« السابقةمتابعة »
So, having taken a good view of the scene that lies like a great colored map far down below us, now let us descend, and stroll through the park and buildings, observing, as we go, such things as may be chiefly interesting to young people of about your own age. Here we come upon a parade of young lads dressed in a sort of military uniform, and drawn up in rank. These are pupils of one of the government schools, and they are here for the inspection of the Emperor. Just beyond them is seen the great Prussian cannon, the largest gun, I believe, ever yet 'made, — and right under the terrible, gaping muzzle of it we see a gentleman standing, with a lady leaning on his arm. The gentleman is short in stature, and somewhat inclined to be stout. He has a large nose. His eyes are small, and of a leaden hue, and his mustache is waxed out at either end into a spiral thread. The gentleman's name is Louis Napoleon Bonaparte, and he is the Emperor of the French. The lady is beautiful, graceful, and dressed with exquisite taste. Her name is Eugénie, and she is the wife of Louis Napoleon, and Empress of the French. It is strange to see them standing there under the muzzle of the great cannon sent by Prussia to the Universal Exhibition ; for Louis Napoleon is very jealous of Prussia, which is one of the strongest nations of Europe, and particularly remarkable for the manufacture of curious and destructive fire-arms. And now the Emperor addresses the young students with a few words of encouragement, complimenting them on their orderly appearance, and then dismisses them to take their amusement in the grounds.
Now, if we were to ramble through the outer oval of the great building, we should see many wonderful things; for it is here that examples of all the great mechanical inventions of the world are exhibited. Huge monsters of engines are here, - monsters into which life can be breathed by steam ; and one had better stand out of the way, I can tell you, when such great iron and brazen fellows as these begin to wind their legs and arms about. But there is no finer engine among them all than a splendid American locomotive made at the Paterson Works in New Jersey. This engine, for what reason I do not know, has not been placed in the outer oval, with the rest of the machinery, but occupies a building by itself, in the park outside, where it is an object of attraction to crowds of visitors. Let us pass by the machinery, though, and take a few turns among things that are likely to be more interesting to you.
We stroll through the inner ovals, then, and here we see people of many nations working industriously at the various arts and manufactures of the countries to which they belong. In one place we have an opportunity to learn everything connected with the silk-worm and the manufacture of silk. Here weavers are working at their looms — skilful artisans, who manufacture velvets and satins and brocades, and all sorts of rich stuffs. Workers in coral, and in all sorts of precious stones, are to be seen farther on. Cutlers are engaged in finishing weapons of shining steel, — weapons and instruments of all sorts and sizes, from a sabre to a pocket-knife having one blade or one hundred, whichever you please. Clock-makers from Switzerland are here, and they make all sorts of curious clocks, out of some of which little jewelled birds pop at stated times, clap their little enamelled wings, sing little
gems of song, and then pop in again. Farther on we see the manufacture of fans ; and yonder a number of little girls are busily engaged in making small fancy articles of various kinds. One learns more by looking at these work-people for an hour or two than one could in many years of travel.
But of all the objects to be seen in these galleries, few are more attractive to young folks than the wonderful dolls. We stand before two large glass cases, which have floors in them like houses, and on these floors the dolls are arranged in groups. These dolls are about eighteen inches high. They ar
are beautifully modelled in wax, their features being moulded and colored with such exquisite skill as to look quite natural. One of the apartments in the cases represents the drawing-room of a royal palace, in which a number of ladies and gentlemen are assembled round a queen clothed in magnificent robes of state, and wearing a golden crown upon her head. This royal lady is covered crisply with diamonds and precious jewels of all kinds, and so stately and dignified is her appearance, that one cannot help regarding her with a sort of awe, notwithstanding that she is made of wax, and only a foot and a half in height. The robes in which she is dressed are of the richest materials, and her train is as long and brilliant as that of a peacock. She is attended by ladies of honor, and by pages, all splendidly arrayed. The ladies of the court are very beautiful, although, of course, it would not be the proper thing for them to be quite so beautiful as their queen ; and they have their hair arranged according to all the styles now so much in fashion, which makes a great variety, as you may easily suppose.
Another of these cases has an apartment in which there is assembled an evening party of dolls. There are a great many ladies and gentlemen of the doll kind present, - old people, and young people, and middle-aged people, and very young people. They are all dressed in evening costumes of the most fashionable styles. The ladies have a great variety of rich stuffs in their dresses, and they wear the most lovely camellias and roses in their hair, - the flowers being made of wax, as you may suppose, to match the waxen faces of the charming wearers. And the gentlemen are just as stiff and starched as real live gentlemen are at evening parties, looking so natural, indeed, that one wonders why they never grew any bigger. Wonderfully real all these figures look, ranged about the room in groups ; ladies and gentlemen sitting and walking, and standing together, just as people might look if seen through a reversed telescope, which diminishes objects, as you perhaps know. In one corner of the room there is a little piano, and a beautiful little lady has just sat down before it, to play a little tune, and, perhaps, to sing a little song. She has taken off one tiny kid glove, which, with her tiny lace pocket-handkerchief, lies loosely upon the lid of the piano. And these gay little puppets, indeed, are all so like real live people, that one almost feels disappointed because they neither move nor talk. They remind one of that fairy tale in which a number of people are turned into marble by a wicked sorcerer, and remain for a hundred years or so without moving or speaking, until a good enchanter, who happens to pass that way, sets them free with a wave of his wand.
And now we wander on and on through the galleries, observing many curious things as we go, until at last we find ourselves in the section where objects of interest from this country are displayed. One of the most ingenious inventions to be seen here is the planetarium, - an arrangement invented by Mr. Barlow, of Lexington, Kentucky, for assisting pupils in the study of astronomy. The accompanying picture will enable readers who
have not seen this apparatus to form some idea of it. By means of machinery, the globes representing the moon, the earth, and the planets called Venus and Mercury, are made to revolve ; thus giving an attentive pupil an excellent idea of the movements of those heavenly bodies, which are continually moving and revolving in space, though to us on earth they seem to do nothing but twinkle, as we gaze up at them on a clear night. In time this invention will be brought into use in schools, and pupils will learn more about the sun and moon and stars from it, in a short time, than they could by much study of books. A teacher is enabled, by means of this planetarium, to explain clearly to pupils the reasons why we have changes of seasons, spring at one time, summer at another, and autumn and winter in their regular turns. Also the causes of eclipses of the sun and moon are made clear by this useful invention, as well as a great many other things connected with the movements of the strange bodies that gleam nightly far up in the sky,
But among the most curious and beautiful objects of art that we see as we keep on our way through the galleries are the birds that fly about, and hop from twig to twig, by means of machinery. Here, in huge flower-pots, grow some rare blossomy shrubs, among the branches of which birds of splendid plumage are seen moving. They fit from one twig to another with a movement so natural as to deceive the observer until he examines them very closely. Then it is perceived that the skins of the birds are indeed real, like those of the specimens which, of course, you have often seen in museums and elsewhere. Inside each bird there is an ingenious arrangement of watch-work, which, when wound up, gives the natural movements, -enabling the bird to spread its wings for flight, to flirt up its tail after the manner of its kind, to bob its head here and there as if hunting for insects among the leaves, and to perform many of those little bird tricks that are so interesting to all who study these creatures in their natural state. Each bird is affixed to wires, upon which it slides along; but as these wires are ingeniously concealed amid the foliage of the shrubs, the birds appear to be supported by their wings only, as they flutter from spray to spray.
Carriage-makers are at work in one place that we pass, and the clang of their hammers resounds through the gallery ; while a little farther on we hear the tinkle of smaller hammers and the grating of files, and we arrive at a place where makers of musical instruments are at work. Here we see huge silver horns, coiled like serpents about to strike; and there are cornets and trumpets of so many curious shapes, that one longs to hear them played on by skilful musicians. Immense violoncellos are also to be seen here, some of them so tall and so portly that they might pass for the great-grandfathers of the smaller stringed instruments arranged near them. And the pianos and harps are so artfully finished, that it is almost as pleasant to look at them as it would be to hear music struck from them by practised fingers. Then there are flutes and clarionets of wood, silver, ivory, and various precious materials, all ranged in a manner very tempting to musicians, who are apt to linger long in this section of the building, examining the treasures of musical workmanship displayed in it. And so at last we reach the space enclosed by the inner oval, and this space is called the Promenade Garden.