Page:My Life and Loves.djvu/349

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307
EUROPE AND THE CARLYLES.

a little Victoria and drove to the Place de la Bastille. The obvious café life of the people did not appeal to me; but when I saw the Glory springing from the Column of July, tears flooded my eyes, for I recalled Carlyle's description of the taking of the prison.

I paid the cocher and wandered up the rue Rivoli, past the Louvre, past the blackened walls with the sightless windows of the Tuileries palace—a regret in their desolate appeal, and so to the Place de la Grevo with its memories of the guillotine and the great revolution, now merged in the Place de la Concorde. Just opposite I could distinguish the gilt dome of the Church of the Invalides where the body of Napoleon lies as he desired: "On the banks of the Seine, in the midst of that French people I have loved so passionately!"

And there were the horses of Marly ramping at the entrance to the Champs Elysees and at the far end of the long hill, the Arch! The words came to my lips:

Up the long dim road where thundered
The army of Italy onward
By the great pale arch of the Star.

It was the deep historic sense of this great people that first won me and their loving admiration of their poets and artists and guides. I can never describe the thrill it gave me to find on a small house a marble plaque recording the fact that poor de Musset had once lived there, and another on the house wherein he died. Oh, how right the French are to have a Place Malherbe, and Avenue Victor Hugo, an Avenue de la Grande Armée too, and an Avenue de L'Imperatrice as well, though it has since been changed prosaically into the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne.

From the Place de la Concorde I crossed the Seine and walked down the quays to the left, and