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The Paris Exposition of 1878 by Edward H. Knight

 

I.—BUILDINGS AND GROUNDS.

THE TROCADÉRO AND GROUNDS.

THE TROCADÉRO AND GROUNDS.



It is customary to speak of things by comparison, and the question is constantly propounded here, as it will be to returned Americans: "How does the Exposition compare with the Centennial of 1876?" This is not to be answered by vague generalities nor by sweeping statements.

It must of course be true that a great nation could not fail to make interesting an object upon which it has lavished money and which has obtained the co-operation of the principal foreign nations. So much is true equally of Philadelphia and Paris, and the merits of each are such that comparisons may be instituted which shall be derogatory to neither.

The scale of each is immense, and the buildings of both well filled and overflowing into numerous annexes. Fairmount had the advantage of breadth of ground for all comers. The Champ de Mars is but little over one hundred acres in area, while the portion of Fairmount Park conceded to the Exposition was two hundred and sixty acres.

The Champ de Mars is simply crowded with buildings, and is hemmed in by houses except at the end where it abuts upon the Seine. The space between the river and the main building is the only breathing-ground on that side of the river, the only place large enough for a band to play in the open air with allowance for a moderate crowd of listeners; and even this portion has a far larger number of detached houses than elegance or convenience of view would dictate. It was otherwise in Philadelphia, where the ample room gave a sensation of freedom, and the wide lawns, and even rustic hollows, permitted rambles, picnic lunches and parties. Herein consists one of the most striking features of dissimilarity between the Philadelphia and Paris expositions. The former had plenty of room—the latter has insufficient. The former, with the exception of the Main and Machinery Buildings, with a few adjuncts, and the Art-Gallery, a little retired from the Main Building, had its structures dotted over a wide expanse bordering its lakes or along an encircling drive. For want of any other sufficient opportunity to display the architecture of the countries assembled, one of the interior façades of the Paris building has a series of characteristic house-fronts looking upon an allée of but fifty feet in width, which is dignified by the title of "The Street of Nations."

This tight packing has, however, one compensation: it has permitted a degree of finish to the grounds far superior to what was possible at Philadelphia. All the space inside the enclosure is admirably laid out in walks and parterres, and the two open places between the principal buildings and the Seine display a truly beautiful and picturesque garden, with winding walks, ponds, fountains, artificial mounds with clumps of trees and evergreens, grottos, statues, trickling rivulets with ferns and mosses, cozy dells with little cascades, and the walks in the more open spots bordered with charming flowers and plants of rich leafage. The lawns are something marvellous in the speed with which they have been created. Thousands of tons, as it seems, of rich mould have been deposited and levelled or laid upon the swelling tumuli which border the more open space, and the grass grows with denseness and vigor under the stimulating treatment of phosphates, its greenness mocking the emerald, and forming a most vivid setting for the darker leaves of the tree-rhododendrons, whose globular masses of bloom look like balls of fire.

After all, it is only justice to mention two things at Philadelphia which render it memorable among exhibitions, and which, I observe in conversation with foreigners who visited it and are here now, made a great and lasting impression. I do not mean that it had but two, but these are so frequently referred to that it is fair to cite them specially, even at the risk of a little repetition as to the first—namely, the wide area and beautiful situation, with the views of hill and river; the means of approach by carriage-drives through the lovely Park, those so disposed being able to drive for miles along the water-side, in the groves and to various commanding points of view on their way to such of the remoter entrances as they might elect; the railway, which enabled one not only to see the grounds without fatigue, but while resting from the pedestrian work of the interiors of the buildings; the sense of comfort in being able to retire for a while to sylvan or floral retreats to digest the thoughts and rest from seeing. Secondly, the various and ample accommodations offered to the public—the postal and telegraph facilities; the Department of Public Comfort; the lavatories and retiring-rooms so abundantly furnished. A Moresque gentleman in turban who was in Philadelphia fairly rubbed his hands as he referred to the lavish opportunities for washing which were freely given in Philadelphia, and contrasted them with the state of things here, where it costs ten cents to wash your hands, and the supply of water is but meagre at that. But he is an African, you know, and had learned to appreciate water, and plenty of it, in a land where the washing of the face, hands and feet is among the first civilities offered to a stranger.

A few figures, dry enough in themselves if there were nothing more, will serve as a means of comparison of the relative spaces under cover. The building on the Champ de Mars is stated officially to be 650 mètres long by 350 mètres broad, which, reduced to our measurement, will give 2,447,536 square feet. Deducting 150,000 feet for two enclosed alleys, the area under roof will be 2,297,536 feet. The area of the five principal buildings at the Centennial Exhibition was:

  Square feet.
Main Building 872,320
Machinery Hall 504,720
Art-Gallery 76,650
Agricultural Hall 442,800
Horticultural Hall 73,919
_________
  1,970,409

So that the difference in favor of Paris is 327,127 feet. In round numbers, the Paris Exposition building is one-fifth larger than the united areas of the five principal buildings at the Centennial. Without making a close calculation of the areas of the annexes and detached buildings either of Philadelphia or Paris, I am disposed to think that the 1876 Exhibition was not in excess of the present one in this respect. Either exceeds, both in the main buildings and the swarm of detached structures, any preceding exhibitions. The difference between the Paris exhibitions of 1867 and 1878 is as 153 is to 240: the London building of 1862 would bear to both the proportion of 92, without any important annexes.

The high ground on the right bank of the Seine is occupied by the Trocadéro Palace, which faces that on the Champ de Mars, each building being about five hundred yards from the bank of the river, which flows in so deep a depression that it is visible from neither building, and the grounds between the two appear to be continuous, though the bridge suggests the contrary.

The cascade in front of the Trocadéro occupies the site of the old steps by which the steep hill was ascended, but the ground nearer to the Seine has been so raised that the river-roads on each side run in subways spanned by bridges, thus permitting free use of the great thoroughfares without impeding communication between the two portions of the Exposition. Indeed, they appear as one viewed in either direction, notwithstanding the intervening streets and wide and rapid river.

The change in the shape of the Trocadéro hill to bring it into a symmetrical position in front of the Champ de Mars has required the quarrying of twenty-four thousand cubic mètres of rock, leaving a rough scarp on the northern edge quarried into steps, walks and grottos, with flowers, ferns and mosses cunningly planted on the ledge and creepers on the walls.

The Trocadéro Palace is the most striking architectural feature of the Exposition. Standing on a level one hundred and six feet above the Quai de Billy and overlooking the city of Paris, the dome and glittering minarets of the building are visible from many miles' distance. It is not easy to describe its architecture, though it is called "half Moorish, half Renaissance;" which is not very definite. It has a large rotunda capable of accommodating seven thousand persons, and the river-front has two spacious corridors on as many stories. The central building is flanked by two tall square campaniles, and from its sides extend long wings which curve toward the river: these have colonnades and terraces in front overlooking the garden, its picturesque and grotesque cottages and pavilions, its fountains and its parterres of gay flowers.

The Trocadéro has been purchased by the town council of Paris, and is to be a permanent structure, its flanking salons, forty-two feet wide, being known as "Galéries de l'Art Rétrospective." Its collection is to form a history of civilization, and will probably include the Egyptian, Assyrian and similar collections from the Louvre, as well as the Ethnological, which is at St. Germain. It is designed to represent in chronological order ancient and historic art, both liberal and mechanical, with the furniture, arms and tools of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, arms, implements and fabrics from the East, Africa and Oceanica, and a collection of musical instruments of all ages and countries. This is an ambitious programme, but will no doubt be well accomplished. Its general color is that of the beautiful stone of this region, a delicate cream. The uniformity is broken by great boldness and variety in the structural form of the building, and by its pillars, deep colonnades and heavy cornices, giving shadows which prevent monotony of tint.

While artists and architects disagree like the proverbial doctors, and purists shudder at the jumble of orders, periods and nationalities, a tyro may well hesitate. An opinion of the building will no more suit everybody than does the building itself; but one cannot entirely forfeit one's reputation for taste, for each will find some agreeing judgments. All must acknowledge that it has a gala air. Its central dome, tall minarets and wings widespread toward the river crown the height and seem to foster the beauties they partly enclose.

The circular corridor of the rotunda is surmounted by the Muses and other figures typical of the future purposes of the building. The rotunda-walls are themselves castellated, the towers being interplaced with windows of Saracenic arched form. The béton pavement of the corridors and balcony is made of annular fragments, facets upward, of black, red, white and slate-colored marbles, feldspar and other stones. It is as hard as natural rock and as smooth as half-polished marble. A tessellated fret pattern is made along the borders of the corridor floor, consisting of triple rows of smooth cubes of marble inserted in the cement. The square balusters are of red-mottled marble, with base and entablature of dull rose. The square corner pillars support figures allegorizing the six divisions of the earth.

The vestibules at the sides of the tower are open east and west for the passage to and from the garden, and at the sides have doors which admit to the Grande Salle and the flanking galleries respectively. The interior red scagliola columns of the vestibule are in pairs, with white bases and capitals, the latter combining the lotus-leaf with the volute. The soffits of the ceiling have panels of yellow with orange border, contrasting with iron beams painted a chocolate brown.

The uniformity of the long and curved colonnades which form the wings of the building is broken by square porticoes, which have entrances to the galleries and small terraces in front, with steps leading to the garden. The wall back of the white pillars of this long promenade is painted of a warm but not glaring red. The roof is of tile and skylight. The base of the colonnade beneath the balustrade and pillars is a rough concrete wall hidden by a sloping bank of evergreens, upon which the eye rests pleasantly amid so much wall-space and architectural decoration.

In front of the corridor of the rotunda is a projecting balcony, with six gigantic female figures on the corners of its balustrade representing Europe, Asia, North and South America, Africa and Australia. These statues are of metal gilt, and typify by countenance and accompanying emblems the portions of the globe they represent. Europe is an armed figure with sword: at her side are the caduceus, olive-branch, books and easel. Asia has a spear and a couch with elephant heads. Africa is a negress, with the characteristic grass-rope basket containing dates. North America is an Indian, but the civilization of the land is indicated by an anchor, beehive and cog-wheel. Australia is a gin, with a waddy, boomerang and kangaroo. South America sits on a cotton-bale, has a condor by her side, and at her feet are tropical fruits—pineapples, bananas and brazil-nuts.

The balustrade of the balcony is of a light marble with faint red mottling, and in front of it is a boiling pool of water at the level of the hand-rail. A large volume of water overflows the curved edge of this pool and falls twenty feet into a basin beneath, the first of a series of nine whose overflows in successive steps form the cascade technically known as a "château d'eau," the finest of which description of ornamental waterworks is at the Château St. Cloud, one of the mementos of the fatal luxury which precipitated the Revolution of 1789. The cascade of St. Cloud plays once a month for half an hour—that at the Exposition during the whole day. From one jet at St. Cloud issue five thousand gallons per minute: the supply at the Exposition is twenty-four thousand cubic feet per hour. Most of this water runs over the edge of the balcony-pool, and the fall of fifty-six cubic feet per second a distance of twenty feet creates no mean roar and mist in the archway beneath the balcony, where visitors walk behind the falls and look through the sheet of water. It is not fair to compare at all points the cascades of the Exposition and St. Cloud. The amount of water may probably not be greatly different, but the fantastic profusion of spiratory objects and long succession of overflow basins and urns in the works at the château has no parallel in those of the Trocadéro. The cascades of St. Cloud are disappointing: the object should be to add to landscape effect by water in motion, and the principle is entirely missed when the water is made a mere accessory to a series of stone steps, jars and monsters. Steps are made to walk upon, jars to hold water. An interminable series of either with water poured over them is not the work of a genius. If the first suggestion to the mind be that a thing is a stairway, the fact that it is made too wet to walk upon does not constitute it a beautiful cascade. A row of jars on pedestals around a grass-plat has a pretty effect, because they do or may hold flowers, but to set several rows of them on a hillside and turn on the water is not art. As an admirable illustration of fantasy well wrought out the Fountain of Latona at Versailles may be cited. There Latona, having appealed to Jupiter against the inhabitants of Argos, who had deprived her of water, is deluged by jets from the unfortunates, who appear in various degrees of transformation into frogs.

THE ENGLISH QUARTER, ON INTERNATIONAL AVENUE.

THE ENGLISH QUARTER, ON INTERNATIONAL AVENUE.



The cascade of the Trocadéro has nothing meretricious about it. It is, like the building of which it is the finest ornament, of Jura marble, while much of the adjacent work is of artificial stone so admirably made that one cannot tell the difference, and is disposed to give the preference to the latter as evincing greater ingenuity than the mere patient chiselling of the quarry-stone. The pools are symmetrical, in conformity to the style of their surroundings, their overflows curved, the successive falls being about two feet after the first dash nine hundred and twenty feet from the balcony level. Each side of the cascade is flanked by six small pools in which are spouting and spray jets. The course ends in a pool which may be described as square, with circular bays on three of its sides. In this are one large jet and two smaller ones, which are themselves beautiful and keep the surface in a pleasant ripple. The corner pillars are crowned by colossal gilt figures of animals, supposed to represent what we were used to call the "four quarters of the earth"—Europe, Asia, Africa and America, as the books had it before America had attained any prominence in public estimation. These are typified by a horse, an elephant, a rhinoceros and a bull, the latter probably a tribute to our bison, but not much like him. These face the four winds, so to speak, and do indeed more nearly, as they are set obliquely, than do the grounds and buildings, the length of which runs north-west and south-east. Each animal has his back to the pool, and with one exception is in a rampant attitude.

Many thousands of cubic mètres of stone were quarried away to afford a site for the cascade, for the system of water-pipes which supply the various pools and jets and conduct off the surplus. The size of the site occupied by these hydraulic works is 360 by 75 feet.

The balcony of the Trocadéro facing toward the river and the Champ de Mars affords the most extensive view obtainable in the grounds. Beneath is the cascade with its basins and fountains, and spreading away on each side is the garden with its various national buildings, neat, gaudy or grotesque. Spanning the invisible roads and river is the broad Pont d'Iéna, and then comes a repetition of the garden, the sward dotted with parterres and buildings. A broad terrace, crowned with the splendid façade of the main building, does not quite terminate the view, for from the height of the lower corridor of the rotunda the buildings of Paris are seen to stretch away in the distance. The hill of Montmartre on the north and the heights of Chatillon and Clamart on the south terminate the view in those directions.

The cascade immediately beneath us has been already described, but how shall we give an impression of the appearance of the buildings collected in groups on each side of the main avenue? So great is the variety of objects to be presented that any very large unbroken surface of sward is impossible. The general plan is geometrical, and the absence of large trees on the newly-made ground has prevented any attempt at woodland scenery.

The French make great use of common flowers in obtaining effects of color. Some square beds of large size have centres of purple and white stocks, giving a mottled appearance, with a border of the tender blue forget-me-nots and a fringe of double daisies. Other beds are full of purple, red and white anemones, multicolored poppies or yellow marigolds. The sober mignonette is too great a favorite to be excluded, though it lends little to the effect. The gorgeous rhododendron is here massed in large beds, and there forms a standard tree with a formal clump of foliage and gay flowers, contrasting with the bright green of the succulent grass. The roses are by thousands in beds and lining the walks, and here are especially to be seen the standard roses for which Europe is so famous, but which do not seem to prosper with us.

Besides the flowers and flowering shrubs, a most profuse use is made of evergreens, which are removed of surprising size and forwardness of spring growth. We can form little conception from our gardens at home of the wealth, variety and exuberance of the evergreen foliage in Southern England and Northern France—the Spanish and Portuguese laurel, laurustinus, arbutus, occuba, bay, hollies in variety, tree-box, with scores of species of pines, firs, arborvitæ and yews, relieved by the contorted foliage of the auraucarias, the sombre cedar of Lebanon and the graceful deodar cedar of the Himalayas. As already remarked, the tree-growth is small, as the ground was a blank and rocky hillside two years ago, and was quarried to make a site for the garden. The tree which seems best to bear moving, and is consequently used in the emergency, is the horse-chestnut, the red and white flowering varieties being intermingled. This is perhaps the most common tree in the streets of Paris, though the plane and maple are also favorites.

BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE MAIN BUILDING AND ITS SURROUNDINGS.

BIRD'S-EYE VIEW OF THE MAIN BUILDING AND ITS SURROUNDINGS.



Against the rocky scarp on the south of the garden a plantation of aloes, yuccas and cactus has been made. These are in great variety, and some of them in flower. It was especially pleasant to see the independence which the gardener has shown in placing a fine clump of rhubarb in one place where he wanted a green bunch. Some persons would have been afraid of injurious criticism in the use of so common a plant, but we all know what a vigorous, healthy green it is, and as such not to be despised by the artist in color. There are a few specialties in the way of gardening which are worth notice: one is the array of tulips planted by the city of Haarlem, and representing the municipal coat-of-arms in tulips of every imaginable color of which the plant is capable, and around the figures the words "Haarlem, Holland," in scarlet tulips on a ground of white ones.

Another novelty is the Japanese garden with its bamboo fence, the posts and door of entrance being carved with remarkable taste and boldness. The double gates are surmounted by a cock and hen in natural attitudes, which is a relief from the absurdities of their impossible storks and hideous griffins. Perhaps it shows that modern and European ideas are at work there. The flag of Japan, by the way—a red circle on a white ground—is a sensible design, and can be seen at a distance: it contrasts favorably with the dragon on a yellow ground of the Chinese pavilion. The Japanese garden has several large standard umbrellas for permanent shade, and little bamboo-fenced yards for the game chickens and the ducks. Two shrines are in the garden, and a fountain with a feeble jet issuing from a stump and falling into a little fanciful pond with small bays and promontories. On the miniature deep a walnut-shell ship might ride, and on the shoals near the bank aquatic plants are beginning to sprout, and their leaves will soon touch the opposite shore if they are not attended to.

Rather a disparagement, as a matter of taste, to the somewhat formal grace but undoubted beauty of this floral scene are the buildings which are placed here and there over the surface. However, it is these that we have come to see, for if we were in search of landscape or Dutch gardening we should find it better elsewhere. This gardening is only a setting, a frame, in which the various nations have set up their cottages and villas. The ground surface between the houses has been laid off ornamentally to please the eye and satisfy the sense of order and beauty, but is not itself the object of which we are in search. It is impossible perhaps to harmonize such an incongruous set of buildings, adapted for different climates, habits, tastes and needs. Here on the left is a large white castellated house of Algiers. It has blank walls and loopholed towers, and no suggestion of a tree or flower, but gives an idea of the land where the sand of the desert comes up to the doorstep and beggars and thieves go on horseback. On the opposite extremity, at the right, is a Chinese house with its peculiar curved roof, suggested originally, doubtless, by the Tartar tent, but having more curves and points than were ever shown by canvas or felt. In a district by themselves the readers of the Koran—or a set of people passing for such—have their Persian, Tunisian, Morocco and Turkish kiosques, and the inhabitants seem perhaps one shade cleaner than they did in Philadelphia. They are supposed, at least, to be the same, and have an exactly similar lot of rubbish and brass jewelry for sale, and oil of cassia, which they sell for the attar of the "gardens of Gul in their bloom." Next is a campanile of Sweden, and near it are the Swedish and Norwegian houses, armed against winter. Then the Japanese cottage with sides all open, mats on the floors and no furniture to speak of. Then comes a Moorish pavilion of Spain with nondescript ornaments, the bulbous domes and pinnacles supporting the flags of yellow and red—of barbaric taste, color and significance.

We have yet to notice the Italian villa, the Oriental mosque, the Swiss chalet and the log hut; also the modern pavilion with zinc roof, the thatched houses of Britain and of Normandy, the Elizabethan cottage and the English farm-house. What they lack in size they make up in variety, may be said of the greenhouses and conservatories dotted about the place. In and outside of them the marvellous skill and patience of the gardener is seen in the rigidly-formal or abnormally-directed limbs of the fruit trees. The fish-ponds and fountains are neither numerous nor large, but the aquarium may merit more extended description when completed.

Standing, sensible-looking and tasteful, in the midst of much that is trumpery, but good enough for a summer fête, and placed here not as exhibits of good taste, but of what their owners think good, rises the wooden building with skylight roof of "The Administration of Forests and Waters." It is on a beautiful knoll, and has a wooden frame with tongued and grooved panels, the whole varnished to show the natural grain of the timber. On the panels outside are arranged the tools and implements of arboriculture and forestry.

The flags of the different nations displayed upon these buildings give animation to the scene, and the glance might pass at once from this panorama to the other side of the Seine, where the scene is repeated, but for the intervention of long barnlike sheds with tile roofs which intrude themselves along the banks of the river, and quench the poetry of the fanciful and picturesque as the eye passes from the immediate foreground and seeks the magnificent façade of the Salle d'Iéna, the river front of the main building occupying the Champ de Mars. The flags of all nations are flying from the numerous minor pinnacles, while the six domes on the ends and centres of the east and west façades display the tricolor of France.

The best view of the exterior is obtained from the Trocadéro. The building itself is so large that some distance is necessary to take in the whole at a glance. The approach to it by way of the Pont d'Iéna has been marred by raising the bridge to too great a height, so that the impression in crossing the Seine is that the building stands upon low ground. Standing upon the east end of the bridge, one cannot see the base on the other side of the river, which suggests descent and dwarfs the building. The bridge retains its colossal statuary, each of the four groups consisting of an unmounted man and a horse. They respectively represent a Greek, Roman, Gaul and Arab. The bridge was erected to commemorate the victory over the Prussians in 1806, and Blücher, who had his head-quarters at St. Cloud in 1815, threatened to blow it up. After crossing the bridge we find ourselves reaching the work-a-day world. On the left are represented the foundries and workshops of Creuzot, Chaumont and Serrenorri. Near by is a model of the observatory of Mount Jouvis and an annex of the state tobacco-factory of France.

The building on the Champ de Mars is 2132 feet by 1148. A wide and lofty vestibule runs across the full extent of each end, and these afford the most imposing interior views of the building. They are known respectively as the Galérie d'Iéna and Galérie de l'École Militaire, from their vicinity to the bridge and school respectively. Being lofty themselves, and having central and flanking domed towers which break the uniformity, their fronts form the principal façades of the building, of which, architecturally speaking, they are the principal entrances; but in fact, as happens with buildings of such acreage, the actual inlets depend upon the predominance in numbers of the people on one or another side of the building, the means of approach by land and water, and the contiguous streets of favorite and convenient travel. In the present case the bulk of the people reach the grounds either by water at the south-east corner or by land at the intersection of Avenue Rapp with the Avenue Bourdonnaye, which latter bounds the Champ de Mars on its southern side.

The end-vestibules are connected by five longitudinal galleries on each side of the open area in the middle of the building. The five galleries on the southern side belong to France, and the five on the northern side are divided by transverse partitions among the foreign nations present, in very greatly differing quantities. England, for instance, occupies nearly two-sevenths of the whole space devoted to foreign exhibitors, being more than the sum of the amounts allotted to Spain, China, Japan, Italy, Sweden, Norway and the United States. The end-vestibules have curved roofs with highly ornamented ceilings of a succession of flat domes along the centres, with three rows of deep soffits on each side, gayly painted. The walls are nearly all glass in iron frames, and the panes of white glass alternate in checkerwork with those having blue tracery upon them. The whole building is principally of iron and glass, the roof of wood, with zinc plates and numerous skylights over the interior galleries. The machinery galleries of each side are much the largest of the longitudinal ones, and have high roofs with side windows above the levels of the roofs on each side of them; but the four other galleries on each side of the building have quite low ceilings, which make one fear for the quality of the ventilation when the heat is at its greatest.

In the interior of the quadrangular building is an open space about two hundred feet broad and nearly two thousand feet long, reaching from one vestibule to the other; and in this space are two rows of fine-art pavilions and a building for the exhibition of the municipal works of the city. This isolated building is in the central portion of the whole structure, the fine-art pavilions being arranged in line with it, four in a group, the salons of a group connected by lobbies and also with the large end-vestibules at the end upon which they abut.

The French and foreign sides of the Exposition building on the Champ de Mars have frontages upon the interior court, and the façades of the foreign sections are made ornamental and are intended to be characteristic of the countries. There is a great discrepancy in the space assigned to each: that of Great Britain is the longest, amounting to five hundred and forty feet in length, while the little territories of Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino, which are clubbed together, have unitedly about twenty-five feet of frontage. In some cases the space assigned to a nation does not run back the full four hundred feet to the outside of the building, but it is intended that each shall have some part of the façade in this allée. Much taste and more expense have been lavished upon the architectural construction and embellishment of the façades, and the row reminds one of the scenes in a theatre, where palace, cottage, mosque and jail stand side by side, giving a particolored effect as various as the different emotions which the respective buildings might be supposed to elicit. The English space being so large, no single design was adopted, as it could have but a monotonous effect, but the frontage was divided into five portions, each of which illustrates some style of villa or cottage architecture, and is separated from the adjoining one by garden-beds. The first, counting from the Salle de la Seine, is of the style of Queen Anne's reign. It is built of a patented imitation of red brickwork. Thin slabs of Portland cement concrete are faced with smaller slabs of red concrete of the size of bricks and screwed to the wooden frame of the building. The house has tall casements in a bay with a balcony, and an entablature on top of the wall. The second house is the pavilion of the prince of Wales, and is of the Elizabethan style. It is built of rubble-work faced with colored plaster in imitation of red brickwork and Bath-stone dressings. The front has niches for statuary, and above the windows are shield-shaped panels for armorial bearings. The windows are in square clusters, with small lights in hexagonal leaden cames. The union jack flies from the staff. The third house is constructed of red brick and terra-cotta, and is not specially characteristic of any period. It is, in fact, a jumble of the early Gothic with a Moorish entablature and a balustrade parapet. The stained-glass casement windows are surmounted with circular lights in the arches. The fourth house is built of pitch-pine framework, enriched with carving and filled in with plaster panels—a style of construction known as "half-timbered work," much employed in England from the fifteenth to the seventeenth century. This house is placed at the disposal of the Canadian commissioners. It has a large square two-story bay-window, with the customary small glass panes in cames of lozenge and other patterns, and is perhaps the neatest and most cozy house in the row. The fifth is of the construction of an English country-house in the reign of William III. It is of timber, with stucco and rough-cast panels, and has a large bay-window in the second story, surmounted by a gable to the street and covering an old-fashioned stoop with seats on each side. The five houses have a pretty effect, and each has a home look. The façades only are on exhibition, the interiors being private. They contrast with others in the "street" in the same way as the habits of the different peoples. Some build their houses to retire into, and others to exhibit themselves. Each nation being asked for the façade of a house, the Italian has built a portico where he can lounge, see and be seen; the Englishman has in all serenity represented what he deems comfort, and shuts the front door.

VIEW IN THE PARK OF THE TROCADÉRO, SHOWING THE PAVILIONS OF PERSIA AND SIAM.

VIEW IN THE PARK OF THE TROCADÉRO, SHOWING THE PAVILIONS OF PERSIA AND SIAM.



The next in order is the United States house, which is plain and commodious; the latch-string would be out, but that the front door is everlastingly open. The style is perhaps to advertise to the world that we have not yet had time to invent an order of architecture or devise anything adapted to our climate, which has extremes utterly unknown to our ancestors in Britain. The building is light and airy, has office-rooms on each floor, and is described by one English paper as "a sort of school-building which combines elegance with usefulness." Another paper states that "it exemplifies the utilitarian notions of our Transatlantic cousins rather than any artistic intent." These comments are as favorable as anything we ourselves can say: we accept the verdict with thanks and think we have got off pretty well. In the squareness of its general lines, with arched windows on the second floor and square tower over the centre, perhaps the architect thought it was Italian. Sixteen coats-of-arms on the outside excite admiration.

The building of Norway and Sweden is a charming cottage of handsome and ample proportions. It has three sections: one of two stories with low-pitched roof, and gable to the street, a middle structure with colonnade, and one of three stories with high-pitched roof. The windows are round-topped, made in an ingenious way, the upper member being an arched piece with sloping ends, to match the springing on the tops of the posts which divide the openings. The horizontal and vertical bands are enriched by carving.

The façade of Italy may be pronounced pretentious and disappointing. It is constructed of various kinds of unpolished marble and terra-cotta panels. A tall archway is flanked by two wings having each two smaller arches, the entablatures of which are enriched, if we must so term it, with gaudy mosaic figures, portraits and heraldic bearings, while the spans of the arches surmount pyramidal groups of emblems, scientific, medical, lyrical and so forth. Red curtains with heavy gilt cords and tassels behind the arches throw the columns with composition (not Composite) capitals and the emblems into high relief. Beneath the centre arch is the armorial bearing of the country. The vestibules display statuary.

Japan has a quaint little house with a very massive gateway of solid timber, flanked by two characteristic fountains of terra-cotta. These represent stumps of trees, with gigantic lily-cups, leaves of water-lilies, and frogs in grotesque attitudes in and around the water.

China has a grotesque house, painted in imitation of octagonal slate-colored bricks, covered with a pagoda-roof full of curves and points. The red door has rows of large knobs and is surmounted by colored and gilded carvings, representing genii probably. The pointed flag has in a yellow field a blue dragon in the later stages of consumption.

Spain has a Moorish building rich in gold and color—a central portion with Italian roof, and two colonnade side-sections flanked by castellated towers. Five forms of arches span the doors and windows, and the artist has contrived to associate all forms of ornament, running from an approach to the Greek fret down through the Arabesque to the Brussels carpet.

Austro-Hungary has a long colonnade of white stone ornamented with black filigree-work and supported by columns in pairs. The entablature is surmounted by a row of statues, and the end-towers have parapets with balustrade. The colonnade, with a chocolate-brown back wall, affords shelter and relief for bronze and marble statuary. At each end of this façade is a tall flagstaff striped like a barber's pole, and so familiar to all who have visited the Austrian stations, at Trieste, for example. From it flies the flag of horizontal stripes of red, white and green, with the shield of many quarterings and two angelic supporters.

Russia has a log-and-frame house of somewhat more than average picturesque character. The projecting centres and wing-towers, the outside staircase, and roofs conical, flat, pyramidal, bulbous and Oriental, give it a miscellaneous toyshop appearance, characteristic perhaps of the mosaic character of the nation. Barge-boards and brackets of various cheap patterns are plentifully strewed over the building.

Passing from the Russian to the Swiss building suggests inevitably Mr. Mantalini's description of his former chères amies: "The two countesses had no outline at all, and the dowager's was a demmed outline." A semicircular archway, over which is a high-flying arch with a roof of six slopes surmounted by a bell-tower and pinnacle roof; on the pillars two lions supporting a red shield with white Greek cross in the field; two wings with flat arches containing gorgeous stained-glass windows. But what avails description? There are twenty-two armorial bearings on the spandrils of the arches, beating the United States by six; but we had only room for the original thirteen, the United States and two more. Oh that they had granted us more space! High up aloft is the motto Un pour tous, tons pour un, which was adopted by the French Commune.

Belgium is pre-eminent in the whole row, if expense determines. This country has about three times as much space in the building as the United States, and has worthily filled it. The Belgian façade on the "Street of Nations" is reputed to have cost nearly as much as the whole appropriation made by Congress for the United States exhibit. It is of dark red brick with gray stone quoins and corners and blue and gray marble pillars. The centre building is joined by two colonnades to a flanking tower at one end and an ornate gable at the other. The style is one familiar in the times when the great William of Orange was alive, and was to some extent introduced into England soon after another William took the place of his bigoted father-in-law. It cannot be denied that the general effect is gray, sombre and uncomfortable—that it is too much crowded with objects, and, though of admirable and enduring materials, suggests a spasmodic attempt to assimilate itself to the gala character of the occasion which called it forth. It is the saturnine one of the row. It is said that the pieces are numbered for re-erection in some other place.

Greece has an Athenian house painfully crude in color, white picked out with all the hues of the rainbow and some others, suggesting muddy coffee and chibouques.

Denmark has about twenty feet of front, utilized by a gable-end of brick with facings of imitation stone.

The Central American States have about sixty feet of yellow front, with three arched openings into the vestibule, which is flanked by a tower and a gable.

Anam, Persia, Siam, Morocco and Tunis have unitedly a gingerbread affair of four distinct patterns—we cannot call them styles. Siam in the centre has a chocolate-colored tower picked out with silver, and surmounted by a triple pagoda roof, whence floats the flag, a white elephant in a red field. The six feet of homeliness belonging to Tunis has a balcony of wood which neither reveals nor hides the almond-eyed whose supposed relatives are selling trumpery in booths on the other side of the Seine.

Luxembourg, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino unite in a façade representing the different styles of architecture which prevail in the several states: 1. A portion faintly suggesting the ancient palace of Luxembourg, to-day the residence of Prince Henry of Holland; 2. An entrance erected by the principality of Monaco as the model of that of the royal palace; 3. A window contributed by San Marino, and showing that the prevalent type in the little republic is more useful than ornamental; 4. A balustrade surmounting the façade, supplied by the republic of Andorra.

Portugal has an imitation in cream-colored plaster of a Gothic church-entrance, and a highly-enriched arch with flanking towers, whose canopied niches have figures of warriors and wise men.

Holland shows an architecture of two hundred years ago, the counterpart of the houses we see in the old Dutch pictures. It is of dark red brick with stone courses, and a tall slate roof behind its balustered parapet.

We are at the end of the Street of Nations, somewhat under a third of a mile in length.

It is evening, and the sun in this latitude—for we are farther north than Quebec—seems in no hurry to reach the horizon. Two hours ago the whistle sounded "No more steam," and the life of the building went out. The attendants, tired of the show and blasés or "used up," according to their nationality, with exhibitions, have shrouded their cases in sack-cloth and gone to sip ordinaire, absinthe or bitter ale. I sit on a terrace of the Champ de Mars, the gorgeous building at my back, and look riverward. Before me stretches away the green carpet of sward one hundred feet wide and six hundred long, a broad level band of emerald reaching to the gravel approach to the Pont d'Iéna, each side of which is guarded by a colossal figure of a man leading a horse. The gravel around the tapis vert is black with the figures of those whom the fineness of the evening has induced to take a parting stroll in the ground before retiring.

Flanking the gravel-walks the ground is more uneven, and Art, in imitation of the wilder aspects of Nature, has done what the limited space permitted to enhance the allied beauties of land and water, where

Each gives each a double charm,

Like pearls upon an Ethiop's arm.

On the left is a rockery and waterfall on no mean scale, with a romantic little lake in front. On the right a rocky island in a corresponding lake is crowned with a thatched pavilion, the reflection of which shines broken in the water ruffled by the evening breeze. Groups of detached buildings hem in the view on each side, and their flags wave with the sky for a background. Paris is invisible: at this point the grounds are isolated from outside view.

Rising clear beyond the bridge, the approach to it on the other side hidden by the lowness of the point of view, stands the palace of the Trocadéro, a broad sweep of green covering the hill, along whose summit are the widespread wings of the colonnade, uniting at the central rotunda, of which the domed roof and square campaniles rise one hundred feet above all and dominate the middle of the picture. The traces of the indefatigable swarms of workmen are obliterated, except in the magical and finished work. The spray of the fountains of the château d'eau drifts to leeward and hides at times patches of the velvety grass on the hill. The central jet plays sturdily, and from where I sit appears to reach the level of the second corridor of the rotunda.

The eye fails to detect a single object, excepting the four statues on the bridge, which is not the creation of a few months. The hill beyond has been torn to pieces and sloped, and the palace built upon it. Every house in sight is new. The very ground in front on which I look down has been raised, and the terrace on which I sit has been built. The ponds have been excavated, the mimic rocky hills have been piled up, and the water led to the brink of the tiny precipice from the artesian wells which supply this part of Paris.

The hum of many voices and the dash of waters make a deep undertone, and one comes away with the feeling—not exactly that the scene is too good to last, but—of regret that the result of such lavish care should be ephemeral. In a few months all on the left side of the river may again be parade-ground, and the thirty thousand troops which can be readily manœuvred upon it be getting ready for another conflict, while the palace which the Genius of the Lamp had builded, as in a night, shall be a thing of the past, as if whirled away by the malevolent magician.

Edward H. Knight.