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 not wonder that fires do so little injury in Paris. The houses are all built close together, but they are of stone. There is no such thing as a wooden house; and in the stone houses there is very little inflammable matter. The roof is tiled or slated; the entries and most of the stairways and floors are of stone. Besides, the walls of all buildings are so thick that, if a fire broke out in a building, it would be confined there. The engines are ridiculously small and filled by buckets; there does not appear to be any such thing as a suction-hose here. The engine companies consist of six hundred men, trained and drilled by the Government, called the sapeurs-pompiers, who are on watch in different parts of the city constantly. Americans could teach the Parisians how to put fires out. Jan 18 (Thursday). Heard Tissot1 at the College Royal de France, and also Ampere. The former is quite a classic name. He is the translator of some of Virgil's Eclogues, and has been connected with other literary labors. His subject was Latin Poetry. After exhorting his hearers to its study, and in very animated language telling them what companions and friends they would find in the classics, he read from Virgil's ‘Aeneid,’ second book, the description of the death of Priam, translating line for line as he proceeded, and then commented upon it. He was an old and venerable man of sixty or more, and spoke rather indistinctly; so that I was unable to follow him, except now and then; and I found it more difficult to understand him while reading Latin poetry than when speaking French. He gave the French pronunciation to his Latin, so that at first I should have mistaken it for French. M. Ampere,2 at the same college, lectured on chivalry. He was a man apparently of not more than thirty-five, with quite a distinct manner, though he could hardly be called fluent. He considered the elements of chivalry,—Christianity and Germanism, according to him,—and pointed out the features referrible to each of these elements. I was able to follow him pretty well,—much better than Tissot. To-night I have engaged the assistance of a new teacher for French,--M. Debidas,3 who has been recommended from many quarters. I am to have lessons from him three times a week, in the evenings. I shall also continue with my instructress; so that, between them both, I shall be pretty well supplied with French. To-day is very cold, and several preceding days have been so likewise. I hardly expected such inclement weather when I left home. Wood is very
2 Jean Jacques Ampere (son of the scientist, Andre Marie Ampere, who died June 10, 1836) was born at Lyons in Aug., 1800, and died at Pau. March 27, 1864. From May, 1833, to the time of his death, he was Professor of French Literature in the College of France. He travelled widely, and, in 1851-52, visited the United States and Mexico. He is celebrated for his friendship with Tocqueville and his passion for Madame Recamier. See North American Review for Oct., 1875, and ‘Galaxy’ for Nov., 1875, for articles, both entitled ‘The Two Amperes.’
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