MUSIC IN PARIS.—CHOPIN AND THE CHEVALIER
NEUKOMM.—ADIEU TO PARIS.—A
MIDNIGHT DRIVE IN A DILIGENCE.—LYONS AND ITS WEAVERS.—THEIR MANNER
OF LIFE.—A YOUNG WIFE.—THE WEAVERS’ CHILDREN.—THE BANKS OF
THE RHONE.—DREARY WEATHER FOR SOUTHERN FRANCE.—THE OLD ROMAN
AMPHITHEATRE AT ARLES.—THE WOMEN OF ARLES.—MARSEILLES.—PASSAGE
TO GENOA.—ITALY.—GENOA AND NAPLES.—BAIAE.—VESUVIUS.—THE ITALIAN
CHARACTER AT HOME.—PASSAGE FROM LEGHORN IN A SMALL STEAMER.—NARROW
ESCAPE.—A CONFUSION OF LANGUAGES.—DEGRADATION OF THE NEAPOLITANS.
In my last days at Paris I was fortunate in hearing some delightful music. A friend of Chopin’s took me to see him, and I had the pleasure, which the delicacy of Iris health makes a rare one for the public, of hearing him play. All the impressions I had received from hearing his music imperfectly performed were justified, for it has marked traits, which can be veiled, but not travestied; but to feel it as it merits, one must hear himself; only a person as exquisitely organized as he can adequately express these subtile secrets of the creative spirit.
It was with, a very different sort of pleasure that I listened to the Chevalier Neukomm, the celebrated composer of “David,” which has been so popular in our country. I heard him improvise on the orgue expressif, and afterward on a great organ which has just been built here by Cavaille for the cathedral of Ajaccio. Full, sustained, ardent, yet exact, the stream, of his thought bears with it the attention of hearers of all characters, as his character, full of bonhommie, open, friendly, animated, and sagacious, would seem to have something to present for the affection and esteem of all kinds of men.