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[224] also. However, to-morrow night is the last on which the ‘hells’ of Paris are to be open, they being abolished after that time by law; and I wish, if possible, to see them, besides being in Paris on New Year's Day. To-morrow, therefore, I shall start for Paris.

Dec. 31, 1837. At a quarter before seven o'clock I found myself in the coupe;, with a fellow-passenger from America, and a French lady. The apartment was small, being just large enough for three persons to sit snugly. The gray light of morning was beginning to prevail, and as we passed under the towers of the cathedral, it seemed to invest them with an additional air of antiquity. It was not the moonlight, which struck through the numerous trellises and interstices, but the dim light of morning, which brought them out by a sort of relief against the sky. We went at a rapid rate, the horses galloping much of the way, and the diligence having a motion which I must confess to be, independent of the smoothness of the roads, remarkably easy, and very much like that of our rail-cars. This easiness is caused chiefly, I think, by the lowness of the springs. On the way I taxed all my French to enter into conversation with the French lady; it was commenced by my inquiring if she would have the windows open or shut. On our making known that we were Americans, she inquired about our voyage, about the commerce and manufactures of the country, and listened with the politest attention to all that we said, and appeared to understand it. We talked of the cathedral at Rouen; and I told her that our forests were our cathedrals. Our fair companion was not yet beyond the age of considerable personal attractions. She was our cicerone on the route, giving us the names of the towns through which we passed, and pointing out some of the principal chateaux. It was Sunday; and yet, as we drove through the different towns, we could observe none of the signs which mark this day in New England. Here ‘Sunday shines no Sabbath day;’ all things proceed as on week days. The roads were thronged with market women, with their heavy burdens; the markets, through which we passed, were full of them. The shops were all open; the windows full of various articles,—the baker rolling his bread; the carpenter at his plane; the smith at his forge; the farrier shoeing his horse. Upwards of forty miles from Paris we saw one mark of an approach to a great city: we there commenced with a paved road, over which we rattled for the remainder of the way; entering Paris between seven and eight o'clock in the evening by the Barriere du Roule.1 And here I became absorbed with wonder at the throbbings of this mighty heart of France. We drove through long streets with great rapidity, through which innumerable other vehicles were driving with the same rapidity, building after building bursting upon us, and long lines of splendid shops, until at last we were landed at the bureau of all the Messageries Royales of France,—the focus of all the diligences from every quarter, situated in the Rue des Victoires. Here our baggage was inspected by an officer of the police. We gave our trunks to porters, who, by means of a sort of rack, took them, large and

1 Situated at the intersection of the Rue du Faubourg Sainte Honore and the Avenue de Wagram.

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