CHAPTER IV

CABARETS

OLD Montmartre contained a number of little cabarets frequented by the artists and poets who lived on la Butte. One of the last of these Bohemian haunts is the celebrated Lapin Agile at No. 4 Rue des Saules. This takes its name from a signboard painted years ago by the well known "André Gill," whose satirical productions had a great vogue about the middle of the last century. Great power and extreme brutality were the leading characteristics of the work of this artist, whose real name was de Buines. He hated the Bonapartes, and on the fall of the second Empire published some cruel caricatures dealing with Napoleon III. In the 'seventies he attracted a good deal of attention by a malicious portrait of Sarah Bernhardt, whom he pictured as a trousered baboon with a very long tail, holding a painter's palette in the one hand and a sculptor's chisel and mallet in the other!

André Gill, a furious Republican and Anti-Clerical, was especially fond of representing the French citizen as a bearded artisan with a blouse, in the act of violently kicking somebody with an exceptionally heavy shoe. On the 4th September, the anniversary of the day on which the second Empire fell, the late Napoleon III always came in for a good castigation from the pencil of Monsieur Gill, the bearded artisan being generally represented as sending the unfortunate Emperor flying through the air with his clouted shoe; while the back view of the Man of Sedan was really a triumphant caricature of draughts-manship. Sometimes it was the turn of poor Joan of Arc to be kicked, the Maid of Orleans being the heroine of the Clerical party. Gill like to picture her violently propelled into a cell at the Depôt of the Prefecture of Police by the merciless shoe of Anti-Clerical Democracy!

It must have been on one of the painter's softer moments that he designed the rabbit which gave its name to the quaint little cabaret, carved as it were out of the hillside of Montmartre, where in the past minor poets assembled to recite their verse.

In spite of his tendency towards coarseness André Gill himself was something of a poet. Realizing the tragedy of gay life on la Butte he wrote

                                             "Il semble que Paris on rut,"
                                                Apres les avoir polluées,
                                             Rejette au lieu de leur d
ébut
                                                Les ombres des prostitu
ées.

                                             Et qu'on entend, reins cass
és,
                                                Chahuter, parmi la tempête,
                                            Un bastringue de tr
éspassés,
                                                Dans la Moulin de la Galette.

It would seem probable that it was from this weirdly fantastic poem that Adolphe Willette drew inspiration for his painting "Parce Domine, Parce Populo Tuo," to which allusion is elsewhere made. The Cabaret of Le Lapin Agile was originally the Cabaret des Assassins, managed by "Adele," who migrated to the Rue de Norvins before retiring to live in the country.

The modern cabaret naturally draws its inspiration from the famous Chat Noir and occasionally succeeds in catching something of the spirit of that vanished nursery from which so much real talent sprang. Nevertheless the spirit of and camaraderie which was such a feature of the artistic circle presided over by Rodolph Salis, is generally lacking among the new school of Bohemians who are apt to be dominated by the commercialism which unfortunately seems to affect every sort of enterprise during the present age.

The first individual in Paris who tried to make his restaurant a meeting place for artists and poets did not make his establishment pay. This was a man called Dinochaux, who, in the middle of the last century, kept a café of a new kind in the Rue Bréda. In addition to being a restaurateur, this individual, desirous of becoming a patron of art and letters, tried to limit his clientèle to people who had written a successful book, painted a fine picture or had, in other ways, achieved a certain amount of fame. Success aroused his enthusiasms, and he extended a warm welcome to writers like Henri Murder, Ponson de Terrail and a number of others whom he made completely at home. Dinochaux, as a matter of fact, seems to have been more expert as a judge of literature than at balancing his budget, for, thanks to a habit of giving his clients unlimited credit, he made anything but a success of his restaurant. Already financially embarrassed when the Franco-Prussian war broke out, the siege of Paris (During which he made a point of never raising his prices), completed his ruin. He died just before he was about to be declared bankrupt, much to the regret of a number of artists and writers who were obliged to betake themselves to other cafés, the proprietors of which did not like unpaid bills.

The cabaret which will go down to history was, of course the Chat Noir, founded by Rodolphe Salis, a great character in his way, who came to Paris in 1871 to study painting. Finding, however, that he was not likely to make a fortune by his pictures, he turned his undoubted ability in other directions, and founded the first Chat Noir, on the Boulevard Rouchechouart in 1881, moving four years later with great ceremony, to the Rue Victor Massé, where he eventually made a fortune.

It would seem probable that he borrowed the idea of his cabaret from the Club des Hydropathes in Quartier Latin. The society was so called not because its members realized the healing power of water, for most of them could not bear the idea of using it for drinking purposes at all!

The club meetings were on Wednesdays and Saturdays, when about five hundred young artists, poets and musicians used to assemble under the presidency of Emile Goudeau, who was occasionally wont to recite poems by himself. In course of time the Club des Hydropathes, having come to an end, it was replaced by another similar institution, "Les Hirsutes," the headquarters of which were in the basement of a café in the Place Saint-Michel, Emile Goudeau being again President. The latter, however, eventually drifted to Montmartre, and became one of the great stars of the Chat Noir, which, in its hey-day, attracted clever Bohemians from all over Paris. Salis had an especial knack of getting hold of clever young men likely to enhance the artistic reputation of his cabaret. From a romantic point of view France, at the period of the foundation of the Chat Noir, had been going through a dark time, the realists, with Zola at their head, having denuded life of much of its romance and charm.

As Sir Edmund Gosse has said, "The declared aim of the Chat Noir was to discredit naturalism and to reawaken idealism. It was welcomed not merely by the idle public, but by the leaders of feeling, for the young poets were strengthened in their effort by the intelligent sympathy of a generation, which looked farther back than the war of 1870. Among those who generously welcomed their amusing extravagance were Jules Lemaitre and M. Paul Bourget. It is remarkable as emphasizing the difference between French and English habit in these matters, that is spite of the wild note of the Chat Noir, and the audacity of its crackling and screaming mirth, it was astonishingly 'cultivated.' Its poets remembered their Greek philosophy and their Latin lyrics. Almost all the most popular verses contained allusion which would be lost over the heads of a London cinema audience, but which were seized in a flash by the infatuated public which crowded, as by privilege, into Rodolphe Salis' vibrating halls.

"When we compare the spirit of the Chat Noir with that of the young men of the London 'nineties,' we are struck by a difference which is of race and climate, but also of education. Our Fleet Street poets who were anxious that the world should be aware that their hearts were like a music-hall, were self-consciously being as naughty as they knew how to be. They were thinking all the time of the Nonconformist Conscience in their old country homes, and wondering how the children of the manse could dare to be so daring. The passage of a maiden aunt would have snatched any one of them from the absinthe which in reality he so much disliked and would have re-installed him at the tea-table. They could never persuade us, if they half-persuaded themselves, that they liked sitting up all night drinking beer."

In addition to possessing a good deal of artistic taste, Salis had an unlimited amount of self-assurance, showing no respect for anyone, however exalted their station might be. One night at the Chat Noir he took, or pretended to take, a distinguished French Admiral for a cook, a mistake which nearly got him into serious trouble. It was his practice to treat the aristocratic audience which came to his cabaret in the most impertinent way, mingling an exaggerated civility with the most caustic comments on financiers and politicians, and speaking of fashionable ladies in the most cynical manner.

Nevertheless he fully appreciated the advantages of publicity, taking care not to give offense to persons likely to do harm to his venture, for in spite of making a great parade of his love of Bohemianism and of art for art's sake Salis had a good eye to the main chance and succeeded in well feathering his nest.

When he started the second Chat Noir in the Rue Victor Massé, he took care to see that the Parisian Press gave an attractive account of his venture. A number of the papers of the day, after describing the procession from the Rue Rochechouart in which all the pictures and curiosities from the original establishment were carried in state, dilated upon the artistic decorations and splendor of the newly-decorated house. They spoke of the magnificent entrance (which consisted of three little steps) and of the grand staircase — which, in reality, visitors had to go up in single file. The various rooms also were accorded much grandiloquent praise, la Salle des Gardes, la Salle de Conseil and la Salle des Fêtes being minutely described. Though the staff of Chat Noir was anything but religious, there was also an oratory and a room in which relics of various sorts were kept. As a matter of fact, though not at all the palatial mansion which the Press notices led people to believe, the Chat Nor was a picturesque moderate sized house, filled with furniture of an artistic kind while a number of clever drawings and pictures adorned the walls. A feature was the stained-glass window representing the worship of the Golden Calf designed by Willette, whose contempt for capitalism had made him put his whole soul into the work. Among the many sketches and pictures by that clever artist which were scattered over the house, the most striking was "Parce Domine," a fanciful composition in which a number of Pierrots mingled with various Parisian types were shown floating in the sky, above Montmartre, local color being supplied by the weird outline of the Moulin de la Galette. For painting this picture, which is now of considerable value, Willette only got two hundred and fifty francs, a sum, it may be added, which he was very glad to receive, though in after years, he denounced Salis for having taken advantage of his poverty. As has before been said, the owner of the Chat Noir, in spite of his Bohemian ways, had a good business head on his shoulders. When he retired, he had become quite a rich man, a state of affairs which was not to the taste of some of the less prosperous artists and poets who had contributed to the popularity of his cabaret.


The style of decoration adopted by Salis was, as far as possible, that which was supposed to have prevailed in the reign of Louis Treize. Having a fine flair for arranging a mise-en-scène likely to cause a sensation, he dressed his waiters in a livery which exactly resembled the uniforms worn by French Academicians, while a gigantic suisse or hall porter in the dress of a past age acted as janitor, holding a halberd, the butt end of which he rapped on the ground as visitors passed through the door.

At the second Chat Noir, when all fashionable Paris became seized with a desire to see the wonderful shadow plays so admirably contrived by Henri Rivière, Friday was the great day.  Seats were difficult to get, crowds of Parisians cheerfully paying a golden louis to sit on an exceedingly hard wooden chair, half suffocated by the lack of ventilation. The latter, however, never seems to incommode Frenchmen, who, indeed dread nothing so much as an open window, or the slightest suspicion of a courant d'air, which, for some reason, which none of them are ever able to explain, is supposed to be highly dangerous to health!

Near the entrance to the Chat Noir was a board painted black and which was inscribed in yellow letters.

"Stop passer-by! This building by the will of Destiny, under the protection of Jules Grévy, Freycinet and Allain Targé, being Archons, Floquet, Tetrach and Gragnon, Captain of Archers, was consecrated to the Muses and to Joy under the auspices of the Chat Noir. Passer-by, be modern!"

"To spend an evening at the Chat Noir," as a typical Boulevardier said, "in its picturesque setting of the Rue Victor-Mass
é, was to enjoy yourself at once with the ears and eyes; it was to live for two hours in the world of magic and dreams. The most exuberant satire and the most exquisite poetry wooed the visitor, already charmed by the aspect of the house, a clever imitation of a mediæval hostelry."

The present writer, who was a good deal in Paris in the 'eighties,' remembers going several times to the Chat Noir. It was then not very usual for foreigners to visit Montmartre, the night resorts of which were almost exclusively patronized by the young artists and writers (an artistic colony in fact) who at that time lived on the Butte. At several cabarets, however, songs were sung by the people who had composed them, and when anything especially amusing was mentioned in the press, Parisians would go up the hill to see what the latest novelty might be like. Among the cabarets in question, the Chat Noir, thanks to the publicity methods employed by the proprietor "Salis," naturally took the first place. This now famous Bohemian resort, the nursery of so many clever men, who have since attained high places in the worlds of literature and art, seemed to me, I remember, to have been modeled on the lines of an old German, rather than an old French house. It reminded one of the abode of Faust, with its quaint pictures, old-fashioned windows, and high drinking glasses. To a young Englishman the entertainment, clever though it was, made no special appeal, the whole thing seeming to be a sort of family affair in which the singers, reciters and accompanists all knew one another extremely well. This was indeed the case, the soirées of the Chat Noir having been très intimes. At the same time, Salis, though professedly a great worshiper of art for art's sake, always had a good eye to the main chance and made his money out of the visitors who came to see and hear the very clever band of young Bohemians whom he had been clever enough to enlist under his banner. The ombres chinoises, or shadow shows, were the items which perhaps attracted foreigners the most. I vaguely remember some of these concerning which Maurice Donnay has written so well in his book, "Autour du Chat Noir," which everyone interested in that now long defunct cabaret should read.

Among the general public at that time Salis and his acolytes were not taken very seriously, the whole venture being considered a somewhat eccentric experiment run as much for the proprietor's pleasure as for gain. As has been said, Salis made a very good thing out of it, and died quite well off, after having quarreled with several of his "company," if one may call his talented coterie of young men by that name. One or two of the latter, notable the clever artist Willette, thought that they had been exploited.

One of the most original characters among the band of clever Bohemians who made their rendezvous the Chat Noir was an individual known as Mac-Nab. Of very solemn appearance, somewhat resembling that of an undertaker, he was wont to convulse those who heard him by the clever verses, most off which dealt with topics of the day in a highly amusing fashion. Mac-Nab, indeed, though really unconnected, it would appear, with Scotland, possessed much of the pawky wit for which that country has a well-deserved reputation. In addition to this he was a great upholder of l'Esprit Gaulois and of unrestrained liberty as regards what people might write or say.

The idea of the Chat Noir, as set forth by Mac-Nab was "Young people be gay, let yourself go! Let laughter reign amongst you! laughter frankly Gaulois in tone! Do not be spiteful and posterity will like you, and the poets of the future will not inquire whether you sleep in peace."

"Glory to those who laugh and make others laugh! Such are the real benefactors of humanity, for laughter disarms the passions and which of the latter is not our most cruel enemy?"

The writer of the above lines, as has before been said, at first sight looked as grave as a mute, an appearance which greatly added to the humor of the clever verses which he was wont to recite in his own peculiar manner. Several of his compositions, notably "l'Expulsion des Princes," written at the time when the Comte de Paris and the rest of the pretenders to the throne were made to leave France, created quite a sensation owing to the clever way in which extreme Radical ideas were burlesqued. The last verse well sums up the creed of a rabid and illiterate Anarchist:

                                         "Le princ' c'est pas tout: plus de curés,
                                          Plus de Gendarmes, ni d' mèlétaires!
                                          Plus d'richards a lambris clos
és,
                                          Qui boit la sueur des prol
étaires!
                                          Qu'on expulse aussi L
éon Say
                                          Pour que l'mineur il s'affranchisse,
                                          Enfin que tout l'monde soye expuls
é,
                                          Il restera plus qu'les anarchisses!"

Though Mac-Nab looked the most serious man in the world his muse was largely tinged by a Rabelaisian spirit of an uncompromising kind. One of his most amusing compositions in this line was "la Ballade des Derrières Froids" of which only a few stanzas of the introduction can be quoted here.

                                         Gloire soit aux bienséants
                                         Qui regnent sous les jupons blancs!
                                         Doux hemispheres ambulants.

                                           
·        ·        ·        ·        ·

                                                 Mappemonde trois fois divine
                                        Que le philosophe divine
                                        Sous chaque croupe feminine!


                                            ·        ·        ·        ·        ·

                                                 Cest un pays mystérieux
                                        Qui ne laisse rien voir aux yeux
                                        De ses contours harmonieux!


                                            ·        ·        ·        ·        ·

One of the most treasured possessions of the Chat Noir was an album containing literary contributions from all the most famous writers and satirists of the period when that famous Cabaret was in the full flush of its prosperity. The real livre d'or connected with the Chat Noir, however, is the long list of clever and artistic men who assembled there — a list which comprises many now famous names, including Emile Goudeau, Juley Jouy, Henri Rivière, Edmund Haraucourt, Villiers de l'Iske Adam, Alphonse Allais, Jean Moreus, Steinlen, Adolphe Willete and Maurice Donnay who, among other poems written in his youth for the Chat Noir, produced the inimitable "Monaco."

                                       "Ah! J'en ai vu des plus calés
                                        Venus avec la forte somme,
                                        Gagner d'abord; puis emballés
                                        Perfre, reperdre, Dieu sait comme!
                                        Bien nettoyés s'en sont allés;
                                        Toutes ces fortunes failles,
                                        Ont fait des cervelles jaillies:
                                        Ce sont là légères saillies
                                        Qu'on ne lit jamais dans l'Echo
                                        Du Littoral, feuille incompl
ète.
                                        C'est le prince de Monaco
                                        Le seul qui gagne
à la roulette."

As regards writers of light and amusing verse the Chat Noir was a veritable nest of singing birds. Never, probably, were so many clever and artistic young men gathered under one roof, the proof of which was that the names of those who survived to middle age became well known in the world of literature and art. For this reason it is right that the memory of the Chat Noir should endure, for nothing of the same kind is ever likely to be seen again. Though many attempts have been made to revive its glories all have failed. There is or was a new Chat Noir off the Place Blanche. This place, one of the most picturesque of the little cabarets where songs are sung, keeps open till about two in the morning. A few shadow plays are given, but the main portion of the entertainment is devoted to topical songs. The singer known as "Yon Lug," who wrote the famous "Ballade des Agents," used to be a prominent figure here. A very prolific writer of songs and a character of great originality, he died some three years after the close of the Great War.

Just opposite the new Chat Noir are the fantastic Ciel and Enfer — the Heaven and Hell
— which no good tourist ever forgets to visit, with waiters dressed respectively as angels and devils. These two night resorts, which have been open for many years, still seem to carry on a very successful business. The improvised sermons of the one and the diabolical accessories and decorations of the other exercising a strange fascination over those who visit Paris for the first time. To the more sophisticated pleasure seekers, however, both of these places seem dull, besides being rather squalid.

The last of the real artistic Cabarets of Montmartre was the Quat'z 'Arts, located at 62 Boulevard des Clichy. This succeeded an older establishment of a somewhat similar kind. Le Tambourin, which had been run by an Italian model who, poor thing, failed to make a success of it. Passing into other hands the Cabaret again failed to attract under the name of la Butte. Undeterred by the ill-luck which seemed to hover about the place as le père Trombert, undertook to attract the public to Les Quat'z 'Arts as he renamed his purchase. This individual, besides being a Bohemian of artistic taste, knew something about organizing a program likely to draw, and soon gathered round him a band of singers, among whom figured Fragson, who created some of his most catching ditties which later on enjoyed a great vogue.  Trombert also produced a number of amusing little revues played without scenery in ordinary dress, while a series of artistic matinees at which old songs of provincial France were admirably rendered attracted much attention. Thus the proprietor managed to lure a crowd of fashionable and intellectual people to la Butte, the Quat'z 'Arts, becoming a great success. In addition to the entertainment, the decoration of the place was of an attractive kind, a feature being a window by Truchet showing a perspective view of Montmartre, while a number of pictures by various artists decorated the walls. All the great Bohemians of the day might be seen taking their aperitif on the little terrace where, as in a church, men sat on one side and women on the other. At that period the Cabaret published a paper called Les Quatre'z 'Arts, for which writers like Emile Goudeau sent contributions, the caricatures being by Scevola and Léandre, the latter of whom, in a special number published in January 1900, burlesqued several of the most prominent Bohemians who frequented the little place. A feature of this was a portrait of the artist by himself in which he was represented crying "Vive le Transvaal, Madame!" in the presence of Queen Victoria, who, for reasons difficult to understand, was always unpopular with the writers and artists of la Butte.

Les "Sisters" Lils 

This little paper mentioned above has, it may be added, like other artistic productions of an ephemeral nature, became extremely rare. Anyone indeed who might have formed a complete collection of its numbers or of those of the somewhat similar publication issued by the Chat Noir, would today have reason to congratulate himself on possessing a valuable artistic memento of that old Montmartre, which not so very long ago, was the headquarters of artistic and literary coteries which have now ceased to exist.

In more recent years the Cabaret des Quat'z 'Arts was managed by the doctor Gabriel Montoya, who was also a writer of plays. After his death, owing to an accident during the war the place was turned into a "Dancing." This, however, does not seem to have prospered, as it has since become a cabaret, with singing in something of the same style as proved so attractive many years ago.

The Chat Noir was by no means the first establishment of an artistic kind to flourish in Montmartre. In 1878 on the site of the restaurant in the Avenue Trudaine now called l'Ane Rouge, Laplace, an individual who made a living by arranging the sale of pictures, started La Grande Pinte, and establishment of an entirely novel kind, full of old woodwork, tapestries and curiosities of all kinds. Though no regular entertainment was provided, people who came from Paris to dine were often gratified by hearing some of the Bohemians who came there every evening recite or sing. Many well-known artists and writers frequented la Grande Pinte and it was there, it is said, that Rodolphe Salis first conceived the idea of founding Chait Noir which was to bring so much grist to his mill.

In 1891 la Grande Pinte was superseded by the still existing l'Ane Rouge, the walls at that time being decorated with a number of pictures, some of them very curious. Steinlen, Rivière, Caran d'Ache and other well known artists were well represented, while some of the best work ever done by Willette could also be seen. Just before dinner at that time many artistic and literary people were to be seen sitting on the terrace, where Verlaine would occasionally put in an appearance and scribble off a little poem which was generally bought by some collector or other as soon as it was finished. The poet in question was also present at several artistic conferences which were held in the café. The president on such occasions was the proprietor, Gaston Salis, brother of the owner of the Chat Noir, whose methods were to some extent copied at the Ane Rouge, songs being sung and poems recited by various promising young men, most of whom afterwards made their mark. Gaston Salis was succeeded in the management of this cabaret by André Joyeux, who eventually committed suicide, after which the Ane Rouge completely changed its character, becoming, after various vicissitudes, the successful restaurant which it remains today. Bohemians, however, are no longer numbered among its clientèle, people going to the Avenue Trudaine merely to dine.

Next door to the Ane Rouge now stands a restaurant called the Ecrevisse where quite a good dinner can usually be procured. Here, however, there seem to be no artistic traditions such as exist at Le Clou which is two doors away. This was founded by M. Mousseaux, rather a strange character, who, an actor at night, sold birds during the day. An assiduous frequenter of La Grande Pinte during the days when Laplace had made it a prosperous concern, Mousseaux seems to have formed the project of starting an even more picturesque café not far away. In accordance with this scheme he altered the interior of the house next door till it looked like a prison, called it the Auberge du Clou and waited for a crowd of people to appear. As a matter of fact he did not have to wait long, most of the habitu
és of the Chat Noir using the Café, while Alphonse Allais and Courteline soom became regular frequenters. Depaquit, afterwards Maire of the burlesque free Commune of Montmartre, went to smoke his pipe there, while a small room in the basement where there was a piano attracted a regular little coterie of clever young Bohemians glad to find a refuge where, left to themselves, they could do just as they pleased.

At the present day the Auberge de Clou retains most of the quaint decorations which attracted attention forty years ago, the prison-like aspect of the interior not having undergone alteration. Also there were quite recently, and possibly are today, many of the original pictures painted by clever artists who frequented it when it was a purely Bohemian resort — sketches by Willette, Depaquit and others, together with all sorts of quaint relics collected by the original proprietor, who appears to have been a man of considerable taste. Though the Clou is no longer a purely Bohemian resort, it retains more of its old artistic atmosphere than other cafés of the same sort. Artists and writers still go there, and the place is always more or less full, the atmosphere being somewhat of the same kind as formerly prevailed at resorts like the Rat Mort which has been so admirably described by Mr. Filson Young in his clever novel The Sands of Pleasure. In this he says, "This is one of the most curious restaurants in the world. It is different things at different hours of the day and night. You can dine in this room almost alone, and most excellently; you have the attentions of the chef and the chief Maitre d'Hotel almost exclusively to yourself. Downstairs, the world of Montmartre dined liberally but indifferently for 2 fr. 50; upstairs, from eleven to two, the gay Parisienne and her cavalier drop in to supper; you see they are beginning to drop out now. After two, the Rat Mort becomes quite a different place. A certain few distinguished cocottes — distinguished in many different ways — and their friends come on here, and the restaurant resolves itself into an informal club."

From the cabarets of Montmartre have come a quantity of clever and beautiful songs. At such places men sang their own creations, being accorded absolute license to say exactly what they pleased without mincing of words, and in many cases the singers did not take the trouble to hide their Rabelaisian satire under a double entente. Frankly cynical they spared no celebrated man or woman, politician or soldier, even satirizing the President of the Republic. The eccentricity of every celebrity in art or letter was emphasized in song or recitation and besides personal caricatures, the latest political questions of the day — social or religious, were dealt with in a humorous manner.

Within recent times Montmartre has produced many poets and composers of songs, among whom may be mentioned Théodore Botrel, Charles de Sivry, Victor Meusy, Hugues Delorme, Clovis Hugues, Maurice Boukay and Xavier Privas, who, after having been one of the great artistic personalities of la Butte, suddenly left it to live elsewhere. There are many other clever Bohemians who might be inscribed on this roll of fame, among them a number who have long since been absorbed by journalism, politics and other roads to mundane success.

Apart from the disappearance of the "Cabaret Artistique," for which Montmartre became celebrated at the end of the last century, the night life of la Butte, though greatly extended, remains practically the same. Motor cars, of course, have taken the place of the coupés and horse cabs which used laboriously to crawl up the hill, while the more astute of the sirens who haunt the freer sort of night resorts, besides having now some knowledge of English, occasionally call themselves by English names. Otherwise the moral — or rather immoral atmosphere remains the same. The champagne, however, has, of late years especially, become infinitely worse.




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