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practised in England; but it is impossible to see
all that any Sunday exhibits at Montmartre
and not be touched with a kindly feeling, and
an honest sentiment almost of affection for the
pilgrims who carry their dried emblems there.

There is a serious middle-aged man
vigorously sweeping away all the dead leaves
from his family tomb, while his wife and
daughter stand by, ready to plant above the
remains of some dear lost one the flowers
they have bought near the barrier. They
all kneel and pray, adjust their flowers, and
quietly, reverently, leave the spot. But,
wherever the stranger turns, he will find
kneeling pilgrims.

Very old women are here, too, in close
communion with the spirit of the scene; and
on all sides are black dresses and hat-bands.
Some are devoutly crossing themselves;
others are reading epitaphs. On all sides are
pilgrims thickly clustered. They people the
narrow avenues between the little chapels;
they are squeezed between the tombstones;
they may be seen crowding in past the great
iron gates; they are equally perceptible in
the distant perspective of the long, straight
walks. One spot, however, appears to be
attractive only to the poor; and a very
strange picture does this same spot present.

The reader should know that those graves
at Moutmartre which are not bought "in
perpetuity " are let for fifteen years, at the
expiration of which tenancy the unconscious
tenant is ousted from his resting-place, and
conveyed to a spot whither all fifteen-year
tenants are removed under similar
circumstances. This spot is a very conspicuous and
easily accessible one, it being the point to
which many broad paths converge. And
here a stranger who has been wandering
thoughtfully down one of these paths is
suddenly struck by the sight of a huge pyramid,
perhaps thirty feet high. All about it, in
various attitudes, and at various distances,
are groups of poor peoplesome in bright
holiday costume, others in states betokening
the want of many of life's necessaries; some
kneeling and praying fervently, others
curtseying and crossing themselves. These are
the poor pilgrims of Montmartre, and they
have come to pray at this great common
grave, because it contains the bones of some one
who was once possibly kind and good to
them.

At a distance the pyramid which covers
this dead men's common land appears to
be built of earth and rubbish.
Approach it, and it is discovered to be a huge
mound of the decayed immortelles sold at
the Barrière Blanche. This immense pyramid
is, then, the gathered offerings of
thousands of pilgrims, all mouldering here, yet
receiving fresh supplies every Sunday. A
near inspection discloses all kinds of little
injured images, half buried under the withered
flowers. Above all, lie bright, fresh flowers,
just thrown upon the pyramid!

The stranger, wearied at length with the
fantastic phases of grief and devotion he has
seen in the cemetery, follows the crowd back
towards the Barrière. It is now four hours
past noon, and the cafés and restaurants are
beginning to assume a gay aspect.
Continuing to follow some of the wanderers
from the cemetery, he will be led up a steep
hill to the windmills he can already see far
above him. He will notice that many of the
pilgrims are still about him; that their faces
are relaxing. He climbs a steep ascent, at
length, by a tortuous path, and finds himself
upon the summit of the heights of
Montmartre. Here he may enjoy a splendid view
of Paris for two sous; by turning to the left
he may enjoy all the pleasures of a swing
pleasures over which he will perceive that
several of the pilgrims are laughing; by
turning to the right he may refresh himself
in some airy gardens, laid out like country
tea-gardens, but offering, in the stead of
tea, currant-water, barley-water sweetened,
and other popular Parisian drinks. When he
has sufficiently amused himself here, he
will descend, and return to the Barrière.
Here he will find, in full force, all the gaieties
of a Parisian Sunday evening. Brisk parties
of grisettes tripping into lively saloons to eat
their three plâts (which a party of four
economically order for two), and enjoy their
tumbler of Mâcon and water; sober family
groups also on their way to dinner with their
children; omnibuses undergoing the rigid
searching of the octroi authorities; musicians
exercising their art with indifferent success;
loud vendors of liquorice-water in sky-blue
cocked hats,—all full of life; while the great
graveyard of Montmartre close by echoes
along its dark avenues the laughter of the
pilgrims of the morning. Many of them will
possibly be at the Barrière ball to night, and
will return to the heart of Paris by the last
omnibus. Many possibly will enjoy a little
supper when the ball is over, and then quietly
walk home. In none of these can the
stranger realise the serious men and women,
who, when the sun was high in the heavens
to-day, did duty as pilgrims beside the graves
of Montmartre. Yet they did this duty
honestly, he hopes and believes.

NEW TALE by Mr. CHARLES DICKENS to be
published Weekly in HOUSEHOLD WORDS.

On Wednesday, the 29th of March will be published, in
Household Words, the First Portion of a New Work,
of Fiction, called
HARD TIMES.
BY CHARLES DICKENS.

The publication of this Story will be continued in HOUSEHOLD
WORDS from Week to Week, and completed in Five Months.
Price of each Weekly Number of HOUSEHOLD WORDS,
(containing, besides, the usual variety of matter), Twopence; or Stamped,
Three pence.
HOUSEHOLD WORDS, CONDUCTED BY CHARLES DICKENS,
is published also in Monthly Parts and in Half-yearly Volumes.

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