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The Roof of France by Matilda Betham-Edwards

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Perhaps the charm of a French picnic is enhanced by the fact that it is
never made too long. Our neighbours do not make what is called 'a day
of it,' but wisely prefer to take their pleasure as they do their
champagne--in moderation. We drive home, feeling fresh and alert as
when we set out.

Everyone is abroad. As we pass through the workman's suburb, the ultra-
socialist, ultra-revolutionary quarter of the city, in which political
passions have so often raged hotly, and popular feeling has taken
incendiary form, we find only peacefulness and calm. The socialist and
red-revolutionary, in his Sunday's best, sits before his front door,
reading a newspaper, playing with his baby or chatting with a
neighbour. Pet dogs and cats sun themselves with a lazy, Sunday air,
girls and lovers flirt, children play, gossips tell each other the
news. It is difficult to believe that we are passing the stormiest
quarter of the stormiest city in France. All is as quiet as the
riverside scenes we have just left.

With this delightful recollection I close my latest--not, I trust,
last--French journey.

I took leave of my dear friend at Lyons, both of us hoping to breakfast
together next time, not on the banks of the Saone, but on the Eiffel
Tower, there to fete the glorious Revolution, in the words of our great
Fox: 'How much the greatest event that ever happened in the world, and
how much the best!'

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