The Parisians — Volume 01
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The Parisians — Volume 01


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The Project Gutenberg EBook The Parisians, by E. B. Lytton, Book 1. #164 in our series by Edward Bulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers*****Title: The Parisians, Book 1.Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7737] [Yes, we are more than one year ahead of schedule] [This file was firstposted on May 20, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE PARISIANS, B1, LYTTON ***Produced by David Widger THE PARISIANSBy Edward Bulwer-LyttonPREFATORY NOTE.(BY THE AUTHOR'S SON.)"The Parisians" and "Kenelm Chillingly" were begun about the same time, and had their ...



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The Project Gutenberg EBook The Parisians, by E.B. Lytton, Book 1. #164 in our series by EdwardBulwer-LyttonCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Besure to check the copyright laws for your countrybefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen whenviewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do notremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****EBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These EBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers*****Title: The Parisians, Book 1.
Author: Edward Bulwer-LyttonRelease Date: March 2005 [EBook #7737] [Yes,we are more than one year ahead of schedule][This file was first posted on May 20, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK THE PARISIANS, B1, LYTTON ***Produced by David Widger <>THE PARISIANSBy Edward Bulwer-LyttonPREFATORY NOTE.
(BY THE AUTHOR'S SON.)"The Parisians" and "Kenelm Chillingly" were begunabout the same time, and had their common originin the same central idea. That idea first foundfantastic expression in "The Coming Race;" andthe three books, taken together, constitute aspecial group, distinctly apart from all the otherworks of their author.The satire of his earlier novels is a protest againstfalse social respectabilities; the humour of his laterones is a protest against the disrespect of socialrealities. By the first he sought to promote socialsincerity and the free play of personal character;by the last, to encourage mutual charity andsympathy amongst all classes, on whoseinterrelation depends the character of society itself.But in these three books, his latest fictions, themoral purpose is more definite and exclusive. Eachof them is an expostulation against what seemedto him the perilous popularity of certain social andpolitical theories, or a warning against the influenceof certain intellectual tendencies upon individualcharacter and national life. This purpose, however,though common to the three fictions, is worked outin each of them by a different method. "TheComing Race" is a work of pure fancy, and thesatire of it is vague and sportive. The outlines of adefinite purpose are more distinctly drawn in"Chillingly,"—a romance which has the source of itseffect in a highly wrought imagination. The humourand pathos of "Chillingly" are of a kind incompatiblewith the design of "The Parisians," which is a work
of dramatized observation. "Chillingly" is aromance; "The Parisians" is a novel. The subject of"Chillingly" is psychological; that of "The Parisians"is social. The author's object in "Chillingly" being toillustrate the effects of "modern ideas" upon anindividual character, he has confined his narrativeto the biography of that one character; hence thesimplicity of plot and small number of dramatispersonae, whereby the work gains in height anddepth what it loses in breadth of surface. "TheParisians," on the contrary, is designed to illustratethe effect of "modern ideas" upon a wholecommunity. This novel is therefore panoramic inthe profusion and variety of figures presented by itto the reader's imagination. No exclusiveprominence is vouchsafed to any of these figures.All of them are drawn and coloured with an equalcare, but by means of the bold, broad touchesnecessary for their effective presentation on acanvas so large and so crowded. Such figures are,indeed, but the component features of one greatform, and their actions only so many modes of onecollective impersonal character,—that of theParisian Society of Imperial and DemocraticFrance; a character everywhere present and busythroughout the story, of which it is the real hero orheroine. This society was doubtless selected forcharacteristic illustration as being the mostadvanced in the progress of "modern ideas." Thus,for a complete perception of its writer'sfundamental purpose, "The Parisians" should beread in connection with "Chillingly," and these twobooks in connection with "The Coming Race." It willthen be perceived that through the medium of
alternate fancy, sentiment, and observation,assisted by humour and passion, these threebooks (in all other respects so different from eachother) complete the presentation of the samepurpose under different aspects, and therebyconstitute a group of fictions which claims aseparate place of its own in any thoughtfulclassification of their author's works.One last word to those who will miss from thesepages the connecting and completing touches ofthe master's hand. It may be hoped that such adisadvantage, though irreparable, is somewhatmitigated by the essential character of the workitself. The aesthetic merit of this kind of novel is inthe vivacity of a general effect produced by large,swift strokes of character; and in such strokes, ifthey be by a great artist, force and freedom ofstyle must still be apparent, even when they areleft rough and unfinished. Nor can any lack of finalverbal correction much diminish the intellectualvalue which many of the more thoughtful passagesof the present work derive from a long, keen, andpractical study of political phenomena, guided bypersonal experience of public life, and enlightenedby a large, instinctive knowledge of the humanheart.Such a belief is, at least, encouraged by the privatecommunications spontaneously made to him whoexpresses it, by persons of political experience andsocial position in France, who have acknowledgedthe general accuracy of the author's descriptions,and noticed the suggestive sagacity and
penetration of his occasional comments on thecircumstances and sentiments he describes.
INTRODUCTORY CHAPTER.They who chance to have read the "Coming Race"may perhaps remember that I, the adventurousdiscoverer of the land without a sun, concluded thesketch of my adventures by a brief reference to themalady which, though giving no perceptible noticeof its encroachments, might, in the opinion of mymedical attendant, prove suddenly fatal.I had brought my little book to this somewhatmelancholy close a few years before the date of itspublication, and in the meanwhile I was induced totransfer my residence to Paris, in order to placemyself under the care of an English physician,renowned for his successful treatment ofcomplaints analogous to my own.I was the more readily persuaded to undertake thisjourney,—partly because I enjoyed a familiaracquaintance with the eminent physician referredto, who had commenced his career and foundedhis reputation in the United States; partly because Ihad become a solitary man, the ties of homebroken, and dear friends of mine were domiciled inParis, with whom I should be sure of tendersympathy and cheerful companionship. I hadreason to be thankful for this change of residence:the skill of Dr. C soon restored me to health._____Brought much into contact with various circles ofParisian society, I became acquainted with thepersons and a witness of the events that form the
substance of the tale I am about to submit to thepublic, which has treated my former book with sogenerous an indulgence. Sensitively tenacious ofthat character for strict and unalloyed veracitywhich, I flatter myself, my account of the abodesand manners of the Vril-ya has established, I couldhave wished to preserve the following narrative noless jealously guarded than its predecessor fromthe vagaries of fancy. But Truth undisguised, neverwelcome in any civilized community above ground,is exposed at this time to especial dangers in Paris;and my life would not be worth an hour's purchaseif I exhibited her 'in puris naturalibus' to the eyes ofa people wholly unfamiliarized to a spectacle soindecorous. That care for one's personal safetywhich is the first duty of thoughtful man compelsme therefore to reconcile the appearance of 'laVerite' to the 'bienseances' of the polished societyin which 'la Liberte' admits no opinion not dressedafter the last fashion.Attired as fiction, Truth may be peacefully received;and, despite the necessity thus imposed byprudence, I indulge the modest hope that I do notin these pages unfaithfully represent certainprominent types of the brilliant population whichhas invented so many varieties of Koom-Posh;[Koom-Posh, Glek-Nas. For the derivation ofthese terms and their metaphoricalsignification, I must refer the reader to the"Coming Race," chapter xii., on the languageof the Vril-ya. To those who have not read orhave forgotten that historical composition, it
may be convenient to state briefly thatKoom-Posh with the Vril-ya is the name forthe government of the many, or theascendency of the most ignorant or hollow,and may be loosely rendered Hollow-Bosh.When Koom-Posh degenerates from popularignorance into the popular ferocity whichprecedes its decease, the name for thatstate of things is Glek-Nas; namely, theuniversal strife-rot.]and even when it appears hopelessly lost in theslough of a Glek-Nas, re-emerges fresh and livelyas if from an invigorating plunge into the Fountainof Youth. O Paris, 'foyer des idees, et oeil dumonde!'— animated contrast to the serenetranquillity of the Vril-ya, which, nevertheless, thynoisiest philosophers ever pretend to make thegoal of their desires: of all communities on whichshines the sun and descend the rains of heaven,fertilizing alike wisdom and folly, virtue and vice; inevery city men have yet built on this earth,—mayest thou, O Paris, be the last to brave thewands of the Coming Race and be reduced intocinders for the sake of the common good! TISH.PARIS, August 28, 1872.
THE PARISIANS.By Edward Bulwer-LyttonBOOK I.CHAPTER I.It was a bright day in the early spring of 1869. AllParis seemed to have turned out to enjoy itself.The Tuileries, the Champs Elysees, the Bois deBoulogne, swarmed with idlers. A stranger mighthave wondered where Toil was at work, and inwhat nook Poverty lurked concealed. A millionairefrom the London Exchange, as he looked round onthe magasins, the equipages, the dresses of thewomen; as he inquired the prices in the shops andthe rent of apartments,—might have askedhimself, in envious wonder, How on earth do thosegay Parisians live? What is their fortune? Wheredoes it come from?As the day declined, many of the scatteredloungers crowded into theBoulevards; the cafes and restaurants began tolight up.About this time a young man, who might be somefive or six and twenty, was walking along theBoulevard des Italiens, heeding little the throngthrough which he glided his solitary way: there was