The Idler in France eBook

The Idler in France by Marguerite, Countess of Blessington

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I have omitted to notice the route to this place, having formerly described the greater portion of it.  I remarked a considerable improvement in the different towns we passed through:  the people look cleaner, and an air of business has replaced the stagnation that used to prevail, except in Marseilles and Toulon, which were always busy cities.

Nismes surpasses my expectations, although they had been greatly excited, and amply repays the long detour we have made to visit it.

When I look round on the objects of antiquity that meet my eye on every side, and above all on the Amphitheatre and Maison Carree, I am forced to admit that Italy has nothing to equal the two last:  for if the Coliseum may be said to surpass the amphitheatre in dimensions, the wonderful state of preservation of the latter renders it more interesting; and the Maison Carree, it must be allowed, stands without a competitor.  Well might the Abbe Barthelemy, in his Voyage d’Anacharsis, call it the masterpiece of ancient architecture and the despair of modern!

The antiquities of Nismes have another advantage over those of Italy:  they are kept wholly free from the disgusting entourage that impairs the effect of the latter; and in examining them in the interior or exterior, no risk is incurred of encountering aught offensive to the olfactory nerves, or injurious to the chaussure.

We devoted last evening to walking round the town, and so cloudless was the sky, so genial the air, and so striking the monuments of Roman splendour, that I could have fancied myself again transported to Italy.

Our inn, the Hotel du Midi, is an excellent one; the apartments good, and the cuisine soignee.  In this latter point the French hotels are far superior to the Italian; but in civility and attention, the hosts of Italy have the advantage.

We had no sooner dined than half-a-dozen persons, laden with silk handkerchiefs and ribands, brocaded with gold and silver, and silk stockings, and crapes, all the manufacture of Nismes, came to display their merchandise.  The specimens were good, and the prices moderate; so we bought some of each, much to the satisfaction of the parties selling, and also of the host, who seemed to take a more than common interest in the sale, whether wholly from patriotic feelings or not, I will not pretend to say.

The Maison Carree, of all the buildings of antiquity I have yet seen, is the one which has most successfully resisted the numerous assaults of time, weather, Vandalism, and the not less barbarous attacks of those into whose merciless hands it has afterwards fallen.  In the early part of the Christian ages it was converted into a church, and dedicated to St.-Etienne the Martyr; and in the eleventh century it was used as the Hotel-de-Ville.  It was then given to a certain Pierre Boys, in exchange for a piece of ground

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to erect a new hotel-de-ville; and he, after having degraded it by using a portion of it as a party-wall to a mean dwelling he erected adjoining it, disposed of it to a Sieur Bruyes, who, still more barbarous than Pierre Boys, converted it into a stable.  In 1670, it was purchased by the Augustin monks from the descendants of Bruyes, and once more used as a church; and, in 1789, it was taken from the Augustin monks for the purposes of the administration of the department.  From that period, every thing has been done for its preservation.  Cleared from the mean houses which had been built around it, and enclosed by an iron palisade, which protects it from mischievous hands, it now stands isolated in the centre of a square, or _place_, where it can be seen at every side.  Poldo d’Albenas, a quaint old writer, whose book I glanced over to-day, attributes the preservation of the _Maison Carree_ to the fortunate horoscope of the spot on which it stands.  His lamentations for the insults offered to this building are really passionate.

The Maison Carree is not square, though its denomination might lead one to suppose it to be so, being nearly eighty feet long, and only thirty-eight feet wide.  Elevated on a base of cut stone, it is ascended by a flight of steps, which extends the length of the base in front.  The walls of the building are of a fine white stone, and are admirably constructed.

The edifice has thirty fluted columns, with Corinthian capitals beautifully sculptured, on which rests the architrave, with frieze and cornice.  This last is ornamented with sculpture; and the frieze, with foliage finely executed.

The entrance is by a portico, open on three sides, and supported by two columns, included in the thirty already named, of which six form the front, and extend to the fourth, when commences the wall of the building, in which the other columns are half imbedded, being united in the building with its architrave.  The fronton, which is over the portico, has no ornament in the centre; neither has the frieze nor architrave:  but some holes mark where the bronze letters of an inscription were once inserted.

This inscription has been conjectured, by the ingenious mode of placing on paper the exact dimensions of the holes which formerly contained the letters of it, and is now said to be as follows:—­


But as more holes are found than would be filled by these letters, the conclusion does not seem to me to be justified.

At the far end of the portico is the door of entrance, the only opening by which light is admitted to the building.  It is very lofty, and on each side is a pilaster; beneath the cornice are two long cut stones, which advance like a kind of architrave, pierced by a square hole of above twelve inches, supposed to have been intended to support a bronze door.

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The original destination of this beautiful edifice still furnishes a subject for discussion among the antiquaries; some asserting it to have been erected by the Emperor Adrian in honour of Plotina, while others maintain it to have been a forum.

At present, it is used as a museum for the antiquities discovered at Nismes, and contains some admirable specimens.  Among these are a torso in marble of a Roman knight, in a cuirass, and another colossal torso, with a charming little draped statue seated in a curule chair, and holding a cornucopia in the left hand; a cinerary monument, enriched with bassi-relievi, representing a human sacrifice; a bronze head of Apollo, much injured; and a Janus.

A funereal monument found in the neighbourhood of Nismes in 1824, offers a very interesting object, being in a good state of preservation.  It is richly decorated, and by the inscription is proved to have been that of Marcus Attius, aged twenty-five years, erected to him by his mother Coelia, daughter of Sextus Paternus.

So fine is the proportion, so exquisite is the finish, and so wonderful is the preservation of the Maison Carree, that I confess I had much more pleasure in contemplating its exterior, than in examining all that it contains, though many of these objects are well worth inspection.

I should like to have a small model of it executed in silver, as an ornament for the centre of a table; but it would require the hand of a master to do justice to the olive leaves of the capitals of the columns; that is, if they were faithfully copied from the original.

It was, if I remember rightly, Cardinal Alberoni who observed that this beautiful building ought to be preserved in a golden etui, and its compactness and exquisite finish prove that the implied eulogium was not unmerited.

I have nowhere else noticed the introduction of olive leaves in Corinthian capitals instead of those of the acanthus; the effect of which is very good.  A design was once formed of removing the Maison Carree to Versailles.  Colbert was the originator of this barbarous project, which, however, was fortunately abandoned from the fear of impairing, if not destroying, the beauty of the building.  The Emperor Napoleon is said to have entertained a similar notion, and meant to grace Paris with this model of architectural perfection; but it was found to be too solidly built to admit of removal, and he who could shake empires, could not stir the Maison Carree.

The transportation of antiquities from their original site can never be excused, except in cases where it was the only means of insuring their preservation.  All the power of association is lost when they are transferred to other places; and the view of them ceases to afford that satisfaction experienced when beheld where they were primarily destined to stand.  I can no more fancy the Maison Carree appropriately placed in the bustle and gaiety of Paris, than I could endure to see one of the temples at Paestum stuck down at Charing Cross.

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One loves, when contemplating such precious memorials of antiquity, to look around on the objects in nature, still wearing the same aspect as when they were reared.  The hills and mountains, unlike the productions of man, change not; and nowhere can the fragments of a bygone age appear to such advantage as on the spots selected for their erection, where their vicinity to peculiar scenery had been taken into consideration.

We spent a considerable time in examining the Amphitheatre, and so well is it preserved, that one can hardly bring one’s self to believe that so many centuries have elapsed since it was built; and that generation after generation has passed away, who have looked on this edifice which now meets my view, so little changed by the ravages of that ruthless conqueror Time, or the still more ruthless Visigoths who converted it into a citadel, flanking the eastern door with two towers.  In 737 Charles Martel besieged the Saracens, and set fire to it, and after their expulsion it continued to be used as a citadel.

The form of this fine building is elliptical, and some notion of its vast extent may be formed, when it is stated to have been capable of containing above 17,000 spectators.

Its facade consists of two rows of porticoes, forming two galleries one over the other, composing sixty arcades, divided by the same number of Tuscan pilasters in the first range, and of Doric columns in the upper, and an attic, which crowns all.  Four principal doors, fronting the four cardinal points, open into the amphitheatre, divided at nearly equal distances one from the other.

The attic has no arcades, pilasters, or columns; but a narrow ledge runs along it, which was probably used for the purpose of approaching the projecting consoles, 120 in number, placed in couples at equal distances between two columns, and pierced with a large hole, which corresponds with a similar one in the cornice, evidently meant for securing the awnings used to prevent the spectators from being inconvenienced by the rain or sun.

These awnings did not extend to the arena, which was usually left open, but were universally adopted in all the Roman amphitheatres, after their introduction by Q. Catullus.  The vast extent and extraordinary commodiousness of the amphitheatres erected by the Romans, prove not only the love of the sports exhibited in them entertained by that people, but the attention paid to their health and comfort by the architects who planned these buildings.  The numerous vomitories were not amongst the least important of these comforts, securing a safe retreat from the theatre in all cases of emergency, and precluding those fearful accidents that in our times have not infrequently occurred, when an alarm of fire has been given.  The mode of arrangements, too, saved the spectators from all the deleterious results of impure air, while the velarium preserved them from the sun.  But not only were the spectators screened from too fervid heat, but

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they could retreat at pleasure, in case of rain or storm, into the galleries, where they were sheltered from the rain.  Our superior civilization and refinement have not led to an equal attention to safety and comfort in the mode of our ingress and egress from theatres, or to their ventilation; but perhaps this omission may be accounted for by the difference of our habits from those of the Romans.  Public amusements were deemed as essential to their comfort, as the enjoyment of home is to ours; and, consequently, while we prefer home—­and long may we continue to do so—­our theatres will not be either so vast or so commodious as in those times and countries, where domestic happiness was so much less understood or provided for.

The erection of this magnificent edifice is attributed to Vespasian, Titus, or Domitian, from a fragment of an inscription discovered here some fourteen or fifteen years ago, of which the following is a transcript:—­

VII.  TRI.  PO.....

And as only these three filled the consulate eight times since Tiberius, in whose age no amphitheatre had been built in the Roman provinces, to one of them is adjudged its elevation.

Could I only remember one half the erudition poured forth on my addled brain by the cicerone, I might fill several pages, and fatigue others nearly as much as he fatigued me; but I will have pity on my readers, and spare them the elaborate details, profound speculations, ingenious hypotheses, and archaiological lore that assailed me, and wish them, should they ever visit Nismes, that which was denied me—­a tranquil and uninterrupted contemplation of its interesting antiquities, free from the verbiage of a conscientious cicerone, who thinks himself in duty bound to relate all that he has ever heard or read relative to the objects he points out.

Even now my poor head rings with the names of Caius and Lucius Caesar, Tiberius, Trajan, Adrian, Diocletian, and Heaven only knows how many other Roman worthies, to whom Nismes owes its attractions, not one of whom did this learned Theban omit to enumerate.

Many of the antiquities of Nismes, which we went over to-day, might well command attention, were they not in the vicinity of two such remarkable and well-preserved monuments as the Amphitheatre and Maison Carree.

The Gate of Augustus, which now serves as the entrance to the barracks of the gendarmerie, is worthy of inspection.  It consists of four arches—­two of equal size, for the admittance of chariots and horsemen, and two less ones for pedestrians.  The centres of the two larger arches are decorated by the head of a bull, in alto-relievo; and above each of the smaller arches is a niche, evidently meant for the reception of a statue.

A Corinthian pilaster divides the larger arches from the less, and a similar one terminates the building on each side; while the two larger arches are separated by a small Ionic column, which rests on a projecting abutment whence the arches spring.  The Gate of France has but one arch, and is said to have been flanked by towers; of which, however, it has little vestige.

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The inhabitants of Nismes seem very proud of its antiquities, and even the humbler classes descant with much erudition on the subject.  Most, if not all of them, have studied the guide-books, and like to display the extent of their savoir on the subject.

They evince not a little jealousy if any preference seems accorded to the antiquities of Italy over those of their town; and ask, with an air of triumph, whether any thing in Italy can be compared with their Maison Carree, expressing their wonder that so few English come to look at it.

La Tour-Magne stands on the highest of the hills, at the base of which is spread the town.  It is precisely in the state most agreeable to antiquaries, as its extreme dilapidation permits them to indulge those various conjectures and hypotheses relative to its original destination, in which they delight.  They see in their “mind’s eye” all these interesting works of antiquity, not as they really are, but as it pleases them to imagine they once were; and, consequently, the less that actually remains on which to base their suppositions, the wider field have they for their favourite speculations.

This tower is said by some to have been intended for a lighthouse; others assert it to have been a treasury; a third party declares it to be the remains of a palace; and, last of all, it is assumed to have been a mausoleum.

Its form, judging from what remains, must have been pyramidical, composed of several stages, forming octagons, retreating one above the other.  It suffered much from Charles Martel in 737, who wished to destroy it, owing to its offering a strong military position to the Saracens; and still more from the ravages of a certain Francis Trancat, to whom Henry IV granted permission to make excavations in the interior of it, on condition that three parts of the product should be given up to the royal coffer.

The result did not repay the trouble or expense; and one cannot help being rejoiced that it did not, as probably, had it been otherwise, the success would have served as an incentive to destroy other buildings.

In the vicinity of the Tour-Magne are the fountain, terrace, and garden, the last of which is well planted, and forms a very agreeable promenade for the inhabitants of Nismes.  The fountain occupies the site of the ancient baths—­many vestiges of which having been discovered have been employed for this useful, but not tasteful, work.

It was not until the middle of the eighteenth century, that it was suspected that the water which served to turn a mill in the immediate vicinity had been obstructed by the ruins which impeded its course.  This obstruction led to excavations, the result of which was the discovery of the remains of buildings, columns, statues, inscriptions, and fragments of rare marbles.

The obstructions being thus removed, and the town enriched by the precious objects found, the persons to whom the direction of the excavation was confided, instead of vigorously pursuing the task, were content with what they had already discovered, and once more closed up the grave in which so many treasures of antiquity were still interred—­using many of the materials disinterred for the formation of the terraces which now cover it.

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The architect selected to execute this work was Philip Marechal, an engineer, never previously employed, except in military architecture:  a fact to which may be attributed the peculiar style that he has exhibited—­bastions and trenches being adopted, instead of the usual and more appropriate forms generally used for terraces and canals.

To these are subjoined ornaments of the period in which the work was completed—­the fitness of which is not more to HBO commended than that of the work itself:  the whole offering a curious mixture of military and rococo taste.

It was in the freshness of early morning that I, yesterday, again visited the garden of the fountain and its fine chesnut trees and laurel roses; the latter, growing in great luxuriance, looked beautiful, the sun having not yet scorched them.  The fountain, too, in its natural bed, which is not less than seventy-two French feet in diameter, and twenty feet in depth, was pellucid as crystal, and through it the long leaves that nearly cover the gravel appeared green as emerald.

The hill above the fountain has been tastefully planted with evergreen trees, which shade a delicious walk, formed to its summit.

This improvement to the appearance, as well as to the agrements, of Nismes, is due to Monsieur d’Haussey[1], prefect, whose popularity is said to be deservedly acquired, by his unremitting attention to the interests of the city, and his urbanity to its inhabitants.

Nismes is a gay town, if I may judge by the groups of well-dressed women and men we have observed at the promenade.

It has a considerable garrison, and the officers are occasionally seen passing and repassing; but not, as I have often remarked in England, lazily lounging about as if anxious to kill time, but moving briskly as if on business.

The various accomplishments acquired by young men in France offer a great resource in country quarters.  Drawing, in which most of them have attained a facility, if not excellence, enables them to fill albums with clever sketches; and their love of the fine arts leads them to devote some hours in most days to their cultivation.

This is surely preferable to loitering in news-rooms, sauntering in the shops of pretty milliners, breaking down the fences of farmers, or riding over young wheat—­innocent pastimes, sometimes undertaken by young officers for mere want of some occupation.

The Temple of Diana is in the vicinity of the fountain, which has given rise to the conjecture that it originally constituted a portion of the ancient baths.  Its shape is rectangular, and a large opening in the centre forms the entrance.

Twelve niches, five of which open into the partition of the temple, and two on the right and left of the entrance, are crowned by frontons alternately circular and triangular, and are said to have contained statues.  This is one of the most picturesque ruins I ever saw.  Silence and solitude reign around it, and wild fig-trees enwreath with their luxuriant foliage the opening made by Time, and half conceal the wounds inflicted by barbarian hands.

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I could have spent hours in this desecrated temple, pondering on the brevity of life, as compared with its age.  There is something pure and calm in such a spot, that influences the feelings of those who pause in it; and by reminding them of the inevitable lot of all sublunary things, renders the cares incidental to all who breathe, less acutely felt for the time.

Is not every ruin a history of the fate of generations, which century after century has seen pass away?—­generations of mortals like ourselves, who have been moved by the same passions, and vexed by the same griefs; like us, who were instinct with life and spirit, yet whose very dust has disappeared.  Nevertheless, we can yield to the futile pleasures, or to the petty ills of life, as if their duration was to be of long extent, unmindful that ages hence, others will visit the objects we now behold, and find them little changed, while we shall have in our turn passed away, leaving behind no trace of our existence.

I never see a beautiful landscape, a noble ruin, or a glorious fane, without wishing that I could bequeath to those who will come to visit them when I shall be no more, the tender thoughts that filled my soul when contemplating them; and thus, even in death, create a sympathy.



We stopped but a short time at Beaucaire, where we saw the largo plain on the banks of the Rhone, on which are erected the wooden houses for the annual fair which takes place in July, when the scene is said to present a very striking effect.

These wooden houses are filled with articles of every description, and are inhabited by the venders who bring their goods to be disposed of to the crowds of buyers who flock here from all parts, offering, in the variety of their costumes and habits, a very animated and showy picture.

The public walk, which edges the grassy plain allotted to the fair, is bordered by large elm-trees, and the vicinity to the river insures that freshness always so desirable in summer, and more especially in a climate so warm as this.

The town of Beaucaire has little worthy of notice, except its Hotel-de-Ville and church, both of which are handsome buildings.  We crossed the Rhone over the bridge of boats, from which we had a good view, and arrived at Tarascon.

The chateau called the Castle of King Rene, but which was erected by Louis II, count of Provence, is an object of interest to all who love to ponder on the olden time, when gallant knights and lovely dames assembled here for those tournaments in which the good Rene delighted.

Alas for the change!  In those apartments in which the generous monarch loved to indulge the effusions of his gentle muse, and where fair ladies smiled, and belted knights quaffed ruby wine to their healths, now dwell reckless felons and hopeless debtors; for the chateau is converted into a prison.

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In the Church of St. Martha we saw a relic of the barbarism of the dark ages, in the shape of a grotesque representation of a dragon, called the Tarasque.  This image is formed of wood, rudely painted in gandy colours.

Twice a-year it is borne through the streets of Tarascon, in commemoration of the destruction of a fabulous monster that long frequented the Rhone, and devoured many of the inhabitants of the surrounding country, but was at length vanquished by St. Martha; who, having secured it round the neck by her veil, delivered it to the just vengeance of the Tarascons.  This legend is received as truth by common people, and our guide informed us that they warmly resent any doubt of its authenticity.

The monument of St. Martha is shown in the church dedicated to her, and her memory is held in great reverence at Tarascon.

The country between this place and Tarascon is fertile and well cultivated, and the cheerfulness of its aspect presents a striking contrast to the silence and solitude of the town.  The streets, however, are as clean as those of Holland, and the inhabitants are neat and tidy in their attire.

The houses are for the most part old and dilapidated, looking in nearly as ruined a condition as the fragments of antiquity which date so many centuries before them.  Nevertheless, some of the streets and dwellings seem to indicate that a spirit of improvement is abroad.

Our hotel is a large, crazy, old mansion, reminding me of some of those at Shrewsbury; and its furniture appears to be coeval with it, as nothing can be more homely or misshapen.  Oak and walnut-tree chairs, beds, and tables form the chief part, and these are in a very rickety condition; nevertheless, an air of cleanliness and comfort pervades the rooms, and with the extreme rusticity of the ameublement, give one the notion of being in some huge old farm-house.

Nor is the manner of the good hostess calculated to dispel this illusion.  When our three carriages drove to her door, though prepared for our arrival by the courier, she repeatedly said that her poor house had no accommodation for such guests, and we had some difficulty in persuading her that we were easily satisfied.

She had donned her fete dress for our reception, and presented a very picturesque appearance, as she stood smiling and bustling about at the door.  She wore a high cap reminding me of those of the women in Normandy:  brown stays; linsey-woolsey, voluminous petticoats; handkerchief and apron trimmed with rich old-fashioned lace; and long gold ear-rings, and chain of the same material, twisted at least ten times round her neck.

She explained to us, in a patois not easily understood, that her house was only frequented by the farmers, and their wives and daughters, who attended the fetes, or occasionally by a stray traveller who came to explore the antiquities.

Before I had travelled much on the Continent, I confess that the appearance of this dwelling would have rather startled me as a sejour for two days, but now I can relish its rusticity; for cleanliness, that most indispensable of all requisites to comfort, is not wanting.

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The furniture is scrubbed into brightness, the small diamond-shaped panes of the old-fashioned casements are clean as hands can make them; the large antique fireplace is filled with fresh flowers; and the walnut-tree tables are covered with white napkins.

No sooner had we performed our ablutions, and changed our travelling dresses for others, than our good hostess, aided by three active young country maidens, served up a plentiful dinner, consisting of an excellent pot-au-feu, followed by fish, fowl, and flesh, sufficient to satisfy the hunger of at least four times the number of our party.

Having covered the table until it literally “groaned with the weight of the feast,” she seated herself at a little distance from it, and issued her commands to her hand-maidens what to serve, and when to change a plate, what wine to offer, and which dish she most recommended, with a good-humoured attention to our wants, that really anticipated them.

There was something as novel as patriarchal in her mode of doing the honours, and it pleased us so much that we invited her to partake of our repast; but she could not be prevailed on, though she consented to drink our healths in a glass of her best wine.

She repeatedly expressed her fears that our dinner was not sufficiently recherche, and hoped we would allow her to prepare a good supper.

When we were descending the stairs, she met us with several of her female neighbours en grande toilette, whom she had invited to see the strangers, and who gazed at us with as much surprise as if we were natives of Otaheite, beheld for the first time.  Cordial greetings, however, atoned for the somewhat too earnest examination to which we had been subjected; and many civil speeches from our good hostess, who seemed not a little proud of displaying her foreign guests, rewarded the patience with which we submitted to the inspection.

One old lady felt the quality of our robes, another admired our trinkets, and a third was in raptures with our veils.  In short, as a Frenchwoman would say, we had un grand succes; and so, our hostess assured us.

We went over the Amphitheatre, the dimensions of which exceed those of the Amphitheatre at Nismes.  Three orders of architecture are also introduced in it, and it has no less than sixty arcades, with four large doors; that on the north side has a very imposing effect.  The corridor leading to the arena exhibits all the grandeur peculiar to the public buildings of the Romans, and is well worthy of attention; but the portion of the edifice that most interested me was the subterranean, which a number of workmen were busily employed in excavating, under the superintendence of the Prefect of Arles, a gentleman with whose knowledge of the antiquities of his native town, and urbanity towards the strangers who visit them, we have every reason to be satisfied.

Under his guidance, we explored a considerable extent of the recently excavated subterranean, a task which requires no slight devotion to antiquities to induce the visitor to persevere, the inequalities of the ground exposing one continually to the danger of a fall, or to the still more perilous chance—­as occurred to one of our party—­of the head coming in contact with the roof.

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We saw also fragments of a theatre in the garden of the convent of La Misericorde, consisting of two large marble columns and two arches.

In the ancient church of St. Anne, now converted into a museum, are collected all the fragments of antiquity discovered at Arles, and in its vicinity; some of them highly interesting, and bearing evidences of the former splendour of the place.

An altar dedicated to the Goddess of Good; the celebrated Mithras with a serpent coiled round him, between the folds of which are sculptured the signs of the zodiac; Medea and her children; a mile-stone, bearing the names of the Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian; a basso-relievo of the Muses; several sarcophagi, votive altars, cornices, pillars, mutilated statues, and inscriptions, are here carefully preserved:  but nothing in the collection equals the statue known by the title of the Venus of Arles, found here, and which is so deservedly admired at the Louvre.

An obelisk of granite, about sixty feet high, said to be the only antique one in France, stands on the place of the Hotel-de-Ville.  Discovered in 1389, it was not disinterred from the earth in which it was embedded until the reign of Charles IX, and was erected on its present site in 1676, with a dedication to the then reigning sovereign, Louis XIV; A globe, ornamented with fleurs de lis placed on its point, deteriorates, in my opinion, from the beauty of its effect.  It was originally in one block, but it was broken in two by its overturn.

Many houses in the streets have portions of columns, friezes, and cornices embedded in their walls; and one of them, occupied by a barber, had a column in front, to which the insignia of his profession were attached.  Ruins, said to be those of the palace of Constantine, were pointed out to us, as well as fragments of a forum and baths.

Arles is certainly one of the most interesting towns I have ever seen, whether viewed as a place remarkable for the objects of antiquity it contains, or for the primitive manners of its inhabitants and its picturesque appearance.

The quays are spacious and well built, presenting a very different aspect to the streets; for the former are very populous, being frequented by the boatmen who ply their busy commerce between Lyons and Marseilles—­depots for the merchandise being erected along them, while the latter are comparatively deserted.

With this facility of communication with two such flourishing towns, it is extraordinary that Arles should have so long retained the primitive simplicity that seems to pervade it, and that a good hotel has not yet been established here.

Our good hostess provided nearly as substantial a supper for us last night as the early dinner served up on our arrival, and again presided at the repast, pressing us to eat, and recommending, with genuine kindness, the various specimens of dainties set before us.  Our beds, though homely, were clean; and I have seldom, in the most luxurious ones, reposed equally soundly.

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When our courier asked for the bill this morning, the landlady declared she “knew not what to charge, that she never was in the habit of making out bills, and that we must give her what we thought right.”

The courier urged the necessity of having a regular bill, explaining to her that he was obliged to file all bills, and produce them every week for the arrangement of his accounts,—­but in vain:  she could not, she declared, make one out; and no one in her house was more expert than herself.

She came to us, laughing and protesting, and ended by saying, “Pay what you like; things are very cheap at Arles.  You have eaten very little; really, it is not worth charging for.”  But, when we persisted on having her at least name a sum, to our infinite surprise she asked, if a couple of louis would be too much?—­And this for a party of six, and six servants, for two days!

We had some difficulty in inducing her to accept a suitable indemnification, and parted, leaving her proclaiming what she was pleased to consider our excessive generosity, and reiterating her good wishes.



The town of St.-Remy is delightfully situated in a hollow that resembles the crater of an extinct volcano, and is surrounded by luxuriant groves of olive.  The streets, though generally narrow, are rendered picturesque by several old houses, the architecture of which is striking; and the place—­for even St.-Remy has its Place Publique and Hotel-de-Ville—­is not without pretensions to ornament.  In the centre of this place is a pretty fountain, of a pyramidal form.

The antiquities which attracted us to St.-Remy are at a short distance from the town, on an eminence to the south of it, and are approached by a road worthy the objects to which it conducts.  They consist of a triumphal arch, and a mausoleum, about forty-five feet asunder.

Of the triumphal arch, all above the archivault has disappeared, leaving but the portico, the proportions of which are neither lofty nor wide.  On each side of it are two fluted columns, said to have been of the Corinthian order, but without capitals, and the intercolumniations, in each of which are figures of male and female captives.

A tree divides the male from the female; their hands are tied, and chained to the tree; and a graceful drapery falls from above the heads down to the consoles on which the figures stand.

On the eastern side of the arch are also figures, representing two women, by the side of two men.  One of the women has her hand on the arm of a chained warrior, and the other has at her feet military trophies; among which bucklers, arms, and trumpets, may be seen.  The pilasters that bound the intercolumniations are of the Doric order, and their capitals support the arch.

The cornice and astragals form a frieze, in which military emblems and symbols of sacrifice are intermingled.  The archivault is ornamented on each side with sculptured wreaths of ivy, pine cones, branches of grapes and olives, interlaced with ribands.  The ceiling of the portico is divided into hexagons and squares, enriched by various designs in the shape of eggs and roses, finely executed.

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This interesting monument appears to have been ornamented with equal care and richness on every side, but its decorations have not enabled any of the numerous antiquaries who have hitherto examined it to throw any light on its origin; and the destruction of its architecture must have caused that of its inscription, if, indeed, it ever bore one.

The mausoleum is even more curious than the arch, as being the only building of a similar character of architecture to be seen.

Placed on a large square pediment, approached by two steps, the edifice rises with unequalled lightness and beauty against the blue sky, forming two stages supported by columns and pilasters, united by a finely sculptured frieze.  The first stage retreats from the pediment; and the second, which is of a round form, and terminated by a conical-shaped top, is less in advance than the first, giving a pyramidal effect.

The four fronts of the pediment are nearly covered by bassi-relievi, representing battles of infantry; the figures of which are nearly as large as life, and admirably designed.

On the north front is a combat of cavalry; on the west, an engagement, in the midst of which the body of a man is lying on the ground, one party of soldiers endeavouring to take possession of it, while another band of soldiers are trying to prevent them.

The basso-relievo of the south front represents a field of battle, strewed with the dead and wounded, and mingled with warriors on horseback and on foot.  On one side is seen a wild boar between the legs of the soldiers; and on the other, a female figure, quite nude, prostrate on the earth before a rearing horse, which some soldiers are endeavouring to restrain.

In the centre of the basso-relievo is an old man expiring, surrounded by several persons; and at one end a soldier, bearing arms on his shoulder, has been left unfinished by the sculptor; there not being sufficient space for the figure, which is partly designed on the adjoining pilaster.

On the east front is a winged female bearing the attributes of Victory, with several women and warriors, and an allegorical personage said to represent a river, because it holds in one hand a symbol of water.  This last figure, also, is partly sculptured on the contiguous pilaster, as is the one previously noted, which proves that these ornaments were not executed at the time of the erection of the edifice.

The pediment has a simple cornice around it, and the angles are finished by voluted pilasters without a base, but with Ionic capitals, which have an extraordinary effect.  Above the basso-relievo is a massive garland, supported by three boys, at equal distances; and between them are four heads of old men, as hideously grotesque as the imaginations of the sculptors could render them.

The first stage of the mausoleum which rises from this pedestal is pierced by an arch on each side, in the form of a portico, and their archivaults are ornamented by foliage and scrolls.

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The arches rest on plain pilasters, with capitals more resembling the Doric than any other order of architecture.  On the keystone of each arch is the mark of a youthful male head, surmounted by two wings.  The four angles of the first stage are finished by a fluted column, with a capital charmingly executed, like, but not quite, the Corinthian.  These columns sustain an entablature or two, which terminate this stage, and its frieze is enriched with sculpture representing winged sea-monsters and sirens with sacrificial instruments.

Above the first stage rises the second, which is of a round form, with ten fluted columns, which support its circular entablature; the capitals of these columns are similar to those of the first stage, and the frieze is ornamented with foliage delicately sculptured.

A round cupola terminates this building, through which the light shines in on every side, although two male statues in togas occupy the centre of it.

To view the height at which these figures are placed, one would suppose they were safe from the attacks of the mischievous or the curious; nevertheless, they did not escape, for, many years ago, during the night, their heads were taken off, and those that replaced them reflect little credit on the taste or skill of the modern sculptor who executed the task.

On the architrave of the entablature of the first stage, and on the north front, is the following inscription:—­


Various are the opinions given by the writers who have noticed this monument as to the cause for which, and person, or persons for whom, it was erected.  Some maintain that the triumphal arch from its vicinity has a relation to the mausoleum, while others assert them to have been built at different epochs.

The inscription has only served to base the different hypotheses of antiquaries, among which that of the Abbe Barthelemy is considered the most probable; namely, that in the three first words are found two initials, which he considers may be rendered as follows:—­


and the two other initials, C.F., which follow the word JVLIEI, may be explained in the same manner to signify Caii Filii, and, being joined to Juliei, which precedes, may be received to mean Julii Caii Filii.

Mantour’s reading of the inscription is, Caius Sextius Lucius, Maritus JULIAE Incomparabilis, Curavit Fieri PARENTIBUS SUIS; which he translates into Caius Sextius Lucius, Husband of Julia, caused this Monument to be erected to the Memory of his Ancestors, and the victories achieved by them in Provence, which on different occasions had been the theatre of war of the Romans.

Bouche’s version of it is,—­

{Lucius, }
Sextus {Laelius, } Maritus Juliae. 

Istud Cenotaphium,}
or, } Fecit Parentibus Suis;
Intra Circulum, }

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which he asserts to mean,—­Sextus, in honour of his Father and Mother, buried in this place, and represented by the two statues surrounded by columns in the upper part of the mausoleum.

Monsieur P. Malosse, to whose work on the antiquities of St.-Remy I am indebted for the superficial knowledge I have attained of these interesting objects, explains the inscription to mean,—­


which he translates into Sextus, Lucius, Marcus (all three), of the race of Julius, elevated this monument to the glory of their relations.

M. Malosse believes that the mausoleum was erected to Julius, and the arch to Augustus Caesar—­the first being dead, and the second then living; and that the statues in the former, in the Roman togas, were intended to represent the two.

He imagines that the subjects of the bassi-relievi on the four fronts of the mausoleum bear out this hypothesis.  That of the east, he says, represents the combat of the Romans with the Germans on the bank of the Rhine (of which river the one on the basso-relievo is the emblem), and the triumph of Caesar over Ariovistus, whoso women were taken prisoners.

The basso-relievo on the south front represents Caesar’s conquest of the Allobroges, and the capture of the daughter of Orgetorix, one of the most powerful men of the country, and instigator of the war.  The basso-relievo on the north front, representing a combat of cavalry, refers to the victory over the Britons; and that of the west front, to the battle gained by the Romans over the Gauls, in which the general of the latter was killed in the midst of his soldiers, who endeavoured to prevent his being seized by the enemy.

Passages from the Commentaries of Caesar, favour this ingenious interpretation of M.P.  Malosse; but the abbreviations adopted in the inscription, while well calculated to give rise to innumerable hypotheses, will for ever leave in doubt, by whom, and in honour of whom, these edifices were erected, as well as the epoch at which they were built.

Who could look on these monuments without reflecting on the vanity of mortals in thus offering up testimonials of their respect for persons of whose very names posterity is ignorant?  For the identity of those in whose honour the Arch of Triumph and Mausoleum of St.-Remy were raised puzzles antiquaries as much as does that of the individual for whom the pyramid of Egypt was built.  Vain effort, originating in the weakness of our nature, to preserve the memory of that which was dear to us, and which we would fain believe will insure the reverence of ages unborn for that which we venerated!



Yon stately tomb that seeks the sky,
  Erected to the glorious dead,
Through whose high arches sweeps, the sigh
  The night winds heave when day has fled;

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How fair its pillared stories rise
  ’Gainst yon blue firmament so pure;
Fair as they met admiring eyes,
  Long ages past, they still endure.


Yes, many a race hath left the earth
  Since first this Mausoleum rose;
So many, that the name, or birth,
  Of dead, or founder, no one knows.


The sculptured pictures, all may see,
  Were by a skilful artist wrought;
But, Time! the secret rests with thee,
  Which to unravel men have sought.


Of whom were they, the honoured dead,
  Whose mem’ry Love would here record? 
Lift up the veil, so long o’erspread,
  And tell whose dust yon fane doth guard.


Name those whose love outlived the grave
  And sought to give for aye to fame
Mementos of the good and brave,
  Of whom thou hast effaced the name.


We know but that they lived and died,—­
  No more this stately tomb can tell: 
Here come and read a lesson, Pride,
  This monument can give so well.


They lived—­they hoped—­they suffered—­loved—­
  As all of Earth have ever done;
Were oft by wild Ambition moved,
  And basked, perchance, ’neath glory’s Sun.


They deemed that they should leave behind
  Undying names.  Yet, mark this fane,
For whom it rose, by whom designed,
  Learned antiquaries search in vain.


Still doth it wear the form it wore,
  Through the dim lapse of by-gone age;
Triumph of Art in days of yore,
  Whose Hist’ry fills the classic page.


To honour Victors it is said
  ’Twas raised, though none their names can trace;
It stands as monument instead,
  Unto each long-forgotten race,


Who came, like me, to gaze and brood
  Upon it in this lonely spot—­
Their minds with pensive thoughts imbued,
  That Heroes could be thus forgot.


Yet still the wind a requiem sighs,
  And the blue sky above it weeps;
Thu Sun pours down its radiant dyes,
  Though none can tell who ’neath it sleeps.


And seasons roll, and centuries pass,
  And still unchanged thou keep’st thy place;
While we, like shadows in a glass,
  Soon glide away, and leave no trace.


And yon proud Arch, the Victor’s meed,
  Is nameless as the neighbouring Tomb: 
Victor, and Dead, the Fates decreed
  Your memory to oblivion’s gloom.



I see little alteration at Lyons since I formerly passed through it.  Its manufactories are, nevertheless, flourishing, though less improvement than could be expected is visible in the external aspect of the place.

Page 17

This being Sunday, and the Fete-Dieu, the garrison, with flags flying, drums beating, trumpets sounding, and all in gala dress, marched through the streets to attend Divine worship.  The train was headed by our old acquaintance General Le Paultre de la Motte, (whom we left at Lyons on our route to Italy), and his staff; wearing all their military decorations, attended by a vast procession, including the whole of the clergy in their rich attires and all the different religious communities in the town.

The officers were bare-headed—­their spurred heels and warlike demeanour rendering this homage to a sacred ceremony more picturesque.  The gold and silver brocaded vestments and snowy robes of the priests glittering in the sun, as they marched along to the sound of martial music, looked very gorgeous; and this mixture of ecclesiastical and military pomp had an imposing effect.

The streets through which the procession passed were ornamented with rich draperies and flowers, reminding me of Italy on similar occasions; and the intense heat of a sun glowing like a fiery furnace, aided the recollection.

Since I have been on the continent, it has often struck me with surprise, that on solemn occasions like the present, sacred music has not been performed instead of military.  Nay, I have heard quadrilles and waltzes played, fruitful in festive associations little suited to the feelings which ought to have been excited by solemn ceremonials.

Knowing, by experience, the effect produced on the mind by sacred music, it is much to be wished that so potent an aid to devotional sentiment should not be omitted, malgre whatever may be said against any extraneous assistance in offering up those devotions which the heart should be ever prompt to fulfil without them.

I leave to casuists to argue whether, or how far, music, sculpture, or painting, may be employed as excitements to religious fervour:  but I confess, although the acknowledgment may expose me to the censure of those who differ with me in opinion, that I consider them powerful adjuncts, and, consequently, not to be resigned because some—­and happy, indeed, may they be deemed—­stand in no need of such incitements to devotion.

Who that has heard the “Miserere” in the Sistine chapel at Rome, and seen, while listening to it, “The Last Judgment,” by Michael Angelo, on its walls, without feeling the powerful influence they exercised on the feelings?



June, 1828.—­A fatiguing journey, over dusty roads, and in intensely hot weather, has brought us to Paris, with no accident save the failure of one of the wheels of our large landau—­a circumstance that caused the last day’s travelling to be any thing but agreeable; for though our courier declared the temporary repair it received rendered it perfectly safe, I was by no means satisfied on the point.

Page 18

We have taken up our abode in the Hotel de la Terrasse, Rue de Rivoli, are well-lodged, but somewhat incommoded by the loud reverberation of the pavement, as the various vehicles roll rapidly over it.  We were told that “it would be nothing when we got used to it”—­an assertion, the truth of which, I trust, we shall not remain sufficiently long to test; for I have a peculiar objection to noise of every kind, and a long residence in Italy has not conquered it.

So here we are, once more, at Paris, after six years’ absence from it; and I find all that has hitherto met my eyes in it in statu quo.  How many places have I seen during that period; how many associations formed; how many and what various impressions received; and here is every thing around looking so precisely as I left them, that I can hardly bring myself to believe that I have indeed been so many years absent!

When we bring back with us the objects most dear, and find those we left unchanged, we are tempted to doubt the lapse of time; but one link in the chain of affection broken, and every thing seems altered.

On entering Paris, I felt my impatience to see our dear friends there redouble; and, before we had despatched the dinner awaiting our arrival, the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, came to us.  How warm was our greeting; how many questions to be asked and answered; how many congratulations and pleasant plans for the future to be formed; how many reminiscences of our mutual sejour in dear Italy to be talked over!

The Duchesse was radiant in health and beauty, and the Duc looking, as he always does, more distingue, than any one else—­the perfect beau ideal of a nobleman.

We soon quitted the salle a manger; for who could eat during the joy of a first meeting with those so valued?—­Not I, certainly; and all the rest of our party were as little disposed to do honour to the repast commanded for us.

It was a happy evening.  Seated in the salon, and looking out on the pleasant gardens of the Tuileries, the perfume of whose orange-trees was wafted to us by the air as we talked over old times, and indulged in cheerful anticipations of new ones, and the tones of voices familiar to the ears thus again restored, were heard with emotion.

Yes, the meeting of dear friends atones for the regret of separation; and like it so much enhances affection, that after absence one wonders how one has been able to stay away from them so long.

Too excited to sleep, although fatigued, I am writing down my impressions; yet how tame and colourless they seem on paper when compared with the emotions that dictate them!  How often have I experienced the impossibility of painting strong feelings during their reign!

[Mem.—­We should be cautious in giving implicit credit to descriptions written with great power, as I am persuaded they indicate a too perfect command of the faculties of the head to admit the possibility of those of the heart having been much excited when they were written.

Page 19

This belief of mine controverts the assertion of the poet—­

     “He best can paint them who has felt them most.”

Except that the poet says who has felt; yes, it is after, and not when most felt that sentiments can be most powerfully expressed.  But to bed! to bed!]

I have had a busy day; engaged during the greater portion of it in the momentous occupation of shopping.  Every thing belonging to my toilette is to be changed, for I have discovered—­“tell it not in Gath”—­that my hats, bonnets, robes, mantles, and pelisses, are totally passee de mode, and what the modistes of Italy declared to be la derniere mode de Paris is so old as to be forgotten here.

The woman who wishes to be a philosopher must avoid Paris!  Yesterday I entered it, caring or thinking as little of la mode as if there were no such tyrant; and lo! to-day, I found myself ashamed, as I looked from the Duchess de Guiche, attired in her becoming and pretty peignoir a la neige and chapeau du dernier gout, to my own dress and bonnet, which previously I had considered very wearable, if not very tasteful.

Our first visit was to Herbault’s, the high-priest of the Temple of Fashion at Paris; and I confess, the look of astonishment which he bestowed on my bonnet did not help to reassure my confidence as to my appearance.

The Duchesse, too quick-sighted not to observe his surprise, explained that I had been six years absent from Paris, and only arrived the night before from Italy.  I saw the words a la bonne heure hovering on the lips of Herbault, he was too well-bred to give utterance to them, and immediately ordered to be brought forth the choicest of his hats, caps, and turbans.

Oh, the misery of trying on a new mode for the first time, and before a stranger!  The eye accustomed to see the face to which it appertains enveloped in a chapeau more or less large or small, is shocked at the first attempt to wear one of a different size; and turns from the contemplation of the image presented in the glass with any thing but self-complacency, listening incredulously to the flattering encomiums of the not disinterested marchand de modes, who avers that “Ce chapeau sied parfaitement a Madame la Comtesse, et ce bonnet lui va a ravir.”

I must, however, render M. Herbault the justice to say, that he evinced no ordinary tact in suggesting certain alterations in his chapeaux and caps, in order to suit my face; and, aided by the inimitable good taste of the Duchesse, who passes for an oracle in affaires de modes a Paris, a selection was made that enabled me to leave M. Herbault’s, looking a little more like other people.

From his Temple of Fashion we proceeded to the lingere a la mode, Mdlle.  La Touche, where canezous and robes de matin were to be chosen and ordered; and we returned to the Hotel de la Terrasse, my head filled with notions of the importance of dressing a la mode, to which yesterday it was a stranger, and my purse considerably lightened by the two visits I had paid.

Page 20

Englishwomen who have not made their purchases at the houses of the marchandes de modes considered the most recherche at Paris, have no idea of the extravagance of the charges.  Prices are demanded that really make a prudent person start; nevertheless, she who wishes to attain the distinction so generally sought, of being perfectly well dressed, which means being in the newest fashion, must submit to pay largely for it.

Three hundred and twenty francs for a crape hat and feathers, two hundred for a chapeau a fleurs, one hundred for a chapeau neglige de matin, and eighty-five francs for an evening-cap composed of tulle trimmed with blonde and flowers, are among the prices asked, and, to my shame be it said, given.

It is true, hats, caps, and bonnets may be had for very reasonable prices in the shops in the Rue Vivienne and elsewhere at Paris, as I and many of my female compatriots found out when I was formerly in this gay capital; but the bare notion of wearing such would positively shock a lady of fashion at Paris, as much as it would an English one, to appear in a hat manufactured in Cranbourn Alley.

Here Fashion is a despot, and no one dreams of evading its dictates.

Having noticed the extravagance of the prices, it is but fair to remark the elegance and good taste of the millinery to be found at Monsieur Herbault’s.  His chapeaux look as if made by fairy fingers, so fresh, so light, do they appear; and his caps seem as if the gentlest sigh of a summer’s zephyr would bear them from sight, so aerial is their texture, and so delicate are the flowers that adorn them, fresh from the ateliers of Natier, or Baton.

Beware, O ye uxorious husbands! how ye bring your youthful brides to the dangerous atmosphere of Paris, while yet in that paradise of fools ycleped the honey-moon, ere you have learned to curve your brows into a frown, or to lengthen your visages at the sight of a long bill.

In that joyful season, when having pleased your eyes and secured your hearts, your fair brides, with that amiability which is one of the peculiar characteristics of their sex, are anxious to please all the world, and from no other motive than that your choice should be admired, beware of entering Paris, except en passant.  Wait until you have recovered that firmness of character which generally comes back to a Benedict after the first year of his nuptials, before you let your wives wander through the tempting mazes of the magasins de modes of this intoxicating city.

And you, fair dames, “with stinted sums assigned,” in the shape of pin-money, beware how you indulge that taste for pretty bonnets, hats, caps, and turbans, with which all bountiful Nature has so liberally gifted you; for, alas! “beneath the roses fierce Repentance rears her snaky crest” in form of a bill, the payment of which will “leave you poor indeed” for many a long day after, unless your liege lord, melted by the long-drawn sighs heaved when you remark on the wonderfully high prices of things at Paris, opens his purse-strings, and, with something between a pshaw and a grunt, makes you an advance of your next quarter’s pin-money; or, better still, a present of one of the hundred pounds with which he had intended to try his good luck at the club.

Page 21

Went yesterday to the Rue d’Anjou, to visit Madame Craufurd.  Her hotel is a charming one, entre cour et jardin; and she is the most extraordinary person of her age I have ever seen.  In her eightieth year, she does not look to be more than fifty-five; and possesses all the vivacity and good humour peculiar only to youth.

Scrupulously exact in her person, and dressed with the utmost care, as well as good taste, she gives me a notion of the appearance which the celebrated Ninon de l’Enclos must have presented at the same age, and has much of the charm of manner said to have belonged to that remarkable woman.

It was an interesting sight to see her surrounded by her grand-children and great-grand-children, all remarkable for their good looks, and affectionately attached to her, while she appears not a little proud of them.  The children of the Duc de Guiche have lost nothing of their beauty since their sejour at Pisa, and are as ingenuous and amusing as formerly.

I never saw such handsome children before, nor so well brought up.  No trouble or expense is spared in their education; and the Duc and Duchesse devote a great portion of their time to them.

All our friends are occupied in looking out for a house for us; and I have this day been over, at least, ten—­only one of which seems likely to suit.

I highly approve the mode at Paris of letting unfurnished houses, or apartments, with mirrors and decorations, as well as all fixtures (with us, in England, always charged separately) free of any extra expense.  The good taste evinced in the ornaments is in general remarkable, and far superior to what is to be met with in England; where, if one engages a new house lately papered or painted, one is compelled to recolour the rooms before they can be occupied, owing to the gaudy and ill-assorted patterns originally selected.

The house of the Marechal Lobau, forming the corner of the Rue de Bourbon, is the one I prefer of all those I have yet seen, although it has many desagremens for so large an establishment as ours.  But I am called to go to the review in the Champ-de-Mars, so allons for a spectacle militaire, which, I am told, is to be very fine.

The review was well worth seeing; and the troops performed their evolutions with great precision.  The crowd of spectators was immense; so much so, that those only who formed part of the royal cortege could reach the Champ-de-Mars in time to see its commencement.  No carriages, save those of the court, were allowed to enter the file.

The dust was insupportable; and the pretty dresses of the ladies suffered from it nearly as much as did the smart uniforms of the officers.

The coup d’oeil from the pavilion (where we had, thanks to our chaperon, the Duchesse de Guiche, front seats) was very fine.  The various and splendid uniforms, floating standards, waving plumes, glittering arms, and prancing steeds, gave to the vast plain over which the troops were moving a most animated aspect, while the sounds of martial music exhilarated the spirits.

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Nor was the view presented by the interior of the pavilion without its charms.  A number of ladies, some of them young and handsome, and all remarkably well-dressed, gave to the benches ranged along it the appearance of a rich parterre, among the flowers of which the beautiful Duchesse de Guiche shone pre-eminent.

I was seated next to a lady, with large lustrous eyes and a pale olive complexion, whose countenance, from its extreme mobility, attracted my attention; at one moment, lighting up with intelligence, and the next, softening into pensiveness.

A remarkably handsome young man stood behind her, holding her shawl, and lavishing on her those attentions peculiar to young Benedicts.  The lady proved to be the Marchioness de Loule, sister to the King of Portugal; and the gentleman turned out to be her husband, for whose beaux yeux she contracted what is considered a mesalliance.

The simplicity of her dress, and unaffectedness of her manner, invested her with new attractions in my eyes; which increased when I reflected on the elevated position she had resigned, to follow the more humble fortunes of her handsome husband.

How strange, yet how agreeable too, must the change be, from the most formal court, over which Etiquette holds a despotic sway, to the freedom from such disagreeable constraint permitted to those in private life, and now enjoyed by this Spanish princess!

She appears to enjoy this newly acquired liberty with a zest in proportion to her past enthralment, and has proved that the daughter of a King of Portugal has a heart, though the queens of its neighbour, Spain, were in former days not supposed to have legs.

During the evolutions, a general officer was thrown from his horse; and a universal agitation among a group of ladies evinced that they were in a panic.  Soon the name of the general, Count de Bourmont, was heard pronounced; and a faint shriek, followed by a half swoon from one of the fair dames, announced her deep interest in the accident.

Flacons and vinaigrettes were presented to her on every side, all the ladies present seeming to have come prepared for some similar catastrophe; but in a few minutes a messenger, despatched by the general, assured Madame la Comtesse of his perfect safety; and tears of joy testified her satisfaction at the news.

This little episode in the review shewed me the French ladies in a very amiable point of view.  Their sensibility and agitation during the uncertainty as to the person thrown, vouched for the liveliness of their conjugal affection; and their sympathy for Madame la Comtesse de Bourmont when it was ascertained that her husband was the sufferer, bore evidence to the kindness of their hearts, as well as to their facility in performing the little services so acceptable in moments like those I had just witnessed.

Charles X, the Dauphin and Dauphine, and the Duchesse de Berri, were present—­the two latter in landaus, attended by their ladies.  The king looked well, his grey hair and tall thin figure giving him a very venerable aspect.

Page 23

The Dauphine is much changed since I last saw her, and the care and sorrow of her childhood have left their traces on her countenance.  I never saw so melancholy a face, and the strength of intellect which characterises it renders it still more so, by indicating that the marks of sorrow so visible were not indented on that brow without many an effort from the strong mind to resist the attacks of grief.

I remember reading years ago of the melancholy physiognomy of King Charles I, which when seen in his portrait by a Florentine sculptor, to whom it was sent in order that a bust should be made from it, drew forth the observation that the countenance indicated that its owner would come to a violent death.

I was reminded of this anecdote by the face of the Duchesse d’Angouleme; for though I do not pretend to a prescience as to her future fate, I cannot help arguing from it that, even should a peaceful reign await her, the fearful trials of her youth have destroyed in her the power of enjoyment; and that on a throne she can never forget the father and mother she saw hurried from it, to meet every insult that malice could invent, or cruelty could devise, before a violent death freed them from their sufferings.

Who can look on this heroic woman without astonishment at the power of endurance that has enabled her to live on under such trials?  Martyr is written in legible characters on that brow, and on those lips; and her attempt to smile made me more sad than the tears of a mourner would have done, because it revealed “a grief too deep for tears.”

Must she not tremble for the future, if not for the present, among a people so versatile as those among whom she is now thrown?  And can she look from the windows of the palace she has been recalled to inhabit, without seeing the spot where the fearful guillotine was reared that made her an orphan?

The very plaudits that now rend the skies for her uncle must remind her of the shouts that followed her father to the scaffold:  no wonder, then, that she grows pale as she hears them; and that the memory of the terrible past, written in characters of blood, gives a sombre hue to the present and to the future.

The sight of her, too, must awaken disagreeable recollections in those over whom her husband may be soon called to reign, for the history of the crimes of the Revolution is stamped on her face, whose pallid lint and rigid muscles tell of the horror and affliction imprinted on her youth; the reminiscence of which cannot be pleasant to them.

The French not only love their country passionately, but are inordinately proud of it; hence, aught that reminds them of its sins—­and cruelty is one of a deep dye—­must be humiliating to them; so that the presence of the Duchesse d’Angouleme cannot be flattering to their amor patriae or amour propre.  I thought of all this to-day, as I looked on the face of Madame la Dauphine; and breathed a hope that the peace of her life’s evening may console her for the misfortunes of its morning and its noon.

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The Duchesse de Berri has an animated and peculiarly good-natured expression of countenance.  Her restored gaiety makes the French forget why it was long and cruelly overclouded, and aids the many good qualities which she possesses, in securing the popularity she has so generally acquired in the country of her adoption.

House-hunting again, and still unsuited.  Dined yesterday at the Duchesse de Guiche’s; a very pleasant party, increased by some agreeable people in the evening.  Our old acquaintance, William Lock, was among the guests at dinner, and is as good-looking and light-hearted as ever.

The Marquis l’Esperance de l’Aigle was also present, and is a perfect specimen of the fine gentleman of la Vieille Cour—­a race now nearly extinct.  Possessing all the gaiety and vivacity of youth, with that attention to the feelings of others peculiar only to maturity and high-breeding, the Count l’Esperance de l’Aigle is universally beloved.

He can talk over old times with the grand-mother with all the wit that we read of, oftener than we meet with; give his opinion of la derniere mode to the youthful mother, with rare tact and good taste; dance with the young daughter as actively and gracefully as any garcon de dix-huit ans in Paris; and gallop through the Bois de Boulogne with the young men who pride themselves on their riding, without being ever left behind.  I had frequently heard his praises from the Duchesse de Guiche, and found that her description of him was very accurate.

The house of the Duc de Guiche is a picture of English comfort and French elegance united; and that portion of it appropriated to its fair mistress is fitted up with exquisite taste.  Her salons and boudoir are objects of vertu, bijouterie, and vases of old Sevre, enough to excite envy in those who can duly appreciate such treasures, and tempt to the violation of the tenth commandment.  Order reigns in the whole arrangement of the establishment, which, possessing all the luxurious appliances of a maison montee, has all the scrupulous cleanliness of that of a Quaker.

Went to the Opera last night, where I saw the debut of the new danseuse Taglioni.  Hers is a totally new style of dancing; graceful beyond all comparison, wonderful lightness, an absence of all violent effort, or at least of the appearance of it, and a modesty as new as it is delightful to witness in her art.  She seems to float and bound like a sylph across the stage, never executing those tours de force that we know to be difficult and wish were impossible, being always performed at the expense of decorum and grace, and requiring only activity for their achievement.

She excited the most rapturous applause, and received it with a “decent dignity,” very unlike the leering smiles with which, in general, a danseuse thinks it necessary to advance to the front of the proscenium, shewing all her teeth, as she lowly courtesies to the audience.

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There is a sentiment in the dancing of this charming votary of Terpsichore that elevates it far beyond the licentious style generally adopted by the ladies of her profession, and which bids fair to accomplish a reformation in it.

The Duc de Cazes, who came in to the Duchesse de Guiche’s box, was enthusiastic in his praises of Mademoiselle Taglioni, and said hers was the most poetical style of dancing he had ever seen.  Another observed, that it was indeed the poetry of motion.  I would describe it as being the epic of dancing.

The Duc de Cazes is a very distinguished looking man, with a fine and intelligent countenance, and very agreeable manners.

A propos of manners, I am struck with the great difference between those of Frenchmen and Englishmen, of the same station in life.  The latter treat women with a politeness that seems the result of habitual amenity; the former with a homage that appears to be inspired by the peculiar claims of the sex, particularised in the individual woman, and is consequently more flattering.

An Englishman seldom lays himself out to act the agreeable to women; a Frenchman never omits an opportunity of so doing:  hence, the attentions of the latter are less gratifying than those of the former, because a woman, however free from vanity, may suppose that when an Englishman takes the trouble—­and it is evidently a trouble, more or less, to all our islanders to enact the agreeable—­she had really inspired him with the desire to please.

In France, a woman may forget that she is neither young nor handsome; for the absence of these claims to attention does not expose her to be neglected by the male sex.  In England, the elderly and the ugly “could a tale unfold” of the naivete with which men evince their sense of the importance of youth and beauty, and their oblivion of the presence of those who have neither.

France is the paradise for old women, particularly if they are spirituelle; but England is the purgatory.

The Comtesses de Bellegarde called on me to-day, and two more warm-hearted or enthusiastic persons I never saw.  Though no longer young, they possess all the gaiety of youth, without any of its thoughtlessness, and have an earnestness in their kindness that is very pleasant.

Dined yesterday at Madame Craufurd’s—­a very pleasant party.  Met there the Duc de Gramont, Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, Colonel and lady Barbara Craufurd, and Count Valeski.

The Duc de Gramont is a fine old man who has seen much of the world, without having been soured by its trials.  Faithful to his sovereign during adversity, he is affectionately cherished by the whole of the present royal family, who respect and love him; and his old age is cheered by the unceasing devotion of his children, the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, who are fondly attached to him.

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He gives up much of his time to the culture of flowers, and is more interested in the success of his dahlias than in those scenes of courtly circles in which he is called to fill so distinguished a part.  It pleased me to hear him telling his beautiful daughter-in-law of the perfection of a flower she had procured him with some trouble; and then adding:  “A propos of flowers, how is our sweet Ida, to-day?  There is no flower in my garden like her!—­Ay, she will soon be two years old.”

There is something soothing to the mind in the contemplation of a man in the evening of life, whose youth was spent in all the splendour of a court, and whose manhood has been tried by adversity, turning to Nature for her innocent pleasures, when the discovery of the futility of all others has been made.  This choice vouches for the purity of heart and goodness of him who has adopted it, and disposes me to give ample credit to all the commendation the Duchesse de Guiche used to utter of him in Italy.

Lady Barbara Craufurd is an excellent specimen of an English woman.  Pretty, without vanity or affectation; gentle, without insipidity; and simple, yet highly polished, in mariners.  She has, too, a low, “sweet voice, an excellent thing in woman,” and, to me, whose ears offer even a more direct road to the heart than do the eyes, is a peculiar attraction.

Colonel Craufurd seems to be the quintessence of good nature and of good sense.  Count Valeski is an intelligent young man, greatly a la mode at Paris, and wholly unspoilt by this distinction.  Handsome, well-bred, and agreeable, he is very popular, not only among the fine ladies but fine gentlemen here, and appears worthy of the favour he enjoys.

Several people of both sexes came in the evening to Madame Craufurd’s, and we had some excellent music.  Madame C. does the honours of her salon with peculiar grace.  She has a bright smile and a kind word for every guest, without the slightest appearance of effort.

Still house-hunting; continually tempted by elegantly decorated salons, and as continually checked by the want of room and comfort of the rest of the apartments.

We have been compelled to abandon the project of taking the Marechal Lobau’s house, or at least that portion of it which he wishes to dispose of, for we found it impossible to lodge so large an establishment as ours in it; and, though we communicated this fact with all possible courtesy to the Marechal, we have received a note in answer, written in a different style, as he is pleased to think that, having twice inspected his apartments, we ought to have taken them.

In England, a person of the Marechal’s rank who had a house to let would not show it in propria persona, but would delegate that task, as also the terms and negotiations, to some agent; thus avoiding all personal interference, and, consequently, any chance of offence:  but if people will feel angry without any just cause, it cannot be helped; and so Monsieur le Marechal must recover his serenity and acquire a temper more in analogy with his name; for, though a brave and distinguished officer, as well as a good man, which he is said to be, he certainly is not Bon comme un mouton, which is his cognomen.

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Paris is now before us,—­where to choose is the difficulty.  We saw to-day a house in the Rue St.-Honore, entre cour et jardin, a few doors from the English embassy.  The said garden is the most tempting part of the affair; for, though the salons and sleeping-rooms are good, the only entrance, except by a passage derobe for servants, is through the salle a manger, which is a great objection.

Many of the houses I have seen here have this defect, which the Parisians do not seem to consider one, although the odour of dinner must enter the salons, and that in the evening visitors must find servants occupied in removing the dinner apparatus, should they, as generally happens, come for the prima sera.

French people, however, remain so short a time at table, and dine so much earlier than the English people do, that the employment of their salle a manger as a passage does not annoy them.

Went to the opera last night, and saw the Muette de Portici.  It is admirably got up, and the costumes and scenery, as well as the tarantulas, transported me back to Naples—­dear, joyous Naples—­again.  Nourrit enacted “Massaniello,” and his rich and flexible voice gave passion and feeling to the music.  Noblet was the “Fenella,” and her pantomime and dancing were good; but Taglioni spoils one for any other dancing.

The six years that have flown over Noblet since I last saw her have left little trace of their flight, which is to be marvelled at, when one considers the violent and constant exercise that the profession of a danseuse demands.

When I saw the sylph-like Taglioni floating through the dance, I could not refrain from sighing at the thought that grace and elegance like hers should be doomed to know the withering effect of Time; and that those agile limbs should one day become as stiff and helpless as those of others.  An old danseuse is an anomaly.  She is like an old rose, rendered more displeasing by the recollection of former attractions.  Then to see the figure bounding in air, habit and effort effecting something like that which the agility peculiar to youth formerly enabled her to execute almost con amore; while the haggard face, and distorted smile revealing yellow teeth, tell a sad tale of departed youth.  Yes, an old danseuse is a melancholy object; more so, because less cared for, than the broken-down racer, or worn-out hunter.

Went to Tivoli last night, and was amused by the scene of gaiety it presented.  How unlike, and how superior to, our Vauxhall!  People of all stations, of all ages, and of both sexes, threading the mazy dance with a sprightliness that evinced the pleasure it gave them.

We paused to look at group after group, all equally enjoying themselves; and the Duchesse de Guiche, from her perfect knowledge of Paris, was enabled, by a glance, to name the station in life occupied by each:  a somewhat difficult task for a stranger, as the remarkably good taste of every class of women in Paris in dress, precludes those striking contrasts between the appearance of a modiste and a marquise, the wife of a boutiquier and a duchesse, to be met with in all other countries.

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But it is not in dress alone that a similarity exists in the exteriors of Parisian women.  The air comme il faut, the perfect freedom from all gaucherie, the ease of demeanour, the mode of walking, and, above all, the decent dignity equally removed from mauvaise honte and effrontery, appertain nearly alike to all.  The class denominated grisettes alone offered an exception, as their demonstrations of gaiety, though free from boisterousness, betrayed stronger symptoms of hilarity than were evinced by women belonging to a more elevated class in society.

The dancing, too, surprised as well as pleased me; and in this accomplishment the French still maintain their long-acknowledged superiority, for among the many groups I did not see a single bad dancer.

Around one quadrille party a more numerous audience was collected than around the others, and the entrechats of one of the gentlemen were much applauded.  Nods and smiles passing between the dancers and the Duchesse de Guiche, revealed to me that they were among the circle of her acquaintance; and, approaching nearer, I recognised in the gentleman whose entrechats were so much admired, my new acquaintance the Marquis l’Esperance de l’Aigle, of whose excellence in the mazy dance I now had an opportunity of seeing that Fame had not said too much.

The ladies who formed the quadrille were la Marquise de Marmier, the Vicomtesse de Noailles, and Madame Standish; all excellent dancers, and attired in that most becoming of all styles of dress, the demi-toilette, which is peculiar to France, and admits of the after-dinner promenades or unceremonious visits in which French ladies indulge.  A simple robe of organdie, with long sleeves, a canezou of net, a light scarf, and a pretty chapeau of paille de riz, form this becoming toilette, which is considered a suitable one for all theatres, except the Opera, where ladies go in a richer dress.

On our return from Tivoli, we had a small party to drink tea, and remained chatting till one o’clock—­a late hour for Paris.  Among the guests was our old friend Mr. T. Steuart, the nephew of Sir William Drummond, who continues to be as clever and original as ever.  His lively remarks and brilliant sallies were very amusing.

Having complained of the want of a comfortable chair last evening, I found a chef d’oeuvre of Rainguet’s in my salon this morning, sent me by my thoughtful and ever-kind friend the Duc de Guiche.  A connoisseur in chairs and sofas, being unhappily addicted to “taking mine ease” not only in “mine inn,” but wherever I meet these requisites to it, I am compelled to acknowledge the superiority of Rainguet over any that I have previously seen; and my only fear is, that this luxurious chair will seduce me into the still greater indulgence of my besetting or besitting sin, sedentary habits.

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At length, we have found a house to suit us, and a delightful one it is; once the property of the Marechal Ney, but now belonging to the Marquis de Lillers.  It is situated in the Rue de Bourbon, but the windows of the principal apartments look on the Seine, and command a delightful view of the Tuilerie Gardens.  It is approached by an avenue bounded by fine trees, and is enclosed on the Rue de Bourbon side by high walls, a large porte-cochere, and a porter’s lodge; which give it all the quiet and security of a country house.

This hotel may be viewed as a type of the splendour that marked the dwellings of the imperial noblesse, and some notion of it may be conceived from the fact that the decorations of its walls alone cost a million of francs.  These decorations are still—­thanks to the purity of the air of Paris—­as fresh as if only a year painted, and are of great beauty; so much so, that it will be not only very expensive but very difficult to assort the furniture to them; and, unfortunately, there is not a single meuble in the house.

The rent is high, but there are so many competitors for the hotel, which has only been three days in the market, that we consider ourselves fortunate in having secured it.

A small garden, or rather terrace, with some large trees and plenty of flowers, separates the house from the Quai d’Orsay, and runs back at its left angle.  The avenue terminates in a court, from which, on the right, a gate opens into the stable offices; and a vestibule, fitted up as a conservatory, forms an entrance to the house.  A flight of marble steps on each side of the conservatory, leads to a large ante-room, from which a window of one immense plate of glass, extending from the ceiling to the floor, divides the centre, permitting the pyramids of flowers to be seen through it.  A glass door on each side opens from the vestibule to the steps of the conservatory.

The vestibule, lofty and spacious, is lighted also by two other windows, beyond the conservatory, and is ornamented with pilasters with Corinthian capitals.

On the right hand is the salle a manger, a fine room, lighted by three windows looking into the court-yard, and architecturally arranged with pilasters, a rich cornice and ceiling:  the hall is stuccoed, painted in imitation of marble, and has so fine a polish as really to deceive the eye.  In the centre of this apartment is a large door between the pilasters, opening into a drawing-room, and at the opposite end from the door that opens from the vestibule is that which leads to the kitchen offices, and by which dinner is served.

Vis-a-vis to the salle a manger, and divided from it by the large vestibule, is a dressing and bed-chamber with an alcove, both rooms being ornamented with columns and pilasters, between which are mirrors of large dimensions inserted in recesses.  A corridor and escalier derobe at the back of these two apartments admit the attendance of servants, without their passing through the vestibule.

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In the centre of this last, and opposite to the large plate of glass that divides it from the conservatory, large folding doors open into the principal drawing-room, which is lighted by three large and lofty windows, the centre one exactly facing the folding doors, and, like them, supported by pilasters.

This room is of large dimensions, and finely proportioned; the sides and ends are divided by fluted pilasters with Corinthian capitals richly gilt.  At one extremity is a beautifully sculptured chimney-piece of Parian marble, over which is a vast mirror, bounded by pilasters, that separate it from a large panel on each side, in the centre of which are exquisitely designed allegorical groups.

At the opposite end, a mirror, of similar dimensions to that over the chimney-piece, and resting like it on a white marble slab, occupies the centre, on each side of which are panels with painted groups.  Doors at each end, and exactly facing, lead into other salons; opposite to the two end windows are large mirrors, resting on marble slabs, bounded by narrow panels with painted figures, and between the windows are also mirrors to correspond.  The pictorial adornments in this salon are executed by the first artists of the day, and with a total disregard of expense, so that it is not to be wondered at that they are beautiful.  Military trophies are mingled with the decorations, the whole on a white ground, and richly ornamented with gilding.  The Seine, with its boats, and the gay scene of the Tuilerie Gardens, are reflected in the mirrors opposite to the windows, while the groups on the panels are seen in the others.

Nothing can exceed the beauty of this room, in which such fine proportion, architectural decoration, and exquisite finish reign, that the eye dwells on it with delight, and can trace no defect.

The door on the right-hand end, on entering, opens to a less richly ornamented salon, inside which are two admirable bed-chambers and dressing-rooms, communicating by an escalier derobe with a suite of servants’ apartments.

The door on the left-hand end of the large salon opens into a beautiful room, known as the Salle de la Victoire, from its being decorated by paintings allegorical of Victory.  This apartment is lighted by two large windows, and opposite to them is a deep recess, or alcove.

A cornice extends around the room, about four feet beneath the ceiling, and is supported by white columns, projecting into the chamber, on each of which stands a figure of Victory offering a wreath of laurels.  This cornice divides the room from the recess before mentioned.

The chimney-piece is in a recess, with columns on each side; and the large mirror over it, and which is finished by the cornice, is faced by a similar one, also in a recess, with white columns, standing on a plinth on each side.  The windows are finished by the former cornice, that extends round the rooms, and have similar columns on each side with Victories on them, and a mirror between.  The room is white and gold, with delicate arabesques, and medallions exquisitely painted.

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This salon communicates with a corridor behind it, which admits the attendance of servants without the necessity of their passing through the other apartments.  Inside this salon is a chambre a coucher, that looks as if intended for some youthful queen, so beautiful are its decorations.  A recess, the frieze of which rests on two white columns with silvered capitals, is meant to receive a bed.

One side of the room is panelled with mirrors, divided by pilasters with silver capitals; and on the opposite side, on which is the chimney, similar panels occupy the same space.  The colour of the apartment is a light blue, with silver mouldings to all the panels, and delicate arabesques of silver.  The chimney-piece and dogs for the wood have silvered ornaments to correspond.

Inside this chamber is the dressing-room, which is of an octagon shape, and panelled likewise with mirrors, in front of each of which are white marble slabs to correspond with that of the chimney-piece.  The mouldings and architectural decorations are silvered, and arabesques of flowers are introduced.

This room opens into a salle de bain of an elliptical form; the bath, of white marble, is sunk in the pavement, which is tessellated.  From the ceiling immediately over the bath hangs an alabaster lamp, held by the beak of a dove; the rest of the ceiling being painted with Cupids throwing flowers.  The room is panelled with alternate mirrors and groups of allegorical subjects finely executed; and is lighted by one window, composed of a single plate of glass opening into a little spot of garden secluded from the rest.  A small library completes the suite I have described, all the apartments of which are on the ground floor.  There are several other rooms in a wing in the court-yard, and the whole are in perfect order.

I remembered to-day, when standing in the principal drawing-room, the tragic scene narrated to me by Sir Robert Wilson as having taken place there, when he had an interview with the Princesse de la Moskowa, after the condemnation of her brave husband.

He told me, years ago, how the splendour of the decorations of the salon—­decorations meant to commemorate the military glory of the Marechal Ney—­added to the tragic effect of the scene in which that noble-minded woman, overwhelmed with horror and grief, turned away with a shudder from objects that so forcibly reminded her of the brilliant past, and so fearfully contrasted with the terrible present.

He described to me the silence, broken only by the sobs that heaved her agonised bosom; the figures of the few trusted friends permitted to enter the presence of the distracted wife, moving about with noiseless steps, as if fearful of disturbing the sacredness of that grief to offer consolation for which they felt their tongues could form no words, so deeply did their hearts sympathise with it.

He told me that the images of these friends in the vast mirrors looked ghostly in the dim twilight of closed blinds, the very light of day having become insupportable to the broken-hearted wife, so soon to be severed for ever, and by a violent death, from the husband she adored.  Ah, if these walls could speak, what agony would they reveal! and if mirrors could retain the shadows replete with despair they once reflected, who dare look on them?

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I thought of all this to-day, until the tears came into my eyes, and I almost determined not to hire the house, so powerfully did the recollection of the past affect me:  but I remembered that such is the fate of mankind; that there are no houses in which scenes of misery have not taken place, and in which breaking hearts have not been ready to prompt the exclamation “There is no sorrow like mine.”

How is the agony of such moments increased by the recollection that in the same chamber where such bitter grief now reigns, joy and pleasure once dwelt, and that those who shared it can bless us no more!  How like a cruel mockery, then, appear the splendour and beauty of all that meets the eye, unchanged as when it was in unison with our feelings, but which now jars so fearfully with them!

I wonder not that the bereaved wife fled from this house, where every object reminded her of a husband so fondly loved, so fearfully lost, to mourn in some more humble abode over the fate of him who could no more resist the magical influence of the presence of that glorious chief, who had so often led him to victory, than the war-horse can resist being animated by the sound of that trumpet which has often excited the proud animal into ardour.

Peace be to thy manes, gallant Ney; and if thy spirit be permitted to look down on this earth, it will be soothed by the knowledge that the wife of thy bosom has remained faithful to thy memory; and that thy sons, worthy of their sire—­brave, noble, and generous-hearted—­are devoted to their country, for which thou hadst so often fought and bled!


To my surprise and pleasure, I find that a usage exists at Paris which I have nowhere else met with, namely, that of letting out rich and fine furniture by the quarter, half, or whole year, in any quantity required for even the largest establishment, and on the shortest notice.

I feared that we should be compelled to buy furniture, or else to put up with an inferior sort, little imagining that the most costly can be procured on hire, and even a large mansion made ready for the reception of a family in forty-eight hours.  This is really like Aladdin’s lamp, and is a usage that merits being adopted in all capitals.

We have made an arrangement, that if we decide on remaining in Paris more than a year, and wish to purchase the furniture, the sum agreed to be paid for the year’s hire is to be allowed in the purchase-money, which is to be named when the inventory is made out.

We saw the house for the first time yesterday; engaged it to-day for a year; to-morrow, the upholsterer will commence placing the furniture in it; and to-morrow night we are to sleep in it.  This is surely being very expeditious, and saves a world of trouble as well as of wailing.

Spent last evening at Madame Craufurd’s.  Met there the Prince and Princesse Castelcicala, with their daughter, who is a very handsome woman.  The Prince was a long time Ambassador from Naples at the Court of St. James, and he now fills the same station at that of France.

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The Princesse is sister to our friend Prince Ischetella at Naples, and, like all her country-women, appears sensible and unaffected.  She and Mademoiselle Dorotea speak English perfectly well, and profess a great liking to England and its inhabitants.  The Dowager Lady Hawarden, the Marquise de Brehan, the Baroness d’Etlingen, Madame d’Ocaris, Lady Barbara Craufurd, and Lady Combermere, composed the rest of the female portion of the party.

Lady Hawarden has been very pretty:  what a melancholy phrase is this same has been!  The Marquise de Brehan is still a very fine woman; Lady Combermere is very agreeable, and sings with great expression; and the rest of the ladies, always excepting Lady Barbara Craufurd, who is very pretty, were very much like most other ladies of a certain time of life—­addicted to silks and blondes, and well aware of their relative prices.

Madame Craufurd is very amusing.  With all the naivete of a child, she possesses a quick perception of character and a freshness of feeling rarely found in a person of her advanced age, and her observations are full of originality.

The tone of society at Paris is very agreeable.  Literature, the fine arts, and the general occurrences of the day, furnish the topics for conversation, from which ill-natured remarks are exploded.  A ceremoniousness of manner, reminding one of la Vieille Cour, and probably rendered a la mode by the restoration of the Bourbons, prevails; as well as a strict observance of deferential respect from the men towards the women, while these last seem to assume that superiority accorded to them in manner, if not entertained in fact, by the sterner sex.

The attention paid by young men to old women in Parisian society is very edifying, and any breach of it would be esteemed nothing short of a crime.  This attention is net evinced by any flattery, except the most delicate—­a profound silence when these belles of other days recount anecdotes of their own times, or comment on the occurrences of ours, or by an alacrity to perform the little services of picking up a fallen mouchoir de poche, bouquet, or fan, placing a shawl, or handing to a carriage.

If flirtations exist at Paris, they certainly are not exhibited in public; and those between whom they are supposed to be established observe a ceremonious decorum towards each other, well calculated to throw discredit on the supposition.  This appearance of reserve may be termed hypocrisy; nevertheless, even the semblance of propriety is advantageous to the interests of society; and the entire freedom from those marked attentions, engrossing conversations, and from that familiarity of manner often permitted in England, without even a thought of evil on the part of the women who permit these indiscretions, leaves to Parisian circles an air of greater dignity and decorum, although I am not disposed to admit that the persons who compose them really possess more dignity or decorum than my compatriots.

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Count Charles de Mornay was presented to me to-day.  Having heard of him only as—­

     “The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
     The observed of all observers,”

I was agreeably surprised to find him one of the most witty, well-informed, and agreeable young men I have ever seen.  Gay without levity, well-read without pedantry, and good-looking without vanity.  Of how few young men of fashion could this be said!  But I am persuaded that Count Charles de Mornay is made to be something better than a mere man of fashion.

Spent all the morning in the Hotel Ney, superintending the placing of the furniture.  There is nothing so like the magicians we read of as Parisian upholsterers; for no sooner have they entered a house, than, as if touched by the hand of the enchanter, it assumes a totally different aspect.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I entered our new dwelling, to-day.

Already were the carpets—­and such carpets, too—­laid down on the salons; the curtains were hung; consoles, sofas, tables, and chairs placed, and lustres suspended.  In short, the rooms looked perfectly habitable.

The principal drawing-room has a carpet of dark crimson with a gold-coloured border, on which is a wreath of flowers that looks as if newly culled from the garden, so rich, varied, and bright are their hues.  The curtains are of crimson satin, with embossed borders of gold-colour; and the sofas, bergeres, fauteuils, and chairs, richly carved and gilt, are covered with satin to correspond with the curtains.

Gilt consoles, and chiffonnieres, with white marble tops, are placed wherever they could be disposed; and, on the chimney pieces, are fine pendules.

The next drawing-room, which I have appropriated as my sitting-room, is furnished with blue satin, with rich white flowers.  It has a carpet of a chocolate-coloured ground with a blue border, round which is a wreath of bright flowers, and carved and gilt sofas, bergeres, and fauteuils, covered with blue satin like the curtains.

The recess we have lined with fluted blue silk, with a large mirror placed in the centre of it, and five beautiful buhl cabinets around, on which I intend to dispose all my treasures of old Sevre china, and ruby glass.

I was told by the upholsterer, that he had pledged himself to milord that miladi was not to see her chambre a coucher, or dressing-room, until they were furnished.  This I well knew was some scheme laid by Lord B. to surprise me, for he delights in such plans.

He will not tell me what is doing in the rooms, and refuses all my entreaties to enter them, but shakes his head, and says he thinks I will be pleased when I see them; and so I think, too, for the only complaint I ever have to make of his taste is its too great splendour—­a proof of which he gave me when I went to Mountjoy Forest on my marriage, and found my private sitting-room hung with crimson Genoa silk velvet, trimmed with gold bullion fringe, and all the furniture of equal richness—­a richness that was only suited to a state room in a palace.

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We feel like children with a new plaything, in our beautiful house; but how, after it, shall we ever be able to reconcile ourselves to the comparatively dingy rooms in St. James’s Square, which no furniture or decoration could render any thing like the Hotel Ney?

The Duc and Duchesse de Guiche leave Paris, to my great regret, in a few days, and will be absent six weeks.  He is to command the encampment at Luneville, and she is to do the honours—­giving dinners, balls, concerts, and soirees, to the ladies who accompany their lords to “the tented field,” and to the numerous visitors who resort to see it.  They have invited us to go to them, but we cannot accept their kindness.  They are

     “On hospitable thoughts intent,”

and will, I doubt not, conciliate the esteem of all with whom they come in contact.

He is so well bred, that the men pardon his superiority both of person and manner; and she is so warm-hearted and amiable, that the women, with a few exceptions, forgive her rare beauty.  How we shall miss them, and the dear children, too!

Drove in the Bois de Boulogne yesterday, with the Duchesse de Guiche:  met my old acquaintance, Lord Yarmouth, who is as amusing and original as ever.

He has great natural talent and knowledge of the world, but uses both to little purpose, save to laugh at its slaves.  He might be any thing he chose, but he is too indolent for exertion, and seems to think le jeu ne vaut pas la chandelle.  He is one of the many clever people spoilt by being born to a great fortune and high rank, advantages which exclude the necessity of exercising the talents he possesses.

It is, however, no trifling merit, that born to immense wealth and high station, he should he wholly free from arrogance, or ostentation.

At length, the secret is out, the doors of my chambre a coucher and dressing-room are opened, and I am delighted with both.  The whole fitting up is in exquisite taste, and, as usual, when my most gallant of all gallant husbands that it ever fell to the happy lot of woman to possess, interferes, no expense has been spared.

The bed, which is silvered, instead of gilt, rests on the backs of two large silver swans, so exquisitely sculptured that every feather is in alto-relievo, and looks nearly as fleecy as those of the living bird.  The recess in which it is placed is lined with white fluted silk, bordered with blue embossed lace; and from the columns that support the frieze of the recess, pale blue silk curtains, lined with white, are hung, which, when drawn, conceal the recess altogether.

The window curtain is of pale blue silk, with embroidered muslin curtains, trimmed with lace inside them, and have borders of blue and white lace to match those of the recess.

A silvered sofa has been made to fit the side of the room opposite the fire-place, near to which stands a most inviting bergere.  An ecritoire occupies one panel, a bookstand the other, and a rich coffer for jewels forms a pendant to a similar one for lace, or India shawls.

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A carpel of uncut pile, of a pale blue, a silver lamp, and a Psyche glass, the ornaments silvered to correspond with the decorations of the chamber, complete the furniture.  The hangings of the dressing-room are of blue silk, covered with lace, and trimmed with rich frills of the same material, as are also the dressing-stools and chaise longue, and the carpet and lamp are similar to those of the bed-room.

A toilette table stands before the window, and small jardinieres are placed in front of each panel of looking-glass, but so low as not to impede a full view of the person dressing in this beautiful little sanctuary.

The salle de bain is draped with white muslin trimmed with lace, and the sofa and bergere are covered with the same.  The bath is of white marble, inserted in the floor, with which its surface is level.  On the ceiling over it, is a painting of Flora scattering flowers with one hand while from the other is suspended an alabaster lamp, in the form of a lotos.

A more tasteful or elegant suite of apartments cannot be imagined; and all this perfection of furniture has been completed in three days!  Lord B. has all the merit of the taste, and the upholsterer that of the rapidity and excellence of the execution.

The effect of the whole suite is chastely beautiful; and a queen could desire nothing better for her own private apartments.  Few queens, most probably, ever had such tasteful ones.

Our kind friend, Charles Mills, has arrived from Rome,—­amiable and agreeable as ever.  He dined with us yesterday, and we talked over the pleasant days spent in the Vigna Palatina, his beautiful villa.

Breakfasted to-day in the Rue d’Anjou, a take-leave repast given to the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche by Madame Craufurd.  Lady Barbara and Colonel Craufurd were of the party, which was the only triste one I have seen in that house.  The Duc de Gramont was there, and joined in the regret we all felt at seeing our dear friends drive away.

It was touching to behold Madame Craufurd, kissing again and again her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, the tears streaming down her cheeks, and the venerable Duc de Gramont, scarcely less moved, embracing his son and daughter-in-law, and exhorting the latter to take care of her health, while the dear little Ida, his granddaughter, not yet two years old, patted his cheeks, and smiled in his face.

It is truly delightful to witness the warm affection that subsists between relatives in France, and the dutiful and respectful attention paid by children to their parents.  In no instance have I seen this more strongly exemplified than in the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, whose unceasing tenderness towards the good Duc de Gramont not only makes his happiness, but is gratifying to all who behold it, as is also their conduct to Madame Craufurd.

I wish the encampment was over, and those dear friends back again.

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Took possession of our new house to-day, and are delighted with it.  Its repose and quiet are very agreeable, after the noise and bustle of the Rue de Rivoli.  Spent several hours in superintending the arrangement of my books, china, bijouterie, and flowers, and the rooms look as habitable as if we had lived in them for weeks.  How fortunate we are to have found so charming an abode!

A chasm here occurs in my journal, occasioned by the arrival of some dear relatives from England, with whom I was too much occupied to have time to journalise.  What changes five years effect in young people!  The dear girls I left children are now grown into women, but are as artless and affectionate as in childhood.  I could hardly believe my eyes when I saw them, yet I soon traced the same dear countenances, and marvelled that though changed from the round, dimpled ones of infancy, to the more delicate oval of maidenly beauty, the expression of gaiety and innocence of their faces is still the same.

A week has passed rapidly by, and now that they have returned to England, their visit appears like a dream.  I wish it had been longer, for I have seen only enough of them to wish to see a great deal more.

The good Mrs. W. and her lively, clever, and her pretty daughter, Mrs. R., dined with us yesterday.  They are en route for England, but give many a sigh to dear Italy.  It was pleasant to talk over the happy days passed there, which we did with that tender regret with which the past is always referred to by those who have sensibility, and they possess no ordinary portion of this lovable quality.  Les Dames Bellegarde also dined with us, and they English friends took a mutual fancy to each other.  I like the Bellegardes exceedingly.

Our old friend, Lord Lilford, is at Paris, and is as amiable and kind-hearted as ever.  He dined with us yesterday, and we talked over the pleasant days we spent at Florence.  Well-educated, and addicted to neither of the prevalent follies of the day, racing nor gaming, he only requires a little ambition to prompt him to exertion, in order to become a useful, as well as an agreeable member of the community, but with a good fortune and rank, he requires an incentive to action.

Met last evening at Madame Craufurd’s the Marquis and Marquise Zamperi of Bologna.  She is pretty and agreeable, and he is original and amusing.  They were very civil, and expressed regret at not having been at Bologna when we were there.

Had a visit from Count Alexandre de Laborde to-day.  His conversation is lively and entertaining.  Full of general information and good sense, he is no niggard in imparting the results of both to those with whom he comes in contact, and talks fluently, if not always faultlessly, in Italian and English.

The Marquis de Mornay and his brother Count Charles de Mornay dined here yesterday.  How many associations of the olden time are recalled by this ancient and noble name, Mornay du Plessis!

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The Marquis is agreeable, sensible, well-informed, and well-bred.  Though justly proud of his high descent, the consciousness of it is never rendered visible by any symptom of that arrogance too often met with in those who have less cause for pride, and can only be traced by a natural dignity and bearing, worthy a descendant of the noble Sully.

Count Charles de Mornay is a very remarkable young man.  With a brilliant wit, the sallies of which can “set the table in a roar;” it is never used at the expense of others, and, when he chooses to be grave, the quickness and justice of his perception, and the fine tact and good sense which mark his reflections, betray a mind of no common order, and give the promise of future distinction.

Nothing can be more agreeable than the mode in which I pass my time here.  I read from nine until twelve:  order the household arrangements, and inspect the menu at twelve:  write letters or journalise from one until four; drive out till six or half-past; return home, dress, dine, pay visits, or receive them at home, and get to bed at one o’clock.

How much preferable is the French system of evening visits, to the English custom of morning ones, which cut up time so abominably!  Few who have lived much abroad could submit patiently to have their mornings broken in upon, when evening, which is the most suitable time for relaxation, can be enlivened by the visits that are irksome at other hours.

Paris is now nearly as empty as London is in September; all the elite of French fashionable society having taken their departure for their country houses, or for the different baths they frequent.  I, who like not crowds, prefer Paris at this season to any other, and shall be rather sorry than glad when it fills again.

Madame Craufurd, Lady Barbara and Colonel Craufurd, the Ducs de Gramont, Dalberg, and Mouchy, dined with us yesterday.  We had music in the evening, The Duc Dalberg is agreeable and well-bred, and his manner has that suavity, mingled with reserve, said to be peculiar to those who have lived much at courts, and filled diplomatic situations.

The Duc was Minister Plenipotentiary from Baden at Paris, when Napoleon was First Consul, and escaped not censure on the occasion of the seizure of the unfortunate Duc d’Enghien; of the intention of which it was thought he ought to have apprised his court, and so have prevented an event which has entailed just blame on all concerned in it, as well as on some who were innocent.

There is nothing in the character of the Duc Dalberg to warrant a belief of his being capable of lending himself to aught that was disloyal, for he is an excellent man in all the relations of life, and is esteemed and respected by as large a circle of friends as most persons who have filled high situations can boast of.

The Duc de Mouchy is a very amiable as well as high-bred man; he has been in England, and speaks English with fluency.

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Letters from the camp of Luneville, received from our dear friends to-day, give a very animated description of their doings there.  The Duc de Mouchy told me yesterday that they were winning golden opinions from all with whom they came in contact there, by their urbanity and hospitality.  He said that people were not prepared to find the handsomest and most fashionable woman at Paris, “the observed of all observers,” and the brightest ornament of the French court, doing the honours to the wives of the officers of the camp with an amiability that has captivated them all.  The good Duc de Gramont was delighted at hearing this account, for never was there a more affectionate father.

Went with a party yesterday to Montmorency.  Madame Craufurd, the Comtesse de Gand, the Baronne d’Ellingen, Comte F. de Belmont, and our own circle, formed the party.  It was gratifying to witness how much dear Madame Craufurd enjoyed the excursion; she even rode on a donkey through the woods, and the youngest person of the party did not enter into the amusement with more spirit and gaiety.  Montmorency is a charming place, but not so the road to it, which, being paved, is very tiresome.

We visited the hermitage where Rousseau wrote so many of his works, but in which this strange and unhappy man found not that peace so long sought by him in vain, and to which his own wayward temper and suspicious nature offered an insurmountable obstacle.

As I sat in this humble abode, and looked around on the objects once familiar to his eyes, I could not resist the sentiment of pity that filled my breast, at the recollection that even in this tranquil asylum, provided by friendship [2], and removed from the turmoil of the busy world, so repugnant to his taste, the jealousies, the heart-burnings, and the suspicions, that empoisoned his existence followed him, rendering his life not only a source of misery to himself, but of pain to others; for no one ever conferred kindness on him without becoming the object of his suspicion, if not of his aversion.

The life of Rousseau is one of the most humiliating episodes in the whole history of literary men, and the most calculated to bring genius into disrepute:  yet the misery he endured more than avenged the wrongs he inflicted; and, while admiring the productions of a genius, of which even his enemies could not deny him the possession, we are more than ever compelled to avow how unavailing is this glorious gift to confer happiness on its owner, or to secure him respect or esteem, if unaccompanied by goodness.

Who can reflect on the life of this man without a sense of the danger to which Genius exposes its children, and a pity for their sufferings, though too often self-inflicted?  Alas! the sensibility which is one of the most invariable characteristics of Genius, and by which its most glorious efforts are achieved, if excited into unhealthy action by over-exercise, not unseldom renders its possessor unreasonable and wretched, while his works are benefiting or delighting others, and while the very persons who most highly appreciate them are often the least disposed to pardon the errors of their author.

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As the dancer, by the constant practice of her art, soon loses that roundness of contour which is one of the most beautiful peculiarities of her sex, the muscles of the legs becoming unnaturally developed at the expense of the rest of the figure, so does the man of genius, by the undue exercise of this gift, acquire an irritability that soon impairs the temper, and renders his excess of sensibility a torment to himself and to others.

The solitude necessary to the exercise of Genius is another fruitful source of evil to its children.  Abstracted from the world, they are apt to form a false estimate of themselves and of it, and to entertain exaggerated expectations from it.  Their morbid feelings are little able to support the disappointment certain to ensue, and they either rush into a reprisal of imaginary wrongs, by satire on others, or inflict torture on themselves by the belief, often erroneous, of the injuries they have sustained.

I remembered in this abode a passage in one of the best letters ever written by Rousseau, and addressed to Voltaire, on the subject of his poem, entitled Sur la Loi Naturelle, et sur le Desastre de Lisbonne; in which, referring to an assertion of Voltaire’s that few persons would wish to live over again on the condition of enduring the same trials, and which Rousseau combats by urging that it is only the rich, fatigued by their pleasures, or literary men, of whom he writes—­“Des gens de lettres, de tous les ordres d’hommes le plus sedentaire, le plus malsain, le plus reflechissant, et, par consequent, le plus malheureux,” who would decline to live over again, had they the power.

This description of men of letters, written by one of themselves, is a melancholy, but, alas! a true one, and should console the enviers of genius for the want of a gift that but too often entails such misery on its possessors.

The church of Montmorency is a good specimen of Gothic architecture, and greatly embellishes the little town, which is built on the side of a hill, and commands a delicious view of the chestnut forest and valley, clothed with pretty villas, that render it so much and so justly admired.

It was amusing to listen to the diversity of opinions entertained by our party relative to Rousseau, as we wandered through the scenes which he so often frequented; each individual censuring or defending him, according to the bias of his or her disposition.  On one point all agreed; which was, that, if judged by his actions, little could be said in mitigation of the conduct of him who, while writing sentiments fraught with passion and tenderness, could consign his offspring to a foundling hospital!

Having visited every object worthy of attention at Montmorency, we proceeded to Enghien, to examine the baths established there.  The building is of vast extent, containing no less than forty chambers, comfortably furnished for the accommodation of bathers; and a good restaurateur furnishes the repasts.  The apartments command a beautiful view, and the park of St.-Gratien offers a delightful promenade to the visitors of Enghien.

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Our route back to Paris was rendered very agreeable by the lively and clever conversation of the Comtesse de Gand.  I have rarely met with a more amusing person.

With a most retentive memory, she possesses the tact that does not always accompany this precious gift—­that of only repeating what is perfectly a propos and interesting, with a fund of anecdotes that might form an inexhaustible capital for a professional diner-out to set up with; an ill-natured one never escapes her lips, and yet—­hear it all ye who believe, or act as if ye believe, that malice and wit are inseparable allies!—­it would be difficult to find a more entertaining and lively companion.

Our old friend, Col.  E. Lygon, came to see us to-day, and is as amiable as ever.  He is a specimen of a military man of which England may well be proud.

The Ducs de Talleyrand and Dino, the Marquis de Mornay, the Marquis de Dreux-Breze, and Count Charles de Mornay, dined here yesterday.  The Marquis de Breze is a clever man, and his conversation is highly interesting.  Well-informed and sensible, he has directed much of his attention to politics without being, as is too often the case with politicians, wholly engrossed by them.  He appears to me to be a man likely to distinguish himself in public life.

There could not be found two individuals more dissimilar, or more formed for furnishing specimens of the noblemen of la Vieille Cour and the present time, than the Duc de Talleyrand and the Marquis de Dreux-Breze.  The Duc, well-dressed and well-bred, but offering in his toilette and in his manners irrefragable evidence that both have been studied, and his conversation bearing that high polish and urbanity which, if not always characteristics of talent, conceal the absence of it, represents l’ancien regime, when les grands seigneurs were more desirous to serve les belles dames than their country, and more anxious to be distinguished in the salons of the Faubourg St.-Germain than in the Chambre de Parlement.

The Marquis de Dreux-Breze, well-dressed and well-bred, too, appears not to have studied either his toilette or his manners; and, though by no means deficient in polite attention to women, seems to believe that there are higher and more praiseworthy pursuits than that of thinking only how to please them, and bestows more thought on the Chambre des Pairs than on the salons a la mode.

One is a passive and ornamental member of society, the other a useful and active politician, I have remarked that the Frenchmen of high birth of the present time all seem disposed to take pains in fitting themselves for the duties of their station.  They read much and with profit, travel much more than formerly, and are free from the narrow prejudices against other countries, which, while they prove not a man’s attachment to his own, offer one of the most insurmountable of all barriers to that good understanding so necessary to be maintained between nations.

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Dined yesterday at St.-Cloud with the Baron and Baroness de Ruysch; a very agreeable and intellectual pair, who have made a little paradise around them in the shape of an English pleasure ground, blooming with rare shrubs and flowers.

Our old friend, Mr. Douglas Kinnaird—­“the honourable Dug,” as poor Lord Byron used to call him—­paid me a visit to-day.  I had not seen him for seven years, and these same years have left their traces on his brow.  He is in delicate health, and is only come over to Paris for a very few days.

He has lived in the same scenes and in the same routine that we left him, wholly engrossed by them, while

     “I’ve taught me other tongues, and in strange eyes
     Have made me not a stranger;”

and wonder how people can be content to dwell whole years in so circumscribed, however useful, a circle.

Those who live much in London seem to me to have tasted the lotus which, according to the fable of old, induced forgetfulness of the past, so wholly are they engrossed by the present, and by the vortex in which they find themselves plunged.

Much as I like England, and few love it more dearly, I should not like to pass all the rest of my life in it. All, all:  it is thus we ever count on futurity, reckoning as if our lives were certain of being prolonged, when we know not that the all on which we so boldly calculate may not be terminated in a day, nay, even in an hour.  Who is there that can boast an English birth, that would not wish to die at home and rest in an English grave?

Sir Francis Burdett has arrived, and means to stay some time here.  He called on us yesterday with Colonel Leicester Stanhope, and is as agreeable and good-natured as ever.  He is much feted at Paris, and receives great attention from the Duc d’Orleans, who has offered him his boxes at the theatres, and shews him all manner of civilities.

Colonel Leicester Stanhope gave me some interesting details of poor Byron’s last days in Greece, and seems to have duly appreciated his many fine qualities, in spite of the errors that shrouded but could not eclipse them.  The fine temper and good breeding that seem to be characteristic of the Stanhope family, have not degenerated in this branch of it; and his manner, as well as his voice and accent, remind me very forcibly of my dear old friend his father, who is one of the most amiable, as well as agreeable men I ever knew, and who I look forward with pleasure to meeting on my return home.

The Marquise Palavicini from Genoa, her daughter-in-law the Princesse Doria, sir Francis Burdett, and Colonel Leicester Stanhope, dined with us yesterday.  The marquise Palavicini is a very sensible and agreeable woman, and the Princesse Doria is very pretty and amiable.  Like most of her countrywomen, this young and attractive person is wholly free from that affectation which deteriorates from so many of the women of other countries; and the simplicity of her manner, which is as remote from gaucherie as it is from affectation, invests her with a peculiar charm.

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We talked over Genoa, where we have spent so many pleasant days, and the beautiful gardens of the villa Palavicini, the possession of which has always tempted me to envy its owner.  I have never passed an hour in the society of Italian women without feeling the peculiar charm of their manner, and wishing that its ease and simplicity were more generally adopted.

The absence of any effort to shine, the gentleness without insipidity, the liveliness without levity, and above all, the perfect good nature that precludes aught that could be disagreeable to others, form the distinguishing characteristics of the manner of Italian women from the princess to the peasant, and are alike practised by both towards all with whom they converse.

Lord Darnley and Lord Charlemont dined here yesterday.  It is pleasant to see old and familiar faces again, even though the traces of Time on their brows recall to mind the marks which the ruthless tyrant must have inflicted on our own.  We all declared that we saw no change in each other, but the looks of surprise and disappointment exchanged at meeting contradicted the assertion.

Mr. Charles Young, the tragedian, dined here to-day.  We were very glad to see him again, for he is a very estimable as well as agreeable member of society, and reflects honour on his profession.

Lord Lansdowne came here with Count Flahault this evening.  It is now seven years since I last saw him, but time has dealt kindly with him during that period, as it ever does to those who possess equanimity of mind and health of body.  Lord Lansdowne has always appeared to me to be peculiarly formed for a statesman.

With a fortune that exempts him from incurring even the suspicion of mercenary motives for holding office, and a rank which precludes that of entertaining the ambition of seeking a higher, he is free from the angry passions that more or loss influence the generality of other men.  To an unprejudiced mind, he joins self-respect without arrogance, self-possession without effrontery, solid and general information, considerable power of application to business, a calm and gentlemanly demeanour, and an urbanity of manner which, while it conciliates good will, never descends to, or encourages, familiarity.

A lover and liberal patron of the fine arts, he is an encourager of literature, and partial to the society of literary men; irreproachable in private life, and respected in public, what is there wanting to render him faultless?

I, who used to enjoy a good deal of his society in England, am of opinion, that the sole thing wanting is the warmth and cordiality of manner which beget friends and retain partisans, and without which no minister can count on constant supporters.

It is a curious circumstance, that the political party to which Lord Lansdowne is opposed can boast a man among those most likely to hold the reins of government, to whom all that I have said of Lord Lansdowne might, with little modification, be applied.  I refer to Sir Robert Peel, whose acquaintance I enjoyed in England; and who is much younger, and perhaps bolder, than Lord Lansdowne.

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Happy, in my opinion, is the country which possesses such men; though the friends and admirers of each would probably feel little disposed to admit any comparison to be instituted between them, and would deride, if not assail, any one for making it.

Sir Francis Burdell dined here yesterday, and we had the Count Alexandra de Laborde and Count Charles de Mornay, to meet him.  Several people came in the evening.  I have lent a pile of books to Sir F. B., who continues to read as much as formerly, and forgets nothing that he peruses.  His information is, consequently, very extensive, and renders his conversation very interesting.  His thirst for knowledge is insatiable, and leads him to every scientific resort where it may be gratified.

Spent last evening at Madame Craufurd’s.  Met there, the Princesse Castelcicala and her daughter, Lady Drummond, Mr. T. Steuart, and various others—­among them, a daughter of the Marquess of Ailesbury, who has married a French nobleman, and resides in Paris.

Lady Drummond talked to me a good deal of Sir William, and evinced much respect for his memory.  She is proud, and she may well be so, of having been the wife of such a man; though there was but little sympathy between their tastes and pursuits, and his death can produce so little change in her habits of life, that she can scarcely be said to miss him.

He passed his days and the greater portion of his nights in reading or writing, living in a suite of rooms literally filled with books; the tables, chairs, sofas, and even the floors, being encumbered with them, going out only for a short time in a carriage to get a little air, or occasionally to dine out.

He seldom saw Lady Drummond, except at dinner, surrounded by a large party.  She passed, as she still passes her time, in the duties of an elaborate toilette, paying or receiving visits, giving or going to fetes, and playing with her lap-dog.  A strange wife for one of the most intellectual men of his day!  And yet this total dissimilarity produced no discord between them; for she was proud of his acquirements, and he was indulgent to her less spirituelle tastes.

Lady Drummond does much good at Naples; for, while the beau monde of that gay capital are entertained in a style of profuse hospitality at her house, the poor find her charity dispensed with a liberal hand in all their exigencies; so that her vast wealth is a source of comfort to others as well as to herself.

I have been reading Vivian Grey—­a very wild, but very clever book, full of genius in its unpruned luxuriance; the writer revels in all the riches of a brilliant imagination, and expends them prodigally—­dazzling, at one moment, by his passionate eloquence, and, at another, by his touching pathos.

A pleasant dinner-party, yesterday.  The Duc de Mouchy, the Marquis de Mornay, Count Flahault, the Count Maussion, Mons. de Montrond, and Mr. Standish, were the guests.  Count Flahault is so very agreeable and gentlemanly a man, that no one can call in question the taste of the Baroness Keith in selecting him for her husband.

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Mr. Standish has married a French lady, accomplished, clever, and pretty.  Intermarriages between French and English are now not unfrequent; and it is pleasant to observe the French politeness and bon ton ingrafted on English sincerity and good sense.  Of this, Mr. Standish offers a very good example; for, while he has acquired all the Parisian ruse of manner, he has retained all the English good qualities for which he has always been esteemed.


Charles Kemble dined here yesterday, and in the evening read to us his daughter Fanny’s Tragedy of Francis the First—­a very wonderful production for so young a girl.  There is considerable vigour in many parts of this work, and several passages in it reminded me of the old dramatists.  The character of “Louisa of Savoy” is forcibly drawn—­wonderfully so, indeed, when considered as the production of so youthful a person.  The constant association with minds deeply imbued with a love of the old writers, must have greatly influenced the taste of Miss Kemble.

Francis the First bears irrefragable evidence that her reading has lain much among the old poets, and that Shakspeare is one of her most favourite ones.  “Triboulet,” the king’s jester, may be instanced as an example of this; and “Margaret of Valois” furnishes another.  “Francoise de Foix” is a more original conception; timid, yet fond, sacrificing her honour to save her brother’s life, but rendered wretched by remorse; and not able to endure the presence of her affianced husband, who, believing her pure and sinless as he left her, appeals to her, when “Gonzales” reveals her shame.

This same “Gonzales,” urged on by vengeance, and ready to do aught—­nay, more than “may become a man,”—­to seek its gratification, is a boldly drawn character.

The introduction of the poet “Clement Marot” is no less happy than judicious; and Miss Kemble gives him a very beautiful speech, addressed to his master “Francis the First,” in which the charm that reigns about the presence of a pure woman is so eloquently described, as to have reminded me of the exquisite passage in Comus, although there is not any plagiary in Miss Kemble’s speech.

A poetess herself, she has rendered justice to the character of Clement Marot, whose honest indignation at being employed to bear a letter from the amorous “Francis” to the sister of “Lautrec,” she has very gracefully painted.

The “Constable Bourbon” is well drawn, and has some fine speeches assigned to him; and “Gonzales” gives a spirited description of the difference between encountering death in the battle-field, surrounded by all the spirit-stirring “pomp and circumstance of glorious war,” and meeting the grisly tyrant on the scaffold, attended by all the ignominious accessories of a traitor’s doom.

This Tragedy, when given to the public, will establish Miss Kemble’s claims to distinction in the literary world, and add another laurel to those acquired by her family.

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There are certain passages in the speeches of “Gonzales,” that, in my opinion, require to be revised, lest they should provoke censures from the fastidious critics of the present time, who are prone to detect evil of which the authors, whose works they analyse, are quite unconscious.  Innocence sometimes leads young writers to a freedom of expression from which experienced ones would shrink back in alarm; and the perusal of the old dramatists gives a knowledge of passions, and of sins, known only through their medium, but the skilful developement of which, subjects a female writer, and more particularly a youthful one, to ungenerous animadversion.  It is to be hoped, that the friends of this gifted girl will so prune the luxuriance of her pen, as to leave nothing to detract from a work so creditable to her genius.

Charles Kemble rendered ample justice to his daughter’s Tragedy by his mode of reading it; and we counted not the hours devoted to the task.  How many reminiscences of the olden time were called up by hearing him!

I remembered those pleasant evenings when he used to read to us in London, hour after hour, until the timepiece warned us to give over.  I remembered, too, John Kemble—­“the great John Kemble,” as Lord Guildford used to call him—­twice or thrice reading to us with Sir T. Lawrence; and the tones of Charles Kemble’s voice, and the expression of his face, forcibly reminded me of our departed friend.

I have scarcely met with a more high-bred man, or a more agreeable companion, than Charles Kemble.  Indeed, were I called on to name the professional men I have known most distinguished for good breeding and manners, I should name our four tragedians,—­the two Kembles, Young, and Macready.

Sir Francis Burdett dined here yesterday en famille, and we passed two very pleasant hours.  He related to us many amusing and interesting anecdotes connected with his political life.

Went to the Opera in the evening, whither he accompanied us.  I like my box very much.  It is in the centre of the house, is draped with pale blue silk, and has very comfortable chairs.  The Parisians are, I find, as addicted to staring as the English; for many were the glasses levelled last night at Sir Francis Burdett who, totally unconscious of the attention he excited, was wholly engrossed by the “Count Ory,” some of the choruses in which pleased me very much.

A visit to-day from our excellent and valued friend, Sir A. Barnard, who has promised to dine with us to-morrow.  Paris is now filling very fast, which I regret, as I dislike crowds and having my time broken in upon.

I become more convinced every day I live, that quiet and repose are the secrets of happiness, for I never feel so near an approach to this blessing as when in the possession of them.  General society is a heavy tax on time and patience, and one that I feel every year less inclination to pay, as I witness the bad effect it produces not only on the habits but on the mind.

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Oh! the weariness of listening for hours to the repetition of past gaieties, or the anticipation of future ones, to the commonplace remarks or stupid conversation of persons whose whole thoughts are engrossed by the frivolous amusements of Paris, which are all and every thing to them!

How delicious is it to shut out all this weariness, and with a book, or a few rationally minded friends, indulge in an interchange of ideas!  But the too frequent indulgence of this sensible mode of existence exposes one to the sarcasms of the frivolous who are avoided.

One is deemed a pedant—­a terrible charge at Paris!—­or a bas bleu, which is still worse, however free the individual may be from any pretensions to merit such charges.

Paid a visit to the justly celebrated Mademoiselle Mars yesterday, at her beautiful hotel in the Rue de la Tour des Dames.  I have entertained a wish ever since my return from Italy, to become acquainted with this remarkable woman; and Mr. Young was the medium of accomplishing it.

Mademoiselle Mars is even more attractive off the stage than on; for her countenance beams with intelligence, and her manners are at once so animated, yet gentle; so kind, yet dignified; and there is such an inexpressible charm in the tones of her voice, that no one can approach without being delighted with her.

Her conversation is highly interesting, marked by a good sense and good taste that render her knowledge always available, but never obtrusive.  Her features are regular and delicate; her figure, though inclined to embonpoint, is very graceful, and her smile, like the tones of her voice, is irresistibly sweet, and reveals teeth of rare beauty.  Mademoiselle Mars, off the stage, owes none of her attractions to the artful aid of ornament; wearing her own dark hair simply arranged, and her clear brown complexion free from any artificial tinge.  In her air and manner is the rare and happy mixture of la grande dame et la femme aimable, without the slightest shade of affectation.

Mademoiselle Mars’ hotel is the prettiest imaginable.  It stands in a court yard, wholly shut in from the street; and, though not vast, it has all the elegance, if not the splendour, of a fine house.  Nothing can evince a purer taste than this dwelling, with its decorations and furniture.  It contains all that elegance and comfort can require, without any thing meretricious or gaudy, and is a temple worthy of the goddess to whom it is dedicated.

It has been well observed, that a just notion of the character of a person can always be formed by the style of his or her dwelling.  Who can be deceived in the house of a nouveau riche?  Every piece of furniture in it vouches, not only for the wealth of its owner, but that he has not yet got sufficiently habituated to the possession of it, to be as indifferent to its attributes as are those to whom custom has rendered splendour no longer a pleasure.

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Every thing in the house of Mademoiselle Mars bespeaks its mistress to be a woman of highly cultivated mind and of refined habits.

The boudoir is in the style of Louis XIV, and owes its tasteful decorations to the pencil of Ciceri.  The pictures that ornament it are by Gerard, and are highly creditable to his reputation.  The library serves also as a picture-gallery; and in it may be seen beautiful specimens of the talents of the most esteemed French artists, offered by them as a homage to this celebrated woman.  Gerard, Delacroix, Isabey, Lany, Grevedon, and other distinguished artists, have contributed to this valuable collection.  A fine portrait of Madame Pasta, and another of Talma, with two exquisite pictures of the mother of Mademoiselle Mars, not less remarkable for the rare beauty of the subject than for the merit of the artists, complete it.

One book-case in the library contains only the presentation copies of the pieces in which Mademoiselle Mars has performed, magnificently bound by the authors.

On a white marble console in this gallery is placed an interesting memorial of her brilliant theatrical career, presented to her by the most enthusiastic of its numerous admirers.  It consists of a laurel crown, executed in pure gold; on the leaves of which are engraved on one side, the name of each piece in which she appeared, and, on the other, the role which she acted in it.  A very fine statue of Moliere is placed in this apartment.

Never did two hours glide more rapidly away than those passed in the society of this fascinating woman, whose presence I left penetrated with the conviction that no one can know without admiring her; and that when she retires from the stage, “we shall not look upon her like again.”

Passed a very agreeable evening, at Madame Craufurd’s, Met there la Duchesse de la Force, and the usual circle of habitues.  Talking of theatres, some of la Vieille Cour, who happened to be present, remarked on the distinction always made between the female performers of the different ones.  Those of the Theatre Francais were styled “Les Dames de la Comedie Francaise”; “those of the Theatre Italien,” “Les Demoiselles du Theatre Italien;” and the dancers, “Les Filles de l’Opera.”  This last mode of naming les danseuses, though in later times considered as a reproach, was, originally, meant as an honourable distinction; the king, on establishing the Academie Royale de Musique, having obtained the privilege that the performers attached to it should be exempt from excommunication.  Hence they were named, “Les Filles de l’Opera,” as persons sometimes said “Les Filles de la Reine.”

A propos of the Opera, Madame Grassini, once no less celebrated for her beauty than for her voice, was of the party last night.  She is, and deservedly, a general favourite in Parisian society, in which her vivacity, good-nature, and amiability, are duly appreciated.  Her lively sallies and naive remarks are very amusing; and the frankness and simplicity she has preserved in a profession and position so calculated to induce the reverse, add to her attractions and give piquancy to her conversation.

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There are moments in which Madame Grassini’s countenance becomes lighted up with such animation, that it seems to be invested with a considerable portion of the rare beauty for which she was so remarkable.

Her eyes are still glorious, and, like those only of the sunny South, can flash with intelligence, or melt with tenderness.  It is when conversing on the grand roles which she filled as prima donna, that her face lights up as I have noticed,—­as the war-horse, when hearing the sound of the trumpet, remembers the scene of his past glory.

When in Italy, some years since, Madame Grassini’s carriage was stopped by brigands, who, having compelled her to descend, ransacked it and took possession of her splendid theatrical wardrobe, and her magnificent diamonds.

She witnessed the robbery with calmness, until she saw the brigands seize the portrait of the Emperor Napoleon, presented to her by his own hand, and set round with large brilliants, when she appealed to them with tears streaming down her cheeks to take the settings and all the diamonds, but not to deprive her of the portrait of her “dear, dear Emperor!” When this circumstance was referred to she told me the story, and her eyes glistened with tears while relating it.

Went to Orsay yesterday, and passed a very agreeable day there.  It was a fortified chateau, and must have been a very fine place before the Revolution caused, not only its pillage, but nearly total destruction, for only one wing of it now remains.

Built in the reign of Charles VII, it was esteemed one of the best specimens of the feudal chateau fort of that epoch; and the subterranean portion of it still attests its former strength and magnitude.

It is surrounded by a moat, not of stagnant water, but supplied by the river Ivette, which flows at the base of the hill on which the chateau stands.  The water is clear and brisk and the chateau looks as if it stood in a pellucid river.  The view from the windows is very extensive, commanding a rich and well-wooded country.

The chapel escaped not the ravages of the sacrilegious band, who committed such havoc on the chateau; for the beautiful altar, and some very interesting monuments, were barbarously mutilated, and the tomb of the Princesse de Croy, the mother of General Count d’Orsay, on which a vast sum had been expended, was nearly razed to the ground.

If aught was required to increase my horror of revolutions, and of the baleful consequences to which they lead, the sight of this once splendid chateau, and, above all, of its half-ruined chapel, in which even the honoured dead were insulted, would have accomplished it.

An heiress of one of the most ancient houses in the Pays-Bas, the Princesse de Croy brought a noble dowry to her husband, himself a man of princely fortune.  Young and beautiful, her munificence soon rendered her an object of almost, adoration to the dependents of her lord; and when soon after having given birth to a son and heir, the present General Comte d’Orsay, she was called to another world, her remains were followed to her untimely grave by a long train of weeping poor, whose hearts her bounty had often cheered, and whose descendants were subsequently horror-struck to see the sanctity of her last earthly resting-place invaded.

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We passed through the hamlet of Palaiseau, on our return to Paris; and saw in it the steeple where the magpie concealed the silver spoons he had stolen, and which occasioned the event from which the drama of La Pie Voleuse, known in so many languages, has had its origin.

The real story ended not so happily as the opera, for the poor girl was executed—­the spoons not having been discovered until after her death.  This tragedy in humble life has attached great interest to the steeple at Palaiseau, and has drawn many persons to the secluded hamlet in which it stands.

The Duc and Duchesse de Quiche returned from Luneville yesterday; and we spent last evening with them.  The good Duke de Gramont was there, and was in great joy at their return.  They all dine with us to-morrow; and Madame Craufurd comes to meet them.

Never have I seen such children as the Duc de Quiche’s.  Uniting to the most remarkable personal beauty an intelligence and docility as rare as they are delightful; and never did I witness any thing like the unceasing care and attention bestowed on their education by their parents.

Those who only know the Duc and Duchesse in the gay circles, in which they are universally esteemed among the brightest ornaments, can form little idea of them in the privacy of their domestic one—­emulating each other in their devotion to their children, and giving only the most judicious proofs of their attachment to them.  No wonder that the worthy Duc de Gramont doats on his grandchildren, and never seems so happy as with his excellent son and daughter-in-law.

Went to the Vaudeville Theatre last evening, to see the new piece by Scribe, so much talked of, entitled Avant, Pendant, et Apres.  There is a fearful vraisemblance in some of the scenes with all that one has read or pictured to oneself, as daily occurring during the terrible days of the Revolution; and the tendency of the production is not, in my opinion, calculated to produce salutary effects.  I only wonder it is permitted to be acted.

The piece is divided, as the title announces, into three different epochs.  The first represents the frivolity and vices attributed to the days of l’ancien regime, and the tableau des moeurs, which is vividly coloured, leaves no favourable impression in the minds of the audience of that noblesse whose sufferings subsequently expiated the errors said to have accelerated, if not to have produced, the Revolution.

Nothing is omitted that could cast odium on them, as a preparation for the Reign of Terror that follows.  The anarchy and confusion of the second epoch—­the fear and horror that prevail when the voices and motions of a sanguinary mob are heard in the streets, and the terrified inmates of the houses are seen crouching in speechless terror, are displayed with wonderful truth.

The lesson is an awful, and I think a dangerous, one, and so seemed to think many of the upper class among the audience, for I saw some fair cheeks turn pale, and some furrowed brows look ominous, as the scene was enacted, while those of the less elevated in rank among the spectators assumed, or seemed to assume, a certain fierte, if not ferocity, of aspect, at beholding this vivid representation of the triumph achieved by their order over the noblesse.

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It is not wise to exhibit to a people, and above all to so inflammable a people as the French, what they can effect; and I confess I felt uneasy when I witnessed the deep interest and satisfaction evinced by many in the parterre during the representation.

The Apres, the third epoch, is even more calculated to encourage revolutionary principles, for in it was displayed the elevation to the highest grades in the army and in the state of those who in the ancien regime would have remained as the Revolution found them, in the most obscure stations, but who by that event had brilliant opportunities afforded for distinguishing themselves.

Heroic courage, boundless generosity, and devoted patriotism, are liberally bestowed on the actors who figure in this last portion of the drama; and, as these qualities are known to have appertained to many of those who really filled the roles enacted at the period now represented, the scene had, as might be expected, a powerful effect on a people so impressible as the French, and so liable to be hurried into enthusiasm by aught that appeals to their imaginations.

The applause was deafening; and I venture to say, that those from whom it proceeded left the theatre with a conviction that a revolution was a certain means of achieving glory and fortune to those who, with all the self-imagined qualities to merit both, had not been born to either.

Every Frenchman in the middle or lower class believes himself capable of arriving at the highest honours.  This belief sometimes half accomplishes the destiny it imagines; but even when it fails to effect this, it ever operates in rendering Frenchmen peculiarly liable to rush into any change or measure likely to lead to even a chance of distinction.

As during the performance of Avant, Pendant et Apres, my eye glanced on the faces of some of the emigrant noblesse, restored to France by the entry of the Bourbons, I marked the changes produced on their countenances by it.  Anxiety, mingled with dismay, was visible; for the scenes of the past were vividly recalled, while a vague dread of the future was instilled.  Yes, the representation of this piece is a dangerous experiment, and so I fear it will turn out.

I am sometimes amused, but more frequently irritated, by observing the moeurs Parisiennes, particularly in the shop-keepers.  The airs of self-complacency, amounting almost to impertinence, practised by this class, cannot fail to surprise persons accustomed to the civility and assiduity of those in London, who, whether the purchases made in their shops be large or small, evince an equal politeness to the buyers.

In Paris, the tradesman assumes the right of dictating to the taste of his customers; in London, he only administers to it.  Enter a Parisian shop, and ask to be shewn velvet, silk, or riband, to assort with a pattern you have brought of some particular colour or quality, and the mercer, having glanced at it somewhat contemptuously, places before you six or eight pieces of a different tint and texture.

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You tell him that they are not similar to the pattern, and he answers, “That may be; nevertheless, his goods are of the newest fashion, and infinitely superior to your model.”  You say, “You prefer the colour of your pattern, and must match it.”  He produces half-a-dozen pieces still more unlike what you require; and to your renewed assertion that no colour but the one similar to your pattern will suit you, he assures you, that his goods are superior to all others, and that what you require is out of fashion, and a very bad article, and, consequently, that you had much better abandon your taste and adopt his.  This counsel is given without any attempt at concealing the contempt the giver of it entertains for your opinion, and the perfect satisfaction he indulges for his own.

You once more ask, “If he has got nothing to match the colour you require?” and he shrugs his shoulders and answers, “Pourtant, madame, what I have shewn you is much superior,” “Very possible; but no colour will suit me but this one,” holding up the pattern; “for I want to replace a breadth of a new dress to which an accident has occurred.”

Pourtant, madame, my colours are precisely the same, but the quality of the materials is infinitely better!” and with this answer, after having lost half an hour—­if not double that time—­you are compelled to be satisfied, and leave the shop, its owner looking as if he considered you a person of decidedly bad taste, and very troublesome into the bargain.

Similar treatment awaits you in every shop; the owners having, as it appears to me, decided on shewing you only what they approve, and not what you seek.  The women of high rank in France seldom, if ever, enter any shop except that of Herbault, who is esteemed the modiste, par excellence, of Paris, and it is to this habit, probably, that the want of bienseance so visible in Parisian boutiquiers, is to be attributed.


An agreeable party dined here yesterday—­Lord Stuart de Rothesay, our Ambassador, the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, the Duc de Mouchy, Sir Francis Burdett, and Count Charles de Mornay.  Lord Stuart de Rothesay is very popular at Paris, as is also our Ambassadress; a proof that, in addition to a vast fund of good-nature, no inconsiderable portion of tact is conjoined—­to please English and French too, which they certainly do, requires no little degree of the rare talent of savoir-vivre.

To a profound knowledge of French society and its peculiarities, a knowledge not easily acquired, Lord and Lady Stuart de Rothesay add the happy art of adopting all that is agreeable in its usages, without sacrificing any of the stateliness so essential in the representatives of our more grave and reflecting nation.

Among the peculiarities that most strike one in French people, are the good-breeding with which they listen, without even a smile, to the almost incomprehensible attempts at speaking French made by many strangers, and the quickness of apprehension with which they seize their meaning, and assist them in rendering the sense complete.

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I have seen innumerable proofs of this politeness—­a politeness so little understood, or at least so little practised, among the English, that mistakes perfectly ludicrous, and which could not have failed to set my compatriots in a titter, if not in a roar, have not produced the movement of a single risible muscle, and yet the French are more prone to gaiety than are the English.

Mr. D——­ and Mr. T——­ dined here yesterday.  The former, mild, gentlemanlike, and unostentatious, seems to forget what so many would, if similarly situated, remember with arrogance, namely, that he is immensely rich; an obliviousness that, in my opinion, greatly enhances his other merits.

Mr. T——­ is little changed since I last saw him, and is well-informed, clover, and agreeable,—­but his own too-evident consciousness of possessing these recommendations prevents other people from according him due merit for them.

In society, one who believes himself clever must become a hypocrite, and so conceal all knowledge of his self-complacency, if he wishes to avoid being unpopular; for woe be to him who lets the world see he thinks highly of himself, however his abilities may justify his self-approval!

The sight of Mr. T——­ recalled his amiable and excellent mother to my memory.  I never esteemed any woman more highly, or enjoyed the society of any other person more than hers.  How many pleasant hours have I passed with her!  I so well remember John Kemble fancying that if I went through a course of reading Shakspeare with his sister Mrs. T——­, I should make, as he said, a fine actress; and we were to get up private theatricals at Mountjoy Forest.

In compliance with the request of Lord Blessington, I studied Shakspeare with this amiable and gifted woman for many months, which cemented a friendship between us that ended but with her life.  Her method of reading was admirable; for to the grandeur of her sister Mrs. Siddons, she united a tenderness and softness, in which that great actress was said to be deficient.  I never open any of the plays of Shakspeare which I studied with her without thinking I hear her voice, and I like them better for the association.

To great personal attractions, which even to the last she retained enough of to give a notion of what her beauty must have been in her youth, Mrs. T——­ added a charm of manners, a cultivation of mind, and a goodness of heart seldom surpassed; and, in all the relations of life, her conduct was most praiseworthy.  Even now, though six years have elapsed since her death, the recollection of it brings tears to my eyes.  Good and gentle woman, may your virtues on earth find their reward in Heaven!

I passed last evening at Madame Craufurd’s, where I met Lady Charlotte Lindsay and the Misses Berry.  How perfectly they answered to the description given of them by Sir William Gell; who, though exceedingly attached to all three, has not, as far as one interview permitted me to judge, overrated their agreeability!  Sir William Gell has read me many letters from these ladies, replete with talent, of which their conversation reminded me.

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Francis Hare and his wife dined here to-day.  They are en route from Germany—­where they have been sojourning since their marriage—­for England, where her accouchement is to take place.  Francis Hare has lived with us so much in Italy, that we almost consider him a member of the domestic circle; and, on the faith of this, he expressed his desire that we should receive madame son epouse as if she were an old acquaintance.

Mrs. Hare is well-looking, and agreeable, appears amiable, and is a good musician.  I remember seeing her and her sisters with her mother, Lady Paul, at Florence, when I had little notion that she was to be Mrs. Hare.  I never meet Francis Hare without being surprised by the versatility of his information; it extends to the fine arts, literature, rare books, the localities of pictures and statues; in short, he is a moving library that may always be consulted with profit, and his memory is as accurate as an index in rendering its precious stores available.

It is strange, that the prominent taste of his wife, which is for music, is the only one denied to him.  He afforded an amusing instance of this fact last night, when Mrs. Hare, having performed several airs on the piano-forte, he asked her, “Why she played the same tune so often, for the monotony was tiresome?”—­an observation that set us all laughing.

Took Mrs. Hare out shopping—­saw piles of lace, heaps of silk, pyramids of riband, and all other female gear.  What a multiplicity of pretty things we women require to render us what we consider presentable!  And how few of us, however good-looking we may chance to be, would agree with the poet, that “loveliness needs not the foreign aid of ornament, but is, when unadorned, adorned the most.”

Even the fairest of the sex like to enhance the charms of nature by the aid of dress; and the plainest hope to become less so by its assistance.  Men are never sufficiently sensible of our humility, in considering it so necessary to increase our attractions in order to please them, nor grateful enough for the pains we bestow in the attempts.

Husbands and fathers are particularly insensible to this amiable desire on the parts of their wives and daughters; and, when asked to pay the heavy bills incurred in consequence of this praiseworthy humility and desire to please, evince any feeling rather than that of satisfaction.

It is only admirers not called on to pay these said bills who duly appreciate the cause and effect, and who can hear of women passing whole hours in tempting shops, without that elongation of countenance peculiar to husbands and fathers.

I could not help thinking with the philosopher, how many things I saw to-day that could be done without.  If women could be made to understand that costliness of attire seldom adds to beauty, and often deteriorates it, a great amelioration in expense could be accomplished.

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Transparent muslin, the cheapest of all materials, is one of the prettiest, too, for summer’s wear, and with the addition of some bows of delicate-coloured riband, or a bouquet of fresh flowers, forms a most becoming dress.  The lowness of the price of such a robe enables the purchaser to have so frequent a change of it, that even those who are far from rich may have half-a-dozen, while one single robe of a more expensive material will cost more; and having done so, the owner will think it right to wear it more frequently than is consistent with the freshness and purity that should ever be the distinguishing characteristics in female dress, in order to indemnify herself for the expense.

I was never more struck with this fact, than a short time ago, when I saw two ladies seated next each other, both young and handsome; but one, owing to the freshness of her robe, which was of simple organdie, looked infinitely better than the other, who was quite as pretty, but who, wearing a robe of expensive lace, whose whiteness had fallen into “the sere and yellow leaf,” appeared faded and passee.

Be wise, then, ye young and fair; and if, as I suspect, your object be to please the Lords of the Creation, let your dress, in summer, be snowy-white muslin, never worn after its pristine purity becomes problematical; and in winter, let some half-dozen plain and simple silk gowns be purchased, instead of the two or three expensive ones that generally form the wardrobe, and which, consequently, soon not only lose their lustre but give the wearer the appearance of having suffered the same fate!

And you, O husbands and fathers, present and future, be ye duly impressed with a sense of your manifold obligations to me for thus opening the eyes of your wives and daughters how to please without draining your purses; and when the maledictions of lace, velvet, and satin-sellers full on my hapless head, for counsel so injurious to their interests, remember they were incurred for yours!

Mr. and Mrs. Hare dined here yesterday.  They brought with them Madame de la H——­, who came up from near Chantilly to see them.  She is as pretty as I remember her at Florence, when Mademoiselle D——­, and is piquante and spirituelle.  Counts Charles de Mornay and Valeski formed the party, and Count Maussion and some others came in the evening.

I observe that few English shine in conversation with the French.  There is a lightness and brilliancy, a sort of touch and go, if I may say so, in the latter, seldom, if ever, to be acquired by strangers.  Never dwelling long on any subject, and rarely entering profoundly into it, they sparkle on the surface with great dexterity, bringing wit, gaiety, and tact, into play.

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Like summer lightning, French wit flashes frequently, brightly and innocuously, leaving nothing disagreeable to remind one of its having appeared.  Conversation is, with the French, the aim and object of society.  All enter it prepared to take a part, and he best enacts it who displays just enough knowledge to show that much remains behind.  Such is the tact of the Parisians, that even the ignorant conceal the poverty of their minds, and might, to casual observers, pass as being in no way deficient, owing to the address with which they glide in an a propos oui, ou non, and an appropriate shake of the head, nod of assent, or dissent.

The constitutional vivacity of the French depending much on their mercurial temperaments, greatly aids them in conversation.  A light and playful sally acquires additional merit when uttered with gaiety; and should a bon mot even contain something calculated to pique any one present, or reflect on the absent, the mode in which it is uttered takes off from the force of the matter; whereas, on the contrary, the more grave and sententious manner peculiar to the English adds pungency to their satire.  Our old and valued friend, Mr. J. Strangways, has arrived at Paris, and very glad were we to see him once more.  He passed through a severe trial since last we parted; and his conduct under it towards his poor friend, Mr. Anson, does him credit.

The two companions—­one the brother of the Earl of Ilchester, and the other of Lord Anson—­were travelling in Syria together.  They had passed through Aleppo, where the plague had then appeared, and were at the distance of several days’ journey from it, congratulating themselves on their safety, when, owing to some error on the part of those who examined their firman, they were compelled to retrace their steps to Aleppo, where, condemned to become the inhabitants of a lazaretto until the imagined mistake could be corrected, they found themselves tete-a-tete.

The first two or three days passed without any thing to alarm the friends.  Engaged in drawing maps for their intended route, and plans for the future, the hours glided away even cheerfully.

But this cheerfulness was not long to continue; for Mr. Anson, having one morning asked Mr. Strangways to hold the end of his shawl while he twisted it round his head as a turban, the latter observed, with a degree of horror and dismay more easily to be imagined than described, the fatal plague-spot clearly defined on the back of the neck of his unfortunate friend.

He concealed his emotion, well knowing that a suspicion of its cause would add to the danger of Mr. Anson, who, as yet, was unconscious of the fearful malady that had already assailed him.  Totally alone, without aid, save that contained in their own very limited resources, what must have been the feelings of Mr. Strangways, as he contemplated his luckless companion?

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He dreaded to hear the announcement of physical suffering, though he well knew it must soon come, and marked with indescribable anguish the change that rapidly began to be manifested in his friend.  But even this most terrible of all maladies was influenced by the gallant spirit of him on whom it was now preying; for not a complaint, not a murmur, broke from his lips:  and it was not until Mr. Strangways had repeatedly urged the most affectionate inquiries that he admitted he was not quite well.

Delirium quickly followed; but even then this noble-minded young man bore up against the fearful assaults of disease, and thought and spoke only of those dear and absent friends he was doomed never again to behold.  It was a dreadful trial to Mr. Strangways to sit by the bed of death, far, far away from home and friends, endeavouring to cool the burning brow and to refresh the parched lips of him so fondly loved in that distant land of which he raved.

He spoke of his home, of those who made it so dear to him, and even the songs of infancy were again murmured by the dying lips.  His friend quitted him not for a minute until all was over; and he was left indeed alone to watch, over the corpse of him whom he had tried in vain to save.

That Mr. Strangways should have escaped the contagion, seems little less than miraculous.  I, who have known him so long and so well, attribute it to the state of his mind, which was so wholly occupied by anxiety for his friend as to leave no room for any thought of self.

Made no entry in my journal for two days, owing to a slight indisposition, which furnished an excuse for laziness.

Dined at Lointier’s yesterday—­a splendid repast given by Count A. de Maussion, in consequence of a wager, lost on a subject connected with the line arts.  The party consisted of all those present at our house when the wager was made.  The Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, Mr. and Mrs. Francis Hare, the Duc de Talleyrand, Duc de Dino, Count Valeski, Mr. J. Strangways, and our own large family circle.

The dinner was the most recherche that could be furnished:  “all the delicacies of the season,” as a London paper would term it, were provided; and an epicure, however fastidious, would have been satisfied with the choice and variety of the plats; while a gourmand would have luxuriated in the quantity.

Nothing in the style of the apartments, or the service of the dinner, bore the least indication that we were in the house of a restaurant.

A large and richly furnished salon, well lighted, received the company before dinner; and in a salle a manger of equal dimensions, and equally well arranged, the dinner was served on a very fine service of old plate.

Count de Maussion did the honours of the dinner a merveille, and it passed off very gaily.  It had been previously agreed that the whole party were to adjourn to the Porte St. Martin, at which Count de Maussion had engaged three large private boxes; and the ladies, consequently, with one exception, came en demi-toilette.

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The exception was Mrs. Hare, who, not aware that at Paris people never go en grande toilette to the theatres, came so smartly dressed, that, seeing our simple toilettes, she was afraid of incurring observation if she presented herself in a rich dress with short sleeves, a gold tissue turban with a bird-of-paradise plume, and an aigrette of coloured stones; so she went to our house, with a few of the party, while I accompanied the rest to the theatre.

The piece was Faust, adapted from Goethe, and was admirably performed, more especially the parts of “Mephistopheles” and “Margaret,” in which Madame Dorval acts inimitably.  This actress has great merit; and the earnestness of her manner, and the touching tones of her voice, give a great air of truth to her performances.  The prison-scene was powerfully acted; and the madness of “Margaret” when stretched on her bed of straw, resisting the vain efforts of her lover to rescue her, had a fearful reality.

The character of “Margaret” is a fine conception, and Goethe has wrought it out beautifully.  The simplicity, gentleness, and warm feelings of the village maiden, excite a strong interest for her, even when worked upon by Vanity; that alloy which, alas for Woman’s virtue and happiness! is too frequently found mixed up in the pure ore of her nature.

The childish delight with which poor “Margaret” contemplates the trinkets presented by her lover; the baleful ascendency acquired over her by her female companion; and her rapid descent in the path of evil when, as is ever the case, the commission of one sin entails so many, render this drama a very effective moral lesson.

Of all Goethe’s works, Faust is the one I most like; and, of all his female characters, “Margaret” is that which I prefer.  A fine vein of philosophy runs through the whole of this production, in which the vanity of human knowledge without goodness was never more powerfully exemplified.

“Faust,” tempted by the desire of acquiring forbidden knowledge, yields up his soul to the evil one; yet still retains enough of the humanity of his nature to render him wretched, when her he loves, and has drawn ruin on, suffers the penalty of his crime and of her love.

Exquisitely has Goethe wrought out the effects of the all-engrossing passion of the poor “Margaret”—­a passion that even in madness, still clings to its object with all woman’s tenderness and devotion, investing even insanity with the touching charm of love.  How perfect is the part when, endeavouring to pray, the hapless “Margaret” fancies that she hears the gibbering of evil spirits interrupting her supplications, so that even the consolation of addressing the Divinity is denied her!

But the last scene—­that in the prison—­is the most powerful of all.  Never was madness more touchingly delineated, or woman’s nature more truly developed;—­that nature so little understood by those who are so prone to pervert it, and whose triumphs over its virtues are always achieved by means of the excess of that propensity to love, and to believe in the truth of the object beloved, which is one of the most beautiful characteristics in woman; though, wo to her! it is but too often used to her undoing.

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The feelings of poor “Margaret” are those of all her sex, ere vice has sullied the nature it never can wholly subdue.

Mr. and Mrs. Hare left Paris to-day.  I regret their departure; for she is lively and agreeable, and I have known him so long, and like him so well, that their society afforded me pleasure.

A large party at dinner, yesterday; among whom, was Mr. M——­, who has acquired a certain celebrity for his bons mots.  He is said to be decidedly clever, and to know the world thoroughly:  appreciating it at its just value, and using it as if formed for his peculiar profit and pleasure.  He is lately returned from England, where he has been received with that hospitality that characterises the English, and has gone a round of visits to many of the best houses.

He spoke in high terms of the hospitality he had experienced, but agreed in the opinion I have often heard Lord Byron give, that the society in English country-houses is any thing but agreeable.

I had heard so much of Mr. M——­, that I listened to his conversation with more interest than I might have done, had not so many reports of his shrewdness and wit reached me.  Neither seem to have been overrated; for nothing escapes his quick perception; and his caustic wit is unsparingly and fearlessly applied to all subjects and persons that excite it into action.

He appears to be a privileged person—­an anomaly seldom innoxiously permitted in society:  for those who may say all they please, rarely abstain from saying much that may displease others; and, though a laugh may he often excited by their wit, some one of the circle is sure to be wounded by it.

Great wit is not often allied to good-nature, for the indulgence of the first is destructive to the existence of the second, except where the wit is tempered by a more than ordinary share of sensibility and refinement, directing its exercise towards works of imagination, instead of playing it off, as is too frequently the case, against those with whom its owner may come in contact.

Byron, had he not been a poet, would have become a wit in society; and, instead of delighting his readers, would have wounded his associates.  Luckily for others, as well as for his own fame, he devoted to literature that ready and brilliant wit which sparkles in so many of his pages, instead of condescending to expend it in bons mots, or reparties, that might have set the table on a roar, and have been afterwards, as often occurs, mutilated in being repeated by, others.

The quickness of apprehension peculiar to the French, joined to the excessive amour propre, which is one of the most striking of their characteristics, render them exceedingly susceptible to the arrows of wit; which, when barbed by ridicule, inflict wounds on their vanity difficult to be healed, and which they are ever ready to avenge.

But this very acuteness of apprehension induces a caution in not resenting the assaults of wit, unless the wounded can retort with success by a similar weapon, or that the attack has been so obvious that he is justified in resenting it by a less poetical one.  Hence arises a difficult position for him on whom a wit is pleased to exercise his talent; and this is one of the many reasons why privileged persons seldom add much to the harmony of society.

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Went last night to the Porte St. Martin, and saw Sept Heures represented.  This piece has excited a considerable sensation at Paris; and the part of the heroine, “Charlotte Corday,” being enacted by Madame Dorval, a very clever actress, it is very popular.

“Charlotte Corday” is represented in the piece, not as a heroine actuated purely by patriotic motives in seeking the destruction of a tyrant who inflicted such wounds on her country, but by the less sublime one of avenging the death of her lover.  This, in my opinion, lessens the interest of the drama, and atones not for the horror always inspired by a woman’s arming herself for a scene of blood.

The taste of the Parisians has, I think, greatly degenerated, both in their light literature and their dramas.  The desire for excitement, and not a decrease of talent, is the cause; and this morbid craving for it will, I fear, lead to injurious consequences, not only in literature, but in other and graver things.

The schoolmaster is, indeed, abroad in France, and has in all parts of it found apt scholars—­perhaps, too apt; and, like all such, the digestion of what is acquired does not equal the appetite for acquisition:  consequently, the knowledge gained is as yet somewhat crude and unavailable.  Nevertheless, the people are making rapid strides in improvement; and ignorance will soon be more rare than knowledge formerly was.

At present, their minds are somewhat unsettled by the recentness of their progress; and in the exuberance consequent on such a state, some danger is to be apprehended.

Like a room from which light has been long excluded, and in which a large window is opened, all the disagreeable objects in it so long shrouded in darkness are so fully revealed, that the owner, becoming impatient to remove them and substitute others in their place, often does so at the expense of appropriateness, and crowds the chamber with a heterogeneous melange of furniture, which, however useful in separate parts, are too incongruous to produce a good effect.  So the minds of the French people are now too enlightened any longer to suffer the prejudices that formerly filled them to remain, and have, in their impatience, stored them with new ideas and opinions—­many of them good and useful, but too hastily adopted, and not in harmony with each other to be productive of a good result, until time has enabled their owners to class and arrange them.

I am every day more forcibly struck with the natural quickness and intelligence of the people here:  but this very quickness is a cause that may tend to retard their progress in knowledge, by inducing them to jump at conclusions, instead of marching slowly but steadily to them; and conclusions so rapidly made are apt to be as hastily acted upon, and, consequently, occasion errors that take some time to be discovered, and still more to be corrected, before the truth is attained.

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Made the acquaintance of the celebrated Dr. P——­, today, at Madame C——­’s.  He is a very interesting old man; and, though infirm in body, his mind is as fresh, and his vivacity as unimpaired, as if he had not numbered forty instead of eighty summers.

I am partial to the society of clever medical men, for the opportunities afforded them of becoming acquainted with human nature, by studying it under all the phases of illness, convalescence, and on the bed of death, when the real character is exposed unveiled from the motives that so often shadow, if not give it a false character, in the days of health, render their conversation very interesting.

I have observed, too, that the knowledge of human nature thus attained neither hardens the heart nor blunts the sensibility, for some of the most kind-natured men I ever knew were also the most skilful physicians and admirable, surgeons.  Among these is Mr. Guthrie, of London, whose rare dexterity in his art I have often thought may be in a great degree attributed to this very kindness of nature, which has induced him to bestow a more than usual attention to acquiring it, in order to abridge the sufferings of his patients.

In operations on the eye, in which he has gained such a justly merited celebrity, I have been told by those from whose eyes he had removed cataracts, that his precision and celerity are so extraordinary as to appear to them little short of miraculous.

Talking on this subject with Dr. P——­ to-day, he observed, that he considered strength of mind and kindness of heart indispensable requisites to form a surgeon; and that it was a mistake to suppose that these qualities had any other than a salutary influence over the nerves of a surgeon.

“It braces them, Madame,” said he; “for pity towards the patient induces an operator to perform his difficult task con amore, in order to relieve him.”

Dr. P——­ has nearly lost his voice, and speaks in a low but distinct whisper.  Tall and thin, with a face pale as marble, but full of intelligence, he looks, when bending on his gold-headed cane, the very beau ideal of a physician of la Vieille Cour, and he still retains the costume of that epoch.  His manner, half jest and half earnest, gives an idea of what that of the Philosopher of Ferney must have been when in a good humour, and adds piquancy to his narrations.  Madame C——­, who is an especial favourite of his, and who can draw him out in conversation better than any one else, in paying him a delicate and well-timed compliment on his celebrity, added, that few had ever so well merited it.

“Ah!  Madame, celebrity is not always accorded to real merit,” said he, smiling.  “I have before told Madame that mine—­if I may be permitted to recur to it—­was gained by an artifice I had recourse to, and without which, I firmly believe I should have remained unknown.”

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“No, no! my dear doctor,” replied Madame C——­; “your merit must have, in time, acquired you the great fame you enjoy.”  The Doctor laughed heartily, but persisted in denying this; and the lady urged him to relate to me the plan he had so successfully pursued in abridging his road to Fortune.  He seemed flattered by her request, and by my desire for his compliance with it, and commenced as follows:—­

“I came from the country, Mesdames, with no inconsiderable claims to distinction in my profession.  I had studied it con amore, and, urged by the desire that continually haunted me of becoming a benefactor to mankind—­ay! ladies, and still more anxious to relieve your fair and gentle sex from those ills to which the delicacy of your frames and the sensibility of your minds so peculiarly expose you—­I came to Paris with little money and few friends, and those few possessed no power to forward my interest.
“It is true they recommended me to such of their acquaintance as needed advice; but whether, owing to the season being a peculiarly healthy one, or that the acquaintances of my friends enjoyed an unusual portion of good health, I was seldom called on to attend them; and, when I was, the remuneration offered was proportioned, not to the relief afforded, but to the want of fame of him who lent it.
“My purse diminished even more rapidly than my hopes, though they, too, began to fade; and it was with a heavy heart that I look my pen to write home to those dear friends who believed that Paris was a second El Dorado, where all who sought—­must find—­Fortune.
“At length, when one night stretched on my humble bed, and sleepless from the cares that pressed heavily on my mind, it occurred to me that I must put some plan into action for getting myself known; and one suggested itself, which I next day adopted.
“I changed one of the few remaining louis d’or in my purse, and, sallying forth into one of the most popular streets, I wrote down the addresses of some of the most respectable-looking houses, and going up to a porter, desired him to knock at the doors named, and inquire if the celebrated Doctor P——­ was there, as his presence was immediately required at the hotel of the Duc de ——.
“I despatched no less than twenty messengers through the different streets on the same errand, and having succeeded in persuading each that it was of the utmost importance that the celebrated Doctor P——­ should be found, they persuaded the owners of the houses of the same necessity.
“I persevered in this system for a few days, and then tried its efficacy at night, thinking that, when knocked up from their beds, people would be sure to be more impressed with the importance of a doctor in such general request.
“My scheme succeeded.  In a few days, I was repeatedly called in by various

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patients, and liberal fees poured into the purse of the celebrated Dr. P——.  Unfortunately my practice, although every day multiplying even beyond my most sanguine hopes, was entirely confined to the bourgeoisie; and though they paid well, my ambition pointed to higher game, and I longed to feel the pulses of la haute noblesse, and to ascertain if the fine porcelain of which I had heard they were formed was indeed as much superior to the delf of which the bourgeoisie are said to be manufactured, as I was led to believe.
“Luckily for me, the femme de chambre of a grand lady fancied herself ill, mentioned the fancy to her friend, who was one of my patients, and who instantly advised her to consult the celebrated Dr. P——­, adding a lively account of the extent of my practice and the great request I was in.
“The femme de chambre consulted me, described symptoms enough to baffle all the schools of medicine in France, so various and contradictory were they, and I, discovering that she really had nothing the matter with her, advised what I knew would be very palatable to her,—­namely, a very nutritious regime, as much air and amusement as was possible in her position, and gave her a prescription for some gentle medicine, to prevent any evil effect from the luxurious fare I had recommended.

     “I was half tempted to refuse the fee she slipped into my
     hand, but I recollected that people never value what they get
     for nothing, and so I pocketed it.

“In a few days, I was sent for to the Hotel—­to attend the Duchesse de ——­ the mistress of the said femme de chambre.  This was an event beyond my hopes, and I determined to profit by it.  I found the Duchesse suffering under a malady—­if malady it could be called—­to which I have since discovered grand ladies are peculiarly subject; namely, a superfluity of embonpoint, occasioned by luxurious habits and the want of exercise.
“‘I am very much indisposed, Doctor,’ lisped the lady, ’and your prescription has done my femme de chambre so much good, that I determined to send for you.  I am so very ill, that I am fast losing my shape; my face, too, is no longer the same; and my feet and hands are not to be recognised.’
“I drew out my watch, felt her pulse, looked grave, inquired—­though it was useless, her embonpoint having revealed it—­what were her general habits and regime; and then, having written a prescription, urged the necessity of her abandoning cafe au lait, rich consommes, and high-seasoned entrees; recommended early rising and constant exercise; and promised that a strict attention to my advice would soon restore her health, and with it her shape.
“I was told to call every day until further orders; and I, pleading the excess

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of occupation which would render my daily visits to her so difficult, consented to make them, only on condition that my fair patient was to walk with me every day six times around the garden of her hotel; for I guessed she was too indolent to persevere in taking exercise if left to herself.
“The system I pursued with her succeeded perfectly.  I was then a very active man, and I walked so fast that I left the Duchesse every day when our promenade ended bathed in a copious perspiration; which, aided by the medicine and sparing regime, soon restored her figure to its former symmetry.
“At her hotel, I daily met ladies of the highest rank and distinction, many of whom were suffering from a similar cause, the same annoyance for which the Duchesse consulted me; and I then discovered that there is no malady, however grave, so distressing to your sex, ladies, or for the cure of which they are so willing to submit to the most disagreeable regime, as for aught that impairs their personal beauty.
“When her female friends saw the improvement effected in the appearance of the Duchesse by my treatment, I was consulted by them all, and my fame and fortune rapidly increased.  I was proclaimed to be the most wonderful physician, and to have effected the most extraordinary cures; when, in truth, I but consulted Nature, and aided her efforts.
“Shortly after this period, a grand lady, an acquaintance of one of my many patients among the noblesse, consulted me; and here the case was wholly different to that of the Duchesse, for this lady had grown so thin, that wrinkles—­those most frightful of all symptoms of decaying beauty—­had made their appearance.  My new patient told me that, hearing that hitherto my great celebrity had been acquired by the cure of obesity, she feared it was useless to consult me for a disease of so opposite a nature, but even still more distressing.
“I inquired into her habits and regime.  Found that she took violent exercise; was abstemious at table; drank strong green tea, and coffee without cream or milk; disliked nutritious food; and, though she sat up late, was an early riser.  I ordered her the frequent use of warm baths, and to take all that I had prohibited the Duchesse; permitted only gentle exercise in a carriage; and, in short, soon succeeded in rendering the thin lady plump and rosy, to the great joy of herself, and the wonder of her friends.
“This treatment, which was only what any one possessed of common sense would have prescribed in such a case, extended my fame far and wide.  Fat and thin ladies flocked to me for advice, and not only liberally rewarded the success of my system, but sounded my praises in all quarters.
“I became the doctor a la mode, soon amassed an independence, and, though not without a confidence in my own skill—­for

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I have never lost any opportunity of improvement in my profession—­I must confess that I still retain the conviction that the celebrated Doctor P——­ would have had little chance, at least for many years, of acquiring either fame or wealth, had he not employed the means I have confessed to you, ladies.”

I cannot do justice to this spirituel old man’s mode of telling the story, or describe the finesse of his arch smile while recounting it.

Mr. P.C.  Scarlett, a son of our excellent and valued friend Sir James Scarlett[3], dined here yesterday.  He is a fine young man, clever, well-informed, and amiable, with the same benignant countenance and urbanity of manner that are so remarkable in his father.

I remember how much struck I was with Sir James Scarlett’s countenance when he was first presented to me.  It has in it such a happy mixture of sparkling intelligence and good-nature that I was immediately pleased with him, even before I had an opportunity of knowing the rare and excellent qualities for which he is distinguished, and the treasures of knowledge with which his mind is stored.

I have seldom met any man so well versed in literature as Sir James Scarlett, or with a more refined taste for it; and when one reflects on the arduous duties of his profession—­duties which he has ever fulfilled with such credit to himself and advantage to others—­it seems little short of miraculous how he could have found time to have made himself so intimately acquainted, not only with the classics, but with all the elegant literature of England and France.

How many pleasant days have I passed in the society of Lord Erskine and Sir James Scarlett!  Poor Lord Erskine! never more shall I hear your eloquent tongue utter bons mots in which wit sparkled, but ill-nature never appeared; nor see your luminous eyes flashing with joyousness, as when, surrounded by friends at the festive board, you rendered the banquet indeed “the feast of reason and the flow of soul!”

Mr. H——­ B——­ dined here yesterday, and he talked over the pleasant days we had passed in Italy.  He is an excellent specimen of the young men of the present day.  Well-informed, and with a mind highly cultivated, he has travelled much in other countries, without losing any of the good qualities and habits peculiar to his own.

Went to the Theatre Italien, last night, and heard Madame Malibran sing for the first time.  Her personation of “Desdemona” is exquisite, and the thrilling tones of her voice were in perfect harmony with the deep sensibility she evinced in every look and movement.

I have heard no singer to please me comparable to Malibran:  there is something positively electrical in the effect she produces on my feelings.  Her acting is as original as it is effective; Passion and Nature are her guides, and she abandons herself to them con amore.

The only defect I can discover in her singing is an excess of fiorituri, that sometimes destroys the vraisemblance of the role she is enacting, and makes one think more of the wonderful singer than of “Desdemona.”  This defect, however, is atoned for by the bursts of passion into which her powerful voice breaks when some deep emotion is to be expressed, and the accomplished singer is forgotten in the impassioned “Desdemona.”

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Spent last evening at Madame C——­’s, and met there la Duchcsse de la Force, la Marquise de Brehan, and the usual habitues de la maison.  La Duchesse is one of l’ancien regime, though less ceremonious than they are in general said to be, and appears to be as good-natured as she is good-humoured.

The Marquise de B——­ told me some amusing anecdotes of the Imperial Court, and of the gaiety and love of dress of the beautiful Princesse Pauline Borghese, to whom she was much attached.

The whole of the Buonaparte family seem to have possessed, in an eminent degree, the happy art of conciliating good-will in those around them—­an art necessary in all persons filling elevated positions, but doubly so in those who have achieved their own elevation.  The family of the Emperor Napoleon were remarkable for the kindness and consideration they invariably evinced for those who in any way depended on them, yet a natural dignity of manner precluded the possibility of familiarity.

The Marquise de B——­ having mentioned the Duchesse d’Abrantes, Madame C——­ inquired kindly for her, and the Marquise told her that she had been only a few days before to pay her a visit.

Anxious to learn something of a woman who filled so distinguished a position during the imperial dynasty, I questioned Madame de B——­, and learned that the Duchesse d’Abrantes, who for many years lived in a style of splendour that, even in the palmy days of her husband’s prosperity, when, governor of Paris, he supported almost a regal establishment, excited the surprise, if not envy, of his contemporaries, is now reduced to so limited an income that many of the comforts, if not the necessaries of life, are denied her.

“She supports her privations cheerfully,” added the Marquise; “her conversation abounds in anecdotes of remarkable people, and she relates them with a vivacity and piquancy peculiar to her, which render her society very amusing and interesting.  The humanity, if not the policy, of the Bourbons may be questioned in their leaving the widow of a brave general in a state of poverty that must remind her, with bitterness, of the altered fortunes entailed on her and many others by their restoration.”

When indemnities were granted to those whom the Revolution, which drove the royal family from France, nearly beggared, it would have been well if a modest competency had been assigned to those whose sons and husbands shed their blood for their country, and helped to achieve for it that military glory which none can deny it.

Went over the Luxembourg Palace and Gardens to-day.  The only change in the former since I last saw it, is that some pictures, painted by French artists at Rome, and very creditable to them, have been added to its collection.

I like these old gardens, with their formal walks and prim parterres; I like also the company by which they are chiefly frequented, consisting of old people and young children.

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Along the walk exposed to the southern aspect, several groups of old men were sauntering, conversing with an animation seldom seen in sexagenarians, except in France; old women, too, many of them holding lapdogs by a riband, and attended by a female servant, were taking their daily walk; while, occasionally, might be seen an elderly couple exhibiting towards each other an assiduity pleasant to behold, displayed by the husband’s arranging the shawl or cloak of his wife, or the wife gently brushing away with her glove the silken threads left on his sleeve by its contact with hers.

No little portion of the love that united them in youth may still be witnessed in these old couples.  Each has lost every trace of the comeliness that first attracted them to each other; but they remember what they were, and memory, gilding the past, shews each to the other, not as they actually are, but as they were many a long year ago.  No face, however fair,—­not even the blooming one of their favourite granddaughter, seems so lovely to the uxorious old husband as the one he remembers to have been so proud of forty years ago, and which still beams on him with an expression of tenderness that reminds him of its former beauty.  And she, too, with what complacency does she listen to his oft-repealed reminiscences of her youthful attractions, and how dear is the bond that still unites them!

Plain and uninteresting in the eyes of others, they present only the aspect of age; alas! never lovely:  but in them at least other gleams of past good looks recall the past, when each considered the other peerless, though now they alone remember that “such things were, and were most sweet.”

Their youth and their maturity have been passed together; their joys and their sorrows have been shared, and they are advancing hand in hand towards that rapid descent in the mountain of life, at whose base is the grave, hoping that in death they may not be divided.

Who can look at those old couples, and not feel impressed with the sanctity and blessedness of marriage, which, binding two destinies in one, giving the same interests and the same objects of affection to both, secures for each a companionship and a consolation for those days which must come to all, when, fallen into the sere and yellow leaf, the society of the young and gay can no longer charm them, and the present requires the recollections of the past to render it less cheerless; recollections only to be found in those who have grown old together?

Yonder old man, leaning on the arm of a middle-aged woman, who seems less like his housekeeper than his domestic tyrant, offers an example of the fate of those who have lived in what is commonly called a state of single blessedness.  A youth and maturity of pleasure have been followed by an old age of infirmity.

He had a thousand pleasantries ready to utter on the subject of marriage whenever it was mentioned; could cite endless examples of unhappy couples (forgetting to name a single one of the happy); and laughed and shook his head as he declared that he never would be caught.

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As long as health remained, and that he could pass his evenings in gay society, or at the theatres, he felt not the want of that greatest of all comforts, home; a comfort inseparable from a wife to share, as well as to make it.  But the first attack of illness that confined him to his room, with no tender hand to smooth his pillow, no gentle voice to inquire into his wants, or to minister to them; no one to anticipate his wishes almost before he had framed them; no loving face to look fondly and anxiously on him; made him feel sensible, that though a bachelor’s life of pleasure may pass agreeably enough during the season of health, it is a most cheerless and dreary state of existence when deprived of it.

The discovery is, alas! made too late.  All that he had ever heard or urged against matrimony applies tenfold to cases where it is contracted in old age.  He can still admire youth and beauty, but he knows that with such there can never exist any reciprocity with his own feelings.

The young beauty who would barter her charms for his wealth, would be, he knows, no suitable companion for his fire-side; and to wed some staid dame whose youth has been passed with some dear, kind, first husband—­of whom, if not often speaking, she might in all human probability be sometimes thinking—­has something too repugnant to his feelings to be thought of.

An elderly maiden with a lap-dog, or a parrot, would be even more insupportable; for how could one who has never had to consult the pleasure or wishes of aught save self be able to study his?  No! it is now too late to think of marriage, and what, therefore, is to be done?  In this emergency, a severe attack of rheumatism confines him to his chamber for many days.  His valet is found out to be clumsy and awkward in assisting him to put on his flannel gloves; the housekeeper, who is called up to receive instructions about some particular broth that he requires, is asked to officiate, and suggests so many little comforts, and evinces so much sympathy for his sufferings, that she is soon installed as nurse.

By administering to his wants, and still more by flattery and obsequiousness, she soon renders herself indispensable to the invalid.  She is proclaimed to be a treasure, and her accounts, which hitherto had been sharply scrutinised and severely censured, are henceforth allowed to pass unblamed, and, consequently, soon amount to double the sum which had formerly, and with reason, been found fault with.  The slightest symptom of illness is magnified into a serious attack by the supposed affectionate and assiduous nurse, until her master, in compliance with her advice, becomes a confirmed hypochondriac, whom she governs despotically under a show of devoted attachment.

She has, by slow but sure degrees, alienated him from all his relatives, and banished from his house the few friends whom she believed possessed any influence over him.  Having rendered herself essential to his comfort, she menaces him continually with the threat of leaving his service; and is only induced to remain by a considerable increase to her salary, though not, as she asserts, by any interested motive.

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She lately informed her master, that she was “very sorry—­very sorry, indeed—­but it was time for her to secure her future comfort; and M. ——­, the rich grocer, had proposed marriage to her, and offered a good settlement.  It would be a great grief to her to leave so kind a master, especially as she knew no one to whom she could confide the care of him; but a settlement of 4000 francs a-year was not to be refused, and she might never again receive so good an offer.”

The proposal of the rich grocer, which never existed but in her own fertile brain, is rejected, and her continuance as housekeeper and nurse secured by a settlement of a similar sum made on her by her master; who congratulates himself on having accomplished so advantageous a bargain, while she is laughing with the valet at his credulity.

This same valet, finding her influence to be omnipotent with his master, determines on marrying her secretly, that they may join in plundering the valetudinarian, whose infirmities furnish a perpetual subject for the coarse pleasantries of both these ungrateful menials.

She is now giving him his daily walk on the sunny side of the Luxembourg Gardens.  See how she turns abruptly down an alley, in despite of his request to continue where he was:  but the truth is, her Argus eyes have discovered his niece and her beautiful children walking at a distance; and, as she has not only prevented their admission to his house, but concealed their visits, intercepted their letters, making him believe they are absent from Paris and have forgotten him, she now precludes their meeting; while to his querulous murmurs at being hurried along, she answers that the alley she has taken him to is more sheltered.

It is true the invalid sometimes half suspects, not only that he is governed, but somewhat despotically, too, by the worthy and affectionate creature, whose sole study it is to take care of his health.  He considers it hard to be debarred from sending for one of his old friends to play a party at picquet, or a game at chess with him, during the long winter evenings; and he thinks it would be pleasanter to have some of his female relatives occasionally to dinner:  but as the least hint on these subjects never fails to produce ill-humour on the part of the “good Jeanette,” who declares that such unreasonable indulgence would inevitably destroy the precious health of Monsieur, he submits to her will; and while wholly governed by an ignorant and artful servant, can still smile that he is free from being henpecked by a wife.


In no part of Paris are so many children to be seen us in the gardens of the Luxembourg.  At every step may be encountered groups of playful creatures of every age, from the infant slumbering in its nurse’s arms, to the healthful girl holding her little brother or sister by the hand as her little charge toddles along; or the manly boy, who gives his arm to his younger sister with all the air of protection of manhood.

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What joyous sounds of mirth come from each group—­the clear voices ringing pleasantly on the ear, from creatures fair and blooming as the flowers of the rich parterres among which they wander!  How each group examines the other—­half-disposed to join in each other’s sports, but withheld by a vague fear of making the first advances—­a fear which indicates that even already civilisation and the artificial habits it engenders, have taught them the restraint it imposes!

The nurses, too, scrutinise each other, and their little masters and misses, as they meet.  They take in at a glance the toilettes of each, and judge with an extraordinary accuracy the station of life to which they appertain.

The child of noble birth is known by the simplicity of its dress and the good manners of its bonne; while that of the parvenu is at once recognised by the showiness and expensiveness of its clothes, and the superciliousness of its nurse, who, accustomed to the purse-proud pretensions of her employers, values nothing so much as all the attributes that indicate the possession of wealth.

The little children look wistfully at each other every time they meet; then begin to smile, and at length approach, and join, half-timidly, half-laughingly, in each other’s sports.  The nurses, too, draw near, enter into a conversation, in which each endeavours to insinuate the importance of her young charge, and consequently her own; while the children have already contracted an intimacy, which is exemplified by running hand-in-hand together, their clear jocund voices being mingled.

It is a beautiful sight to behold these gay creatures, who have little more than passed the first two or three years of life, with the roses of health glowing on their dimpled cheeks, and the joyousness of infancy sparkling in their eyes.

They know nought of existence but its smiles; and, caressed by doating parents, have not a want unsatisfied.  Entering life all hope and gaiety, what a contrast do they offer to the groups of old men who must so soon leave it, who are basking in the sunshine so near them!  Yet they, too, have had their hours of joyous infancy; and, old and faded as they are, they have been doated on, as they gambolled like the happy little beings they now pause to contemplate.

There was something touching in the contrast of youth and age brought thus together, and I thought that more than one of the old men seemed to feel it as they looked on the happy children.

I met my new acquaintance, Dr. P——­, who was walking with two or three savans; and, having spoken to him, he joined us in our promenade, and greatly added to its pleasure by his sensible remarks and by his cheerful tone of mind.  He told me that the sight of the fine children daily to be met in the Luxembourg Gardens, was as exhilarating to his spirits as the gay flowers in the parterre and that he had frequently prescribed a walk here to those whose minds stood in need of such a stimulant.

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The General and Countess d’Orsay arrived yesterday from their chateau, in Franche-Comte.  A long correspondence had taught me to appreciate the gifted mind of Madame, who, to solid attainments, joins a sparkling wit and vivacity that render her conversation delightful.

The Countess d’Orsay has been a celebrated beauty; and, though a grandmother, still retains considerable traces of it.  Her countenance is so spirituelle and piquant, that it gives additional point to the clever things she perpetually utters; and what greatly enhances her attractions is the perfect freedom from any of the airs of a bel esprit, and the total exemption from affectation that distinguishes her.

General d’Orsay, known from his youth as Le Beau d’Orsay, still justifies the appellation, for he is the handsomest man of his age that I have ever beheld.  It is said that when the Emperor Napoleon first saw him, he observed that he would make an admirable model for a Jupiter, so noble and commanding was the character of his beauty.

Like most people remarkable for good looks, General d’Orsay is reported to have been wholly free from vanity; to which, perhaps, may be attributed the general assent accorded to his personal attractions which, while universally admitted, excited none of the envy and ill-will which such advantages but too often draw on their possessor.  There is a calm and dignified simplicity in the manners of General d’Orsay, that harmonises well with his lofty bearing.

It is very gratifying to witness the affection and good intelligence that reign in the domestic circles in France.  Grandfathers and grandmothers here meet with an attention from their children and grandchildren, the demonstrations of which are very touching; and I often see gay and brilliant parties abandoned by some of those with whom I am in the habit of daily intercourse, in order that they may pass the evenings with their aged relatives.

Frequently do I see the beautiful Duchesse de Guiche enter the salon of her grandmother, sparkling in diamonds, after having hurried away from some splendid fete, of which she was the brightest ornament, to spend an hour with her before she retired to rest; and the Countess d’Orsay is so devoted to her mother, that nearly her whole time is passed with her.

It is pleasant to see the mother and grandmother inspecting and commenting on the toilette of the lovely daughter, of whom they are so justly proud, while she is wholly occupied in inquiring about the health of each, or answering their questions relative to that of her children.

The good and venerable Duc de Gramont examines his daughter-in-law through his eyeglass, and, with an air of paternal affection, observes to General d’Orsay, “How well our daughter looks to-night!”

Madame Craufurd, referring to her great age last evening, said to me, and a tear stole down her cheek while she spoke: 

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“Ah, my dear friend! how can I think that I must soon leave all those who love me so much, and whom I so dote on, without bitter regret?  Yes, I am too happy here to be as resigned as I ought to be to meet death.”

Saw Potier in the Ci-devant Jeune Homme last night.  It is an excellent piece of acting, from the first scene where he appears in all the infirmity of age, in his night-cap and flannel dressing-gown, to the last, in which he portrays tho would-be young man.  His face, his figure, his cough, are inimitable; and when he recounts to his servant the gaieties of the previous night, the hollow cheek, sunken eye, and hurried breathing of the “Ci-devant Jeune Homme” render the scene most impressive.

Nothing could be more comic than the metamorphose effected in his appearance by dress, except it were his endeavours to assume an air and countenance suitable to the juvenility of his toilette; while, at intervals, some irrepressible symptom of infirmity reminded the audience of the pangs the effort to appear young inflicted on him.  Potier is a finished actor, and leaves nothing to be wished, except that he may long continue to perform and delight his audience as last night.

Dined yesterday at the Countess d’Orsay’s, with a large family party.  The only stranger was Sir Francis Burdett.  A most agreeable dinner, followed by a very pleasant evening.  I have seldom seen any Englishman enjoy French society as much as the worthy baronet does.  He speaks the language with great facility, is well acquainted with its literature, and has none of the prejudices which militate so much against acquiring a perfect knowledge of the manners and customs of a foreign country.

French society has decidedly one great superiority over English, and that is its freedom from those topics which too often engross so considerable a portion of male conversation, even in the presence of ladies, in England.  I have often passed the evening previously and subsequently to a race, in which many of the men present took a lively interest, without ever hearing it made the subject of conversation.  Could this be said of a party in England, on a similar occasion?

Nor do the men here talk of their shooting or hunting before women, as with us.  This is a great relief, for in England many a woman is doomed to listen to interminable tales of slaughtered grouse, partridges, and pheasants; of hair breadth “’scapes by flood and field,” and venturous leaps, the descriptions of which leave one in doubt whether the narrator or his horse be the greater animal of the two, and render the poor listener more fatigued by the recital than either was by the longest chase.

A dissertation on the comparative merits of Manton’s, Lancaster’s, and Moore’s guns, and the advantage of percussion locks, it is true, generally diversifies the conversation.

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Then how edifying it is to hear the pedigrees of horses—­the odds for and against the favourite winning such or such a race—­the good or bad books of the talkers—­the hedging or backing of the betters!  Yet all this are women condemned to hear on the eve of a race, or during the shooting or hunting season, should their evil stars bring them into the society of any of the Nimrods or sportsmen of the day, who think it not only allowable to devote nearly all their time to such pursuits, but to talk of little else.

The woman who aims at being popular in her county, must not only listen patiently, but evince a lively interest in these intellectual occupations; while, if the truth was confessed, she is thoroughly ennuyee by these details of them:  or if not, it must be inferred that she has lost much of the refinement of mind and taste peculiar to the well-educated portion of her sex.

I do not object to men liking racing, hunting, and shooting.  The first preserves the breed of horses, for which England is so justly celebrated, and hunting keeps up the skill in horsemanship in which our men excel.  What I do object to is their making these pursuits the constant topics of conversation before women, instead of selecting those more suitable to the tastes and habits of the latter.

There is none of the affectation of avoiding subjects supposed to be uninteresting to women visible in the men here.  They do not utter with a smile—­half pity, half condescension,—­“we must not talk politics before the ladies;” they merely avoid entering into discussions, or exhibiting party spirit, and shew their deference for female society by speaking on literature, on which they politely seem to take for granted that women are well informed.

Perhaps this deferential treatment of the gentler sex may not be wholly caused by the good breeding of the men in France; for I strongly suspect that the women here would be very little disposed to submit to the nonchalance that prompts the conduct I have referred to in England, and that any man who would make his horses or his field-sports the topic of discourse in their presence, would soon find himself expelled from their society.

Frenchwomen still think, and with reason, that they govern the tone of the circles in which they move, and look with jealousy on any infringement of the respectful attention they consider to be their due.

A few nights ago I saw the Duchesse de Guiche, on her return from a reception at court, sparkling in diamonds, and looking so beautiful that she reminded me of Burke’s description of the lovely and unfortunate Marie-Antoinette.  To-day I thought her still more attractive, when, wearing only a simple white peignoir, and her matchless hair bound tightly round her classically shaped head, I saw her enacting the part of garde-malade to her children, who have caught the measles.

With a large, and well-chosen nursery-establishment, she would confide her precious charge to no care but her own, and moved from each little white bed to the other with noiseless step and anxious glance, bringing comfort to the dear little invalid in each.  No wonder that her children adore her, for never was there so devoted a mother.

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In the meridian of youth and beauty, and filling so brilliant a position in France, it is touching to witness how wholly engrossed this amiable young woman’s thoughts are by her domestic duties.  She incites, by sharing, the studies of her boys; and already is her little girl, owing to her mother’s judicious system, cited as a model.

It was pleasant to see the Duc, when released from his attendance at court, hurrying into the sick chamber of his children, and their languid eyes, lighting up with a momentary animation, and their feverish lips relaxing into a smile, at the sound of his well-known voice.  And this is the couple considered to be “the glass of fashion and the mould of form,” the observed of all observers, of the courtly circle at Paris!

Who could behold them as I have done, in that sick room, without acknowledging that, despite of all that has been said of the deleterious influence of courts on the feelings of those who live much in them, the truly good pass unharmed through the dangerous ordeal?

Went to the Theatre des Nouveautes last night, where I saw La Maison du Rempart.  The Parisians seem to have decided taste for bringing scenes of riot and disorder on the stage; and the tendency of such exhibitions is any thing but salutary with so inflammable a people, and in times like the present.

One of the scenes of La Maison du Rempart represents an armed mob demolishing the house of a citizen—­an act of violence that seemed to afford great satisfaction to the majority of the audience; and, though the period represented is that of the Fronde, the acts of the rabble strongly assimilated with those of the same class in later times, when the revolution let loose on hapless France the worst of all tyrants—­a reckless and sanguinary mob.  I cannot help feeling alarmed at the consequences likely to result from such performances.  Sparks of fire flung among gunpowder are not more dangerous.  Shewing a populace what they can effect by brutal force is a dangerous experiment; it is like letting a tame lion see how easily he could overpower his keepers.

Mr. Cuthbert and M. Charles Laffitte dined here yesterday.  Both are excellent specimens of their countries; the former being well-informed and agreeable, and the latter possessing all the good sense we believe to be peculiar to an Englishman, with the high breeding that appertains to a thoroughly well-educated Frenchman.

The advance of civilization was evident in both these gentlemen—­the Englishman speaking French with purity and fluency, and the Frenchman speaking English like a born Briton.  Twenty years ago, this would have been considered a very rare occurrence, while now it excites little remark.  But it is not alone the languages of the different countries that Mr. Cuthbert and M. Charles Laffitte have acquired, for both are well acquainted with the literature of each, which renders their society very agreeable.

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Spent last evening in the Rue d’Anjou, where I met Lady Combermere, the Dowager Lady Hawarden, and Mrs. Masters.  Lady Combermere is lively and agreeable, un peu romanesque, which gives great originality to her conversation, and sings Mrs. Arkwright’s beautiful ballads with great feeling.

Mr. Charles Grant[4] dined here yesterday.  He is a very sensible man, possessing a vast fund of general information, with gentle and highly-polished manners.  What a charm there is in agreeable manners, and how soon one feels at ease with those who possess them!

Spent, or mis-spent, a great portion of the day in visiting the curiosity shops on the Quai Voltaire, and came away from them with a lighter purse than I entered.  There is no resisting, at least I find it so, the exquisite porcelaine de Sevres, off which the dainty dames of the reign of Louis the Fourteenth feasted, or which held their bouquets, or pot pourri.  An etui of gold set with oriental agates and brilliants, and a flacon of rock crystal, both of which once appertained to Madame de Sevigne, vanquished my prudence.

Would that with the possession of these articles, often used by her, I could also inherit the matchless grace with which her pen could invest every subject it touched!  But, alas! it is easier to acquire the beautiful bijouterie, rendered still more valuable by having belonged to celebrated people, than the talent that gained their celebrity; and so I must be content with inhaling esprit de rose from the flacon of Madame de Sevigne, without aspiring to any portion of the esprit for which she was so distinguished.

I am now rich in the possession of objects once belonging to remarkable women, and I am not a little content with my acquisitions.  I can boast the gold and enamelled pincushion of Madame de Maintenon, heart-shaped, and stuck as full of pins as the hearts of the French Protestants were with thorns by the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; to which she is said to have so greatly contributed by her counsel to her infatuated lover, Louis the Fourteenth.  I can indulge in a pinch of snuff from the tabatiere of the Marquise de Rambouillet, hold my court-plaster in the boite a mouches of Ninon de l’Enclos, and cut ribands with the scissors of Madame de Deffand.

This desire of obtaining objects that have belonged to celebrated people may be, and often is, considered puerile; but confess to the weakness, and the contemplation of the little memorials I have named awakens recollections in my mind fraught with interest.

I can fancy Madame de Sevigne, who was as amiable as she was clever, and whose tenderness towards her daughter is demonstrated so naturally and touchingly in the letters she addressed to her, holding the flacon now mine to the nostrils of Madame de Grignan, in whose health she was always so much more interested than in her own.

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I can see in my mind’s eye the precise and demure Madame de Maintenon taking a pin from the very pincushion now before me, to prevent the opening of her kerchief, and so conceal even her throat from the prying eyes of the aged voluptuary, whose passions the wily prude is said to have excited by a concealment of a portion of her person that had, in all probability, ceased to possess charms enough to produce this effect, if revealed.

This extreme reserve on the part of the mature coquette evinced a profound knowledge of mankind, and, above all, of him on whom she practised her arts.  The profuse display of the bust and shoulders in those days, when the ladies of the court left so little to the imagination of the amorous monarch on whose heart so many of them had designs, must have impaired the effect meant to have been achieved by the indelicate exposure; for—­hear it ye fair dames, with whose snowy busts and dimpled shoulders the eyes of your male acquaintance are as familiar as with your faces!—­the charms of nature, however beautiful, fall short of the ideal perfection accorded to them by the imagination, when unseen.  The clever Maintenon, aware of this fact, of which the less wise of her sex are ignorant or forgetful, afforded a striking contrast in her dress to the women around her, and piquing first the curiosity, and then the passions, of the old libertine, acquired an influence over him when she had long passed the meridian of her personal attractions, which youthful beauties, who left him no room to doubt their charms, or to exaggerate them as imagination is prone to do, could never accomplish.

This very pincushion, with its red velvet heart stuck with pins, was probably a gift from the enamoured Louis, and meant to be symbolical of the state of his own; which, in hardness, it might be truly said to resemble.  It may have often been placed on her table when Maintenon was paying the penalty of her hard-earned greatness by the painful task of endeavouring—­as she acknowledged—­to amuse a man who was no longer amusable.

Could it speak, it might relate the wearisome hours passed in a palace (for the demon Ennui cannot be expelled even from the most brilliant; nay, prefers, it is said, to select them for his abode), and we should learn, that while an object of envy to thousands, the mistress, or unacknowledged wife of le Grand Monarque, was but little more happy than the widow of Scarron when steeped in poverty.

Madame de Maintenon discovered what hundreds before and since have done—­that splendour and greatness cannot confer happiness; and, while trying to amuse a man who, though possessed of sovereign power, has lost all sense of enjoyment, must have reverted, perhaps with a sigh, to the little chamber in which she so long soothed the sick bed of the witty octogenarian, Scarron; who, gay and cheerful to the last, could make her smile by his sprightly and spirituelles sallies, which neither the evils of poverty nor pain could subdue.

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Perhaps this pincushion has lain on her table when Madame de Maintenon listened to the animating conversation of Racine, or heard him read aloud, with that spirit and deep pathos for which his reading was so remarkable, his Esther and Alhalie, previously to their performance at St.-Cyr.

That she did not make his peace with the king, when he offended him by writing an essay to prove that long wars, however likely to reflect glory on a sovereign, were sure to entail misery on his subjects, shews that either her influence over the mind of Louis was much less powerful than has been believed, or that she was deficient in the feelings that must have prompted her to exert it by pleading for him.

The ungenerous conduct of the king in banishing from his court a man whose genius shed a purer lustre over it than all the battles Boileau has sung, and for a cause that merited praise instead of displeasure, has always appeared to me to be indicative of great meanness as well as hardness of heart; and while lamenting the weakness of Racine, originating in a morbid sensibility that rendered his disgrace at court so painful and humiliating to the poet as to cause his death, I am still less disposed to pardon the sovereign that could thus excite into undue action a sensibility, the effects of which led its victim to the grave.

The diamond-mounted tabatiere now on my table once occupied a place on that of the Marquise de Rambouillet, in that hotel so celebrated, not only for the efforts made by its coterie towards refining the manners and morals of her day, but the language also, until the affectation to which its members carried their notions of purity, exposed them to a ridicule that tended to subvert the influence they had previously exercised over society.

Moliere—­the inimitable Moliere—­may have been permitted the high distinction of taking a pinch of snuff from it, while planning his Precieuses Ridicules, which, malgre his disingenuous disavowal of the satire being aimed at the Hotel Rambouillet, evidently found its subject there.  I cannot look at the snuff-box without being reminded of the brilliant circle which its former mistress assembled around her, and among which Moliere had such excellent opportunities of studying the peculiarities of the class he subsequently painted.

Little did its members imagine, when he was admitted to it, the use he would make of the privilege; and great must have been their surprise and mortification, though not avowed, at the first representation of the Precieuses Ridicules, in which many of them must have discovered the resemblance to themselves, though the clever author professed only to ridicule their imitators. Les Femmes Savantes, though produced many years subsequently, also found the originals of its characters in the same source whence Moliere painted Les Precieuses Ridicules.

I can fancy him slily listening to the theme proposed to the assembly by Mademoiselle Scudery—­the Sarraides, as she was styled—­“Whether a lover jealous, a lover despised, a lover separated from the object of his tenderness, or him who has lost her by death, was to be esteemed the most unhappy.”

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At a later period of his life, Moliere might have solved the question from bitter personal experience, for few ever suffered more from the pangs of jealousy, and assuredly no one has painted with such vigour—­though the comic often prevails over the serious in his delineations—­the effects of a passion any thing but comic to him.  Strange power of genius, to make others laugh at incidents which had often tormented himself, and to be able to give humour to characters in various comedies, actuated by the feelings to which he had so frequently been a victim!

I can picture to myself the fair Julie d’Angennes, who bestowed not her hand on the Duc de Montausier until he had served as many years in seeking it as Jacob had served to gain that of Rachel, and until she had passed her thirtieth year (in order that his passion should become as purified from all grossness, as was the language spoken among the circle in which she lived), receiving with dignified reserve the finely painted flowers and poems to illustrate them, which formed the celebrated Guirlande de Julie, presented to her by her courtly admirer.

I see pass before me the fair and elegant dames of that galaxy of wit and beauty, Mesdames de Longueville, Lafayette, and de Sevigne, fluttering their fans as they listened and replied to the gallant compliments of Voiture, Menage, Chapelain, Desmarets, or De Reaux, or to the spirituelle causerie of Chamfort.

What a pity that a society, no less useful than brilliant at its commencement, should have degenerated into a coterie, remarkable at last but for its fantastic and false notions of refinement, exhibited in a manner that deserved the ridicule it called down!


Spent last evening in the Rue d’Anjou:  met there la Marquise de Pouleprie, and the usual habitues.  She is a delightful person; for age has neither chilled the warmth of her heart, nor impaired the vivacity of her manners.  I had heard much of her; for she is greatly beloved by the Duchesse de Guiche and all the De Gramont family; and she, knowing their partiality to me, treated me rather as an old than as a new acquaintance.

Talking of old times, to which the Duc de Gramont reverted, the Marquise mentioned having seen the celebrated Madame du Barry in the garden at Versailles, when she (the Marquise) was a very young girl.  She described her as having a most animated and pleasant countenance, un petit nez retrousse, brilliant eyes, full red lips, and as being altogether a very attractive person.

The Marquise de Pouleprie accompanied the French royal family to England, and remained with them there during the emigration.  She told me that once going through the streets of London in a carriage, with the French king, during an election at Westminster, the mob, ignorant of his rank, insisted that he and his servants should take off their hats, and cry out “Long live Sir Francis Burdett!” which his majesty did with great good humour, and laughed heartily after.

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Went last night to see Mademoiselle Mars, in “Valerie.”  It was a finished performance, and worthy of her high reputation.  Never was there so musical a voice as hers!  Every tone of it goes direct to the heart, and its intonations soothe and charm the ear.  Her countenance, too, is peculiarly expressive.  Even when her eyes, in the role she enacted last night, were fixed, and supposed to be sightless, her countenance was still beautiful.  There is a harmony in its various expressions that accords perfectly with her clear, soft, and liquid voice; and the united effect of both these attractions renders her irresistible.

Never did Art so strongly resemble Nature as in the acting of this admirable artiste.  She identifies herself so completely with the part she performs, that she not only believes herself for the time being the heroine she represents, but makes others do so too.  There was not a dry eye in the whole of the female part of the audience last night—­a homage to her power that no other actress on the French stage could now command.

The style, too, of Mademoiselle Mars’ acting is the most difficult of all; because there is no exaggeration, no violence in it.  The same difference exists between it and that of other actresses, as between a highly finished portrait and a glaringly coloured transparency.  The feminine, the graceful, and the natural, are never lost sight of for a moment.

The French are admirable critics of acting, and are keenly alive to the beauties of a chaste and finished style, like that of Mademoiselle Mars.  In Paris there is no playing to the galleries, and for a simple reason:—­the occupants of the galleries here are as fastidious as those of the boxes, and any thing like outraging nature would be censured by them:  whereas, in other countries, the broad and the exaggerated almost invariably find favour with the gods.

The same pure and refined taste that characterises the acting of Mademoiselle Mars presides also over her toilette, which is always appropriate and becoming.

Accustomed to the agreeable mixture of literary men in London society, I observe, with regret, their absence in that of Paris.  I have repeatedly questioned people why this is, but have never been able to obtain a satisfactory answer.  It tells much against the good taste of those who can give the tone to society here, that literary men should be left out of it; and if the latter will not mingle with the aristocratic circles they are to blame, for the union of both is advantageous to the interests of each.

Parisian society is very exclusive, and is divided into small coteries, into which a stranger finds it difficult to become initiated.  Large routes are rare, and not at all suited to the tastes of the French people; who comment with merriment, if not with ridicule, on the evening parties in London, where the rooms being too small to contain half the guests invited, the stairs and ante-rooms are filled by a crowd, in which not only the power of conversing, but almost of respiring is impeded.

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The French ladies attribute the want of freshness so remarkable in the toilettes of Englishwomen, to their crowded routes, and the knowledge of its being impossible for a robe, or at least of a greater portion of one than covers a bust, to be seen; which induces the fair wearers to economise, by rarely indulging in new dresses.

At Paris certain ladies of distinction open their salons, on one evening of each week, to a circle of their acquaintances, not too numerous to banish that ease and confidence which form the delight of society.  Each lady takes an evening for her receptions, and no one interferes with her arrangements by giving a party on the same night.  The individuals of each circle are thus in the habit of being continually in each other’s society; consequently the etiquette and formality, so genant among acquaintances who seldom meet, are banished.

To preserve the charm of these unceremonious reunions, strangers are seldom admitted to them, but are invited to the balls, dinners, or large parties, where they see French people en grande lenue, both in dress and manner, instead of penetrating into the more agreeable parties to which I have referred, where the graceful neglige of a demi-toilette prevails, and the lively causerie of the habitues de la maison supersedes the constraint of ceremony.

Such a society is precisely the sort of one that literary men would, I should suppose, like to mingle in, to unbend their minds from graver studies, and yet not pass their time unprofitably; for in it, politics, literature, and the fine arts, generally furnish the topics of conversation:  from which, however, the warmth of discussion, which too frequently renders politics a prohibited subject, is excluded, or the pedantry that sometimes spoils literary causerie is banished.

French people, male and female, talk well; give their opinions with readiness and vivacity; often striking out ideas as original as they are brilliant; highly suggestive to more profound thinkers, but which they dispense with as much prodigality as a spendthrift throws away his small coin, conscious of having more at his disposal.  Quick of perception, they jump, rather than march, to a conclusion, at which an Englishman or a German would arrive leisurely, enabled to tell all the particulars of the route, but which the Frenchman would know little of from having arrived by some shorter road.  This quickness of perception exempts them from the necessity of devoting much of the time and study which the English or Germans employ in forming opinions, but it also precludes their being able to reason as justly or as gravely on those they form.

Walked in the gardens of the Tuileries to-day.  What a contrast their frequenters offer to those of the Luxembourg!  In the Tuileries, the promenaders look as if they only walked there to display their tasteful dresses and pretty persons.

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The women eye each other as they pass, and can tell at a glance whether their respective chapeaux have come from the atelier of Herbault, or the less recherce magasin de modes of some more humble modiste.  How rapidly can they see whether the Cashmere shawl of some passing dame owes its rich but sober tints to an Indian loom, or to the fabric of M. Ternaux, who so skilfully imitates the exotic luxury; and what a difference does the circumstance make in their estimation of the wearer!  The beauty of a woman, however great it may be, excites less envy in the minds of her own sex in France, than does the possession of a fine Cashmere, or a garniture of real Russian sable—­objects of general desire to every Parisian belle.

I met few handsome women to-day, but these few were remarkably striking.  In Kensington Gardens I should have encountered thrice as many; but there I should also have seen more plain ones than here.  Not that Englishwomen en masse are not better-looking than the French, but that these last are so skilful in concealing defects, and revealing beauties by the appropriateness and good taste in their choice of dress, that even the plain cease to appear so; and many a woman looks piquant, if not pretty, at Paris, thanks to her modiste, her couturiere, and her cordonnier, who, without their “artful aid,” would be plain indeed.

It is pleasant to behold groups of well-dressed women walking, as only French women ever do walk, nimbly moving their little feet bien chausse, and with an air half timid, half espiegle, that elicits the admiration they affect to avoid.  The rich and varied material of their robes, the pretty chapeaux, from which peep forth such coquettish glances, the modest assurance—­for their self-possession amounts precisely to that—­and the ease and elegance of their carriage, give them attractions we might seek for in vain in the women of other countries, however superior these last may be in beauty of complexion or roundness of contour, for which French women in general are not remarkable.

The men who frequent the gardens of the Tuileries are of a different order to those met with in the Luxembourg.  They consist chiefly of military men and young fashionables, who go to admire the pretty women, and elderly and middle-aged ones, who meet in knots and talk politics with all the animation peculiar to their nation.  Children do not abound in the walks here, as in the Luxembourg; and those to be seen are evidently brought by some fond mother, proud of exhibiting her boys and girls in their smart dresses.

The Tuileries Gardens, so beautiful in summer, are not without their attractions in winter.  The trees, though leafless, look well, rearing their tall branches towards the clear sky, and the statues and vases seen through vistas of evergreen shrubs, with the gilded railing which gives back the rays of the bright, though cold sun, and the rich velvets of every hue in which the women are enveloped, giving them the appearance of moving parterres of dahlias, all render the scene a very exhilarating one to the spirits.

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I observe a difference in the usages de moeurs at Paris, and in those of London, of which an ignorance might lead to give offence.  In England, a lady is expected to bow to a gentleman before he presumes to do so to her, thus leaving her the choice of acknowledging his acquaintance, or not; but in France it is otherwise, for a man takes off his hat to every woman whom he has ever met in society, although he does not address her, unless she encourages him to do so.

In Paris, if two men are walking or riding together, and one of them bows to a lady of his acquaintance, the other also takes off his hat, as a mark of respect to the lady known to his friend, although he is not acquainted with her.  The mode of salutation is also much more deferential towards women in France than in England.  The hat is held a second longer off the head, the bow is lower, and the smile of recognition is more amiable, by which, I mean, that it is meant to display the pleasure experienced by the meeting.

It is true that the really well-bred Englishmen are not to be surpassed in politeness and good manners by those of any other country, but all are not such; and I have seen instances of men in London acknowledging the presence of ladies, by merely touching, instead of taking off, their hats when bowing to them; and though I accounted for this solecism in good breeding by the belief that it proceeded from the persons practising it wearing wigs, I discovered that there was not even so good an excuse as the fear of deranging them, and that their incivility proceeded from ignorance, or nonchalance, while the glum countenance of him who bowed betrayed rather a regret for the necessity of touching his beaver, than a pleasure at meeting her for whom the salute was intended.

Time flies away rapidly here, and its flight seems to me to mark two distinct states of existence.  My mornings are devoted wholly to reading history, poetry, or belles lettres, which abstract me so completely from the actual present to the past, that the hours so disposed of appear to be the actual life, and those given up to society the shadowy and unreal.

This forcible contrast between the two portions of the same day, gives charms to both, though I confess the hours passed in my library are those which leave behind them the pleasantest reflections.  I experienced this sentiment when in the hey-day of youth, and surrounded by some of the most gifted persons in England; but now, as age advances, the love of solitude and repose increases, and a life spent in study appears to me to be the one of all others the most desirable, as the enjoyment of the best thoughts of the best authors is preferable even to their conversation, could it be had, and, consequently to that of the cleverest men to be met with in society.

Some pleasant people dined here yesterday.  Among them was Colonel Caradoc, the son of our old friend Lord Howden.  He possesses great and versatile information, is good-looking, well-bred, and has superior abilities; in short, he has all the means, and appliances to boot, to make a distinguished figure, in life, if he lacks not the ambition and energy to use them; but, born to station and fortune, he may want the incitement which the absence of these advantages furnishes, and be content to enjoy the good he already has, instead of seeking greater distinction.

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Colonel Caradoc’s conversation is brilliant and epigrammatic; and if occasionally a too evident consciousness of his own powers is suffered to be revealed in it, those who know it to be well-founded will pardon his self-complacency, and not join with the persons, and they are not few, whose amour-propre is wounded by the display of his, and who question, what really is not questionable, the foundation on which his pretensions are based.

The clever, like the handsome, to be pardoned for being so, should affect a humility they are but too seldom in the habit of feeling; and to acquire popularity must appear unconscious of meriting it.  This is one of the many penalties entailed on the gifted in mind or person.

January 1st, 1829.—­There is always something grave, if not awful, in the opening of a new year; for who knows what may occur to render it memorable for ever!  If the bygone one has been marked by aught sad, the arrival of the new reminds one of the lapse of time; and though the destroyer brings patience, we sigh to think that we may have new occasions for its difficult exercise.  Who can forbear from trembling lest the opening year may find us at its close with a lessened circle.  Some, now dear and confided in, may become estranged, or one dearer than life may be snatched away whose place never can be supplied!  The thought is too painful to be borne, and makes one look around with increased affection on those dear to us.

The custom prevalent at Paris of offering an exchange of gifts on the first day of the new year was, perhaps, originally intended to banish the melancholy reflections such an epoch is calculated to awaken.

My tables are so crowded with gifts that I might set up a petit Dunkerque of my own, for not a single friend has omitted to send me a present.  These gifts are to be acknowledged by ones of similar value, and I must go and put my taste to the test in selecting cadeaux to send in return.

Spent several hours yesterday in the gallery of the Louvre.  The collection of antiquities, though a very rich, one, dwindles into insignificance when compared with that of the Vatican, and the halls in which it is arranged appear mean in the eyes of those accustomed to see the numerous and splendid ones of the Roman edifice.  Nevertheless, I felt much satisfaction in lounging through groups of statues, and busts of the remarkable men and women of antiquity, with the countenances of many of whom I had made myself familiar in the Vatican, the Musee of the Capitol, or in the collection at Naples, where facsimiles of several of them are to be found.

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Nor had I less pleasure in contemplating the personifications of the beau ideal of the ancient sculptors, exhibited in their gods and goddesses, in whose faultless faces the expression of all passion seems to have been carefully avoided.  Whether this peculiarity is to be accounted for by the desire of the artist to signify the superiority of the Pagan divinities over mortals, by this absence of any trace of earthly feelings, or whether it was thought that any decided expression might deteriorate from the character of repose and beauty that marks the works of the great sculptors of antiquity, I know not, but the effect produced on my mind by the contemplation of these calm and beautiful faces, has something so soothing in it, that I can well imagine with what pleasure those engaged in the turmoils of war, or the scarcely less exciting arena of politics, in former ages, must have turned from their mundane cares to look on these personations of their fabled deities, whose tranquil beauty forms so soothing a contrast to mortal toils.

I have observed this calmness of expression in the faces of many of the most celebrated statues of antiquity, in the Aristides at Naples, I remember being struck with it, and noticing that he who was banished through the envy excited by his being styled the Just, was represented as unmoved as if the injustice of his countrymen no more affected the even tenour of his mind, than the passions of mortals disturb those of the mythological divinities of the ancients.

A long residence in Italy, and a habit of frequenting the galleries containing the finest works of art there, engender a love of sculpture and painting, that renders it not only a luxury but almost a necessary of life to pass some hours occasionally among the all but breathing marbles and glorious pictures bequeathed to posterity by the mighty artists of old.  I love to pass such hours alone, or in the society of some one as partial, but more skilled in such studies than myself; and such a companion I have found in the Baron de Cailleux, an old acquaintance, and now Under-Director of the Musee, whose knowledge of the fine arts equals his love for them.

The contemplation of the chefs-d’oeuvre of the old masters begets a tender melancholy in the mind, that is not without a charm for those addicted to it.  These stand the results of long lives devoted to the developement of the genius that embodied these inspirations, and left to the world the fruit of hours of toil and seclusion,—­hours snatched from the tempting pleasures that cease not to court the senses, but which they who laboured for posterity resisted.  The long vigils, the solitary days, the hopes and fears, the fears more frequent than the hopes, the depression of spirits, and the injustice or the indifference of contemporaries, endured by all who have ever devoted their lives to art, are present to my mind when I behold the great works of other times.

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What cheered these men of genius during their toils and enabled them to finish their glorious works?  Was it not the hope that from posterity they would meet with the admiration, the sympathy, denied them by their contemporaries?—­as the prisoner in his gloomy dungeon, refused all pity, seeks consolation by tracing a few lines on its dreary walls, in appeal to the sympathy of some future inhabitant who may be doomed to take his place.

I seem to be paying a portion of the debt due by posterity to those who laboured long and painfully for it, when I stand rapt in admiration before the works of the great masters of the olden time, my heart touched with a lively sympathy for their destinies; nor can I look on the glorious faces or glowing landscapes that remain to us, evincing the triumph of genius over even time itself, by preserving on canvass the semblance of all that charmed in nature, without experiencing the sentiment so naturally and beautifully expressed in the celebrated picture, by Nicolas Poussin, of a touching scene in Arcadia, in which is a tomb near to which two shepherds are reading the inscription.  “I, too, was an Arcadian.”

Yes, that which delighted the artists of old, they have transmitted to us with a tender confidence that when contemplating these bequests we would remember with sympathy that they, like us, had felt the charms they delineated.


Went to see the Hotel d’Orsay, to-day.  Even in its ruin it still retains many of the vestiges of its former splendour.  The salle a manger, for the decoration of which its owner bought, and had conveyed from Rome, the columns of the Temple of Nero, is now—­hear it, ye who have taste!—­converted into a stable; the salons, once filled with the most precious works of art, are now crumbled to decay, and the vast garden where bloomed the rarest exotics, and in which were several of the statues that are now in the gardens of the Tuileries, is now turned into paddocks for horses.

It made me sad to look at this scene of devastation, the result of a revolution which plunged so many noble families from almost boundless wealth into comparative poverty, and scattered collections of the works of art that whole lives were passed in forming.  I remember Mr. Millingen, the antiquary, telling me in Italy that when yet little more than a boy he was taken to view the Hotel d’Orsay, then one of the most magnificent houses in Paris, and containing the finest collection of pictures and statues, and that its splendour made such an impression on his mind that he had never forgotten it.

With an admirable taste and a princely fortune, Count d’Orsay spared neither trouble nor expense to render his house the focus of all that was rich and rare; and, with a spirit that does not always animate the possessor of rare works of art, he opened it to the young artists of the day, who were permitted to study in its gallery and salons.

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In the slate drawing-rooms a fanciful notion of the Count’s was carried into effect and was greatly admired, though, I believe, owing to the great expense, the mode was not adopted in other houses, namely, on the folding-doors of the suite being thrown open to admit company, certain pedals connected with them were put in motion, and a strain of music was produced, which announced the presence of guests, and the doors of each of the drawing-rooms when opened took up the air, and continued it until closed.

Many of the old noblesse have been describing the splendour of the Hotel d’Orsay to me since I have been at Paris, and the Duc de Talleyrand said it almost realised the notion of a fairy palace.  Could the owner who expended such vast sums on its decoration, behold it in its present ruin, he could never recognise it; but such would be the case with many a one whose stately palaces became the prey of a furious rabble, let loose to pillage by a revolution—­that most fearful of all calamities, pestilence only excepted, that can befall a country.

General Ornano, his stepson Count Waleski, M. Achille La Marre, General d’Orsay, and Mr. Francis Baring dined here yesterday.  General Ornano is agreeable and well-mannered.  We had music in the evening, and the lively and pretty Madame la H——­ came.  She is greatly admired, and no wonder; for she is not only handsome, but clever and piquant.  Hers does not appear to be a well-assorted marriage, for M. la H——­ is grave, if not austere, in his manners, while she is full of gaiety and vivacity, the demonstrations of which seem to give him any thing but pleasure.

I know not which is most to be pitied, a saturnine husband whose gravity is only increased by the gaiety of his wife, or the gay wife whose exuberance of spirits finds no sympathy in the Mentor-like husband.  Half, if not all, the unhappy marriages, accounted for by incompatibility of humour, might with more correctness be attributed to a total misunderstanding of each other’s characters and dispositions in the parties who drag a heavy and galling chain through life, the links of which might be rendered light and easy to be borne, if the wearers took but half the pains to comprehend each other’s peculiarities that they in general do to reproach or to resent the annoyance these peculiarities occasion them.

An austere man would learn that the gaiety of his wife was as natural and excusable a peculiarity in her, as was his gravity in him, and consequently would not resent it; and the lively wife would view the saturnine humour of her husband as a malady demanding forbearance and kindness.

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The indissolubility of marriage, so often urged as an additional cause for aggravating the sense of annoyance experienced by those wedded but unsuited to each other, is, in my opinion, one of the strongest motives for using every endeavour to render the union supportable, if not agreeable.  If a dwelling known to be unalienable has some defect which makes it unsuited to the taste of its owner, he either ameliorates it, or, if that be impracticable, he adopts the resolution of supporting its inconvenience with patience; so should a philosophical mind bear all that displeases in a union in which even the most fortunate find “something to pity or forgive.”  It is unfortunate that this same philosophy, considered so excellent a panacea for enabling us to bear ills, should be so rarely used that people can seldom judge of its efficacy when required!

Saw la Gazza Ladra last night, in which Malibran enacted “Ninetta,” and added new laurels to the wreath accorded her by public opinion.  Her singing in the duo, in the prison scene, was one of the most touching performances I ever heard; and her acting gave a fearful reality to the picture.

I have been reading the Calamities of Authors all the morning, and find I like the book even better on a second perusal—­no mean praise, for the first greatly pleased me.  So it is with all the works of Mr. D’Israeli, who writes con amore; and not only with a profound knowledge of his subjects, but with a deep sympathy, which peeps forth at every line, for the literary men whose troubles or peculiarities he describes.

His must be a fine nature—­a contemplative mind imbued with a true love of literature, and a kindness of heart that melts and makes those of others melt, for the evils to which its votaries are exposed.

How much are those who like reading, but are too idle for research, indebted to Mr. D’Israeli, who has given them the precious result of a long life of study, so admirably digested and beautifully conveyed that in a few volumes are condensed a mass of the most valuable information!  I never peruse a production of his without longing to be personally acquainted with him; and, though we never met, I entertain a regard and respect for him, induced by the many pleasant hours his works have afforded me.

Met the Princesse de Talleyrand last night at Madame C——­’s.  I felt curious to see this lady, of whom I had heard such various reports; and, as usual, found her very different to the descriptions I had received.

She came en princesse, attended by two dames de compagnie, and a gentleman who acted as chambellan.  Though her embonpoint has not only destroyed her shape but has also deteriorated her face, the small features of which seem imbued in a mask much too fleshy for their proportions, it is easy to see that in her youth she must have been handsome.  Her complexion is fair; her hair, judging from the eye-brows and eye-lashes, must have been very light; her eyes are blue; her nose, retrousse; her mouth small, with full lips; and the expression of her countenance is agreeable, though not intellectual.

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In her demeanour there is an evident assumption of dignity, which, falling short of the aim, gives an ungraceful stiffness to her appearance.  Her dress was rich but suited to her age, which I should pronounce to be about sixty.  Her manner has the formality peculiar to those conscious of occupying a higher station than their birth or education entitles them to hold; and this consciousness gives an air of constraint and reserve that curiously contrasts with the natural good-humour and naivete that are frequently perceptible in her.

If ignorant—­as is asserted—­there is no symptom of it in her language.  To be sure, she says little; but that little is expressed with propriety:  and if reserved, she is scrupulously polite.  Her dames de compagnie and chambellan treat her with profound respect, and she acknowledges their attentions with civility.  To sum up all, the impression made upon me by the Princesse Talleyrand was, that she differed in no way from any other princess I had ever met, except by a greater degree of reserve and formality than were in general evinced by them.

I could not help smiling inwardly when looking at her, as I remembered Baron Denon’s amusing story of the mistake she once made.  When the Baron’s work on Egypt was the topic of general conversation, and the hotel of the Prince Talleyrand was the rendezvous of the most distinguished persons of both sexes at Paris, Denon being engaged to dine there one day, the Prince wished the Princesse to read a few pages of the book, in order that she might be enabled to say something complimentary on it to the author.  He consequently ordered his librarian to send the work to her apartment on the morning of the day of the dinner; but, unfortunately, at the same time also commanded that a copy of Robinson Crusoe should be sent to a young lady, a protegee of hers, who resided in the hotel.  The Baron Denon’s work, through mistake, was given to Mademoiselle, and Robinson Crusoe was delivered to the Princesse, who rapidly looked through its pages.

The seat of honour at table being assigned to the Baron, the Princesse, mindful of her husband’s wishes, had no sooner eaten her soup than, smiling graciously, she thanked Denon for the pleasure which the perusal of his work had afforded her.  The author was pleased, and told her how much he felt honoured; but judge of his astonishment, and the dismay of the Prince Talleyrand, when the Princesse exclaimed.  “Yes, Monsieur le Baron, your work has delighted me; but I am longing to know what has become of your poor man Friday, about whom I feel such an interest?”

Denon used to recount this anecdote with great spirit, confessing at the same time that his amour propre as an author had been for a moment flattered by the commendation, even of a person universally known to be incompetent to pronounce on the merit of his book.  The Emperor Napoleon heard this story, and made Baron Denon repeat it to him, laughing immoderately all the time, and frequently after he would, when he saw Denon, inquire “how was poor Friday?”

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When the second restoration of the Bourbons took place, the Prince Talleyrand, anxious to separate from the Princesse, and to get her out of his house, induced her, under the pretence that a change of air was absolutely necessary for her health, to go to England for some months.  She had only been there a few weeks when a confidential friend at Paris wrote to inform her that from certain rumours afloat it was quite clear the Prince did not intend her to take up her abode again in his house, and advised her to return without delay.  The Princesse instantly adopted this counsel, and arrived most unexpectedly in the Rue St.-Florentin, to the alarm and astonishment of the whole establishment there, who had been taught not to look for her entering the hotel any more; and to the utter dismay of the Prince, who, however anxious to be separated from her, dreaded a scene of violence still more than he wished to be released from his conjugal chains.

She forced her admission to his presence, overwhelmed him with reproaches, and it required the exercise of all his diplomatic skill to allay the storm he had raised.  The affair became the general topic of conversation at Paris; and when, the day after the event, the Prince waited on Louis the Eighteenth on affairs of state, the King, who loved a joke, congratulated him on the unexpected arrival of Madame la Princesse.

Prince Talleyrand felt the sarcasm, and noticed it by one of those smiles so peculiar to him—­a shake of the head and shrug of the shoulders, while he uttered “Que voulez-vous, Sire, chacun a son vingt Mars?” referring to the unexpected arrival of the Emperor Napoleon.

I have been reading Yes and No, a very clever and, interesting novel from the pen of Lord Normanby.  His writings evince great knowledge of the world, the work-o’-day world, as well as the beau monde; yet there is no bitterness in his satire, which is always just and happily pointed.  His style, too, is easy, fluent, and polished, without being disfigured by the slightest affectation or pedantry.

Had a long visit to-day from Dr. P——­, who has lent me the works of Bichat and Broussais, which he recommends me to read.  He is a most agreeable companion, and as vivacious as if he was only twenty.  He reminds me sometimes of my old friend Lady Dysart, whose juvenility of mind and manner always pleased as much as it surprised me.

Old people like these appear to forget, as they are forgotten by, time; and, like trees marked to be cut down, but which escape the memory of the marker, they continue to flourish though the lines traced for their destruction are visible.

The more I see of Count Waleski the more I am pleased with him.  He has an acute mind, great quickness of perception, and exceedingly good manners.  I always consider it a good sign of a young man to be partial to the society of the old, and I observe that Count Waleski evinces a preference for that of men old enough to be his father.  People are not generally aware of the advantages which agreeable manners confer, and the influence they exercise over society.  I have seen great abilities fail in producing the effect accomplished by prepossessing manners, which are even more serviceable to their owner than is a fine countenance, that best of all letters of recommendation.

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Half the unpopularity of people proceeds from a disagreeable manner; and though we may be aware of the good qualities of persons who have this defect, we cannot conceal from ourselves that it must always originate in a want of the desire to please—­a want, the evidence of which cannot fail to wound the self-love of those who detect, and indispose them towards those who betray it.  By a disagreeable manner I do not mean the awkwardness often arising from timidity, or the too great familiarity originating in untutored good nature:  but I refer to a superciliousness, or coldness, that marks a sense of superiority; or to a habit of contradiction, that renders society what it should never be—­an arena of debate.

How injudicious are those who defend their absent friends, when accused of having disagreeable manners, by saying, as I have often heard persons say—­“I assure you that he or she can be very agreeable with those he or she likes:”  an assertion which, by implying that the person accused did not like those who complained of the bad manner, converts them from simple disapprovers into something approaching to enemies.

I had once occasion to notice the fine tact of a friend of mine, who, hearing a person he greatly esteemed censured for his disagreeable manner, answered,

“Yes, it is very true:  with a thousand good qualities his manner is very objectionable, even with those he likes best:  it is his misfortune, and he cannot help it; but those who know him well will pardon it.”

This candid admission of what could not be refuted, checked all further censure at the moment, whereas an injudicious defence would have lengthened it; and I heard some of the individuals then present assert, a few days subsequently, that Lord ——­ was not, after all, by any means to be disliked:  for that his manners were equally objectionable even with his most esteemed friends, and consequently meant nothing uncivil to strangers.

I tried this soothing system the other day in defence of ——­, when a whole circle were attacking him for his rude habit of contradicting, by asserting, with a grave face, that he only contradicted those whose talents he suspected, in order that he might draw them out in discussion.

——­ came in soon after, and it was positively amusing to observe how much better people bore his contradiction.  Madame ——­ only smiled when, having asserted that it was a remarkably fine day, he declared it to be abominable.  The Duc de ——­ looked gracious when, having repeated some political news, ——­ said he could prove the contrary to be the fact; and the Comtesse de ——­ looked archly round when, having extravagantly praised a new novel, he pronounced that it was the worst of all the bad ones of the author.

——­ will become a popular man, and have to thank me for it.  How angry would he be if he knew the service I have rendered him, and how quickly would he contradict all I said in his favour! ——­ reminds me of the Englishman of whom it was said, that so great was his love of contradiction, that when the hour of the night and state of the weather were announced by the watchman beneath his window, he used to get out of bed and raise both his casement and his voice to protest against the accuracy of the statement.

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Read Pelham; commenced it yesterday, and concluded it to-day.  It is a new style of novel, and, like all that is very clever, will lead to many copyists.  The writer possesses a felicitous fluency of language, profound and just thoughts, and a knowledge of the world rarely acquired at his age, for I am told he is a very young man.

This work combines pointed and pungent satire on the follies of society, a deep vein of elevated sentiment, and a train of philosophical thinking, seldom, if ever, allied to the tenderness which pierces through the sentimental part.  The opening reminded me of that of Anastatius, without being in the slightest degree an imitation; and many of the passages recalled Voltaire, by their wit and terseness.

I, who don’t like reading novels, heard so much in favour of this one—­for all Paris talk of it—­that I broke through a resolution formed since I read the dull book of ——­, to read no more; and I am glad I did so, for this clever book has greatly interested me.

Oh, the misery of having stupid books presented to one by the author! ——­, who is experienced in such matters, told me that the best plan in such cases was, to acknowledge the receipt of the book the same day it arrived, and civilly express the pleasure anticipated from its perusal, by which means the necessity of praising a bad book was avoided.  This system has, however, been so generally adopted of late, that authors are dissatisfied with it; and, consequently, a good-natured person often feels compelled to write commendations of books which he or she is far from approving; and which, though it costs an effort to write, are far from satisfying the exigeant amour propre peculiar to authors.

I remember once being present when the merits of a book were canvassed.  One person declared it to be insufferably dull, when another, who had published some novel, observed, with rather a supercilious air, “You know not how difficult it is to write a good book!”

“I suppose it must be very difficult,” was the answer, “seeing how long and how often you have attempted, without succeeding.”

How these letters of commendations of bad books, extorted from those to whom the authors present them, will rise up in judgment against the writers, when they are “gone to that bourne whence no traveller returns!” I tremble to think of it!  What severe animadversions on the bad taste, or the want of candour of the writers, and all because they were too good-natured to give pain to the authors!

Went to the Theatre Italien last night, and saw Malibran in la Cenerentola, in which her acting was no less admirable than her singing.  She sang “Non piu Mesta” better than I ever heard it before, and astonished as well as delighted the audience.  She has a soul and spirit in her style that carries away her hearers, as no other singer does, and excites an enthusiasm seldom, if ever, equalled.  Malibran seems to be as little mistress of her own emotions when singing, as those are whom her thrilling voice melts into softness, or wakes into passion.  Every tone is pregnant with feeling, and every glance and attitude instinct with truthful emotion.

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A custom prevails in France, which is not practised in Italy, or in England, namely, les lettres de faire part, sent to announce deaths, marriages, and births, to the circle of acquaintances of the parties.  This formality is never omitted, and these printed letters are sent out to all on the visiting lists, except relations, or very intimate friends, to whom autograph letters are addressed.

Another custom also prevails, which is that of sending bonbons to the friends and acquaintance of the accouchee.  These sweet proofs d’amitie come pouring in frequently, and I confess I do not dislike the usage.

The godfather always sends the bonbons and a trinket to the mother of the child, and also presents the godmother with a corbeille, in which are some dozens of gloves, two or three handsome fans, embroidered purses, a smelling-bottle, and a vinaigrette; and she offers him, en revanche, a cane, buttons, or a pin—­in short, some present.  The corbeilles given to godmothers are often very expensive, being suited to the rank of the parties; so that in Paris the compliment of being selected as a godfather entails no trifling expense on the chosen.  The great prices given for wedding trousseaux in France, even by those who are not rich, surprise me, I confess.

They contain a superabundance of every article supposed to be necessary for the toilette of a nouvelle mariee, from the rich robes of velvet down to the simple peignoir de matin.  Dresses of every description and material, and for all seasons, are found in it.  Cloaks, furs, Cashmere shawls, and all that is required for night or day use, are liberally supplied; indeed, so much so, that to see one of these trousseaux, one might imagine the person for whom it was intended was going to pass her life in some far-distant clime, where there would be no hope of finding similar articles, if ever wanted.

Then comes the corbeille de mariage, well stored with the finest laces, the most delicately embroidered pocket handkerchiefs, veils, fichus, chemisettes and canezous, trinkets, smelling-bottles, fans, vinaigrettes, gloves, garters; and though last, not least, a purse well filled to meet the wants or wishes of the bride,—­a judicious attention never omitted.

These trousseaux and corbeilles are placed in a salon, and are exhibited to the friends the two or three days previously to the wedding; and the view of them often sends young maidens—­ay, and elderly ones, too—­away with an anxious desire to enter that holy state which ensures so many treasures.  It is not fair to hold out such temptations to the unmarried, and may be the cause why they are generally so desirous to quit the pale of single blessedness.


Count Charles de Mornay dined here yesterday, en famille.  How clever and amusing he is!  Even in his liveliest sallies there is the evidence of a mind that can reflect deeply, as well as clothe its thoughts in the happiest language.  To be witty, yet thoroughly good-natured as he is, never exercising his wit at the expense of others, indicates no less kindness of heart than talent.

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I know few things more agreeable than to hear him and his cousin open the armoury of their wit, which, like summer lightning, flashes rapidly and brightly, but never wounds.  In England, we are apt to consider wit and satire as nearly synonymous; for we hear of the clever sayings of our reputed wits, in nine cases out of ten, allied to some ill-natured bon mot, or pointed epigram.  In France this is not the case, for some of the most witty men, and women too, whom I ever knew, are as remarkable for their good nature as for their cleverness.  That wit which needs not the spur of malice is certainly the best, and is most frequently met with at Paris.

Went last evening to see Mademoiselle Marsin Henri III.  Her acting was, as usual, inimitable.  I was disappointed in the piece, of which I had heard much praise.  It is what the French call decousue, but is interesting as a picture of the manners of the times which it represents.  There is no want of action or bustle in it; on the contrary, it abounds in incidents:  but they are, for the most part, puerile.  As in our own Othello, a pocket handkerchief leads to the denouement, reminding one of the truth of the verse,—­

     “What great events from trivial causes spring!”

The whole court of Henry the Third are brought on the scene, and with an attention to costume to be found only in a Parisian theatre.  The strict attention to costume, and to all the other accessories appertaining to the epoch, mise en scene, is very advantageous to the pieces brought out here; but, even should they fail to give or preserve an illusion, it is always highly interesting as offering a tableau du costume, et des moeurs des siecles passes.  The crowd brought on the stage in Henri III, though it adds to the splendour of the scenic effect, produces a confusion in the plot; as does also the vast number of names and titles introduced during the scenes, which fatigue the attention and defy the memory of the spectators.

The fierce “Duc de Guise,” the slave at once of two passions, generally considered to be the most incompatible, Love and Ambition, is made to commit strange inconsistencies.  “Saint-Megrin” excites less interest than he ought; but the “Duchesse de Guise,” whose beautiful arm plays a grand role, must, as played by Mademoiselle Mars, have conquered all hearts vi et armis.

Henri III has the most brilliant success, and, in despite of some faults, is full of genius, and the language is vigorous.  Perhaps its very faults are to be attributed to an excess, rather than to a want, of power, and to a mind overflowing with a knowledge of the times he wished to represent; which led to a dilution of the strength of his scenes, by crowding into them too much extraneous matter.

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A curious incident occurred during the representation.  Two ladies—­gentlewomen they could not be correctly styled—­being seated in the balcon, were brought in closer contact, whether by the crowd, or otherwise, than was agreeable to them.  From remonstrances they proceeded to murmurs, not only “loud, but deep,” and from murmurs—­“tell it not in Ascalon, publish it not in Gath”—­to violent pushing, and, at length, to blows.  The audience were, as well they might be, shocked; the Gendarmes interfered, and order was soon restored.  The extreme propriety of conduct that invariably prevails in a Parisian audience, and more especially in the female portion of it, renders the circumstance I have narrated remarkable.

Met Lady G., Lady H., and the usual circle of habitues last night at Madame C——­’s.  The first-mentioned lady surprises me every time I meet her, by the exaggeration of her sentiment and the romantic notions she entertains.  Love, eternal love, is her favourite topic of conversation; a topic unsuited to discussion at her age and in her position.

To hear a woman, no longer young, talking passionately of love, has something so absurd in it, that I am pained for Lady C., who is really a kind-hearted and amiable woman.  Her definitions of the passion, and descriptions of its effects, remind me of the themes furnished by Scudery, and are as tiresome as the tales of a traveller recounted some fifty years after he has made his voyage.  Lady H., who is older than Lady G., opens wide her round eyes, laughs, and exclaims, “Oh, dear!—­how very strange!—­well, that is so funny!” until Lady C. draws up with all the dignity of a heroine of romance, and asserts that “few, very few, are capable of either feeling or comprehending the passion.”  A fortunate state for those who are no longer able to inspire it!

To grow old gracefully, proves no ordinary powers of mind, more especially in one who has been (oh, what an odious phrase that same has been is!) a beauty.  Well has it been observed by a French writer, that women no longer young and handsome should forget that they ever were so.

I have been reading Wordsworth’s poems again, and I verily believe for the fiftieth time.  They contain a mine of lofty, beautiful, and natural thoughts.  I never peruse them without feeling proud that England has such a poet, and without finding a love for the pure and the noble increased in my mind.  Talk of the ideal in poetry? what is it in comparison with the positive and the natural, of which he gives such exquisite delineations, lifting his readers from Nature up to Nature’s God?  How eloquently does he portray the feelings awakened by fine scenery, and the thoughts to which it gives birth!

Wordsworth is, par excellence, the Poet of Religion, for his productions fill the mind with pure and holy aspirations.  Fortunate is the poet who has quaffed inspiration in the purest of all its sources, Nature; and fortunate is the land that claims him for her own.

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The influence exercised by courts over the habits of subjects, though carried to a less extent in our days than in past times, is still obvious at Paris in the display of religion assumed by the upper class.  Coroneted carriages are to be seen every day at the doors of certain churches, which it is not very uncharitable to suppose might be less frequently beheld there if the King, Madame la Dauphine, and the Dauphin were less religious; and hands that have wielded a sword in many a well-fought battle-field, and hold the baton de marechal as a reward, may now be seen bearing a lighted cierge in some pious procession,—­the military air of the intrepid warrior lost in the humility of the devotee.

This general assumption of religion on the part of the courtiers reminds me forcibly of a passage in a poetical epistle, written, too, by a sovereign, who, unlike many monarchs, seemed to have had a due appreciation of the proneness of subjects to adopt the opinions of their rulers.

     “L’exemple d’un monarque ordonne et se fait suivre: 
     Quand Auguste buvait, la Pologne etait ivre;
     Et quand Louis le Grand brulait d’un tendre amour,
     Paris devint Cythere, et tout suivait sa cour;
     Lorsqu’il devint devot, ardent a la priere,
     Ses laches courtisans marmottaient leur breviaire.”

Should the Duc de Bordeaux arrive at the throne while yet in the hey-day of youth, and with the gaiety that generally accompanies that period of life, it will be amusing to witness the metamorphosis that will be effected in these same courtiers.  There are doubtless many, and I am acquainted with some persons here, whose religion is as sincere and as fervent as is that of the royal personages of the court they frequent; but I confess that I doubt whether the general mass of the upper class would afficher their piety as much as they now do if their regular attendance at divine worship was less likely to be known at the Tuileries.  The influence of a pious sovereign over the religious feelings of his people must be highly beneficial when they feel, instead of affecting to do so, the sanctity they profess.

When those in the possession of supreme power, and all the advantages it is supposed to confer, turn from the enjoyment of them to seek support from Heaven to meet the doom allotted to kings as well as subjects, the example is most salutary; for the piety of the rich and great is even more edifying than that of the poor and lowly, who are supposed to seek consolation which the prosperous are imagined not to require.

The Duchesse de Berri is very popular at Paris, and deservedly so.  Her natural gaiety harmonises With that of this lively people; and her love of the fine arts, and the liberal patronage she extends to them, gratify the Parisians.

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I heard an anecdote of her to-day from an authority which leaves no doubt of its truth.  Having commanded a brilliant fete, a heavy fall of snow drew from one of her courtiers a remark that the extreme cold would impede the pleasure of the guests, who would suffer from it in coming and departing, “True,” replied the Duchesse; “but if they in comfortable carriages, and enveloped in furs and cashmeres, can suffer from the severity of the weather, what must the poor endure?” And she instantly ordered a large sum of money to be forthwith distributed, to supply fuel to the indigent, saying—­“While I dance, I shall have the pleasure of thinking the poor are not without the means of warmth.”

Received a long and delightful letter from Walter Savage Landor.  His is one of the most original minds I have ever encountered, and is joined to one of the finest natures.  Living in the delightful solitude he has chosen near Florence, his time is passed in reading, reflecting, and writing; a life so blameless and so happy, that the philosophers of old, with whose thoughts his mind is so richly imbued, might, if envy could enter into such hearts, entertain it towards him.

Landor is a happy example of the effect of retirement on a great mind.  Free from the interruptions which, if they harass not, at least impede the continuous flow of thought in those who live much in society, his mind has developed itself boldly, and acquired a vigour at which, perhaps, it might never have arrived, had he been compelled to live in a crowded city, chafed by the contact with minds of an inferior calibre.

The Imaginary Conversations could never have been written amid the vexatious interruptions incidental to one mingling much in the scenes of busy life; for the voices of the sages of old with whom, beneath his own vines, Landor loves to commune, would have been inaudible in the turmoil of a populous town, and their secrets would not have been revealed to him.  The friction of society may animate the man of talent into its exercise, but I am persuaded that solitude is essential to the perfect developement of genius.

A letter from Sir William Gell, and, like all his letters, very amusing.  Yet how different from Landor’s!  Both written beneath the sunny sky of Italy, both scholars, and nearly of the same age, nevertheless, how widely different are their letters!

Gell’s filled with lively and comic details of persons, seldom fail to make me laugh; Landor’s, wholly devoted to literary subjects, set me thinking.  Cell would die of ennui in the solitude Landor has selected; Landor would be chafed into irritation in the constant routine of visiting and dining-out in which Gell finds amusement.  But here am I attempting to draw a parallel where none can be established, for Landor is a man of genius, Gell a man of talent.

Was at the Opera last night, and saw the Duc d’Orleans there with his family.  They are a fine-looking flock, male and female, and looked as happy as they are said to be.

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I know no position more enviable than that of the Duc d’Orleans.  Blessed with health, a princely revenue, an admirable wife, fine children, and many friends, he can have nothing to desire but a continuance of these blessings.  Having experienced adversity, and nobly endured the ordeal, he must feel with an increased zest the happiness now accorded to him,—­a happiness that seems so full and complete, that I can fancy no addition possible to it.

His vast wealth may enable him to exercise a generosity that even sovereigns can rarely practise; his exalted rank, while it places him near a throne, precludes him from the eating cares that never fail to attend even the most solidly established one, and leaves him free to enjoy the happiness of domestic life in a family circle said to contain every ingredient for creating it.

The fondest husband, father, and brother, he is fortunate beyond most men in his domestic relations, and furnishes to France a bright example of irreproachable conduct and well-merited felicity in them all.  In the possession of so many blessings, I should, were I in his position (and he probably does, or he is not the sensible man I take him to be), tremble at the possibility of any event that could call him from the calm enjoyment of them to the giddy height and uneasy seat of a throne.

The present king is in the vale of years, the Dauphin not young, and the Duc de Bordeaux is but a child.  Should any thing occur to this child, then would the Duc d’Orleans stand in direct line after the Dauphin.  I thought of this contingency last night as I looked on the happy family, and felt assured that were the Duc d’Orleans called to reign in France, these same faces would look less cloudless than they did then, for I am one of those who believe that “uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”

With a good sense that characterises the Duc d’Orleans, he has sent his sons to public schools—­a measure well calculated not only to give them a just knowledge of the world, so often denied to princes, but to render them popular.  The Duc de Chartres is an exceedingly handsome young man, and his brothers are fine youths.  The Princesses are brought up immediately under the eye of their mother, who is allowed by every one to be a faultless model for her sex.

The Duc d’Orleans is said to be wholly engrossed in the future prospects of his children, and in insuring, as far as human foresight can insure, their prosperity.

I have been reading Shelley’s works, in which I have found many beautiful thoughts.  This man of genius—­for decidedly such he was—­has not yet been rendered justice to; the errors that shroud his poetry, as vapours rising from too rich a soil spread a mist that obstructs our view of the flowers that also spring from the same bed, have hindered us from appreciating the many beauties that abound in Shelley’s writings.  Alarmed by the poison that lurks in some of his wild speculations, we have slighted the antidote to be found in many others of them, and heaped obloquy on the fame of a poet whose genius and kindness of heart should have insured our pity for the errors of his creed.

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He who was all charity has found none in the judgment pronounced on him by his contemporaries; but posterity will be more just.  The wild theories and fanciful opinions of Shelley, on subjects too sacred to be approached lightly, carry with them their own condemnation; and so preclude the evil which pernicious doctrines, more logically reasoned, might produce on weak minds.  His theories are vague, dreamy, always erroneous, and often absurd:  but the imagination of the poet, and the tenderness of heart of the man, plead for pardon for the false doctrines of the would-be philosopher; and those who most admire his poetry will be the least disposed to tolerate his anti-religious principles.  As a proof that his life was far from being in accordance with his false creed, he enjoyed, up to his death, the friendship of some of the most excellent men, who deplored his errors but who loved and valued him.

William Spencer, the poet, dined here yesterday.  Alas! he has “fallen into the sere and yellow leaf,” for though sometimes uttering brilliant thoughts, they are “like angel visits, few and far between;” and total silence, or half-incoherent rhapsodies, mark the intervals.

This melancholy change is accounted for by the effects of an indulgence in wine, had recourse to in consequence of depression of spirits.  Nor is this pernicious indulgence confined to the evening, for at a dejeuner a la fourchette at two o’clock, enough wine is drunk to dull his faculties for the rest of the day.  What an unpoetical close to a life once so brilliant!

Alas, alas, for poor human nature! when, even though illumined by the ethereal spark, it can thus sully its higher destiny.  I thought of the many fanciful and graceful poems so often perused with pleasure, written by Mr. Spencer amid the brilliant fetes in which he formerly passed his nights, and where he often found his inspirations.  His was ever a courtly Muse, but without the hoop and train—­a ball-room belle, with alternate smiles and sentimentality, and witty withal.  No out-bursting of passion, or touch of deep pathos, interrupted the equanimity of feeling of those who perused Spencer’s verses; yet was their absence unmissed, for the fancy, wit, and sentiment that marked them all, and the graceful ease of the versification, rendered them precisely what they were intended for,—­les vers de societe, the fitting volume elegantly bound to be placed in the boudoir.

And there sat the pet poet of gilded salons, whose sparkling sallies could once delight the fastidious circles in which he moved.  His once bright eyes, glazed and lustreless, his cheeks sunken and pale, seeming only conscious of the presence of those around him when offered champagne, the excitement of which for a few brief moments produced some flashing bon mot a propos de rien passing at the time, after which his spirits subsided even more rapidly than did the bubbles of the wine that had given them their short excitement.

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It made me sad to contemplate this wreck; but most of those around him appeared unconscious of there being any thing remarkable in his demeanour.  They had not known him in his better days.

I am often amused, and sometimes half-vexed by witnessing the prejudices that still exist in France with regard to the English.  These prejudices prevail in all ranks, and are, I am disposed to think, incurable.

They extend to trivial, as well as to more grave matters, and influence the opinions pronounced on all subjects.  An example of this prejudice occurred a few weeks ago, when one of our most admired belles from London having arrived at Paris, her personal appearance was much canvassed.  One person found her too tall, another discovered that she had too much embonpoint, and a third said her feet were much too large.  A Frenchman, when appealed to for his opinion, declared “Elle est tres-bien pour une Anglaise.”  I ought to add, that there was no English person present when he made this ungallant speech, which was repeated to me by a French lady, who laughed heartily at his notion.

If an Englishwoman enters a glover’s, or shoemaker’s shop, these worthies will only shew her the largest gloves or shoes they have in their magasins, so persuaded are they that she cannot have a small hand or foot; and when they find their wares too large, and are compelled to search for the smallest size, they seem discomposed as well as surprised, and inform the lady that they had no notion “une dame anglaise could want small gloves or shoes.”

That an Englishwoman can be witty, or brilliant in conversation, the French either doubt or profess to doubt; but if convinced against their will they exclaim, “C’est drole, mais madame a l’esprit eminemment francais.”  Now this no Englishwoman has, or, in my opinion, can have; for it is peculiar, half-natural and half-acquired.

Conversation, in France, is an art successfully studied; to excel in which, not only much natural talent is required, but great fluency and a happy choice of words are indispensable.  No one in Parisian society speaks ill, and many possess a readiness of wit, and a facility of turning it to account, that I have never seen exemplified in women of other countries.

A Frenchwoman talks well on every subject, from those of the most grave political importance, to the derniere mode.  Her talent in this art is daily exercised, and consequently becomes perfected; while an Englishwoman, with more various and solid attainments, rarely if ever, arrives at the ease and self-confidence which would enable her to bring the treasures with which her mind is stored into play.  So generally is the art of conversation cultivated in France, that even those with abilities that rise not beyond mediocrity can take their parts in it, not only without exposing the poverty of their intellects, but with even a show of talent that often imposes on strangers.

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An Englishwoman, more concentrated in her feelings as well as in her pursuits, seldom devotes the time given by Frenchwomen to the superficial acquisition of a versatility of knowledge, which, though it enables them to converse fluently on various subjects, she would dread entering on, unless well versed in.  My fair compatriots have consequently fewer topics, even if they had equal talent, to converse on; so that the esprit styled, par excellence, l’esprit eminemment francais, is precisely that to which we can urge the fewest pretensions.

This does not, however, dispose me to depreciate a talent, or art, for art it may be called, that renders society in France not only so brilliant but so agreeable, and which is attended with the salutary effect of banishing the ill-natured observations and personal remarks which too often supply the place of more harmless topics with us.


Much as I deplore some of the consequences of the Revolution in France, and the atrocities by which it was stained, it is impossible not to admit the great and salutary change effected in the habits and feelings of the people since that event.  Who can live on terms of intimacy with the French, without being struck by the difference between those of our time, and those of whom we read previously to that epoch?  The system of education is totally different.  The habits of domestic life are wholly changed.  The relations between husband and wife, and parents and children, have assumed another character, by which the bonds of affection and mutual dependances are drawn more closely together; and home, sweet home, the focus of domestic love, said to have been once an unknown blessing, at least among the haute noblesse, is now endeared by the discharge of reciprocal duties and warm sympathies.

It is impossible to doubt but that the Revolution of 1789, and the terrible scenes in the reign of terror which followed it, operated in producing the change to which I have referred.  It found the greater portion of the noblesse luxuriating in pleasure, and thinking only of selfish, if not of criminal indulgence, in pursuits equally marked by puerility and vice.

The corruption of the regency planted the seeds of vice in French morals, and they yielded a plentiful harvest.  How well has St.-Evremond described that epoch in his playful, but sarcastic verses!—­

     “Une politique indulgente,
     De notre nature innocente,
     Favorisait tous les desirs;
     Tout gout paraissait legitime,
     La douce erreur ne s’appelait point crime,
     Les vices delicats se nommalent des plaisirs.”

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But it was reserved for the reign of Louis the Fifteenth to develope still more extensively the corruption planted by his predecessor.  The influence exercised on society by the baleful example of his court had not yet ceased, and time had not been allowed for the reign of the mild monarch who succeeded that gross voluptuary to work the reform in manners, if not in morals, which his own personal habits were so well calculated to produce.  It required the terrible lesson given by the Revolution to awaken the natural feelings of affection that had so long slumbered supinely in the enervated hearts of the higher classes in France, corrupted by long habits of indulgence in selfish gratifications.  The lesson at once awoke even the most callous; while those, and there were many such, who required it not, furnished the noblest examples of high courage and self-devotion to the objects dear to them.

In exile and in poverty, when all extraneous sources of consolation were denied them, those who if still plunged in pleasure and splendour might have remained insensible to the blessings of family ties, now turned to them with the yearning fondness with which a last comfort is clasped, and became sensible how little they had hitherto estimated them.

Once awakened from their too long and torpid slumber, the hearts purified by affliction learned to appreciate the blessings still left them, and from the fearful epoch of the Revolution a gradual change may be traced in the habits and feelings of the French people.  Terrible has been the expiation of their former errors, but admirable has been the result; for nowhere can be now found more devoted parents, more dutiful children, or more attached relatives, than among the French noblesse.

If the lesson afforded by the Revolution to the upper class has been attended with a salutary effect, it has been scarcely less advantageous to the middle and lower; for it has taught them the dangers to be apprehended from the state of anarchy that ever follows on the heels of popular convulsions, exposing even those who participated in them to infinitely worse evils than those from which they hoped to escape by a subversion of the legitimate government.

These reflections have been suggested by a description given to me, by one who mixed much in Parisian society previously to the Revolution, of the habits, modes, and usages of the haute noblesse of that period, and who is deeply sensible of the present regeneration.  This person, than whom a more impartial recorder of the events of that epoch cannot be found, assured me that the accounts given in the memoirs and publications of the state of society at that epoch were by no means exaggerated, and that the domestic habits and affections at present so universally cultivated in France were, if not unknown, at least neglected.

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Married people looked not to each other for happiness, and sought the aggrandizement, and not the felicity, of their children.  The acquisition of wealth and splendour and the enjoyment of pleasure occupied their thoughts, and those parents who secured these advantages for their offspring, however they might have neglected to instil sentiments of morality and religion into their minds, believed that they had fully discharged their duty towards them.  It was the want of natural affection between parents and children that led to the cynical observation uttered by a French philosopher of that day, who explained the partiality of grandfathers and grandmothers towards their grandchildren, by saying these last were the enemies of their enemies,—­a reflection founded on the grossest selfishness.

The habit of judging persons and things superficially, is one of the defects that most frequently strike me in the Parisians.  This defect arises not from a want of quickness of apprehension, but has its source in the vivacity peculiar to them, which precludes their bestowing sufficient time to form an accurate opinion on what they pronounce.  Prone to judge from the exterior, rather than to study the interior qualifications of those with whom they come in contact, the person who is perfectly well-dressed and well-mannered will be better received than he who, however highly recommended for mental superiority or fine qualities, happens to be ill-dressed, or troubled with mauvaise honte.

A woman, if ever so handsome, who is not dressed a la mode, will be pronounced plain in a Parisian salon; while a really plain woman wearing a robe made by Victorine and a cap by Herbault, will be considered tres-bien, ou au moins bien gentille.  The person who can converse fluently on all the ordinary topics, though never uttering a single sentiment or opinion worth remembering, will be more highly thought of than the one who, with a mind abounding with knowledge, only speaks to elicit or convey information.  Talent, to be appreciated in France, must be—­like the wares in its shops—­fully displayed; the French give no credit for what is kept in reserve.

I have been reading Devereux, and like it infinitely,—­even more than Pelham, which I estimated very highly.  There is more thought and reflection in it, and the sentiments bear the stamp of a profound and elevated mind.  The novels of this writer produce a totally different effect on me to that exercised by the works of other authors; they amuse less than they make me think.  Other novels banish thought, and interest me only in the fate of the actors; but these awaken a train of reflection that often withdraws me from the story, leaving me deeply impressed with the truth, beauty, and originality of the thoughts with which every page is pregnant.

All in Paris are talking of the esclandre of the late trial in London; and the comments made on it by the French prove how different are the views of morality taken by them and us.

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Conversing with some ladies on this subject last night, they asserted that the infrequency of elopements in France proved the superiority of morals of the French, and that few examples ever occurred of a woman being so lost to virtue as to desert her children and abandon her home.  “But if she should have rendered herself unworthy of any longer being the companion of her children, the partner of her home,” asked one of the circle, “would it be more moral to remain under the roof she had dishonoured, and with the husband she had betrayed, than to fly, and so incur the penalty she had drawn on her head?” They were of opinion that the elopement was the most criminal part of the affair, and that Lady ——­ was less culpable than many other ladies, because she had not fled; and, consequently, that elopements proved a greater demoralisation than the sinful liaisons carried on without them.

Lady C——­ endeavoured to prove that the flight frequently originated in a latent sense of honour and shame, which rendered the presence of the deceived husband and innocent children insufferable to her whose indulgence of a guilty passion had caused her to forfeit her right to the conjugal home; but they could not comprehend this, and persisted in thinking the woman who fled with her lover more guilty than her who remained under the roof of the husband she deceived.

One thing is quite clear, which is, that the woman who feels she dare not meet her wronged husband and children, if she dishonours them, will be more deterred from sin by the consciousness of the necessity of flight, which it imposes, than will be the one who sees no such necessity, and who dreads not the penalty she may be tempted to incur.

Lady C——­ maintained that elopements are not a fair criterion for judging of the morality of a country; for that she who sins and flies is less hardened in guilt than she who remains and deceives:  and the example is also less pernicious, as the one who has forfeited her place in society serves as a beacon to warn others; while she whose errors are known, yet still retains hers, is a dangerous instance of the indulgence afforded to hardened duplicity.  It is not the horror of guilt, but the dread of its exposure, that operates on the generality of minds; and this is not always sufficient to deter from sin.

Les Dames de B——­ dined with us yesterday.  They are very clever and amusing, and, what is better, are excellent women.  Their attachment to each other, and devotion to their nephew, are edifying; and he appears worthy of it.  Left an orphan when yet an infant, these sisters adopted their nephew, and for his sake have refused many advantageous offers of marriage, devoting themselves to forwarding his interests and insuring him their inheritance.  They have shared his studies, taken part in his success, and entered into his pains and pleasures, made his friends theirs, and theirs his; no wonder, then, that he loves them so fondly, and is never happier than with them, taking a lively interest in all their pursuits.

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These good and warm-hearted women are accused of being enthusiasts, and romantic.  People say that at their age it is odd, if not absurd, to indulge in such exaggerated notions of attachment; nay more, to give such disinterested proofs of it.  They may well smile at such remarks, while conscious that their devotion to their nephew has not only secured his happiness, but constitutes their own; and that the warmth of affection for which they are censured, cheers the winter of their lives and diffuses a comfort over their existence unknown to the selfish mortals who live only for self.

They talked to me last night of the happiness they anticipated in seeing their nephew married.  “He is so good, so excellent, that the person he selects cannot fail to love him fondly,” said La Chanoinesse; “and we will love her so dearly for ensuring his happiness,” added the other sister.

Who could know these two estimable women, without acknowledging how harsh and unjust are often the sweeping censures pronounced on those who are termed old maids?—­a class in whose breasts the affections instinct in woman, not being exercised by conjugal or maternal ties, expand into some other channel; and, if denied some dear object on which to place them, expends them on the domestic animals with which, in default of more rational favourites, they surround themselves.

Les Dames de B——­, happier than many of the spinsters of their age, have an estimable object to bestow their affections on; but those who are less fortunate should rather excite our pity than ridicule, for many and severe must have been the trials of that heart which turns at last, dans le besoin d’aimer, to the bird, dog, or cat, that renders solitude less lonely.

The difference between servitude in England and in France often strikes me, and more especially when I hear the frequent complaints made by English people of the insolence and familiarity of French servants.  Unaccustomed to hear a servant reply to any censure passed on him, the English are apt to consider his doing so as a want of respect or subordination, though a French servant does not even dream that he is guilty of either when, according to the general habit of his class and country, he attempts an exculpation not always satisfactory to his employer, however it may be to himself.

A French master listens to the explanation patiently, or at least without any demonstration of anger, unless he finds it is not based on truth, when he reprehends the servant in a manner that satisfies the latter that all future attempts to avoid blame by misrepresentation will be unavailing.  French servants imagine that they have the right to explain, and their employers do not deny it; consequently, when they change a French for an English master, they continue the same tone and manner to which they have been used, and are not a little surprised to find themselves considered guilty of impertinence.

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A French master and mistress issue their orders to their domestics with much more familiarity than the English do; take a lively interest in their welfare and happiness; advise them about their private concerns; inquire into the cause of any depression of spirits, or symptom of ill health they may observe, and make themselves acquainted with the circumstances of those in their establishment.

This system lessens the distance maintained between masters and servants, but does not really diminish the respect entertained by the latter towards their employers, who generally find around them humble friends, instead of, as with us, cold and calculating dependents, who repay our hauteur by a total indifference to our interests, and, while evincing all the external appearance of profound respect, entertain little of the true feeling of it to their masters.

Treating our servants as if they were automatons created solely for our use, and who, being paid a certain remuneration for their services, have no claim on us for kindness or sympathy, is a system very injurious to their morals and our own interests, and requires an amelioration.  But while I deprecate the tone of familiarity that so frequently shocks the untravelled English in the treatment of French employers to their servants, I should like to see more kindness of manner shewn by the English to theirs.  Nowhere are servants so well paid, clothed, fed, and lodged, as with us, and nowhere are they said to feel so little attachment to their masters; which can only be accounted for by the erroneous system to which I have referred.

——­ came to see me to-day.  He talked politics, and I am afraid went away shocked at perceiving how little interest I took in them.  I like not political subjects in England, and avoid them whenever I can; but here I feel very much about them, as the Irishman is said to have felt when told that the house he was living in was on fire, and he answered “Sure, what’s that to me!—­I am only a lodger!”

——­ told me that France is in a very dangerous state; the people discontented, etc. etc.  So I have heard every time I have visited Paris for the last ten years; and as to the people being discontented, when were they otherwise I should like to know?  Never, at least since I have been acquainted with them; and it will require a sovereign such as France has not yet known to satisfy a people so versatile and excitable.  Charles the Tenth is not popular.  His religious turn, far from conciliating the respect or confidence of his subjects, tends only to awaken their suspicions of his being influenced by the Jesuits—­a suspicion fraught with evil, if not danger, to him.

Strange to say, all admit that France has not been so prosperous for years as at present.  Its people are rapidly acquiring a love of commerce, and the wealth that springs from it, which induces me to imagine that they would not be disposed to risk the advantages they possess by any measure likely to subvert the present state of things.  Nevertheless, more than one alarmist like ——­ shake their heads and look solemn, foretelling that affairs cannot long go on as they are.

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Of one thing I am convinced, and that is, that no sovereign, whatever may be his merits, can long remain popular in France; and that no prosperity, however brilliant, can prevent the people from those emeutes into which their excitable temperaments, rather than any real cause for discontent, hurry them.  These emeutes, too, are less dangerous than we are led to think.  They are safety-valves by which the exuberant spirits of the French people escape; and their national vanity, being satisfied with the display of their force, soon subside into tranquillity, if not aroused into protracted violence by unwise demonstrations of coercion.

The two eldest sons of the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche have entered the College of Ste.-Barbe.  This is a great trial to their mother, from whom they had never previously been separated a single day.  Well might she be proud of them, on hearing the just eulogiums pronounced on the progress in their studies while under the paternal roof; for never did parents devote themselves more to the improvement of their children than the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche have done, and never did children offer a fairer prospect of rewarding their parents than do theirs.

It would have furnished a fine subject for a painter to see this beautiful woman, still in the zenith of her youth and charms, walking between these two noble boys, whose personal beauty is as remarkable as that of their parents, as she accompanied them to the college.  The group reminded me of Cornelia and her sons, for there was the same classic tournure of heads and profiles, and the same elevated character of spirituelle beauty, that painters and sculptors always bestow on the young Roman matron and the Gracchi.

The Duc seemed impressed with a sentiment almost amounting to solemnity as he conducted his sons to Ste.-Barbe.  He thought, probably, of the difference between their boyhood and his own, passed in a foreign land and in exile; while they, brought up in the bosom of a happy home, have now left it for the first time.  Well has he taught them to love the land of their birth, for even now their youthful hearts are filled with patriotic and chivalrous feelings!

It would be fortunate, indeed, for the King of France if he had many such men as the Duc de Guiche around him—­men with enlightened minds, who have profited by the lessons of adversity, and kept pace with the rapidly advancing knowledge of the times to which they belong.

Painful, indeed, would be the position of this excellent man should any circumstances occur that would place the royal family in jeopardy, for he is too sensible not to be aware of the errors that might lead to such a crisis, and too loyal not to share the perils he could not ward off; though he will never be among those who would incur them, for no one is more impressed with the necessity of justice and impartiality than he is.


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The approach of spring is already visible here, and right glad am I to welcome its genial influence; for a Paris winter possesses in my opinion no superiority over a London one,—­nay, though it would be deemed by the French little less than a heresy to say so, is even more damp and disagreeable.

The Seine has her fogs, as dense, raw, and chilling, as those of old Father Thames himself; and the river approximating closer to “the gay resorts” of the beau monde, they are more felt.  The want of draining, and the vapours that stagnate over the turbid waters of the ruisseaux that intersect the streets at Paris, add to the humidity of the atmosphere; while the sewers in London convey away unseen and unfelt, if not always unsmelt, the rain which purifies, while it deluges, our streets.  Heaven defend me, however, from uttering this disadvantageous comparison to Parisian cars, for the French are too fond of Paris not to be proud even of its ruisseaux, and incredulous of its fogs, and any censure on either would be ill received.

The gay butterflies when they first expand their varicoloured wings and float in air, seem not more joyous than the Parisians have been during the last two days of sunshine.  The Jardins des Tuileries are crowded with well-dressed groups; the budding leaves have burst forth with that delicate green peculiar to early spring; and the chirping of innumerable birds, as they flit from tree to tree, announces the approach of the vernal season.

Paris is at no time so attractive, in my opinion, as in spring; and the verdure of the foliage during its infancy is so tender, yet bright, that it looks far more beautiful than with us in our London squares or parks, where no sooner do the leaves open into life, than they become stained by the impurity of the atmosphere, which soon deposes its dingy particles on them, “making the green one”—­black.

The Boulevards were well stocked with flowers to-day, the bouquetieres having resumed their stalls; and many a pedestrian might be seen bargaining for these fair and frail harbingers of rosy spring.

How exhilarating are the effects of this season on the spirits depressed by the long and gloomy winter, and the frame rendered languid by the same cause!  The heart begins to beat with more energetic movement, the blood flows more briskly through the veins, and the spirit of hope is revivified in the human heart.  This sympathy between awakening nature, on the earth, and on man, renders us more, that at any other period, fond of the country; for this is the season of promise; and we know that each coming day, for a certain time, will bestow some new beauty on all that is now budding forth, until glowing, laughing summer has replaced the fitful smiles and tears of spring.

And there are persons who tell me they experience nought of this elasticity of spirits at the approach of spring!  How are such mortals to be pitied!  Yet, perhaps, they are less so than we imagine, for the same insensibility that prevents their being exhilarated, may preclude them from the depression so peculiar to all who have lively feelings.

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“I see nothing so very delightful in spring,” said ——­ to me, yesterday. “Au contraire, I think it rather disagreeable, for the sunshine cheats one into the belief of warmth, and we go forth less warmly clad in consequence, so return home chilled by the sharp cold air which always prevails at this season, and find, as never fails to be the case, that our stupid servants have let out the fires, because, truly, the sun was shining in the cold blue sky.” ——­ reminds me of the man mentioned in Sterne’s works, who, when his friend looking on a beautiful prospect, compared a green field with a flock of snowy-fleeced sheep on it, to a vast emerald studded with pearls, answered that he could see nothing in it but grass and mutton.

Lord B——­ set out for London to-day, to vote on the Catholic question, which is to come on immediately.  His going at this moment, when he is far from well, is no little sacrifice of personal comfort; but never did he consider self when a duty was to be performed.  I wish the question was carried, and he safely back again.  What would our political friends say if they knew how strongly I urged him not to go, but to send his proxy to Lord Rosslyn?  I would not have consented to his departure, were it not that the Duke of Wellington takes such an interest in the measure.

How times are changed! and how much is due to those statesmen who yield up their own convictions for the general good!  There is no action in the whole life of the Duke more glorious than his self-abnegation on this occasion, nor is that of the Tory leader of the House of Commons less praiseworthy; yet how many attacks will both incur by this sacrifice of their opinions to expediency! for when were the actions of public men judged free from the prejudices that discolour and distort all viewed through their medium?  That which originates in the purest patriotism, will be termed an unworthy tergiversation; but the reward of these great and good men will be found in their own breasts.  I am triste and unsettled, so will try the effect of a drive in the Bois de Boulogne.

I was forcibly reminded yesterday of the truth of an observation of a clever French writer, who says, that to judge the real merit of a cook, one should sit down to table without the least feeling of appetite, as the triumph of the culinary art was not to satisfy hunger but to excite it.  Our new cook achieved this triumph yesterday, for he is so inimitable an artist, that the flavour of his plats made even me, albeit unused to the sensation of hunger, feel disposed to render justice to them.  Monsieur Louis—­for so he is named—­has a great reputation in his art; and it is evident, even from the proof furnished of his savoir-faire yesterday, that he merits it.

It is those only who have delicate appetites that can truly appreciate the talent of a cook; for they who devour soon lose the power of tasting.  No symptom of that terrible malady, well named by the ingenious Grimod de la Reyniere remords d’estomac, but vulgarly called indigestion, follows my unusual indulgence in entrees and entremets, another delightful proof of the admirable skill of Monsieur Louis.

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The English are apt to spoil French cooks by neglecting the entrees for the piece de resistance, and, when the cook discovers this, which he is soon enabled to do by the slight breaches made in the first, and the large one in the second, his amour-propre becomes wounded, and he begins to neglect his entrees.  Be warned, then, by me, all ye who wish your cooks to retain their skill, and however your native tastes for that English favourite dish denominated “a plain joint” may prevail, never fail to taste the entree.

A propos of cooks, an amusing instance of the amour-propre of a Parisian cook was related to me by the gourmand Lord ——­, the last time we dined at his house.  Wishing to have a particular sauce made which he had tasted in London, and for which he got the receipt, he explained to his cook, an artist of great celebrity, how the component parts were to be amalgamated.

“How, mylord!” exclaimed Monsieur le cuisinier; “an English sauce!  Is it possible your lordsip can taste any thing so barbarous?  Why, years ago, my lord, a profound French philosopher described the English as a people who had a hundred religions, but only one sauce.”

More anxious to get the desired sauce than to defend the taste of his country, or correct the impertinence of his cook, Lord ——­ immediately said, “On recollection, I find I made a mistake; the sauce I mean is a la Hollandaise, and not a l’Anglaise.”

A la bonne heure, my lord, c’est autre chose; and the sauce was forthwith made, and was served at table the day we dined with Lord ——.

An anecdote is told of this same cook, which Lord ——­ relates with great good humour.  The cook of another English nobleman conversing with him, said, “My master is like yours—­a great gourmand.”

“Pardon me,” replied the other; “there is a vast difference between our masters.  Yours is simply a gourmand, mine is an epicure as well.”

The Duc de Talleyrand, dining with us a few days ago, observed that to give a perfect dinner, the Amphitryon should have a French cook for soups, entrees and entremets; an English rotisseur, and an Italian confiseur, as without these, a dinner could not be faultless.  “But, alas!” said he—­and he sighed while he spoke it—­“the Revolution has destroyed our means of keeping these artists; and we eat now to support nature, instead of, as formerly, when we ate because it was a pleasure to eat.”  The good-natured Duc nevertheless seemed to eat his dinner as if he still continued to take a pleasure in the operation, and did ample justice to a certain plat de cailles farcies which he pronounced to be perfect.

Our landlord, le Marquis de L——­, has sent to offer us the refusal of our beautiful abode.  The Duc de N——­ has proposed to take it for fourteen on twenty-one years, at the same rent we pay (an extravagant one, by the bye), and as we only took it for a year, we must eithor leave or hire it for fourteen or twenty-one years, which is out of the question.

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Nothing can be more fair or honourable than the conduct of the Marquis de L——­, for he laid before us the offer of the Duc de N——­; but as we do not intend to remain more than two or three years more in Paris, we must leave this charming house, to our infinite regret, when the year for which we have hired it expires.  Gladly would we have engaged it for two, or even three years more, but this is now impossible; and we shall have the trouble of again going the round of house-hunting.

When I look on the suite of rooms in which I have passed such pleasant days, I am filled with regret at the prospect of leaving them, but it cannot be helped, so it is useless to repine.  We have two months to look about us, and many friends who are occupied in assisting us in the search.

A letter from Lord B——­; better, but still ailing.  He presided at the Covent Garden Theatrical Fund Dinner, at the request of the Duke of Clarence.  He writes me that he met there Lord F. Leveson Gower[5], who was introduced to him by Mr. Charles Greville, and of whom he has conceived a very high opinion.  Lord B——­ partakes my belief in physiognomy, but in this instance the impression formed from the countenance is justified by the reputation of the individual, who is universally esteemed and respected.

Went again to see the Hotel Monaco, which Lord B——­ writes me to close for; but its gloomy and uncomfortable bed-rooms discourage me, malgre the splendour of the salons, which are decidedly the finest I have seen at Paris, I will decide on nothing until Lord B——­’s return.

Went to the College of Ste.-Barbe to-day, with the Duchesse de Guiche, to see her sons.  Great was their delight at the meeting.  I thought they would never have done embracing her; and I, too, was warmly welcomed by these dear and affectionate boys, who kissed me again and again.  They have already won golden opinions at the college, by their rare aptitude in acquiring all that is taught them, and by their docility and manly characters.

The masters paid the Duchesse the highest compliments on the progress her sons had made previously to their entrance at Ste.-Barbe, and declared that they had never met any children so far advanced for their age.  I shared the triumph of this admirable mother, whose fair cheeks glowed, and whose beautiful eyes sparkled, on hearing the eulogiums pronounced on her boys.  Her observation to me was, “How pleased their father will be!”

Ste.-Barbe is a little world in itself, and a very different world to any I had previously seen.  In it every thing smacks of learning, and every body seems wholly engrossed by study.

The spirit of emulation animates all, and excites the youths into an application so intense as to be often found injurious to health.  The ambition of surpassing all competitors in their studies operates so powerfully on the generality of the eleves, that the masters frequently find it more necessary to moderate, than to urge the ardour of the pupils.  A boy’s reputation for abilities soon gets known, but he must possess no ordinary ones to be able to distinguish himself in a college where every victory in erudition is sure to be achieved by a well-contested battle.

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We passed through the quarter of Paris known as the Pays Latin, the aspect of which is singular, and is said to have been little changed during the last century.  The houses, chiefly occupied by literary men, look quaint and picturesque.  Every man one sees passing has the air of an author, not as authors now are, or at least as popular ones are, well-clothed and prosperous-looking, but as authors were when genius could not always command a good wardrobe, and walked forth in habiliments more derogatory to the age in which it was neglected, than to the individual whose poverty compelled such attire.

Men in rusty threadbare black, with books under the arm, and some with spectacles on nose, reading while they walked along, might be encountered at every step.

The women, too, in the Pays Latin, have a totally different aspect to those of every other part of Paris.  The desire to please, inherent in the female breast, seems to have expired in them, for their dress betrays a total neglect, and its fashion is that of some forty years ago.  Even the youthful are equally negligent, which indicates their conviction that the men they meet seldom notice them, proving the truth of the old saying, that women dress to please men.

The old, with locks of snow, who had grown into senility in this erudite quarter, still paced the same promenade which they had trodden for many a year, habit having fixed them where hope once led their steps.  The middle-aged, too, might be seen with hair beginning to blanch from long hours devoted to the midnight lamp, and faces marked with “the pale cast of thought.”  Hope, though less sanguine in her promises, still lures them on, and they pass the venerable old, unconscious that they themselves are succeeding them in the same life of study, to be followed by the same results, privation, and solitude, until death closes the scene.  And yet a life of study is, perhaps, the one in which the privations compelled by poverty are the least felt to be a hardship.

Study, like virtue, is its own exceeding great reward, for it engrosses as well as elevates the mind above the sense of the wants so acutely felt by those who have no intellectual pursuits; and many a student has forgotten his own privations when reading the history of the great and good who have been exposed to even still more trying ones.  Days pass uncounted in such occupations.  Youth fleets away, if not happily, at least tranquilly, while thus employed; and maturity glides into age, and age drops into the grave, scarcely conscious of the gradations of each, owing to the mind having been filled with a continuous train of thought, engendered by study.

I have been reading some French poems by Madame Amabel Tastu; and very beautiful they are.  A sweet and healthy tone of mind breathes through them, and the pensiveness that characterises many of them, marks a reflecting spirit imbued with tenderness.  There is great harmony, too, in the versification, as well as purity and elegance in the diction.  How much some works make us wish to know their authors, and vice versa!  I feel, while reading her poems, that I should like Madame Amabel Tastu; while other books, whose cleverness I admit, convince me I should not like the writers.

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A book must always resemble, more or less, its author.  It is the mind, or at least a portion of it, of the individual; and, however circumstances may operate on it, the natural quality must always prevail and peep forth in spite of every effort to conceal it.

Living much in society seldom fails to deteriorate the force and originality of superior minds; because, though unconsciously, the persons who possess them are prone to fall into the habits of thought of those with whom they pass a considerable portion of their time, and suffer themselves to degenerate into taking an interest in puerilities on which, in the privacy of their study, they would not bestow a single thought.  Hence, we are sometimes shocked at observing glaring inconsistencies in the works of writers, and find it difficult to imagine that the grave reflection which pervades some of the pages can emanate from the same mind that dictated the puerilities abounding in others.  The author’s profound thoughts were his own, the puerilities were the result of the friction of his mind with inferior ones:  at least this is my theory, and, as it is a charitable one, I like to indulge it.

A pleasant party at dinner yesterday.  Mr. W. Spencer, the poet, was among the guests, He was much more like the William Spencer of former days than when he dined here before, and was occasionally brilliant, though at intervals he relapsed into moodiness.  He told some good stories of John Kemble, and told them well; but it seemed an effort to him; and, while the listeners were still smiling at his excellent imitation of the great tragedian, he sank back in his chair with an air of utter abstraction.

I looked at him, and almost shuddered at marking the “change that had come o’er the spirit of his dream;” for whether the story touched a chord that awakened some painful reflection in his memory, or that the telling it had exhausted him, I know not, but his countenance for some minutes assumed a careworn and haggard expression, and he then glanced around at the guests with an air of surprise, like one awakened from slumber.

It is astonishing how little people observe each other in society!  This inattention, originating in a good breeding that proscribes personal observation, has degenerated into something that approaches very nearly to total indifference, and I am persuaded that a man might die at table seated between two others without their being aware of it, until he dropped from his chair.

Civilization has its disadvantages as well as its advantages, and I think the consciousness that one might expire between one’s neighbours at table without their noticing it, is hardly atoned for by knowing that they will not stare one out of countenance.  I often think, as I look around at a large dinner-party, how few present have the slightest knowledge of what is passing in the minds of the others.  The smile worn on many a face may be assumed to conceal a sadness which those who feel it are but too well aware would meet with little sympathy, for one of the effects of modern civilization is the disregard for the cares of others, which it engenders.

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Madame de ——­ once said to me, “I never invite Monsieur de ——­, because he looks unhappy, and as if he expected to be questioned as to the cause.”  This naive confession of Madame de ——­ is what few would make, but the selfishness that dictated it is what society, en masse, feels and acts up to.

Monsieur de ——­, talking of London last evening, told the Count ——­ to be on his guard not to be too civil to people when he got there.  The Count ——­ looked astonished, and inquired the reason for the advice.  “Merely to prevent your being suspected of having designs on the hearts of the women, or the purses of the men,” replied Monsieur de ——­; “for no one can evince in London society the empressement peculiar to well-bred Frenchmen without being accused of some unworthy motive for it.”

I defended my countrymen against the sweeping censure of the cynical Monsieur de ——­, who shook his head and declared that he spoke from observation.  He added, that persons more than usually polite are always supposed to be poor in London, and that as this supposition was the most injurious to their reception in good society, he always counselled his friends, when about to visit it, to assume a brusquerie of manner, and a stinginess with regard to money, by which means they were sure to escape the suspicion of poverty; as in England a parsimonious expenditure and bluntness are supposed to imply the possession of wealth.

I ventured to say that I could now understand why it was that he passed for being so rich in England—­a coup de patte that turned the laugh against him.

Mr. de ——­ is a perfect cynic, and piques himself on saying what he thinks,—­a habit more frequently adopted by those who think disagreeable, than agreeable things.

Dined yesterday at Madame C——­’s, and being Friday, had a diner maigre, than which I know no dinner more luxurious, provided that the cook is a perfect artist, and that the Amphitryon, as was the case in this instance, objects not to expense.

The soupes and entrees left no room to regret the absence of flesh or poultry from their component parts, and the releves, in the shape of a brochet roti, and a turbot a la hollandaise supplied the place of the usual pieces de resistance.  But not only was the flavour of the entrees quite as good as if they were composed of meat or poultry, but the appearance offered the same variety, and the cotelettes de poisson and fricandeau d’esturgeon might have deceived all but the profoundly learned in gastronomy,—­they looked so exactly like lamb and veal.

The second course offered equally delicate substitutes for the usual dainties, and the most fastidious epicure might have been more than satisfied with the entremets.

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The bishops in France are said to have had the most luxurious dinners imaginable on what were erroneously styled fast-days; and their cooks had such a reputation for their skill, that the having served a Monseigneur d’Eglise was a passport to the kitchens of all lovers of good eating.  There are people so profane as to insinuate that the excellence at which the cooks arrived in dressing les diners maigres is one of the causes why Catholicism has continued to flourish; but this, of course, must be looked on as a malicious hint of the enemies to that faith which thus proves itself less addicted to indulgence in the flesh than are its decryers.


The more I observe Lady C——­ the more surprised I am at the romantic feelings she still indulges, and the illusions under which she labours;—­yes labours is the suitable word, for it can be nothing short of laborious, at her age, to work oneself into the belief that love is an indispensable requisite for life.  Not the affection into which the love of one’s youth subsides, but the wild, the ungovernable passion peculiar to the heroes and heroines of novels, and young ladies and gentlemen recently emancipated from boarding-schools and colleges.

Poor Lady C——­, with so many estimable qualities, what a pity it is she should have this weakness!  She maintained in our conversation yesterday that true love could never be extinguished in the heart, and that even in age it burnt with the same fire as when first kindled.  I quoted to her a passage from Le Brun, who says—­“L’amour peut s’eteindre sans doute dans le coeur d’un galant homme; mais combien de dedommagements n’a-t-il pas alors a offrir!  L’estime, l’amitie, la confiance, ne suffisent-elles pas aux glaces de la vieillesse?” Lady C——­ thinks not.

Talking last night of ——­, some one observed that “it was disagreeable to have such a neighbour, as he did nothing but watch and interfere in the concerns of others.”

“Give me in preference such a man as le Comte ——­,” said Monsieur ——­, slily, “who never bestows a thought but on self, and is too much occupied with that interesting subject to have time to meddle with the affairs of other people.”

“You are right,” observed Madame ——­, gravely, believing him to be serious; “it is much preferable.”

“But surely,” said I, determined to continue the mystification, “you are unjustly severe in your animadversions on poor Monsieur ——.  Does he not prove himself a true philanthropist in devoting the time to the affairs of others that might be usefully occupied in attending to his own?”

“You are quite right,” said Mrs. ——­; “I never viewed his conduct in this light before; and now that I understand it I really begin to like him,—­a thing I thought quite impossible before you convinced me of the goodness of his motives.”

How many Mrs. ——­’s there are in the world, with minds ductile as wax, ready to receive any impression one wishes to give them!  Yet I reproached myself for assisting to hoax her, when I saw the smiles excited by her credulity.

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Mademoiselle Delphine Gay[6] is one of the agreeable proofs that genius is hereditary.  I have been reading some productions of hers that greatly pleased me.  Her poetry is graceful, the thoughts are natural, and the versification is polished.  She is a very youthful authoress, and a beauty as well as a bel esprit.  Her mother’s novels have beguiled many an hour of mine that might otherwise have been weary, for they have the rare advantage of displaying an equal knowledge of the world with a lively sensibility.

All Frenchwomen write well.  They possess the art of giving interest even to trifles, and have a natural eloquence de plume, as well as de langue, that renders the task an easy one.  It is the custom in England to decry French novels, because the English unreasonably expect that the literature of other countries should be judged by the same criterion by which they examine their own, without making sufficient allowance for the different manners and habits of the nations.  Without arrogating to myself the pretension of a critic, I should be unjust if I did not acknowledge that I have perused many a French novel by modern authors, from which I have derived interest and pleasure.

The French critics are not loath to display their acumen in reviewing the works of their compatriots, for they not only analyze the demerits with pungent causticity, but apply to them the severest of all tests, that of ridicule; in the use of which dangerous weapon they excel.

House-hunting the greater part of the day.  Oh the weariness of such an occupation, and, above all, after having lived in so delightful a house as the one we inhabit!  Many of our French friends have come and told us that they had found hotels exactly to suit us:  and we have driven next day to see them, when lo and behold! these eligible mansions were either situated in some disagreeable quartier, or consisted of three fine salons de reception, with some half-dozen miserable dormitories, and a passage-room by way of salle a manger.

Though Paris abounds with fine hotels entre cour et jardin, they are seldom to be let; and those to be disposed of are generally divided into suites of apartments, appropriated to different persons.  One of the hotels recommended by a friend was on the Boulevards, with the principal rooms commanding a full view of that populous and noisy quarter of Paris.  I should have gone mad in such a dwelling, for the possibility of reading, or almost of thinking, amidst such an ever-moving scene of bustle and din, would be out of the question.

The modern French do not seem to appreciate the comfort of quiet and seclusion in the position of their abodes, for they talk of the enlivening influence of a vicinity to these same Boulevards from which I shrink with alarm.  It was not so in former days; witness the delightful hotels before alluded to, entre cour et jardin, in which the inhabitants, although in the centre of Paris, might enjoy all the repose peculiar to a house in the country.  There is something, I am inclined to think, in the nature of the Parisians that enables them to support noise better than we can,—­nay, not only to support, but even to like it.

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I received an edition of the works of L.E.L. yesterday from London.  She is a charming poetess, full of imagination and fancy, dazzling one moment by the brilliancy of her flights, and the next touching the heart by some stroke of pathos.  How Byron would have admired her genius, for it bears the stamp of being influenced no less by a graceful and fertile fancy than by a deep sensibility, and the union of the two gives a peculiar charm to her poems.

Drove to the Bois de Boulogne to-day, with the Comtesse d’O——­, I know no such brilliant talker as she is.  No matter what may be the subject of conversation, her wit flashes brightly on all, and without the slightest appearance of effort or pretension.  She speaks from a mind overflowing with general information, made available by a retentive memory, a ready wit, and in exhaustible good spirits.

Letters from dear Italy.  Shall I ever see that delightful land again?  A letter, too, from Mrs. Francis Hare, asking me to be civil to some English friends of hers, who are come to Paris, which I shall certainly be for her sake.

A propos of the English, it is amusing to witness the avidity with which many of them not only accept but court civilities abroad, and the sang-froid with which they seem to forget them when they return home.  I have as yet had no opportunity of judging personally on this point, but I hear such tales on the subject as would justify caution, if one was disposed to extend hospitality with any prospective view to gratitude for it, which we never have done, and never will do.

Mine is the philosophy of ——­, who, when his extreme hospitality to his countrymen was remarked on, answered, “I can’t eat all my good dinners alone, and if I am lucky enough to find now and then a pleasant guest, it repays me for the many dull ones invited.”  I expect no gratitude for our hospitality to our compatriots, and “Blessed are they who expect not, for they will not be disappointed.”

Longchamps has not equalled my expectations.  It is a dull affair after all, resembling the drive in Hyde Park on a Sunday in May, the promenade in the Cacina at Florence, in the Corso at Rome, or the Chaija at Naples, in all save the elegance of the dresses of the women, in which Longchamps has an immeasurable superiority.

It is at Longchamps that the Parisian spring fashions are first exhibited, and busy are the modistes for many weeks previously in putting their powers of invention to the test, in order to bring out novelties, facsimiles of which are, the ensuing week, forwarded to England, Italy, Germany, Holland, and Russia.  The coachmakers, saddlers, and horse-dealers, are also put in requisition for this epoch; and, though the exhibition is no longer comparable to what it was in former times, when a luxurious extravagance not only in dress, but in equipages, was displayed, some handsome and well-appointed carriages are still to be seen.  Among the most remarkable for good taste, were those of the Princess Bagration, and Monsieur Schikler, whose very handsome wife attracted more admiration than the elegant vehicle in which she was seated, or the fine steeds that drew it.

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Those who are disposed to question the beauty of French women, should have been at Longchamps to-day, when their scepticism would certainly have been vanquished, for I saw several women there whose beauty could admit of no doubt even by the most fastidious critic of female charms.  The Duchesse de Guiche, however, bore off the bell from all competitors, and so the spectators who crowded the Champs-Elysees seemed to think.  Of her may be said what Choissy stated of la Duchesse de la Valliere, she has “La grace plus belle encore que la beaute.”  The handsome Duchesse d’Istrie and countless other beautes a la mode were present, and well sustained the reputation for beauty of the Parisian ladies.

The men caracoled between the carriages on their proud and prancing steeds, followed by grooms, a l’Anglaise, in smart liveries, and the people crowded the footpaths on each side of the drive, commenting aloud on the equipages and their owners that passed before them.

The promenade at Longchamps, which takes place in the Holy Week, is said to owe its origin to a religious procession that went annually to a church so called, whence it by degrees changed its character, and became a scene of gaiety, in which the most extravagant exhibitions of luxury were displayed.

One example, out of many, of this extravagance, is furnished by a publication of the epoch at which Longchamps was in its most palmy state, when a certain Mademoiselle Duthe, whose means of indulging in inordinate expense were not solely derived from her ostensible profession as one of the performers attached to the Opera, figured in the promenade in a carriage of the most sumptuous kind, drawn by no less than six thorough-bred horses, the harness of which was of blue morocco, studded with polished steel ornaments, which produced the most dazzling effect.

That our times are improved in respect, at least, to appearances, may be fairly concluded from the fact that no example of a similar ostentatious display of luxury is ever now exhibited by persons in the same position as Mademoiselle Duthe; and that if the same folly that enabled her to indulge in such extravagance still prevails, a sense of decency prevents all public display of wealth so acquired.  Modern morals censure not people so much for their vices as for the display of them, as Aleibiades was blamed not for loving Nemea, but for allowing himself to be painted reposing on her lap.

Finished the perusal of Cinq Mars, by Count Alfred de Vigny.  It is an admirable production, and deeply interested me.  The sentiments noble and elevated, without ever degenerating into aught approaching to bombast, and the pathos such as a manly heart might feel, without incurring the accusation of weakness.  The author must be a man of fine feelings, as well as of genius,—­but were they ever distinct?  I like to think they cannot be, for my theory is, that the feelings are to genius what the chords are to a musical instrument—­they must be touched to produce effect.

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The style of Count Alfred de Vigny merits the eulogium passed by Lord Shaftesbury on that of an author in his time, of which he wrote, “It is free from that affected obscurity and laboured pomp of language aiming at a false sublime, with crowded simile and mixed metaphor (the hobby-horse and rattle of the Muses.”)

——­ dined with us yesterday, and, clever as I admit him to be, he often displeases me by his severe strictures on mankind.  I told him that he exposed himself to the suspicion of censuring it only because he had studied a bad specimen of it (self) more attentively than the good that fell in his way:  a reproof that turned the current of his conversation into a more agreeable channel, though he did not seem to like the hint.

It is the fashion for people now-a-days to affect this cynicism, and to expend their wit at the expense of poor human nature, which is abused en masse for the sins of those who abuse it from judging of all others by self.  How different is ——­, who thinks so well of his species, that, like our English laws, he disbelieves the existence of guilt until it is absolutely proved,—­a charity originating in a superior nature, and a judgment formed from an involuntary consciousness of it!

——­ suspects evil on all sides, and passes his time in guarding against it.  He dares not indulge friendship, because he doubts the possibility of its being disinterested, and feels no little self-complacency when the conduct of those with whom he comes in contact justifies his suspicions. ——­, on the contrary, if sometimes deceived, feels no bitterness, because he believes that the instance may be a solitary one, and finds consolation in those whose truth he has yet had no room to question.  His is the best philosophy, for though it cannot preclude occasional disappointment, it ensures much happiness, as the indulgence of good feelings invariably does, and he often creates the good qualities he gives credit for, as few persons are so bad as not to wish to justify the favourable opinion entertained of them, as few are so good as to resist the demoralising influence of unfounded suspicions.

A letter from Lord B——­, announcing a majority of 105 on the bill of the Catholic question.  Lord Grey made an admirable speech, with a happy allusion to the fact of Lord Howard of Effingham, who commanded the English fleet in the reign of Elizabeth, having, though a Roman Catholic, destroyed the Armada under the anointed banner of the Pope.  What a triumphant refutation of the notion that Roman Catholics dared not oppose the Pope!  Lord B——­ writes, that the brilliant and justly merited eulogium pronounced by Lord Grey on the Duke of Wellington was rapturously received by the House.  How honourable to both was the praise!  I feel delighted that Lord Grey should have distinguished himself on this occasion, for he is one of the friends in England whom I most esteem.

——­ dined here to-day.  He reminds me of the larva, which is the first state of animal existence in the caterpillar, for his appetite is voracious, and, as a French naturalist states in describing that insect, “Tout est estomac dans un larve.” ——­ is of the opinion of Aretaeus, that the stomach is the great source of pleasurable affections, and that as Nature “abhors a vacuum,” the more filled it is the better.

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Dining is a serious affair with ——.  Soup, fish, flesh, and fowl, disappear from his plate with a rapidity that is really surprising; and while they are vanishing, not “into empty air,” but into the yawning abyss of his ravenous jaws, his eyes wander around, seeking what next those same ravenous jaws may devour.

On beholding a person indulge in such gluttony, I feel a distaste to eating, as a certain double-refined lady of my acquaintance declared that witnessing the demonstrations of love between two persons of low and vulgar habits so disgusted her with the tender passion, that she was sure she never could experience it herself.

I have been reading la Chronique du Temps de Charles IX, by Prosper Merimee, and a most interesting and admirably written book it is.  Full of stirring scenes and incidents, it contains the most graphic pictures of the manners of the time in which the story is placed, and the interest progresses, never flagging from the commencement to the end.  This book will be greatly admired in England, where the romances of our great Northern Wizard have taught us to appreciate the peculiar merit in which this abounds.  Sir Walter Scott will be one of the first to admire and render justice to this excellent book, and to welcome into the field of literature this highly gifted brother of the craft.

The French writers deserve justice from the English, for they invariably treat the works of the latter with indulgence.  Scott is not more read or esteemed in his own country than here; and even the productions of our young writers are more kindly treated than those of their own youthful aspirants for fame.

French critics have much merit for this amenity, because the greater number of them possess a peculiar talent, for the exercise of their critical acumen, which renders the indulgence of it, like that of the power of ridicule, very tempting.  Among the most remarkable critics of the day Jules Janin, who though yet little more than a youth, evinces such talent as a reviewer as to be the terror of mediocrity.  His style is pungent and vigorous, his satire searching and biting, and his tact in pointing ridicule unfailing.  He bids fair to take a most distinguished place in his profession.

Spent last evening in the Rue d’Anjou, where I met the usual circle and ——.  He bepraised every one that was named during the evening, and so injudiciously, that it was palpable he knew little of those upon whom he expended his eulogiums; nay, he lauded some whom he acknowledged he had never seen, on the same principle that actuated the Romans of old who, having deified every body they knew, erected at last an altar to the unknown Gods, lest any should by chance be omitted.

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This habit of indiscriminate praise is almost as faulty as that of general censure, and is, in my opinion, more injurious to the praised than the censure is to the abused, because people are prone to indulge a greater degree of sympathy towards those attacked than towards those who are commended.  No one said “Amen” to the praises heaped on some really deserving people by ——­, but several put in a palliating “pourtant” to the ill-natured remarks made by ——­, whose habit of abusing all who chance to be named is quite as remarkable as the other’s habit of praising.  I would prefer being attacked by ——­ to being lauded by ——­, for the extravagance of the eulogiums of the latter would excite more ill-will towards me than the censures of the other, as the self-love of the listeners disposes them to feel more kindly to the one they can pity, than to the person they are disposed to envy.

I never look at dear, good Madame C—–­, without thinking how soon we may,—­nay, we must lose her.  At her very advanced age we cannot hope that she will be long spared to us; yet her freshness of heart and wonderful vivacity of mind would almost cheat one into a hope of her long continuing amongst us.

She drove out with me yesterday to the Bois de Boulogne, and, when remarking how verdant and beautiful all around was looking, exclaimed, “Ah! why is no second spring allowed to us?  I hear,” continued she, “people say they would not like to renew their youth, but I cannot believe them.  There are times—­would you believe it?—­that I forget my age, and feel so young in imagination that I can scarcely bring myself to think this heart, which is still so youthful, can appertain to the same frame to which is attached this faded and wrinkled face,” and she raised her hand to her cheek.  “Ah! my dear friend, it is a sad, sad thing to mark this fearful change, and I never look in my mirror without being shocked.  The feelings ought to change with the person, and the heart should become as insensible as the face becomes withered.”

“The change in the face is so gradual, too,” continued Madame C——.  “We see ourselves after thirty-five, each day looking a little less well (we are loath to think it ugly), and we attribute it not to the true cause, the approach of that enemy to beauty—­age,—­but to some temporary indisposition, a bad night’s rest, or an unbecoming cap.  We thus go on cheating ourselves, but not cheating others, until some day when the light falls more clearly on our faces, and the fearful truth stands revealed.  Wrinkles have usurped the place of dimples; horrid lines, traced by Time, have encircled the eyelids; the eyes, too, no longer bright and pellucid, become dim; the lips dry and colourless, the teeth yellow, and the cheeks pale and faded, as a dried rose-leaf long pressed in a hortus siccus.”

“Alas, alas! who can help thinking of all this when one sees the trees opening into their rich foliage, the earth putting forth its bright verdure, and the flowers budding into bloom, while we resemble the hoar and dreary winter, and scarcely retain a trace of the genial summer we once knew.”

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This conversation suggested the following lines, which I wish I could translate into French verse to give to Madame C——­: 


     Snowy blossoms of the grave
     That now o’er care-worn temples wave,
     Oh! what change hath pass’d since ye
     O’er youthful brows fell carelessly! 
     In silken curls of ebon hue
     That with such wild luxuriance grew,
     The raven’s dark and glossy wing
     A richer shadow scarce could fling. 
     The brow that tells a tale of Care
     That Sorrow’s pen hath written there,
     In characters too deeply traced
     Ever on earth to be effaced,
     Was then a page of spotless white,
     Where Love himself might wish to write. 
     The jetty arches that did rise,
     As if to guard the brilliant eyes,
     Have lost their smoothness;—­and no more
     The eyes can sparkle as of yore: 
     They look like fountains form’d by tears,
     Where perish’d Hope in by-gone years. 
     The nose that served as bridge between
     The brow and mouth—­for Love, I ween,
     To pass—­hath lost its sculptured air. 
     For Time, the spoiler, hath been there. 
     The mouth—­ah! where’s the crimson dye
     That youth and health did erst supply? 
     Are these pale lips that seldom smile,
     The same that laugh’d, devoid of guile. 
     Shewing within their coral cell
     The shining pearls that there did dwell,
     But dwell no more?  The pearls are fled,
     And homely teeth are in their stead. 
     The cheeks have lost the blushing rose
     That once their surface could disclose;
     A dull, pale tint has spread around,
     Where rose and lily erst were found. 
     The throat, and bust—­but, ah! forbear,
     Let’s draw a veil for ever there;
     Too fearful is ’t to put in rhyme
     The changes wrought by cruel Time,
     The faithful mirror well reveals
     The truth that flattery conceals;
     The charms once boasted, now are flown,
     But mind and heart are still thine own;
     And thou canst see the wreck of years,
     And ghost of beauty, without tears. 
     No outward change thy soul shouldst wring,
     Oh! mourn but for the change within;
     Grieve over bright illusions fled,
     O’er fondly cherish’d hope, now dead,
     O’er errors of the days of youth,
     Ere wisdom taught the path of truth. 
     Then hail, ye blossoms of the grave,
     That o’er the care-worn temples wave—­
     Sent to remind us of “that bourn,
     Whence traveller can ne’er return;”
     The harbingers of peace and rest,
     Where only mortals can be blest.


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Read Victor Hugo’s Dernier Jour d’un Condamne! It is powerfully written, and the author identifies his feelings so strongly with the condemned, that he must, while writing the book, have experienced similar emotions to those which a person in the same terrible position would have felt.  Wonderful power of genius, that can thus excite sympathy for the erring and the wretched, and awaken attention to a subject but too little thought of in our selfish times, namely, the expediency of the abolition of capital punishment!  A perusal of Victor Hugo’s graphic book will do more to lead men’s minds to reflect on this point than all the dull essays; or as dull speeches, that may be written or made on it.

Talking of ——­ to-day with ——­ ——­, she remarked that he had every sense but common sense, and made light of this deficiency.  How frequently do we hear people do this, as if the possession of talents or various fine qualities can atone for its absence!  Common sense is not only positively necessary to render talent available by directing its proper application, but is indispensable as a monitor to warn men against error.  Without this guide the passions and feelings will be ever leading men astray, and even those with the best natural dispositions will fall into error.

Common sense is to the individual what the compass is to the mariner—­it enables him to steer safely through the rocks, shoals, and whirlpools that intersect his way.  Were the lives of criminals accurately known, I am persuaded that it would be found that from a want of common sense had proceeded their guilt; for a clear perception of crime would do more to check its perpetration, than the goodness of heart which is so frequently urged as a preventive against it.

Conscience is the only substitute for common sense, but even this will not supply its place in all cases.  Conscience will lead a man to repent or atone for crime, but common sense will preclude his committing it by enabling him to judge of the result.  I frequently hear people say, “So and so are very clever,” or “very cunning, and are well calculated to make their way in the world.”  This opinion seems to me to be a severe satire on the world, for as cunning can only appertain to a mean intellect, to which it serves as a poor substitute for sense, it argues ill for the world to suppose it can be taken in by it.

I never knew a sensible, or a good person, who was cunning; and I have known so many weak and wicked ones who possessed this despicable quality, that I hold it in abhorrence, except in very young children, to whom Providence gives it before they arrive at good sense.

Went a round of the curiosity shops on the Quai d’Orsay, and bought an amber vase of rare beauty, said to have once belonged to the Empress Josephine.  When I see the beautiful objects collected together in these shops, I often think of their probable histories, and of those to whom they once belonged.  Each seems to identify itself with the former owner, and conjures up in my mind a little romance.

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A vase of rock crystal, set in precious stones, seen today, could never have belonged to aught but some beauty, for whom it was selected by an adoring lover or husband, ere yet the honeymoon had passed.  A chased gold etui, enriched with oriental agates and brilliants, must have appertained to some grande dame, on whose table it rested in a richly-decorated salon; and could it speak, what piquant disclosures might it not make!

The fine old watch, around the dial of which sparkle diamonds, and on the back the motto, executed in the same precious stones, “Vous me faites oublier les heures,” once adorned the slender waist of some dainty dame,—­a nuptial gift.  The silvery sound of its bell often reminded her of the flight of Time, and her caro sposo of the effects of it on his inconstant heart, long before her mirror told her of the ravages of the tyrant.  The flacon so tastefully ornamented, has been held to delicate nostrils when the megrim—­that malady peculiar to refined organisations and susceptible nerves—­has assailed its fair owner; and the heart-shaped pincushion of crimson velvet, inclosed in its golden case and stuck with pins, has been likened by the giver to his own heart, pierced by the darts of Love—­a simile that probably displeased not the fair creature to whom it was addressed.

Here are the expensive and tasteful gifts, the gages d’amour, not often disinterested, as bright and beautiful as when they left the hands of the jeweller; but the givers and the receivers where are they?  Mouldered in the grave long, long years ago!  Through how many hands may these objects not have passed since Death snatched away the persons for whom they were originally designed!  And here they are in the ignoble custody of some avaricious vender, who having obtained them at the sale of some departed amateur for less than half their first cost, now expects to extort more than double.

He takes them up in his unwashed fingers, turns them—­oh, profanation!—­round and round, in order to display their various merits, descants on the delicacy of the workmanship, the sharpness of the chiseling, the pure water of the brilliants, and the fine taste displayed in the form; tells a hundred lies about the sum he gave for them, the offers he has refused, the persons to whom they once belonged, and those who wish to purchase them!

The flacon of some defunct prude is placed side by side with the vinaigrette of some jolie danseuse who was any thing but prudish.  How shocked would the original owner of the flacon feel at the friction!  The fan of some grande dame de la cour touches the diamond-mounted etui of the wife of some financier, who would have given half her diamonds to enter the circle in which she who once owned this fan found more ennui than amusement.  The cane of a deceased philosopher is in close contact with the golden-hilted sword of

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a petit maitre de l’ancien regime, and the sparkling tabatiere of a Marquis Musque, the partaker if not the cause of half his succes dans le monde, is placed by the chapelet of a religieuse de haute naissance, who often perhaps dropped a tear on the beads as she counted them in saying her Ave Marias, when some unbidden thought of the world she had resigned usurped the place of her aspirations for a brighter and more enduring world.

“And so ’t will be when I am gone,” as Moore’s beautiful song says; the rare and beautiful bijouterie which I have collected with such pains, and looked on with such pleasure, will probably be scattered abroad, and find their resting places not in gilded salons, but in the dingy coffers of the wily brocanteur, whose exorbitant demands will preclude their finding purchasers.  Even these inanimate and puerile objects have their moral, if people would but seek it; but what has not, to a reflecting mind?—­complained bitterly to-day, of having been attacked by an anonymous scribbler.  I was surprised to see a man accounted clever and sensible, so much annoyed by what I consider so wholly beneath his notice.  It requires only a knowledge of the world and a self-respect to enable one to treat such attacks with the contempt they merit; and those who allow themselves to be mortified by them must be deficient in these necessary qualifications for passing smoothly through life.

It seems to me to indicate great weakness of mind, when a person permits his peace to be at the mercy of every anonymous scribbler who, actuated by envy or hatred (the invariable causes of such attacks), writes a libel on him.  If a person so attacked would but reflect that few, if any, who have acquired celebrity, or have been favoured by fortune, have ever escaped similar assaults, he would be disposed to consider them as the certain proofs of a merit, the general acknowledgment of which has excited the ire of the envious, thus displayed by the only mean within their reach—­anonymous abuse.  Anonymous assailants may be likened to the cuttle-fish, which employs the inky secretions it forms as a means of tormenting its enemy and baffling pursuit.

I have been reading the poems of Mrs. Hemans, and exquisite they are.  They affect me like sacred music, and never fail to excite religious sentiments.  England only could have produced this poetess, and peculiar circumstances were necessary to the developement of her genius.  The music of the versification harmonises well with the elevated character of the thoughts, which inspire the reader (at least such is their effect on me) with a pensive sentiment of resignation that is not without a deep charm to a mind that loves to withdraw itself from the turmoil and bustle incidental to a life passed in a gay and brilliant capital.

The mind of this charming poetess must be like an AEolian harp, that every sighing wind awakes to music, but to grave and chastened melody, the full charm of which can only be truly appreciated by those who have sorrowed, and who look beyond this earth for repose.  Well might Goethe write,

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     “Wo du das Genie erblickst
     Erblickst du auch zugleich die martkrone"[7]

for where is Genius to be found that has not been tried by suffering?

Moore has beautifully said,

     “The hearths that are soonest awake to the flowers,
     Are always the first to be pierced by the thorns;”

and so it is with poets:  they feel intensely before they can make others feel even superficially.

And there are those who can talk lightly and irreverently of the sufferings from which spring such exquisite, such glorious music, unconscious that the fine organization and delicate susceptibility of the minds of Genius which give such precious gifts to delight others, receive deep wounds from weapons that could not make an incision on impenetrable hearts like their own.  Yes, the hearts of people of genius may be said to resemble the American maple-trees, which must be pierced ere they yield their honied treasures.

If Mrs. Hemans had been as happy as she deserved to be, it is probable that she would never have written the exquisite poems I have been reading; for the fulness of content leaves no room for the sweet and bitter fancies engendered by an imagination that finds its Hippocrene in the fountain of Sorrow, whose source is in the heart, and can only flow when touched by the hand of Care.

Well may England be proud of such poetesses as she can now boast!  Johanna Baillie, the noble-minded and elevated; Miss Bowles, the pure, the true; Miss Mitford, the gifted and the natural; and Mrs. Hemans and Miss Landon, though last not least in the galaxy of Genius, with imaginations as brilliant as their hearts are generous and tender.  Who can read the productions of these gifted women, without feeling a lively interest in their welfare, and a pride in belonging to the country that has given them birth?

Lord B——­ arrived yesterday, and, Heaven be thanked! is in better health.  He says the spring is three weeks more advanced at Paris than in London.  He is delighted at the Catholic Question having been carried; and trusts, as I do, that Ireland will derive the greatest benefit from the measure.  How few, with estates in a province where so strong a prejudice is entertained against Roman Catholics as exists in the north of Ireland, would have voted as Lord B——­ has done; but, like his father, Lord B——­ never allows personal interest to interfere in the discharge of a duty!  If there were many such landlords in Ireland, prejudices, the bane of that country, would soon subside.  Lord B——­ came back laden with presents for me.  Some of them are quite beautiful, and would excite the envy of half my sex.

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Received letters from good, dear Sir William Gell, and the no less dear and good Archbishop of Tarentum, both urging us to return to Italy to see them, as they say, once more before they die.  Receiving letters from absent friends who are dear to us, has almost as much of sadness as of pleasure in it; for although it is consolatory to know that they are in life, and are not unmindful of us, still a closely written sheet of paper is but a poor substitute for the animated conversation, the cordial grasp of the hand, and the kind glance of the eye; and we become more sensible of the distance that divides us when letters written many days ago arrive, and we remember with dread that, since these very epistles were indited, the hands that traced them may be chilled by death.  This fear, which recurs so often to the mind in all cases of absence from those dear to us, becomes still more vivid where infirmity of health and advanced age render the probability of the loss of friends the greater.

Italy—­dear, beautiful Italy—­with all its sunshine and attractions, would not be the same delightful residence to me if I no longer found there the friends who made my sejour there so pleasant; and among these the Archbishop and Sir William Gell stand prominent.

Gell writes me that some new and interesting discoveries have been made at Pompeii.  Would that I could be transported there for a few days to see them with him, as I have beheld so many before when we were present at several excavations together, and saw exposed to the light of day objects that had been for two thousand years buried in darkness!  There was a thrilling feeling of interest awakened in the breast by the first view of these so-long-interred articles of use or ornament of a bygone generation, and on the spot where their owners perished.  It was as though the secrets of the grave were revealed; and that, to convince us of the perishable coil of which mortals are formed, it is given us to behold how much more durable are the commonest utensils of daily use than the frames of those who boast themselves lords of the creation.  But here am I moralizing, when I ought to be taking advantage of this glorious day by a promenade in the Bois de Boulogne, where I promised to conduct Madame d’O——­; so allons en voiture.

Read the Disowned, and like it exceedingly.  It is full of beautiful thoughts, sparkling with wit, teeming with sentiment, and each and all of them based on immutable truths.  The more I read of the works of this highly gifted writer, the more am I delighted with them; for his philosophy passes through the alembic of a mind glowing with noble and generous sentiments, of which it imbibes the hues.

The generality of readers pause not to reflect on the truth and beauty of the sentiments to be found in novels.  They hurry on to the denoument; and a stirring incident, skilfully managed, which serves to develope the plot, finds more admirers than the noblest thoughts, or most witty maxims.  Yet as people who read nothing else, will read novels, authors like Mr. Bulwer, whose minds are overflowing with genius, are compelled to make fiction the vehicle for giving to the public thoughts and opinions that are deserving of a higher grade of literature.

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The greater portion of novel readers, liking not to be detained from the interest of the story by any extraneous matter, however admirable it may be, skip over the passages that most delight those who read to reflect, and not for mere amusement.

I find myself continually pausing over the admirable and profound reflections of Mr. Bulwer, and almost regret that his writings do not meet the public as the papers of the Spectator did, when a single one of them was deemed as essential to the breakfast-table of all lovers of literature as a morning journal is now to the lovers of news.  The merit of the thoughts would be then duly appreciated, instead of being hastily passed over in the excitement of the story which they intersect.

A long visit from ——­, and, as usual, politics furnished the topic.  How I wish people would never talk politics to me!  I have no vocation for that abstruse science,—­a science in which even those who devote all their time and talents to it, but rarely arrive at a proficiency.  In vain do I profess my ignorance and inability; people will not believe me, and think it necessary to enter into political discussions that ennuient me beyond expression.

If ——­ is to be credited, Charles the Tenth and his government are so unpopular that his reign will not pass without some violent commotion.  A fatality appears to attend this family, which, like the house of Stuart, seems doomed never to conciliate the affections of the people.  And yet, Charles the Tenth is said not to be disposed to tyrannical measures, neither is he without many good qualities.  But the last of the Stuart sovereigns also was naturally a humane and good man, yet he was driven from his kingdom and his throne,—­a proof that weakness of mind is, perhaps, of all faults in a monarch, the one most likely to compromise the security of his dynasty.

The restoration of the Stuarts after Cromwell, was hailed with much more enthusiasm in England than that of Louis the Eighteenth, after the abdication of the Emperor Napoleon.  Yet that enthusiasm was no pledge that the people would bear from the descendants of the ill-fated Charles the First—­that most perfect of all gentlemen and meekest of Christians—­what they deprived him of not only his kingdom but his life for attempting.

The house of Bourbon, like that of Stuart, has had its tragedy, offering a fearful lesson to sovereigns and a terrific example to subjects.  It has had, also, its restoration; and, if report may be credited, the parallel will not rest here:  for there are those who assert that as James was supplanted on the throne of England by a relative while yet the legitimate and unoffending heir lived, so will also the place of Charles the Tenth be filled by one between whom and the crown stand two legitimate barriers.  Time will tell how far the predictions of ——­ are just; but, en attendant, I never can believe that ambition can so blind one who possesses all that can render life a scene of happiness to himself and of usefulness to others, to throw away a positive good for the uncertain and unquiet possession of a crown, bestowed by hands that to confer the dangerous gift must have subverted a monarchy.

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Pandora’s box contained not more evils than the crown of France would inflict on him on whose brow a revolution would place it.  From that hour let him bid adieu to peaceful slumber, to domestic happiness, to well-merited confidence and esteem, all of which are now his own.  Popularity, never a stable possession in any country, is infinitely less so in France, where the vivacity of perception of the people leads them to discover grave faults where only slight errors exist, and where a natural inconstancy, love of change, and a reckless impatience under aught that offends them, prompt them to hurl down from the pedestal the idol of yesterday to replace it by the idol of to-day.

I hear so much good of the Duc and Duchesse d’O——­ that I feel a lively interest in them, and heartily wish they may never be elevated (unless by the natural demise of the legitimate heirs) to the dangerous height to which ——­ and others assert they will ultimately ascend.  Even in the contingency of a legitimate inheritance of the crown, the Tuileries would offer a less peaceful couch to them than they find in the blissful domestic circle at N——.

A long visit from the Duc de T——.  I never meet him without being reminded of the truth of an observation of a French writer, who says—­“On a vu des gens se passer d’esprit en sachant meler la politesse avec des manieres nobles et elegantes.”  The Duc de T——­ passes off perfectly well without esprit, the absence of which his noble manners perfectly conceal; while ——­, who is so very clever, makes one continually conscious of his want of good breeding and bon ton.

Finished reading Sayings and Doings, by Mr. Theodore Hook.  Every page teems with wit, humour, or pathos, and reveals a knowledge of the world under all the various phases of the ever-moving scene that gives a lively interest to all he writes.  This profound acquaintance with human life, which stamps the impress of truth on every character portrayed by his graphic pen, has not soured his feelings or produced that cynical disposition so frequently engendered by it.

Mr. Hook is no misanthrope, and while he exposes the ridiculous with a rare wit and humour he evinces a natural and warm sympathy with the good.  He is a very original thinker and writer, hits off characters with a facility and felicity that few authors possess, and makes them invariably act in accordance with the peculiar characteristics with which he has endowed them.  The vraisemblance is never for a moment violated, which makes the reader imagine he is perusing a true narration instead of a fiction.

House-hunting to-day.  Went again over the Hotel Monaco, but its dilapidated state somewhat alarms us.  The suite of reception rooms are magnificent, but the garden into which they open pleases me still more, for it is vast and umbrageous.  The line old hotels in the Faubourg St.-Germain, and this is one of the finest, give one a good idea of the splendour of the noblesse de l’ancien regime.  The number and spaciousness of the apartments, the richness of the decorations, though no longer retaining their pristine beauty, and above all, the terraces and gardens, have a grand effect.

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House-hunting all the day with Lord B——.  Went again over the Hotel Monaco, and abandoned the project of hiring it.  Saw one house newly built and freshly and beautifully decorated, which I like, but Lord B——­ does not think good enough.  It is in the Rue de Matignon.  It is so desirable to get into a mansion where every thing is new and in good taste, which is the case with the one in question, that I hope Lord B——­ will be satisfied with this.

Sat an hour with General d’O——­ who has been unwell.  Never was there such a nurse as his wife, and so he said.  Illness almost loses its irksomeness when the sick chamber is cheered by one who is as kind as she is clever.  Madame d’O——­ is glad we have not taken the Hotel Monaco, for she resided in it a long time when it was occupied by her mother, and she thinks the sleeping-rooms are confined and gloomy.

“After serious consideration and mature deliberation,” we have finally decided on taking the house in the Rue de Matignon.  It will be beautiful when completed, but nevertheless not to be compared to the Hotel Ney.  The salons de reception, are very good, and the decorations are rich and handsome.

The large salon is separated from the lesser by an immense plate of unsilvered glass, which admits of the fireplaces in each room (they are vis-a-vis) being seen, and has a very good effect.  A door on each side this large plate of glass opens into the smaller salon.  The portion of the house allotted to me will, when completed, be like fairy land.  A salon, destined to contain my buhl cabinets, porcelaine de Sevres, and rare bijouterie, opens into a library by two glass-doors, and in the pier which divides them is a large mirror filling up the entire space.

In the library, that opens on a terrace, which is to be covered with a berceau, and converted into a garden, are two mirrors, vis-a-vis to the two glass doors that communicate from the salon; so that on entering this last, the effect produced is exceedingly pretty.  Another large mirror is placed at the end of the library, and reflects the terrace.

When my books and various treasures are arranged in this suite I shall be very comfortably lodged.  My chambre a coucher, dressing-room, and boudoir, are spacious, and beautifully decorated.  All this sounds well and looks well, too, yet we shall leave the Rue de Bourbon with regret, and Lord B——­ now laments that we did not secure it for a long term.

Drove in the Bois de Boulogne.  A lovely day, which produced a very exhilarating effect on my spirits.  I know not whether others experience the same pleasurable sensations that I do on a fine day in spring, when all nature is bursting into life, and the air and earth look joyous.  My feelings become more buoyant, my step more elastic, and all that I love seem dearer than before.  I remember that even in childhood I was peculiarly sensible to atmospheric influence, and I find that as I grow old this susceptibility does not diminish.

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We dined at the Rocher de Cancale yesterday; and Counts Septeuil and Valeski composed our party.  The Rocher de Cancale is the Greenwich of Paris; the oysters and various other kinds of fish served up con gusto, attracting people to it, as the white bait draw visitors to Greenwich.  Our dinner was excellent, and our party very agreeable.

A diner de restaurant is pleasant from its novelty.  The guests seem less ceremonious and more gay; the absence of the elegance that marks the dinner-table appointments in a maison bien montee, gives a homeliness and heartiness to the repast; and even the attendance of two or three ill-dressed garcons hurrying about, instead of half-a-dozen sedate servants in rich liveries, marshalled by a solemn-looking maitre-d’hotel and groom of the chambers, gives a zest to the dinner often wanted in more luxurious feasts.

The Bois de Boulogne yesterday presented one of the gayest sights imaginable as we drove through it, for, being Sunday, all the bourgeoisie of Paris were promenading there, and in their holyday dresses.  And very pretty and becoming were the said dresses, from those of the femmes de negociants, composed of rich and tasteful materials, down to those of the humble grisettes, who, with jaunty air and roguish eyes, walked briskly along, casting glances at every smart toilette they encountered, more intent on examining the dresses than the wearers.

A good taste in dress seems innate in Frenchwomen of every class, and a confidence in their own attractions precludes the air of mauvaise honte and gaucherie so continually observable in the women of other countries, while it is so distinct from boldness that it never offends.  It was pretty to see the gay dresses of varied colours fluttering beneath the delicate green foliage, like rich flowers agitated by a more than usually brisk summer’s wind, while the foliage and the dresses are still in their pristine purity.

The beau monde occupied the drive in the centre, their vehicles of every description attracting the admiration of the pedestrians, who glanced from the well-appointed carriages, whose owners reclined negligently back as if unwilling to be seen, to the smart young equestrians on prancing steeds, who caracoled past with the air half dandy and half militaire that characterises every young Frenchman.

I am always struck in a crowd in Paris with the soldier-like air of its male population; and this air does not seem to be the result of study, but sits as naturally on them as does the look, half fierce, half mocking, that accompanies it.  There is something in the nature of a Frenchman that enables him to become a soldier in less time than is usually necessary to render the natives of other countries au fait in the routine of duty, just as he learns to dance well in a quarter of the time required to teach them to go through a simple measure.

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The Emperor Napoleon quickly observed this peculiar predisposition to a military life in his subjects, and took advantage of it to fool them to the top of their bent.  The victories achieved beneath his banner reflect scarcely less honour on them than on him, and the memory of them associates his name in their hearts by the strongest bonds of sympathy that can bind a Frenchman—­the love of glory.  A sense of duty, high discipline, and true courage, influence our soldiers in the discharge of their calling.  They are proud of their country and of their regiment, for the honour of which they are ready to fight unto the death; but a Frenchman, though proud of his country and his regiment, is still more proud of his individual self, and, believing that all eyes are upon him acts as if his single arm could accomplish that which only soldiers en masse can achieve.

A pleasant party at dinner at home yesterday.  The Marquis de Mornay, Count Valeski, and General Ornano, were among the number.  Laughed immoderately at the naivete of ——­, who is irresistibly ludicrous.

Madame ——­ came in the evening and sang “God save the King.”  Time was that her singing this national anthem would have electrified the hearers, but now—.  Alas! alas! that voices, like faces, should lose their delicate flexibility and freshness, and seem but like the faint echo of their former brilliant tones!

Does the ear of a singer, like the eye of some has-been beauty, lose its fine perception and become accustomed to the change in the voice, as does the eye to that in the face, to which it appertains, from being daily in the habit of seeing the said face!  Merciful dispensation of Providence, which thus saves us from the horror and dismay we must experience could we but behold ourselves as others see us, after a lapse of years without having met; while we, unconscious of the sad change in ourselves, are perfectly sensible of it in them.  Oh, the misery of the mezzo termine in the journey of life, when time robs the eyes of their lustre, the cheeks of their roses, the mouth of its pearls, and the heart of its gaiety, and writes harsh sentences on brows once smooth and polished as marble!

     Well a-day! ah, well a-day! 
     Why fleets youth so fast away,
     Taking beauty in its train,
     Never to return again?

     Well a-day! ah, well a-day! 
     Why will health no longer stay? 
     After youth ’t will not remain,
     Chased away by care and pain.

     Well a-day! ah, well a-day! 
     Youth, health, beauty, gone for aye,
     Life itself must quickly wane
     With its thoughts and wishes vain.

     Well a-day! ah, well a-day! 
     Frail and perishable clay
     That to earth our wishes chain,
     Well it is that brief’s thy reign.

I have been reading Captain Marryat’s Naval Officer, and think it exceedingly clever and amusing.  It is like himself, full of talent, originality, and humour.  He is an accurate observer of life; nothing escapes him; yet there is no bitterness in his satire and no exaggeration in his comic vein.  He is never obliged to explain to his readers why the characters he introduces act in such or such a manner.

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They always bear out the parts he wishes them to enact, and the whole story goes on so naturally that one feels as if reading a narrative of facts, instead of a work of fiction.

I have known Captain Marryat many years, and liked him from the first; but this circumstance, far from rendering me more indulgent to his novel, makes me more fastidious; for I find myself at all times more disposed to criticise the writings of persons whom I know and like than those of strangers:  perhaps because I expect more from them, if, as in the present case, I know them to be very clever.

Dined yesterday at the Cadran Bleu, and went in the evening to see La Tour d’Auvergne, a piece founded on the life, and taking its name from a soldier of the time of the Republic.  A nobler character than that of La Tour d’Auvergne could not be selected for a dramatic hero, and ancient times furnish posterity with no brighter example.  A letter from Carnot, then Minister of War, addressed to this distinguished soldier and admirable man, has pleased me so much that I give its substance: 

“On fixing my attention on the men who reflect honour on the army, I have remarked you, citizen, and I said to the First Consul—­’La Tour d’Auvergne Corret, descendant of the family of Turenne, has inherited its bravery and its virtues.  One of the oldest officers in the army, he counts the greatest number of brilliant actions, and all the brave name him to be the most brave.  As modest as he is intrepid, he has shewn himself anxious for glory alone, and has refused all the grades offered to him.  At the eastern Pyrenees the General assembled all the companies of the grenadiers, and during the remainder of the campaign gave them no chief.  The oldest captain was to command them, and he was Latour d’Auvergne.  He obeyed, and the corps was soon named by the enemy the Infernal Column.
“’One of his friends had an only son, whose labour was necessary for the support of his father, and this young man was included in the conscription.  Latour d’Auvergne, broken down by fatigue, could not labour, but he could still fight.  He hastened to the army of the Rhine; replaced the son of his friend; and, during two campaigns, with his knapsack on his hack and always in the foremost rank, he was in every engagement, animating the grenadiers by his discourse and by his example.  Poor, but proud, he has refused the gift of an estate offered to him by the head of his family.  Simple in his manners, and temperate in his habits, he lives on the limited pay of a captain.  Highly informed, and speaking several languages, his erudition equals his courage.  We are indebted to his pen for the interesting work entitled Les Origines Gauloises.  Such rare talents and virtues appertain to the page of history, but to the First Consul belongs the right to anticipate its award.’
“The First Consul, citizen, heard this recital with the same emotions that I experienced. 

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He named you instantly first grenadier of the Republic, and decreed you this sword of honour. Salut et fraternite.”

The distinction accorded so readily to Latour d’Auvergne by the First Consul, himself a hero, who could better than any other contemporary among his countrymen appreciate the glory he was called on by Carnot to reward, was refused by the gallant veteran.

“Among us soldiers,” said he, “there is neither first nor last.”  He demanded, as the sole recompense of his services, to be sent to join his old brothers-in-arms, to fight once more with them, not as the first, but as the oldest, soldier of the Republic.

His death was like his life, glorious; for he fell on the field of battle at Neubourg, in 1800, mourned by the whole army, who devoted a day’s pay to the purchase of an urn to preserve his heart, for a niche in the Pantheon.

Another distinction, not less touching, was accorded to his memory by the regiment in which he served.  The sergeant, in calling his names in the muster of his company, always called Latour d’Auvergne, and the corporal answered—­“Mort au champ d’honneur.”  If the history of this hero excited the warm admiration of those opposed to him in arms, the effect of its representation on his compatriots may be more easily imagined than described.  Nothing could exceed the enthusiasm it excited in their minds.  Men, women, and children, seemed electrified by it.

There is a chord in the hearts of the French that responds instantaneously, and with vivid emotion, to any appeal made to their national glory; and this susceptibility constitutes the germ so easily fructified by those who know how to cultivate it.

Enthusiasm, if it sometimes leads to error, or commits its votaries into the ridiculous, also prompts and accomplishes the most glorious achievements; and it is impossible not to feel a sympathy with its unsophisticated demonstrations thus evinced en masse.  Civilization, more than aught else, tends to discourage enthusiasm; and where it is pushed to the utmost degree of perfection, there will this prompter of great deeds, this darer of impossibilities and instigator of heroic actions, be most rarely found.

Drove yesterday to see the villa of the Duchesse de Montmorency, which is to be let.  The grounds are very pretty, and a portion of them opens by iron rails to the Bois de Boulogne, which is a great advantage.  But neither the villa nor the grounds are to be compared to the beautiful ones in the neighbourhood of London, where, as an old French gentleman once observed to me, “the trees seem to take a peculiar pride and pleasure in growing.”

I have seen nothing to be compared with the tasteful villas on green velvet lawns sloping down to the limpid Thames, near Richmond, with umbrageous trees bending their leafy branches to the earth and water; or to the colonnaded mansions peeping forth from the well-wooded grounds of Roehampton and its vicinage.

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I can remember as distinctly as if beheld yesterday, the various tempting residences that meet the eye in a morning drive, or in a row on the silvery Thames, compelling the violation of the tenth commandment, by looking so beautiful that one imagines how happily a life might glide away in such abodes, forgetful that in no earthly abode can existence be passed free from the cares meant to remind us that this is not our abiding-place.

Went to see Bagatelle yesterday with the Duchesse de G——.  Here the Duc de Bordeaux and Mademoiselle, his sister, pass much of their time.  It is a very pleasant villa, and contains many proofs of the taste and industry of these very interesting children, who are greatly beloved by those who have access to them.  Various stories were related to us illustrative of their goodness of heart and considerate kindness for those around them; and, making all due allowance for the partiality of the narrators, they went far to prove that these scions of royalty are more amiable and unspoilt than are most children of their age, and of even far less elevated rank.  “Born in sorrow, and nursed in tears,” the Duc de Bordeaux’s early infancy has not passed under bright auspices; and those are not wanting who prophesy that he may hereafter look back to the days passed at Bagatelle as the happiest of his life.

It requires little of the prescience of a soothsayer to make this prediction, when we reflect that the lives of even the most popular of those born to the dangerous inheritance of a crown must ever be more exposed to the cares that weigh so heavily, and the responsibility that presses so continually on them, than are those who, exempt from the splendour of sovereignty, escape also its toils.  “Oh happy they, the happiest of their kind,” who enjoy, in the peace and repose of a private station, a competency, good health, a love of, and power of indulging in, study; an unreproaching conscience, and a cheerful mind!  With such blessings they may contemplate, without a feeling of envy, the more brilliant but less fortunate lots of those great ones of the earth, whose elevation but too often serves to render them the target at which Fortune loves aim her most envenomed darts.

Passed the greater part of the morning in the house in the Rue de Matignon, superintending the alterations and improvements to be carried into execution there.  It has been found necessary to build an additional room, which the proprietor pledges himself can be ready for occupation in six weeks, and already have its walls reached nearly to their intended height.  The builders seem to be as expeditious as the upholsterers at Paris, and adding a room or two to a mansion appears to be as easily accomplished as adding some extra furniture.

One is made to pay dearly, however, for this facility and expedition; for rents are extravagantly high at Paris, as are also the prices of furniture.

Already does the terrace begin to assume the appearance of a garden.  Deep beds of earth inclosed in green cases line the sides, and an abundance of orange-trees, flowering shrubs, plants, and flowers, are placed in them.

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At the end of the terrace, the wall which bounds it has been painted in fresco, with a view of Italian scenery; and this wall forms the back of an aviary, with a fountain that plays in the centre.  A smaller aviary, constructed of glass, is erected on the end of the terrace, close to my library, from the window of which I can feed my favourite birds; and this aviary, as well as the library, is warmed by means of a stove beneath the latter.  The terrace is covered by a lattice-work, formed into arched windows at the side next the court:  over the sides and roof there are trailing parasitical plants.  Nothing in the new residence pleases me so much as this suite, and the terrace attached to it.

Already do we begin to feel the unsettled state peculiar to an intended change of abode, and the prospect of entering a new one disturbs the sense of enjoyment of the old.  Gladly would we remain where we are, for we prefer this hotel to any other at Paris; but the days we have to sojourn in it are numbered, and our regret is unavailing.


September, 1829.—­A chasm of many months in my journal.  When last I closed it, little could I have foreseen the terrible blow that awaited me.  Well may I exclaim with the French writer whose works I have been just reading, “Nous, qui sommes bornes en tout, comment le sommes-nous si peu quand il s’agit de souffrir.”  How slowly has time passed since!  Every hour counted, and each coloured by care, the past turned to with the vain hope of forgetting the present, and the future no longer offering the bright prospect it once unfolded!

How is my destiny changed since I last opened this book!  My hopes have faded and vanished like the leaves whose opening into life I hailed with joy six months ago, little dreaming that before the first cold breath of autumn had tinted them with brown, he who saw them expand with me would have passed from the earth!

October.—­Ill, and confined to my chamber for several days, my physician prescribes society to relieve low spirits; but in the present state of mine, the remedy seems worse than the disease.

My old friends Mr. and Mrs. Mathews, and their clever son, have arrived at Paris and dined here yesterday.  Mr. Matthews is as entertaining as ever, and his wife as amiable and spirituelle.  They are excellent as well as clever people, and their society is very agreeable.  Charles Mathews, the son, is full of talent, possesses all his father’s powers of imitation, and sings comic songs of his own composition that James Smith himself might be proud to have written.

The Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, the Marquise de Poulpry, Lady Combermere, Madame Craufurd, and Count Valeski, came in the evening, and were all highly gratified with some recitations and songs given us by Mr. Mathews and his son.  They were not less pleased with Mrs. Mathews, whose manners and conversation are peculiarly fascinating, and whose good looks and youthfulness of appearance made them almost disbelieve that she could be the mother of a grown-up son.

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How forcibly did the recitations and songs bring back former times to my memory, when in St. James’s Square, or in his own beautiful cottage at Highgate, I have so frequently been delighted by the performances of this clever and worthy man!  The recollection of the past occupied me more last night than did the actual present, and caused me to return but a faint echo to the reiterated applause which every new effort of his drew forth from the party.  There are moments when the present appears like a dream, and that we think the past, which is gone for ever, has more of reality in it!

I took Mr. and Mrs. Mathews to the Jardin des Plantes to-day, and was much amused by an incident that occurred there.  A pretty child, with her bonne, were seated on a bench near to which we placed ourselves.  She was asking questions relative to the animals she had seen, and Mr. Mathews having turned his head away from her, gave some admirable imitations of the sounds peculiar to the beasts of which she was speaking, and also of the voice and speeches of the person who had exhibited them.

Never did he exert himself more to please a crowded and admiring audience than to amuse this child, who, maintaining an immovable gravity during the imitations, quietly observed to her nurse, “Ma bonne, ce Monsieur est bien drole.”

The mortification of Mr. Mathews on this occasion was very diverting.  “How!” exclaimed he, “is it possible that all my efforts to amuse that child have so wholly failed?  She never moved a muscle!  I suppose the French children are not so easily pleased as our English men and women are?”

He reverted to this disappointment more than once during our drive back, and seemed dispirited by it.  Nevertheless, he gave us some most humorous imitations of the lower orders of the French talking loudly together, in which he spoke in so many different voices that one could have imagined that no less than half-a-dozen people, at least, were engaged in the conversation.

I think so highly of the intellectual powers of Mr. Mathews, and find his conversation so interesting that, admirable as are his imitations, I prefer the former.  He has seen so much of the world in all its phases, that he has a piquant anecdote or a clever story to relate touching every place and almost every person mentioned.  Yet, with all this intuitive and acquired knowledge of the world, he possesses all the simplicity of a child, and a good nature that never can resist an appeal to it.

Spent all yesterday in reading, and writing letters on business.  I begin to experience the ennui of having affairs to attend to, and groan in spirit, if not aloud, at having to read and write dry details on the subject.  To unbend my mind from its painful thoughts and tension, I devoted the evening to reading, which affords me the surest relief, by transporting my thoughts from the cares that oppress me.

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Had a long visit from my old acquaintance the Count de Montalembert, to-day.  He is in very low spirits, occasioned by the recent death of an only and charming daughter, and could not restrain his deep emotion, when recounting to me the particulars of her latter days.  His grief was contagious, and found a chord in my heart that responded to it.  When we last met, it was in a gay and brilliant party, each of us in high spirits; and now, though but a few more years have passed over our heads, how changed are our feelings!  We meet, not to amuse and to be amused, but to talk of those we have lost, and whose loss has darkened our lives.  He spoke of his son, who already gives the promise of distinguishing himself, and of reflecting credit on his family.

How little do we know people whom we meet only in general society, in which every one assumes a similar tone and manner, reserving for home the peculiarities that distinguish each from the other, and suppressing all demonstration of the feelings indulged only in the privacy of the domestic circle!

I have been many years acquainted with the Count de Montalembert, yet never really appreciated him until today.  Had I been asked to describe him yesterday, I should have spoken of him as a spirituel, lively, and amusing man, with remarkably good manners, a great knowledge of the world, and possessing in an eminent degree the tact and talent de societe.  Had any one mentioned that he was a man of deep feeling, I should have been disposed to question the discernment of the person who asserted it:  yet now I am as perfectly convinced of the fact as it is possible to be, and had he paid this visit before affliction had assailed me, he would not, I am convinced, have revealed his own grief.  Yes, affliction is like the divinatory wand, whose touch discovers deep-buried springs the existence of which was previously unknown.

——­ called on me to-day, and talked a good deal of ——.  I endeavoured to excite sympathy for the unhappy person, but failed in the attempt.  The unfortunate generally meet with more blame than pity; for as the latter is a painful emotion, people endeavour to exonerate themselves from its indulgence, by trying to discover some error which may have led to the misfortune they are too selfish to commiserate.  Alas! there are but few friends who, like ivy, cling to ruin, and ——­ is not one of these.

The Prince and Princesse Soutzo dined with us yesterday.  They are as amiable and agreeable as ever, and I felt great gratification in meeting them again.  We talked over the many pleasant days we passed together at Pisa.  Alas! how changed is my domestic circle since then!  They missed one who would have joined me in welcoming them to Paris, and whose unvaried kindness they have not forgotten!

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The “decent dignity” with which this interesting couple support their altered fortunes, won my esteem on our first acquaintance.  Prince Soutzo was Hospodar, or reigning Prince of Moldavia, and married the eldest daughter of Prince Carraga, Hospodar of Walachia.  He maintained the state attendant on his high rank, beloved and respected by those he governed, until the patriotic sentiments inseparable from a great mind induced him to sacrifice rank, fortune, and power, to the cause of Greece, his native land.  He only saved his life by flight; for the angry Sultan with whom he had previously been a great favourite, had already sent an order for his decapitation!  Never was a reverse of fortune borne with greater equanimity than by this charming family, whose virtues, endowments, and acquirements, fit them for the most elevated station.

My old acquaintances, Mr. Rogers the poet, and Mr. Luttrell, called on me to-day.  Of how many pleasant days in St. James’s Square did the sight of both remind me!  Such days I shall pass there no more:  but I must not give way to reflections that are, alas! as unavailing as they are painful.  Both of these my old friends are unchanged.  Time has dealt gently by them during the seven years that have elapsed since we last met:  the restless tyrant has been less merciful to me.  We may, however, bear with equanimity the ravages of Time, if we meet the destroyer side by side with those dear to us, those who have witnessed our youth and maturity, and who have advanced with us into the autumn of life; but, when they are lost to us, how dreary becomes the prospect!

How difficult it is to prevent the mind from dwelling on thoughts fraught with sadness, when once the chord of memory vibrates to the touch of grief!

Mr. Rogers talked of Byron, and evinced a deep feeling of regard for his memory, He little knows the manner in which he is treated in a certain poem, written by him in one of his angry moods, and which I urged him, but in vain, to commit to the flames.  The knowledge of it, however, would, I am convinced, excite no wrath in the heart of Rogers, who would feel more sorrow than anger that one he believed his friend could have written so bitter a diatribe against him.  And, truth to say, the poem in question is more injurious to the memory of Byron than it could be painful to him who is the subject of it; but I hope that it may never be published, and I think no one who had delicacy or feeling would bring it to light.

Byron read this lampoon to us one day at Genoa, and enjoyed our dismay at it like a froward boy who has achieved what he considers some mischievous prank.  He offered us a copy, but we declined to accept it; for, being in the habit of seeing Mr. Rogers frequently beneath our roof, we thought it would be treacherous to him.  Byron, however, found others less scrupulous, and three or four copies of it have been given away.

The love of mischief was strong in the heart of Byron even to the last, but, while recklessly indulging it in trifles, he was capable of giving proofs of exalted friendship to those against whom he practised it; and, had Rogers stood in need of kindness, he would have found no lack of it in his brother poet, even in the very hour he had penned the malicious lampoon in question against him.

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Comte d’Orsay, with his frank naivete, observed, “I thought you were one of Mr. Rogers’s most intimate friends, and so all the world had reason to think, after reading your dedication of the Giaour to him.”

“Yes,” answered Byron, laughing, “and it is our friendship that gives me the privilege of taking a liberty with him.”

“If it is thus you evince your friendship,” replied Comte d’Orsay, “I should be disposed to prefer your enmity.”

“You,” said Byron, “could never excite this last sentiment in my breast, for you neither say nor do spiteful things.”

Brief as was the period Byron had lived in what is termed fashionable society in London, it was long enough to have engendered in him a habit of persiflage, and a love of uttering sarcasms, (more from a desire of displaying wit than from malice,) peculiar to that circle in which, if every man’s hand is not against his associates, every man’s tongue is.  He drew no line of demarcation between uttering and writing satirical things; and the first being, if not sanctioned, at least permitted in the society in which he had lived in London, he considered himself not more culpable in inditing his satires than the others were in speaking them.  He would have laughed at being censured for putting on paper the epigrammatic malice that his former associates would delight in uttering before all except the person at whom it was aimed; yet the world see the matter in another point of view, and many of those who speak as much evil of their soi-disant friends, would declare, if not feel, themselves shocked at Byron’s writing it.

I know no more agreeable member of society than Mr. Luttrell.  His conversation, like a limpid stream, flows smoothly and brightly along, revealing the depths beneath its current, now sparkling over the objects it discloses or reflecting those by which it glides.  He never talks for talking’s sake; but his mind is so well filled that, like a fountain which when stirred sends up from its bosom sparkling showers, his mind, when excited, sends forth thoughts no less bright than profound, revealing the treasures with which it is so richly stored.  The conversation of Mr. Luttrell makes me think, while that of many others only amuses me.

Lord John Russell has arrived at Paris, and sat with me a considerable time to-day.  How very agreeable he can be when his reserve wears off, and what a pity it is he should ever allow it to veil the many fine qualities he possesses!  Few men have a finer taste in literature, or a more highly cultivated mind.  It seizes with rapidity whatever is brought before it; and being wholly free from passion or egotism, the views he takes on all subjects are just and unprejudiced.  He has a quick perception of the ridiculous, and possesses a fund of dry caustic humour that might render him a very dangerous opponent in a debate, were it not governed by a good breeding and a calmness that never forsake him.

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Lord John Russell is precisely the person calculated to fill a high official situation.  Well informed on all subjects, with an ardent love of his country, and an anxious desire to serve it, he has a sobriety of judgment and a strictness of principle that will for ever place him beyond the reach of suspicion, even to the most prejudiced of his political adversaries.  The reserve complained of by those who are only superficially acquainted with him, would be highly advantageous to a minister; for it would not only preserve him from the approaches to familiarity, so injurious to men in power, but would discourage the hopes founded on the facility of manner of those whose very smiles and simple acts of politeness are by the many looked on as an encouragement to form the most unreasonable ones, and as an excuse for the indulgence of angry feelings when those unreasonable hopes are frustrated.

Lord John Russell, Mr. Rogers, Mr. Luttrell, Monsieur Thiers, Monsieur Mignet, and Mr. Poulett Thomson, dined here yesterday.  The party was an agreeable one, and the guests seemed mutually pleased with each other.

Monsieur Thiers is a very remarkable person—­quick, animated, and observant:  nothing escapes him, and his remarks are indicative of a mind of great power.  I enjoy listening to his conversation, which is at once full of originality, yet free from the slightest shade of eccentricity.

Monsieur Mignet, who is the inseparable friend of Monsieur Thiers, reminds me every time I see him of Byron, for there is a striking likeness in the countenance.  With great abilities, Monsieur Mignet gives me the notion of being more fitted to a life of philosophical research and contemplation than of action, while Monsieur Thiers impresses me with the conviction of his being formed to fill a busy and conspicuous part in the drama of life.

He is a sort of modern Prometheus, capable of creating and of vivifying with the electric spark of mind; but, whether he would steal the fire from Heaven, or a less elevated region, I am not prepared to say.  He has called into life a body—­and a vast one—­by his vigorous writings, and has infused into it a spirit that will not be soon or easily quelled.  Whether that spirit will tend to the advancement of his country or not, time will prove; but, en attendant, its ebullitions may occasion as much trouble to the powers that be as did the spirit engendered by Mirabeau in a former reign.

The countenance of Monsieur Thiers is remarkable.  The eyes, even through his spectacles, flash with intelligence, and the expression of his face varies with every sentiment he utters.  Thiers is a man to effect a revolution, and Mignet would be the historian to narrate it.

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There is something very interesting in the unbroken friendship of these two men of genius, and its constancy elevates both in my estimation.  They are not more unlike than are their respective works, both of which, though so dissimilar, are admirable in their way.  The mobility and extreme excitability of the French, render such men as Monsieur Thiers extremely dangerous to monarchical power.  His genius, his eloquence, and his boldness, furnish him with the means of exciting the enthusiasm of his countrymen as surely as a torch applied to gunpowder produces an explosion.  In England these qualities, however elevated, would fail to produce similar results; for enthusiasm is there little known, and, when it comes forth, satisfies itself with a brief manifestation, and swiftly resigns itself to the prudent jurisdiction of reason.  Napoleon himself, with all the glory associated with his name—­a glory that intoxicated the French—­would have failed to inebriate the sober-minded English.

Through my acquaintance with the Baron de Cailleux, who is at the head of the Musee, I obtained permission to take Lord John Russell, Mr. Rogers, and Mr. Luttrell, to the galleries of the Louvre yesterday, it being a day on which the public are excluded.  The Baron received us, did the honours of the Musee with all the intelligence and urbanity that distinguish him, and made as favourable an impression on my countrymen as they seemed to have produced on him.

Rogers has a pure taste in the fine arts, and has cultivated it con amore; Luttrell brings to the study a practised eye and a matured judgment; but Lord John, nurtured from infancy in dwellings, the walls of which glow with the chefs-d’oeuvre of the old masters and the best works of the modern ones, possesses an exquisite tact in recognizing at a glance the finest points in a picture, and reasons on them with all the savoir of a connoisseur and the feeling of an amateur.

It is a pleasant thing to view collections of art with those fully capable of appreciating them, and I enjoyed this satisfaction yesterday.  The Baron de Cailleux evinced no little pleasure in conducting my companions from one masterpiece to another, and two or three hours passed away rapidly in the interesting study.

The Marquis and Marquise de B——­, Comte V——­, and some others, dined here yesterday.  The Marquise de B——­ is very clever, has agreeable manners, knows the world thoroughly, and neither under nor overvalues it.  A constant friction with society, while it smoothes down asperities and polishes manners, is apt to impair if not destroy much of the originality and raciness peculiar to clever people.  To suit themselves to the ordinary level of society, they become either insipid or satirical; they mix too much water, or apply cayenne pepper to the wine of their conversation:  hence that mind which, apart from the artificial atmosphere of the busy world, might have grown into strength and beauty, becomes like some poor child nurtured in the unhealthy precincts of a dense and crowded city,—­diseased, stunted, rickety, and incapable of distinguishing itself from its fellows.

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As clever people cannot elevate the mass with which they herd to their own level, they are apt to sink to theirs; and persons with talents that might have served for nobler purposes are suffered to degenerate into diseurs de bons mots and raconteurs de societe, content with the paltry distinction of being considered amusing.  How many such have I encountered, satisfied with being pigmies, who might have grown to be giants, but who were consoled by the reflection that in that world in which their sole aim is to shine, pigmies are more tolerated than giants, as people prefer looking down to looking up!

Lord Allen and Sir Andrew Barnard dined here yesterday.  They appear to enter into the gaiety of Paris with great zest, go the round of the theatres, dine at all the celebrated restaurateurs, mix enough in the beau monde to be enabled to observe the difference between the Parisian and London one, and will, at the expiration of the term assigned to their sejour here, return to England well satisfied with their trip and with themselves.

Lord A——­ has tasted all the nouveaux plats a la mode, for at Paris new dishes are as frequently invented as new bonnets or caps; and the proficiency in the culinary art which he has acquired will render him an oracle at his clubs, until the more recent arrival of some other epicurean from the French capital deposes his brief sovereignty.

But it is not in the culinary art alone that Lord Allen evinces his good taste, for no one is a better judge of all that constitutes the agremens of life, or more au fait of the [* omitted word?] of contributing to them.

Sir A. B——­, as devoted as ever to music, has heard all the new, and finds that the old, like old friends, loses nothing by comparison.  It is pleasant to see that the advance of years impairs not the taste for a refined and innocent pleasure.


Mr. Rogers and Mr. Luttrell spent last evening here.  The minds of both teem with reflection, and their conversation is a high intellectual treat to me.  There is a repose in the society of clever and refined Englishmen to be met with in no other:  the absence of all attempts to shine, or at least of the evidence of such attempts; the mildness of the manners; the low voices, the freedom from any flattery, except the most delicate and acceptable of all to a fastidious person, namely, that implied by the subjects of conversation chosen, and the interest yielded to them;—­yes, these peculiarities have a great charm for me, and Mr. Rogers and Mr. Luttrell possess them in an eminent degree.

The mercurial temperaments of the French preclude them from this calmness of manner and mildness of speech.  More obsequiously polite and attentive to women, the exuberance of their animal spirits often hurries them into a gaiety evinced by brilliant sallies and clever observations.  They shine, but they let the desire to do so be too evident to admit of that quietude that forms one of the most agreeable, as well as distinguishing, attributes of the conversation of a refined and highly-intellectual Englishman.

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——­ and ——­ spent last evening here.  Two more opposite characters could not easily have encountered.  One influenced wholly by his feelings, the other by his reason, each seemed to form a low estimate of the other; and this, malgre all the restraint imposed by good breeding, was but too visible.  Neither has any cause to be vain, for he becomes a dupe who judges with his heart instead of his head, and an egotist who permits not his heart to be touched by the toleration of his head. ——­ is often duped, but sometimes liked for his good nature; while ——­, if never duped, is never liked.

I took Lord John Russell, Mr. Rogers, and Mr. Luttrell yesterday to La Muette to see M. Erard’s fine collection of pictures, with which they were very much pleased.  Our drive to the Bois de Boulogne was a very agreeable one, and was rendered so by their pleasant conversation.

I have presented Mr. Rogers with some acquisitions for his cabinet of antique bijouterie, with which he appears delighted.  I outbid M. Millingen, who was bargaining at Naples for these little treasures, and secured a diminutive Cupid, a Bacchus, and a small bunch of grapes of pure gold, and of exquisite workmanship, which will now be transferred to the museum of my friend, Mr. Rogers.  He will not, I dare say, be more grateful for the gift of my Cupid than his sex generally are when ladies no longer young bestow their love on them, and so I hinted when giving him the little winged god; but, n’importe, the gift may please, though the giver be forgotten.

Lord Pembroke dined here yesterday, he is peculiarly well-bred and gentlemanlike, and looks a nobleman from top to toe.  He has acquired all the polish and savoir-vivre of the best foreign society without having lost any of the more solid and fine qualities peculiar to the most distinguished portion of his countrymen.  Lord Pembroke maintains the reputation of English taste in equipages by sporting horses and carriages that excite the admiration, if not the envy, of the Parisians, among whom he is, and deserves to be, very popular.

The Duke of Hamilton paid me a long visit to-day.  We talked over old times, and our mutual friend Dr. Parr, in whose society we formerly passed such agreeable hours in St. James’s Square.  The Duke is a very well-informed man, has read much, and remembers what he has read; and the ceremoniousness of his manners, with which some people find fault, I have got used to, and rather like than otherwise.  The mixture of chivalric sentiments, Scotch philosophy, and high breeding of the old French school which meet in the Duke, render his conversation very piquant.

He has, indeed, the dignity of his three dukedoms; the fierte of that of Chatelherault, the reserve of that of England, and the spirit of that of Scotland:  witness his dignified reproof to the Duc de Blacas at Rome, when that very unpopular personage, then Ambassador from the court of France, presumed to comment on the frequency of the Duke of Hamilton’s visits to the Princess Pauline Borghese, who, being a Buonaparte, was looked on with a jealous eye by Blacas.

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Monsieur Mignet spent last evening here.  The more I see of him the more I am pleased with his society.  To a mind stored with knowledge he joins a happy facility of bringing forth its treasures, never as if ostentatious of his wealth, but in illustration of any topic that is discussed, on which he brings it to bear most aptly and appropriately.  His countenance lights up with expression when he converses, and adds force to an eloquence always interesting and often instructive.

Though Monsieur Mignet shines in monologue more than in dialogue, there is nothing either dictatorial or pedantic in his manner, he utters opinions new and original, which it is evident he has deeply reflected on, and elucidates them to the comprehension of his auditors with great felicity.  I like listening to the conversation of such a man; and clever people, when they find an attentive listener, are incited to talk well.

In general society, in which many persons of totally opposite tastes, pursuits, and opinions, are thrown together, a clever man has seldom an opportunity of bringing forth the treasures of his mind.  He can only dispense the small coin, which is easily changed with those he comes in contact with; but the weighty and valuable, metal is not brought into use, because he knows the greater number of those, around him could give him no equivalent in exchange.

——­, conversing with Lady ——­ to-day, she observed that in early life conscience has less influence than in advanced life, and accounted for it by the nearer approach to death rendering people more alarmed, and consequently more disposed to listen to it.  Some persons attribute all good impulses to fear, as if mortals were more governed by its influence than by that of love and gratitude.

If conscience is less frequently heard in youth, it is that the tumultuous throbbing of the heart, and the wild suggestions of the passions, prevent its “still small voice” from being audible; but in the decline of life, when the heart beats languidly and the passions slumber, it makes itself heard, and on its whispers depends our happiness or misery.

My old acquaintance, Lord Palmerston, has arrived at Paris, and dined here yesterday, to meet the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, Count Valeski, and Mr. Poulett Thomson.  Seven years have produced no change in Lord Palmerston.  He is the same intelligent, sensible, and agreeable person that I remember him to have been for many years.

Lord Palmerston has much more ability than people are disposed to give him credit for.  He is, or used to be, when I lived in England, considered a good man of business, acute in the details, and quick in the comprehension of complicated questions.  Even this is no mean praise, but I think him entitled to more; for, though constantly and busily occupied with official duties, he has contrived to find time to read every thing worth reading, and to make himself acquainted with the politics of other countries.

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Lively, well-bred, and unaffected, Lord Palmerston is a man that is so well acquainted with the routine of official duties, performs them so readily and pleasantly, and is so free from the assumption of self-importance that too frequently appertains to adepts in them, that, whether Whig or Tory government has the ascendant in England, his services will be always considered a desideratum to be secured if possible.

Lord Castlereagh, Mr. Cutlar Fergusson, and Count Valeski dined here yesterday.  Lord C. has just arrived from England, and is a good specimen of the young men of the present day.  He reminds me of his uncle, the late Marquess of Londonderry, one of the most amiable and well-bred men I ever knew.  Lord C——­ is very animated and piquant in conversation, thinks for himself, and says what he thinks with a frankness not often met with in our times.  Yet there is no brusquerie in his manners; au contraire, they are soft and very pleasing; and this contrast between the originality and fearlessness of his opinions, and the perfect good-breeding with which they are expressed, lend a peculiar attraction to his manner.  If Lord C——­ were not a man of fashion he would become something vastly better, for he has much of the chivalrous spirit of his father and the tact of his uncle.  Fashion is the gulf in whose vortex so many fine natures are wrecked in England; what a pity it is that they cannot be rescued from its dangers!

Mr. Cutlar Fergusson is a clever and amiable man, mild, well-informed, and agreeable.

The Baron and Baroness de Ruysch spent yesterday with us.  They are an estimable couple, and very pleasant withal.  His philosophy, which has nothing of the ascetic in it, harmonises very well with her vivacity, and her sprightliness never degenerates into levity.  It is the gaiety of a mind at ease, pleased with others, and content with self.  How unlike the exuberant spirits of ——­, which always depress mine more than a day’s tete-a-tete with the moodiest hypochondriac could do!

Nothing can be more dreary and cheerless than the weather; and a second winter’s residence at Paris has convinced me that London is infinitely preferable at this season, except to those who consider gaiety an equivalent for comfort.  The negligence and bad management of the persons whose duty it is to remove the snow or mud from the streets, render them not only nearly impassable for pedestrians but exceedingly disagreeable to those who have carriages.

Previously to the heavy fall of snow that occurred a week ago, and which still encumbers the streets, a succession of wet days occasioned an accumulation of mud that gave forth most unsavoury odours, and lent a damp chilliness to the atmosphere which sent home to their sick chambers, assailed by sore throats and all the other miseries peculiar to colds, many of those who were so imprudent as to venture abroad.  The snow, instead of being swept away, is piled up on each side of the streets, forming a wall that increases the gloom and chilliness that reigns around.  The fogs, too, rise from the Seine, and hover over the Champs-Elysees and streets adjacent to it, rendering a passage through them a service of danger.

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Lord Castlereagh and Madame Grassini dined here last evening.  He was much amused with the raciness and originality of her remarks; and she was greatly gratified by the polite attention with which he listened to them.  At one moment, she pronounced him to be “la vraie image de ce cher et bon Lord Castlereagh,” whom she had so much liked; and the next she declared him to be exactly like “ce preux chevalier, son pere,” who was so irresistible that no female heart, or, as she said, at least no Italian female heart, could resist him.

Then she spoke of “ce cher et excellent Duc de Wellington,” who had been so kind to her, asked a thousand questions about him, the tears starting into her brilliant eyes as she dwelt on the reminiscences of those days when, considered the finest singer and most beautiful woman of her time, she received a homage accorded to her beauty and talent never since so universally decreed to any other prima donna.  The Grassini cannot be known without being liked, she is so warm-hearted, unaffected, and sincere.

The prettiest sight imaginable was a party of our friends in sledges, who yesterday passed through the streets.  This was the first time I had ever seen this mode of conveyance, and nothing can be more picturesque.  The sledge of the Duc de Guiche, in which reclined the Duchesse, the Duc seated behind her and holding, at each side of her, the reins of the horse, presented the form of a swan, the feathers beautifully sculptured.  The back of this colossal swan being hollowed out, admitted a seat, which, with the whole of the interior, was covered with fine fur.  The harness and trappings of the superb horse that drew it were richly decorated, and innumerable silver bells were attached to it, the sound of which was pleasant to the ear.

The Duchesse, wrapped in a pelisse of the finest Russian sable, never looked handsomer than in her sledge, her fair cheeks tinged with a bright pink by the cold air, and her luxuriant silken curls falling on the dark fur that encircled her throat.

Count A. d’Orsay’s sledge presented the form of a dragon, and the accoutrements and horse were beautiful; the harness was of red morocco, embroidered with gold.  The Prince Poniatowski and Comte Valeski followed in sledges of the ordinary Russian shape, and the whole cavalcade had a most picturesque effect.  The Parisians appeared to be highly delighted with the sight, and, above all, with the beautiful Duchesse borne along through the snow in her swan.

My medical adviser pressed me so much to accede to the wishes of my friends and try the salutary effect of a drive in a sledge, that I yesterday accompanied them to St.-Cloud, where we dined, and returned at night by torch-light.  Picturesque as is the appearance of the sledges by day-light, it is infinitely more so by night, particularly of those that have the form of animals or birds.

The swan of the Duchesse de Guiche had bright lamps in its eyes, which sent forth a clear light that was reflected in prismatic colours on the drifted snow, and ice-gemmed branches of the trees, as we drove through the Bois de Boulogne.  Grooms, bearing lighted torches, preceded each sledge; and the sound of the bells in the Bois, silent and deserted at that hour, made one fancy one’s self transported to some far northern region.

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The dragon of Comte A. d’Orsay looked strangely fantastic at night.  In the mouth, as well as the eyes, was a brilliant red light; and to a tiger-skin covering, that nearly concealed the cream-coloured horse, revealing only the white mane and tail, was attached a double line of silver gilt bells, the jingle of which was very musical and cheerful.

The shadows of the tall trees falling on an immense plain of snow, the light flashing in fitful gleams from the torches and lamps as we were hurried rapidly along, looked strange and unearthly, and reminded me of some of the scenes described in those northern fictions perused in the happy days of childhood.

This excursion and exposure to the wintry air procured me a good night’s sleep,—­the first enjoyed since the severity of the weather has deprived me of my usual exercise.  This revival of an old fashion (for in former days sledges were considered as indispensable in the winter remise of a grand seigneur in France as cabriolets or britchkas are in the summer) has greatly pleased the Parisian world, and crowds flock to see them as they pass along.  The velocity of the movement, the gaiety of the sound of the bells, and the cold bracing air, have a very exhilarating effect on the spirits.

Met the Prince Polignac at the Duchesse de G——­’s today.  His countenance is remarkably good, his air and manner tres-distingue, and his conversation precisely what might be expected from an English gentleman—­mild, reasonable, and unaffected.  If I had not previously known him to be one or the most amiable men in the world, I should have soon formed this judgment of him, for every expression of his countenance, and every word he utters, give this impression.

The Prince Polignac has lived much in England, and seems to me to be formed to live there, for his tastes are decidedly English.  Twice married, both his wives were English; so that it is no wonder that he has adopted much of our modes of thinking.  Highly as I am disposed to estimate him, I do not think that he is precisely the person calculated to cope with the difficulties that must beset a minister, and, above all, a minister in France, in times like the present.

The very qualities that render him so beloved in private life, and which make his domestic circle one of the happiest in the world, are perhaps those which unfit him for so trying a post as the one he is now called on to hold—­a post requiring abilities so various, and qualifications so manifold, that few, if any, could be found to possess the rare union.

A spirit is rife in France that renders the position of premier in it almost untenable; and he must unite the firmness of a stoic, the knowledge of a Machiavelli, and the boldness of a Napoleon, who could hope to stem the tide that menaces to set in and sweep away the present institutions.  If honesty of intention, loyalty to his sovereign, personal courage, attachment to his country, and perfect disinterestedness could secure success, then might Prince Polignac expect it.

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May.—­Some months have elapsed since I noted down a line in this book.  Indisposition and its usual attendants, languor and lassitude, have caused me to throw it by.  Time that once rolled as pleasantly as rapidly along, seems now to pace as slowly as sadly; and even the approach of spring, that joyous season never before unwelcomed, now awakens only painful recollections.  Who can see the trees putting forth their leaves without a dread that, ere they have yet expanded into their full growth, some one may be snatched away who with us hailed their first opening verdure?

When once Death has invaded our hearths and torn from us some dear object on whose existence our happiness depended, we lose all the confidence previously fondly and foolishly experienced in the stability of the blessings we enjoy, and not only deeply mourn those lost, but tremble for those yet spared to us.  I once thought that I could never behold this genial season without pleasure; alas! it now occasions only gloom.

Captain William Anson, the brother of Lord Anson, dined here yesterday.  He is a very remarkable young man; highly distinguished in his profession, being considered one of the best officers in the navy, and possessing all the accomplishments of a finished gentleman.  His reading has been extensive, and his memory is very retentive.  He has been in most quarters of the globe, and has missed no opportunity of cultivating his mind and of increasing his stock of knowledge.  He is, indeed, a worthy descendant of his great ancestor, who might well be proud of such a scion to the ancient stock.  Devoted to the arduous duties of his profession, he studies every amelioration in it con amore; and, if a long life be granted to him, will prove one of its brightest ornaments.

The Marquis and Marquise de B——­ spent last evening here, and several people dropped in.  Among them was the pretty Madame de la H——­, as piquant and lively as ever, as content with herself (and she has reason to be so, being very good-looking and amusing) and as careless of the suffrages of others.  I like the young and the gay of my own sex, though I am no longer either.

Prince Paul Lieven and Captain Cadogan[8] dined here yesterday.  The first is as spirituel and clever as formerly, and the second is as frank, high-spirited, and well-bred—­the very beau ideal of a son of the sea, possessing all the attributes of that generous race, joined to all those said to be peculiar to the high-born and well-educated.

I like the conversation of such men—­men who, nursed in the lap of luxury, are sent from the noble dwellings of their sires to be “cabined, cribbed, confined,” in (to my thinking) the most unbearable of all prisons—­a ship; pass months and years exposed to hardships, privations, and dangers, from the endurance of which even the poor and lowly born often shrink, and bring back to society the high breeding and urbanity not to be surpassed in those whose lots have been exempt from such trials; and, what is still more precious, the experience and reflection acquired in their perilous profession, and in the many hours of solitude and anxiety that appertain to it.

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Sat a considerable time with the Duchesse de Guiche today.  How amiable and kind-hearted she is, and how unspoilt by all the brilliancy of her position!  While I was there the mother and son of a young page, for whom the Duc and Duchesse have obtained that office at court, came to thank her.  The boy is a very fine youth, and the mother and sister seem to dote on him.  They reminded me of the mother and sister that a sentimental writer would have created for the occasion, being exceedingly interesting in their appearance and manner.  The boy was evidently as fond and proud of them as they were of him, and the group formed a charming picture.

The warmth and gentleness of the manners of the Duchesse de G——­, and the remarkable beauty of her face and figure, never appeared more captivating in my eyes than when I beheld her to-day, evincing such good nature to the youthful page and his mother and sister; and I saw by their eyes, when they took leave of her, that she sent away grateful hearts.

July 1830.—­Indisposition has interrupted my journal for several weeks, and idleness has prolonged the chasm.  The noting down the daily recurrence of uninteresting events is as dull as the endurance of them.

If reports may be credited, we are on the eve of some popular commotion in France, and the present ministers are said to be either ignorant of the danger that menaces, or unprepared to meet it.  The conquest of Algiers has produced much less exultation in the people than might have naturally been expected; and this indifference to an event calculated to gratify the amour-propre which forms so peculiar a characteristic of the nation, is considered a bad sign by those who affect to be acquainted with the people.  I have so often heard rumours of discontent and revolts that I have grown incredulous, and I think and hope the French are too wise to try any dangerous experiments.

26th July.—­This morning General E——­ came to breakfast with us, and announced that the ordonnances were yesterday signed in council at St.- Cloud.  This good man and brave soldier expressed the liveliest regret at this rash measure, and the utmost alarm at the consequences likely to result from it.  Is Charles the Tenth ignorant of the actual state of things in Paris, and of the power of public opinion? or does he hope to vanquish the resistance likely to be offered to this act?  I hope his majesty may not acquire this knowledge when it has become too late to derive advantage from it.

The unpopularity of the present ministry, and above all of its leader, the Prince Polignac, is surprising, when one considers how estimable his private character is, and that theirs are irreproachable.  They are rendered responsible for the will of the sovereign, who, if report speak truth, is very pertinacious in exacting a rigid fulfilment of it whenever it is exercised.

The present are not times to try experiments how far the will of a monarch can be pushed; and it is not in France, as in England, where our law supposes that a king can do no wrong, for the French are prone to pay no more respect to sovereigns than to their supposed advisers, and both may suffer a heavy penalty for incurring the dislike of the people.

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The prosperity of France, which is acknowledged by all, has failed to silence the murmurs of discontent which, loud and deep, are heard every where save in the palace,—­too frequently the last place where public opinion gets an impartial hearing.  The success of the Algerine expedition has buoyed up the confidence of the ministry in their own strength; but, if I may credit what I hear, it has by no means really added to it.

Concessions too long delayed come with a bad grace when at length extorted, and the change of ministry factiously demanded, even if complied with, would have placed the sovereign in any thing but a dignified position.  The dissolution of the Chambers in March, after a session of only ten days, might be considered as a demonstration of discontent on the part of the monarch, as well as a want of power of quelling the spirit that evoked it.

A circumstance, trivial in itself, added to this unpopularity, which was, that several of the deputies were on their route to Paris when the unexpected intelligence of the dissolution reached them, and they could not pardon the expense to which they had been put by this unnecessary frais de route, their places in the diligence being paid for.  How frequently do trifles exercise a powerful influence over grave affairs!

The portion of the public press that advocates the defence of the government is even more injudicious than that which assails it; and the monarchy has decidedly suffered in general opinion by the angry excitement produced by the recrimination of both parties.  The prosecutions entered into against the editors of the liberal papers are considered by the party to which they belong to be persecutions; and the sentiments avowed by the Gazette de France are received as those of not only the government but of the sovereign.  The discussions occasioned by these prosecutions, as well as by the principles of monarchical absolutism maintained by the adverse party, have greatly extended the ranks of the liberals, who, looking on the editors who expound or promulgate their opinions as martyrs, become more exasperated against their opponents, and more reckless in the modes likely to be adopted for marking their disapprobation.

27th.—­On returning from a late drive last night we passed near the hotel of the Minister des Finances, around which some fifty or sixty persons, chiefly youths, were assembled, crying out “Vive la charte!” “A bas les ministres!” A patrol passed close to these persons, but made no attempt to disperse them, which I think was rather unwise, for, encouraged by this impunity, their numbers, I am told, increased rapidly.

I have just heard that the post of gendarmes was tripled this morning, and that a crowd of persons have assembled around the hotel of the Prince Polignac, where a cabinet council was held.  It is said that the ministers were insulted as they entered.  This looks ill; nevertheless, I trust that it is nothing more than a demonstration of the spirit that is rife in the people, and that no more violent ones will be resorted to.  The visitors I have seen to-day seem much alarmed.

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The Duc de Guiche set off for St.-Cloud yesterday morning, the moment he had read the ordonnances.  Had his counsel been listened to, they would never have been promulgated; for he is one of the few who, with a freedom from prejudice that enables him to judge dispassionately of the actual state of public opinion, has the moral courage to declare the truth to his sovereign, however unpalatable that truth might be, or however prejudicial to his own interests.

I have this moment returned from a drive through the streets, and, though far from being an alarmist, I begin to think that affairs wear a more serious aspect than I dreaded.  Already has a collision taken place between the populace and the soldiers, who attempted to disperse them near the Palais-Royal; and it required the assistance of a charge of cavalry to secure the dangerous victory to themselves.

Crowds were hurrying through the streets, many of the shops were closed, and not above three or four carriages were to be seen.  Never did so great a change take place in the aspect of a city in so few hours!  Yesterday the business of life flowed on in its usual current.  The bees and the drones of this vast hive were buzzing about, and the butterflies of fashion were expanding their gay wings in the sunshine.  To-day the industrious and orderly seem frightened from their usual occupations, and scarcely a person of those termed fashionable is to be seen.  Where are all the household of Charles the Tenth, that vast and well-paid crowd who were wont to fill the anterooms of the Tuileries on gala days, obsequiously watching to catch a nod from the monarch, whose slightest wish was to them as the laws of the Modes and Persians?  Can it be that they have disappeared at the first cloud that has darkened the horizon of their sovereign, and increased the danger that menaces him by shewing that they have not courage to meet it?  Heaven send, for the honour of France, that the noblesse of the court of Charles the Tenth may not follow the disgraceful example furnished by that of his unfortunate brother, Louis the Sixteenth!  In England how different would it be if danger menaced the sovereign!

——­ has just been here, and, in answer to my question of where are the men on whose fidelity the king could count, and in whose military experience he might confide in such a crisis as the present, he told me that for the purposes of election interests all the general officers who could be trusted had unfortunately been sent from the court.

The sound of firing has announced that order, far from being restored, seems less likely than ever to be so.  People are rushing wildly through the streets proclaiming that several persons have been killed by the military.  All is confusion and alarm, and every one appears to dread what the coming night may produce.

Intelligence has just reached us that the mob are demolishing the lanterns, and that they have broken into the shops of the gunsmiths, and seized all the arms they could find.  The Duc de Raguse commands the troops, and already several charges have taken place.  This selection, under present circumstances, is not considered to be a good one.

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The people are forming barricades in various parts of the town, and some of our servants, who have been out to collect intelligence, assert that no hinderance seems to be opposed to this mischievous measure.  Where are the civil authorities during all this commotion? is the natural question that suggests itself to one who knows how in London, under any disturbance, they would oppose themselves to check such proceedings.  And why, if the civil authorities are too weak to resist the torrent, is there not a sufficient military force to stem it? is the next question that presents itself.  No one seems to know where the blame lies, but every one foretells a dangerous result from this unaccountable state of things.

The promulgation of the ordonnances which had led to this tumult, ought to have been accompanied by a display of force sufficient to maintain their enactment.  If a government will try the hazardous measure of a coup d’etat, it ought to be well prepared to meet the probable consequences.

I feel so little disposed to sleep that, instead of seeking my pillow, I occupy myself by noting down my impressions, occasionally looking out of my window to catch the sounds that break the stillness of the night.  The heat is intense, but the sky is as pure and cloudless as if it canopied a calm and slumbering multitude instead of a waking and turbulent one, filled with the most angry emotions.

Comtes d’Orsay and Valeski have just returned, and state that they have been as far as the Place de la Bourse, where they saw a scene of the utmost confusion.  The populace had assembled there in great force, armed with every kind of weapon they could obtain, their arms bared up to the shoulders, and the whole of them presenting the most wild and motley appearance imaginable.  They had set fire to the Corps-de-Garde, the flames of which spread a light around as bright as day.  Strange to say, the populace evinced a perfect good-humour, and more resembled a mob met to celebrate a saturnalia than to subvert a monarchy.

Comtes d’O——­ and V——­ were recognised by some of the people, who seemed pleased at seeing them.  On returning, they passed through the Rue de Richelieu, which they found in total darkness, all the lanterns having been broken.  Comte d’O——­ luckily found his cabriolet in the Rue de Menars, where he had left it, not being able to take it farther, owing to a portion of the pavement being broken up, and had only time to reach the club-house in the Rue de Gramont, in the court of which he placed his cab, before the populace rushed by, destroying every thing they met, among which was the carriage of the Prince Tufiakin.  A considerable number of the members of the club were assembled, a few of whom witnessed, from the balcony on the Boulevart, the burning of the chairs placed there, the breaking of the lamps, and other depredations.

Some gentlemen went to the battalion of the guards stationed in front of the Prince Polignac’s, and suggested to the officer in command the propriety of sending a few men to arrest the progress of the insurgents, a thing then easily to be accomplished; but the officer, having no orders, declined to take any step, and the populace continued their depredations within three hundred yards of so imposing a force as a battalion of the guards!

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What may not to-morrow’s sun witness, ere it goes down?  But conjecture is vain in a crisis in which every thing appears to go on in a mode so wholly unaccountable.  The exhibition of a powerful force might and would, I am persuaded, have precluded the collision that has occurred between the populace and the military.  Blood has been shed on both sides, and this has rendered the breach between people and sovereign too wide to be repaired except by something almost miraculous, and alas! the time of miracles is past.

I cannot help wondering at the calmness I feel on this occasion.  I experience no personal alarm; but I am apprehensive for my friends, some of whom are deeply interested in this struggle.  How may their destinies, lately so brilliant, be overclouded by the change that menaces to take place!

Well may Monsieur Salvandy have observed at the ball so recently given by the Duc of Orleans to the royal families of France and Naples, “This may be termed a Neapolitan fete, for they are dancing over a volcano.”


All now seems quiet, so I will go to bed.  Heaven only knows if to-morrow night we may be allowed to seek our pillows in safety.

28th.—­My femme-de-chambre undrew my curtains this morning, “with such a face—­so faint, so spiritless, so dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone”—­proclaiming that barricades had been erected during the night, and that the bodies of those killed in the encounter yesterday have been paraded through the streets in order to excite still more the angry feelings of the people.  This last measure reminds one of the appalling exhibitions in the fearful and memorable Revolution of former days; and the reminiscences it awakens are not calculated to tranquillize the mind.

She states that the shops are all closed, and that no provisions can be obtained; the cook complains that his stockpots want replenishing; and the femme de charge hints that the larder is not so well supplied as it would have been had she known what was to occur.  Each and all of these functionaries seem wholly occupied by the dread of not being able to furnish us with as copious repasts as usual, unmindful that a mighty throne is tottering to its foundation, and that a struggle is going on in which many lives may be sacrificed.

The Duc de Raguse has incurred great blame for his intercourse with the supposed leaders of the Revolution.  This conduct has had the effect of destroying the confidence of the troops in their chief, and of weakening their attachment to the cause they were to support.  The Marechal was the Commandant appointed by the King, and as such, bound to treat as rebels those who opposed themselves to his government; instead of which, he seemed more like the confident of a party who, it is alleged, owe their victory to his supineness.

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The Duc de Guiche has not left his post, near the royal family, since the 26th, except to pass and repass with instructions from the King to the Duc de Raguse, twice or thrice a-day.  He has been repeatedly recognised by the people, though in plain clothes, and experienced at their hands the respect so well merited by his honourable conduct and devotion to his sovereign.  How often have I heard this noble-minded man censured for encouraging the liberal sentiments of the Dauphin; and heard this, too, from some of those who are now the first to desert Charles the Tenth in the emergency which is the result of the system they advocated!

——­ has been here; he tells me that to Marshal Marmont the king has confided unlimited power, and that Paris has been declared in a state of siege.

He says that the military dispositions are so defective, that there is not a young officer in the army capable of committing a similar mistake.  The regiments are crowded into narrow streets, in which even children may become dangerous enemies, by throwing from the windows every missile within their reach on the heads of the soldiers.  He is of opinion that, in twenty-four hours, the populace will be in possession of Paris.  The tri-coloured flag is now floating from the towers of Notre-Dame; while the white flag of the luckless Bourbons, as often stained by the faithlessness of its followers, as by the blood of its foes, still waves from the column of the Place Vendome,—­that column erected to commemorate the glory of the great chief now calmly sleeping in his ocean-washed grave.

The civil authorities seem paralyzed:  the troops have been twelve hours on duly without any refreshment, except that afforded by the humanity of the people, who have brought them wine and bread; can it be hoped that these same soldiers will turn their arms against those who have supplied their necessities?

The royal emblems are destroyed wherever they are found, and the bust of the king has been trampled on.  The disgusting exhibition of the dead bodies has had the bad effect calculated upon, and all is tumult and disorder.  Every one wonders where are the authorities, and why a sufficient military force does not appear, for there has been ample time, since the disposition to insurrection manifested by the people, to assemble the troops.

Every visitor, and, notwithstanding the disturbed state of Paris, we have already had several to-day, announces some fresh disaster, each representing it according to the political creed to which he adheres.  The Royalists assert that the outbreak is the result of a long and grave conspiracy, fomented by those who expect to derive advantage from it; while the Liberals maintain that it has arisen spontaneously and simultaneously from the wounded spirit of liberty, lashed into a frenzied resistance by the ordonnances.  I pretend not to know which of these statements is the most correct; but I believe that the favourite opinion of the worthy Sir Roger de Coverley, that “much could be said on both sides of the question,” might now fairly be urged; for, according to the march of events, it is but too probable that the melodrama now enacting before our eyes has not been an impromptu; and it is quite clear that the ordonnances have furnished the occasion, and the excuse (if such were required), for the performance.

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Well might a great Italian writer pronounce revolutions to be the carnivals of history.  This one seems to be not only a carnival but Saturnalia, for the ebriety of the slaves of liberty is well calculated to disgust the friends; and those who witness this intoxication are reminded of the observation of Voltaire, that “Les Francais goutent de la liberte comme des liqueurs fortes avec lesquelles ils s’enivrent." A revolution affected by physical instead of moral force, is a grave wound inflicted on social order and civilization—­a wound which it takes ages to heal.

When on the point of sitting down to our dejeuner a la fourchette (for people will eat while thrones are crumbling), repeated knockings, at the porte-cochere induced us to look from the window in order to see who the persons were who thus loudly demanded admittance, when it was discovered that they were Doctors Pasquier and De Guise.  They had been dressing the wounded at the hospital in the Faubourg du Roule, and finding on their return that the Champs-Elysees and Rue St.-Honore were the scenes of combat, had bethought themselves of our vicinity, and sought shelter.  When our unexpected visitants, deeming themselves fortunate in having found a refuge, prepared to join our repast, it was ludicrous to observe the lengthened faces of our servants at this addition to our party.  They, having previously lamented the paucity of provisions in the larder, and being aware of the difficulty, if not impossibility, of procuring a further supply, looked on the new-comers as interlopers, who would inevitably diminish the already too limited stock.

We had not been seated above five minutes at table, when the report of fire-arms announced that hostilities were renewed, and we hurried to the drawing-room to observe what was going on.  The servants looked as if they rather enjoyed the interruption to the morning’s meal, thinking no doubt that it would preserve the provisions, now so precious in their eyes, and they prepared to remove the viands with unusual alacrity; but their visages lengthened when told to let them remain on the table, and became still longer when we shortly after resumed our places at the board.

An Englishwoman, in the kitchen establishment, has just performed a feat that has elevated her into a heroine in the eyes of the rest of the servants.  Finding the larder not sufficiently supplied, she sallied forth into the street, passed through the Rue St.-Honore, while the fighting was going on, and returned bearing a basket of meat, obtained certainly at the risk of her life, as shots were flying around her.  As none of the men offered to undertake this action, she is now considered little less than an amazon, and her amour-propre being excited by the commendations bestowed on her courage, she declares that she will go forth for all that may be required, as she despises fear.

We have now entrenched ourselves in the front drawing-rooms, with the external shutters, which are stuffed to exclude noise, closed, but which we open occasionally, in order to see what is going on.  Sitting in darkness, with the sound of firing, and the shouts of the people, continually in our ears, I can hardly bring myself to think that all that is now passing is not a dream.

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The populace, ten minutes ago, rushed from the Rue St.-Honore towards the Champs-Elysees, assailing the troops stationed in the latter place; and were in turn assailed by these last, and forced to retreat to the Rue St.-Honore.  The scene was one of the utmost confusion.

The firing is going on; stragglers are rushing to and fro; a body of troops are stationed at the bottom of this street, and some pieces of cannon have been placed.  A thousand rumours are afloat, each more improbable than the other.  One moment it is announced that several regiments have fraternized with the people; another, that the royal family have fled to Belgium; the next, that Paris is to be fired by the insurgents; but it would be impossible to repeat one-half the wild rumours in circulation.

There is a mixture of the sublime and of the ridiculous in the scenes now passing before my eyes that is quite extraordinary.  Looking from my window, twenty minutes ago, I saw a troop of boys, amounting to about fifty, the eldest of whom could not be more than ten or eleven years old, and some who appeared under that age, march through our streets, with wooden swords, and lances pointed with sharp nails, flags flying, and crying, “Vive la charte!  Vive la liberte!” The gravity and intrepidity of these gamins de Paris would, at any other period, have elicited a smile; but now, this demonstration on the part of mere children creates the reflection of how profound and general must be the sympathy enlisted against the government and the sovereign in the hearts of the people.

Many are those who, like their children, shout “Vive la charte!” and “Vive, la liberte!” who are as ignorant of the true sense and value of both as they are.  Well might the victim, when being led to execution in the days of the past revolution in France, exclaim, “O Liberty, what crimes are committed in thy name!”

One of our servants has this moment informal me that the children, whose warlike demeanour I was disposed to smile at an hour ago, have rendered (not the state, but the popular cause) some service.  The troops, more amused than surprised at the appearance of these mimic soldiers, suffered them to approach closer than prudence warranted, and the urchins, rushing among the horses, wounded several of the poor animals severely, and effected their retreat before the soldiers were aware of what had occurred.

A fatality seems to prevail in the preset crisis that is little less than marvellous.  A want of provisions for the troops is now added to the catalogue of excitements against the cause of royalty.  Harassed by the repeated attacks of the populace, and exhausted by long exposure to the intense heat of a burning sun, they are little prone to consider as enemies those who approach them with food to allay the pangs of hunger, and drink to cool their scorching thirst. ——­, and others who have mingled with the crowd, tell me that they have beheld repeated examples of soldiers throwing down their arms, to embrace those who came to seduce them with the most irresistible of all seductions—­refreshment, when they were nearly exhausted by the want of it.

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I shall begin to consider myself half a heroine, after an exploit I performed this evening.  The men who shared our dinner having gone out to observe what was passing, I determined, coute que coute, to pay a visit to my friend Madame Craufurd.  I attired myself as simply as possible, and, attended by a valet de pied, sallied forth.  Having traversed the short distance that separates this house from the Rue St.-Honore, I arrived at the barricade erected in front of the entrance to the Rue Verte, and I confess this obstacle seemed to me, for the first minute or two that I contemplated it, insurmountable.  My servant, too, expressed his belief of the difficulty, if not impossibility, of climbing over this mountain of loose stones, that I felt half disposed to retrace my steps.

The shouts of a mob approaching along the Rue St.-Honore quickly decided me on the course to pursue; I clambered up as best I could, not without considerable risk; nor was the danger and difficulty of the descent on the other side of this rude pyramid less imminent.  The evening was more sultry than I ever experienced an evening to be, even in Italy; the houses were all closed, the streets deserted, except when a few occasional stragglers rushed along, glancing at me with surprise, and uttering their comments on my courage.  Now and then a dog ran by, with a terrified air and drooping tail, keeping close to the houses as if for protection.  One might have fancied oneself in some city ravaged by the plague, and the burning heat of the atmosphere, and lurid red of the clouds, might have strengthened the notion.

It more than once occurred to me how singular it was for me, a woman and a stranger, to find myself with only one attendant in the streets, on foot, in a city declared to be in a state of siege, and with the noise of firing in the distance, and the shouts of the populace, continually breaking on my ears.

Having passed the Rue de la Ville-l’Eveque, and entered the Rue d’Anjou, I soon reached the porte-cochere of my friend.  My servant knocked, and very loudly, but before the Swiss porter would open the door, he reconnoitred from the window in the entresol of his lodge.  He could hardly credit his eyes when he saw me; and while he unbolted and unchained the door, an operation which took him more time than I thought necessary, I could hear him muttering that, “Les dames Anglaises n’ont peur de rien, positivement rien.”  I was not sorry when I heard the massive door closed after me, with its bolts and chains again secured; but, as I crossed the courtyard, the different aspect of the house, with its closed windows, reminded me so forcibly of the change that had occurred since my last visit, only three days previously, that I felt more agitated than while traversing the streets.

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When I entered the drawing-room, in which a large circle were assembled, Madame Craufurd, though the servants announced my name, could hardly believe I was indeed come.  She wept bitterly while embracing me, and observed on the hardship of a person so aged as herself being called on to witness two revolutions.  All the horrors of the first are recalled vividly to her mind, and her terror of what may occur is proportioned to what she remembers to have formerly taken place.  Nothing seemed to pacify her terror so much as the fact of my having been permitted to pass unmolested to her house, though she considered me little less than insane to have undertaken the task.

“For myself,” said Madame C——­, “I have little fear (though her blanched cheek and trembling hand told another story); but for those dearer to me than life, what have I not to dread?  You who know the chivalrous sentiments of the Duc de Guiche, and the attachment entertained by him and my granddaughter for the royal family, will understand how much I have to dread for them from the vengeance which their devotion to their sovereign may draw on their heads. They are not, as you are aware, time-servers, like so many others, who will desert their king in his hour of need.  No; they will brave death, I am assured, rather than forsake in adversity those whose prosperity they shared.”

The marquis d’Aligre, one of, it not the, richest landed proprietors in France, was among the circle at Madame Craufurd’s, and evinced no little composure and courage in the circumstances in which we found ourselves.  He joined me in endeavouring to soothe her fears; and probably the fact of his having so immense a stake to risk in the crisis now taking place, added not a little weight to the arguments he urged to quiet her alarms.  When people have so much to lose, their calmness has an imposing effect; and the rhetoric of the most accomplished orator would have probably been less successful than was the composed manner of the marquis d’Aligre, in restoring the wonted courage of our amiable hostess.

When I rose to take leave, Madame C——­ tried all her efforts to persuade me to remain to sleep at her house, and I had no little difficulty to escape from her importunity.  She would fain send all her men servants to escort me home, and the Marquis d’Aligre also pressingly offered his services; but I was obstinate in my refusal to allow anyone to accompany me, being convinced that there was even less danger in proceeding with a single servant than more numerously attended.  I tore myself from the embraces of Madame C——­, whose tears flowed afresh, and bedewed my cheeks, and I once more passed through the court-yard, followed to the porter’s lodge by the dames de compagnie, femmes de chambre, and valets de chambre, wondering at my courage, offering up their prayers for my safety, and proclaiming that only an Englishwoman would have faced such danger.  The old Swiss porter would not risk opening the gate until he had assured himself, from the window, that the coast was clear, and closed it so rapidly when I had passed it as almost to have endangered my heels.

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On returning, I found a cord drawn across the street in front of the barrack in the Rue Verte, and some forty or fifty ill-dressed and riotous men assembled, half-a-dozen of whom held the cord.  Having approached close to it, I paused, and, looking calmly at those who held it, I appealed by looks to their politeness.  Some of them laughed aloud, and asked me if I could not leap over the barrier that impeded my progress, drawing the rope still higher while they spoke.  I answered, though I trembled at being exposed to their rude mirth, and still more rude gaze, “That I felt sure Frenchmen would not compel me to such an unfeminine exertion, or give me cause to tell my compatriots when I returned to England that deference to women no longer existed in France.”

“Let her pass! let her pass!” exclaimed nearly all the voices of the group; “she is courageous, and she speaks rightly, Vivent les Anglaises!  Vivent les Anglaises!” and the cord was instantly lowered to the ground, and I hastily stepped over it, glad to get out of hearing of the rough compliments bestowed on me.

My servant had attempted to address them before I spoke, but they one and all assailed him with a torrent of reproach, demanding if he was not ashamed to wear a livery, the badge of servitude, when all his countrymen were fighting for their liberty.  I had again to clamber over the barricade, assisted by my servant, and, before I could cross the Rue St.-Honore, encountered various groups of men rushing along, all of whom uttered such invectives against my footman that I determined not again to go out attended by this symbol of aristocracy.

On reaching my home, the porter observed, with a self-complacency his prudence could not conceal, that he “knew Madame la Comtesse had nothing to dread from the people, they were brave and bons enfans, and would not injure a lady;”—­a commendation that clearly indicated the state of his feelings.


I have observed a striking change in the manners of the servants during the last three days.  They are more familiar, without, however, evincing the least insolence; their spirits seem unusually exhilarated, and they betray an interest in the struggle in which the people are engaged that leaves no doubt as to the side that excites their sympathy.  Every rumour of the success of the insurgents is repeated by them with ill-suppressed animation and pleasure, and the power of the people is exaggerated far beyond the bounds of truth.  I confess this folly on their part annoys me, and the more especially as the class to which they belong, are totally incapacitated by ignorance from being able to comprehend even the causes alleged for this popular outbreak.

Misguided men! can they hope that servitude will be lightened by their being employed by some parvenus, elevated from the dregs of the people by a revolution which sets floating to the top the worst ingredients of the reeking caldron from which it is formed, instead of owning the more gentle and infinitely less degrading sway of those born to, and accustomed to rule?

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Comte ——­ and ——­ have just come in, and report that the last story current is, that fifty thousand men from Rouen are marching to Paris to espouse the cause of the people.  They say there is no end to the desertions among the troops.

The people—­the people!  I hear of nothing but the people; but those who speak of them as all and every thing, seem to me to mistake the populace for the people, yet surely the words are not synonymous.  The people, according to my acceptation of the word, are the sober and respectable portion of the community of all countries, including the husbandmen who till the earth, and the artisans who fabricate the objects applicable to our positive wants, and superfluous luxuries.  How different are these from the populace who fill the streets shouting for liberty, by which they mean license; fighting for a charter of the real meaning of which they are ignorant; and rendering themselves the blind instruments by which a revolution is to be accomplished, that will leave them rather worse off than it found them; for when did those who profit by such events remember with gratitude the tools by which it was effected?

Thursday.—­Repeated knocking at the gate drew me to the window ten minutes ago.  The intruder presented a strange mixture of the terrible and the ridiculous, the former predominating.  Wearing only his shirt and trousers, both stained with gore, and the sleeves of the former turned up nearly to the shoulder, a crimson handkerchief was bound round his head, and another encircled his waist.  He brandished a huge sword with a black leather string wound round his wrist, with one hand, while with the other he assailed the knocker.  Hearing the window opened, he looked up, and exclaimed, “Ah! madame, order the gate to be opened, that I may lay at the feet of my generous master the trophies I have won with this trusty sword,” waving the said sword over his head, and pointing to a pair of silver-mounted pistols and a sabre that he had placed on the ground while he knocked at the gate.

I recognised in this man a helper in the stables of Comte A. d’Orsay, of whom it had a short time previously been reported to us, that when a party of the populace had attempted to force the gate of the stable offices, which are situated in the Rue Verte, and the English grooms and coachman were in excessive alarm, this man presented himself at the window, sword in hand, declaring that he, though engaged in the same cause as themselves, would defend, to the last moment of his life, the horses of his master, and the Englishmen whom he considered to be under his protection.  This speech elicited thunders of applause from the crowd who retreated, leaving the alarmed servants, whose protector he had avowed himself, impressed with the conviction that he is little short of a hero.

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This man—­these same servants, only a few days ago, looked on as the stable drudge, who was to perform all the dirty work, while they, attired in smart liveries, and receiving triple the wages given to him, were far more ornamental than useful in the establishment of their employer.  They offered him money as a reward for his spirited conduct (the English of all classes, but more especially of that to which they appertain, think that money pays all manner of debts), but he indignantly refused the proffered gift.  This revolutionary hero had been fighting for several hours to-day, and is said to have evinced a courage and enthusiasm that remind one of all we read of the spirit of the old Imperial Guard, when animated by the presence of their mighty chief.

——­ has just brought the intelligence, that the Tuileries and the Louvre are taken by the people!  Comte A. d’O——­ sent two of his servants (Brement, formerly drill-serjeant in the Guards, and now his porter, and Charles who was an hussar, and a brave soldier) to the Tuileries to endeavour to save the portrait of the Dauphin by Sir Thomas Lawrence—­an admirable picture.  His instructions as to its emplacement were so correct, that the servants found it instantly, but torn in pieces, and the fragments strewed on the floor.

These men report that even in this feat a strange mixture of the terrible and the comic was exhibited, for while a dead body was placed on the throne of Charles the Tenth, some men appeared in the windows of the palace attired in the gold and silver tissue dresses of the Duchesse de Berri, with feathers and flowers in their heads, and fans in their hands, which they waved to the multitude beneath, with all the coquettish airs and graces of would-be-fine ladies.

The busts of Charles the Tenth were broken and trampled upon; the wardrobes of the royal family were scattered, torn, and thrown among the people, who seemed to regard them only as trophies of the victory they had achieved, and not for their intrinsic value.

The palace of the Archbishop of Paris has been sacked, and every object in it demolished. ——­ told me that the ribaldry and coarse jests of the mob on this occasion were disgusting beyond measure; and that they ceased not to utter the most obscene falsehoods, while they wreaked their vengeance on the property of this venerable prelate, against whom they can bring no charge, except the suspicion of jesuitical principles, and of having encouraged the king to issue the ordonnances.

——­ and ——­ have just been here.  They state that Charles the Tenth sent a deputation to the provisional government offering to withdraw the ordonnances, and to form a new ministry.  The offer came too late, and was rejected.  Concessions from the vanquished are seldom valued; and to offer terms to those who are now in the position to dictate them is as unavailing as it is undignified. ——­ and ——­ say that the general opinion is, that if the Duchesse de Berri was now to present herself, with her son, to the people, her popularity, and his youth and innocence, would accomplish an event that would satisfy most parties; namely, the calling of the Duc de Bordeaux to the throne.  The Duchesse de Berri has courage enough to take this step; what a pity it is that she has not wisdom enough to adopt it!

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While the fighting was going on in the streets, ——­ and ——­ met our ambassador, Lord Stuart de Rothesay, walking along as usual.  The secretaries and attaches, too, of the English embassy have been continually seen in places where their presence evinced more courage and curiosity than caution; but fear is, I firmly believe, an unknown guest in the breast of English gentlemen.

Comte ——­ has just been here; he has been to the College of Ste.-Barbe to take charge of the sons of the Duc de Guiche, in order to conduct them to the country; a service of no little danger, as all connected with the court, and known to be faithful to the royal family are liable to be maltreated.  How painful and trying a part is the Duc de Guiche now called on to act:  compelled to leave his wife and family in a town in a state of siege, or to desert the monarch to whom he has sworn fealty!  But he will perform it nobly; and if Charles the Tenth had many such men to rally round him in the present hour, his throne might still be preserved.

The Duchesse de Guiche, in the trying situation in which she finds herself, has displayed a courage worthy of olden times.  The devotion of her husband and self to the royal family is so well known that their house has been a marked one during the last three days, the mob repeatedly stopping before the gate uttering cries and menaces.  All her friends have urged her to leave Paris, and to remove with her children to the country, for she would not consent to seek an asylum with her grandmother or brother; urging, as a reason, that, in the absence of the Duc, she felt it her duty to remain, that her presence might induce the household to a more strict discharge of theirs, in protecting the property of the Dauphin.

——­ and ——­ have been here, and have told us that the provisional government were installed in the Hotel-de-Ville, General La Fayette at its head, and my old acquaintance Monsieur Alexandra de Laborde taking an active part.  How all this is to end I cannot imagine; the cry for a republic, though strongly echoed, will, I think, be unavailing; and the reasonable part of the community cannot desire that it should be otherwise, inasmuch as the tyranny of the many must ever be more insupportable than that of one, admitting that even a despotic monarchy could in our day exercise a tyranny, which I am not disposed to admit.

The tri-coloured flag now floats on many of the churches, while that of the Fleur-de-lis still waves from the column in the Place Vendome, on other public buildings, and the Tuileries.  What a strange state of things! but every thing is strange in this eventful crisis.

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——­ has just been here, and reports that yesterday a meeting of the Deputies took place at the house of M. Casimir Perier, in order to consult on what measures they ought to pursue in the present state of affairs.  He says, that pusillanimity, and want of decision consequent on it, marked the conduct of the assembly.  They lost the time, so precious in a crisis like the actual one, in disputing about words, when deeds ought to have been had recourse to.  They are accused of being influenced by a dread of offending the now tottering power, lest it should once more be solidly reinstated, and yet of being anxious to remain well with those opposed to it; and they are said to have temporised with both, allowing the time for serving either to have passed away.

A bitter feeling towards the royal family seems to pervade the minds of the populace; and this has been fomented by the most gross and disgusting falsehoods dispensed around by the medium of obscene brochures, and songs which are sung and distributed through the streets.  Even now beneath my window two men are offering, and crying aloud, the Amours of the Duchesse d’Angouleme and the Archbishop of Paris.  The most spotless woman in France and the most devout man!  The same hand that would pull down the throne would raze the altar!

——­ and ——­ have been among the fighting, and report wonders of the bravery of the populace.  They fight with an enthusiasm and courage worthy of a better cause, and have evinced a humanity to their wounded adversaries that elicits admiration even from those who are the most opposed to the cause they have espoused.  The citizens, and the women too, have come forth from the sanctuaries of their dwellings to dress the wounds, and administer refreshment to the combatants, without distinction with regard to the side on which they were engaged.

This amalgamation of soldiers and people has been destructive to the cause of royalty, for the humanity experienced has induced the former to throw down their arms rather than use them against generous foes, and cries of “Vive la Ligne!” are often heard from those so lately opposed to it.  All parties agree in stating that not a single example of pillage, except in the instances of the gunsmiths’ shops, has occurred.  Various houses have been entered by the people for the purpose of firing from the windows; and, having effected their object, they have retired without taking a single article of the many tempting ones scattered around in these dwellings.

This revolution, if indeed the result should prove it to be such, will offer a striking contrast to that fearful one that has ever since left so black a stain on France, and Frenchmen.  Heroic courage, great humanity, and a perfect freedom from cupidity, are the peculiar attributes that mark those who are now subverting the throne of the Bourbons; what a pity it is that such qualities should not have found a better cause for developing themselves!

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29th.—­The subject now circulated and believed is, that Lafayette and his followers have placed themselves at the head of the people.  This rumour has quieted the fears of many, for his name exercises a great influence.  The fighting is still going on, and the report of the guns comes booming on the ear continually.

Hearing a noise in the street, ten minutes ago, I looked forth, and beheld some four or five men covered with stains of blood, their faces blackened by gunpowder, and streaming with perspiration, endeavouring to draw away a piece of cannon, of which they had taken possession in the Champs-Elysees.  Hearing the opening of my window, they entreated me, if there were any men in the house, to send them to their assistance, in order to draw away the gun from the reach of the enemy.  “And if there are no men,” continued the speaker, “let the women come out and help us in the good cause.”  While they yet spoke, a party of soldiers were seen rushing to the rescue of the gun, and its temporary conquerors were compelled to make a rapid retreat towards the Rue St.-Honore.

The name of M. Laffitte is now mixed with that of Lafayette among the crowds in the streets, and has a great effect on them.  His vast wealth, and the frequent and extensive aid it has afforded to the working classes, have rendered him one of, if not the most popular man in Paris:  so that those most conversant with the actual state of affairs, pronounce that with Lafayette and Laffitte now rest the destiny of France.  How strange is the alteration which has occurred within so short a space of time!  Five days ago, Charles the Tenth reigned in the Tuileries; at present, on Lafayette and Laffitte it depends whether he ever enters his palace again!  The tocsin is now sounding!  How strangely, how awfully it strikes on the ear!  All this appears like a dream.

The formation of a provisional government is to-day spoken of.  The cry of “Vive Napoleon!” has been heard repeatedly shouted from one mass of people, while “Vive la republique!” has been as loudly vociferated by another.  Various persons connected with both the royalist and popular party, have been here to-day, so that I hear the opinions entertained by the adherents of both sides of the question.  Which to credit I know not:  there is but one point on which both agree, and that is in praising the bravery and forbearance of the people.

When I look around on the precious objects that cover the tables, consoles, and cabinets in the salon where I am now writing, and reflect that these same people are not only in arms, but I may say masters of the town, I cannot help wondering at their total avoidance of pillage when such rich booties might be so easily acquired.  Perhaps there is no European city in which so many and such splendid collections of rare and precious articles are to be found, as at Paris.  In England, our nobility possess equal treasures, but they are contained in their country seats; whereas it is in the Parisian dwellings of the French noblesse, that their valuable possessions of rare objects are to be found, and at the present crisis, how soon could an armed mass seize them!

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28th.—­The Duchesse de Guiche was exposed to considerable danger to day, and evinced a courage nearly allied to temerity in speaking her sentiments on the occasion.  Alarmed for the safety of her eldest son, she was proceeding to his college in search of him, when she was stopped by a vast crowd of people assembled around the house of one of the tradespeople of the royal family, over whose door were the arms of France.

The frightened tradesman was in the act of removing this badge, of which only a few days previously he had been so proud, when the duchesse, seeing him so employed, remarked aloud, that “after having so often solicited permission to place the royal arms over his door, he ought to have had the courage to defend them.”  The populace, enraged at this reproof, hissed and yelled; but seeing that she remained unmoved, the greater number cheered her, exclaiming “that young woman is as courageous as she is beautiful; let us shew her that we know how lo value courage, and protect her to her home,” They placed themselves around her, and with every mark of respect, escorted her, to the gate of her dwelling.

A person among the crowd who witnessed this incident, told me that never had he seen the Duchesse de Guiche look so dazzlingly beautiful, as when she was reproving the tradesman—­her tall and majestic figure elevated even above its usual height by the indignation she experienced at the insult offered to the royal family, to whom in these their days of trial, she is even more chivalrously devoted than when they reigned with undisputed sway, and thousands of those who now desert, professed to worship them.

Before the duchesse regained her abode, she encountered several skirmishing parlies in the streets who were absolutely fighting, and probably owed her safety lo the protection afforded her by those whom her courage had won to be her champions.

The intelligence reached us two hours ago, that the populace had attacked the hotel of the Duc de Guiche, and placed two pieces of cannon before the gate.  My terror may more easily be imagined than described, for the duchesse and her youngest children are in the house, and the duc is with the royal family.  I hardly knew whether to be thankful or sorry, that her brother Count Alfred d’Orsay was not at home when this news reached us, for he would certainly have proceeded to her house, and would probably have, by his presence and interference, rendered her danger still greater.

Fearful of compromising the safety of her children, the duchesse left the hotel by another gate, opening into the Rue de Montaigne, and is, I trust, ere this, safe on her route to St.-Germain, where her father-in-law, the Duc de Gramont, has a residence.

How like a troubled dream all this appears!  Would that it were but a dream, and that those whom I so much love, were not exposed to pay dearly for their fidelity to a sovereign, whose measures their enlightened minds are the last to approve, but whose misfortunes, if they cannot ameliorate, they will at least share!

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I know not a more painful position than that of the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, at the present moment.  With highly cultivated minds and liberal opinions, possessing a knowledge of the world, and of the actual state of public opinion in France, they must be aware of the utter hopelessness of the cause in which they find themselves embarked, yet such is their chivalrous sentiments of honour, that they will sacrifice every thing rather than abandon those whose prosperity they have partaken, and thus incur all the penalty of the acts of a government whose policy they did not approve.  Had Charles the Tenth many such devoted adherents, he would not find himself deserted in his hour of need.


I have but just returned from the Rue d’Anjou, and now that I find myself once more within the sanctuary of my home, I am surprised at my own courage in having ventured to pass through the streets, and alone, too, at such a moment.  I do not think I should have risked it, had I not known how much my excellent friend Madame C——­ stood in need of consolation, after having seen her grandchildren and great grandchildren driven from their late peaceful and happy dwelling, uncertain when she may behold them again, as they have determined on not forsaking the royal family.

I had ascended nearly to the top of the barricade at the entrance to the Rue Verte when a head and shoulders rose from the opposite side so suddenly as to alarm me not a little.  My trepidation was infinitely increased when I discovered that the individual to whom the said head and shoulders appertained, was in a state of extreme intoxication, and when with rolling eyes, flushed checks, and thick articulation he addressed me with a familiarity, yet good nature, that I would most willingly have dispensed with.

“Give me your hand, ma belle, fear nothing, I am one of the bons enfans of the revolution, take my arm and no one will molest you.  We, les braves des braves, wage no war against women; au contraire, we love the pretty creatures.  Here take my hand, and I will assist you over the barricades.”

Suiting his action to the word, he extended his hand towards me, and reaching forward lost his equilibrium and rolled over; at which moment, the proprietor of a wine shop at the corner of the Rue Verte came to my assistance, and leading me through his house, opened a door on the other side of the barricade, through which I hastily passed, he civilly offering to open the same door when I returned if I would knock at it.  And here, en passant, let me render justice to the politeness I have invariably experienced from all classes of men, and on all occasions, in France—­a politeness so general that I should be ungrateful if I did not record it.

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When I passed the barrack in the Rue Verte, it was in the possession of the people, who had seized it by the right of conquest an hour or two previously.  Proud of the achievement, they were looking out of the windows, shouting, singing the Marseillaise, embracing each other, and proclaiming that they were les bons enfans, etc.  They paid me many homely compliments as I passed, but not a single indelicate allusion escaped their lips; and I hurried on, not meeting a human being until I entered the courtyard of Madame C——­’s hotel, into which I found considerable difficulty to penetrate, owing to the extreme caution of her Swiss porter who seemed to think it very dangerous to open even the little door to admit me.

I found dear, good Madame C——­ depressed and agitated.  I rejoiced to find that she was ignorant of the scene that took place between her grand-daughter and the populace, for a knowledge of it would have served to increase her alarm.  She was surrounded by the usual circle of habitues who endeavoured in vain to calm her fears, but my presence re-assured her a little, and Count Valeski, who came in soon after, succeeded in mitigating her terror.  Having witnessed the horrors of the former revolution, it is no wonder she should tremble at the thoughts of another, and she looks on my calmness and courage as little short of heroism.

I remained a couple of hours with her, and having resisted all her persuasions to induce me to stay all night, I left the Rue d’Anjou, and had reached the Rue Verte, when I heard the report of guns, and saw a party of soldiers attacking the barracks, out of the windows of which the people, who had taken forcible possession of it some hours before, were firing on their assailants.  I retraced my steps as hastily as possible, fear lending swiftness to my feet, and returned to the Rue de Matignon by the Faubourg du Roule and the Rue St.-Honore.  Our trusty porter, having heard the shots, and knowing they proceeded from the quartier through which my route lay, was much alarmed for my safety, and evinced great pleasure when he saw me safe again within the portal under his charge, while I congratulated myself on having once more proved my friendship to my dear old friend, by a personal exertion entailing no more disagreeable consequences than a temporary alarm.

——­ and ——­ have just been here:  they say that it is reported that a negotiation has been opened between the king and the provisional government, and that even still a reconciliation may be effected.  I do not believe it, though I wish it were true.  The blood that has flowed during the last days has, I fear, created an impassable gulf between the sovereign and the people.  Each party has made discoveries fatal to the good understanding necessary to subsist between both:  one having proved his want of power to carry his wishes into effect, and the other having but too well evinced its power of resistance.

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While the negotiations are pending, the royal cause becomes every hour more hopeless.  Success has rendered the people less tractable; and the concession implied by the king’s holding out terms to them, has less chance of producing a favourable result.

The populace attempted to force an entrance into the Hotel des Pages, and, having fired through the iron gate, killed a fine youth, the son of General Jacquinot, one of the royal pages, and a protege of the Duc de Guiche.  It was of this general that the Emperor Napoleon said—­“Celui-la est brave tous les jours, en mon absence comme sous mes yeux.”  It is not more than ten days ago, since I met the mother and sister of this promising youth with him at the Duchesse de Guiche’s.  They came to return thanks to her and the duc for the generous protection they had afforded to him; they were elate with joy at his promotion, looked forward to his further advancement, and now—.  My heart bleeds for the poor mother who doted on her son!

Count Alfred d’Orsay, having heard that he had no relations in Paris at this moment, has gone to arrange for the interment of this poor youth, who yet scarcely more than a child, has lost his life at but a short distance from the threshold of that door where he had been so often received with kindness.  How glad I am that the duchesse was spared the horror of being so near the scene of this murder, and that she and her children are safe from the reach of personal violence!

The interesting countenance of this fine youth, as I lately saw it, haunts me.  Beaming with affection towards his mother and sister, and with gratitude towards his friends, it was pleasant to behold it; and now,—­how fearful is the change produced in so brief a space!  That bereaved mother and fond sister will never more look on that face so dear;—­before the fatal intelligence can have reached them, he will have been consigned to the grave, and will owe to a stranger those last rites which they little dream are now performing.

The number of persons killed during the last three days has excited much less interest in my feelings than the death of this poor youth.  I cannot picture to my mind’s eye any other distinct image among the slain.  They present only a ghastly mass, with all the revolting accompaniments of gaping wounds and blood-stained garments, I never saw them in life,—­knew not the faces that will be steeped in tears, or convulsed in agony at their deaths; but this poor boy, so young, so fair, and so beloved, and his fond mother and gentle sister seem ever to stand before me!

I remember reading, long years ago, the example given of a person recounting all the details of a great battle, in which hundreds were slain, and the listeners hearing the account unmoved, until the relater described one individual who had been killed, and drew a vivid picture, when those who had heard of the death of hundreds without any deeper emotion than general pity, were melted to tears.  This is my case, with regard to the poor young page, cut off in the morning of his life; for, having his image present to my mind, his death seems more grievous to me than that of hundreds whom I have never seen.

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30th.—­The last news is, that the Dauphin has been named Generalissimo, that he has placed himself at the head of the vast body of troops that still adhere to their allegiance, and that he is to advance on Paris.  This determination has been adopted too late, and can now, in my opinion, avail but little.

Comte d’O——­ has just returned from seeing the last sad duties paid to the remains of the poor young page.  He brings the intelligence that the royal family left St.-Cloud last night, and are now at Versailles.  This step proves that they consider their case hopeless.  Unhappy Bourbons! a fatality seems to impend over the race; and Charles the Tenth appears doomed to die, as he has lived the greater portion of his life, in exile.  The absence of the Dauphine at this eventful period has been peculiarly unfortunate for her family; for, with her firmness of character and promptitude of decision, her counsel might have served, while her presence would have given an impetus to, their cause.

I have just seen ——­, who told me, that on the King’s departure for Versailles he left the Dauphin in command of the troops that still adhered to their allegiance, and that the Prince placed himself at the head of a battalion of the garde royale, charged the enemy on the Pont de Sevres, and took possession of it; but the troops, with the exception of a few officers, refused to follow, and left him to receive the fire of the insurgents, which it is wonderful that he escaped.  With what feelings must he have bent his course to Versailles, deserted by troops on whom he had bestowed so many favours and acts of munificence, to meet his sovereign and father, with the sad news of their revolt!

I have just had the gratifying intelligence that the Duchesse de Guiche and her children reached St.-Germain’s in safety.  This is a great relief to my mind.  The royal arms on the carriage, and the liveries, were recognised at the Barriere, and the populace crowded around, many of them expressing their dissatisfaction at beholding these memorials of a family so lately respected, if not beloved.  It had been represented to the Duchesse, previously to her leaving Paris, that she ran no inconsiderable risk in venturing out with the royal arms on her carriage;[9] but she declared that she would not consent to their being effaced.  She courageously, and with a calm dignity, addressed the angry crowd, explained her sentiments and feelings to them in a few brief words, and they, won by her beauty and noble bearing, even perhaps still more than by her courage (though intrepidity has always a peculiar charm for Frenchmen), cheered her, and suffered the carriage to proceed unmolested.

July 30th.—­I am again alarmed for the safety of the Duchesse de Guiche.  The populace having yesterday assembled at the Place St.-Germain, in which is the residence of her father-in-law, the Duc de Gramont, they evinced so hostile a feeling towards all attached to the royal family, that a friend, becoming apprehensive of violence, scaled the wall of the garden, and entering the house, implored the Duchesse, ere it was yet too late, to seek safety by flight.

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Alarmed for her children—­for this noble-minded woman is a stranger to personal fear—­she sought refuge with them in the Forest of St.-Germain, in the Chateau du Val, the abode of the Princesse de Poix, where she experiences all the kindness and hospitality which her amiable hostess can practise, in order to soothe the anxiety of her guest.

What a change in the position of the Duchesse, and in so brief a space!  A fugitive in that forest where, every year during the Fete des Loges, she dispensed kindness to the poor, and amiability to all, doing the honours of the Duc de Gramont’s house, where her condescension and goodness were the themes of every tongue!  And now, harassed in mind and body, terrified for the safety of her husband, who is with the royal family, and for her two eldest sons, who are in their college, in the Rue St.-Marceau, which is rendered inaccessible, owing to the barricades.

31st.—­Lafayette is now said to be the oracle of the provisional government, and the idol of the populace.  Advanced far in the vale of life, his energies and vigour are gone, and his name serves the party more than his counsel can; for with the republicans, at least, it is a guarantee for honest motives.  What a strange destiny has his been—­called on to perform so conspicuous a part in two revolutions!

——­ has just been here, and announced that the Duc d’Orleans is named Lieutenant-general of France.  It is asserted, that this appointment has been effected by the influence of General Lafayette over the provisional government; but how little in accordance is this measure with the well-known Utopian scheme of a republic, which has for years been the favourite dream of this venerable visionary?

August 1st. ——­ now has brought the intelligence that Charles the Tenth has nominated the Duc d’Orleans Lieutenant-general, so that his Royal Highness has been chosen by both sides—­a flattering proof of the confidence reposed in him by each.  Were he ambitious, here is an opportunity of indulging this “infirmity of noble minds,” though at the expense of the elder branch of his family; but he will not, I am sure, betray the trust they have confided to him.  Order seems now to be in a great measure restored; the people appear in good-humour; but there is a consciousness of power evident in their hilarity that too forcibly reminds one of their victory.

The Duc of Orleans has been to the Hotel-de-Ville, where he presented himself to the people from the balcony; embraced General Lafayette, who stood by his side; and was applauded with enthusiasm by the immense multitude who witnessed the accolade.

2nd.—­The news of the day is, that Charles the Tenth has abdicated the crown in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux, who is now styled Henri V. This act might, four or five days ago, have produced some salutary effect; but it now comes too late—­at least, so think those who profess to know more on the subject than I do.  The position of the Lieutenant-general, in this case, reminds me of that of a confidante in a quarrel between lovers, in which the interest of the absent is too often sacrificed, owing to the dangerous opportunity furnished for forwarding that of the supposed friend.

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3d.—­Again, considerable excitement has prevailed in the town, produced by the proclamation, that the dethroned sovereign had determined to take up his position, with the strong military force that still adheres to him, at Rambouillet.  The publicity given to this news was a very injudicious measure, if conciliation, or even forbearance to the deposed family, was desired.

The populace, that many-headed monster, only seen abroad when evil passions dictate violence, again rush through the streets, breathing vengeance against the poor old man, whose grey hairs, more exposed by the absence of the crown his ci-devant subjects have wrested from his head, should have claimed more respect at their hands.  Truly has the poet said,

          “He who has worn crown,
     When less than king is less than other men,—­
     A fallen star, extinguish’d, leaving blank
     Its place in heaven.”

This fickle people, or, at least, the dregs of them, for it would be unjust to confound all in their enormities, will efface the credit they have gained by the forbearance from crime that has as yet characterised this revolution, by some act of brutality towards the royal family.  But even the very dregs of the people have not appeared desirous to adopt any such course, until excited into it by the wicked rumours set afloat, that Charles the Tenth had carried off all the crown jewels—­a rumour peculiarly calculated to excite their ire and meet a ready credence, each individual of the motley train looking on himself as having an interest in these national riches, and judging from self, of the possibility—­nay, more, probability, of so vile an action.  How little can such minds identify themselves with the feelings of those who, sated with the gewgaws and trappings of grandeur, forget them in the deep, the powerful excitement of beholding a throne crumbling into ruin beneath them—­a diadem rudely torn from their brows—­the power they wielded, even that of doing good, wrested violently, with the sceptre, from their hands; and more than all, behold the loved, the trusted—­those on whom they had showered benefits with prodigality, turn from them in their hour of need and join their foes!

     “If thou canst hate, as, oh! that soul must hate
     Which loves the virtuous and reveres the great;
     If thou canst loathe and execrate with me
     That gallic garbage of philosophy,—­
     That nauseous slaver of these frantic times,
     With which false liberty dilutes her crimes;
     If thou hast got within thy free-born breast
     One pulse that beats more proudly than the rest
     With honest scorn for that inglorious soul
     Which creeps and winds beneath a mob’s control. 
     Which courts the rabble’s smile, the rabble’s nod,
     And makes, like Egypt, every beast its God!”

August 4th.—­The King has left Rambouillot, alarmed by the report of the approach of the vast multitude who had left, or were leaving, Paris, with hostile intentions towards the royal family.  The scenes that took place then, previously to his departure, are represented as being most affecting.

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An old man, overpowered by mental and bodily sufferings, remembering the terrible days of a former revolution, brought with a fearful vividness to his mind by the appalling change effected within the last few eventful days, he had lost all presence of mind, and with it his confidence in those whom he might have safely trusted, while he yielded it to those whose interests were wholly opposed to his.  Nor is the deplorable effect produced on his mind by recent events to be wondered at.

Adversity is the only school in which monarchs can acquire wisdom, and it almost always comes too late to enable them to profit by its bitter lessons.  The defection of those hitherto supposed to be devoted friends, the altered looks of faces never before beheld without being dressed in smiles, the unceremoniousness of courtiers who never previously had dared to have an opinion before royalty had decided what it should be, might well have shook firmer nerves, and touched a sterner heart, than belonged to the old, grey-headed monarch, who saw himself betrayed without comprehending by whom, and who used his authority as sovereign and father, over his religiously obedient son, to extort an abdication of his right, as well as an approval of the resignation of his own.

Like another Lear, this poor old man has been driven forth “to bide the pelting of the pitiless storm” of a revolution, followed by his widowed daughter-in-law and her helpless son, that child orphaned ere yet he saw the light, and by Frenchmen who now condemn him to exile!

They have taken the route to Cherbourg, there to embark; and of those who lately bent the knee before them, how few have followed their now gloomy fortunes!  One, at least, has not left, and will not forsake them.  The Duc de Guiche, the kindest husband and father perhaps in France, sacrifices his feelings of domestic affection to his sense of duty, and accompanies the exiled family!


August 5th.—­There are rumours today that the son of the Emperor Napoleon will be called to fill the vacant throne.  This seems to me to be very improbable, when I reflect that General Lafayette, whose influence is omnipotent at present, appears wholly devoted to the Duc d’Orleans.  The minds of the people are as yet wholly unsettled; a dread of how their late exploits may be looked on by the foreign powers allied to the deposed sovereign, pervades the multitude, and the republicans begin to discover that their Utopian schemes are little likely to be advanced by the revolution effected.

I was forcibly struck this morning on reading, in an Italian writer, the following passage, which is strongly applicable to the present time: 

“When a revolution is ripe, men are always found who are ready to commence it, and make their bodies the steps to the throne of him who is to profit by their labours, without having shared their dangers.”

I have a presentiment that the truth of this axiom will be verified in France.

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August 6th.—­Reports are now afloat that the crown of France has been offered to the Duke of Orleans, but that the offer was not unanimous, and that consequently he has not accepted it.  Other rumours state, that if he should be induced to do so, it will only be to hold it as a sacred deposit to be restored to the rightful owner when, with safety to both parties, it can be transferred.  Should this be the case, then will the Duke of Orleans deserve well of the elder branch of his family who have behaved so kindly towards him, but I confess I am not one of those who believe in the likelihood of such an abnegation of self, as this voluntary abdication would display.

Rich possessions are seldom if ever willingly resigned, and a crown is one said to have such irresistible charms to the person who has once worn it, that history furnishes but few examples like that of Charles the Fifth, or Christina of Sweden.  Time will prove whether Louis-Philippe d’Orleans will offer a pendant!

I walked with Comte d’O——­ this evening into the Champs-Elysees, and great was the change effected there within the last few days.  It looks ruined and desolate, the ground cut up by the pieces of cannon, and troops as well as the mobs that have made it a thoroughfare, and many of the trees greatly injured, if not destroyed.

A crowd was assembled around a man who was reading aloud for their edification a proclamation nailed to one of the trees.  We paused for a moment to hear it, when some of the persons recognising my companion, shouted aloud, “Vive le Comte d’Orsay!  Vive le Comte d’Orsay!" and the cry being taken up by the mass, the reader was deserted, the fickle multitude directing ail their attention and enthusiasm to tho new comer.  We had some difficulty in escaping from these troublesome and unexpected demonstrations of good will; and, while hurrying from the scene of this impromptu ovation to the unsought popularity of my companion, I made him smile by hinting at the danger in which he stood of being raised to the vacant throne by those who seem not to know or care who is to fill it.

Comte d’O——­ was as much puzzled as I was how to account for this burst of enthusiasm, for, taking no part in politics, and all his family being attached to the legitimate cause, this demonstration of regard appears more inexplicable.  It seems, however, to establish one fact, and that is, that though the monarch has fallen into disrepute with the people, the aristocracy have not, and this alone proves how totally different are the feelings of those who have effected the present revolution with those of the persons who were engaged in the former one, a difference, perhaps, not more to be attributed to the change produced in the people by the extension of education, than in the noblesse by the same cause, aided by the habits and feelings it engenders.  Whatever may be the cause, the effect is salutary, for the good understanding evident between the two classes tends greatly to the amelioration and advantage of both.  There is something very contagious in popular feeling.  It resembles an epidemic from which few of the class more peculiarly exposed to it escape.

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Walked into the streets to-day, for a carriage cannot yet pass through them.  Never did any town, not actually sacked, present a more changed aspect.  Houses damaged by shots, windows smashed, pavements destroyed, and trees cut down or mutilated, meet the eye along the Boulevards.  The destruction of the trees excited more regret in my mind than that of the houses.  There, many of them lay on the ground shorn of their leafy honours, offering obstructions on the spots which they so lately ornamented, while others stood bare and desolate, their giant limbs lopped off, their trunks shattered by bullets, and retaining only a few slight branches oh high, to which still adhered the parched, discoloured, and withered leaves, sole remnants of their lately luxuriant foliage.

The houses may be rebuilt and the streets newly paved, but how many years will it take before these trees can be replaced!  Those who loved to repose beneath their shade, or who, pent in a city, were solaced by beholding them and thinking of the country of which they brought pleasant recollections, will grieve to miss them, and, like me, own with a sigh, while contemplating the ravages occasioned by the events of the last few days, that if good ever is effected by that most dangerous of all experiments, a revolution, it is too dearly bought.

The people seem as proud and pleased as possible with the accomplishment of the task they took in hand.  How long will they continue so?  They are like a too-spirited horse who, having mastered his rider, requires a bolder and more expert hand to subjugate him again to obedience, and the training will be all the more painful from the previous insubordination.  Of one thing the people may be proud, and that is, their having not stained this revolution with any of the crimes that have left so indelible a blot on the former one.

How soon does the mind habituate itself to an unnatural state of excitement!  My femme de chambre positively looked blank and disappointed this morning, when, on entering my chambre a coucher, she answered in reply to my question, whether any thing new had occurred during the night, “Non, miladi, positivement rien.”  Strange to say, I too felt desoeuvre by the want of having something to be alarmed or to hope about,—­I, who meddle not with politics, and wish all the world to be as quiet and as calm as myself.  Every one I see appears to experience this same flatness, just like the reaction produced on the spirits the first day or two after the Italian Carnival, when the cessation of gaiety, though felt to be a relief to the frame, leaves the mind unfitted for repose.

I find this feeling is generally experienced, for several of the shop-keepers, whose profit,—­nay, whose very bread, depends on the restoration of social order, confess it.  One person, the wife of a jeweller, owned to me to-day that Paris was now beginning to be very triste.

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“To be sure they were no longer afraid to open their shops, and commerce they hoped would soon become active again, but there was no more the same interest continually awakened, as when every hour,—­nay, every minute brought some new event, and she and her neighbours looked out to behold the fighting in the streets, the wounded and the dying dropping around, and trembled for their own lives, and for the safety of those dear to them.”  In short, as she admitted, the want of excitement was experienced by all those who had lately become accustomed to it, as much as it is felt by the habitual gamester who cannot live without play.

This is a dangerous state for the people of a great city to find themselves in.  Vastly more dangerous than if subdued by a long-continued excess of excitement, their moral as well as their physical force required repose, and they gladly resigned themselves to it.

To a sober-minded denizen of England, the ungovernable pride, insatiable vanity, and love of fighting, inherent in the French, appear really little short of insanity, to so great an excess do they push these manias.  This will always render them so difficult to be governed, that it will require no ordinary abilities and firmness in him who undertakes the arduous task of ruling them.  Yet the very excess of these passions renders the French the most able, as they decidedly are the most willing, instruments to be employed in achieving the aims of the wildest ambition, or the most glorious enterprises.  He will the longest and most securely govern them, who calls these passions into action, provided always that they meet no check, for the French not only bear adversity impatiently, but soon turn against him who has exposed them to it:  witness their conduct to the Emperor Napoleon, who, while success frowned his banner, was their idol.

Playing at soldiers is the favourite game of Frenchmen of every class and description, and every opportunity afforded them of indulging it is gladly seized.  When I compare the reluctance with which the yeomanry of Ireland, or the local militia of England, leave their homes and their business to “assume the spear and shield,” with the enthusiasm evinced by the Garde Nationale when they are called to leave their boutiques and don their uniforms, I am more than ever struck with the remarkable difference existing between two nations separated by so short a distance.  The English local militia man will fight when occasion requires, and with determined courage, too, because he believes it to be his duty, but the French National Guard will combat for the mere love of combating, and forget home and interest in the pleasure of the excitement.

The Duchesse de Guiche has returned to Paris, while her amiable and noble-minded husband has accompanied the royal family to Cherbourg, where they are to embark for England.  Nothing can exceed the courage and dignity with which she supports her altered fortunes.  She thinks only of those to whom the Duc and herself have been so long and so truly devoted; and in her chagrin for their sufferings forgets her own.

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The Duc has such a perfect confidence in her good sense and tact, that he has sent her his procuration to act for him in his absence.  No sooner had she arrived at her abode, than she sent to demand the protection of General Gerard[10] for the house and stables of the Dauphin, and ho immediately ordered a guard to be placed there.  Heaven grant that she may not be exposed to any annoyance during the absence of her husband!

The Duchesse de Guiche gave a new proof of her courage and presence of mind yesterday.  Early in the morning, having heard a noise in the courtyard of her dwelling, she beheld from the window of her chamber an officer gesticulating with violence, and menacing the grooms of the Dauphin.  The upper servant entered at the moment, and announced that the officer insisted on seizing six of the finest horses in the stable, by order of General Lafayette.

The Duchesse descended to the courtyard, informed the officer that the whole establishment was under the protection of General Gerard, without whose orders no horse should leave the stables.  He attempted to enforce his pretensions; but the Duchesse desired the head groom to call out his assistants, about thirty in number, who, armed with pitchforks and other implements of their calling, soon came forth; and the Duchesse assured the intruder that, unless he immediately retired, he should be forcibly expelled.

Seeing the courage and determination of this high-spirited and beautiful woman, the officer withdrew, and the horses were saved.  It has since been ascertained, as the Duchesse anticipated, that General Lafayette had never given any orders to the officer who had used his name.

7th.—­The Duke of Orleans has at length accepted the crown; and various are the conjectures and reports to which his doing so has given rise.  Many of them, as may be easily imagined, are not creditable to him; but on this occasion, as on most others, the least charitable motives are generally assigned to those whose conduct is judged by the mass often wholly ignorant of the reasons on which it is based.  The vast wealth of the Duke of Orleans has a powerful influence; and those who a few days ago exclaimed against royalty, and vaunted the superior advantages of a government without a king, are now reconciled to having one whose immense private fortune will exempt the nation from the necessity of furnishing funds for a civil list.  Should the new sovereign hereafter demand one, his popularity will be endangered; and the King of the French, as he is styled, will be likely to find as little favour in the eyes of his subjects as the King of France experienced.

Popularity, always, and in all countries, an unstable possession, is in France infinitely more so; and Louis-Philippe must have more luck, as well as more wisdom, than falls to the lot of mankind, to retain this fleeting good when the novelty of his reign has worn away.  That he is a man of great ability no one seems to entertain a doubt; but his wisdom would, in my opinion at least, have been more surely manifested had he declined instead of accepting the crown.

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Those who profess to be best acquainted with his sentiments declare, that he only acceded to the wishes of the people in ascending the vacant throne, in order to preserve the charter, and to preclude the dangerous theoretical experiments into which the republican party was so desirous to plunge.  It remains to be proved whether, in a few years hence, those who have subverted one monarchy by violence may not be tempted to have recourse to a similar measure in order to free themselves from the successor they have chosen; for even already it appears clear to me, that the expectations entertained, not only by the partisans of Louis-Philippe, but by the generality of the people, are such as he never can fulfil.  He may be their idol for a brief space, but, like all other idols, he will be expected to perform miracles; and not having the sanctity with which time invests even false gods, he may be thrown from the pedestal to which he has been elevated as unceremoniously as he was raised to it.

I saw General Lafayette to-day, and never felt more disappointed, as his appearance does not at all correspond with what I had imagined it to be.  The “Lafayette aux cheveux blancs,” as the popular song describes him to be, is, au contraire, a plain old man, with a dark brown scratch wig, that conceals his forehead, and, consequently, gives a very common and, to my thinking, a disagreeable expression to his countenance.  The cheveux blancs would be a great improvement; for, independently of the song thus describing him, one looks for the venerable mark of age in this Nestor of revolutions, who in his youth has seen his idol, Liberty, commit fearful crimes in France as well as great deeds in America, and who now, when on the threshold of the grave, in which ere long he must repose, beholds her regeneration in his native land, redeemed from the cruelty that formerly stained her course.

Voila le grand Lafayette!” exclaimed one of the people as he passed to-day; “Oui, la ganache des deux mondes,” replied the other.  Such is popular favour!

I walked in the Palais-Royal to-day; and felt much more disposed to pity than envy the King of the French, as Louis-Philippe is styled, when I beheld a crowd of idle miscreants, assembled in front of his dwelling, rudely and boisterously vociferating his name, and in a tone much more resembling command than entreaty, desiring his presence.  He at length came forward, bowed repeatedly, pressed his hand to his heart, and then withdrew, looking, as I thought, rather ashamed of the role he was called on to enact, while his riotous audience seemed elated at exhibiting his docility.

The Queen was then called for, and, after some delay, was handed forward by Louis-Philippe.  It made me sad to look on the altered countenance of this amiable woman, whom all parties allow to be a most faultless wife and mother.  She is hardly to be recognised as the same being who only a very few months ago looked the personification of happiness.  Already have deep care and anxiety left their furrows on her brow, proving that

Page 178

     A diadem, howe’er so bright it be,
     Brings cares that frighten gentle sleep away,
     E’en when from buried ancestors it comes,
     Who bless’d when they bequeath it to their heir;
     For great is the responsibility
     Of those who wear the symbol of a king,
     In regular succession handed down
     From sire to son through long antiquity. 
     But when th’ anointed head that wore it once
     Sleeps not in death—­but exiled, worse than death—­
     And scions legitimate live to claim
     Their birthright, oh! how heavy is that crown
     (Though loose it fits), which well the wearer knows,
     A people’s breath may blow from of his brow,
     Sear’d by the burning weight, it yet would guard,
     E’n though it crush him.

I am told that no day passes in which a crowd does not assemble beneath the windows of Louis-Philippe and loudly vociferate for his presence.  M. Laffitte is not unfrequently seen with the king on these occasions, and when they embrace the crowd applauds.

I cannot imagine a more painful position than that of the Queen of the French.  Devotedly attached to her husband and family, she will have often to tremble for their safety, exposed, as it must be, to the inconstancy and evil passions soi-disant subjects, who may, ere long, be disposed to pull down the throne they have erected for Louis-Philippe as rapidly as they raised the barricades for its elevation.

Had the King of the French succeeded to the throne by the natural demise of those who stood between him and it, how different would be his position; for it is agreed by all who know him, that he has many qualities that eminently fit him to fill it with credit to himself and advantage to the people; but as it is, I foresee nothing but trouble and anxiety for him,—­a melancholy change from the domestic happiness he formerly enjoyed.  Any attempt to check the turbulence of the people will be resented as an act of the utmost ingratitude to those who placed the crown on his head; and if he suffers it with impunity, he will not only lose his empire over them, but incur the contempt of the more elevated of his subjects.

I saw the King of the French walking through the Place Vendome to-day, attended only by one person.  He was recognised, and cheered, and returned the salutation very graciously.  And there stood the column erected to commemorate the victories of one now sleeping in a foreign grave; one whose very name was once the talisman that excited all Parisian hearts into the wildest enthusiasm!

Louis-Philippe passed near the base of the column, which seemed to return a sullen echo to the voices that cheered him; did he, or those around him, remember their vicinity to this striking memorial of the inconstancy of the nation?  The scene awakened more reflections in my mind than I dare say it did in that of those whose voices rent the air; but though it might be only fancy, I thought the King of the French looked very grave.

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Monsieur Mignet spent last evening here; his conversation is full of interest, being the overflowing of a rich mind, free from prejudices, and his ideas, though methodically arranged and subjected to the ordeal of a sober judgment, bear the warm tint of a brilliant imagination, that might have rendered him a poet, had he not chosen to be a historian.  The Revolution has produced no visible change in this clever and agreeable man, who, filling the office of Keeper of the Archives, devotes his time to studies and researches in harmony with the pursuits to which he has many years been accustomed, and hears the success of the popular cause, to which he has long been attached, with a moderation and equanimity highly indicative of a philosophical mind, allied to an amiable disposition.  There is something so striking in the appearance of Monsieur Mignet, that all strangers, who meet him here, remark the fine character of his head and the expression of his countenance.

The celebrated General Peppe dined here yesterday, and is very unlike the revolutionary hero I had pictured him to be.  Mild, well-bred, and amiable in his manner, he seems much more suited to command a regiment in support of a legitimate monarchy, than to subvert one.  Although liberty appears to be with him a monomania, the warmth with which he advocates it in conversation never urges him beyond the bounds of good breeding.

It is a strange infatuation to suppose that as civilisation extends its influence, men will have faith in the Utopian schemes of well-meaning visionaries, and risk evils they know not, in exchange for a state which, if not quite faultless, has at least much of good.  How many brave and honourable men become the dupes of heated imaginations and erroneous opinions, which, urging them to effect an amelioration of some grievances, incur the penalty of imparting greater ones!  General Peppe is liked by all who know him, though all lament the monomania that has gained such an ascendency over his mind.  His brother, General Florestan Peppe at Naples, whom we esteem so much, is one of the most excellent men I ever knew.

The Duc de Guiche has returned to Paris, after having seen the royal family safely embarked at Cherbourg.  The departure of the aged monarch presented a melancholy scene.  At his time of life, he can never hope to behold his country again, and the sudden change from the throne of a great kingdom to a compelled exile in a foreign land is a reverse of fortune that demands a philosophy to support, with which few are blest.

There is something touching in the attachment of the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche to this unfortunate family, and above all, to the Dauphin and Dauphine.  Always aware of their affection for them, I never imagined the strength of it, until the adversity which has sent so many of those who had previously loudly professed their devotion to them away, but which has increased the feelings of reverence towards them in this estimable couple, by mingling with it a sentiment of deep commiseration, that induces a still greater display of respect, now that so many others dispense with evincing it.  The Duc is charged with the disposal of the property of the Dauphin; and, when this task is accomplished, he and his family will follow the fallen fortunes of Charles the Tenth, and join him at Holyrood.

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Loving France as they do, and wishing their sons to be brought up in the land of their birth, strong indeed must be the affection that induces them to abandon it, in order to devote themselves to the exiled Bourbons.  This devotion to the fallen is the more meritorious when the liberality of the Duc’s political opinions is taken into consideration.  How few sovereigns find such devotion in adversity! and how seldom are men to be met with capable of sacrificing their own interests and the future prospects of their children to a sense of duty!

* * * * *

A lapse in my journal.—­All seems now settled.  The foreign powers have acknowledged the King of the French; and this acknowledgment has not only delighted his subjects, but confirmed them in the belief of their own right to make or unmake sovereigns according to their will and pleasure.

The English are very popular in Paris at this moment, and the ready recognition of Louis-Philippe by our government has increased this good feeling.  A vast crowd escorted the carriage of Mr. Hamilton, the Secretary of the Embassy, to his door, as he returned from his first accredited audience of the new monarch, and cries of Vivent les Anglais! filled the air.  As Mr. Hamilton resides in the house next to the one I occupy, I had an opportunity of beholding this ovation offered to him, and the people certainly evinced very groat enthusiasm on the occasion.

M. Thiers, M. Mignet, Count Valeski, and Mr. Francis Raring, dined here yesterday.  M. Thiers was very brilliant and amusing.  It is impossible to meet him even once without being struck with the remarkable talent that characterises every sentence he utters; and yet each observation comes forth with such spirit and vivacity, that it is easy to see it has been elicited at the moment by some remark from another, and not from meditation.

There is a hardiness in his conceptions, and an epigrammatic terseness in the expression of them, that command attention; and the readiness with which he seizes, analyses, and disposes of a question, betrays such a versatility of mental power as to convey a conviction that he is a man who cannot fail to fill a distinguished place in France, where, at present, abilities furnish the master-key that opens the door to honours and fortune.  M. Thiers appears to entertain a consciousness of his talents, but does not, I really think, overrate them.

The Prince and Princess Soutzo with their family, spent yesterday with us.  Their eldest daughter, the Princess Helena, is a beautiful girl, with captivating manners, and highly cultivated mind, and the little Mary, though still in infancy, is one of the cleverest children I ever saw.  Never did I see young people better brought up than are the sons and daughters of this excellent couple, or a more united family.

Mr. and Miss Poulter, and William Spencer the poet, I dined here yesterday.  Mr. Poulter is a sensible man, and his sister is well informed and intelligent.

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It is now decided that we go to England!  Two years ago I should have returned there with gladness, but now!—­I dread it.  How changed will all appear without him whose ever-watchful affection anticipated every wish, and realised every hope!  I ought to feel pleased at leaving Paris, where the heaviest trial of my life has occurred, but here I have now learned to get inured to the privation of his society, while in England I shall have again to acquire the hard lesson of resignation.

November, 1830.—­This is the last entry I shall make in my journal in Paris, for to-morrow we depart for England.

I have passed the day in taking leave of those dear to me, and my spirits have failed under the effort.  Some of them I shall probably never again behold.  The dear and excellent Madame Craufurd is among those about whom I entertain the most melancholy presentiments, because at her advanced age I can hardly hope to find her, should I again return to France.  She referred to this to-day with streaming eyes, and brought many a tear to mine by the sadness of her anticipations.

The Duc and Duchess de Guiche I shall soon see in England, on their route to Edinburgh, to join tho exiled family at Holyrood, for they are determined not to forsake them in adversity.

Adieu a Paris! two years and a half ago I entered you with gladness, and the future looked bright; I leave you with altered feelings, for the present is cheerless and the future clouded.

* * * * *


[1:  Now Baron d’Haussey.]

[2:  The hermitage was lent him by Madame d’Epinay, to whom his subsequent ingratitude forms a dark page in her Memoires.]

[3:  The present Lord Abinger.]

[4:  Now Lord Glenelg.]

[5:  Now Lord Francis Egerton.]

[6:  Now Madame Emile de Girardin.]

[7:  “Where thou beholdest Genius,
    There thou beholdest, too, the martyr’s crown.”]

[8:  The present Earl of Cadogan.]

[9:  The Duc de Guiche, being premier menin to the Dauphin, used, according to custom, the arms and liveries of that prince.]

[10:  Now Marechal.]




Antiquities of this City—­The Hotel du Midi—­Articles of
Merchandise—­History of the Maison Carree—­Work of Poldo d’Albenas—­The
Building described—­Origin of it—­Now used as a Museum—­Monument to
Marcus Attius—­Cardinal Alberoni—­Barbarous Project—­Removal of
Antiquities—­The Amphitheatre described—­Charles Martel—­Excellent
Precaution in Roman Theatres—­Inscription—­Officious Cicerone—­Gate of
Augustus—­La Tour-Magne—­Excavations—­Fine Fountain—­Temple of
Diana—­Brevity of Human Life, 1.

Page 182



Beaucaire—­Wooden Houses—­Castle of King Rene—­Church of St.
Martha—­Fabulous Monster—­The Hotel described—­The Hostess—­Antique
Furniture—­Plentiful Dinner—­Scrutiny—­Visit to the Amphitheatre—­The
Prefect of Arles—­Subterranean Excavations—­Ancient Church of St.
Anne—­Altar to the Goddess of Good—­Venus of Arles—­Granite
Obelisk—­Primitive Manners—­A Liberal Landlady, 14.



Situation of the Town—­Antiquities—­The Triumphal Arch described—­Male and Female Figures—­The Mausoleum—­Bassi-relievi of Battles, Infantry, etc.—­Figure of a Winged Female—­Latin Inscription—­Variously explained—­Interpretation of Monsieur P. Malosse—­Respect for the Departed—­On The Triumphal Arch and Mausoleum at St.-Remy, 21.



The Fete Dieu—­Procession through the Streets—­Ecclesiastical and Military Pomp—­Decorations in the Streets—­Effect produced on the Mind by Sacred Music—­Excitements to Religious Fervour—­the Miserere, 30.



Fatiguing Journey—­Landau Accident—­The Hotel de la Terrasse, in the Rue de Rivoli—­Six Years’ Absence—­The Duc and Duchesse de Guiche—­Joy of Meeting—­Fashion at Paris—­Visit to Herhault’s Temple of Fashion—­Mademoiselle La Touche—­Extravagant Charges—­Caution to Husbands—­A Word, also, to Wives—­Visit to Madame Craufurd—­Her prepossessing Appearance—­House-hunting—­Residence of the Marechal Lobau—­Review in the Champ-de-Mars—­Splendid Coup d’oeil—­The Marchioness de Loule—­Restrictions at Court—­Accident to the Comte de Bourmont—­Alarm of the Ladies—­Charles the Tenth, the Dauphin, and the Dauphine—­Melancholy Physiognomy of Charles the First—­The Duchesse d’Angouleme—­Her Trials and Endurance—­French Love of Country—­The Duchesse de Berri—­Dinner at the Duchesse de Guiche’s—­William Lock—­The Comte de l’Esperance de l’Aigle—­His high breeding—­The Opera—­Debut of Taglioni—­Her Poetical Style of Dancing—­The Duc de Cazes—­French and English Manners contrasted—­Attentions to the Fair Sex in France—­The Comtesses de Bellegarde—­Character of the Duc de Gramont—­Lady Barbara Craufurd—­Count Valeski—­Anger of the Marechal Lobau—­Defect in French Houses—­The Muette de Portici—­Noblet—­An old Danseuse—­Gaiety at Tivoli—­Similarity in the Exterior of Parisian Ladies—­A Quadrille Party—­Demi-toilette—­Late Tea-Party—­Luxurious Chair—­Delightful House in the Rue de Bourbon—­Its costly Decorations—­Its Interior described—­The Princesse de la Moskowa—­Sad Interview—­Marechal Ney, 32.


Page 183

Custom of letting out Furniture—­The Prince and Princesse Castelcicala—­Lady Hawarden—­Lady Combermere—­Tone of Society at Paris—­Attentions paid by Young Men to Old Ladies—­Flirtations at Paris—­Ceremonious Decorum—­Comic Charles de Mornay—­Parisian Upholsterers—­Rich Furniture—­Lord Yarmouth—­Elegant Suite of Apartments—­Charles Mills—­Warm Affections between Relatives in France, 56.


Domestic Arrangements—­Changes in Young People—­Pleasant Recollections—­Lord Lilford—­The Marquis and Marquise Zamperi—­Comte Alexander de Laborde—­The Marquis de Mornay—­Mode of passing the Time—­Evening Visits in France—­Dinner-party—­The Duc Dalberg—­The Duc de Mouchy—­Party to Montmorency—­Rousseau’s Hermitage—­Sensibility, a Characteristic of Genius—­Solitude—­Letter of Rousseau to Voltaire—­Church, of Montmorency—­Baths at Enghien—­The Comtesse de Gand—­Colonel E. Lygon—­The Marquis de Dreux-Breze—­Contrast between him and the Duc de Talleyrand—­The Baron and Baroness de Ruysch—­Mr. Douglas Kinnaird—­Sir Francis Burdett—­Colonel Leicester Stanhope—­The Marquis Palavicini—­Charms of Italian Women—­Lords Darnley and Charlemont—­Mr. Young, the Tragedian—­Lord Lansdowne—­Estimate of his Character—­Sir Robert Peel—­Respect for the Memory of Sir William Drummond—­Lady Drummond—­“Vivian Grey”—­Mr. Standish—­Intermarriages between the French and the English, 64.


Charles Kemble—­His Daughter’s Tragedy of “Francis the First”—­Recollections of John Kemble—­The Opera—­Count Ory—­Sir A. Barnard—­Secret of Happiness—­Visit to Mademoiselle Mars—­Her Residence described—­Memorial of her Theatrical Career—­The Duchesse de la Force—­Madame Grassini—­Anecdote of her—­Visit to Orsay—­Its Situation—­The Princesse de Croy—­Hamlet of Palaiseau—­Drama of La Pie Voteuse—­Family of the Duc de Guiche—­The Vaudeville Theatre—­Scribe’s Avant, Pendant, el Apres—­Its Dangerous Tendency—­French Ambition—­Parisian Shopkeepers—­Their Officious Conduct, 78.


Lord and Lady Stuart de Rothesay—­French Politeness—­Mr. D——­ and Mr.
T——­ —­Study of Shakespeare—­Attractions of Mrs. T——­ —­Lady
Charlotte Llndsay and the Misses Berry—­Sir William Gell—­Mr. and Mrs.
Hare—­Female Amiability—­Shopping—­Hints on Female Dress—­Brilliancy of
French Conversation—­Mr. J. Strangways—­A severe Trial—­The
Plague-spot—­Miraculous Escape—­Dinner given by Comte A. de
Maussion—­Goethe’s Faust—­Character of “Margaret”—­The witty Mr.
M——­ —­Lord Byron—­French Quickness of Apprehension—­Sept
—­Character of Charlotte Corday—­Degenerate Taste of the
Parisians—­Hasty Conclusions, 91.


Page 184

The celebrated Dr. P——­ —­Society of Medical Men—­Dr.
Guthrie—­Requisites for a Surgeon—­Celebrity and Merit—­The Road to
Fortune, as related by Dr. P——­ —­Successful Stratagem—­Fancied
Illness—­Superfluity of Embonpoint—­Mode of Treatment—­Another
Patient—­The Doctor a-la-mode—­Mr. P. C. Scarlett—­Lord Erskine—­Mr.
H.B——­ —­Visit to the Theatre Italien—­Madame Malibran’s
“Desdemona”—­Defect in her Singing—­The Princesse Pauline Borghese—­The
Family of Napoleon—­Particulars of the Duchesse d’Abrantes—­The
Luxembourg Palace and Gardens—­A Loving Couple—­Holiness of
Marriage—­Story of the Old Bachelor and his Crafty Housekeeper, 105.


Groups of Children in the Gardens of the Luxembourg—­Joyous Sounds—­The Nurses—­The Child of Noble Birth and that of the Parvenu—­Joys of Childhood—­Contrast between Youth and Age—­Meeting with Dr. P——­ —­Arrival of General and the Comtesse d’Orsay—­Attractions of the latter—­Remark of Napoleon—­Affection in Domestic Circles in France—­The Duchesse de Guiche—­The Comtesse d’Orsay—­The Duc de Gramont—­Madame Craufurd—­The ci-devant Jeune Homme—­Potter, the actor—­Sir Francis Burdett—­Advantages of French Society—­Topics of Conversation—­Pedigrees of Horses—­French Politeness—­Deferential Treatment of the Fair Sex—­Domestic Duties of the Duchesse do Guiche—­Influence of Courts—­Visit to the Theatre des Nouveautes—­La Maison du Rempart—­Inflammable Exhibitions—­Mr. Cuthbert and M. Charles Lafitte—­advance of Civilization—­Lady Combermere—­Mr. Charles Grant (now Lord Glenelg)—­Curiosity Shops on the Quai Voltaire—­Madame de Sevigne—­Objects that have belonged to celebrated People—­A Hint to the Ladies—­Pincushion of Madame de Maintenon—­The Marquis de Rambouillet—­Moliere’s Precieuses Ridicules—­Pangs of Jealousy—­Julie d’Angennes—­Brilliant Coterie, 120.


The Marquise de Pouleprie—–­The celebrated Madame du Barry—­Anecdote—­Mademoiselle Mars in Valerie—­Her admirable Style of Acting—­Playing to the Galleries—­Exclusive Nature of Parisian Society—­French Conversation—­Quickness of Perception—­Walk in the Gardens of the Tuileries—­Comparative Beauty of French and English Ladies—­Graceful Walking of the Former—­Difference of Etiquette—­Well-bred Englishmen—­Flight of Time—­Colonel Caradoc, son of Lord Howden—­New Year’s Day—­Custom of making Presents—­Gallery of the Louvre—­The Statues therein—­Works of Art—­Chefs-d’oeuvre of the Old Masters—­Consolation for Men of Genius—­Nicolas Poussin, 134.


Page 185

Visit to the Hotel d’Orsay—­Sad Change in it—­Mr. Millingon, the Antiquary—­Liberality of Comte d’Orsay—­A Fanciful Notion—­General Or-nano—­Unhappy Marriages accounted for—­La Gazza Ladra—­Mallbran’s “Ninetta”—­The Calamities of Authors—­Mr. D’Israeli—­The Princesse de Talleyrand—­Her Person described—­Her Dress and Manners—­Amusing Story told by the Abbe Denon—­Unexpected Arrival—­Yes and No, by Lord Normanby—­Lady Dysart-Comte Valeski—­Influence of Agreeable Manners—­Effects of opposite ones—­Injudicious Friends—­A Candid Admission—­Lord ——­ —­Love of Contradiction—­Remarks on the Novel of Pelham—­Misery of receiving stupid Books—­Malibran in La Cenerentola—­French Customs—­Proofs d’Amilie—­Wedding Dresses, 146.


Comte Charles de Mornay—­His Wit and Good Nature—­Mademoiselle Mars, in Henri III—­Some Account of the Play—­Love and Ambition—­Curious Incident—­Romantic Notions—­Passion of Love—­Wordsworth’s Poems—­Admiration of his Writings—­Religion displayed by the Upper Classes—­The Duc de Bordeaux—­Piety of the Great—­Popularity of the Duchesse de Berri—­Anecdote of her—­Walter Savage Landor—­His Imaginary Conversations—­Sir William Gell—­The Duc d’Orleans—­His Enviable Situation—­The Duc de Chartres—­Genius of Shelley—­Beauty of his Writings—­His Wild Theories—­William Spencer the Poet—­Melancholy Change in Him—­French Prejudices towards the English—­Example of it—­Accomplishments of French Ladies—­Talent for Conversation, 169.


Consequences of the Revolution in France—­Corruption of the
Regency—­Sarcastic Verses of St.-Evremond—­Reign of Louis the
Fifteenth—­Lessons taught by Affliction—­Dangers of Anarchy—­The Haute
previously to the Revolution—­Want of Affection between
Parents and Children—­Superficial Judgments erroneous—­Power of
Fashion—­The Novel of Devereux—­Infrequency of Elopements in
France—­Les Dames de B——­ —­Their Attachment to each other—­Old
Maids—­Servitude in England and France contrasted—­French Masters and
Mistresses—­Treatment of Servants—­Avoidance of Politics—­French
Discontent—­Charles the Tenth—­National Prosperity—­The Duchesse de
Guiche and her two Sons—­Position of the Duc de Guiche, 171.


Approach of Spring—­Fogs on the Seine—­The Jardins des Tuileries—­Impurity of the London Atmosphere—­Exhilaration of the Spirits—­Anecdote—­The Catholic Question—­Lord Rosslyn—­The Duke of Wellington—­Merits of a Cook—­Amour-propre of a Parisian Cook—­English Sauce—­A Gourmand and an Epicure—­The Duc de Talleyrand—­A perfect Dinner—­The Marquis de L——­ —­House-hunting again—­Letter from Lord B——­ —­The Hotel Monaco—­College of St.-Barbe—­The Duchesse de Guiche and her Sons—­A Mother’s

Page 186

Triumph—­Spirit of Emulation—­The Quarter called the Pays Latin—­An Author’s Dress—­Aspect of the Women—­A Life of Study—­Amable Tastu’s Poems—­Effect of Living much in Society—­Mr. W. Spencer—­His Abstraction—­Disadvantages of Civilization—­Confession of Madame de ——­ —­A Hint to Comte ——­ on visiting London—­Suspicion of Poverty—­A Diner Maigre—­Luxurious Bishops, 182.


Romantic Feelings of Lady C——­ —­True Love—­Disagreeable Neighbours—­Credulity—­Mademoiselle Delphine Gay—­French Novels—­French Critics—­Eligible Mansions—­Comforts of Seclusion—­Genius of L.E.L.—­The Comtesse d’O——­ —­A Brilliant Talker—­Letter from Mrs. Hare—­Extreme Hospitality—­Longchamps—­Exhibition of Spring Fashions—­French Beauties—­Animated Scene—­Promenade at Longchamps—­Extravagance of Mademoiselle Duthe—­Modern Morals—­Cinq Mars, by Comte Alfred de Vigny—­His Style—­Strictures on Mankind—­The best Philosophy—­Speech of Lord Grey—­The Caterpillar—­A Voracious Appetite—­A Refined Lady—­La Chronique du temps de Charles IX, by Prosper Merimee—­Estimation of Sir Walter Scott—­Jules Janin—­Injudicious Praise—­Renewal of Youth—­Self-Deception—­Grey Hairs, 194.


Victor Hugo’s Dernier Jour d’un Condamne—­Value of Common Sense—­Conscience—­Cunning—­Curiosity Shops on the Quai d’Orsay—­Expensive and Tasteful Gifts—­An Avaricious Vender—­A Moral—­Anonymous Scribbler—­Weakness of Mind—­Poems of Mrs. Hemans—­The Minds of Genius—­Poetesses of England—­Arrival of Lord D——­ —­The Catholic Question carried—­Irish prejudices—­Letters from Absent Friends—­Sir William Gell—­The Archbishop of Tarentum—­Discoveries at Pompeii—­Novel of The Disowned—­Advantages to be derived from the Perusal of Works of Fiction—­Politics—­Charles the Tenth unpopular—­Charles the First—­The House of Bourbon—­“Uneasy lies the Head that wears a Crown”—­The Duc de T——­ —­Mr. Hook’s Sayings and Doings—­Visit to the Hotel Monaco, 207.


A new Resilience—­Consolation in Sickness—­House in the Rue de Matignon—­Its Interior described—­The Library—­Drive in the Bois de Boulogne—­Atmospheric Influence—­The Rocher de Cancale—­A Diner de Restaurant—­A Gay Sight—­Good Taste in Dress innate in Frenchwomen—­Well-appointed Carriages—­Soldier-like Air of the Male Population—­Observation of the Emperor Napoleon—­Characteristics of the British Soldier—­National Anthem—­Changes in the Journey of Life—­Captain Marryat’s Naval Officer—­Performance of La Tour d’Auvergne—­Letter of Carnot—­Distinction awarded to Merit by Napoleon—­National Glory—­Effect of Enthusiasm—­Villa of the Duchesse de Montmorency—­Residences on the Banks of the Thames—­Bagatelle, the Seat of the Duc de Bordeaux—­Earthly Happiness—­Domestic Alterations—­High Rents at Paris—­Terrace and Aviary—­Unsettled Slate, 219.

Page 187


Unexpected Events—­Mr. and Mrs. Mathews—­Their son, Charles—­Evening Party—­Recitations and Songs—­Pleasant Recollections—­Visit to the Jardin des Plantes—­Amusing Incident—­Humorous Imitations—­Intellectual Powers—­Recourse to Reading—­The Comte Montalembert—­His Grief on the Death of his Daughter—­Restraint imposed by Society—­Fate of the Unfortunate—­The Prince and Princess Soutzo—­Particulars relative to them—­Reverse of Fortune—­Mr. Rogers and Mr. Luttrell—­Memory of Lord Byron—­His Lampoon on Rogers—­Love of Sarcasm—­Conversation of Mr. Luttrell—­Lord John Russell—­His Qualifications—­Monsieur Thiers—­Monsieur Mignet—­His Vigorous Writings—­Friendship between Thiers and Mignet—­The Baron Cailleux—­Visit to the Louvre—­Taste for the Fine Arts—­The Marquis and Marquise de B——­ —­Clever People—­Lord Allen and Sir Andrew Barnard—­The Culinary Art, 230.


Mr. Rogers and Mr. Luttrell—­Society of Refined Englishmen—­Mercurial Temperament of the French—­Opposite Characters—­M.  Erard’s Collection of Pictures—­Antique Bijouterie—­Lord Pembroke—­The Duke of Hamilton—­Dr. Parr—­Reproof of the Duc de Blacas—­Monsieur Mignet—­His great Knowledge—­A Clever Man—­Influence of Conscience—­Abilities of Lord Palmerston—­Lord Castlereagh—­His Uncle, the late Marquess of Londonderry—­Dangers of Fashion—­Mr. Cutlar Fergusson—­The Baron and Baroness de Ruysch—­A Mind at Ease—­Dreary Weather—­Sad State of the Streets—­Fogs—­Fascination of Madame Grassini—­Sledge Party—­Sledge of the Duc de Guiche—­That of Comte d’Orsay—­Picturesque Night Scene—­Revival of an Old Fashion—­The Prince Polignac—­His Amiable Manners—­His Difficult Position, 242.


Effects of Indisposition—­Instability of Earthly Blessings—­Captain William Anson (Brother of Lord Anson)—­His varied Acquirements—­The pretty Madame de la H——­ —­Prince Paul Lieven—­Captain Cadogan (now Earl Cadogan)—­Life at Sea—­Visit to the Duchesse de Guiche—­Her Warmth and Gentleness of Manner—­Political Crisis—­The Conquest of Algiers—­General Excelmans—­Rash Measure—­Charles the Tenth—­His Ministry unpopular—­Prosperity of France—­Extorted Concessions—­ Dissolution of the Chambers—­The Public Press—­Controversy—­Commotion before the Hotel of the Ministre des Finances—­The Ministers insulted—­Counsel of the Duc de Guiche—­Serious Aspect of Affairs—­Crowds in the Streets—­Household of Charles the Tenth—­Noblesse of his Court—­Confusion and Alarm—­Riotous Conduct—­Firing on the People—­Formation of Barricades—­Absence of the Civil Authorities—­Nocturnal Impressions—­Comtes d’Orsay and Valeski—­Scene in the Place de la Bourse—­The Corps-de-Garde set on Fire—­Darkness in the Rue Richelleu.—­Further disturbances—­Continued Depredations—­Breach between the People and the Sovereign—­Anecdote of Monsieur Salvandy, 225.

Page 188


The Dead paraded through the Streets to inflame the Populace—­The Shops closed—­The Duc de Raguse censured—­His Supineness—­Devotion of the Duc de Guiche to his Sovereign—­The Military Dispositions defective—­Flag of the Bourbons—­Troops in Want of Refreshment—­ Destruction of the Royal Emblems—­Disgusting Exhibition—­Rumours of Fresh Disasters—­Opinion of Sir Roger de Coverley—­Revolutions the Carnivals of History—­Observation of Voltaire—­Doctors Pasquier and de Guise—­Report of Fire arms—­Paucity of Provisions—­Female Courage—­Domestic Entrenchment—­Further Hostilities—­Conflicting Rumours—­The Sublime and the Ridiculous—­Juvenal Intrepidity—­Fatality—­The Soldiers and the populace—­Visit to Madame Craufurd—­Barricade in the Rue Verte—­Approaching Mob—­Safe Arrival in the Rue d’Anjou—­Terror of Madame Craufurd—­Her Anxiety for her Relatives—­Composure of the Marquis d’Aligre—­Riotous Assembly in the Rue Verte—­Their Conduct towards the Author—­Dangerous Symbol of Aristocracy—­Arrival at Home, 282.


Familiarity of French Servants—­Power of the People—­Misguided Men—­Further Rumours—­Who are the People?—­An Intruder—­A Revolutionary Hero—­The Tuileries and the Louvre taken—­Sir Thomas Lawrence’s Portrait of the Dauphin—­The Terrible and the Comic—­Trophies of Victory—­The Palace of the Archbishop of Paris sacked—­Concessions of Charles the Tenth—­The Duchesse de Berri—­Lord Stuart de Rothesay—­Noble Conduct—­The Duchesse de Guiche—­Her trying Situation—­The Provisional Government—­The Tri-coloured Flag—­Meeting of the Deputies—­Bitter Feeling towards the Royal Family Bravery of the Populace—­Lafayette and his followers—­Scene in the Street—­“The Good Cause”—­The wealthy M. Laffitte—­Valuable Collections at Paris—­Courageous Conduct of the Duchesse de Guiche—­Her Champions—­Attack on the Hotel of the Duc de Guiche—­Comte Alfred d’Orsay—­Painful Position, 272.


Sanctuary of Home—­Madame C——­ —­Intoxicated Revolutionist—­His Good-Nature—­the Proprietor of a Wine-Shop—­Politeness of all Classes in France—­Barracks in the Rue Verte—­Difficulty of obtaining Admission—­Agitation of Madame C——­ —­Comte Valeski—­The Barracks attacked and taken—­Dangerous Route—­Impassable Gulf between the Sovereign and the People—­The Royal Cause hopeless—­A Fine Youth killed—­Reflections on his Death—­Number of Persons killed during the last Three Days—­Details of a Battle—­Rumour respecting the Dauphin—­Interment of the Page—­Fatality attending the Bourbons—­Absence of the Dauphine—­Revolt of the Troops—­The Duchesse de Guiche at St.-Germain—­Her noble Bearing—­The Duc de Gramont—­The Chateau du Val, the Residence of the Princesse de Poix—­The Fugitive Duchess—­Popularity of Lafayette—­The duc d’Orleans named Lieut.-General of France—­Order restored—­Abdication of Charles the Tenth—­Renewed Excitement—­Clamour against the King—­A Fickle People—­Wicked Rumours—­The King quits Rambouillet—­School of Adversity—­Desertion by Friends—­Route to Cherbourg, 294.

Page 189


Rumour relative to the Son of Napoleon—­Unsettled State of Affairs—­Conflicting Rumours—­The Duke of Orleans—­Charms of a Crown—­Aspect of the Champs-Elysees—­Unsought popularity—­Comte d’Orsay—­Scene of Destruction—­Shattered Trees—­Pride of the People—­Re-action after Excitement—­Anecdote—­The Jeweller’s Wife—­Passion of the French—­Playing at Soldiers—­Enthusiasm of the Garde Nationale—­Return to Paris of the Duchesse de Guiche—­Confidence of the Duc—­Courage of the Duchesse—­General Gerard—­The Duke of Orleans accepts the Crown—­Popularity, an unstable Possession—­Abilities of Louis-Philippe—­Expectations formed of him—­Person of Lafayette—­Appearance in Public of the new Sovereign—­The Queen—­Her painful Position—­The King of the French in the Place Vendome—­Monsieur Mignet—­His varied Acquirements—­The celebrated General Peppe—­Strange Infatuation—­Charles the Tenth embarks at Cherbourg—­Devotion to the exiled Bourbons—­The English Popular at Paris—­Mr. Hamilton, Secretary of the Embassy—­Brilliant conversation of M. Thiers—­The Prince and Princesse Soutzo—­Mr. Poulter—­Lesson of Resignation—­Departure for England—­Leave-taking—­Adieu to Paris, 294.