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AT ElN - GOHEBWYR.

LLESTR GWAG WNA FWYA' SWN.

I O'r PwJl Glo i r Sesedd.i…

Y Cysgwr yn y Capel.

Digon o Ddefnyddiau.

I Y Plentyn.

IMPRESSIONS OF PARIS.

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IMPRESSIONS OF PARIS. Pleasures Crammed into a Week of Hustling Sight-Seaing. (By R. W. TROWSDALE.) (Continued from last week). More grim reminders of the days when France waded through seas of blood to ulti- mate freedom we found in La Roquette Prison, where the guillotine performed its ghastly public function. To more than one mind must have come thoughts of Dickens' great charac- ter, Sydney Carton, who found in self-chosen death the joy he knew not in his useless life. Let us hasten, however, from these grim relics. The July Column occupies the site of another monument inseparably associated with the de- fence of public liberty-the Bastille, which was taken by the mob and destroyed in 1879. En route we pass the Central Markets, a place which supplied the majority of the "Amazons" who took a leading part in the Revolution. We make a long halt at what has been rightly termed the shrine of all France—Napoleon's Tomb. A CONSECRATED SPOT. Truly a visit to Paris is incomplete without viewing this magnificent monument. I asked a patriot how it was that no place or street had been honoured with the name of the great- est of all Frenchmen. He replied that it would have been a slight to the memory of Napoleon to have named a mere street after him. And I think, viewing Napoleon through French spectacles, he was right. Over the en- trance to the crypt is the national hero's testamentary request:— "I desire that my ashes may rest on the banks of the Seine, in the midst of the French people I have so greatly loved. The tomb is the work of Visconti, and to ob- tain an idea of its grandeur and beauty it must be visited; words utterly fail to portray its magnificence. It is the gem of France. Ere we reach home—our temporary home—wo also view Pont Alexandre III ( a feature of the exhibition of 1900), the Trocadero, and the famous Eiffel Tower. Our party is strong in bachelors, and the evening sees a big invasion of the famous Parisian music-halls. Everything is fright- fully fascinating, as Wendy (the heroine of J. M. Barrie's great play) wouldway. The halla are not run exactly on British lines, or in strict accordance with our sense of decorum; even Mrs. Grundy might find just cause for taking them to task. At the same time they are not very terrible, but an Englishman would cer- tainly think twice before taking an English girl into them. INFECTIOUS PLEASURE. Thera is a form of madness which attacks, in various degrees of severity, most teurists who visit the Gay City; a spirit of mild dissipation engendered by environment which few ordi- nary mortals care to resist. It attacks middle- aged as well as young men, and in this event- ful week I write of I saw the spirit of youth striving, and partially succeeding, to break down the barrier of a sense of passing years in men who had long passed the half-way house in life s journey. Not that they had lost the grains of wisdom picked up on the Great Road; far from it. But they were, like most of us, enjoying a time of modest revelry which in the years to come would be recalled with lingering regret as a period when life's little worries and conventional restraint were thank- fully thrust aside. None of us, I think, were very badly smitten, but we wanted to forget the dreary office desk, musty ledger, and uncomfortable stool, the incessant din of the workshop, and the hum- drum routine of our existence. And so the tiny seed of dissipation grew and thrived. We had no occasion to use the oft-quoted injunc- tion. "When in Rome but unanimously conformed to the exigencies of the moment. The notorious Can-Can must, of course, be seen to satisfy curiosity; therefore we proceed, a strictly bachelor party, to the Moulin Rouge. I think it was Mark Twain who, in describing the fascination of this extraordinary dance over the English and American visitors, said the majority of the staid mortals who found them- selves spectators placed their hands over their eyes to shut out the bewildering mass of lin- gerie presented to their gaze. The American humorist did the same—but peeped through his open fingers I Or was it that the Puri- tanical folk played the deception? I really for- get which. THE WORLD'S FINEST MUSEUM, Tuesday was dedicated to a visit to the Louvre. I had meantime received some advice from a fellow-countryman. "Don't go to the Leuvre," he said, "it will make your head ache." I went, and my head ached, though not in the way he meant. It is needless to remind my readers, is it not, that the Louvre is the largest and most important museum in the world, built In the early Renaissance style. It is impossible to give here details, or even a curtailed account of the treasures within its walls, except to say that its collection of paint- ings, bronzes, tapestry, and art treasures is unrivalled anywhere. The Crown jewels of France (which include the famous Regent dia- mond, the purest known) are on view in the Apollo Gallery. After dinner we take a rest, for the summer that has played truant for four months seems to have chosen this particular week in which to pay its creditors the full 28s. in the ie of its debts, and in addition we have had a-tiring, if a pleasant and instructive, day. Our choice of entertainment for this evening fastens on th Apollo Music Hall, quite the most superior of its kind in the city, and where we actually hear a couple of English songs-in honour of the "entente," I suppose. We betrayed our nationality and "greenness" by coming away early, thus missing the most interesting portion of the show, for many of the halls, by means of a revolving stage, are transformed before midnight into dancing halls. VERSAILLES-RESIDENCE OF KINGS. It is Wednesday-half the week gone. What pleasures and variety of entertainment have been crowded into these few days. It seems more like a week since we left murky London and came to this land of vineyards and ever- lasting sunshine. To-day we go to Versailles, the favourite home of the Kings and Queens of France ere Revolution's rude hand levelled matters somewhat. To this Royal residence (which with its glorjpus environment entailed an expenditure of forly millions sterling of the people's money), which was sacked by the Paris mob in 178ff, and where the first German Emperor was proclaimed, our party went en masse. We were a gay, blithely, happy crowd that day. It was just a huge picnic. From the time of climbing into our char-a-banc to the moment of our return it was one long delight. A picnic in rural England is charming; but an excursion to a spot hallowed by centuries of romance and tragic realism, where kings have been born and kingdoms overthrown—then the trip is a picnic. We go by way of the "Bois," St. Cloud, etc., and return via Sevres (where is situate the famous Government pottery), Boulogne-sur- Seine, and Passy. The palace was built in the seventeenth century, and, like every similar building in France, contains within its walls unique and priceless art treasures. A number of the rooms are enriched with paintings illus- trating French hiswry from Charlemagne down to modern times. Some of the most splendid Court functions-and we must remember that in the days of Louis XIV. and his immediate successors Versailles was the scintillating jewel in the setting of France's glory-took place in the Galerie des Glaces, including the famous ball at which the late Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were the guests of Napoleon III. The finest view of the palace is from the gardens, whose delights we enjoyed after roam- ing through the gorgeous apartments. THE HOME OF GRAND OPERA. The evening of Wednesday has been antici- pated ever since we reached Paris, for our thoughtful conductor has not omitted to men- tion Wednesday as the most convenient night on which to visit tho Grand Opera House. A generous subsidy is paid by Government to- wards the upkeep of this, the first theatre in the world, and thus renders it practically national property. England lags far behind in this respect. The staircase of the Opera House is said to be the noblest in existence, and it is an experience not soon forgotten to gaze on the well-dres3ed audience promenading up and down its broad flights during each entr'acte. Most of us go. and all come away enchanted. "Lohengrin" was presented in all its scenic glory and tuneful setting. The chief operatic "star" was M. Alvarez, who impersonated Lo- hengrin, the heaven-sent hero, with due eclat. Don't miss paying a. visit to the Opera House it ever you visit Paris. THE GOOD WINE TILL THE LAST. How shall I describe our final picnic—the visit to Fontainebleau? I feel I cannot. Our excursions had been like wine; we had cracked a fresh bottle each day-partaken greedily of the best that La Belle France could produce- and each had tasted better than the last. The Fontainebleau vintage was the best of all; truly they had kept the best wine till the last. My guide to "A Week in Paris" tells me that "the excursion to Fontainebleau, with its his- torical palace and splendid forest, invariably leaves a strong and lasting impression on the minå" of all." How can it, indeed, be other- wise? Fontainebleau is reached with the aid of the locomotive, as it is a considerable dis- tance from Paris The palace was built in the sixteenth century by Francis I., to whom France owes much in the way of art. The chateau cf Fontainebleau is symbolical of the magnificence of France, though its exterior is no criterion of the luxurious ele- gance and beauty within. In the great court- yard we "gather round" (a term stereotyped cn the minds of conducted parties, Poly. tourists particularly) our guide as he takes us back, mentally, to that historic day on which, on the very spot we now occupy, the great little Napoleon took a last farewell of his troops. It is not a difficult feat of the imagi- nation to conjure up the scene which took place at the foot of the famous Horseshoe Staircase. I fancy I can see the distinguished soldier (he was no ruler) rasping out his fare- well—every uttered syllable a dagger-thrust in his own heart-to his beloved troops, each unit of which would gladly have lain down his life for the chance to once again follow in battle the Corsican genius. The world has not seen braver men than the courtyard of the chateau of Fontainebleau held that day, or a general in whose leadership those veterans believed 30 implicitly or followed so undauntedly. After inspecting the palace and grounds, and feeding the monster carp in the lake, we enter the waiting conveyances for a drive throug i the forest. This has a circumference of ç v miles, with 1,000 miles of carriage roads. if teen miles are covered in this delightful my, many interesting features being pointed <<. en route. To mark our appreciation :md t n- joyment of the trip, and while yet wj I :t, e several miles to drive, we cast restraint, t: tie the forest. This has a circumference of fifty miles, with one thousand miles of carriage roads. Fifteen miles are covered in this de- lightful way, many interesting features being pointed out en route. To mark our appreciation and enjoyment of the trip, and while yet we have several miles to drive, we cast restraint to the winds and break into song-earnest if un- musical. By half-past six we are back in Paris, ready for dinner and a "wind-up" at the music-halls. By midnight we are (or should be) seeking Nature's kind testorative. A GRIM SPECTRE. But behind allthe frivolity and shallowness of Paris lurks a grim spectre. Throw aside for one brief moment the mask of affectation and sham—for it is very unreal—which conceals the truer state of things, and you will find a lurking apparition, a grim, haunting dread of the future. Public opinion ir England is essentially conservative. We travel, well con- tent, in the old grooves of our forefathers, and take secret pride in our stolidity. But the Gallic temperament is akin to a smouldering volcano: the crater of national life may at any time become active. The fires of discord may be quiescent, but is the danger any the less? The recent disturbances in the wine-growing districts-' .-u ublej which threatened so vast an area and so large a part of the population that the stability of tne state itself was menaced— I cannot be overlooked in our contemplation of this volcanic temperament. Proof of this dread lies in the very streets and buildings of France's fair capital. Tread the silent wood paved tho- roughfares, and read in their construction a lesson; pass, after closing hours, the splendid shops in the Rue de la Paix, or the Rue de Rivoli, and road in their steel work shutters another moral. No shop doorway or window but what is barricaded in this remorseless manner; no thoroughfare but what is devoid of paving cobbles: serviceable weapons in the hands of a mob. What does it all portend? LEAVE-TAKING. Friday is a day of shopping and farewells. Soon we shall be scattered broadcast, for the call of duty must be obeyed. We therefore i follow the feminine lead and plunge into, and are soon completely lost in, the labyrinths of the Bon Marche and other stores of the White- ley brand. Here the ladies are in their ele- ment, and mere man is nowhere—except as the privileged medium whereby ownership of some dainty oreation or souvenir is transferred. Dinner is a merry affair, and many are the toasts to pretty eyes and another "chance" meeting for auld acquaintance sake. Just as we are leaving tor the railway station (which some 3,000 persons a few days ago took it into their heads to wreck owing to the continual lateness of the trains), we get the first few drops of rain since we stepped into the coun- try. (We had really begun to wonder if it ever rained in France!) A calm sea and moonlight night contributed immensely to our enjoyment of the return voyage, and the boat express, carrying us to the starting-point, completed our Continental holiday. The space I threaten to occupy insists that I must draw this little sketch to a close ere the forbearance of my good friend the Editor is overtaxed. And what, I fancy I hear some of my readers say, is the benefit to be derived from such a round of pleasure? Is it not (as I have previously said) to a man's benefit that his outlook on life should be widened, that he should have an insight into the customs of peoples other than his own? We are too prone to live in a radius immediately around the village pump. As we live so do our views mature. Like the Chinese woman's feet, they are retarded in growth if the area allowed for their development be limited; or, as we extend the rad- ius, broken accordingly. To visit Paris is to be vastly impressed by its multifarious charms; but the great lesson is locked in your own breast. Pride of race is as keen to-day as ever it was, and you will come back—though it be to the old drudgery of the workaday world you left-better for what you have seen and the lessons you have learnt in the pleasure-centre of the world, improved in health by the real holiday, and' prouder than ever that yoi have the right to lay claim to being an Englishman.,

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