CHAPTER IX

THE LATIN QUARTER

THE Quartier Latin which, since the middle of the last century, owing to Henri Murder, has become associated with romance, has not changed very materially since Baron Haussmann formed the two great arteries of the Boulevard Saint-Germain and Boulevard Saint Michel, the latter known to generations of students as the Boul' Miche. Though the term "Latin Quarter" is rather vaguely applied to a large portion of Paris lying on the left bank of the Seine, it originally meant only the precincts of the old University of Paris entered by the Rue Galande, the ancient Roman road from Paris to Lyons. Close by is the Rue de Fouarre, one of the most miserable streets in Paris, and one of the most celebrated in the early days of the University. It contained several schools, where public disputations were carried on, and, it is supposed, derived its name from the straw spread on the ground for the scholars to seat themselves upon. It is mentioned by Dante, Petrarch and Rabelais. In spite of the statement of Boccaccio that Dante studied in Paris, it now seems doubtful whether the latter ever visited that city at all!

The Quartier Latin in the Middle Ages was very picturesque with its old buildings and churches, quaint hostelries and curious little streets. Its appearance at that time was shown by an interesting exhibition which was opened in 1926 at the Bibliotheque Sainte-Geneviève. Here a number of old views were to be seen, together with several curious documents. One fifteenth century manuscript of a famous student of the Paris University was specially noticeable; being ascribed officially to "Franciscus de Montcorbier de Paresis," a high sounding title assumed by the famous poet Francois Villon, a good state of whom by Etcheto stands in the Square Monge. Here also is Voltaire after Houdon and a couple of old statues which were saved from the original Hotel de Ville, burnt by the Communards in 1871.

The Collège de la Sorbonne or la Sorbonne, as it is generally called, was founded by Robert Sorbon in 1253. The object of this establishment was to form a society of ecclesiastics, who, living in common, might devote themselves exclusively to gratuitous study and teaching. The fame of this institution, which became the head of the University of Paris, and of the Gallican church in theological authority, is closely connected with the history of France. The Collège de Plessis became absorbed in it, and, in 1629, Cardinal Richelieu, who was one of its graduates, laid the first stone of the buildings as they now exist. The church, begun in 1635, was not finished till 1659, and the whole was erected after the designs of Lemercier. The church is cruciform, of the Corinthian order, with chapels leading on each side from the vane and choir, and surmounted by a dome of fine proportions crowned by a balcony, cupola and cross. Towards the street is a pedimented front of two stories, with Corinthian and Composite columns, while towards the court of the college the northern transept is terminated by a fine Corinthian portico of bold proportions. On the key-stones of the arches, and in the stained-glass of some of the windows are the arms of Cardinal de Richelieu; and in the southern transept is his celebrated tomb, the chef-d'oeuvre of Girardon, and one of the finest pieces of sculpture of the 17th century. The statue of the cardinal, holding the book which he composed in her defense. Near her are two genii, who support his arms. At the opposite extremity is a woman in tears, representing Science deploring the loss of her protector.

   A Soiree In The
            Faubourg St. Germain

Few buildings in Paris suffered more during the Revolution than the church of the Sorbonne, and such was its state of decay that part of the roof had fallen in, when Napoleon ordered such repairs to be executed as were necessary to preserve the historic building from total ruin.

At the angle of the Rue Saint Jacques and the Rue des Ecoles is the Collége de France, which was founded in 1529 by Francis I, at the solicitation of Parvi, his preacher, and the celebrated Budé or Budoeus. Professorships were founded in it successively by most of the sovereigns of France, and previous to the middle of the sixteenth century, 400 or 500 students regularly attended the lectures of the college. The wars and contagious disorders that afflicted Paris at the end of that century drove away the scholars as well as the professors; but Henry IV, at the end of his reign, formed the project of erecting a new college, and those of Treguier, Leon and Cambari, pulled down to make room for it. His intentions, frustrated by his death, were partially carried into effect by Louis XIII, but were not resumed till 1774, when the college was entirely rebuilt by Chalgrin. Extensive additions were made under Louis Philippe by Letarouilly. Over the entrance is inscribed "Docer omnia." A statue of Budé and busts decorate the courtyard.

In the Middle Ages the Professors of the University, doomed to compulsory celibacy, mingled freely with their pupils, with whom they might be seen revelling freely in the inns and drinking places which abounded in the neighborhood of the schools. Here banquets of a Bacchanalian kind often took place 
— records are still preserved of one held at La Harpe in 1356, the charge for which was four écus a head. The election of an English treasurer in 1380 was the pretext for another at La Maison de l'Ange; revelry seems at this period to have gone hand in hand with learning on the left bank of the Seine.

The University of Paris in the past, was in close touch with writers and poets. Clement Marot, inventor of the rondeau and the restorer of the madrigal, was renowned for his pastorals, ballads, fables. elegies, epigrams and translations from Ovid and Petrarch. At length, being tired of the vanities of profane poetry, or rather, secretly favorable to the principles of Lutheranism, he attempted, with the assistance of his friend Theodor Beza, and by the encouragement of the Professor of Hebrew in the University of Paris, a version of David's Psalms into French rhymes. This translation having been approved by the Sorbonne as containing nothing contrary to sound doctrine, Marot dedicated to his master, Francis I, and to the ladies of France. In the dedication to the ladies or les dames de France, whom he had often before addressed in the tenderest strains of passion or compliment, the poet seems anxious to deprecate the raillery which the new tone of his versification was likely to incur, and is embarrassed how to find an apology for becoming a saint. Apologizing for having in his new style of writing bade farewell to the levities of life, in spite of religious gallantry he declares that his desire is to add to the happiness of his fair readers by substituting divine hymns in the place of chansons d'amour; to inspire their susceptible hearts with a passion in which there is no torment; to banish their fickle and fantastic deity, Cupid, from the world; and to fill their destiny boudoirs with the praises, not of the little god, but of the true Jehovah. He adds that the Golden Age would now be restored were we to see the peasant at his plough, the car man in the streets, and the mechanic in his shop, solacing their toils with psalms and canticles; and the shepherd and shepherdess reposing in the shade, and teaching the rocks to echo the name of the Creator. Soon the "Psalms" of Marot were sung all over France, generally accompanied by the fiddle. So great was the demand that printers became unable to supply sufficient copies. At Court they achieved an unparalleled popularity, the Royal family and principal nobility all choosing psalms to be sung to some favorite tune. For instance, the Dauphin, Prince Henry, who delighted in hunting, was fond of "Ainsi qu'on oit le cerf bruire," or "Like as the heart desireth on the water brooks," which he constantly sang in setting out to the chase. Mme. de Valentine, between whom and the young Prince there was an attachment, took "Du fond de ma pensée," or "From the depth of my heart, O Lord." The Queen's favorite was "Ne vuelles pas, O Sire"
— that is, "O Lord, rebuke me not in thine indignation" — which she sang to a fashionable jig. Anthony, King of Navarre, sang "Revenge moy, pren le querelle," or "Stand up, O Lord, to revenge my quarrel," to the aire of a dance of Poitou.

Previous to the Revolution there were a good many ceremonial usages connected with the University of Paris, and on certain days its members used to march in solemn procession to the Church of St. Louis, built in 1664 on the site of a small chapel, originally dedicated to St. Louis and to St. Cecilia.

In the early days of the Third Republic Paris still belonged entirely to the Parisians, while the Quarter Latin remained in much the same condition as it had done in the days of Henri Murger some forty years before. Students then came up from the Provinces, after having succeeded in winning some trifling scholarship of under thirty pounds a year, on which, with the help of small sums made by other work, a good many contrived to live. By that time, however, the Latin Quarter had been a good deal changed by structural alterations, notably the creation of the new Boulevard St. Germain, while a number of quaint old streets had been pulled down.

There are still streets in the Latin Quarter as quiet as those of a country village. Some of them. like the Rue Vaugiard, lead out past gloomy slaughter houses and stables, though desolate sections of vacant lots, littered with the forms of factory and foundry whose tall, smoke-begrimed chimneys in the dark stand like giant sentries, as if pointing a warning finger for the benefit of belated pedestrians.

The Boulevard Montparnasse, which was formed in 1760, passes over the site of the hillock which the students in 1635 called Mount Parnassus, because they made it a meeting place, where they read one another's essays, and recited the poems, which it was then the fashion to compose. In those days this district was the center of artistic Bohemianism, much of the same kind as existed in the Montmartre of the 'eighties,' before the advent of Cosmopolitan pleasure-seekers had converted La Butte into a sort of huge fair, filled with dancing places and night resorts.

The original Mont Parnasse also resembled Montmartre in another way, its heights being crowned with windmills up to the sixteenth century, when they all disappeared. Today no vestige or trace of these picturesque structures remains, though at the end of the last century some portions of an ancient mill were dug up, near a spot known as La Tour du Moulin.

The exact site of the hillock, which only disappeared in the nineteenth century, was, it may be added, on the site of the present Boulevard de Montparnasse where it crosses the Boulevard Raspail.

The Quartier Latin has long been recognized as the soul of old Paris, revered and loved as the birthplace of study, learning and imagination, and as a district where countless generations of students have been initiated into the joys and sorrows of human existence.

It is said that an Englishman who had heard tales of gaiety of student life became so anxious to see it that he hired a suite of rooms on the Boulevard St. Germain at about the middle of this long, quiet street. Here he stayed a fortnight, expecting daily to see from his "chambers" the gaiety of a Bohemia of which he had so often heard. At the end of his disappointing sojourn he returned to London firmly convinced that the gay life of the Latin Quarter was a myth.

The most interesting and picturesque period of the Quartier Latin as a center of student life seems to have been between 1830 and 1860, the heyday of the grisette as pictured by Henry Murger and other romantic writers. In those days a student would live in one of the quaint houses then still standing in the Rue St. Jacques or the Rue de la Harpe. Here he could do exactly as he pleased, sing, play the hunting horn (then in great favor with young men), and receive his mistress at any hour of the day or night. Three or four louis a month then sufficed for his expenses, his pleasures consisting in going to favorite cafés and to the theater, a seat at which very often cost him nothing at all, owing to an arrangement with the head of the claque, who had power to give free tickets of admission to a certain number of people to applaud. As for his mistress, she cost him scarcely anything at all, she being usually quite content if her lover took her out to dine, with an occasional trip to pleasure resorts outside Paris, such as the Bois de Meudon or  Versailles. The student of those days was, of course, not very particular as to the rooms in which he lived, and, unless his ladylove took care to keep them tidy, pursued his studies amidst not very attractive surroundings, gruesome indeed in the case of a budding medico who, when he could afford it, generally had a skeleton in the corner of his room. This grim relic of humanity was then considered to be an almost indispensable aid to taking a medical degree
— so much so, indeed, that young men not able to afford to buy a skeleton were known to connive at bodies being dug up in cemeteries and church yards. The ideal student of those days as represented in print, besides being something of a Don Juan and a lover of wine, was clever, witty, enthusiastic and proud of being poor. In addition to this he was deferential towards the professors, though ready to pick a quarrel with narrow-minded people and philistines, who understood neither literature nor art. Above all he was patriotic and proud of being French — woman he was, of course, bound to adore.

The students of the past were hero worshipers, fond of poetry and romance. Béranger, indeed, it is said, was compelled to the the Quartier Latin because they insisted on pointing him out to their female companions, who, in their enthusiasm, made a point of embracing him on every possible occasion. Nevertheless he was more at home among students and grisettes than in fashionable society, which in no way appealed to one of his Bohemian cast of mind. In his latter years at least there was only one spot where he felt entirely at his ease, and that was beneath his own humble roof, where he could receive his old friends in a loose coat and flowing cravat, and sing them songs without restraint as they gaily pledged each other, seated around his hospitable board. Béranger had an evergreen heart and never left off sowing his wild oats, diligently carrying on that process long after his careless youth had flown, and he became a benevolent-looking old gentleman at the easy-chair and carpet-slipper stage of existence.

The spirit which formerly pervaded the Latin Quarter was characteristically demonstrated by the ovation which Michelet once received whislt crossing the hardens of Luxembourg. Recognized by the students going to the lectures at the College de France, he was immediately surrounded, and, in spite of resistance, was borne in triumph to the gates. Verses in honor of "l'Armour," composed by a student of medicine, were sung by the enthusiastic crowd; and a young grisette, professing herself a passionate admirer of the work in question, drew her scissors from her pocket and cutting off a lock of the author's hair and distributed it to the crowd.

The formation during the Second Empire of the two great Boulevards, Saint Michel and Saint Germain, and the creation of new streets to a considerable extent changed not only the appearance but the spirit of the Latin Quarter, which found itself, as it were, suddenly brought up to date. The dawn of the industrial age considerably influenced the minds of the students, who began to look upon the romanticism which had tinged their predecessors' lives as old-fashioned and out of date. The grisette, instead of being considered an indispensable companion, became too often merely an instrument of pleasure, with whom there could be no real communion of thought. The romantic rambles in the woods of Meudon were considered a mere waste of time, the student taking his pleasures in a more material way.

It must not be forgotten that every generation in turn declares that the world has forgotten how to amuse itself
— nevertheless, youth always understands how to take its pleasure, the truth being that when one gets old the things that used to be amusing are apt to pall. It is not the young people who change but the old ones. Possibly, however, the Great War and its consequences have sobered the students of today, and made them older and more thoughtful for their years than their predecessors used to be. Also being undoubtedly poorer, they cannot go to the cafés or theaters as much as did the generations which livened the Quartier Latin previous to 1914.

Today, we are told, the student of the Latin Quarter is more staid than of yore. He is no longer the careless idler pictured in the pages of the delightful Vie de Bohème
— that idealized sketch of Parisian student life which has charmed several generations. In connection with this subject it may be stated that Jean Wallon, who in Murger's book figures as the light-hearted Colline, became in after-life the most serious of men, being very much influenced by a devoted but austere wife, who hated the recollection of her husband's Bohemian propensities, which she sought to obliterate by all the means in her power. On one occasion she protested energetically against some comments upon the student days of her husband, whom she defended against the accusation of having been what she called one of the "tristes viveurs de la Bohème de '48," adding that she could never think of the joyous Bohème pictured by Murger without real pain.

Some individuals, unlike M. Wallon, remain Bohemians at heart all their lives.

A well known painter who retained a fondness for joking from his student days, finding that his pet dog had overeaten itself, telephoned to a famous doctor, whom as a young man he had known in the Quartier Latin, to come round and give the little animal a dose. The doctor in reply merely sent a message to say that for the time being he was too busy. Some days later, however, he sent the painter a note in which he said that he was sure the latter would be glad to hear that he had recently come into some money. Under these circumstances, added he, I have decided to do my house up and as the outside badly needs painting will you kindly come round at your earliest convenience and set to work on the job.

Though casual observers have been apt to imagine that the life of the student of the Quartier Latin is too often one of idleness and dissipation, such is not really the case. Though great freedom is allowed, and brasseries and dancing places abound, the great proportion of the young men who at times frequent them are really studious and hard-working in the extreme. There are, indeed, few centers of learning in Europe where so much advantage is taken of the educational advantages which are at a student's command. The life of the average young man who seeks to prepare himself for the battle of life, especially if his family is poor, is one of serious and persevering study. Since the close of the Great War, indeed, the idlers, who were formerly to be found in the Quartier, have pretty well disappeared, money having become too scarce for parents or relatives to supply idlers with sufficient funds wherewith to lounge about cafés, while doing no work.

The Parisian student has a joyous light-heartedness which glosses over his troubles, a good naturedness which glosses over his troubles, a good natured camaraderie, a capacity for frivolous enjoyment which has no counterpart elsewhere. He does not pursue his recreations with an intensity which makes play harder than study. If he has need to do so he can live on as income which appears ridiculous to  Anglo-Saxon ideas; a year's fees for many subjects are less than a pound. Even with the franc at present rates a satisfying, well-cooked and well-served four or five course meal can be obtained for four francs; there is choice of many clean and comfortable restaurants at this price. If, on the other hand, his pockets are lined with dollars or pounds, he can feed luxuriously and get plenty of amusement.

A young student cannot afford the café in these days, the latter being really but an expensive form of club to which subscriptions are being paid all the time. The modern student rarely has money, French Universities not being recruited almost entirely from the well-to-do classes, as in England. Quite recently a student died of starvation, a tragedy which excited a great deal of talk at to the cost of an University course at the present day. Before the war it could be managed quite easily indeed on 200 francs a month, the student making his own arrangements for food and lodging. Today on 600 francs he can barely scrape along; and there are not many French parents who can afford to give him that.

The life of a Parisian student at the present day is a good deal more strenuous than it was in the days before the Great War. The high price of living, indeed, has reduced a number of students from the provinces to much the same state of poverty as pressed so hardly on the "escholiers" of old Paris, one of the least prosperous of whom was the highly gifted, but turbulent François Villon. Many a clever young man has now to face an ordeal of considerable severity. Rarely possessed of sufficient means to visit any place of amusement, or even a café, he finds it difficult enough to live after his fees have been paid. All the more leniency, therefore, should be extended to the occasional outbursts of high spirits in which the students of the Quartier are apt to indulge. Nor should the well-to-do visitor to Paris, who has plenty of money to spend, sneer at the necessarily inexpensive forms of amusement which these young people thoroughly enjoy. Their female associates may be highly undesirable to Anglo-Saxon eyes, nevertheless, they fulfill the mission of providing necessary and congenial companionionship to the youth of a nation, which is quite frank in its worship of the female form divine. Puritanism is utterly opposed to be the spirit of France, and no sensible Parisian, with the exception of the late Senator Béranger, has ever attempted to meddle with the free traditions of the Latin Quarter.

Though student life in the Latin Quarter has always borne the reputation of being, to say the least of it, rather wild, there is one vice from which even in the days when there was far more money about then now, ever seems to have appealed to French students, as it has occasionally done to undergraduates at Oxford or Cambridge. The French student, of course, even when he has wealthy parents, never receives anything like the allowance enjoyed by young men at his age across the Channel. Nor has he that love of sport which so often leads the latter to lose far more than he can afford on the race-course. The young French-man's  first idea is "woman," and as his means are for the most part strictly limited he prefers to spend what money he may happen to have taking out his chère amie, to going to the races or sitting in a stuffy room losing his money at games of skill or chance. With him the love of play comes later on in life when he has accumulated sufficient means to have a bourse du jeu, or special gambling fund upon which he can draw when he wishes to play baccarat or roulette. As a matter of fact, Frenchmen who habitually gamble generally show themselves pretty clever at it, knowing when to plunge and when to decrease their stakes, besides having great self-control in being able to leave the gaming table once they have decided that luck is clearly going against them. About eighty times out of a hundred the Englishman who plays at a Continental Casino loses his money. Not so the Frenchman, who generally content to collar a comparatively small sum, very often pays a good part of his summer holiday's expenses out of his winnings, carefully piled up from day to day. On the other hand, there have been French viveurs who have thrown away huge fortunes on the green cloth in a very short time; these, however, have generally been badly brought up young men ready to commit any folly to make a sensation.

During the Second Empire a strong relationary spirit prevailed among the students of the Latin Quarter. Here it was that Gambetta first made himself remarked by his impassioned and fluent oratory. No one more than he, perhaps, contributed towards the downfall of Napoleon the Third, to whom the great majority of the younger generation seems to have been bitterly hostile. Most of the modern politicians of France spent a part of their youth studying on the Left Bank of the Seine, which is possibly why the grandmotherly legislation, so popular in our House of Commons, is not regarded with favor in the Chamber of Deputies, so many members of which, having been students, understand human nature, for the Quartier Latin is a district in which humbug and cant are at a dedicated discount. Of late years the flame of democracy, which once burnt so fiercely in this part of Paris, seems rather to have waned, a certain amount of the present day students from time to time displaying Royalist tendencies, while extreme Radicalism is little appreciated on the left bank of the Seine. The fact is that the new generation of students, like a good many other people, is disillusioned as to the blessings of what is really "mob-rule." Unlike their grandfathers, they have lost faith in the political ideals which once stirred the youth of Paris to frenzy, all they want being to be allowed to live in peace and be given a fair chance of making their way in a hard world. The high cost of living in Paris has hit a number of students terribly hard, their parents in many cases having been so impoverished by the results of the war that only with difficulty can they afford to give their sons the education without which no young Frenchman can hope to make his way.

A great center of Republican propaganda during the Second Empire was the Pension Laveur. Gambetta, Clemenceau, Floquet, Spuller, Alphonse Daudet and many other writers and politicians of note frequented this café, where an excellent table d'hôte dinner could be washed down by a special brand of Burgundy. Much credit was given to clients known to the cashier, a sister-in-law of the proprietor, who died at the age of ninety-three years not a great while ago. Known to habitués as "Tante Rose" she remembered a vast number of Parisian celebrities before they had attained fame, including Gambetta, Daudet and Jules Ferry in their student days, and during the Commune had hidden Vallès and saved him from the bullets of the Versaillais. Presidents Millerand, Loubet and Poincaré had all frequented this Pension, which served as a sort of home to many other young men who were destined to hold high office under the Third Republic. Recitations and songs, indeed, were the order of the day, an item which was rarely omitted being "Le coup d'Etat,  le coup d'Etat!" a scathing attack upon the Imperial régime, sung in a deep bass voice by the proprietor himself.

Though political feeling does not seem to run so high in the Quartier as in the days of yore, the students are still capable of supporting their opinions with considerable violence. Only a short time ago an unpopular Professor was actually compelled to ease his lectures owing to the strong and well-founded opposition of a number of young men. During a recent conference on Female Suffrage in France the students, who apparently have no liking for that cause, made rather violent demonstrations against the leading spirits of this crusade. As a matter of fact, though, during the last hundred years or so, the students have from time to time been rather Radical in their views, they seem now to have become much more Conservative. Though those of a former generation were opposed to Napoleon the Third and the Second Empire, it now seems not unlikely that were a Pretender with good credentials to make an attempt to become ruler of the French, the students might be on his side. At any rate they have no illusions as to the possibility of a Democratic Utopia, nor do they place much faith in the speeches of the leaders of the various parties which one after the other come into power in France. The politics of the Cartel seem little to the taste of the modern student, for on Sunday, November 14th 1926, M. Herriot, Minister of Public Instruction, on his way to deliver a lecture at the Sorbonne, was publicly hooted by students who were afterwards only prevented from storming the building by the police.

The number of students at the University of Paris, has, it may be added, doubled since the war. In 1900 there were 11,000 of whom 10 percent were foreigners. In 1925 there were more than 22,000 including about 3,300 foreigners. It is becoming harder and harder for a poor student to find lodgings, and the rise in prices caused by the depreciation of the franc has made things worse. Many French families pinch and slave in order to keep a promising young man at the University, the teaching facilities of which will enable him to become efficient in any branch of study he may choose to take up. It is to the future that the hard working student looks to repay him for all the privations he has to undergo.

                "Ah, Demain c'est la grande chose:
                        De quoi Demain sera-t-il fait?
                L'homme aujourd'hui seme la cause,
                        Demain fait mûrir l'effet."

Though there have always been a certain number of foreign students in the Quartier Latin the proportion is now far greater than what it was before the Great War, as may be observed at certain restaurants of the Quartier, where may be heard all sorts of languages but little French. Here may be seen many Japanese, the majority taking courses in political economy or in law; many of them titled men of high rank in their own country, studying with that thoughtfulness and application which is the characteristic of their race. South America is well represented by Argentines, Chileans, Brazilians and others, while from Haiti come other students. There are also Russians, Poles and Spaniards
— in short, men and women from every country, all of whom soon learn to adapt themselves to the ways and customs of the left bank.

The curious aesthetic of Paris as an irresistible attraction for intelligent people of all nations has had a considerable effect upon the world, which has largely profited by the artistic ideas absorbed in a Parisian atmosphere. The high standard of modern architecture which prevails in the United States, for instance, is probably in a great measure due to the fact that numerous American students are attached to the École des Beaux Arts; the district in which that admirable institution is situated being the headquarters of the colony of individuals from across the Atlantic who come to Paris to study Art.

Before the Great War students belonging to various nationalities had their special restaurants and cafés.

Those of the Chinese was in the Boulevard Montparnasse; Russians, the Gobelins; Poles, Rue Mazarine; Tzecs, Rue Monsieur la Prince; the Greeks, Rue des
Écoles; Romanians, Rue Dante.

The Caf
é Voltaire was also at one time much frequented by the latter, who there organized the Revolution of 1848 and the union of the Danube principalities, as well as organizing the idea of an entente between their country and France.

The Caf
é de Bruxelles, not far from the Odéon, used to be very popular with mulatto students, for which reason it was nicknamed "the blacking box."

The great international meeting place, a neutral ground for students of all nations, has long been and still remains the Boul' Mich' and its caf
és, the d'Harcourt, Pascal, Panthéon and other resorts where those who like sitting up late can gratify that taste to the full.

Of late years the three big caf
és on the Boulevard Montparnasse are becoming very popular with Americans who find that they are apt to meet as many friends on the left bank as on the right. The cafés of the Latin Quarter still have a charm of their own, people able to remain as long as they choose, while no one pays any attention to eccentricity of demeanor or of dress. A south Sea Islander in his war paint would create no sensation, the Parisians and especially the inhabitants of the left bank, taking everything as a matter of course provided no serious disturbance occurs.

Though the English colony of writers and painters as it existed in Thackeray's day has ceased to exist, quite a number of Britons may be found, who having drifted to Paris, have made that city their home. Some of these of course speak excellent French: the majority, however, rarely acquire a true Parisian accent, while a few never learn the language at all. One rather eccentric character ho had lived in the gay city for forty years was well known in the cafés which he frequented, as having forgotten his English while he had never learnt French.

In the past, English students who lived on the left bank of the Seine were often mere artistic loungers, with sufficient means to enable them to do as they liked. These were the sort of young men pictured in Trilby who cannot be said to have taken their studies very seriously, their days, according to de Maurier, having apparently been passed in social enjoyment and in making love. Since the Great War all this sort of thing has changed, a considerable number of British going to Paris to attend lectures at the Sorbonne and to perfect their French and also to keep themselves in touch with the various new forces which the Press tells its readers are at work in the modern world. Though it is quite a good thing that Anglo-Saxons should broaden their minds by residing in Paris, it is to be hoped that their influence will not destroy the free and unrestrained atmosphere which has hitherto been a characteristic of French student life.

A modern development which has been a great boon to young men of small means was the foundation of "la Maison des Étudiants," which may be called club as well as a hotel for meditation and work. This was inaugurated on May 28th 1910, by Anatole France, who made an admirable speech, in which he spoke of it as constituting a link between the present and the future which could not fail to do indefinite good.

The students, according to their wont, were in very high spirits that evening, and about two thousand of them, a number of whom had perhaps dined not wisely but too well, made their way to the Bal Bullier, where they created a considerable disturbance, indulging in all sorts of antics, dancing, singing and taking entire possession of the place. A band of these young men, having got hold of one of the many fair, but frail beauties who were enjoying the fun, took her clothes off, and hoisting her on their shoulders, perambulated the ballroom. In London this would have created a great row, but the nude does not shock the French, and the triumphal progress of the undraped lady, in whose person a poet said, "Youth rendered a tribute to Venus," evoked nothing but several rounds of applause.

The hard lot of poor young men not able to obtain a first-class education having for many years aroused concern, a generous millionaire, the late M. Deutsch de la Meurthe offered 10,000,000 francs to the University of Paris to provide a residential college for poor French students with the only condition being that the college should be built on the site of the old fortifications in the South-East of Paris, near the Parc Montsouris, one of the healthiest and most airy spots in the capital. The University and the Government accepted the offer with gratitude, and eventually it was arranged that the latter should purchase from the City of Paris a stretch of the old fortified belt, at the point indicated, amounting to about 70 acres, and make it over to the University as the site for the Deutsch Foundation. This idea of building Colleges for foreign students side by side with the French Foundation, and so making an international settlement, was originated by M. Honnorat, who was Minister of Public Instruction at the time when M. Deutsch da la Meurthe made his offer. The plan having been accepted in principle, a Canadian Hostel was the first of the foreign institutes to be completed, but other countries, including Belgium, the Argentine and the United States, Switzerland, Holland, Spain and Cuba applied for sites in the Cit
é. while it seems likely that in the time there will be separate hostels for Swedish, Japanese and other students.

The Cité consists of seven large buildings grouped round an open space, which has been pleasantly laid out with lawns, flowers and trees. The buildings are of red brick with stone copings, angles and cornices, and internally they are exceedingly comfortable and attractive. The students' rooms are large and airy; each of them contains a toilet recess with hot and cold water taps, and is furnished with a bed, a table, a chair, a bookcase, lighting, baths and bed linen; the inmates pay 150 francs a month. They would have to pay nearly twice as much for an ill-furnished attic in a cheap lodging-house.

La Sorbonne

The Cité Universitaire, as it is called, indeed represents a revival of the collegiate conception of university life as it used to be in the great universities of the Continent in the Middle Ages, when centers of learning grew up about the monasteries and the students from each country lived together in national foundations outside their walls. The idea is that each country which regularly sends any considerable number of students to Paris should found a college for them, and that these national colleges should be grouped together so that the students from all countries may meet and mingle.

A sterner discipline than that which has hitherto prevailed in the Quartier Latin will, it is understood, be enforced. Though men and women students will be allowed to mix together in the dining halls they are to be forbidden to receive visits from members of the opposite sex in their living rooms. Students will also have to be in college by 1 a.m., or, if they intend to sleep out, they have to give their address to the Rector. Visitors from outside are not allowed into the Foundation after 10 p.m. This discipline represents a new departure in the regime of Continental universities, where the student was hitherto generally his own master; but life in the Foundation offers such advantages and attractions that it is thought there will be no temptation for its members to break the rules.

Though the extreme of some of the college buildings is in the Norman style, the French architect has obviously been inspired by the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge from which the spacious quadrangles and general arrangements have obviously been copied.



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