The pavilion of the city of Paris is equally attractive to Parisians, to visitors from the provinces and to those from abroad. Indeed, no one knows less about Paris than a Parisian, and no one is more curious about the great capital than someone who lives far from it; this explains the immense interest that everyone feels in seeing exposed to their eyes the marvels of the organization of Paris, the mysteries of underground Paris, and finally the spectacle of the Paris of yesteryear and its gradual transformation through the ages.
In principle, the City's contribution was to be limited to a subsidy of six million, which it would provide to the State.
A member of the City Council, the Honourable M. Viollet-Leduc, rapporteur of the Commission de l'architecture et des beaux-arts, presented the following thoughts to the Council:
"Is it appropriate for the city of Paris to lose interest, through this subsidy, in everything that should contribute to the splendour as well as to the useful and serious results of this international event? Should it confine itself to letting foreigners see its monuments, its parks, its roads so skilfully laid out, its quays, its bridges? Should it not show the organism, one might say, of the great City, how its administration proceeds, by what series of efforts and accumulated work are obtained these results, the consequences of persistent labour, followed with a spirit of method?...
"In 1867, the administration of the city of Paris did not participate in the Exhibition and was content to dazzle foreigners with the results achieved, without inviting them to see the means by which these results were obtained.
"She was certainly wrong. Satisfied with giving splendid hospitality to so many visitors, with astonishing them by the promptness of her information, with entertaining them by the variety of pleasures she offered them, she did not concern herself with making serious minds discover by what means these wonders had been produced.
After recalling the flattering success obtained by the city of Paris in 1873, when it appeared at the Vienna Exhibition, Mr. Viollet-Leduc announced that Mr. Krantz was placing 3,430 square metres at the disposal of the city for its exhibition and concluded that the City Council would be willing to decide that the city of Paris would take part in the Universal Exhibition of 1878 by sending plans and models of its main public buildings, documents relating to the organisation of municipal services, art objects, etc., etc.
A first credit of 397,000 francs was allocated to the Prefect of the Seine for the execution of the adopted project. This is how the city of Paris got its pavilion, a real monumental building which appears very honourably next to the characteristic façades of the Rue des Nations.
It separates the two galleries devoted to the fine arts; 92 metres long and 37 metres wide, it actually occupies, over a length of 100 metres, an area of 3,500 metres.
It is itself, in front and behind, isolated from each of these galleries by gardens whose upkeep is the object of continuous care and whose flowers are frequently renewed; it is, moreover, to be noted that at the Exhibition of 1878, the horticulture was particularly distinguished; it will be the object of a special study on our part.
Here is the description of the monument, the work of architect Bouvard.
We have already given its dimensions, and all that remains is to indicate its shape, which is rectangular; it is, moreover, the shape that absolutely dominates, as you will notice, in the buildings located inside the Exhibition, and which was moreover imposed on them by the very shape of the palace.
It has two entrances, one on the south façade, the other on the north façade; these are the main entrances.
On each side, there are two entrances, this time linked by a portico.
This shows how easy it is to move around and what an advantage this arrangement has for ventilation.
The two large porticoes forming a direct entrance and exit are quite monumental in appearance; they consist of two pilasters supporting a majestic dome: the corners have been rounded and form a recess, which has made it possible to place shrubbery and flowerbeds on each side at the foot of the building.
The pavilion of the city of Paris is built exclusively of iron and brick.
The gaps left by the metal framework are filled with variously coloured brick, terracotta and earthenware.
The result is a picturesque bariolage, a debauchery of colour reminiscent of the Italian facade, a shimmer of colours that draws the eye before seducing it and that needs to be studied to be appreciated.
The friezes have very interesting paintings; they represent the successive collection of the arms of the city of Paris for five centuries.
Finally, on the large panels surrounding the portico, we read flamboyant names: - Poussin, Philibert de Lorme, Goujon, Le-sueur, Pujet, Nanteuil, etc., etc.
The city of Paris, as we can see, is grateful to its great men.
We will say nothing about the side doors; their dimensions are naturally smaller than those of the main entrances; we will only say that they are in the same style, and we will take this opportunity to point out that the general style of the work does not fail for a single moment in any part of the building.
It will be remembered that in the past the clock of the Hôtel de Ville was the great regulator of time in Paris, and that the clock of the Bourse counted for nothing in comparison with it as far as accuracy was concerned.
The city has taken up this excellent tradition and its pavilion has a model precision clock on the front door which is in constant communication with the Paris Observatory.
It is therefore the only one that irrefutably agrees with the meridian.
It is to be hoped, as has been rumoured, that the pavilion of the city of Paris will be preserved and transported to another location.
The originality of its design gives it the right to live.
The interior layout of the pavilion is very simple.
At each door, a fairly spacious room with to its right and left lounges for various purposes which we shall indicate.
When you enter by the door facing north, you will find on your right the room reserved for the prefect; on your left, the room occupied by the Exhibition commission.
If you go out through the south door, in front of which Mercié's splendid bronze Gloria victis! rises from the middle of the gardens, you will find on the right the room where the members of the municipal council meet - when they come - and on the left the library, which we shall deal with in particular, because it is of great interest.
The main part of the building is made up of rooms fitted out for the needs of the various exhibitions.
It is easy to find your way around.
L'exposition de la Ville de Paris comprend les divisions suivantes: - travaux historiques, beaux-arts, service des eaux et égouts, enseignement primaire, architecture, assistance publique, préfecture de police, etc., etc.
THE FINE ARTS.
Let us begin our visit and, since the fine arts come first, let us study them without delay.
The specimens of fine arts exhibited by the city of Paris comprise seven divisions: - 1° modern and ancient painting; 2° stained glass; 3® sculpture; 4° intaglio printing; 5° albums; 6° tapestries; 7° ancient painting or retrospective exhibition.
The modern paintings consist largely of religious subjects, i.e. sketches of decorative paintings executed by artists for various churches.
We will only mention them, since the reader probably knows them or at least has the facility to go and see them where they are; - these are : - the Legend of Saint Laurent, by M. Balze, church of Saint-Laurent; several paintings by M. Barrias, (church of the Trinity); the Education of the Virgin, by M. Bertrand (Saint-Louis d'Antin); by M. Bonnat, Christ on the Cross, Justice in the Hands of Innocence, the Geniuses, Strength and Justice, subjects which decorate the Salle des Assises in the Palais de Justice, and Saint Vincent de Paul taking the irons of a galley slave; this last painting is in Notre-Dame.
This exhibition, as we can see, is a veritable museum of copies.
Let us continue. After several copies of decorative paintings by M. Cazes, for the church of Saint-François-Xavier; by M. Boulan, for the town hall of the XIIIth arrondissement; by M. Cornu, for the chapel of Compassion at Saint-Boch, here is a beautiful composition by M. Michel Dumas for the church of Clignancourt: l'Ensevelissement de saint Denis; here are the decorative paintings of M. Duval-Le-camus for the decorative chapel of the Sacré-Coeur at Saint-Sulpice; Christ and the lepers by M. Glaize (Blancs-Manteaux); the Virgin at twelve years old, by M. Lafond (Saint-Louis en l'île); the Angel of Purity, by M.Landelle (Saint-Sulpice); the Marriage Proposal, the Celebration, the Family, by M. Emile Levy (town hall of the 7th arrondissement); two panels by M. Henry Levy for the church of Saint-Merry: - the preaching of Saint Denis, Saint Denis at the tomb; then M. Vincent's Saint Geneviève, for the church of Bosny.
Finally, two very interesting historical paintings, by M. Robert-Fleury, which appear in the large room of the Tribunal de Commerce: - The Chancellor de l'Hospital instituting judge-consuls and Louis XIV dictating to Colbert the ordinance of commerce.
In the collection of ancient paintings, we find a painting by Louis Boullongne, found in the former presbytery of Saint-Nicolas du Chardonnet: Antoine recevant Cléopâtre.
The disciples of Emmaus, by Antoine Coypel (Saint-Merry church);
Jesus in the Garden of Olives, by Eugène Delacroix;
Les vainqueurs de la Bastille, by Paul Delaroche, which were in the former Hôtel de Ville, in the Salle du Trône;
Sainte Geneviève, a stained glass panel by Flandrin, for Saint Germain des Prés;
The Martyrdom of Saint Hippolytus, by Steim, for Notre-Dame de Paris;
The provosts of the merchants, the aldermen and the officers of the city council, in ceremonial dress, imploring Saint Genevieve for the cessation of the famine, by Largillière;
La sainte Catherine, by Eustache Lesueur (Saint-Etienne du Mont);
The disciples of Emmaus, by Ristout (Saint-Leu);
Finally, the Adoration of the Magi, by Carie Van Loo (Saint-Eustache).
We have had to limit ourselves to simply mentioning these works which, having been known for so long, escape contemporary appreciation by their superiority.
SCULPTURE, ENGRAVING, STAINED GLASS, TAPESTRIES, ETC.
Among the sculptures exhibited, we shall mention principally: - the Bossuet by Barrias, which is in the Sorbonne; the Security by M. Chapu; this statue is in the police headquarters; the Law, by M. Duret (Palais de Justice); the Vigilance, by M. Gruyère (police headquarters); the Anacreon and Sapho, by M. Guillaume, (Hôtel de ville); the Childhood of Bacchus, by M. Aimé Millet.
We will only note for the record the Gloria victis by M. Mercié, which we will see on our way out to the south garden.
The intaglio print reproduces a large part of the works we have just listed.
We will limit ourselves to mentioning a few names: Messrs Bertinot, Bridoux, Danguin, Devaux, Dubouchet, Levasseur, Martinet, Moïse Outvvaithe, Poncet, Salmon, Wilman, etc., etc., are among the exhibitors.
The engraving of medals includes municipal tokens and attendance tokens.
Next come the albums reproducing engravings, lithographs, photographs, etc., etc., relating to the City and which will be found on our route.
Among the tapestries, two stand out; they are large panels representing Paris in the 17th century and Paris in the 18th century.
THE PARISIAN EDILITE
When you enter the first large room, you see on your right, attached to the walls, long tables loaded with books and albums that the public can consult at leisure.
The administration has been careful to place chairs next to these tables so that the public can read comfortably.
These volumes explain the various services in Paris and the means used to ensure their efficiency and regularity.
The albums form the corollary of the volumes in that they represent the drawn explanation opposite the written explanation.
We will go through them and we will borrow their most interesting details.
HYGIENE IN PARIS
In such a large agglomeration as Paris, hygiene can only be maintained in the desired conditions with the help of incessant surveillance.
This surveillance is carried out by the Commission des Insalubres (Commission on Unhealthy Housing).
Public health may be compromised by two causes: - 1° an external cause, such as the agglomeration of filth in courtyards, enclosures, pits, cesspools, etc.; 2° an internal cause, such as an excessive agglomeration of dwellings in a too small space.
These two facts are not tolerated. Here is the number of abuses that the sanitation commission had to repress from 1857 to 1869:
In cases where repairs are deemed necessary by the commission and where the owner refuses, they are carried out at his expense by the City's agents.
THE WORKS OF PARIS
The works of Paris comprise two divisions: - 1° the public highway, the promenades and the constructions which border them; 2° the works of architecture and fine arts.
The personnel is composed of 892 agents and costs 2,543,350 francs.
In the twenty arrondissements of Paris, there are 82,293 trees and 7,219 benches.
10 agents and 105 workers are responsible for their conservation.
THE LIGHTING OF PARIS
The lighting of Paris is done by means of 37,064 gas spouts which annually consume 158,931,587 cubic metres.
They yield an ordinary revenue of 43,326,127 fr. 15 centimes, on which the City receives, as a profit, the sum of 8,300,000 fr.
A little known detail, we believe: - there are still 450 lanterns in Paris lit with petroleum and rapeseed oil.
HOUSES AND ROADWAYS.
There are 70,000 houses in Paris, housing 1,851,792 inhabitants.
The height of the houses is not left to the free will of the owners.
An old ordinance had fixed this height at llm,70, 17m,55 maximum.
On 27 July 1858, an ordinance authorised building up to the height of 20 metres, but on condition that the houses had no more than five storeys, not including the basement.
THE PUBLIC HIGHWAY.
The public highway includes: 1° paved roads; 2° paved roads.
There are in Paris 5,820,400 square metres of paved roads, maintained by 371 roadmasters, including 42 chiefs and 229 pavers; - and 1,808,200 square metres of gravel roads, maintained by 415 roadmasters, including 25 chiefs and 390 roadmasters.
The sweeping of the public highway covers an area of 14,500,000 square metres and costs 2,802,000 francs per year.
The sweepers break down as follows
2,200 men earning from 2.50 to 4 fr.
950 women - from 1.20 to 1.25
30 children - 0.20 cent per day.
The municipal service also employs 190 mechanical sweepers, which cost 1,000 fr. to buy and 200 fr. to maintain per year.
They sweep 5,500 metres per hour, which represents the ordinary work of ten workers.
The removal of the rubbish is done every morning from 6 to 8 o'clock in the summer, and from 7 to 9 o'clock in the winter, by means of 520 dumpers pulled by 980 horses and which represent a capacity of 1,700 cubic metres.
The number of ragpickers, although greatly reduced since the deposit of refuse on the public highway was prohibited, is nevertheless still today 7,000, authorised by the Prefecture.
To this figure should be added a roughly equal number of unauthorised ragpickers.
The average earnings of these men can be evaluated in total at 20,000 francs per day, or 7 to 8 million per year.
The watering of the public highway is done by means of barrels and the lance.
The watering barrel has a capacity that varies between one thousand, eleven hundred and thirteen hundred litres.
The watering width is 4.5 metres and the length is 450 to 600 metres, i.e. 2,000 to 2,800 metres of surface area. The water intakes are spaced accordingly.
With a good barrel, one can maintain 20,000 square metres of paved surface and 10,000 square metres of stone surface.
The lance, with a 12 to 14 meter pipe, has a jet length of 12 meters at a pressure of 15 meters.
It waters 20,000 metres in 35 minutes.
The daily watering is done in Paris by 322 barrels, which use 5,957 cubic meters of water.
They cost 240 francs per day, including the driver's salary.
The surfaces watered with the lance represent 2,327,000 cubic meters.
WATER IN PARIS
The length of the streets of Paris is 865,863 metres; the length of the public water pipes is 1,431,000 metres.
The volume of river water, brought daily to Paris, breaks down as follows
105,000 cubic metres by the canal of the Ourcq; 80,000 by the Marne; 88,000 of water from the Seine by the machines of the Port à l'Anglais, Maisons-Alfort, the Austerlitz bridge, Chaillot, Auteuil and St-Ouen; 43,000 from the Marne by the machines of St-Maur.
Total river water: - 316,000 cubic metres, to which must be added 6,000 cubic metres supplied by the artesian wells.
The volume of spring water is broken down as follows
1,000 cubic metres from Arcueil; 20,0C0 from the Dhuis; 12,000 from St. Maur; 60,000 from the Vanne; in all 93,000.
General total of water brought daily to Paris: - Four hundred and fifteen thousand cubic metres.
It seems interesting to us to place before the eyes of the reader the following table which indicates the variations in the consumption of drinking water according to the seasons:
Some of this river and spring water is distributed in the city by : 59 monumental fountains, 224 repellent hydrants, 30 drawing fountains, 26 filtered water merchant fountains, 30 drawing fountains, 556 hydrants, 4,500 under-curb hydrants, 2,610 barrel hydrants, 2,900 lance hydrants, 200 fire hydrants (of which 120 for steam pumps), 155 parking offices, 681 sets of urinals ; another is absorbed by 152 State establishments, 14 departmental establishments, 83 public assistance establishments, 49 religious buildings, 247 schools and colleges, 167 various municipal establishments, the Bois de Boulogne and Vincennes and the Champs-Elysées, 50 squares, and finally 38 subscriptions for private services (railways, etc.). ).
The water company has about 37,889 subscribers among private individuals.
The water of Paris, according to the last statement, brings in: 5,914,448 fr. 85 c.
After having read the preceding details in the City's collections, one feels a much greater interest in seeing the scale models of the apparatus used to conduct water, gas, etc., etc.
The large plaster model representing the large collector is very curious; one is struck by the thickness of its masonry; it has to be so, and this solidity has its reason, if Ton thinks of the great mass of water that the conductor conveys at all times, the frightening mass that he has to bear on stormy days when he has to clear Paris of all the rainwater he has received.
As much to ensure the service as in the interest of hygiene and to prevent dangerous emanations, the result of infectious stagnation, from rising up in the City, the great collector is maintained in a continuous state of extreme cleanliness.
Anyone who has visited the sewers, anyone who has walked through the Paris underground, whose streets bear the name of the upper Paris, has been able to convince himself of this fact that the cleanliness of the underside of the capital is at least equal to that of the tops.
The cleaning of the great collector is carried out first of all by means of the boat that you see on display, and which is called a canal boat.
It is a huge copper boat, on each port, a wooden platform puts it in communication with the roadway of the sewer.
At the front, a strong transversal metal rod, equipped at each end with a pulley placed horizontally and touching on each side the wall of the sewer; from the right and the left of the boat, two other long and strong rods go out in the side, intended to maintain the conducting rod.
Thanks to this mechanism, not only does the boat constantly follow the same direction, but its progress is accelerated and it is easily driven by a man equipped with a hook.
At the back, a wide and thick wooden board, having the shape of the conduit, drives out in front of it, by the impulse of the boat, the matters which would tend to remain.
Another means is employed. See this immense wooden sphere, which is called the ball.
It is, by means of a chain, pulled from one end to the other of the large conductor; thanks to its weight, which is increased by the resistance of the water and that of the materials, its strength is considerable and it easily clears the sewer.
THE LARGE TANKS.
One had the happy idea to expose a building reproducing exactly, but in reduction, that goes without saying, the large reservoirs of Montrouge; this spectacle, completely unknown to the majority of the public, attracts the visitors much.
It is not generally known that hydraulic establishments can be visited in the same way as public monuments; it is sufficient to send a request to the water authority, which is always accepted.
We advise our readers to obtain this pleasure, they will witness a spectacle that is both curious and grandiose; they can, moreover, get an idea of it in small, by observing the small model exhibited by the city of Paris.
You enter the Montrouge establishment; from the outside you have seen only an immense square formed by fairly high walls; the gate opens, you see only a small house of modest appearance, no more than three storeys high; around the house, which is the administration's lodging, is an immense plain, covered with green grass, with a few flowerbeds, a few clumps of trees and several kiosks.
You wonder where you are, you wonder especially where the water is, for you do not discover a drop of it.
Your curiosity is soon satisfied; you are given a guide who takes you across the plain. We have spoken to you about flowerbeds. In the middle of each of them is an opening closed by strong crossed bars. These are days for lighting the reservoirs.
You arrive at one of the kiosks, you are shown a small spiral staircase; you go down, the shadows fall around you; without realising it, you slow down your pace; finally, you set foot on the ground; you feel a great freshness, and it takes you some time to distinguish what surrounds you.
Soon you become accustomed to the pale light which descends through the days we mentioned earlier and which spreads through this immense subsoil, diffused by the waters whose surface is a mirror.
Then you begin your visit and the guide shows you the giant ducts, reception and emission ducts.
He makes you look into these immense reservoirs where the overflow of the received water is kept; for you will know that the water service of Paris is organized in such a way that the number of cubic meters of water brought each day to Paris is much higher than that required for daily consumption. The result is that if, by some impossible chance, one or more of the water mains were to fail as a result of accidents, the damage would be repaired before the service even needed to be moderated.
THE NEW TOWN HALL.
The relief of the new Town Hall was executed by Messrs. Villement and Deperthes; the plan adopted is known to be the work of M. Ballu.
M. Ballu, while retaining the old model in principle, has corrected what was narrow and defective in some of its parts; he has enlarged it and increased its monumental aspect.
The middle pavilion is about two metres higher than the rest of the building; the two corner pavilions have the same height; the result is a harmonious whole with a great effect.
The clock pavilion is of incomparable grandeur; above the door of honour, we find with pleasure the Statue of Henri IV, the statues of Strength, Temperance, Justice and Truth.
To the right and left of the clock, two dates: 1533 and 1873.
On 15 July 1533, Pierre Viole, Provost of the Merchants, laid the first stone of the town hall, which was to replace the inadequate pillar house; this house dated from the time of Etienne Marcel. The town hall was not completed until 1628, so let's hope that our new town hall will not have to wait so long for its reconstruction.
The Place de l'Hôtel-de-Ville was also the object of the architect's preoccupations, who wanted the appearance of the square to match that of the monument.
Two statues facing each other and placed on wide pavements similar to those that existed in the past, will rid this immense square of the somewhat banal appearance that it presented.
THE PLASTER REDUCTIONS AND OTHERS.
Since we have examined the plaster reduction of the Hôtel de Ville, let us examine the others. They are curious from all points of view, especially in that they reveal very completely the modern architectural spirit, which tends more and more to be singular, to have its own type, its own created type, its own special type.
Note that each type of construction has its own definitive type. It can be perfected, but it cannot be changed.
Do you want a type of library? Here is the library of the law school. It seems that progress has already been made here. We find the reading rooms higher, better ventilated.
As a type of market, here are the markets and slaughterhouses of La Villette, models of the kind. Here you see the result of studies carried out by competent men over many years.
As a type of town hall, here are the town halls of the eleventh, fifteenth and nineteenth arrondissements. A thought on this subject: - For some time now, architects have tended to reduce this type of construction to a more or less uniform type. The town halls, which used to be a coquetry for the towns as well as for the districts, will lose a lot. Perhaps the uniformity that is appropriate for hospitals, markets*, schools, etc., etc., should not be systematically applied to them.
Let us mention in passing a very interesting piece of work by the initiative of the bridges and roads department; it is the model, plan, section and elevation of a section of boulevard.
The houses, the roadways, the boulevard with its trees, its benches, its kiosks, everything is of an irreproachable exactitude.
The section facing the public represents the underground pipes that distribute the water and gas necessary for the houses and the public thoroughfare.
On the right and left, the houses are cut from behind, which makes it possible to follow, from the basement to the top floor, the distribution of water and gas, the household water drainage service, as well as that of the cesspools.
When we have noted a few plaster reductions of new churches, in particular the church of Saint-Joseph, rue Saint-Maur, it will only remain for us to speak of an interesting model, that of the warehouse, built in Bercy to replace the small barracks on the quay, which were, as well as the riverside houses, so frequently tested by the floods of the Seine.
This warehouse, built almost entirely of cast iron, takes the form of an immense shed. It will be very airy and easy to move around in. Once you have seen it, you can only consider with pity the heavy stone warehouse on the left bank.
Two models of bridges: the Courbevoie bridge and the Grande-Jatte bridge then attract attention.
Finally, public education exhibits reductions of the city's schools.
We see a model of a school shop intended to contain all the objects necessary for the instruction of children, then a model of a normal primary school and a model of a communal asylum room.
THE PREFECTURE OF POLICE.
The Prefecture of Police exhibits first of all specimens of the photographic system which it has organized for some years and which has rendered such great services in the discovery of criminals. It will be remembered that it was to this process that we owe the arrest of Moyaux, who had thrown his little daughter Jeanne into a well in Bagneux.
The part of this exhibition which we found most interesting was the one which represents, in natural size, the rescue stations established on the banks of the Seine and which bear the well-known inscription: - Rescue for the drowned.
Here is the excellent bed on which the drowned person is placed, completely stripped of his watery belongings, then the cushion intended to be placed under his loins; here is the bath in which the patient will be placed for two or three minutes, five at the most; it is there that he will be given showers if necessary.
Next to the bath, see this large copper plate; it is the calefactor which serves to recall the vital heat and to restore the circulation of the blood.
But it is only used sparingly, in accordance with the axiom that says: - It is dangerous to recall heat too quickly.
THE FIRE BRIGADE.
The exhibition of the firemen is very complete. The visitor finds there all the specimens and all the desirable information, thanks to the care of M. the colonel Saint-Martin and M. the captain-ingérieur Detalle, who presided over the installation of this exhibition.
A magnificent steam pump first attracts our attention; if the invention is not new to other countries, it is of recent application in our country and only excites our curiosity more.
The steam pump, in addition to the speed with which it can be towed to the scene of a disaster, offers the additional advantage of carrying all the accessories necessary for rescue, such as hoses, lances, water bags, tool boxes, etc., etc.
Next to it is the ordinary pump, otherwise known as a hand pump. Here is the fire cart, with all the instruments that may become necessary, and then the fire barrel.
Amongst other curious devices, we notice the device used for cellar fires.
On a table, there are interesting documents that the public can consult: the fireman's manual, various regulations concerning the fire regiment, and a curious fire statistic.
The photographic exhibition is no less rich in curiosities than the rest of the Exhibition.
It represents various stations and barracks, and, more interestingly than all the rest, views taken on the spot during several fires.
Other photographs represent the perilous manoeuvres which our brave firemen execute with as much skill as abnegation.
THE INSANE WARD.
It is to the Ville-Evrard asylum that we are indebted for this part of the Paris exhibition.
The subject is sad, it is true, but the visitor is charmed to see with what solicitude men afflicted with the most cruel of affections are treated, and the sight of the astonishing work carried out by these patients proves moreover, that if the cure does not always reward the pain of the doctor, at least the efforts of the latter are not always lost.
The first object that strikes the eye, because it is the most voluminous, is a section of padded cell. The frame of the cell, made of a kind of elastic but quite resistant mattress, guarantees against his fury the unfortunate one who would like to break his head against the walls.
Next to it is a bathtub covered with a strong canvas which is firmly fixed and leaves only enough space for the head of the patient.
This system is intended to keep the recalcitrant patient in the bath.
Among the most curious objects, we note an artificial mouth for the forced feeding of the insane. It often happens that the insane, either by the nature of their madness, or by that spirit of contradiction and teasing which is inseparable from ailments of this kind, refuse all food; in this case, we have recourse to the artificial mouth, and, when the patient is well convinced that resistance is useless, he gives it up of his own accord.
A new system of straitjackets attracts attention. Its purpose is to diminish the ability to move the arms which was left to the patient by the old straitjackets.
In the new system, the sleeves are attached to the front of the trousers. If the patient wants to raise his arms too suddenly, it causes him such discomfort in his legs that he immediately lowers them.
The inventor of this system wanted to obtain the minimum resistance; he succeeded.
When one examines all these objects, when one realises the excesses, the dangers revealed by the nature of the preventive measures taken against the sick, one would think them incapable of giving the slightest proof of intelligence, unless it were applied to the evil.
It is far from being so, however. The proof is that the Ville-Evrard asylum has been able to exhibit some positively remarkable objects made by its residents.
Thus, we note a solid mahogany planter, a wrought iron fireplace set, with andirons, shovels and tongs, Louis XV style, locks, etc., etc.
We have now reached the end of the pavilion.
On our left is the council room and on our right the library.
Let us enter the library and see the curiosities that have been placed at our disposal.
First of all, let's look at the boxes on our right, full of cards. -These are the cards of the libraries of the town halls, in other words the municipal libraries.
These cards are interesting to consult, and we can see with pleasure that the municipal libraries, a recent and useful institution if ever there was one, have been enriched in a short time.
On the central table, we notice Turgot's plan of Paris, 1739 (the work is original), Verniquet's plan, an atlas, from 1790.
On the shelves of the library, there is, among others, the general history of Paris, a complete and precious work if ever there was one.
In addition, since we are talking about historical documents, we can do no better than to briefly list all those which are in the pavilion of the city of Paris and which the public will never have the opportunity to consult more freely or more at ease:
Topographie historique du vieux Paris; plan de Paris en 1830; monographie du bassin de la Seine; les anciennes bibliothèques de Paris; les armoiries de la ville de Paris; le livre des métiers; les jetons de l'Échevinage parisien; enfin les registres de Paris antérieurs à 1789.
Plates: - In addition to the two plans mentioned above::- plan by Quesnel, 1609 (reproduction); the old Louvre and the Tuileries castle; the Abbey and the town of Saint-Germain; the miniatures of the missal by Juvénal des Ursins.
Let us add to this list a number of display cases scattered throughout the pavilion and containing views of Parisian monuments, antique objects from the Middle Ages from excavations carried out in the Parisian soil, and tokens and medals from the Parisian city council.
The original plans of the Hôtel-Dieu, Saint-Louis, Saint-Jacques-enfin an antiphonary, etc., etc.
THE ANNEX OF THE CITY OF PARIS
The entire exhibition of the City of Paris is not, however, enclosed in this pavilion, which is even less dazzling in its splendour than in the wonders it contains.
The City had to postpone the exhibition of its plantations to the Trocadero Park.
It has also had to place on the bank of the Seine the specimens in natural size of the sewers, conduits, etc., etc., etc.
There is an exact model of the large collecting sewer as described above.
A visit to this annex will complete for the reader the theoretical notions acquired by reading the official documents.
The reader is now familiar with the whole of the Exhibition; he has visited all the external sights, he has walked in the parks, he has walked through the Trocadero and has toured the Champ de Mars.
We can therefore introduce him to the palace itself and show him the commercial and industrial wonders it contains.
We had first thought of visiting our section first, we will be forgiven this moment of French pride; but we thought that it would have been a lack of courtesy, and that at this moment France owes itself above all to its guests.
We shall therefore begin our visit with the Foreign Section.
©Les Merveilles de l'Exposition de 1878