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Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 89, June 14, 1855

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Identifier: DX03885272

Title: Thomas Butler Gunn Diaries: Volume 7, page 89, June 14, 1855

Description: Describes a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.


He [Dr. Holton] was a slowish speaking man of perhaps fifty, dark haired and possessing a mania for lectures, as subsequently appeared. Also he was a Maine Law man, (which I discovered on asking him to take a drink.) By his suggestion we started for the Hotel de Ville, he leaving us for the purpose of fetching his wife, but we saw him no more that day. All round three sides of the huge building were people standing en queue, some four deep, waiting to be admitted to lend the Emperor [Napoleon III] money. They were of all classes, and indeed the loan required was fitted up long before half the crowd had gained access. (Here’s about the best proof of confidence conceivable, as people will often risk their lives where they wouldn’t their money.) Access being rendered on the production of passports, we went through the building, which on the previous night had been the scene of a ball given to the King of Portugal [Pedro V] by the Emperor. Finely furnished rooms, gold fringe, fresco-paintings, great and ingeniously arranged mirrors, waxed floors, a stream of people and gorgeous upholstery generally held our attention until near 4, and then we adjourned to Notre Dame. After gazing up at the great towers, from the steps of a building opposite, we entered the Cathedral, by one of the curiously ornamented doorways spoken of by [Victor] Hugo, in the noblest, and most complete romance ever written. Service was being performed, women kneeled on chairs, soldiers and spectators straggled in and out, and an ugly man behind a sort of counter at the bottom of a column, proffered a mangy painter's brush dipped in holy water to believers. Very few men were devotional, and those priests, very ill-looking priests. / I may say this too, generally of the tribe in Paris. You see heavy sensual faces, mean, slinking ones, cunning vicious ones, intolerant, cruel ones — all Priests. I don’t

Rights: NoC-US


Dates: 1855-06-14

Type(s): Diary

Maker/Creator: Gunn, Thomas Butler, 1826-1903

Subjects: Books and reading
Church buildings
Catholic Church


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