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He has so much goodness and so much serenity that it is impossible not to feel a very sincere affection for him. I must tell you how glad I should have been to have met you here, where there are a thousand things in which a stranger has need of advice, but although I much regret your absence, yet I have too much affection for you to wish you here.

France seems to be in a situation which, terminate as it may with respect to public affairs, cannot fail eventually to produce dissensions in private circles. As yet the spectacles hold some share in the conversation, but I hear as much politics among the ladies of Paris as ever you did among those of Philadelphia.

Republicanism is absolutely a moral influenza, from which neither titles, places, nor even the diadem can guard their possessor. If when the States-General assemble their debates should be published, the Lord preserve us from a hot summer. Jefferson, the American minister, was just on the eve of departure for America, and no one had as yet been appointed in his place.

I assure him with great truth that I have no desire to be in that place even if it were vacant. The hurry of life in Paris evidently troubled him, for in a letter to his brother March 11th he says:. The amusements I cannot partake of because my business in the morning and my engagements till midnight keep me in a perpetual hurry. I have seen enough to convince me that a man might in this city be incessantly employed for forty years and grow old without knowing what he had been about.

This is a charming circumstance for those who, having nothing to do, would otherwise be obliged to study how best to kill old time, and who waste their hours in constant complaints that the days of man are short and few. During the spring the affairs of a certain Mr.

But it is best to let Morris tell his own experience of approaching so high a personage. After waiting for my turn I address the Minister by asking if he is M. DeVille Delville, to whom I have the honor of addressing myself. He informs me of my mistake, and as he is a man of the sword and not of the robe, this mistake is not a small one. Delville is found and appealed to for help he refuses to understand reason; and the next morning the unfortunate Mr.

Nesbitt woke Morris at any early hour, by rushing into his chamber to escape from the officer. He has already sent for the commissary and the guard. Presently they arrive in their respective uniforms, and as the door is kept bolted a locksmith is also sent for.

He comes, and before the application of his tools I inform Mr. Nesbitt of what has passed, and he comes out. He contends that they cannot take him, because he has not been duly summoned. But the officer produces a certificate that he has.

And although this is certainly false, yet justice must believe its own instruments. He sets off for the bureau and I go and make interest for his release. Hear that Lafayette is like to lose his election in Auvergne—a circumstance which gives great pleasure, I find, to some persons here.

His conduct is much disapproved of, as indeed is naturally to be expected, by all those attached to the order of nobility. I believe he has mixed a little too deep, for I am very much mistaken if he is not, without knowing it himself, a much greater aristocrat than those of the party opposed to him. In effect, as the constitution of this country must inevitably undergo some change which will lessen the monarchical power, it is clear that unless the nobles acquire a constitutional sanction to some of their privileges, it will be in the power of the ministry afterwards to confound them entirely with the people, according to the strange doctrine supported by the Duke of Orleans and the result must be either a tyranny of one in the first instance or as a consequence of the anarchy which would result from giving the wretched constitution of the Pennsylvania legislature to the Kingdom of France.

As to the distress among the paupers of Paris during this spring, Morris, who fearlessly and harmlessly walked or drove through every part of the town, observing closely as he went, wrote to his brother, General Morris, then in England, as follows:. But they have in that respect an advantage which you did not think of; viz. In effect, none of the beggars I have seen complain to me of cold.

They all ask for the means to get a morsel of bread, and show by their countenance that by bread they Edition: current; Page: [ 39 ] mean wine. And if the vintners were to interpret this last word, the poor devils would find that it means a very different kind of liquor. Among the objects which present themselves, doubtless some are deserving of charity, but these are scarcely to be noticed in the crowd of pretenders. The rascals have, I suppose, found out by studying human nature that each man loves himself better than his neighbor, and therefore make it his interest to give.

The rich, in return, as patrons of industry, are vastly inattentive to these importunities, and by withholding their alms try to make it the interest of the others to work rather than to beg. The effects of habit on each are wonderful. Not long since I saw a gentleman of my acquaintance weep at an air of an opera, who had heard a beggar clatter his crutches in pursuit of him for the length of a street without turning round to look at him.

It is highly probable that a constitution will be established, as free as is consistent with their manners and situation; in which case the King will gain more abroad than he loses at home, if, indeed, it can be called a loss to part with the power of doing mischief and retain only the power of doing good.

If the indisposition of the King of England should keep their politics a little more at home, the nation will be much happier. That preponderance which Britain had gained during the peace, from the circumstances in which other nations found themselves, and which has led to a very dictatorial conduct that by those Edition: current; Page: [ 40 ] same circumstances became successful, would, I fear, have soon set the world again on fire, and it is ten to one that her own feathers would have been singed in the general combustion.

Dominique, asks me to speak to M. This apropos of the letter written some years before on this subject to the Marquis de Chastellux. I tell him that I have no wit to talk with their ministers on public affairs, but if he chooses to ask my ideas it will be my duty to give them, after his very particular attention to me. In effect, I had rather leave our affairs in the hands of our Minister, and give him my ideas. From this time Morris became deeply engaged in large affairs of public interest to America and France.

This is an immense monument of the vanity and folly of Louis Fourteenth. We see neither the King nor the Queen, but as we come not to look for them this is no misfortune. Like the other hangers on of the Court, we desire not them, but theirs—with this difference, however, that we mean to gratify curiosity, not cupidity. Her picture, however, by Madame Lebrun, will do as well, and perhaps better, for it is very beautiful, doubtless as much so as the original.

It was at Versailles in the salon of Madame Cabanis, wife of the celebrated physiologist and physician, Pierre Jean George Cabanis, the personal friend of Mirabeau, Edition: current; Page: [ 42 ] and the ami de la maison of Condorcet, that Morris first met Madame de Flahaut, the romance writer, the friend of Montesquiou and of the Bishop of Autun.

She was at this time in the glory of her youth and attractions, with possibly a touch of sadness about her and certainly a rare sympathy, which, added to her thoroughly trained mind, with its decidedly philosophical cast, gave her an uncommon power over men.

Hers had been a strange life. Married at fifteen to the Comte de Flahaut, then quite fifty—who had denied himself no excess of dissipation—she found herself coldly neglected. But to return to the diary. She speaks English and is a pleasing woman; if I might judge from appearances, not a sworn enemy to intrigue. She was destined to fly for her life and to be made a widow by the guillotine in Those were pleasant days and evenings in the grand salons of the Palais Royal, and the lesser ones of Paris generally, before the Terror came.

There was no longer dancing, and fewer love-making couples scattered about the room; large groups of people came together for more general conversation. Morris surely counted himself born under a fortunate star to be the favored guest of such as they. In the boudoir of madame, adjoining the salon, I have the pleasure to sit for an hour alone by a light exactly resembling twilight, the temperature of the air brought to perfect mildness—and the sweetest sounds.

Later in the evening came a change of scene, and a bishop from Languedoc makes tea and the ladies who choose it stand round and take each their dish. This would seem strange in America, and yet it is by no means more so than the Chevalier de Louis who begged alms of me this morning after introducing himself by his own letter.

The widow of the late Duke of Orleans comes in, and at going away, according to custom, kisses the duchess. I observe that the ladies of Paris are very fond of each other, which gives room to some observations from her Royal Highness on the person who has just quitted the room, which show that the kiss does not always betoken Edition: current; Page: [ 44 ] great affection. In going away she is pleased to say that she is glad to have met me, and I believe her.

The reason is that I dropped some expressions and sentiments a little rough, and which were agreeable because they contrast with the palling polish she constantly meets with everywhere. Hence I conclude that the less I have the honor of such good company the better, for when the novelty ceases all is over, and I shall probably be worse than insipid.

It could not be worse if we praised it. She seems to be a woman of sense and somewhat masculine in her character, but has very much the appearance of a chambermaid. A little before dinner M. Necker enters.

He has the look and manner of the counting-house, and, being dressed in embroidered velvet, he contrasts strongly with his habiliments. His bow, his address, etc. The Duchess of Biron, formerly Lauzun, is one. I observe that M. Necker seems occupied by ideas whch rather distress him. He cannot, I think, stay in office half an hour after the nation insist on keeping him there. If he is a really great man I am deceived, and yet this is a rash judgment; but how can one help forming some judgment?

If he is not a laborious man I am also deceived. From dinner I visit Madame de Chastellux. After being there some time the Duchess of Orleans enters. We have a trio for half an hour. She repeats that she is very glad to see me there. This is very kind, but I do not exactly know what it means. After a pleasant hour with the duchess and Madame de Chastellux, a supper with the Baron de Besenval claimed attention. This young man is the Lovelace of his day and as remarkable for seductions as his father.

He does not want for understanding. The tone of the society here seems to be that it was not worth while to call the States-General for such a trifle as the deficit amounts to. The business of M. Necker therefore stands thus: If any mischiefs happen they will be charged to him. If he gets well through the business others will claim the reputation of what good is done by the States-General.

He loves flattery—for he flatters; he is therefore easily deceived. He believes that many persons support him out of esteem, who I believe only use him, and will throw by the instrument when it can no longer serve their purpose. Necker is in blast till May, but will probably Edition: current; Page: [ 46 ] blow out unless further means can be devised. Consequently both the means and the inclination to afford succor are wanting.

He appoints to-morrow. Call on Madame de Chastellux. Her visit is short, being engaged for the evening. A look from her Royal Highness opens the idea that M. Morris est un peu amoureux de Madame la Marquise , but Madame la Duchesse is mistaken.

However, this mistake can do no harm to anybody. She is by no means deficient in understanding, and has, I think, good dispositions. Nous verrons. But the Marshal objected to the salt provisions because they must encourage this commerce with Ireland, the Irish buying large quantities of Bordeaux wine. Necker will, on the contrary, I presume, be of opinion that the payment of the debt is of the utmost importance. Has no antipathy to the gentler passion.

Madame ——, sister to the late M. She complains of a headache, but is, I think, rather out of temper than in ill-health. Morris seems to me not to be such agreeable company as before. Take leave and go to supper with Madame de Corney. After a little while Madame de Flahaut enters. Presently, M. Reads us his speech. Necker is Edition: current; Page: [ 48 ] blamed, and the company do not appear inclined to mercy on his subject.

This intelligence is not disagreeable to the company here. DeVille Delville are violently prejudiced against him. This Nesbitt ought to have known, for in his affair he met a beautiful woman, the sister or cousin of his creditor, and in the second affair M. Thus a little negligence has involved him in a manner which I shall find very difficult to extricate him from. She is in bed and her brother-in-law is sitting with her.

So it appears she has, as she says, forgotten her engagement to me. She sends us forward, and is to follow. This is done. We walk over the court of the Louvre, through the mud, view the statues—the paintings we cannot see, that pleasure is for another opportunity. Return to her quarters. Monsieur, presuming that I was about to follow her upstairs merely out of politeness, apologizes for me. In consequence I take my leave, and thus a scene, which my imagination had painted very well, turns out good for nothing.

The weather contributes to render it disagreeable— Edition: current; Page: [ 49 ] wind, rain, and, of course mud without, and dampness within. But this is human life. Monsieur, as I go away, expresses a hope to see me again soon, and requests to be commanded if he can be useful in anything.

This politesse is always agreeable, though a man must be a fool to believe in it. In going from hence I slip as I step into the carriage, and bruise my shin very much. Thus everything goes wrong. Visit the Comtesse Durfort. She has company and is but just risen. Pressed to dine, but decline it.

She is going to sup with the Baron de Besenval, and I promise to be there if I can. She says if I do not go, it is because I will not. I am certainly good for nothing, and the only tolerable thing I can do is to go home. This is done, and, being out of humor with myself, I find the dinner very bad. Threaten to deal with another waiter—extremely ridiculous. The waiter, who behaves with great humility, must, I think, despise me for talking angrily before I can talk French.

Madame de Chastellux and Madame de Puisignieu are there. In conversing about public men and measures I am so weak and absurd as to express many opinions which I ought to conceal, and some of which I may perhaps find reason to alter. Call on Mr. Jefferson, and sit an hour with him, which is at least fifty minutes too long, for his daughter had left the room on my approach, and waits only my departure, at least I think so. He lies on a couch, or rather sofa—the gout in his right hand, which is his only hand.

Madame de Chastellux and another lady are there. I think I was wrong to come here, and for that reason find it difficult to get away—vastly awkward. At length make a shift to take leave, and, to avoid all further folly for this day, determine to go home. Dearth of wheat at Lyons.

Morris offers Necker a cargo. Graciousness of the Duchess of Orleans. Ladies vexed by long arguments in the salons. Ten thousand troops ordered out. Swiss guards within the barriers. King and princes oppose liberty. Political talk with the Bishop of Autun.

Makes a plan of finance for France. Election excitements. A water-party on the Seine. An eventful day at Versailles. Meeting of the States-General. Magnificent spectacle. Mirabeau hissed. The Duke of Orleans applauded. Visit to Marly. Madame du Barry. Petit-Trianon Gardens. In the month of April the dearth of wheat at Lyons gave the ministers serious apprehension, and Morris proposed to the banker Le Coulteux to offer a cargo of grain which was then arriving.

The plan was approved of and an express sent to Versailles to consult with M. Necker is suspected of having engaged the funds and credit of government in the operation, by which he will get for the crown one hundred and fifty millions. I cannot help expressing my detestation of this vile slander, and M.

How wretched is the situation of that man who is raised high above others. His services, the fruit of anxious solicitude, are attributed to chance, or pared down to the size of ordinary occurrences. But every Edition: current; Page: [ 52 ] public misfortune, even the interference of the seasons and the operations of human cupidity, are charged to the ignorance or injustice of administration.

Le Coulteux wishes that I should go with him to one of the administration about the cargo of the Russel, as he is fearful that an offer from him would be considered merely in the light of a private speculation. In the afternoon go to M.

We visit M. Montlieraiu, and Monsieur C. I find he was right in his idea of the reception it would meet with, but I cut the matter short by putting it at once on its true ground without any of those compliments that had already been brought forward and which might of course now be dispensed with.

This induces M. Montlieraiu to think more seriously of the matter. The brother of the first magistrate of Lyons is sent for, who wishes it very much. After considering the several difficulties the thing appears of such consequence that a letter is to be written to-morrow, to M. I desire pointedly that, if my name is used, M. Necker may know that this offer is made from a view to relieve the administration, but above all to succor the distressed people and without the slightest attention to pecuniary considerations.

Madame de Chastellux told me that the Duchess had observed on not seeing me there for some time, and said she would visit me chez Madame la Marquise this evening. This is a badinage Edition: current; Page: [ 53 ] which I begin to comprehend, and there is nothing in it to flatter my vanity.

Tant mieux. I assure the marchioness of my veneration and affection, etc. She tells me that Madame de Rully is a slut. I assure her that this information gives me great concern, that I was becoming violently in love with her, and am totally palled by the communication. The early spring attracted Morris toward the country, and he mentions visiting the country-seat of M. They will acquire it by means of that Anglomania which now rages among them.

If at the same time they should improve both their agriculture and constitution, it will be difficult to calculate the power of this nation. But the progress of this nation seems to be much greater in the fine arts than in the useful arts.

This perhaps depends on a government oppressive to industry but favorable to genius. A large company and a small dinner. He will, he says, carry the post by assault. This will be somewhat difficult, as the King has already surrendered everything at discretion. I desire the Comte de Pellue to ask him what he wants. Edition: current; Page: [ 54 ] He says a constitution.

But what constitution? In explaining himself, it appears that he desires less than is already granted, and a part of the company differ with him because he does not desire enough. And so much for carrying everything by assault. A tedious argument is commenced, to which I pay no attention, but find that the ladies are vexed at it, because the orators are so vehement that their gentle voices cannot be heard.

They will have more of this, if the States-General should really fix a constitution. Such an event would be particularly distressing to the women of this country, for they would be thereby deprived of their share in the government, and hitherto they have exercised an authority almost unlimited, with no small pleasure to themselves, though not perhaps with the greatest advantage to the community. He is at play with a number of people who look like gamblers.

Madame is abroad and probably engaged at a different game. Call on Madame de Durfort. She lets me know that she is going to pay a visit to a sick person, and she takes an officer of dragoons to support her under the affliction.

Take tea with Madame de Chastellux. She gives me many curious anecdotes of this country. Two ladies come in and talk politics. One of them dislikes M. I find that his mind is getting right as to the business he has in hand. We consider of a revolt in Paris, and agree that it might occasion much mischief but would not produce any good, that in consequence it will be Edition: current; Page: [ 55 ] best to enter a protestation against the manner of canvassing the city, etc. There is to be a meeting of the noblesse this afternoon and M.

He is, if possible, to be made one of the representatives and is therefore to be brought forward as a speaker immediately. Lafayette says he has genius and family though of small fortune. Go to dine with M. He has been at the meeting. I am very curious, and among other things ask if M.

Yes, and said a few words which were very well. Necker, I fancy things have gone very right. The revolution that is carrying on in the country is a strange one. A few people who have set it going look with astonishment at their own work. The ministers contribute to the destruction of ministerial authority, without knowing either what they are doing or what to do. Necker, who thinks he directs everything, is perhaps himself as much an instrument as any of those which he makes use of.

His fall is I think desired, but it will not happen so soon as his enemies expect. It will depend much on the chapter of accidents who will govern the States-General, or whether they will be at all governable. Lafayette has given me this morning the anticipation of a whimsical part of the drama. I give him one or two reasons which strike me in support of his opinion, but he inclines to place it on a different ground.

His opinions accord best with those of a republic. Mine are drawn only from human nature and ought not therefore to have much respect in this age of refinement. It would indeed be ridiculous for those to believe in man who affect not to believe in God. The tea is very good, and her conversation is better flavored than her tea, which comes from Russia.

After this an hour spent with Madame de Chastellux at the Palais Royal, where I found her with her son lying in her lap. A mother in this situation is always interesting, and her late loss renders her particularly so. In the course of conversation, asking after the health of her princess, she repeats a message formerly delivered. On this occasion I observe that I should be sorry to show a want of respectful attention or be guilty of an indiscretion, and therefore wish to know what would be proper conduct should I meet Her Highness anywhere else—that my present opinion is that it would be proper not to know her.

She says I may rely on it that in such case she would recognize me. I tell her farther that, although in my interior I have a great indifference for the advantages of birth, and only respect in her Royal Highness the virtues she possesses, yet I feel myself bound to comply exteriorly with the feelings and prejudices of those among whom I find myself.

Morris seemed to be impressed with his lack of the proper spirit of a traveller and sightseer, for in a letter [April 18th] to a friend at Philadelphia he confessed his shortcomings in that regard. But what will you say to a man who has been above two months in Paris without ascending to the top of Notre Dame, who has been but three times to Versailles, and on neither of those times has seen the King or Queen, or had the wish to see them, and who, if he should continue here twenty years, would continue in ignorance of the length of the Louvre, the breadth of the Pont Neuf, etc.?

A man in Paris lives in a sort of whirlwind which turns him round so fast that he can see nothing, and as all men and things are in the same vertiginous situation you can neither fix yourself nor your object for regular examination. Hence the people of this metropolis are under the necessity of pronouncing their definitive judgment from the first glance; and being thus habituated to shoot flying, they have what the sportsmen call a quick sight.

They know a wit by his snuff-box , a man of taste by his bow , and a statesman by the cut of his coat. It is true that like other sportsmen they sometimes miss, but like other sportsmen they have a thousand excuses besides the want of skill. The fault, you know, may be in the dog or the bird or the powder or the flint, or even the gun, without mentioning the gunner.

The ministers have disgusted this city by the manner of convoking them to elect their representatives for the States-General, and at the same time bread is getting dearer. So that when the people assemble on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday next, what with hunger and discontent the least spark would set everything in a flame.

The state physicians have, by way of antidote, brought between fifteen and twenty thousand regular troops within and about the city; so that at any rate the bons bourgeois may not have all the fun to themselves. This measure will rather tend to produce than to prevent a riot, for some of the young nobility have brought themselves to an active faith in the natural equality of mankind, and spurn at everything which looks like restraint. He has been very busy all day in traversing the views of the ministry in the election of the nobles, and thinks with success.

Madame goes to make her visit of condolence to Madame de Guibert, whose husband, a Neckerist, is dismissed from his place in the War Office, at which, by the bye, she is delighted, though Madame de Guibert will not be so well pleased, notwithstanding that she is of the party opposed to her husband. Promise Madame de Flahaut to return, and go to M. She is in high spirits at the opposition like to take place among the nobles. Machault, a minister.

The King and Princes have united together to oppose the progress of liberty, the rapidity of which has at length given them serious alarm. The King applied to M. Machault to be premier, which he declined on account of his age. Was asked his opinion of M.

The chiefs of the patriotic party have gone so far that they cannot retreat with safety. If there be any real vigor in the nation the prevailing party in the States-General may, if they please, overturn the monarchy itself, should the King commit his authority to a contest with them. Edition: current; Page: [ 60 ] The Court is extremely feeble, and the manners are so extremely corrupt that they cannot succeed if there be any consistent opposition.

Unless the whole nation be equally depraved, the probability, I think, is that an attempt to retreat at this late period of the business will bring the Court into absolute contempt. Hope that M. This is the best course they could take.

She wishes me to see her son, M. Morris had been for some time engaged in forming a plan of finance for France. It had been translated into French, and presented to M. The morning of Wednesday, the 22d, Morris spent with Jefferson, discussing the question of the finances generally, and particularly the plan which he had made. The business we believe is going well. Jefferson does not seem to think this important, but I urge it to the conviction of Lafayette.

He wishes to have our opinion whether he should take a great part in the debates of Edition: current; Page: [ 61 ] the States-General. We agree that he should only speak on important occasions. Afterwards Jefferson and I go to the Palais Royal to get our profiles taken.

It appears, however, that he is not long for this world. We hear a great deal also about the disturbances for want of bread. These give pleasure to the company here, who are all adverse to the present administration. We hear also that there is to be a new administration; that Monsieur is to be the chief, and all the present ministers are to go out except Necker. This arrangement is less agreeable to the company than it would have been to turn out Necker and keep the rest.

For my own part, I do not believe in a change just now. He asserts this with so much warmth as to show that he wishes it. He says, further, that the nation is incapable of liberty; that they can bear nothing long and will not even stay at their regiments above three months.

Thus he takes the noblesse for the nation, and judges the noblesse from those members who, from idleness and dissipation, are of the least consequence in revolutions except, indeed, so far as their numbers are concerned. It seems the general position of those who wish the King to be everything that he must inevitably be so in a few years, let the nation do what it will in the present moment. In fact, the revolutionists have but flimsy materials to work with, and unless some greater energy of character should result from their present doings, the friends of despotism must succeed.

After dessert we are entertained by an old woman who plays on the vielle hurdy gurdy and accompanies her instrument with loose songs, to the great delight of the gentlemen, the mother, and the married lady, whose husband has an exhausted, disconsolate air. The child listens with infinite attention. The two young ladies are not well pleased.

Millet proposes another such party for next week, which we agree to. He is to order the dinner and consult us. I tell him it shall be just what he pleases, but that we will, if he pleases, excuse the music. The chapel and the dome are sublime.

A spectacle which excited the greatest effect in my mind was a number of mutilated veterans on their knees in the chapel. The most sincere devotion. Poor wretches! The women went on their knees when we came near the sacristy.

He did Edition: current; Page: [ 63 ] not perceive me give one of them a crown, or he would have known how to appreciate the compliment and the compassion. I write an ambiguous answer to the fair incognita and send my servant Martin to dog the messenger, a little boy, who delivers it to a waiting-woman. She goes to the house of M. It is therefore from his mistress, who certainly is worth attention. In the evening I call on Madame Millet, but have not an opportunity to say a word to her en particulier.

Call on Madame de Chastellux, and find that as usual the Duchess has just left her, and a little message for me. There is something whimsical in this, but I express a regret on the subject. After supper the Bishop of Autun reads us the protest of the nobles and clergy of Brittany, and during the lecture I very uncivilly fall asleep. Madame is not well, and besides has met with something in the course of the day which preys upon her spirits.

I enquire what it is and she declines telling me, which I am glad of. Paris was astir with the excitement of the elections during this month of April. The streets were full of electors of each degree. Besides, the town swarmed with beggars.

The government, being forced thereto, kept twelve thousand of them digging on the hills of Montmartre and payed them 20 sous a day. They were starving. Bread was very scarce. Irritated, excited, imaginative, they waited for some excuse for action, however slight. All day Sunday the crowds, idle and angry, had time to talk and to encourage each other to violence. On Monday, still idle and drunk, the mob began to move, armed with clubs.

Morris mentions going out to see the banker Le Coulteux. There is, it seems, a riot in Paris, and the troops are at work somewhere, which has given a great alarm to the city. I believe it is very trifling. I therefore stay to meet her Royal Highness. She comes in pretty late, is vastly civil, refers to her several messages, extremely sorry not to have met me, etc.

In effect, it goes beyond my idea, though I must from necessity adhere to my original interpretation. She talks a good deal of politics with her friends about the Edition: current; Page: [ 65 ] assemblies, etc. She says her visit must be very short; she is going to see her children. She came in late, and she should not have made the visit, but to see me.

This is clearly persiflage, but it would be vastly uncivil in me should I appear to think so. In a letter written to Mr. Carmichael on the 27th, mention is made of a visit paid to M. I can say nothing to you about the politics of this country. I know I write under the inspection of those whose hands this letter may pass through in both kingdoms.

Besides, there is nothing that can be depended on till the States-General shall have been some time assembled. The Emperor is, I suppose, by this time in the regions of the departed. This country is not in a condition to send an army of observation to the Rhine, and of course her ministers will be but little attended to. The part which Britain and Prussia may take is uncertain.

Millet [April 28th] I see some troops marching with two small field pieces towards the Faubourg St. It seems there has been a riot there. Hear at M. Later I find that the riot has been pretty serious. Madame is waiting for her bonnet, and afterwards we wait for some other persons of the company. Proceed to the Palais de Bourbon. See the small apartments and garden. They are very beautiful. After dinner, the women propose to go on the Seine, to which I readily agree. We shall be less liable to observation there, which, considering my company, is of some consequence.

Millet will not go and madame is glad to get rid of him, which he seems to perceive, and goes home alone to enjoy the reflection which such an idea cannot fail to engender. We embark in a dirty fishing boat, and sit on dirty boards laid across. Mademoiselle, who is dressed in muslin trimmed with handsome lace, adds much to the beauty of her dress, which is completely draggled. Her friend seems well pleased with my attentions to her, and she tries to be modest, but apes the character badly.

We walk towards town. The women, as wild as birds let out of a cage, dispatch the men different ways, but yet no news of our equipages. Cross the river, and go to look for them where we dined. Not finding them, we return to recross it. Meet a servant, who tells me that carriages are at the Grille Chaillot. We recross. The scow is taken over by the course of the current, a rope being extended across the river, and a pulley moving to and fro along it, to which pulley the boat is connected by a strong rope, and that Edition: current; Page: [ 67 ] end of the rope which is fastened to the boat moves by means of a loop sliding along a bar at the gunwale such a distance towards the end of the scow from the centre as to present the side of the vessel to the current, in an angle of about forty-five degrees.

By this means the scow is carried over with considerable velocity. After waiting some time for the carriages during which time the women amuse themselves with running about , they at length arrive, and I come home. A large company, a great deal of politics, and some play. I do not get home till one, having set down a gentleman who was unprovided of a carriage.

I incline to think that Madame Roselle is my unknown correspondent, and I do not care sixpence who it is. He is also much beloved by the nation, for he stands forward as one of the principal champions for her rights. The elections are finished throughout this kingdom, except in the capital, and it appears from the instructions given to the representatives called here les cahiers that certain points are universally demanded, which when granted and secured will render France perfectly free as to the principles of the constitution—I say principles, for one generation at least Edition: current; Page: [ 68 ] will be required to render the practice familiar.

We have, I think, every reason to wish that the patriots may be successful. The generous wish which a free people must form to disseminate freedom, the grateful emotion which rejoices in the happiness of a benefactor, and a strong personal interest as well in the liberty as in the power of this country, all conspire to make us far from indifferent spectators. I say that we have an interest in the liberty of France. The leaders here are our friends; many of them have imbibed their principles in America, and all have been fired by our example.

Their opponents are by no means rejoiced at the success of our Revolution, and many of them are disposed to form connections of the strictest kind with Great Britain. The commercial treaty emanated from such dispositions, and, according to the usual course of those events which are shaped by human wisdom, it will probably produce the exact reverse of what was intended by the projectors.

The spirit of this nation is at present high, and M. Necker is very popular, but if he continues long in administration it will be somewhat wonderful. His enemies are numerous, able, and inveterate. His supporters are uncertain as to his fate, and will protect him no longer than while he can aid in establishing a constitution. But when once that great business is accomplished he will be left to stand on his own ground.

The Court wish to get rid of him, and unless he shows very strong in the States-General they will gratify their wishes. His ability as a minister will be much contested in that assembly, but with what success time only can determine. Everybody agrees that there is an utter prostration of morals—but this general position can never convey to the American mind the degree of depravity. Edition: current; Page: [ 69 ] It is not by any figure of rhetoric, or force of language, that the idea can be communicated.

An hundred anecdotes and an hundred thousand examples are required to show the extreme rottenness of every member. There are men and women who are greatly and eminently virtuous. I have the pleasure to number many in my own acquaintance, but they stand forward from a background deeply and darkly shaded. It is, however, from such crumbling matter that the great edifice of freedom is to be erected here.

Perhaps, like the stratum of rock which is spread under the whole surface of their country, it may harden when exposed to the air, but it seems quite as likely that it will fall and crush the builders. I own to you that I am not without such apprehensions, for there is one fatal principle which pervades all ranks. It is a perfect indifference to the violation of all engagements. Inconstancy is so mingled in the blood, marrow, and every essence of this people, that when a man of high rank and importance laughs to-day at what he seriously asserted yesterday, it is considered as in the natural order of things.

Consistency is the phenomenon. Judge then what would be the value of an association should such a thing be proposed, and even adopted. The great mass of the people have no religion but their priests, no law but their superiors, no morals but their interest. We have had a little riot here yesterday and the day before, and I am told that some men have been killed, but the affair was so distant from the quarter in which I reside that I know nothing of the particulars. By the 1st of May the elections in Paris were nearly over and the first victory of the people gained in the decision Edition: current; Page: [ 70 ] of the Government that the Third Estate should have a representation equal in numbers to that of the orders of the nobles and clergy combined.

On Sunday, May 3rd, the Court and clergy at Versailles awaited the result of the audience to be given to the deputies on Monday. Ladies decked in the brightest colors and wearing the happiest smiles talked, sauntered about, and sat on the stone benches along the alleys underneath the delicate spring foliage.

In striking contrast to these were the groups of the members of the Third Estate—shunned as if they bore the seeds of a pestilence among them. They talked in whispers, hurriedly and earnestly—they never smiled. Their costume of black hose and surtout and short black cloak, to which they had been condemned by the old sumptuary laws and which denoted the plebeian, made the contrast even greater.

Proudly they carried themselves in this dress, but on their faces were care and gloomy foreboding, and a sudden ominous silence fell upon them whenever a stray member of the noblesse happened to pass near. On a balcony of the palace was the queen, surrounded by a bevy of beauties of the Court, all in high spirits, discussing the pageant of to-morrow, which to them had an interest almost solely spectacular, just as they valued the Salle des Menus as a room where their beauty could be seen to the best advantage because it was lighted from above.

Lafayette is already there to pay his respects in quality of representative. I go and sit a while with Madame de Puisignieu Edition: current; Page: [ 71 ] at her toilet. He is colonel of a regiment which was on duty to attend the execution. The conversation in our corner turns as usual upon politics, and among other things on the want of grain. Necker is a good deal blamed, but in my opinion very undeservedly. One foolish thing has indeed been committed, and that is the only one which they do not find fault with.

It is the order for searching the barns of the farmers. The riot, also, is dismissed. The Baron de Besenval, who gave the order for quelling it, seems vastly pleased with his work. He ordered, it seems, two pieces of cannon with the Swiss guards, and when preparations were made for firing them the mob took to their heels. It is therefore agreed that the Baron is a great general—and as the women say so it would be folly and madness to controvert their opinion.

If I were a military man I should incline to think that two four-pounders could not be of much use in a city like this, where the streets are in general so narrow as only to permit two carriages to go abreast, where the same narrow streets are very crooked, and where the houses are in general four to six stories of stone walls. But as I am not versed in the art of war it is my duty to agree with the rest that a man must indeed be a great general who, with Edition: current; Page: [ 72 ] only 1, troops, infantry and cavalry, and, above all, with only two pieces of artillery, could disperse ten or fifteen thousand, chiefly spectators, but the seditious, to the amount of three thousand, completely armed with sticks and stones.

Short, and which he will get for me as Short cannot be here. I urge on M. He tells me he will be elected. Mention to him a way of placing M. Necker advantageously, which he thinks would be very useful. Visit Madame de Chastellux, who is so kind as to bring me the form of the ceremonial of to-morrow from the Duchess of Orleans, and at the same time a message.

If she can, will pay a visit. Madame de Chastellux proposes to obtain through her a ticket for the audience for me. After some conversation, a message from the Duchess. She cannot visit this evening, being too much engaged in writing. I come home to go early to bed, as I must set off early to-morrow for Versailles.

On Monday, May 4th, the grand procession of the deputies to the States-General formed and defiled through the streets of Versailles to the Church of St. The same costumes were enforced as in the last States-General, more than one hundred and seventy years before, and the same etiquette, but it was the last gala day of the old monarchy. All ranks and classes were astir this morning. All turned their faces toward Versailles—the goal of all their hopes.

Morris was among the number. Am overtaken on the road by M. La Caze. We alight and walk together through the streets till the Edition: current; Page: [ 73 ] procession commences, except a little while that I sit with Madame de Flahaut, who was so kind as to send and offer me part of a window. His wife and a lady, her friend, went thither together. After a while they separated, and, meeting again, conversed a long time, the lady being perfectly ignorant who the person was whom he had picked up, for she was with him.

After the ball was over and all three had got home, they rallied the friend for being so taken in. She could give no other reason for being so much deceived, but that madame was in company with monsieur and therefore she could not possibly suppose it was his wife.

While the lookers-on thoughtlessly talked, laughed, and joked, careless of all but the gay scene, the procession moved on. The nobles glittered in gorgeous dresses and orders. The Commons were in black mantles, very plain, and hats without feathers. Neither the King nor Queen appears too well pleased. The former is repeatedly saluted as he passes along with the Vive le Roi , but the latter meets not a single acclamation.

She was exceedingly hurt. Return home, receive a note from Mr. Short, who is not arrived. This has been so fine a day that walking about without my hat has got my face scorched exceedingly, and both my forehead and eyes are inflamed. The 5th of May, the day long looked for, had come, and royalty welcomed the national estates with all pomp and Edition: current; Page: [ 75 ] splendor in the great Salle des Menus.

The king, with his ministers of state in front, the queen and princes of the blood at his side, sat on a magnificent throne of purple and gold. Morris says he reached Versailles early, and at a little after eight got into the hall. When M. Necker comes in he is loudly and repeatedly clapped, and so is the Duke of Orleans; also a Bishop who has long lived in his diocese, and practised there what his profession enjoins. Another Bishop, who preached yesterday a sermon which I did not hear, is applauded, but those near me say that this applause is unmerited.

The King at length arrives, and takes his seat; the Queen on his left, two steps lower than him. He makes a short speech, very proper, and well spoken or rather read. He is interrupted in the reading by acclamations so warm and of such lively affection that the tears start from my eyes in spite of myself. The Queen weeps or seems to weep, but not one voice is heard to wish her well. I would certainly raise my voice if I were a Frenchman; but I have no right to express a sentiment, and in vain solicit those who are near me to do it.

After the King has spoken he takes off his hat, and when he puts it on again his nobles imitate his example. Some of the Tiers do the same, but by degrees they take them off again. Smoke eddied from under window sills and through cracks made by the earthquake in the cornices. Then the cloud grew denser. A puff of hot wind came from the west, and as if from the signal there streamed flamboyantly from every window in the top floor of the structure billowing banners, as a poppy colored silk that jumped skyward in curling, snapping breadths, a fearful heraldry of the pomp of destruction.

From the copper minarets on the Hebrew synagogue behind Union square tiny green, coppery flames next began to shoot forth. They grew quickly larger, and as the heat increased in intensity there shone from the two great bulbs of metal sheathing an iridescence that blinded like a sight into a blast furnace. With a roar the minarets exploded almost simultaneously, and the sparks shot up to mingle with the dulled stars overhead.

The Union League and Pacific Union clubs next shone red with the fire that was glutting them. On three sides ringed with sheets of flame rose the Dewey [Pg 52] memorial in the midst of Union square. Victory tiptoeing on the apex of the column glowed red with the flames. It was as if the goddess of battle had suddenly become apostate and a fiend linked in sympathy with the devils of the blaze.

On the first day of the catastrophe the St. Francis escaped. On the second it fell. In the space of two hours the flames had blotted it out, and by night only the charred skeleton remained. As a prelude to the destruction of the St. With them were obliterated the huge retail stores along Post street; St. From Union square to Chinatown it is only a pistol shot.

By noon all Chinatown was a blazing furnace, the rickety wooden hives, where the largest Chinese colony in this country lived, was perfect fuel for the fire. Then Nob Hill, the charmed circle of the city, the residential district of its millionaires and of those whose names have made it famous, went with the rest of the city into oblivion.

The Fairmount Hotel, marble palace built by Mrs. Oelrichs, crowned this district. Grouped around it were the residences of Mrs. One by one they were buried in the onrushing flames, and when the fire was passed they were gone.

Here the most desperate effort of the fight to save the city was made. Nothing was spared. There was no discrimination, no sentiment. Rich men aided willingly in the destruction of their own homes that some of the city might be saved. Copyright , by American-Journal-Examiner. All rights reserved. Any infractions of this copyright will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

This photograph shows the wreck and ruin wrought by the earthquake and fire in the wholesale district. But the sacrifice and the labor went for nothing. No human power could stay the flames. As darkness was falling the fire was eating its way through the heart of this residential district. The fire fighters, troops, citizens, and city officials left the scene, powerless to do more. On the morning of the second day when the fire reached the municipal building on Portsmouth square, the nurses, helped by soldiers, got out fifty bodies in the temporary morgue and a number of patients in the receiving hospital.

Just after they reached the street a building was blown up and the flying bricks and splinters hurt a number of the soldiers, who had to be taken to the out of doors Presidio Hospital with the patients. When it was seen that it could not last every vehicle in sight was impressed by the troops, and the wounded, some of them frightfully mangled, were taken to the Presidio, where they were out of danger and found comfort in tents.

The physicians worked without sleep and almost without food. There was food, however, for the injured; the soldiers saw to that. Even the soldiers flagged, and kept guard in relays, while the relieved men slept on the ground where they dropped. The troops shut down with iron hands on the city, for where one man was homeless the first night five were homeless the second night.

With the fire running all along the water front, few managed to make their way over to Oakland. The people for the most part were prisoners on the peninsula. The soldiers enforced the rule against moving about except to escape the flames, and absolutely no one could enter the city who once had left. The seat of city government and of military authority shifted with every shift of the flames. Mayor Schmitz and General Funston stuck close together and kept in touch with the firemen [Pg 56] and police, the volunteer aids, and the committee of safety through couriers.

There were loud reverberations along the fire line at night. Supplies of gun cotton and cordite from the Presidio were commandeered and the troops and the few remaining firemen made another futile effort to check the fiery advance. Along the wharves the fire tugs saved most of the docks. But the Pacific mail dock had been reached and was out of control; and finally China basin, which was filled in for a freight yard at the expense of millions of dollars, had sunk into the bay and the water was over the tracks.

This was one of the greatest single losses in the whole disaster. Without sleep and without food, crowds watched all night Wednesday and all day Thursday from the hills, looking off toward that veil of fire and smoke that hid the city which had become a hell. Back of that sheet of fire, and retreating backward every hour, were most of the people of the city, forced toward the Pacific by the advance of the flames. The open space of the Presidio and Golden Gate park was their only haven and so the night of the second day found them.

T HE third day of the fire was attended by many spectacular features, many scenes of disaster and many acts of daring heroism. To the eastward it extended down to the sea wall, but had not reached the piers, which lay a quarter of a mile toward the east. The flames reached the tanks of the San Francisco Gas Company, which had previously been pumped out, and had burned the ends of the grain sheds, five in number, which extended further out toward the point.

Flame and smoke hid from view the vessels that lay off shore vainly attempting to check the fire. No water was available except from the waterside and it was not until almost dark that the department was able to turn its attention to this point. At dusk the fire had been checked at Van Ness avenue and Filbert street.

The buildings on a high slope between Van Ness and Polk, Union and Filbert streets were blazing fiercely, fanned by a high wind, but the blocks were so sparsely settled [Pg 58] that the fire had but a slender chance of crossing Van Ness at that point. Mayor Schmitz, who directed operations at that point, conferred with the military authorities and decided that it was not necessary to dynamite the buildings on the west side of Van Ness.

As much of the fire department as could be collected was assembled to make a stand at that point. To add to the horrors of the general situation and the general alarm of many people who ascribed the cause of the subterranean trouble to another convulsion of nature, explosions of sewer gas have ribboned and ribbed many streets. A Vesuvius in miniature was created by such an upheaval at Bryant and Eighth streets.

Cobblestones were hurled twenty feet upward and dirt vomited out of the ground. This situation added to the calamity, as it was feared the sewer gas would breed disease. Thousands were roaming the streets famishing for food and water and while supplies were coming in by the train loads the system of distribution was not in complete working order. Many thousands had not tasted food or water for two and three days.

They were on the verge of starvation. The flames were checked north of Telegraph hill, the western boundary being along Franklin street and California street southeast to Market street. The firemen checked the advance of flames by dynamiting two large residences and then backfiring.

Many times before had the firemen made such an effort, but always previously had they met defeat. A three-story lodging house at Fifth and Minna streets collapsed and over seventy-five dead bodies were taken out. There were at least fifty other dead bodies exposed. This building [Pg 59] was one of the first to take fire on Fifth street. At least people were lost in the Cosmopolitan on Fourth street. The shot tower at First and Howard streets was gone.

This landmark was built forty years ago. The Risdon Iron works were partially destroyed. The soldiers who rendered such heroic aid took the cue from General Funston. He had not slept. He was the real ruler of San Francisco. All the military tents available were set up in the Presidio and the troops were turned out of the barracks to bivouac on the ground.

In the shelter tents they placed first the sick, second the more delicate of the women, and third, the nursing mothers, and in the afternoon he ordered all the dead buried at once in a temporary cemetery in the Presidio grounds. The recovered bodies were carted about the city ahead of the flames. Many lay in the city morgue until the fire reached that; then it was Portsmouth square until it grew too hot; afterwards they were taken to the Presidio.

The condition of the bodies was becoming a great danger. Yet the troops had no men to spare to dig graves, and the young and able bodied men were mainly fighting on the fire line or utterly exhausted. They did it willingly enough, but had they refused the troops on guard would have forced them.

It was ruled that every man physically capable of handling a spade or a pick should dig for an hour. When the first shallow graves were ready the men, under the direction of the troops, lowered the bodies several in a grave, and a strange burial began.

The women gathered about crying; many of them knelt while a Catholic priest read the burial service and pronounced absolution. All the afternoon this went on. Representatives of the city authorities took the names of as many of the dead as could be identified and the descriptions of the others. Many, of course, will never be identified. So confident were the authorities that they had the situation in control at the end of the third day that Mayor Schmitz issued the following proclamation:.

The only fear is that other fires may start should the people build fires in their stoves and I therefore warn all citizens not to build fires in their homes until the chimneys have been inspected and repaired properly.

All citizens are urged to discountenance the building of fires. I congratulate the citizens of San Francisco upon the fortitude they have displayed and I urge upon them the necessity of aiding the authorities in the work of relieving the destitute and suffering. For the relief of those persons who are encamped in the various sections of the city everything possible is being done. In Golden Gate park, where there are approximately , homeless persons, relief stations have been established.

The Spring Valley Water Company has informed me that the Mission district will be supplied with water this afternoon, between 10, and 12, gallons daily being available. Lake Merced will be taken by the federal troops and that supply protected. In the early hours of the day the flames, which had raged for thirty-six hours, seemed to be checked. The darkness and the wind, which at times amounted to a gale, added fresh terrors to the situation.

The authorities considered conditions so grave that it was decided to swear in immediately 1, special policemen armed with rifles furnished by the federal government. In the forenoon, when it was believed the fire had been checked, the full extent of the destitution and suffering of the people was seen for the first time in near perspective.

While the whole city was burning there was no thought of food or shelter, death, injury, privation, or loss. The dead were left unburied and the living were left to find food and a place to sleep where they could. On the morning of the third day, however, the indescribable destitution and suffering were borne in upon the authorities with crushing force.

Dawn found a line of men, women, and children, numbering thousands, awaiting morsels of food at the street bakeries. The police and military were present in force, and each person was allowed only one loaf. A big bakery was started early in the morning in the outskirts of the city, with the announcement that it would turn out 50, loaves of bread before night.

The news spread and thousands of hungry persons crowded before its doors before the first deliveries were hot from the oven. Here again police and soldiers kept order and permitted each person to take only one loaf. The loaves were given out without cost. Mayor Schmitz took prompt and drastic steps to stop this extortion.

By his order all grocery and provision stores in the outlying districts which had escaped the flames were entered by the police and their goods confiscated. Next to the need for food there was a cry for water, which until Friday morning the authorities could not answer. Women and children who had comfortable, happy homes a few days before slept that night—if sleep came at all—on hay on the wharves, on the sand lots near North beach, some of them under the little tents made of sheeting, which poorly protected them from the chilling ocean winds.

The people in the parks were better provided in the matter of shelter, for they left their homes better prepared. The police on Friday opened up a bureau of registration to bring relatives together. As photographs are true to life, they also convey to the eye correct views of this vast destruction.

The work of burying the dead was begun Friday for the first time. Out at the Presidio soldiers pressed into service all men who came near and forced them to labor at burying the dead. So thick were the corpses piled up that they were becoming a menace, and early in the day the order was issued to bury them at any cost. The soldiers were needed for other work, so, at the point of rifles, the citizens were compelled to take the work of burying. Some objected at first, but the troops stood no trifling, and every man who came in reach was forced to work at least one hour.

Rich men who had never done such work labored by the side of the workingmen digging trenches in the sand for the sepulcher of those who fell in the awful calamity. At the present [Pg 67] writing many still remain unburied and the soldiers are still pressing men into service.

The Folsom street dock was turned into a temporary hospital, the harbor hospital being unable to accommodate all the injured who were brought there. About patients were stretched on the dock at one time. In the evening tugs conveyed them to Goat Island, where they were lodged in the hospital.

The docks from Howard street to Folsom street had been saved, and the fire at this point was not permitted to creep farther east than Main street. The work of clearing up the wrecked city has already begun at the water front in the business section of the town. A force of men were employed under the direction of the street department clearing up the debris and putting the streets in proper condition. It was impossible to secure a vehicle except at extortionate prices. The police and military seized teams wherever they required them, their wishes being enforced at revolver point if the owner proved indisposed to comply with the demands.

Up and down the broad avenues of the parks the troops patrolled, keeping order. This was difficult at times, for the second hysterical stage had succeeded the paralysis of the first day and people were doing strange things. By good luck there was a doctor there, and the women helped out, so that the mother appeared to be safe. All night wagons mounted with barrels and guarded by [Pg 68] soldiers drove through the park doling out water.

There was always a crush about these wagons and but one drink was allowed to a person. Separate supplies were sent to the sick in the tents. The troops allowed no camp fires, fearing that the trees of the park might catch and drive the people out of this refuge to the open and windswept sands by the ocean. The wind which had saved the heights came cold across the park, driving a damp fog, and for those who had no blankets it was a terrible night, for many of them were exhausted and must sleep, even in the cold.

They threw themselves down in the wet grass and fell asleep. When the morning came the people even prepared to make the camp permanent. An ingenious man hung up before his little blanket shelter a sign on a stick giving his name and address before the fire wiped him out. This became a fashion, and it was taken to mean that the space was preempted. Toward midnight a black, staggering body of men began to weave through the entrance.

They were volunteer fire fighters, looking for a place to throw themselves down and sleep. These men dropped out all along the line and were rolled out of the driveways by the troops. There was much splendid unselfishness there. Women gave up their blankets and sat up or walked about all night to cover exhausted men who had fought fire until there was no more fight in them.

W HEN darkness fell over the desolate city at the end of the fourth day of terror, the heroic men who had borne the burden of the fight with the flames breathed their first sigh of relief, for what remained of the proud metropolis of the Pacific coast was safe.

This was but a semi-circular fringe, however, for San Francisco was a city desolate with twenty square miles of its best area in ashes. In that blackened territory lay the ruins of sixty thousand buildings, once worth many millions of dollars and containing many millions more. On the evening of the third day Friday a gale swept over the city from the west, fanned the glowing embers into fierce flames and again started them upon a path of terrible destruction.

The fire which had practically burnt itself out north of Telegraph Hill was revived by the wind and bursting into a blaze crept toward the East, threatening the destruction of the entire water front, including the Union ferry depot, the only means of egress from the devastated city. Hundreds of sailors from United States warships and hundreds of soldiers joined in the battle, and from midnight until dawn men fought fire as never fire had been fought before.

Fire tugs drew up along the water front and threw immense streams of water on to the flames of burning factories, warehouses and sheds. Blocks of buildings were blown up with powder, guncotton, and dynamite, or torn down by men armed with axes and ropes. All night long the struggle continued. Mayor Schmitz and Chief of Police Dinan, although without sleep for forty-eight hours, remained on the scene all night to assist army and navy officers in directing the fight.

At that hour the fire was burning grain sheds on the water front about half a mile north of the Ferry station, but was confined to a comparatively small area, and with the work of the fireboats on the bay and the firemen on shore, who were using salt water pumped from the bay, prevented the flames from reaching the Ferry building and the docks in that immediate vicinity.

On the north beach the fire did not reach that part of the water front lying west of the foot of Powell street. The fire on the water front was the only one burning. The entire western addition to the city lying west of Van Ness avenue, which escaped the sweep of flame on Friday, was absolutely safe. Forty carloads of supplies, which had been run upon the belt line tracks near one of the burned wharves, were destroyed during the night.

This means that nearly a mile of grain sheds, docks and wharves were added to the general destruction. In the section [Pg 71] north of Market street the ruined district was practically bounded on the west by Van Ness avenue, although in many blocks the flames destroyed squares to the west of that thoroughfare. The Van Ness avenue burned line runs northerly to Greenwich street, which is a few blocks from the bay.

Then the boundary was up over Telegraph Hill and down to that portion of the shore that faces Oakland. Practically everything included between Market, Van Ness avenue, Greenwich, and the bay was in ashes. On the east side of Hyde street hill the fire burned down to Bay street and Montgomery avenue and stopped at that intersection.

Fort Mason was saved only by the most strenuous efforts of soldiers and firemen. It stands just north of the edge of the burned district, the flames having been checked only three blocks away at Greenwich street. All south of Market street except in the vicinity of the Pacific Mail dock, was gone. This section is bounded on the north by Market street and runs out to Guerrero street, goes out that street two blocks, turns west to Dolores, runs west six blocks to about Twenty-second, taking in four blocks on the other side of Dolores.

The fire then took an irregular course southward, spreading out as far as Twenty-fifth street and went down that way to the southerly bay shore. Devol, depot quartermaster and superintendent of the transport service, graphically described the conquering of the fire on the water front, in which he played an important part:. It would have been impossible to either [Pg 72] come in or go out of the city save by row boats and floats, or by the blocked passage overland southward. The tugs of our service were all busy transporting provisions from Oakland, but the gravity of the situation made it necessary for all of them to turn to fire-fighting.

Behind the dock, adjacent to the Spreckels sugar warehouse and wharf, were hundreds of freight cars. Had these been allowed to catch fire, the flames would have swept down the entire water front to South San Francisco. A large tug from Mare Island, two fire patrol boats, the Spreckels tugs and ten or twelve more, had lines of hose laid into the heart of the roaring furnace and were pumping from the bay to the limit of their capacities.

The Slocum and the McDowell were at once ordered to the spot. I was on board the former and at one time the heat of the fire was so great that it was necessary to play minor streams on the cabin and sides of the vessel to keep it from taking fire. We were in a slip surrounded by flames. I saw pale, hungry men, who probably had not slept for two days, hang on to the nozzle and play the stream until they fell from exhaustion. Others took their places and only with a very few exceptions was it necessary to use force to command the assistance of citizens or onlookers.

Daylight found it under control. A Saharan desolation of blackened, ash covered, twisted debris was all that remained of three-fifths of the city that four days ago stood like a sentinel in glittering, jeweled armor, guarding the Golden Gate to the Pacific. Men who had numbered their fortunes in the tens of thousands camped on the ruins of their homes, eating as primitive men ate—gnawing; thinking as primitive men thought.

Ashes and the dull pain of despair were their portions. They did not have the volition to help themselves, childlike as the men of the stone age, they awaited quiescent what the next hour might bring them. Fear they had none, because they had known the shape of fear for forty-eight hours and to them it had no more terrors.

Men overworked to the breaking point and women unnerved by hysteria dropped down on the cooling ashes and slept where they lay, for had they not seen the tall steel skyscrapers burn like a torch? Had they not beheld the cataracts of flame fleeting unhindered up the broad avenues, and over the solid blocks of the city?

Fire had become a commonplace. Fear of fire had been blunted by their terrible suffering, and although the soldiers roused the sleepers and warned them against possible approaching flames, they would only yawn, wrap their blanket about them and stolidly move on to find some other place where they might drop and again slumber like men dead. As the work of clearing away the debris progressed it was found that an overwhelming portion of the fatalities occurred in the cheap rooming house section of the city, where the frail hotels were crowded at the time of the catastrophe.

In one of these hotels alone, the five-story Brunswick rooming-house at Sixth and Howard streets, it is believed that people perished. The building had rooms filled with guests. It [Pg 74] collapsed to the ground entirely and fire started amidst the ruins scarcely five minutes later. South of Market street, where the loss of life was greatest, was located many cheap and crowded lodging houses. Among others the caving in of the Royal, corner Fourth and Minna streets, added to the horror of the situation by the shrieks of its many scores of victims imbedded in the ruins.

The collapsing of the Porter House on Sixth street, between Mission and Market, came about in a similar manner. Fully sixty persons were entombed midst the crash. Many of these were saved before the fire eventually crept to the scene. Part of the large Cosmopolitan House, corner Fifth and Mission streets, collapsed at the very first tremble.

Many of the sleepers were buried in the ruins; other escaped in their night clothes. At Mission street the Wilson House, with its four stories and eighty rooms, fell to the ground a mass of ruins. As far as known very few of the inmates were rescued.

The Denver House on lower Third street, with its many rooms, shared the same fate and none may ever know how many were killed, the majority of the inmates being strangers. Both were killed. To the north of Market street the rooming-house people fared somewhat better. The falling mass crashed through the building, killing a man and woman. At the Sutter street Turkish baths a brick chimney toppled over and crashing through the roof killed one of the occupants as he lay on a cot.

Another close by, lying on another cot, escaped. The tall building on the right is the Claus Spreckels building, in which the plant of the San Francisco Call is located; the next building beyond is the Examiner building and the last large building on the right is the Palace Hotel. The tall building on the left is a new sky scraper, erected on the old Baldwin Hotel site.

Some of the dead were the victims of falling buildings from the earthquake shock, some were killed in the fire. So many dead were found in this limited area that cremation was deemed absolutely necessary to prevent disease. The names of some of the dead were learned, but in the majority of cases identification was impossible owing to the mutilation of the features. A systematic search for bodies of the victims of the earthquake and fire was made by the coroner and the state board of health inspectors as soon as the ruins cooled sufficiently to permit a search.

Three bodies were found in the ruins of the house on Harrison street between First and Second streets. They had been burned beyond all possibility of identification. They were buried on the north beach at the foot of Van Ness avenue. The body of a man was found in the middle of Silver street, between Third and Fourth streets. The total number of bodies recovered and buried up to Sunday night was No complete record can ever be obtained as many bodies were buried without permits from the coroner and the board of health.

Whenever a body was found it was buried immediately without any formality whatever and, as these burials were made at widely separated parts of the city by different bodies of searchers, who did not even make a prompt report to headquarters, considerable confusion resulted in estimating the number of casualties and exaggerated reports resulted. Its location is particularly attractive, inasmuch as the peninsula it occupies is swept by the Pacific Ocean on the west and the beautiful bay of San Francisco on the north and east.

The peninsula itself is thirty miles long and the site of the city is six miles back from the ocean. It rests on the shore of San Francisco Bay, which, with its branches, covers over square miles, and for beauty and convenience for commerce is worthy of its magnificent entrance—the Golden Gate. San Francisco was originally a mission colony.

It was to be the nucleus of a seaport town that should serve to guard the dominion of Spain in its vicinity. Most of the other missions were founded in the midst of fertile valleys, inhabited by large numbers of Indians. Even the few Indians there in left upon the arrival of the friars and dragoons. Later on some of them returned and others were added, the number increasing from in , to 1, in This was the largest number ever reported.

Soon after the number began to decrease through epidemics and emigration, until there was only in Richardson, an Englishman, who had been living in Sausalito since , moved to San Francisco. He erected a tent and began the collection of hides and tallow, by the use of two ton schooners leased from the missions, and which plied between San Jose and San Francisco. At that time Mr. Richardson was also captain of the port. Seventy-five years ago the white adult males, apart from the Mission colony, consisted of sixteen persons.

The local census of showed a population of 36,, and ten years later 90, The last general census of credits the city with a population of , The increase in the last six years has been much greater than for the previous five, and it is generally conceded that the population at the time of the fire was about , California was declared American territory by Commodore Sleat, at Monterey, on the 7th of July, , who on that day caused the American flag to be raised in that town.

On the following day, under instructions from the commodore, Captain Montgomery, of the war sloop Portsmouth, performed a similar service in Yerba Buena, by which name the city afterwards christened San Francisco was then known. This ceremony took place on the plot of ground, afterward set apart as Portsmouth Square, on the west line of Kearney street, between Clay and Washington.

At that time and for some years afterwards, the waters of the bay at high tide, came within a block of the spot where this service occurred. This was a great event in the history of the United States, and it has grown in importance and in appreciative remembrance from that day to the present, as the accumulative evidence abundantly shows. Commerce hastened it, the discovery of gold consummated it.

Modern San Francisco had its birth following the gold discoveries which led to the construction of the Central Pacific railway, and produced a vast number of very wealthy men known by the general title of California Bonanza Kings.

San Francisco became the home and headquarters of these multi-millionaires, and large sums of their immense fortunes were invested in palatial residences and business blocks. The bonanza king residence section was Nob Hill, an eminence near the business part of the city.

Huntington and the others who devoted the best part of their lives to the project of crossing the mountains by rail this hill was selected as the most desirable spot in the city for the erection of homes for the use of wealthy pioneers. The eminence is situated northwest of the business section of the city and commands a view of the bay and all adjacent territory with the exception of the Pacific Ocean, Russian Hill, Pacific Heights and several other high spots obscuring the view toward the west.

Far removed above the din and noise of the city Charles Crocker was the first to erect his residence on the top of this historic hill which afterward became known as Nob Hill. The Crocker home was built of brick and wood originally, but in later years granite staircases, pillars and copings were substituted.

In its time it was looked upon as the most imposing edifice in the city and for that reason the business associates of the railroad magnate decided to vie with him in the building of their homes. Directly across from the Crocker residence on California street Leland Stanford caused to be built a residence structure [Pg 81] that was intended to be the most ornate in the western metropolis.

It was a veritable palace and it was within its walls that the boyhood days of Leland Stanford, Jr. After the death of the younger Stanford a memorial room was set apart and the parents permitted no one to enter this except a trusted man servant who had been in the family for many years. But the Stanford residence was relegated to the background as an object of architectural beauty when Mark Hopkins invaded the sacred precincts of Nob Hill and erected the residence which he occupied for three or four years.

At his death the palatial building was deeded to the California Art Institute and as a tribute to the memory of the sturdy pioneer the building was called the Hopkins Institute of Art. Its spacious rooms were laden with the choicest works of art on the Pacific coast and the building and its contents were at all times a source of interest to the thousands of tourists who visited the city.

The late Collis P. Huntington was the next of the millionaires of San Francisco to locate upon the crest of Nob Hill. Within a block of the Crocker, Stanford and Hopkins palaces this railroad magnate of the west erected a mansion of granite and marble that caused all the others to be thrown in the shade. Its exterior was severe in its simplicity, but to those who were fortunate to gain entrance to the interior the sight was one never to be forgotten.

The palaces of Europe could not excel it and for several years Huntington and his wife were its only occupants aside from the army of servants required to keep the house and grounds in order. After having paid a visit to the east the millionaire mine owner became impressed with the brown [Pg 82] stone fronts of New York and outdone his neighbors by erecting the only brown stone structure in San Francisco.

It was in this historic hilltop also that James G. Fair laid the foundation of a residence that was intended to surpass anything in the sacred precincts, but before the foundations had been completed domestic troubles resulted in putting a stop to building operations and it is on this site that Mrs.

Hermann Oelrichs, daughter of the late millionaire mine owner, erected the palatial Fairmont hotel, which was one of the most imposing edifices in San Francisco. The old San Francisco is dead. The gayest, lightest hearted, most pleasure loving city of this continent, and in many ways the most interesting and romantic, is a horde of huddled refugees living among ruins.

But those who have known that peculiar city by the Golden Gate and have caught its flavor of the Arabian Nights feel that it can never be the same. It is as though a pretty, frivolous woman had passed through a great tragedy. She survives, but she is sobered and different.

When it rises out of the ashes it will be a modern city, much like other cities and without its old flavor. The city lay on a series of hills and the lowlands between. These hills are really the end of the Coast Range of mountains which lie between the interior valleys and the ocean to the south. To its rear was the ocean; but the greater part of the town fronted on two sides on San Francisco Bay, a body of water always tinged with gold from the great washings of the mountains, usually overhung with a haze, and of magnificent color changes.

Across the bay to the north lies Mount Tamalpais, about 5, feet high, and so close that ferries from the water front took one in less than half an hour to the little towns of Sausalito and Belvidere, at its foot. It is a wooded mountain, with ample slopes, and from it on the north stretch away ridges of forest land, the outposts of the great Northern woods of Sequoia semperrirens.

This mountain [Pg 83] and the mountainous country to the south brought the real forest closer to San Francisco than to any other American city. Within the last few years men have killed deer on the slopes of Tamalpais and looked down to see the cable cars crawling up the hills of San Francisco to the north.

In the suburbs coyotes still stole and robbed hen roosts by night. The people lived much out of doors. There was no time of the year, except a short part of the rainy season, when the weather kept one from the woods. The slopes of Tamalpais were crowded with little villas dotted through the woods, and those minor estates ran far up into the redwood country.

Everything invited out of doors. The climate of California is peculiar; it is hard to give an impression of it. In the first place, all the forces of nature work on laws of their own in that part of California. There is no thunder or lightning; there is no snow, except a flurry once in five or six years; there are perhaps a dozen nights in the winter when the thermometer drops low enough so that there is a little film of ice on exposed water in the morning. Neither is there any hot weather. Yet most Easterners remaining in San Francisco for a few days remember that they were always chilly.

For the Gate is a big funnel, drawing in the winds and the mists which cool off the great, hot interior valleys of the San Joaquin and Sacramento. So the west wind blows steadily ten months of the year and almost all the mornings are foggy. This keeps the temperature steady at about 55 degrees—a little cool for comfort of an unacclimated person, especially indoors. Californians, used to it, hardly ever thought of making fires in their houses except in the few exceptional days of the winter season, and then they relied mainly upon fireplaces.

This is like the custom of the Venetians and the Florentines. After that one goes about with perfect indifference to the temperature. Summer and winter San Francisco women wore light tailor-made clothes, and men wore the same fall weight suits all the year around. There is no such thing as a change of clothing for the seasons. And after becoming acclimated these people found the changes from hot to cold in the normal regions of the earth hard to bear.

Perhaps once in two or three years there comes a day when there is no fog, no wind and a high temperature in the coast district. Then there is hot weather, perhaps up in the eighties, and Californians grumble, swelter and rustle for summer clothes. These rare hot days were the only times when one saw on the streets of San Francisco women in light dresses. Along in early May the rains cease.

At that time everything is green and bright and the great golden poppies, as large as the saucer of an after dinner coffee cup, are blossoming everywhere. Tamalpais is green to its top; everything is washed and bright. By late May a yellow tinge is creeping over the hills.

This is followed by a golden June and a brown July and August. The hills are burned and dry. The fog comes in heavily, too; and normally this is the most disagreeable season of the year. September brings a day or two of gentle rain; and then a change, as sweet and mysterious as the breaking of spring in the East, comes over the hills.

The green grows through the brown and the flowers begin to come out. As a matter of fact, the unpleasantness of summer is modified by the certainty that one can go anywhere without fear of rain. And in all the coast mountains, especially the seaward slopes, the dews and the shelter of the giant underbrush keep the water so that these areas are green and pleasant all summer. Nob Hill was noted for Palatial Homes. They were destroyed by the fire.

All of the buildings shown in the background were destroyed. Tents were erected in this square to shelter the homeless. In a normal year the rains begin to fall heavily in November; there will be three or four days of steady downpour and then a [Pg 89] clear and green week. December is also likely to be rainy; and in this month people enjoy the sensation of gathering for Christmas the mistletoe which grows profusely on the live oaks, while the poppies are beginning to blossom at their feet.

By the end of January the rains come lighter. In the long spaces between rains there is a temperature and a feeling in the air much like that of Indian summer in the East. January is the month when the roses are at their brightest. So much for the strange climate, which invites out of doors and which has played its part in making the character of the people. The externals of the city are—or were, for they are no more—just as curious. One usually entered the city by way of San Francisco Bay.

Across its yellow flood, covered with the fleets from the strange seas of the Pacific, San Francisco presented itself in a hill panorama. Probably no other city of the world could be so viewed and inspected at first sight. It rose above the passenger, as he reached dockage, in a succession of hill terraces. At one side was Telegraph Hill, the end of the peninsula, a height so abrupt that it had a foot sheer cliff on its seaward frontage.

Further along lay Nob Hill, crowned with the Mark Hopkins mansion, which had the effect of a citadel, and in later years by the great, white Fairmount. Further along was Russian Hill, the highest point. Below was the business district, whose low site caused all the trouble. Except for the modern buildings, the fruit of the last ten years, the town presented at first sight a disreputable appearance. Most of the buildings were low and of wood. In that time, too, every one put bow windows on his house, to catch all of the morning sunlight that was coming through the fog, and those little houses, with bow windows and fancy work all down [Pg 90] their fronts, were characteristic of the middle class residence district.

Then the Italians, who tumbled over Telegraph Hill, had built as they listed and with little regard for streets, and their houses hung crazily on a side hill which was little less than a precipice. For the most part, the Chinese, although they occupied an abandoned business district, had remade the houses Chinese fashion, and the Mexicans and Spaniards had added to their houses those little balconies without which life is not life to a Spaniard.

Yet the most characteristic thing after all was the coloring. For the sea fog had a trick of painting every exposed object a sea gray which had a tinge of dull green in it. This, under the leaden sky of a San Francisco morning, had a depressing effect on first sight and afterward became a delight to the eye. For the color was soft, gentle and infinitely attractive in mass.

The hills are steep beyond conception. Where Vallejo street ran up Russian Hill it progressed for four blocks by regular steps like a flight of stairs. It is unnecessary to say that no teams ever came up this street or any other like it, and grass grew long among the paving stones until the Italians who live thereabouts took advantage of this to pasture a cow or two. At the end of the four blocks, the pavers had given it up and the last stage to the summit was a winding path.

On the very top, a colony of artists lived in little villas of houses whose windows got the whole panorama of the bay. Luckily for these people, a cable car climbed the hill on the other side, so that it was not much of a climb to home. With these hills, with the strangeness of the architecture and with the green gray tinge over everything, the city fell always into vistas and pictures, a setting for the romance which hung over everything, which always hung over life in San Francisco since the padres came and gathered the Indians about Mission Dolores.

There was a sprinkling, too, of Alaska and Siberia. From his windows on Russian Hill one saw always something strange and suggestive creeping through the mists of the bay. Even the tramp windjammers were deep chested craft, capable of rounding the Horn or of circumnavigating the globe; and they came in streaked and picturesque from their long voyaging.

In the orange colored dawn which always comes through the mists of that bay, the fishing fleet would crawl in under triangular lateen sails, for the fishermen of San Francisco Bay were all Neapolitans who brought their customers and their customs and sail with lateen rigs shaped like the ear of a horse when the wind fills them and stained an orange brown.

Along the water front the people of these craft met. These came in and out from among the queer craft, to lose themselves in the disreputable, tumbledown, but always mysterious shanties and small saloons.

In the back rooms of these saloons South Sea Island traders and captains, fresh from the lands of romance, whaling masters, people who were trying [Pg 92] to get up treasure expeditions, filibusters, Alaskan miners, used to meet and trade adventures. There was another element, less picturesque and equally characteristic, along the water front. For San Francisco was the back eddy of European civilization—one end of the world. The drifters came there and stopped, lingered a while to live by their wits in a country where living after a fashion has always been marvellously cheap.

These people haunted the water front or lay on the grass on Portsmouth Square. That square, the old plaza about which the city was built, Spanish fashion, had seen many things. There in the first burst of the early days the vigilance committee used to hold its hangings. There in the time of the sand lot riots Dennis Kearney, who nearly pulled the town down about his ears, used to make his orations which set the unruly to rioting. On this square men used to lie all day long and tell strange yarns.

Since then some of the peculiar character of the old plaza had gone. The Barbary Coast was a loud bit of hell. No one knows who coined the name. The place was simply three blocks of solid dance halls, there for the delight of the sailors of the world. On a fine busy night every door blared loud dance music from orchestra, steam pianos and gramophones and the cumulative effect of the sound which reached the street was at least strange. Almost anything might be happening behind the swinging doors.

For a fine and picturesque bundle of names characteristic of the place, a police story of three or four years ago is typical. Kanaka Pete chased the man he had marked to the Little Silver Dollar, where he turned and punctured him. The by-product of his gun made some holes in the front of the Eye Wink, which were proudly kept as souvenirs, and were probably there until it went out in the fire.

This was low life, the lowest of the low. Until the last decade almost anything except the commonplace and the expected might happen to a man on the water front. The cheerful industry of shanghaiing was reduced to a science. A stranger taking a drink in one of the saloons which hung out over the water might be dropped through the floor into a boat, or he might drink with a stranger and wake in the forecastle of a whaler bound for the Arctic. Ten years ago the police and the foreign consuls, working together, stopped this.

Kearney street, a wilder and stranger Bowery, was the main thoroughfare of these people. An exiled Californian, mourning over the city of his heart, said recently:. These are a few of the elements which made the city strange and gave it the glamour of romance which has so strongly attracted such men as Stevenson, Frank Norris and Kipling.

This lay apart from the regular life of the city, which was distinctive in itself. The Californian is the second generation of a picked and mixed stock. The merry, the adventurous, often the desperate, always the brave, deserted the South and New England in [Pg 94] to rush around the Horn or to try the perils of the plains.

They found there already grown old in the hands of the Spaniards younger sons of hidalgos and many of them of the proudest blood of Spain. To a great extent the pioneers intermarried with Spanish women; in fact, except for a proud little colony here and there, the old Spanish blood is sunk in that of the conquering race.

Then there was an influx of intellectual French people, largely overlooked in the histories of the early days; and this Latin leaven has had its influence. Brought up in a bountiful country, where no one really has to work very hard to live, nurtured on adventure, scion of a free and merry stock, the real, native Californian is a distinctive type; so far from the Easterner in psychology as the extreme Southerner is from the Yankee.

He is easy going, witty, hospitable, lovable, inclined to be unmoral rather than immoral in his personal habits, and above all easy to meet and to know. Above all there is an art sense all through the populace which sets it off from any other part of the country. This sense is almost Latin in its strength, and the Californian owes it to the leaven of Latin blood. With such a people life was always gay. If they did not show it on the streets, as do the people of Paris, it was because the winds made open cafes disagreeable at all seasons of the year.

The gayety went on indoors or out on the hundreds of estates that fringed the city. It was noted for its restaurants. Perhaps the very best for people who care not how they spend their money could not be had there, but for a dollar, 75 cents, 50 cents, a quarter or even 15 cents the restaurants afforded the best fare on earth at the price. A number of causes contributed to this consummation. The country all about produced everything that a cook needed and that in abundance—the bay was an almost untapped fishing pond, the fruit farms came up to the very edge of the town, and the surrounding country produced in abundance fine meats, all cereals and all vegetables.

But the chefs who came from France in the early days and liked this land of plenty were the head and front of it. They passed on their art to other Frenchmen or to the clever Chinese. Most of the French chefs at the biggest restaurants were born in Canton, China. Later the Italians, learning of this country where good food is appreciated, came and brought their own style.

Householders always dined out one or two nights of the week, and boarding houses were scarce, for the unattached preferred the restaurants.

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Chapters 27 and 33 both end abruptly in the middle of a sentence.

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A mi mami un show mas torrent This, it seems to me, is the central tension to be addressed: How far and in what ways were the radical transformations achieved after already prefigured in the thought and practices of earlier years? A cart with several bodies of those killed was taken by torchlight around the city. The hills are steep beyond conception. The problem of diagnosis and remedy of the ills of the body politic was made more difficult by a common language undergoing rapid and treacherous shifts in meanings. If the air of the houses in which the majority of the middle-class citizens live is foul, if the atmosphere of the street spews out noxious vapors into practically airless back premises, realize that, apart from this pestilence, the forty thousand houses of this great city have their foundations plunged in filth Half of Paris sleeps nightly in the putrid exhalations from streets, back-yards and privies.
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