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A Bibliographical, Antiquarian and Picturesque Tour in France and Germany, Volume Two

ThomasFrognall Dibdin Thomas Frognall

PARIS. THE BOULEVARDS. PUBLIC BUILDINGS. STREET SCENERY. FOUNTAINS.1 Paris, June 18, 1818. You are probably beginning to wonder at the tardiness of my promised Despatch, in which the architectural minutiæ of this City were to be somewhat systematically described. But, as I have told you towards the conclusion of my previous letter, it would be to very little purpose to conduct you over every inch of ground which had been trodden and described by a host of Tourists, and from which little of interest or of novelty could be imparted. Yet it seems to be absolutely incumbent upon me to say something by way of local description. Perhaps the BOULEVARDS form the most interesting feature about Paris. I speak here of the principal Boulevards:—of those, extending from Ste. Madelaine to St. Antoine; which encircle nearly one half the capital. Either on foot, or in a carriage, they afford you singular gratification. A very broad road way, flanked by two rows of trees on each side, within which the population of Paris seems to be in incessant agitation—lofty houses, splendid shops, occasionally a retired mansion, with a parterre of blooming flowers in front—all manner of merchandize exposed in the open air—prints, muslins, kaleidoscopes, (they have just introduced them2) trinkets, and especially watch chains and strings of beads, spread in gay colours upon the ground—the undulations of the chaussée—and a bright blue sky above the green trees—all these things irresistibly rivet the attention and extort the admiration of a stranger. You may have your boots cleaned, and your breakfast prepared, upon these same boulevards. Felicitous junction of conveniences