers and the cracking of whips, the throngs of gay
people enjoying the holiday attractions, the endless rows of gaudy
booths lining the street, the flood of light and color everywhere, the
cuirassiers of the Garde Municipale mounted on superb horses standing
motionless in the Place de l'Opéra, their long boots and steel
breastplates and helmets glistening,--these all had their place,--while
the broad stairs of the Opéra were crowded with beautifully gowned women
and fashionable men pouring in to hear Sibyl Sanderson sing in "Samson
and Delilah,"--all this made a wonderful picture of life and beauty, of
color, motion, vivacity, and enjoyment. Above the entrance to the Opéra
red marble columns reflected the yellow light of the gilded foyer and of
the yellow blaze from the Café de la Paix across the way.

We mounted a Montmartre 'bus and were pulled up the hill to the Boul'
Clichy, the main artery of that strange Bohemian mountain with its
eccentric, fantastic, and morbid attractions. Before us, in the Place
Blanche, stood the great Moulin Rouge, the long skeleton arms of the
Red Mill marked with red electric lights and slowly sweeping across the
heavens, while fanciful figures of students and dancing girls looked out
the windows of the mill, and a great crowd of lively, chatting, laughing
people were pushing their way toward the entrance of this famous dance-
hall of Paris. Mr. Thompkins, entranced before the brilliant spectacle,
asked somewhat hesitatingly if we might enter; but Bishop, wise in the
ways of Montmartre, replied,--"Not yet. It is only a little after nine,
and the Moulin does not get wide awake for some hours yet. We have no
time to waste while waiting for that. We shall first visit heaven."

[Illustration: 0263]

Mr. Thompkins looked surprised, but made no response. Presently we
reached the gilded gates of Le Cabaret du Ciel. They were bathed in a
cold blue light from above. Angels, gold-lined clouds, saints, sacred
palms and plants, and other paraphernalia suggestive of the approach to
St. Peter's domain, filled all the available space about the entrée. A
bold white placard, "_Bock, i Franc_," was displayed in the midst of it
all. Dolorous church music sounded within, and the heavens were unrolled
as a scroll in all their tinsel splendor as we entered to the bidding of
an angel.

Flitting about the room were many more angels, all in white robes and
with sandals on their feet, and all wearing gauzy wings swaying from
their shoulder-blades and brass halos above their yellow wigs. These
were the waiters, the garçons of heaven, ready to take orders for
drinks. One of these, with the face of a heavy villain in a melodrama
and a beard a week old, roared unmelodiously,--"The greetings of heaven
to thee, brothers! Eternal bliss and happiness are for thee. Mayst thou
never swerve from its golden paths! Breathe thou its sacred purity and
renovating exaltation. Prepare to meet thy great Creator--and don't
forget the garçon!"

A very long table covered with white extended the whole length of the
chilly room, and seated at it, drinking, were scores of candidates for
angelship,--mortals like ourselves. Men and women were they, and though
noisy and vivacious, they indulged in nothing like the abandon of the
Boul' Mich' _café_s. Gilded vases and candelabra, together with foamy
bocks, somewhat relieved the dead whiteness of the table. The ceiling
was an impressionistic rendering of blue sky, fleecy clouds, and stars,
and the walls were made to represent the noble enclosure and golden
gates of paradise.

[Illustration: 8264]

"Brothers, your orders! Command me, thy servant!" growled a ferocious
angel at our elbows, with his accent de la Villette, and his brass halo
a trifle askew.

Mr. Thompkins had been very quiet, for he was Wonder in the flesh, and
perhaps there was some distress in his lace, but there was courage also.
The suddenness of the angel's assault visibly disconcerted him,--he did
not know what to order. Finally he decided on a verre de Chartreuse,
green. Bishop and I ordered bocks.

"Two sparkling draughts of heaven's own brew and one star-dazzler!"
yelled our angel.

"Thy will be done," came the response from a hidden bar.

Obscured by great masses of clouds, through whose intervals shone golden
stars, an organ continually rumbled sacred music, which had a depressing
rather than a solemn effect, and even the draughts of heaven's own brew
and the star-dazzler failed to dissipate the gloom.

Suddenly, without the slightest warning, the head of St. Peter, whiskers
and all, appeared in a hole in the sky, and presently all of him
emerged, even to his ponderous keys clanging at his girdle. He gazed
solemnly down upon the crowd at the tables and thoughtfully scratched
his left wing. From behind a dark cloud he brought forth a vessel of
white crockery (which was not a wash-bowl) containing (ostensibly) holy
water. After several mysterious signs and passes with his bony hands he
generously sprinkled the sinners below with a brush dipped in the water;
and then, with a parting blessing, he slowly faded into mist.

"Did you ever? Well, well, I declare!" exclaimed Mr. Thompkins,
breathlessly.

[Illustration: 0266]

The royal cortège of the kingdom of heaven was now forming at one end of
the room before a shrine, whereon an immense golden pig sat sedately on
his haunches, looking friendly and jovial, his loose skin and fat jowls
hanging in folds. Lighted candles sputtered about his golden sides. As
the participants in the pageant, all attachés of the place, formed for
the procession, each bowed reverently and crossed himself before the
huge porker. A small man, dressed in a loose black gown and black skull-
cap, evidently made up for Dante, whom he resembled, officiated as
master of ceremonies. He mounted a golden pulpit, and delivered, in a
loud, rasping voice, a tedious discourse on heaven and allied things.
He dwelt on the attractions of heaven as a perpetual summer resort, an
unbroken round of pleasures in variety, where sweet strains of angelic
music (indicating the wheezy organ), together with unlimited stores of
heaven's own sparkling fire of life, at a franc a bock, and beautiful
goldenhaired cherubs, of la Villette's finest, lent grace and perfection
to the scheme.

[Illustration: 8268]

The parade then began its tour about the room, Dante, carrying a staff
surmounted by a golden bull, serving as drum-major. Angel musicians,
playing upon sacred lyres and harps, followed in his wake, but the
dolorous organ made the more noise. Behind the lyre angels came a number
of the notables whom Dante immortalized,--at least, we judged that they
were so intended. The angel garçons closed the cortège, their gauzy
wings and brass halos bobbing in a stately fashion as they strode along.

The angel garçons now sauntered up and gave us each a ticket admitting
us to the angel-room and the other delights of the inner heaven.

"Youarre Eengleesh?" he asked. "Yes? Ah, theece Eengleesh arre verra
genereauz," eyeing his fifty-centime tip with a questioning shrug.
"Can you not make me un franc? Ah, eet ees dam cold in theece laigs,"
pointing to his calves, which were encased in diaphanous pink tights. He
got his franc.

Dante announced in his rasping voice that those mortals wishing to
become angels should proceed up to the angel-room. All advanced and
ascended the inclined passage-way leading into the blue. At the farther
end of the passage sat old St. Peter, solemn and shivering, for it was
draughty there among the clouds. He collected our tickets, gave the
password admitting us to the inner precincts, and resented Bishop's
attempts to pluck a feather from his wings. We entered a large room,
all a glamour of gold and silver. The walls were studded with blazing
nuggets, colored canvas rocks, and electric lights. We took seats on
wooden benches fronting a cleft in the rocks, and waited.

Soon the chamber in which we sat became perfectly dark, the cleft before
us shining with a dim bluish light. The cleft then came to life with a
bevy of female angels floating through the limited ethereal space, and
smiling down upon us mortals. One of the lady angel's tights bagged at
the knees, and another's wings were not on straight; but this did not
interfere with her flight, any more than did the stationary position
of the wings of all. But it was all very easily and gracefully done,
swooping down, soaring, and swinging in circles like so many great
eagles. They seemed to discover something of unusual interest in Mr.
Thompkins, for they singled him out to throw kisses at him. This made
him blush and fidget, but a word from Bishop reassured him,--it was only
once in a lifetime!

After these angels had gyrated for some time, the head angel of the
angel-room requested those who desired to become angels to step forward.
A number responded, among them some of the naughty dancing-girls of
the Moulin Rouge. They were conducted through a concealed door, and
presently we beheld them soaring in the empyrean just as happy and
serene as though they were used to being angels. It was a marvel to see
wings so frail transport with so much ease a very stout young woman from
the audience, and their being fully clothed did not seem to make any
difference.

Mr. Thompkins had sat in a singularly contemplative mood after the
real angels had quit torturing him, and surprised us beyond measure by
promptly responding to a second call for those aspiring to angelhood.
He disappeared with another batch from the Moulin Rouge, and soon
afterwards we saw him floating like an airship. He even wore his hat.
To his disgust and chagrin, however, one of the concert-hall angels
persisted in flying in front of him and making violent love to him.
This brought forth tumultuous applause and laughter, which completed
Mr. Thompkins's misery. At this juncture the blue cleft became dark, the
angel-room burst into light, and soon Mr. Thompkins rejoined us.

As we filed out into the passage Father Time stood with long whiskers
and scythe, greeted us with profound bows, and promised that his scythe
would spare us for many happy years did we but drop sous into his hour-
glass.

There was no conversation among us when we emerged upon the boulevard,
for Mr. Thompkins was in a retrospective frame of mind. Bishop embraced
the opportunity to lead us up the Boulevard Clichy to the Place Pigalle.
As we neared the Place we saw on the opposite side of the street two
flickering iron lanterns that threw a ghastly green light down upon the
barred dead-black shutters of the building, and caught the faces of the
passers-by with sickly rays that took out all the life and transformed
them into the semblance of corpses. Across the top of the closed black
entrance were large white letters, reading simply: "_Cafe du Néant_"

The entrance was heavily draped with black cerements, having white
trimmings,--such as hang before the houses of the dead in Paris. Here
patrolled a solitary croque-mort, or hired pall-bearer, his black cape
drawn closely about him, the green light reflected by his glazed
top- hat. A more dismal and forbidding place it would be difficult to
imagine. Mr. Thompkins paled a little when he discovered that this was
our destination,--this grisly caricature of eternal nothingness,--and
hesitated at the threshold. Without a word Bishop firmly took his arm
and entered. The lonely croque-mort drew apart the heavy curtain and
admitted us into a black hole that proved later to be a room. The
chamber was dimly lighted with wax tapers, and a large chandelier
intricately devised of human skulls and arms, with funeral candles held
in their fleshless fingers, gave its small quota of light.

Large, heavy, wooden coffins, resting on biers, were ranged about
the room in an order suggesting the recent happening of a frightful
catastrophe. The walls were decorated with skulls and bones, skeletons
in grotesque attitudes, battle-pictures, and guillotines in action.
Death, carnage, assassination were the dominant note, set in black
hangings and illuminated with mottoes on death. A half-dozen voices
droned this in a low monotone:

"Enter, mortals of this sinful world, enter into the mists and
shadows of eternity. Select your biers, to the right, to the left;
fit yourselves comfortably to them, and repose in the solemnity and
tranquillity of death; and may God have mercy on your souls!"

A number of persons who had preceded us had already pre-empted their
coffins, and were sitting beside them awaiting developments and enjoying
their consommations, using the coffins for their real purpose,--tables
for holding drinking-glasses. Alongside the glasses were slender tapers
by which the visitors might see one another.

[Illustration: 0273]

There seemed to be no mechanical imperfection in the illusion of a
charnel-house; we imagined that even chemistry had contributed its
resources, for there seemed distinctly to be the odor appropriate to
such a place.

We found a vacant coffin in the vault, seated ourselves at it on rush-
bottomed stools, and awaited further developments.

[Illustration: 8274]

Another croque-mort--a garçon he was--came up through the gloom to take
our orders. He was dressed completely in the professional garb of a
hearse-follower, including claw-hammer coat, full-dress front, glazed
tile, and oval silver badge. He droned,--"_Bon soir, Macchabées! * Buvez
les crachats d'asthmatiques, voilà des sueurs froides d'agonisants.
Prenez donc des certificats de décès, seulement vingt sous. C'est pas
cher et c'est artistique!_"

* This word (also Maccabe, argot Macabit) is given in Paris by sailors
to cadavers found floating in the river.

Bishop said that he would be pleased with a lowly bock. Mr. Thompkins
chose cherries à l'eau-de-vie, and I, une menthe.

"One microbe of Asiatic cholera from the last corpse, one leg of a
lively cancer, and one sample of our consumption germ!" moaned the
creature toward a black hole at the farther end of the room.

Some women among the visitors tittered, others shuddered, and Mr.
Thompkins broke out in a cold sweat on his brow, while a curious
accompaniment of anger shone in his eyes. Our sleepy pallbearer soon
loomed through the darkness with our deadly microbes, and waked the
echoes in the hollow casket upon which he set the glasses with a thump.

"Drink, Macchabées!" he wailed: "drink these noxious potions, which
contain the vilest and deadliest poisons!"

"The villain!" gasped Mr. Thompkins; "it is horrible, disgusting,
filthy!"

The tapers flickered feebly on the coffins, and the white skulls grinned
at him mockingly from their sable background. Bishop exhausted all
his tactics in trying to induce Mr. Thompkins to taste his bran-died
cherries, but that gentleman positively refused,--he seemed unable to
banish the idea that they were laden with disease germs.

After we had been seated here for some time, getting no consolation
from the utter absence of spirit and levity among the other guests, and
enjoying only the dismay and trepidation of new and strange arrivals, a
rather good-looking young fellow, dressed in a black clerical coat,
came through a dark door and began to address the assembled patrons. His
voice was smooth, his manner solemn and impressive, as he delivered a
well-worded discourse on death. He spoke of it as the gate through
which we must all make our exit from this world,--of the gloom, the
loneliness, the utter sense of helplessness and desolation. As he warmed
to his subject he enlarged upon the follies that hasten the advent of
death, and spoke of the relentless certainty and the incredible variety
of ways in which the reaper claims his victims. Then he passed on to the
terrors of actual dissolution, the tortures of the body, the rending of
the soul, the unimaginable agonies that sensibilities rendered acutely
susceptible at this extremity are called upon to endure. It required
good nerves to listen to that, for the man was perfect in his rôle. From
matters of individual interest in death he passed to death in its larger
aspects. He pointed to a large and striking battle scene, in which the
combatants had come to hand-to-hand fighting, and were butchering one
another in a mad lust for blood. Suddenly the picture began to glow, the
light bringing out its ghastly details with hideous distinctness. Then
as suddenly it faded away, and where fighting men had been there were
skeletons writhing and struggling in a deadly embrace.

A similar effect was produced with a painting giving a wonderfully
realistic representation of an execution by the guillotine. The bleeding
trunk of the victim lying upon the flap-board dissolved, the flesh
slowly disappearing, leaving only the white bones. Another picture,
representing a brilliant dance-hall filled with happy revellers, slowly
merged into a grotesque dance of skeletons; and thus it was with the
other pictures about the room.

All this being done, the master of ceremonies, in lugubrious tones,
invited us to enter the chambre de la mort. All the visitors rose, and,
bearing each a taper, passed in single file into a narrow, dark passage
faintly illuminated with sickly green lights, the young man in clerical
garb acting as pilot. The cross effects of green and yellow lights
on the faces of the groping procession were more startling than
picturesque. The way was lined with bones, skulls, and fragments of
human bodies.

[Illustration: 0277]

"O Macchabées, nous sommes devant la porte de la chambre de la mort!"
wailed an unearthly voice from the farther end of the passage as we
advanced. Then before us appeared a solitary figure standing beneath a
green lamp. The figure was completely shrouded in black, only the eyes
being visible, and they shone through holes in the pointed cowl. From
the folds of the gown it brought forth a massive iron key attached to
a chain, and, approaching a door seemingly made of iron and heavily
studded with spikes and crossed with bars, inserted and turned the key;
the bolts moved with a harsh, grating noise, and the door of the chamber
of death swung slowly open.

"O Macchabées, enter into eternity, whence none ever return!" cried the
new, strange voice.

The walls of the room were a dead and unrelieved black. At one side two
tall candles were burning, but their feeble light was insufficient even
to disclose the presence of the black walls of the chamber or indicate
that anything but unending blackness extended heavenward. There was not
a thing to catch and reflect a single ray of the light and thus become
visible in the blackness.

Between the two candles was an upright opening in the wall; it was of
the shape of a coffin. We were seated upon rows of small black caskets
resting on the floor in front of the candles. There was hardly a whisper
among the visitors. The black-hooded figure passed silently out of view
and vanished in the darkness.

Presently a pale, greenish-white illumination began to light up the
coffin-shaped hole in the wall, clearly marking its outline against the
black. Within this space there stood a coffin upright, in which a pretty
young woman, robed in a white shroud, fitted snugly. Soon it was evident
that she was very much alive, for she smiled and looked at us saucily.
But that was not for long. From the depths came a dismal wail:

"O Macchabée, beautiful, breathing mortal, pulsating with the warmth and
richness of life, thou art now in the grasp of death! Compose thy soul
for the end!"

Her face slowly became white and rigid; her eyes sank; her lips
tightened across her teeth; her cheeks took on the hollowness of
death,-- she was dead. But it did not end with that. From white the face
slowly grew livid... then purplish black.... The eyes visibly shrank
into their greenish-yellow sockets.... Slowly the hair fell away....
The nose melted away into a purple putrid spot. The whole face became a
semi- liquid mass of corruption. Presently all this had disappeared, and
a gleaming skull shone where so recently had been the handsome face of
a woman; naked teeth grinned inanely and savagely where rosy lips had
so recently smiled. Even the shroud had gradually disappeared, and an
entire skeleton stood revealed in the coffin.

The wail again rang through the silent vault:

"Ah, ah, Macchabée! Thou hast reached the last stage of dissolution,
so dreadful to mortals. The work that follows death is complete. But
despair not, for death is not the end of all. The power is given to
those who merit it, not only to return to life, but to return in any
form and station preferred to the old. So return if thou deservedst and
desirest."

[Illustration: 0280]

With a slowness equal to that of the dissolution, the bones became
covered with flesh and cerements, and all the ghastly steps were
reproduced reversed. Gradually the sparkle of the eyes began to shine
through the gloom; but when the reformation was completed, behold!
there was no longer the handsome and smiling young woman, but the sleek,
rotund body, ruddy cheeks, and self-conscious look of a banker. It was
not until this touch of comedy relieved the strain that the rigidity
with which Mr. Thompkins had sat between us began to relax, and a smile
played over his face,--a bewildered, but none the less a pleasant,
smile. The prosperous banker stepped forth, sleek and tangible, and
haughtily strode away before our eyes, passing through the audience
into the darkness. Again was the coffin-shaped hole in the wall dark and
empty.

He of the black gown and pointed hood now emerged through an invisible
door, and asked if there was any one in the audience who desired to
pass through the experience that they had just witnessed. This created a
suppressed commotion; each peered into the face of his neighbor to find
one with courage sufficient for the ordeal. Bishop suggested to Mr.
Thompkins in a whisper that he submit himself, but that gentleman very
peremptorily declined. Then, after a pause, Bishop stepped forth and
announced that he was prepared to die. He was asked solemnly by the
doleful person if he was ready to accept all the consequences of his
decision. He replied that he was. Then he disappeared through the black
wall, and presently appeared in the greenish-white light of the open
coffin. There he composed himself as he imagined a corpse ought, crossed
his hands upon his breast, suffered the white shroud to be drawn about
him, and awaited results,--after he had made a rueful grimace that threw
the first gleam of suppressed merriment through the oppressed audience.
He passed through all the ghastly stages that the former occupant of the
coffin had experienced, and returned in proper person to life and to his
seat beside Mr. Thompkins, the audience applauding softly.

A mysterious figure in black waylaid the crowd as it filed out. He held
an inverted skull, into which we were expected to drop sous through
the natural opening there, and it was with the feeling of relief from a
heavy weight that we departed and turned our backs on the green lights
at the entrance.

What a wonderful contrast! Here we were in the free, wide, noisy,
brilliant world again. Here again were the crowds, the venders, saucy
grisettes with their bright smiles, shining teeth, and alluring glances.
Here again were the bustling _café_s, the music, the lights, the life,
and above all the giant arms of the Moulin Rouge sweeping the sky.

"Now," quietly remarked Bishop, "having passed through death, we will
explore hell."

Mr. Thompkins seemed too weak, or unresisting, or apathetic to protest.
His face betrayed a queer mixture of emotions, part suffering, part
revulsion, part a sort of desperate eagerness for more.

[Illustration: 0284]

We passed through a large, hideous, fanged, open mouth in an enormous
face from which shone eyes of blazing crimson. Curiously enough, it
adjoined heaven, whose cool blue lights contrasted strikingly with
the fierce ruddiness of hell. Red-hot bars and gratings through which
flaming coals gleamed appeared in the walls within the red mouth. A
placard announced that should the temperature of this inferno make one
thirsty, innumerable bocks might be had at sixty-five centimes each. A
little red imp guarded the throat of the monster into whose mouth we had
walked; he was cutting extraordinary capers, and made a great show of
stirring the fires. The red imp opened the imitation heavy metal door
for our passage to the interior, crying,--"Ah, ah, ah! still they come!
Oh, how they will roast!" Then he looked keenly at Mr. Thompkins. It was
interesting to note how that gentleman was always singled out by these
shrewd students of humanity. This particular one added with great gusto,
as he narrowly studied Mr. Thompkins, "Hist! ye infernal whelps; stir
well the coals and heat red the prods, for this is where we take our
revenge on earthly saintliness!"

"Enter and be damned,--the Evil One awaits you!" growled a chorus of
rough voices as we hesitated before the scene confronting us.

Near us was suspended a caldron over a fire, and hopping within it were
half a dozen devil musis dans, male and female, playing a selection from
"Faust" on stringed instruments, while red imps stood by, prodding with
red-hot irons those who lagged in their performance.

Crevices in the walls of this room ran with streams of molten gold and
silver, and here and there were caverns lit up by smouldering fires from
which thick smoke issued, and vapors emitting the odors of a volcano.
Flames would suddenly burst from clefts in the rocks, and thunder
rolled through the caverns. Red imps were everywhere, darting about
noiselessly, some carrying beverages for the thirsty lost souls, others
stirring the fires or turning somersaults. Everything was in a high
state of motion.

Numerous red tables stood against the fiery walls; at these sat the
visitors. Mr. Thompkins seated himself at one of them. Instantly
it became aglow with a mysterious light, which kept flaring up and
disappearing in an erratic fashion; flames darted from the walls, fires
crackled and roared. One of the imps came to take our order; it was
for three coffees, black, with cognac; and this is how he shrieked the
order:

"Three seething bumpers of molten sins, with a dash of brimstone
intensifier!" Then, when he had brought it, "This will season your
intestines, and render them invulnerable, for a time at least, to the
tortures of the melted iron that will be soon poured down your throats."
The glasses glowed with a phosphorescent light. "Three francs seventy-
five, please, not counting me. Make it four francs. Thank you well.
Remember that though hell is hot, there are cold drinks if you want
them."

Presently Satan himself strode into the cavern, gorgeous in his imperial
robe of red, decked with blazing jewels, and brandishing a sword from
which fire flashed. His black moustaches were waxed into sharp points,
and turned rakishly upward above lips upon which a sneering grin
appeared. Thus he leered at the new arrivals in his domain. His
appearance lent new zest to the activity of the imps and musicians, and
all cowered under his glance. Suddenly he burst into a shrieking laugh
that gave one a creepy feeling. It rattled through the cavern with a
startling effect as he strode up and down. It was a triumphant, cruel,
merciless laugh. All at once he paused in front of a demure young
Parisienne seated at a table with her escort, and, eying her keenly,
broke into this speech:

"Ah, you! Why do you tremble? How many men have you sent hither to
damnation with those beautiful eyes, those rosy, tempting lips? Ah, for
all that, you have found a sufficient hell on earth. But you," he added,
turning fiercely upon her escort, "you will have the finest, the most
exquisite tortures that await the damned. For what? For being a fool. It
is folly more than crime that hell punishes, for crime is a disease and
folly a sin. You fool! For thus hanging upon the witching glance and
oily words of a woman you have filled all hell with fuel for your
roasting. You will suffer such tortures as only the fool invites,
such tortures only as are adequate to punish folly. Prepare for the
inconceivable, the unimaginable, the things that even the king of
hell dare not mention lest the whole structure of damnation totter and
crumble to dust."

The man winced, and queer wrinkles came into the corners of his mouth.
Then Satan happened to discover Mr. Thompkins, who shrank visibly under
the scorching gaze. Satan made a low, mocking bow.

"You do me great honor, sir," he declared, unctuously. "You may have
been expecting to avoid me, but reflect upon what you would have missed!
We have many notables here, and you will have charming society. They
do not include pickpockets and thieves, nor any others of the weak,
stunted, crippled, and halting. You will find that most of your
companions are distinguished gentlemen of learning and ability, who,
knowing their duty, failed to perform it. You will be in excellent
company, sir," he concluded, with another low bow. Then, suddenly
turning and sweeping the room with a gesture, he commanded, "To the
hot room, all of you!" while he swung his sword, from which flashes of
lightning trailed and thunder rumbled.

We were led to the end of a passage, where a red-hot iron door barred
further progress.

"Oh, oh, within there!" roared Satan. "Open the portal of the hot
chamber, that these fresh arrivals may be introduced to the real
temperature of hell!"

[Illustration: 0290]

After numerous signals and mysterious passes the door swung open, and
we entered. It was not so very hot after all. The chamber resembled the
other, except that a small stage occupied one end. A large green snake
crawled out upon this, and suddenly it was transformed into a red devil
with exceedingly long, thin legs, encased in tights that were ripped
in places. He gave some wonderful contortion feats. A poor little white
Pierrot came on and assisted the red devil in black art performances. By
this time we discovered that in spite of the halfmolten condition of
the rock-walls, the room was disagreeably chilly. And that ended our
experience in hell.

Bishop then led us to the closed, dark front of a house in front of
which stood a suspicious-looking man, who eyed us contemptuously. Bishop
told him that we should like to enter. The man assented with a growl. He
beat upon the door with a stick; a little wicket opened, and a villanous
face peered out at us.

"What do you want?" came from it in gruff tones.

"To enter, of course," responded Bishop.

"Are they, all right, do you think?" asked the face of the sentinel.

"I think they are harmless," was the answer.

Several bolts and locks grated, and the stubborn door opened.

"Enter, you vile specimens of human folly!" hissed the inside guard as
we passed within. "D------all three of you!"

We had no sooner found ourselves inside than this same person, a short,
stout man, with long hair and a powerful frame, and the face of a
cutthroat, struck a table with the heavy stick that he carried, and
roared to us,--"Sit down!"

Mr. Thompkins involuntarily cowered, but he gathered himself up and
went with us to seats at the nearest table. While we were doing this the
habitués of the place greeted us with this song, sung in chorus:

                   "Oh, là là! c'te gueule--

                        C'te binette.

                   Oh, là là, c'te gueule,

                        Qu'il a."

"What are they saying?" asked Mr. Thompkins; but Bishop spared him by
explaining that it was only the latest song.

[Illustration: 0294]

The room had a low ceiling crossed by heavy beams. Wrought-iron gas
lamps gave a gloomy light upon the dark, time-browned color of the
place. The beams were loaded with dust, cobwebs, and stains, the result
of years of smoke and accumulation. Upon the walls were dozens of
drawings by Steinlen, illustrating the poems of low life written by the
proprietor of the _café_; for we were in the den of the famous Aristide
Bruant, the poet of the gutter,--Verlaine had a higher place as the poet
of the slums. There were also drawings by Chéret, Willett, and others,
and some clever sketches in oil; the whole effect was artistic. In one
corner was an old fireplace, rich in carvings of grotesque heads and
figures, grilled iron-work, and shining copper vessels. The general
impression was of a mediaeval gun-room.

Near the fireplace, upon a low platform, was a piano; grouped about it
were four typical Bohemians of lower Bohemia; they wore loads of hair;
their faces had a dissipated look, their fingers were heavily stained by
cigarettes; they wore beards and négligé black cravats. These were all
minor poets, and they took their turn in singing or reciting their own
compositions, afterwards making a tour of the crowded tables with a tin
cup and collecting the sous upon which they lived, and roundly cursing
those who refused to contribute.

Bishop was so delighted with the pictures on the walls that he proceeded
to examine them, but the bully with the stick thundered,--"Sit down!"
and shook his bludgeon menacingly. Bishop sat down.

Then the brute swaggered up to us and demanded,--"What the devil do you
want to drink, anyway? Speak up quick!" When he had brought the drinks
he gruffly demanded, "Pay up!" Upon receiving the customary tip he
frowned, glared at us with a threatening manner, and growled, "Humph!
_c'est pas beaucoup!_" and swept the money into his pocket.

"Goodness! this is an awful place!" exclaimed Mr. Thompkins under his
breath. He seemed to fear being brained at any moment. Retreat had been
rendered impossible by the locking of the door.

We were prisoners at the will of our jailer, and so were all the others.

The great Bruant himself sat with a party of congenial Bohemians at a
table near the piano and fireplace; they were drinking bocks and smoking
cigarettes and long-stemmed pipes. On the wall behind them was a rack
holding the pipes of the habitués of the _café_, mostly broken and well
browned. Each pipe was owned by a particular Bohemian, and each had its
special place in the rack. The other tables held a general assortment
of lesser Bohemians and sight-seers, all cowed and silent under the
domination of the bawling ruffian with the stick. Whenever he smiled
(which was rare, a perpetual frown having creased a deep furrow between
his eyes) they smiled also, in great relief, and hung upon every word
that his occasional lapses into an approach to good nature permitted him
to utter.

The poets and singers howled their productions in rasping voices, and
put a strain upon the strength of the piano; and the minor Bohemians
applauded them heartily and envied them their distinction.

In the midst of this performance there came a knock upon the door.
The bully walked up to the wicket, peered out, and admitted an elderly
gentleman, accompanied by a lady, evidently his wife. These the habitués
greeted with the following song:

               "Tout les clients sont des cochons--

                   La faridon, la faridon donne.


               Et surtout les ceux qui s'en vont--

                   La faridon, la faridon donne."

The gentleman, somewhat abashed by this reception, hesitated a moment,
then sought seats. The two had hardly seated themselves when the burly
ruffian with the stick began to recite a villanous poem reflecting
upon the chastity of married women, emphasizing it with atrocious side
remarks. The gentleman sprang from his seat in a rage and advanced
threateningly upon the brute, who stood leering at him and taking a
firmer hold upon his stick; but the visitor's wife caught the outraged
man by the arm and restrained him. A wordy war ensued (for the gentleman
was a Frenchman), in which the choicest argot of Montmartre and La
Villette was exhausted by the ruffian. He closed by shouting,--"You were
not invited to enter here. You asked the privilege of entering; your
wish was granted. If you don't like it here, get out!"

The gentleman flung down a franc upon the table, the bolts were
withdrawn, and he and his wife passed out while the roysterers sang,--

                   Tout les clients sont des cochons," etc.,

amid the laughter of the smaller Bohemians.

Aristide Bruant now rose from his table and strode to the centre of the
room. A perfect silence fell. He is rather a small man, slender, and of
delicate build; he has a thin, sallow face, with piercing black eyes,
prominent cheek-bones, and long raven-black hair falling over his
shoulders from beneath a broad black slouch hat down over his eyes. His
unbuttoned coat showed a red flannel shirt open at the throat; a broad
sash was about his waist; his trousers were tucked into top-boots,--the
ensemble reminding one of Buffalo Bill. He glared sullenly round upon
the people, and then sprang lightly upon a table. From that perch
he recited one of his poems, selected from his book of songs and
monologues. It does not bear reproduction here. For that matter, being
written in the argot of Montmartre, it could hardly be understood even
by French scholars unfamiliar with Montmartre.

Happily Mr. Thompkins understood not a word of it, smiling perfunctorily
out of politeness while Bruant was uttering things that might have
shocked the most hardened Parisians. There were several young women
present, and while Bruant was reciting they ogled him with genuine
adoration. The other poets hung reverently upon his every word.

A mighty burst of applause greeted the finish of the recitation; but
Bruant slouched indifferently to his seat, ignoring the ovation.
The bully with the stick immediately stopped the noise by yelling,
"Silence!" This he followed up with the contribution-cup for the
benefit of the idol of Montmartre. With the cup he brought the volume
of Bruant's poems from which he had given the recitation,--a cheaply
printed pamphlet. No one dared refuse to buy, and no change was
returned. Was not this the great Aristide Bruant, the immortal of
Montmartre?

[Illustration: 0300]

He was followed by other poets with songs and the banging of the piano.
We presently rose to leave, but the bully shouted,--"Sit down! How dare
you insult the young poet who is now singing?" We submissively resumed
our seats. After a while, in a lull, we respectfully rose again, and the
bully, shouting, "Get out!" unbarred the door and we were free.

Mr. Thompkins was more deeply puzzled than he had been before that
night. He could not understand that such a resort, where one is bullied
and insulted, could secure patronage.

"But this is Paris, Mr. Thompkins," explained Bishop, somewhat vaguely;
"and this particular part of Paris is Montmartre."

Midnight was now close at hand, but Montmartre was in the height of
its gayety. Students, Bohemians, and cocottes were skipping and singing
along the boulevard,--singing the songs of Bruant. The _café_s were
crowded, the theatres and concert halls only in the middle of their
programmes. Cabs were dashing about, some stopping at the Moulin Rouge,
others at the Elysée Montmartre, still others picking up fares for more
distant attractions.

Bishop halted in front of a quiet-looking house with curtained windows,
and bluntly asked Mr. Thompkins if he would like to go to church. Mr.
Thompkins caught his breath, and an odd, guilty look came into his face.
But before he could make reply Bishop was leading the way within. The
interior of the place certainly looked like a church,--it was fitted
to have that significance. The cold, gray stone walls rose to a vaulted
Gothic ceiling; Gothic pillars and arches and carved wood completed
the architectural effect; statues of saints appeared in niches, some
surmounted by halos of lighted candles; and there were banners bearing
scriptural mottoes.

[Illustration: 9303]

The heavy oaken tables on the floor were provided with stiff, high-
backed pulpit-chairs, beautiful in color and carving, and of a Gothic
type, the whole scene suggesting a transept of Notre-Dame. Mr. Thomp-
kins had reverently removed his hat. It was not long afterward that
he quietly replaced it on his head. No notice was taken by us of these
movements.

At the farther end, where the church altar belonged, was indeed a
handsomely carved altar. Above it sprang a graceful arch, bearing a
canopy beautifully painted in blue, with yellow stars. In the centre was
a painting of Christ upon the cross. The altar was the bar, or caisse,
of this queer _café_, and behind it sat the proprietress, quietly
knitting and waiting to fill orders for drinks. The walls of the _café_
were almost entirely covered with framed drawings by Rodel; all were
portraits of well-known Bohemians of Montmartre in characteristic
attitudes,--the star patrons of this rendezvous. Many women figured
among them, all Bohemian to the bone.

[Illustration: 0304]

This was the Café du Conservatoire, famous for its celebrities, the
poets of Bohemian Paris, among whom Marcel Legay is eminent. It was
evident that the habitués of the Conservatoire were of a much higher
order than those whom we had seen elsewhere.

[Illustration: 8306]

They looked more prosperous, were more amiable, and acted more as other
people.

True, there was much long hair, for that is a disease hard to shake off;
but when it did occur, it was well combed and oiled. And there were
many flat-brimmed "plug" hats, as well as collars,--clean ones, too,
an exceptional thing in Bohemia, laundering being expensive. But the
poverty-haunted Bohemians in the Soleil d'Or are more picturesque. That,
however, is in the Latin Quarter: anything exceptional may be expected
at Montmartre.

When we had finished our coffee we approached the patronne behind the
bar, and bought billets for the Salle des Poètes at two francs each.
This was a large room crowded with enraptured listeners to Legay, who
was at that moment rendering his song.


LES CLOCHES.


               "Les cloches Catholiques,

                   Du haut de leur beffroi,

                   Voyaient avec effroi

               La résurrection des Grandes Républiques.


                        Les cloches rêvaient,

                   En quatre-vingt onze,

                   Les cloches de bronze

                        Rêvaient."


Legay had quite a distinguished appearance as he stood singing before
the piano. He wore a generously cut frock-coat, and his waistcoat
exposed a spacious show of white shirt-front.

[Illustration: 9307]

His long hair was carefully brushed back, his moustaches neatly waxed;
altogether he was dainty and jaunty, and the ladies in the room made no
concealment of their adoration.

The accompanist was a picturesque character. He was forty-five or fifty
years of age; he had long white hair and a drooping moustache, and his
heavy protruding eyes were suffused with tears evoked by the pathos of
the song. While he gazed up into the singer's face with tear-filled eyes
he was in another life, another world, where there was nothing but
music and poetry unalloyed to constitute his heaven. For Legay sang
charmingly, with an art and a feeling that were never obtrusive; and
his audience was aesthetic. When he had finished he was cheered without
stint, and he clearly showed how much the attention pleased him.

[Illustration: 8308]

His song was only one of the numbers on a very interesting programme.
This was the training school of the young poets and song-writers of
upper Bohemia; this was where they made their début and met the test
of that discriminating criticism which decided them to advance upon the
world or conceal themselves for yet a while from its cruel glare; and
were they not but repeating the ordeal of the ancient Greeks, out of
which so many noble things passed into literature? These critics were as
frank with their disapproval as generous with their acceptance.

Among those who sang were Gustave Corbet, Marius Geffroy, Eugene
Lemercier, Xavier Privas, Delarbre, and Henri Brallet, men as yet
unknown, but likely to make a mark under the training, inspiration, and
severe checks of the Café du Conservatoire. One of the goals for which
these writers strive, and one that, if they win it, means to them
recognition, is to have their poems published in _Gil Blas_, with
illustrations by the peerless Steinlen, as are the works of Legay, and
also of Bruant, le Terrible.

Marcel Legay is a familiar figure on the boulevards, where his dainty
person is often seen after nightfall, hurrying to one or another of his
haunts, with a small roll of music under his arm, and his fluffy hair
streaming over his shoulders. On certain nights of every week he
sings over in the Latin Quarter, at the Cabaret des Noctambules, Rue
Champollion, near the Chapel of the Sorbonne.

The other singers that night at the Café du Conservatoire each affected
his peculiar style of habit, gesture, and pose that he deemed most
fetching. The entire programme was of songs: hence the name, Café du
Conservatoire.

After we had deft, Bishop bought some Brevas cigars; thus fortified, we
headed for the Moulin Rouge.

It was evident that Mr. Thompkins had reserved his enthusiasm for the
great dance-hall of Montmartre,--Le Moulin Rouge,--with its women of the
half world, its giddiness, its glare, its noise, its naughtiness.

[Illustration: 0310]

Here at last we should find all absence of restraint, posing,
sordidness, self-consciousness, and appeals to abnormal appetites. Mr.
Thompkins visibly brightened as we ascended the incline of the entrance
and came within the influence of the life and abandon of the place.
Indeed, it must have seemed like fairy-land to him. The soft glow of
hundreds of lights fell upon the crowds in the ball-room and balconies,
with their shifting streams of color from the moving figures of dancing
women in showy gowns and saucy hats, and its many chatting, laughing,
joyous groups at the tables along the passage and the balconies,
enjoying merry little suppers and varied consommations that kept scores
of garçons continually on the move. A placard announced American Bar;
American and English Drinks--as bald and unashamed as that. Here on high
stools, American free-lunch fashion, ranged along the bar, were English
and American tourists and French dandies sipping Manhattan cocktails
with a cherry, brandy-and-soda, Tom-and-Jerry, and the rest. Along the
walls hung vivid paintings of some of the famous dancing-girls of the
Moulin, their saucy faces half hidden in clouds of lacy white skirts.

High up on a pretty balcony at the end of the huge ball-room were the
musicians, enjoying their cigarettes and bocks between pieces. A small
stage occupied the opposite end of the room, where a light vaudeville
performance had been given; but that was all over now, and attention
centred in the tables and the dancing.

The Moulin Rouge resembles very much the Bul-lier; but at the Moulin
the cocottes are much more dashing and gaudy than over in the Quartier,
because the inspector at the door of the Moulin maintains a more
exacting standard on the score of the toilettes of the women whom he
admits free of charge. Women, women, women! There seemed no end of them;
and each was arrayed to the full limit of her means. And there were
French dandies in long-white melton coats that were very tight at the
waist, and that bore large brown-velvet collars; their hair, parted
behind, was brushed toward their ears; they strolled about the place in
numbers, twirling their moustaches and ogling the girls. And there
were French army officers, Martinique negroes, longhaired students and
Montmartre poets, artists, actors, and many three-days-in-Paris English
tourists wearing knickerbockers and golf-caps, and always smoking
bulldog pipes. There were also two parties of American men with their
wives and daughters, and they enjoyed the spectacle with the natural
fulness and responsiveness of their soil. For the Moulin is really now
but a great show place; it has been discovered by the outside world,
and, unlike the other quaint places mentioned in this paper, has
suffered the change that such contact inevitably imparts. It is no
longer the queer old Moulin, genuinely, spontaneously Bohemian. But the
stranger would hardly realize that; and so to Mr. Thompkins it seemed
the brilliant and showy side of Bohemian Paris. By reason of its change
in character it has less interest than the real Bohemian Paris that the
real Bohemians know, enjoy, and jealously guard.

Many light-footed young women were amusing circles of on-lookers with
spirited dancing and reckless high-kicking; and, being adepts in their
peculiar art, were so flashing and illusory that an attempt to analyze
their movements brought only bewilderment. No bones seemed to hamper
their swiftness and elasticity. The flash of a black stocking would
instantly dissolve into a fleecy cloud of lace, and the whirling air
was a cyclone; and there upon the floor sat the dancer in the "split,"
looking up with a merry laugh, flushed cheeks, and sparkling eyes,
twinkling from the shadow of a twisted toque; then over her would sweep
a whirlwind of other dancers, and identities would become inextricably
confused.

An odd-looking man, with a sad face and marvellously long, thin legs in
tights, did incredible things with those members; he was merely a
long spring without bones, joints, or hinges. His cadaverous face and
glittering black eyes, above which rose a top-hat that never moved from
place, completed the oddity of his appearance. He is always there in the
thickest of the dancing, and his salary is three francs a night.

We suddenly discovered Mr. Thompkins in a most embarrassing situation.
A bewitching chemical blonde of the clinging type had discovered and
appropriated him; she melted all over him, and poured a stream of bad
English into his ear. She was so very, very thirsty, she pleaded, and
Monsieur was so charming, so much a gentleman,--he was beautiful, too.
Oh, Monsieur would not be so unkind as to remove the soft, plump arm
from round his neck,--surely it did not hurt Monsieur, for was it not
warm and plump, and was not that a pretty dimple in the elbow, and
another even prettier in the shoulder? If Monsieur were not so charming
and gracious the ladies would never, never fall in love with him like
this. And oh, Monsieur, the place was so warm, and dancing makes one so
thirsty!

Mr. Thompkins's face was a picture of shame and despair, and I have
never seen a more comical expression than that with which he looked
appealingly to us for help. Suppose some one in the hall should happen
to recognize him! Of course there was only one thing to do. Mademoiselle
Blanche's thirst was of that awful kind which only shipwrecked sailors,
travellers lost in a desert, and _café_ dancing-girls can understand.
And so four glasses of beer were ordered. It was beautiful to see the
grace and celerity with which Mademoiselle Blanche disposed of hers,
the passionate eagerness with which she pressed a long kiss upon Mr.
Thompkins's unwilling lips, and the promptness with which she then
picked up his glass, drained it while she looked at him mischievously
over the rim, kissed him again, and fled.

Mr. Thompkins sat speechless, his face blazing, his whole expression
indescribably foolish. He vigorously wiped his lips with his
handkerchief, and was not himself again for half an hour.

Innumerable bright little comedies were unconsciously played in all
parts of the room, and they were even more interesting than the antics
of the dancers.

We presently strolled into the garden of the Moulin, where a performance
is given in the summer. There stood a great white sheet-iron elephant,
remindful of Coney Island. In one of the legs was a small door, from
which a winding stair led into the body of the beast. The entrance fee
was fifty centimes, the ticket-office at the top of the stair. It was a
small room inside the elephant, and there was a small stage in the end
of it, upon which three young women were exercising their abdominal
muscles in the danse du ventre. Mr. Thompkins, dismayed at this,
would have fled had not Bishop captured him and hauled him back to
a conspicuous seat, where the dancing-girls, quickly finding him,
proceeded to make their work as extravagant as possible, throwing him
wicked glances meanwhile, and manifestly enjoying his embarrassment. Of
course the dancers came round presently for offerings of sous.

We returned to the dance-hall, for it was now closing-up time, and in
order to feel a touch of kinship with America, drank a gin fizz at the
American bar, though it seemed to be a novelty to Mr. Thompkins.

The streets were alive with the revellers who had been turned out by
the closing of the _café_s, dancehalls, and theatres, and the cries of
cabbies rose above the din of laughter and chatter among the crowds. But
the night was not yet quite finished. Said Bishop,--"We shall now have
coffee at the Red Ass."

That was below the Place Pigalle, quite a walk down to the Rue de
Maubeuge, through that suddenly quiet centre of artists' studios and
dignified residences. At last we reached L'Âne Rouage,--the Red Ass.
It has a small and unassuming front, except that the window-panes are
profusely decorated with painted flowers and figures, and a red ass
peers down over the narrow door. L'Âne Rouge has no special distinction,
save its artistic interior and the fanciful sketches on its walls. It
is furnished with heavy dark tables and chairs, and iron grilled into
beautiful scrolls and chandeliers,--like the famous Chat Noir, near by.
In fact, L'Âne Rouge resembles an old curiosity shop more than anything
else, for it is filled with all imaginable kinds of antiques, blackened
by age and smoke, and in perfect harmony. It, too, has its particular
clientèle of Bohemians, who come to puff their long pipes that hang in
racks, and recount their hopes, aspirations, achievements, and failures,
occasionally breaking into song. For this they bring forth their
mandolins and guitars, and sing sentimental ditties of their own
composition. There is a charming air of chez soi at the Red Ass; a
spirit of good-fellowship pervades it; and then, the _café_ is small,
cosey, and comfortable, as well as artistic.

[Illustration: 0318]

It was in a lively commotion when we crossed the threshold, the place
being filled with littérateurs of the quarter. A celebration was in
progress,--one of their number had just succeeded in finding a publisher
for two volumes of his poetry. It was a notable event, and the lucky
Bohemian, flushed with money, had settled his debts and was now treating
his friends. Although we were strangers to him, he cordially invited us
to share the hospitality of the occasion, and there was great applause
when Bishop presented him with a Brevas cigar.

"_Bravo, les Anglais! Ce sont des bons types, ceux-là!_" and then they
sang in chorus, a happy, careless, jolly crowd.

There was a small, thin young sketch artist making crayon portraits of
the successful poet and selling them to the poet's friends for fifty
centimes apiece,--with the poet's autograph, too.

In response to a call for une chanson Anglaise, Bishop sang "Down on the
Farm" as he had never sung it before, his shining top-hat pushed back
upon his curly hair, his jovial face beaming. At its conclusion he
proposed a toast to the successful poet, and it was drunk standing and
with a mighty shout.

We looked in at the Cabaret des Quat'z' Arts,--a bright and showy place,
but hardly more suggestive of student Bohemianism than the other fine
_café_s of the boulevards.

And thus ended a night on Montmartre. We left Mr. Thompkins at his
hotel. I think he was more than satisfied, but he was too bewildered and
tired to say much about it.

Montmartre presents the extravagant side of Parisian Bohemianism. If
there is a thing to be mocked, a convention to be outraged, an idol
to be destroyed, Montmartre will find the way. But it has a taint of
sordidness that the real Bohemianism of the old Latin Quarter
lacks,--for it is not the Bohemianism of the students. And it is vulgar.
For all that, in its rude, reckless, and brazen way it is singularly
picturesque. It is not likely that Mr. Thompkins will say much about it
when he goes home, but he will be able to say a great deal in a general
way about the harm of ridiculing sacred things and turning reverence
into a laugh.

[Illustration: 0321]



MOVING IN THE QUARTIER LATIN


THE Quartier Latin takes on unwonted life about the fifteenth of July,
when the artists and students change their places of abode under the
resistless pressure of a nomadic spirit.

[Illustration: 8322]

Studios are generally taken for terms ranging from three months to a
year, and the terms generally expire in July. The artists who do not
change their residence then go into the country, and that means moving
their effects.

It is a familiar fact that artists do not generally occupy a high
position in the financial world.

Consequently they are a very practical lot, attending to their own
domestic duties (including washing when times are hard), and doing
their own moving when July comes; but this is not a very elaborate
undertaking, the worse of them for that.

One day in July Bishop and I sat in our window overlooking the court,
and observed the comedy of a


A STUDENT MOVING


No one thinks student in the throes of moving. The old building at the
end of our court was a favorite abiding-place for artists. Evidently, on
this day, a young artist or art student was _en déménagement_, for his
household goods were being dragged down the stairs and piled in the
court preparatory to a journey in a small hand-cart standing by. He
was cheerfully assisted by a number of his friends and his devoted
companion, a pretty little grisette. There were eight of them in all,
and their laughter and shouts indicated the royal fun they were having.

The cart was one of those voitures à bras that are kept for hire at a
neighboring location de voitures à bras at six sous an hour. In order to
get locomotion out of it you have to hitch yourself in the harness that
accompanies it, and pull the vehicle yourself; and that is no end of
fun, because your friends are helping and singing all the way.

Into this vehicle they placed a rickety old divan and a very much
dilapidated mattress; then came half a sack of coal, a tiny, rusty,
round studio stove with interminable yards of battered and soot-filled
pipe, a pine table, two rush-bottomed chairs, and a big box filled with
clattering dishes, kettles, pots, and pans. On top of this came a thick
roll of dusty, faded, threadbare hangings and rugs, and the meagre
wardrobes of the artist and the grisette; then a number of hat-boxes,
after which Mademoiselle looked with great solicitude. Last of all
came bulky portfolios filled with the artist's work, a large number of
canvases that were mostly studies of Mademoiselle au naturel, with
such accessories as easel, paint-boxes, and the like, and the linen and
bedding.

The fat old concierge stood grumbling near by, for the ropes were being
tied over the load, and she was anxiously waiting for her _dernier
adieu_, or parting tip, that it is the custom to give upon surrendering
the key. But tips are sometimes hard to give, and Bohemian etiquette
does not regard them with general favor. After the load had been made
snug, the artist approached the concierge, doffed his cap, bowed low,
and then in a most impressively ceremonious manner handed her the key,
avowed that it broke his heart to leave her, and commended her to God.
That was all. There seems to be a special providence attending upon
the vocabulary of concierges in their hour of need. The shrill,
condemnatory, interminable vocalization of this concierge's wrath
indicated specific abilities of exceptional power.

But the artist paid no attention. He hung his coat and "plug" hat on
the inverted table-leg, got between the shafts, hitched himself in the
harness, and sailed out of the court, his friends swarming around and
assisting him to drag the toppling cart away. And this they did with a
mighty will, yelling and singing with a vigor that wholly obliterated
the concierge's noise. The little grisette closed the procession,
bearing in one hand a lamp and in the other a fragile bust. And so the
merry party started, possibly for the other end of Paris,--the greater
the distance the more the fun. They all knew that when the voiture had
been unloaded and all had fallen to and assisted the young couple in
straightening out their new home, there would be a jolly celebration in
the nearest _café_ at the moving artist's expense.

So the start was made fairly and smoothly; but the enthusiasm of the
crowd was so high and the little vehicle was so top-heavy, that at the
end of the passage the comedy seemed about to merge into a tragedy. It
was announced to all the court in the shrill voice of the concierge,
who exultingly screamed,--"The stove has fallen out! and the coal! The
things are falling all over the street! Oh, you villain!"

To the movers themselves it was merely an incident that added to the fun
and zest of the enterprise.

[Illustration: 0326]

My plans carried me to Concarneau, and Bishop's took him to Italy, where
I would join him after a while. And a royal time we had in our several
ways. The autumn found us fresh and eager for our studies in Paris
again, and so we returned to hunt a studio and establish ourselves in
new quarters. We had stored our goods with a kind American friend; and
as we had neither the desire nor the financial ability to violate the
traditions of the Quartier, we greatly scandalized him and his charming
family by appearing one day with a crowd of students and a voiture à
bras before his house and taking our effects away in the traditional
fashion. Of course our friend would have gladly paid for the transport
of our belongings in a more respectable fashion; but where would have
been the fun in that? I am pleased to say that with true American
adaptiveness he joined the singing and yelling crowd, and danced a jig
to our playing in our new quarters after a generous brew of punch had
done its share in the jollity of the event.

[Illustration: 0328]

Ah, dear old Paris! wonderful, bewildering Paris! alluring, enchanting
Paris! Our student years are now just ended, and Paris is already so
crowded with workers who cannot bear to leave it that we must seek
our fortune in other and duller parts of the world. But Paris has
ineradicably impressed itself upon us. We have lived its life; we have
been a part of its throbbing, working, achieving individuality. What
we take away will be of imperishable value, the salt and leaven of our
hopes and efforts forever.


THE END





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