[Paris—Sunday, 19 September 1869]

Sunday. Sepr 19. Went to St Eustache to here [sic] the Stabat Mater of Pergolese [sic] performed. The music was perfect but the whole display was so operatic as to shock the religious sense; yet nothing save the pictures by the early masters could be more simple more pathetic than the music. The violins and voices were among the most beautiful I ever heard.

At 12 a m. to the chapel of the Invalides where as the hour struck, the old soldiers now remaining came into the church & service was performed to martial music. It would be impossible to describe the deep pathos of the scene, the ragged banners, the poor remnant now left of all the noble army of the great Napoleon, their pride, their suffering! The very service seemed to be arranged for the amusement or diversion of these aged pensioners. What man could think if more than a poor compensation for the life his services have entailed.

I could not but think of our poor men in a very different hospital at home and from either point of view war appeared to me more ghastly than ever.


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