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of 1836 expressly forbids them to introduce Of the 2851 hodies, 1766 therefore are put into their rooin their wives or children. They down as suicides ; 613 perished by accidents, are not allowed even to prepare or take their 66 by murder, 381 by sudden death. The meals in the building. The last articles con- Morgue reflects the political history of Paris. tain instructions for keeping the registers and A riot or revolution leaves a mark in its annals, statistics ; and it is from those for the de- In the period under consideration there is still cennial period 1836–1846, published by M. a quantity wanting to make up the total, which Devergie, that we extract the following facts :- is reached by adding the deaths caused by the

During the ten years, 3438 bodies, or por events of May, 1839. December, 1851, does tions of bodies, were received at the Morgue ; not come within M. Devergie's calculations, 94 portions of bodies, consisting of the remains but we may state that the Coup d'état furnished of " clandestine" dissection, and portions de- the Morgue with 43 bodies. tached from bodies in the river. Deducting From a calculation based on the population from the 3344 bodies those of newly-born of Paris it is found that, in one way or another, children, there remain 2851 ; 2331 of them bo- 1 in every 5466 of its inhabitants comes dies of males, four and a half times as numerous to the Morgue. As might be supposed, the a3 those of females, which figure for 520 only. poorest quarters are most fully represented. Of these 2851,378 only remained unrecognised. In that of St. Avoye, the proportion is as high That is, out of every 8 exhibited, 7 were iden- as 1 in 2482 ; in the rich quarter of the tified; a rather surprising result, attributable Chaussée d'Antin, as low as 1 in 9,152. partly, no doubt, to improved regulations, as M. Devergie has made the suicides the subin the period 1830-5, nearly two-thirds of the ject of special statistics, and he finds that selfwhole number exhibited remained unknown. murder is 4. times as frequent in the male as Recognition takes place in different ways. The in the female ; a result differing from that obregistrar, as we have said, is constantly tained in former years, when it was found to receiving descriptions of missing persons; these be only three times as frequent. From 20 descriptions are compared with bodies which to 30 is the time of life at which suicide arrive at the Morgue, and in this way many attains its maximum of intensity.” Needlecome to be identified ; others are recognised women, labourers, and soldiers furnish more by persons who happen to look in at the victims than other classes, Two-thirds of the Morgue ; and a few are identified after burial males and five-sixths of the females seek death by means of the clothes. Deducting 85 bodies by drowning Next in number come deaths thus recognised after burial during the ten by hanging and fire-arms, for men ; for women, years, we arrive at the singular result that the falls from a height and suffocation by charmean time required for identification is one coal. “ From 20 to 30,” we are told, day and fifty-four minutes.

addresses himself by preference to fire-arms." By far the larger proportion of bodies are Poverty, losses, disgust of life, bad conduct, received by day ; but the night watcher is not domestic trouble, disappointment in love,-all unfrequently called on to open.

figure as causes of suicide. The latter, while From 20 to 50 are the ages which furnish driving to a violent end one-sixth of the female the greatest number of bodies ; taking equal is chargeable with the deaths of one-seventeenth periods, that from 30 to 40 gives a result only of the malo suicides. slightly higher than the rest. From 80 to A curious result is, that April, May, June, 85, ten bodies were received, and one, that of and July are the months in which the crime is a woman, between 85 and 90. Street acci- most common. It is least frequent in Novemdents are most probably the cause of death in ber, December, and January. The notes em. these cases ; but the kind of death is not given. bodying the result of the doctor's observation

Any attempt to clas the bodies according of the bodies en from the river, valuable as to the cause of death must be in some degree they are in a medico-legal point of view, are open to objection, Under what head are the too horrible to be placed before the general bodies in the Seine to be classed ? What pro- reader. portion of them are to be put down as suicides ? A fête, as well as a revolution, will furnish All, says M. Devergie, whether the fact of the Morgue with batches of victims, to seek for suicide has been proved or not; cases of acci- whom whole families will come, weeping ; but

"provoked” fall into the river are a body, or the fragments of a body, offering too rare to affect the calculation sensibly ; a evidence of a peculiarly atrocious murder, statement which may be true with respect to will draw all Paris to the Morgue. In the Seine with its broad quays, but which we November 1814, the mutilated limbs of a man should hesitate to accept if made with regard were discovered in different parts of Paris. to the Thames.

Brought together, they were exposed at the


dental or

Morgue, whither flocked crowds so great that the barge ; and the clerks, having opened the gendarmes had to be stationed to regulate the case, saw in it what they supposed to be the entry. Men of the highest rank came, and ele- body of a murdered young man. A police gant ladies ; and rich equipages were stationed officer and a surgeon who were called in agreed

; at the Morgue doors. No discovery was made. in the belief that a mysterious crime had been A plaster cast was made of the limbs, which discovered. The body was carried to the were buried, and a whole month elapsed. At Morgue, and immediate steps were taken for the end of that time a woman, who had just the apprehension of the supposed murderer. risen from a dangerous illness, which had pre- A hundred versions of the story, each more vented her from going to the Morgue as every horrible than the last, were soon flying over one else had done, heard of the murder. She the city. The proprietor of the mummy having dragged herself to the Morgue, and from the meanwhile discovered his loss, returned to cast was able to identify the remains as those claim his property, and was forth with arrested. of Dautun. He had been murdered by his An explanation soon convinced the officer of brother.

his mistake ; but the mummy had been depoBut the great event in the annals of the sited at the Morgue, and could only be got Morgue took place in 1840. On the 17th of out by the fulfilment of the due formalities, March, the body of a handsome little boy, which helped to make the whole affair public. of about ten years of age, was found in the We Londoners, who are accustomed to a suburbs of Paris with the throat fearfully cut. different mode of procedure with regard to unHanging from his neck was a little silver medal claimed bodies, are perhaps too apt to condemn gained at school, and in his pocket a top. hastily the horrible exhibitions of the Morgue. All Paris, at the news of the murder, flocked In justice to our neighbours, however, we ought to the Morgue to see “ The Villette Child," as not to lose sight of the fact that the obvious he was (and still is) called; but no one could objections to the Morgue are fully appreciated solve the mystery of his death.

The period

by them. Its utility, however, is so univerduring which exhibition of the body was pos- sally acknowledged, that the objectors genesible was drawing to a close, when the authori- rally confine themselves to the question of its ties, to extend the time, had recourse to a plan site ; and it has been often proposed to retill then unknown in the history of the Morgue, move the Morgue to a less frequented quarter though proposals have since been made to adopt But French logic is unflinching ; once grantit as an ordinary regulation. A M. Gannal and who can deny it ?—that the recognition of had recently discovered a method of preserving the bodies of suicides or murdered persons is entire bodies from the effects of decomposition, earnestly to be desired in the interest of public by the injection of certain salts. His aid was morality, and it is not easy to find valid grounds called in, and the body was duly prepared. of objection to the arguments of those who deIt was then clothed ; a light touch of rouge mand that the Morgue shall be placed in the was given to the cheeks, and, with the limbs centre of Paris. If the Morgue is useless, say in an easy position, the body was placed on a those who take this view—if the Morgue is little white bed. Public curiosity was im- useless, demolish it ; if useful, you ought not mensely excited ; and those who would have to take measures which detract from its utility. shuddered at the thought of visiting the ordi- Your object should be to encourage people to nary exhibitions of the Morgue, hastened to see enter the Morgue, and you do this best by “ The Child of Villette." It was only after placing it in a populous and thronged quarter. the lapse of six weeks that the murderer, a “ This condition,” says M. Devergie, “is of so religious madman, was discovered, through the much importance that every other consideracommission of other murders at Bordeaux. tion ought to give way before it.” If proof On the 2nd of June the little body was re- were wanted, it would be found in the fact that moved from the Morgue, and at Bordeaux the recognitions are not principally due to immediate criminal and his victim were once more brought friends. Two-thirds of the bodies identified together.

are recognised by chance passers-by ; and so It is scarcely in the legends of the Morgue true is this, that on Monday, the workman's that one would seek for subjects for light holiday, almost as many bodies are identified comedy ; but a farce, which had some success, as during the remainder of the entire week. It was based on an incident which occurred at is also asserted that the greater number of those the old Morgue in 1767. A traveller from who have committed murder go to the Morgue 1 Grand Cairo brought back with him a mummy. to ascertain whether the body of their victim Passing through Fontainebleau, he arrived in is there. This strange desire is known to the Paris by the coche d'eau, a sort of barge. He police, who accordingly have constantly their unfortunately left his mummy behind him in agents mixing with the crowd, and carefully


If we


noting every gesture, every movement of the ture and death of the wearer ; at least accordface that may betray recognition. They have, ing to all reasonable expectation. perhaps, scanned your face, reader, as you Poor Charles VI. of France is our hero, looked through the window at the sad sight ! that unfortunate monarch whose reign was one We have seen that about 300 bodies are an- scene of wrong and violence, of detriment to nually brought to the Morgue, most of them the country, aud misery to the people. Frenchfrom the Seine.' How many are taken from men, however, of old always persisted in loving the Thames and the canals in London, with a their kings if they possibly could get the population much larger than that of Paris ? | chance. In the exaltation of their loyalty But one does not hear of half of them. It may they were especially attached to one whom it be said indeed that the public do not, as a rule, had pleased Providence to bereave of his reahear much about them, unless they are given son, and who could exercise government only to reading the dismal notices posted outside the at lucid intervals. He was not to be blamed police stations, the headings of which, “ Body for the general confusion, and for his sake it found," are followed by a description, reading was that they took all patiently. Their very like a passport to another world.

grievances became the aliment of compassionate prefer losing the chance of detecting crime, devotion. " How must the King suffer,” they or of restoring the body of a suicide to would say, “when he came to understand sorrowing friends, to tolerating the undoubtedly how ill his ministers behaved to the people !” shocking exhibitions of the Morgue, let us at Isabelle of Bavaria, his wicked consort, was least acknowledge that there are two sides to not the sort of woman to trouble herself about the question.

other people's sorrows. King and people might

go their way, be as mad as they pleased, or as DANGEROUS DRESSES.

wretched, provided she might be left to enjoy

hersell. As for her lord and master, she was The time of year is on us again when crino- willing to resign him to the blandishments of line will be coming into dangerous proximity

petite reine

and to seek compensation to ball-room fires. Fain would we suggest elsewhere. As for the people, she could not thoughts of caution to our matrons and maid- afford to bother herself about such canaille. ens; but experience has made us sceptical What she did care for was her own will. touching the efficacy of good advice, especially On a certain occasion she had a very fair

-must it be said ?—when the patients are excuse for extravagance, and set herself to ladies. On this particular matter we have make the most of the opportunity. A marlargely catechised our fair friends, and have riage was to be celebrated between one of her not yet found one to have been practically ladies and a gentleman of the court. The influenced by the advice given in the public lady was one of her own Bavarians, and of papers,

a special favourite. No one could Sydney Smith had great faith in the force of blame her for being a little extravagant in an illustrious example. He thought the moral honor of such an event, and accordingly she lesson involved in the sacrifice of a Bishop laid herself out to entertain on an unusual or a Lord occasionally necessary, in order scale of magnificence. to keep alive our interest in the maintenance In those days the popular taste demanded of the general security. And no doubt there large doses of the grotesque. Religious prois a great deal of truth in this notion.

cessions were half caricature, and their solemn So perhaps an illustrious example of death pomps of welcome to sovereign princes presented from the incautious use of inflammable gar- features that to us seem sufficiently inadmisments, may have effect where mere advice sible. However each age has its code of tolewould fail. There is a story of the kind ration and appreciation.

Such was the prewhich we should like to ufficher in every bou- scription of that age, and the Queen was not doir throughout this realm—a story of death likely to be before the times in such matters. among courtiers, and deadly peril to a king ; Accordingly she felt that her arrangements and all because they trifled with just the kind would be incomplete if they were to be simply of risk that is involved in the incautious use matter of fact in character. She must have of crinoline. The actual material in question some burlesque, some practical joke, or the was of another kind ; but this makes no diffe- whole thing would be a failure.

This was rence as to the main point. The folly to be good as a standing rule; but on this particular deprecated is that of investing one's-self with occasion there were special reasons for being trappings which, being highly inflammable, and riotous, for the bride was a widow, and a so assumed as not to be easily shaken off, widow's marriage is a fair opportunity for must, in case of their igniting, cause the tor- a charirari all the world over.


The matter was emphatically settled, when fine fun with them. This was to be followed some one hit on the happy suggestion that by a row with the men, which would give nothing would be more likely to amuse the them the opportunity of winding up by breakKing. He, poor man, was then in the enjoy- ing a few heads with their clubs. They were ment of a lucid interval, and therefore susccp- to catch hold of any one they pleased, and to tible of the influences of merriment. An climb and jump without restriction. extravagant frolic, by calling into play the The King took to the notion at once, refull force of his powers of laughter, might serving only one point. The Queen must be serve to dispel the dark humours that consti- got out of the way; as of course her person tuted his melancholy, and so perhaps work in was sacred, and the very cream of this jest him a radical cure. The physicians backed was that hands were to be kept off no one. this notion, and of course thenceforth there The Sire de Guisay applauded the royal sugaremained for the courtiers nothing but a rivalry city, and further suggested that the Dukes of of suggestion, and of proffered service.

Burgundy and Berri, the uncles of the King, The original hint was improved on by some- and the guardians of the realm, should be body else, who voted that the King himself got out of the way also, as respectable marshould take part in the mummery, whatever it plots. might be. This would not only benefit the The King undertook that so it should be ; King's health, and give éclat to the perform- ' and gave her majesty to understand that the ance, but was an arrangement that might in plan which they were concocting for the forththe sequel prove highly convenient to all coming revel was such as to demand her parties concerned. The royal complicity would absence at the moment of execution. She cover all individual responsibility as to any knew, of course, what was in agitation, and assaults and batteries that might fall out in agreed to withdraw from the saloon at a prethe high tide of merriment, and that might, concerted signal. The two Dukes were not per se, be voted a little too bad.

less complaisant. They took in good part And what,” said the Queen, “shall our their nephew's explanation; and in truth were extravaganza be, and who will broach the not sorry to be spared participation in the subject to his majesty ?

boisterous orgies of the Hôtel de S. Paul. “I," said the Sire de Guisay, am the man Perhaps they scarcely considered that this was for your need. I have devised a masque,

to leave the King and his boon companions to that, when you see it, will make you laugh riot without check ! till you cry; and the King will not say me The question of costume presented some nay when I ask him to join in auy revel.” difficulties. How were these wild men to be

A bad man was this Sire de Guisay, and dressed? It would be awkward to make them despised by all the wisdom of the land, on up as Fauns and Satyrs, on account of the account of his debaucheries and evil example. composite character of those creatures. They He was cruel and oppressive to his inferiors, must play their part as bipeds, or the prothat is, to the whole population of his native gramme could not be carried out. Now, land, except his fellow courtiers. We are told wild men of the woods could not be supposed that he delighted in bruising and beating with to make elaborate toilettes, and yet, as his sticks and whips all who came within his majesty observed, they must be clothed with power, treating them like dogs, and trampling something. them under foot with boot and spur. He The Sire de Guisay took the dilemma by would insult their lamentations, and bid them the horns. He devised a dress which should “howl away like dogs as they were.” Still be complete as a covering, and in appearance he passed for a fine young gentleman, and was come sufficiently near the rough hide of a wild a great friend of the King's, and any proposi- beast, to pass muster by torchlight. It was much tion emanating from him would be likely to be like what is worn by the figurantesin tableaux. followed. What he did propose was that the vivants—a tight investiture allowing free playto King and a certain number of the young lords the limbs ; with chis fatal difference, that it was should disguise themselves as wild men of the rendered highly inflammable. The wild men woods, and burst in suddenly on the assembled must be covered with hair. Accordingly, the dancers. Everybody would fly from them, tightly-fitting garments were to be covered right and left ; and in the space left vacant with flax. This flax might have been secured they might perform a ballet to be composed by needle and thread, but they preferred for them by the master of the revels, This agglutination to the surface. So the lipen would bring the ladies back; when they might dresses were soaked in resin, and smeared jump in among them, and as savages, more with resin, and tufted all over with flax, especially as being irrecognisable, might have I till they were brought to a condition in which



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ignition would be certain and inextinguishable, trophies of his prowess. He led them round should a spark of fire fall upon them.

the room once or twice to salute the ladies, The maskers were six in number, including they amusing everybody the while with their the King, and De Guisay. At the set time tricks and gambades. Everybody was guesthey attired themselves, and prepared to make ing at their names ; everybody in high glee, their entry. One of them, Sir Evan de Foix, and if the torches had been kept apart, all had some misgiving as to the dangerous nature would no doubt have continued to go well. of the frolic, and alone of the party seems to The King, neglecting for a moment his ashave had a glimmer of common sense. They sumed part, stopped with one of the groups of were about to rush into a room full of lights, ladies. His aunt, the Duchess de Berri, was and being all chained together,—for in this among them, and he amused himself with fashion they were to be led by the King, as mystifying and tormenting her. On this bear-ward, -it would be impossible for any slight thread depended his salvation ; for the individual to bargain for what might happen. rest of the party passed on and left him

“Sire,” said Sir Evan, “it is undoubted isolated. tbat if one of us catch fire, the whole number The Duke of Orleans had not been behind will soon be as so many burnt chestnuts- the scenes, and knew nothing of what was including your majesty."

going on. Like everybody else he was imThe King looked blank for a moment : the mensely amused at the joke ; and being a idea was new, and he did not like it. Per- privileged person, drew near to see if he could haps he might even then have altered the identify the individuals. Unhappily his torchorder of proceedings, but the fatality that bearers followed him, and in the excitement of eemed to mark De Guisay as an evil adviser the moment were overlooked by the serjeantswas then culminating.

at-arms, or allowed to pass as belonging to the “ Who is to set us on fire ?” he asked. Duke. " Wbo will be such a traitor as not to be The Duke peered into their faces, trying to careful where the safety of the King is in- identify the individuals. Coming to Sir Evan volved ?At least,” said Sir Evan, “ let de Foix, he shouted out his name, and seized all precaution be taken. Let his majesty be him by the arm. Sir Evan struggled to escape. pleased to give orders thatno person with lights The Duke seized a torch from one of the bearers shall approach us.

" That shall be at once and held it close to the features of the indone,” said Charles; and instantly sending for fortunate youth. Some one jostled him at the the officer who had chief charge of the saloon, moment, and the torch was brought into conhe gave instructions that all the torch-bearers / tact with the flax of his dress. In one moment should be collected together on one side of Sir Evan was blazing from head to foot, and in the room, and that none of them should on a few seconds the wholo company of maskers any pretence venture to approach a party of were involved in the flames. Being chained savage men who were about to enter and per- together, it seemed impossible that any of them form a dance.

Their frantic struggles served But how do accidents occur all over the only to draw them more closely together, and world, and throughout all times? How do mix them up more and more inextricably in one men exclaim, “Who would have thought mass. it?

Happily the King was all this time detached Who would have thought that just at that from the party, amusing himself with the moment, when space had been cleared, and Duchess de Berri. When first the alarm was danger removed, the Duke of Orleans should given he made as though he would have rushed make his appearance in the apartment ?

He to help his companions; but the duchess, pretty was attended by six torches, which should, in well guessing who he was, threw her arms obedience to orders, have been forbidden round him, and forcibly withheld him. entrance. But it was a hard thing to dictate you not see,” she said, “that your companions to the first prince of the blood. He could are perishing, and that nothing can save you scarcely be included in any general order, so if you go near them in that dress ?And then he was allowed to pass.

finding that it really was the King, she called Then came the roar of acclamation. The those who forcibly removed him from the room, general crowd had known that something was and made him change his dress, while a mesabout to happen, and that in that something senger was sent to the Queen to inform her that the King was concerned. When they saw his majesty was safe. the procession they were tumultuous in their But a horrible fear possessed the bystanders delight. In came the King leading the -by whom this little episode had been unchained band of savages, who symbolised the noticed—that one of the writhing figures be

could escape.

“ Do

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