in five acts, of Moliere. I had a seat in the parterre, or pit, which cost two francs and twenty centimes; and also bought at the door copies of the two plays, for which I paid a franc each. With these I endeavored to follow the different performers. It was not a little difficult; they spoke, as it seemed, with such lightning rapidity; and, before the ten acts of the evening were performed, my eyes and attention had become quite weary. We left the theatre as the curtain fell and passed out between two soldiers at the door, and encountered sentinels every few rods. It was bitter cold, reminding me of the weather which I have left behind; yet these men, with their cold muskets, were pacing over the short spaces of their watch, some of them, I observed, without the protection of a cloak or outer garment; but the greater part with a heavy cloak, to which was attached a sort of hood that protected the head. As we passed through the Place du Carrousel, and in front of the Tuileries, we observed this royal residence splendidly lighted from end to end, and sentinels on the watch about it at all points. The Theatre Francais, where I have been this evening, is supported by the government at a considerable expense, and is the place where the classical drama of France is generally enacted. One may see Moliere and Corneille here. The house is about the size of the Tremont House. The scenery did not strike me as at all better than that of American theatres. The curtain did not fall between the acts, and there was no change of scenery to-night from one end of each play to the other; a new scene was occasioned simply by one of the persons on the stage making his exit, or a new one his entrance. Jan. 9. To-day commenced reading and conversing in French with Madame Laboust,—an English lady who has lived in France fifteen years, and, I believe, is the widow of a French officer. Jan. 10. This morning had a lesson or conversation with my teacher; and after breakfast went, with my friend Shattuck, to visit some of the interesting objects of Le Pays Latin, as the district of the schools is called, and entered the École de Medecine, and the Musee Dupuytren. Thence I passed to the Sorbonne, entering only the court-yard of this ancient and famous seat of science and learning, and to the old church of St. Étienne. We next passed to the Bibliotheque de St. Genevieve, a large library, containing upwards of two hundred thousand volumes and thirty thousand manuscripts,— like every thing in Paris open to the public. We entered without ticket or introduction of any kind, and yet without let or hindrance. A long table was surrounded by readers and students, who had the use of books innumerable, for the asking. What is authorship? Here are two hundred thousand volumes. Who knows the names of the wise and learned and laborious who built on them confident hopes of immortality on earth? The pages of an unread catalogue are the only roll of fame on which most of their names are inscribed; and dust gathers over the leaves of the works on which long lives have been consumed. It seems like passing through tombs and a city of the dead, to walk through a large library; for here how many aspirations,—proud and high-reaching as the stars,—hopes, and longings lie buried! From this
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Chapter 2 : Parentage and Family.—the father.
Chapter 3 : birth and early Education.— 1811 - 26 .
Chapter 4 : College Life.— September , 1826 , to September , 1830 .—age, 15 - 19 .
Chapter 5 : year after College.— September , 1830 , to September , 1831 .—Age, 19 - 20 .
Chapter 6 : Law School .— September , 1831 , to December , 1833 .—Age, 20 - 22 .
Chapter 7 : study in a law office .—Visit to Washington .— January , 1854 , to September , 1834 .—Age, 23 .
Chapter 8 : early professional life.— September , 1834 , to December , 1837 .—Age, 23 - 26 .
Chapter 9 : going to Europe .— December , 1837 .—Age, 26 .
Chapter 10 : the voyage and Arrival.— December , 1837 , to January , 1838 — age, 26 - 27 .
Chapter 11 : Paris .—its schools.— January and February , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 12 : Paris .—Society and the courts.— March to May , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 13 : England .— June , 1838 , to March , 1839 .—Age, 27 - 28 .
Chapter 14 : first weeks in London .— June and July , 1838 .—Age, 27 .
Chapter 15 : the Circuits .—Visits in England and Scotland .— August to October , 1838 .—age, 27 .
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