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of a dark granite embedded in ferns and

A noble promenade canopied with stately
trees, lies on the left as one enters the
town from Nemoremont. In this promenade,
mass was performed last July, at altars
built under the trees, and Louis Napoleon
performed his devotions with the people.
We saw workmen in the avenue, improving
and embellishing, and we could hear the
ring of chisel, pick-axeevery implement:
of masonry in the town. It contains now
only two tolerable streets branching
Y-fashion from the entrance. New baths are
in course of construction. Those built over
the Roman foundations are in the centre of
the town. A cluster of tricolored streamers
waved over the heads of the workmen busy
there. We passed on to some terraces that
had been newly laid out, and from these
looked down upon a little valley in which
groups of men wearing blue blouses were at
work, making an ornamental garden à la
Anglaise. This garden is one of the
Emperor's hobbies. He has bought the ground,
and enjoys the business of laying out the
lawns and shrubberies. He has had some
paths cut in the windings of the hills which
shade the spot. They lead to a pavilion
under a fragrant grove of firs, from which
he can superintend his garden and enjoy the

It is said that the smell of these fir-trees
is an antidote to cholera. One may believe
it when there comes upon the morning
breeze the most delicious odour of the woods.
We were revelling in the soft air redolent of
health, when we were told that the Emperor
was within but a few yards of us.

In the bend of the hill, and under one of
the groves, stood three gentlementhe
foremost of them, short and square, was looking
into the green hollow, watching the busy
gardeners in silence. Two men, dressed like
gentlemen, rested against the railing of a
pretty temple close to us, and evidently kept
strict watch over the other group. There
was no mistaking the people; they were
Mouchard's secret police, who do their work
in the most awkward way imaginable, and
betray their calling at every word and step.

The Emperor's bearing and appearanceI
must needs be personal againhave materially
changed of late years. The expression of the
eye is colder than ever, and the lid drops
more heavily over it. The hair is thinning on
the brow, and growing grey. The imperial is
not so carefully trimmed. The hollow under
the cheek-bone has deepened; the cheek itself
being more ashy. One cannot fancy a smile
now on that elongated visage. All this we
had ample opportunity of noting, without any
breach of outward courtesy. The Emperor
passed us on his way into the little valley,
and stood there for a considerable time,
directing the gardeners, and sometimes
marking the pathways himself with a long

It was a curious scene, and so quiet! The
men pursued their work diligently, the
engineer directing them from his great
master's orders. Here a soldier halted for
an instant in passing, saluted his chief, and
stepped on; there stood a group of priests,
backed by a pile of moss-clad granite; a few
ladies, in showy toilettes, came down from
the pine-groves; and there were plenty of
children on the grass, with bright-eyed
bonnes in their provincial caps; while over
all there was diffused an atmosphere of which
the colour changed every instant, as the light
clouds cast their shadows on the sides of the
dark-wooded slopes.

A burst of military music suddenly
attracted every one towards the old avenue at
the head of the town. We hastened thither.
The band of the Sixty-third Regiment of the
line struck up an overture, and I had not
long been seated on the hard straw chair, for
which treble price was charged in honour of
the Emperor, when, on looking up the bank,
I perceived Louis Napoleon leaning against,
the railing. Bye and bye he came down the
hill among us, with his two attendants, and
took also a straw chair. There, half an hour
afterwards, we left him, looking the picture
of a paternal sovereign, whose only thoughts
were peace. Screened, however, by a garden
hedge at the top of the hill, there were the
two Mouchards; under the trees, by the
railing, the ferocious-looking sapper; and
then, there were the two sentinels of the
château, moving solemnly to and fro, and
meeting and turning on their beat, so that
the eyes of one might always be turned
towards that summer pavilion with the red
and white striped awnings, in which Napoleon
and Count Cavour settled upon a certain

Shortly after this conference took place,
Louis Napoleon made a little excursion.
Eastward of Plombières, there is a lovely
nook. It is a village called Gerardiner.
The cottages, embosomed in gardens, are
scattered over the green extent in most
picturesque fashion. Here there is a placid
lake, and, towering above the lake, is the
Great Ballou. The Schlukt route, that cuts
through this mountain to Colmar, in Alsace,
bordering the Rhine, was almost impassable.
Louis Napoleon put workmen on that
mountain road immediately; and thus, if it so
please him, he can transport with little noise
or effort an army from Chalons to the Rhine
bank. There seemed to be something
significant in this smoothing of the road to
the Rhine directly after negotiation with