Paris of to Day

Cover of book Paris of to Day
Categories: Nonfiction

Purchase of this book includes free trial access to where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: rag-pickers in sh


anties with mere ground for the floor. In one and the same hut they sorted the filth, housed the family, worked, cooked, and slept, were born, and died. An infant, who had just gone through the former THE EXHIBITION GATE OPPOSITE THE INVALIDES process, lay in its cradle in one corner, and beside the cradle was a crib, where two others slept; a bed for father, mother, and yet an infant more, occupied another corner. Rags, bones, broken bottles, and bits of rusty iron completed the furniture. This is all the more trying in Paris, because in their work the Parisians are a highly domesticated folk.Wherever they can do it, they work at home. The hardest thing in the world is to bring the artificial- flower makers into a factory. All the fine taste of these girls seems to go out of them when you range them in rows. What they like is to be left in their own garrets and to feign nature at their ease with a modeling-tool and a tinted rag. It is, in one view, the French passion for little industries of all kinds. They put off the evil day of machinery as long as they can. Whole districts are still cultivated with the spade. Many Parisian industries depend only less on hand-labor than the Japanese. This is specially the case in the toy trade, a considerable item in the exports of France. All those fanciful creations which are the delight of the boulevards on the ist of January are more or less traceable to dismal back rooms, looking out on walls of giant buildings which know no visitation of the sun. Even where the curious industry is established on the larger scale it still has something domestic in its character. There may be twenty people under a master as petty as themselves, but they still have to contrive to work in the master's lodgings. He finds room, som...

Paris of to Day
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