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[260] be unconscious of the peep of day. The noise was considerable, but I saw no quarrel, and indeed no disturbance of any kind. There was, indeed, the deep stamp of low life upon the appearance of every thing; but there was nothing to justify the interference of the police. Here the police was also in great force; horsemen were constantly riding up and down the street, and within each bal there were stationed several gendarmes. Shortly after, when morning had finally penetrated the darkness, and many of the dancers, excited from the labors of the long night, had rushed into the street, squads of troops of the line were posted in the street, at intervals of a few rods, for the space of a third or half a mile. It was towards seven o'clock when we left; the light of day had already filled the streets, and was struggling with the lamps in the dancing halls; the music, however, was still sounding, and there were many who danced on in obedience to its time. As we came away we passed a train of carriages and citadines, a mile long, of persons, some maskers and some not, going from the city to see the scene which we had left. This is usually the last scene of the Saturnalia of Mardi Gras. Flour is liberally thrown from and into the carriages without offence being taken. Glad was I, after struggling for a mile or thereabout over muddy pavements, through the dense crowd which attended these carriages, to find a cabriolet, and set my face homeward. At half-past 7 o'clock of the morning went to bed so thoroughly fatigued, that I did not recover consciousness till three and a half o'clock of the afternoon. So much for Mardi Gras and the last day of a Parisian Carnival. I have forgotten, in my account of this day, to mention that, after dinner and before the ball, I visited what is called the Cafe des Aveugles,—a cafe in the Palais Royal in which there is a small band of blind musicians, and also a little stage on which there is some acting. No price is charged for admission, but you are expected to call for something at the bar,—a cup of coffee or beer; and you sit sipping your liquid while the blind men play.

March 1. This forenoon heard Bravard at the École de Droit. He is the author of one or two books, and is a professor much liked, I believe. He appears to be about forty, with eyes inflamed by study. His subject is the Code de Commerce. To-day he was lecturing on bankruptcy. His audience was quite large. Late in the afternoon went to see my friend Shattuck off for Italy in the malle-poste, as it is called.

In the evening went to the Theatre Francais, to hear the Horaces of Corneille; and it was a treat. The sublime and powerful verse of this great author from the studied enunciation of a French actor produced a great and constant effect. The audience were attentive all the time, and not, as with us, only when a single well-graced actor is on the stage. And the interest of the piece was in the recitation, not in the action; there was not even a single change of the scene from the beginning to the end, neither was there any combat or battery or disturbance. And yet the interest of the audience was unflagging throughout. This presents certainly a marked difference between England and America and France. After the Horaces came a pleasant piece, translated from the German of Kotzebue, called Les Deux Freres.


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