After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 524 pages of information about After Waterloo.
Some Sardinian officers, who were present, seemed to enjoy my argument, tho’ they said nothing; and one took me aside, when we quitted the table, and said he rejoiced to see me take the old man in hand, as he disgusted them every day by his tirades against the liberal party, and by his fulsome adulations of the British Government.  The old gentleman held forth likewise in a long speech respecting the finances of England, in praise of the sinking fund, and when it was suggested to him that England from the immense national debt must one day become bankrupt:  “Non, Monsieur,” (he said),"la Caisse d’Amortissement empechera cela.”  In fine, the Caisse d’Amortissement was to work miracles.  I replied that the principle of the Caisse d’Amortissement was good, provided a constant and consistent economy were practised; but that at present and during the whole time from its establishment, it had been a mockery on the understanding of the Nation, when we reflected on the profligate expenditure of public money, occasioned by the ruinous, unjust and liberticide wars, which were entered into and fomented by the British Government.  Indeed, I said it was like the conduct of a man who possessing an income of 200L per annum, should set apart, in a box as a Caisse d’epargne, 20L annually, and at the same time continue a style of living, the annual expence of which would so far exceed his income, as to oblige him to borrow 7 or 800L every year.  The old gentleman was all amort at this comparison, which must be obvious to every one.  Nothing shows in a more glaring light the blind and superstitious reverence paid to great names; for because this sinking fund was proposed by Pitt, all his adherents extol it to the skies, without analysing it, and give him besides the credit of an invention to which he had no right whatever.


I started from Chambery on the morning of the fourth of August, and stopped at Montmelian to breakfast.  Here begins the valley of Maurienne, and as this valley, along which the road is cut, is extremely narrow, being hemmed in on each side by the High Alps, Montmelian, which stands on an eminence in the centre of the valley (the road running thro’ the town), must be a post of the utmost importance towards the defence of this pass.  It was a fortified place of great consideration in the former wars, and if the fortifications were repaired and improved, it might be made almost impregnable, as it would enfilade the road on each side.  From the above-mentioned features of the ground, the valley narrowing more and more as you proceed, from the high mountains that align it and from its sinuosities, it follows that at every angle or curve caused by these sinuosities, you appear as if you were shut out from all the rest of the world and could proceed no further.  The river Isere runs thro’ and parallel with this valley.  It rises in the mountains of Savoy and falls into the Rhone in Dauphine.  I passed the night at Aiguebelle.

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After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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