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Art. I.-PARIS AND THE FRENCH.
BY REV. ABEL STEVENS, OF THE NEW-ENGLAND CONFERENCE. On entering Paris from the west, on the route de St. Germain, the voyageur is introduced, at once, to its chief splendor a mass • of architectural magnificence, with forests and gardens extending into the midst of the city, and surpassing his most romantic fancies of oriental grandeur. He enters the city at the Barriere de Neuilly under a triumphal arch-the arc de triumph de l'etoile-a monument to commemorate the triumphs of Napoleon, a conception at once of his genius and his ambition. Its whole outline wears the impress of his own extraordinary mind. He designed that it should exceed any similar monument erected by the Romans, and his design has been accomplished by the obsequiousness of the present dynasty to the popular enthusiasm for his memory. It is built of the soft white marble of which the public edifices of the city are all made-a material that indurates with age, and retains yet the snow-white freshness of its original appearance. It is a lofty and impressive mass, wrought with colossal basso-relievos representing the chief battle-scenes of the great hero, and his own well-marked features are distinguishable in the groups. On the insides of the arches are engraved the names of his principal officers, and likewise of the places where his most remarkable battles were fought, excepting, of course, Moscow and Waterloo. It is impossible for the spectator to gaze on this noble structure without experiencing, in a high degree, emotions of beauty and sublimity from its fine workmanship and grand proportions. As he passes beneath it, a magnificent vista opens before him, extending through the Champs Elysees, with its thick forests and dark solitudes passing over the Place de la Concord, then through the gates of the gardens of the Tuileries, with their fine statues of rampant horses, into the gardens decorated with chef d'ouvres of statuary, with walks, fountains in which snow-white swans are gliding, marble vases, orangeries, lilacs, and shady terraces; the whole terminated by the palace of the Tuileries, on which waves the tri-color banner, as if answering to the triumphal arch at the other extremity of the picture. Let the reader recollect that all this splendor is thrown quite into the midst of the city, on the banks of the Seine, which flows through its centre.
After leaving the triumphal arch, on the road we have described, the gilded dome of the Invalides (the hospital for worn-out soldiers) towers above the city-one of the largest and noblest domes in
VOL. IX.-April, 1838.