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enough to travel all this long distance to see what was visible a stone's throw from our homes?
They've been dippin' out o' it all day," ventured the little fellow, who was holding the bushes apart and vainly peering into it for water. "It'll soon fill up," he said, as he saw our disappointed looks. Perhaps he imagined we would think him an impostor. Perhaps, also, he thought of the few coins he expected. He was alarmed, from our conversation, that we did not appreciate the beauties and wonders of East Bay mineral spring.
We waited almost breathless for an hour on the bank of the spring. The waters were indeed rising. The little cavity was fast filling. However small it might be, there was a spring, certainly. The cup was soon taken from a pocket-flask by Jake, the boldest of our party, and the bubbling, boiling water was tasted. We watched his countenance carefully to see what effect the healing balm would have. Jake was a little round-shouldered; we imagined he would straighten up immediately. He was somewhat deaf, had been so from childhood. Of course, his hearing would be as keen as our own. He was cross-eyed, too. Surely these great waters would make him a perfect man again. Imagine our surprise when, with "Ugh, what trash! it's as brackish as bilge water," he dashed the cup to the ground. No apparent change came over his physical constitution, except the awfully distorted and woe-begone countenance before us. What can be the matter? Do the Naiads no longer brood over the waters? We all decided that, however potent to cure, the water was by no means palatable, and that it was the meanest looking spring we had ever seen. We went to the brook that flowed near by. A general call brought Jake's flask out again. Mineral water was at a discount after that. It might do to pour over rheumatic limbs and shower around invalids, but the healthy, sane would certainly choose eau de vie.
We slept pretty well that night on the floor of the farmer's house. He had as many in his house as could possibly be crowded in, he said; but we made a rush, and a jolly field-bed was given us, where, before morning dawned, we got a few hours sleep. We rushed at daybreak to the spring. It was filled to overflowing, and around it were scores of people ready to get their share of the limpid waters. There was the old grey-headed man and the mere child making their way through the thickets, knocked rudely
aside by the more energetic and persevering. Some poor creatures could barely drag themselves along; others were carried by their friends. One little boy was in tears because he had got no mineral water for two days, and his mother had threatened him with summary punishment, if he again returned empty-handed. He sobbed as if his little heart would break, when he found his chances were no better than on previous visits. Kind-hearted Jake seized his tin dipper, disappeared in the crowd, and from the brook near by, dipped a full dish of the running water, which, with a fifty cent piece, he put into the boy's hand, who soon scampered off with a joyous heart to his friends. It likely had the same effect as if drawn from the medicinal spring.
The smoke curling up from before each tent and camp gave the place a wild and romantic appearance. The morning meal was being prepared, and as we passed along we observed that the culinary operations were of the most rustic description. Two forked sticks with a cross-pole supported the kettle, or pot; a broken-nosed tea-pot sang away among the embers; here and there a potato showed its scorched head from beneath the ashes, while the smell of broiled herring floated thick on the morning breeze. As a general thing, the visitors were of the poorer classes,-those who were too reduced in circumstances to employ medical attendance, so they came to try the free waters of this Bethesda; or those who were so illiterate that the superstition of the great power to cure all manner of diseases that this spring possessed, had firmly seized their minds, and nothing would satisfy them but to bundle up and make the wearisome journey. There were others, too, from strange countries, all seeking the great Elixir, health. The jeweled invalid, carefully waited on by a long line of attendants, and the poor, emaciated, wretchedly clad pauper, with yearning eyes, day by day watched for health.
When we were seated around the farmer's humble board, with its yet more homely fare, we heard many strange and wonderful stories of the mineral spring. Ten years before, the farmer was accustomed to drive his cows every morning to the little brook to drink. He noticed that after a time, they always sought the spring near by. It surprised him. It was difficult to get at; the open brook with pure water was before them, yet the spring was their drinking place. He noticed the strange taste in the waters, and at last carried them to the neighboring village. It was pro
nounced a mineral spring. Hundreds had since been to it. Scores, once weak and crippled with physical infirmity, were now hearty and well, living monuments of what these chalybeate waters had achieved. Sight had been restored, hearing improved, rheumatism had fled in dismay at the touch of the water. Every one we met had something new to tell of this wonderful spring. Its praises were in every one's mouth; and so, year after year, it had been frequented by crowds of sickly human beings.
We staid for a number of days around this little reservoir that was attracting so many. We listened to the marvellous stories about the place, till, surfeited, we decided to continue our trip. Our hearts ached as we left, to think of so many of our fellow creatures, racked with disease and pain, still lingering behind, cherishing the delusive hope that beneath the health-inspiring influence of this little fountain, they might yet regain their wonted strength.
The spring yet oozes from the earth, but its banks are almost deserted. The thick brambles are growing up again with a new vegetation. The morning and evening air is broken only by the natural melody of the birds. Occasionally the curiosity-seeker may tramp over the rough road and taste its waters, but no more do weary pilgrims, with diease-stricken bodies and sore-distressed souls, congregate on its mossy banks. Its silent and undisturbed bubblings have outlived the wild frenzy that brought so many to drink of its waters, and gently tell that men may come and go, but it moves on the same, for ever.
PARIS AT THE OUTBREAK OF THE
BY J. HARNEY FRITH, HALIFAX, N. S.
T will be my endeavour in the course of the following pages, to describe a journey from London to Paris in the month of March, 1871, and to give my impressions of the latter city, which has been, and will again be, the centre of all that is outwardly gay, bright and beautiful in Europe, but which, at the time of my arrival, had just emerged from one of the most gloomy and humiliating epochs in her history, and was about to enter upon
another still more dark and painful. I left London on the evening of the seventh of March, and after a ten hours journey arrived at Newhaven, one of the dreariest seaport towns, on a wet night, that it is possible to imagine. The steamboat awaiting to transport passengers to Dieppe was the narrowest and most uncomfortable that it has ever been my bad fortune to enter. Although the floating palaces, as they have been aptly called, which are to be seen upon the rivers and lakes of the United States would not be suitable for so rough a passage as the one across the English channel usually is, yet the Newhaven and Dieppe, and Dover and Calais boats might imitate, with benefit, American vessels in many respects. After an exceedingly unpleasant voyage, the boat arrived at Dieppe; and it was here that one began fully to realize the humiliation that France had undergone,- for the first object that met one's eye was the spike of a German helmet glittering in the lamplight. After our passports and luggage had been examined, the other passengers and myself made the best of our way through the unlighted and unpaved streets (the hour being three in the morning) to the nearest hotel. After some delay we were admitted by a sleepy garçon, who ushered us into a cold, comfortless room, where extensive preparations had been made for a large company in the form of cups, saucers, and plates, with nothing whatever to put in them. We clamoured for breakfast, and tout de suite was the reply, but the tout de suite lengthened into half an hour, and we whiled away the time, as travellers are too prone to do, in stating our grievances, and grumbling at everything in general. One man, in particular, seemed especially aggrieved because another, at whose antipodes he lay during the passage across, would insist upon letting himself out like a telescope, and driving him, the aggrieved one, further and further into the bulkhead. However, breakfast arrived at last, and having finished it, we started at 6 A. M. for Rouen, where we arrived at two o'clock in the afternoon. This town is one of the oldest and most interesting in France, and has sustained very little injury from its occupation by Prussian troops, a number of whom we saw drilling near the famous cathedral. After spending two hours very pleasantly at Rouen, we continued en route for Paris, in the vicinity of which we first saw unmistakable signs of the devastation caused by the artillery of the Germans, and the precautions of the French.
Broken bridges were on all sides, for the Seine winds very much
around Paris. Ruined houses, felled trees, and cut up roads met one's eye at every glance. Upon entering the capital itself, however, we encountered none of these sad spectacles. The houses were uninjured, and the streets and shops apparently well filled; in short, excepting that three out of every five persons to be met with were in military uniform, there was nothing to remind a stranger of the late siege. Such was the first impression; but a closer inspection soon removed it. No women, unless those of the lower classes, were abroad, and the greater number of the men were either moody, or wildly, recklessly mirthful. The promenaders in the Boulevards and the Champs Elysées, for the most part, were unwashed, unshaven fellows in the uniform of the Mobile and National Guards, and the vehicles were chiefly hearses, wending their melancholy way to the cemetery of Père la Chaise, bearing the victims who had died from their wounds, or who had sunk under the privations of the siege. Here let me, for the benefit of those who may not have seen it, endeavour to describe Père la Chaise. The cemetery is on an inclined plane, and from the mortuary chapel at the summit, presents the appearance of a village of Lilliputian cottages, most of the graves having open tombs built over them. In these tombs, the fronts of which are closed by wrought iron gates, are placed crosses, wreaths of immortelles, and chairs for the accommodation of those who go thither to meditate on the fate of friends whom death may have called away. During the revolution, however, these tombs were put by the Communists to a far different use than that of furnishing retreats sacred to sorrow, for it was behind them that those poor wretches intrenched themselves when driven from every other stronghold.
In the course of the bombardment, so few shells fell within the walls of Paris that the city itself was very slightly injured. In the environs, however, the destruction was indeed deplorable. The beautiful palace of St. Cloud and the magnificent grounds surrounding it, were completely destroyed. Of the palace, scarcely one stone remains upon another. It was when visiting this favourite residence of the late Emperor Napoleon that I met with an instance of the vandalism which actuates certain tourists, in their search for souvenirs. Although bits of beautiful stone were lying about in all directions, one man, who possessed a soul above taking what he could obtain without an effort, seized a twisted