Obviously in so vast a range of study as that afforded by the city of Paris, compression and selection have been imperative: we have therefore limited our guidance to such routes and edifices as seemed to offer the more important objects of historic and artistic interest, excluding from our purview, with much regret, the works of contemporary artists.
creed. In the earlier chapters the legendary aspect of the story has been drawn upon rather more perhaps than an austere historical conscience would approve, but it is precisely a familiarity with these romantic stories, which at least are true in impression if not in fact, that the sojourner in Paris will find most useful, translated as they are in sculpture and in painting, on the decoration of her architecture, both modern and ancient, and implicit in the nomenclature of her ways.
The story of Paris presents a marked contrast with that of an Italian city-state whose rise, culmination and fall may be roundly traced. Paris is yet in the stage of lusty growth. Time after time, like a young giantess, she has burst her cincture of walls, cast off her outworn garments and renewed her armour and vesture. Hers are no grass-grown squares and deserted streets; no ruined splendours telling of pride abased and glory departed; no sad memories of waning cities once the mistresses of sea and land; none of the tears evoked by a great historic tragedy; none of the solemn pathos of decay and death. Paris has more than once tasted the bitterness of humiliation; Norseman and Briton, Russian and German have bruised her fair body; the dire distress of civic strife has exhausted her strength, but she has always emerged from her trials with marvellous recuperation, more flourishing than before.
Since 1871, when the city, crushed under a twofold calamity of foreign invasion and of internecine war, seemed doomed to bleed away to feeble insignificance, her prosperity has so increased that house rent has doubled and population risen f
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