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Title: Dumas' Paris

Author: M. F. Mansfield

Release date: January 31, 2011 [eBook #35125]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by The Online Distributed Proofreading Team at (This file was produced from images
generously made available by The Internet Archive/American





Dumas’ Paris



Dickens’ London
By Francis Miltoun
Library 12mo, cloth, gilt top $2.00
The Same, ¾ levant morocco 5.00
Milton’s England
By Lucia Ames Mead
Library 12mo, cloth, gilt top 2.00
The Same, ¾ levant morocco 5.00
Dumas’ Paris
By Francis Miltoun
Library 12mo, cloth, gilt topnet1.60
The Same, ¾ levant morocconet4.00
New England Building
Boston, Mass.





Alexandre Dumas



Dumas’ Paris



Francis Miltoun
Author of “Dickens’ London,” “Cathedrals of Southern
France,” “Cathedrals of Northern France,” etc.


With two Maps and many Illustrations



L. C. Page & Company



Copyright, 1904
By L. C. Page & Company

All rights reserved

Published November, 1904

Electrotyped and Printed by C. H. Simonds & Co.
Boston, Mass., U.S.A.



[Pg v]


I.A General Introduction1
II.Dumas’ Early Life in Paris14
III.Dumas’ Literary Career33
IV.Dumas’ Contemporaries68
V.The Paris of Dumas83
VI.Old Paris126
VII.Ways and Means of Communication147
VIII.The Banks of the Seine165
IX.The Second Empire and After178
X.La Ville195
XI.La Cité235
XII.L’Université Quartier244
XIII.The Louvre257
XIV.The Palais Royal266
XV.The Bastille278
XVI.The Royal Parks and Palaces297
XVII.The French Provinces321
XVIII.Les Pays Étrangers360

[Pg vi]



[Pg vii]

List of Illustrations

Alexandre DumasFrontispiece
Dumas’ House at Villers-Cotterets7
Statue of Dumas at Villers-Cotterets14
Facsimile of Dumas’ Own Statement of His Birth26
Facsimile of a Manuscript Page from One of Dumas’ Plays37
Alexandre Dumas, Fils64
Two Famous Caricatures of Alexandre Dumas68
Tomb of Abelard and Héloïse82
General Foy’s Residence84
D’Artagnan, from the Dumas Statue by Gustave Doré123
Pont Neuf—Pont au Change135
Portrait of Henry IV.143
Grand Bureau de la Poste154
The Odéon in 1818167
Palais Royal, Street Front183
77 Rue d’Amsterdam—Rue de St. Denis188
Place de la Grève197
Tour de St. Jacques la Boucherie (Méryon’s Etching, “Le Stryge”)198
Hôtel des Mousquetaires, Rue d’Arbre Sec207
[Pg viii]D’Artagnan’s Lodgings, Rue Tiquetonne214
109 Rue du Faubourg St. Denis (Déscamps’ Studio)221
Nôtre Dame de Paris235
Plan of La Cité236
Carmelite Friary, Rue Vaugirard246
Plan of the Louvre257
The Gardens of the Tuileries265
The Orleans Bureau, Palais Royal268
The Fall of the Bastille284
Inn of the Pont de Sèvres302
Bois de Boulogne—Bois de Vincennes—Forêt de Villers-Cotterets315
Château of the Ducs de Valois, Crépy318
Castle of Pierrefonds324
Nôtre Dame de Chartres329
Castle of Angers—Château of Blois333



[Pg 1]

Dumas’ Paris






There have been many erudite works, in French and other languages, describing the antiquities and historical annals of Paris from the earliest times; and in English the mid-Victorian era turned out—there are no other words for it—innumerable “books of travel” which recounted alleged adventures, strewn here and there with bits of historical lore and anecdotes, none too relevant, and in most cases not of undoubted authenticity.

Of the actual life of the people in the city of light and learning, from the times of Napoleon onward, one has to go to the fountainhead of written records, the acknowledged masterworks in the[Pg 2] language of the country itself, the reports and annuaires of various sociétês, commissions, and what not, and collect therefrom such information as he finds may suit his purpose.

In this manner may be built up a fabric which shall be authentic and proper, varied and, most likely, quite different in its plan, outline, and scope from other works of a similar purport, which may be recalled in connection therewith.

Paris has been rich in topographical historians, and, indeed, in her chroniclers in all departments, and there is no end of relative matter which may be evolved from an intimacy with these sources of supply. In a way, however, this information ought to be supplemented by a personal knowledge on the part of the compiler, which should make localities, distances, and environments—to say nothing of the actual facts and dates of history—appear as something more than a shrine to be worshipped from afar.

Given, then, these ingredients, with a love of the subject,—no less than of the city of its domicile,—it has formed a pleasant itinerary in the experiences of the writer of this book to have followed in the footsteps of Dumas père, through the streets that he knew and loved, taking note meanwhile of such contemporary shadows as were thrown[Pg 3] across his path, and such events of importance or significance as blended in with the scheme of the literary life of the times in which he lived, none the less than of those of the characters in his books.

Nearly all the great artists have adored Paris—poets, painters, actors, and, above all, novelists.

From which it follows that Paris is the ideal city for the novelist, who, whether he finds his special subjects in her streets or not, must be inspired by this unique fulness and variety of human life. Nearly all the great French novelists have adored Paris. Dumas loved it; Victor Hugo spent years of his time in riding about her streets on omnibuses; Daudet said splendid things of it, and nearly, if not quite, all the great names of the artistic world of France are indissolubly linked with it.

Paris to-day means not “La Ville,” “La Cité,” or “L’Université,” but the whole triumvirate. Victor Hugo very happily compared the three cities to a little old woman between two handsome, strapping daughters.

It was Beranger who announced his predilection for Paris as a birthplace. Dumas must have felt something of the same emotion, for he early gravitated to the “City of Liberty and Equality,” in[Pg 4] which—even before the great Revolution—misfortune was at all times alleviated by sympathy.

From the stones of Paris have been built up many a lordly volume—and many a slight one, for that matter—which might naturally be presumed to have recounted the last word which may justifiably have been said concerning the various aspects of the life and historic events which have encircled around the city since the beginning of the moyen age.

This is true or not, according as one embraces a wide or a contracted horizon in one’s view.

For most books there is, or was at the time of their writing, a reason for being, and so with familiar spots, as with well-worn roads, there is always a new panorama projecting itself before one.

The phenomenal, perennial, and still growing interest in the romances of Dumas the elder is the excuse for the present work, which it is to be hoped is admittedly a good one, however far short of exhaustiveness—a much overworked word, by the way—the volume may fall.

It were not possible to produce a complete or “exhaustive” work on any subject of a historical, topographical or æsthetic nature: so why claim it?[Pg 5] The last word has not yet been said on Dumas himself, and surely not on Paris—no more has it on Pompeii, where they are still finding evidences of a long lost civilization as great as any previously unearthed.

It was only yesterday, too (this is written in the month of March, 1904), that a party of frock-coated and silk-hatted benevolent-looking gentlemen were seen issuing from a manhole in the Université quartier of Paris. They had been inspecting a newly discovered thermale établissement of Roman times, which led off one of the newly opened subterranean arteries which abound beneath Paris.

It is said to be a rival of the Roman bath which is enclosed within the walls of the present Musée Cluny, and perhaps the equal in size and splendour of any similar remains extant.

This, then, suggests that in every land new ground, new view-points, and new conditions of life are making possible a record which, to have its utmost value, should be a progressively chronological one.

And after this manner the present volume has been written. There is a fund of material to draw upon, historic fact, pertinent and contemporary side-lights, and, above all, the environment which haloed itself around the personality of Dumas,[Pg 6] which lies buried in many a cache which, if not actually inaccessible, is at least not to be found in the usual books of reference.

Perhaps some day even more will have been collected, and a truly satisfying biographical work compiled. If so, it will be the work of some ardent Frenchman of a generation following that in which Alexandre Dumas lived, and not by one of the contemporaries of even his later years. Albert Vandam, perhaps, might have done it as it should have been done; but he did not do so, and so an intimate personal record has been lost.

Paris has ever been written down in the book of man as the city of light, of gaiety, and of a trembling vivacity which has been in turn profligate, riotous, and finally criminal.

All this is perhaps true enough, but no more in degree than in most capitals which have endured so long, and have risen to such greatness.

With Paris it is quantity, with no sacrifice of quality, that has placed it in so preëminent a position among great cities, and the life of Paris—using the phrase in its most commonly recognized aspect—is accordingly more brilliant or the reverse, as one views it from the boulevards or from the villettes.




French writers, the novelists in particular, have [Pg 7]well known and made use of this; painters and poets, too, have perpetuated it in a manner which has not been applied to any other city in the world.

To realize the conditions of the life of Paris to the full one has to go back to Rousseau—perhaps even farther. His observation that “Les maisons font la ville, mais le citoyens font la cité,” was true when written, and it is true to-day, with this modification, that the delimitation of the confines of la ville should be extended so far as to include all workaday Paris—the shuffling, bustling world of energy and spirit which has ever insinuated itself into the daily life of the people.

The love and knowledge of Alexandre Dumas père for Paris was great, and the accessory and detail of his novels, so far as he drew upon the capital, was more correct and apropos. It was something more than a mere dash of local colour scattered upon the canvas from a haphazard palette. In minutiæ it was not drawn as fine as the later Zola was wont to accomplish, but it showed no less detail did one but comprehend its full meaning.

Though born in the provincial town Villers-Cotterets,—seventy-eight kilomètres from Paris on the road to Soissons,—Dumas came early in touch with the metropolis, having in a sort of runaway[Pg 8] journey broken loose from his old associations and finally becoming settled in the capital as a clerk in the Bureau d’Orleans, at the immature age of twenty. Thus it was that his impressions and knowledge of Paris were founded upon an experience which was prolonged and intimate, extending, with brief intervals of travel, for over fifty years.

He had journeyed meantime to Switzerland, England, Corsica, Naples, the Rhine, Belgium,—with a brief residence in Italy in 1840-42,—then visiting Spain, Russia, the Caucasus, and Germany.

This covered a period from 1822, when he first came to Paris, until his death at Puys, near Dieppe, in 1870; nearly a full half-century amid activities in matters literary, artistic, and social, which were scarce equalled in brilliancy elsewhere—before or since.

In spite of his intimate association with the affairs of the capital,—he became, it is recalled, a candidate for the Chamber of Deputies at the time of the Second Republic,—Dumas himself has recorded, in a preface contributed to a “Histoire de l’Eure,” by M. Charpillon (1879), that if he were ever to compile a history of France he should first search for les pierres angulaires of his edifice in the provinces.

[Pg 9]This bespeaks a catholicity which, perhaps, after all, is, or should be, the birthright of every historical novelist.

He said further, in this really valuable and interesting contribution, which seems to have been entirely overlooked by the bibliographers, that “to write the history of France would take a hundred volumes”—and no doubt he was right, though it has been attempted in less.

And again that “the aggrandizement of Paris has only been accomplished by a weakening process having been undergone by the provinces.” The egg from which Paris grew was deposited in the nest of la cité, the same as are the eggs laid par un cygne.

He says further that in writing the history of Paris he would have founded on “Lutetia (or Louchetia) the Villa de Jules, and would erect in the Place de Notre Dame a temple or altar to Ceres; at which epoch would have been erected another to Mercury, on the Mount of Ste. Geneviève; to Apollo in the Rue de la Barillerie, where to-day is erected that part of Tuileries built by Louis XIV., and which is called Le Pavillon de Flore.

“Then one would naturally follow with Les Thermes de Julien, which grew up from the Villa[Pg 10] de Jules; the reunion under Charlemagne which accomplished the Sorbonne (Sora bona), which in turn became the favourite place of residence of Hugues Capet, the stronghold of Philippe-Auguste, the bibliothèque of Charles V., the monumental capital of Henri VI. d’Angleterre; and so on through the founding of the first printing establishment in France by Louis XI.; the new school of painting by François I.; of the Académie by Richelieu; ... to the final curtailment of monarchial power with the horrors of the Revolution and the significant events which centred around the Bastille, Versailles, and the Tuileries.”

Leaving the events of the latter years of the eighteenth century, and coming to the day in which Dumas wrote (1867), Paris was truly—and in every sense—

“The capital of France, and its history became not only the history of France but the history of the world.... The city will yet become the capital of humanity, and, since Napoleon repudiated his provincial residences and made Paris sa résidence impériale, the man of destiny who reigns in Paris in reality reigns throughout the universe.”

There may be those who will take exception to these brilliant words of Dumas. The Frenchman has always been an ardent and soi-disant bundle of[Pg 11] enthusiasm, but those who love him must pardon his pride, which is harmless to himself and others alike, and is a far more admirable quality than the indifference and apathy born of other lands.

His closing words are not without a cynical truth, and withal a pride in Paris:

“It is true that if we can say with pride, we Parisians, ‘It was Paris which overthrew the Bastille,’ you of the provinces can say with equal pride, ‘It was we who made the Revolution.’”

As if to ease the hurt, he wrote further these two lines only:

“At this epoch the sister nations should erect a gigantic statue of Peace. This statue will be Paris, and its pedestal will represent La Province.”

His wish—it was not prophecy—did not, however, come true, as the world in general and France and poor rent Alsace et Lorraine in particular know to their sorrow; and all through a whim of a self-appointed, though weakling, monarch.

The era of the true peace of the world and the monument to its glory came when the French nation presented to the New World that grand work of Bartholdi, “Liberty Enlightening the World,” which stands in New York harbour, and whose smaller replica now terminates the Allée des Cygnes.

The grasp that Dumas had of the events of [Pg 12]romance and history served his purpose well, and in the life of the fifties in Paris his was a name and personality that was on everybody’s lips.

How he found time to live the full life that he did is a marvel; it certainly does not bear out the theory of heredity when one considers the race of his birth and the “dark-skinned” languor which was supposedly his heritage.

One edition of his work comprises two hundred and seventy-seven volumes, and within the year a London publisher has announced some sixty volumes “never before translated.” Dumas himself has said that he was the author of over seven hundred works.

In point of time his romances go back to the days of the house of Valois and the Anglo-French wars (1328), and to recount their contents is to abstract many splendid chapters from out the pages of French history.

It would seem as though nearly every personage of royalty and celebrity (if these democratic times will allow the yoking together of the two; real genuine red republicans would probably link royalty and notoriety) stalked majestically through his pages, and the record runs from the fourteenth nearly to the end of the nineteenth century, with the exception of the reign of Louis XI.

[Pg 13]An ardent admirer of Sir Walter Scott has commented upon this lapse as being accounted for by the apparent futility of attempting to improve upon “Quentin Durward.” This is interesting, significant, and characteristic, but it is not charitable, generous, or broad-minded.



[Pg 14]




At fifteen (1817), Dumas entered the law-office of one Mennesson at Villers-Cotterets as a saute-ruisseau (gutter-snipe), as he himself called it, and from this time on he was forced to forego what had been his passion heretofore: bird-catching, shooting, and all manner of woodcraft.

When still living at Villers-Cotterets Dumas had made acquaintance with the art of the dramatist, so far as it was embodied in the person of Adolphe de Leuven, with whom he collaborated in certain immature melodramas and vaudevilles, which De Leuven himself took to Paris for disposal.

“No doubt managers would welcome them with enthusiasm,” said Dumas, “and likely enough we shall divert a branch of that Pactolus River which is irrigating the domains of M. Scribe” (1822).

Later on in his “Mémoires” he says: “Complete humiliation; we were refused everywhere.”




[Pg 15]From Villers-Cotterets the scene of Dumas’ labours was transferred to Crépy, three and a half leagues distant, a small town to which he made his way on foot, his belongings in a little bundle “not more bulky than that of a Savoyard when he leaves his native mountains.”

In his new duties, still as a lawyer’s clerk, Dumas found life very wearisome, and, though the ancient capital of the Valois must have made an impress upon him,—as one learns from the Valois romances,—he pined for the somewhat more free life which he had previously lived; or, taking the bull by the horns, deliberated as to how he might get into the very vortex of things by pushing on to the capital.

As he tritely says, “To arrive it was necessary to make a start,” and the problem was how to arrive in Paris from Crépy in the existing condition of his finances.

By dint of ingenuity and considerable activity Dumas left Crépy in company with a friend on a sort of a runaway holiday, and made his third entrance into Paris.

It would appear that Dumas’ culinary and gastronomic capabilities early came into play, as we learn from the “Mémoires” that, when he was not yet out of his teens, and serving in the notary’s[Pg 16] office at Crépy, he proposed to his colleague that they take this three days’ holiday in Paris.

They could muster but thirty-five francs between them, so Dumas proposed that they should shoot game en route. Said Dumas, “We can kill, shall I say, one hare, two partridges, and a quail.... We reach Dammartin, get the hinder part of our hare roasted and the front part jugged, then we eat and drink.” “And what then?” said his friend. “What then? Bless you, why we pay for our wine, bread, and seasoning with the two partridges, and we tip the waiter with the quail.”

The journey was accomplished in due order, and he and his friend put up at the Hôtel du Vieux-Augustins, reaching there at ten at night.

In the morning he set out to find his collaborateur De Leuven, but the fascination of Paris was such that it nearly made him forswear regard for the flight of time.

He says of the Palais Royale: “I found myself within its courtyard, and stopped before the Theatre Français, and on the bill I saw:

“‘Demain, Lundi
Tragédie dans cinq Actes
Par M. de Jouy’

[Pg 17]“I solemnly swore that by some means or other ... I would see Sylla, and all the more so because, in large letters, under the above notice, were the words, ‘The character of Sylla will be taken by M. Talma.’”

In his “Mémoires” Dumas states that it was at this time he had the temerity to call on the great Talma. “Talma was short-sighted,” said he, “and was at his toilet; his hair was close cut, and his aspect under these conditions was remarkably un-poetic.... Talma was for me a god—a god unknown, it is true, as was Jupiter to Semele.”

And here comes a most delicious bit of Dumas himself, Dumas the egotist:

“Ah, Talma! were you but twenty years younger or I twenty years older! I know the past, you cannot foretell the future.... Had you known, Talma, that the hand you had just touched would ultimately write sixty or eighty dramas ... in each of which you would have found the material for a marvellous creation....”

Dumas may be said to have at once entered the world of art and letters in this, his third visit to Paris, which took place so early in life, but in the years so ripe with ambition.

Having seen the great Talma in Sylla, in his dressing-room at the Theatre Français, he met[Pg 18] Delavigne, who was then just completing his “Ecole des Viellards,” Lucien Arnault, who had just brought out “Regulus;” Soumet, fresh from the double triumph of “Saul” and “Clymnestre;” here, too, were Lemercier, Delrien, Viennet, and Jouy himself; and he had met at the Café du Roi, Theadlon, Francis, Rochefort, and De Merle; indeed by his friend De Leuven he was introduced to the assemblage there as a “future Corneille,” in spite of the fact that he was but a notary’s clerk.

Leaving what must have been to Dumas the presence, he shot a parting remark, “Ah, yes, I shall come to Paris for good, I warrant you that.”

In “The Taking of the Bastille” Dumas traces again, in the characters of Pitou and old Father Billot, much of the route which he himself took on his first visit to Paris. The journey, then, is recounted from first-hand information, and there will be no difficulty on the part of any one in tracing the similarity of the itinerary.

Chapter I., of the work in question, brings us at once on familiar ground, and gives a description of Villers-Cotterets and its inhabitants in a manner which shows Dumas’ hand so unmistakably as to remove any doubts as to the volume of assistance he may have received from others, on this particular book at least.

[Pg 19]“On the borders of Picardy and the province of Soissons, and on that part of the national territory which, under the name of the Isle of France, formed a portion of the ancient patrimony of our kings, and in the centre of an immense crescent, formed by a forest of fifty thousand acres, which stretches its horns to the north and south, rises, almost buried amid the shades of a vast park planted by François I. and Henri II., the small city of Villers-Cotterets. This place is celebrated from having given birth to Charles Albert Demoustier, who, at the period when our present history commences, was there writing his Letters to Emilie on Mythology, to the unbounded satisfaction of the pretty women of those days, who eagerly snatched his publications from each other as soon as printed.

“Let us add, to complete the poetical reputation of this little city, whose detractors, notwithstanding its royal château and its two thousand four hundred inhabitants, obstinately persist in calling it a mere village—let us add, we say, to complete its poetical reputation, that it is situated at two leagues distance from Laferte-Milan, where Racine was born, and eight leagues from Château-Thierry, the birthplace of La Fontaine.

“Let us also state that the mother of the author[Pg 20] of ‘Britannicus’ and ‘Athalie’ was from Villers-Cotterets.

“But now we must return to its royal château and its two thousand four hundred inhabitants.

“This royal château, begun by François I., whose salamanders still decorate it, and finished by Henri II., whose cipher it bears entwined with that of Catherine de Medici and encircled by the three crescents of Diana of Poictiers, after having sheltered the loves of the knight king with Madame d’Etampes, and those of Louis Philippe of Orleans with the beautiful Madame de Montesson, had become almost uninhabited since the death of this last prince; his son, Philippe d’Orleans, afterward called Egalité, having made it descend from the rank of a royal residence to that of a mere hunting rendezvous.

“It is well known that the château and forest of Villers-Cotterets formed part of the appanage settled by Louis XIV. on his brother Monsieur, when the second son of Anne of Austria married the sister of Charles II., the Princess Henrietta of England.

“As to the two thousand four hundred inhabitants of whom we have promised our readers to say a word, they were, as in all localities where two[Pg 21] thousand four hundred people are united, a heterogeneous assemblage.

“Firstly: Of the few nobles, who spent their summers in the neighbouring châteaux and their winters in Paris, and who, mimicking the prince, had only a lodging-place in the city.

“Secondly: Of a goodly number of citizens, who could be seen, let the weather be what it might, leaving their houses after dinner, umbrella in hand, to take their daily walk, a walk which was regularly bounded by a deep, invisible ditch which separated the park from the forest, situated about a quarter of a league from the town, and which was called, doubtless on account of the exclamation which the sight of it drew from the asthmatic lungs of the promenaders, satisfied at finding themselves not too much out of breath, the ‘Ha, ha!’

“Thirdly: Of a considerably greater number of artisans who worked the whole of the week and only allowed themselves to take a walk on the Sunday; whereas their fellow townsmen, more favoured by fortune, could enjoy it every day.

“Fourthly and finally: Of some miserable proletarians, for whom the week had not even a Sabbath, and who, after having toiled six days in the pay of the nobles, the citizens, or even of the artisans, wandered on the seventh day through the[Pg 22] forest to gather up dry wood or branches of the lofty trees, torn from them by the storm, that mower of the forest, to whom oak-trees are but ears of wheat, and which it scattered over the humid soil beneath the lofty trees, the magnificent appanage of a prince.

“If Villers-Cotterets (Villerii ad Cotiam Retiæ) had been, unfortunately, a town of sufficient importance in history to induce archæologists to ascertain and follow up its successive changes from a village to a town and from a town to a city—the last, as we have said, being strongly contested, they would certainly have proved this fact, that the village had begun by being a row of houses on either side of the road from Paris to Soissons; then they would have added that its situation on the borders of a beautiful forest having, though by slow degrees, brought to it a great increase of inhabitants, other streets were added to the first, diverging like the rays of a star and leading toward other small villages with which it was important to keep up communication, and converging toward a point which naturally became the centre, that is to say, what in the provinces is called Le Carrefour,—and sometimes even the Square, whatever might be its shape,—and around which the handsomest buildings of the village, now become a burgh, were[Pg 23] erected, and in the middle of which rises a fountain, now decorated with a quadruple dial; in short, they would have fixed the precise date when, near the modest village church, the first want of a people, arose the first turrets of the vast château, the last caprice of a king; a château which, after having been, as we have already said, by turns a royal and a princely residence, has in our days become a melancholy and hideous receptacle for mendicants under the direction of the Prefecture of the Seine, and to whom M. Marrast issues his mandates through delegates of whom he has not, nor probably will ever have, either the time or the care to ascertain the names.”

The last sentence seems rather superfluous,—if it was justifiable,—but, after all, no harm probably was done, and Dumas as a rule was never vituperative.

Continuing, these first pages give us an account of the difficulties under which poor Louis Ange Pitou acquired his knowledge of Latin, which is remarkably like the account which Dumas gives in the “Mémoires” of his early acquaintance with the classics.

When Pitou leaves Haramont, his native village, and takes to the road, and visits Billot at “Bruyere aux Loups,” knowing well the road, as he did that[Pg 24] to Damploux, Compiègne, and Vivières, he was but covering ground equally well known to Dumas’ own youth.

Finally, as he is joined by Billot en route for Paris, and takes the highroad from Villers-Cotterets, near Gondeville, passing Nanteuil, Dammartin, and Ermenonville, arriving at Paris at La Villette, he follows almost the exact itinerary taken by the venturesome Dumas on his runaway journey from the notary’s office at Crépy-en-Valois.

Crépy-en-Valois was the near neighbour of Villers-Cotterets, which jealously attempted to rival it, and does even to-day. In “The Taking of the Bastille” Dumas only mentions it in connection with Mother Sabot’s âne, “which was shod,”—the only ass which Pitou had ever known which wore shoes,—and performed the duty of carrying the mails between Crépy and Villers-Cotterets.

At Villers-Cotterets one may come into close contact with the château which is referred to in the later pages of the “Vicomte de Bragelonne.” “Situated in the middle of the forest, where we shall lead a most sentimental life, the very same where my grandfather,” said Monseigneur the Prince, “Henri IV. did with ‘La Belle Gabrielle.’”

So far as lion-hunting goes, Dumas himself at an early age appears to have fallen into it. He[Pg 25] recalls in “Mes Mémoires” the incident of Napoleon I. passing through Villers-Cotterets just previous to the battle of Waterloo.

“Nearly every one made a rush for the emperor’s carriage,” said he; “naturally I was one of the first.... Napoleon’s pale, sickly face seemed a block of ivory.... He raised his head and asked, ‘Where are we?’ ‘At Villers-Cotterets, Sire,’ said a voice. ‘Go on.’” Again, a few days later, as we learn from the “Mémoires,” “a horseman coated with mud rushes into the village; orders four horses for a carriage which is to follow, and departs.... A dull rumble draws near ... a carriage stops.... ‘Is it he—the emperor?’ Yes, it was the emperor, in the same position as I had seen him before, exactly the same, pale, sickly, impassive; only the head droops rather more.... ‘Where are we?’ he asked. ‘At Villers-Cotterets, Sire.’ ‘Go on.’”

That evening Napoleon slept at the Elysée. It was but three months since he had returned from Elba, but in that time he came to an abyss which had engulfed his fortune. That abyss was Waterloo; only saved to the allies—who at four in the afternoon were practically defeated—by the coming up of the Germans at six.

Among the books of reference and contemporary[Pg 26] works of a varying nature from which a writer in this generation must build up his facts anew, is found a wide difference in years as to the date of the birth of Dumas père.

As might be expected, the weight of favour lies with the French authorities, though by no means do they, even, agree among themselves.

His friends have said that no unbiassed, or even complete biography of the author exists, even in French; and possibly this is so. There is about most of them a certain indefiniteness and what Dumas himself called the “colour of sour grapes.”

The exact date of his birth, however, is unquestionably 1802, if a photographic reproduction of his natal certificate, published in Charles Glinel’s “Alex. Dumas et Son Œuvre,” is what it seems to be.

Dumas’ aristocratic parentage—for such it truly was—has been the occasion of much scoffing and hard words. He pretended not to it himself, but it was founded on family history, as the records plainly tell, and whether Alexandre, the son of the brave General Dumas, the Marquis de la Pailleterie, was prone to acknowledge it or not does not matter in the least. The “feudal particle” existed plainly in his pedigree, and with no discredit to any concerned.


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[Pg 27]General Dumas, his wife, and his son are buried in the cemetery of Villers-Cotterets, where the exciting days of the childhood of Dumas, the romancer, were spent, in a plot of ground “conceded in perpetuity to the family.” The plot forms a rectangle six metres by five, surrounded by towering pines.

The three monuments contained therein are of the utmost simplicity, each consisting of an inclined slab of stone.

The inscriptions are as follows:

Thomas-Alexandre  Marie-Louise-Elizabeth  Alexandre Dumas
Dumas  Labouret  né à Villers-Cotterets
Davy de la Pailleterie  Épouse  le 24 juillet 1802
général dé division  du général de division  décédé
né à Jeremie  Dumas Davy  le 5 décembre 1870
Ile et Côte de Saint  de la Pailleterie  à Puys
Dominique  née  transféré
le 25 mars 1762,  à Villers-Cotterets  à
décédé  le 4 juillet 1769  Villers-Cotterets
à Villers-Cotterets  décédée  le
le 27 février 1806  le 1er aout 1838  15 avril 1872

There would seem to be no good reason why a book treating of Dumas’ Paris might not be composed entirely of quotations from Dumas’ own works. For a fact, such a work would be no less valuable as a record than were it evolved by any[Pg 28] other process. It would indeed be the best record that could possibly be made, for Dumas’ topography was generally truthful if not always precise.

There are, however, various contemporary side-lights which are thrown upon any canvas, no matter how small its area, and in this instance they seem to engulf even the personality of Dumas himself, to say nothing of his observations.

Dumas was such a part and parcel of the literary life of the times in which he lived that mention can scarce be made of any contemporary event that has not some bearing on his life or work, or he with it, from the time when he first came to the metropolis (in 1822) at the impressionable age of twenty, until the end.

It will be difficult, even, to condense the relative incidents which entered into his life within the confines of a single volume, to say nothing of a single chapter. The most that can be done is to present an abridgment which shall follow along the lines of some preconceived chronological arrangement. This is best compiled from Dumas’ own words, leaving it to the additional references of other chapters to throw a sort of reflected glory from a more distant view-point.

The reputation of Dumas with the merely casual reader rests upon his best-known romances, “Monte[Pg 29] Cristo,” 1841; “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” 1844; “Vingt Ans Après,” 1845; “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” 1847; “La Dame de Monsoreau,” 1847; and his dramas of “Henri III. et Sa Cour,” 1829, “Antony,” 1831, and “Kean,” 1836.

His memoirs, “Mes Mémoires,” are practically closed books to the mass of English readers—the word books is used advisedly, for this remarkable work is composed of twenty stout volumes, and they only cover ten years of the author’s life.

Therein is a mass of fact and fancy which may well be considered as fascinating as are the “romances” themselves, and, though autobiographic, one gets a far more satisfying judgment of the man than from the various warped and distorted accounts which have since been published, either in French or English.

Beginning with “Memories of My Childhood” (1802-06), Dumas launches into a few lines anent his first visit to Paris, in company with his father, though the auspicious—perhaps significant—event took place at a very tender age. It seems remarkable that he should have recalled it at all, but he was a remarkable man, and it seems not possible to ignore his words.

“We set out for Paris, ah, that journey! I recollect it perfectly.... It was August or [Pg 30]September, 1805. We got down in the Rue Thiroux at the house of one Dollé.... I had been embraced by one of the most noble ladies who ever lived, Madame la Marquise de Montesson, widow of Louis-Philippe d’Orleans.... The next day, putting Brune’s sword between my legs and Murat’s hat upon my head, I galloped around the table; when my father said, ‘Never forget this, my boy.’... My father consulted Corvisart, and attempted to see the emperor, but Napoleon, the quondam general, had now become the emperor, and he refused to see my father.... To where did we return? I believe Villers-Cotterets.”

Again on the 26th of March, 1813, Dumas entered Paris in company with his mother, now widowed. He says of this visit:

“I was delighted at the prospect of this my second visit.... I have but one recollection, full of light and poetry, when, with a flourish of trumpets, a waving of banners, and shouts of ‘Long live the King of Rome,’ was lifted up above the heads of fifty thousand of the National Guard the rosy face and the fair, curly head of a child of three years—the infant son of the great Napoleon.... Behind him was his mother,—that woman so fatal to France, as have been all the daughters of the Cæsars, Anne of Austria, Marie Antoinette,[Pg 31] and Marie Louise,—an indistinct, insipid face.... The next day we started home again.”

Through the influence of General Foy, an old friend of his father’s, Dumas succeeded in obtaining employment in the Orleans Bureau at the Palais Royal.

His occupation there appears not to have been unduly arduous. The offices were in the right-hand corner of the second courtyard of the Palais Royal. He remained here in this bureau for a matter of five years, and, as he said, “loved the hour when he came to the office,” because his immediate superior, Lassagne,—a contributor to the Drapeau Blanc,—was the friend and intimate of Désaugiers, Théaulon, Armand Gouffé, Brozier, Rougemont, and all the vaudevillists of the time.

Dumas’ meeting with the Duc d’Orleans—afterward Louis-Philippe—is described in his own words thus: “In two words I was introduced. ‘My lord, this is M. Dumas, whom I mentioned to you, General Foy’s protégé.’ ‘You are the son of a brave man,’ said the duc, ‘whom Bonaparte, it seems, left to die of starvation.’... The duc gave Oudard a nod, which I took to mean, ‘He will do, he’s by no means bad for a provincial.’” And so it was that Dumas came immediately under the[Pg 32] eye of the duc, engaged as he was at that time on some special clerical work in connection with the duc’s provincial estates.

The affability of Dumas, so far as he himself was concerned, was a foregone conclusion. In the great world in which he moved he knew all sorts and conditions of men. He had his enemies, it is true, and many of them, but he himself was the enemy of no man. To English-speaking folk he was exceedingly agreeable, because,—quoting his own words,—said he, “It was a part of the debt which I owed to Shakespeare and Scott.” Something of the egoist here, no doubt, but gracefully done nevertheless.

With his temperament it was perhaps but natural that Dumas should have become a romancer. This was of itself, maybe, a foreordained sequence of events, but no man thinks to-day that, leaving contributary conditions, events, and opportunities out of the question, he shapes his own fate; there are accumulated heritages of even distant ages to contend with. In Dumas’ case there was his heritage of race and colour, refined, perhaps, by a long drawn out process, but, as he himself tells in “Mes Mémoires,” his mother’s fear was that her child would be born black, and he was, or, at least, purple, as he himself afterward put it.



[Pg 33]




Just how far Dumas’ literary ability was an inheritance, or growth of his early environment, will ever be an open question. It is a manifest fact that he had breathed something of the spirit of romance before he came to Paris.

Although it was not acknowledged until 1856, “The Wolf-Leader” was a development of a legend told to him in his childhood. Recalling then the incident of his boyhood days, and calling into recognition his gift of improvisation, he wove a tale which reflected not a little of the open-air life of the great forest of Villers-Cotterets, near the place of his birth.

Here, then, though it was fifty years after his birth, and thirty after he had thrust himself on the great world of Paris, the scenes of his childhood were reproduced in a wonderfully romantic[Pg 34] and weird tale—which, to the best of the writer’s belief, has not yet appeared in English.

To some extent it is possible that there is not a little of autobiography therein, not so much, perhaps, as Dickens put into “David Copperfield,” but the suggestion is thrown out for what it may be worth.

It is, furthermore, possible that the historic associations of the town of Villers-Cotterets—which was but a little village set in the midst of the surrounding forest—may have been the prime cause which influenced and inspired the mind of Dumas toward the romance of history.

In point of chronology, among the earliest of the romances were those that dealt with the fortunes of the house of Valois (fourteenth century), and here, in the little forest town of Villers-Cotterets, was the magnificent manor-house which belonged to the Ducs de Valois; so it may be presumed that the sentiment of early associations had somewhat to do with these literary efforts.

All his life Dumas devotedly admired the sentiment and fancies which foregathered in this forest, whose very trees and stones he knew so well. From his “Mémoires” we learn of his indignation at the destruction of its trees and much of its natural beauty. He says:

[Pg 35]“This park, planted by François I., was cut down by Louis-Philippe. Trees, under whose shade once reclined François I. and Madame d’Etampes, Henri II. and Diane de Poitiers, Henri IV. and Gabrielle d’Estrées—you would have believed that a Bourbon would have respected you. But over and above your inestimable value of poetry and memories, you had, unhappily, a material value. You beautiful beeches with your polished silvery cases! you beautiful oaks with your sombre wrinkled bark!—you were worth a hundred thousand crowns. The King of France, who, with his six millions of private revenue, was too poor to keep you—the King of France sold you. For my part, had you been my sole possession, I would have preserved you; for, poet as I am, one thing that I would set before all the gold of the earth: the murmur of the wind in your leaves; the shadow that you made to flicker beneath my feet; the visions, the phantoms, which, at eventide, betwixt the day and night, in the doubtful hour of twilight, would glide between your age-long trunks as glide the shadows of the ancient Abencerrages amid the thousand columns of Cordova’s royal mosque.”

What wonder, with these lines before one, that the impressionable Dumas was so taken with the[Pg 36] romance of life and so impracticable in other ways.

From the fact that no thorough biography of Dumas exists, it will be difficult to trace the fluctuations of his literary career with preciseness. It is not possible even with the twenty closely packed volumes of the “Mémoires”—themselves incomplete—before one. All that a biographer can get from this treasure-house are facts,—rather radiantly coloured in some respects, but facts nevertheless,—which are put together in a not very coherent or compact form.

They do, to be sure, recount many of the incidents and circumstances attendant upon the writing and publication of many of his works, and because of this they immediately become the best of all sources of supply. It is to be regretted that these “Mémoires” have not been translated, though it is doubtful if any publisher of English works could get his money back from the transaction.

Other clues as to his emotions, and with no uncertain references to incidents of Dumas’ literary career, are found in “Mes Bêtes,” “Ange Pitou,” the “Causeries,” and the “Travels.” These comprise many volumes not yet translated.


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Dumas was readily enough received into the folds[Pg 37] of the great. Indeed, as we know, he made his entrée under more than ordinary, if not exceptional, circumstances, and his connection with the great names of literature and statecraft extended from Hugo to Garibaldi.

As for his own predilections in literature, Dumas’ own voice is practically silent, though we know that he was a romanticist pure and simple, and drew no inspiration or encouragement from Voltairian sentiments. If not essentially religious, he at least believed in its principles, though, as a warm admirer has said, “He had no liking for the celibate and bookish life of the churchman.”

Dumas does not enter deeply into the subject of ecclesiasticism in France. His most elaborate references are to the Abbey of Ste. Genevieve—since disappeared in favour of the hideous pagan Panthéon—and its relics and associations, in “La Dame de Monsoreau.” Other of the romances from time to time deal with the subject of religion more or less, as was bound to be, considering the times of which he wrote, of Mazarin, Richelieu, De Rohan, and many other churchmen.

Throughout the thirties Dumas was mostly occupied with his plays, the predominant, if not the most sonorous note, being sounded by “Antony.”

As a novelist his star shone brightest in the [Pg 38]decade following, commencing with “Monte Cristo,” in 1841, and continuing through “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne” and “La Dame de Monsoreau,” in 1847.

During these strenuous years Dumas produced the flower of his romantic garland—omitting, of course, certain trivial and perhaps unworthy trifles, among which are usually considered, rightly enough, “Le Capitaine Paul” (Paul Jones) and “Jeanne d’Arc.” At this period, however, he produced the charming and exotic “Black Tulip,” which has since come to be a reality. The best of all, though, are admittedly the Mousquetaire cycle, the volumes dealing with the fortunes of the Valois line, and, again, “Monte Cristo.”

By 1830, Dumas, eager, as it were, to experience something of the valiant boisterous spirit of the characters of his romances, had thrown himself heartily into an alliance with the opponents of Louis-Philippe. Orleanist successes, however, left him to fall back upon his pen.

In 1844, having finished “Monte Cristo,” he followed it by “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” and before the end of the same year had put out forty volumes, by what means, those who will read the scurrilous “Fabrique des Romans”—and properly discount it—may learn.

[Pg 39]The publication of “Monte Cristo” and “Les Trois Mousquetaires” as newspaper feuilletons, in 1844-45, met with amazing success, and were, indeed, written from day to day, to keep pace with the demands of the press.

Here is, perhaps, an opportune moment to digress into the ethics of the profession of the “literary ghost,” and but for the fact that the subject has been pretty well thrashed out before,—not only with respect to Dumas, but to others as well,—it might justifiably be included here at some length, but shall not be, however.

The busy years from 1840-50 could indeed be “explained”—if one were sure of his facts; but beyond the circumstances, frequently availed of, it is admitted, of Dumas having made use of secretarial assistance in the productions which were ultimately to be fathered by himself, there is little but jealous and spiteful hearsay to lead one to suppose that he made any secret of the fact that he had some very considerable assistance in the production of the seven hundred volumes which, at a late period in his life, he claimed to have produced.

The “Maquet affaire,” of course, proclaims the whilom Augustus Mackeat as a collaborateur; still the ingenuity of Dumas shines forth through the[Pg 40] warp and woof in an unmistakable manner, and he who would know more of the pros and cons is referred to the “Maison Dumas et Cie.”

Maquet was manifestly what we have come to know as a “hack,” though the species is not so very new—nor so very rare. The great libraries are full of them the whole world over, and very useful, though irresponsible and ungrateful persons, many of them have proved to be. Maquet, at any rate, served some sort of a useful purpose, and he certainly was a confidant of the great romancer during these very years, but that his was the mind and hand that evolved or worked out the general plan and detail of the romances is well-nigh impossible to believe, when one has digested both sides of the question.

An English critic of no inconsiderable knowledge has thrown in his lot recently with the claims of Maquet, and given the sole and entire production of “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” “Monte Cristo,” “La Dame de Monsoreau,” and many other of Dumas’ works of this period, to him, placing him, indeed, with Shakespeare, whose plays certain gullible persons believe to have been written by Bacon. The flaw in the theory is apparent when one realizes that the said Maquet was no myth—he was, in fact, a very real person, and a literary personage of a [Pg 41]certain ability. It is strange, then, that if he were the producer of, say “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” which was issued ostensibly as the work of Dumas, that he wrote nothing under his own name that was at all comparable therewith; and stranger still, that he was able to repeat this alleged success with “Monte Cristo,” or the rest of the Mousquetaire series, and yet not be able to do the same sort of a feat when playing the game by himself. One instance would not prove this contention, but several are likely to not only give it additional strength, but to practically demonstrate the correct conclusion.

The ethics of plagiarism are still greater and more involved than those which make justification for the employment of one who makes a profession of library research, but it is too involved and too vast to enter into here, with respect to accusations of its nature which were also made against Dumas.

As that new star which has so recently risen out of the East—Mr. Kipling—has said, “They took things where they found them.” This is perhaps truthful with regard to most literary folk, who are continually seeking a new line of thought. Scott did it, rather generously one might think; even Stevenson admitted that he was greatly indebted to Washington Irving and Poe for certain[Pg 42] of the details of “Treasure Island”—though there is absolutely no question but that it was a sort of unconscious absorption, to put it rather unscientifically. The scientist himself calls it the workings of the subconscious self.

As before said, the Maquet affaire was a most complicated one, and it shall have no lengthy consideration here. Suffice to say that, when a case was made by Maquet in court, in 1856-58, Maquet lost. “It is not justice that has won,” said Maquet, “but Dumas.”

Edmond About has said that Maquet lived to speak kindly of Dumas, “as did his legion of other collaborateurs; and the proudest of them congratulate themselves on having been trained in so good a school.” This being so, it is hard to see anything very outrageous or preposterous in the procedure.

Blaze de Bury has described Dumas’ method thus:

“The plot was worked over by Dumas and his colleague, when it was finally drafted by the other and afterward rewritten by Dumas.”

M. About, too, corroborates Blaze de Bury’s statement, so it thus appears legitimately explained. Dumas at least supplied the ideas and the esprit.

In Dumas’ later years there is perhaps more [Pg 43]justification for the thought that as his indolence increased—though he was never actually inert, at least not until sickness drew him down—the authorship of the novels became more complex. Blaze de Bury put them down to the “Dumas-Legion,” and perhaps with some truth. They certainly have not the vim and fire and temperament of individuality of those put forth from 1840 to 1850.

Dumas wrote fire and impetuosity into the veins of his heroes, perhaps some of his very own vivacious spirit. It has been said that his moral code was that of the camp or the theatre; but that is an ambiguity, and it were better not dissected.

Certainly he was no prude or Puritan, not more so, at any rate, than were Burns, Byron, or Poe, but the virtues of courage, devotion, faithfulness, loyalty, and friendship were his, to a degree hardly excelled by any of whom the written record of cameraderie exists.

Dumas has been jibed and jeered at by the supercilious critics ever since his first successes appeared, but it has not leavened his reputation as the first romancer of his time one single jot; and within the past few years we have had a revival of the character of true romance—perhaps the first true revival since Dumas’ time—in M. Rostand’s “Cyrano de Bergerac.”

[Pg 44]We have had, too, the works of Zola, who, indomitable, industrious, and sincere as he undoubtedly was, will have been long forgotten when the masterpieces of Dumas are being read and reread. The Mousquetaire cycle, the Valois romances, and “Monte Cristo” stand out by themselves above all others of his works, and have had the approbation of such discerning fellow craftsmen as George Sand, Thackeray, and Stevenson, all of whom may be presumed to have judged from entirely different points of view. Thackeray, indeed, plainly indicated his greatest admiration for “La Tulipe Noire,” a work which in point of time came somewhat later. At this time Dumas had built his own Chalet de Monte Cristo near St. Germain, a sort of a Gallic rival to Abbotsford. It, and the “Théâtre Historique,” founded by Dumas, came to their disastrous end in the years immediately following upon the Revolution of 1848, when Dumas fled to Brussels and began his “Mémoires.” He also founded a newspaper called Le Mousquetaire, which failed, else he might have retrenched and satisfied his creditors—at least in part.

He travelled in Russia, and upon his return wrote of his journey to the Caspian. In 1860 he obtained an archæological berth in Italy, and edited a Garibaldian newspaper.

[Pg 45]By 1864, the “Director of Excavations at Naples,” which was Dumas’ official title, fell out with the new government which had come in, and he left his partisan journal and the lava-beds of Pompeii for Paris and the literary arena again; but the virile power of his early years was gone, and Dumas never again wielded the same pen which had limned the features of Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan.

In 1844 Dumas participated in a sort of personally-conducted Bonapartist tour to the Mediterranean, in company with the son of Jerome Napoleon. On this journey Dumas first saw the island of Monte Cristo and the Château d’If, which lived so fervently in his memory that he decided that their personality should be incorporated in the famous tale which was already formulating itself in his brain.

Again, this time in company with the Duc de Montpensier, he journeyed to the Mediterranean, “did” Spain, and crossed over to Algiers. When he returned he brought back the celebrated vulture, “Jugurtha,” whose fame was afterward perpetuated in “Mes Bêtes.”

That there was a deal of reality in the characterization and the locale of Dumas’ romances will not be denied by any who have acquaintance therewith.[Pg 46] Dumas unquestionably took his material where he found it, and his wonderfully retentive memory, his vast capacity for work, and his wide experience and extensive acquaintance provided him material that many another would have lacked.

M. de Chaffault tells of his having accompanied Dumas by road from Sens to Joigny, Dumas being about to appeal to the republican constituency of that place for their support of him as a candidate for the parliamentary elections.

“In a short time we were on the road,” said the narrator, “and the first stage of three hours seemed to me only as many minutes. Whenever we passed a country-seat, out came a lot of anecdotes and legends connected with its owners, interlarded with quaint fancies and epigrams.”

Aside from the descriptions of the country around about Crépy, Compiègne, and Villers-Cotterets which he wove into the Valois tales, “The Taking of the Bastille,” and “The Wolf-Leader,” there is a strong note of personality in “Georges;” some have called it autobiography.

The tale opens in the far-distant Isle of France, called since the English occupation Mauritius, and in the narrative of the half-caste Georges Munier are supposed to be reflected many of the personal incidents of the life of the author.

[Pg 47]This story may or may not be a mere repetition of certain of the incidents of the struggle of the mulatto against the barrier of the white aristocracy, and may have been an echo in Dumas’ own life. It is repeated it may have been this, or it may have been much more. Certain it is, there is an underlying motive which could only have been realized to the full extent expressed therein by one who knew and felt the pangs of the encounter with a world which only could come to one of genius who was by reason of race or creed outclassed by his contemporaries; and therein is given the most vivid expression of the rise of one who had everything against him at the start.

This was not wholly true of Dumas himself, to be sure, as he was endowed with certain influential friends. Still it was mainly through his own efforts that he was able to prevail upon the old associates and friends of the dashing General Dumas, his father, to give him his first lift along the rough and stony literary pathway.

In this book there is a curious interweaving of the life and colour which may have had not a little to do with the actual life which obtained with respect to his ancestors, and as such, and the various descriptions of negro and Creole life, the story [Pg 48]becomes at once a document of prime interest and importance.

Since Dumas himself has explained and justified the circumstance out of which grew the conception of the D’Artagnan romances, it is perhaps advisable that some account should be given of the original D’Artagnan.

Primarily, the interest in Dumas’ romance of “Les Trois Mousquetaires” is as great, if not greater, with respect to the characters as it is with the scenes in which they lived and acted their strenuous parts. In addition, there is the profound satisfaction of knowing that the rollicking and gallant swashbuckler has come down to us from the pages of real life, as Dumas himself recounts in the preface to the Colman Lévy edition of the book. The statement of Dumas is explicit enough; there is no mistaking his words which open the preface:

“Dans laquelle
Il est établi que, malgré leurs noms en os et en is,
Les héros de l’histoire
Que nous allons avoir l’honneur de raconter à nos lecteurs
N’ont rien de mythologique.”

The contemporary facts which connect the real Comte d’Artagnan with romances are as follows:

Charles de Batz de Castlemore, Comte [Pg 49]d’Artagnan, received his title from the little village of Artagnan, near the Gascon town of Orthez in the present department of the Hautes-Pyrénées. He was born in 1623. Dumas, with an author’s license, made his chief figure a dozen years older, for the real D’Artagnan was but five years old at the time of the siege of La Rochelle of which Dumas makes mention. On the whole, the romance is near enough to reality to form an ample endorsement of the author’s verity.




The real D’Artagnan made his way to Paris, as did he of the romance. Here he met his fellow Béarnais, one M. de Treville, captain of the king’s musketeers, and the illustrious individuals, Armand de Sillegue d’Athos, a Béarnais nobleman who died in 1645, and whose direct descendant, Colonel de Sillegue, commanded, according to the French army lists of a recent date, a regiment of French cavalry; Henry d’Aramitz, lay abbé of Oloron; and Jean de Portu, all of them probably neighbours in D’Artagnan’s old home.

D’Artagnan could not then have been at the siege of La Rochelle, but from the “Mémoires de M. d’Artagnan,” of which Dumas writes in his preface, we learn of his feats at arms at Arras, Valenciennes, Douai, and Lille, all places where once and again Dumas placed the action of the novels.

[Pg 50]The real D’Artagnan died, sword in hand, “in the imminent deadly breach” at Maestricht, in 1673. He served, too, under Prince Rupert in the Civil War, and frequently visited England, where he had an affaire with a certain Milady, which is again reminiscent of the pages of Dumas.

This D’Artagnan in the flesh married Charlotte Anne de Chanlecy, and the last of his direct descendants died in Paris in the latter years of the eighteenth century, but collateral branches of the family appear still to exist in Gascony, and there was a certain Baron de Batz, a Béarnais, who made a daring attempt to save Marie Antoinette in 1793.

The inception of the whole work in Dumas’ mind, as he says, came to him while he was making research in the “Bibliothèque Royale” for his history of Louis XIV.

Thus from these beginnings grew up that series of romances which gave undying fame to Alexandre Dumas, and to the world of readers a series of characters and scenes associated with the mediæval history of France, which, before or since, have not been equalled.

Alexandre Dumas has been described as something of the soldier, the cook, and the traveller, more of the journalist, diplomatist, and poet, and, more than all else, the dramatist, romancer, and[Pg 51] raconteur. He himself has said that he was a “veritable Wandering Jew of literature.”

His versatility in no way comprised his abilities, and, while conceit and egoism played a not unimportant share in his make-up, his affability—when he so chose—caused him to be ranked highly in the estimation of his equals and contemporaries. By the cur-dogs, which always snap at the heels of a more splendid animal, he was not ranked so high.

Certain of these were for ever twitting him publicly of his creed, race, and foibles. It is recorded by Theodore de Bauville, in his “Odes,” that one Jacquot hailed Dumas in the open street with a ribald jeer, when, calmly turning to his detractor, Dumas said, simply: “Hast thou dined to-day, Jacquot?” Then it was that this said Jacquot published the slanderous brochure, “La Maison Dumas et Cie,” which has gone down as something considerable of a sensation in the annals of literary history; so much so, indeed, that most writers who have had occasion to refer to Dumas’ literary career have apparently half-believed its accusations, which, truth to tell, may have had some bearing on “things as they were,” had they but been put forward as a bit of temperate criticism rather than as a sweeping condemnation.

[Pg 52]To give the reader an idea of the Dumas of 1840, one can scarcely do better than present his portrait as sketched by De Villemessant, the founder and brilliant editor of the Figaro, when Dumas was at the height of his glory, and a grasp of his hand was better than a touch of genius to those receiving it:

“At no time and among no people had it till then been granted to a writer to achieve fame in every direction; in serious drama and in comedy, and novels of adventure and of domestic interest, in humourous stories and in pathetic tales, Alexandre Dumas had been alike successful. The frequenters of the Théâtre Français owed him evenings of delight, but so did the general public as well. Dumas alone had had the power to touch, interest, or amuse, not only Paris or France, but the whole world. If all other novelists had been swallowed up in an earthquake, this one would have been able to supply the leading libraries of Europe. If all other dramatists had died, Alexandre Dumas could have occupied every stage; his magic name on a playbill or affixed to a newspaper feuilleton ensured the sale of that issue or a full house at the theatre. He was king of the stage, prince of feuilletonists, the literary man par excellence, in that Paris then so full of intellect. When he opened [Pg 53]his lips the most eloquent held their breath to listen; when he entered a room the wit of man, the beauty of woman, the pride of life, grew dim in the radiance of his glory; he reigned over Paris in right of his sovereign intellect, the only monarch who for an entire century had understood how to draw to himself the adoration of all classes of society, from the Faubourg St. Germain to the Batignolles.

“Just as he united in himself capabilities of many kinds, so he displayed in his person the perfection of many races. From the negro he had derived the frizzled hair and those thick lips on which Europe had laid a delicate smile of ever-varying meaning; from the southern races he derived his vivacity of gesture and speech, from the northern his solid frame and broad shoulders and a figure which, while it showed no lack of French elegance, was powerful enough to have made green with envy the gentlemen of the Russian Life-Guards.”

Dumas’ energy and output were tremendous, as all know. It is recorded that on one occasion,—in the later years of his life, when, as was but natural, he had tired somewhat,—after a day at la chasse, he withdrew to a cottage near by to rest until the others should rejoin him, after having finished their sport. This they did within a reasonably short time,—whether one hour or two is not stated with[Pg 54] definiteness,—when they found him sitting before the fire “twirling his thumbs.” On being interrogated, he replied that he had not been sitting there long; in fact, he had just written the first act of a new play.

The French journal, La Revue, tells the following incident, which sounds new. Some years before his death, Dumas had written a somewhat quaint letter to Napoleon III., apropos of a play which had been condemned by the French censor. In this epistle he commenced:

Sire:—In 1830, and, indeed, even to-day, there are three men at the head of French literature. These three men are Victor Hugo, Lamartine, and myself. Although I am the least of the three, the five continents have made me the most popular, probably because the one was a thinker, the other a dreamer, while I am merely a writer of commonplace tales.”

This letter goes on to plead the cause of his play, and from this circumstance the censorship was afterward removed.

A story is told of an incident which occurred at a rehearsal of “Les Trois Mousquetaires” at the “Ambigu.” This story is strangely reminiscent of another incident which happened at a rehearsal of Halévy’s “Guido et Génevra,” but it is still worth[Pg 55] recounting here, if only to emphasize the indomitable energy and perspicacity of Dumas.

It appears that a pompier—that gaudy, glistening fireman who is always present at functions of all sorts on the continent of Europe—who was watching the rehearsal, was observed by Dumas to suddenly leave his point of vantage and retire. Dumas followed him and inquired his reason for withdrawing. “What made you go away?” Dumas asked of him. “Because that last act did not interest me so much as the others,” was the answer. Whereupon Dumas sent for the prompt-book and threw that portion relating to that particular tableau into the fire, and forthwith set about to rewrite it on the spot. “It does not amuse the pompier,” said Dumas, “but I know what it wants.” An hour and a half later, at the finish of the rehearsal, the actors were given their new words for the seventh tableau.

In spite of the varied success with which his plays met, Dumas was, we may say, first of all a dramatist, if construction of plot and the moving about of dashing and splendid figures counts for anything; and it most assuredly does.

This very same qualification is what makes the romances so vivid and thrilling; and they do not falter either in accessory or fact.

[Pg 56]The cloaks of his swashbucklering heroes are always the correct shade of scarlet; their rapiers, their swords, or their pistols are always rightly tuned, and their entrances and their exits correctly and most appropriately timed.

When his characters represent the poverty of a tatterdemalion, they do it with a sincerity that is inimitable, and the lusty throatings of a D’Artagnan are never a hollow mockery of something they are not.

Dumas drew his characters of the stage and his personages of the romances with the brilliance and assurance of a Velasquez, rather than with the finesse of a Praxiteles, and for that reason they live and introduce themselves as cosmopolitans, and are to be appreciated only as one studies or acquires something of the spirit from which they have been evolved.

Of Dumas’ own uproarious good nature many have written. Albert Vandam tells of a certain occasion when he went to call upon the novelist at St. Germain,—and he reckoned Dumas the most lovable and genial among all of his host of acquaintances in the great world of Paris,—that he overheard, as he was entering the study, “a loud burst of laughter.” “I had sooner wait until monsieur’s visitors are gone,” said he. “Monsieur has[Pg 57] no visitors,” said the servant. “Monsieur often laughs like that at his work.”

Dumas as a man of affairs or as a politician was not the success that he was in the world of letters. His activities were great, and his enthusiasm for any turn of affairs with which he allied himself remarkable; but, whether he was en voyage on a whilom political mission, at work as “Director of Excavations” at Pompeii, or founding or conducting a new journal or a new playhouse, his talents were manifestly at a discount. In other words, he was singularly unfit for public life; he was not an organizer, nor had he executive ability, though he had not a little of the skill of prophecy and foresight as to many turns of fortune’s wheel with respect to world power and the comity of nations.

Commenting upon the political state of Europe, he said: “Geographically, Prussia has the form of a serpent, and, like it, she appears to be asleep, in order to gain strength to swallow everything around her.” All of his prophecy was not fulfilled, to be sure, but a huge slice was fed into her maw from out of the body of France, and, looking at things at a time fifty years ahead of that of which Dumas wrote,—that is, before the Franco-Prussian War,—it would seem as though the serpent’s appetite was still unsatisfied.

[Pg 58]In 1847, when Dumas took upon himself to wish for a seat in the government, he besought the support of the constituency of the borough in which he had lived—St. Germain. But St. Germain denied it him—“on moral grounds.” In the following year, when Louis-Philippe had abdicated, he made the attempt once again.

The republican constituency of Joigny challenged him with respect to his title of Marquis de la Pailleterie, and his having been a secretary in the Orleans Bureau. The following is his reply—verbatim—as publicly delivered at a meeting of electors, and is given here as illustrating well the earnestness and devotion to a code which many Puritan and prudish moralists have themselves often ignored:

“I was formerly called the Marquis de la Pailleterie, no doubt. It was my father’s name, and one of which I was very proud, being then unable to claim a glorious one of my own make. But at present, when I am somebody, I call myself Alexandre Dumas, and nothing more; and every one knows me, yourselves among the rest—you, you absolute nobodies, who have come here merely to boast, to-morrow, after having given me insult to-night, that you have known the great Dumas. If such were your avowed ambition, you could have[Pg 59] satisfied it without having failed in the common courtesies of gentlemen. There is no doubt, either, about my having been a secretary to the Duc d’Orleans, and that I have received many favours from his family. If you are ignorant of the meaning of the phrase, ‘The memories of the heart,’ allow me, at least, to proclaim loudly that I am not, and that I entertain toward this family of royal blood all the devotion of an honourable man.”

That Dumas was ever accused of making use of the work of others, of borrowing ideas wherever he found them, and, indeed, of plagiarism itself,—which is the worst of all,—has been mentioned before, and the argument for or against is not intended to be continued here.

Dumas himself has said much upon the subject in defence of his position, and the contemporary scribblers of the time have likewise had their say—and it was not brief; but of all that has been written and said, the following is pertinent and deliciously naïve, and, coming from Dumas himself, has value:

“One morning I had only just opened my eyes when my servant entered my bedroom and brought me a letter upon which was written the word urgent. He drew back the curtains; the weather—doubtless[Pg 60] by some mistake—was fine, and the brilliant sunshine entered the room like a conqueror. I rubbed my eyes and looked at the letter to see who had sent it, astonished at the same time that there should be only one. The handwriting was quite unknown to me. Having turned it over and over for a minute or two, trying to guess whose the writing was, I opened it and this is what I found:

“‘Sir:—I have read your “Three Musketeers,” being well to do, and having plenty of spare time on my hands—’

“(‘Lucky fellow!’ said I; and I continued reading.)

“‘I admit that I found it fairly amusing; but, having plenty of time before me, I was curious enough to wish to know if you really did find them in the “Memoirs of M. de La Fère.” As I was living in Carcassonne, I wrote to one of my friends in Paris to go to the Bibliothèque Royale, and ask for these memoirs, and to write and let me know if you had really and truly borrowed your facts from them. My friend, whom I can trust, replied that you had copied them word for word, and that it is what you authors always do. So I give you fair notice, sir, that I have told people all about it [Pg 61]at Carcassonne, and, if it occurs again, we shall cease subscribing to the Siècle.

“‘Yours sincerely,

“I rang the bell.

“‘If any more letters come for me to-day,’ said I to the servant, ‘you will keep them back, and only give them to me sometime when I seem a bit too happy.’

“‘Manuscripts as well, sir?’

“‘Why do you ask that question?’

“‘Because some one has brought one this very moment.’

“‘Good! that is the last straw! Put it somewhere where it won’t be lost, but don’t tell me where.’

“He put it on the mantelpiece, which proved that my servant was decidedly a man of intelligence.

“It was half-past ten; I went to the window. As I have said, it was a beautiful day. It appeared as if the sun had won a permanent victory over the clouds. The passers-by all looked happy, or, at least, contented.

“Like everybody else, I experienced a desire to take the air elsewhere than at my window, so I dressed, and went out.

“As chance would have it—for when I go out[Pg 62] for a walk I don’t care whether it is in one street or another—as chance would have it, I say, I passed the Bibliothèque Royale.

“I went in, and, as usual, found Pâris, who came up to me with a charming smile.

“‘Give me,’ said I, ‘the “Memoirs of La Fère.”’

“He looked at me for a moment as if he thought I was crazy; then, with the utmost gravity, he said, ‘You know very well they don’t exist, because you said yourself they did!’

“His speech, though brief, was decidedly pithy.

“By way of thanks I made Pâris a gift of the autograph I had received from Carcassonne.

“When he had finished reading it, he said, ‘If it is any consolation to you to know it, you are not the first who has come to ask for the “Memoirs of La Fère”; I have already seen at least thirty people who came solely for that purpose, and no doubt they hate you for sending them on a fool’s errand.’

“As I was in search of material for a novel, and as there are people who declare novels are to be found ready-made, I asked for the catalogue.

“Of course, I did not discover anything.”

Every one knows of Dumas’ great fame as a gastronome and epicure; some recall, also, that he himself was a cuisinier of no mean abilities. How[Pg 63] far his capacities went in this direction, and how wide was his knowledge of the subject, can only be gleaned by a careful reading of his great “Dictionnaire de Cuisine.” Still further into the subject he may be supposed to have gone from the fact that he also published an inquiry, or an open letter, addressed to the gourmands of all countries, on the subject of mustard.

It is an interesting subject, to be sure, but a trifling one for one of the world’s greatest writers to spend his time upon; say you, dear reader? Well! perhaps! But it is a most fascinating contribution to the literature of epicurism, and quite worth looking up and into. The history of the subtle spice is traced down through Biblical and Roman times to our own day, chronologically, etymologically, botanically, and practically. It will be, and doubtless has been, useful to other compilers of essays on good cheer.

Whatever may be the subtle abilities which make the true romancer, or rather those which make his romances things of life and blood, they were possessed by Alexandre Dumas.

Perhaps it is the more easy to construct a romantic play than it is to erect, from matter-of-fact components, a really engrossing romantic novel. Dumas’ abilities seem to fit in with both varieties[Pg 64] alike, and if he did build to order, the result was in most cases no less successful than if evolved laboriously.

It is a curious fact that many serial contributions—if we are to believe the literary gossip of the time—are only produced as the printer is waiting for copy. The formula is manifestly not a good one upon which to build, but it has been done, and successfully, by more writers than one, and with scarce a gap unbridged.

Dickens did it,—if it is allowable to mention him here,—and Dumas himself did it,—many times,—and with a wonderful and, one may say, inspired facility, but then his facility, none the less than his vitality, made possible much that was not granted to the laborious Zola.

Dumas was untiring to the very last. His was a case of being literally worked out—not worked to death, which is quite a different thing.

It has been said by Dumas fils that in the latter years of the elder’s life he would sit for length upon length of time, pen in hand, and not a word would flow therefrom, ere the ink had dried.

An interesting article on Dumas’ last days appeared in La Revue in 1903. It dealt with the sadness and disappointments of Dumas’ later days, in spite of which the impression conveyed of the great[Pg 65] novelist’s personality is very vivid, and he emerges from it much as his books would lead one to expect—a hearty, vigorous creature, surcharged with vitality, with desire to live and let live, a man possessed of almost equally prominent faults and virtues, and generous to a fault.


Alexandre Dumas, fils


Money he had never been able to keep. He had said himself, at a time when he was earning a fortune, “I can keep everything but money. Money unfortunately always slips through my fingers.” The close of his life was a horrible struggle to make ends meet. When matters came to a crisis Dumas would pawn some of the valuable objets d’art he had collected in the opulent past, or ask his son for assistance. But, though the sum asked was always given, there were probably few things which the old man would not have preferred to this appeal to the younger author.

As he grew old, Dumas père became almost timid in his attitude toward the son, whose disapproval had frequently found expression in advice and warning. But Dumas could not settle down, and he could not become careful. Neither of these things was in his nature, and there was consequently always some little undercurrent of friction between them. To the end of his days his money was anybody’s who liked to come and ask for it,[Pg 66] and nothing but the final clouding of his intellectual capacity could reduce his optimism. Then, it is true, he fell into a state of sustained depression. The idea that his reputation would not last haunted him.

In 1870, when Dumas was already very ill, his son, anxious that he should not be in Paris during its investment by the Germans, took him to a house he had at Puys, near Dieppe. Here the great man rapidly sank, and, except at meal-times, passed his time in a state of heavy sleep, until a sudden attack of apoplexy finally seized him. He never rallied after it, and died upon the day the Prussian soldiers took possession of Dieppe.

Many stories are rife of Dumas the prodigal. Some doubtless are true, many are not. Those which he fathers himself, we might well accept as being true. Surely he himself should know.

The following incident which happened in the last days of his life certainly has the ring of truth about it.

When in his last illness he left Paris for his son’s country house near Dieppe, he had but twenty francs, the total fortune of the man who had earned millions.

On arriving at Puys, Dumas placed the coin on[Pg 67] his bedroom chimneypiece, and there it remained all through his illness.

One day he was seated in his chair near the window, chatting with his son, when his eye fell on the gold piece.

A recollection of the past crossed his mind.

“Fifty years ago, when I went to Paris,” he said, “I had a louis. Why have people accused me of prodigality? I have always kept that louis. See—there it is.”

And he showed his son the coin, smiling feebly as he did so.



[Pg 68]




Among those of the world’s great names in literature contemporary with Dumas, but who knew Paris ere he first descended upon it to try his fortune in its arena of letters, were Lamartine, who already, in 1820, had charmed his public with his “Meditations;” Hugo, who could claim but twenty years himself, but who had already sung his “Odes et Ballades,” and Chateaubriand.

Soulié and De Vigny won their fame with poems and plays in the early twenties, De Musset and Chénier followed before a decade had passed, and Gautier was still serving his apprenticeship.

It was the proud Goethe who said of these young men of the twenties, “They all come from Chateaubriand.” Béranger, too, “the little man,” even though he was drawing on toward the prime of life, was also singing melodiously: it was his[Pg 69] chansons, it is said, that upset the Bourbon throne and made way for the “citizen-king.” Nodier, of fanciful and fantastic rhyme, was already at work, and Mérimée had not yet taken up the administrative duties of overseeing the preserving process which at his instigation was, at the hands of a paternal government, being applied to the historical architectural monuments throughout France; a glory which it is to be feared has never been wholly granted to Mérimée, as was his due.




Guizot, the bête noire of the later Louis-Philippe, was actively writing from 1825 to 1830, and his antagonist, Thiers, was at the same period producing what Carlyle called the “voluminous and untrustworthy labours of a brisk little man in his way;” which recalls to mind the fact that Carlylean rant—like most of his prose—is a well-nigh insufferable thing.

At this time Mignet, the historian, was hard at work, and St. Beauve had just deserted materia medica for literature. Michelet’s juvenile histories were a production of the time, while poor, unhonoured, and then unsung, Balzac was grinding out his pittance—in after years to grow into a monumental literary legacy—in a garret.

Eugène Sue had not yet taken to literary pathways, and was scouring the seas as a naval surgeon.

[Pg 70]The drama was prolific in names which we have since known as masters, Scribe, Halévy, and others.

George Sand, too, was just beginning that grand literary life which opened with “Indiana” in 1832, and lasted until 1876. She, like so many of the great, whose name and fame, like Dumas’ own, has been perpetuated by a monument in stone, the statue which was unveiled in the little town of her birth on the Indre, La Châtre, in 1903.

Like Dumas, too, hers was a cyclopean industry, and so it followed that in the present twentieth century (in the year 1904), another and a more glorious memorial to France’s greatest woman writer was unveiled in the Garden of the Luxembourg.

Among the women famous in the monde of Paris at the time of Dumas’ arrival were Mesdames Desbordes-Valmore, Amable Tastu, and Delphine Gay.

“For more than half a century this brilliant group of men and women sustained the world of ideas and poetry,” said Dumas, in his “Mémoires,” “and I, too,” he continued, “have reached the same plane ... unaided by intrigue or coterie, and using none other than my own work as the stepping-stone in my pathway.”

[Pg 71]Dumas cannot be said to have been niggardly with his praise of the work of others. He said of a sonnet of Arnault’s—“La Feuille”—that it was a masterpiece which an André Chénier, a Lamartine, or a Hugo might have envied, and that for himself, not knowing what his “literary brothers” might have done, he would have given for it “any one of his dramas.”

It was into the office of Arnault, who was chief of a department in the Université, that Béranger took up his labours as a copying-clerk,—as did Dumas in later years,—and it was while here that Béranger produced his first ballad, the “Roi d’Yvetot.”

In 1851 Millet was at his height, if one considers what he had already achieved by his “great agrarian poems,” as they have been called. Gautier called them “Georgics in paint,” and such they undoubtedly were. Millet would hardly be called a Parisian; he was not of the life of the city, but rather of that of the countryside, by his having settled down at Barbizon in 1849, and practically never left it except to go to Paris on business.

His life has been referred to as one of “sublime monotony,” but it was hardly that. It was a life devoted to the telling of a splendid story, that of[Pg 72] the land as contrasted with that of the paved city streets.

Corot was a real Parisian, and it was only in his early life in the provinces that he felt the bitterness of life and longed for the flagstones of the quais, for the Tuileries, the Seine, and his beloved Rue de Bac, where he was born on 10th Thermidor, Year IV. (July 28, 1796). Corot early took to painting the scenes of the metropolis, as we learn from his biography, notably at the point along the river bank where the London steamer moors to-day. But these have disappeared; few or none of his juvenile efforts have come down to us.

Corot returned to Paris, after many years spent in Rome, during the reign of Louis-Philippe, when affairs were beginning to stir themselves in literature and art. In 1839 his “Site d’Italie” and a “Soir” were shown at the annual Salon,—though, of course, he had already been an exhibitor there,—and inspired a sonnet of Théophile Gautier, which concludes:

“Corot, ton nom modest, écrit dans un coin noir.”

Corot’s pictures were unfortunately hung in the darkest corners—for fifteen years. As he himself has said, it was as if he were in the catacombs.[Pg 73] In 1855 Corot figured as one of the thirty-four judges appointed by Napoleon III. to make the awards for paintings exhibited in the world’s first Universal Exhibition. It is not remarked that Corot had any acquaintance or friendships with Dumas or with Victor Hugo, of whom he remarked, “This Victor Hugo seems to be pretty famous in literature.” He knew little of his contemporaries, and the hurly-burly knew less of him. He was devoted, however, to the genius of his superiors—as he doubtless thought them. Of Delacroix he said one day, “He is an eagle, and I am only a lark singing little songs in gray clouds.”

A literary event of prime importance during the latter years of Dumas’ life in Paris, when his own purse was growing thin, was the publication of the “Histoire de Jules César,” written by Napoleon III.

Nobody ever seems to have taken the second emperor seriously in any of his finer expressions of sentiment, and, as may be supposed, the publication of this immortal literary effort was the occasion of much sarcasm, banter, violent philippic, and sardonic criticism.

Possibly the world was not waiting for this work, but royalty, no less than other great men, have their hobbies and their fads; Nero fiddled, and the[Pg 74] first Napoleon read novels and threw them forthwith out of the carriage window, so it was quite permissible that Napoleon III. should have perpetuated this life history of an emperor whom he may justly and truly have admired—perhaps envied, in a sort of impossible way.

Already Louis Napoleon’s collection of writings was rather voluminous, so this came as no great surprise, and his literary reputation was really greater than that which had come to him since fate made him the master of one of the foremost nations of Europe.

From his critics we learn that “he lacked the grace of a popular author; that he was quite incapable of interesting the reader by a charm of manner; and that his style was meagre, harsh, and grating, but epigrammatic.” No Frenchman could possibly be otherwise.

Dumas relates, again, the story of Sir Walter Scott’s visit to Paris, seeking documents which should bear upon the reign of Napoleon. Dining with friends one evening, he was invited the next day to dine with Barras. But Scott shook his head. “I cannot dine with that man,” he replied. “I shall write evil of him, and people in Scotland would say that I have flung the dishes from his own table at his head.”

[Pg 75]It is not recorded that Dumas’ knowledge of swordsmanship was based on practical experience, but certainly no more scientific sword-play of passe and touche has been put into words than that wonderful attack and counter-attack in the opening pages of “Les Trois Mousquetaires.”

Of the duel d’honneur there is less to be said, though Dumas more than once sought to reconcile estranged and impetuous spirits who would have run each other through, either by leaden bullet or the sword. A notable instance of this was in the memorable affaire between Louis Blanc of L’Homme-Libre and Dujarrier-Beauvallon of La Presse. The latter told Dumas that he had no alternative but to fight, though he went like a lamb to the slaughter, and had no knowledge of the code nor any skill with weapons.

Dumas père was implored by the younger Dumas—both of whom took Dujarrier’s interests much to heart—to go and see Grisier and claim his intervention. “I cannot do it,” said the elder; “the first and foremost thing to do is to safeguard his reputation, which is the more precious because it is his first duel.” The Grisier referred to was the great master of fence of the time who was immortalized by Dumas in his “Maître d’Armes.”

Dumas himself is acknowledged, however, on one[Pg 76] occasion, at least, to have acted as second—co-jointly with General Fleury—in an affaire which, happily, never came off.

It was this Blanc-Dujarrier duel which brought into further prominent notice that most remarkable and quasi-wonderful woman, Lola Montez; that daughter of a Spaniard and a Creole, a native of Limerick, pupil of a boarding-school at Bath, and one-time resident of Seville; to which may be added, on the account of Lord Malmesbury, “The woman who in Munich set fire to the magazine of revolution which was ready to burst forth all over Europe.”

She herself said that she had also lived in Calcutta as the wife of an officer in the employ of the East India Company; had at one time been reduced to singing in the streets at Brussels; had danced at the Italian Opera in London,—“not much, but as well as half the ugly wooden women who were there,”—and had failed as a dancer in Warsaw.

“This illiterate schemer,” says Vandam, “who probably knew nothing of geography or history, had pretty well the Almanach de Gotha by heart.” “Why did I not come earlier to Paris?” she once said. “What was the good? There was a king there bourgeois to his finger-nails, tight-fisted [Pg 77]besides, and notoriously the most moral and the best father in all the world.”

This woman, it seems, was a beneficiary in the testament of Dujarrier, who died as a result of his duel, to the extent of eighteen shares in the Théâtre du Palais Royal, and in the trial which followed at Rouen, at which were present all shades and degrees of literary and professional people, Dumas, Gustave Flaubert, and others, she insisted upon appearing as a witness, for no reason whatever, apparently, than that of further notoriety. “Six months from this time,” as one learns from Vandam, “her name was almost forgotten by all of us except Alexandre Dumas, who once and again alluded to her.” “Though far from superstitious, Dumas, who had been as much smitten with her as most of her admirers, avowed that he was glad that she had disappeared. ‘She has the evil eye,’ said he, ‘and is sure to bring bad luck to any one who closely links his destiny with hers.’”

There is no question but that Dumas was right, for she afterward—to mention but two instances of her remarkably active career—brought disaster “most unkind” upon Louis I. of Bavaria; committed bigamy with an English officer who was drowned at Lisbon; and, whether in the guise of[Pg 78] lovers or husbands, all, truly, who became connected with her met with almost immediate disaster.

The mere mention of Lola Montez brings to mind another woman of the same category, though different in character, Alphonsine Plessis, more popularly known as La Dame aux Camélias. She died in 1847, and her name was not Marie or Marguérite Duplessis, but as above written.

Dumas fils in his play did not idealize Alphonsine Plessis’ character; indeed, Dumas père said that he did not even enlarge or exaggerate any incident—all of which was common property in the demi-monde—“save that he ascribed her death to any cause but the right one.” “I know he made use of it,” said the father, “but he showed the malady aggravated by Duval’s desertion.”

We learn that the elder Dumas “wept like a baby” over the reading of his son’s play. But his tears did not drown his critical faculty. “At the beginning of the third act,” said Dumas père, “I was wondering how Alexandre would get his Marguérite back to town, ... but the way Alexandre got out of the difficulty proves that he is my son, every inch of him, and at the very outset of his career he is a better dramatist than I am ever likely to be.”

“Alphonsine Plessis was decidedly a real [Pg 79]personage, but not an ordinary one in her walk of life,” said Doctor Véron. “A woman of her refinement might not have been impossible in a former day, because the grisette—and subsequently the femme entretenue—was not then even surmised. She interests me much; she is the best dressed woman in Paris, she neither conceals nor hides her vices, and she does not continually hint about money; in short, she is wonderful.”

“La Dame aux Camélias” appeared within eighteen months of the actual death of the heroine, and went into every one’s hands, interest being whetted meanwhile by the recent event, and yet more by much gossip—scandal if you will—which universally appeared in the Paris press. Her pedigree was evolved and diagnosed by Count G. de Contades in a French bibliographical journal, Le Livre, which showed that she was descended from a “guénuchetonne” (slattern) of Longé, in the canton of Brionze, near Alençon; a predilection which the elder Dumas himself had previously put forth when he stated that, “I am certain that one might find taint either on the father’s side, or on the mother’s, probably on the former’s, but more probably still on both.”

The following eulogy, extracted from a letter written to Dumas fils by Victor Hugo upon the[Pg 80] occasion of the inhumation of the ashes of Alexandre Dumas at Villers-Cotterets, whither they were removed from Puits, shows plainly the esteem in which his literary abilities were held by the more sober-minded of his compeers:

Mon cher Confrère:—I learn from the papers of the funeral of Alexandre Dumas at Villers-Cotterets.... It is with regret that I am unable to attend.... But I am with you in my heart.... What I would say, let me write.... No popularity of the past century has equalled that of Alexandre Dumas. His successes were more than successes: they were triumphs.... The name of Alexandre Dumas is more than ‘Français, il est Européen;’ and it is more than European, it is universal. His theatre has been given publicity in all lands, and his romances have been translated into all tongues. Alexandre Dumas was one of those men we can call the sowers of civilization.... Alexandre Dumas is seducing, fascinating, interesting, amusing, and informing.... All the emotions, the most pathetic, all the irony, all the comedy, all the analysis of romance, and all the intuition of history are found in the supreme works constructed by this great and vigorous architect.

“... His spirit was capable of all the miracles[Pg 81] he performed; this he bequeathed and this survives.... Your renown but continues his glory.

“... Your father and I were young together.... He was a grand and good friend.... I had not seen him since 1857.... As I entered Paris Alexandre Dumas was leaving. I did not have even a parting shake of the hand.

“The visit which he made me in my exile I will some day return to his tomb.

Cher confrère, fils de mon ami, je vous embrasse.

Victor Hugo.

Of Dumas, Charles Reade said: “He has never been properly appreciated; he is the prince of dramatists, the king of romancists, and the emperor of good fellows.”

Dumas fils he thought a “vinegar-blooded iconoclast—shrewd, clever, audacious, introspective, and mathematically logical.”

The Cimetière du Père La Chaise has a contemporary interest with the names of many who were contemporaries of Dumas in the life and letters of his day.

Of course, sentimental interest first attaches itself to the Gothic canopy—built from the fragments of the convent of Paraclet—which enshrines the[Pg 82] remains of Abelard and Heloïse (1142-64), and this perhaps is as it should be, but for those who are conversant with the life of Paris of Dumas’ day, this most “famous resting-place” has far more interest because of its shelter given to so many of Dumas’ contemporaries and friends.

Scribe, who was buried here 1861; Michelet, d. 1874; Delphine Cambacérès, 1867; Lachambeaudie, 1872; Soulie, 1847; Balzac, 1850; Ch. Nodier, 1844; C. Delavigne, 1843; Delacroix, the painter, 1865; Talma, the tragedian, 1826; Boieldieu, the composer, 1834; Chopin, 1849; Herold, 1833; General Foy, 1825; David d’Angers, 1856; Hugo, 1828 (the father of Victor Hugo); David, the painter, 1825; Alfred de Musset, 1857; Rossini, 1868.





[Pg 83]




Dumas’ real descent upon the Paris of letters and art was in 1823, when he had given up his situation in the notary’s office at Crépy, and after the eventful holiday journey of a few weeks before. His own account of this, his fourth entrance into the city, states that he was “landed from the coach at five A. M. in the Rue Bouloi, No. 9. It was Sunday morning, and Bourbon Paris was very gloomy on a Sunday.”

Within a short time of his arrival the young romancer was making calls, of a nature which he hoped would provide him some sort of employment until he should make his way in letters, upon many bearers of famous Bourbon names who lived in the Faubourgs St. Germain and St. Honoré—all friends and compatriots of his father.

He had brought with him letters formerly written to his father, and hoped to use them as a means[Pg 84] of introduction. He approached Marshal Jourdain, General Sebastiani, the Duc de Bellune, and others, but it was not until he presented himself to General Foy, at 64 Rue du Mont Blanc,—the deputy for his department,—that anything to his benefit resulted.

Finally, through the kindly aid of General Foy, Dumas—son of a republican general though he was—found himself seated upon a clerk’s stool, quill in hand, writing out dictation at the secretary’s bureau of the Duc d’Orleans.

“I then set about to look for lodgings,” said Dumas, “and, after going up and down many staircases, I came to a halt in a little room on a fourth story, which belonged to that immense pile known as the ‘Pâté des Italiens.’ The room looked out on the courtyard, and I was to have it for one hundred and twenty francs per annum.”

From that time on Dumas may be said to have known Paris intimately—its life, its letters, its hotels and restaurants, its theatres, its salons, and its boulevards.

So well did he know it that he became a part and parcel of it.

His literary affairs and relations are dealt with elsewhere, but the various aspects of the social and economic life of Paris at the time Dumas knew [Pg 85]its very pulse-beats must be gleaned from various contemporary sources.


General Foy's Residence


The real Paris which Dumas knew—the Paris of the Second Empire—exists no more. The order of things changeth in all but the conduct of the stars, and Paris, more than any other centre of activity, scintillates and fluctuates like the changings of the money-markets.

The life that Dumas lived, so far as it has no bearing on his literary labours or the evolving of his characters, is quite another affair from that of his yearly round of work.

He knew intimately all the gay world of Paris, and fresh echoes of the part he played therein are being continually presented to us.

He knew, also, quite as intimately, certain political and social movements which took place around about him, in which he himself had no part.

It was in the fifties of the nineteenth century that Paris first became what one might call a coherent mass. This was before the days of the application of the adjective “Greater” to the areas of municipalities. Since then we have had, of course, a “Greater Paris” as we have a “Greater London” and a “Greater New York,” but at the commencement of the Second Empire (1852) there sprang into being,—“jumped at one’s eyes,” as the French[Pg 86] say,—when viewed from the heights of the towers of Notre Dame, an immense panorama, which showed the results of a prodigious development, radiating far into the distance, from the common centre of the Ile de la Cité and the still more ancient Lutèce.

Up to the construction of the present fortifications,—under Louis-Philippe,—Paris had been surrounded, at its outer confines, by a simple octroi barrier of about twenty-five kilometres in circumference, and pierced by fifty-four entrances. Since 1860 this wall has been raised and the limits of what might be called Paris proper have been extended up to the fortified lines.

This fortification wall was thirty-four kilometres in length; was strengthened by ninety-four bastions, and surrounded and supported by thirteen detached forts. Sixty-five openings gave access to the inner city, by which the roadways, waterways, and railways entered. These were further distinguished by classification as follows: portes—of which there were fifty; poternes—of which there were five; and passages—of which there were ten. Nine railways entered the city, and the “Ceinture” or girdle railway, which was to bind the various gares, was already conceived.

At this time, too, the Quais received marked [Pg 87]attention and development; trees were planted along the streets which bordered upon them, and a vast system of sewerage was planned which became—and endures until to-day—one of the sights of Paris, for those who take pleasure in such unsavoury amusements.

Lighting by gas was greatly improved, and street-lamps were largely multiplied, with the result that Paris became known for the first time as “La Ville Lumière.”

A score or more of villages, or bourgs, before 1860, were between the limits of these two barriers, but were at that time united by the loi d’annexion, and so “Greater Paris” came into being.

The principle bourgs which lost their identity, which, at the same time is, in a way, yet preserved, were Auteuil, Passy, les Ternes, Batignolles, Montmartre, la Chapelle, la Villette, Belleville, Ménilmontant, Charenton, and Bercy; and thus the population of Paris grew, as in the twinkling of an eye, from twelve hundred thousand to sixteen hundred thousand; and its superficial area from thirty-four hundred hectares to more than eight thousand—a hectare being about the equivalent of two and a half acres.

During the period of the “Restoration,” which extended from the end of the reign of the great[Pg 88] Napoleon to the coming of Louis-Philippe (1814-30), Paris may be said to have been in, or at least was at the beginning of, its golden age of prosperity.

In a way the era was somewhat inglorious, but in spite of liberal and commonplace opinion, there was made an earnest effort to again secure the pride of place for French letters and arts; and it was then that the romantic school, with Dumas at its very head, attained its first importance.

It was not, however, until Louis-Philippe came into power that civic improvements made any notable progress, though the Pont des Invalides had been built, and gas-lamps, omnibuses, and sidewalks, had been introduced just previously.

Under Louis-Philippe were completed the Église de la Madeleine and the Arc de Triomphe d’Etoile. The Obelisk,—a gift from Mohammed Ali, Viceroy of Egypt, to Louis-Philippe,—the Colonne de Juillet, and the Ponts Louis-Philippe and du Carrousel were built, as well as the modern fortifications of Paris, with their detached forts of Mont Valerien, Ivry, Charenton, Nogent, etc.

There existed also the encircling boulevards just within the fortifications, and yet another parallel series on the north, beginning at the Madeleine and extending to the Colonne de Juillet.

[Pg 89]It was not, however, until the Second Republic and the Second Empire of Napoleon III. that a hitherto unparallelled transformation was undertaken, and there sprung into existence still more broad boulevards and spacious squares, and many palatial civic and private establishments, the Bourse, the New Opera, and several theatres, the Ceinture Railway, and the Bois de Boulogne and the Bois de Vincennes.

By this time Dumas’ activities were so great, or at least the product thereof was so great, that even his intimate knowledge of French life of a more heroic day could not furnish him all the material which he desired.

It was then that he produced those essentially modern stories of life in Paris of that day, which, slight though they are as compared with the longer romances, are best represented by the “Corsican Brothers,” “Captain Pamphile,” and “Gabriel Lambert.”

Among the buildings at this time pulled down, on the Place du Carrousel, preparatory to the termination of the Louvre, was the Hôtel Longueville, the residence of the beautiful duchess of that name, celebrated for her support of the Fronde and her gallantries, as much as for her beauty. Dumas[Pg 90] would have revelled in the following incident as the basis of a tale. In the arched roof of one of the cellars of the duchess’ hôtel two skeletons of a very large size and in a perfect state of preservation were discovered, which have since been the object of many discussions on the part of the antiquarians, but adhuc sub judice lis est. Another discovery was made close by the skeletons, which is more interesting from a literary point of view; namely, that of a box, in carved steel, embellished with gilded brass knobs, and containing several papers. Among them was an amatory epistle in verse, from the Prince de Marsillac to the fair duchess. The other papers were letters relating to the state of affairs at that time; some from the hand of the celebrated Turenne, with memorandums, and of the Prince de Conti, “of great value to autograph collectors,” said the newspaper accounts of the time, but assuredly of still more value to historians, or even novelists.

At this time Paris was peopled with many hundreds—perhaps thousands—of mauvais sujets, and frequent robberies and nightly outrages were more numerous than ever. The government at last hit on the plan of sending to the bagnes of Toulon and Brest for several of the turnkeys and gaolers of those great convict dépôts, to whom the features[Pg 91] of all their former prisoners were perfectly known. These functionaries, accompanied by a policeman in plain clothes, perambulated every part of Paris by day, and by night frequented all the theatres, from the Grand Opéra downward, the low cafés and wine-shops. It appears that more than four hundred of these desperadoes were recognized and retransferred to their old quarters at Toulon. Some of these worthies had been carrying on schemes of swindling on a colossal scale, and more than one is described as having entered into large speculations on the Bourse. Perhaps it was from some such circumstance as this that Dumas evolved that wonderful narrative of the life of a forger, “Gabriel Lambert.” One of the most noted in the craft was known by the soubriquet of Pierre Mandrin, the name of that célébré being conferred on account of his superiority and skill in assuming disguises. When arrested he was figuring as a Polish count, and covered with expensive rings and jewelry. The career of this ruffian is interesting. In 1839, while undergoing an imprisonment of two years for robbery, he attempted to make his escape by murdering the gaoler, but failed, however, and was sent to the galleys at Toulon for twenty years. In 1848 he did escape from Brest, and, notwithstanding the greatest exertions on the part of the police,[Pg 92] he succeeded in crossing the whole of France and gaining Belgium, where he remained for some time. Owing to the persecutions of the Belgian police, he subsequently returned to France. He was so unfortunate as to be captured in the very act of breaking into a house at Besançon, but his prodigious activity enabled him once again to escape while on his way to prison, and he came to Paris. Being possessed of some money, he resolved to abandon his evil courses, and set up a greengrocer’s shop in the Rue Rambuteau, which went on thrivingly for some time. But such an inactive life was insupportable to him, and he soon resumed his former exciting pursuits. Several robberies committed with consummate skill soon informed the police of the presence in Paris of some great master of the art of Mercury. The most experienced officers were accordingly sent out, but they made no capture until one of the Toulon gaolers fancied he recollected the convict under the features of an elegantly attired lion on the Boulevard des Italiens. A few hours afterward the luckless échappé was safely lodged at the Conciergerie. At his lodgings, besides the usual housebreaking implements, a complete assortment of costumes of every kind was discovered—from that of the dandy of the first water to the blouse of the artisan.

[Pg 93]There is something more than a morbid interest which attaches itself to the former homes and haunts of a great author or artist. The emotion is something akin to sentiment, to be sure, but it is pardonable; far more so than the contemplation of many more popular and notorious places.

He who would follow the footsteps of Alexandre Dumas about Paris must either be fleet of foot, or one who can sustain a long march. At any rate, the progress will take a considerable time.

It is impossible to say in how many places he lived, though one gathers from the “Mémoires,” and from contemporary information, that they numbered many score, and the uncharitable have further said that he found it more economical to move than to pay his rents. Reprehensible as this practice may be, Dumas was no single exponent of it—among artists and authors; and above all in his case, as we know, it resulted from imprudence and ofttimes misplaced confidence and generosity.

One of Dumas’ early homes in Paris, jocularly called by him “La Pâté d’Italie,” was situated in that famous centre of unconventionality, the Boulevard des Italiens, a typical tree-shaded and café-lined boulevard.

Its name was obviously acquired from its resemblance to, or suggestion of being constructed of,[Pg 94] that mastic which is known in Germany as noodles, in Italy as macaroni, and in English-speaking countries as dough.

To-day the structure, as it then was, exists no more, though the present edifice at the corner of the Rue Louis le Grand, opposite the vaudeville theatre, has been assuredly stated as in no wise differing in general appearance from its prototype, and, as it is after the same ginger-cake style of architecture, it will serve its purpose.

Albert Vandam, in “An Englishman in Paris,” that remarkable book of reminiscence whose authorship was so much in doubt when the work was first published, devoted a whole chapter to the intimacies of Dumas père; indeed, nearly every feature and character of prominence in the great world of Paris—at the time of which he writes—strides through the pages of this remarkably illuminating book, in a manner which is unequalled by any conventional volume of “Reminiscence,” “Observations,” or “Memoirs” yet written in the English language, dealing with the life of Paris—or, for that matter, of any other capital.

His account, also, of a “literary café” of the Paris of the forties could only have been written by one who knew the life intimately, and, so far as Dumas’ acquaintances and contemporaries are[Pg 95] concerned, Vandam’s book throws many additional side-lights on an aspect which of itself lies in no perceptible shadow.

Even in those days the “boulevards”—the popular resort of the men of letters, artists, and musical folk—meant, as it does to-day, a somewhat restricted area in the immediate neighbourhood of the present Opera. At the corner of the Rue Lafitte was a tobacconist’s shop, whose genius was a “splendid creature,” of whom Alfred de Musset became so enamoured that his friends feared for an “imprudence on his part.” The various elements of society and cliques had their favourite resorts and rendezvous; the actors under the trees in the courtyard of the Palais Royal; the ouvrier and his family meandered in the Champs Elysées or journeyed countryward to Grenelle; while the soldiery mostly repaired to La Plaine de St. Denis.

A sister to Thiers kept a small dining establishment in the Rue Drouet, and many journalistic and political gatherings were held at her tables d’hôte. When asked whether her delicious pheasants were of her illustrious brother’s shooting, she shook her head, and replied: “No, M. the President of the Council has not the honour to supply my establishment.”

Bohemia, as Paris best knew it in the fifties, was[Pg 96] not that pleasant land which lies between the Moravian and the Giant Mountains; neither were the Bohemians of Paris a Slavonic or Teutonic people of a strange, nomad race.

But the history of the Bohemia of arts and letters—which rose to its greatest and most prophetic heights in the Paris of the nineteenth century—would no doubt prove to be as extensive a work as Buckle’s “History of Civilization,” though the recitation of tenets and principles of one would be the inevitable reverse of the other.

The intellectual Bohemian—the artist, or the man of letters—has something in his make-up of the gipsy’s love of the open road; the vagabond who instinctively rebels against the established rules of society, more because they are established than for any other reason.

Henri Mürger is commonly supposed to have popularized the “Bohemia” of arts and letters, and it is to him we owe perhaps the most graphic pictures of the life which held forth in the Quartier Latin, notorious for centuries for its lack of discipline and its defiance of the laws of Church, state, and society. It was the very nursery of open thought and liberty against absolutism and the conventional proprieties.

Gustave Nadaud described this “unknown land”[Pg 97] in subtle verse, which loses not a little in attempted paraphrase:

“There stands behind Ste. Geneviève,
A city where no fancy paves
With gold the narrow streets,
But jovial youth, the landlady
On gloomy stairs, in attic high,
Gay hope, her tenant, meets.
’Twas there that the Pays Latin stood,
’Twas there the world was really good,
’Twas there that she was gay.”

Of the freedom and the unconventionally of the life of the Bohemian world of Paris, where the lives of literature and art blended in an almost imperceptible manner, and the gay indifference of its inhabitants, one has but to recall the incident where George Sand went to the studio of the painter Delacroix to tell him that she had sad news for him; that she could never love him; and more of the same sort. “Indeed,” said Delacroix, who kept on painting.—“You are angry with me, are you not? You will never forgive me?”—“Certainly I will,” said the painter, who was still at his work, “but I’ve got a bit of sky here that has caused me a deal of trouble and is just coming right. Go away, or sit down, and I will be through[Pg 98] in ten minutes.” She went, and of course did not return, and so the affaire closed.

Dumas was hardly of the Pays Latin. He had little in common with the Bohemianism of the poseur, and the Bohemia of letters and art has been largely made up of that sort of thing.

More particularly Dumas’ life was that of the boulevards, of the journalist, of tremendous energy and output rather than that of the dilettante, and so he has but little interest in the south bank of the Seine.

Michelet, while proclaiming loudly for French literature and life in Le Peuple, published in 1846, desponds somewhat of his country from the fact that the overwhelming genius of the popular novelists of that day—and who shall not say since then, as well—have sought their models, too often, in dingy cabarets, vile dens of iniquity, or even in the prisons themselves.

He said: “This mania of slandering oneself, of exhibiting one’s sores, and going, as it were, to look for shame, will be mortal in the course of time.”

This may, to a great extent, have been true then—and is true to-day—manifestly, but no lover of the beautiful ought to condemn a noisome flower if but its buds were beautiful, and Paris—the Paris[Pg 99] of the Restoration, the Empire, or the Republic—is none the worse in the eyes of the world because of the iniquities which exist in every large centre of population, where creeds and intellects of all shades and capacities are herded together.

The French novelist, it is true, can be very sordid and banal, but he can be as childlike and bland as an unsophisticated young girl—when he has a mind to.

Dumas’ novels were not lacking in vigour, valour, or action, and he wrote mostly of romantic times; so Michelet could not have referred to him. Perhaps he had the “Mysteries of Paris” or “The Wandering Jew” in mind, whose author certainly did give full measure of sordid detail; but then, Sue has been accused before now as not presenting a strictly truthful picture.

So much for the presentation of the tableaux. But what about the actual condition of the people at the time?

Michelet’s interest in Europe was centred on France and confined to le peuple; a term in which he ofttimes included the bourgeois, as well he might, though he more often regarded those who worked with their hands. He repeatedly says: “I myself have been one of those workmen, and, although I[Pg 100] have risen to a different class, I retain the sympathies of my early conditions.”

Michelet’s judgment was quite independent and original when he compared the different classes; and he had a decided preference for that section which cultivates the soil, though by no means did he neglect those engaged in trade and manufacture. The ouvrier industriel was as much entitled to respect as the labourer in the fields, or even the small tenant-farmer. He regretted, of course, the competition which turned industrialisme into a cut-throat policy. He furthermore had this to say concerning foreign trade:

“Alsace and Lyons have conquered art and science to achieve beauty for others.... The ‘fairy of Paris’ (the modiste) meets, from minute to minute, the most unexpected flights of fancy—and she or he does to-day, be it recalled. Les étrangers come in spite of themselves, and they buy of her (France); ils achètent—but what?—patterns, and then go basely home and copy them, to the loss, but to the glory, of France.

“The Englishman or the German buys a few pieces of goods at Paris or Lyons; just as in letters France writes and Belgium sells.”

On the whole, Michelet thought that the population was more successful in tilling the soil than[Pg 101] in the marts of the world; and there is this to be said, there is no question but what France is a self-contained country, though its arts have gone forth into the world and influenced all nations.

Paris is, ever has been, and proudly—perhaps rightly—thinks that it ever will be, the artistic capital of the world.

Georges Avenel has recently delivered himself of a screed on the “Mechanism of Modern Life,” wherein are many pertinent, if sometimes trite, observations on the more or less automatic processes by which we are lodged, fed, and clothed to-day.

He gives rather a quaint, but unquestionably true, reason for the alleged falling-off in the cookery of French—of course he means Parisian—restaurants. It is, he says, that modern patrons will no longer pay the prices, or, rather, will not spend the money that they once did. In the first half of the last century—the time of Dumas’ activities and achievements—he tells us that many Parisian lovers of good fare were accustomed to “eat a napoleon” daily for their dinner. Nowadays, the same persons dine sufficiently at their club for eight and a half francs. Perhaps the abatement of modern appetites has something to say to this, as many folk seldom take more than thirty-five or forty minutes over their evening meal. How would[Pg 102] this compare with the Gargantuan feasts described by Brillat-Savarin and others, or the gastronomic exploits of those who ate two turkeys at a sitting?

Clearly, for comfort, and perhaps luxury, the Parisian hotels and restaurants of a former day compare agreeably with those of our own time; not so much, perhaps, with regard to time and labour-saving machinery, which is the equipment of the modern batterie de cuisine, but with the results achieved by more simple, if more laborious, means, and the appointments and surroundings amid which they were put upon the board. “The proof of the pudding is in the eating” is still applicable, whether its components be beaten or kneaded by clockwork or the cook’s boy.

With the hotels himself, Avenel is less concerned, though he reminds us again that Madame de Sevigné had often to lie upon straw in the inns she met with in travelling, and looked upon a bed in a hotel, which would allow one to undress, as a luxury. We also learn that the travellers of those days had to carry their own knives, the innkeeper thinking that he did enough in providing spoons and forks. Nor were hotels particularly cheap, a small suite of rooms in a hotel of the Rue Richelieu costing 480 francs a week. It was Napoleon III. who, by his creation of the Hôtel de Louvre,—not[Pg 103] the present establishment of the same name, but a much larger structure,—first set the fashion of monster hostelries. But what was this compared with the Elysées Palace, which M. d’Avenel chooses as his type of modern luxury, with its forty-three cooks, divided into seven brigades, each commanded by an officer drawing 3,750 francs a year, and its thirty-five hundred pairs of sheets and fifty thousand towels, valued together at little short of 250,000 francs? Yet, as we well know, even these totals pale before some of the hotels of America, in which M. d’Avenel sees the ne plus ultra of organization and saving of labour by the ingenious use of machinery, and incidentally a great deal of the sentiment of good cheer, which was as much an ingredient of former hospitality as was the salt and pepper of a repast.

It is pleasant to read of Alexandre Dumas’ culinary skill, though the repetition of the fact has appeared in the works of well-nigh every writer who has written of the Paris of the fifties and sixties. The dinners at his apartments in the Boulevard Malesherbes were worthy of Soyer or even of Brillat-Savarin himself in his best days. In his last “Causeries Culinaires,” the author of “Monte Cristo” tells us that the Bourbon kings were specially fond of soup. “The family,” he writes,[Pg 104] “from Louis XIV. to the last of their race who reigned in France, have been great eaters. The Grand Monarque commenced his dinner by two and sometimes three different kinds of soup; Louis-Philippe by four plates of various species of this comestible; in the fifth plate his Majesty usually mixed portions of the four varieties he had eaten, and appeared to enjoy this singular culinary combination.”

Dumas’ reputation as an epicure must have been formed early; he describes in his “Mémoires” how, on a certain occasion, when he had first become installed in Paris, he met a gentleman, Charles Nodier, in the stalls of the Porte St. Martin, who was reading a well-worn Elzevir entitled “La Pastissier Française.” He says, “I address him.... ‘Pardon my impertinence, but are you very fond of eggs?’ ‘Why so?’ ‘That book you are reading, does it not give recipes for cooking eggs in sixty different ways?’ ‘It does.’ ‘If I could but procure a copy.’ ‘But this is an Elzevir,’ says my neighbour.”

The Parisian is without a rival as an epicure and a gastronome, and he associates no stigma with the epithet. In Anglo-Saxon lands the reverse is the case, though why it is hard to see.

“Frog-legs” came to be a tidbit in the tables[Pg 105] d’hôte of New York and London many years ago, but sympathy has been withheld from the luscious escargot. There be those fearless individuals who by reason of the entente cordiale have tasted of him and found him good, but learning that in the cookshops of Paris they have at last learned to fabricate them to equal the native grown article of Bourgogne, have tabooed them once for all, and threaten to withdraw their liking for that other succulent dainty, the frog.

At any rate, the schoolboy idea that the Parisian’s staple fare is snails and frogs is quite exploded, and small wonder it is that Anglo-Saxon palates never became wholly inured to them. But what about England’s peculiar dishes? Marrow-bones and stewed eels, for instance?

Dumas’ familiarity with the good things of the table is nowhere more strongly advanced than in the opening chapter of “The Queen’s Necklace,” wherein the author recounts the incident of “the nobleman and his maître d’hôtel.”

The scene was laid in 1784, and runs as follows:

“The marshal turned toward his maître d’hôtel, and said, ‘Sir, I suppose you have prepared me a good dinner?’

[Pg 106]“‘Certainly, your Grace.’

“‘You have the list of my guests?’

“‘I remember them perfectly.’

“‘There are two sorts of dinners, sir,’ said the marshal.

“‘True, your Grace, but—’

“‘In the first place, at what time do we dine?’

“‘Your Grace, the citizens dine at two, the bar at three, the nobility at four—’

“‘And I, sir?’

“‘Your Grace will dine to-day at five.’

“‘Oh, at five!’

“‘Yes, your Grace, like the king—’

“‘And why like the king?’

“‘Because, on the list of your guests is the name of a king.’

“‘Not so, sir, you mistake; all my guests to-day are simple noblemen.’

“‘Your Grace is surely jesting; the Count Haga, who is among the guests—’

“‘Well, sir!’

“‘The Count Haga is a king.’ (The Count Haga was the well-known name of the King of Sweden, assumed by him when travelling in France.)

“‘In any event, your Grace cannot dine before five o’clock.’

[Pg 107]“‘In heaven’s name, do not be obstinate, but let us have dinner at four.’

“‘But at four o’clock, your Grace, what I am expecting will not have arrived. Your Grace, I wait for a bottle of wine.’

“‘A bottle of wine! Explain yourself, sir; the thing begins to interest me.’

“‘Listen, then, your Grace; his Majesty, the King of Sweden—I beg pardon, the Count Haga, I should have said—drinks nothing but Tokay.’

“‘Well, am I so poor as to have no Tokay in my cellar? If so, I must dismiss my butler.’

“‘Not so, your Grace; on the contrary, you have about sixty bottles.’

“‘Well, do you think Count Haga will drink sixty bottles with his dinner?’

“‘No, your Grace; but when Count Haga first visited France when he was only prince royal, he dined with the late king, who had received twelve bottles of Tokay from the Emperor of Austria. You are aware that the Tokay of the finest vintages is reserved exclusively for the cellar of the emperor, and that kings themselves can only drink it when he pleases to send it to them.’

“‘I know it.’

“‘Then, your Grace, of these twelve bottles of[Pg 108] which the prince royal drank, only two remain. One is in the cellar of his Majesty Louis XVI.—’

“‘And the other?’

“‘Ah, your Grace!’ said the maître d’hôtel, with a triumphant smile, for he felt that, after the long battle he had been fighting, the moment of victory was at hand, ‘the other one was stolen.’

“‘By whom, then?’

“‘By one of my friends, the late king’s butler, who was under great obligations to me.’

“‘Oh! and so he gave it to you.’

“‘Certainly, your Grace,’ said the maître d’hôtel, with pride.

“‘And what did you do with it?’

“‘I placed it carefully in my master’s cellar.’

“‘Your master? And who was your master at that time?’

“‘His Eminence the Cardinal de Rohan.’

“‘Ah, mon Dieu! at Strasbourg?’

“‘At Saverne.’

“‘And you have sent to seek this bottle for me!’ cried the old marshal.

“‘For you, your Grace,’ replied the maître d’hôtel, in a tone which plainly said, ‘ungrateful as you are.’

“The Duke de Richelieu seized the hand of the[Pg 109] old servant, and cried, ‘I beg pardon; you are the king of maîtres d’hôtel.’”

The French noblesse of the eighteenth century may have had retainers of the perspicacity and freedom of manners of this servant of the Maréchal de Richelieu, but it is hard to picture them in real life to-day. At any rate, it bespeaks Dumas’ fondness of good eating and good drinking that he makes so frequent use of references thereto, not only in this novel of a later day, but throughout the mediæval romances as well.

Dumas’ knowledge of gastronomy again finds its vent in “The Count of Monte Cristo,” when the unscrupulous Danglars is held in a dungeon pending his giving up the five millions of francs which he had fraudulently obtained.

It is not a very high-class repast that is discussed, but it shows at least Dumas’ familiarity with the food of man.

“At twelve the guard before Danglars’ cell was replaced by another functionary, and, wishing to catch sight of his new guardian, Danglars approached the door again. He was an athletic, gigantic bandit, with large eyes, thick lips, and a flat nose; his red hair fell in dishevelled masses like[Pg 110] snakes around his shoulders. ‘Ah! ah!’ cried Danglars, ‘this fellow is more like an ogre than anything else; however, I am rather too old and tough to be very good eating!’ We see that Danglars was quite collected enough to jest; at the same time, as though to disprove the ogreish propensities, the man took some black bread, cheese, and onions from his wallet, which he began devouring voraciously. ‘May I be hanged,’ said Danglars, glancing at the bandit’s dinner through the crevices of the door, ‘may I be hanged if I can understand how people can eat such filth!’ and he withdrew to seat himself upon his goatskin, which recalled to him the smell of the brandy....

“Four hours passed by, the giant was replaced by another bandit. Danglars, who really began to experience sundry gnawings at the stomach, rose softly, again applied his eye to the crack of the door, and recognized the intelligent countenance of his guide. It was, indeed, Peppino, who was preparing to mount guard as comfortably as possible by seating himself opposite to the door, and placing between his legs an earthen pan, containing chick-pease stewed with bacon. Near the pan he also placed a pretty little basket of grapes and a bottle of Vin d’Orvieto. Peppino was decidedly an epicure. While witnessing these preparations, [Pg 111]Danglars’ mouth watered.... ‘I can almost imagine,’ said he, ‘that I were at the Café de Paris.’”

Dumas, like every strong personality, had his friends and his enemies. It is doubtful which class was in the ascendency as to numbers. When asked, on one occasion, when he had been dining at the Café de Paris, if he were an archæologist,—he had been admiring a cameo portrait of Julius Cæsar,—he replied, “No, I am absolutely nothing.” His partisans were many, and they were as devoted as his enemies were jealous and uncharitable. Continuing, he said, “I admire this portrait in the capacity of Cæsar’s historian.” “Indeed,” said his interlocutor, “it has never been mentioned in the world of savants.” “Well,” said Dumas, “the world of savants never mentions me.”

This may be conceit or modesty, accordingly as one takes one view or another. Dumas, like most people, was not averse to admiration. Far from it. He thrived exceedingly on it. But he was, as he said, very much alone, and quite felt a nobody at times. Of his gastronomic and epicurean abilities he was vainly proud.

The story is told of the sole possession by Dumas of a certain recipe for stewed carp. Véron, the director of the opera, had instructed his own cook[Pg 112] to serve the celebrated dish; she, unable to concoct it satisfactorily, announced her intention of going direct to the novelist to get it from his own lips. Sophie must have been a most ingenious and well-informed person, for she approached Dumas in all hostility and candour. She plunged direct into the subject, presuming that he had acquired the knowledge of this special tidbit from some outside source.

Dumas was evidently greatly flattered, and gave her every possible information, but the experiment was not a success, and the fair cordon-bleu began to throw out the suspicion that Dumas had acquired his culinary accomplishments from some other source than that he had generally admitted. It was at this time that Dumas was at the crux of his affairs with his collaborators.

Accordingly Sophie made her pronouncement that it was with Dumas’ cooking as it was with his romances, and that he was “un grand diable de vaniteux.”

At his home in the Rue Chaussée d’Antin Dumas served many an epicurean feast to his intimates; preparing, it is said, everything with his own hands, even to the stripping of the cabbage-leaves for the soupe aux choux, “sleeves rolled up, and a large apron around his waist.”

[Pg 113]A favourite menu was soupe aux choux, the now famous carp, a ragoût de mouton, à l’Hongroise; roti de faisans, and a salade Japonaise—whatever that may have been; the ices and gateaux being sent in from a pâtissier’s.

The customs of the theatre in Paris are, and always have been, peculiar. Dumas himself tells how, upon one occasion, just after he had come permanently to live there, he had placed himself beside an immense queue of people awaiting admission to the Porte St. Martin.

He was not aware of the procedure of lining up before the entrance-doors, and when one well up in the line offered to sell him his place for twenty sous—held since midday—Dumas willingly paid it, and, not knowing that it did not include admission to the performance, was exceedingly distraught when the time came to actually pay for places. This may seem a simple matter in a later day, and to us who have become familiar with similar conditions in Paris and elsewhere; but it serves to show the guilelessness of Dumas, and his little regard for business procedure of any sort.

The incident is continued in his own words, to the effect that he “finally purchased a bit of pasteboard that once had been white, which I presented[Pg 114] to the check-taker and received in return another of red.... My appearance in the amphitheatre of the house must have been astonishing. I was the very latest Villers-Cotterets fashion, but a revolution had taken place in Paris which had not yet reached my native place. My hair was long, and, being frizzled, it formed a gigantic aureole around my head. I was received with roars of laughter.... I dealt the foremost scoffer a vigorous slap in the face, and said, at the same time, ‘My name is Alexandre Dumas. For to-morrow, I am staying at the Hôtel des Vieux-Augustins, and after that at No. 1 Place des Italiens.’”

By some incomprehensible means Dumas was hustled out of the theatre and on to the sidewalk—for disturbing the performance, though the performance had not yet begun. He tried his luck again, however, and this time bought a place at two francs fifty centimes.

Every visitor to Paris has recognized the preëminence of the “Opera” as a social institution. The National Opera, or the Théâtre Impérial de l’Opéra, as it was originally known, in the Rue Lepelletier, just off the Boulevard des Italiens, was the progenitor of the splendid establishment which now terminates the westerly end of the Avenue de l’Opera. The more ancient “Grand Opera” was[Pg 115] uncontestably the most splendid, the most pompous, and the most influential of its contemporary institutions throughout Europe.

The origin of the “Grand Opera” was as remote as the times of Anne of Austria, who, it will be recalled, had a most passionate regard for musique and spectacle, and Mazarin caused to be brought from Italy musicians who represented before the queen “musical pieces” which proved highly successful.

Later, in 1672, Louis XIV. accorded the privilege of the Opera to Lulli, a distinguished musician of Florence, and the theatre of the Palais Royal was ceded to the uses of Académie de Musique.

After the fire of 1763, the Opera was transferred to the Tuileries, but removed again, because of another fire, to the Porte St. Martin, where it remained until 1794, when it was transferred to a new house which had been constructed for it in the Rue Richelieu.

Again in 1820 it was removed to a new establishment, which had been erected on the site of the former Hôtel de Choiseul.

This house had accommodations for but two thousand spectators, and, in spite of its sumptuousness and rank, was distinctly inferior in point of size to many opera-houses and theatres elsewhere.

[Pg 116]Up to this time the management had been governed after the manner of the old régime, “by three gentlemen of the king’s own establishment, in concurrence with the services of a working director,” and the royal privy purse was virtually responsible for the expenses. Louis-Philippe astutely shifted the responsibility to the public exchequer.

In 1831, Dr. Louis Véron, the founder of the Revue de Paris,—since supplanted by the Revue des Deux Mondes,—became the manager and director. Doctor Véron has been called as much the quintessence of the life of Paris of the first half of the nineteenth century as was Napoleon I. of the history of France.

Albert Vandam, the author of “An Englishman in Paris,” significantly enough links Véron’s name in his recollections with that of Dumas, except that he places Dumas first.

“Robert le Diable” and Taglioni made Véron’s success and his fortune, though he himself was a master of publicity. From 1831 onward, during Véron’s incumbency, the newspapers contained column after column of the “puff personal,” not only with respect to Véron himself, but down through the galaxy of singers and dancers to the veriest stage-carpenter, scenic artist, and call-boy.

The modern managers have advanced somewhat[Pg 117] upon these premature efforts; but then the art was in its infancy, and, as Véron himself was a journalist and newspaper proprietor, he probably well understood the gentle art of exchanging favouring puffs of one commodity for those of another.

These were the days of the first successes of Meyerbeer, Halévy, Auber, and Duprez; of Taglioni, who danced herself into a nebula of glory, and later into a shadow which inspired the spiteful critics into condemnation of her waning power.

It has been said that Marie Taglioni was by no means a good-looking woman. Indeed, she must have been decidedly plain. Her manners, too, were apparently not affable, and “her reception of Frenchmen was freezing to a degree—when she thawed it was to Russians, Englishmen, or Viennese.” “One of her shoulders was higher than the other, she limped slightly, and, moreover, waddled like a duck.” Clearly a stage setting was necessary to show off her charms. She was what the French call “une pimbêche.”

The architectural effect produced by the exterior of this forerunner of the present opera was by no means one of monumental splendour. Its architect, Debret, was scathingly criticized for its anomalies. A newspaper anecdote of the time recounts the circumstance of a provincial who, upon asking[Pg 118] his way thither, was met with the direction, “That way—the first large gateway on your right.”

Near by was the establishment of the famous Italian restaurateur, Paolo Broggi, the resort of many singers, and the Estaminet du Divan, a sort of humble counterpart of the Café Riche or the Café des Anglais, but which proclaimed a much more literary atmosphere than many of the bigger establishments on the boulevards. Vandam relates of this house of call that “it is a positive fact that the garçon would ask, ‘Does monsieur desire Sue’s or Dumas’ feuilleton with his café?’”

Of the Opera which was burned in 1781, Dumas, in “The Queen’s Necklace,” has a chapter devoted to “Some Words about the Opera.” It is an interesting, albeit a rather superfluous, interpolation in a romance of intrigue and adventure:

“The Opera, that temple of pleasure at Paris, was burned in the month of June, 1781. Twenty persons had perished in the ruins; and, as it was the second time within eighteen years that this had happened, it created a prejudice against the place where it then stood, in the Palais Royal, and the king had ordered its removal to a less central spot. The place chosen was La Porte St. Martin.

“The king, vexed to see Paris deprived for so[Pg 119] long of its Opera, became as sorrowful as if the arrivals of grain had ceased, or bread had risen to more than seven sous the quartern loaf. It was melancholy to see the nobility, the army, and the citizens without their after-dinner amusement; and to see the promenades thronged with the unemployed divinities, from the chorus-singers to the prima donnas.

“An architect was then introduced to the king, full of new plans, who promised so perfect a ventilation, that even in case of fire no one could be smothered. He would make eight doors for exit, besides five large windows placed so low that any one could jump out of them. In the place of the beautiful hall of Moreau he was to erect a building with ninety-six feet of frontage toward the boulevard, ornamented with eight caryatides on pillars forming three entrance-doors, a bas-relief above the capitals, and a gallery with three windows. The stage was to be thirty-six feet wide, the theatre seventy-two feet deep and eighty across, from one wall to the other. He asked only seventy-five days and nights before he opened it to the public.

“This appeared to all a mere gasconade, and was much laughed at. The king, however, concluded the agreement with him. Lenoir set to work, and kept his word. But the public feared that a building[Pg 120] so quickly erected could not be safe, and when it opened no one would go.

“Even the few courageous ones who did go to the first representation of ‘Adele de Ponthieu’ made their wills first. The architect was in despair. He came to the king to consult him as to what was to be done.

“It was just after the birth of the dauphin; all Paris was full of joy. The king advised him to announce a gratuitous performance in honour of the event, and give a ball after. Doubtless plenty would come, and if the theatre stood, its safety was established.

“‘Thanks, Sire,’ said the architect.

“‘But reflect, first,’ said the king, ‘if there be a crowd, are you sure of your building?’

“‘Sire, I am sure, and shall go there myself.’

“‘I will go to the second representation,’ said the king.

“The architect followed this advice. They played ‘Adele de Ponthieu’ to three thousand spectators, who afterward danced. After this there could be no more fear.”

It was three years after that Madame and the cardinal went to the celebrated ball, the account of which follows in the subsequent chapter of the romance.

[Pg 121]Dumas as a dramatist was not so very different from Dumas the novelist. When he first came to Paris the French stage was by no means at a low and stagnant ebb—at least, it was not the thin, watery concoction that many English writers would have us believe; and, furthermore, the world’s great dramatist—Shakespeare—had been and was still influencing and inspiring the French playwright and actor alike.

It was the “Hamlet” of Ducis—a very French Hamlet, but still Hamlet—and the memory of an early interview with Talma that first set fire to the fuel of the stage-fever which afterward produced Dumas the dramatist.

Dumas was not always truthful, or, at least, correct, in his facts, but he did not offend exceedingly, and he was plausible; as much so, at any rate, as Scott, who had erred to the extent of fifteen years in his account of the death of Amy Robsart.

In 1824 was born Alexandre Dumas fils, and at this time the parent was collaborating with Soulié in an attempted, but unfinished, dramatization of Scott’s “Old Mortality.”

By 1830, after he had left official work, Dumas had produced that drama of the Valois, “Henri III.,” at the Théâtre Français, where more than a century before Voltaire had produced his[Pg 122] first play, “Œdipe,” and where the “Hernani” of Victor Hugo had just been produced.

It was a splendid and gorgeous event, and the adventures of the Duchesse de Guise, St. Mégrin, Henri III. and his satellites proved to the large and distinguished audience present no inconspicuous element in the success of the future king of romance. It was a veritable triumph, and for the time the author was more talked of and better known than was Hugo, who had already entered the arena, but whose assured fame scarcely dates from before “Hernani,” whose first presentation—though it was afterward performed over three hundred times in the same theatre—was in February of the same year.

Voltaire had been dead scarce a half-century, but already the dust lay thick on his dramatic works, and the world of Paris was looking eagerly forward to the achievements of the new school. One cannot perhaps claim for Dumas that he was in direct lineage of Shakespeare,—as was claimed for Hugo, and with some merit,—but he was undoubtedly one of the first of the race of the popular French playwrights whose fame is perpetuated to-day by Sardou. At any rate, it was a classic struggle which was inaugurated in France—by literature and the drama—in the early half of the [Pg 123]nineteenth century, and one which was a frank rebellion against the rigid rules by which their arts had been restrained—especially dramatic art.


From the Dumas Statue by Gustave Doré


With all due credit, then, to Hugo, it was Dumas who led the romanticists through the breach that was slowly opening; though at the same time one may properly enough recall the names of Alfred de Musset, Theophile Gautier, and Gerard de Nerval.

Dumas’ next play was in “classical form”—“Christine.”

Mere chance brought Dumas into an acquaintance with the history of Christine of Sweden, and, though the play was written and accepted before “Henri III. et Sa Cour,” it was not until some time later that it was produced at the Odéon; the recollection of which also brings up the name of Mlle. Mars.

The statue in Paris in the Place Malesherbes, erected to the memory of Dumas, has been highly commended in conception and execution. It was the work of Gustave Doré, and, truth to tell, it has some wonderfully effective sculptures in bronze. A group of three symbolical figures en face, and a lifelike and life-sized representation of the courageous D’Artagnan d’arrière. These details are[Pg 124] charming when reproduced on paper by process of photography or the hand of an artist. Indeed, they are of much the same quality when viewed as details, but in the ensemble, combined with a cold, inartistic base or pedestal, which is crowned by a seated effigy of Dumas—also life-size—clad in the unlovely raiment of the latter nineteenth century, there is much to be desired.

Statues, be they bronze or marble, are often artistically successful when their figures are covered with picturesque mediæval garments, but they are invariably a failure, in an artistic sense, when clothed in latter-day garb. Doublet and hose, and sword and cloak lend themselves unmistakably to artistic expression. Trousers and top-hats do not. Just back of the Place Malesherbes is the Avenue de Villiers—a street of fine houses, many of them studio apartments, of Paris’s most famous artists. Here at No. 94 lived Alexandre Dumas during the later years of his life; so it is fitting that his monument should be placed in this vicinity. The house was afterward occupied by Dumas fils, and more lately by his widow, but now it has passed into other hands.

Of interest to Americans is the fact which has been recorded by some one who was au courant with Parisian affairs of the day, “that the United[Pg 125] States Minister to France, Mr. John Bigelow, breakfasted with Dumas at St. Gratien, near Paris,” when it came out that he (Dumas) had a notion to go out to America as a war correspondent for the French papers; the Civil War was not then over. Unhappily for all of us, he did not go, and so a truly great book was lost to the world.

In this same connection it has been said that Dumas’ “quadroon autographs” were sold in the United States, to provide additional funds for the widows and orphans of slain abolitionists. As it is apocryphally said that they sold for a matter of a hundred and twenty dollars each, the sum must have reached considerable proportions, if their number was great.



[Pg 126]




The Paris of Dumas was Méryon’s—though it is well on toward a half-century since either of them saw it. Hence it is no longer theirs; but the master romancer and the master etcher had much in common.

They both drew with a fine, free hand, the one in words that burn themselves in the memory, and the other in lines which, once bitten on the copper plate, are come down to us in indelible fashion. The mention of Méryon and his art is no mere rambling of the pen. Like that of Dumas, his art depicted those bold, broad impressions which rebuilt “old Paris” in a manner which is only comparable to the background which Dumas gave to “Les Trois Mousquetaires.”

The iconoclastic Haussman caused much to disappear, and it is hard to trace the footsteps of many a character of history and romance, whose incomings[Pg 127] and outgoings are otherwise very familiar to us.

There are many distinct cities which go to make up Paris itself, each differing from the other, but Dumas and Méryon drew them each and all with unerring fidelity: Dumas the University Quarter and the faubourgs in “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” and Méryon the Cité in “The Stryge.”

The sheer beauty and charm of old-world Paris was never more strongly suggested than in the work of these two masters, who have given a permanence to the abodes of history and romance which would otherwise have been wanting. It is a pleasurable occupation to hunt up the dwellings of those personages who may, or may not, have lived in the real flesh and blood. The mere fact that they lived in the pages of a Dumas—or for that matter of a Balzac or a Hugo—is excuse enough for most of us to seek to follow in their footsteps.

In spite of the splendour of the present and the past, Paris is by no means too great to prevent one’s tracing its old outlines, streets, and landmarks, even though they have disappeared to-day, and the site of the famous Hôtel Chevreuse or the Carmelite establishment in the Rue Vaugirard—against whose wall D’Artagnan and his fellows put up that gallant fight against the cardinal’s guard—are in[Pg 128] the same geographical positions that they always were, if their immediate surroundings have changed, as they assuredly have.

Indeed, the sturdy wall which kept the Carmelite friars from contact with the outer world has become a mere hoarding for gaudily coloured posters, and the magnificent Hôtel Chevreuse on the Boulevard St. Germain has been incorporated into a modern apartment-house, and its garden cut through by the Boulevard Raspail.

The destruction of “Old Paris”—the gabled, half-timbered, mediæval city—is not only an artistic regret, but a personal one to all who know intimately the city’s history and romance. It was inevitable, of course, but it is deplorable.

Méryon, too, like Dumas, etched details with a certain regard for effect rather than a colder preciseness, which could hardly mean so much as an impression of a mood. They both sought the picturesque element, and naturally imparted to everything modern with which they came into contact the same charm of reality which characterized the tangible results of their labours.

Nothing was left to chance, though much may—we have reason to think—have been spontaneous. The witchery of a picturesque impression[Pg 129] is ever great, but the frequency of its occurrence is growing less and less.

To-day we have few romancers, few painters or etchers of fleeting moods or impressions, and are fast becoming schooled in the tenets of Zola and Baudry, to the glorification of realism, but to the death and deep burial of the far more healthy romanticism of the masters of a few generations since.

To the Roman occupation of Paris succeeded that of the Franks, and Clovis, son of Childérie and grandson of Merovée, after his conversion to Christianity at Reims, established the seat of his empire at Paris.

Childebert, the descendant of Clovis,—who had taken unto himself the title King of Paris,—in 524 laid the foundation of the first Église de Notre Dame.

The kings of the second race lived in Paris but little, and under the feeble successors of Charlemagne the city became the particular domain of the hereditary counts. In the year 845 the Normans came up the river by boat and razed all of that part known even to-day as La Cité, hence the extreme improbability of there being existing remains of an earlier date than this, which are to-day[Pg 130] recognizable. After successive disasters and invasions, it became necessary that new quartiers and new streets should be formed and populated, and under the reign of Louis VII. the walls were extended to include, on the right bank, Le Bourg l’Abbé, Le Bourg Thibourg, Le Beau-Bourg, Le Bourg St. Martin,—regions which have since been occupied by the Rues St. Martin, Beaubourg, Bourtebourg, and Bourg l’Abbé,—and, on the right bank, St. Germain des Prés, St. Victor, and St. Michel.

Since this time Paris has been divided into three distinct parts: La Ville, to the north of the Seine, La Cité, in the centre, and L’Université, in the south.

The second enceinte did not long suffice to enclose the habitations of the people, and in the year 1190 Philippe-Auguste constructed the third wall, which was strengthened by five hundred towers and surrounded by a deep fosse, perpetuated to-day as the Rempart des Fosses. At this time the first attempts were made at paving the city streets, principally at the instigation of the wealthy Gérard de Poissy, whose name has since been given to an imposing street on the south bank.

Again, in 1356, the famous Etienne Marcel commenced the work of the fourth enceinte. On[Pg 131] the south, the walls were not greatly extended, but on the north they underwent a considerable aggrandizement. Fortified gateways were erected at the extremity of the Rue de St. Antoine, and others were known variously as the Porte du Temple and Porte St. Denis. Other chief features of the time—landmarks one may call them—were the Porte St. Honoré, which was connected with the river-bank by a prolonged wall, the Tour du Bois, and a new fortification—as a guardian against internal warfare, it would seem—at the upper end of the Ile de la Cité.

Toward the end of the reign of Louis XI. the city had become repeopled, after many preceding years of flood, ravage, and famine, and contained, it is said, nearly three hundred thousand souls.

From this reign, too, dates the establishment of the first printing-shop in Paris, the letter-post, and the poste-chaise. Charles VII., the son of Louis XI., united with the Bibliothèque Royal those of the Kings of Naples.

Louis XII., who followed, did little to beautify the city, but his parental care for the inhabitants reduced the income of the tax-gatherer and endeared his name to all as the Père du Peuple.

François I.—whose glorious name as the instigator of much that has since become national in[Pg 132] French art—considerably enlarged the fortifications on the west, and executed the most momentous embellishments which had yet taken place in the city. In public edifices he employed, or caused his architects to employ, the Greek orders, and the paintings by Italian hands and the sculptures of Goujon were the highest expressions of the art of the Renaissance, which had grown so abundantly from the seed sown by Charles VIII. upon his return from his wanderings in Italy.

It may be questioned if the art of the Renaissance is really beautiful; it is, however, undeniably effective in its luxuriant, if often ill-assorted, details; so why revile it here? It was the prime cause, more than all others put together, of the real adornment of Paris; and, in truth, was far more successful in the application of its principles here than elsewhere.

During the reign of François I. were built, or rebuilt, the great Églises de St. Gervais, St. Germain l’Auxerrois, and St. Merry, as well as the Hôtel de Ville. The Louvre was reconstructed on a new plan, and the Faubourg St. Germain was laid out anew.

Under Henri II. the work on the Louvre was completed, and the Hôpital des Petites Maisons constructed. It was Henri II., too, who first [Pg 133]ordained that the effigies of the kings should be placed upon all coins.

The principal edifices built under Charles IX. were the Palais des Tuileries, Hôtel de Soissons, the Jesuit College, and the Hôpital du St. Jacques du Haut Pas.

Henri III. erected the church of the Jesuits in the Rue St. Antoine, the Église de St. Paul et St. Louis, the Monastère des Feuillants, the Hôtel de Bourgogne, and the Théâtre Italien.

Under Henri IV. was achieved the Pont Neuf, whose centre piers just impinge upon the lower end of the Ile de la Cité; the Quais de l’Arsenal, de l’Horloge, des Orphelins, de l’Ecole, de la Mégisserie, de Conti, and des Augustins; la Place Dauphine, and the Rue Dauphine. The Place Royale came to replace—in the Quartier du Marais—the old Palais des Tournelles, the pleasure of so many kings, François I. in particular.

Louis XIII., the feeble king who reigned without governing, saw many improvements, which, however, grew up in spite of the monarch rather than because of him.

There was a general furbishing up of the streets and quais. Marie de Medicis built the Palais du Luxembourg and planted the Cours la Reine; many new bridges were constructed and new monuments[Pg 134] set up, among others the Palais Royal, at this time called the Palais Cardinal; the Église St. Roch; the Oratoire; le Val-de-Grace; les Madelonnettes; la Salpêtrièré; the Sorbonne, and the Jardin des Plantes. Many public places were also decorated with statues: the effigy of Henri IV. was placed on the Pont Neuf, and of Louis XII. in the Place Royale.

By this time the population had overflowed the walls of Philippe-Auguste, already enlarged by François I., and Louis XIV. overturned their towers and ramparts, and filled their fosses, believing that a strong community needed no such protections.

These ancient fortifications were replaced by the boulevards which exist even unto to-day—not only in Paris, but in most French towns and cities—unequalled elsewhere in all the world.

Up to the reign of Louis XIV. the population of Paris had, for the most part, been lodged in narrow, muddy streets, which had subjected them to many indescribable discomforts. Meanwhile, during the glorious reign of Louis XIV., Paris achieved great extension of area and splendour; many new streets were opened in the different quartiers, others were laid out anew or abolished altogether, more than thirty churches were [Pg 135]built,—“all highly beautiful,” say the guide-books. But they are not: Paris churches taken together are a decidedly mixed lot, some good in parts and yet execrable in other parts, and many even do not express any intimation whatever of good architectural forms.




The Pont au Change was rebuilt, and yet four other bridges were made necessary to permit of better circulation between the various faubourgs and quartiers.

To the credit of Louis XIV. must also be put down the Hôtel des Invalides, the Observatoire, the magnificent colonnade of the Louvre, the Pont Royal, the Collège des Quatre Nations, the Bibliothèque Royale, numerous fountains and statues, the royal glass, porcelain, and tapestry manufactories, the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, and the Boulevards St. Denis and St. Martin.

Saint Foix (in his “Essais sur Paris”) has said that it was Louis XIV. who first gave to the reign of a French monarch the éclat of grandeur and magnificence, not only for his court, but for his capital and his people.

Under the succeeding reign of Louis XV. the beautifying of Paris took another flight. On the place which first bore the name of the monarch himself, but which is to-day known as the Place[Pg 136] de la Concorde, were erected a pair of richly decorated monuments which quite rivalled in achievement the superb colonnaded Louvre of the previous reign, the Champs Elysées were replanted, the École Militaire, the École de Droit, and the Hôtel de la Monnaie were erected, and still other additional boulevards and magnificent streets were planned out.

A new church came into being with St. Genevieve, which afterward became the Panthéon.

The reign following saw the final achievement of all these splendid undertakings; then came the Revolution, that political terror which would have upset all established institutions; and if Paris, the city of splendid houses, did not become merely a cemetery of tombs, it was not because maniacal fanaticism and fury were lacking.

Religious, civic, and military establishments were razed, demolished, or burnt, regardless of their past associations or present artistic worth.

In a way, however, these sacrilegious demolitions gave cause to much energetic rebuilding and laying out of the old city anew, in the years immediately succeeding the period of the Revolution, which as an historical event has no place in this book other than mere mention, as it may have been referred to by Dumas.

[Pg 137]It was Napoleon who undertook the rehabilitation of Paris, with an energy and foresight only equalled by his prowess as a master of men.

He occupied himself above all with what the French themselves would call those monuments et decorations utiles, as might be expected of his abilities as an organizer. The canal from the river Ourcq through La Villette to the Seine was, at the Fosses de la Bastille, cleared and emptied of its long stagnant waters; abattoirs were constructed in convenient places, in order to do away with the vast herds of cattle which for centuries had been paraded through the most luxurious of the city’s streets; new markets were opened, and numerous fountains and watering-troughs were erected in various parts of the city; four new and ornate bridges were thrown across the Seine, the magnificent Rues Castiglione and de la Paix, extending from the Tuileries to the interior boulevards, were opened up; the Place Vendome was then endowed with its bronze column, which stands to-day; the splendid and utile Rue de Rivoli was made beside the garden of the Tuileries (it has since been prolonged to the Hôtel de Ville).

Napoleon also founded the Palais de la Bourse (1808), and caused to be erected a superb iron[Pg 138] grille which should separate the Place du Carrousel from the Tuileries.

Under the Restoration little happened with regard to the beautifying and aggrandizing of the city, though certain improvements of a purely economic and social nature made their own way.

The literature and art of Dumas and his compeers were making such sturdy progress as to give Paris that preëminence in these finer elements of life, which, before or since, has not been equalled elsewhere.

Since the Revolution of 1830 have been completed the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile (commenced by Napoleon I.), the Église de la Madeleine, the fine hotel of the Quai d’Orsay, the Palais des Beaux Arts, the restoration of the Chambre des Députés (the old Palais Bourbon), and the statues set up in the Place de la Concorde; though it is only since the ill-starred Franco-Prussian affaire of 1871 that Strasbourg’s doleful figure has been buried in jet and alabaster sentiments, so dear to the Frenchman of all ranks, as an outward expression of grief.

At the commencement of the Second Empire the fortifications, as they then existed, possessed a circumference of something above thirty-three kilometres—approximately nineteen miles. The walls[Pg 139] are astonishingly thick, and their fossés wide and deep. The surrounding exterior forts “de distance en distance” are a unique feature of the general scheme of defence, and played, as it will be recalled, no unimportant part in the investiture of the city by the Germans in the seventies.

A French writer of the early days of the last Empire says: “These new fortifications are in their ensemble a gigantic work.” They are, indeed—though, in spite of their immensity, they do not impress the lay observer even as to impregnability as do the wonderful walls and ramparts of Carcassonne, or dead Aigues-Mortes in the Midi of France; those wonderful somnolent old cities of a glorious past, long since departed.

The fortifications of Paris, however, are a wonderfully utile thing, and must ever have an unfathomable interest for all who have followed their evolution from the restricted battlements of the early Roman city.

The Parisian has, perhaps, cause to regret that these turf-covered battlements somewhat restrict his “promenades environnantes,” but what would you? Once outside, through any of the gateways, the Avenue de la Grande Armée,—which is the most splendid,—or the Porte du Canal de l’Ourcq,—which is the least luxurious, though by no means[Pg 140] is it unpicturesque; indeed, it has more of that variable quality, perhaps, than any other,—one comes into the charm of the French countryside; that is, if he knows in which direction to turn. At any rate, he comes immediately into contact with a life which is quite different from any phase which is to be seen within the barrier.

From the Revolution of 1848 to the first years of the Second Empire, which ought properly to be treated by itself,—and so shall be,—there came into being many and vast demolitions and improvements.

Paris was a vast atelier of construction, where agile minds conceived, and the artisan and craftsman executed, monumental glories and improvements which can only be likened to the focusing of the image upon the ground glass.

The prolongation of the Rue de Rivoli was put through; the Boulevards Sebastopol, Malesherbes,—where in the Place Malesherbes is that appealing monument to Dumas by Gustave Doré,—du Prince Eugène, St. Germain, Magenta, the Rue des Écoles, and many others. All of which tended to change the very face and features of the Paris the world had known hitherto.

The “Caserne Napoleon” had received its guests, and the Tour St. Jacques, from which point of[Pg 141] vantage the “clerk of the weather” to-day prognosticates for Paris, had been restored. Magnificent establishments of all sorts and ranks had been built, the Palais de l’Industrie (since razed) had opened its doors to the work of all nations, in the exhibition of 1855.

Of Paris, one may well concentrate one’s estimate in five words: “Each epoch has been rich,” also prolific, in benefits, intentions, and creations of all manner of estimable and admirable achievements.

By favour of these efforts of all the reigns and governments which have gone before, the Paris of to-day in its architectural glories, its monuments in stone, and the very atmosphere of its streets, places, and boulevards, is assuredly the most marvellous of all the cities of Europe.

It may not be an exceedingly pleasant subject, but there is, and always has been, a certain fascination about a visit to a cemetery which ranks, in the minds of many well-informed and refined persons, far above even the contemplation of great churches themselves.

It may be a morbid taste, or it may not. Certainly there seems to be no reason why a considerable amount of really valuable facts might not be impressed upon the retina of a traveller who[Pg 142] should do the round of Campos Santos, Cimetières and burial-grounds in various lands.

In this respect, as in many others, Paris leads the way for sheer interest in its tombs and sepulchres, at Montmartre and Père la Chaise.

In no other burial-ground in the world—unless it be Mount Auburn, near Boston, where, if the world-wide name and fame of those there buried are not so great as those at Paris, their names are at least as much household words to English-speaking folk, as are those of the old-world resting-place to the French themselves—are to be found so many celebrated names.

There are a quartette of these famous resting-places at Paris which, since the coming of the nineteenth century, have had an absorbing interest for the curiously inclined. Père la Chaise, Montmartre, the royal sepulchres in the old abbey church of St. Denis, and the churchyard of St. Innocents.

“Man,” said Sir Thomas Brown, “is a noble animal, splendid in ashes, and pompous in the grave.” Why this should be so, it is not the province of this book to explain, nor even to justify the gorgeous and ill-mannered monuments which are often erected over his bones.




The catacombs of Paris are purposely ignored here, as appealing to a special variety of morbidity[Pg 143] which is as unpleasant to deal with and to contemplate as are snakes preserved in spirit, and as would be—were we allowed to see them—the sacred human reliques which are preserved, even to-day, at various pilgrims’ shrines throughout the Christian world. That vast royal sepulchre of the abbey church of St. Denis, which had been so outrageously despoiled by the decree of the Convention in 1793, was in a measure set to rights by Louis XVIII., when he caused to be returned from the Petits Augustins, now the Palais des Beaux Arts, and elsewhere, such of the monuments as had not been actually destroyed. The actual spoliation of these shrines belongs to an earlier day than that of which this book deals.

The history of it forms as lurid a chapter as any known to the records of riot and sacrilege in France; and the more the pity that the motion of Barrere (“La main puissante de la République doit effacer inpitoyablement ces epitaphes”) to destroy these royal tombs should have had official endorsement.

The details of these barbarous exhumations were curious, but not edifying; the corpse of Turenne was exhibited around the city; Henri IV.—“his features still being perfect”—was kicked and bunted about like a football; Louis XIV. was[Pg 144] found in a perfect preservation, but entirely black; Louis VIII. had been sewed up in a leather sack; and François I. and his family “had become much decayed;” so, too, with many of the later Bourbons.

In general these bodies were deposited in a common pit, which had been dug near the north entrance to the abbey, and thus, for the first time in the many centuries covered by the period of their respected demises, their dust was to mingle in a common blend, and all factions were to become one.

Viollet-le-Duc, at the instruction of Napoleon III., set up again, following somewhat an approximation of the original plan, the various monuments which had been so thoroughly scattered, and which, since their return to the old abbey, had been herded together without a pretence at order in the crypt.

Paris had for centuries been wretchedly supplied with cimetières. For long one only had existed, that of the churchyard of St. Innocents’, originally a piece of the royal domain lying without the walls, and given by one of the French kings as a burial-place for the citizens, when interments within the city were forbidden.

It has been calculated that from the time of Philippe-Auguste over a million bodies had been interred in these fosses communes.

[Pg 145]In 1785 the Council of State decreed that the cemetery should be cleared of its dead and converted into a market-place. Cleared it was not, but it has since become a market-place, and the waters of the Fontaine des Innocents filter briskly through the dust of the dead of ages.

Sometime in the early part of the nineteenth century the funeral undertakings of Paris were conducted on a sliding scale of prices, ranging from four thousand francs in the first class, to as low as sixteen francs for the very poor; six classes in all.

This law-ordered tarif would seem to have been a good thing for posterity to have perpetuated.

The artisan or craftsman who fashions the funeral monuments of Paris has a peculiar flight of fancy all his own; though, be it said, throughout the known world, funeral urns and monuments have seldom or never been beautiful, graceful, or even austere or dignified: they have, in fact, mostly been shocking travesties of the ideals and thoughts they should have represented.

It is remarkable that the French architect and builder, who knows so well how to design and construct the habitation of living man, should express himself so badly in his bizarre funeral [Pg 146]monuments and the tawdry tinsel wreaths and flowers of their decorations.

An English visitor to Paris in the thirties deplored the fact that her cemeteries should be made into mere show-places, and perhaps rightly enough. At that time they served as a fashionable and polite avenue for promenades, and there was (perhaps even is to-day) a guide-book published of them, and, since grief is paradoxically and proverbially dry, there was always a battery of taverns and drinking-places flanking their entrances.

It was observed by a writer in a Parisian journal of that day that “in the Cimetière du Montmartre—which was the deposit for the gay part of the city—nine tombs out of ten were to the memory of persons cut off in their youth; but that in Père la Chaise—which served principally for the sober citizens of Paris—nine out of ten recorded the ages of persons who had attained a good old age.”



[Pg 147]




The means of communication in and about Paris in former days was but a travesty on the methods of the “Metropolitain,” which in our time literally whisks one like the wings of the morning, from the Arc de Triomphe to the Bois de Vincennes, and from the Place de la Nation to the Trocadero.

In 1850 there were officially enumerated over twenty-eight hundred boulevards, avenues, rues, and passages, the most lively being St. Honoré, Richelieu, Vivienne, Castiglione, de l’Université,—Dumas lived here at No. 25, in a house formerly occupied by Chateaubriand, now the Magazin St. Thomas,—de la Chaussée d’Antin, de la Paix, de Grenelle, de Bac, St. Denis, St. Martin, St. Antoine, and, above all, the Rue de Rivoli,—with a length of nearly three miles, distinguished at its westerly end by its great covered gallery, where the dwellings[Pg 148] above are carried on a series of 287 arcades, flanked by boutiques, not very sumptuous to-day, to be sure, but even now a promenade of great popularity. At No. 22 Rue de Rivoli, near the Rue St. Roch, Dumas himself lived from 1838 to 1843.

There were in those days more than a score of passages, being for the most part a series of fine galleries, in some instances taking the form of a rotunda, glass-covered, and surrounded by shops with appartements above. The most notable were those known as the Panoramas Jouffroy, Vivienne, Colbert, de l’Opera, Delorme, du Saumon, etc.

There were more than a hundred squares, or places—most of which remain to-day. The most famous on the right bank of the Seine are de la Concorde, Vendome, du Carrousel, du Palais Royal, des Victoires, du Châtelet, de l’Hôtel de Ville, Royale, des Vosges, and de la Bastille; on the left bank, du Panthéon, de St. Sulpice, du Palais Bourbon. Most of these radiating centres of life are found in Dumas’ pages, the most frequent mention being in the D’Artagnan and Valois romances.

Among the most beautiful and the most frequented thoroughfares were—and are—the tree-bordered quais, and, of course, the boulevards.

The interior boulevards were laid out at the end[Pg 149] of the seventeenth century on the ancient ramparts of the city, and extended from the Madeleine to La Bastille, a distance of perhaps three miles. They are mostly of a width of thirty-two metres (105 feet).

This was the boulevard of the time par excellence, and its tree-bordered allées—sidewalks and roadways—bore, throughout its comparatively short length, eleven different names, often changing meanwhile as it progressed its physiognomy as well.

On the left bank, the interior boulevard was extended from the Jardin des Plantes to the Hôtel des Invalides; while the “boulevards extérieurs” formed a second belt of tree-shaded thoroughfares of great extent.

Yet other boulevards of ranking greatness cut the rues and avenues tangently, now from one bank and then from the other; the most splendid of all being the Avenue de l’Opéra, which, however, did not come into being until well after the middle of the century. Among these are best recalled Sébastopol, St. Germain, St. Martin, Magenta, Malesherbes, and others. The Place Malesherbes, which intersects the avenue, now contains the celebrated Dumas memorial by Doré, and the[Pg 150] neighbouring thoroughfare was the residence of Dumas from 1866 to 1870.

Yet another class of thoroughfares, while conceived previous to the chronological limits which the title puts upon this book, were the vast and splendid promenades and rendezvous, with their trees, flowers, and fountains; such as the gardens of the Tuileries and the Luxembourg, the Champs Elysées, the Esplanade des Invalides, and the Bois de Boulogne and de Vincennes.

Dibdin tells of his entrée into Paris in the early days of the nineteenth century, having journeyed by “malle-poste” from Havre, in the pages of his memorable bibliographical tour.

His observations somewhat antedate the Paris of Dumas and his fellows, but changes came but slowly, and therein may be found a wealth of archæological and topographical information concerning the French metropolis; though he does compare, detrimentally, the panorama of Paris which unrolls from the heights of Passy, to that of London from Highgate Woods.

On the contrary, his impressions change after passing the barriers. “Nothing in London,” says he, “can enter into comparison with the imposing spectacle which is presented by the magnificent Champs Elysées, with the Château of the Tuileries[Pg 151] en face, and to the right the superb dome of the Invalides glistening in the rays of the setting sun.”

Paris had at this time 2,948 “voitures de louage,” which could be hired for any journey to be made within reasonable distance; and eighty-three which were run only on predetermined routes, as were the later omnibuses and tram-cars. These 2,948 carriages were further classified as follows; 900 fiacres; 765 cabriolets, circulating in the twelve interior arrondissements; 406 cabriolets for the exterior; 489 carrosses de remise (livery-coaches), and 388 cabriolets de remise.

The préfet de police, Count Anglès, had received from one Godot, an entrepreneur,—a sort of early edition of what we know to-day as a company promoter,—a proposition to establish a line of omnibuses along the quais and boulevards. Authorization for the scheme was withheld for the somewhat doubtful reason that “the constant stoppage of the vehicles to set down and take up passengers would greatly embarrass other traffic;” and so a new idea was still-born into the world, to come to life only in 1828, when another received the much coveted authority to make the experiment.

Already such had been established in Bordeaux and Nantes, by an individual by the name of Baudry,[Pg 152] and he it was who obtained the first concession in Paris.

The first line inaugurated was divided into two sections: Rue de Lancry—Madeleine, and Rue de Lancry—Bastille.

It is recorded that the young—but famous—Duchesse de Berry was the first to take passage in these “intramural diligences,” which she called “le carrosse des malheureux;” perhaps with some truth, if something of snobbishness.

There seems to have been a considerable difficulty in attracting a clientèle to this new means of communication. The public hesitated, though the prices of the places were decided in their favour, so much so that the enterprise came to an untimely end, or, at least, its founder did; for he committed suicide because of the non-instantaneous success of the scheme.

The concession thereupon passed into other hands, and there was created a new type of vehicle of sixteen places, drawn by two horses, and priced at six sous the place. The new service met with immediate, if but partial, success, and with the establishment of new routes, each served by carriages of a distinctive colour, its permanence was assured.

Then came the “Dames Blanches,”—the name[Pg 153] being inspired by Boieldieu’s opera,—which made the journey between the Porte St. Martin and the Madeleine in a quarter of an hour. They were painted a cream white, and drawn by a pair of white horses, coiffed with white plumes.

After the establishment of the omnibus came other series of vehicles for public service: the “Ecossaises,” with their gaudily variegated colours, the “Carolines,” the “Bearnaises,” and the “Tricycles,” which ran on three wheels in order to escape the wheel-tax which obtained at the time.

In spite of the rapid multiplication of omnibus lines under Louis-Philippe, their veritable success came only with the ingenious system of transfers, or “la correspondance;” a system and a convenience whereby one can travel throughout Paris for the price of one fare. From this reason alone, perhaps, the omnibus and tram system of Paris is unexcelled in all the world. This innovation dates, moreover, from 1836, and, accordingly, is no new thing, as many may suppose.

Finally, more recently,—though it was during the Second Empire,—the different lines were fused under the title of the “Compagnie Générale des Omnibus.”

La malle-poste” was an institution of the greatest importance to Paris, though of course no more[Pg 154] identified with it than with the other cities of France between which it ran. It dated actually from the period of the Revolution, and grew, and was modified, under the Restoration. It is said that its final development came during the reign of Louis XVIII., and grew out of his admiration for the “élégance et la rapidité des malles anglaises,” which had been duly impressed upon him during his sojourn in England.

This may be so, and doubtless with some justification. En passant it is curious to know, and, one may say, incredible to realize, that from the G. P. O. in London, in this year of enlightenment, there leaves each night various mail-coaches—for Dover, for Windsor, and perhaps elsewhere. They do not carry passengers, but they do give a very bad service in the delivery of certain classes of mail matter. The marvel is that such things are acknowledged as being fitting and proper to-day.

In 1836 the “malle-poste” was reckoned, in Paris, as being élégante et rapide, having a speed of not less than sixteen kilometres an hour over give-and-take roads.

Each evening, from the courtyard of the Hôtel des Postes, the coaches left, with galloping horses and heavy loads, for the most extreme points of the frontier; eighty-six hours to Bordeaux at first, [Pg 155]and finally only forty-four (in 1837); one hundred hours to Marseilles, later but sixty-eight.




Stendhal tells of his journey by “malle-poste” from Paris to Marseilles in three days, and Victor Hugo has said that two nights on the road gave one a high idea of the solidité of the human machine; and further says, of a journey down the Loire, that he recalled only a great tower at Orleans, a candlelit salle of an auberge en route, and, at Blois, a bridge with a cross upon it. “In reality, during the journey, animation was suspended.”

What we knew, or our forefathers knew, as the “poste-chaise,” properly “chaise de poste,” came in under the Restoration. All the world knows, or should know, Edouard Thierry’s picturesque description of it. “Le rêve de nos vingt ans, la voiture où l’on n’est que deux ... devant vous le chemin libre, la plaine, la pente rapide, le pont.” “You traverse cities and hamlets without number, by the grands rues, the grande place, etc.”

In April, 1837, Stendhal quitted Paris under exactly these conditions for his tour of France. He bought “une bonne calèche,” and left via Fontainebleau, Montargis, and Cosne. Two months after, however, he returned to the metropolis via Bourges, having refused to continue his journey en calèche,[Pg 156] preferring the “malle-poste” and the diligence of his youth.

Public diligences, however, had but limited accommodation on grand occasions; Victor Hugo, who had been invited to the consecration of Charles X. at Reims, and his friend, Charles Nodier, the bibliophile,—also a friend of Dumas, it is recalled,—in company with two others, made the attempt amid much discomfort in a private carriage,—of a sort,—and Nodier wittily tells of how he and Hugo walked on foot up all the hills, each carrying his gripsack as well.

More than all others the “Coches d’Eau” are especially characteristic of Paris; those fly-boats, whose successors ply up and down the Seine, to the joy of Americans, the convenience of the Parisian public, and—it is surely allowable to say it—the disgust of Londoners, now that their aged and decrepit “Thames steamboats” are no more.

These early Parisian “Coches d’Eau” carried passengers up and down river for surprisingly low fares, and left the city at seven in the morning in summer, and eight in winter.

The following is a list of the most important routes:

Paris—Nogent-sur-Seine2 days en route
[Pg 157]Paris—Montereau1 day ""
Paris—Sens2 days ""

All of these services catered for passengers and goods, and were, if not rapid, certainly a popular and comfortable means of communication.

An even more popular journey, and one which partook more particularly of a pleasure-trip, was that of the galiote, which left each day from below the Pont-Royal for St. Cloud, giving a day’s outing by river which to-day, even, is the most fascinating of the many petits voyages to be undertaken around Paris.

The other recognized public means of communication between the metropolis and the provincial towns and cities were the “Messageries Royales,” and two other similar companies, “La Compagne Lafitte et Caillard” and “Les Françaises.”

These companies put also before the Parisian public two other classes of vehicular accommodation, the “pataches suspendues,” small carriages with but one horse, which ran between Paris and Strasburg, Metz, Nancy, and Lyons at the price of ten sous per hour.

Again there was another means of travel which originated in Paris; it was known as the “Messageries à Cheval.” Travellers rode on horses,[Pg 158] which were furnished by the company, their bagages being transported in advance by a “chariot.” In fine weather this must certainly have been an agreeable and romantic mode of travel in those days; what would be thought of it to-day, when one, if he does not fly over the kilometres in a Sud—or Orient—Express, is as likely as not covering the Route Nationale at sixty or more kilometres the hour in an automobile, it is doubtful to say.

Finally came the famous diligence, which to-day, outside the “Rollo” books and the reprints of old-time travel literature, is seldom met with in print.

“These immense structures,” says an observant French writer, “which lost sometimes their centre of gravity, in spite of all precaution and care on the part of the driver and the guard, were, by an Ordonnance Royale of the 16th of July, 1828, limited as to their dimensions, weight, and design.”

Each diligence carried as many spare parts as does a modern automobile, and workshops and supply-depots were situated at equal distances along the routes. Hugo said that the complexity of it all represented to him “the perfect image of a nation; its constitution and its government. In the diligence was to be found, as in the state, the aristocracy in the coupé, the bourgeoisie in the interior, the people in la rotonde, and, finally, ‘the[Pg 159] artists, the thinkers, and the unclassed’ in the utmost height, the impériale, beside the conducteur, who represented the law of the state.

“This great diligence, with its body painted in staring yellow, and its five horses, carries one in a diminutive space through all the sleeping villages and hamlets of the countryside.”

From Paris, in 1830, the journey by diligence to Toulouse—182 French leagues—took eight days; to Rouen, thirteen hours; to Lyons, par Auxerre, four days, and to Calais, two and a half days.

The diligence was certainly an energetic mode of travel, but not without its discomforts, particularly in bad weather. Prosper Merimée gave up his winter journey overland to Madrid in 1859, and took ship at Bordeaux for Alicante in Spain, because, as he says, “all the inside places had been taken for a month ahead.”

The coming of the chemin de fer can hardly be dealt with here. Its advent is comparatively modern history, and is familiar to all.

Paris, as might naturally be supposed, was the hub from which radiated the great spokes of iron which bound the uttermost frontiers intimately with the capital.

There were three short lines of rail laid down[Pg 160] in the provinces before Paris itself took up with the innovation: at Roanne, St. Etienne-Andrézieux, Epinac, and Alais.

By la loi du 9 Juillet, 1835, a line was built from Paris to St. Germain, seventeen kilometres, and its official opening for traffic, which took place two years later, was celebrated by a déjeuner de circonstance at the Restaurant du Pavillon Henri Quatre at St. Germain.

Then came “Le Nord” to Lille, Boulogne, and Calais; “L’Ouest” to Havre, Rouen, Cherbourg, and Brest; “L’Est” to Toul and Nancy; “L’Orleans” to Orleans and the Loire Valley; and, finally, the “P. L. M.” (Paris-Lyon et Méditerranée) to the south of France. “Then it was that Paris really became the rich neighbour of all the provincial towns and cities. Before, she had been a sort of pompous and distant relative”—as a whimsical Frenchman has put it.

The mutability of time and the advent of mechanical traction is fast changing all things—in France and elsewhere. The Chevaux Blancs, Deux Pigeons, Cloches d’Or, and the Hôtels de la Poste, de la Croix, and du Grand Cerf are fast disappearing from the large towns, and the way of iron is, or will be, a source of inspiration to the poets of the future, as has the postillon, the diligence,[Pg 161] and the chaise de poste in the past. Here is a quatrain written by a despairing aubergiste of the little town of Salons, which indicates how the innovation was received by the provincials—in spite of its undeniable serviceability:

“En l’an neuf cent, machine lourde
A tretous farfit damne et mal,
Gens moult rioient d’icelle bourde,
Au campas renovoient cheval.”

The railways which centre upon Paris are indeed the ties that bind Paris to the rest of France, and vice versa. Their termini—the great gares—are at all times the very concentrated epitome of the life of the day.

The new gares of the P. L. M. and the Orleans railways are truly splendid and palatial establishments, with—at first glance—little of the odour of the railway about them, and much of the ceremonial appointments of a great civic institution; with gorgeous salles à manger, waiting-rooms, and—bearing the P. L. M. in mind in particular—not a little of the aspect of an art-gallery.

The other embarcadères are less up-to-date—that vague term which we twentieth-century folk are wont to make use of in describing the latest innovations. The Gare St. Lazare is an enormous[Pg 162] establishment, with a hotel appendage, which of itself is of great size; the Gare du Nord is equally imposing, but architecturally unbeautiful; while the Gare de l’Est still holds in its tympanum the melancholy symbolical figure of the late lamented Ville de Strasbourg, the companion in tears, one may say, of that other funereally decorated statue on the Place de la Concorde.

Paris, too, is well served by her tramways propelled by horses,—which have not yet wholly disappeared,—and by steam and electricity, applied in a most ingenious manner. By this means Paris has indeed been transformed from its interior thoroughfares to its uttermost banlieu.

The last two words on the subject have reference to the advent and development of the bicycle and the automobile, as swift, safe, and economical means of transport.

The reign of the bicycle as a pure fad was comparatively short, whatever may have been its charm of infatuation. As a utile thing it is perhaps more worthy of consideration, for it cannot be denied that its development—and of its later gigantic offspring, the automobile—has had a great deal to do with the better construction and up-keep of modern roadways, whether urban or suburban.

La petite reine bicyclette” has been fêted in[Pg 163] light verse many times, but no one seems to have hit off its salient features as did Charles Monselet. Others have referred to riders of the “new means of locomotion” as “cads on casters,” and a writer in Le Gaulois stigmatized them as “imbéciles à roulettes,” which is much the same; while no less a personage than Francisque Sarcey demanded, in the journal La France, that the police should suppress forthwith this eccentricité.

Charles Monselet’s eight short lines are more appreciative:

“Instrument raide
En fer battu
Qui dépossède
Le char torlu;
Rail impromptu,
Fils d’Archimède,
D’où nous viens-tu?”

Though it is apart from the era of Dumas, this discursion into a phase of present-day Paris is, perhaps, allowable in drawing a comparison between the city of to-day and that even of the Second Empire, which was, at its height, contemporary with Dumas’ prime.

If Paris was blooming suddenly forth into beauty and grace in the period which extended from the[Pg 164] Revolution to the Franco-Prussian War, she has certainly, since that time, not ceased to shed her radiance; indeed, she flowers more abundantly than ever, though, truth to tell, it is all due to the patronage which the state has ever given, in France, to the fostering of the arts as well as industries.

And so Paris has grown,—beautiful and great,—and the stranger within her gates, whether he come by road or rail, by automobile or railway-coach, is sure to be duly impressed with the fact that Paris is for one and all alike a city founded of and for the people.



[Pg 165]




The city of the ancient Parisii is the one particular spot throughout the length of the sea-green Seine—that “winding river” whose name, says Thierry, in his “Histoire des Gaulois,” is derived from a Celtic word having this signification—where is resuscitated the historical being of the entire French nation.

Here it circles around the Ile St. Louis, cutting it apart from the Ile de la Cité, and rushing up against the northern bank, periodically throws up a mass of gravelly sand, just in the precise spot where, in mediæval times, was an open market-place.

Here the inhabitants of the city met the country dealers, who landed produce from their boats, traded, purchased, and sold, and departed whence they came, into the regions of the upper Seine or the Marne, or downward to the lower river cities of Meulan, Mantes, and Vernon.

[Pg 166]At this time Paris began rapidly to grow on each side of the stream, and became the great market or trading-place where the swains who lived up-river mingled with the hewers of wood from the forests of La Brie and the reapers of corn from the sunny plains of La Beauce.

These country folk, it would appear, preferred the northern part of Paris to the southern—it was less ceremonious, less ecclesiastical. If they approached the city from rearward of the Université, by the Orleans highroad, they paid exorbitant toll to the Abbot of St. Germain des Prés. Here they paid considerably less to the Prévôt of Paris. And thus from very early times the distinction was made, and grew with advancing years, between the town, or La Ville, which distinguished it from the Cité and the Université.

This sandy river-bank gradually evolved itself into the Quai and Place de la Grève,—its etymology will not be difficult to trace,—and endured in the full liberty of its olden functions as late as the day of Louis XV. Here might have been seen great stacks of firewood, charcoal, corn, wine, hay, and straw.




Aside from its artistic and economic value, the Seine plays no great part in the story of Paris. It does not divide what is glorious from what is sordid, [Pg 167]as does “London’s river.” When one crosses any one of its numerous bridges, one does not exchange thriftiness and sublimity for the commonplace. Les Invalides, L’Institut, the Luxembourg, the Panthéon, the Odéon, the Université,—whose buildings cluster around the ancient Sorbonne,—the Hôtel de Cluny, and the churches of St. Sulpice, St. Etienne du Mont, and St. Severin, and, last but not least, the Chamber of Deputies, all are on the south side of Paris, and do not shrink greatly in artistic or historical importance from Notre Dame, the Louvre, the Tour St. Jacques, the Place de la Bastille, the Palais Royal, or the Théâtre-Français.

The greatest function of the Seine, when one tries to focus the memory on its past, is to recall to us that old Paris was a trinity. Born of the river itself rose the Cité, the home of the Church and state, scarce finding room for her palaces and churches, while close to her side, on the south bank, the Université spread herself out, and on the right bank the Ville hummed with trade and became the home of the great municipal institutions.

Dumas shifts the scenes of his Parisian romances first from one side to the other, but always his mediæval Paris is the same grand, luxurious, and lively stage setting. Certainly no historian could hope to have done better.

[Pg 168]Intrigue, riot, and bloodshed of course there were; and perhaps it may be thought in undue proportions. But did not the history of Paris itself furnish the romancer with these very essential details?

At all events, there is no great sordidness or squalor perpetuated in Dumas’ pages. Perhaps it is for this reason that they prove so readable, and their wearing qualities so great.

There is in the reminiscence of history and the present aspect of the Seine, throughout its length, the material for the constructing a volume of bulk which should not lack either variety, picturesqueness, or interest. It furthermore is a subject which seems to have been shamefully neglected by writers of all ranks.

Turner, of the brilliant palette, pictured many of its scenes, and his touring-companion wrote a more or less imaginative and wofully incorrect running commentary on the itinerary of the journey, as he did also of their descent of the Loire. Philip Gilbert Hamerton, accompanied by a series of charming pictures by Joseph Pennell (the first really artistic topographical illustrations ever put into the pages of a book), did the same for the Saône; and, of course, the Thames has been “done” by many writers of all shades of ability, but manifestly the[Pg 169] Seine, along whose banks lie the scenes of some of the most historic and momentous events of mediæval times, has been sadly neglected.

Paris is divided into practically two equal parts by the swift-flowing current of the Seine, which winds its way in sundry convolutions from its source beyond Chatillon-sur-Seine to the sea at Honfleur.

The praises of the winding river which connects Havre, Rouen, Vernon, Mantes, and Paris has often been sung, but the brief, virile description of it in the eighty-seventh chapter of Dumas’ “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne” has scarcely been equalled. Apropos of the journey of Madame and Buckingham Paris-ward, after having taken leave of the English fleet at Havre, Dumas says of this greatest of French waterways:

“The weather was fine. Spring cast its flowers and its perfumed foliage upon the path. Normandy, with its vast variety of vegetation, its blue sky, and silver rivers, displayed itself in all its loveliness.”

Through Paris its direction is from the southeast to the northwest, a distance, within the fortifications, of perhaps twelve kilometres.

Two islands of size cut its currents: the Ile St. Louis and the Ile de la Cité. A description of[Pg 170] its banks, taken from a French work of the time, better defines its aspect immediately after the Revolution of 1848 than any amount of conjecture or present-day observation, so it is here given:

“In its course through the metropolis, the Seine is bordered by a series of magnificent quais, which in turn are bordered by rows of sturdy trees.

“The most attractive of these quais are those which flank the Louvre, the Tuileries, D’Orsay, Voltaire, and Conti.

“Below the quais are deposed nine ports, or gares, each devoted to a special class of merchandise, as coal, wine, produce, timber, etc.

“The north and south portions of the city are connected by twenty-six ponts (this was in 1852; others have since been erected, which are mentioned elsewhere in the book).

“Coming from the upper river, they were known as follows: the Ponts Napoléon, de Bercy, d’Austerlitz, the Passerelle de l’Estacade; then, on the right branch of the river, around the islands, the Ponts Maril, Louis-Philippe, d’Arcole, Notre Dame, and the Pont au Change; on the left branch, the Passerelle St. Louis or Constantine, the Ponts Tournelle, de la Cité, de l’Archevêche, le Pont aux Doubles, le Petit Pont, and the Pont St. Michel; here the two branches join again: le Pont Neuf, des Arts,[Pg 171] du Carrousel, Royal, Solferino, de la Concorde, des Invalides, de l’Alma, de Jena, and Grenelle.

“Near the Pont d’Austerlitz the Seine receives the waters of the petite Rivière de Bièvre, or des Gobelins, which traverses the faubourgs.”

Of the bridges of Paris, Dumas in his romances has not a little to say. It were not possible for a romanticist—or a realist, for that matter—to write of Paris and not be continually confronting his characters with one or another of the many splendid bridges which cross the Seine between Conflans-Charenton and Asnières.

In the “Mousquetaires” series, in the Valois romances, and in his later works of lesser import, mention of these fine old bridges continually recurs; more than all others the Pont Neuf, perhaps, or the Pont au Change.

In “Pauline” there is a charming touch which we may take to smack somewhat of the author’s own predilections and experiences. He says, concerning his embarkation upon a craft which he had hired at a little Norman fishing-village, as one jobs a carriage in Paris: “I set up to be a sailor, and served apprenticeship on a craft between the Pont des Tuileries and the Pont de la Concorde.”

Of the Seine bridges none is more historic than the Pont Neuf, usually reckoned as one of the[Pg 172] finest in Europe; which recalls the fact that the French—ecclesiastic and laymen architects alike—were master bridge-builders. For proof of this one has only to recall the wonderful bridge of St. Bénezet d’Avignon, the fortified bridges of Orthos and Cahors, the bridge at Lyons, built by the Primate of Gaul himself, and many others throughout the length and breadth of France.

The Pont Neuf was commenced in the reign of Henri III. (1578), and finished in the reign of Henri IV. (1604), and is composed of two unequal parts, which come to their juncture at the extremity of the Ile de la Cité.

In the early years a great bronze horse, known familiarly as the “Cheval de Bronze,” but without a rider, was placed upon this bridge. During the Revolution, when cannon and ammunition were made out of any metal which could be obtained, this curious statue disappeared, though later its pedestal was replaced—under the Bourbons—by an equestrian statue of the Huguenot king.

The Pont des Arts, while not usually accredited as a beautiful structure,—and certainly not comparable with many other of its fellows,—is interesting by reason of the fact that its nine iron arches, which led from the Quai du Louvre to the Quai de la Monnai, formed the first example of an iron[Pg 173] bridge ever constructed in France. Its nomenclature is derived from the Louvre, which was then called—before the title was applied to the Collège des Quatre Nations—the Palais des Arts. In Restoration times it was one of the fashionable promenades of Paris.

The Pont au Change took its name from the changeurs, or money-brokers, who lived upon it during the reign of Louis le Jeune in 1141. It bridged the widest part of the Seine, and, after being destroyed by flood and fire in 1408, 1616, and 1621, was rebuilt in 1647. The houses which originally covered it were removed in 1788 by the order of Louis XVI. In “The Conspirators,” Dumas places the opening scene at that end of the Pont Neuf which abuts on the Quai de l’École, and is precise enough, but in “Marguerite de Valois” he evidently confounds the Pont Neuf with the Pont au Change, when he puts into the mouth of Coconnas, the Piedmontese: “They who rob on the Pont Neuf are, then, like you, in the service of the king. Mordi! I have been very unjust, sir; for until now I had taken them for thieves.”

The Pont Louis XV. was built in 1787 out of part of the material which was taken from the ruins of the Bastille.

Latterly there has sprung up the new Pont [Pg 174]Alexandre, commemorative of the Czar’s visit to Paris, which for magnificent proportions, beauty of design and arrangement, quite overtops any other of its kind, in Paris or elsewhere.

The quais which line the Seine as it runs through Paris are like no other quais in the known world. They are the very essence and epitome of certain phases of life which find no counterpart elsewhere.

The following description of a bibliomaniac from Dumas’ “Mémoires” is unique and apropos:

“Bibliomaniac, evolved from book and mania, is a variety of the species man—species bipes et genus homo.

“This animal has two feet and is without features, and usually wanders about the quais and boulevards, stopping in front of every stall and fingering all the books. He is generally dressed in a coat which is too long and trousers which are too short, his shoes are always down at heel, and on his head is an ill-shapen hat. One of the signs by which he may be recognized is shown by the fact that he never washes his hands.”

The booksellers’ stalls of the quais of Paris are famous, though it is doubtful if genuine bargains exist there in great numbers. It is significant, however, that more volumes of Dumas’ romances[Pg 175] are offered for sale—so it seems to the passer-by—than of any other author.

The Seine opposite the Louvre, and, indeed, throughout the length of its flow through Paris, enters largely into the scheme of the romances, where scenes are laid in the metropolis.

Like the throng which stormed the walls of the Louvre on the night of the 18th of August, 1527, during that splendid royal fête, the account of which opens the pages of “Marguerite de Valois,” the Seine itself resembles Dumas’ description of the midnight crowd, which he likens to “a dark and rolling sea, each swell of which increases to a foaming wave; this sea, extending all along the quai, spent its waves at the base of the Louvre, on the one hand, and against the Hôtel de Bourbon, which was opposite, on the other.”

In the chapter entitled “What Happened on the Night of the Twelfth of July,” in “The Taking of the Bastille,” Dumas writes of the banks of the Seine in this wise:

“Once upon the quai, the two countrymen saw glittering on the bridge near the Tuileries the arms of another body of men, which, in all probability, was not a body of friends; they silently glided to the end of the quai, and descended the bank which[Pg 176] leads along the Seine. The clock of the Tuileries was just then striking eleven.

“When they had got beneath the trees which line the banks of the river, fine aspen-trees and poplars, which bathe their feet in its current, when they were lost to the sight of their pursuers, hid by their friendly foliage, the farmers and Pitou threw themselves on the grass and opened a council of war.”

Just previously the mob had battered down the gate of the Tuileries, as a means of escape from the pen in which the dragoons had crowded the populace.

“‘Tell me now, Father Billot,’ inquired Pitou, after having carried the timber some thirty yards, ‘are we going far in this way?’

“‘We are going as far as the gate of the Tuileries.’

“‘Ho, ho!’ cried the crowd, who at once divined his intention.

“And it made way for them more eagerly even than before.

“Pitou looked about him, and saw that the gate was not more than thirty paces distant from them.

“‘I can reach it,’ said he, with the brevity of a Pythagorean.

“The labour was so much the easier to Pitou[Pg 177] from five or six of the strongest of the crowd taking their share of the burden.

“The result of this was a very notable acceleration in their progress.

“In five minutes they had reached the iron gates.

“‘Come, now,’ cried Billot, ‘clap your shoulders to it, and all push together.’

“‘Good!’ said Pitou. ‘I understand now. We have just made a warlike engine; the Romans used to call it a ram.’

“‘Now, my boys,’ cried Billot, ‘once, twice, thrice,’ and the joist, directed with a furious impetus, struck the lock of the gate with resounding violence.

“The soldiers who were on guard in the interior of the garden hastened to resist this invasion. But at the third stroke the gate gave way, turning violently on its hinges, and through that gaping and gloomy mouth the crowd rushed impetuously.

“From the movement that was then made, the Prince de Lambesq perceived at once that an opening had been effected which allowed the escape of those whom he had considered his prisoners. He was furious with disappointment.”



[Pg 178]




The Revolution of 1848 narrowed itself down to the issue of Bourbonism or Bonapartism. Nobody had a good word to say for the constitution, and all parties took liberties with it. It was inaugurated as the most democratic of all possible charters. It gave a vote to everybody, women and children excepted. It affirmed liberty with so wide a latitude of interpretation as to leave nothing to be desired by the reddest Republican that ever wore pistols in his belt at the heels of the redoubtable M. Marc Caussidière, or expressed faith in the social Utopia of the enthusiastic M. Proudhon. Freedom to speak, to write, to assemble, and to vote,—all were secured to all Frenchmen by this marvellous charter. When it became the law of the land, everybody began to nibble at and destroy it. The right of speaking was speedily reduced to the narrowest[Pg 179] limits, and the liberty of the press was pared down to the merest shred. The right of meeting was placed at the tender mercies of the prefect of police, and the right of voting was attacked with even more zeal and fervour. The Revolution proved more voracious than Saturn himself, in devouring its children, and it made short work of men and reputations. It reduced MM. de Lamartine, Armand Marrast, and General Cavaignac into nothingness; sent MM. Louis Blanc, Ledru Rollin, and Caussidière into the dreary exile of London, and consigned the fiery Barbés, the vindictive Blanqui, the impatient Raspail, and a host of other regenerators of the human race, to the fastnesses of Vincennes. Having done this, the Revolution left scarcely a vestige of the constitution,—nothing but a few crumbs, and those were not crumbs of comfort, which remained merely to prove to the incredulous that such a thing as the constitution once existed.

The former king and queen took hidden refuge in a small cottage at Honfleur, whence they were to depart a few days later for England—ever a refuge for exiled monarchists. Escape became very urgent, and the king, with an English passport in the name of William Smith, and the queen as Madame Lebrun, crossed over to Le Havre and ultimately to England. Lamartine evidently [Pg 180]mistakes even the time and place of this incident, but newspaper accounts of the time, both French and English, are very full as to the details. On landing at the quai at Le Havre, the ex-royal party was conducted to the “Express” steam-packet, which had been placed at their disposal for the cross-channel journey. Dumas takes the very incident as a detail for his story of “Pauline,” and his treatment thereof does not differ greatly from the facts as above set forth. Two years later (August 26, 1850), at Claremont, in Surrey, in the presence of the queen and several members of his family, Louis-Philippe died. He was the last of the Bourbons, with whom Dumas proudly claimed acquaintanceship, and as such, only a short time before, was one of the mightiest of the world’s monarchs, standing on one of the loftiest pinnacles of an ambition which, in the mind of a stronger or more wilful personality, might have accomplished with success much that with him resulted in defeat.

After the maelstrom of discontent—the Revolution of 1848—had settled down, there came a series of events well-nigh as disturbing. Events in Paris were rapidly ripening for a change. The known determination of Louis Napoleon to prolong his power, either as president for another term of four years, or for life, or as consul or emperor of[Pg 181] the French, and the support which his pretensions received from large masses of the people and from the rank and file of the army, had brought him into collision with a rival—General Changarnier—almost as powerful as himself, and with an ambition quite as daring as his own.

What Louis Napoleon wanted was evident. There was no secret about his designs. The partisans of Henri V. looked to Changarnier for the restoration of peace and legitimacy, and the Orleanists considered that he was the most likely man in France to bring back the house of Orleans, and the comfortable days of bribery, corruption, and a thriving trade; while the fat bourgeoisie venerated him as the unflinching foe of the disturbers of order, and the great bulwark against Communism and the Red Republic.

Still, this was manifestly not to be, though no one seemed to care a straw about Louis Napoleon’s republic, or whether or no he dared to declare himself king or emperor, or whether they should be ruled by Bonapartist, Bourbon, or Orleanist.

These were truly perilous times for France; and, though they did not culminate in disaster until twenty years after, Louis Napoleon availed himself of every opportunity to efface from the Second Republic, of which he was at this time the head,[Pg 182] every vestige of the democratic features which it ought to have borne.

At the same time he surrounded himself with imposing state and pomp, so regal in character that it was evidently intended to accustom the public to see in him the object of that homage which is usually reserved for crowned heads alone, and thus gradually and imperceptibly to prepare the nation to witness, without surprise, his assuming, when the favourable occasion offered, the purple and diadem of the empire.

For instance, he took up his residence in the ancient palace of the sovereigns of France, the Tuileries, and gave banquets and balls of regal magnificence; he ordered his effigy to be struck upon the coinage of the nation, surrounded by the words “Louis Napoleon Bonaparte,” without any title, whether as president or otherwise, being affixed. He restored the imperial eagles to the standards of the army; the official organ, the Moniteur, recommended the restoration of the titles and orders of hereditary nobility; the trees of liberty were uprooted everywhere; the Republican motto, “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity,” was erased from the public edifices; the colossal statue of Liberty, surmounted by a Phrygian cap, which stood in the centre of the Place de Bourgogne, [Pg 183]behind the Legislative Assembly, was demolished; and the old anti-Republican names of the streets were restored, so that the Palais National again became the Palais Royal; the Théâtre de la Nation, the Théâtre Français; the Rue de la Concorde, the Rue Royal, etc.; and, in short, to all appearances, Louis Napoleon began early in his tenure of office to assiduously pave the way to the throne of the empire as Napoleon III.




The London Times correspondent of that day related a characteristic exercise of this sweeping instruction of the Minister of the Interior to erase the words “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” from all public buildings. (The three revolutionary watchwords had, in fact, been erased the previous year from the principal entrance to the Elysée, and the words “République Française,” in large letters, were substituted.)

“There is, I believe, only one public monument in Paris—the Ecole de Droit—where the workmen employed in effacing that inscription will have a double duty. They will have to interfere with the ‘Liberalism’ of two generations. Immediately under the coat of yellow paint which covered the façade of the building, and on which time and the inclemency of the seasons have done their work, may still be traced, above the modern device, the[Pg 184] following words, inscribed by order of the Commune of Paris during the Reign of Terror: ‘Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité, Unité, Indivisibilité de la République Française!’ As the effacing of the inscription of 1848 is not now by means of whitewash or paint, but by erasure, both the inscriptions will disappear at the same moment.”

Among the most important demolitions and renovations of the sixties was the work undertaken on the Louvre at the orders of the ambitious emperor, Napoleon III. The structure was cloven to the foundations, through the slated roof, the gilded and painted ceiling, the parqueted floors; and, where one formerly enjoyed an artistic feast that had taken four centuries to provide, one gazed upon, from the pavement to the roof, a tarpaulin that closed a vista which might otherwise have been a quarter of a mile in length.

Builders toiled day and night to connect the Louvre with the main body of the Palace of the Tuileries, which itself was to disappear within so short a time. Meanwhile so great a displacement of the art treasures was undergone, that habitués knew not which way to turn for favourite pictures, with which the last fifty years had made them so familiar.

To those of our elders who knew the Paris of[Pg 185] the early fifties, the present-day aspect—in spite of all its glorious wealth of boulevards and architectural splendour—will suggest the mutability of all things.

It serves our purpose, however, to realize that much of the character has gone from the Quartier Latin; that the Tuileries disappeared with the Commune, and that the old distinctions between Old Paris, the faubourgs, and the Communal Annexes, have become practically non-existent with the opening up of the Haussman boulevards, at the instigation of the wary Napoleon III. Paris is still, however, an “ancienne ville et une ville neuve,” and the paradox is inexplicable.

The differences between the past and the present are indeed great, but nowhere—not even in the Tower of London, which is usually given as an example of the contrast and progress of the ages—is a more tangible and specific opposition shown, than in what remains to-day of mediæval Paris, in juxtaposition with the later architectural embellishments. In many instances is seen the newest of the “art nouveau”—as it is popularly known—cheek by jowl with some mediæval shrine.

It is difficult at this time to say what effect these swirls and blobs, which are daily thrusting themselves into every form of architectural display[Pg 186] throughout Continental Europe, would have had on these masters who built the Gothic splendours of France, or even the hybrid rococo style, which, be it not denied, is in many instances beautiful in spite of its idiosyncrasies.

To those who are familiar with the “sights” of Paris, there is nothing left but to study the aspects of the life of the streets, the boulevards, the quais, the gardens, the restaurants, and the cafés. Here at least is to be found daily, and hourly, new sensations and old ones, but at all events it is an ever-shifting scene, such as no other city in the world knows.

The life of the faubourgs and of the quartiers has ever been made the special province of artists and authors, and to wander through them, to sit beneath the trees of the squares and gardens, or even outside a café, is to contemplate, in no small degree, much of the incident and temperament of life which others have already perpetuated and made famous.

There is little new or original effort which can be made, though once and again a new performer comes upon the stage,—a poet who sings songs of vagabondage, a painter who catches a fleeting impression, which at least, if not new, seems new.[Pg 187] But in the main one has to hark back to former generations, if one would feel the real spirit of romance and tradition. There are few who, like Monet, can stop before a shrine and see in it forty-three varying moods—or some other incredible number, as did that artist when he limned his impressions of the façade of the Cathedral of Nôtre Dame de Rouen.

Such landmarks as the Place de la Bastille, the Pantheon,—anciently the site of the Abbey de Ste. Geneviève,—the Chambre des Députés,—the former Palais Bourbon,—the Tour St. Jacques, the Fountain des Innocents, St. Germain l’Auxerrois, the Palais du Luxembourg, the Louvre, and quite all the historic and notable buildings one sees, are all pictured with fidelity, and more or less minuteness, in the pages of Dumas’ romances.

Again, in such other localities as the Boulevard des Italiens, the Café de Paris, the Théâtre Français, the Odêon, the Palais Royal,—where, in the “Orleans Bureau,” Dumas found his first occupation in Paris,—took place many incidents of Dumas’ life, which are of personal import.

For recollections and reminders of the author’s contemporaries, there are countless other localities too numerous to mention. In the Rue Pigalle, at No. 12, died Eugene Scribe; in the Rue de Douai[Pg 188] lived Edmond About, while in the Rue d’Amsterdam, at No. 77, lived Dumas himself, and in the Rue St. Lazare, Madame George Sand. Montmartre is sacred to the name of Zola in the minds of most readers of latter-day French fiction, while many more famous names of all ranks, of litterateurs, of actors, of artists and statesmen,—all contemporaries and many of them friends of Dumas,—will be found on the tombstones of Père la Chaise.

The motive, then, to be deduced from these pages is that they are a record of many things associated with Alexandre Dumas, his life, and his work. Equally so is a fleeting itinerary of strolls around and about the Paris of Dumas’ romances, with occasional journeys into the provinces.


77 Rue d’Amsterdam


Rue de St. Denis


Thus the centuries have done their work of extending and mingling,—“le jeu est fait,” so to speak,—but Paris, by the necessities of her growth and by her rather general devotion to one stately, towering form of domestic architecture, has often made the separation of old from new peculiarly difficult to a casual eye. It is indeed her way to be new and splendid, to be always the bride of cities, espousing human destiny. And, truly, it is in this character that we do her homage with our visits, our money, and our admiration. Out of [Pg 189]gray, unwieldy, distributed London one flies from a vast and romantic camp to a city exact and beautiful. So exact, so beautiful, so consistent in her vivacity, so neat in her industry, so splendid in her display, that one comes to think that the ultimate way to enjoy Paris is to pass unquestioning and unsolicitous into her life, exclaiming not “Look here,” and “Look there” in a fever of sightseeing, but rather baring one’s breast, like Daudet’s ouvrier, to her assaults of glistening life.

The Paris of to-day is a reconstructed Paris; its old splendours not wholly eradicated, but changed in all but their associations. The life of Paris, too, has undergone a similar evolution, from what it was even in Dumas’ time.

The celebrities of the Café de Paris have mostly, if not quite all, passed away. No more does the eccentric Prince Demidoff promulgate his eccentricities into the very faces of the onlookers; no more does the great Dumas make omelettes in golden sugar-bowls; and no more does he pass his criticisms—or was it encomiums?—on the veau sauté.

The student revels of the quartier have become more sedate, if not more fastidious, and there is no such Mardi Gras and Mi-Carême festivities as[Pg 190] used to hold forth on the boulevards in the forties. And on the Buttes Chaumont and Montmartre are found batteries of questionable amusements,—especially got up for the delectation of les Anglais, provincials, and soldiers off duty,—in place of the cabarets, which, if of doubtful morality, were at least a certain social factor.

New bridges span the Seine, and new thoroughfares, from humble alleys to lordly and magnificent boulevards, have clarified many a slum, and brightened and sweetened the atmosphere; so there is some considerable gain there.

The Parisian cabby is, as he always was, a devil-may-care sort of a fellow, who would as soon run you down with his sorry old outfit as not; but perhaps even his characteristics will change sooner or later, now that the automobile is upon us in all its proclaimed perfection.

The “New Opera,” that sumptuous structure which bears the inscription “Académie Nationale de Musique,” begun by Garnier in 1861, and completed a dozen years later, is, in its commanding situation and splendid appointments, the peer of any other in the world. In spite of this, its fame will hardly rival that of the Comédie Française, or even the Opéra Comique of former days, and the names of latter-day stars will have difficulty in competing[Pg 191] with those of Rachel, Talma, and their fellow actors on the stage of other days.

Whom, if you please, have we to-day whose name and fame is as wide as those just mentioned? None, save Madame Bernhardt, who suggests to the well-informed person—who is a very considerable body—the preëminent influences which formerly emanated from Paris in the fifties. But this of itself is a subject too vast for inclusion here, and it were better passed by. So, too, with the Parisian artists who made the art of the world in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Decamps, Delacroix, Corot, and Vernet are names with which to conjure up reminiscences as great as those of Rubens, Titian, and Van Dyke. This may be disputed, but, if one were given the same familiarity therewith, it is possible that one’s contrary opinion would be greatly modified.

To-day, in addition to the glorious art collection of former times, there are the splendid, though ever shifting, collections of the Musée du Luxembourg, the mural paintings of the Hôtel de Ville, which are a gallery in themselves, and the two spring Salon exhibitions, to say nothing of the newly attempted Salon d’Automne. Curiously enough, some of us find great pleasure in the contemplation of the decorations in the interiors of the great gares[Pg 192] of the Lyons or the Orleans railways. Certainly these last examples of applied art are of a lavishness—and even excellence—which a former generation would not have thought of.

The Arc de Triomphe d’Étoile, of course, remains as it always has since its erection at the instigation of Napoleon I.; while the Bois de Boulogne came into existence as a municipal pleasure-ground only in the early fifties, and has since endured as the great open-air attraction of Paris for those who did not wish to go farther afield.

The churches have not changed greatly in all this time, except that they had some narrow escapes during the Franco-Prussian War, and still narrower ones during the Commune. It may be remarked here en passant that, for the first time in seventy years, so say the records, there has just been taken down the scaffolding which, in one part or another, has surrounded the church of St. Eustache. Here, then, is something tangible which has not changed until recently (March, 1904), since the days when Dumas first came to Paris.

The Paris of the nineteenth century is, as might naturally be inferred, that of which the most is known; the eighteenth and seventeenth are indeed difficult to follow with accuracy as to the exact locale of their events; but the sixteenth looms [Pg 193]up—curiously enough—more plainly than either of the two centuries which followed. The histories, and even the guide-books, will explain why this is so, so it shall have no place here.

Order, of a sort, immediately came forth from out the chaos of the Revolution. The great Napoleon began the process, and, in a way, it was continued by the plebeian Louis-Philippe, elaborated in the Second Empire, and perfected—if a great capital such as Paris ever really is perfected—under the Third Republic.

Improvement and demolition—which is not always improvement—still go on, and such of Old Paris as is not preserved by special effort is fast falling before the stride of progress.

A body was organized in 1897, under the name of the “Commission du Vieux Paris,” which is expected to do much good work in the preservation of the chronicles in stone of days long past.

The very streets are noisy with the echo of an unpeaceful past; and their frequent and unexpected turnings, even in these modern days, are suggestive of their history in a most graphic manner.

The square in front of the Fontaine des Innocents is but an ancient burial-ground; before the Hôtel de Ville came Etienne Marcel; and Charlemagne to the cathedral; the Place de la Concorde[Pg 194] was the death-bed of the Girondins, and the Place de la Madeleine the tomb of the Capetians; and thus it is that Paris—as does no other city—mingles its centuries of strife amid a life which is known as the most vigorous and varied of its age.

To enter here into a detailed comparison between the charm of Paris of to-day and yesterday would indeed be a work of supererogation; and only in so far as it bears directly upon the scenes and incidents amid which Dumas lived is it so made.



[Pg 195]




It would be impossible to form a precise topographical itinerary of the scenes of Dumas’ romances and the wanderings of his characters, even in Paris itself. The area is so very wide, and the number of localities, which have more than an incidental interest, so very great, that the futility of such a task will at once be apparent.

Probably the most prominent of all the romances, so far as identifying the scenes of their action goes, are the Valois series.

As we know, Dumas was very fond of the romantic house of Valois, and, whether in town or country, he seemed to take an especial pride in presenting details of portraiture and place in a surprisingly complete, though not superfluous, manner.

The Louvre has the most intimate connection with both the Valois and the D’Artagnan romances, and is treated elsewhere as a chapter by itself.

[Pg 196]Dumas’ most marked reference to the Hôtel de Ville is found in the taking of the Bastille, and, though it is not so very great, he gives prominence to the incident of the deputation of the people who waited upon De Flesselles, the prévôt, just before the march upon the Bastille.

In history we know the same individual as “Messire Jacques de Flesselles, Chevalier, Conseiller de la Grande Chambre, Maître Honoraire des Requêtes, Conseiller d’Etat.” The anecdote is recorded in history, too, that Louis XVI., when he visited the Hôtel de Ville in 1789, was presented with a cockade of blue and red, the colours of the ville—the white was not added till some days later.

“Votre Majesté,” dit le maire, “veut-elle accepte le signe distinctif des Français?”

For reply the king took the cockade and put it on his chapeau, entered the grande salle, and took his place on the throne.

All the broils and turmoils which have taken place since the great Revolution, have likewise had the Hôtel de Ville for the theatre where their first scenes were represented.

It was invaded by the people during the Revolutions of 1830 and 1848, as well as in the Commune in 1871, when, in addition to the human fury, it was attacked by the flames, which finally brought[Pg 197] about its destruction. Thus perished that noble structure, which owed its inception to that art-loving monarch, François I.




The present-day Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville is the successor of the Quai des Ormes, which dates from the fourteenth century, and the Quai de la Grève, which existed as early as 1254, and which descended by an easy slope to the strand from which it took its name.

Adjoining the quai was the Place de la Grève, which approximates the present Place de l’Hôtel de Ville.

A near neighbour of the Hôtel de Ville is the Tour de St. Jacques la Boucherie, where sits to-day Paris’s clerk of the weather.

It was here that Marguerite de Valois, in company with the Duchesse de Nevers, repaired from their pilgrimage to the Cimetière des Innocents, to view the results of the Huguenot massacre of the preceding night.

“‘And where are you two going?’ inquired Catherine, the queen’s mother. ‘To see some rare and curious Greek books found at an old Protestant pastor’s, and which have been taken to the Tour de St. Jacques la Boucherie,’ replied the inquisitive and erudite Marguerite. For, be it recalled, her [Pg 198]knowledge and liking of classical literature was most profound.”

This fine Gothic tower, which is still a notable landmark, is the only relique of the Church of St. Jacques. A bull of Pope Calixtus II., dated 1119, first makes mention of it, and François I. made it a royal parish church.

The tower itself was not built until 1508, having alone cost 1,350 livres. It has often been pictured and painted, and to-day it is a willing or unwilling sitter to most snap-shot camerists who come within focus of it, but no one has perceived the spirit of its genuine old-time flavour as did Méryon, in his wonderful etching—so sought for by collectors—called “Le Stryge.”

The artist’s view-point, taken from the gallery of Nôtre Dame,—though in the early nineteenth century,—with the grotesque head and shoulders of one of those monstrous figures, half-man, half-beast, with which the galleries of Nôtre Dame are peopled, preserves, with its very simplicity and directness, an impression of Vieux Paris which is impossible to duplicate to-day.

The Place de la Grève was for a time, at least, the most famous or infamous of all the places of execution in Paris. One reads of it largely in “Marguerite de Valois” in this connection, and [Pg 199]in “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne” it again crops up, but in a much more pleasant manner.


(Méryon’s Etching, “Le Stryge”)


Dumas, ever praiseful of good wine and good food, describes Vatel, the maître d’hôtel of Fouquet, as crossing the square with a hamper filled with bottles, which he had just purchased at the cabaret of the sign of “L’Image de Nôtre Dame;” a queer name for a wine-shop, no doubt, and, though it does not exist to-day, and so cannot be authenticated, it may likely enough have had an existence outside the novelist’s page. At all events, it is placed definitely enough, as one learns from the chapter of “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” entitled “The Wine of M. de la Fontaine.”

“‘What the devil are you doing here, Vatel?’ said Fouquet. ‘Are you buying wine at a cabaret in the Place de Grève?’... ‘I have found here, monsieur, a “vin de Joigny” which your friends like. This I know, as they come once a week to drink it at the “Image de Nôtre Dame.”’”

In the following chapter Dumas reverts to the inglorious aspect of the Place and the Quai de la Grève as follows:

“At two o’clock the next day, fifty thousand spectators had taken their position upon the place, around two gibbets which had been elevated between the Quai de la Grève and Quai Pelletier; one close [Pg 200]to the other, with their backs to the parapet of the river. In the morning, also, all the sworn criers of the good city of Paris had traversed the quarters of the city, particularly the Halles and the faubourgs, announcing with their hoarse and indefatigable voices the great justice done by the king upon two peculators; two thieves, devourers of the people. And these people, whose interests were so warmly looked after, in order not to fail in respect for their king, quitted shops, stalls, and ateliers, to go and evince a little gratitude to Louis XIV., absolutely like invited guests, who feared to commit an impoliteness in not repairing to the house of him who invited them. According to the tenor of the sentence, which the criers read loudly and badly, two farmers of the revenues, monopolists of money, dilapidators of the royal provisions, extortioners and forgers, were about to undergo capital punishment on the Place de Grève, with their names affixed over their heads, according to their sentence. As to those names, the sentence made no mention of them. The curiosity of the Parisians was at its height, and, as we have said, an immense crowd waited with feverish impatience the hour fixed for the execution.”

D’Artagnan, who, in the pages of “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” was no more a young man, owned[Pg 201] this very cabaret, the “Image de Nôtre Dame.” “‘I will go, then,’ says he, ‘to the “Image de Nôtre Dame,” and drink a glass of Spanish wine with my tenant, which he cannot fail to offer me.’”

En route to the cabaret, D’Artagnan asked of his companion, “Is there a procession to-day?” “It is a hanging, monsieur.” “What! a hanging on the Grève? The devil take the rogue who gets himself hung the day I go to take my rent,” said D’Artagnan.

The old mousquetaire did not get his rent, there was riot and bloodshed galore, “L’Image de Nôtre Dame” was set on fire, and D’Artagnan had one more opportunity to cry out “A moi, Mousquetaires,” and enter into a first-class fight; all, of course, on behalf of right and justice, for he saved two men, destined to be gibbeted, from the more frightful death of torture by fire, to which the fanatical crowd had condemned them.

The most extensive reference to the Place de la Grève is undoubtedly in the “Forty-Five Guardsmen,” where is described the execution of Salcède, the coiner of false money and the co-conspirator with the Guises.

“M. Friard was right when he talked of one hundred thousand persons as the number of spectators who would meet on the Place de la Grève and [Pg 202]its environs, to witness the execution of Salcède. All Paris appeared to have a rendezvous at the Hôtel de Ville; and Paris is very exact, and never misses a fête; and the death of a man is a fête, especially when he has raised so many passions that some curse and others bless him.

“The spectators who succeeded in reaching the place saw the archers and a large number of Swiss and light horse surrounding a little scaffold raised about four feet from the ground. It was so low as to be visible only to those immediately surrounding it, or to those who had windows overlooking the place. Four vigorous white horses beat the ground impatiently with their hoofs, to the great terror of the women, who had either chosen this place willingly, or had been forcibly pushed there.

“These horses were unused, and had never done more work than to support, by some chance, on their broad backs, the chubby children of the peasants. After the scaffold and the horses, what next attracted all looks was the principal window of the Hôtel de Ville, which was hung with red velvet and gold, and ornamented with the royal arms. This was for the king. Half-past one had just struck when this window was filled. First came Henri III., pale, almost bald, although he was at that time only thirty-five, and with a sombre expression, always a [Pg 203]mystery to his subjects, who, when they saw him appear, never knew whether to say ‘Vive le roi!’ or to pray for his soul. He was dressed in black, without jewels or orders, and a single diamond shone in his cap, serving as a fastening to three short plumes. He carried in his hand a little black dog that his sister-in-law, Marie Stuart, had sent him from her prison, and on which his fingers looked as white as alabaster.

“Behind the king came Catherine de Medici, almost bowed by age, for she might be sixty-six or sixty-seven, but still carrying her head firm and erect, and darting bitter glances from under her thick eyebrows. At her side appeared the melancholy but sweet face of the queen, Louise de Touraine. Catherine came as a triumph, she as a punishment. Behind them came two handsome young men, brothers, the eldest of whom smiled with wonderful beauty, and the younger with great melancholy. The one was Anne, Duc de Joyeuse, and the other Henri de Joyeuse, Comte de Bouchage. The people had for these favourites of the king none of the hatred which they had felt toward Maugiron, Quelus, and Schomberg.

“Henri saluted the people gravely; then, turning to the young men, he said, ‘Anne, lean against the tapestry; it may last a long time.’...

[Pg 204]“Henri, in anger, gave the sign. It was repeated, the cords were refastened, four men jumped on the horses, which, urged by violent blows, started off in opposite directions. A horrible cracking and a terrible cry was heard. The blood was seen to spout from the limbs of the unhappy man, whose face was no longer that of a man, but of a demon.

“‘Ah, heaven!’ he cried; ‘I will speak, I will tell all. Ah! cursed duch—’

“The voice had been heard above everything, but suddenly it ceased.

“‘Stop, stop,’ cried Catherine, ‘let him speak.’

“But it was too late; the head of Salcède fell helplessly on one side, he glanced once more to where he had seen the page, and then expired.”

Near the Hôtel de Ville is “Le Châtelet,” a name familiar enough to travellers about Paris. It is an omnibus centre, a station on the new “Metropolitan,” and its name has been given to one of the most modern theatres of Paris.

Dumas, in “Le Collier de la Reine,” makes but little use of the old Prison du Grand Châtelet, but he does not ignore it altogether, which seems to point to the fact that he has neglected very few historic buildings, or, for that matter, incidents of[Pg 205] Paris in mediæval times, in compiling the famous D’Artagnan and Valois romances.

The Place du Châtelet is one of the most celebrated and historic open spots of Paris. The old prison was on the site of an old Cæsarian forum. The prison was destroyed in 1806, but its history for seven centuries was one of the most dramatic.

One may search for Planchet’s shop, the “Pilon d’Or,” of which Dumas writes in “The Vicomte de Bragelonne,” in the Rue des Lombards of to-day, but he will not find it, though there are a dozen boutiques in the little street which joins the present Rue St. Denis with the present Boulevard Sebastopol, which to all intents and purposes might as well have been the abode of D’Artagnan’s old servitor.

The Rue des Lombards, like Lombard Street in London, took its names from the original money-changers, who gathered here in great numbers in the twelfth century. Planchet’s little shop was devoted to the sale of green groceries, with, presumably, a sprinkling of other attendant garnishings for the table.

To-day, the most notable of the shops here, of a similar character, is the famous magasin de confiserie, “Au Fidèle Berger,” for which Guilbert, the author of “Jeune Malade,” made the original verses[Pg 206] for the wrappers which covered the products of the house. A contemporary of the poet has said that the “enveloppe était moins bonne que la marchandaise.”

The reader may judge for himself. This is one of the verses:

“Le soleil peut s’eteindre et le ciel s’obscurcir,
J’ai vu ma Marita, je n’ai plus qu’à mourir.”

Every lover of Dumas’ romances, and all who feel as though at one time or another they had been blessed with an intimate acquaintance with that “King of Cavaliers,”—D’Artagnan,—will have a fondness for the old narrow ways in the Rue d’Arbre Sec, which remains to-day much as it always was.

It runs from the Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville,—once the unsavoury Quai de la Grève,—toward Les Halles; and throughout its length, which is not very great, it has that crazy, tumble-down appearance which comes, sooner or later, to most narrow thoroughfares of mediæval times.

It is not so very picturesque nor so very tumble-down, it is simply wobbly. It is not, nor ever was, a pretentious thoroughfare, and, in short, is distinctly commonplace; but there is a little house, on the right-hand side, near the river, which will[Pg 207] be famous as long as it stands, as the intimate scene of much of the minor action of “Marguerite de Valois,” “Chicot the Jester,” and others of the series.




This maison is rather better off than most of its neighbours, with its white-fronted lower stories, its little balcony over the Crémerie, which now occupies the ground-floor, and its escutcheon—a blazing sun—midway in its façade.

Moreover it is still a lodging-house,—an humble hotel if you like,—at any rate something more than a mere house which offers “logement à pied.” Indeed its enterprising proprietor has erected a staring blue and white enamel sign which advertises his house:


There is, perhaps, no harm in all this, as it would seem beyond all question to have some justification for its name, and it is above all something more tangible than the sites of many homes and haunts which may to-day be occupied with a modern magasin, à tous génres, or a great tourist caravanserai.

This house bears the name of “Hôtel des [Pg 208]Mousquetaires,” as if it were really a lineal descendant of the “Hôtel de la Belle Etoile,” of which Dumas writes.

Probably it is not the same, and if it is, there is, likely enough, no significance between its present name and its former glory save that of perspicacity on the part of the present patron.

From the romance one learns how Catherine de Medici sought to obtain that compromising note which was in possession of Orthon, the page. Dumas says of this horror-chamber of the Louvre:

“Catherine now reached a second door, which, revolving on its hinges, admitted to the depths of the oubliette, where—crushed, bleeding, and mutilated, by a fall of more than one hundred feet—lay the still palpitating form of poor Orthon; while, on the other side of the wall forming the barrier of this dreadful spot, the waters of the Seine were heard to ripple by, brought by a species of subterraneous filtration to the foot of the staircase.

“Having reached the damp and unwholesome abyss, which, during her reign, had witnessed numerous similar scenes to that now enacted, Catherine proceeded to search the corpse, eagerly drew forth the desired billet, ascertained by the lantern that it was the one she sought, then, pushing the mangled body from her, she pressed a spring, the[Pg 209] bottom of the oubliette sank down, and the corpse, borne by its own weight, disappeared toward the river.

“Closing the door after her, she reascended; and, returning to her closet, read the paper poor Orthon had so valiantly defended. It was conceived in these words:

“‘This evening at ten o’clock, Rue de l’Arbre-Sec, Hôtel de la Belle Etoile. Should you come, no reply is requisite; if otherwise, send word back, No, by the bearer.

“‘De Mouy de Saint-Phale.

“At eight o’clock Henri of Navarre took two of his gentlemen, went out by the Porte St. Honoré, entered again by the Tour de Bois, crossed the Seine at the ferry of the Nesle, mounted the Rue St. Jacques, and there dismissed them, as if he were going to an amorous rendezvous. At the corner of the Rue des Mathurins he found a man on horseback, wrapped in a large cloak; he approached him.

“‘Mantes!’ said the man.

“‘Pau!’ replied the king.

“The horseman instantly dismounted. Henri wrapped himself in his splashed mantle, sprang on his steed, rode down the Rue de la Harpe, crossed the Pont St. Michel, passed the Rue Barthelemy,[Pg 210] crossed the river again on the Pont au Meunier, descended the quais, reached the Rue de l’Arbre-Sec, and knocked at Maître la Hurière’s.”

The route is easily traced to-day, and at the end of it is the Hôtel des Mousquetaires, so it will not take much imagination to revivify the incident which Dumas conceived, though one may not get there that “good wine of Artois” which the innkeeper, La Hurière, served to Henri.

The circumstance is recounted in “Marguerite de Valois,” as follows:

“‘La Hurière, here is a gentleman wants you.’

“La Hurière advanced, and looked at Henri; and, as his large cloak did not inspire him with very great veneration:

“‘Who are you?’ asked he.

“‘Eh, sang Dieu!’ returned Henri, pointing to La Mole. ‘I am, as the gentleman told you, a Gascon gentleman come to court.’

“‘What do you want?’

“‘A room and supper.’

“‘I do not let a room to any one, unless he has a lackey.’

“‘Oh, but I will pay you a rose noble for your room and supper.’

“‘You are very generous, worthy sir,’ said La Hurière, with some distrust.

[Pg 211]“‘No; but expecting to sup here, I invited a friend of mine to meet me. Have you any good wine of Artois?’

“‘I have as good as the King of Navarre drinks.’

“‘Ah, good!’”

The Rue de l’Arbre-Sec is of itself historic, though it was baptized as l’Arbre-Sel. Two legends of more than ordinary interest are connected with this once important though unimposing street. The first applies to its early nomenclature, and is to the effect that in the thirteenth century it contained an oak-tree, which, in the snows of winter, always remained free of the white blanket which otherwise covered everything around about. For this reason the tree was said to be so full of salt that the snow that fell upon it melted immediately, and the name was created for the thoroughfare, which then first rose to the dignity of a recognized rue.

The second legend in a similar way accounts for the change of name to arbre-sec. At a certain rainy period, when the pavements and the walls of the houses were “ruisselants d’eau,” the same tree remained absolutely dry. It is curious, too, to note that the Rue de l’Arbre-Sec is identified with a certain personage who lived in Mazarin’s time, by the name of Mathieu Mollé, whose fame as the first president of the Parlement is preserved in the[Pg 212] neighbouring Rue Mathieu Mollé. It was in the hotel of “La Belle Etoile” that Dumas ensconced his character De la Mole—showing once again that Dumas dealt with very real characters.

Opposite the colonnade of the Louvre is the Église St. Germain l’Auxerrois. From this church—founded by Childebert in 606—rang out the tocsin which was the signal for that infamous massacre of the Protestants in the time of Charles IX. In “Marguerite de Valois” Dumas has vividly described the event; not, perhaps, without certain embroidered embellishment, but, nevertheless, with a graphicness which the dry-as-dust historian of fact could hardly hope to equal.

This cruel inspiration of Catherine de Medici’s is recorded by Dumas thus:

“‘Hush!’ said La Hurière.

“‘What is it?’ inquired Coconnas and Maurevel together.

“They heard the first stroke of the bell of St. Germain de l’Auxerrois vibrate.

“‘The signal!’ exclaimed Maurevel. ‘The time is put ahead, for it was agreed for midnight. So much the better. When it is the interest of God and the king, it is better that the clock should be put forward than backward.’ And the sinister sound of the church-bell was distinctly heard. Then[Pg 213] a shot was fired, and, in an instant, the light of several flambeaux blazed up like flashes of lightning in the Rue de l’Arbre-Sec.”

There is much more of moment that happened before and afterward “on this bloody ground;” all of which is fully recounted by the historians.

At No. 7 Rue du Helder, just off the Boulevard des Italiens, in a region so well known to Dumas and his associates, lived De Franchi, the hero of the “Corsican Brothers.” The locale and the action of that rapid review of emotions to which Dumas gave the name of the “Corsican Brothers” (“Les Frères du Corse”), was not of the mean or sordid order, but rather of the well-to-do, a sort of semi-luxuriousness of the middle-class life of the time.

The scene of the novelette bears the date of 1841, and Paris, especially in many of what are known as the newer parts, has changed but little since. A new shop-front here and there, the addition of a huge gilt sign, of which the proprietors of Parisian establishments are so fond, somewhat changes the outside aspect of things, but, on the whole, the locale often remains much as it was before, and, in this case, with but scarce three-quarters of a century past, the view down the Rue[Pg 214] du Helder from its junction with Rue Taitbout differs little.

“Hôtel Picardie,” in the Rue Tiquetonne,—still to be seen,—may or may not be the “La Chevrette” of “Twenty Years After,” to which D’Artagnan repaired in the later years of his life. D’Artagnan’s residence in the Rue Tiquetonne has, in the minds of many, made the street famous. It was famous, though, even before it was popularized by Dumas, and now that we are not able even to place the inn where D’Artagnan lived after he had retired from active service—it is still famous.

At No. 12 and 16 are two grand habitations of former times. The former served as a residence to Henri de Talleyrand, who died in 1626, and later to the Marquis de Mauge, then to Daubonne, a tapissier, much in the favour of Louis XIII.

The other is known as the “Hôtel d’Artagnan,” but it is difficult to trace its evolution from the comfortable inn of which Dumas wrote.




At No. 23 is about the only relique left which bespeaks the gallant days of D’Artagnan and his fellows. It is a square tower of five étages, and, from the character of its architecture, we know it to be of the fourteenth or fifteenth century. It is known as the “Tour de Jean-sans-Peur.” [Pg 215]Jean-sans-Peur was the grandfather of Charles-le-Téméraire. Monstrelet has said that it was built to contain a strong chamber, in which its owner might sleep safely at night. It formed originally a part of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, but to-day, though but partially disengaged from the neighbouring houses, it is evidently the only member of the original establishment which remains.

Not far from the precincts of the Louvre was the Rue de la Martellerie, where lived Marie Touchet.

The portraiture of Dumas forms a wonderfully complete list of the royalties and nobilities of France. Both the D’Artagnan gallery and the Valois series literally reek with the names of celebrated personages, and this, too, in the mere romances, for it must be remembered that, in spite of his reputation as a romancist, Dumas’ historical sketches and travels were both numerous and of great extent.

One significant portrait, though it is not one of noble birth, is that of Marie Touchet, extracted from “Marguerite de Valois,” and reprinted here.

“When Charles IX. and Henri of Navarre visited the Rue de la Martellerie, it was to see the celebrated Marie, who, though ‘only a poor, simple girl,’ as she referred to herself, was the Eve of Charles’ [Pg 216]paradise. ‘Your Eden, Sire,’ said the gallant Henri.

“‘Dearest Marie,’ said Charles, ‘I have brought you another king happier than myself, for he has no crown; more unhappy than me, for he has no Marie Touchet.’

“‘Sire, it is, then, the King of Navarre?’

“‘It is, love.’

“Henri went toward her, and Charles took his right hand.

“‘Look at this hand, Marie,’ said he; ‘it is the hand of a good brother and a loyal friend; and but for this hand—’

“‘Well, Sire!’

“‘But for this hand, this day, Marie, our boy had been fatherless.’

“Marie uttered a cry, seized Henri’s hand, and kissed it.

“The king went to the bed where the child was still asleep.

“‘Eh!’ said he, ‘if this stout boy slept in the Louvre, instead of sleeping in this small house, he would change the aspect of things at present, and perhaps for the future.’

“‘Sire,’ said Marie, ‘without offence to your Majesty, I prefer his sleeping here; he sleeps better.’”

[Pg 217]This illustrates only one phase of Dumas’ power of portraiture, based on historical fact, of course, and casting no new light on matters which are otherwise well known, but still a very fresh and vivifying method of projecting the features of those famous in the history of France, and a method, perhaps, which will serve to impress them upon the reader in a more nearly indelible fashion than any other.

“It was this child of Marie Touchet and Charles IX. who afterward was the famous Duke d’Angoulême, who died in 1650; and, had he been legitimate, would have taken precedence of Henri III., Henri IV., Louis XIII., Louis XIV., etc., and altered the whole line of the royal succession of France.”

It was a pleasurable visit for all three, that of which Dumas writes.

Charles, Henri, and Marie supped together, and the accomplished Prince of Béarn made the famous anagram from the letters of the lady’s name, “Je charme tout,” which Charles declared he would present to her worked in diamonds, and that it should be her motto.

History does not state that he did so, but no doubt that was a detail which the chroniclers have[Pg 218] overlooked, or, of course, it may have been an interpolation of Dumas’.

Dumas’ pen-pictures of the great Napoleon—whom he referred to as “The Ogre of Corsica”—will hardly please the great Corsican’s admirers, though it is in no manner contemptuous. The following is from “The Count of Monte Cristo”:

“‘Monsieur,’ said the baron to the count, ‘all the servants of his Majesty must approve of the latest intelligence which we have from the island of Elba. Bonaparte—’ M. Dandré looked at Louis XVIII., who, employed in writing a note, did not even raise his head. ‘Bonaparte,’ continued the baron, ‘is mortally wearied, and passes whole days in watching his miners at work at Porto-Longone.’

“‘And scratches himself for amusement,’ added the king.

“‘Scratches himself?’ inquired the count. ‘What does your Majesty mean?’

“‘Yes, indeed, my dear count. Did you forget that this great man, this hero, this demigod, is attacked with a malady of the skin which worries him to death, prurigo?’

“‘And, moreover, M. le Comte,’ continued the[Pg 219] minister of police, ‘we are almost assured that, in a very short time, the usurper will be insane.’


“‘Insane to a degree; his head becomes weaker. Sometimes he weeps bitterly, sometimes laughs boisterously; at other times he passes hours on the seashore, flinging stones in the water, and when the flint makes “ducks and drakes” five or six times, he appears as delighted as if he had gained another Marengo or Austerlitz. Now, you must agree these are indubitable symptoms of weakness?’

“‘Or of wisdom, M. le Baron—or of wisdom,’ said Louis XVIII., laughing; ‘the greatest captains of antiquity recreated themselves with casting pebbles into the ocean—see Plutarch’s life of Scipio Africanus.’”

Again, from the same work, the following estimate of Napoleon’s position at Elba was, if not original, at least opinionated:

“The emperor, now king of the petty isle of Elba, after having held sovereign sway over one-half of the world, counting us, his subjects, a small population of twenty millions,—after having been accustomed to hear the ‘Vive Napoléons’ of at least six times that number of human beings, uttered in nearly every language of the globe,—was looked upon among the haute société of Marseilles as a [Pg 220]ruined man, separated for ever from any fresh connection with France or claim to her throne.”

Firstly the Faubourg St. Denis is associated with Dumas’ early life in Paris. He lived at No. 53 of the Rue du Faubourg St. Denis in 1824.

When one walks past the Porte St. Denis and looks up at that seventeenth-century arch of triumph, built to commemorate the German victories of Louis Quatorze, one just misses the historical significance and architectural fitness of the arch. It is not merely an incident in the boulevard. It belongs not so much to the newer boulevard, as to the ancient Rue St. Denis, and it is only by proceeding some distance up this street, the ancient route of the pilgrims to the tomb of the saint, that the meaning of the Porte St. Denis can truly be appreciated. The arch may be heavy,—it has been described as hideous, and it truly is,—but seen in the Rue St. Denis, whose roadway passes under it, it forms a typical view even to-day of Old Paris, and of the Paris which entered so largely into Dumas’ romances of the Louis.

The more ancient Porte St. Denis, the gateway which lay between the faubourg, the plain, and the ville, performed a function quite different from that of the Renaissance gateway which exists to-day;[Pg 221] in just what manner will be readily inferred when it is recalled that, with the Porte St. Antoine, the Porte St. Denis was the scene of much riot and bloodshed in the early history of Paris.




There are no tram-cars or omnibuses passing through its arch, as through the Place du Carrousel, or the courtyards of the Louvre, to take away the sentiment of romance; though the traffic which swirls and eddies around its sturdy piers and walls is of a manifest up-to-date, twentieth-century variety.

Through its great arch runs the Rue du Faubourg St. Denis, where, at No. 109, was the studio of Gabriel Déscamps, celebrated in “Capitaine Pamphile.”

In “Marguerite de Valois” we have a graphic reference—though rather more sentimental than was the author’s wont—to the Cimetière des Innocents:

“On the day which succeeded that terrible massacre of St. Bartholomew’s night, in 1572, a hawthorn-tree,” said Dumas, and it is also recognized history, as well, “which had blossomed in the spring, and which, according to custom, had lost its odorous flower in the month of June, had strangely reblossomed during the night, and the Catholics, who[Pg 222] saw in this even a miracle, and who by rendering this miracle popular made the Deity their accomplice, went in procession, cross and banner at their head, to the Cemetery of the Innocents, where this hawthorn was blooming.”

Amidst the cries of “Vive le roi!” “Vive la messe!” “Mort aux Huguenots,” the accomplished Marguerite herself went to witness the phenomenon.

“When they reached the top of the Rue des Prouvelles, they met some men who were dragging a carcass without any head. It was that of ‘the admiral’ (Coligny).... The men were going to hang it by the feet at Montfaucon....”

“They entered the Cemetery of St. Innocents, and the clergy, forewarned of the visit of the king and the queen mother, awaited their Majesties to harangue them.”

The cemetery—or signs of it—have now disappeared, though the mortal victims of the massacre, and countless other souls besides, rest beneath the flagstones adjacent to Les Halles, the great market-house of Paris.

The Fontaine des Innocents formerly marked the site, but now it is removed to the other side of Les Halles.

This graceful Renaissance fountain was first erected in 1550, from designs of Pierre Lescot and[Pg 223] Jean Goujon. It stood formerly before the Église des Innocents, which was demolished in 1783.

The Fontaine des Innocents, in spite of its migrations, is a charming oasis of green trees and running water, in the midst of the rather encumbered market-square of Les Halles. Not that the region around about is at all unsavoury; far from it. There is débris of green vegetables and ripe fruits everywhere about, but it has not yet reached the unsavoury stage; before it does all will be swept away, and on the morrow the clamour and traffic will start fresh anew.

The Place Royale, now called the Place des Vosges, is so largely identified with “La Comtesse de Charny” that no special mention can well be made of any action which here took place.

At No. 21, now of course long since departed, lived “a gentleman entirely devoted to your Majesty,” said Dumas, and the adventuress, Lady de Winter, whom D’Artagnan was wont to visit, was given domicile by Dumas at No. 6. Likely enough it was her true residence, though there is no opportunity of tracing it to-day, and one perforce must be satisfied with locating the houses of Madame de Sévigné and Victor Hugo, each of which bear tablets to that effect.

The Place des Vosges is a charming square,[Pg 224] reminiscent, in a way, of the courtyard of the Palais Royal, though lacking its splendour. The iron gateway to the central garden was a gift of Louis XIV., in 1685, when the square was known as the Place Royale. Richelieu caused to be set up here a magnificent equestrian statue of Louis XIII., which, however, was overturned in the Revolution, though it has since been replaced by another statue. The horse was the work of Ricciarelli de Volterre, a pupil of Michelangelo, and the figure was by Biard.

The first great historical event held here was the carrousel given in 1612, two years after the tragic death of Henri IV. at the hands of the assassin Ravaillac. It was a function of Marie de Medici’s to celebrate the alliance of France and Spain.

Under Richelieu, the place became a celebrated duelling-ground, the most famous duel being that between the Duc de Guise and Coligny fils, the son of the admiral.

The Place Royale soon became the most fashionable quartier, the houses around about being greatly in demand of the noblesse.

Among its illustrious inhabitants have been the Rohans, the D’Alégres, Corneille, Condé, St. Vincent de Paul, Molière, Turenne, Madame de Longueville, Cinq-Mars, and Richelieu.

[Pg 225]By un arrêté of the 17th Ventose, year VII., it was declared that the name of the department which should pay the largest part of its contributions by the 20th Germinal would be given to that of the principal place or square of Paris. The Department of the Vosges was the first to pay up, and the Place Royale became the Place des Vosges.

A great deal of the action of the D’Artagnan romances took place in the Place Royale, and in the neighbouring quartiers of St. Antoine and La Bastille, the place being the scene of the notable reunion of the four gallants in “Vingt Ans Après.”

La Roquette, the prison, has disappeared, like the Bastille itself, but they are both perpetuated to-day, the former in the Rue Roquette, and the latter in the Place de la Bastille.

Dumas does not project their horrors unduly, though the Bastille crops up in many of the chapters of the Valois romances, and one entire volume is devoted to “The Taking of the Bastille.”

D’Artagnan himself was doomed, by an order of arrest issued by Richelieu, to be incarcerated therein; but the gallant mousquetaire, by a subtle scheme, got hold of the warrant and made a present of it to the intriguing cardinal himself.

The sombre and sinister guillotine, since become so famous, is made by Dumas subject of a weirdly[Pg 226] fascinating chapter in “La Comtesse de Charny.” Dumas’ description is as follows:

“When Guilbert got out of the carriage he saw that he was in the court of a prison, and at once recognized it as the Bicêtre. A fine misty rain fell diagonally and stained the gray walls. In the middle of the court five or six carpenters, under the direction of a master workman, and a little man clad in black, who seemed to direct everybody, put a machine of a hitherto strange and unknown form. Guilbert shuddered; he recognized Doctor Guillotin, and the machine itself was the one of which he had seen a model in the cellar of the editor of ‘l’ami du peuple.’... The very workmen were as yet ignorant of the secret of this novel machine. ‘There,’ said Doctor Guillotin, ... ‘it is now only necessary to put the knife in the groove.’... This was the form of the machine: a platform fifteen feet square, reached by a simple staircase, on each side of this platform two grooved uprights, ten or twelve feet high. In the grooves slid a kind of crescent-shaped knife. A little opening was made between two beams, through which a man’s head could be passed.... ‘Gentlemen,’ said Guillotin, ‘all being here, we will begin.’”

Then follows the same vivid record of executing and blood-spurting that has attracted many other[Pg 227] writers perhaps as gifted as Dumas, but none have told it more graphically, simply, or truthfully.

Every one knows the Mount of Martyrs, its history, and its modern aspect, which has sadly degenerated of late.

To-day it is simply a hilltop of cheap gaiety, whose patrons are catered for by the Moulin Rouge, the Moulin de la Galette, and a score of “eccentric cafés,” though its past is burdened with Christian tragedy. Up its slope St. Denis is fabulously supposed to have carried his head after his martyrdom, and the quiet, almost forlorn Rue St. Eleuthère still perpetuates the name of his companion in misery. Long afterward, in the chapel erected on this spot, Ignatius Loyola and his companions solemnly vowed themselves to their great work. So here on sinful Montmartre, above Paris, was born the Society of Jesus. The Revolution saw another band of martyrs, when the nuns of the Abbaye de Montmartre, old and young, chanted their progress to the guillotine, and little more than thirty years ago the Commune precipitated its terrible struggle in Montmartre. It was in the Rue des Rosiers, on the 18th of March, 1871, that the blood of Generals Lecomte and Clément-Thomas was shed.

[Pg 228]Hard by, in the Parc Monceau, is the statue of Guy de Maupassant, and so the memory of the sinful mount is perpetuated to us.

Dumas did not make the use of this banal attribute of Paris that many other realists and romancists alike have done, but he frequently refers to it in his “Mémoires.”

Madame de la Motte, the scheming adventuress of the “Collier de la Reine,” lived at No. 57 Rue Charlot, in the Quartier des Infants-Rouges. It was here, at the Hôtel Boulainvilliers, where the Marquise de Boulainvilliers brought up the young girl of the blood royal of the Valois, who afterward became known as Madame de la Motte.

Near by, in the same street, is the superb hôtel of Gabrielle d’Estrées, who herself was not altogether unknown to the court. The Rue de Valois, leading from the Rue St. Honoré to the Rue Beaujolais, beside the Palais Royal, as might be supposed, especially appealed to Dumas, and he laid one of the most cheerful scenes of the “Chevalier d’Harmental” in the hotel, No. 10, built by Richelieu for L’Abbé Metel de Bois-Robert, the founder of the Académie Française.

Off the Rue Sourdière, was the Couloir St. Hyacinthe, where lived Jean Paul Marat—“the friend of the people,” whose description by Dumas,[Pg 229] in “La Comtesse de Charny,” does not differ greatly from others of this notorious person.

In the early pages of “The Count of Monte Cristo,” one’s attention is transferred from Marseilles to Paris, to No. 13 Rue Coq-Héron, where lived M. Noirtier, to whom the luckless Dantès was commissioned to deliver the fateful packet, which was left in his care by the dying Captain Leclerc.

The incident of the handing over of this letter to the député procureur du roi is recounted thus by Dumas:

“‘Stop a moment,’ said the deputy, as Dantès took his hat and gloves. ‘To whom is it addressed?’

“‘To M. Noirtier, Rue Coq-Héron, Paris.’ Had a thunderbolt fallen into the room, Villefort could not have been more stupefied. He sank into his seat, and, hastily turning over the packet, drew forth the fatal letter, at which he glanced with an expression of terror.

“‘M. Noirtier, Rue Coq-Héron, No. 13,’ murmured he, growing still paler.

“‘Yes,’ said Dantès; ‘do you then know him?’

“‘No,’ replied Villefort; ‘a faithful servant of the king does not know conspirators.’

“‘It is a conspiracy, then?’ asked Dantès, who,[Pg 230] after believing himself free, now began to feel a tenfold alarm. ‘I have already told you, however, sir, I was ignorant of the contents of the letter.’

“‘Yes, but you knew the name of the person to whom it was addressed,’ said Villefort.

“‘I was forced to read the address to know to whom to give it.’

“‘Have you shown this letter to any one?’ asked Villefort, becoming still more pale.

“‘To no one, on my honour.’

“‘Everybody is ignorant that you are the bearer of a letter from the isle of Elba, and addressed to M. Noirtier?’

“‘Everybody, except the person who gave it to me.’”

The Rue Coq-Héron is one of those whimsically named streets of Paris, which lend themselves to the art of the novelist.

The origin of the name of this tiny street, which runs tangently off from the Rue du Louvre, is curious and naïve. A shopkeeper of the street, who raised fowls, saw, one day, coming out of its shell, a petit coq with a neck and beak quite different, and much longer, than the others of the same brood. Everybody said it was a heron, and the neighbours crowded around to see the [Pg 231]phenomenon; and so the street came to be baptized the Rue Coq-Héron.

In the Rue Chaussée d’Antin, at No. 7, the wily Baron Danglars had ensconced himself after his descent on Paris. It was here that Dantès caused to be left his first “carte de visite” upon his subsequent arrival.

Among the slighter works of Dumas, which are daily becoming more and more recognized—in English—as being masterpieces of their kind, is “Gabriel Lambert.” It deals with the life of Paris of the thirties; much the same period as does “Captain Pamphile,” “The Corsican Brothers,” and “Pauline,” and that in which Dumas himself was just entering into the literary life of Paris.

Like “Pauline” and “Captain Pamphile,” too, the narrative, simple though it is,—at least it is not involved,—shifts its scenes the length and breadth of the continent of Europe, and shows a versatility in the construction of a latter-day romance which is quite the equal of that of the unapproachable mediæval romances. It further resembles “The Corsican Brothers,” in that it purveys a duel of the first quality—this time in the Allée de la Muette of the Bois de Boulogne, and that most of the Parisians in the story are domiciled in and about the Boulevard des Italiens, the Rue Taitbout, and the Rue[Pg 232] du Helder; all of them localities very familiar to Dumas in real life. In spite of the similarity of the duel of Gabriel to that of De Franchi, there is no repetition of scene or incident detail.

The story deals frankly with the brutal and vulgar malefactor, in this case a counterfeiter of bank notes, one Gabriel, the son of a poor peasant of Normandy, who, it would appear, was fascinated by the ominous words of the inscription which French bank notes formerly bore.


Dumas occasionally took up a theme which, unpromising in itself, was yet alluring through its very lack of sympathy. “Gabriel Lambert” is a story of vulgar rascality unredeemed by any spark of courage, wit, or humanity. There is much of truth in the characterization, and some sentiment, but little enough of romance of the gallant vagabond order.

Dumas never attempted a more difficult feat than the composition of an appealing story from this material.

Twenty years after the first appearance of “Gabriel Lambert,” in 1844, M. Amédée de Jallais[Pg 233] brought Dumas a “scenario” taken from the romance. Unsuitable and unsympathetic though the principal character was, Dumas found the “scenario” so deftly made that he resolved to turn the book into a drama. This was quickly done, and the rehearsals promised a success. On the evening of the first performance Dumas showed himself full of confidence in the play—confidence which amounted almost to certainty; for he said to a friend with whom he promenaded the corridors of the theatre while awaiting the rise of the curtain: “I am sure of my piece; to-night, I can defy the critics.” Some of these gentlemen, unfortunately overhearing him, were provoked to hostility, and, finding unhappy phrases here and there in the piece, they laid hold of them without mercy. Only the comic part of the drama, a scene introduced by Dumas, in which a vagabond steals a clock in the presence of its owner with superb audacity, disarmed their opposition. But the verve of this comic part could not save the play, says Gabriel Ferry, in narrating this anecdote. The antipathy aroused by the principal character doomed it, and the career of the piece was short.

It remains, however,—in the book, at any rate,—a wonderful characterization, with its pictures of the blue Mediterranean at Toulon, the gay life[Pg 234] of the Parisian boulevards, its miniature portrait of the great Vidocq, and the sinister account of the prison of Bicêtre, which, since the abandonment of the Place de la Grève, had become the last resort of those condemned to death.

The tale is a short one, but it vibrates between the rues and the boulevards, from the Hôtel de Venise in the Rue des Vieux-Augustins (now the Rue Herold), where Gabriel, upon coming to Paris, first had his lodgings, to the purlieus of the fashionable world,—the old Italian Opera in the Rue Pelletier,—and No. 11 Rue Taitbout, where afterward Gabriel had ensconced himself in a luxurious apartment.






[Pg 235]




It is difficult to write of La Cité; it is indeed, impossible to write of it with fulness, unless one were to devote a large volume—or many large volumes—to it alone.

To the tourists it is mostly recalled as being the berceau of Nôtre Dame or the morgue. The latter, fortunately, is an entirely modern institution, and, though it existed in Dumas’ own time, did not when the scenes of the D’Artagnan or Valois romances were laid.

Looking toward Nôtre Dame from the Pont du Carrousel, one feels a veritable thrill of emotion as one regards this city of kings and revolutions.

The very buildings on the Ile de la Cité mingle in a symphony of ashen memories. The statue of the great Henri IV., bowered in trees; the two old houses at the apex of the Place Dauphine, in one of which Madame Roland was born; the [Pg 236]massive Palais de Justice; the soaring Sainte Chapelle, which St. Louis built for the Crown of Thorns, and “to the glory of God and France,” and the towers of the Conciergerie, whose floor is for ever stained with the tears of Marie Antoinette.

Romance and history have both set their seal upon the locality, and no one better than Dumas has told its story in romance.

Henri of Navarre being Protestant, the Church would not open its doors to him, and thus his marriage to the talented but wicked Margot, sister of Charles IX., took place on a platform erected before its doors.

In the opening chapter of “Marguerite de Valois,” Dumas refers to it thus:

“The court was celebrating the marriage of Madame Marguerite de Valois, daughter of Henri II. and sister of King Charles IX., with Henri de Bourbon, King of Navarre; and that same morning the Cardinal de Bourbon had united the young couple with the usual ceremonial observed at the marriages of the royal daughters of France, on a stage erected at the entrance to Nôtre Dame. This marriage had astonished everybody, and occasioned much surmise to certain persons who saw clearer than others. They could not [Pg 237]comprehend the union of two parties who hated each other so thoroughly as did, at this moment, the Protestant party and the Catholic party; and they wondered how the young Prince de Condé could forgive the Duke d’Anjou, the king’s father, for the death of his father, assassinated by Montesquieu at Jarnac. They asked how the young Duke de Guise could pardon Admiral de Coligny for the death of his father, assassinated at Orleans by Poltrot de Mère.”


Larger Image

La Cité


The Tour de Nesle is one of those bygones of the history of Paris, which as a name is familiar to many, but which, after all, is a very vague memory.

It perpetuates an event of bloodshed which is familiar enough, but there are no tangible remains to mark the former site of the tower, and only the name remains—now given to a short and unimportant rue.

The use of the title “La Tour de Nesle,” by Dumas, for a sort of second-hand article,—as he himself has said,—added little to his reputation as an author, or, rather, as a dramatist.

In reality, he did no more than rebuild a romantic drama, such as he alone knows how to build, out[Pg 238] of the framework which had been unsuccessfully put together by another—Gaillardet. However, it gives one other historical title to add to the already long list of his productions.

The history of the Conciergerie is most lurid, and, withal, most emphatic, with regard to the political history of France. For the most part, it is more associated with political prisoners than with mere sordid crime, as, indeed, to a great extent were many of the prisons of France.

The summer tourist connects it with Marie Antoinette; visits the “Cachot de Marie Antoinette;” the great hall where the Girondists awaited their fate; and passes on to the Palais des Beaux Arts, with never a thought as to the great political part that the old prison played in the monarchial history of France.

To know it more fully, one should read Nogaret’s “Histoire des Prisons de Paris.” There will be found anecdotes and memoirs, “rares et precieux” and above all truthful.

It has been eulogized, or, rather, anathematized in verse by Voltaire,—

“Exterminez, grandes Dieux, de la terre ou nous sommes
Quiconque avec plaisir repand le sang des hommes,”—

[Pg 239]and historians and romancists have made profuse use of the recollections which hang about its grim walls.

To-day it stands for much that it formerly represented, but without the terrible inquisitorial methods. In fact, in the Palais de Justice, which now entirely surrounds all but the turreted façade of tourelles, which fronts the Quai de l’Horloge, has so tempered its mercies that within the past year it has taken down that wonderful crucifix and triptych, so that those who may finally call upon the court of last appeal may not be unduly or superstitiously affected.

The Place de la Grève opposite was famous for something more than its commercial reputation, as readers of the Valois romances of Dumas, and of Hugo’s “Dernier Jour d’un Condamné” will recall. It was a veritable Gehenna, a sort of Tower Hill, where a series of events as dark and bloody as those of any spot in Europe held forth, from 1310, when a poor unfortunate, Marguerite Porette, was burned as a heretic, until 1830,—well within the scope of this book,—when the headsmen, stakesmen, and hangmen, who had plied their trade here for five centuries, were abolished in favour of a less public barrière on the outskirts, or else the platform of the prison near the Cimetière du Père la Chaise.

[Pg 240]It was in 1830 that a low thief and murderer, Lacenaire, who was brought to the scaffold for his crimes, published in one of the Parisian papers some verses which were intended to extract sympathy for him as un homme de lettres. In reality they were the work of a barrister, Lemarquier by name, and failed utterly of their purpose, though their graphic lines might well have evoked sympathy, had the hoax carried:

“Slow wanes the long night, when the criminal wakes;
And he curses the morn that his slumber breaks;
For he dream’d of other days.

“His eyes he may close,—but the cold icy touch
Of a frozen hand, and a corpse on his couch,
Still comes to wither his soul.

“And the headsman’s voice, and hammer’d blows
Of nails that the jointed gibbet close,
And the solemn chant of the dead!”

La Conciergerie was perhaps one of the greatest show-places of the city for the morbidly inclined, and permission à visiter was at that time granted avec toutes facilités, being something more than is allowed to-day.

The associations connected with this doleful building are great indeed, as all histories of France and the guide-books tell. It was in the chapel of this[Pg 241] edifice that the victims of the Terror foregathered, to hear the names read out for execution, till all should have been made away.

Müller’s painting in the Louvre depicts, with singular graphicness, this dreadful place of detention, where princes and princesses, counts, marquises, bishops, and all ranks were herded amid an excruciating agony.

In “The Queen’s Necklace” we read of the Conciergerie—as we do of the Bastille. When that gang of conspirators, headed by Madame de la Motte,—Jeanne de St. Remy de Valois,—appeared for trial, they were brought from the Bastille to the Conciergerie.

After the trial all the prisoners were locked for the night in the Conciergerie, sentence not being pronounced till the following day.

The public whipping and branding of Madame de la Motte in the Cour du Justice,—still the cour where throngs pass and repass to the various court-rooms of the Palais de Justice,—as given by Dumas, is most realistically told, if briefly. It runs thus:

“‘Who is this man?’ cried Jeanne, in a fright.

“‘The executioner, M. de Paris,’ replied the registrar.

“The two men then took hold of her to lead [Pg 242]her out. They took her thus into the court called Cour de Justice, where was a scaffold, and which was crowded with spectators. On a platform, raised about eight feet, was a post garnished with iron rings, and with a ladder to mount to it. This place was surrounded with soldiers....

“Numbers of the partisans of M. de Rohan had assembled to hoot her, and cries of ‘A bas la Motte, the forger!’ were heard on every side, and those who tried to express pity for her were soon silenced. Then she cried in a loud voice, ‘Do you know who I am? I am the blood of your kings. They strike in me, not a criminal, but a rival; not only a rival, but an accomplice. Yes,’ repeated she, as the people kept silence to listen, ‘an accomplice. They punish one who knows the secrets of—’

“‘Take care,’ interrupted the executioner.

“She turned and saw the executioner with the whip in his hand. At this sight she forgot her desire to captivate the multitude, and even her hatred, and, sinking on her knees, she said, ‘Have pity!’ and seized his hand; but he raised the other, and let the whip fall lightly on her shoulders. She jumped up, and was about to try and throw herself off the scaffold, when she saw the other man, who was drawing from a fire a hot iron. At this sight[Pg 243] she uttered a perfect howl, which was echoed by the people.

“‘Help! help!’ she cried, trying to shake off the cord with which they were tying her hands. The executioner at last forced her on her knees, and tore open her dress; but she cried, with a voice which was heard through all the tumult, ‘Cowardly Frenchmen! you do not defend me, but let me be tortured; oh! it is my own fault. If I had said all I knew of the queen I should have been—’

“She could say no more, for she was gagged by the attendants: then two men held her, while the executioner performed his office. At the touch of the iron she fainted, and was carried back insensible to the Conciergerie.”



[Pg 244]




L’Université is the quartier which foregathered its components, more or less unconsciously, around the Sorbonne.

To-day the name still means what it always did; the Ecole de Médicine, the Ecole de Droit, the Beaux Arts, the Observatoire, and the student ateliers of the Latin Quarter, all go to make it something quite foreign to any other section of Paris.

The present structure known as “The Sorbonne” was built by Richelieu in 1629, as a sort of glorified successor to the ancient foundation of Robert de Sorbonne, confessor to St. Louis in 1253. The present Université, as an institution, was founded, among many other good and valuable things, which he has not always been given credit for, by the astute Napoleon I.

With the work of the romancer, it is the unexpected that always happens. But this very unexpectedness[Pg 245] is only another expression of naturalness; which raises the question: Is not the romancist more of a realist than is commonly supposed?

Dumas often accomplished the unconventional, and often the miraculous, but the gallant attack of D’Artagnan and his three whilom adversaries against the Cardinal’s Guard is by no means an impossible or unreasonable incident. Considering Dumas’ ingenuity and freedom, it would be unreasonable to expect that things might not take the turn that they did.

Of “Les Trois Mousquetaires” alone, the scheme of adventure and incident is as orderly and sagacious as though it had been laid down by the wily cardinal himself; and therein is Dumas’ success as the romancist par excellence of his time. A romancist who was at least enough of a realist to be natural, if unconventional.

Dumas is supposed to have fallen from the heights scaled by means of “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” when he wrote “Vingt Ans Après.” As a piece of literary workmanship, this perhaps is so; as a chronicle of great interest to the reader, who would trace the movement of its plot by existing stones and shrines, it is hardly the case.

One can get up a wonderful enthusiasm for the old Luxembourg quarter, which the Gascon Don[Pg 246] Quixote entered by one of the southern gates, astride his Rosinante. The whole neighbourhood abounds with reminiscences of the characters of the tale: D’Artagnan, with the Rue des Fossoyeurs, now the Rue Servandoni; Athos with the Rue Ferou; Aramis, with the Rue de la Harpe, and so on.

There is, however, a certain tangible sentimentality connected with the adventures of Athos, Aramis, D’Artagnan, and Porthos in “Twenty Years After,” that is not equalled by the earlier book, the reputed scenes of which have, to some extent, to be taken on faith.

In “Vingt Ans Après,” the scene shifts rapidly and constantly: from the Rue Tiquetonne, in Paris, to the more luxurious precincts of the Palais Royal; countrywards to Compiègne, to Pierrefonds—which ultimately came into the possession of Porthos; to England, even; and southward as far as Blois in Touraine, near to which was the country estate of Athos.

At the corner of the Rue Vaugirard, which passes the front of the Luxembourg Palace, and the Rue Cassette, is the wall of the Carmelite Friary, where D’Artagnan repaired to fulfil his duelling engagements with the three musketeers of the company of De Treville, after the incidents of the shoulder [Pg 247]of Athos, the baldric of Porthos, and the handkerchief of Aramis.




Both sides of the river, and, indeed, the Cité itself, are alive with the association of the King’s Musketeers and the Cardinal’s Guards; so much so that one, with even a most superficial knowledge of Paris and the D’Artagnan romances, cannot fail to follow the shifting of the scenes from the neighbourhood of the Palais du Luxembourg, in “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” to the neighbourhood of the Palais Royal, in “Vingt Ans Après” and the “Vicomte de Bragelonne.”

In “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” the fraternal mousquetaires take somewhat varying paths from those which they pursued in the first two volumes of the series. Porthos and Athos had arrived at distinction and wealth, and surrounded themselves accordingly; though, when they came to Paris, they were doubtless frequenters—at times—of their old haunts, but they had perforce to live up to their exalted stations.

With D’Artagnan and Aramis this was not so true. D’Artagnan, it would seem, could not leave his beloved Palais Royal quarter, though his lodgings in the hôtel in the Rue Tiquetonne could have been in no way luxurious, judging from present-day appearances.

[Pg 248]In the Université quarter, running squarely up from the Seine is a short, unpretentious, though not unlovely, street—the Rue Guenegard.

It runs by the Hôtel de la Monnaie, and embouches on the Quai Conti, but if you ask for it from the average stroller on the quais, he will reply that he never heard of it.

It was here, however, at “Au Grand Roi Charlemagne,” “a respectable inn,” that Athos lived during his later years.

In the course of three hundred years this inn has disappeared,—if it ever existed,—though there are two hôtels, now somewhat decrepit, on the short length of the street.

Perhaps it was one of these,—the present Hôtel de France, for instance,—but there are no existing records to tell us beyond doubt that this is so.

There is another inn which Dumas mentions in “The Forty-Five Guardsmen,” not so famous, and not traceable to-day, but his description of it is highly interesting and amusing.

“Near the Porte Buci,” says Chapter VII. of the book before mentioned, “where we must now transport our readers, to follow some of their acquaintances, and to make new ones, a hum, like that in a beehive at sunset, was heard proceeding from a house tinted rose colour, and ornamented with blue [Pg 249]and white pointings, which was known by the sign of ‘The Sword of the Brave Chevalier,’ and which was an immense inn, recently built in this new quarter. This house was decorated to suit all tastes. On the entablature was painted a representation of a combat between an archangel and a dragon breathing flame and smoke, and in which the artist, animated by sentiments at once heroic and pious, had depicted in the hands of ‘the brave chevalier,’ not a sword, but an immense cross, with which he hacked in pieces the unlucky dragon, of which the bleeding pieces were seen lying on the ground. At the bottom of the picture crowds of spectators were represented raising their arms to heaven, while from above angels were extending over the chevalier laurels and palms. Then, as if to prove that he could paint in every style, the artist had grouped around gourds, grapes, a snail on a rose, and two rabbits, one white and the other gray.

“Assuredly the proprietor must have been difficult to please, if he were not satisfied, for the artist had filled every inch of space—there was scarcely room to have added a caterpillar. In spite, however, of this attractive exterior, the hôtel did not prosper—it was never more than half full, though it was large and comfortable. Unfortunately, from its proximity to the Pré-aux-Clercs, it was [Pg 250]frequented by so many persons either going or ready to fight, that those more peaceably disposed avoided it. Indeed, the cupids with which the interior was decorated had been ornamented with moustaches in charcoal by the habitués; and Dame Fournichon, the landlady, always affirmed that the sign had brought them ill-luck, and that, had her wishes been attended to, and the painting represented more pleasing things, such as the rose-tree of love surrounded by flaming hearts, all tender couples would have flocked to them.

“M. Fournichon, however, stuck to his sign, and replied that he preferred fighting men, and that one of them drank as much as six lovers.”

Dumas’ reference to this curiously disposed “happy family” calls to mind the anecdote which he recounts in “The Taking of the Bastille,” concerning salamanders:

“The famous trunk, which had now been dignified with the name of desk, had become, thanks to its vastness, and the numerous compartments with which Pitou had decorated its interior, a sort of Noah’s ark, containing a couple of every species of climbing, crawling, or flying reptiles. There were lizards, adders, ant-eaters, beetles, and frogs, which reptiles became so much dearer to Pitou from [Pg 251]their being the cause of his being subjected to punishment more or less severe.

“It was in his walks during the week that Pitou made collections for his menagerie. He had wished for salamanders, which were very popular at Villers-Cotterêts, being the crest of François I., and who had them sculptured on every chimneypiece in the château. He had succeeded in obtaining them; only one thing had strongly preoccupied his mind, and he ended by placing this thing among the number of those which were beyond his intelligence; it was, that he had constantly found in the water these reptiles which poets have pretended exist only in fire. This circumstance had given to Pitou, who was a lad of precise mind, a profound contempt for poets.”

Here, at “The Sword of the Brave Chevalier,” first met the “Forty-Five Guardsmen.” In the same street is, or was until recently, a modernized and vulgarized inn of similar name, which was more likely to have been an adaption from the pages of Dumas than a direct descendant of the original, if it ever existed. It is the Hôtel la Trémouille, near the Luxembourg, that figures in the pages of “Les Trois Mousquetaires,” but the hôtel of the Duc de Treville, in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier,[Pg 252] has disappeared in a rebuilding or widening of this street, which runs from the Place de St. Sulpice to the Place de la Croix-Rouge.

All these places centre around that famous affaire which took place before the Carmelite establishment on the Rue Vaugirard: that gallant sword-play of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis,—helped by the not unwilling D’Artagnan,—against Richelieu’s minions, headed by Jussac.

Within the immediate neighbourhood, too, is much of the locale of “Les Trois Mousquetaires.” Here the four friends themselves lodged, “just around the corner, within two steps of the Luxembourg,” though Porthos more specifically claimed his residence as in the Rue de Vieux-Colombier. “That is my abode,” said he, as he proudly pointed to its gorgeous doorway.

The Hôtel de Chevreuse of “la Frondeuse duchesse,” famed alike in history and the pages of Dumas, is yet to be seen in somewhat changed form at No. 201 Boulevard St. Germain; its garden cut away by the Boulevard Raspail.

At No. 12 or 14 Rue des Fossoyeurs, beside the Panthéon,—still much as it was of yore,—was D’Artagnan’s own “sort of a garret.” One may not be able to exactly place it, but any of the [Pg 253]decrepitly picturesque houses will answer the description.

It is a wonderfully varied and interesting collection of buildings which is found on the height of Ste. Geneviève, overlooking the Jardin and Palais du Luxembourg: the hybrid St. Etienne du Mont, the pagan Panthéon, the tower of the ancient Abbaye de Ste. Geneviève, and the Bibliothèque, which also bears the name of Paris’s patron saint.

The old abbey must have had many and varied functions, if history and romance are to be believed, and to-day its tower and a few short lengths of wall, built into the Lycée Henri Quatre, are all that remain, unless it be that the crypt and dungeons, of which one reads in “Chicot the Jester,” are still existent. Probably they are, but, if so, they have most likely degenerated into mere lumber-rooms.

The incident as given by Dumas relates briefly to the plot of the Guises to induce Charles IX., on the plea of some religious ceremony, to enter one of the monkish caches, and there compel him to sign his abdication. The plot, according to the novelist, was frustrated by the ingenious Chicot.

At all events, the ensemble to-day is one most[Pg 254] unusual, and the whole locality literally reeks with the associations of tradition.

Architecturally it is a jumble, good in parts, but again shocking in other parts.

The Église St. Etienne du Mont is a weird contrast of architectural style, but its interior is truly beautiful, and on the wall near the south transept are two tablets, on which one may read the facts concerning Ste. Geneviève, which likely enough have for the moment been forgotten by most of us.

The old abbey must have been a delightful place, in spite of the lurid picture which Dumas draws of it.

Probably in none of Dumas’ romances is there more lively action than in “The Queen’s Necklace.” The characters are in a continual migration between one and another of the faubourgs. Here, again, Dumas does not forget or ignore the Luxembourg and its environment. He seems, indeed, to have a special fondness for its neighbourhood. It was useful to him in most of the Valois series, and doubly so in the D’Artagnan romances.

Beausire, one of the thieves who sought to steal the famous necklace, “took refuge in a small cabaret in the Luxembourg quarter.” The particular[Pg 255] cabaret is likely enough in existence to-day, as the event took place but a hundred years ago, and Dumas is known to have “drawn from life” even his pen-portraits of the locale of his stories. At any rate, there is many a cabaret near the Luxembourg which might fill the bill.

The gardens of the Luxembourg were another favourite haunt of the characters of Dumas’ romances, and in “The Queen’s Necklace” they are made use of again, this time, as usual, as a suitable place for a promenade or a rendezvous of the fair Oliva, who so much resembled Marie Antoinette.

Like the Rue du Helder, celebrated in “The Corsican Brothers,” the Rue de Lille, where lived, at No. 29, De Franchi’s friend, Adrien de Boissy, is possessed of an air of semi-luxuriousness, or, at any rate, of a certain middle-class comfort.

It lies on the opposite side of the Seine from the river side of the Louvre, and runs just back of the site formerly occupied by the Duc de Montmorenci, where was held the gorgeous ceremony of the marriage of the Marquis St. Luc, of which one reads in “Chicot the Jester.”

There is not much of splendour or romance about the present-day Rue de Lille; indeed, it is rather commonplace, but as Dumas places the particular[Pg 256] house in which De Boissy lived with definiteness, and, moreover, in that it exists to-day practically unaltered, there seems every good reason why it should be catalogued here.



Larger Image


(1) François I., 1546; (2) Catherine de Medici, 1566-1578; (3) Catherine de Medici, 1564 (destroyed at the Commune); (4) Louis XIII., 1524; (5) Louis XIV., 1660-1670; (6) Napoleon I., 1806; (7) Louis XVIII., 1816; (8) Napoleon III., 1852-1857; (9) Napoleon III., 1863-1868.



[Pg 257]



Paris renferme beaucoup de palais; mais le vrai palais de Paris, le vrai palais de la France, tout le monde l’a nommé,—c’est le Louvre.


Upon the first appearance of “Marguerite de Valois,” a critic writing in Blackwood’s Magazine, has chosen to commend Dumas’ directness of plot and purpose in a manner which every lover of Dumas and student of history will not fail to appreciate. He says: “Dumas, according to his custom, introduces a vast array of characters, for the most part historical, all spiritedly drawn and well sustained. In various respects the author may be held up as an example to our own history-spoilers, and self-styled writers of historical romance. One does not find him profaning public edifices by causing all sorts of absurdities to pass, and of twaddle to be spoken, within their precincts; neither does he make his king and beggar, high-born dame and private soldier use[Pg 258] the very same language, all equally tame, colourless, and devoid of character. The spirited and varied dialogue, in which his romances abound, illustrates and brings out the qualities and characteristics of his actors, and is not used for the sole purpose of making a chapter out of what would be better told in a page. In many instances, indeed, it would be difficult for him to tell his story, by the barest narrative, in fewer words than he does by pithy and pointed dialogue.”

No edifice in Paris itself, nor, indeed, in all France, is more closely identified with the characters and plots of Dumas’ romances than the Louvre. In the Valois cycle alone, the personages are continually flocking and stalking thither; some mere puppets,—walking gentlemen and ladies,—but many more, even, who are personages so very real that even in the pages of Dumas one forgets that it is romance pure and simple, and is almost ready to accept his word as history. This it is not, as is well recognized, but still it is a pleasant manner of bringing before the omnivorous reader many facts which otherwise he might ignore or perhaps overlook.

It really is not possible to particularize all the action of Dumas’ romances which centred around the Louvre. To do so would be to write the[Pg 259] mediæval history of the famous building, or to produce an analytical index to the works of Dumas which would somewhat approach in bulk the celebrated Chinese encyclopædia.

We learn from “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne” of D’Artagnan’s great familiarity with the life which went on in the old château of the Louvre. “I will tell you where M. d’Artagnan is,” said Raoul; “he is now in Paris; when on duty, he is to be met at the Louvre; when not so, in the Rue des Lombards.”

This describes the situation exactly: when the characters of the D’Artagnan and the Valois romances are not actually within the precincts of the Louvre, they have either just left it or are about to return thither, or some momentous event is being enacted there which bears upon the plot.

Perhaps the most dramatic incident in connection with the Louvre mentioned by Dumas, was that of the massacre of St. Bartholomew’s night, “that bloody deed which culminated from the great struggle which devastated France in the latter part of the sixteenth century.”

Dumas throws in his lot with such historians as Ranke and Soldain, who prefer to think that the massacre which took place on the fête-day of St. Bartholomew was not the result of a long [Pg 260]premeditated plot, but was rather the fruit of a momentary fanatical terror aroused by the unsuccessful attempt on the life of Coligny.

This aspect is apart from the question. The principal fact with which the novelist and ourselves are concerned is that the event took place much as stated: that it was from the Louvre that the plot—if plot it were—emanated, and that the sounding bell of St. Germain l’Auxerrois did, on that fateful night, indicate to those present in the Louvre the fact that the bloody massacre had begun.

The fabric itself—the work of many hands, at the instigation of so many minds—is an enduring monument to the fame of those who projected it, or who were memorialized thereby: Philippe-Auguste, Marie de Medici, François I., Charles IX., Henri IV., Louis XIV., Napoleon I.,—who did but little, it is true,—and Napoleon III.—who did much, and did it badly.

Besides history, bloody deeds, and intrigue, there is also much of sentiment to be gathered from an observation of its walls; as witness the sculptures and decorations of Goujon and Lescot, the interlaced monogram G. H., of Henri and Gabrielle d’Estrées, and the superimposed crescents of the fair Diane de Poitiers. But such romances as these are best read in the pages of Dumas.

[Pg 261]“To the French the Louvre is more than a palace; it is a sanctuary,” said an enthusiastic Frenchman. As such it is a shrine to be worshipped by itself, though it is pardonable to wish to know to-day just where and when the historic events of its career took place.

One can trace the outline, in white marble, of the ancient Château du Louvre, in the easterly courtyard of the present establishment; can admire the justly celebrated eastern colonnade, though so defective was the architect in his original plans that it overlaps the side walls of the connecting buildings some dozen or more feet; can follow clearly all the various erections of monarchs and eras, and finally contemplate the tiny columns set about in the garden of the Tuileries, which mark all that is left of that ambitious edifice.

The best description of the Tuileries by Dumas comes into the scene in “The Count of Monte Cristo,” when Villefort,—who shares with Danglars and Fernand the distinction of being the villain of the piece,—after travelling with all speed from Marseilles to Paris, “penetrates the two or three apartments which precede it, and enters the small cabinet of the Tuileries with the arched window, so well known as having been the favourite[Pg 262] cabinet of Napoleon and Louis XVIII., as also that of Louis-Philippe.

“There, in this closet, seated before a walnut-tree table he had brought with him from Hartwell, and to which, from one of those fancies not uncommon to great people, he was particularly attached, the king, Louis XVIII., was carelessly listening to a man of fifty or fifty-two years of age, with gray hair, aristocratic bearing, and exceedingly gentlemanly attire, whilst he was making a note in a volume of Horace, Gryphius’s edition, which was much indebted to the sagacious observations of the philosophical monarch.”

Of course, an author of to-day would have expressed it somewhat differently, but at the time in which Dumas wrote, the little cabinet did exist, and up to the time of the destruction of the palace, at the Commune, was doubtless as much of a showplace in its way as is the window of the Louvre from which Charles IX. was supposed to have fired upon the fleeing Huguenots—with this difference: that the cabinet had a real identity, while the window in question has been more recently ascertained as not having been built at the time of the event.

Some one has mentioned Paris, the forgetter, as if modern Paris and its gay life—for assuredly it[Pg 263] is gay, regardless of what the blasé folk may say or think—had entirely blotted out from its memory the horrors of St. Bartholomew’s night, the tragedies of La Roquette, the Conciergerie, or the Bastille.

This is so in a measure, however, though one has only to cross the square which lies before Les Halles, La Tour St. Jacques, or Notre Dame, to recall most vividly the tragedies which have before been enacted there.

The Louvre literally reeks with the intrigue and bloodshed of political and religious warfare; and Dumas’ picture of the murder of the admiral, and his version of the somewhat apocryphal incident of Charles IX. potting at the Protestant victims, with a specially made and garnished firearm, is sufficiently convincing, when once read, to suggest the recollections, at least, of the heartless act. From the Louvre it is but a step—since the Tuileries has been destroyed—to the Place de la Concorde.

When this great square, now given over to bird-fanciers, automobilists, and photograph-sellers, was first cleared, it was known as the Place de la Révolution. In the later volumes of the Valois romances one reads of a great calendar of scenes and incidents which were consummated here. It is too large a list to even catalogue, but one will recollect that[Pg 264] here, in this statue surrounded place, with playing fountains glittering in the sunlight, is buried under a brilliance—very foreign to its former aspect—many a grim tragedy of profound political purport.

It was here that Louis XVI. said, “I die innocent; I forgive my enemies, and pray God to avert his vengeance for my blood, and to bless my people.” To-day one sees only the ornate space, the voitures and automobiles, the tricolour floating high on the Louvre, and this forgetful Paris, brilliant with sunlight, green with trees, beautified by good government, which offers in its kiosks, cafés, and theatres the fulness of the moment at every turn. Paris itself truly forgets, if one does not.

The Louvre as it is known to-day is a highly intricate composition. Its various parts have grown, not under one hand, but from a common root, until it blossomed forth in its full glory when the western front of Catherine de Medici took form. Unfortunately, with its disappearance at the Commune the completeness of this elaborate edifice went for ever.

One is apt to overlook the fact that the old Louvre, the ancienne Palais du Louvre, was a mediæval battlemented and turreted structure, which bore little resemblance to the Louvre of to-day, or [Pg 265]even that of Charles, Henri, Catherine, or Marguerite, of whom Dumas wrote in the Valois romances.




The general ground-plan of the two distinct portions is the same, except for some minor additions of Napoleon I. and the connecting links built by Napoleon III., and many of the apartments are of course much the same, but there has been a general laying out of the courts anew, and tree-planting and grading of the streets and quais in the immediate neighbourhood; so much so that almost the entire aspect is changed. In spite of its compositeness, there is a certain aspect of uniformity of outline, though not of excellence of design.

The only relics of the Palace of the Tuileries are the colonnettes set about in the garden and surmounted by gilded balls.



[Pg 266]




It seems hardly necessary to more than mention the name of the Palais Royal, in connection with either the life or the writings of Alexandre Dumas, to induce a line of thought which is practically limitless. It was identified with Dumas’ first employment in the capital, and it has been the scene of much of the action of both the D’Artagnan and the Valois romances.

More than all else, however, though one is apt to overlook it somewhat, it is so closely identified with Richelieu that it is difficult to separate it from any event of French political history of the period.

It was built by Richelieu in 1629, on the site occupied by the Hôtels de Mercœur and Rambouillet, and was originally intended to have borne the name of Hôtel Richelieu. Toward 1634 it was enlarged, and was known as the Palais Cardinal. Finally it was presented, in 1642, to Louis XIII., and at his death came to Anne of Austria, when the royal[Pg 267] family removed thither and it became known as the Palais Royal.

The incident of the flight of the royal family and Mazarin to St. Germain is one of the historic and dramatic incidents which Dumas used as one of the events in which D’Artagnan participated.

The court never returned to make use of the Palais Royal as a royal residence, and it became the refuge of Henriette de France, Queen of England and widow of Charles I. Thirty years later Louis XIV., who had fled from its walls when a child, gave it to his nephew Philippe d’Orleans, Duc de Chartres.

It was during the Régence that the famous fêtes of the Palais Royal were organized,—they even extended to what the unsympathetic have called orgies,—but it is certain that no town residences of kings were ever as celebrated for their splendid functions as was the Palais Royal in the seventeenth century.

In 1763 a fire brought about certain reconstructions at the expense of the city of Paris. In 1781, it became again the prey of fire; and Philippe-Égalité, who was then Duc de Chartres, constructed the three vast galleries which surround the Palais of to-day.

The boutiques of the galleries were let to [Pg 268]merchants of all manner of foibles, and it became the most lively quarter of Paris.

The public adopted the galleries as fashionable promenades, which became, for the time, “un bazar européen et un rendez-vous d’affaires et de galanterie.”

It was in 1783 that the Duc d’Orleans constructed “une salle de spectacle,” which to-day is the Théâtre du Palais Royal, and in the middle of the garden a cirque which ultimately came to be transformed into a restaurant.

The purely theatrical event of the history of the Palais Royal came on the 13th of July, 1789, when at midday—as the coup of a petit canon rang out—a young unknown avocat, Camille Desmoulins, mounted a chair and addressed the throng of promenaders in a thrilling and vibrant voice:

Citoyens, j’arrive de Versailles!—Necker is fled and the Baron Breteuil is in his place. Breteuil is one of those who have demanded the head of Mirabeau ... there remains but one resource, and that ‘to arms’ and to wear the cockade that we may be known. Quelle couleur voulez-vous?

With almost a common accord the tricolour was adopted—and the next day the Bastille fell.


The Orleans Bureau, Palais Royal


Dumas’ account of the incident, taken from “The Taking of the Bastille,” is as follows:

[Pg 269]“During this time the procession kept on advancing; it had moved obliquely to the left, and had gone down the Rue Montmartre to the Place des Victoires. When it reached the Palais Royal some great impediment prevented its passing on. A troop of men with green leaves in their hats were shouting ‘To arms!’

“It was necessary to reconnoitre. Were these men who blocked up the Rue Vivienne friends or enemies? Green was the colour of the Count d’Artois. Why then these green cockades?

“After a minute’s conference all was explained.

“On learning the dismissal of Necker, a young man had issued from the Café Foy, had jumped upon a table in the garden of the Palais Royal, and, taking a pistol from his breast, had cried ‘To arms!’

“On hearing this cry, all the persons who were walking there had assembled around him, and had shouted ‘To arms!’

“We have already said that all the foreign regiments had been collected around Paris. One might have imagined that it was an invasion by the Austrians. The names of these regiments alarmed the ears of all Frenchmen; they were Reynac, Salis Samade, Diesbach, Esterhazy, Roemer; the very naming of them was sufficient to make the crowd understand that they were the names of enemies.[Pg 270] The young man named them; he announced that the Swiss were encamped in the Champs Elysées, with four pieces of artillery, and that they were to enter Paris the same night, preceded by the dragoons, commanded by Prince Lambesq. He proposed a new cockade which was not theirs, snatched a leaf from a chestnut-tree and placed it in the band of his hat. Upon the instant every one present followed his example. Three thousand persons had in ten minutes unleaved the trees of the Palais Royal.

“That morning no one knew the name of that young man; in the evening it was in every mouth.

“That young man’s name was Camille Desmoulins.”

After 1793 the Palais Royal was converted, by decree, into the Palais et Jardin de la Révolution; and reunited to the domains of the state. Napoleon I. granted its use to the Tribunal for its seances, and Lucien Bonaparte inhabited it for the “Hundred Days.” In 1830 Louis-Philippe, Duc d’Orleans, gave there a fête in honour of the King of Naples, who had come to pay his respects to the King of France. Charles X. assisted as an invited guest at the function, but one month after he had inhabited it as king.

[Pg 271]Under Napoleon III. the Palais Royal was the residence of Prince Jerome, the uncle of the emperor, afterward that of his son the Prince Napoleon, when the fleur-de-lis sculptured on the façade gave way before escutcheons bearing the imperial eagles, which in turn have since given way to the Republican device of “’48”—“Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.”

It is with a remarkable profusion of detail—for Dumas, at any rate—that the fourteenth chapter of “The Conspirators” opens.

It is a veritable guide-book phraseology and conciseness, which describes the streets of the Palais Royal quarter:

“The evening of the same day, which was Sunday, toward eight o’clock, at the moment when a considerable group of men and women, assembled around a street singer, who was playing at the same time the cymbals with his knees and the tambourine with his hands, obstructed the entrance to the Rue de Valois, a musketeer and two of the light horse descended a back staircase of the Palais Royal, and advanced toward the Passage du Lycée, which, as every one knows, opened on to that street; but seeing the crowd which barred the way, the three soldiers stopped and appeared to take counsel. The result [Pg 272]of their deliberation was doubtless that they must take another route, for the musketeer, setting the example of a new manœuvre, threaded the Cour des Fontaines, turned the corner of the Rue des Bons Enfants, and, walking rapidly,—though he was extremely corpulent,—arrived at No. 22, which opened as by enchantment at his approach, and closed again on him and his two companions.

“... The crowd dispersed. A great many men left the circle, singly, or two and two, turning toward each other with an imperceptible gesture of the hand, some by the Rue de Valois, some by the Cour des Fontaines, some by the Palais Royal itself, thus surrounding the Rue des Bons Enfants, which seemed to be the centre of the rendezvous.”

The locality has not changed greatly since the times of which Dumas wrote, and if one would see for himself this Rue de Bons Enfants, Numéro 22, and try to find out how the Regent of France was able to climb over the roof-tops to the Palais Royal, for a wager, he may still do so, for apparently the roof-tops have changed but little. The especial connection of the Rue des Bons Enfants with literature is perhaps Sylvestre’s establishment, which will, for a price, sell you almost any French celebrity’s autograph, be he king, prince, painter, or litterateur.

[Pg 273]In the “Vicomte de Bragelonne” there is a wonderfully interesting chapter, which describes Mazarin’s gaming-party at the Palais Royal.

In that it enters somewhat more into detail than is usual with Dumas, it appears worth quoting here, if only for its description of the furnishing of the salle in which the event took place, and its most graphic and truthful picture of the great cardinal himself:

“In a large chamber of the Palais Royal, covered with a dark-coloured velvet, which threw into strong relief the gilded frames of a great number of magnificent pictures, on the evening of the arrival of the two Frenchmen, the whole court was assembled before the alcove of M. le Cardinal de Mazarin, who gave a party, for the purposes of play, to the king and queen. A small screen separated three prepared tables. At one of these tables the king and the two queens were seated. Louis XIV., placed opposite to the young queen, his wife, smiled upon her with an expression of real happiness. Anne of Austria held the cards against the cardinal, and her daughter-in-law assisted her in her game, when she was not engaged in smiling at her husband. As for the cardinal, who was reclining on his bed, his cards were held by the Comtesse de Soissons,[Pg 274] and he watched them with an incessant look of interest and cupidity.

“The cardinal had been painted by Bernouin; but the rouge, which glowed only on his cheeks, threw into stronger contrast the sickly pallor of the rest of his countenance and the shining yellow of his brow. His eyes alone acquired a more lively expression from this auxiliary, and upon those sick man’s eyes were, from time to time, turned the uneasy looks of the king, the queen, and the courtiers. The fact is, that the two eyes of Mazarin were the stars more or less brilliant in which the France of the seventeenth century read its destiny every evening and every morning. Monseigneur neither won nor lost; he was, therefore, neither gay nor sad. It was a stagnation in which, full of pity for him, Anne of Austria would not have willingly left him; but in order to attract the attention of the sick man by some brilliant stroke, she must have either won or lost. To win would have been dangerous, because Mazarin would have changed his indifference for an ugly grimace; to lose would likewise have been dangerous, because she must have cheated, and the Infanta, who watched her game, would, doubtless, have exclaimed against her partiality for Mazarin. Profiting by this calm, the courtiers were chatting. When not in a bad[Pg 275] humour, M. de Mazarin was a very debonnaire prince, and he, who prevented nobody from singing, provided they paid, was not tyrant enough to prevent people from talking, provided they made up their minds to lose. They were chatting, then. At the first table, the king’s younger brother, Philip, Duc d’Anjou, was admiring his handsome face in the glass of a box. His favourite, the Chevalier de Lorraine, leaning over the fauteuil of the prince, was listening, with secret envy, to the Comte de Guiche, another of Philip’s favourites, who was relating in choice terms the various vicissitudes of fortune of the royal adventurer, Charles II. He told, as so many fabulous events, all the history of his peregrinations in Scotland, and his terrors when the enemy’s party was so closely on his track; of nights passed in trees, and days passed in hunger and combats. By degrees, the fate of the unfortunate king interested his auditors so greatly, that the play languished even at the royal table, and the young king, with a pensive look and downcast eye, followed, without appearing to give any attention to it, the smallest details of this Odyssey, very picturesquely related by the Comte de Guiche.”

Again mention of the Palais Royal enters into the action of “The Queen’s Necklace.” When[Pg 276] Madame de la Motte and her companion were en route to Versailles by cabriolet, “they met a delay at the gates of the Palais Royal, where, in a courtyard, which had been thrown open, were a host of beggars crowding around fires which had been lighted there, and receiving soup, which the servants of M. le Duc d’Orleans were distributing to them in earthen basins; and as in Paris a crowd collects to see everything, the number of the spectators of this scene far exceeded that of the actors.

“Here, then, they were again obliged to stop, and, to their dismay, began to hear distinctly from behind loud cries of ‘Down with the cabriolet! down with those that crush the poor!’

“‘Can it be that those cries are addressed to us?’ said the elder lady to her companion.

“‘Indeed, madame, I fear so,’ she replied.

“‘Have we, do you think, run over any one?’

“‘I am sure you have not.’

“‘To the magistrate! to the magistrate!’ cried several voices.

“‘What in heaven’s name does it all mean?’ said the lady.

“‘The crowd reproaches you, madame, with having braved the police order which appeared this morning, prohibiting all cabriolets from driving through the streets until the spring.’”

[Pg 277]This must have been something considerable of an embargo on pleasure, and one which would hardly obtain to-day, though asphalted pavements covered with a film of frost must offer untold dangers, as compared with the streets of Paris as they were then—in the latter years of the eighteenth century.



[Pg 278]




The worshipper at the shrines made famous by Dumas—no less than history—will look in vain for the prison of La Roquette, the Bastille, the hôtel of the Duc de Guise, at No. 12 Rue du Chaume, that of Coligny in the Rue de Bethusy, or of the Montmorencies, “near the Louvre.”

They existed, of course, in reality, as they did in the Valois romances, but to-day they have disappeared, and not even the “Commission des Monuments Historiques” has preserved a pictorial representation of the three latter.

One of Dumas’ most absorbing romances deals with the fateful events which culminated at the Bastille on the 14th Thermidor, 1789. “This monument, this seal of feudality, imprinted on the forehead of Paris,” said Dumas, “was the Bastille,” and those who know French history know that he wrote truly.

[Pg 279]The action of “The Taking of the Bastille,” so far as it deals with the actual assault upon it, is brief. So was the event itself. Dumas romances but little in this instance; he went direct to fact for his details. He says:

“When once a man became acquainted with the Bastille, by order of the king, that man was forgotten, sequestrated, interred, annihilated....

“Moreover, in France there was not only one Bastille; there were twenty other Bastilles, which were called Fort l’Evêque, St. Lazare, the Châtelet, the Conciergerie, Vincennes, the Castle of La Roche, the Castle of If, the Isles of St. Marguerite, Pignerolles, etc.

“Only the fortress at the Gate St. Antoine was called the Bastille, as Rome was called the city....

“During nearly a whole century the governorship of the Bastille had continued in one and the same family.

“The grandfather of this elect race was M. de Chateauneuf; his son Lavrillière succeeded him, who, in turn, was succeeded by his grandson, St. Florentin. The dynasty became extinct in 1777....

“Among the prisoners, it will be recollected, the following were of the greatest note:

“The Iron Mask, Lauzun, Latude.

[Pg 280]“The Jesuits were connoisseurs; for greater security they confessed the prisoners.

“For greater security still, the prisoners were buried under supposititious names.

“The Iron Mask, it will be remembered, was buried under the name of Marchiali. He had remained forty-five years in prison.

“Lauzun remained there fourteen years.

“Latude, thirty years....

“But, at all events, the Iron Mask and Lauzun had committed heinous crimes.

“The Iron Mask, whether brother or not of Louis XIV., it is asserted, resembled King Louis XIV. so strongly, that it was almost impossible to distinguish the one from the other.

“It is exceedingly imprudent to dare to resemble a king.

“Lauzun had been very near marrying, or did actually marry, the Grande Mademoiselle.

“It is exceedingly imprudent to dare to marry the niece of King Louis XIII., the granddaughter of Henri IV.

“But Latude, poor devil, what had he done?

“He had dared to fall in love with Mlle. Poisson, Dame de Pompadour, the king’s mistress.

“He had written a note to her.

“This note, which a respectable woman would[Pg 281] have sent back to the man who wrote it, was handed by Madame de Pompadour to M. de Sartines, the lieutenant-general of police.”

“To the Bastille!” was the cry upon which Dumas built up his story.

“‘To the Bastille!’

“Only that it was a senseless idea, as the soldiers had remarked, that the Bastille could be taken.

“The Bastille had provisions, a garrison, artillery.

“The Bastille had walls, which were fifteen feet thick at their summit, and forty at their base.

“The Bastille had a governor, whose name was De Launay, who had stored thirty thousand pounds of gunpowder in his cellars, and who had sworn, in case of being surprised by a coup de main, to blow up the Bastille, and with it half the Faubourg St. Antoine.”

Dumas was never more chary of tiresome description than in the opening chapters of this book. Chapter XVI. opens as follows:

“We will not describe the Bastille—it would be useless.

“It lives as an eternal image, both in the memory of the old and in the imagination of the young.

“We shall content ourselves with merely stating, that, seen from the boulevard, it presented, in front [Pg 282]of the square then called Place de la Bastille, two twin towers, while its two fronts ran parallel with the banks of the canal which now exists.

“The entrance to the Bastille was defended, in the first place, by a guard-house, then by two lines of sentinels, and besides these by two drawbridges.

“After having passed through these several obstacles, you came to the courtyard of the government-house—that is to say, the residence of the governor.

“From this courtyard a gallery led to the ditches of the Bastille.

“At this other entrance, which opened upon the ditches, was a drawbridge, a guard-house, and an iron gate.”

Then follow some pages of incident and action, which may be fact or may be fiction. The detail which comes after is picturesque and necessary to the plot:

“The interior court, in which the governor was waiting for Billot, was the courtyard which served as a promenade to the prisoners. It was guarded by eight towers—that is to say, by eight giants. No window opened into it. Never did the sun shine on its pavement, which was damp and almost muddy. It might have been thought the bottom of an immense well.

[Pg 283]“In this courtyard was a clock, supported by figures representing enchained captives, which measured the hours, from which fell the regular and slow sounds of the minutes as they passed by, as in a dungeon the droppings from the ceiling eat into the pavement slabs on which they fall.

“At the bottom of this well, the prisoner, lost amid the abyss of stone, for a moment contemplated its cold nakedness, and soon asked to be allowed to return to his room....

“At the Bastille, all the places were sold to the highest bidder, from that of the governor himself, down to that of the scullion. The governor of the Bastille was a gaoler on a grand scale, an eating-house keeper wearing epaulets, who added to his salary of sixty thousand livres sixty thousand more, which he extorted and plundered....

“M. de Launay, in point of avarice, far surpassed his predecessors. This might, perhaps, have arisen from his having paid more for the place, and having foreseen that he would not remain in it so long as they did.

“He fed his whole house at the expense of his prisoners. He had reduced the quantity of firing, and doubled the hire of furniture in each room.

“He had the right of bringing yearly into Paris a hundred pipes of wine, free of duty. He sold[Pg 284] his right to a tavern-keeper, who brought in wines of excellent quality. Then, with a tenth part of this duty, he purchased the vinegar with which he supplied his prisoners.”

The rest of Dumas’ treatment of the fall of the Bastille is of the historical kind. He does not blame De Launay for the fall, but by no means does he make a hero of him.

“A flash of fire, lost in a cloud of smoke, crowned the summit of a tower; a detonation resounded; cries of pain were heard issuing from the closely pressed crowd; the first cannon-shot had been fired from the Bastille; the first blood had been spilled. The battle had commenced....

“On hearing the detonation we have spoken of, the two soldiers who were still watching M. de Launay threw themselves upon him; a third snatched up the match, and then extinguished it by placing his heel upon it.

“De Launay drew the sword which was concealed in his cane, and would have turned it against his own breast, but the soldiers seized it and snapped it in two.

“He then felt that all he could do was to resign himself to the result; he therefore tranquilly awaited it.




“The people rush forward; the garrison open [Pg 285]their arms to them; and the Bastille is taken by assault—by main force, without a capitulation.

“The reason for this was that, for more than a hundred years, the royal fortress had not merely imprisoned inert matter within its walls—it had imprisoned thought also. Thought had thrown down the walls of the Bastille, and the people entered by the breach.”

The life-history of the Bastille was more extended than was commonly recalled. Still the great incident in its life covered but fifteen short days,—from the 30th June to the 14th July, 1789,—when it fell before the attack of the Revolutionists. There is rather vague markings in the pavement on the Boulevard Henri Quatre and the Rue St. Antoine, which suggest the former limits of this gruesome building.

It were not possible to catalogue all the scenes of action celebrated or perpetuated by Alexandre Dumas.

In his “Crimes Célèbres” he—with great definiteness—pictures dark scenes which are known to all readers of history; from that terrible affair of the Cenci, which took place on the terrace of the Château de Rocca Petrella, in 1598, to the assassination of Kotzebue by Karl Ludwig Sand in 1819.

[Pg 286]Not all of these crimes deal with Paris, nor with France.

The most notable was the poisoning affair of the Marquise de Brinvilliers (1676), who was forced to make the “amende honorable” after the usual manner, on the Parvis du Nôtre Dame, that little tree-covered place just before the west façade of the cathedral.

The Chevalier Gaudin de Ste. Croix, captain of the Regiment de Tracy, had been arrested in the name of the king, by process of the “lettre de cachet” and forthwith incarcerated in the Bastille, which is once more made use of by Dumas, though in this case, as in many others, it is historic fact as well. The story, which is more or less one of conjugal and filial immorality, as well as political intrigue, shifts its scene once and again to the Cul-de-sac des Marchands des Chevaux, in the Place Maubert, to the Forêt de l’Aigue—within four leagues of Compiègne, the Place du Châtelet, the Conciergerie, and the Bastille.

Here, too, Dumas’ account of the “question by water,” or, rather, the notes on the subject, which accompanied the first (1839) edition of “Les Crimes Célèbres,” form interesting, if rather horrible, reading.

[Pg 287]Not alone in the Bastille was this horrible torture practised, but in most of the prisons of the time.

Pour la ‘question ordinaire,’ quatre coquemars pleins d’eau, et contenant chacun deux pintes et demi, et pour ‘la question extraordinaire’ huit de même grandeur.

This was poured into the victim through a funnel, which entered the mouth, and sooner or later drowned or stifled him or her, or induced confession.

The final act and end of the unnatural Marquise de Brinvilliers took place at the Place de la Grève, which before and since was the truly celebrated place of many noted crimes, though in this case it was justice that was meted out.

As a sort of sequel to “The Conspirators,” Dumas adds “A Postscriptum,” wherein is recounted the arrest of Richelieu, as foreordained by Mlle. de Valois. He was incarcerated in the Bastille; but his captivity was but a new triumph for the crafty churchman.

“It was reported that the handsome prisoner had obtained permission to walk on the terrace of the Bastille. The Rue St. Antoine was filled with most elegant carriages, and became, in twenty-four hours, the fashionable promenade. The regent—who declared that he had proofs of the treason of M. de [Pg 288]Richelieu, sufficient to lose him four heads if he had them—would not, however, risk his popularity with the fair sex by keeping him long in prison. Richelieu, again at liberty, after a captivity of three months, was more brilliant and more sought after than ever; but the closet had been walled up, and Mlle. de Valois became Duchesse de Modena.”

Not only in the “Vicomte de Bragelonne” and “The Taking of the Bastille” does Dumas make mention of “The Man in the Iron Mask,” but, to still greater length, in the supplementary volume, called in the English translations “The Man in the Iron Mask,” though why it is difficult to see, since it is but the second volume of “The Vicomte de Bragelonne.”

This historical mystery has provided penmen of all calibres with an everlasting motive for argumentative conjecture, but Dumas without hesitancy comes out strongly for “a prince of the royal blood,” probably the brother of Louis XIV.

It has been said that Voltaire invented “the Man in the Iron Mask.”

There was nothing singular—for the France of that day—in the man himself, his offence, or his punishment; but the mask and the mystery—chiefly of Voltaire’s creation—fascinated the public, as the veil of Mokanna fascinated his worshippers.[Pg 289] Here are some of the Voltairean myths about this mysterious prisoner: One day he wrote something with his knife on a silver plate and threw it down to a fisherman, who took it to the governor of the prison. “Have you read it?” asked the governor, sternly. “I cannot read,” replied the fisherman. “That has saved your life,” rejoined the governor. Another day a young lad found beneath the prison tower a shirt written closely all over. He took it to the governor, who asked, anxiously. “Have you read it?” The boy again and again assured him that he had not. Nevertheless, two days later the boy was found dead in his bed. When the Iron Mask went to mass he was forbidden to speak or unmask himself on pain of being then and there shot down by the invalids, who stood by with loaded carbines to carry out the threat. Here are some of the personages the Iron Mask was supposed to be: An illegitimate son of Anne of Austria; a twin brother of Louis XIV., put out of the way by Cardinal Richelieu to avoid the risk of a disputed succession; the Count of Vermandois, an illegitimate son of Louis XIV.; Fouquet, Louis’ minister; the Duke of Beaufort, a hero of the Fronde; the Duke of Monmouth, the English pretender; Avedick, the Armenian patriarch; and of late it has[Pg 290] almost come to be accepted that he was Mattioli, a Piedmontese political prisoner, who died in 1703.

Dumas, at any rate, took the plausible and acceptable popular solution; and it certainly furnished him with a highly fascinating theme for a romance, which, however, never apparently achieved any great popularity.

“The clock was striking seven as Aramis passed before the Rue du Petit Muse and stopped at the Rue Tourelles, at the gateway of the Bastille....

“Of the governor of the prison Aramis—now Bishop of Vannes—asked, ‘How many prisoners have you? Sixty?’...

“‘For a prince of the blood I have fifty francs a day, ... thirty-six for a marechal de France, lieutenant-generals and brigadiers pay twenty-six francs, and councillors of parliament fifteen, but for an ordinary judge, or an ecclesiastic, I receive only ten francs.’”

Here Dumas’ knowledge and love of good eating again crops out. Continuing the dialogue between the bishop and the governor, he says:

“‘A tolerably sized fowl costs a franc and a half, and a good-sized fish four or five francs. Three meals a day are served, and, as the prisoners have nothing to do, they are always eating. A[Pg 291] prisoner from whom I get ten francs costs me seven francs and a half.’

“‘Have you no prisoners, then, at less than ten francs?’ queried Aramis.

“‘Oh, yes,’ said the governor, ‘citizens and lawyers.’

“‘But do they not eat, too?... Do not the prisoners leave some scraps?’ continued Aramis.

“‘Yes, and I delight the heart of some poor little tradesman or clerk by sending him a wing of a red partridge, a slice of venison, or a slice of a truffled pasty, dishes which he never tasted except in his dreams (these are the leavings of the twenty-four-franc prisoners); and he eats and drinks, and at dessert cries, “Long live the king!” and blesses the Bastille. With a couple of bottles of champagne, which cost me five sous, I make him tipsy every Sunday. That class of people call down blessings upon me, and are sorry to leave the prison. Do you know that I have remarked, and it does me infinite honour, that certain prisoners, who have been set at liberty, have almost immediately afterward got imprisoned again? Why should this be the case, unless it be to enjoy the pleasures of my kitchen? It is really the fact.’ Aramis smiled with an expression of incredulity.”

A visit to the prisoners themselves follows, but[Pg 292] the reader of these lines is referred to “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne” for further details.

The following few lines must suffice here:

“The number of bolts, gratings, and locks for the courtyard would have sufficed for the safety of an entire city. Aramis was neither an imaginative nor a sensitive man; he had been somewhat of a poet in his youth, but his heart was hard and indifferent, as the heart of every man of fifty-five years of age is, who has been frequently and passionately attached to women in his lifetime, or rather who has been passionately loved by them. But when he placed his foot upon the worn stone steps, along which so many unhappy wretches had passed, when he felt himself impregnated, as it were, with the atmosphere of those gloomy dungeons, moistened with tears, there could be but little doubt he was overcome by his feelings, for his head was bowed and his eyes became dim, as he followed Baisemeaux, the governor, without uttering a syllable.”

Dumas gives a further description, of similar import, in “The Regent’s Daughter:”

“And now, with the reader’s permission, we will enter the Bastille—that formidable building at which even the passing traveller trembled, and which, to the whole neighbourhood, was an annoyance and cause of alarm; for often at night the [Pg 293]cries of the unfortunate prisoners who were under torture might be heard piercing the thick walls, so much so, that the Duchesse de Lesdequieres once wrote to the governor, that, if he did not prevent his patients from making such a noise, she should complain to the king.

“At this time, however, under the reign of Philippe d’Orleans, there were no cries to be heard; the society was select, and too well bred to disturb the repose of a lady.

“In a room in the Du Coin tower, on the first floor, was a prisoner alone.... He had, however, been but one day in the Bastille, and yet already he paced his vast chamber, examining the iron-barred doors, looking through the grated windows, listening, sighing, waiting....

“A noise of bolts and creaking hinges drew the prisoner from this sad occupation, and he saw the man enter before whom he had been taken the day before. This man, about thirty years of age, with an agreeable appearance and polite bearing, was the governor, M. De Launay, father of that De Launay who died at his post in ’89....

“‘M. de Chanlay,’ said the governor, bowing, ‘I come to know if you have passed a good night, and are satisfied with the fare of the house and the[Pg 294] conduct of the employés’—thus M. De Launay, in his politeness, called the turnkeys and jailors.

“‘Yes, monsieur; and these attentions paid to a prisoner have surprised me, I own.’

“‘The bed is hard and old, but yet it is one of the best; luxury being forbidden by our rules. Your room, monsieur, is the best in the Bastille; it has been occupied by the Duc d’Angoulême, by the Marquis de Bassompierre, and by the Marshals de Luxembourg and Biron; it is here that I lodge the princes when his Majesty does me the honour to send them to me.’

“‘It is an excellent lodging,’ said Gaston, smiling, ‘though ill furnished; can I have some books, some paper, and pens?’

“‘Books, monsieur, are strictly forbidden; but if you very much wish to read, as many things are allowed to a prisoner who is ennuyé, come and see me, then you can put in your pocket one of those volumes which my wife or I leave about; you will hide it from all eyes; on a second visit you will take the second volume, and to this abstraction we will close our eyes.’

“‘And paper, pens, ink?’ said Gaston. ‘I wish most particularly to write.’

“‘No one writes here, monsieur; or, at least, only to the king, the regent, the minister, or to me; [Pg 295]but they draw, and I can let you have drawing-paper and pencils.’”

All of the above is the authenticated fact of history, as written records prove, but it is much better told by Dumas, the novelist, than by most historians.

Still other evidence of the good things set before the guests at the “Hôtel de la Bastille” is shown by the following. If Dumas drew the facts from historical records, all well and good; if they were menus composed by himself,—though unconventional ones, as all bon vivants will know,—why, still all is well.

“‘A fifteen-franc boarder does not suffer, my lord,’ said De Baisemeaux.—‘He suffers imprisonment, at all events.’—‘No doubt, but his suffering is sweetened for him. You must admit this young fellow was not born to eat such things as he now has before him. A pasty; crayfish from the river Marne—almost as big as lobsters; and a bottle of Volnay.’”

The potency of the Bastille as a preventative, or, rather, a fit punishment for crime, has been nowhere more effectually set forth than by the letter which Cagliostro wrote from London (in the “Queen’s Necklace”).

In this letter, after attacking king, queen, [Pg 296]cardinal, and even M. de Breteuil, Cagliostro said: “Yes, I repeat, now free after my imprisonment, there is no crime that would not be expiated by six months in the Bastille. They ask me if I shall ever return to France. Yes, I reply, when the Bastille becomes a public promenade. You have all that is necessary to happiness, you Frenchmen; a fertile soil and genial climate, good hearts, gay tempers, genius, and grace. You only want, my friends, one little thing—to feel sure of sleeping quietly in your beds when you are innocent.”

To-day “The Bastille,” as it is commonly known and referred to, meaning the Place de la Bastille, has become a public promenade, and its bygone terrors are but a memory.



[Pg 297]




Since the romances of Dumas deal so largely with Paris, it is but natural that much of their action should take place at the near-by country residences of the royalty and nobility who form the casts of these great series of historical tales.

To-day Fontainebleau, St. Germain, Versailles, and even Chantilly, Compiègne, and Rambouillet are but mere attractions for the tourist of the butterfly order. The real Parisian never visits them or their precincts, save as he rushes through their tree-lined avenues in an automobile; and thus they have all come to be regarded merely as monuments of splendid scenes, which have been played, and on which the curtain has been rung down.

This is by no means the real case, and one has only to read Dumas, and do the round of the parks and châteaux which environ Paris, to revivify many of the scenes of which he writes.

[Pg 298]Versailles is the most popular, Fontainebleau the most grand, St. Germain the most theatrical, Rambouillet the most rural-like, and Compiègne and Chantilly the most delicate and dainty.

Still nearer to Paris, and more under the influence of town life, were the châteaux of Madrid in the Bois de Boulogne, and of Vincennes, at the other extremity of the city.

All these are quite in a class by themselves; though, of course, in a way, they performed the same functions when royalty was in residence, as the urban palaces.

Dumas’ final appreciation of the charms of Fontainebleau does not come till one reaches the last pages of “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne.” True, it was not until the period of which this romance deals with Fontainebleau, its château, its forêt, and its fêtes, actually came to that prominence which to this day has never left them.

When the king required to give his fête at Fontainebleau, as we learn from Dumas, and history, too, he required of Fouquet four millions of francs, “in order to keep an open house for fifteen days,” said he. How he got them, and with what result, is best read in the pages of the romance.

“Life at the Palais Royal having become somewhat tame, the king had directed that Fontainebleau[Pg 299] should be prepared for the reception of the court.” Here, then, took place the fêtes which were predicted, and Dumas, with his usual directness and brilliance, has given us a marvellous description of the gaiety of court life, surrounded by the noble forest, over which artists and sentimentalists have ever rhapsodized.

Continuing, from the pages of Dumas which immediately follow, one reads:

“For four days, every kind of enchantment brought together in the magnificent gardens of Fontainebleau, had converted this spot into a place of the most perfect enjoyment. M. Colbert seemed gifted with ubiquity. In the morning, there were the accounts of the previous night’s expenses to settle; during the day, programmes, essays, enlistments, payments. M. Colbert had amassed four millions of francs, and dispersed them with a prudent economy. He was horrified at the expenses which mythology involved; every wood-nymph, every dryad, did not cost less than a hundred francs a day. The dresses alone amounted to three hundred francs. The expense of powder and sulphur for fireworks amounted, every night, to a hundred thousand francs. In addition to these, the illuminations on the borders of the sheet of water cost thirty thousand francs every evening. The fêtes [Pg 300]had been magnificent; and Colbert could not restrain his delight. From time to time he noticed Madame and the king setting forth on hunting expeditions, or preparing for the reception of different fantastic personages, solemn ceremonials, which had been extemporized a fortnight before, and in which Madame’s sparkling wit and the king’s magnificence were equally displayed.”

The “Inn of the Beautiful Peacock,” celebrated by Dumas in “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” is not directly traceable to-day in the many neighbouring hostelries of Fontainebleau. Just what Dumas had in mind is vague, though his description might apply to any house for travellers, wherever it may have been situated in this beautiful wildwood.

It was to this inn of the “Beau Paon” that Aramis repaired, after he had left Fouquet and had donned the costume of the cavalier once more. “Where,” said Dumas, “he (Aramis) had, by letters previously sent, directed an apartment or a room to be retained for him. He chose the room, which was on the first floor, whereas the apartment was on the second.”

The description of the establishment given by Dumas is as follows:

“In the first place, let us supply our readers with a few details about the inn called the Beau [Pg 301]Paon. It owed its name to its sign, which represented a peacock spreading out its tail. But, in imitation of some painters who had bestowed the face of a handsome young man upon the serpent which tempted Eve, the painter of this sign had conferred upon the peacock the features of a woman. This inn, a living epigram against that half of the human race which renders existence delightful, was situated at Fontainebleau, in the first turning on the left-hand side, which divides on the road from Paris, that large artery which constitutes in itself along the entire town of Fontainebleau. The side street in question was then known as the Rue de Lyon, doubtless because geographically it advanced in the direction of the second capital of the kingdom.”

Lyons itself is treated by Dumas at some length in “Chicot the Jester,” particularly with reference to Chicot’s interception of the Pope’s messenger, who brought the documents which were to establish the Duc de Guise’s priority as to rights to the throne of France.

“The inn of the Beau Paon had its principal front toward the main street; but upon the Rue de Lyon there were two ranges of buildings, divided by courtyards, which comprised sets of apartments for the reception of all classes of travellers, whether [Pg 302]on foot or on horseback, or even with their own carriages, and in which could be supplied, not only board and lodging, but also accommodation for exercise or opportunities of solitude for even the wealthiest courtiers, whenever, after having received some check at the court, they wished to shut themselves up with their own society, either to devour an affront or to brood over their revenge. From the windows of this part of the building the travellers could perceive, in the first place, the street with the grass growing between the stones, which were being gradually loosened by it; next, the beautiful hedges of elder and thorn, which embraced, as though within two green and flowering arms, the houses of which we have spoken; and then, in the spaces between those houses, forming the groundwork of the picture, and appearing like an almost impassable barrier, a line of thick trees, the advanced sentinels of the vast forest, which extends itself in front of Fontainebleau.”

On the road to Versailles, where the Seine is crossed by the not beautiful Pont de Sèvres, is the little inn of the Bridge of Sèvres, in which the story of “La Comtesse de Charny” opens, and, indeed, in which all its early action takes place. The inn, or even its direct descendant, is not discernible to-day. The Pont de Sèvres is there, linking[Pg 303] one of those thumblike peninsulas made by the windings of the Seine with the Bois de Meudon, and the traffic inward and outward from Paris is as great and varied as it always was, probably greater, but there is no inn to suggest that which Dumas had in mind. The rural aspect is somewhat changed, the towering stacks of the china-factory chimneys, the still more towering—though distant—Tour Eiffel, which fortunately is soon to be razed, and the iron rails of the “Ceinture” and the “Quest,” all tend to estrange one’s sentiments from true romance.




Farther on to the westward lies Versailles, with its theatrical, though splendid, palais and parc, the Trianons and Les Grandes Eaux, beloved by the tourist and the Parisian alike.

Still farther to the northward by the same road is the pretty town of St. Germain-en-Laye, with the remains of its Château Neuf, once the most splendid and gorgeous country residence of Henri II. and Henri IV., continuing, also, in the favour of the court until the birth here of Louis XIV. James II. of England made his residence here after his exile.

Dumas’ references to St. Germain are largely found in “Vingt Ans Après.”

It was near St. Germain, too, that Dumas set about erecting his famous “Châtelet du Monte Cristo.” In fact, he did erect it, on his usual [Pg 304]extravagant ideas, but his tenure there was short-lived, and, altogether, it was not a creditable undertaking, as after-events proved.

The gaiety of the life at St. Germain departed suddenly, but it is said of Dumas’ life there, that he surrounded himself with a coterie which bespoke somewhat its former abandon and luxuriance. It was somewhat of a Bohemian life that he lived there, no doubt, but it was not of the sordid or humble kind; it was most gorgeous and extravagant.

Of all the royal parks and palaces in the neighbourhood of Paris, Versailles has the most popularly sentimental interest. A whim of Louis XIV., it was called by Voltaire “an abyss of expense,” and so it truly was, as all familiar with its history know.

In the later volumes of Dumas’ “La Comtesse de Charnay,” “The Queen’s Necklace,” and “The Taking of the Bastille,” frequent mention is made but he does not write of it with the same affection that he does of Fontainebleau or St. Germain. The details which Dumas presents in “The Taking of the Bastille” shows this full well.

“At half-past ten, in ordinary times, every one in Versailles would have been in bed and wrapped in the profoundest slumber; but that night no eye was[Pg 305] closed at Versailles. They had felt the counter-shock of the terrible concussion with which Paris was still trembling.

“The French Guards, the body-guards, the Swiss drawn up in platoons, and grouped near the openings of all the principal streets, were conversing among themselves, or with those of the citizens whose fidelity to the monarchy inspired them with confidence.

“For Versailles has, at all times, been a royalist city. Religious respect for the monarchy, if not for the monarch, is engrafted in the hearts of its inhabitants, as if it were a quality of its soil. Having always lived near kings, and fostered by their bounty, beneath the shade of their wonders—having always inhaled the intoxicating perfume of the fleurs-de-lis, and seen the brilliant gold of their garments, and the smiles upon their august lips, the inhabitants of Versailles, for whom kings have built a city of marble and porphyry, feel almost kings themselves; and even at the present day, even now, when moss is growing around the marble, and grass is springing up between the slabs of the pavement, now that gold has almost disappeared from the wainscoting, and that the shady walks of the parks are more solitary than a graveyard, Versailles must either belie its origin, or must consider itself as a[Pg 306] fragment of the fallen monarchy, and no longer feeling the pride of power and wealth, must at least retain the poetical associations of regret, and the sovereign charms of melancholy. Thus, as we have already stated, all Versailles, in the night between the 14th and 15th July, 1789, was confusedly agitated, anxious to ascertain how the King of France would reply to the insult offered to the throne, and the deadly wound inflicted on his power.”

Versailles was one of the latest of the royal palaces, and since its birth, or at least since the days of “personally” and “non-conducted” tourists, has claimed, perhaps, even more than its share of popular favour. Certainly it is a rare attraction, and its past has been in turn sad, gay, brilliant, and gloomy. Event after event, some significant, others unimportant, but none mean or sordid, have taken place within its walls or amid its environment. Dumas evidently did not rank its beauties very high,—and perhaps rightly,—for while it is a gorgeous fabric and its surroundings and appointments are likewise gorgeous, it palls unmistakably by reason of its sheer artificiality. Dumas said much the same thing when he described it as “that world of automata, of statues, and boxwood forests, called Versailles.”

Much of the action of “The Queen’s Necklace”[Pg 307] takes place at Versailles, and every line relating thereto is redolent of a first-hand observation on the part of the author. There is no scamping detail here, nor is there any excess of it.

With the fourth chapter of the romance, when Madame de la Motte drove to Versailles in her cabriolet, “built lightly, open, and fashionable, with high wheels, and a place behind for a servant to stand,” begins the record of the various incidents of the story, which either took place at Versailles or centred around it.

“‘Where are we to go?’ said Weber, who had charge of madame’s cabriolet.—‘To Versailles.’—‘By the boulevards?’—‘No.’... ‘We are at Versailles,’ said the driver. ‘Where must I stop, ladies?’—‘At the Place d’Armes.’” “At this moment,” says Dumas, in the romance, “our heroines heard the clock strike from the church of St. Louis.”

Dumas’ descriptions of Versailles are singularly complete, and without verboseness. At least, he suggests more of the splendours of that gay residence of the court than he actually defines, and puts into the mouths of his characters much that others would waste on mere descriptive matter.

In the chapter headed Vincennes, in “Marguerite de Valois,” Dumas gives a most graphic description of its one-time château-prison:

[Pg 308]“According to the order given by Charles IX., Henri was the same evening conducted to Vincennes, that famous castle of which only a fragment now remains, but colossal enough to give an idea of its past grandeur.

“At the postern of the prison they stopped. M. de Nancey alighted from his horse, opened the gate closed with a padlock, and respectfully invited the king to follow him. Henri obeyed without a word of reply. Every abode seemed to him more safe than the Louvre, and ten doors, closing on him at the same time, were between him and Catherine de Medici.

“The royal prisoner crossed the drawbridge between two soldiers, passed the three doors on the ground floor and the three doors at the foot of the staircase, and then, still preceded by M. de Nancey, went up one flight of stairs. Arrived there, Captain de Nancey requested the king to follow him through a kind of corridor, at the extremity of which was a very large and gloomy chamber.

“Henri looked around him with considerable disquietude.

“‘Where are we?’ he inquired.

“‘In the chamber of torture, monseigneur.’

“‘Ah, ah!’ replied the king, looking at it attentively.

[Pg 309]“There was something of everything in this apartment: pitchers and trestles for the torture by water; wedges and mallets for the question of the boot; moreover, there were stone benches for the unhappy wretches who awaited the question, nearly all around the chamber; and above these seats, and to the seats themselves, and at the foot of these seats, were iron rings, mortised into the walls with no symmetry but that of the torturing art.

“‘Ah, ah!’ said Henri, ‘is this the way to my apartment?’

“‘Yes, monseigneur, and here it is,’ said a figure in the dark, who approached and then became distinguishable.

“Henri thought he recognized the voice, and, advancing toward the individual, said, ‘Ah, is it you, Beaulieu? And what the devil do you do here?’

“‘Sire, I have been nominated governor of the fortress of Vincennes.’

“‘Well, my dear sir, your début does you honour; a king for a prisoner is no bad commencement.’

“‘Pardon me, Sire, but before I received you I had already received two gentlemen.’

“‘Who may they be? Ah! your pardon; perhaps I commit an indiscretion.’

[Pg 310]“‘Monseigneur, I have not been bound to secrecy. They are M. de la Mole and M. de Coconnas.’

“‘Poor gentlemen! And where are they?’

“‘High up, in the fourth floor.’

“Henri gave a sigh. It was there he wished to be.

“‘Now, then, M. de Beaulieu,’ said Henri, ‘have the kindness to show me my chamber. I am desirous of reaching it, as I am very much fatigued with my day’s toil.’

“‘Here, monseigneur,’ said Beaulieu, showing Henri an open door.

“‘No. 2!’ said Henri. ‘And why not No. 1?’

“‘Because it is reserved, monseigneur.’

“‘Ah! that is another thing,’ said Henri, and he became even more pensive.

“He wondered who was to occupy No. 1.

“The governor, with a thousand apologies, installed Henri in his apartment, made many excuses for his deficiencies, and, placing two soldiers at the door, retired.

“‘Now,’ said the governor, addressing the turnkey, ‘let us visit the others.’”

The present aspect of St. Germain-en-Laye is hardly what it was in the days of which Dumas wrote in “Marguerite de Valois” or in “Vingt[Pg 311] Ans Après.” Le Bois or Le Forêt looks to-day in parts, at least—much as it did in the days when royalty hunted its domain, and the glorious façade château has endured well.

Beyond this, the romance and history have well-nigh evaporated into air. The whole neighbourhood is quite given over to a holiday, pleasure-making crowd, which, though it is typically French, and therefore interesting, is little in keeping with the splendid scenes of its past.

To-day peasants from Brittany, heavily booted cavalry and artillery, ouvriers, children and nursemaids, and touristes of all nationalities throng the allées of the forest and the corridors of the château, where once royalty and its retainers held forth.

Vesinet, on the road from Paris to St. Germain,—just before one reaches Pecq, and the twentieth-century chemin-de-fer begins to climb that long, inclined viaduct, which crosses the Seine and rises ultimately to the platform on which sits the Vieux Château,—was a favourite hawking-ground of Charles IX. Indeed, it was here that that monarch was warned of “a fresh calumny against his poor Harry” (Henri de Navarre), as one reads in the pages of “Marguerite de Valois.”

A further description follows of Charles’ celebrated falcon, Bec de Fer, which is assuredly one[Pg 312] of the most extraordinary descriptions of a hunting-scene extant in the written page of romance.

Much hunting took place in all of Dumas’ romances, and the near-by forests of France, i. e., near either to Paris or to the royal residences elsewhere, were the scenes of many gay meetings, where the stag, the boar, the cerf, and all manner of footed beasts and winged fowl were hunted in pure sport; though, after all, it is not recorded that it was as brutal a variety as the battues of the present day.

St. Germain, its château and its forêt, enters once and again, and again, into both the Valois series and the Mousquetaire romances. Of all the royal, suburban palaces, none have been more admired and loved for its splendid appointments and the splendid functions which have taken place there, than St. Germain.

It had early come into favour as the residence of the French kings, the existing chapel being the foundation of St. Louis, while the Château Neuf was built mainly by Henri II. To-day but a solitary pavillon—that known as Henri IV.—remains, while the Vieux Château, as it was formerly known, is to-day acknowledged as the Château.

The most significant incident laid here by Dumas, is that of the flight of Anne of Austria, Louis XIV., and the court, from Paris to the Château of St.[Pg 313] Germain. This plan was amplified, according to Dumas, and furthered by D’Artagnan and Athos; and since it is an acknowledged fact of history, this points once again to the worth of the historical romance from an exceedingly edifying view-point. At the time of the flight Louis was but a mere boy, and it may be recalled here that he was born at St. Germain in 1638.

The architectural glories of St. Germain are hardly so great as to warrant comparison with Versailles, to which Louis subsequently removed his court; indeed, the Château Neuf, with the exception of the pavillon before mentioned, is not even a dignified ruin, being but scattered piles of débris, which, since 1776, when the structure was razed, have been left lying about in most desultory fashion.

The Vieux Château was made use of by the great Napoleon as a sort of a barracks, and again as a prison, but has since been restored according to the original plans of the architect Ducercen, who, under François I., was to have carried it to completion.

Once St. Germain was the home of royalty and all the gaiety of the court life of the Louis, and once again it was on the eve of becoming the fashionable Paris suburb, but now it is the resort of “trippers,” and its château, or what was left of it[Pg 314] after the vandalism of the eighteenth century, is a sad ruin, though the view from its heights is as lovely as ever—that portion which remains being but an aggravation, when one recalls the glories that once were. Save the Vieux Château, all that is left is the lovely view. Paris-wards one sees a panorama—a veritable vol-d’oiseaux—of the slender, silvery loops of the Seine as it bends around Port Marly, Argenteuil, Courbevoie, St. Denis, and St. Cloud; while in the dimmest of the dim distance the Eiffel Tower looms all its ugliness up into the sky, and the domed heights of Montmartre and the Buttes Chaumont look really beautiful—which they do not on closer view.

The height of St. Germain itself—the ville and the château—is not so very great, and it certainly is not giddy, which most of its frequenters, for one reason or another, are; but its miserable pavé is the curse of all automobilists, and the sinuous road which ascends from the Pont du Pecq is now “rushed,” up and down, by motor-cars, to the joy of the native, when one gets stalled, as they frequently do, and to the danger to life and limb of all other road-users and passers-by.

In all of the Valois cycle, “la chasse” plays an important part in the pleasure of the court and the [Pg 315]noblesse. The forests in the neighbourhood of Paris are numerous and noted.




At Villers-Cotterets, Dumas’ birthplace, is the Forêt de Villers-Cotterets, a dependence of the Valois establishment at Crépy.

Bondy, Fontainebleau, St. Germain, Vincennes, and Rambouillet are all mentioned, and are too familiar to even casual travellers to warrant the inclusion of detailed description here.

Next to Fontainebleau, whose present-day fame rests with the artists of the Barbizon school, who have perpetuated its rocks and trees, and St. Germain, which is mostly revered for the past splendour of its château, Rambouillet most frequently comes to mind.

Even Republican France has its national hunt yearly, at Rambouillet, and visiting monarchs are invariably expected to partake in the shooting.

Rambouillet, the hameau and the forêt, was anciently under the feudal authority of the Comtes de Montford, afterward (1300) under Regnault d’Augennes, Capitaine du Louvre under Charles VI., and still later under Jacques d’Augennes, Capitaine du Château de Rambouillet in 1547. Louis XVI. purchased the château for one of his residences, and Napoleon III., as well as his more illustrious namesake, was specially fond of hunting in its forests.

[Pg 316]Since 1870 the château and the forest have been under the domination of the state.

There is a chapter in Dumas’ “The Regent’s Daughter,” entitled “A Room in the Hotel at Rambouillet,” which gives some little detail respecting the town and the forest.

There is no hotel in Rambouillet to-day known as the “Royal Tiger,” though there is a “Golden Lion.”

“Ten minutes later the carriage stopped at the Tigre-Royal. A woman, who was waiting, came out hastily, and respectfully assisted the ladies to alight, and then guided them through the passages of the hotel, preceded by a valet carrying lights.

“A door opened, Madame Desroches drew back to allow Hélène and Sister Thêrèse to pass and they soon found themselves on a soft and easy sofa, in front of a bright fire.

“The room was large and well furnished, but the taste was severe, for the style called rococo was not yet introduced. There were four doors; the first was that by which they had entered—the second led to the dining-room, which was already lighted and warmed—the third led into a richly appointed bedroom—the fourth did not open....

“While the things which we have related were passing in the parlour of the Hôtel Tigre-Royal, in[Pg 317] another apartment of the same hotel, seated near a large fire, was a man shaking the snow from his boots, and untying the strings of a large portfolio. This man was dressed in the hunting livery of the house of Orleans; the coat red and silver, large boots, and a three-cornered hat, trimmed with silver. He had a quick eye, a long, pointed nose, a round and open forehead, which was contradicted by thin and compressed lips.”

Compiègne, like Crépy-en-Valois, Dammartin, Villers-Cotterets, and other of the towns and villages of the district, which in the fourteenth century belonged to the younger branch of the royal house, enter largely into the romances of Dumas, as was but natural, seeing that this region was the land of his birth.

The most elaborate and purely descriptive parts are found in “The Wolf Leader,” wherein are presented so many pictures of the forest life of the region, and in “The Taking of the Bastille,” in that part which describes the journey of Ange Pitou to Paris.

Crépy, Compiègne, Senlis, Pierrefonds, are still more celebrated in Dumas’ writings for glorious and splendid achievements—as they are with respect to the actual fact of history, and the imposing[Pg 318] architectural monuments which still remain to illustrate the conditions under which life endured in mediæval times.

At Crépy, now a sleepy old-world village, is still seen the establishment of the Valois of which Dumas wrote; and another grande maison of the Valois was at Villers-Cotterets—a still more somnolent reminder of the past. At Compiègne, only, with its magnificent Hôtel de Ville, does one find the activities of a modern-day life and energy.

Here in strange juxtaposition with a remarkably interesting and picturesque church, and the dainty Renaissance Hôtel de Ville, with its jacquemart, its belfry, its pointed gable, and its ornate façade, is found a blend of past and present, which combines to produce one of those transformations or stage-settings which throughout France are so often met with and admired.

No more charming petite ville exists in all France than Compiègne, one of the most favoured of all the country residences of the Kings of France.

The château seen to-day was an erection of Louis XV.

Le Forêt de Compiègne is as beautiful and unspoiled as any, and is, moreover, not overrun with tourists and trippers, as is Fontainebleau.




[Pg 319]Its area approximates 60,000 acres, and its circumference sixty miles.

In short, the whole domain forms a charming and delightful place of retreat, which must have been duly appreciated during the troublous times of Louis’ reign.

It was here, in the Forêt de Compiègne, that the great hunting was held, which is treated in “Chicot the Jester.”

The Bois de Vincennes was a famous duelling-ground—and is to-day, sub rosa. It was here that Louis de Franchi, in the “Corsican Brothers,” who forewarned of his fate, died in the duel with René de Chateaurien, just as he had predicted; at exactly “neuf heures dix.”

This park is by no means the rival of the Bois de Boulogne in the affections of the Parisian public, but it is a wide expanse of tree-covered park land, and possesses all the characteristics of the other suburban forêts which surround Paris on all sides.

It has, moreover, a château, a former retreat or country residence of the Kings of France, though to-day it has been made over to the ministry of war, whereas the Château de Madrid, the former possession of the Bois de Boulogne, has disappeared. The Château de Vincennes is not one of the sights of Paris. For a fact, it is quite inaccessible, being[Pg 320] surrounded by the ramparts of the Fort de Vincennes, and therefore forbidden to the inquisitive.

It was here in the Château de Vincennes that Charles IX. died a lingering death, “by the poison prepared for another,” as Dumas has it in “Marguerite de Valois.”

Among the many illustrious prisoners of the Château de Vincennes have been the King of Navarre (1574), Condé (1650), Cardinal de Retz (1652), Fouquet (1661), Mirabeau (1777), the Duc d’Enghien (1804), and many others, most of whom have lived and breathed in Dumas’ pages, in the same parts which they played in real life.



[Pg 321]




Dumas’ acquaintance with the French provinces was very comprehensive, though it is of the region northeast of Paris that he was most fond; of the beloved forest region around Crépy and Villers-Cotterets; the road to Calais, and Picardie and Flanders. Dumas was ever fond of, and familiar with, the road from Paris to Calais. The National Route ran through Crépy, and the byroad through his native Villers-Cotterets. In the “Vicomte de Bragelonne,” he calls the region “The Land of God,” a sentiment which mostly has not been endorsed by other writers; still, it is a beautiful country, and with its thickly wooded plantations, its industrious though conglomerate population, it is to-day—save for the Cantal and the Auvergne—that part of France of which English-speaking folk know the least. And this, too, on the direct road between London and Paris!

[Pg 322]Dumas, in the above-mentioned book, describes the journey through this region which was made by Buckingham and De Wardes.

“Arriving at Calais, at the end of the sixth day, they chartered a boat for the purpose of joining the yacht that was to convey them to England, and which was then tacking about in full view.”

The old port of Calais must have been made use of by the personages of whom Dumas wrote, who trafficked forth between England and France.

Calais has ever been the most important terminus of cross-channel traffic, and there be those who know, who say that the boat service is not improved in comfort in all these ages, and certainly Calais, which most English travellers know only by fleeting glimpses, might with profit be visited more frequently, if only to follow in the wake of Sterne’s sentimental footsteps.

The old port, of course, exists no more; new dykes, breakwaters, and the gare maritime have taken the place of the ancient landing-places, where royalties and others used to embark in frail sailing-vessels for the English ports across the channel.

The old belfry still exists, and forms a beacon by day, at least, much as it did of yore. By night the new electric-light flashes its beams twenty odd miles across the channel on Dover Cliff, in a way[Pg 323] which would have astonished our forefathers in the days gone by.

It was at Calais, too, that was enacted the final scene in the life of Mary Stuart in France.

The misfortunes of Mary Stuart formed the subject of one of the series of “Les Crimes Célèbres.” In the opening words of this chapter, Dumas has said, “Of all the names predestined to misfortune in France, it is the name of Henri. Henri I. was poisoned, Henri II. was killed (maliciously, so some one has said) in a tournament, Henri III. and Henri IV. were assassinated.” In Scotland it is the name of Stuart.

The chronicle concerns France only with respect to the farewell of Mary, after having lost her mother and her spouse in the same year (1561). She journeyed to Scotland by Calais, accompanied by the Cardinals de Guise and de Lorraine, her uncles, by the Duc and Duchesse de Guise, the Duc d’Aumale, and M. de Nemours.

Here took place that heartrending farewell, which poets and painters, as well as historians and novelists, have done so much to perpetuate. “Adieu, France!” she sobbed. “Adieu, France!” And for five hours she continued to weep and sob, “Adieu, France! Adieu, France!” For the rest, the well-known historical figures are made use of by [Pg 324]Dumas,—Darnley, Rizzio, Huntley, and Hamilton,—but the action does not, of course, return to France.

Not far south of Calais is Arras, whence came the Robespierre who was to set France aflame.

“The ancestors of the Robespierres,” says Dumas, “formed a part of those Irish colonists who came to France to inhabit our seminaries and monasteries. There they received from the Jesuits the good educations they were accustomed to give to their pupils. From father to son they were notaries; one branch of the family, that from which this great man descends, established himself at Arras, a great centre, as you know, of noblesse and the church.

“There were in this town two seigneurs, or, rather, two kings; one was the Abbé of St. Waast, the other was the Bishop of Arras, whose palace threw one-half the town into shade.”

The former palace of the Bishop of Arras is to-day the local musée. It is an extensive establishment, and it flanks an atrocious Renaissance cathedral of no appealing charm whatever, and, indeed, the one-time bishop’s palace does not look as though it was ever a very splendid establishment.

Still farther to the southward of Calais is the feudal Castle of Pierrefonds, so beloved of Porthos in “Vingt Ans Après.” It is, and has ever been since its erection in 1390 by Louis d’Orleans, the [Pg 325]brother of Charles VI., one of the most highly impregnable and luxurious châteaux of all France.




Four times it was unsuccessfully besieged, and came finally, in 1617, to be dismantled.

The great Napoleon purchased it after the Revolution, and finally, through the liberality of Napoleon III.,—one of the few acts which redound to his credit,—it was restored, by Viollet-le-Duc, at a cost of over five million francs.

In “Pauline,” that fragment which Dumas extracted from one of his “Impressions du Voyage,” the author comes down to modern times, and gives us, as he does in his journals of travel, his “Mémoires,” and others of his lighter pieces of fiction, many charming pen-portraits of localities familiar not only to his pen, but to his personal experiences.

He draws in “Pauline” a delightful picture of the old fishing-village of Trouville—before it became a resort of fashion. In his own words he describes it as follows:

“I took the steamer from Havre, and two hours later was at Honfleur; the next morning I was at Trouville.”

To-day the fly-by-day tourist does the whole journey in a couple of hours—if he does not linger over the attractions of “Les Petits Chevaux” or “Trente et Quarante,” at Honfleur’s pretty Casino.

[Pg 326]“You know the little town with its population of fisher-folk. It is one of the most picturesque in Normandy. I stayed there a few days, exploring the neighbourhood, and in the evening I used to sit in the chimney-corner with my worthy hostess, Madame Oseraie. There I heard strange tales of adventures which had been enacted in Calvados, Loiret, and La Manche.”

Continuing, the author, evidently having become imbued with the local colour of the vicinity, describes, more or less superficially, perhaps, but still with vividness, if not minuteness, those treasure-chests of history, the towns and villages of Normandy:—Caen, Lisieux, Falaise, the cradle of the Conqueror William, “the fertile plains” around Pont Audemer, Havre, and Alençon.

Normandy, too, was the locale of the early life of Gabriel Lambert, the unappealing leading-man of that dramatic story of a counterfeiter’s life, which bears the same title.

Dumas’ first acquaintance with the character in real life,—if he had any real personality, as one is inclined to think he had,—was at Toulon, where the unfortunate man was imprisoned and made to work in the galleys.

In the course of the narrative the scene shifts from prisons, galleys, and chain-gangs, backward[Pg 327] and forward, until we get the whole gamut of the criminal’s life.

Gabriel, in the days of his early life at Trouville, had acquired the art of skilled penmanship, and used it wherever he could for his own advantage, by fabricating the handwriting of others—and some honest work of a similar nature.

Finally the call of Paris came strong upon him, and he set forth by Pont l’Evêque and Rouen to the metropolis, where his downfall was speedily consummated, to the sorrow and resentment of his old friends of the little Norman fishing-village, and more particularly to Marie Granger, his country sweetheart, who longed to follow him to Paris, not suspecting the actual turn affairs had taken.

In “The Count of Monte Cristo,” Dumas again evinces his fondness for, and acquaintance with, the coast of Normandy.

It is a brief reference, to be sure, but it shows that Dumas had some considerable liking for the sea, and a more or less minute knowledge of the coast of France. This is further evinced by the details into which he launches once and again, with reference to the littoral of the Mediterranean, Belle Ile, and its surroundings, and the coasts of Normandy, Brittany, and the Pas de Calais.

[Pg 328]In “The Count of Monte Cristo,” Dantès says to his companion, Bertuccio:

“‘I am desirous of having an estate by the seaside in Normandy—for instance, between Havre and Boulogne. You see, I give you a wide range. It will be absolutely necessary that the place you may select have a small harbour, creek, or bay, into which my vessel can enter and remain at anchor. She merely draws fifteen feet water. She must be kept in constant readiness to sail immediately I think proper to give the signal. Make the requisite inquiries for a place of this description, and when you have met with an eligible spot, visit it, and if it possess the advantages desired, purchase it at once in your own name. The corvette must now, I think, be on her way to Fécamp, must she not?’”

With Brittany, Dumas is quite as familiar. In “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” he gives minute, though not wearisome, details of Belle Ile and the Breton coast around about. Aramis, it seems, had acquired Belle Ile, and had risen to high ecclesiastical rank, making his home thereon.




Dumas’ love and knowledge of gastronomy comes to the fore again here. When D’Artagnan undertook his famous journey to Belle Ile, on the coast of Brittany, as messenger of Louis XIV., whom he called his sun, after he had bought that [Pg 329]snuff-coloured bidet which would have disgraced a corporal, and after he had shortened his name to Agnan,—to complete his disguise,—he put in one night at La Roche-Bernard, “a tolerably important city at the mouth of the Vilaine, and prepared to sup at a hotel.” And he did sup; “off a teal and a torteau, and in order to wash down these two distinctive Breton dishes, ordered some cider, which, the moment it touched his lips, he perceived to be more Breton still.”

On the route from Paris to the mouth of the Loire, where D’Artagnan departed for Belle Ile, is Chartres. Its Cathedral de Nôtre Dame has not often appeared in fiction. In history and books of travel, and of artistic and archæological interest, its past has been vigorously played.

Dumas, in “La Dame de Monsoreau,” has revived the miraculous legend which tradition has preserved.

It recounts a ceremony which many will consider ludicrous, and yet others sacrilegious. Dumas describes it thus:

“The month of April had arrived. The great cathedral of Chartres was hung with white, and the king was standing barefooted in the nave. The religious ceremonies, which were for the purpose of praying for an heir to the throne of France,[Pg 330] were just finishing, when Henri, in the midst of the general silence, heard what seemed to him a stifled laugh. He turned around to see if Chicot were there, for he thought no one else would have dared to laugh at such a time. It was not, however, Chicot who had laughed at the sight of the two chemises of the Holy Virgin, which were said to have such a prolific power, and which were just being drawn from their golden box; but it was a cavalier who had just stopped at the door of the church, and who was making his way with his muddy boots through the crowd of courtiers in their penitents’ robes and sacks. Seeing the king turn, he stopped for a moment, and Henri, irritated at seeing him arrive thus, threw an angry glance at him. The newcomer, however, continued to advance until he reached the velvet chair of M. le Duc d’Anjou, by which he knelt down.”

But a step from Chartres, on the Loire,—though Orleans, the “City of the Maid,” comes between,—is Blois.

In “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” the last of the D’Artagnan series, the action comes down to later times, to that of the young king Louis XIV.

In its opening lines its scene is laid in that wonderfully ornate and impressive Château of Blois,[Pg 331] which so many have used as a background for all manner of writing.

Dumas, with his usual directness, wasting no words on mere description, and only considering it as an accessory to his romance, refers briefly to this magnificent building—the combined product of the houses whose arms bore the hedgehog and the salamander.

“Toward the middle of the month of May, 1660, when the sun was fast absorbing the dew from the ravenelles of the Château of Blois, a little cavalcade entered the city by the bridge, without producing any effect upon the passengers of the quai-side, except a movement of the tongue to express, in the purest French then spoken in France (Touraine has ever spoken the purest tongue, as all know), ‘There is Monsieur returning from the hunt.’... It should have been a trifling source of pride to the city of Blois that Gaston of Orleans had chosen it as his residence, and held his court in the ancient château of its states.”

It was in the Castle of the States of Blois that Louis XIV. received that unexpected visit from “His Majesty Charles II., King of England, Scotland, and Ireland,” of which Dumas writes in the second of the D’Artagnan series.

“‘How strange it is you are here,’ said Louis.[Pg 332] ‘I only knew of your embarkation at Brighthelmstone, and your landing in Normandy.’...

“Blois was peaceful that morning of the royal arrival, at which announcement it was suddenly filled with all the tumult and the buzzing of a swarm of bees. In the lower city, scarce a hundred paces from the castle, is a sufficiently handsome street called the Rue Vieille, and an old and venerable edifice which, tradition says, was habited by a councillor of state, to whom Queen Catherine came, some say to visit and others to strangle.”

Not alone is Blois reminiscent of “Les Mousquetaires,” but the numberless references in the series to Langeais, Chambord,—the châteaux and their domains,—bring to mind more forcibly than by innuendo merely that Dumas himself must have had some great fondness for what has come to be the touring-ground of France par excellence.

From “Le Vicomte de Bragelonne,” one quotes these few lines which, significantly, suggest much: “Do you not remember, Montalais, the woods of Chaverney, and of Chambord, and the numberless poplars of Blois?” This describes the country concisely, but explicitly.

Beyond Blois, beyond even Tours, which is Blois’ next neighbour, passing down the Loire, is Angers.




In “La Dame de Monsoreau,” more commonly[Pg 333] known in English translations as “Chicot the Jester,” much of the scene is laid in Anjou.

To Angers, with its wonderful fairylike castle, with its seventeen black-banded towers (recalling, also, that this is the “Black Angers” of Shakespeare’s “King John”), repaired the Duc d’Anjou, the brother of Charles IX. and Henri III., who then reigned at Paris.

To this “secret residence” the duc came. Dumas puts it thus:

“‘Gentlemen!’ cried the duke, ‘I have come to throw myself into my good city of Angers. At Paris the most terrible dangers have menaced my life.’... The people then cried out, ‘Long live our seigneur!’”

Bussy, who had made the way clear for the duc, lived, says Dumas, “in a tumble-down old house near the ramparts.” The ducal palace was actually outside the castle walls, but the frowning battlement was relied upon to shelter royalty when occasion required, the suite quartering themselves in the Gothic château, which is still to be seen in the débris-cluttered lumber-yard, to which the interior of the fortress has to-day descended.

In other respects than the shocking care, or, rather, the lack of care, which is given to its interior, the Castle of Angers, with its battalion of tours,[Pg 334] now without their turrets, its deep, machicolated walls, and its now dry fosse, presents in every way an awe-inspiring stronghold.

Beyond Angers, toward the sea, is Nantes, famous for the Edict, and, in “The Regent’s Daughter” of Dumas, the massacre of the four Breton conspirators.

Gaston, the hero of the tale, had ridden posthaste from Paris to save his fellows. He was preceded, by two hours, by the order for their execution, and the reprieve which he held would be valueless did he arrive too late.

“On reaching the gates of Nantes his horse stumbled, but Gaston did not lose his stirrups, pulled him up sharply, and, driving the spurs into his sides, he made him recover himself.

“The night was dark, no one appeared upon the ramparts, the very sentinels were hidden in the gloom; it seemed like a deserted city.

“But as he passed the gate a sentinel said something which Gaston did not even hear.

“He held on his way.

“At the Rue du Château his horse stumbled and fell, this time to rise no more.

“What mattered it to Gaston now?—he had arrived....

“He passed right through the castle, when he[Pg 335] perceived the esplanade, a scaffold, and a crowd. He tried to cry, but no one heard him; to wave his handkerchief, but no one saw him.... Another mounts the scaffold, and, uttering a cry, Gaston threw himself down below.... Four men died who might have been saved had Gaston but arrived five minutes before, and, by a remarkable contretemps, Gaston himself shared the same fate.”

In “The Regent’s Daughter,” Dumas describes the journey to Nantes with great preciseness, though with no excess of detail. The third chapter opens thus:

“Three nights after that on which we have seen the regent, first at Chelles, and then at Meudon, a scene passed in the environs of Nantes which cannot be omitted in this history; we will therefore exercise our privilege of transporting the reader to that place.

“On the road to Clisson, two or three miles from Nantes,—near the convent known as the residence of Abelard,—was a large dark house, surrounded by thick, stunted trees; hedges everywhere surrounded the enclosure outside the walls, hedges impervious to the sight, and only interrupted by a wicket gate.

“This gate led into a garden, at the end of which was a wall, having a small, massive, and closed [Pg 336]door. From a distance this grave and dismal residence appeared like a prison; it was, however, a convent, full of young Augustines, subject to a rule lenient as compared with provincial customs, but rigid as compared with those of Paris.

“The house was inaccessible on three sides, but the fourth, which did not face the road, abutted on a large sheet of water; and ten feet above its surface were the windows of the refectory.

“This little lake was carefully guarded, and was surrounded by high wooden palisades. A single iron gate opened into it, and at the same time gave a passage to the waters of a small rivulet which fed the lake, and the water had egress at the opposite end.”

From this point on, the action of “The Regent’s Daughter” runs riotously rapid, until it finally culminates, so far as Nantes is concerned, in the quintuple execution before the château, brought about by the five minutes’ delay of Gaston with the reprieve.

Dumas’ knowledge of and love of the Mediterranean was great, and he knew its western shores intimately.

In 1830 he resolved to visit all the shores of the[Pg 337] Mediterranean in a yacht, which he had had specially built for the purpose, called the Emma.

He arrived in Sicily, however, at the moment of the Garibaldian struggle against the King of Italy, with the result that the heroic elements of that event so appealed to him, that he forewent the other more tranquil pleasure of continuing his voyage, and went over to the mainland.

In “The Count of Monte Cristo” is given one of Dumas’ best bits of descriptive writing. At any rate, it describes one of the aspects of the brilliantly blue Mediterranean, which is only comparable to one’s personal contemplation of its charms. It is apropos of the voyage to the island of Monte Cristo—which lies between Elba and Corsica, and has become fabled in the minds of present-day readers solely by Dumas’ efforts—that he wrote the following:

“It was about six o’clock in the evening; an opal-coloured light, through which an autumnal sun shed its golden rays, descended on the blue sea. The heat of the day had gradually decreased, and a light breeze arose, seeming like the respiration of nature on awakening from the burning siesta of the south; a delicious zephyr played along the coasts of the Mediterranean, and wafted from shore to shore the [Pg 338]sweet perfume of plants, mingled with the fresh smell of the sea.

“A light yacht, chaste and elegant in its form, was gliding amidst the first dews of night over the immense lake, extending from Gibraltar to the Dardanelles, and from Tunis to Venice. The motion resembled that of a swan with its wings opened toward the wind, gliding on the water. It advanced, at the same time, swiftly and gracefully, leaving behind it a glittering track. By degrees the sun disappeared behind the western horizon; but, as though to prove the truth of the fanciful ideas in heathen mythology, its indiscreet rays reappeared on the summit of each wave, seeming to reveal that the god of fire had just enfolded himself in the bosom of Amphitrite, who in vain endeavoured to hide her lover beneath her azure mantle.”

Of the island of Monte Cristo itself, Dumas’ description is equally gratifying. In the earlier chapters he gives it thus:

“The isle of Monte Cristo loomed large in the horizon.... They were just abreast of Mareciana, and beyond the flat but verdant isle of La Pianosa. The peak of Monte Cristo, reddened by the burning sun, was seen against the azure sky.... About five o’clock in the evening the island was quite distinct, and everything on it was plainly perceptible,[Pg 339] owing to that clearness of the atmosphere which is peculiar to the light which the rays of the sun cast at its setting.

“Edmond gazed most earnestly at the mass of rocks which gave out all the variety of twilight colours, from the brightest pink to the deepest blue; and from time to time his cheeks flushed, his brow became purple, and a mist passed over his eyes.... In spite of his usual command over himself, Dantès could not restrain his impetuosity. He was the first who jumped on shore; and had he dared, he would, like Lucius Brutus, have ‘kissed his mother earth.’ It was dark, but at eleven o’clock the moon rose in the midst of the ocean, whose every wave she silvered, and then, ‘ascending high,’ played in floods of pale light on the rocky hills of this second Pelion.

“The island was familiar to the crew of La Jeune Amélie—it was one of her halting-places. As to Dantès, he had passed it on his voyages to and from the Levant, but never touched at it.”

It is unquestionable that “The Count of Monte Cristo” is the most popular and the best known of all Dumas’ works. There is a deal of action, of personality and characterization, and, above all, an ever-shifting panorama, which extends from the boulevards of Marseilles to the faubourgs of Paris, and from the island Château d’If to the equally[Pg 340] melancholy allées of Père la Chaise, which M. de Villefort, a true Parisian, considered alone worthy of receiving the remains of a Parisian family, as it was there only that they would be surrounded by worthy associates.

All travellers for the East, via the Mediterranean, know well the ancient Phœnician port of Marseilles. One does not need even the words of Dumas to recall its picturesqueness and importance—to-day as in ages past. Still, the opening lines of “The Count of Monte Cristo” do form a word-picture which few have equalled in the pages of romance; and there is not a word too much; nothing superfluous or extraneous.

“On the 28th of February, 1815, the watchtower of Notre Dame de la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon, from Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.

“As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and, rounding the Château d’If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and the isle of Rion.

“Immediately, and according to custom, the platform of Fort Saint-Jean was covered with lookers-on; it is always an event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like the Pharaon, had been built, rigged, and laden[Pg 341] on the stocks of the old Phocée, and belonged to an owner of the city.

“The ship drew on: it had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock has made between the isle of Calasareigne and the isle of Jaros; had doubled Pomègue, and approached the harbour under topsails, jib, and foresail, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which misfortune sends before it, asked one another what misfortune could have happened on board. However, those experienced in navigation saw plainly that, if any accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor ready to be dropped, the bowsprit-shrouds loose, and, beside the pilot, who was steering the Pharaon by the narrow entrance of the port Marseilles, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the pilot.

“The vague disquietude which prevailed amongst the spectators had so much affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of the vessel in harbour, but, jumping into a small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside the Pharaon, which he reached as she rounded the creek of La Réserve.”

The process of coming into harbour at Marseilles[Pg 342] does not differ greatly to-day from the description given by Dumas.

New harbour works have been constructed, and sailing-ships have mostly given way to great steamers, but the channel winds and twists as of old under the lofty brow, capped by the sailors’ church of Notre Dame de la Garde, which is to-day a tawdry, bizarre shrine, as compared with the motive which inspired the devout to ascend its heights to pray for those who go down to the sea in ships.

Marseilles, of all cities of France, more even than Bordeaux or Lyons, is possessed of that individuality which stands out strong on the background of France—the land and the nation.

In the commercial world its importance gives it a high rank, and its affaires are regulated by no clues sent each morning by post or by telegraph from the world’s other marts of trade. It has, moreover, in the Canebière, one of the truly great streets of the world. Dumas remarked it, and so, too, have many others, who know its gay cosmopolitan aspect at all the hours of day and night.

From “The Count of Monte Cristo,” the following lines describe it justly and truly, and in a way that fits it admirably, in spite of the fact that Dumas wrote of it as it was a hundred years ago:

“The young sailor jumped into the skiff, and [Pg 343]sat down in the stern, desiring to be put ashore at the Canebière. The two rowers bent to their work, and the little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the midst of the thousand vessels which choke up the narrow way which leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the harbour to the Quai d’Orléans.

“The ship-owner, smiling, followed him with his eyes until he saw him spring out on the quai and disappear in the midst of the throng, which, from five o’clock in the morning until nine o’clock at night, choke up this famous street of La Canebière, of which the modern Phocéens are so proud, and say, with all the gravity in the world, and with that accent which gives so much character to what is said, ‘If Paris had La Canebière, Paris would be a second Marseilles.’”

The Château d’If, far more than the island of Monte Cristo itself, is the locale which is mostly recalled with regard to the romance of “Monte Cristo.”

Dumas has, of course, made melodramatic use of it; in fact, it seems almost as if he had built the romance around its own restricted pied à terre, but, nevertheless, it is the one element which we are pleased to call up as representative of the story when mention is made thereof.

[Pg 344]Not a line, not a word, is misplaced in the chapters in which Dumas treats of Dantès’ incarceration in his island prison. Description does not crowd upon action or characterization, nor the reverse.

“Through the grating of the window of the carriage, Dantès saw they were passing through the Rue Caisserie, and by the Quai St. Laurent and the Rue Taramis, to the port. They advanced toward a boat which a custom-house officer held by a chain near the quai. A shove sent the boat adrift, and the oarsman plied it rapidly toward the Pilon. At a shout the chain that closes the port was lowered, and in a second they were outside the harbour.... They had passed the Tête de More, and were now in front of the lighthouse and about to double the battery.... They had left the isle Ratonneau, where the lighthouse stood, on the right, and were now opposite the Point des Catalans.

“‘Tell me where you are conducting me?’ asked Dantès of his guard.

“‘You are a native of Marseilles, and a sailor, and yet you do not know where you are going?’

“‘On my honour, I have no idea.’

“‘That is impossible.’

“‘I swear to you it is true. Tell me, I entreat.’

“‘But my orders.’

“‘Your orders do not forbid your telling me[Pg 345] what I must know in ten minutes, in half an hour, or an hour. You see, I cannot escape, even if I intended.’

“‘Unless you are blind, or have never been outside the harbour, you must know.’

“‘I do not.’

“‘Look around you, then.’ Dantès rose and looked forward, when he saw rise within a hundred yards of him the black and frowning rock on which stands the Château d’If. This gloomy fortress, which has for more than three hundred years furnished food for so many wild legends, seemed to Dantès like a scaffold to a malefactor.

“‘The Château d’If?’ cried he. ‘What are we going there for?’ The gendarme smiled.

“‘I am not going there to be imprisoned,’ said Dantès; ‘it is only used for political prisoners. I have committed no crime. Are there any magistrates or judges at the Château d’If?’

“‘There are only,’ said the gendarme, ‘a governor, a garrison, turnkeys, and good thick walls. Come, come, do not look so astonished, or you will make me think you are laughing at me in return for my good nature.’ Dantès pressed the gendarme’s hand as though he would crush it.

“‘You think, then,’ said he, ‘that I am conducted to the château to be imprisoned there?’

[Pg 346]“‘It is probable.’”

The details of Dantès’ horrible confinement, at first in an upper cell, and later in a lower dungeon, where, as “No. 34,” he became the neighbour of the old Abbé Faria, “No. 27,” are well known of all lovers of Dumas. The author does not weary one, and there are no lengthy descriptions dragged in to merely fill space. When Dantès finally escapes from the château, after he had been imprisoned for fourteen years, Dumas again launches into that concise, direct word-painting which proclaims him the master.

“It was necessary for Dantès to strike out to sea. Ratonneau and Pomègue are the nearest isles of all those that surround the Château d’If; but Ratonneau and Pomègue are inhabited, together with the islet of Daume; Tiboulen or Lemaire were the most secure. The isles of Tiboulen and Lemaire are a league from the Château d’If....

“Before him rose a mass of strangely formed rocks, that resembled nothing so much as a vast fire petrified at the moment of its most fervent combustion. It was the isle of Tiboulen....

“As he rose, a flash of lightning, that seemed as if the whole of the heavens were opened, illumined the darkness. By its light, he saw the isle of[Pg 347] Lemaire and Cape Croiselle, a quarter of a league distant.”

In “The Count of Monte Cristo,” Dumas makes a little journey up the valley of the Rhône into Provence.

In the chapter entitled “The Auberge of the Pont du Gard,” he writes, in manner unmistakably familiar, of this land of the troubadours, the roses, and the beautiful women; for the women of Arles—those world-famous Arlesiennes—are the peers, in looks, of all the women of France.

Dumas writes of Beaucaire, of Bellegarde, of Arles, and of Aigues-Mortes, but not very affectionately; indeed, he seems to think all Provence “an arid, sterile lake,” but he comes out strong on the beauty of the women of Arles, and marvels how they can live in the vicinity of the devastating fevers of the Camargue.

The auberge of the Pont du Garde itself—the establishment kept by the old tailor, Caderousse, whom Dantès sought out after his escape from the Château d’If—the author describes thus:

“Such of my readers as have made a pedestrian excursion to the south of France may perchance have noticed, midway between the town of Beaucaire and the village of Bellegarde, a small roadside inn, from the front of which hung, creaking and [Pg 348]flapping in the wind, a sheet of tin covered with a caricature resemblance of the Pont du Gard. This modern place of entertainment stood on the left-hand side of the grand route, turning its back upon the Rhône. It also boasted of what in Languedoc is styled a garden, consisting of a small plot of ground, a full view of which might be obtained from a door immediately opposite the grand portal by which travellers were ushered in to partake of the hospitality of mine host of the Pont du Gard. This plaisance or garden, scorched up beneath the ardent sun of a latitude of thirty degrees, permitted nothing to thrive or scarcely live in its arid soil. A few dingy olives and stunted fig-trees struggled hard for existence, but their withered, dusty foliage abundantly proved how unequal was the conflict. Between these sickly shrubs grew a scanty supply of garlic, tomatoes, and eschalots; while, lone and solitary, like a forgotten sentinel, a tall pine raised its melancholy head in one of the corners of this unattractive spot, and displayed its flexible stem and fan-shaped summit dried and cracked by the withering influence of the mistral, that scourge of Provence.”

The great fair of Beaucaire was, and is,—though Beaucaire has become a decrepit, tumble-down river[Pg 349] town on the Rhône, with a ruined castle as its chief attraction,—renowned throughout France.

It was here that the head of the house of Morrel, fearing lest the report of his financial distress should get bruited abroad at Marseilles, came to sell his wife’s and daughter’s jewels, and a portion of his plate.

This fair of Beaucaire attracted a great number of merchants of all branches of trade, who arrived by water and by road, lining the banks of the Rhône from Arles to Beaucaire, and its transpontine neighbour, Tarascon, which Daudet has made famous.

Caderousse, the innkeeper, visited this fair, as we learn, “in company with a man who was evidently a stranger to the south of France; one of those merchants who come to sell jewelry at the fair of Beaucaire, and who, during the month the fair lasts, and during which there is so great an influx of merchants and customers from all parts of Europe, often have dealings to the amount of one hundred thousand to one hundred and fifty thousand francs (£4,000 to £6,000).”

That Dumas was a great traveller is well known and substantiated by the records he has left.

When living at Toulon in the spring of 1835, as he himself tells us, he first came into possession of[Pg 350] the facts which led to the construction of “Gabriel Lambert.”

There was doubtless much of truth in the tale, which appears not to be generally known to English readers, and it is more than probable that much of the incident was originally related to Dumas by the “governor of the port.”

Dumas was living at the time in a “small suburban house,” within a stone’s throw of Fort Lamalge, the prison, hard at work on his play of “Captain Paul”—though, as he says, he was greatly abstracted from work by the “contemplation of the blue Mediterranean spangled with gold, the mountains that blind in their awful nakedness, and of the sky impressive in its depth and clearness.”

The result of it all was that, instead of working at “Captain Paul” (Paul Jones), he left off working at all, in the daytime,—no infrequent occurrence among authors,—and, through his acquaintance with the governor, evolved the story of the life-history of “Gabriel Lambert.”

“Murat” was the single-worded title given by Dumas to what is perhaps the most subtle of the “Crimes Célèbres.” He drew his figures, of course, from history, and from a comparatively near [Pg 351]view-point, considering that but twenty-five years had elapsed since the death of his subject.

Marseilles, Provence, Hyères, Toulon, and others of those charming towns and cities of the Mediterranean shore, including also Corsica, form the rapid itinerary of the first pages.

For the action itself, it resembles nothing which has gone before, or which is so very horrible. It simply recounts the adventures and incidents in the life of the Marshal of France which befel his later years, and which culminated in his decapitated head being brought before the King of Naples as the only assurance which would satisfy him that Murat was not an adventurer and intriguer.

There is a pleasant little town in the Midi of France by the name of Cahors. It is a historic town as well; in fact, it was part of the dowry which Henri de Navarre was to receive when he married Marguerite.

The circumstance is recounted by Dumas in “The Forty-Five Guardsmen,” and extends to some length in the most marvellously descriptive dialogue.

“The poor Henri de Navarre,” as Dumas called him, “was to receive as his wife’s dowry three hundred thousand golden crowns and some towns, among them Cahors.

“‘A pretty town, mordieu!’

[Pg 352]“‘I have claimed not the money, but Cahors.’

“‘You would much like to hold Cahors, Sire?’

“‘Doubtless; for, after all, what is my principality of Béarn? A poor little place, clipped by the avarice of my mother-in-law and brother-in-law.’

“‘While Cahors—’

“‘Cahors would be my rampart, the safeguard of my religion.’

“‘Well, Sire, go into mourning for Cahors; for, whether you break with Madame Marguerite or not, the King of France will never give it to you, and unless you take it—’

“‘Oh, I would soon take it, if it was not so strong, and, above all, if I did not hate war.’

“‘Cahors is impregnable, Sire.’

“‘Oh! impregnable! But if I had an army, which I have not—’

“‘Listen, Sire. We are not here to flatter each other. To take Cahors, which is held by M. de Vezin, one must be a Hannibal or a Cæsar; and your Majesty—’

“‘Well?’ said Henri, with a smile.

“‘Has just said you do not like war.’...

“‘Cahors is so well guarded, because it is the key of the south.’”

Chapter fifty-three of the above book recounts the siege itself,—as we know it in history,—but[Pg 353] with all that added picturesqueness which Dumas commanded.

“‘Henri will not pay me his sister’s dowry, and Margot cries out for her dear Cahors. One must do what one’s wife wants, for peace’s sake; therefore I am going to try to take Cahors.’...

“Henri set off at full gallop, and Chicot followed him. On arriving in front of his little army, Henri raised his visor, and cried:

“‘Out with the banner! out with the new banner!’

“They drew forth the banner, which had the double scutcheon of Navarre and Bourbon; it was white, and had chains of gold on one side, and fleurs-de-lis on the other.

“Again the cannon from Cahors were fired, and the balls tore through a file of infantry near the king....

“‘Oh!’ cried M. de Turenne, ‘the siege of the city is over, Vezin.’ And as he spoke he fired at him and wounded him in the arm....

“‘You are wrong, Turenne,’ cried M. de Vezin; ‘there are twenty sieges in Cahors; so, if one is over, there are nineteen to come.’

“M. de Vezin defended himself during five days and nights from street to street and from house to house. Luckily for the rising fortunes of Henri of [Pg 354]Navarre, he had counted too much on the walls and garrison of Cahors, and had neglected to send to M. de Biron....

“During these five days and nights, Henri commanded like a captain and fought like a soldier, slept with his head on a stone, and awoke sword in hand. Each day they conquered a street or a square, which each night the garrison tried to retake. On the fourth night the enemy seemed willing to give some rest to the Protestant army. Then it was Henri who attacked in his turn. He forced an intrenched position, but it cost him seven hundred men. M. de Turenne and nearly all the officers were wounded, but the king remained untouched.”

The Pyrenean city of Pau is more than once referred to by Dumas in the Valois romances, as was but natural, considering that its ancient château was the berceau of that Prince of Béarn who later married the intriguing Marguerite, and became ultimately Henri IV.

This fine old structure—almost the only really splendid historical monument of the city—had for long been the residence of the Kings of Navarre; was rebuilt in the fourteenth century by the brilliant Gaston Phœbus; and enlarged and luxuriously embellished by the beautiful Marguerite herself in the[Pg 355] sixteenth century, after she had become la femme de Henri d’Albert, as her spouse was then known.

As might be expected, Dumas was exceedingly familiar with the suburban topography of Paris, and made frequent use of it in his novels.

It is in “The Count of Monte Cristo,” however, that this intimacy is best shown; possibly for the reason that therein he dealt with times less remote than those of the court romances of the “Valois” and the “Capets.”

When Dantès comes to Paris,—as the newly made count,—he forthwith desires to be ensconced in an establishment of his own. Dumas recounts the incident thus:

“‘And the cards I ordered to be engraved as soon as you knew the number of the house?’

“‘M. le Comte, it is done already. I have been myself to the best engraver of the Palais Royal, who did the plate in my presence. The first card struck off was taken, according to your orders, to M. le Baron Danglars, Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, No. 7.’...

“As the steward had said, the notary awaited him in the small salon. He was a simple-looking lawyer’s clerk, elevated to the extraordinary dignity of a provincial scrivener.

“‘You are the notary empowered to sell the[Pg 356] country-house that I wish to purchase, monsieur?’ asked Monte Cristo.

“‘Yes, M. le Comte,’ returned the notary.

“‘Is the deed of sale ready?’

“‘Yes, M. le Comte.’

“‘Have you brought it?’

“‘Here it is.’

“‘Very well; and where is this house that I purchase?’ asked the count, carelessly, addressing himself half to Bertuccio, half to the notary. The steward made a gesture that signified, ‘I do not know.’ The notary looked at the count with astonishment.

“‘What!’ said he, ‘does not M. le Comte know where the house he purchases is situated?’

“‘No,’ returned the count.

“‘M. le Comte does not know it?’

“‘How should I know it? I have arrived from Cadiz this morning. I have never before been at Paris: and it is the first time I have ever even set my foot in France!’

“‘Ah, that is different; the house you purchase is situated at Auteuil, in the Rue de la Fontaine, No. 28.’ At these words Bertuccio turned pale.

“‘And where is Auteuil?’ asked the count.

“‘Close here, monsieur,’ replied the notary; ‘a[Pg 357] little beyond Passy; a charming situation, in the heart of the Bois de Boulogne.’

“‘So near as that?’ said the count. ‘But that is not in the country. What made you choose a house at the gates of Paris, M. Bertuccio?’

“‘I?’ cried the steward, with a strange expression. ‘M. le Comte did not charge me to purchase this house. If M. le Comte will recollect—if he will think—’

“‘Ah, true,’ observed Monte Cristo; ‘I recollect now. I read the advertisement in one of the papers, and was tempted by the false title, “a country-house.”’

“‘It is not yet too late,’ cried Bertuccio, eagerly; ‘and if your Excellency will entrust me with the commission, I will find you a better at Enghien, at Fontenay-aux-Roses, or at Bellevue.’

“‘Oh, no,’ returned Monte Cristo, negligently; ‘since I have this, I will keep it.’

“‘And you are quite right,’ said the notary, who feared to lose his fee. ‘It is a charming place, well supplied with spring-water and fine trees; a comfortable habitation, although abandoned for a long time; without reckoning the furniture, which, although old, is yet valuable, now that old things are so much sought after. I suppose M. le Comte has the tastes of the day?’”

[Pg 358]Whatever may have been Dumas’ prodigality with regard to money matters in his personal affairs, he was evidently a good traveller, in the sense that he knew how to plan a journey with the greatest economy.

One sees evidences of this in the “Count of Monte Cristo,” where he describes the journey of Madame de Morcerf from Paris to Marseilles.

“‘I have made inquiries,’ said Albert, ‘respecting the diligences and steamboats, and my calculations are made. You will take your place in the coupé to Châlons. You see, mother, I treat you handsomely for thirty-five francs.’

“Albert then took a pen, and wrote:

Coupé to Châlons, thirty-five francs35
From Châlons to Lyons you will go on by the steamboat—six francs6
From Lyons to Avignon (still by steamboat), sixteen francs16
From Avignon to Marseilles, seven francs7
Expenses on the road, about fifty francs50

“‘Let us put down 120,’ added Albert, smiling. ‘You see I am generous; am I not, mother?’

“‘But you, my poor child?’

[Pg 359]“‘I! do you not see I reserve eighty francs for myself? A young man does not require luxuries; besides, I know what travelling is.’

“‘With a post-chaise and valet de chambre?’”

The route is practicable even to-day, though probably not at the prices given, and one does not go by steamboat from Châlons to Lyons, though he may from Lyons to Avignon.



[Pg 360]




Dumas frequently wandered afield for his mise-en-scène, and with varying success; from the “Corsican Brothers,” which was remarkably true to its locale, and “La Tulipe Noire,” which was equally so, if we allow for a certain perspective of time, to “Le Capitaine Pamphile,” which in parts, at least, is gross exaggeration or burlesque.

Once only, to any great extent, did he go to Germany for his inspirations, and then only to German legend,—where so many others had been before,—and have since.

In “Otho the Archer” is found a repetition of the Knight and Swan legend so familiar to all. It has been before—and since—a prolific source of supply to authors of all ranks and nationalities: Goethe, Schiller, Hoffman, Brentano, Fouqué, Scott, and others.

The book first appeared in 1840, before even[Pg 361] “Monte Cristo” and “Les Trois Mousquetaires” were published as feuilletons, and hence, whatever its merits may be, it is to be classed as one of his immature efforts, rather than as a piece of profound romancing.

The story of adventure, of battle, and of love-making is all there, but his picture of the scenery and life of the middle ages on the Rhine are, of course, as purely imaginary as is the romantic background of myth and legend.

Of all the works dealing with foreign lands,—or, at least, foreign to his pen,—Dumas’ “Black Tulip” will ever take a preëminent rank. Therein are pictures of Holland life and of the Hollandaise which, like the pen-drawings of Stevenson in “Catriona,” will live far more vividly in the minds of most readers than volumes of mere dissertation written by others.

The story opens with a recounting of the tragedy of the brothers Cornelius and Jacobus de Windt, which, though not differing greatly from historical fact, is as vivid and terrible an account of the persecutions of mortal man as any similar incident in romance itself, of whatever age and by whomever written.

Dumas was in Amsterdam, in 1849, at the coronation of William III., where it has been [Pg 362]said—by Flotow, the composer—that the king remarked to Dumas that none of the scenes of his romances had as yet been laid in the Netherlands, and thereupon told him what was substantially the story of “La Tulipe Noire.” This first appeared as the product of Dumas’ hand and brain in 1850.

This is perhaps more or less a legendary account of its inception; like many another of the reasons for being of Dumas’ romances, but it is sufficiently plausible and well authenticated to warrant acceptance, though it has been said, too, that it was to Paul Lacroix—“Bibliophile Jacob”—that Dumas owed the idea of the tale.

At all events, it is a charming pen-picture of Holland; shows a wonderful love and knowledge of the national flower, the tulip, and is one of the most popular of all Dumas’ tales, if we except the three cycles of romances, whose scenes and incidents are based on the history of French court life.

Not for many years did the translators leave “La Tulipe Noire” unnoticed, and for over a half-century it has enjoyed a vogue which is at least comprehensible.

Its plot and characters are most ingeniously and dextrously handled, but its greatest charm is incident to the process of evolving the famous black tulip from among the indigenous varieties which,[Pg 363] at the time of the scene of the novel, had not got beyond the brilliantly variegated yellows and reds. From the various stages of mauve, purple, brown, and, finally, something very nearly akin to black, the flowering bulb finally took form, as first presented to a wide-spread public by Dumas.

The celebrated Alphonse Karr, a devoted lover of flowers, took the trouble to make a “romancers’ garden,” composed of trees and flowers which contemporary novelists, finding the laws of nature too narrow for them, had described in their books. This imaginary garden owed to George Sand a blue chrysanthemum, to Victor Hugo a Bengal rose without thorns, to Balzac a climbing azalea, to Jules Janin a blue pink, to Madame de Genlis a green rose, to Eugene Sue a variety of cactus growing in Paris in the open air, to Paul Féval a variety of larch which retained its leaves during winter, to Forgues a pretty little pink clematis which flourished around the windows in the Latin quarter, to Rolle a scented camellia, and to Dumas the black tulip and a white lotus. The black tulip, it may be remarked, though unknown in Dumas’ day, has now become an accomplished fact.

Dumas, though not a botanist, had charming, if not very precise, notions about flowers,—as about animals,—and to him they doubtless said:

[Pg 364] “Nous sommes les filles du feu secret,
Du feu qui circule dans les veines de la terre;
Nous sommes les filles de l’aurore et de la rosée,
Nous sommes les filles de l’air,
Nous sommes les filles de l’eau;
Mais nous sommes avant tout les filles du ciel.”

Dumas wandered much farther afield than the land of his beloved Valois. To Italy, to Spain, to Algeria, to Corsica, to Germany, and even to Russia. Mostly he made use of his experiences in his books of travel, of which “Les Impressions du Voyage” is the chief.

Who would read the narrative of the transactions which took place in Russia’s capital in the early nineteenth century, should turn to “Les Mémoires d’un Maître d’Armes,” or “Dix-huit Mois à St. Petersburgh.” It presents a picture of the Russian life of the time, in which—the critics agree—there is but slight disguise. Its story—for it is confessedly fiction—turns upon the fortunes of a young subaltern, who played a considerable part in the conspiracy of 1825, and, it has been said by a contemporary writer of the time, hardly any circumstance but the real name of the young man is disguised.

It is in the main, or, at least, it has for its principal incident, the story of a political exile, and it[Pg 365] is handled with Dumas’ vivid and consummate skill, which therein proves again that the mere romancist had a good deal of the historian about him.

Besides the locale of “La Tulipe Noire,” Dumas takes the action of “The Forty-Five Guardsmen” into the Netherlands. François, the Duc d’Anjou, had entered Belgium and had been elected Duc de Brabant, Sovereign Prince of Flanders. At this time it was supposed that Elizabeth of England saw the opportunity of reuniting the Calvinists of Flanders and France with those of England, and so acquire a triple crown. Then follows an account of the attack on Antwerp, which resulted in final defeat of the French, and presents one of the most graphic descriptions of a battle to be found in the pages of Dumas. The historic incident of the interview in Duc François’ tent, between that worthy and the French Admiral de Joyeuse, is made much of by Dumas, and presents a most picturesque account of this bloody battle. The topography of Antwerp and the country around about is as graphic as a would-be painting.

“‘But,’ cried the prince, ‘I must settle my position in the country. I am Duke of Brabant and Count of Flanders, in name, and I must be so in reality. This William, who is gone I know not where, spoke to me of a kingdom. Where is this [Pg 366]kingdom?—in Antwerp. Where is he?—probably in Antwerp also; therefore we must take Antwerp, and we shall know how we stand.’

“‘Oh! monseigneur, you know it now, or you are, in truth, a worse politician than I thought you. Who counselled you to take Antwerp?—the Prince of Orange. Who disappeared at the moment of taking the field?—the Prince of Orange. Who, while he made your Highness Duke of Brabant, reserved for himself the lieutenant-generalship of the duchy?—the Prince of Orange. Whose interest is it to ruin the Spaniards by you, and you by the Spaniards?—the Prince of Orange. Who will replace you, who will succeed, if he does not do so already?—the Prince of Orange. Oh! monseigneur, in following his counsels you have but annoyed the Flemings. Let a reverse come, and all those who do not dare to look you now in the face, will run after you like those timid dogs who run after those who fly.’

“‘What! you imagine that I can be beaten by wool-merchants and beer-drinkers?’

“‘These wool-merchants and these beer-drinkers have given plenty to do to Philippe de Valois, the Emperor Charles V., and Philippe II., who were three princes placed sufficiently high, monseigneur, for the comparison not to be disagreeable to you.’”

[Pg 367]In “Pascal Bruno,” Dumas launched into a story of Sicilian brigandage, which has scarce been equalled, unless it were in his two other tales of similar purport—“Cherubino et Celestine,” and “Maître Adam le Calabrais.”

Originally it formed one of a series which were published in one volume—in 1838—under the title of “La Salle d’Armes, Pauline, et Pascal Bruno.”

According to the “Mémoires,” a favourite rendezvous of Dumas in Paris, at this period, was Grisier’s fencing-room. There it was that the maître d’armes handed him the manuscript entitled “Eighteen Months at St. Petersburg,”—that remarkable account of a Russian exile,—and it is there that Dumas would have his readers to believe that he collected the materials for “Pauline” and “Murat.”

The great attraction of “The Corsican Brothers” lies not so much with Corsica, the home of the vendetta, the land of Napoleon, and latterly known politically as the 86me Departement de France, as with the events which so closely and strenuously encircled the lives of the brothers De Franchi in Paris itself.

Corsican life and topography is limned, however, with a fidelity which has too often been lacking in Dumas’ description of foreign parts. Perhaps, as[Pg 368] has been said before, he extracted this information from others; but more likely—it seems to the writer—it came from his own intimate acquaintance with that island, as it is known that he was a visitor there in 1834.

If this surmise be correct, the tale was a long time in taking shape,—an unusually long time for Dumas,—as the book did not appear until 1845, the same year as the appearance of “Monte Cristo” in book form.

It was dedicated to Prosper Merimée, whose “Colomba” ranks as its equal as a thrilling tale of Corsican life.

It has been remarked that, curiously enough, in spite of the fact that the story has been so often dramatized and adapted for the stage,—and acted by persons of all shades and grades of ability,—Dumas never thought well enough of it to have given it that turn himself.

Dumas’ acquaintance with Naples never produced any more lucid paragraphs descriptive of character, and the local colour and scenic effect besides, than in the few short pages of “Les Pêcheurs du Filet.” It comes, of course, as a result of Dumas’ rather extended sojourn in Italy.

When Dumas actually did write scenic descriptions, they were exceedingly graphic,—though not[Pg 369] verbose,—and exceedingly picturesque,—though not sentimental,—as witness the following lines which open the tale—though he does make use a little farther on of the now trite tag, “See Naples and die.”

“Every morning on awakening I was in the habit of resting my elbows on the window-sill and gazing far out over the limpid and sparkling mirror of the Tyrrhenian Sea.... At night the bay is so intensely blue that, under more favourable conditions, it resembles those leaden-hued lakes, such as Avernus, the Fucine Lake, or Lake Agnano,—all in the neighbourhood of Naples, which cover the craters of extinct volcanoes.”

The story gives further a wonderful pen-portrait of Ladislas I. of Hungary, of Jerusalem, and of Sicily, and of the barbaric torture of “The Question,” which was performed upon the aspiring lover of Joanna of Naples.

Rome figures chiefly in “The Count of Monte Cristo,” wherein half a dozen chapters are devoted to the “Eternal City.” Here it is that Monte Cristo first meets Albert de Morcerf, son of one of that trio of enemies on whom the count has sworn revenge. De Morcerf, enjoying the pleasures of the Roman carnival, is captured by bandits, from whom he is rescued by the count, who, in saving the son,[Pg 370] makes the first move of vengeance against the father.

Various interesting parts of Rome are described and touched upon,—the Teatro Argentino, the Colosseum, the Plaza del Popolo—scene of the public executions of that time,—the catacombs of San Sebastian, and many others. The characteristic and picturesque manners and customs of the Romans, from noblesse to peasants, are set down here in vivid and graphic style; and it is clearly plain that when Dumas sojourned in Rome he “did as the Romans do.”

Dumas’ familiarity with Switzerland was no greater or no less than his knowledge of Spain, of Italy, of Russia, or of Corsica. In his volumes of travel, “Impressions du Voyage,” are many charming bits of narrative which might well be extracted and elaborated into what is otherwise known as fiction. With regard to “Pauline,” this is exactly what did happen, or, rather, the relationship between the Pauline of the novelette and the Pauline of “La Voyage en Suisse” is one based upon a common parentage.

Switzerland early attracted Dumas’ attention. He took his first tour in the cantons in 1832, partly as a means of convalescing from a severe illness, and partly because he was in danger of arrest for[Pg 371] the too active part taken by him in the public funeral of General Lamarque and the riots that followed. No sooner was Dumas en route than the leaves of his note-book were torn asunder and despatched forthwith to the then newly founded Revue des Deux Mondes.

At Flüelen, that high Alpine pass, the mysterious veiled Pauline de Meulien and her cavalier, Alfred de N——, make their first appearance. One feels intuitively that here are the elements of a drama, of which the author will avail himself before long. The voyages continue, however, and the veiled lady fails to reappear until the end of the journey, when another transitory glimpse of her is had at Pfeffers.

This Pauline’s adventures evidently demanded more space than the travels could afford, and became ultimately a novelette.

“Pauline” is one of Dumas’ early attempts at fiction, and is told with originality, and a very considerable skill. Nearly twenty years after “Pauline” was written, Dumas told us that he met the counterpart of the villain of the story, Horace de Beuzeval, who consigned the beautiful Pauline to a living burial in the old abbey vault on the coast of Normandy, near Trouville.

Dumas’ pictures of Switzerland are more or less conventional; with him the story was the thing,[Pg 372] and the minutiæ of stage setting but a side issue.

In “Les Crimes Célèbres,” Dumas goes back to history, though he sticks to France, with the exception of those dealing with the Borgias and Mary Stuart.

The crimes of the Borgias—and they were many—end the series, though they cover but the period 1492-1507. The most unnatural and quite the most despicable being the throwing into the Tiber by Cæsar Borgia the cadaver of his brother. Rome, the Popes, and Italy in general form much of the venue, but the political history of France, Spain, and Austria enter largely into the movement of the chronicle, and such widely separated towns of France as Perpignan, in the Comté de Roussillon in the south, and Hesdin, Etaples, and Bethune in the north, all play their parts in the political treaties of the time.





[Pg 373]

Appendix I.



B.C. 100 César.
B.C. 64 Gaule et France.
A.D. 57 Acté.
740-1425 Les Hommes de Fer.
740 Pépin.
748 Charlemagne.
1076 Guelfes et Gibelins.
1099 Praxède.
1157 Ivanhoe.
1162 Le Prince de Voleurs.
1162 Robin Hood.
1248 Dom Martins de Freytas.
1291-1737 Les Médicis.
1324-1672 Italiens et Flamands.
1324 Ange Gaddi.
1338 La Comtesse de Salisbury.
1356 Pierre le Cruel.
1385 Monseigneur Gaston Phœbus.
1388 Le Batard de Mauléon.
1389 Isabel de Bavière.
1402 Masaccio.
1412 Frère Philippe Lippi.
1414 La Pêche aux Filets.
1425 Le Sire de Giac.
1429 Jehanne la Pucelle.
1433 Charles le Téméraire.
1437 Alexandre Botticelli.
1437-1587 Les Stuarts.
1446 Le Pérugin.
1452 Jean Bellin.
1470 Quintin Metzys.
1474-1576 Trois Maîtres.
1474-1564 Michel-Ange.
1477-1576 Titien.
1483-1520 Raphaël.
1484 André de Mantegna.
1486 Léonard da Vinci.
1490 Fra Bartolomméo.
1490 Sogliana.
1492 Le Pincturiccio.
1496 Luca de Cranach.
1503 Baldassare Peruzzi.
1504 Giorgione.
1512 Baccio Bandinelli.
1512 André del Sarto.
1519 Le Salteador.
1523 Jacques de Pontormo.
1530 Jean Holbein.
1531 Razzi.
1537 Une Nuit à Florence.
1540 Jules Romain.
1540 Ascanio.
1542 Albert Durer.
1531 Les Deux Dianes.
1553 Henri IV.
1555 Le Page du Duc de Savoie.
1559 L’Horoscope.
1572 La Reine Margot.
1578 La Dame de Monsoreau.
1585 Les Quarante-Cinq.
1585 Louis XIII. et Richelieu.
[Pg 374]1619-1825 Les Drames de la Mer.
1619 Boutikoé.
1621 Un Courtesan.
1625 Les Trois Mousquetaires.
1637 La Colombe.
1638-1715 Louis XIV. et Son Siècle.
1639 La Princesse de Monaco.
1640 Guérard Berck-Heyden.
1645 Vingt Ans Après.
1650 La Guerre des Femmes.
1660 Le Vicomte de Bragelonne.
1672 François Miéris.
1672 La Tulipe Noire.
1683 La Dame de Volupté.
1697 Mémoires d’une Aveugle.
1697 Les Confessions de la Marquise.
1703 Les Deux Reines.
1710-1774 Louis XV. et Sa Cour.
1715-1723 La Régence.
1718 Le Chevalier d’Harmental.
1719 Une Fille du Régent.
1729 Olympe de Clèves.
1739 La Maison de Glace.
1754-1789 Louis XVI. et la Révolution.
1762-1833 Mes Mémoires.
1769-1821 Napoléon.
1770 Joseph Balsamo.
1772 Le Capitaine Marion.
1779 Le Capitaine Paul.
1784 Le Collier de la Reine.
1785 Le Docteur Mystérieux.
1788 Ingènue.
1789 Ange Pitou.
1789 Le Chateau d’Eppstein.
1790 La Comtesse de Charny.
1791 La Route de Varennes.
1792 Cécile.
1793 Le Chevalier de Maison-Rouge.
1793 La Fille du Marquis.
1793 Blanche de Beaulieu.
1793 Le Drame de ’93.
1794 Les Blancs et les Bleus.
1795 La Junon.
1798 La San Félice.
1799 Emma Lyonna.
1799 Les Compagnons de Jéhu.
1800 Souvenirs d’une Favorite.
1807 Mémoires de Garibaldi.
1812 Le Capitaine Richard.
1815 Murat.
1824 Le Maitre d’Armes.
1825 Le Kent.
1831 Les Louves de Machecoul.
1838-1858 Les Morts Vont Vite.
1838 Hégésippe Moreau.
1842 Le Duc d’Orléans.
1848 Chateaubriand.
1849 La Dernière Année de Marie Dorval.
1857 Béranger.
1857 Eugène Sue.
1857 Alfred de Musset.
1857 Achille Devéria.
1857 Lefèvre-Deumier.
1858 La Duchesse d’Orléans.
1860 Les Garibaldiens.
1866 La Terreur Prussienne.



[Pg 375]

Appendix II.



1469 Isaac Laquedem.
1708 Sylvandire.
1754 Le Pasteur d’Ashbourn.
1774 Le Testament de M. de Chauvelin.
1780 Le Meneur de Loups.
1793 La Femme au Collier de Velours.
1797 Jacques Ortis.
1799 Souvenirs d’Antony.
1805 Un Cadet de Famille.
1806 Aventures de John Davys.
1810 Les Mariages du Père Olifus.
1810 Le Trou de l’Enfer.
1812 Jane.
1814 Le Comte de Monte-Cristo.
1815 Conscience l’Innocent.
1817 Le Père La Ruine.
1824 Georges.
1827 Les Mohicans de Paris.
1827 Salvator.
1828 Sultanetta.
1828 Jacquot sans Oreilles.
1829 Catherine Blum.
1829 La Princesse Flora.
1830 Dieu Dispose.
1830 La Boule de Neige.
1831 Le Capitaine Pamphile.
1831 Les Drames Galants.
1831 Le Fils du Forçat.
1831 Les Mille et un Fantômes.
1832 Une Vie d’Artiste.
1834 Pauline.
1835 Fernande.
1835 Gabriel Lambert.
1838 Amaury.
1841 Les Frères Corses.
1841 Le Chasseur de Sauvagini.
1842 Black.
1846 Parisiens et Provinciaux.
1847 L’Ile de Feu.
1856 Madame de Chamblay.
1856 Une Aventure d’Amour.



[Pg 376]

Appendix III.



1830 Quinze Jours au Sinai.
1832 Suisse.
1834 Le Midi de la France.
1835 Une Année à Florence.
1835 La Ville Palmieri.
1835 Le Speronare. (Sicile.)
1835 Le Capitaine Arena. (Sicile.)
1835 Le Corricolo. (Naples.)
1838 Excursions sur les Bords du Rhin.
1839 La Vie au Désert. (Afrique méridionale.)
1843 L’Arabie Heureuse.
1846 De Paris à Cadix.
1846 Le Véloce (Tanger, Alger, Tunis.)
1850 Un Gil Blas en Californie.
1853 Un Pays Inconnu. (Havane, Brésil.)
1858 En Russie.
1858 Le Caucase.
1858 Les Baleiniers.



[Pg 377]


Abbaye de Montmartre, 227.

Abbey of St. Denis, 142, 143.

Abbey of St. Genevieve, 37, 136, 187, 253.

Abelard and Heloïse, 82.

About, Edmond, 42, 188.

Académie Française, 228.

Aigues-Mortes, 139, 347.

Alais, 160.

Alégres, D’, 224.

Alençon, 79, 326.

Algiers, 45.

Alicante, 159.

Allée de la Muette, 231.

Allée des Cygnes, 11.

Alsace and Lorraine, 11.

“Ambigu,” The, 54.

Amsterdam, 361.

“An Englishman in Paris” (Vandam), 94, 116.

“Ange Pitou,” see Works of Dumas.

Angers, 332-334.

Angers, Castle of, 333.

Angers, David d’, 82.

Anglès, Count, 151.

Anjou, 333.

Anjou, Duc d’, 365.

Anne of Austria, 115, 266, 289, 312.

“Anthony,” see Works of Dumas.

Antwerp, 365.

Aramis, 45, 49, 246, 247, 252, 300, 329.

Aramitz, Henry d’, see Aramis.

Arc de Triomphe, 147.

Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, 135.

Arc de Triomphe d’Etoile, 88, 138, 192.

Argenteuil, 314.

Arles, 347, 349.

Arnault, Lucien, 18, 71.

Arras, 49, 324.

Artagnan, 49.

Artagnan, see D’Artagnan.

Asnières, 171.

Athos, 45, 49, 246-248, 252, 313.

Auber, 117.

“Au Fidèle Berger,” 205.

Augennes, Jacques d’, 315.

Augennes, Regnault d’, 315.

“Au Grand Roi Charlemagne,” 248.

Aumale, D’, 323.

Auteuil, 87.

Auvergne, 321.

Auxerre, 159.

Avedick, 289.

Avenel, Georges, 101-103.

Avenue de la Grande Armée, 139.

Avenue de l’Opéra, 114, 149.
[Pg 378]
Avenue de Villiers, 124.

Avignon, 359.

Balzac, 69, 82, 127, 363.

Barbés, 179.

Barbizon, 71.

Barras, 74.

Barrere, 143.

Bartholdi’s “Liberty,” 11.

Bastille, The, 149, 152, 173, 196, 225, 241, 263, 268, 278, 284-287, 292, 295, 296.

Bath, 76.

Batignolles, 87.

Batz, Baron de, 50.

Batz de Castlemore, Charles de, see D’Artagnan.

Baudry, 129, 151.

Bauville, Theodore de, 51.

Bavaria, 77.

Beaucaire, 347-349.

Beaufort, Duke of, 289.

Beausire, 254.

Belgium, 8, 92, 365.

Bellegarde, 347.

Belle Ile, 327-329.

Belleville, 87.

Bellune, Duc de, 84.

Béranger, 3, 68, 71.

Bercy, 87.

Bernhardt, Sara, 191.

Berry, Duchesse de, 152.

Bertuccio, 328.

Besançon, 92.

Bethune, 372.

Beuzeval, Horace de, 371.

Biard, 224.

“Bibliothèque Royale,” 50, 131, 135, 253.

Bicêtre, 234.

Bigelow, John, 125.

Billot, Father, 18, 23, 24.

“Black Tulip,” see Works of Dumas.

Blackwood’s Magazine, 257.

Blanc, Louis, 75, 179.

Blanqui, 179.

Blois, 155, 246, 330-332.

Blois, Château de, 330, 331.

Bohemia, 95, 96.

Boieldieu, 82, 153.

Bois de Boulogne, 89, 150, 192, 231, 298, 319.

Bois de Meudon, 303.

Bois de Vincennes, 89, 147, 150, 319.

Boissy, Adrien de, 255, 256.

Bondy, 315.

Bordeaux, 151, 154, 159, 342.

Borgias, The, 372.

Boulevard des Italiens, 92, 93, 114, 187, 213, 231.

Boulevard du Prince Eugène, 140.

Boulevard Henri Quatre, 285.

Boulevard Magenta, 140, 149.

Boulevard Malesherbes, 103, 140, 149.

Boulevard Raspail, 252.

Boulevard Sebastopol, 140, 149.

Boulevard St. Denis, 135, 147.

Boulevard St. Germain, 128, 140, 149, 252.

Boulevard St. Martin, 135, 147, 149.

Boulogne, 160.

Bourges, 155.

Bourg, L’Abbé, 130.

Bourgogne, 105.

Bourse, The, 89, 91.

Brabant, Duc de, 365.

Brentano, 360.

Brest, 90, 91, 160.

Breteuil, De, 296.

Cahors, 172.
Lyons, 172.
Orthos, 172.
St. Bénezet d’Avignon, 172.
See under Pont also.
[Pg 379]
Brillat-Savarin, 102, 103.

Brinvilliers, Marquise de, 286, 287.

Brionze, 79.

Brittany, 327, 328.

Broggi, Paolo, 118.

Brown, Sir Thomas, 142.

Brozier, 31.

Brussels, 44, 76.

“Bruyere aux Loups,” 23.

Buckingham, 322.

Buckle, 96.

Bureau d’Orleans, 8, 31, 58, 84, 187.

Burns, 43.

Bussy, 333.

Buttes Chaumont, 190, 314.

Byron, 43.

“Cachot de Marie Antoinette,” 238.

Caderousse, 347, 349.

Caen, 326.

Café de Paris, 111, 187, 189.

Café des Anglais, 118.

Café du Roi, 18.

Café Riche, 118.

Cagliostro, 295, 296.

Cahors, 351.

Cahors, Bridge of, 172.

Calais, 159, 160, 321-324, 327.

Calcutta, 76.

Calixtus II., 198.

Cambacérès, Delphine, 82.

Canebière, The, 342.

Cantal, 321.

Capetians, The, 194.

“Capitaine Pamphile,” see Works of Dumas.

“Capitaine Paul” (Paul Jones), see Works of Dumas.

Carcassonne, 139.

Carlyle, 69.

Carmelite Friary, 246, 252.

“Caserne Napoleon,” 140.

Caspian Sea, The, 44.

Castle of Angers, 333.

Castle of Pierrefonds, 324.

Cathedral de Nôtre Dame (Chartres), 329.

Cathedral of Nôtre Dame de Rouen, 187.

“Catriona” (Stephenson), 361.

Caucasus, 8.

“Causeries,” see Works of Dumas.

Caussidière, Marc, 178, 179.

Cavaignac, General, 179.

Ceinture Railway, 89, 303.

Cenci, The, 285.

Chaffault, De, 46.

Châlet de Monte Cristo, see Residences of Dumas.

Châlons, 359.

Chambord, 332.

Chambre des Députés, 8, 138, 167, 187.

Champs Elysées, 95, 136, 150.

Changarnier, General, 181.

Chanlecy, Charlotte Anne de, 50.

Chantilly, 297, 298.

Charenton, 87.

Charlemagne, 129, 193.

Charles I., 267.

Charles VI., 315, 325.

Charles VII., 131.

Charles VIII., 132.

Charles IX., 133, 212, 217, 236, 253, 263, 311, 320, 333.

Charles X., 156, 270.

Charles-le-Téméraire, 215.

Charpillon, M., 8.

Chartres, 329, 330.

Chartres, Cathedral de Nôtre Dame, 329.

Chartres, Duc de (Philippe d’Orleans), 267.

Chateaubriand, 68, 147.
[Pg 380]
Château de Blois, 330, 331.

Château d’If, 45, 339, 340, 343, 347.

Château de Rambouillet, 315.

Château de Rocca Petrella, 285.

Château de Vincennes, 319, 320.

Château of Madrid, 298, 319.

Château Neuf, 303, 312, 313.

Chateaurien, René de, 319.

Châtelet du Monte Cristo, 303.

Chatillon-sur-Seine, 169.

Chénier, André, 68, 71.

Cherbourg, 160.

“Cherubino et Celestine,” see Works of Dumas.

“Cheval de Bronze,” 172.

“Chevalier d’Harmental,” see Works of Dumas.

“Chicot the Jester” (“La Dame de Monsoreau”), see Works of Dumas.

Childebert, 129, 212.

Childérie, 129.

Chopin, 82.

Christine of Sweden, 123.

Churches, see under Église.

Cimetière des Innocents, 197, 221.

Cimetière Père la Chaise, see Père la Chaise.

Cinq-Mars, 224.

Civil War, The, 50.

Claremont, 180.

Clément-Thomas, Gen., 227.

Clovis, 129.

“Clymnestre,” 19.

“Coches d’Eau,” 156.

Coconnas, 173.

Coligny, 260.

Coligny, fils, 224.

Collège des Quatre Nations, 135, 173.

“Colomba,” 368.

Colonne de Juillet, 88.

Comédie Française, 190.

Commission des Monuments Historiques,” 278.

Commission du Vieux Paris,” 193.

Commune, The, 185, 192, 196, 227, 263, 264.

“Compagnie Générale des Omnibus,” 153.

Compiègne, 24, 46, 246, 286, 297, 298, 317-319.

“Comtesse de Charny,” see Works of Dumas.

Conciergerie, 92, 236, 238, 240, 241, 263, 286.

Condé, 224, 320.

Conflans-Charenton, 171.

Contades, Count G. de, 79.

Conti, Prince de, 90.

Corneille, 224.

Corot, 72, 73, 191.

Corsica, 8, 337, 351, 367.

“Corsican Brothers,” see Works of Dumas.

Cosne, 155.

Couloir St. Hyacinthe, 228.

Courbevoie, 314.

Cour du Justice, 241.

“Count of Monte Cristo,” see Works of Dumas.

Cours la Reine, 133.

Crépy-en-Valois, 15, 16, 24, 46, 83, 315, 317, 318, 321.

“Crimes Célèbres” (“Celebrated Crimes”), see Works of Dumas.

Cul-de-sac des Marchands des Chevaux, 286.

“Cyrano de Bergerac,” 43.

Dammartin, 16, 24, 317.

Damploux, 24.

Danglars, Baron, 109, 231, 261.
[Pg 381]
Dantès, 229, 231, 328, 344, 346, 347, 355.

Darnley, 324.

Daubonne, 214.

Daudet, 3, 349.

David, 82.

“David Copperfield,” 34.

D’Alégres, The, 224.

D’Angers, David, 82.

D’Anjou, Duc, 365.

D’Aramitz, Henry, see Aramis.

D’Artagnan, 45, 48-50, 56, 127, 200, 201, 206, 214, 223, 225, 245-247, 252, 267, 313, 328, 329.

D’Artagnan Romances, 148, 171, 195, 205, 215, 225, 235, 247, 254, 266, 312, 330, 331.

D’Augennes, Jacques, 315.

D’Augennes, Regnault, 315.

D’Aumale, 323.

De Batz, Baron, 50.

De Batz de Castlemore, Charles, see D’Artagnan.

De Bauville, Theodore, 51.

De Bellune, Duc, 84.

De Berry, Duchesse, 152.

De Beuzeval, Horace, 371.

De Boissy, Adrien, 255, 256.

De Brabant, Duc, 365.

De Breteuil, 296.

De Brinvilliers, Marquise, 286, 287.

De Chaffault, 46.

De Chanlecy, Charlotte Anne, 50.

De Chartres, Duc (Philippe d’Orleans), 267.

De Chateaurien, René, 319.

De Contades, Count G., 79.

De Conti, Prince, 90.

D’Enghien, Duc, 320.

D’Estrées, Gabrielle, 228, 260.

De Flesselles, 196.

De France, Henriette, 267.

De Franchi, 213, 232, 255, 367.

De Franchi, Louis, 319.

De Genlis, Madame, 363.

De Guise, Cardinal, 323.

De Guise, Duc, 224, 253, 278, 301, 323.

De Guise, Duchesse, 122, 323.

De Jallais, Amédée, 232.

De Joyeuse, Admiral, 365.

De la Mole, 212.

De la Motte, Madame, 228, 241, 307.

De Launay, 284.

De Leuven, Adolphe, 14, 16, 18.

De Lesdequieres, Duchesse, 293.

De Longueville, Madame, 224.

De Marsillac, Prince, 90.

De Mauge, Marquis, 214.

De Maupassant, Guy, 228.

De Medici, Marie, 133, 224, 260.

De Medici, Catherine, 208, 212, 264.

De Merle, 18.

De Meulien, Pauline, 371.

De Montford, Comtes, 315.

De Montmorenci, Duc, 255.

De Montpensier, Duc, 45.

De Morcerf, Albert, 369.

De Morcerf, Madame, 358.

De Musset, Alfred, 68, 82, 95, 123.

De Nemours, M., 323.

De Nerval, Gerard, 123.

De Nevers, Duchesse, 197.

D’Orleans, Louis, 324.

De Poissy, Gérard, 130.

De Poitiers, Diane, 260.

De Portu, Jean, see Porthos.

De Retz, Cardinal, 320.

De Richelieu, see Richelieu.

De Rohan, 37, 224.
[Pg 382]
De Sévigné, Madame, 102, 223.

De Sillegue, Colonel, 49.

De Sillegue d’Athos, Armand, see Athos.

De Sorbonne, Robert, 244.

De Ste. Croix, Gaudin, 286.

De Talleyrand, Henri, 214.

De Treville, 49, 246, 251.

De Valois, see under Valois.

De Vigny, 68.

De Villefort, 261, 340.

De Villemessant, 52.

De Volterre, Ricciarelli, 224.

De Wardes, 322.

De Windt, Cornelius, 361.

De Windt, Jacobus, 361.

De Winter, Lady, 223.

Debret, 117.

Decamps, 191.

Delacroix, 73, 82, 97, 191.

Delavigne, 18, 82.

Delrien, 18.

Demidoff, Prince, 189.

“Dernier Jour d’un Condamné,” 239.

Désaugiers, 31.

Desbordes-Valmore, Madame, 70.

Déscamps, Gabriel, 221.

Desmoulins, Camille, 268.

Dibdin, 150.

Dickens, Charles, 34.

“Dictionnaire de Cuisine,” see Works of Dumas.

Dieppe, 8, 66.

“Director of Evacuations at Naples,” 45, 57.

“Dix-huit Mois à St. Petersburgh,” see Works of Dumas.

Don Quixote, 245.

Doré, Gustave, 123, 140, 149.

Douai, 49.

Dover, 154, 322.

Drapeau Blanc, 31.

Ducercen, 313.

Ducis, 121.

Dujarrier-Beauvallon, 75-77.

Monuments to, see under Monuments.
Residences of, see under Residences.
Title of, see under Title.
Travels of, see under Travels.
Works of, see under Works.

Dumas, General, Marquis de la Pailleterie, 26, 27, 47.

Dumas, fils, 64, 66, 67, 75, 78, 79, 81, 121, 124.

Duprez, 117.

École des Beaux Arts, 244.

École de Droit, 136, 183, 244.

École de Médicine, 244.

“École des Viellards,” 18.

École Militaire, 136.

Edict of Nantes, 334.

Église de la Madeleine, 88, 138, 149, 153.

Église de Notre Dame, 86, 129, 167, 198, 235, 263, 286.

Église de St. Gervais, 132.

Église de St. Merry, 132.

Église de St. Paul et St. Louis, 133.

Église St. Etienne du Mont, 167, 253, 254.

Église St. Eustache, 192.

Église St. Germain l’Auxerrois, 132, 212, 260.

Église St. Innocents, 142, 144, 223.

Église St. Jacques, 198.

Église St. Roch, 134.

Église St. Severin, 167.

Église St. Sulpice, 167.

“Eighteen Months at St. Petersburg,” 367.
[Pg 383]
Elba, 25, 219, 337.

Elizabeth, 365.

Elysée, The, 25, 103.

Enghien, Duc d’, 320.

England, 8, 50.

Epinac, 160.

Ermenonville, 24.

Esplanade des Invalides, 150.

Estaminet du Divan, 118.

Estrées, Gabrielle d’, 228, 260.

Etaples, 372.

“Fabrique des Romans,” 38.

Falaise, 326.

Faubourg St. Denis, 220.

Faubourg St. Germain, 83, 132.

Faubourg St. Honoré, 83.

Fernand, 261.

Ferry, Gabriel, 233.

Féval, Paul, 363.

Figaro, The, 52.

Flanders, 321.

Flaubert, Gustave, 77.

Flesselles, De, 196.

Fleury, General, 76.

Florence, 115.

Fontainebleau, 155, 297, 298, 300, 302, 303, 315.

Fontaine des Innocents, 145, 187, 193, 222.

Forêt de Compiègne, 318, 319.

Forêt de l’Aigue, 286.

Forgues, 363.

Fort de Vincennes, 320.

Fort Lamalge, 350.

“Forty-Five Guardsmen,” see Works of Dumas.

Fosses de la Bastille, 137.

Fouqué, 360.

Fouquet, 199, 289, 298, 300, 320.

Foy, General, 31, 82, 84.

France, Henriette de, 267.

Franchi, De, 213, 232, 255, 367.

Franchi, Louis de, 319.

Francis, 18.

François I., 131-134, 144, 197, 198, 260, 313.

Franco-Prussian War, 57, 164, 192.

Fronde, 89.

“Gabriel Lambert,” see Works of Dumas.

Gaillardet, 238.

Gare de l’Est, 162.

Gare du Nord, 162.

Gare St. Lazare, 161.

Garibaldi, 37.

Garnier, 190.

Gascony, 50.

Gaston of Orleans, 331.

Gautier, 68, 71, 72, 123.

Gay, Mme. Delphine, 70.

Genlis, Madame de, 363.

“Georges,” see Works of Dumas.

Germany, 8, 360.

Girondins, The, 194.

Glinel, Charles, 26.

Godot, 151.

Goethe, 68, 360.

“Golden Lion,” 316.

Gondeville, 24.

Gouffé, Armand, 31.

Goujon, Jean, 132, 223, 260.

Granger, Marie, 327.

Grenelle, 95.

Grisier, 75, 367.

“Guido et Génevra” (Halévy), 54.

Guilbert, 205.

Guise, Cardinal de, 323.

Guise, Duc de, 224, 253, 278, 301, 323.

Guise, Duchesse de, 122, 323.

Guizot, 69.
[Pg 384]

Halévy, 54, 70, 117.

Hamerton, Philip Gilbert, 168.

Hamilton, 324.

“Hamlet,” 121.

Haramont, 23.

Hautes-Pyrénées, 49.

Havre, 150, 160, 169, 179, 180, 326.

Henri I., 323.

Henri II., 132, 172, 303, 312, 323.

Henri III., 122, 133, 172, 323, 333.

Henri IV., 133, 134, 143, 217, 224, 235, 236, 260, 303, 312, 320, 323, 351, 354.

Henri V., 181.

“Henri III. et Sa Cour,” see Works of Dumas.

“Hernani,” 122.

Herold, 82.

Hesdin, 372.

“Histoire de Jules César” (Napoleon III.), 73.

“Histoire des Prisons de Paris,” 238.

“History of Civilization” (Buckle), 96.

Hoffman, 360.

Honfleur, 169, 179.

Hôpital des Petites Maisons, 132.

Hôpital du St. Jacques du Haut Pas, 133.

Hôtel Boulainvilliers, 228.

Hôtel Chevreuse, 127, 128, 252.

Hôtel D’Artagnan, 214.

Hôtel de Bourgogne, 133, 215.

Hôtel de Choiseul, 115.

Hôtel de Cluny, 167.

Hôtel de Coligny, 278.

Hôtel de Duc de Guise, 278.

Hôtel de France, 248.

Hôtel des Invalides, 135, 149, 167.

“Hôtel de la Belle Etoile,” 208, 212.

Hôtel de la Monnaie, 136, 248.

Hôtel de Louvre, 102.

Hôtel de Mercœur, 266.

Hôtel des Montmorencies, 278.

Hôtel des Mousquetaires, 207, 210.

Hôtel des Postes, 154.

Hôtel de Soissons, 133.

Hôtel de Venise, 234.

Hôtel de Ville, 132, 137, 191, 196, 197, 204, 318.

Hôtel du Vieux-Augustins, 16.

Hôtel la Trémouille, 251.

Hôtel Longueville, 89.

“Hôtel Picardie,” 214.

Hôtel Rambouillet, 266.

Hôtel Richelieu, 266.

Hugo, Victor, 3, 37, 68, 71, 73, 79, 82, 122, 127, 155, 156, 158, 223, 239, 363.

Hugo, Père, 82.

Huntley, 324.

Hyères, 351.

Ile de la Cité, 86, 131, 133, 165, 169, 172, 235.

Ile St. Louis, 165, 169.

“Impressions du Voyage,” see Works of Dumas.

“Inn of the Beautiful Peacock,” 300.

Irving, Washington, 41.

Island of Monte Cristo, 338.

Isle of France (Mauritius), 46.

Italy, 8, 44.

Ivry, 88.
[Pg 385]

Jacquot, 51.

Jallais, Amédée de, 233.

James II., 303.

Janin, Jules, 363.

Jardin des Plantes, 134, 149.

“Jeanne d’Arc,” see Works of Dumas.

Jean-sans-Peur, 215.

Jerome, Prince, 271.

Jerusalem, 369.

Jesuit College, 132.

“Jeune Malade,” 205.

Joanna of Naples, 369.

Joigny, 46, 58.

Jourdain, Marshal, 84.

Jouy, 18.

Joyeuse, Admiral de, 365.

“Jugurtha,” 45.

Jussac, 252.

Karr, Alphonse, 363.

“Kean,” see Works of Dumas.

Kipling, 41.

Kotzebue, 285.

L’Abbé Metel de Bois-Robert, 228.

La Beauce, 166.

La Brie, 166.

Lachambeaudie, 82.

Lacenaire, 240.

La Chapelle, 87.

La Châtre, 70.

“La Chevrette,” 214.

La Cité, 129, 130, 166, 167, 235, 247.

“La Compagne Lafitte et Caillard,” 157.

Lacroix, Paul, 362.

“La Dame aux Camélias,” 79.

La Dame aux Camélias, see Plessis, Alphonsine, 78.

“La Dame de Monsoreau” (“Chicot the Jester”), see Works of Dumas.

Ladislas I. of Hungary, 369.

“La Feuille” (Arnault), 71.

La France, 163.

Lamartine, 68, 71, 179.

Lambert, Gabriel, 326, 327.

Langeais, 332.

“La Pastissier Française,” 104.

“La Pâté d’Italie,” 93.

La Presse, 75.

La Revue, 54, 64.

La Rochelle, 49.

La Roquette, 263, 278.

Lassagne, 31.

Latin Quarter, see Quartier Latin.

“La Tour de Nesle,” see Works of Dumas.

Launay, De, 284.

La Ville, 130, 166, 167.

La Villette, 24, 87, 137.

Lebrun, Madame, 179.

“Le Châtelet,” 204.

Leclerc, Captain, 229.

“Le Collier de la Reine” (The Queen’s Necklace), see Works of Dumas.

Lecomte, General, 227.

Le Gaulois, 163.

Legislative Assembly, 183.

Le Livre, 79.

Lemarquier, 239.

Lemercier, 19.

Le Mousquetaire, 44.

“Le Nord” Railway, 160.

Le Peuple, 98.

Lescot, Pierre, 222, 260.

Lesdequieres, Duchesse de, 293.

“Les Françaises,” 157.

Les Grandes Eaux, 303.

Les Halles, 206, 222, 263.

“Les Pêcheurs du Filet,” see Works of Dumas, 368.

“L’Est” Railway, 160.

Les Ternes, 87.
[Pg 386]
“Les Trois Mousquetaires,” see Works of Dumas.

“Le Stryge,” 198.

Leuven, Adolphe de, 14, 16, 18.

L’Homme-Libre, 75.

Lille, 49, 160.

“L’Image de Nôtre Dame,” 199, 201.

Limerick, 76.

L’Institut, 167.

Lisbon, 77.

Lisieux, 326.

Loire, The, 155, 160, 168, 329-331.

London, 76, 105, 150, 154, 179, 189, 321.

London Tower, 185.

Longé, 79.

Longueville, Madame de, 224.

“L’Orleans” Railway, 160, 161, 192.

“L’Ouest” Railway, 160.

Louis I., 77.

Louis IV., 220.

Louis VII., 130, 173.

Louis VIII., 144.

Louis XI., 12, 131.

Louis XII., 131, 134.

Louis XIII., 133, 214, 224, 266.

Louis XIV., 50, 104, 115, 134, 135, 143, 224, 260, 267, 288, 289, 303, 304, 312, 328, 330, 331.

Louis XV., 135, 166, 318.

Louis XVI., 196, 264, 315.

Louis XVIII., 143, 154, 262.

Louis-Philippe, 31, 38, 58, 69, 72, 86, 88, 104, 116, 153, 180, 193, 268, 270.

Louvre, The, 89, 132, 135, 136, 167, 173, 175, 184, 187, 195, 208, 212, 215, 221, 241, 255, 258-264, 315.

Loyola, Ignatius, 227.

Lulli, 115.

L’Université, 127, 130, 166, 167, 244, 248.

Lutèce, 86.

Luxembourg, The, 133, 167, 187, 191, 245-247, 251, 253-255.

Luxembourg, Gardens of the, 70, 150, 253.

Lycée Henri Quatre, 253.

Lyons, 157, 159, 172, 301, 342, 359.

Mackeat (Maquet), Augustus, 39-42.

Madeleine, The (Church), 88, 138, 149, 153.

Madelonnettes, The, 134.

Madrid, 159.

Madrid, Château of, 298, 319.

Maestricht, 50.

Magazin St. Thomas, 147.

Maison Dumas et Cie,” 40, 51.

“Maître Adam le Calabrais,” see Works of Dumas.

Malmesbury, Lord, 76.

Mandrin, Pierre, 91.

“Man in the Iron Mask, The,” 288, 289.

Mantes, 165, 169.

Marat, Jean Paul, 229.

Marcel, Etienne, 130, 193.

Margot, 236.

“Marguerite de Valois,” see Works of Dumas.

Marie Antoinette, 50, 236, 238.

Marne, 165.

Marrast, Armand, 179.

Mars, Mlle., 123.

Marseilles, 155, 219, 229, 261, 339-342, 349, 351, 358.

Marsillac, Prince de, 90.

Mattioli, 290.
[Pg 387]
Mauge, Marquise de, 214.

Maupassant, Guy de, 228.

Mauritius (Isle of France), 46.

Mazarin, 37, 115, 211, 267, 273, 275.

“Mechanism of Modern Life,” 101.

Medici, Marie de, 133, 224, 260.

Medici, Catherine de, 208, 212, 264.

“Meditations” (Lamartine), 68.

Mediterranean, The, 45, 327, 336, 340.

“Mémoires,” see Works of Dumas.

“Mémoires de M. d’Artagnan,” 49.

“Mémoires d’un Maître d’Armes,” see Works of Dumas.

Ménilmontant, 87.

Mennesson, 14.

Mérimée, 69, 159, 368.

Merle, De, 18.

Merovée, 129.

Méryon, 126-128, 198.

“Mes Bêtes,” see Works of Dumas.

“Messageries à Cheval,” 157.

“Messageries Royale,” 157.

“Metropolitain,” 204.

Metz, 157.

Meulan, 165.

Meulien, Pauline de, 371.

Meyerbeer, 117.

Michelangelo, 224.

Michelet, 69, 82, 98-100.

Mignet, 69.

Millet, 71.

Minister of the Interior, 183.

Mirabeau, 320.

Mohammed Ali, 88.

Mole, De la, 212.

Molière, 224.

Mollé, Mathieu, 211.

Monastère des Feuillants, 133.

Monet, 187.

Monmouth, Duke of, 289.

Monselet, Charles, 163.

Monstrelet, 215.

Montargis, 155.

“Monte Cristo,” see Works of Dumas.

Monte Cristo, Island of, 45, 338.

Montez, Lola, 76, 78.

Montford, Comtes de, 315.

Montmartre, 87, 142, 146, 188, 190, 227, 314.

Montmartre, Abbaye of, 227.

Montmorenci, Duc de, 255.

Montpensier, Duc de, 45.

Mont Valerien, 88.

Monuments to Dumas, 140, 149.

Morcerf, Mme. de, 358.

Morcerf, Albert de, 369.

Morrel, House of, 349.

Motte, Mme. de la, 228, 241, 307.

Moulin Rouge, 227.

Moulin de la Galette, 227.

Mount of Martyrs, 227.

Müller, 241.

Munier, Georges, 46.

Murat, 351.

“Murat,” see Works of Dumas.

Mürger, Henri, 96.

Musée, Cluny, 5.

Musset, Alfred de, 68, 82, 95, 123.

“Mysteries of Paris,” 99.

Nadaud, Gustave, 96.

Nancy, 157, 160.

Nantes, 151, 334-336.

Nantes, Edict of, 334.
[Pg 388]
Nanteuil, 24.

Naples, 8, 368.

Napoleon I., 1, 25, 74, 88, 116, 137, 138, 192, 193, 218, 219, 244, 260, 265, 270, 313, 325, 367.

Napoleon III., 54, 73, 74, 89, 102, 144, 180, 181, 183-185, 260, 265, 271, 315, 325.

Napoleon, Jerome, 45.

Nemours, De, 323.

Nerval, Gerard de, 123.

Netherlands, The, 365.

Nevers, Duchesse de, 197.

New York, 11, 105.

Nodier, Charles, 69, 82, 104, 156.

Nogaret, 238.

Nogent, 88.

Noirtier, M., 229.

Normandy, 326, 327.

Notre Dame, see under Église.

Notre Dame de la Garde (Marseilles), 342.

Obelisk, The, 88.

Observatoire, The, 135, 244.

Odéon, The, 123, 167, 187.

“Odes et Ballades” (Hugo), 68.

“Œdipus,” 122.

“Old Mortality,” 121.

Oliva, 255.

Oloron, 49.

Omnibus, Companies:
“Compagnie Générale des Omnibus,” 153.
“La Compagne Lafitte et Caillard,” 157.
“Les Françaises,” 157.
“Messageries Royales,” 157.
“Messageries à Cheval,” 157.

“Opéra,” The, 89, 91, 95, 114, 115, 118, 190.

Opéra Comique, 190.

Oratoire, The, 134.

Orleans, 155, 160, 237, 330.

Orleans, House of, 181, 324.

Orthez, 49.

Orthon, 208.

Orthos, 172.

Orthos, Bridge of, 172.

“Otho the Archer,” 360.

Ourcq (river), 137.

Pailleterie, Marquis de la, see Dumas, General.

Palais Bourbon, 187.

Palais Cardinal, 134, 266.

Palais de Justice, 236, 239, 241.

Palais de la Bourse, 137.

Palais de l’Industrie, 141.

Palais de la Révolution, 270.

Palais des Arts, 173.

Palais des Beaux Arts, 138, 143, 238.

Palais des Tournelles, 133.

Palais National, 183.

Palais Royale, 16, 31, 95, 115, 134, 167, 183, 187, 224, 228, 246, 247, 266-273, 275.

Panorama Colbert, 148.

Panorama Delorme, 148.

Panorama de l’Opéra, 148.

Panorama du Saumon, 148.

Panorama Jouffroy, 148.

Panorama Vivienne, 148.

Panthéon, The, 37, 136, 167, 187, 252, 253.

Paraclet, 81.

Parc Monceau, 228.

“Paris-Lyon et Méditerranée” (P. L. M.) Ry., 160, 161, 192.

“Pascal Bruno,” see Works of Dumas.

Passerelle, Constantine, 170.
[Pg 389]
Passerelle de l’Estacade, 170.

Passerelle St. Louis, 170.

Passy, 87, 150.

Pau, 354.

“Pauline,” see Works of Dumas.

“Paul Jones” (“Capitaine Paul”), see Works of Dumas.

Pennell, Joseph, 168.

Père la Chaise, 81, 142, 146, 188, 239, 340.

Perpignan, 372.

Petit Pont, 170.

Petits Augustins, 143.

Pfeffers, 371.

Philippe-Auguste, 130, 134, 144, 260.

Phœbus, Gaston, 354.

Pierrefonds, 246, 317.

Pierrefonds, Castle of, 324.

Picardie, 321.

“Pilon d’Or,” 205.

Pitou, Louis Ange, 18, 23, 24, 317.

Place Dauphine, 133, 235.

Place de Bourgogne, 182.

Place de la Bastille, 148, 167, 187, 225, 296.

Place de la Concorde, 136, 138, 148, 162, 193, 263.

Place de la Croix-Rouge, 252.

Place de la Grève, 166, 197-199, 201, 234, 239, 287.

Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, 148, 197.

Place de la Madeleine, 194.

Place de la Nation, 147.

Place de la Révolution, 263.

Place de St. Sulpice, 148, 252.

Place des Victoires, 148.

Place des Vosges, 148, 223, 225.

Place du Carrousel, 89, 138, 148, 221.

Place du Châtelet, 148, 205, 286.

Place du Palais Bourbon, 148.

Place du Palais Royal, 148.

Place du Panthéon, 148.

Place Malesherbes, 123, 124, 140, 149.

Place Maubert, 286.

Place Royale, 133, 134, 148, 223-225.

Place St. Antoine, 225.

Place Vendome, 137, 148.

Plaine de St. Denis, 95.

Plessis, Alphonsine, (La Dame aux Camélias), 78.

Poe, E. A., 41, 43.

Poissy, Gérard de, 130.

Poitiers, Diane de, 260.

Pompeii, 5, 45, 57.

Pont Alexandre, 173.

Pont au Change, 135, 170, 171, 173.

Pont Audemer, 326.

Pont aux Doubles, 170.

Pont de l’Archevêche, 170.

Pont d’Arcole, 170.

Pont d’Austerlitz, 170.

Pont de Bercy, 170.

Pont de la Cité, 170.

Pont des Arts, 170, 172.

Pont de Sèvres, 302.

Pont des Invalides, 88.

Pont du Carrousel, 88, 171, 235.

Pont du Garde, 347.

Pont du Pecq, 311, 314.

Pont l’Evêque, 327.

Pont, le Petit, 168.

Pont Louis XV., 173.

Pont Louis-Philippe, 88, 170.

Pont Maril, 170.

Pont Napoléon, 170.

Pont Neuf, 133, 134, 170, 171, 173.

Pont Notre Dame, 170.
[Pg 390]
Pont Royal, 135, 157.

Pont St. Michel, 170.

Pont Tournelle, 170.

Porette, Marguerite, 239.

Porte du Canal de l’Ourcq, 139.

Porte du Temple, 131.

Porte Marly, 314.

Porte St. Antoine, 221.

Porte St. Denis, 131, 220, 221.

Porte St. Honoré, 131.

Porte St. Martin, 104, 113, 115, 153.

Porthos, 45, 49, 246, 247, 252, 324.

Portu, Jean de, see Porthos.

Prison du Grand Châtelet, 204.

Proudhon, M., 178.

Provence, 347, 351.

Puits, 80.

Puys, 8, 66.

Quai de Conti, 133, 170, 248.

Quai de la Grève, 166, 197, 199, 206.

Quai de la Megisserie, 133.

Quai de la Monnai, 172.

Quai de l’Arsenal, 133.

Quai de l’École, 133, 173.

Quai de l’Horloge, 133, 236.

Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville, 197, 206.

Quai des Augustins, 133.

Quai des Ormes, 197.

Quai des Orphelins, 133.

Quai d’Orleans, 343.

Quai d’Orsay, 138, 170.

Quai du Louvre, 170, 172.

Quai Voltaire, 170.

Quartier des Infants-Rouges, 228.

Quartier du Marais, 133.

Quartier Latin, 96, 185, 244.

“Quentin Durward,” 13.

Rachel, 191.

“Ceinture,” 89, 303.
“L’Est,” 160.
“Le Nord,” 160.
“L’Orleans,” 160, 161, 192.
“L’Ouest,” 160, 303.
“P. L. M.” (Paris-Lyon et Méditerranée), 160, 161, 192.

Rambouillet, 297, 298, 315, 316.

Ranke, 259.

Raspail, 179.

Ravaillac, 224.

Reade, Charles, 81.

“Regulus,” 18.

Reims, 129, 156.

Rempart des Fosses, 130.

Renaissance, 132.

Residences of Dumas, 44, 93, 103, 112, 124, 147, 148, 150, 188, 220, 303.

Restaurant du Pavillon Henri Quatre, 160.

“Restoration,” The, 87, 138, 154, 155.

Retz, Cardinal de, 320.

Revolutions, The, 4, 44, 136, 138, 140, 154, 164, 172, 178-180, 193, 196, 224, 227, 325.

Revue des Deux Mondes, 371.

Rhine, The, 8.

Rhône, 347, 349.

Richelieu, 37, 224, 225, 228, 244, 252, 266, 289.

Richelieu, Maréchal, 109.

Rizzio, 324.

Roanne, 160.

“Robert le Diable,” 116.

Robespierre, 324.

Robsart, Amy, 121.

Roche-Bernard, 329.

Rochefort, 18.
[Pg 391]
Rohan, De, 37, 224.

“Roi d’Yvetot” (Béranger), 71.

Roland, Madame, 235.

Rolle, 363.

Rollin, Ledru, 179.

Rossini, 82.

Rostand, 43.

Rouen, 77, 159, 160, 169, 327.

Rougemont, 31.

Rousseau, 7.

“Royal Tiger,” 316.

Rubens, 191.

Rue Beaubourg (Le Beau-Bourg), 130.

Rue Beaujolais, 228.

Rue Bourtebourg (Le Bourg Thibourg), 130.

Rue Cassette, 246.

Rue Castiglione, 137, 147.

Rue Charlot, 228.

Rue Coq-Héron, 229-231.

Rue d’Amsterdam, 188.

Rue Dauphine, 133.

Rue de Bac, 72, 147.

Rue de Bethusy, 278.

Rue de Bons Enfants, 272.

Rue de Douai, 187.

Rue de Faubourg St. Denis, 220, 221.

Rue de Grenelle, 147.

Rue de l’Arbre-Sec, 206, 211.

Rue de la Chaussée d’Antin, 147, 231.

Rue de la Concorde, 183.

Rue de la Harpe, 246.

Rue de Lancry, 152.

Rue de la Martellerie, 215.

Rue de Lille, 255.

Rue de la Paix, 137, 147.

Rue de l’Université, 147.

Rue de Rivoli, 140, 147, 148.

Rue des Écoles, 140.

Rue des Fossoyeurs, 246, 252.

Rue des Lombards, 205.

Rue des Rosiers, 227.

Rue des Vieux-Augustins, 234.

Rue de Tivoli, 137.

Rue de Valois, 228.

Rue du Chaume, 278.

Rue du Helder, 213, 232, 255.

Rue du Louvre, 230.

Rue du Monte Blanc, 84.

Rue du Vieux-Colombier, 251, 252.

Rue Drouet, 95.

Rue Ferou, 246.

Rue Guenegard, 248.

Rue Herold, 234.

Rue Lafitte, 95.

Rue Lepelletier, 114.

Rue Louis le Grand, 94.

Rue Mathieu Mollé, 212.

Rue Pelletier, 234.

Rue Pigalle, 187.

Rue Rambuteau, 92.

Rue Richelieu, 102, 112, 115, 147.

Rue Roquette, 225.

Rue Royal, 183.

Rue Servandoni, 246.

Rue Sourdière, 228.

Rue St. Antoine, 131, 133, 147, 285.

Rue St. Denis, 220.

Rue St. Eleuthère, 227.

Rue St. Honoré, 147, 228.

Rue St. Lazare, 188.

Rue St. Martin (Le Bourg St. Martin), 130.

Rue St. Roch, 148.

Rue Taitbout, 214, 231.

Rue Tiquetonne, 214, 246, 247.

Rue Vaugirard, 127, 246, 252.

Rue Vivienne, 147.

Rupert, Prince, 50.

Russia, 8, 44.
[Pg 392]

Sabot, Mother, 24.

Sainte Chapelle, 236.

Saint Foix, 135.

Salcède, 201.

Salon d’Automne, 191.

Salons, 161.

Salpêtrière, The, 134.

Sand, George, 44, 70, 97, 188, 363.

Sand, Karl Ludwig, 285.

Saône, 168.

Sarcey, Francisque, 163.

Sardou, 122.

“Saul,” 18.

Schiller, 360.

Scotland, 323.

Scott, Sir Walter, 13, 41, 74, 121, 360.

Scribe, Eugene, 70, 82, 187.

Sebastiani, General, 84.

Second Empire, 89, 138, 140, 153, 163, 193.

Second Republic, 89, 181.

Seine, The, 72, 98, 130, 137, 148, 156, 165-171, 173-175, 190, 248, 255, 302, 303, 311, 314.

Senlis, 317.

Sens, 46.

Sévigné, Madame de, 102, 223.

Seville, 76.

Shakespeare, 121, 122.

Sicily, 337, 369.

Sillegue, Colonel de, 49.

“Site d’Italie” (Corot), 72.

Smith, William, 179.

“Soir” (Corot), 72.

Soissons, 7.

Soldain, 259.

Sorbonne, 134, 167, 245.

Sorbonne, Robert de, 244.

Soulié, 68, 82, 121.

Soumet, 18.

Soyer, 103.

Spain, 8, 45, 160.

St. Bartholomew’s Night, 259, 263.

St. Beauvet, 69.

St. Bénezet d’Avignon, 172.

St. Cloud, 157, 314.

Ste. Croix, Gaudin de, 286.

St. Denis, 227, 314.

St. Denis, Abbey of, 142, 143.

St. Etienne-Andrézieux, 160.

Ste. Geneviève, 253, 254.

Ste. Genevieve, Abbey of 37, 136, 187, 253.

St. Germain, 44, 56, 58, 160, 267, 297, 298.

St. Germain, Abbot of, 166.

St. Germain des Prés, 130.

St. Germain-en-Laye, 303, 304, 310-315.

St. Germain l’Auxerrois, 187.

St. Gratien, 125.

St. Luc, Marquis, 255.

St. Mégrin, 122.

St. Michel, 130.

St. Vincent de Paul, 224.

St. Victor, 130.

St. Waast, Abbey of, 324.

Stendhal, 155.

Sterne, 322.

Stevenson, R. L., 41, 44.

Strasbourg (monument), 138, 162.

Strasbourg, 157.

“Stryge, The,” 127.

Stuart, Mary, 323.

Sue, Eugène, 69, 99, 363.

Switzerland, 8, 370.

“Sword of the Brave Chevalier,” 251.

Sylla, 17.

Sylvestre’s, 272.

Taglioni, Marie, 116, 117.

Talleyrand, Henri de, 214.

Talma, 17, 82, 121, 191.

Tarascon, 349.
[Pg 393]
Tastu, Mme. Amable, 70.

Thackeray, 44.

Thames, 168.

Théâtre de la Nation, 183.

Théâtre du Palais Royal, 77, 268.

Théâtre Française, 16, 17, 121, 167, 183, 187.

“Théâtre Historique,” 44.

Théâtre Italien, 133.

Theadlon, 18.

Théaulon, 31.

“The Conspirators,” see Works of Dumas.

“The Queen’s Necklace,” (Le Collier de la Reine), see Works of Dumas.

“The Regent’s Daughter,” see Works of Dumas.

“The Sorbonne,” 244.

“The Taking of the Bastille,” see Works of Dumas.

“The Wandering Jew,” 99.

“The Wolf-Leader,” see Works of Dumas.

Thierry, Edouard, 155, 165.

Thiers, 69, 95.

“Third Republic,” 193.

Titian, 191.

Title of Dumas, 45, 57, 58.

Touchet, Marie, 215, 217.

Toul, 160.

Toulon, 90, 91, 233, 326, 349, 351.

Toulouse, 159.

“Tour de Jean-sans-Peur,” 214.

Tour de Nesle, 237.

Tour de St. Jacques la Boucherie, 197.

Tour du Bois, 131.

Tour Eiffel, 303, 314.

Tours, 332.

Tour St. Jacques, 140, 167, 187, 263.

Tower of London, 185.

“Travels,” see Works of Dumas.

Travels of Dumas, 8, 44-46, 336, 337, 361, 364, 370, 371.

“Treasure Island,” 42.

Treville, De, 49, 246, 251.

Trianon, The, 303.

Trocadero, 147.

Trouville, 325, 327, 371.

Tuileries, The, 72, 133, 137, 138, 150, 170, 176, 182, 184, 185, 261, 265.

Turenne, 90, 143, 224.

Université, The, 167, 244.

Val-de-Grace, The, 134.

Valenciennes, 49.

Valois, House of, 12, 34, 38, 195, 318.

Valois, Marguerite de, 197, 287, 351, 354.

Valois Romances, 15, 44, 46, 148, 171, 195, 205, 215, 225, 235, 239, 254, 258, 259, 263, 266, 278, 312, 314, 354, 355.

Vandam, Albert, 6, 56, 76, 77, 94, 95, 116, 118.

Van Dyke, 191.

Vatel, 199.

Vermandois, Count of, 289.

Vernet, 191.

Vernon, 165, 169.

Véron, Doctor, 79, 111, 116, 117.

Versailles, 297, 298, 302-306.

Vesinet, 311.

“Vicomte de Bragelonne,” see Works of Dumas.

Vidocq, 234.

Viennet, 18.

Vieux Château, 311, 312, 313, 314.

Vigny, De, 68.

Villefort, De, 261, 340.
[Pg 394]
Villemessant, De, 52.

Villers-Cotterets, 7, 14, 15, 18, 24, 25, 27, 33, 34, 46, 80, 315, 317, 318, 321.

Vincennes, 179, 315.

Vincennes, Château of, 298, 320.

Vincennes, Fort of, 320.

“Vingt Ans Après” (“Twenty Years After”), see Works of Dumas.

Viollet-le-Duc, 144, 325.

Vivières, 24.

Voltaire, 121, 122, 238, 288, 303.

Volterre, Ricciarelli de, 224.

Wardes, De, 322.

Warsaw, 76.

Waterloo, 25.

William III., 361.

William the Conqueror, 326.

Windt, Cornelius de, 361.

Windt, Jacobus de, 361.

Windsor, 154.

Winter, Lady de, 223.

Works of Dumas:
“Ange Pitou,” 36.
“Antony,” 29, 37.
“Black Tulip” (“La Tulipe Noire”), 38, 44, 360-362, 365.
“Capitaine Pamphile,” 89, 221, 231, 360.
“Capitaine Paul” (“Paul Jones”), 38, 350.
“Causeries,” 36, 103.
“Cherubino et Celestine,” 367.
“Chevalier d’Harmental,” 228.
“Chicot the Jester” (“La Dame de Monsoreau”), 29, 37, 38, 40, 207, 253, 255, 301, 319, 329, 332, 333.
“Comtesse de Charny,” 223, 226, 229, 302, 303.
“Corsican Brothers,” 89, 213, 231, 319, 360.
“Count of Monte Cristo,” 29, 38-41, 44, 109, 218, 229, 261, 327, 328, 339, 340, 342, 343, 347, 355, 358, 361, 368, 369.
“Crimes Célèbres” (“Celebrated Crimes”), 285, 286, 323, 350, 372.
“Dictionnaire de Cuisine,” 63.
“Dix-huit Mois à St. Petersburgh,” 364.
“Forty-Five Guardsmen,” 201, 248, 351, 365.
“Gabriel Lambert,” 89, 91, 231, 232, 350.
“Georges,” 46.
“Henri III. et Sa Cour,” 29, 121, 123.
“Impressions du Voyage,” 36, 325, 364, 370.
“Jeanne d’Arc,” 38.
“Kean,” 29.
“La Tour de Nesle,” 237.
“Les Pêcheurs du Filet,” 368.
“Les Trois Mousquetaires” (“The Three Musketeers”), 29, 38-41, 44, 48, 54, 75, 126, 127, 245, 247, 251, 252, 332, 361.
“Maître Adam le Calabrais,” 367.
“Marguerite de Valois,” 173, 175, 198, 210, 212, 215, 221, 236, 257, 307, 310, 311, 320.
“Mémoires,” 14, 15, 17, 23, 25, 29, 32, 34, 36, 44, 70, 93, 104, 174, 228, 325, 367.
[Pg 395]“Mémoires d’un Maître d’Armes,” 75, 364.
“Mes Bêtes,” 36, 45.
“Murat,” 367.
“Pascal Bruno,” 367.
“Pauline,” 171, 180, 231, 325, 367, 370, 371.
“The Conspirators,” 173, 271, 287.
“The Queen’s Necklace,” (“Le Collier de la Reine”), 105, 118, 204, 228, 241, 254, 255, 275, 295, 303, 306.
“The Regent’s Daughter,” 292, 316, 334-336.
“The Taking of the Bastille,” 18, 24, 46, 175, 225, 250, 279, 288, 303, 317.
“The Wolf-Leader,” 33, 46.
“Vicomte de Bragelonne,” 24, 29, 38, 169, 199, 200, 205, 247, 259, 273, 288, 292, 298, 300, 321, 328, 330, 332.
“Vingt Ans Après” (“Twenty Years After”), 29, 214, 225, 245-247, 303, 310, 324.

Zola, 7, 44, 64, 129, 188.



Transcriber’s Notes:

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Punctuation has been corrected without note.

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