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.