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Garde Impériale, were set out other tables, fatally
green and dangerously smooth. And the bright
windows being flung open to let in air to gasping
fevered gamblers, sent down in exchange
the rattle of the wheel and click of the rake.
From the bright windows, too, have come down,
in despair, lost men, impaled upon those gilded
railings. The air was filled, not with the
fragrance of flowers, but with reeking perfumes,
as Lais and her sisterhood swept by, in unholy
bands. It was a horrid medley of fluttering
plumes, flaunting gauds, painted cheeks, wine,
smoke, blood at times, brawls, misery, luxuriance,
brazen impudence, and cringing servitude,
this pastoral "royal palace," now almost rural
in its innocence: a hideous sloughing sore, an
open sewer in the heart of the city.

Now it came to pass that a young man, of
ardent hopes and prodigious enthusiasm, and of
some capital besides, was just then hesitating by
which of the many professional gates he should
enter into active life, and at last discovered in
himself an irresistible vocation to becomea
publisher. A publisher, of all professions! just
as we read the traditional stories of notable men
fighting in early stages with poverty, and such
cruel impediments, and finally struggling into
artists, poets, and philosophers. So our Ladvocat
for this was the name of the unique publisher
had some such elastic spirit in him. "It
was there," as the late Mr. Sheridan once
remarked of himself, needlessly strengthening his
assertion with an adjuration; "and by (adjuration),
it should come out!" This was the way it
came out in M. Ladvocat's case. With a daring
originality, the unique publisher determined to
select for his place of business the most irregular
of localities, and in this very hot-bed of Bohemia,
the company of wantons and masquers was one
morning surprised to find among them a curious
intruder, who dealt in books. What scoffing
must it have furnished to the two millinery
ladies between whom he had pitched his tent,
and who dealt in laces and general frippery, and
did a little business of another character besides.
It would be hard to count the number of times
the well-worn saying of "How, in the Evil One's
name, had he gotten into that galley?" passed
from light to lighter lips. Yet there was the
modest little tabernacle, and inside the young
and aspiring knighta very publishing Gideon.
No doubt it fell out, as it had been prophesied
to him by wise and dismally shaking heads, that
the light masquers came to him, asking for
Faublas and the Liaisons Dangereuses, and such
indecorous literature. No doubt the Bohemians
stopped before his windows, and had much
merriment out of the serious matter exposed there.
But the unique publisher inside, thrilling with
a new faith, could bide his time, which he knew
was at hand, and presently began to preach.

The old Grub-street tradition as to the relations
between authors and publishers has prevailed
to much the same degree in most capitals.
These poor scribbling parents who have children
to be brought into the world have had to sue
humbly for the common accoucheur's offices.
The practitioners have driven cruel bargains;
but in most cases the inky progeny have never
seen the light, and die an undeveloped fœtus.
But the creed of our publisher was of another
order. He chose to sue, not to be sued; he
sought and was not sought. And going out into
the highways and by-ways, ranging the slums,
and scaling the loftiest garrets, where writing
men did mostly congregate, and chanting as he
went a genuine Excelsior! and calling on the
brave, the beautiful, and, above all, the young,
the chivalrous publisher seized the first bundle of
MSS., placed in his hands with timorous hesitation,
and courageously performed his first clinical
operation. Within a few days, there was in his
window the famous Messéniennes, of an obscure
youth called ALFRED DE VIGNY, and in a few days
all Paris was rushing frantically to buy. In this
blindfold lottery he had drawn a prize, and gold
poured into his coffers. The poet was devoured,
and the unique publisher began to be talked of.

Radiant with success, he stands at his door,
and watches the people going by. Presently
there passes a young man of good address, very
handsome, with genius written upon his brow,
but with the ugly characters of reduced
circumstances also written upon his person. The
unique publisher marks him at once. "Young
man," he says, "it strikes me that I see in your
pocket that sort of swelling which a bundle of
manuscript is likely to produce. Permit me.
Ha! so it is! tied up with a bit of blue ribbon,
too! Courage, friend; let us look it over
together. ODES AND BALLADS! H'm! The
Loves of the Angelsby Jove! Excellent!
the very thing! Step inside, my friendquick!
You must give me thisrather, let me buy it of

The bargain was made. Again had the unique
publisher drawn a prize. The reduced young
poet's name happened to be a certain VICTOR
HUGO; and again the public came, gathering up
its skirts as it passed through the unclean
throng, to buy frantically.

When it became known that there was a
chevaleresque publisher in the city inclined to do
business on such unheard-of principles, there
must have set in such a rush of youths freighted
with manuscripts tied up in blue ribbon, as
would have reduced any less elastic spirit to
despair. But the unique publisher held on to
the unique track he had chosen. He was
successful, too, because he had succeeded; for
nothing, according to the well-worn canon,
succeeds like success. All his proceeding's, too,
were of the same liberal character. Five or
six copies of his favourite poets always lay cut
upon the counter, with chairs set ready, for the
public to enter and read, not buy, unless they
fancied it specially. He almost preferred to
give a volume away, rather than sell it; and
set curiously high prices upon his works.
Naturally, the unique publisher became the
talk of Paris, and presently became the rage,
he grew rich; and the Boulevards were soon
astonished by the unusual spectacle of a
publisher flying by in a superb cabriolet, with his