CHAPTER III

OLD MONTMARTRE

TO most people the word Montmartre merely evokes memories of a part of Paris bright with multi-colored lights, cabarets, jazz bands and champagne, peopled by a rather disreputable population of singers, dancers, waiters and cocottes; nevertheless not so very long ago la Butte was a peaceful rural spot where vines grew and millers ground their corn. As late, indeed, as the early eighties of the last century it retained a good deal of its ancient character — a little self-contained village perched high above tumultuous Paris a pleasant retreat beloved of poets and writers, a number of whom wrote appreciatively of its delights, which happily also attracted artists to paint pictures and draw sketches which will enable future generations of Parisians to realize the rural amenities which the grasping spirit of commercialization chose to destroy. Though today comparatively little of old Montmartre has been spared, many views and paintings are being executed by artistic individuals anxious to perpetuate the memory of what, till a few years ago, was a pretty corner of provincial France within twenty minutes' drive from the Place de l'Opera! Among these is Monsieur Jehan Brocard, exchansonnier, who in the velvet costume and slouch hat of the traditional student dashes off clever sketches of La Butte which are eagerly purchased by foreign visitors anxious to have a souvenir of the picturesque suburb now so rapidly passing away.

As recently as 1885 the Moulin de la Galette was still grinding corn while vines grew close to its doors, and even today the people who live on the upper portion of the hill lead a sort of provincial life, the tranquil spirit of old Montmartre still lingering about the Place du Tertre, No. 3 of which was the original Mairie of the eighteenth century.

Within the last year or so, however, an unwonted animation has invaded this quaint spot, a new fashion during the summer months having brought visitors from Paris to dine in the old square, the simple charm of which has been somewhat impaired by six restaurateurs nearby setting out a number of dining tables shielded from the sun by a multitude of gaily colored parasols, which make this spot resemble the courtyard of one of those fashionable watering places dear to cosmopolitan pleasure seekers with plenty of money to spend. Not far away, in the Rue des Saules, the old fashioned arbors have given way to pergolas and other floral devices out of character in such a locality. In the intervals, however, of the foreign incursions which incidentally have put a good deal of money into the restaurateurs' till, the more humble residents of the quarter come out and seat themselves beneath the parasols where they knit, gossip and even prepare vegetables for their households' use. Meanwhile the children of Montmartre, whom the artist Poulbot has immortalized in his clever drawings, climb about the tables and chairs, performing acrobatic exercises which only cease when the sound of coming automobiles announces that it is time for them to depart. The restaurateurs of la Butte, in order to make as much profit as possible, have to some degree altered their menus, the prices on which on now graduated in accordance with the scale of charges which Anglo-Saxons are willing to pay. Meanwhile the whirligig of time has wrought a wonderful change in localities like the Place Saint Eleuthère. Here twice a day the
old world calm is disturbed by the noise of hordes of cars rumbling and hooting loudly enough to awaken those who sleep their last sleep not far away in the rather neglected little cemetery of the Church of St. Pierre, which it is to be hoped will always be allowed to survive.

In order to suit the taste of their foreign clientèle several of the restaurants on the Place du Tertre have engaged jazz bands and signers, an innovation not entirely to the taste of certain old residents, who complain that the noise interferes with their sleep. The majority, however, declare that the music pleases them, and that those who object to it do so only because they are jealous of the money which the restauranteurs are making. As a matter of fact, the crowd of foreigners which invades la Butte must certainly benefit a large number of poor people who get handsome tips for fetching motor-cars and other little services of a similar kind, so the working-class population of Montmartre must be amply compensated for being occasionally kept awake by the noise of the revelry which has invaded this part of Paris. Les "livres-stirliingues," as the anti-foreign workmen call the British, never fail to disburse a good number of French notes in the places where they go to be amused, besides which the Americans leave behind a very consoling amount of their cash.

A satisfactory result of this foreign invasion is that it will very likely save a quaint part of Montmartre from being demolished. The Place du Tertre indeed seems likely to survive, the more so, as in 1926 a small bust in bas-relief was unveiled to the memory of "Depaquit," the artist who founded the "free Commune of Montmartre." An extraordinary collection of Bohemian types were present on this occasion which developed into a sort of fête at which speeches were made. Old chansonniers, bent with age and their voices reduced almost to a hollow whisper, put on the least shabby of their long coats and gathered under the trees of the picturesque little square, which they had known in their youth. Some even ventured to sing or recite, and all seemed deeply affected when some touching reference to the "good old times" was made by the speakers. They pressed around Depaquit's widow, herself an old-time resident of la Butte, and exchanged memories with her.

La Place du Tertre, Montmartre
The scene was symbolic of a period that is fast passing away, for old Montmartre, immortalized in the art and the writings of the most famous of its inhabitants, who have left their mark on the history of French culture and civilization, is becoming a thing of the past. Its spirit has all but died, and the place itself is but a tottering remnant of its former self. With the passing of Aristide Bruant and Willette, almost the last upholders of the old traditions and and of the Esprit Gaulois have disappeared. It is, however, pleasant to see that Montmartre does not forget those who have contributed towards her renown as a center of Bohemian Art, the names of a number of streets and squares preserving the memory of many who have contributed towards the glory of la Butte. The Place Pigalle for instance is called after the sculptor — the Place Jean-Baptiste-Clément after a famous chansonnier, author of Les Cerises et Le Semeur, the music of which was written by Marcel Legay, and la Place Émile-Goudeau, is just a tribute to a poet once a light of the old Chat Noir. The latter was the incarnation of the artistic spirit of Montmartre in its best days, as well as the organizer of the wonderful fêtes and cavalcades of some thirty-five years ago, when all the Bohemians of Paris flocked to la Butte. Incidentally it may be mentioned that Rodolphe Salis, the proprietor of the Chat Noir, was so angry at not having been the first to conceive the idea of the "Vachalcade" and other burlesque processions of an artistic kind that he refused to join in the fun and sulkily remained at home.

Though the "Vachalcade" has long been a thing of the past, an artistic coterie called La Vache Enragée did good work on la Butte. It was under the latter's auspices indeed that was started the Foire aux Croutes, or open air exhibition of paintings by young and unknown artists. This annual show was as usual held in the Place Constanin-Pecqueur at Montmartre, at the end of September, 1926 when, let us hope, a number of the paintings were sold.

All sorts of queer competitions still take place from time to time on la Butte, an element of gaiety being generally contributed by various officials, belonging to what is called the "Free Commune of old Montmartre," of which the late Monsieur Depaquit was Maire, there being besides a Gendarme, a Garde Champêtre and a Captain of Pompiers, together with other burlesque characters associated with old French village life.

On the 13th of September, 1926, great excitement was caused by a race for automobiles from a spot somewhere on the slopes of the hill to the Place du Tertre, the signal for the start being given by one of the body mentioned above. Unlike other races, the prize in this case was to be awarded to the motor-car which took the longest time to make the ascent. Some very powerful autos going slow presented a ludicrous spectacle
— one in particular being timed by a young mother who, pushing a perambulator containing her sleeping child, was constantly getting too far ahead. Children lay down in front of the motors, and got up again without running the last danger. The winner, who took twenty-four minutes to make the ascent, was certified to have driven his machine at a speed of 1 kilometer 718 an hour!

While the Free Commune of old Montmartre does its best to maintain the traditions of unrestrained fun and gaiety for which la Butte has been renowned for nearly thirty years, another Parisian Society, which calls itself Le Vieux Montmartre, has been striving to defend the picturesque and historically interesting features of la Butte against the constant attacks of vandals
— speculative builders and others who are rapidly destroying the amenities of what was once a pretty rural spot. The efforts of the society in question have unfortunately not been able to prevent the erection of a number of hideous new streets and buildings. Nevertheless a fight of this kind, even when it fails, is worthy of all praise. No one with the slightest taste can fail to deplore the rise a series of long ugly streets full of lofty houses which are gradually obliterating the picturesque winding lanes where the nuns used to stroll and Henri IV on his war-horse used to ride.

A few more years and la Butte will have been brought up to date in accordance with modern commercial ideas!

One hundred years ago Montmartre was a purely rural district comprising a village, a few farm buildings and homesteads and a number of windmills, one of which continued to grind corn up to as recently 1885. There were, of course, a number of "Guinguettes" or little inns with gardens to which the Parisians occasionally went for country air. The inclusion of la Butte within the fortified enceinte erected round Paris by Thiers in the 'forties' practically signed the death warrant of Montmartre as a purely rural resort. It is true that the wall separating the famous Hill from Metropolis itself was allowed to remain till the 'sixties,' but with its demolition at that date, the slopes slowly but gradually became covered with buildings and with the beginnings of streets.

In the days before the Great Revolution, it may be added, proposals had from time to time been made to demolish the wall in question, but the Abbesses of Montmartre had always stoutly opposed anything of the sort, their ideas being that such a barrier excluded vice and dissipation from the district over which they exercised their sway. At the time of the Revolution, the Abbey was pulled down, the only Abbaye in Montmartre now being that of Thélème, a pleasure resort dear to night-birds from both sides of the Atlantic, who know nothing, and care less about the history of a suburb of Paris which has become a sort of nocturnal playground for frivolous people with money to spend.

No one possible appreciated the peculiar charm of old Montmartre more than the poet Gérard de Nerval who is said to have resided in the Château des Brouillards. Living in the middle of the last century he foresaw the absorption of la Butte by Paris, a misfortune which he bitterly deplored. Writing on this subject in La Rêve et la Vie de Nerval said:

"I lived for a long time in Montmartre over which new houses ever surge like the primeval sea which, washing the sides of an ancient mountain little by little, reached the shelters in which had taken refuge the uncouth monsters since reconstructed by Cuvier. Attacked on one side by the Rue de l'Empereur, on the other by the town hall which levels slopes and heights facing Paris, the old mountain of Mars will soon share the fate of la Butte au Moulins, which during the last century presented an equally picturesque appearance. Meanwhile there is still left to us a certain number of slopes adorned with thick green hedges which the grape vine alternately adorns with violet flowers and purple berries. There are still windmills, cabarets and arbors, rustic retreats and quiet lanes bordered by cottages, houses, and wild gardens, lawns ended by precipices where little streams ooze through the clay forming small islets of verdure where wander goats, browsing on the acanthus, falling over rocks; little proud-eye girls with sure feet watching them at play. One can even find vines, the last survivors of the celebrated vintage of Montmartre which in the time of the Romans competed with those of Argenteuil and Suresnes. Every year this humble hillside loses a terrace of stunted vines which falls into a quarry. Ten years ago I could have bought this piece of land for three thousand francs
— today they ask thirty thousand for it! It is the finest point of view in the suburbs of Paris."

"What charmed me in this little spot, sheltered by the great trees of the Château des Brouillards was, to begin with, the remains of the vineyard linked with the memory of Saint Denis who from the point of view of the philosophers was, perhaps, a second Bacchus
— Dionysus — and who had three bodies, one of which was buried at Montmartre, the second at Ratisbonne, and the third at Corinth. What next attracted me was the proximity of the pond which at eventide becomes animated with the spectacle of horses and dogs being washed at a fountain constructed in the antique style, at which washerwomen chatter and sing as is described in the first chapter of Werther."

"Most of the ground and few houses of this valley belong to the old owners who have calculated upon the difficulty experienced by Parisians in finding new residences and on the tendency of the houses in the Montmartre quarter to invade at a given moment the plain of Saint Denis. This property of theirs is a floodgate which dams the torrent; when that opens the land will become dear. All the more do I regret having hesitated ten years ago to pay three thousand francs for the last vineyard of Montmartre. I must not think of it anymore. I shall never be a landlord. To tell the truth there are no landlords on the hillocks of Montmartre. One cannot legally squat upon ground mined by caves once peopled by mammoths and mastodons. The Commune concedes a lease which ends after one hundred years. People here are only encamped like Turks and the most advanced theories would find it difficult to support a right so ephemeral where heredity cannot establish itself for long."

Some of the owners of property in the Montmartre of Nerval's day appear to have protested against this statement, declaring that they were perpetual owners of the property in question, to which the poet replied that he had good authority for what he had written and that their ground had been acquired merely by usurpation.

Of the gracefully built "Folies" or pretty little country houses which formerly adorned la Butte scarcely one now remains, huge buildings constructed of ferro-concrete standing on their site and on that of the little wild gardens about which
Gérard de Nerval wrote such tender and affectionate lines.

All the vineyards which formerly covered the slopes of Montmartre have now disappeared with the exception of a few kept as curiosities in the grounds of the Moulin de la Galette. The vanished vines used to produce a rather thin and acrid vin ordinaire which, nevertheless, was drunk in considerable quantities by people who on Sundays and fête days came from Paris. Suresnes, at the foot of Mount Valérien, about two leagues west of Paris, not very long ago also enjoyed a great reputation for the produce of its vineyards; as late as the 'eighties of last century café concert singers were fond of vaunting the praises of its wine, notably Paulus with "Petit Bleu," a waltz song with a very catching refrain which made its way into music halls and theaters all over Europe.

The rural character of Montmartre as late as the middle of the nineteenth century may be gathered from the following paragraph culled from a descriptive guide to Paris and its environs published in the middle of the last century. "This village is remarkable for its numerous windmills and guinguettes, the latter of which are much frequented. The views from the hill are fine, and Paris is seen to great advantage. On the church tower is a telegraph which corresponds with Brest, Bordeaux and Spain. The quarries of Montmartre are famous for their gypsum, or as it is more commonly called, plaster of Paris. The geological structure of this hill is highly interesting, as the ascending series of strata, from the passage of the calcaire grossier into the gypseous marls to the upper fresh water, is easily investigated. Near the summit of the hill, 300 feet above the river, is a newly-erected fountain supplied from the Seine by a steam-engine at St. Ouen."

The water supply alluded to not providing sufficient for modern needs in 1926 a huge and hideous tower was erected on the heights not far from the Sacré Cœur. This has necessitated the destruction of some picturesque buildings in the Rue Mont Cenis and put the finishing touch to the general vulgarization of Montmartre.

With reference to the word guinguette used in the guide to Paris quoted above it may be mentioned that, meaning a sort of tea garden, it was very popular in the romantic days when Henri Murger wrote La Vie de Bohême. Today, however, it is but little used. Speaking of such places a contemporary writer said, "Guinguettes are the houses or gardens of traiteurs, in the suburbs of Paris. The lower classes resort to them in great numbers, particularly on Sundays and Mondays. These establishments were obtained at a trifling expense; but some of them have since been patronized by the middling classes; and in these, pretty good accommodation is to be found. Among the most celebrated are the Vendanges de Bourgogne, Faubourg du Temple; Jardin de la Gaîtré, Barrière du Maine; the Salon Desnoyez, Barri
ère de la Courtille; the Ferme, upon the hill of Montmartre; the Ile d'Amour, at Belleville; la Chamière, Boulevard de l'Hosital. When a guinguette adds an orchestra and a ball-room to its other attractions, it is called a bastringue. The houses which sell only wine and liquors are denominated guinches. The stranger will probably look in at some of these places, for there he will obtain a correct idea of the character and manners of the lower classes of France."

"La Ferme" mentioned above was probably the original Moulin de la Galette than as now the property of the family of Debray for several centuries, farmers and millers of la Butte.

Montmartre was at one time celebrated for its quarries, the North Eastern portion of the Hill having been the site of les Grandes Carri
ères out of which, had been dug large quantities of plaster of Paris. In these quarries Marat concealed himself in 1789. The long continued excavations eventually threatened to undermine this part of Montmartre in a very dangerous manner, as a result of which the quarries were closed up in 1860. A geological formation of a similar character to that of Montmartre permeates other rising ground which is now part of Paris, notably la Butte Chaumont where, for a similar reason to that stated above, the excavation of gypsum had to be abandoned.

Considering the natural amenities which formerly distinguished the hill of Montmartre it is a great pity that its rural character was not preserved at a period when land in the close vicinity of Paris could be acquired at a very cheap rate. As a playground for the inhabitants of the great city close by "la Butte" would have been absolutely ideal, while its windmills and quaint little homesteads would have formed a picturesque feature of which no other capital in Europe would have been able to boast. As late as the early eighties some members of the artistic coterie which frequented the Chat Noir and other cabarets, foreseeing that Paris would soon spread its tentacles over Montmartre, did their best to induce the government to buy the hill and convert it into a large public park in which all picturesque and rural features should be preserved. Financial considerations, however, seem to have rendered the carrying out of such a scheme impossible
— in any case since those days buildings have been gradually covering the district till at the present day very few open spaces are left.

On the steep southern face just beneath the
Sacré Cœur a fair amount of ground is still to be seen and here, as late as ten years ago, came botanists and entomologists in search of rarities which were occasionally to be found. Here also, on sultry nights the tenants of the poorer class of dwellings which had arisen close by would come out to sleep. Of late, however, the ground in question has assumed a particularly untidy and neglected air, so much so indeed that the attention of the authorities has been aroused with the result, it is said, that this portion of Montmartre is to be turned into a sort of parterre embellished with terraces, balconies and staircases of a monumental kind. Whether, however, such an ambitious plan will ever be carried out is rather doubtful, money for such purposes being extremely scarce at the present time. The preparations for this scheme have necessitated the removal to another site of the very unattractive statue of the Chevalier de la Barre, which stands close beside some ragged palings enclosing the ground just beneath the Sacré Cœur. Erected by Anti-Clericals as a challenge to the great Church of the Sacré Cœur standing above, this effigy has always been a thorn in the flesh to devout Roman Catholics, who have made many attempts to secure its removal. In the autumn of 1926 it was one night wrenched from its pedestal and thrown to the ground. The very next morning, however, it was re-erected, and whatever happens to the land in this particular part of Montmartre it seems unlikely that the Anti-Clericals will ever consent to its definite removal.

The Montmartre beloved of Bohemians, if not already dead, is now dying fast, killed by business men and architects who see their way to making money by erecting huge ugly buildings on what were once pleasant rural slopes. Meanwhile streets full on somber houses designed to accommodate as many tenants as possible are rapidly displacing the quaint little cottages surrounded by gardens in which artists and writers of a past generation loved to live. La Butte, which has been the scene of so many picturesque incidents, has easily been overcome by the ruthless hand of unimaginative commercialism, and from having been a rural suburb of Paris it will soon be changed into a district about as romantic as Primrose Hill
— dull, dismal and commonplace.

Many of the old walls and quaint little streets which are falling before the pick of the housebreaker are full of memories of old days when the slopes of Montmartre were the scene of martial and picturesque events. The army of Henri IV camped here at the time when that monarch was besieging Paris, and the Austrians occupied it in 1814, when one of the Debray family, millers from time immemorial and still the owners of the Moulin de la Galette, after having been killed, was tied to the sails of his own windmill and left to be whirled through the air, his fate having been due to the efforts of himself and brothers to defend their mills against the invader.

At the end of the sixteenth century, when Henri IV held Montmartre, there were great scandals at the Abbaye, the King, notorious for his amorous propensities, having fallen in love with a pretty nun, Marie de Beauvilliers by name, who was not able to resist his blandishments. The Vert Galant, as he was called, naturally got into trouble with the Abbess, Madame de Cénante, but soon overcoming her scruples he got his lady-love away and later on took her to Senlis. Though, as was his wont, the King soon tired of this young lady but he did not forget her for, in 1698, no doubt in recognition of her merits, he caused her to be appointed Abbes of Montmartre, the scene of their first meeting. Henri IV, who was a merry soul, used to speak of himself in after years as having been a monk in that Abbey; he and his captains had certainly received a very warm welcome from the young nuns who had taken care to remain, the older ones having fled to Paris on the King's approach. Marie de Beauvilliers, curiously enough, was a near relative of another mistress of her royal lover
Gabrielle d'Estrées. the remains of whose house on la Butte still exist.

Though no further scandals seem to have occurred in connection with the nuns after the days of Henri IV, the French Revolution sent them flying in all directions, the buildings in which they had for centuries lived being pulled down and the ground sold. The men of 1789, indeed, showed themselves very cruel towards these poor ladies, the last of the forty-three Abbesses who had reigned on Montmartre meeting with a tragic fate.

Before the Revolution the monks of the Abbey of Saint Denis marched in procession to Montmartre every seventh year. This was to do honor to the memory of the Saint whose head was carried in a splendid reliquary. The procession naturally caused great excitement among the nuns with whom at one time the monks dined after their arrival. Later on, in order to avoid scandal, the latter feasted in a house outside the convent walls. The procession was one of great splendor, soldiers with their music and colors taking part in it, together with a number of richly attired civil officials. The ceremony which took place in the first week of May naturally aroused much excitement among the residents along the line of march from Saint Denis to Montmartre who turned out in their best clothes to see the procession pass. Drums beat and bells rang; altogether it was a gala day for all concerned, especially for the nuns, who took a prominent part in the elaborate ceremonial which took place after the monks had reached la Butte. It may be added that in several respects the procession mentioned above had affinities with the old Eton ceremonial of Montem as part of which the boys dressed in special costumes and accompanied by bands of music used to march to Salt Hill. The exact origin of this Montem procession has never been ascertained but, in the writer's opinion it was originally a religious function of a kind not entirely dissimilar from that described above. Though during the celebrations of Montem in the nineteenth century nothing of a religious character remained, it may be noted that up to about 1795, at which date Queen Charlotte interfered, a burlesque parson with his clerk was a feature of the proceedings both being kicked from the top to the bottom of Salt Hill. It is not improbable that this was originally symbolical of the priests being ejected from a procession which in Roman Catholic days had been organized to do honor to the Virgin Mary or to some saint. All over Europe it was the custom in ancient days for shrines and places of worship to be erected on heights while the devout made a practice of ascending mountains and going through various forms of ceremonial once they had reached the top.

In 1790 when the National Assembly decreed the suppression of monastic orders including the nuns of Montmartre, the Abbess, Louise de Montmorency, a lady of great age, went to the scaffold to expiate the double crime of having worn the abbatial cross and having belonged to a noble family. Almost blind and very deaf she was unable to read the documents shown to her or hear the questions put by her judges, upon which one of the latter exclaimed she should be found guilty for having blindly and without hearing conspired against the Republic! During the Terror the Abbey buildings were entirely destroyed, the tomb of Queen Adelaide of Savoy being broken up and the treasures of the church smashed or taken away. Only with great difficulty was a magnificent statue of Saint Denis removed in safety to Paris.

During the Revolution, plans and a guide to the streets of Paris show that Montmartre received the name of Mont-Marat. The terrorist in question after having attacked the National Assembly and other authorities escaped from arrest by (as has before been said) hiding for fifteen days in the quarries which then abounded on la Butte. Spies, however, eventually hunted him down, and he was taken to Paris, but when put on trial at the Hotel de Ville completely confounded his adversaries. Fearing re-arrest he then fled to England; later on, after his return to Paris, it was that Montmartre was renamed in his honor.

Though the nuns of Montmartre and the monks of St. Denis have long been ruthlessly swept away up to comparatively recent years the name of a street commemorated the Abbey and its Church, but the Anti-Clerical spirit, which from time to time is apt to excite the Parisians, in the 'seventies' caused the street in question to be re-christened Rue Mont Cenis, which appellation it still remains. This change of name was prompted by the same spirit which some years ago caused the erection just beneath the
Sacré Cœur, of the rather indifferent statue of the Chevalier de la Barre, to which allusion has before been made. This free thinking young man in the eighteenth century displayed studied irreverence while a procession bearing the Host was passing through the streets of Abbéville, with the result that he suffered the extreme penalty which in those days was paid by persons deemed to have been guilty of gross irreverence or blasphemy. It dies not appear that the Chevalier ever had anything to do with Montmartre, his statue apparently having only been put up in order to irritate and annoy the priests officiating in the great church just above the spot on which the effigy stands.

The vagaries of French Anti-Clericalism are erratic in the extreme! Some years ago, the ancient little Church of St. Pierre on the heights of la Butte, had fallen into such disrepair that it seemed likely to collapse in consequence of which the Anti-Clericals of the locality clamored for it to be pulled down. For some reason, however, possibly because certain pillars of the interior were said to have formed part of a Pagan Temple, the iconoclasts entirely altered their point of view and actually raised sufficient funds to restore the Church to a decent condition. Those in favor of this restoration, after having cleverly obtained the support of Eugène Fournère, a municipal councillor noted for his advanced opinions, succeeded in getting the Municipal Council not only to spare but to help repair the little church, which had undergone so many vicissitudes since its foundation in the remote past.

Up to the time of the restoration of the church of Saint Pierre a semaphore belonging to the telegraphic system devised by Chappe had stood for fifty years on the remains of the old tower which was then rebuilt.

On the site of this church a temple of Mars is said to have stood; four marble columns which remain possible formed part of it, while six marble capitals in the Corinthian style remind one of Pagan days.

The little graveyard of the Church of St. Pierre, it may be added, contains the tombs of many celebrated Bohemians who have lived on or near la Butte, notably those of Henri Murger and Steinlen. Here, too, may be seen the tombstones of many of the Abbesses of Montmartre, the last of whom as has been said was guillotined during the great Revolution. Among celebrated people buried here, Admiral Bougainville, the explorer, must not be forgotten. He lies beneath a tombstone embellished with naval emblems, while at his side is buried his wife, before marriage, Rose de Montendre. The Admiral, who brought to Europe the beautiful blossoming plant which bears his name, passed his last years in a house on la Butte, than a rustic haven of peace from which the old sailor could calmly survey the great maelstrom of Paris lying beneath.

In this churchyard were also the grave of Queen Adelaide of Savoy and the tombs of all the Abbesses of Montmartre. Here also were interred the two lovers of Marguérite de Valois and of the Duchesse de Nevers, both of whom, after their execution, were secretly buried in this chapel in 1574. On the outbreak of the Great Revolution all these tombs were violated, and the stones which covered them broken up, the ashes of the Abbesses being cast to the wind. The church is now, to some extent, obscured by the
Sacré Cœur, while a number of trees which surrounded it have been cut down.

The Calvary in the churchyard of St. Pierre, it may be added, came from Mont Valérien, on the top of which a chapel and three crosses were set up in 1633. Mont Calvaire, as this hill was then called, was at that time in great request as a place of religious devotion; several hermits took up their abode on its sides, and pilgrimages again came into vogue for a short time. At the Revolution of 1830, the hill and its dependencies were finally taken from the keeping of the church and eventually devoted to military purposes, a strong fort being built. In spite of its commanding position this has now been declared obsolete as a means of defense and will, it is understood, be shortly dismantled.

While the name of Montmartre is now all over Europe identified with unrestrained pleasure, it is curious to note that the sacred hill in question has from the earliest ages been closely connected with religion. Here stood a temple of Mars, and here also was founded the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) by Ignatius Loyola in 1534. On the summit of la Butte today stands the great new church
the Sacré Cœur the first stone of which was laid in the 'seventies,' its position being one of the finest in Europe, if not in the world. Its curiously shaped domes and Campanile — la Savoyarde — can be discerned quite a long way from Paris, as one enters that great city by the train. At first it is seen faintly looming up in the sky on the left, while when nearer the Gare du Nord, the whole of the edifice appears on the right, creating a most dignified effect. At the same time, farther along the crest of the hill on which the church stands, may be discerned the sails of the last windmill, le Moulin de la Galette, which now seems likely to be preserved. The silhouette of Montmartre up to a few years ago was a good deal more attractive than it is today, a number of huge and ugly buildings having considerably impaired what used to be a picturesque ensemble. The only compensation indeed for modern developments on la Butte has been the erection of the great church mentioned above. This, besides being somewhat impressive from an architectural point of view, also makes a certain appeal to the imagination, asking pardon, as it were, for the multitude of sinners who dwell in the vast city of Paris beneath.

Whatever architectural defects are to be found in this edifice there is no question but that from an imaginative point of view, the
Sacré Cœur is impressive, perched as it is in the very center of a spot which is the acknowledged rendezvous for all the pleasure seekers of Europe; the one locality, indeed, where the words of Rabelais, "Do as thou wilt," take precedence of all other commandments.

The slopes of Montmartre were frequented by Parisians on high days and holidays long before the nineteenth century had begun, but it was only towards 1839 that public balls began to be opened on the lower portion of the hill. In ancient days all the pleasure resorts of la Butte were prevented by law from having back doors, the idea of which was to prevent disreputable characters out on the spree from escaping into the fields. Though the regulation had become obsolete, precautions were taken to stop rowdiness in the new dance halls of a later age, at one of which order was maintained by a veteran of the Napoleonic wars, who with a sword by his side sternly ejected anyone not dressed in suitable fashion, At the barrière Rochechouart, close to the wall, which then separated Montmartre from Paris, stood the Lion d'Or, where, besides a dancing hall, two rooms were provided for clients who did not dance. One of these rooms was open to all, but the other was rigorously reserved for old clients who liked to eat and drink in perfect peace. On the walls of the former was inscribed in large letters, "Chambre des Deputés," on those of the latter, "Chambre des Pairs." As a chronicler of the day said: "The results of this arrangement were very much the same as occurred in the edifices where legislators decided the fate of France, everything sooner or later resolving itself into smoke."

In Montmartre till 1882 stood the Château Rouge. In its last days it had become a cabaret and dancing resort of no great repute, but three centuries before its walls had sheltered the loves of Henri IV and Gabrielle d'Estrées who had been sumptuously lodged there by that vivacious King, who would no doubt have been scandalized had he foreseen that the home of his beautiful favorite would one day re-echo to the heavy tread of the coal-heavers and butchers of modern Montmartre. It is not inappropriate that the memory of "Le Vert Galant," so fond of the fair sex and pleasure, should be so closely connected with la Butte, today the headquarters of those facile joys which Henri IV loved so well.

Legend connects Gabrielle d'Estrées with a number of places on la Butte, and off the Rue Saint-Vincent stood till a few years ago the thatched cottage of la Belle Gabrielle, which was ruthlessly destroyed in order to make way for a Roman Catholic club housed in a new building of singularly ugly appearance. Not far away is or was la Maison de Jenny with one of those charming little gardens which formerly abounded on the slopes of old Montmartre. In the Rue Cortot was to be seen, up to a few years ago, a delightful retreat full of terraces, arbors, grottoes and little paths. Here it was said la belle Gabrielle had once been wont to wander.

No. 12 Rue Cortot stood a house supposed to have been the abode of La Roze de Rosimond, a comedian, belonging to the company of Molierè, most of whose parts he filled in addition to writing a number of indifferent plays.

The Moulin de la Galette, near the summit of Montmartre, would appear to have been a favorite resort for the Parisians from a remote period, its picturesque aspect then, as now, having been one of its great attractions. A hundred years ago the Debray family which owned the property were content to rely upon simple fare and fine scenery to supplement the earnings of the mill, beneath the shade of which families liked to lunch and dance. Later on, in the romantic 'forties, immortalized by Murger, came the students with their Mimis and Musettes. Gradually more ambitious buildings began to rise beneath its sails and a regular dancing hall was built which, though certain days were reserved for families, at times attracted a less reputable element which, at the end of the last century, made it rather an unsafe place for foreigners without a French escort to go to. Later on the company improved, but writing of the Moulin de la Galette a quarter of a century ago a visitor spoke of it "as a cliquey place, full of a lot of habitués who regard a stranger as an intruder. Should you by accident step on Marcelle's dress or jostle her villainous-looking escort, you will be apt to get into a row, beginning with a mode of attack you are possibly ignorant of, for these 'maquereaux' fight with their feet, having developed this 'manly art' of self-defense to a point of dexterity more to be evaded than admired. And while Marcelle's escort, with a swinging kick, smashes your nose with his heel, his pals will take the opportunity to kick you in the back."

At one time the dancing room of the Moulin de la Galette was chiefly frequented by young and poor work girls in their teens who went there to dance in their working clothes — they had no other
— without hats or bonnets. The male frequenters were then mostly young working men, the souteneur class being absent, and a sort of rustic spirit animating the girls and boys, many of whom, though their relationships were not such as moralists would sanction, being genuine sweethearts. Every Jack had his Jill to whom he was faithful according to his lights. There was indeed some real romances connected with the old Moulin which has been vulgarized since those days, and become too smart for work girls and their swains. The Moulin has not indeed changed for the better, having lost its simplicity and gained nothing in return. Nevertheless it is pleasant to think that this relic of old Montmartre, full of souvenirs of several generations of lovers in the shape of amorous sentiments cut inside the mill itself, has not been demolished to make way for the hideous skyscrapers which are gradually disfiguring the slopes of la Butte.

The Moulin strongly appealed to the Bohemians who frequented la Butte when the Chat Noir was in full swing. Willette adored it and constantly brought it into his fanciful sketches. Besides the old mill itself the view from the summit was a great attraction on a summer's night. Looking over the railing at the top one could see through the mist beneath the domes, towers and glimmering lights of Paris which, in spite of what its detractors may say, ever remains a siren city dear to lovers of gaiety and romance.

The last of the thirty windmills which once crowned the heights of Montmartre, it is no wonder that a protest was made when in order to make way for a new street, it was proposed to pull the old landmark down. In consequence of this there was for a time an idea of moving the old mill to the la Place J.B. Clément, one of the well-known open spaces of Montmartre in the middle of the Rue des Norvins. This, however, was never carried out, the mill remaining attached to the public ballroom of the same name, though it had to be re-erected on a different site from the one it had occupied since it had been built.

As has before been said, the Rue de Mont Cenis was originally the Rue Staint Denis, its present name having been bestowed upon it in the 'seventies' at the time of the completion of the famous tunnel, though what the latter had to do with Montmartre it is difficult to understand. A rather new looking house in this street is said to have been the residence of Henri IV, which is probably merely a legend, as various houses on la Butte are said to have been for a time lived in by the French King, whose memory, and that of his mistress, Gabrielle d'Estrées, remains very green in many parts of Montmartre.

In the Passage de l'Élysée-des-Beaux Arts, close to the ugly modern church of Saint-Jean de Montmartre, lived a number of celebrities, including Catulle Mendés, Clovia Hugues and Francois Coppée of fragrant memory.

In the 'eighties' the painter, Benjamin Constant, lived in the Impasse Hélène, out of the Avenue de Clichy, not far from the Montmartre cemetery, an unfashionable locality, but one which Constant found convenient, his studio being very roomy, it having once been used by Bonnat's pupils. It was, however, not big enough for the artist, who, enlarging it, inserted a number of Oriental fittings, including carved woodwork, marble fountains, small lattice windows and other details likely to provide the proper atmosphere for painting Oriental pictures. As Constant possessed a choice collection of Moorish rugs, curtains and Eastern ornaments, he succeeded in transforming this studio into a very good imitation of an Oriental interior. At that time the block of buildings in which the painter lived consisted entirely of studios. It was indeed quite an artistic colony, being inhabited by a large number of painters, good, bad and mediocre.

The Cottage Of Mimi Pinson
Mimi Pinson, the typical grisette, pictured by Alfred de Musset, undoubtedly belonged to the Quartier Latin of the middle of the last century when Bohemianism reigned supreme amidst the students on the left bank of the Seine. Nevertheless in September, 1926, an attempt was made to prove that the domicile of this charming heroine of the romantic 'forties' had been on the other side of the river, in the upper part of the Rue du Mont-Cenis on the Butte, which was then being pulled down. A great turmoil, indeed, arose when the destruction of this so-called Maison de Mimi Pinson seemed imminent — a number of midinettes even laid a garland of flowers on the doorstep dedicated to the memory of Musset's heroine who in reality lived only in the poet's brain!

The curious thing about all this was that so
much fuss should have been made about this purely imaginary shrine of romance; the destruction in 1925 of the house of Berlioz, the composer, not far away in the same street aroused comparatively little opposition, although the habitation in question had been intimately connected with the musical and artistic history of the times in which the composer had lived.

Berlioz appears to have been very apt to change his abode. In 1830 he was living at No. 96 Rue Richelieu, when he obtained the prize for musical composition, and proceeded to Rome. After an absence of a year and a half, a desire to follow the course he had laid out for himself brought him back to Paris. Soon after his return, his romantic marriage with Miss Smithson took place. M. Bernard relates that the new establishment, the revenues of which amounted, to begin with, to a lump sum of £12 0s. 09., was migratory, at one time in the Rue Neuve St. Mare, at another at Montmartre. In 1838 the "Symphonie Fantastique" was written, which so excited the sympathy of Paganini that he fell upon his knees before the composer, and the next morning sent him an order for
£800 — not his own money, as some assert, the great violinist being known to have been both avaricious and penurious, but the gift of M. Marmand Bertin, proprietor of the Débats, from the contribution of the musical criticisms to which paper Berlioz derived his chief source of income.

From 1843 to 1846 he resided at No. 31 Rue de Londres. This was just after he had reaped a good many laurels when personally conducting the performance of his compositions in Germany, Russia and England. That he was unsuccessful in France has been, but on doubtful grounds, attributed to his critical and sarcastic temper. It was during his residence here that the great festival in the machinery hall of the Great Exhibition in 1944 was given, and he directed an orchestra of 1,200 musicians. Engel says: "Berlioz often complained that he could not make money enough in France. Yet he gave concerts there which brought him sums unheard of hitherto in Paris. One, in the exhibition, brought £2,000, a sum never reached before. True, he had heavy expenses for copy, instruments, etc., so that the profit was but
£32."

"It was while living here," continued Engel, "that the fearful fiasco occurred of the Damnation de Faust, at the Opera Comique, on December 6th, 1846. The two or three hundred people who were present at the performance were ravished, transported. Unfortunately they were only two or three hundred. Instead of responding to the call of the symphonist, the nobility of the Faubourg St. Germain remained at home. The concert took place in the daytime, the artists turned a deaf ear, and the shopkeepers preferred the Dame Blanche. The result of the performance of his masterpiece was that Berlioz was ruined."

The last house in which Berlioz lived was No. 4 Rue de Calais, Montmartre, on which was a tablet inscribed: "In this house died, March 8th, 1869, HECTOR BERLIOZ, musical composer, born at La Côte Saint André, December 11th, 1803."

Berlioz came to live here in 1857, as we learn from a postscript to a letter dated January 26th or 27th of that year. He writes: "Rue de Calais (Once more, and not de Douai), No. 4." Ever, more or less working under a sense of the drudgery of his enforced calling as writer of musical criticisms for the press, he writes in 1861 to a friend: "Do you think it a lively existence to remain bound by the infernal chain of article writing, which is inseperable from my existence? I am so ill that the pen falls from my hand every moment, and yet I have to force myself to write to gain my paltry hundred francs (£
4). All this time I have my head full of projects and work, which I cannot carry out by reason of my bondage." (Memoirs)

His contributions to the Journal des Débats ceased in March, 1864, and in August he congratulates himself on walking up and down in front of the lyric theaters without the obligation to enter. M. Bernard says: "He lived in his lodgings in the Rue de Calais in retirement, and disgusted with everything, surrounded by impudent sparrows who flocked to his window sill for the crumbs he placed there, near his grand piano, his harp and the portrait of his first wife. His mother-in-law, Madame Récio, tended him with exceptional vigilance and devotion, and his friends did their utmost to make him forget the injustice of his lot."

The topographical history of modern Montmartre is one of constant change, names being frequently altered and old streets absorbed into new ones.

The Rue des Norvins, itself dating from 1868, swallowed up two ancient streets, la Rue Trainée and la Rue des Moulins. At No. 6 there was formerly a curious boarding-house which was a recognized meeting place for singers out of employment. At No. 7 is the quaint Impasse Trainée.




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