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A Second Home
Honore de Balzac

Page 1 of 140


The Rue du Tourniquet-Saint-Jean, formerly one of the darkest and most
tortuous of the streets about the Hotel de Ville, zigzagged round the
little gardens of the Paris Prefecture, and ended at the Rue Martroi,
exactly at the angle of an old wall now pulled down.  Here stood the
turnstile to which the street owed its name; it was not removed till
1823, when the Municipality built a ballroom on the garden plot
adjoining the Hotel de Ville, for the fete given in honor of the Duc
d'Angouleme on his return from Spain. 

The widest part of the Rue du Tourniquet was the end opening into the
Rue de la Tixeranderie, and even there it was less than six feet
across.  Hence in rainy weather the gutter water was soon deep at the
foot of the old houses, sweeping down with it the dust and refuse
deposited at the corner-stones by the residents.  As the dust-carts
could not pass through, the inhabitants trusted to storms to wash
their always miry alley; for how could it be clean? When the summer
sun shed its perpendicular rays on Paris like a sheet of gold, but as

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