I guess this letter will reach you before we do, and so I send it ahead with the hope that we will follow it in person and catch up with it, if possible. Well, Mama and I have enough of Paris, but Emily is anxious for more. We started early this morning and went to the N.G. Lloyd to get our tickets and arrange for our trip to Cherbourg. We will leave tomorrow morning on the Lloyd Extra. A compartment in the 1st class has been reserved for us.
It will take 7 hours to get there, which is more than I expected. I had to change some of my French money into greenbacks, and I will have enough to pay my R.R. fare. The two went shopping again, and it took a little more than I calculated, but it will be alright in the end.
We drove to the Dome des Invalides, and, as it was not open, we went into a nearby Restaurant, not the aristocratic kind, but we had a fine roast beef, potatoes and a big bottle of white wine for $.30 a person, which isn’t bad for Paris. Of course, we cannot manage a bottle between us, and I often wonder who gets the rest left in the bottle.
The Dome, which is an addition to the church of St. Louis, was originally intended to serve for the grand festivities which took place when the king attended the services of the Invalides. It has a beautiful gilded dome. The interior is grand and impressive.
Below the center dome, which is supported by four immense pillars, is the burial vault of Napoleon 1st. It is 36 feet in diameter and 20 feet in depth and surrounded above the floor by a marble balustrade, thus affording an opportunity to see the large sarcophagus in which the bones of the great emperor rest. This sarcophagus is made of a block of Siberian Porphyr of reddish brown color, which weighs 135,000 pounds. I guess no one will try to get at his bones (ashes) without permission to do so.
Around the sarcophagus there is a floor mosaic representing a wreath of laurel and the names of battles which he won. On the surrounding wall, there are 12 goddesses of victory in marble and, in back of these, some allegorical reliefs, all in marble. The side chapels, which are circular, contain sarcophagi and monuments of the marshals of Louis XIV, also of some relatives of Napoleon, among them Jerome Bonaparte, the immer lustik King of Westphalia.
From here we drove to Sainte Chapelle, the royal chapel of Louis the Holy in 1245, erected to hold the relics brought by him from the Holyland. It is a genuine treasure box, in its architecture, a precious work of Gothic and contains the richest and best old stained glass windows which it has been my privilege to see in Europe. They are just wonderful, nearly the entire walls are taken up by windows, those on the sides being 14 feet wide by about 50 feet high. In the choir niche, they are not as wide, but just as high.
Standing at the entrance and looking into the open room not without any furniture, you have the impression of looking into a large treasure box with a scroll work and beautiful glass of a deep rich coloring in an harmonious and graceful setting. It is wonderful, and I am glad that I was permitted to see this wonderful work of ART.
By permission of the keeper, we could step from the balcony, which is in front of the entrance (the church has a lower room through which we had come) into the Galerie Marchande of the Palace of Justice, where we had an opportunity of seeing the lawyers, in their gowns and caps, walking and sitting around with their clients.
Passing through the great court, we hailed a cab which took us to the Café de la Paix where we each indulged in a cup of excellent coffee and thought of you and your experience here a year ago.
We now walked the streets of Paris for a while, which, as you know is no fun for a single person, much less for a pair and one, as it is an art to dodge the vehicles when crossing almost any side street, not to mention boulevards. A Taxameter is good enough for me when you can ride a long distance for 25 to 35 cts. for three of us.
Home all tired out and glad to sit down and rest from our labors. “Finis” sight seeing. Farewell Europe, but Au Revoir some other day, the Lord permitting.