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I have yet to notice the third class into
which the Paris population upon wheels
naturally divides itself. As a rule it may
be safely stated that the omnibus conductors
of Paris are a better class of men than those
who attend to the doors of the people's
carriages in London. They never push passengers
into their vehicle, and give the driver
notice to proceed before people are seated;
they never try to cram more than the proper
number into the carriage. They are civil to
gentlemenextremely courteous and respectful
to ladies. They never shout along the
road for passengers; but wait quietly watching
till they are hailed. They are all dressed
alike. They wear caps ribbed, and drawn
out like accordions; short jackets with gay
buttons, and blue trowsers.

During the progress of the vehicle they are
usually occupied with their accounts; and
correspondance tickets, which they have by
them systematised and always convenient.
Indeed the writing and bookkeeping of a
Paris conductor appears to be his chief
employment. They are well checked, so that
robbery of the employer is a difficult matter.
The dial which is at the end of every Paris
omnibus, indicates the number of passengers
within. As each person enters, it becomes
the duty of the conductor to advance the
hand of the dial one point. It is known to
all the passengers that this is his duty, and
should he neglect it, the fact is known to all
within; and the probability is that he will
be reported at the next bureau before which
the vehicle stops. Again, the conductor is
liable to a visit at any moment from an
inspector; and should this official find that
the number of passengers within is not marked
upon the dial, a fine of five francs is at once
inflicted. The repetition of the offence quickly
leads to dismissal. Of the omnibus driver,
with his chrome-yellow hat, I have nothing
to remark, save that he is paid a salary of
three francs a day; and that he is obliged to
deposit a guarantee of one hundred francs
with his master. The pay of the conductor
is also three francs a day; and he is obliged
not only to purchase his own livery, at a cost
of one hundred francs, but also to deposit
two hundred francs, as a guarantee, with his
master. Thus the conductor must be able to
command three hundred francs before he can
find worka sufficiently heavy tax upon so
limited a salary. There is a comfort, however,
that the Paris conductor enjoys, which would
be gratefully acknowledged by the London
conductorit is the projecting roof which
screens him from sun and rain.

There are no less than four hundred omnibuses
plying about the streets of Paris, giving
work to two thousand four hundred horses.
These vehicles all work harmoniously together;
and by their system of correspondance, a
passenger can go from any point to any part of the
capital. Here passengers wait in winter by
a comfortable fire, until the official in attendance
informs them that the omnibus proceeding
to or in correspondence with the point
they wish to reach is at the door. Nor need
they crowd to the omnibus. On entering the
waiting-room the chef inquires where you
wish to go. Your reply produces a number.
If you are the first applicant in the waiting-room
for your omnibus you have number
one. This ticket entitles you to enter the
omnibus on its arrival before any other
passenger who may come after you. Thus
pushing and scrambling are unavailing; for,
as the omnibus draws up, the chef places
himself at the door, and receives the tickets
from the holders, in regular rotation as they
take their seats. And how commodious these
seats are! Every passenger has a comfortable
arm chair, with room to stretch his legs
without annoying his opposite neighbour.
There is ample space also between the tallest
passenger's hat and the roof. Let me add
that this commodious carriage is lighted by
two powerful lanterns which enable any
person present to read comfortably. The
general fare, for any distance within the
Barrières, is six sous; but there are omnibuses
which run from the Barrière de l'Etoile to
the Place de la Bastille for three sous! I
may add that the men who govern the waiting
rooms are paid eight hundred francs a
yearan income which they contrive to
increase by selling perfumes and other light
articles.

To the foregoing notes concerning Paris
upon wheels, I may add that in Paris the
hackney carriages are under the vigilant eye
of the police. The horses are inspected; the
cleanliness of the vehicles is insured. Even
the genteel remises are subject to the
regulations of the municipal body. On the first
Tuesday of every month the police inspectors
assemble on the Quai aux Fleurs, and the
remises of Paris, having formed a linewhich
often extends to the Tuileriespass slowly
before them: each vehicle undergoing a
vigilant inspection, inside and out, as it passes:
the height and breadth of every seat being
duly measured. Those which are found
deficient in any essential are turned back, and
are not suffered to ply for hire before they
have undergone proper repairs. Thus Paris
on wheels includes a thoroughly regulated
body of people; and is drawn by well fed if
not elegant horses. The result is that all
people may ride in comfort and security.
The pace is undoubtedly slow, but the
progress is more than equally sure.

    Next Week will be Published the FIFTEENTH PART of
                            NORTH AND SOUTH.
               By the AUTHOR OF MARY BARTON.
         Early in December will be published an EXTRA
                              NUMBER, being
                 THE CHRISTMAS NUMBER OF
                         HOUSEHOLD WORDS

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