Rollo in Paris by Jacob Abbott
Rollo in Paris by Jacob Abbott 1803-1879
I.- -THE ARRANGEMENTS,
II.- -CROSSING THE CHANNEL,
III.- -JOURNEY TO PARIS,
IV.- -THE GARDEN OF THE TUILERIES,
V.- -THE ELYSIAN FIELDS,
VI.- -A GREAT MISTAKE,
VIII.- -THE GARDEN OF PLANTS,
IX.- -AN EXCURSION,
X.- -ROLLO'S NARRATIVE,
ROLLO IN PARIS.
Gentlemen and ladies at the hotels, in London, generally dine about six
or seven o'clock, each party or family by themselves, in their own
private parlor. One evening, about eight o'clock, just after the waiter
had removed the cloth from the table where Rollo's father and mother,
with Rollo himself and his cousin Jennie, had been dining, and left the
table clear, Mr. Holiday rose, and walked slowly and feebly- -for he was
quite out of health, though much better than he had been- -towards a
secretary which stood at the side of the room.
"Now," said he, "we will get out the map and the railway guide, and see
about the ways of getting to France."
Rollo and Jennie were at this time at the window, looking at the
vehicles which were passing by along the Strand. The Strand is a street
of London, and one of the most lively and crowded of them all. As soon
as Rollo heard his father say that he was going to get the map and the
railway guide, he said to Jane,- -
"Let's go and see."
So they both went to the table, and there, kneeling up upon two
cushioned chairs which they brought forward for the purpose, they leaned
over upon the table where their father was spreading out the map, and
thus established themselves very comfortably as spectators of the
"Children," said Mr. Holiday, "do you come here to listen, or to talk?"
"To listen," said Rollo.
"O, very well," said Mr. Holiday; "then I am glad that you have come."
In obedience to this intimation, Rollo and Jane took care not to
interrupt Mr. Holiday even to ask a question, but looked on and listened
very patiently and attentively for nearly half an hour, while he pointed
out to Mrs. Holiday the various routes, and ascertained from the guide
books the times at which the trains set out, and the steamers sailed,
for each of them, and also the cost of getting to Paris by the several
lines. If the readers of this book were themselves actually in London,
and were going to Paris, as Rollo and Jennie were, they would be
interested, perhaps, in having all this information laid before them in
full detail. As it is, however, all that will be necessary, probably, is
to give such a general statement of the case as will enable them to
understand the story.
By looking at any map of Europe, it will be seen that England is
separated from France by the English Channel, a passage which, though it
looks quite narrow on the map, is really very wide, especially toward
the west. The narrowest place is between Dover and Calais, where the
distance across is only about twenty-two miles. This narrow passage is
called the Straits of Dover. It would have been very convenient for
travellers that have to pass between London and Paris if this strait had
happened to lie in the line, or nearly in the line, between these two
cities; but it does not. It lies considerably to the eastward of it; so
that, to cross the channel at the narrowest part, requires that the
traveller should take quite a circuit round. To go by the shortest
distance, it is necessary to cross the channel at a place where Dieppe
is the harbor, on the French side, and New Haven on the English. There
are other places of crossing, some of which are attended with one
advantage, and others with another. In some, the harbors are not good,
and the passengers have to go off in small boats, at certain times of
tide, to get to the steamers. In others, the steamers leave only when
the tide serves, which may happen to come at a very inconvenient hour.
In a word, it is always quite a study with tourists, when they are ready
to leave London for Paris, to determine by which of the various lines it
will be best for their particular party, under the particular
circumstances in which they are placed, to go.
After ascertaining all the facts very carefully, and all the advantages
and disadvantages of each particular line, Mr. Holiday asked his wife
what she thought they had better do.
"The cheapest line is by the way of New Haven," said Mrs. Holiday.
"That's of no consequence, I think, now," said Mr. Holiday. "The
difference is not very great."
"For our whole party, it will make four or five pounds," said Mrs.
"Well," said Mr. Holiday, "I am travelling to recover my health, and
every thing must give way to that. If I can only get well, I can earn
money fast enough, when I go home, to replace what we expend. The only
question is, Which way will be the pleasantest and the most
"Then," said Mrs. Holiday, "I think we had better go by the way of Dover
and Calais, where we have the shortest passage by sea."
"I think so too," said Mr. Holiday; "so that point is settled."
"Father," said Rollo, "I wish you would let Jennie and me go to Paris by
ourselves alone, some other way."
The reader who has perused the narrative of Rollo's voyage across the
Atlantic will remember that, through a very peculiar combination of
circumstances, he was left to make that voyage under his own charge,
without having any one to take care of him. He was so much pleased with
the result of that experiment, and was so proud of his success in acting
as Jennie's protector, that he was quite desirous of trying such an
"O, no!" said his father.
"Why, father, I got along well enough in coming over," replied Rollo.
"True," said his father; "and if any accident, or any imperious
necessity, should lead to your setting out for Paris without any escort,
I have no doubt that you would get through safely. But it is one thing
for a boy to be put into such a situation by some unforeseen and
unexpected contingency, and quite another thing for his father
deliberately to form such a plan for him."
Rollo looked a little disappointed, but he did not reply. In fact, he
felt that his father was right.
"But I'll tell you," added Mr. Holiday. "If your uncle George is willing
to go by some different route from ours, you may go with him."
"And Jennie?" inquired Rollo.
"Why! Jennie?" repeated Mr. Holiday, hesitating. "Let me think. Yes,
Jennie may go with you, if she pleases, if her mother is willing."
Jennie always called Mrs. Holiday her mother, although she was really
"Are you willing, mother," asked Rollo, very eagerly.
Mrs. Holiday was at a loss what to say. She was very desirous to please
Rollo, and at the same time she wished very much to have Jennie go with
her. However, she finally decided the question by saying that Jennie
might go with whichever party she pleased.
Rollo's uncle George had not been long in England. He had come out from
America some time after Rollo himself did, so that Rollo had not
travelled with him a great deal. Mr. George was quite young, though he
was a great deal older than Rollo- -too old to be much of a companion
for his nephew. Rollo liked him very much, because he was always kind to
him; but there was no very great sympathy between them, for Mr. George
was never much interested in such things as would please a boy. Besides,
he was al