Monday, September 16, 1889

Monday Sept. 16th.

This morning being bright , clear and beautiful, we decided to walk down the Houssmann over to Champs Elysee to the “Arc-de-Triomphe” and go to the top. We took the Children and walked all the way, two miles. Then we paid 10c and started up. The staircase inside [Editorial Note: an “of” is extremely faded after “inside”; it appears the typist tried to erase it] one of the immense columns is winding, dark and narrow, consisting of 264 continuous steps with one quite long landing. We started and soon it became quite dark with only now and then a lonely candle to light the traveller on his way. When we reached the landing the crowd was immense and collided and I thought we would be jammed to death. The children were brave and a young Englishman, bless his heart, helped me to protect them from the mob. The Frenchmen chattedered and howled, and I thought what must a French mob be. Finally we got to the top and such a magnificent view of Paris. Twelve boulevards center here. This was built by Napoleon to celebrate his victories, cost 1 418,000 bas relieves of wars of the Republic and Empire, one of the finest triumphal arches in the world.

[The Arc de Triomphe is another site that I imagine is familiar at least in passing to most readers. For info and lots of photos, see this page (click on photos on that page to view larger versions).]

[In a world where it is difficult for most humans on the planet to escape constant lighting of the environment at all hours, it is hard for many of us today to imagine what it was like before the advent and widespread introduction of electricity. To me, the passage about climbing in the dark illustrates very well how different life used to be even in a large city like Paris.]

[Bas reliefs (spelled “bas relieves” here) are another art term, this one for low-relief sculptures attached to a backing or wall.]

[It’s not your imagination; there are a number of cross-outs and proofing errors in this fairly short entry, including an apparent mistaken strike (the “l” in “light”) and a misspelling in an attempt at a correction (“chattedered”).]

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