On 19th Century Paris

In 1810, AB found himself in Paris, what was then the latest state of refuge for the disgraced former Vice President. Acquitted of treason, but guilty of naked ambition, he was eventually shunned whever he went – England, Sweeden, Germany, etc. In writing to his daughter, he had this to say of “modern” Paris.

“No sidewalks. The carts, cabrioles, and carriages of all sorts run up to the very houses. You must save yourself by bracing flat against the wall, there being, in most places, stones set up against the houses to keep the carts from injuring them. Most of the streets are paved as Albany and New York were before the Revolution, with an open gutter in the middle. Some arched in the middle, and a little gutter each side, very near the houses. It is a fine sport for the cabriole and hack drivers to run a wheel in one of these gutters, always full of filth, and bespatter fifty pedestrians who are braced against the wall. The gutters or conduits for the water from the eaves of the houses are carried out a few feet from the roofs, and thus discharge the rainwater over your head. In most places there are no such pipes, and then you have the benefit of the water from the eaves. This was a great ridicule against the city of Albany about twenty years ago; but Albany has reformed the evil.”

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