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The Story of Paris   By: (1852-1935)

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First Page:

Transcriber's note: Minor spelling inconsistencies, mainly hyphenated words, have been harmonised. Obvious printer errors have been repaired.

Accents: In French sentences, most of them italicised, accents have been added when necessary according to the French spelling of the time.

In an English context, French words have no accents if there are no accents in the original text. In case of an inconsistent use of accents, the French spelling has been favoured.

The advertisement for other books in the series have been removed from page 3 to the end of this e book.

The Story of Paris

[Illustration: Winged Victory of Samothrace. ]


by Thomas Okey

With Illustrations by

Katherine Kimball

London: J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd. Aldine House, 10 13 Bedford Street Covent Garden, W.C. New York: E.P. Dutton & Co. 1919

First Edition, 1906

Reprinted, 1911; July, 1919

"I will not forget this, that I can never mutinie so much against France but I must needes looke on Paris with a favourable eye: it hath my hart from my infancy; whereof it hath befalne me, as of excellent things, the more other faire and stately cities I have seene since, the more hir beauty hath power and doth still usurpingly gaine upon my affections. I love that citie for hir own sake, and more in hir only subsisting and owne being, than when it is fall fraught and embellished with forraine pompe and borrowed garish ornaments. I love hir so tenderly that hir spottes, her blemishes and hir warts are deare unto me. I am no perfect French man but by this great citie, great in people, great in regard of the felicitie of hir situation, but above all great and incomparable in varietie and diversitie of commodities; the glory of France and one of the noblest and chiefe ornaments of the world. God of his mercy free hir and chase away all our divisions from hir. So long as she shall continue, so long shall I never want a home or a retreat to retire and shrowd myselfe at all times."


"Quand Dieu eslut nonante et dix royaumes Tot le meillor torna en douce France."



In recasting Paris and its Story for issue in the "Mediæval Towns Series," opportunity has been taken of revising the whole and of adding a Second Part, wherein we have essayed the office of cicerone.

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. On the Louvre, as the richest Thesaurus of beautiful things in Europe, we have dwelt at some length and even so it has been possible only to deal broadly with its contents. A book has, however, this advantage over a corporeal guide; it can be curtly dismissed without fear of offence, when antipathy may impel the traveller to pass by, or sympathy invite him to linger over, the various objects indicated to his gaze. In a city where change is so constant and the housebreaker's pick so active, any work dealing with monuments of the past must needs soon become imperfect. Since the publication of Paris and its Story in the autumn of 1904, a picturesque group of old houses in the Rue de l'Arbre Sec, including the Hôtel des Mousquetaires, the traditional lodging of Dumas' d'Artagnan, has been swept away and a monstrous mass of engineering is now reared on its site: even as we write other demolitions of historic buildings are in progress. Care has, however, been taken to bring this little work up to date and our constant desire has been to render it useful to the inexperienced visitor to Paris. Success in so complicated and difficult a task can be but partial, and in this as in so many of life's aims "our wills," as good Sir Thomas Browne says, "must be our performances, and our intents make out our actions; otherwise our pious labours shall find anxiety in our graves and our best endeavours not hope, but fear, a resurrection... Continue reading book >>

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