π1r π1v
A portrait of the author.
π2r

Letters,

Descriptive of
Public Monuments, Scenery,
and Manners
in
France and Spain.

in Two Volumes.
Vol. I…France.

Newburyport:
Printed by E. W. Allen & Co.
1832MDCCCXXXII.

π2v
With Mr Cushing’s regards

These Volumes
Are Presented To
Mrs Mary Frothingham
In Memory
Of Their
Deceased Author.

π3r

France

π3v π4r

To My Father.

To You, my dear father, were the sheets of this Journal
originally addressed, when the wide expanse of Ocean separated
us, and to you I commit them once more, now that
I am again happily restored to our beloved country; consigning
them to the same indulgent affection and parental
kindness, which have contributed so largely to the happiness
of my life.


Caroline W. Cushing.


π4v π5r
1(1)r

France.

Letter I.

Departure from Brussels—French Diligence.—Frontiers.—Road
to Paris.—Paris.—Hotel.—Restaurateurs.—Lodgings.

The anticipations of instruction and pleasure,
which arise in the mind upon the prospect of visiting
those foreign countries, which are deeply interesting,
by reason of their scenery or public
monuments, or as the theatres of great historical
events, are necessarily of the most vivid and
glowing description. You may appreciate, then,
the feelings of delight, with which, on the evening
of a charming summer’s day (1829-07-29July 29th, 1829),
I left Brussels for Paris. I shall endeavor to
give you a faithful account of every thing singular
and striking, which engages my attention
during my projected tour in France; and of
the views and feelings suggested from time to
time by various objects of curiosity. You will
not, of course, expect from me grace or learned
dissertations. My only aim will be to enable 1 1(1)v 2
you, by simple description, to see in fancy those
things, that actually come within my own observation.

The diligence, as you will suppose, is one of
the first peculiarities of the country, which attract
the notice of the traveller in France. It is
a most huge and clumsy looking vehicle, consisting
of three separate parts. That in the
centre is called the interieur, and is capable of
containing six persons; and the rotunde, which
is behind, is likewise adapted for six. The cou-pee, in front of the interieur, holds three persons.
This is much the most agreeable part of the
dilgence to travel in, not only as being more
commodious; but as there are windows both in
front and at the sides, you have a much better
opportunity of seeing the country to advantage,
than you could have in the interieur. Above the
coupee, on the very roof of the carriage, is a seat
for three persons, called the imperiale, which is
precisely like a chaise-top in form. Here also,
mounted aloft, sits the conducteur. The baggage
is also placed on the top of the diligence, and
generally piled up to a very great height. You
might suppose, that there would be danger of
overturning from the top being thus heavily
loaded; but the wheels are so far apart, and the
body of the carriage is so wide, as to render it
perfectly safe. And I never travelled in any
public conveyance, which was more entirely easy. 1(2)r 3
I have often been much more fatigued after a
ride of forty miles in one of our stage coaches,
than I was upon arriving at Paris, after riding a
day and a half, and the whole of two nights,
without stopping.

The morning after leaving Brussels, we breakfasted
at Mons, and before dinner arrived at
Quiverain, the frontier town of France. Here all
our baggage was taken off, and examined by the
custom house officers with much care. We
found them very civil, however, and not disposed
to incommode us more than their duty obliged
them to do. One little incident occurred, that
amused me very much. Each of the ladies, who
came in the diligence, was under the necessity
of being examined, by a woman appointed for the
purpose, to be sure that she had not smuggled
lace
, and little articles of that kind, in some part
of her dress. It seems that some years since two
or three milliners were detected in carrying great
quantities of lace from Brussels to France, wrapped
around their waists under their travelling
habits, in the hem even, and in the crowns
of their bonnets. This fact led to the establishment
of the rule, which is now laid down,
never to suffer a female to pass, without strictly
examining her dress. The woman, however,
was perfectly civil and good natured, and disposed
to laugh with us at the singular custom.
I, for one, was entirely willing, that she should be 1(2)v 4
satisfied I was not infringing the laws, and the
whole passed off as a good joke, which afforded
us all a hearty laugh, I can assure you, although
the examination was too particular, to be wholly
acceptable.

After passing through Valenciennes, Peronne,
Cambray, and Senlis, four large towns in France,
all more or less celebrated for wars and sieges,
we arrived at Paris, at two o’clock in the afternoon
of the 1832-07-3131st July. I cannot say much in favor
of what I saw of the north of France. Neither
the cities nor villages present any thing
pleasing to the eye of the casual observer. There
are, to be sure, in all the principal cities, objects
of interest to claim the attention of travellers,
who remain in them for any length of time; but
for those who pass rapidly through them in a diligence,
or stop only to take a hasty meal, there is
very little, that is either agreeable or amusing.
The villages, for the most part, are extremely
ordinary; and comparing the country around
them with verdant Holland, it appeared to me
desolate and uninteresting. There were no
hedges, or even fences, to be seen any where,
and although there was a great quantity of grain,
it had been injured by heavy rains.

In going through the cities we were accosted
by hosts of beggars, blind and lame, besides a
great variety of other deformed and deplorable
looking objects, who ought never to have been 1(3)r 5
suffered to go at large. I thought at first, that
there could be no laws to provide for these poor
wretches, on seeing so many in the streets; but
found that there was a provision made for them,
which they refused to take advantage of, preferring
to bed, rather than enter into a hospital.
I was frequently told, moreover, that many of
these people maim themselves, or are rendered
so by their parents, for the purpose of exciting
compassion. This I think not at all improbably,
as otherwise I cannot account for there being so
large a number of them as pressed around the diligence,
the moment it stopped, in almost every city.

In approaching Paris you travel for some
distance through rows of trees, planted at regular
intervals, and each one numbered. The road is
very fine, through this avenue, and in a short
time after entering it, we found ourselves in the
busy world of Paris. Alighting at the diligence
office, we were attacked on all sides by waiters
from the different hotels, each with a card, which
is thrust into your hands without any ceremony.
The noise which they make, in recommending
their several houses, all in a breath, is absolutely
stunning, and would put a person entirely at a
loss which to choose, unless he had previously
determined upon a particular one. We had been
recommended to the Hotel Montmorency, and
thither we repaired, and took our lodgings for 1* 1(3)v 6
a week, as, according to the rules of this house,
rooms are not let for a less time.

It is a large hotel, situated in the Rue St.
Marc
.From the street you pass through an
arched passage, with a room on each side, to an
open court, with buildings on either hand, three
or four stories in height, all composing the same
hotel. In front, as you enter, is a pretty garden,
and beyond it apartments belonging to the
same establishment. We were at first shown
into rooms in front of the house; but finding it
too much exposed to the noise of the street, we
changed them for others in the second story,
looking out upon the court. These rooms were
neatly furnished with mahogany chairs, covered
with velvet, a sofa of the same kind, and
other furniture of very good quality; but for all
this, there was a dark, cheerless appearance
about the house, which, in this my first experience
of a French hotel, struck me very unpleasantly.
The court, being back from the street,
is of course entirely solitary, and the buildings
all around are so high, and so many in number,
as almost totally to obscure every ray of sun.
In addition to this the floors, instead of being
carpeted, or even made of wood, are composed of
red tiles. These tiles are six sided, and being
placed regularly together, and each day rubbed
very brightly, have rather a neat appearance;
but impart a cold and cheerless aspect to the 1(4)r 7
rooms, and send a chill through the frame, which
is exceedingly unwelcome. In the very hottest
days of summer, it might be comfortable; but
although I arrived in Paris in the month of July,
the weather was quite as cool as it is at home in
September, and consequently I did not find the
tiled floors agreeable, particularly in the morning
and evening.

Another thing, which renders these hotels extremely
lonely, as compared with those of the
United States, is the universal practice of taking
your meals in your own apartment; and of
course you never see any of the inmates of the
house but the servants, unless you have private
friends also lodging there. The manner of living
is as follows. In the morning, at whatever
hour you may choose, your breakfast is served.
In Paris breakfast consists of coffee and bread
and butter, without meat. If you wish for this
you call for it separately and expressly. A
large quantity of boiled milk, and a proportional
quantity of sugar are given you with your coffee,
it being the custom of the French to take their
coffee half milk, and made into a perfect syrup
with sugar. As to dinner, you may either dine
at the hotel or go to a restaurateur’s, as you
please, there being no restraint in the customs
of the house as to this. If you dine at the hotel,
it is by carte, that is, a list of all the different
meats, vegetables, fruits, and wines, from 1(4)v 8
which you select what you wish, and your dinner
is then served in your own apartment. I mention
all these little particulars, in order to give
you a general idea of the hotels in Paris, which
is a thing of some interest to the traveller, at
least, if not to others.

Paris contains a large number of restaurateurs,
and their establishments deserve to be
seen as a matter of curiosity, by those who
would not otherwise frequent them; and I did
not fail to visit some of them, during my first
week in Paris. You enter into a large hall,
with sometimes a suite of rooms in addition.
The hall is often very splendidly furnished, and
is filled with tables, separately spread, for any
number of persons, from two to seven or eight,
as may be desired. At the head of it is a raised
seat, with a railing around it, where a female is
placed, who presides over the whole, and receives
the money after you have dined; and also
serves out the fruit, which makes a fine show
upon a large table near her. She is generally
selected for her beauty, in order to attract persons,
as one of the ornaments of the saloon.
When you have seated yourself at either of the
tables you choose, a waiter hands you a carte,
from which you select your dinner.

At some of the restaurants you pay more or
less, according to what dishes you call for; but
at others they agree, for a certain sum, to give 1(5)r 9
you a dinner, which shall consist of potage, or
soup, the indispensable commencement of a dinner
in France, and three different dishes, besides
wine, fruit, bread, and a small cup of coffee,
without milk, but with a plentiful allowance of
sugar, with which your repast finishes. The
houses of this description are not among the
most genteel or agreeable; and in other respects
they are not in the highest esteem, because
it is so much the object of the proprietors
to economize in the cost of what they set before
you, that you are not sure of having food of
the best quality.

The most celebrated cafes and restaurants are
in the Palais Royal, and along the Boulevards,
some of which are fitted up, in all their parts,
with real magnificence, and give you the luxuries
of the country, prepared in the highest perfection
of the gastronomic art. There were
great numbers of persons at these places, when
I visited them, the rooms being generally quite
full. Sometimes, though rarely, there were parties
of ladies without any gentlemen; but more
frequently of gentlemen alone, or gentlemen and
ladies together. I was at first much surprised
at meeting so many people; but afterwards came
to realize the convenience of being able to obtain
a good dinner at a moment’s warning, whenever
you choose to call; particularly if you
chance to be far from your lodgings. And there 1(5)v 10
are, besides, many gentlemen, whose place of
business is at a distance from their houses, and
other persons who live in hired apartments, and
always dined at a restaurant. But the more fashionable
and expensive of these establishments
are suppoprted in a great measure by the multitude
of foreigners, who resort to Paris, and fill
its walks, galleries, and places of recreation and
refreshment. These considerations will account
for the confluence of persons, who are usually
to be seen at the restaurateurs.

Our week at the hotel having expired, we repaired
to the very pleasant private lodgings in Rue
d’Artois
. Here the cold tiled floors were exchanged
for the wooden ones, every where met
with in France, and which are very peculiarly,
but very handsomely made. The wood is oak;
and the boards are cut in small narrow pieces, all
exactly of a size, and laid in the form of what I
should call herring bone, or in other neat and
fanciful forms. They are rubbed regularly every
day, which gives them a polish as bright as that
upon mahogany furniture. In very cold weather,
even these floors must be uncomfortable; but
they are, of course, infinitely preferable to tiles.
Carpets, as I have been frequently told, are very
rarely used in the private houses of Paris, except
among some of the wealthiest inhabitants, or
where Englishmen or Americans have introduced
their own usages. Our hostess, an amiable, 1(6)r 11
and intelligent French lady, who receives,
for the most part, only Americans in her family,
has one of the very few respectable boarding
houses, in the sense in which we use the word,
to be found in Paris. Here I soon learned to
accustom myself to the Parisian habit of eating
but two meals each day, and dining at half past
five, just in season for the theatre, and other
amusements of the evening; and I was not long
in becoming convinced that the fashion was the
most convenient, as well as the most conducive
to health.

Letter II.

General view of Paris.—The Seine.—Islands.—Boulevards.
—Barrieres.—Fiacres.—Omnibuses.—Houses.—Streets.—
Blanchisseries.—Bridges.—Statue of Henry Fourth, and
Pont Neuf.—Pont Louis Seize.—Pont des Arts.—Quais.

Before commencing my journal of Paris, I
shall anticipate a little, by attempting to give
you a general idea of the city, which will naturally
form an introduction to an account of its
public edifices and institutions. The river
Seine, which passes through Paris from east to
west, forms three small islands in the heart of
the city. The first of these islands, called Isle
de Louviers
, is uninhabited, and used only for
the storage of wood. The second is the Isle St.
Louis
, and is inhabited. The third is denominated 1(6)v 12
the Isle de la Cite, which composes the
central part of Paris, and was under the Romans
its whole extent.

Between these islands and the wall, with which
the city is surrounded, among a great number
of other streets, is a magnificent one, called the
Boulevard Interieur, planted with trees, which
extends nearly all around Paris. This Boulevard
is in fact one street, though bearing a
great variety of names. The most fashionable
part, and that which presents the most attractive
appearance, to a stranger, is the Boulevard des
Italiens
. Here, during the day, your attention
is constantly kept alive, by the immense concourse
of people passing and repassing, the
throng of carriages, which continually fill the
street, and the splendid shops, displaying all
varieties of rich and tasteful goods. But this is
not comparable to the lively scene, which it exhibits
in the evening. Numerous cafes and restaurants,
brilliantly illuminated, and filled by the
young, the gay, the fashionable of both sexes,
with the same continued passing of people and
carriages, make the whole street appear perfectly
alive; and the crowd is often so great, particularly
on Sunday evenings, when the lower classes are
abroad, that it is difficult to make your way
through it. In front of the cafes and restaurants,
chairs are arranged, under a canopy, which you
see filled by parties of ladies and gentlemen, 2(1)r 13
chatting and laughing over their cup of coffee or
glass of wine, in the highest good humor and hilarity.
This scene is renewed every evening,
and midnight often sounds before the gay throng
have sought their respective homes.

The Boulevard du Temple is the resort of the
common people, and here you have an equally
lively, though very different, sense of things.
All kinds of jugglery, puppet shows, rope dancing,
and musical concerts are performed in continual
succession, evening after evening, and on
Sunday in a peculiar manner, for a few trifling
sous, which are bestowed or not, as the immense
multitudes, who witness and delight in these
sports, are disposed to reward or not to reward,
the untiring exertions for their amusement made
by these poor creatures, who thankfully receive
the smallest trifle that is thrown to them.
Almost the whole of the Boulevard du Nord,
which is that on the north side of the river, presents
the same gay and enlivening spectacle
as those parts of it just mentioned, while the
Boulevard du Midi is still and quiet, frequented
by few, and devoid of interest or attraction.

Beyond the Boulevards are the faubourgs,
of which there are a large number, designated by
different names. Those of St. Germain, St.
Honore
and Montmarte are the most frequented,
and in them reside a larger proportion of genteel
people, than in any other part of Paris. 2 2(1)v 14
The faubourgs are bounded by the city wall,
which was constructed during the reign of Louis
Fourteenth
, to prevent the introduction of goods
into Paris without the payment of duty.

Outside of the wall is a broad road, denominated
the Boulevard Exterieur, which also surrounds
the city. Upon this road are placed, at
different points, fifty superb barrieres, or gates,
which the minister Calonne caused to be erected,
at an immense expense, in order to give
strangers, who entered the city, an expressive
idea of its opulence and grandeur. These barrieres
are in fact splendid edifices, some of stone,
others of brick, presenting the various forms of
temples, porticos, rotundas and chapels, with
their beautiful facades, arcades and numerous
columns of different orders, which do indeed astonish
the stranger by their magnificence; but
equally so by the enormous sums of money, absolutely
thrown away upon these expensive edifices,
which serve no better purpose than the
most plain and simple buildings would do, being
used only as offices for the inspection of merchandize
and things of that kind.

Upon the exterior Boulevard, and for a certain
distance beyond, no houses are allowed to
be placed; but the neighboring country is agreeably
interspersed with little villages and hamlets,
which, in summer, when the trees are perfectly
green, present a rural and pleasing landscape.

2(2)r 15

The great distance from the centre of Paris
to the outer Boulevard, would render it extremely
inconvenient for strangers to visit the various
objects of curiosity and attention, which are situated
in all directions, between these two points;
and for the inhabitants themselves to go to different
parts of the city. But to obviate this difficulty,
and to render every place, which you wish
to visit, perfectly accessible at all hours, and in
all weathers, there are established several thousand
carriages of different kinds, owned by private
individuals, which traverse every part of the
city at all hours of the day, and until late in the
evening.

The fiacres, or hackney coaches, are neat and
commodious, and the fare is arranged on the most
convenient and equitable principles. You take
them either by the course or by the hour, as you
choose. The price of a course is thirty sous,
whether it be longer or shorter. Each time you
stop is considered a separate course, and therefore
if you wish to stop at any place within the
course, you can pay forty five sous and take the
coach by the hour; always making the agreement
in the beginning, that you do take it by the
hour, otherwise you will be charged thirty sous for
each time you stop. The cabriolets are like our
chaises, wide enough to contain the driver and another
person upon the seat. The price of these is
twenty five sous the course, and thirty five the hour.

2(2)v 16

But by far the most frequented and economical
carriages are the Omnibuses, the Bearnaises,
the Ecossaises, the Citadines and Carolines,
which are all of the same general construction,
and will contain twelve, fourteen or twenty persons,
according to their different sizes. There
are two seats opposite each other, the whole
length of the carriage, and a small one at the
end, opposite the entrance, which is from behind.
There is no door to shut at the entrance, and the
conductor stands upon the step, with his face
turned towards the street, in order to see any
person, who may wish to enter the carriage. A
check-string leads from thence to the arm of the
driver, which is pulled as a signal for him to stop.
Below the driver’s seat is a sort of pipe, upon
which he plays with his foot occasionally, in
passing through the streets, and at the stand from
whence he starts, until his number is complete.
The largest omnibuses are drawn by three horses
abreast, the smaller by two. Each one has a
particular course marked out, from which it never
deviates, and consequently you cannot always be
sure of finding one at the very moment you wish;
but as there are several to each course, which
follow each other, every fifteen minutes, you may
always be sure of a seat by waiting that time,
and there being an almost infinite number constantly
passing, which will take you up or set you
down any where within their course, you can 2(3)r 17
generally count upon finding a seat whenever
you wish. The price of a course is five or six
sous for each person.

All these different carriages are numbered,
so that if any difficulty arises, or the drivers or
conductors are insolent, you have only to present
the number at the police office, and the
offender is punished accordingly. This regulation
keeps every thing right, and prevents any
insolence or imposition on the part of the drivers,
as a fine and the loss of their places might be the
consequence.

The general appearance of the central part of
Paris, as it respects the streets and houses, is
not remarkably elegant or agreeable. The houses
being built of a particular species of stone,
which in a very short time become injured and
blackened, have a dingy and sombre aspect, very
far from elegant or pleasing to the eye.

And this gloomy appearance is much increased
by the style of building, which is, almost universally,
throughout the city, the same as I have
described to you the Hotel Montmorency. The
entrance to the houses is by heavy folding doors,
opening into a passage leading to a square court,
surrounded by buildings, generally inhabited by
numerous tenants, although sometimes by one
family alone; and as they occupy those parts of
the buildings, which open upon the court, the
front always looklooks cheerless and deserted. Frequently2* 2(3)v 18
each story of a house contains a distinct
family, and all make use of one common entrance.
A small part of the lower story is appropriated
to a portier, who is placed there by
the owner of the house, and whose duty it is to
keep the stair-cases and entries, which are used
in common, in good order, to receive all the
notes, visiting cards, parcels or messages of
whatever kind for the different tenants, to open
the outer doors at five in the morning, and close
them at twelve at night. Whoever is out, after
that hour, is expected to pay something to the
porter, as a sort of penalty.

But although the great majority of the houses
in Paris are such as I have described, yet there
are many private edifices extremely beautiful,
and the large public buildings, with few exceptions,
are sumptuous and magnificent beyond description.

The streets in many of the faubourgs are
broad, spacious and clean; but those in the interior
of the city are entirely the reverse, excepting,
of course, the Boulevards, and perhaps a few
others. They are, for the most part, quite narrow,
paved with rough stones, having no side
walks, and continually covered with a slippery
black mud, which renders it sometimes almost
impossible to keep on your feet. Instead of the
middle of the streets being elevated, with drains
at the sides, like ours, they are here elevated at 2(4)r 19
the sides, with a gutter in the middle constantly
filled with water from the various fountains about
the city, which you are always in danger of receiving
all over your dress, when a carriage, and
particularly an omnibus passes.

The consequence of this is, that ladies are very
seldom seen walking in the streets of Paris, unless
in very pleasant weather, with any other
dress than of light material which may be
easily washed. In the great thorough-fares,
where thousands and thousands of persons are
passing and repassing at every hour of the day,
with an endless succession of carriages of all descriptions
driving to and fro, it is ncessary to
have your eyes and thoughts always about you,
to prevent being thrown down or covered with
mud. There being no side walks, of course
there is no part of the street in which you can be
safe from the carriages, the drivers of which
dash along unmindful of any person’s comfort or
security; and frequently I have been obliged to
step inside a door or court to avoid being absolutely
run down by the horses, or crushed between
the houses on one side, and the wheels of
the carriage on the other. It is, therefore, as
you may well imagine, extremely unpleasant for a
lady to walk through the streets; and yet you are
obliged so to do, as otherwise a great deal is lost
which you wish to see, and you cannot obtain an accurate
idea of the situation of any thing in the city.

2(4)v 20

I have before mentioned, that the river Seine
passes through Paris, from east to west. This
river, as seen in the city, is very far from being so
handsome as I had anticipated. It is, in many
places, very narrow, and the water is extremely
muddy. Its surface is almost entirely covered
with boats, loaded with wood, charcoal, fish, and
other articles, besides bathing-houses and washing
establishments, which altogether form a scene
of bustle and activity, but effectually destroy the
beauty of the river. The washing establishments
are very conspicuous. They consist of
long buildings, covered at the top and open at the
sides, around which great numbers of women
stand, each with a board before her, but no tub
or even soap. The clothes are first dipped into
the muddy water, then laid upon this board, five or six
inches square in appearance, with a handle to
it. This process is continued, until the clothes
are considered sufficiently cleansed, after which
they are rinsed and dried. It is said that a great
proportion of the clothes in Paris are washed in
these places, and after the manner I have described;
and you can therefore judge of the destruction
occasioned to your clothes by having
them washed, and of their miserable complexion,
when brought to you for clean.

The bridges, thrown over different parts of the
Seine, and which are sixteen in number, are 2(5)r 21
many of them very handsome. Among these,
the Pont Neuf, Pont Louis Seize, and Pont des
Arts
, are the most beautiful. The Pont Neuf is
a fine stone bridge, seven hundred and sixty
seven feet in length, and seventy seven in
breadth. It is divided into three parts, the centre
for carriages, and a broad raised side-walk
on each side. But the object which first attracts
the eye, upon this bridge, and which renders it
the more remarkable, is a beautiful bronze equestrian
statue of Henry Fourth, which occupies a
conspicuous place upon one side. The height of
this statue is fourteen feet, and its weight thirty
thousand pounds. The upper surface of the pedestal
is a single block, with mortices to admit
the two feet of the horse, which support the
statue. The sides of the pedestal are beautifully
ornamented with bas-reliefs representing different
scenes in the life of Henry. On the two
ends are Latin inscriptions. The whole cost
three hundred thirty seven thousand eight hundred
and sixty francs.

The crowd of people, who are continually passing
and repassing this bridge, the great number
of criers, exhibiting their articles of sale, in
baskets upon their heads, or arrayed in little shops
upon the side walks, the cries of the multitude of
boatmen and wash-women upon the Seine beneath,
—all together present one of the most lively
and exhilarating scenes, which you can imagine.

2(5)v 22

The Pont Louis Seize is also a beautiful stone
bridge, four hundred and sixty one feet in length,
and sixty one in breadth. It is composed of five
arches, the central one ninety six feet wise, with
two on each side, diminishing in size towards
the ends of the bridge. The two last have wide
towing paths beneath them. On each side of the
bridge is a balustrade, divided by six pedestals,
which support each a superb colossal statue of
white marble. These twelve statues are computed
to have cost, independent of the marble, two
hundred thousand francs. The following are the
eminent persons, whom they are intended to represent:
Bayard, Duguay Trouin, Turenne
Tourville, Suger, Duguesclin, Conde, Cardinal
Richelieu
, Sully, Colbert, Duquesne, and Suffren.
Each of these statues was sculptured by a
different artist; but all are admirably executed,
and the effect is truly magnificent. No ornament
whatever could be more striking or
beautiful. Four military trophies are intended
to be placed upon pedestals, in a line
with the statues, upon the quays each side of
the bridge.

The Pont des Arts is very elegant, and intended
for foot passengers alone. It extends
from the Louvre to the Institute, five hundred
and fifty five feet in length. It is composed of
nine arches, within which are other smaller
arches, the whole made of cast iron. At equal 2(6)r 23
distances, on each side of the bridge, are small
iron pillars, upon which lamps are fixed. This
bridge was the first in Paris constructed of iron.
Its name is derived from the Louvre, which, at
the time the bridge was built, was called Palais
des Arts
.

The quays, which border the banks of the
Seine, and which almost entirely surround the
Isle de la Cite and that of St. Louis, are finely
and spaciously built, and considered unequalled
by those of any other city in Europe, both as to
their construction and extent. Large sums of
money were expended, during the reign of Napoleon,
for their erection, and in plans to that
effect, which have since been carried into execution.
These quays, composed of solid embankments
of stone, are designated by different
names; but in fact consist of an unbroken line,
on each side of the river, and form broad, spacious
streets, with houses on one side and the river on
the other. At several places along the quays,
are stone stairs and descents, which lead to the
water. The number of quays is thirty three,
and their whole length nearly fifteen miles,
taking into account both banks of the river.
As the Louvre, Institute, and other great edifices
front on the quays, which are only divided
by the river with its numerous bridges,
the coup d’œil of this long avenue is very imposing.

2(6)v 24

Letter III.

Bourse.—Place du Carousel.—Louvre.—Museum of Pictures
and Antiques
.—Palace of the Tuileries.—Garden.—Rue de
Rivoli
.—Place Vendome.—Palais Royal.

Very soon after our arrival at Paris, we went
to view the garden and palace of the Tuileries,
that locality so beautiful in itself, and rendered so
deeply interesting, from the historical recollecttions
associated with it.

In going from our hotel to the palace, we
first passed the Bourse, or Exchange, a most
beautiful stone building, two hundred and twelve
feet in length, and one hundred twenty six in
breadth, with a covered gallery around it, supported
by large Corinthian pillars, sixty six in
number. The interior forms a splendid hall, adorned
with superb paintings in bas-relief,—with
galleries and public offices. It is entered by a
flight of stone steps, the whole width of the front,
facing upon the Place de la Bourse. Over the
entrance is inscribed in gilded letters—“Bourse et
Tribunal de Commerce”
. The roof is entirely
formed of iron and copper.

From thence we pursued our way to the Place
du Carousel
, which separates the palace of the
Tuileries, from that of the Louvre. The intention
of Henry Fourth, and which Louis Fourteenth
partly carried into execution, was to clear
the area between these two palaces, which was
then narrow and occupied by old buildings, and 3(1)r 25
to unite them by galleries on each side. One of
these galleries has been completed; but the other
was left unfinished owing to the immense expense,
which wass necessary to complete it, and
the troubles of the revolution, which came to put
a stop to public works of all descriptions. The
task was again resumed by Bonaparte, who made
great improvements in the appearance of the
Louvre, which was going to decay in every part.
But the project for completing the other gallery,
so as to unite the two palaces into one, was
finally abandoned, and it still remains unfinished.
One cannot but regret, that this design should
not have been accomplished, which would have
increased so greatly the beauty and regularity of
the place, and of the two noble edifices, which it
separates. This regularity and beauty are now
very much injured by the old houses and shops,
of the most ordinary appearance, that fill the
space, which would have been occupied by a part
of the new construction, had it been completed.
That part of the place, extending from these
buildings towards the Louvre, is denominated
the Place du Musee.

The Place du Carrousel is divided from the
court of the Tuileries, by a wall four feet in
height, upon which is an iron railing, ornamented,
at the top, with gilded spear-heads. The columns,
which separate the railing at equal distances,
are surmounted by gilded balls. In the 3 3(1)v 26
railing are three gates, the central one exactly
opposite a beautiful triumphal arch in the place;
the other two having, upon each side, stone pedestals
crowned by statues. The triumphal
arch, just alluded to, is composed of one large
central arch and two smaller ones, which are intersected
by another, passing through them from
side to side. The whole is composed of freestone,
and the principal arch is adorned with columns
of red Languedoc marble, with bases and
capitals of bronze. Bas-reliefs in stone are
placed above the arches, and they are also decorated
with thunder-bolts, and with branches of
laurel and palm. At the summit is a car, drawn
by four beautiful bronze horses, made after the
model of the famous horses, brought from Venice
by Bonaparte, which formerly crowned this arch.
In the car stands a figure, emblematical of the
restoration, holding an olive branch in the right
hand, and resting the left, which holds a bunch
of palms branches, upon a sceptre, at the top of
which is a small figure of Louis Eighteenth. This
arch is a very beautiful one; but is considered
too small for the spacious area, which it decorates;
and this defect strikes the eye immediately
upon entering the square.

Passing from thence, across the place, we arrived
at the Louvre, that magnificent palace,
abounding in every thing that is rich and beautiful
in architecture and ornament, and fully worthy 3(2)r 27
of those great men, under whose auspices it
was reared and embellished, both within and
without, in a style so far superior to any thing I
had ever yet imagined of rich and elegant. The
court of the Louvre is a square of one thousand
six hundred feet in circumference, and is surrounded
by four piles of buildings of the most
perfect beauty. At the centre of each pile is a
projection, ornamented with statues and bas-
reliefs, beneath which is an arched passage leading
out from the court. Each of the outside
fronts is likewise beautifully decorated with bas-
reliefs, statues, columns, and pilasters. The
effect of the whole is, in fact, most grand and
majestic, and cannot but strike the beholder with
wonder and admiration.

The Museum of pictures is contained in the
gallery between the Louvre and Tuileries, and is
entered from the Place du Musee. Over the
door of entrance is a bust of Louis Eighteenth in
bronze. From the vestibule you ascend a superb
stair-case which is elegantly ornamented with
statues, military trophies, columns, bas-reliefs,
and a very richly painted ceiling. This stair-
case leads to a sort of antiante-chamber, the ceiling
of which also presents pictures upon different
subjects, mostly relating to the Trojan war. At
the right of this hall is a door conducting to the
Museum. You first pass through a room, surrounded
with pictures of little or no merit, into a 3(2)v 28
second, which likewise contains none of very
great value. From this room you enter a magnificent
gallery one thousand three hundred and
thirty two feet in length, divided into nine parts,
by arches each composes of four beautiful marble
pillars. At the back part of the arches mirrors
are placed, which, by reflecting the pictures, have
the appearance of successive galleries, as far as
the eye can reach. Before each mirror is placed
a bust of some eminent artist, a vase of alabaster,
or some ornament of the kind. The light is admitted
by means of sky-lights, and a range of
windows, on each side of the gallery. Seats,
covered with rich figured blue velvet, are also
placed at regular distances on each side. The
floor is composed of polished oak, such as I have
before described to you, as composing the floors
of private houses.

The first three divisions of the gallery are occupied
by pictures of the French school,—the
next three by the German, Flemish and Dutch,—
and the last three by the Italian school. Although
the effect of this gallery is very splendid,
yet as it respects the examination of the pictures
alone, it did not please me. The immense number
of paintings, thus displayed at once to the
view, distract the attention, and become extremely
fatiguing after a short time; whereas, if the
same number even were distributed in different
apartments, they could be viewed with 3(3)r 29
much greater satisfaction and far less fatigue.

Among such a vast collection of fine paintings,
which require many successive visits to examine,
with any degree of accuracy, I shall not attempt
to give you a minute description of any; but
shall merely state, that the gallery contains master-pieces,
of the most celebrated artists of ancient
and modern times; and this is alone sufficient
to give you an idea of the claims, which it
possesses to admiration and critical attention.
The first time we visited it was merely to learn
the situation of the pictures of the different
schools, as it was impossible to examine any
attentively.

From the Museum of pictures we repaired to
that of the Antiques, in another part of the Louvre.
This Museum consists of a succession of
apartments or halls, filled with statuary, each hall
being designated by the principal statue or statues
that adorn it. The ceiling of most of these
apartments is truly splendid, consisting of paintings,
sculpture, and fine bas-reliefs,—the whole
beautifully interspersed and ornamented with
gilding. These halls, too, are generally adorned
with columns of alabaster, porphyry and costly
marbles, with busts, vases, candelabras, and
altars, besides the immense number of statues,
single and in groups, most of which are extremely
fine and true to life.

In the hall of the Roman Emperors, I was particularly2*3* 3(3)v 30
struck with the graceful and flowing
manner, with which the togas were arranged
upon the different statues. At a little distance
you might almost imagine it real drapery, so free
was it from all appearance of stiffness and precision.

The hall of Melpomene derives its name
from a colossal statue of the tragic muse, which
occupies one end of it. Just in front of this
statue is a most beautiful pavement in mosaic,
representing Minerva in a car, followed by Peace
and Abundance. It is enclosed by a gilt ceiling
of much beauty. Among the great number of
beautiful statues, which decorate these superior
and elegant halls, there were some very curious
Egyptian ones, not more easily distinguished by
their large flat features, than by the peculiarly
stiff and formal attitude, which marked each one.
It would almost seem to have been the design of
the sculptor to render each limb as ungracefully
and unnaturally bent as possible.

The hall of the Cariatides is very beautiful,
adorned at one end by a tribune, supported by
four cariatides. Above the tribune is a bas-relief
in bronze, representing a fountain-nymph, her left
arm resting upon an urn, from whence issues a
stream of water; and her right thrown around
the neck of a stag. At the opposite extremity
of the hall is a very handsome chimney-piece,
ornamented with statues of Bacchus and Ceres.

3(4)r 31

In the first hall, which we entered, there
were four large statues of captives, which very
much attracted my attention. They were dressed
in a sort of dark colored robe, which rendered
them particularly striking, from the contrast
which they presented to the whiteness of the other statues
around them. The attitudes of these figures,
their clasped hands, the downcast, sad, despairing
expression of their faces, rendered them
extremely interesting and attractive.

These observations upon the contents of this
Museum, were not of course the result of one
visit, as, like the gallery of pictures, it was examined
by me many succeeding times, and always
with more interest and admiration.

From the Louvre, we re-crossed to the Place
du Carousel
, passing through the gate in front of
the arch, to the court of the Tuileries. This
palace, though far inferior in beauty to that of
the Louvre, has nevertheless a striking and ma—
jestic aspect. The front towards the court consists
of five pavilions, with four ranges of buildings
between them. These pavilions are supported
by columns, and the buildings between
that in centre and the two each side of it, are
ornamented with marble busts. At the sides of
the central pavilion are antique marble statues of
Apollo and a fawn, and the upper part, or attic,
is upheld by six cariatides of colossal statue.
Beneath this pavilion is a vestibule leading to the 3(4)v 32
garden, and at each side of it is a broad staircase
conducting to the royal apartments above.
The front of the palace towards the garden consists
of three pavilions, with open galleries between
them, which contain porticos, in which are
placed antique marble statues of Roman emperors.
Above the porticos are terraces; and between
the windows are placed, upon pedestals, marble
busts of emperors and generals.

A broad walk extends the whole length of this
front of the palace, and directly in a line with the
central pavilion is the grand walk, terminating in a
terrace, raised above the garden, and ascended
by steps. On each side of this walk, for some distance,
opposite the two wings of the palace, is the
flower-garden, beautifully arranged, with grass
plats, and beds of the most gay and brilliant
flowers, which impart a delicious fragrance to the
air. Around all the principal walks are placed
little green tubs containing orange trees, and
pomegranates with their bright crimson blossoms,
forming a most beautiful border. The garden
on each side is enclosed by a light iron railing,
and is interspersed with fountains, which
fall into basins filled with gold and silver fish.
We amused ourselves, as many others do, by
throwing crumbs of bread or cake into the water
to attract these beautiful little creatures, which rise
by hundreds to the surface of the water, to catch
food thus offered them, and then instantly disappear.

3(5)r 33

Beyond the flower garden, towards the front
terrace on either side, is a fine plantation of trees,
the lower branches being clipt in order to form a
convenient promenade beneath them. At the two
sides of the garden, parallel to the grand walk,
are terraces, which extend the whole length, from
the palace to the front terrace,—the one bordering
upon the Rue de Rivoli, and the other upon
the Seine.

Every part of this charming place is decorated
by groups and single statues in marble or bronze,
some of them of the most finished and exquisite
workmanship. Upon our entrance into the garden,
the day being quite warm, and it being Sunday
moreover, we found the plantation crowded
with people, enjoying the coolness afforded them
by the delightful shade of the trees. Chairs are
always kept here, which are hired for two sous
each person, and little pavilions are placed in different
parts of the plantation, in which newspapers
are kept, and for the reading of which two
sous are also demanded. Here great numbers of
the Parisians pass a large portion of their Sundays,
as well as other leisure hours, in reading
the papers,—strolling about, or seated beneath
the trees, in conversation with those, who may
chance to be their neighbors,—or else amusing
themselves with the gambols of the children, of
whom there are hosts, of all ages and sizes; and
who under the care of their nurses or parents, 3(5)v 34
and frequently of both, pass away the hours in
playing at hide-and-go-seek,—jumping ropes,—
driving hoops or tops,—rolling nine pins,—and
in all those exercises and amusements appropriate
to childhood. The more genteel class are geneerally
seen walking upon the terraces, which form
one of the most fashionable and delightful promenades
in Paris.

After passing an hour or two straying about
all parts of the garden, and enchanted with all
that met our eyes, we entered the Rue de Rivoli,
from the gate of the terrace bordering upon that
magnificent street, built by Napoleon, and which,
like every thing else in Paris constructed under
his superintendence, is most admirable. It consists
of a series of beautiful arcades, extending
along the whole of the street, on one side, and
which it was Napoleon’s intention to have extended
through the entire length of the city. The
buildings, to which these arcades serve as a sort
of open gallery, are all beautiful and regular.
The color of the stone, of which they are composed,
is a delicate buff; and not having been
built sufficiently long to be injured by time, they
present a new and bright appearance, which is
seen in very few of the buildings in Paris. The
Rue de Castiglioni which leads out from the Rue
de Rivoli
, opposite the gate of the Tuileries, is also
bordered with arcades, and in fact resembles the
Rue de Rivoli in every respect, except in length.

3(6)r 35

Passing through the Rue de Castiglioni, we
entered the Place Vendome. This is a fine,
spacious square, or I should say octagon, as such
is its form, surrounded by buildings, all of the
same height, and of perfectly regular appearance.
The centre of the place is occupied by a splendid
triumphal column, erected by Bonaparte, in
place of an equestrian statue of Louis Fourteenth,
which formerly stood upon the same spot;
but was destroyed in 17921792. This column is composed
of stone, covered with bronze, which was
procured by the melting of cannons, taken by
Napoleon in battle. The column rests upon a
square pedestal, which is adorned with beautiful
bas-reliefs, in representation of the different victories
of the French army. The bas-reliefs upon
the column, which is one hundred and thirty five
feet in height, and twelve feet in circumference,
are in a spiral form, from the bottom to the top,
separated by a band of bronze, and also representing
the victories of Napoleon. The summit
was formerly crowned with a bronze statue of the
Emperor; which is now exchanged for the French
flag, which waves about it. This statue is the
only thing wanting to the perfect symmetry and
beauty of this noble monument, which, having
been built with the design of placing a statue at
the top, has an abrupt and unfinished termination,
which is somewhat injurious to its appearance,
although not very seriously so.

3(6)v 36

Entering the Rue de la Paix, we pursued our
way to the Boulevards, and after walking there
for some time, returned to the hotel. In the evening
we went out to visit the Palais Royal,
and here another truly splendid scene of things
was presented to my view. We first entered
into the garden, the form of which is an oblong
square, beautifully laid out in grass plats, and
flower beds of brightest hue, intersected by gravelled
walks. At one end of the garden are erected
little pavilions, like those in the Tuileries, for
the reading of newspapers; and the centre of it is
occupied by a most beautiful fountain, the water
falling into a circular basin, in the form of a wheatshead.
On two sides of this fountain are grass
plats, bordered with beds of flowers, enclosed
within a railing, and each ornamented with a
bronze statue,—the one of Apollo, the other
of Diana.

Entirely surrounding the garden are ranges of
buildings, with a gallery of arcades in front of the
ground floor. Upon entering this gallery, from
the garden, my eyes were at first completely dazzled
by the flood of light, which streamed from
the windows of the shops and cafes, most brilliantly
illuminated with gas, and by the splendid jewelry
of the most sumptuous and costly description,
meeting my view at almost every turn, and from
which each ray of light seemed reflected with
three fold lustre. The most delicious fruits and 4(1)r 37
confectionary, the richest goods, and the most
splendid articles of every description, were displayed
in tempting luxuriance at every step, to
attract the attention of the immense crowd, of all
classes and conditions, which daily and nightly
throng the galleries and garden, and which serve
to impart a double gaiety and excitement to this
delightful and fascinating place of resort.

It is impossible to describe the effect of this
scene, when to the thousand attractions, which it
possesses in itself, is added the charm of novelty.
It appeared to me like a dream of enchantment,
or a fairy land, which my childish imagination had
so often and vividly portrayed, rather than a real
scene of every day life. Nor is it for the novice
alone, that this scene possesses enchantment.
The pleasing excitement, produced by the great
variety of objects which constantly meet your
gaze in the galleries,—the contrast between the
dazzling brilliancy, the restless, unceasing bustle
and activity there presented, and the tranquility
and calm of the beautiful garden, with its
shady trees, its murmuring fountain, whose pure
waters reflect a thousand diamonds from the lights
around,—these can never fail to charm; and one
might visit the Palais Royal every evening, and
every day for a year; and although the first
overwhelming interest would have passed away,
there would still be something each time, new
and attractive, to call forth admiration and delight.

4 4(1)v 38

Fortunate would it be if innocent amusements
and pleasures alone were here pursued; but unhappily
scenes of riot and debauchery are enacted
night after night, within the gambling houses,
the cafes, and establishments of ill fame, with
which too many of the apartments of this beautiful
edifice are sullied and profaned. Within these
haunts of vice and profligacy the unwary and inexperienced
are seduced, by the vile emissaries,
who go abroad in all the city to entice the young
and innocent, by fair words and under false pretences,
within those unhallowed walls, where
health, honor, and happiness are forever blasted;
and from whence they emerge but to spread the
deadly poison, by drawing into the same fatal
snare companions as innocent and unsuspicious
as they were once themselves.

But to turn from this dark feature of the splendid
picture, which the Palais Royal presents.
From the galleries at each end of the garden are
passages, leading to double covered galleries,
equally lined with shops. One of these galleries,
constructed within a few years, is very elegant.
It is ornamented with mirrors, placed between
the buildings; and the entire roof is of glass.
Beyond this gallery is a square court, surrounded
by buildings, occupied by the Duke of Orleans,
the proprietor of a greater part of all the buildings,
to whose father they belonged before the
revolution. But during that time, some of them, 4(2)r 39
opening upon the garden, were sold, and are still
owned by private individuals. With the exception
of these, the whole property came into possession of
the present Duke of Orleans, after the restoration.

You have now before you the history of all,
that met my eye, worthy of mention, upon the
first day, in which I can be said to have seen any
thing of importance in Paris; and if the descripttion
gives you even a slight idea of the reality, I
need not add how deeply I was impressed with
the splendor and magnificence of it, when actually
presented to the view.

Letter IV.

Conservatoire de Musique.—Church ofSaint Roch.—Marriage
Ceremony.—Bibliotheque du Roi.—Cabinet of Medals.
—Manuscripts.—Engravings.—Porte St. Denis.—Porte St.
Martin
.—Chateau d’Eau.—Marche du Vieux Linge.—Temple.
Imprimerie Royale.—Ceremony of the Confirmation.—
Place des Victoires.—Place du Chatelet.—Marche des Innocens.
Place du Palais Royal.—Site of the Old Opera.

In a place, which abounds in public spectacles
as much as Paris does, it is necessary to embrace
occasions as they occur, without particular regard
to system or choice. Thus it happened that
the first exhibition I attended was a musical exhibition
(1829-08-05August 5th,) consisting of a trial for a
prize, upon different instruments, between the
pupils of a musical school, denominated Conservatoire 4(2)v 40
de Musique
. The instruments were the
violin, flute, bassoon, hautboy, clarionet and horn.
The exhibition was in a sort of theatre, with boxes
and a pit for spectators, and the stage was, of
course, occupied by the musicians. Opposite the
stage was the seat for the persons, who adjudged
the prizes. The manner in which they decide
which of the musicians has gained the prize, is as
follows. A box, divided into compartments, is
placed before them. In these compartments they
put the names of the competitors, upon slips of
paper, and then each of the judges drops a small
ball into that, which contains the name of the person
whom he considers entitled to a prize. These
balls are then counted, and the president arises
and announces the name of the successful competitor,
who comes forward on the stage and bows
to the audience. Some of the performances were
excellent, other not so much so; but none
were bad. It was not the kind of music in which
I am ever much interested; but I passed two or
three hours quite pleasantly, in listening attentively
to the performances, in order to decide in
my own mind, who should gain the prize, before
the decision of the judges was announced.

On a subsequent day (1829-08-12August 12th) I sat out
to visit the King’s Library, or Bibliotheque du
Roi
, and on my way thither entered the church
of St. Roch
. This church is approached by a
long flight of stone steps, extending the whole 4(3)r 41
length of the building. The exterior is not otherwise
striking or remarkable; and the interior,
though possessing some fine monuments, and a
handsome pulpit, has an appearance of decay and
neglect, a dark and dingy aspect, wholly unlike
the magnificent churches I saw in Belgium. A
marriage ceremony was performing at the time I
entered, and a large collection of people was assembled.
The bride was dressed in white muslin
over silk or satin; and a lace veil, attached in
plaits to the back part of the comb, fell over her
shoulders. The marriage service I could not understand
a word of; but there was a great deal of
form and dumb show, as in every other catholic
service, which I have yet witnessed, and the ceremony
was much longer, than that of the church
of England
. We became fatigued and left the
church, before the marriage was completed.

From thence we pased through a number of
streets, abounding with mud, and thronged with
people and carriages, to the King’s Library.
This is an immense pile of blackened buildings,
presenting nothing pleasing in their exterior.
Passing through an arched gate way, you enter
into a large court, the buildings surrounding
which have a regular and uniform appearance.
At the right is a broad stair-case, leading to the
library. The printed books, which are said to be
upwards of seven hundred thousand in number,
occupy a beautiful gallery, extending around 4* 4(3)v 42
three sides of the court. In the centre of these
galleries are placed long tables covered with
green cloth, and furnished with ink-stands. The
books are arranged in shelves, on each side of the
gallery, neatly enclosed in wire net-work.

In the centre of one of the galleries is a representation
of Parnassus, in bronze, which, though
trifling, is rather curious than otherwise. It consists
of a steep mountain, upon which are seated
in various attitudes, and with appropriate symbols
to each, a number of little figures, which are intended
to represent the principal poets of France.
Among them are Voltaire, Rousseau, Racine,
Corneille, and a variety of others,—and Louis
Fourteenth
under the figure of Apollo. Besides
these there are a number of genii holding medallions
in their hands; and other medallions are
attached to branches of laurel.

At the end of the same gallery is an excellent
representation of the pyramids of Egypt, the
proportions of the pyramids and of the desert
being exactly preserved. It presents a vast,
barren waste, covered with a fine dust in imitation
of sand; and not a green leaf or shrub is to
be seen, with the exception of one or two solitary
groups of palm trees, near the pyramids, which
appear like mere specks upon the immense plain
around. The whole is admirably executed, and
forms an interesting ornament to the library.
At the farther extremity of the adjoining gallery 4(4)r 43
is a fine statue of Voltaire, seated in an arm
chair. The likeness is perfect.

This part of the library is thrown open every
day, from ten o’clock until four, for the purposes
of study, and twice a week to mere visiters among
the public at large. Great numbers of students
are constantly seen sitting around the tables, and
not unfrequently ladies among the number. No
conversation is allowed, and the galleries being
secluded from all noise, and from every thing to
call off the attention, are finely adapted to study.
No student is allowed to take a book from the
shelves himself; but he may obtain any he wishes
for, by applying to the librarians, who are always
near to take them out when desired.

Leading out from one of the galleries is a
room, not public, exclusively devoted to geographical
works. In the room are two immense
globes, the one terrestrial, the other celestial,
nearly twelve feet in diameter, and thirty five in
circumference. They are supposed to be the
largest in Europe, with the exception of one in
the University of Cambridge, but not remarkable
for their exactness.

The cabinet of medals and antiques is situated
at the extremity of the first gallery, and is
open to the public two days in the week. Here
are contained an extensive collection of coins,
medals, and antiques, of great value and variety.
Among them are some of the earliest Roman 4(4)v 44
coins, a great variety of very curious Egyptian
antiquities, some antique busts, and several mummies
of cats and other animals, worshipped as
gods among the Egyptians. There are, besides
these, gold and other ornaments, found in the
tomb of King Childebert, the iron chair
of King Dagobert, a sword of the order of Malta,
and a great variety of other curiosities, equally
ancient and remarkable. The coins, antiques,
medals and things of that kind, are displayed
in glass cases, with a little slip of paper attached
to each, some bearing only the number,
but others stating where they were found, or for
what they are particularly remarkable. In other
glass cases are contained splendid collections of
cameos, both white and variegated, of the richest
description and most perfect finish. Some of
them are three or four inches in diameter, and
all bear the most close and critical examination.
Upon many of the beautiful engraves seals and
rings, the figures are extremely small and delicate;
but upon close examination every part is
found perfectly finished and well proportioned.

In addition to the vast number of printed
books, of which the library consits, there are
six other apartments, filled with manuscripts,—
the number of volumes being computed at eighty
thousand. One of these apartments is a large,
handsome gallery, the ceiling panted in fresco,
in which are deposited the most valuable and curious 4(5)r 45
of the manuscripts, in glass cases. These
are the manuscripts of Galileo, of Leonardo da
Vinci
, letters from Henry Fourth to Gabrielle
d’Estrees
, the prayer-books of Henry Third,
of Anne of Brittany, of Louis Fourteenth, and
of Pope Paul Third, written upon vellum, and
most splendidly illuminated. Here also are
the original manuscript of Telemachus, that of
Josephus, memoirs of Louis Fourteenth, in his
own hand, letters written by Francis First, by
Montesquieu, Racine, Turenne, Voltaire, Corneille,
Madam Sevigne, Madam de Maintenon,
and many others. Such are the most interesting
manuscripts, to be found in this truly superb and
precious collection, which must be viewed with
the deepest interest by all strangers, of whatever
nation, who visit the library,—an interest almost
equal to that entertained by the countrymen of
those great writers and eminent personages, who
have filled the world with their fame. Oriental
manuscripts, the Alcoran in Arabic, and Persian
poems, most beautifully written, and ornamented
with flowers, and with every line gilded, are
also among the curiosities in this part of the library.

From this room we repaired to the cabinet of
engravings, which occupy several rooms. In the
first the engravings are hung around the walls in
frames, but in the others they are in volumes,
handsomely bound, and arranged upon shelves. 4(5)v 46
Tables are placed in the middle of the apartments,
for those who wish to inspect the plates, which
consist of engravings of all the most celebrated
pictures of the first French, Italian, German,
Dutch and Flemish artists; together with historical
and fancy sketches, plates upon natural history,
portraits, costumes of different nations, and
in short engravings of almost every description.
These may be examined by all persons, on fixed
days, without difficulty or delay, like every other
part of this princely establishment, which exhibits
all the splendor and beauty, which should signalize
the public library of the monarch of a
great and wealthy nation.

The next day (1829-08-13Thursday the 13th) I visited the
Royal Printing Press, or Imprimerie Royale.

Passing along the Boulevards, I arrived at Porte
St. Denis
, which is a magnificent triumphal arch
of stone, situated at the extremity of Rue St.
Denis
, seventy two feet in height, and composed
of three arches, the principal one twenty five feet
in width, and forty three in height. This porte
or gate was constructed in 16721672 by the city of
Paris, to perpetuate the memory of the victories
of Louis Fourteenth; and the beautiful bas-
reliefs, which, with military trophies, pyramids,
and other ornaments, adorn it in various parts,
have for their subjects the triumphs of the great
monarch. A bas-relief, over the principal arch,
represents Louis crossing the Rhine on horseback, 4(6)r 47
with the inscription ’Ludovico Magno,’ in
gilded letters. This inscription, which was effaced
during the revolution, was renewed by the
order of Napoleon, a short time previous to his
fall from power. It is by the Porte St. Denis,
that the public entries of the kings and queens of
France are made into Paris.

Not far from this is the Porte St. Martin,
which, though more plain and simple than St.
Denis
, and inferior to it in richness and elevation,
is nevertheless a fine piece of architecture, formed
like the other of three arches, and adorned
with bas-reliefs and other trophies, relating to the
conquests of Louis Fourteenth.

Extending my walk still farther on the Boulevards,
I came to the beautiful fountain called
Chateau d’Eau, situated upon an elevated mound,
at the side of the street. The form of this fountain
is precisely that of a glass pyramid, the water
rising through a tube in the centre, and fallling
into a beautiful circular sheet over the different
shelves, which are three in number, into a
circular basin, thence again into a second of
larger dimensions, and finally into the reservoir,
which surrounds the whole. Around the upper
basin are placed, upon pedestals, eight antique
lions of cast iron, which spout water from their
mouths into the basin below.

The Marche du Vieux Linge, or market for
old clothes, situated in the Rue de Temple, to 4(6)v 48
which I next proceeded, is a large building surrounded
with galleries, in which are a vast number
of little shops or stalls, filled with great quantities
of old linen, and clothes of almost all descriptions.
Just back of this is a detached building,
called the Rotonde, circular at the ends, and
also containing galleries or shops. The appearance
of this building is rather striking; but the
whole place was so exceedingly dirty and disagreeable,
that I was glad to hurry away from it
as fast as possible.

In the same street is situated all that remains
of the ancient buildings of the celebrated order of
Knights Templars; and where a convent has
been established, since the restoration. The
front of the palace of the Prior is handsomely
ornamented with a portico sustained by pillars;
but the effect of it is much injured by a chapel,
which was, within a few years, been attached to
one side of it, and which destroys its regularity
of appearance. Back of the palace is a large
garden, which is surrounded by an extremely
high stone wall, concealing it entirely from view.
Admittance cannot be obtained into the interior
of the convent, by any one; but the outside view
alone is deeply interesting, of that spot, where
for many months the unfortunate Louis Sixteenth
and his family were imprisoned, and from where
he was conducted to the scaffold.

The Royal Printing Press, not far from thence, 5(1)r49
is a very fine establishment, upon the most extensive
scale. We passed through a long range
of apartments, some filled with printing presses,
at which large numbers of men were employed.
Some were appropriated to trimming the sheets
after they were printed, and in others the sheets
were folded and stitched, a work done almost entirely
by women. The quickness with which the
papers are printed, folded and stitched; the
good order, neatness and regularity, which pervade
every part of the establishment, are truly
remarkable. Nor is the foundry, which occupies
the lower part of the building, less remarkable
or interesting. Here you can see the types made,
with the utmost rapidity and in immense numbers.
I could scarcely think half of them would
ever be used, when I reflected, that an equal
quantity with those we saw, were produced every
day. But the amount of printing executed here
is very great, sufficient to employ five or six hundred
persons, male and female, and yet it is almost
exclusively confined to government papers.

On my return I entered the Church of St.
Nicolas des Champs
, where the Archbishop
of Paris was about confirming a large number
of young people, of both sexes. The ceremony
was extremely interesting and solemn.
About two hundred girls, and as many boys,
were seated in the body of the church upon
benches, placed one behind the other. The 5 5(1)v 50
girls were all dressed in white, with muslin caps,
and white lace veil thrown over their heads.
After they were all seated a lad of about fourteen
years old walked up through the two first rows,
giving to each a napkin. After him followed the
Archbishop, who crossed their foreheads with
holy water, repeating the words of confirmation
at the same time. Then came a priest who
washed their foreheads with a small piece of
white cloth, followed by another who wiped them
with the napkin, which had been given for that
purpose. Two little boys, dressed in white muslin,
over red, with a red girdle or sash, came
next, with a sort of basket of muslin lined with
red, at each side of which was attached a broad
red band, which passed over the shoulders of the
two boys. Into this basket the priest threw the
napkins, as they were used. When two rows
were confirmed, they retired to the back benches,
giving place to the others to advance. After this
ceremony was concluded, the priests chanted at
the alter, amid clouds of incense, which the little
boys in red burned before them. The Archbishop
then exhorted the kneeling flock, when
the Te Deum was sung and the ceremony closed.
The organ played, and the bell of the church
tolled, during the whole time. A large crowd
was collected to witness the scene, though
it was by mere chance alone that we happened
to be of the number. The church possesses 5(2)r 51
nothing in its appearance worthy of mention.

On the following morning I walked to the Place
des Victoires
. This is a handsome circular place,
surrounded with buildings, of regular and uniform
appearance. In the centre is a beautiful
bronze statue of Louis Fourteenth, on horseback,
enclosed within an iron railing, gilded at the top,
outside of which is a circle of handsome pillars.
The statue is fourteen feet in height, without
including the pedestal. The head of Louis is
crowned with laurel. In one hand he holds a
truncheon, and with the other curbs his spirited
horse, whose arched neck and general bearing
denote his impatience of the bit which restrains
his course. The pedestal is ornamented with
inscriptions, and with bas-reliefs which represent
the passage of the Rhine, and Louis seated
upon his throne, distributing military decorations.

The Place du Chatelet, which I saw the same
day, is adorned with a very beautiful fountain,
called Fontaine du Palmier. It is composed of
a large circular basin, in the centre of which is a
pedestal, sustaining a column of fifty-eight feet in
elevation. The column, intended to represent a
palm tree, with the capital serving as branches,
is divided by bands of gilded bronze, bearing the
names of the principal victories gained by Bonaparte.
At the four corners of the pedestal,
which is handsomely ornamented, are cornucopiæ,
which terminate in form of fishes’ heads, 5(2)v 52
from whence the water is thrown into the surrounding
basin. The summit is crowned by a
gilt statue of Victory, holding a crown of laurel
in each hand.

The March des Innocens also contains a
beautiful marble fountain, forty-two feet in height,
adorned with sculpture and other ornaments.
The market is in the centre of a large square
court, surrounded by buildings covered at the
top, but open at the sides, in which are arranged
all varieties of vegetables and other articles; and
the whole place is completely filled with people,
either buyers, sellers, or lookers on, of which
latter there are generally not a few.

Indeed, the market places in Paris, of which
the Marche des Innocens is the largest, present
at times a most amusing scene. There is such a
multitude of people, and particularly women, all
talking together, with the greatest rapidity and
earnestness,—such a variety of strange looking
dresses and figures,—such a never ceasing din,
that one might be amused for hours altogeher, so
far as variety is pleasing, in merely observing
the different voices, movements, dresses, and actions
of the multitude around. But the great
objection to all these market places, nearly without
exception, is their extreme want of neatness,
a thing, however, which can scarcely be avoided.
The pieces of broken vegetables, which get scattered
around, become decayed, and of course 5(3)r 53
very offensive, while they serve to make more
slippery and difficult to stand upon, the quantities
of mud, with which these places always
abound,—and particularly those which are ornamented
with a fountain.

On my way back to Rue d’Artois, I entered
the Place du Palais Royal, in which is a very
large stone fountain, consisting of a central projecting
body, and two wings in form of pavilions,
the whole front together being one hundred
twenty feet in length. It is decorated with columns
and statues.

From this place, proceeding to the Boulevards
through the Rue Richelieu, I passed the spot
where the Opera stood, in which the Duke of
Berry
was assassinated. Upon the same spot is
now erecting a very handsome church. It has a
gallery around it sustained by large pillars, not
unlike in appearance to that of the Bourse,
though the building is not nearly as large. But
there is a great defect in the construction of this
church, and that is the manner in which it is finished
at the top. It looks precisely as if the roof
had been completed, and afterwards a little
clumsy square house had been placed upon it,
for the purpose of injuring the beauty of the
other part of the building, with which this does
not compare in the least degree.

5* 5(3)v 54

Letter V.

Vow of Louis Thirteenth.—La Morgue.—Royal Procession.—
Palais de Justice.—Sainte Chapelle.—Place Dauphine.—Institute.
Cosmorama.—Saint Germain l’Auxerrois.—Hotel
des Affaires Etrangeres
.—La Madelaine.

Saturday, the 1829-08-15fifteenth day of August, being
a great festival in the Bourbon family, a procession,
including the King and royal family,
was to walk to the church of Notre Dame, where
religious ceremonies were to be performed, in
consequence of a vow made by Louis Thirteenth,
which his successors have always rigidly observed.
We left our lodgings some hours previous
to the time fixed for the procession to move,
for the purpose of visiting a number of churches
and market places, which, however, had nothing
in them particularly worthy of note.

On arriving at the Pont Neuf, we found great
numbers of people collecting to view the procession,
and as we advanced we found the crowd so
great, that in some places, we with difficulty made
our way through them. The streets, through
which the procession was to pass, were covered
with gravel, and lined on each side with soldiers.

As we were pursuing our way towards Notre
Dame
, from the Pont Neuf, we observed a small,
low building, situated near the water’s side; and
our curiosity being awakened by seeing a large
number of men and women continually passing 5(4)r 55
in and out, we made bold, the door being open,
to step inside and see what was to be seen. Immediately
upon entering, I noticed a sort of partition,
stretching along the width of the building,
and looking beyond it, I saw the body of a dead
person, lying upon an inclined slab of marble,
and wrapped in a sheet, the head alone being visible,
and that very much swollen and blackened.
I almost instantly perceived, that I had entered
unawares into that celebrated place, called La
Morgue
, which I would upon no account whatever,
have entered voluntarily, and from which I
made as speedy an exit as possible. The object
of this establishment is a very useful one,
and peculiar altogether, I believe, to Paris. In
the Morgue are deposited the bodies of all persons,
drowned in the Seine, or who are found
dead in any of the public streets. Here they are
exposed for the space of three days, their clothes
being hung over their heads, in order that their
friends, if they have any, may be able to identify
them. If no one appears to claim them, before
the expiration of that time, they are buried at the
public expense.

Not having applied in season for tickets of admission
into the church, we found it necessary to
content ourselves with obtaining a good situation
in a balcony, where we might have a near view
of the procession. The street, in which we were,
led up to the front of the church, and it soon became 5(4)v 56
thronged with people, and all the windows
of the houses on each side were also completely
filled.

The scene strongly reminded me of the 1829-06-1717th
of June
, when our “Nation’s Guest” passed through
the streets of Boston to Bunker Hill. And as,
on that occasion, thousands of applauding voices
hailed his approach, and every lip uttered with
enthusiastic and heartfelt joy, the honored, the
beloved name of Lafayette, so I had anticipated
that the same general burst of acclamation would
proclaim the presence of a nation’s sovereign.
But my expectations in this respect were entirely
disappointed. The King and royal family proceeded
to the church in carriages, and after the
ceremony walked from thence in procession.
And these carriages all passed through the street,
without our once suspecting that they were other
than the carriages of the nobility, which had been
constantly passing for an hour previous. Not
even one solitary voice, amid the immense multitude,
cried Vive le Roi; but all were as still and
silent as if deprived of the power of speech. The
change in the ministry, which had very recently
taken place, and which had been the constant
topic of conversation since we had been in Paris,
was so universally unpoplar, and the new ministers
so much hated by the great body of the
French people, with scarcely any exceptions, that
some persons had been fearful, lest acts of violence 5(5)r 57
might be commited upon the occasion; but
fortunately nothing of the kind occurred, and
men were content to express their resentment
towards the King, in the only way they could publicly
express it without open violence, by a profound
and disdainful silence.

In a short time after the King passed to the
church, the procession moved from thence. First
came mounted guards, followed by sixty young
girls, and after them sixty young boys. These
were succeeded by two persons, each bearing an
immense crucifix, and a hundred priests dressed
in black, with white surplices. Each priest
carried a book in his hand, and many of them
were reading as they passed. In the midst of
them was borne, by six priests, a silver image of
the Virgin and Child. The Archbishop of Paris
then followed, with his attendants, all most beautifully
and richly dressed. Then came the Dauphin,
and after him the King, succeeded by the
Dauphine and her maids of honors. The Duchess
of Berri
was not present, being absent from
Paris. A body of troops closed the procession.
They all, the troops of course excepted, walked
with heads uncovered, and consequently I had a
fair view of the royal family.

The King is of common statue, quite thin, and
though young looking for his age, ordinary in his
appearance. His countenance is very much
wanting in intelligence of expression, and there 5(5)v 58
is little in his air of courtly dignity or elegance.
He was dressed very plainly, and looked around
upon the people, as he passed, with a smile upon
his countenance, which, however, met with no
return of kind feeling on their part, as every face
was marked with an expression of any thing but
good will toward him.

The Dauphin is a much plainer man, even,
than his father, and looks very nearly as old.
His manner of walking, like that of the King, was
awkward and ungraceful. He was also dressed
very simply.

The Dauphine is not less unprepossessing
in her appearance. She is a very large woman,
with extremely coarse features, and rather a
masculine air and manner. Her eyes are large
and staring, and have that swollen appearance
about the lids, which imparts an unpleasant expression
to the face. She has a great deal of
color; but it is too deep a red to be handsome.
In short, she is altogether a different looking
woman, from what I had imagined the daughter
of Marie Antoinette would be. Her dress was
very rich, and her long train, sweeping the
ground, gave her rather more the air of high
rank, than her royal father and her husband could
be said to exhibit.

The procession, after making a circuit through
a number of streets, was to return again to the
church.—So after they had passed the spot, at 5(6)r 59
which we had stationed ourselves, we made our
way through the crowd, to the entrance of the
church, and by good luck, obtained a stand behind
the guard, and saw the King, when he returned,
within the distance of a few feet from us; and we
could also see the interior of the church at the
same time. In the Place Notre Dame, upon
which the church stands, was a long range of
splendid carriages with their liveried coachmen
and footmen;—and a company of the far-famed
cuirassiers were stationed in front. These troops
presented a most beautiful appearance. The
whole of the upper part of the body was encased
with brilliant metal, with caps of the same, handsomely
ornamented with red trimmings.—Their
horses were all noble looking animals, and almost
eclipsed in brightness the shining armors in which
their riders were clad.

At each side of the principal entrance to the
church, was a line of soldiers.—Those on one
side were the sappeurs, with long beards, fur
caps of immense size, and a kind of apron of white
leather, covering nearly the whole of the front
part of the body. Each of them held in his hand
a large broad axe. A very amusing affray occurred
between these soldiers, who were on the opposite
side from us, and a crowd of people, among
whom were a great proportion of the softer sex,
who, seeing our advantageous situation, wished
to obtain a similar one; an intention, however, 5(6)v 60
which the sappeurs seemed determined should
not be put into execution. But in vain did they
raise their axes in menacing attitude, and push
the advancing crowd, with all violence, from their
place of shelter.—No sooner had one party been
forced out, than another rushed in; and the sappeurs
were at last obliged to call to their aid two
or three dragoons, who rode into the midst of the
crowd, producing, as you may well suppose, the
utmost panic; and shrieks of dismay were uttered
by some of the poor women and children, whose
pale faces sufficiently indicated their affright.—
Others, however, were not in the least daunted,
and one woman in particular, whom I observed,
held in one hand a little girl about seven or eight
years old, and with the other pushed off the horse,
who was urged onward by his rider, until the
woman, finding she was likely to get crushed if
she persisted in remaining in her situation, was
obliged to retreat, to her great apparent mortification
and discontent.

The crowd were scarcely reduced to a proper
state of quietness, when the procession again approached
and entered the church. Te Deum
was then sung, when the sumptuous royal coach
drew up, and the King and his family drove off,
without a single cheer of loyalty.

After the crowd had sufficiently dispersed, we
made our way, without difficulty, to the Palais
de Justice
, or Court-house. The front of this 6(1)r 61
large and beautiful edifice, a part of which was
anciently the residence of some of the French
kings, presents at the centre a sort of covered
gallery, supported by columns, to which a flight
of stairs conducts from the court in front of the
building. On each side of this central gallery is
a wing. The gate of entrance into the court is
of great size and beauty. It is constructed of
iron, and richly ornamented with gilding. Ascending
the flight of stairs, we entered the building,
and passed through a number of galleries,
which to my great surprise I found occupied by
little retail shops, of the most paltry description,
which it is perfectly astonishing should be allowed
to disgrace the interior of so beautiful an edifice
as the Palais de Justice.

A fine broad stair-case leads to the Salle des
Pas Perdus
, which is a most splendid hall, divided
into two naves, by square pillars supporting
arches. This hall, which conducts to the courts
of justice and various other rooms, is used as a
public promenade, for all classes of people. At
one side is a very beautiful monument, which was
erected in the year 18221822, to the memory of Malesherbes.
The principal objects are a statue of
that disinterested and generous adbocate of a
fallen sovereign, with a figure emblematical of
France on one side, and Fidelity on the other.

La Sainte Chapelle du Paris, a handsome
gothic structure, adjoins the right wing of the 66(1)v62
Palais de Justice. It is no longer used as a
chapel; but as a place of deposit for judicial archives,
which are neatly arranged in cases
placed around the walls of the church. The
windows are situated at a great height from the
floor and beautifully painted. In a partition, in
one side of the church, there is a little secret
door, leading to a small dark closet, in which
Charles Tenth was secreted, for a time, during
the revolution.

In going from the Palais de Justice, we passed
through the Place Dauphine, in which is a very
handsome fountain, erected as a monument to
the memory of Desaix. The name of that gallant
general is inscribed upon it in gilt letters, enclosed
within a garland of oak, while beneath are
the following words, said to have been his dying
message to Napoleon:—“Allez dire au premier
consul, que je meurs avec le regret de n’avoir
pas assez fait pour vivre dans la posterite.”

During my rambles of the following day, I
visited two very interesting spots, namely, the
house in front of which Henry Fourth was assassinated,
and that in which Moliere was born.
The former has in front a bust of Henry,
with an inscription. The latter has also a
bust of Moliere, with an inscription, and above
the bust are these words:—“Au Grand Moliere.”
The latter house is small and ordinary
in its appearance, and is no wise interesting 6(2)r 63
but as the birth place of the great
dramatist.

During the same week, (1829-08-18August 18th,) I for
the first time examined the grand and beautiful
edifice of the Institute, which, as I have previously
mentioned, is situated opposite the palace
of the Louvre. In approaching the Institute from
the quay of the Louvre, by the Pont des Arts, I
was charmed with the magnificent prospect, which
met my eyes. You have before you a very extensive
view, comprising a great number of the
most splendid edifices, public and private, in
Paris, with the beautiful Pont Neuf and statue of
Henry Fourth full in sight; and by far the best
view which I have yet had of the Seine, with its
regular line of fine quays on each side, and which
show at this point to peculiarly good advantage.
But not the least splendid of the edifices here
viewed, is that of the Institute, which is composed
of large piles of buildings surrounding a square
court. The outer front, towards the Pont des
Arts
, is of circular form, and at the centre is a
portico sustained by corinthian pillars, and above
it a dome. At each extremity of the building is
a wing, extending far out upon the quay. The whole
front is handsomely ornamented, and presents a
style of architecture striking and majestic. Two
fountains, each representing a lion, in cast iron, with
water spouting from their mouths, are placed on
each side of the portico, between it and the wings

6(2)v 64

From the Institute, we walked to the Rue Vivieme,
to see the Cosmorama, which I had heard
much talked of, but which far surpassed any
idea I had formed of it. I entered a room perfectly
darkened, with round magnifying glasses
placed in the wall on each side. Approaching
the first, I looked through and beheld a most
splendid representation of the pass of Thermophylæ,
with the three hundred Spartans on one
side, and on the other the immense Persian army.
For an instant I almost imagined it reality, so
perfect was the deception. The next was a
view of Moscow, including the Kremlin; and
the next to this the amphitheatre of Flavius,
a truly magnificent ruin of immense size.
Emerging from one side, was seen a Catholic
procession, their crucifixes elevated, and all the
figures of the most perfectly natural appearance.
These three pictures occupied one side of the
apartment. Corresponding to them, on the other
side, were an interior view of the Vatican at
Rome, a representation of the tower of Babel,
and a pass in the Andes, through which guides
are seen conducting a company of missionaries.
All these pictures are beautiful, and
appear the more brilliant from the darkness
of the room into which you first enter. The
light is admitted to them from behind the wainscotting.

The church of St. Germain l’Auxerrois, which 6(3)r 65
I next saw, contains some fine monuments. That
of M. Etienne d’Aligre, chancellor of France in
the seventeenth century, consist of a tomb of
black marble, upon which is a recumbent figure
of the chancellor, holding in one hand the
great seal of France, and in the other a book.
Opposite to this monument is a similar one, to
the memory of his son, of the same name with
himself, and who was also chancellor of France.
A statue of him is represented upon the tomb, in
a kneeling posture. Both these monuments are
extremely beautiful, and the contrast, between
the black marble, of which the tombs are composed,
and the white marble figures, produces a
striking and solemn effect.

The entrance into this church is very curiously
ornamented. At each side of the door are three
antique figures of the most singular appearance,
and under their feet are different animals in a
couching position. Around the arch, over the
door, are bas-reliefs. It was the bell of St.
Germain l’Auxerrois
, which sounded the signal
for the massacre of St. Bartholomew.

During my walk of this day, I saw two most
noble edifices begun by Napoleon, which were,
the Hotel du Ministere des Affaires Etrangeres;
and the church of La Madelaine. The former is
a truly magnificent building, of enormous extent,
and had it been completed, would have been one
of the most sumptuous edifices in Paris. And it 6* 6(3)v 66
still may be so, as the intention is to finish it.
The church of La Madelaine, which was commenced
by Bonaparte as a Temple of Glory, is
not yet completed; but is sufficiently so to present
a majestic and beautiful appearance, from
whatever point it is viewed. It is adorned with
a double row of very large stone columns, forming
a double gallery, quite equal in splendor to that
of the Bourse itself.

When these elegant monuments of the glory
of Napoleon meet the eye, one cannot but contrast
Paris, as it now is, with what it would have been,
had he reigned sufficiently long to have carried
into execution all his plans, for the purpose of
improving and beautifying it. To say that a column,
a street, or an edifice, of any kind, was
built by Bonaparte, is to say that it is all, which
the imagination can depict, of rich, sumptuous,
beautiful; and what would not have been the unrivalled
beauty, of this even now superb metropolis,
had Napoleon continued to reign to the day
of his death?

6(4)r 67

Letter VI.

Chapelle Expiatoire.—Abattoir du Roule.—Arc de l’Etoile.—
Champs Elysees.—Rue Royale.—Place Louis Quinze.—Camera
Obscura
.—Hotel de Ville.—Place Royale.—Bastille.—
Galerie d’Angouleme.—Versailles.—Palace.—Gardens.—
Grand Trianon.—Petit Trianon.—Fountains.

A day or two afterwards, (1829-08-20August 20th) we
visited the Chapelle Expiatoire, which is a most
beautiful little church, erected upon the spot
where Louis Sixteenth and Marie Antoinette
were interred after their execution. An inscription
in gilded letters over the door purports, that
Louis Eighteenth reared this monument to the
memory of those princes, whose mortal remains,
after having reposed upon this spot for twenty-
one years, were removed to the royal sepulchre
of St. Denis after the restoration.

Entering through this door, you advance by a
gravelled walk to the portico, which is ascended
by steps. On each side the walk are covered
galleries, of nine arcades, each enclosed by gates
of iron. Within these arcades are tombs, upon
which are white marble medallions, and tablets
with inscriptions. From the centre of the church
rises a dome, the roof of which, in the inside, is
ornamented with flowers in stucco work, and the
floor is composed of different colored marbles.
Around the chapel are fifteen niches, in which
are handsome candelabras, and on each side of it 6(4)v 68
is a pedestal, upon which are to be placed statues
of Louis and Marie Antoinette. Upon one of
the pedestals is the last letter of Marie Antoinette
to her son, and the will of Louis is inscribed upon
the other. In a subterranean chapel is also a
pedestal, which is to receive a statue of Madame Elizabeth.

Every part of this splendid edifice is in fine
taste, and though small, it is considered one of
the handsomest buildings in the city; and certainly
the associations, connected with the spot, render
it one of the most interesting. On the outside,
next the street, is a beautiful hedge of cypress
trees.

From the Chapelle I took a very long walk to
the outer Boulevards, and visited the Abattoir du
Roule
, which is one of the fine public slaughter-
houses, that Bonaparte caused to be erected at
the northern and southern extremities of the city;
and at the same time, all those within the walls,
which had long been a great public nuisance, were
suppressed. These slaughter-houses are truly
admirable establishments, and should serve as
models for those of every other great city in the
world. At the entrance of the Abattoir du
Roule
, is a handsome iron balustrade of great
height and length, and within the railing, on each
side, is a stone building, in which are the offices
of the administration. Beyond these are pules of
large stone buildings, which contain the slaughter-houses. 6(5)r 69
These are more or less in number,
in the different Abbatoirs, in proportion to the
sizes of each. Sufficient air is admitted into all
to keep them cool, and they are entirely free from
any of that offensive odor, which renders places
of the kind so noxious and disagreeable. There
are contained in these establishments places appropriated
to the melting and cooling of tallow,
for drying the skins, and for keeping the
undressed leather. There are sheep-folds, stables,
reservoirs of water, and, in short, every convenience
which can be required, and every facility
for keeping the precincts clean and in good order.

Another of the grand enterprizes of Napoleon,
not far from the Abattoir du Roule, is the beautiful
triumphal arch, called Arc de Triomphe de
l’Etoile
, from its being situated in an area denominated
l’Etoile. This arch is still far from being
finished, though it is in a state of progression.
It is composed of blocks of lime-stone, and the
grandeur of its dimensions is truly astonishing.
Workmen were employed upon it for eight years,
unceasingly, during the time of Bonaparte;—after
which the work was discontinued, and not again
resumed until 18231823. The beauty of this arch is
not more remarkable, than its delightful situation.
It stands in a circular area, commanding a most
charming view of the Champs Elysees, the Place
Quinze
, and the garden and palace of the Tuileries.

6(5)v 70

The Champs Elysees, in which great numbers
of public fetes are held, at different seasons of
the year, are situated in a line with the garden of
the Tuileries, and consist of two deep and delightful
groves of trees, intersected, in all directions,
with gravelled walks. Between these two groves
is a spacious street, with a double row of trees on
each side, forming a side walk. This street is
called the Avenue de Neuilly, and is entered
between the two splendid pavilions of the Barriere
de Neuilly
. It is in an exact line with
the grand walk of the Tuileries, and also
with the Arc de l’Etoile. Consequently there
is nothing to intercept the view between the
arch and the central pavilion of the palace,—
and seldom can the eye rest upon a more magnificent
prospect, than is presented from either of
these two points.

The Place Louis Quinze is situated between
the Champs Elysees and Tuileries, which
are east and west of it. On each side the
Avenue de Neuilly and the grand walk of the
garden, are situated, upon the square, four large
pedestals, sustaining four prancing horses held
down by grooms. At the south side of the square
are seen the beautiful bridge Louis Seize, the
Chamber of Deputies, and the long series of
sumptuous buildings, which line the quays on that
part of the Seine. On the north are two splendid
edifices, each of them two hundred and eighty 6(6)r 71
feet in length, separated by the Rue Royale,
which is ninety feet in width. Both these edifices
are beautifully ornamented, and are of most admirable
construction. Between them are seen,
from the square, the lofty columns of the church
of La Madelaine. The centre of the Place Louis
Quinze
was formerly decorated with a bronze
statue of Louis Fifteenth; but it was destroyed
at the revolution. Another statue of that monarch
was commenced in its place by Louis Eighteenth,
which is not yet completed. Upon the
very spot, that this unfinished monument now occupies,
was placed the guillotine, during the
reign of terror.

It is impossible for me to describe to you the
sensations, which thronged upon my heart, as I
stood upon this celebrated spot, nor the chill,
which crept over my frame, as I recollected the
seas of innocent blood which had soaked the soil,
and reflected upon those scenes of carnage and
murder, the narration of which had so often inspired
me with the deepest horror, pity and indignation.
Here the ill-fated Louis, the unfortunate
Marie Antoinette, the amiable, the
lovely Elizabeth, expired in ignominy, amid
the taunts and reproaches of a merciless rabble.
Here too the blood-thirsty Robespierre
and the terrible Danton paid the just penalty of
their enormous crimes, even upon the same
spot, which they had so often reddened with 6(6)v 72
the blood of innocent and hapless victims.
Deeply and earnestly did I meditate upon these
scenes, long since passed away, and as I turned
from the spot, it was with a sigh at the thought of
the dreadful excesses, which human beings are capable
of, when once a loose is given to lawless and
violent passion.

During a walk on the quays and across the
Pont des Arts, I saw, among other things, a very
fine Camera Obscura upon the Pont des Arts,
called the world in miniature, which was made to
revolve, so as to give a succession of different
views around the bridge; such as the Louvre,
the Institute, the Pont Neuf and Pont Louis
Seize
, the river, and the quays on each side, with
the people and carriages passing upon them. It
so happened that I also saw another on this same
day, which was made and exhibited by a celebrated
optician, at a shop opposite the Pont Royal.
This was even better than the other, thought the
views were not so fine; but the different figures,
represented upon it, were more distinct and natural.

The next day I visited the Hotel de Ville. This
is a large stone building, situated upon the Place
de Greve
, celebrated as the spot, upon which
executions take place in Paris, and upon which,
also, the guillotine was for a time erected during
the revolution. Entering the Hotel de Ville by
the door fronting upon this square, you ascend a 7(1)r 73
flight of steps to a court surrounded by porticos,
and from thence to the various other apartments.
The Grand Salle is a most elegant hall, the
hangings of crimson velvet paper, ornamented
with gilded fleurs de lis. The chairs and sofas
are of crimson silk. At the two opposite extremities
of the hall, over the chimney pieces, are full
length portraits of Louis Sixteenth and Louis
Eighteenth
; and at one side is a small equestrian
statue of Henry Fourth, in bronze. The Salle
d’Audience
contains a bronze statue of Henry
Fourth
in his youth, and a fine picture of that
monarch, receiving the keys of the city from the
Mayor. The upper part of the church du St.
Esprit
, which was added to the Hotel de Ville to
enlarge it, presents a beautiful hall, the ceiling
painted in fresco,—representing the entrance of
the Duke of Angouleme into Madrid, with other
scenes of his victories in Spain.

From the Place de Greve we repaired to the
Place Royale, which is a fine square of four hundred
and thirty-two feet, surrounded by buildings,
the fronts of which form a series of pavilions; and
upon the ground floor are public piazzas, extending
around the square. The buildings on one side
were erected by one of the Henrys, as the court
residence, and afterwards sold; the remainder of
the grounds were also sold, upon the condition
that pavilions should be erected to compare with
those built by the King, which was done, and of 7 7(1)v 74
course the buildings are all of uniform appearance.
In the centre of the square is just completed an
equestrian statue of Louis Thirteenth, enclosed
within a railing of iron. The pedestal was yet
unfinished, and the statue covered, in the mean
time, with a white sheet, which concealed it from
our view.

Entering the Rue St. Antoine, we pursued our
way to the Bastille, another of those spots rendered
forever memorable, by the great events of
which it has been the theatre. In approaching
the Place de la Bastille you observe a large
building in the midst of it, which contains the
famous Elephant Fountain, or rather plaister
model of the colossal bronze elephant, intended
by Napoleon to have ornamented the centre of
the Place de la Bastille. The height of this huge
animal was to have been more than seventy-two
feet, including the tower, which he was to support,
and each leg to measure six feet in diameter.
A winding stair-case to the tower was intended
to be placed in one of the legs, and the water was
to issue from the trunk. The plaister model is
of the above dimensions, except that there is no
tower upon the back. It is truly a most wonderful
and admirable production of art, and amply
repaid a visit. Models of the bas-reliefs, twenty-
four in number, which were to have ornamented
the pedestal, are contained in the same building
with the elephant. At a little distance from it, 7(2)r 75
in the centre of the square, is what was to have
been the foundation of that mighty monument. It
is a large circular construction of masonry, placed
upon an arch over the canal of St. Martin. Winding
stair-cases, now overgrown with weeds, and
half blocked up with rubbish, lead to the water below.
Under the hill, upon which the Bastille stood,
there is a tunnel formed, through which we walked
upon the wide towing path on one side. I
need not add, with what deep interest we viewed
the site of that celebrated prison-house, and you
may well imagine the long train of reflections to
which it gave rise.

Previous to the fete of St. Louis on the 1829-08-2525th
of August
, it is usual to set in motion the large
fountains, or great waters as they are called, in
the park of Versailles; and we embraced the occasion
for seeing the palace and gardens.

We left our lodgings early in the morning; but
finding that the diligence did not start for Versailles
until eleven o’clock and we had two hours
left upon our hands, we proceeded to the Louvre
to examine the Galerie d’Angouleme. This is a
succession of neat apartments, with a fine collection
of statues, the works of modern artists.—
some of them are really very beautiful, and
scarcely any but have claims to merit in a greater
or less degree.

Our two hours having passed off very pleasantly
in the examination of these statues, we returned 7(2)v 76
to the place, from whence the diligence
was to depart, and finding it in readiness, we took
our places in the coupee and soon were on our
way to Versailles. The diligence we found extremely
convenient and easy, with spring seats,
and by keeping all the windows fast closed, we
contrived to avoid the flying clouds of dust,
with which the atmosphere was completely filled.
We crossed over the new bridge at Sevres, and
in passing St. Cloud, had a good view of the obelisk
in the park, and of the two fine pavilions,
which make the entrance into the park from the
village of Sevres. A very rapid and pleasant ride
brought us at length to Versailles, which is approached
by a handsome avenue.

We alighted at the Place d’Armes, situated in
front of the palace. Entering the vestibule of
the palace, we ascended a flight of steps at the
right hand, and finding a party just commencing
the round of the apartments, we joined them; and,
guided by one of the attendants, of whom there
are a number constantly at the palace to show
visitors through it, and point out every thing that
is to be seen, free of compensation, we proceeded
first to the chapel, which is very splendid, and
ornamented in various parts with paintings and
bas-reliefs. The ceiling is vaulted and contains
a numver of windows, through which the light is
admitted, as well as by windows at the sides of
the chapel, above and below the galleries. The 7(3)r 77
floor is composed of variegated marbles. The
royal pew in front of the altar is richly adorned,
and an organ, placed above the altar, is very
handsome and beautifully ornamented.

From the chapel we passed through a suit of
rooms called the Queen’s apartments, and afterwards
into those of the King. I shall not attempt
to describe minutely the endless number of superb
apartments, each of which would require
hours of examination, fully to appreciate its beauties.
The ceilings of most of them are splendidly
painted, and they are likewise adorned with pictures
and other ornaments of great beauty and
richness. In fact it is impossible to imagine any
thing of the kind more magnificent, than every
part of this once favored residence of kings and
princes; and it only wants the rich furniture, with
which it was formerly adorned, to complete its
perfect elegance and splendor.

The grand gallery, two hundred and twenty
two feet in length, is enriched with beautiful paintings
and statues, and opposite the seventeen
large windows, opening upon the garden, are an
equal number of large mirrors, in form of arcades,
which, of course, reflect all that part of the garden
within range of the windows. Between the mirrors
and windows are marble pilasters, with
gilt capitals and bases. The paintings upon
the ceiling represent the most remarkable
events in the reign of Louis Fourteenth.

7* 7(3)v 78

The chamber in which the monarch died, and
the sleeping apartments of Louis Fifteenth and
Louis Sixteenth, are also pointed out, which although
considerably ornamented, are quite plain
compared with many other parts of the palace.

The manner in which you are hurried through
these apartments, with a large company, renders
it entirely impossible to enjoy it as you would do,
if quite alone and at your leisure. We however
were quite fortunate in finding, at our return to
the vestibule, a number of our American friends,
with whom we again made the circuit of the
rooms, thus having the opportunity of viewing
them twice; but even then we could see them but
very imperfectly, as the guide hastens on from
one to the other as fast as possible, in order that
he may return to conduct another party.

We now passed from the palace into the garden.
And here the eye roves from side to side,
in delighted and wondering admiration of the continued
variety of beautiful objects, with which
this enchanting spot is adorned. Gushing fountains,
whose silver waters stream high in air, and
after sparkling for a moment in the sunbeams, fall
again in brilliant showers or sheets upon groups of
polished marble, seem to surround you, wherever
you turn your gaze; with here a verdant lawn,
and there a beautiful terrace or lovely sheet
of water, bordered with marble vases, with water-
nymphs and naiads, while the most delightful 7(4)r 79
groves, laid out in agreeable and diversified walks,
invite you to seek shelter from the burning rays
of the sun within their cool and delicious shades.

After pursuing one of these charming walks
and enjoying for a time the first view of the numerous
delights of the garden, we repaired to the
Grand Trianon, which is a beautiful building, one
story in height, consisting of a central body and
two wings, terminated by pavilions, and the whole
handsomely decorated. It was built by Louis
Fourteenth
for Madame de Maintenon, and was
afterwards the favorite retreat of Louis Fifteenth
and Louis Sixteenth, and also of Napoleon. The
different apartments, of which there are a great
number, are ornamented with pictures, and some
of them beautifully tapestried with crimson, blue,
lilac or green, embroidered with gold or silver,
and with chairs to match. The sleeping apartment
of Marie Antoinette is still precisely in the
same state in which she left it. The hangings
and chairs are crimson damask and the bed curtains
of white silk. The pleasure grounds belonging
to this palace are extensive and agreeable.

The Petit Trianon, not far from the other, is
much smaller, and in form of a pavilion. It was
built by Louis Fifteenth, and after his death was
presented by Louis Sixteenth to his Queen. The
grounds are most singularly, but delightfully, laid
out, in a great variety of scenery. At one spot 7(4)v 80
you see a lofty rock, which has every appearance
of belonging naturally to the place,
with water oozing from its crevices and emptying
itself, by little rivulets, into a lake below.
Then again you see groves of trees, “with seats
beneath their shade,”
and all varieties of hill,
dale, and lawn, of perfectly natural appearance.
And yet this is all artificial, and formed entirely
under the eye and by the taste of the Queen.

A little farther on you come to Swiss scenery,
with a small hamlet in the midst, of most rural aspect,
and which was actually occupied, when first
built, by Swiss peasants. At one side you see
the marble dairy, in which Marie Antoinette used
to act the part of the dairy-maid; and at the other
the mill, where the illustrious miller, Louis Eighteenth,
performed his labors. Louis Sixteenth
and the present King, then Count d’Artois, also
took part in these certainly harmless pastimes,
which it was the delight of Marie Antoinette to
indulge in; but which obtained for her afterwards
many enemies, and were severely censured as
unbecoming the dignity of a queen.

Leaving this interesting little place, we returned
again to the garden, and wandered about for
two or three hours, in spite of some heavy showers
of rain, which no one indeed seemed to regard,
admiring the beautiful marble groups forming
the various fountains; the Orangerie, with
its great collection of orange-trees, so regularly 7(5)r 81
planted, into which you descend by long flights
of steps; and the almost countless succession of
walks, absolutely overflowing with people, all as
gay and happy as possible, and apparently forgetful
of every thing, but the pleasures and amusements
of the joyous scene.

At length the hour for the playing of the grand
waters approached, and all the world bent their
steps thither. Surrounding a large basin of
water, except on the side towards the garden,
was a sloping bank of great height; and this soon
became completely covered in every direction, so
that nothing could be seen but an immense concourse
of people, forming a vast amphitheatre,
and all looking with the utmost eagerness towards
the basin. Thousands of persons were assembled
upon the occasion, and yet an almost dead
silence seemed to prevail, so eager were they
to catch the first signal for the playing of the
waters. At last it was given, and suddenly the
streams were thrown upward from numbers of
spouts placed around and in the midst of the
basin, while beyond, upon the elevation towards
the palace, was a beautiful marble fountain, forming
a part of the grand waters, from which a single
graceful stream ascended to an extreme
height, and fell over the group beneath. It was
indeed a splendid sight, and the vast number of
persons assembled to witness it, added to the interest
and excitement of the scene.

7(5)v 82

The fountains continued to play for an hour,
after which we bade adieu to the varied enchantments
of Versailles, and in company with a very
pleasant party of our own countrymen, chiefly
Bostonians, returned to Paris, which we did not
reach until nearly ten o’clock in the evening.

Letter VII.

Conservatoire des Arts.—Notre Dame.—Meeting of the Institute.
Saint Etienne du Mont.—Saint Sulpice.—Val de
Grace
.

The Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, which
we visited on the 1829-08-24twenty-fourth, is a vast collection
of models of different kinds, contained
in what was formerly the church and buildings
of a monastery.

In the centre of the church, in which are seen
a number of machines and engines, is the plaister
model of a bronze equestrian statue of Louis
Fourteenth
in armor, erected at Lyons. The
head is bare and encircled with a wreath of laurel.
From this room we passed into another, in which
were the models of the Palais de Justice, a church,
and a building of gothic architecture, very neatly
and delicately done, and also a finely executed
and curious pasteboard model of an enormous pile,
partly in ruins, denominated Mont Saint Michel. 7(6)r 83
We afterwards passed through a great variety of
apartments or galleries, in some of which were
looms, carding machines, and things of that description;
and others were filled with ploughs,
harrows, windmills, cider, wine and oil presses,
steam engines, and so forth. In others again
there were models of vessels and steam boats,
together with models of brick and tile kilns, a
pottery, lead works, and a great variety of different
kinds of instruments. Many of the articles,
exhibited in these various galleries, are very curious
and interesting. There is, besides, a private
collection, and a school connected with the establishment,
for the purposes of instruction in agriculture,
mechanics, and other arts and trades, to
which the different objects it contains are appropriate.

From the Conservatoire des Arts, we repaired
to the church of Notre Dame, or the Cathedral,
the same to which the procession walked on the
1829-08-1515th of August. This church, which was only
completed after nearly three centuries of unceasing
labor, is said to be one of the most splendid
monuments of gothic architecture in France.
The front consists of two towers, two hundred
and four feet in height and forty feet square.
These arched doors or porches compose the entrance,
each of which is richly and beautifully
ornamented. Above these doors are galleries,
supported upon columns of the most delicate construction. 7(6)v 84
Over that in the centre is a circular
window, and above the two others are arched entrances
into the towers, and these are again surmounted
by galleries of the same delicate appearance
with those below, and above them rise
the two summits of the towers, which, although
of the same general aspect, are a little unequal
in their height and size. At the top of that part
of the roof over the choir, is a gilded iron cross,
resting upon a ball, which together are thirty feet
in height. From the top of the towers, and from
a gallery which extends around the roof, you have
a beautiful view of Paris and its environs. The
ascent is by a spiral stair-case of three hundred
and eighty-nine steps.

The interior of the church is as beautiful as its
exterior promises. Its length within the walls is
three hundred ninety feet, its breadth one hundred
forty-four, without including the chapels,
and its height one hudred and two. The arches
of the roof are supported by two hundred twenty-
eight columns, each of them composed of a single
block. At the side of the church, over the aisles,
are galleries, which are only used upon particular
occasions; and then admittance into them is obtained
by tickets.

At the entrance of the choir, which is very
magnificent, is a beautiful balustrade of polished
iron and gilded brass. The floor of the choir is
composed of marble, and in the centre is a gilt 8(1)r 85
brass eagle seven feet in height and three and a
half in breadth, which serves for a reading desk,
the part composing the desk being in the form of
a lyre, supported by three angels. The stalls of
the canons are most elegantly carved, the subjects
which they represent being generally taken
from the New Testament. A balustrade of marble
separates the sanctuary from the choir, and
the pavement of the sanctuary is in mosaic work.
Three steps of white marble, spangled with stars
of gold, lead to the high altar, and upon the steps
are six gilt candlesticks more than four feet in
height. Near the altar are two pedestals of
white marble, supporting two fine statues, the
one of Louis Thirteenth, the other of Louis
Fourteenth
,—both performing acts of devotion.
The sanctuary also contains a beautiful white
marble group, representing the Descent from the
Cross
. The Virgin is seen seated, her arms extended
and her eyes raised towards heaven, supporting
upon her knees the head of her Son. A
kneeling angel sustains one hand of the Savior,
while another holds the crown of thorns. Behind
is seen the cross, over which is hung a shroud.

In a chapel behind the choir is a very singular
marble monument, to the memory of Henri
Claude
, Count d’Harcourt, erected by his widow.
The tomb is represented, the lid of which is opened
by an angel, and the body of the Count, in a rising
attitude, extends his arms to his wife, who is seen 8 8(1)v 86
rushing towards him. Death, under the usual
form of a skeleton, appears above the tomb pointing
an hour glass. The effect of this monument
is far from agreeable or pleasing to the eye.
The subject is not well chosen or in good taste.

A monument to the memory of Cardinal du
Belloi
, Archbishop of Paris, contained in another
chapel, is very much more splendid and beautiful.
It is also composed of white marble, and represents
the venerable figure of the Archbishop
upon a sarcophagus, bestowing alms upon an aged
woman, who is supported by a young girl. His
left hands rests upon the open Bible. Near him
appears St. Denis upon a cloud, holding in his
hand a scroll, on which are inscribed the names
of the Cardinal’s predecessors.

Before leaving the church we applied to the
sacristan to shew us the tresor. He accordingly
conducted us to a room, upon the second floor of
the church, in which were arranged in cases a
large collection of sacred vessels and ornaments
of various kinds, of the richest gold and silver,
beautifully wrought; a great number of which
were presented to the church by Bonaparte.
There was also a brilliant golden sun, presented
by Louis Eighteenth. Among the sacred relics,
likewise contained in these cases, is a part of
the Savior’s crown of thorns and of the true cross,
or rather what are alleged to be such.

The coronation robes of Napoleon and Josephine, 8(2)r 87
the robes worn by the Pope on that occasion,
and the coronation robes of Charles Tenth,
are exhibited in the same apartments, and are
kept in large drawers, which are circular, and
turn round instead of drawing out, that the gold,
and other ornaments upon the dresses, may not
be injured by being handled. These robes are
all very rich and splendid; but those of Napoleon
and Josephine by far the most so. They were
presented by Napoleon to the church of Notre
Dame
.

On 1829-08-25Tuesday, the 25th, was the annual meeting
of the Institute, for the purpose of adjudging certain
prizes. The prize for the best poem, upon
the invention of printing, was actually adjudged
and the poem read at the meeting. Various
prizes of virtue were likewise adjudged to poor
persons; that is, prizes for peculiarly virtuous
actions, among that class of people, which had
come to the knowledge of the Institute, within
the year. Prizes for dissertations were not accorded,
as none were offered of sufficient merit
to entitle them to the reward.

The hall, in which this meeting was held, occupies
the space beneath the dome of the Institute,
and was formerly a church. The chapels on
three sides are now converted into galleries or
seats for spectators, raised one above the other;
and at each side of the centre of the hall are circular
seats for the members of the Institute. 8(2)v 88
The hall was quite crowded upon this occasion,
and I became excessively fatigued before the exercises
were concluded. The air was very close
and oppressive, and we were obliged to wait an
hour or more after taking our seats, before the
members entered the hall.

When the report was read, it was impossible
for me to follow it, though I had read a copy before
me, from the continued laughing and talking of
those around me; and in addition to this, M. Andrieux,
who read the report, had a very disagreeable
voice, which was rendered doubly so by a
hoarse cold, which obliged him frequently to stop,
and once he made an apology to the audience, by
saying that though his voice was never strong, it
was now much less so than usual, from the severe
cold, with which he was afflicted. After the report
was read, there was an address by the celebrated
Cuvier, who sat during the time he was
delivering it, a mode to me quite new and singular.
After the address the prize poem was read,
by M. Lemercier, and with this the meeting
closed.

My ideas of the far famed politeness of the
French were much changed, I will assure you,
by this day’s experience. I have already mentioned
that, while the report was reading, there
was an incessant buzzing and laughing, which
was still continued while the address was pronounced,
and at the reading of the poem; which 8(3)r 89
I cannot think very good manners. And during
the hour before the commencement of the exercises,
there was such a pushing one way and the
other, such an entire want of accommodation to
the convenience and comfort of those around,
and such a rudeness of manner among the gentlemen,
as I have seldom met with; and which
very much surprized me, in a country, where I
had expected to find it entirely the reverse, from
having so often heard, that even the lowest classes
in France were remarkable for their politeness.
I did not, however, regret having attended the
meeting, uncomfortable as it was, it being the
only opportunity I had of seeing Cuvier and the
other members of the renowned French Academy.
Most of them were venerable looking men, whose
silver locks proclaimed advanced years; but
whose situation also bespoke the possession of
high talent and deep learning. They were all
dressed alike, in a costume of black embroidered
with green, which they always wear upon public
occasions.

The next day I employed in visiting a great
variety of objects, among which the churches
of St. Etienne du Mont, St. Sulpice, Val de
Grace
, Genevieve, and the house, in which lived
Eloisa and Abelard, were more particularly interesting.
The latter interests from association
alone, as the house itself has nothing in its appearance
to please the eye, and the court is excessively8* 8(3)v 90
dirty and offensive. Over the gate of the
court are these words: “Heloise, Abeillard, modeles
precieux des sinceres amantes, habiterent
ces lieux l’an 1118.”
Within the court, on one
side of the house, is a double head of Abelard
and Eloisa, with their names beneath it.

The church of St. Etienne, to which I have
just alluded, has been the burial place of many
eminent persons, among whom are Boileau and
Pascal, whose monuments are contained in the
chapel dedicated to the Virgin. They merely
consist of plain, simple tablets. The church itself
is very lofty and handsome. The roof, however,
is supported upon pillars altogether too
small for the size of the building. To conceal
this defect, a gallery has been constructed upon
them, which has not, I think, produced the desired
effect, and which injured very much the appearance
of the church. The pulpit is handsomely
carved and quite remarkable. It is supported
by a colossal figure, a representing Sampson, with
his knee resting upon a lion.

In the chapel of Genevieve is a curious ancient
tomb of that saint, said to have been constructed
in the sixth century. It was surrounded,
at the top, by a great quantity of small burning
tapers, which were sold by an old woman, stationed
near the tomb, to those who wished to burn
them upon this consecrated shrine. A number of
persons purchased these tapers, while we were 8(4)r 91
in the church, and placed upon the tomb.

The painted glass windows of the different
chapels in this church, and also those of a covered
gallery attached to it, are greatly admired
and very beautiful.

The church of St. Sulpice possesses much that
is interesting. The choir is of very large dimensions,
and separated from the nave by a bronze
railing. The chief altar is of marble, ornamented
with beautiful gilt bas-reliefs. In front is a
tabernacle of gilded bronze, representing the ark
of the covenant.

Among the chapels which are particularly worthy
of note, are three painted in fresco, of much
beauty. One is dedicated to St. Roch, another
to St. Maurice, and the third to St. Vincent de
Paule
. In the first, St. Roch is seen in a hospital
at Rome, praying for the healing of those
persons infected with the plague, and opposite is
represented a prison, in which the saint is seen
stretched out on his bed of straw, having just expired.
Above the altar is his funeral procession,
and upon the ceiling his ascent to heaven. In
the next chapel are painted St. Maurice and other
saints, his companions, refusing to sacrifice to
false gods, and their massacre by the Roman
army. Angels are represented upon the ceiling,
bearing palms to the martyred saints. Over the
altar is a statue of St. Maurice. The third
chapel of this description, represents St. Vincent 8(4)v 92
de Paule
addressing the Dames de Charite
in behalf of foundlings, and the same saint attending
Louis Thirteenth in his dying moments.
Upon the ceiling is his apotheosis.

In the chapel of St. John the Baptist, is a
splendid monument to the memory of Languet de
Gergy
, a pastor of the church for a period of
thirty-five years. It is composed of a cenotaph
upon which is his statue in a kneeling attitude,
with the eyes raised towards heaven.
On one side is an angel, who lifts a black pall,
and on the other a figure of death. The whole
is surmounted by an obelisk. Next is the chapel
of the Virgin, in which is a beautiful white
marble statue of the Virgin and Child standing,
surrounded by clouds, within a recess, into which
the light is admitted from above. The effect is
very striking and peculiar. The altar of white
marble is handsomely ornamented.

This church contains a number of good pictures,
and of these two were particularly interesting
to me. The one, St. Fiacre, the son of
Eugenius Fourth of Scotland, refusing the crown
offered him by the Scotch after his father’s
death; the other, St. Charles Borromeo, during
the siege of Milan, carrying away in his arms a
child, whom he found alive with its dead parents.

Near the nave of the church are two large
shells, for holy water, which are very curious and
remarkable, and were presented by the Republic 8(5)r 93
of Venice
to Francis First. They are of immense
size, scalloped at the edges, and of a delicate
yellow tinge on the inside. The pulpit is
likewise quite curious, having no other support
than the two flights of steps leading to it. At
the entrance of the sacristy are two fine statues
of St. Peter and St. John

The church of Val de Grace, though not very
large, is among the most beautiful in Paris. On
each side the nave are three arches, above which
are bas-reliefs, with figures as large as life.
Over the high altar is a rich canopy, supported
by marble columns, with bronze capitals and
bases, and each column ornamented with a bronze
angel of the natural size. The dome, beautifully
painted in fresco, represents heaven, and contains
more than two hundred colossal figures. It is
likewise ornamented with bas-reliefs of the four
Evangelists. There is something strikingly
grand in the whole appearance of this church,
combined with great simplicity of architecture
and decoration. It was founded by Anne of Austria,
the mother of Louis Fourteenth, and the
first stone was laid by this prince at the age of
seven years.

8(5)v 94

Letter VIII.

Sainte Genevieve.—Pillory.—Column of the Place Vendome.—
Palais de l’Elysee Bourbon.—Chamber of Deputies.—Gallery
of the Luxembourg.—Chamber of Peers.—Garden of
the Luxembourg.—School of Medicine.

The last church, which I shall mention, is the
magnificent one of St. Genevieve or the Pantheon.
The form of this splendid edifice is that
of a Greek cross. Its length, including the portico
in front, is three hundred and forty feet, and
its breadth two hundred and fifty. The portico
is ornamented with twenty-two fluted columns,
fifty-eight feet in height and five and a half in
diameter. A dome, more than sixty-two feet in
diameter, rises from the centre of the building,
and is surrounded by thirty-two columns; above
it is a cupola, surmounted by a lantern, at the
summit of which are an immense ball and cross of
bronze gilt, surrounded by a balustrade of the
same. The cross is fourteen feet and a half in
elevation.

The interior of the church corresponds in grandeur
and beauty with its noble exterior. It is divided
into four naves, and the roof is supported by
fluted columns. The floor is beautifully paved
with marble and stone alternately. A railing of
steel and brass separates the choir from the chief
nave. The painting of the platform of the dome
is finely executed. The price paid for it was 8(6)r 95
one hundred thousand francs, and the artist,
Gros, was created a baron by the present King
after the first visit he made to the church. All
the figures are of colossal size; but from the
great height of the dome above the pavement of
the church beneath, they appear from thence of
the proper proportions. The dome was at first
supported by four columns so small that several
fractures were discovered in them when the
church was nearly completed. The small columns
were then replaced by solid masses, which
are ornamented with pilasters.

Upon one of these masses is a beautiful little
piece of tapestry, representing St. Genevieve in
the dress of a shepherdess, which is so delicately
done as to appear precisely like a painting, except
upon very close examination. Opposite this is a
very inappropriate and singular ornament for a
church, namely, a piece of tapestry worked by
Marie Antoinette. It possesses no particular
beauty in itself, and is only valuable as having
been done by her hand. This fact, however,
scarcely entitles it to so much veneration, as to
render it deserving a place in a sacred edifice.

Beneath the pavement of this church are a subterranean
chapel, galleries, and sepulchral vaults.
In each of the vaults, which are six in number,
are six large tombs, where are deposited the remains
of great men who have been particularly
illustrious for their talents, virtues, or military 8(6)v 96
achievements. Mirabeau, Voltaire, Rousseau,
were here interred, as well as many eminent
characters in the time of Napoleon. It was with
deep emotion, we gazed upon these monuments
of departed genius; and this feeling was much
increased by the peculiarly solemn appearance of
the vaults, only rendered visible by the flickering
rays of the candle, by which we were conducted
through the dark and silent galleries, and by the
uncertain light, which was thrown upon them
from small loop-holes in the walls.

Beneath the dome are two galleries, one within
another, in the form of a labyrinth, and in the
centre is a circular area, from which the slightest
sound is echoed in a manner more loud and distinct,
than any I ever before heard. Our guide
spoke a few words in a very low tone, and each
word was so clearly and distinctly repeated, that
it was almost impossible to believe it other than
a human voice. He then struck the skirt of his
coat, quite lightly, with a small stick, and the report
was like the roar of a cannon, or the heaviest
thunder. He repeated this several times, after
which we left these dark abodes of the dead,
and, preceded by the guide, ascended to the lantern
at the summit of the church.

Around the top of the dome, on the outside of
which are stair cases, is a raised gallery, from
which you can plainly see the painting of the
platform, and have, for the first time, a distinct 9(1)r 97
idea of the large size of the figures which
compose it. It is divided into four different
groups, and in each of them is some celebrated
monarch of France, whose accession to the
throne, or whose reign, has formed an era in
French history. In one you see Clovis embracing
christianity; in another, Charlemagne and
his Queen; in the third St. Louis; and in the
fourth Louis Eighteenth, the Duchess of Angouleme
and the infant Duke of Bordeaux. All these
different figures are paying homage to St. Genevieve,
who descends towards them upon a cloud.
Above are the celestial regions, in which are
seen Louis Sixteenth, Marie Antoinette, their
son Louis Seventeenth and Madame Elizabeth.
The distance from the platform to the pavement
of the church, upon which you look down from
the gallery, is upwards of two hundred feet,
which shows the necessity of painting the figures
of such magnitude as to make them appear at all
distinct when seen from below.

From this gallery we ascended to another,
which surrounds the lantern, and thence into the
lantern itself. The view from both is the same,
only that in the latter you have rather more the
feeling of security, than when standing in the
open gallery, where it appears that the slightest
wind would blow you from the dizzying height.
But one can scarcely have time for the indulgence
of fear, even were there actual danger, 9 9(1)v 98
so absorbing is the feeling of admiration at the
magnificent prospect stretched out before you.
You have at your feet the immense city, with its
almost continual succession of gardens, whose
green foliage presents a most pleasing variety,
amid the world of buildings which surround them.
The country in the distance is very beautiful, and
seen from here to the greatest advantage. In
fact, it is only from the summit of this church,
that one can have a full idea of the wonderful size
of Paris, and the most extensive view of its environs.
From the tower of Notre Dame the view
is indeed delightful; but not so vast as from the
Pantheon, where you take in with one glance,
as it were, almost the whole city.

Here we remained for a long time, enjoying
the boundless prospect around us, and then, after
descending and taking a farther view of the interior
of the church, we directed our course to Rue
d’Artois
.

Early the next morning we repaired to the
Place Vendome, and ascended the column, by a
spiral stair-case, scarce wide enough for two persons
to pass each other without some difficulty.
There is no light admitted for the whole distance
to the top; but you are provided with a small
lantern by the person who has charge of the column;
and who keeps one always in readiness in
a little room, which is, in fact, the interior of the
pedestal. The view from the column is very 9(2)r 99
pretty; but of course not nearly so extensive or
fine as from Notre Dame and the Pantheon, the
elevation being very much less.

From thence we visited the Palais de l’Elysee
Bourbon
, so called from its vicinity to the Champs
Elysees
. This palace was the residence of the
Duke of Berri, to whom it was given by Louis
Eighteenth
. Since the assassination of the
Duke, the apartments occupied by him and the
Dutchess have remained untenanted, the Dutchess
having since that time resided in the Tuileries,
when at Paris. These apartments are all
most richly and elegantly decorated with beautiful
silk hangings of various colors, with furniture
to match. The time-pieces, of which there are
a great number adorning the different rooms, are
remarkably beautiful, and indeed every thing
contained in the apartments is truly superb and
in the best taste.

Their most valuable ornament, however, is a
sumptuous collection of Dutch and Flemish pictures,
which attract the admiration of connoiseurs,
and are considered the finest collection of
the kind in Paris. They are all handsomely
framed, and form a really beautiful decoration to
the rooms. But it is impossible to examine these
pictures in the ordinary manner in which strangers
visit the palace. You are hurried along
from room to room, with only just time to take a
cursory survey of each. This is to be sure sufficient 9(2)v 100
to give a general idea of the whole; but
the pictures are altogether too fine to be thus
hastily passed over. Nevertheless, you are obliged
to be content with what you can see, as it is
impossible to examine them as you would. In
one of the apartments is a miniature park of artillery,
belonging to the young Duke of Bordeaux,
enclosed within a large glass case. The
garden is large and handsomely laid out. I did
not, however, enter it; but could see it from the
windows.

We next proceeded to the Chamber of Deputies
in the Palais Bourbon, which is beautifully
situated upon an eminence, with the Pont Louis
Seize
in front. The facade of this edifice is very
grand and imposing, and the fore-ground is ornamented
with statues. Those of Justice and Prudence
are of colossal size; but the black tinge,
which the statues, as well as the building itself,
have acquired by time, very much injures the
effect. The Chamber of Deputies is in the form
of an amphitheatre, and the light is admitted from
above. It was, when I saw it, in great disorder,
being in the act of undergoing thorough
repair, as the wood work was all found to be decaying.
It is to be rebuilt of stone. The ornaments
of this hall are not particularly numerous
or remarkable. It contains, however, statues of
Lycurgus, Solon, Demosthenes, Brutus, Cato,
and Cicero, and back of the President’s chair are 9(3)r 101
marble busts of Louis Sixteenth, Seventeenth,
and Eighteenth.

Besides the Chamber of Deputies, we passed
through a series of halls, embellished with
pictures, statues, and other ornaments. In
the Salle de la Victoire is a large bust of the
Duke of Berri, with his last words inscribed
upon it. They were as follows: “J’avais espere
verser mon sang pour la France.”
Opposite is a
statue of Henry Fourth, with this inscription:
“Le violent amour que je porte a mes sujets me
fait tout trouver aise et honorable.”
The Salle
de la Paix
contains a good picture of the death of
Socrates, and one of Hero and Leander. At one
side of the room are two fine bronze groups of
Laocoon, and of Arria and Pætus.

Part of the ensuing day (1829-08-28August 28th) was
delightfully occupied, in visiting the beautiful
palace and garden of the Luxembourg. The gallery
of pictures, to which we first directed our
attention, is indeed magnificent. The pictures
are contained in a variety of different apartments,
which are also ornamented with statues, though
few in number. Like the gallery of the Louvre,
the pictures, here contained, are too numerous to
warrant a description of them. Although there
are some in the gallery of little merit, still the
greater part are extremely beautiful, and we employed
many hours very delightfully in their examination.
Among the less meritorious paintings 9* 9(3)v 102
were many, in which were portrayed the different
members of the royal family. In one of these,
which had for its subject the death of the Duke
of Berri
, were portraits of the Duchess and the
young Mademoiselle d’Artois. The likenesses
in these were generally good; but the pictures
otherwise not particularly superior.

From the gallery we repaired to the Chamber
of Peers
, in the same edifice, which is also called
Palais de la Chambre des Pairs. A most splendid
stair-case conducts to the Chamber and the
apartments connected with it. On each side of
the stair-case are beautiful statues and military
trophies, and it is also adorned with eight recumbent
lions. The Salle des Seances, or Chamber
of Peers
, is ornamented with statues, and contains
a good bust of the King in white marble; but the
general aspect of the room is nor remarkably
handsome or striking. The other apartments
are, however, very handsomely decorated, and
among them is one in which the hangings, sofas,
and chairs all represent different Roman scenes.
This is a very beautiful apartment, more so than
any of the others.

The garden of the Luxembourg is a charming
place, arranged with much taste, and affords a
delightful and retired promenade, to which great
crowds of persons constantly resort. The grounds
are more spacious than those of the Tuileries;
but the garden, as a whole, is not so beautiful. 9(4)r 103
It is ornamented, like the Tuileries, with flower
beds, grass plats, orange trees, fountains and
statues; but it is not so diversified or picturesque.
Had I not first visited the former, this would appear
to me the most agreeable place of the kind
I had ever seen. It is indeed worthy of admiration,
and some persons even give it the preference
over the Tuileries.

The School of Medicine, which I next saw,
is a most beautiful building, situated upon a
court, and ornamented in front with columns and
bas-reliefs. The Cabinet of Anatomy, which it
contains, is very extensive and remarkable, and
much admired by those who have a taste for such
things, of whom, however, I do not profess to
be one. It is a subject, in which I could never
feel particular interest; still I could not but appreciate
the value of such a collection, in showing
the different diseases, to which the human
frame is subjected, and in imparting a store of
useful information, in a branch of knowledge
so highly important, and so essential to the happiness
and comfort of the whole human species:
for who is there among us, who has not known
the hour of sickness and disease, or that has not
looked with affectionate gratitude upon the skilful
hand, that has been instrumental in restoring
us to health and to the enjoyment of life?

9(4)v 104

Letter IX.

Abbeye of St. Denis.—Hotel des Invalides.—Jardin des
Plantes.

We appropriated a pleasant day (1829-08-30August 30th)
to the business of visiting the church of St. Denis,
situated in the village of that name, two leagues
from Paris.

This celebrated church, for many centuries
the burying-place of the monarchs of France, is
most majestic and noble in its architecture, and
abounds with objects of the deepest interest. On
the left hand of the door, at entering, you see a
curious tomb of King Dagobert, in form of a
gothic portico, and ornamented with a series of
bas-reliefs, one above the other, of the most singular
designs. Opposite is a similar one of Nanthildis,
his Queen. Advancing still to the left,
you come to two splendid marble monuments of
Louis Twelfth and Anne of Brittany, and of
Henry Second and Catherine de Medicis. They
occupy two chapels adjoining each other, the
ceilings of which are blue, spangled with gilded
fleurs de lis, and the windows of blue stained
glass. These monuments are similar in their
form, which is that of a temple. On each
side of that of Louis and Anne are four arches,
and at the ends two. Within each arch
is a small figure. At the top are statues of the 9(5)r 105
two sovereigns kneeling with clasped hands,
while beneath they are seen sleeping in death
side by side. The figures of Henry and Catherine,
in the adjoining chapel, are in precisely
the same attitude with these, and the monuments
differ very little from each other. On the
opposite side is another beautiful tomb, also a
temple in form, to the memory of Francis First
and Claude, his Queen. They are seen kneeling
on the top, with their three children.

But sumptuous as are these monuments, they
are far exceeded in richness and elegance by that
of William First at Delft, and the latter has also
the advantage of being placed in a situation
much better adapted to display all its beauty.
The chapels at St. Denis, that contain the
monuments which I have mentioned, are in themselves
very beautiful; but their obscurity renders
it quite impossible to distinguish all the ornaments
upon the tombs, unless you are within the railing;
while at Delft you may see every part of
the monument, with perfect ease, even at a considerable
distance from it.

Passing from the tomb of Francis and Claude,
you enter by a small door into a space between
the choir and nave, where stand the bier and
pall of Louis Eighteenth, which are so placed as
to be a conspicuous object, in almost every part
of the church. It is composed of a kind of awning
of black velvet, beneath which is the representation 9(5)v 106
of a coffin covered with a rich black
velvet pall. This is always placed here after the
death of a king, and remains until the death of
his successor, consequently it is permanently
fixed. Just opposite is an altar for saying mass
to the deceased monarch. This altar is very
beautifully constructed of white marble, with
gilding and inlaid work of much richness. The
high altar, which was erected for the marriage of
Bonaparte with Maria Louisa, and presented by
him to the church, is also extremely rich. The
marble of which it is composed, and the bronze
ornaments which decorate it, are very beautiful.

But not the least interesting part of this ancient
church, are the subterranean chancels and
vaults, containing a great number of monuments
of the French kings from very remote ages. In
the first vault is the tomb of Clovis, the first
christian monarch, and after that follow a long
succession of cells or recesses, with one or more
monuments in each, all of the same construction.
They are generally plain black marble cenotaphs,
upon which are stretched out at length
white marble statues, their heads clasped upon
their breasts, and their feet resting upon a lion,
dog, or some other animal. Although these
tombs are without ornament of any kind, and possess
little or no beauty of appearance, yet the effect
is peculiarly striking and impressive. The
royal vault, which was intended by Bonaparte as 9(6)r 107
the burial-place of himself and family, now contains,
among others, the remains of Louis Sixteenth,
Marie Antoinette, Louis Eighteenth, and
the Duke of Berri. The vault is closed up by
slabs of black marble.

In a chapel, enclosed by an iron railing, is
seen the coffin of the Prince of Conde. For
what reason it is thus exposed, I could not learn.
A lamp is kept continually burning in the vault,
which increases the air of solemnity, which reigns
around this abode of the royal dead. The whole
scene is replete with interest, and cannot be
viewed without emotion. The examination of
the different parts of the church occupied us for
two or three hours, when we again returned to
Paris.

On the following day, I was charmed by a visit
to the Hotel des Invalides. This splendid establishment
is appropriated as an asylum for invalid
soldiers, who, after having fought the battles
of their country, and become crippled or otherwise
disabled in her service, are here provided
with every comfort, which their situation can require,
and pass their old age free from labor
and care, in one of the most superb edifices their
country affords. It is approached by a fine esplanade
of great extent, shaded with trees. Entering
the outer gate you pass to the vestibule,
which conducts to a spacious court, surrounded
by buildings of the utmost grandeur and beauty. 9(6)v 108
Each range is ornamented with arcades, forming
galleries; and each of the outside fronts, as well
as the dome, is decorated with military trophies
and other emblems, in reference to the object of
the institution. Statues, columns, and pilasters
are not wanting to complete the beauty of the
building. The lantern at the top of the dome is
surmounted by a gilt spire and cross.

We first entered the refectories or eating
rooms, which were occupied with round tables,
neatly spread, with twelve pewter plates to each.
These are, of course, for the soldiers, as the officers
are served in a better style, and the upper
officers may take their repasts in their own rooms.
Each refectory is ornamented with a succession
of pictures, in fresco, all relating to the battles of
Louis Fourteenth. The Council Chamber, and
two rooms adjoining it, contain the portraits of
the deceased marshals of France. The portrait
of each marshal is retained in the Salle des
Marechaux
in the Tuileries, until the period of his
death, when it is removed to the Hotel des Invalides.
The library, which contains about twenty-
thousand volumes, was founded by Bonaparte.
The sleeping chambers and infirmaries I did not
enter; but they are all upon a very extensive plan,
and no pains are spared to render them well aired
and comfortable.

The two churches, belonging to the hospital,
one of which is situated beneath the dome, are 10(1)r 109
contiguous, and only separated by a high altar of
exquisite beauty, with a front to each church.
These altars are of white marble, with beautiful
gilt bas-reliefs and other ornaments, and placed
within six gilt columns, three to each side, in
form of a triangle. These columns are ornamented
with beautiful spiral wreaths, and at the
top are six angels, eight feet in height, four of
them upholding the drapery of an elegant canopy,
and the other two bearing censers in their hands.
Above the canopy are two cherubims, supporting
a globe, with a cross upon the summit. The pulpit
of the first church, or Eglise Ancienne, as it
is called, is likewise a brilliant object. It is composed
of white marble, covered with stars of gold.
Around the upper part is a gilt band of bas-reliefs.
The sounding board is in the form of a canopy,
supported by four marble pillars, with gilded capitals
and bases, and above it a gilt crown.

But the beauty of this church is almost entirely
eclipsed by the splendor of the dome, which is
truly admirable. At each side are circular chapels,
entered by large open arches, above which
are bas-reliefs, and columns placed on each side
uphold a gallery, with a gilt balustrade. Each
chapel is ornamented with paintings, representing
different incidents in the lives of the saints, to
whom they are respectively dedicated, and also
with medallions and gilded bas-reliefs.

In the chapels of the Virgin and of St. Theresa 10 10(1)v 110
are two fine monuments to the memory of Marshals
Vauban and Turenne. The former is an
obelisk of blue stucco. An urn of white marble,
placed upon the summit of a column, contains
the heart of Vauban, and a tablet of black
marble is inscribed with only the single word
“Vauban.” The monument of Turenne represents
him expiring, supported by the figure of
Immortality, who crowns him with a laurel
wreath. It is surmounted by an obelisk, and the
basement below, as in the other, bears for inscription
the simple name “Turenne.”

It is impossible to describe the elegant appearance
of this church, when standing in the centre
of the dome. The pavement is of different colored
marbles, beautifully inlaid in various forms.
Before you is the splendid altar, already alluded
to, and in the two chapels, at the right and left,
are seen the noble monuments of Vauban and
Turenne, while the entire platform of the dome
is richly painted and gilded. The most striking
figures are those of the four Evangelists, finely
executed, and placed at four opposite sides of the
dome, which is likewise embellished with medallions
in bas relief, representing the twelve kings of
France.

Such is a brief and very inadequate description
of this sumptuous establishment, which deserves
to be ranked among the noblest institutions of
France, and I may say of the world.

10(2)r 111

On the 1829-08-3131st we repaired to the Jardin des
Plantes
, in spite of the threatening indications of
rain, which had molested us more or less every
day since we had been in Paris.

It requires a far abler pen than mine to do justice
to this truly wonderful establishment, which,
while it forms the most charming resort, and affords
the highest gratification and amusement, to
all ages and ranks, is at the same time a source,
from whence flow the most abundant streams of
information and useful knowledge, in the highest
branches of science. Its cabinets, lectures, and
other advantages are freely open, for the benefit
and enjoyment of all.

The garden is of vast extent, and contains all
the most rare and beautiful plants, shrubs, and
trees of every description, which are found in the
world. These are arranged in a manner the most
delightful and commodious. The trees from various
countries border the avenues, and are formed
into thickets and hedges in different parts of
the garden. The orangery, the green houses,
the beautiful groves of forest trees, all are admirably
arranged, while the almost endless number
of paths, which intersect and cross each other
at every turn, form a complete labyrinth, as indeed
one part of the garden is called, in which
persons may wander for hours, without finding the
object of which they are in search, unless thoroughly
acquainted with the intricacies of the place.

10(2)v 112

But it is impossible to enter any of these paths,
without being attracted by something so beautiful
or so curious, that it cannot be passed by with
indifference, and thus the hours glide rapidly
away, while you are not in the least sensible of
their flight. Here you find a pretty cafe, at
which you may refresh yourself after the fatigues
of a long walk; and there you see an elegant pavilion
on the summit of an eminence, from which
a beautiful view is enjoyed. Descending, by a
steep declivity, from the pavilion, you come to
the famous cedar of Lebanon, which spreads its
enormous branches most majestically on all sides
of the huge trunk. Now you find yourself in the
midst of a number of enclosures, in which are
contained varieties of sheep, goats, deer, and
other tame animals of rare species, from various
countries, which roam about at pleasure, and
are kept in a manner the best suited to preserve
their health and life, and resembling as nearly as
possible the manner in which they exist in their
native climates. To each park there is a little
building, into which the animals may retire in unpleasant
weather and during the night. Again
another path conducts you to the menagerie of
wild beasts, a second to the aviary, a third to the
building called the rotunda, with its enclosures
for other wild animals; and, in short, there scarce
seems any end to the extent and variety of the
place, and the objects of curiosity and interest, 10(3)r 113
which it contains. But unfortunately the weather
was so inauspicious, that all the animals kept
themselves closely housed; and the rain soon
commencing to fall in torrents, I was obliged to
postpone to another and more favorable time, the
pleasure of exploring the garden, and therefore
repaired to the cabinet of natural history,
which, with the library and other buildings, is
connected with the establishment. Probably the
world does not contain a collection so rich, so
extensive and splendid, as is found in this cabinet.
The eye gazes with astonishment and admiration
upon the vast number of birds, animals, fishes,
reptiles,—the beautiful minerals, precious stones
and fossils,—with which the long succession of
galleries are filled.

Passing through those containing the fishes
and insects, I entered into those for animals.
Here I for a moment imagined myself in a menagerie
of wild beasts, so perfect was their preservation.
The lion, tiger, panther, wolf, bear, hyæna,
and other animals of the same savage nature,
stood in frightful array before me, enclosed
in large glass cases, and their fiery eyes seemed
actually to flash with rage, and to express all the
ferocity of the living animal. Then there were
ourang-outangs, kangaroos, elephants, dromedaries,
camels, the lama and the giraffe; the antelope,
the zebra, great varieties of deer and goats,
collections of monkeys, squirrels and domestic 10* 10(3)v 114
cats, of which latter one was in the act of devouring
a yellow bird, which she held in her claws;
and so perfectly natural were the attitude and appearance
of this cat, that any one might easily
imagine her actually living. Those animals,
which I have mentioned, compose but a very
small part of the whole collection; and that of
the birds is equally extensive, and more splendid
from the beauty and brilliancy of their plumage.
The number of birds, which the collection contains,
is said to be more than six thousand, all
of them wonderfully well preserved, with but
very few exceptions. There is no bird, which I
ever heard described, that may not be found here,
from the little delicate humming bird to the kingly
eagle.

We next passed into the gallery of minerals
and precious stones, which, in their turn, demand
the highest admiration. There were the largest
and finest specimens of rock chrystal, which
I have ever seen,—a great number of beautiful
spars and chrystalized minerals of various
kinds, and almost every variety of precious stone,
the diamond, the emerald, the sapphire, the ruby,
the topaz of different colors, and cups of chrystal,
amethyst, and jasper, with valuable specimens
of gold, silver, lead, tin, and other metals. These
were all beautifully arrayed in cases with glass
doors. There were likewise specimens of Spanish
marbles, placed in compartments, and forming 10(4)r 115
the top of a table, which I particularly admired.

We next viewed the large collection of fossil
remains of birds and animals of various known
species, and the much more curious and interesting
collection of the fossil remains of animals,
whose species are no longer known to exist.
These have been carefully arranged by M. Cuvier,
and form the subject of a celebrated treatise.

The cabinet of comparative anatomy, considered
the richest in existence, I did not see, it
not being the day, upon which it is open to the
public.

It is not possible that too high encomiums can
be bestowed upon this most admirable establishment;
but it is only by seeing it with your own
eyes, that you can have a true sense of its beauty
and value.

Letter X.

Model of Saint Petersburg.—French Opera.—Pere la Chaise.
Funeral.—Amaranth Wreaths.

The following morning we visited a collection
of plaister models, contained in a part of the Louvre
where they are made. These consist of
models of all the most celebrated statues and 10(4)v 116
other sculptures, and are well worth being seen.
Some of them are extremely well done, and particularly
that of the beautiful Venetian horses,
which formerly crowned the Arc du Carrousel.

From the Louvre we walked to the Place de
la Bourse
, to see the plan of St. Petersburg,
which I had heard much talked of. We entered
quite a large room, completely occupied by a
table, with only space sufficient between it and
the wall to allow persons to pass around it. Upon
this table was arranged the miniature representation
of St. Petersburg, which those who have
seen the city pronounce to be very exact. The
houses, churches, and indeed, all the buildings,
were made of colored pasteboard, and all the
rivers, canals, squares, trees, and streets are exactly
delineated. Each of them is numbered,
and the proprietor gives you a list of the whole,
so that you can know the names, by looking at
the numbers on the plan and comparing them
with those upon the list. It is a very ingenious
and curious invention, and gives you a most exalted
idea of the extreme size and splendor of
the real city, when you see that the little miniature
copy covers so much space, and contains so
many buildings, which, small as they are, strike
you at once as very beautiful in their architecture
and situation.

On the evening of the same day I attended the
French Opera, or, as it is called, Academie Royale 10(5)r 117
de Musique
. The piece performed was La
Muette de Portici
, and never was I so perfectly
charmed with any theatrical representation whatever,
if I except Macready’s Hamlet. The music
was, to my ear, very fine, and the scenery
splendid beyond description.

The subject of the piece is the insurrection of
Massaniello, the fisherman; and during the
whole opera you have different views of Naples
or its magnificent bay constantly before you.
The stage was generally filled with actors, often
from one to two hundred being upon it at once.
In one scene the marriage of the king of Naples
takes place within a church, and around the door
is collected a crowd of people, who, at the close
of the ceremony, kneel down and join in a hymn,
in the sweetest and simplest strains imaginable.
In another scene a troop of young girls enter,
most beautifully dressed, and eight of them dance
before the princess. This dance was a modification
of the Spanish bolero, accompanied with castanets.
All the movements of the dancers were
exceedingly graceful, and in perfect harmony
with the music. Other dances in the French
style were also performed; but these, though
much more difficult, pleased me far less than the
bolero. There is so much effort, such an unnatural
twisting of the limbs in the French dances,
performed upon the stage, that I cannot relish
them at all.

10(5)v 118

Again another scene represents a meeting of
the fishermen with their families, upon a beautiful
morning, on their return from a cruise in
their little boats, which you see moored in the
bay. Afterwards, before departing upon a second
voyage they sing a charming little song,
called the chorus of the fishermen, which you
probably have heard in America. A very lively,
pretty air also accompanies a market scene,
which is one of the best in the piece. All the
market people are seen entering with panniers
and baskets of fruits and vegetables, and
these they place upon the stage, seating themselves
around to await their customers.—
Beyond are the carriages of the nobles and
grandees, rolling proudly along the street. At
length the insurrection breaks forth, a battle
ensues, and the people are victorious. Massaniello
is brought in, mounted upon a horse, superbly
clad, and borne around the stage, followed
by a concourse of the populace, who proclaim his
triumph with loud cries.

Then follows his death, inflicted by his envious
companions, and the play closes with a magnificent
eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Immense
showers of stones are thrown high into the air,
buildings are seen falling, and streams of lava descend
from every part of the mountain. At the
same instant the mute girl, a sister of Massaniello,
and who plays an important part in the piece, 10(6)r 119
rushes forward, throws herself into the midst of
the burning lava,—and the curtain falls.

No description, however accurate, can impart
a just idea of this splendid opera, which, as it
was the first I ever saw, perfectly enchanted me
from the beginning to the end. The music was
composed by Aubert, and parts of it are very much
admired by the greatest musical amateurs.

On 1829-09-04Friday, the fourth day of September, the
day being very fine, and almost the first clear day
we have seen for two months past, we visited the
cemetery of Pere la Chaise, situated without the
barriere d’Aulnay. This beautiful burial-place,
which derives its appellation from a Jesuit named
Pere la Chaise, formerly propreitor of the
land, is one of the most interesting spots I have
ever seen. The number of acres, that it contains,
are computed to be from eighty to a hundred,
and these grounds, agreeably varied with
hill and dale, present an almost infinite number
of tombs of all descriptions and forms, from the
humble grave stone, that marks the resting place
of the lowly born, to the sumptuous and elegant
mausoleums of wealth, genius, and greatness.
Each grave is placed within a little enclosure,
planted with roses and other flowering shrubs,
and upon all the grave stones are suspended
wreaths of amaranth flowers, which are yearly
brought by the friends of the deceased, and hung
upon the tombs, as emblems of their undying 10(6)v 120
affection for those they have loved and lost.

The mournful cypress and the weeping willow
are seen in every part of the cemetery, and
with the various shrubs, flowers, and garlands,
and the delicate whiteness of the marble monuments,
present a scene at once beautiful, solemn,
and affecting.

We first passed to the tomb of Abeillard and
Heloise, which actually contains their united
ashes. The form of the tomb is that of a gothic
chapel, surrounded with columns, supporting
arches, and within is seen a sarcophagus, adorned
with bas-reliefs, upon which recline full length
statues of the two lovers. The chapel is also
ornamented with appropriate bas-reliefs.

Leaving this interesting spot, I wandered about
for a long time in different directions, deeply affected
by the simple and beautiful lines, which
composed the epitaphs of a great number of the
tombs, and which parental, filial, or conjugal affection
had engraven thereon. Often was my
eye attracted by the snow white wreath, always
the emblem of maiden innocence and loveliness,
while the inscription beneath set forth the grief
and anguish of doting parents, at seeing thus
cut off, in the morning of life and in all the bloom of
youth, the hope and solace of their days. Again
a plain white marble column, sometimes accompanied
with a marble bust and gilded inscription,
denoted, that those who reposed beneath had died 11(1)r 121
in early boyhood; and the perfect simplicity and
unadorned beauty of these little columns, struck
me even more than the rich decorations of many
of the large and costly monuments.

Ascending to the most elevated part of the
cemetery, we came to the chapel, which is a
small building, surmounted by a marble cross.
The interior is perfectly plain, and a window in
the centre of the roof admits the light. At one
side was a kind of altar, at which many persons
were burning small wax tapers to their deceased
friends.

In front of the chapel is a piece of level ground,
where you have a most beautiful view of Paris
and the villages in its vicinity; and turning from
the abodes of the living, you see at your feet the
last sad resting place of thousands of human beings,
who, within the narrow confines of the
grave, sleep unconscious, as the cold and senseless
marble that covers them, of the joys or sorrows,
the hopes, fears or passions, that agitate
the breasts of even the nearest and dearest they
have left behind.

Upon the same eminence with the chapel are
a vast number of very splendid monuments, generally
of marble; but some of them entirely of
iron painted black. Many illustrious names,
which the voice of fame has sounded in far distant
countries, demanding for them the respect and
admiration of the world, are here inscribed; 11 11(1)v 122
together with those of female worth, which, unseen
by the world and unknown to fame, has made
the joy and happiness of the domestic circle, and
received the love and veneration of all within the
sphere of its influence.

The graves of Moliere and La Fontaine are
situated side by side; but no conspicuous or lofty
monuments mark the spot.

But it is not to the French alone, that the
cemetery of Pere la Chaise is appropriated.
Persons from almost every civilized nation are
here interred; and not a few from my own country
claimed the tribute of a sigh, as I read their
names, familiar to my ear, upon the plain white
marble stones that marked their graves.

One English monument particularly attracted
attention, not from any remarkable beauty in the
tomb itself, but that the inscriptions upon it, all
taken from Moore’s Melodies, were so beautiful
and appropriate. The tomb was of white marble,
and the inscriptions in gilded letters. Upon the
front was the name of “Emma Durant, aged 19
years;”
and beneath it the following lines:— “Long be my heart with thy memory filled,Like the vase in which roses have once been distill’d;You may break, you may ruin the vase if you will;But the scent of the roses will hang round it still.”
On one side, “Weep not for her, whom the veil of the tombIn life’s happy morning has hid from our eyes,Ere sin threw a blight o’er the spirit’s young bloom,Or earth had profaned what was born for the skies.” 11(2)r 123
—together with the four succeeding lines. On
the other side were the eight lines, beginning, “It is not the tear at this moment shed,When the green turf has just been laid o’er her,That can tell how beloved is the soul that is fled,Or how deep in our hearts we deplore her.”

We entered the cemetery at twelve o’clock,
and only left it as the last rays of the setting sun
crowned the tops of the trees and monuments,
and yet the time was scarcely sufficient to see all
that we wished, of this most beautiful and interesting
place.

Just after leaving the gate of the cemetery, I
observed a procession approaching, which, as it
drew near, I found to be the funeral of a young
girl. The sides of the hearse were entirely open,
and the coffin within was covered with a white
pall. The bearers consisted of little girls, of the
same apparent age with the deceased, all dressed
in white, and each holding in her hand one end
of a broad white ribbon, the other end being attached
to the coffin. The sight of this young
and interesting group, bearing to the silent mannsions
of the dead the last remains of a beloved
play-mate, was at once simple and affecting, and
added still another link to the long chain of
mournful, but pleasing, associations, which will
ever be connected in my mind with the remembrance
of Pere la Chaise.

In continuing to advance homeward, I noticed,
for some distance in the vicinity of the cemetery, 11(2)v 124
several work shops, in which the various grave
stones, columns, and monuments were constructed;
and also a large number of females, with
small stands before them, all engaged either in
selling bunches of amaranth or twining it into
wreaths for sale. Thus the peculiarities of this
burial place over others, not only impart gratification
to the eye and the imagination, but also afford
means of subsistence to many, who might
otherwise be suffering for the necessaries of life.

Letter XI.

Musee Charles Dix.—Interior of the Tuileries.—Cirque Olympique.
Theatre Francais.—La Fayette.

Having obtained permission to see the Musee
Charles Dix
, we repaired to the Louvre for that
purpose (1829-09-05September 5th). This Museum occupies
a succession of apartments in the Louvre,
which are newly fitted up in a style the most rich
and splendid. The ornaments are not all completed;
but sufficiently so to give an idea of what
the elegance of these apartments will be, when
entirely finished. Two years are yet allowed for
their completion, with workmen continually employed
upon them.

In the centre of the first room we entered, was
a table of porphyry, supporting a large vase, and 11(3)r 125
around the table was a beautiful mosaic circle,
with chariots at equal distances apart, each chariot
drawn by a different species of animals: one
by a pair of lions, another by a pair of tigers, and
others by deer, sheep, and goats, all finely executed.
In the same room there were a number
of busts, and two large candelabras of white marble,
a gift from the officers of the Prussian army,
with the medallions and names of Louis de Lescure,
and of Louis and Henry de Larochejaquelein.

The Salle des Bijoux contains a very large collection
of precious stones in different forms; and
a variety of beautiful cups, belonging to the
queens of the house of Medici. In the Salle du
Sacre
, among other large pictures, are two magnificent
ones by Gerard: the coronation of Charles
Tenth
, and the entry of Henry Fourth into Paris.
The coloring and execution of both these paintings
are admirable. Then follow a succession of
rooms, which do not contain very much that is interesting.
Then the Salon Royal, in which
the remains of the Duke of Berri were exposed
after his death. You next enter a suite of apartments,
filled with Egyptian curiosities, such as
their deities, all varieties of utensils, mummies,
ladies’ jewels, and a great number of other curious
collections, arranged in large, handsome
cases. In nearly all the apartments of the Museum,
the ceilings are superbly painted; and 11* 11(3)v 126
these, with the great profusion of gilt ornaments,
the beautiful marble columns the whole height of
the apartments, the richly gilded capitals and
bases, produce a more brilliant effect, than can
be imagined.

The next week (1829-09-07September 7th) we had the
gratification of seeing the interior of the palace of
the Tuileries. Entering the vestibule, from the
garden, and ascending the broad stair-case to the
left, we saw the chapel, which is quite plain; and
afterwards made the round of the apartments.
Of these the Salle du Trone and the King’s sleeping
chamber are much the richest. The Salle
des Marechaux
contains a succession of portraits
of all the living marshals of France; and these,
as I have before noticed, are, at their deaths,
conveyed to the Hotel des Invalides. The Salle
du Trone
is hung with crimson, ornamented
with gold, and the throne, which is very superb,
is overhung by a beautiful canopy of crimson velvet,
fringed with gold and strewed with gilded
fleur de lis. The ceiling is handsomely painted,
and the other decorations of the room are rich
and elegant.

The King’s sleeping chamber is hung with purple
velvet embroidered with gold. The ceiling
is painted and ornamented with gold, and the bed,
adorned with purple drapery, is surrounded by a
gilded balustrade of great beauty.

The apartments of the Duchess d’Angouleme, 11(4)r 127
though tastefully arranged, are not remarkably
splendid; and indeed, aside from the rooms above
described, I was much disappointed as to the interior
beauty of the palace. Neither the furniture
nor ornaments are generally so handsome as
those in the royal palace at the Hague, and that of
Versailles is vastly superior to it in every respect.

But the palace of the Tuileries will ever be
regarded with interest so long as a stone of it remains,
and scarcely a room through which we
passed, but awakened recollections of some terrible
scenes of the revolution, transacted within its
walls. Here too resided the Emperor Napoleon,
in the days of his pride and glory; and this circumstance
alone would shed around the spot an
interest, of which it could never be deprived.

The same evening I attended the Cirque Olympique,
or Franconi’s, for the purpose of witnessing
the feats of a remarkable elephant, which attracts
more persons to this theatre than to almost any
other in Paris. The evening commenced with
circus riding, which was not particularly good,
although some few of the riders displayed great
skill and dexterity. After the exhibition was
over, and the circus cleared, a number of men
entered, with boards and the proper tools for
erecting a temporary pit, which in a few moments
was completed, and almost instantly filled with
those who had been waiting without during the
riding.

11(4)v 128

All being now in readiness, the curtain was
raised and the play commenced. As this was one
of the most extraordinary exhibitions of brute sagacity,
which I ever witnessed or indeed ever
heard of, I shall endeavor, as well as I can recollect,
to give you a little sketch of it.

The king of Siam dies and leaves the crown to
his son; but another prince also lays claim to it,
and determines to destroy the life of his rival.
The whole object of the play, which in itself is
very inferior, is to place the rightful inheritor in
such situations of danger, that escape appears
impossible, and then to rescue him by means of
the wonderful elephant, which is held in superstitious
veneration by the whole kingdom, with the
fate of which he is considered in some way connected.
Each of the two rivals has his partisans,
and at the head of those of the pretender are a
large number of priests, who continually urge
him on to the destruction of his enemies.

The true prince is betrothed to a young princess,
and the first time the elephant is introduced
upon the stage, is to take a letter from the princess
for her lover, warning him of approaching
danger. He marches along with the most majestic
air, followed by a crowd of people, and when
he approaches the spot where the princess stands,
he receives her letter, unperceived by any one,
and then retires. But in spite of this warning,
the prince falls into the hands of his enemies, and 11(5)r 129
is confined in a large box, where he is nearly starved,
when the elephant finds him out, tears off the
top of the box, and sets him free. He is again
made prisoner, and secured in a prison, the grated
windows of which open upon the stage. The
elephant enters, wrenches apart the iron gratings,
and then sits down, in such a manner that his
head reaches the window, and his back forms an
easy descent to the ground. The attendants of
the young prince now descend one after the other,
and when he himself appears, the animal
rises and bears him off the stage upon his back.

The next scene of any consequence represents
a contest between the two princes for the
crown, which is finally obtained by the pretender
and placed upon his head, while the other prince
is in the act of being carried off by the victorious
party. At this instant the elephant enters, approaches
the pretender without being seen by
him, raises his huge trunk, takes off the crown
and places it on the head of the other prince,
and, lifting him upon his back, again bears him
away in triumph.

The palace of his four footed majesty is represented,
with a table spread in the midst of the
saloon. This room is separated from another by
folding doors. Presently the doors are drawn
aside by a servant, and the elephant marches in
and approaches the table. The servant then
takes a large napkin, or I should say table cloth, 11(5)v 130
and fastens it around his enormous neck. The
first course of dishes is then brought in, which
is immediately devoured, followed by a bottle
of wine, the elephant dexterously drawing out
the cork with his proboscis. In the mean
time the servant, who, by the way, was the
most grotesque looking figure ever imaginable, whom
it was impossible to regard without laughing, is
conversing with the bystanders, relative to the
extraordinary exploits of his master; and points
out to them his drawing-room and his sleeping
apartments. Just then the elephant, having
finished the course, touches him upon the
shoulder. At this he starts, seizes the dishes,
runs with them to a line of servants who are stationed
at the door with the next course of dishes,
exchanges them with all speed, and the table is
again spread in the twinkling of an eye, This is
repeated three or four times, when, after the
desert is finished, the napkin is taken off, the
mouth and proboscis are carefully wiped, and the
elephant retires,—probably to take his siesta.

In the next scene, the priests, who belong to the
party of the pretender, come upon the stage, and,
opening the trap door on one side, descend into
a subterranean vault, to perform some religious
rites. The stage is rendered quite dark, and
bright flashes of light are from time to time reflected
upon the scenery, from the fires of sacrifice,
which they are burning below. In a few 11(6)r 131
moments appear a large number of the most fantastic
looking figures, resembling, more than anything
else, the pictures of the zany, which we see
in children’s books. They all bear in their hands
lighted torches, which they place upon the stage.
From each of these torches ascends a splendid
blue flame to a great height, making the whole
stage appear one blaze of light. Then these
strange looking persons perform the most singular
evolutions, which you can imagine. They twist
their bodies into all sorts of whimsical shapes,
mount upon each other’s shoulders, each other’s
backs, and at last, taking up the torches, they
form them in a ring, still holding them in their
hands. One of the number then leaps through
the blazing circle, and they all disappear.

Now the elephant is again seen entering. With
noiseless step he approaches the trap-door, which
fastens down with a spring, suddenly closes it,
and buries the poor priests alive in the midst of
their devotions. Whether the pretender is with
the priests, in the vault, and is thus got rid of, I
do not recollect; but, at any rate, the heads of
his party being destroyed, the true prince triumphs;
and the closing scene succeeds, which is
more brilliant, than can words well describe.
The whole of the back part of the stage presents
a splendid sun, whose glittering rays spread out
in all directions, and render it almost impossible
to fix the eyes upon its dazzling brightness. The 11(6)v 132
next instant appears the elephant, with a most
magnificent pavilion upon his back, in which are
seated the prince and princess, now acknowledged
king and queen, clad in the most splendid
manner, and their dresses, sparkling with gems
and gold, almost eclipse in lustre the glorious
orb of day, which is represented behind them.
They are brought forward upon the stage, so that
all may have a distinct view of them, when the
curtain slowly descends and shuts them from
sight.

Almost instantly it is raised again, and the
elephant advances alone upon the stage, paws
with his huge feet, raises his proboscis two or
three times, and the curtain again falls amid thunders
of applause, and of bis, bis, that is encore,
from every part of the theatre. This was
repeated so long and loudly, that the elephant
again appeared, expressed his thanks in a kind of
hissing voice, again shuffled his feet, raised
his trunk, and the curtain fell for the last time,
while the building rang again, with clapping of
hands and loud bursts of applause. And thus
ended the evening’s entertainment.

On the evening of the 1829-09-1515th, I attended the
Theatre Francais. The play was the Tartuffe
of Moliere, and the celebrated Mademoiselle
Mars
performed. Her part was admirably sustained,
and I have never seen any actress to be
compared to her in any respect. Her voice is 12(1)r 133
music’s self, and her manner of performing her
part perfectly true to nature. She is quite
pretty, and although some fifty years of age, she
appears scarce thirty, and might be taken for
much younger even than that. The after piece,
a modern composition, was merely a representation
of scenes in private life, and the actors were
all dressed in the fashion of the present day.
Here Mademoiselle Mars appeared to even better
advantage than in the play. Her part was
intended to display the sweetness, gentleness, and
generosity, and all the self-devotion, which often
mark the female character in real life. This she
performed to admiration, and the charm of her
voice, her manner, and the elegance of her pronunciation,
were irresistable.

But aside from the pleasure, which her acting
imparted, the scene was to me entirely void of
interest. I did not sufficiently understand the
language to follow readily what was said, and of
course lost a great deal of pleasure on that account;
and then again there being nothing of
spectacle in the scenery, which remained unchanged
during almost the whole evening, there
was little to please or attract the eye. In addition
to this, happening to get there a little too
late, we found no place upon the front seat of the
box, and the ladies, who occupied that seat, wore
such enormous bonnets, that it was only by leaning
forward in a manner the most fatiguing, or by standing12 12(1)v 134
up, that we could see any thing upon the stage.
Thus, although I was delighted with Mademoiselle
Mars
, the performances, independent of
her, were so wearisome to me that I very gladly
saw them concluded:—a feeling which I never experienced
in a theatre before, theatrical representations
being an amusement of all others so
fascinating in general.

A very beautiful sitting statue of Voltaire ornaments
the basement of the Theatre Francais,
which, in the evening, when the room is lighted,
has an exceedingly fine effect.

On Saturday we received a call from General
Lafayette
, who was in Paris for a few days, on
his way from the south of France. He spoke of
his triumphal tour with all the delicacy, which
has ever signalized his truly remarkable character;
and referred to his journey in the United
States
with the utmost pleasure. His call, though
extremely gratifying, was not long, as he was
about returning to La Grange, whither he gave
us a polite and cordial invitation to visit him, during
the following week: a visit, to which I looked
forward, as you may well suppose, with no small
degree of delight.

12(2)r 135

Letter XII.

Musee d’Artillerie.—Looking Glass Manufactory.—Hospital
for the Blind
.—School for the young Blind.—Jardin des
Plantes
.—Conciergerie.—Italian Opera.

On 1829-09-24Thursday, the 24th, we visited the Musee
d’Artillerie
. The first gallery, which we entered,
was lined on each side with suits of glittering armor,
placed upon frames precisely in the manner
they were worn, and giving them, at first glance,
all the appearance of actual warriors. Above
them, upon the walls, were hung various casques,
shields, bucklers, and other military equipments.
The centre of the gallery was occupied by the
armor of Louis Fourteenth, Henry Fourth, and
Francis First; the latter upon horseback, his
horse likewise clad in armor. Those on the sides
of the gallery were complete suits of armor, belonging
to the kings and great generals of
France, of different and successive epochs,
with a number belonging to females, among
which was that of the Maid of Orleans. Nearly
all of them were of brilliant steel, without a
spot or blemish of any kind to mar their lustre;
and you may imagine how beautiful must have
been the effect. Among the great number of
casques, two were very ancient and remarkable.
One of them is supposed to have been the casque
of Attila, and the other of Abdalrahman, one of
the Moorish kings.

12(2)v 136

Besides this gallery, there were a number of others,
containing models of field pieces, and a great
variety of arms, such as pistols ancient and modern,
muskets, swords, and dirks. The butts of
many of the pistols and muskets, and the handles
of the swords, were beautifully set with precious
stones, colored steel, and ivory. The dirk, with
which the Duke of Berri was assassinated, has
been preserved, and was exhibited in one of the
cases.

On Friday I took a long walk to the Royal
Glass Manufactory
, and on my way thither entered
the picture gallery, called Galerie Le Brun,
at which modern pictures are exhibited, chiefly
for sale, and the proceeds devoted to some charitable
object. Many of the paintings were quite
good, and the subjects interesting.

On arriving at the Manufactory, I was disappointed
to find, that the glass was not blown
here; but only polished and silvered. There
seemed to be very few persons at work; but
there were a vast number of rooms filled with
large piles of mirrors, ready to be silvered, some
of them of enormous size. We entered one of
the rooms appropriated to silvering, and the man,
who conducted us, went through the process upon
one of the glasses, to show us how it was done.
There were large tubs about the apartment, full
of quicksilver, which was dipped out in vessels,
some of them not holding more than a pint, but 12(3)r 137
so extremely heavy, when full, that I could scarcely
lift one with both my hands.

From this place, we went to the Hospital for
the Blind
, which I found very deficient in neatness
and order. We passed through a number
of galleries, with apartments at the sides, all of
them badly aired, and exhibiting marks of great
neglect. In one room we saw a blind man engaged
in papering little wooden boxes, of different
sizes, which he placed upon the shelves for sale.
They were very neatly done, and some of them
quite pretty. In another room there was a bookbinder’s
shop, where we saw a great variety of
books for teaching the blind to read. A little
boy, about twelve years old, read to us with as
much facility as we do with the eyes, by applying
his fingers to the letters.

The Institution for the Young Blind, which I
saw the following day, was very much more interesting.
The apartments were neat and clean,
and the inmates seemed cheerful and happy.
Some were employed in playing upon different
kinds of instruments, and some in knitting and
other occupations. There were exhibited, in one
of the rooms, little articles of needle-work for
sale, only curious as having been made by the
blind; and also some pieces of music composed
by the pupils.

I was astonished to find how much progress
these young unfortunates had made in all the 12* 12(3)v 138
common branches of education and in music.
One young girl executed a very difficult piece
without making a single mistake; and another,
apparently eighteen years of age, was giving lessons
to the younger ones. If either of them
struck the wrong notes, she would place their
hands upon the right ones, without once missing.
Again there was another, who answered a great
variety of questions in geography; pointed out
on the map the city of Washington, Great Britain,
some small islands in the Atlantic ocean, the
boundaries of the United States, those of Patagonia,
and all without the least hesitation. She
then solved some problems in arithmetic with
equal readiness. The slate was made of wire
net work, and the figures were upon types. It
was really astonishing to see with what rapidity
she placed the types, and after the result was
given, with how much accuracy she put them
back again in their places. There were also
types with letters on them, and with these she set
various sentences, which we gave her for trial.

The number of girls in the Institution is thirty,
and of boys sixty. Besides the rooms for general
instruction, there were those for printing and for
weaving and spinning, and a pretty library, the
books all printed in large raised letters, for the use
of the blind. In the maps by which they are taught
geography, the capital cities are designated by a
small nail or pin head; and all the boundaries 12(4)r 139
and rivers are raised, so as to be easily followed
with the fingers.

The refectories and the kitchen were all in good
order, and there was an air of comfort about the
whole establishment, very different from that of the
Hospital, from which neatness and comfort seemed
studiously banished.

The day being very fine, I determined to make
a second visit to the Jardin des Plantes, in the
hope of finding the animals visible. In this expectation
I was not disappointed. The beautiful
weather had drawn them all out from their retreat,
and I had a fine opportunity of seeing them.

The most curious and rare animal among them
is the cameleopard, which forms one of the great
attractions of the garden; more however from its
rarity than beauty. His neck is of enormous
length, and when he walks it gives him the most
awkward and singular appearance conceivable.
His skin is spotted, and the expression of his
face is very mild and gentle. In the same
enclosure with him was a young zebra, which
amused me exceedingly. He was in a most
merry mood, skipped about in all directions, and
seemed by his gambols to express the joy he felt
at seeing the sun once more.

Leaving this frolicsome little animal I came to
the more staid and sober elephants, the fierce and
angry bisons, and the stupid looking dromedaries;
and then to the large pits enclosing the 12(4)v 140
bears. In the centre of each pit, was a post with
long pegs upon it, and by these the bears climbed
to the top of the posts, and caught in their mouths
pieces of cake and bread, which were thrown
them by the multitudes standing around the pits.
All the other enclosures were equally surrouned
with men, women, and children, amusing themselves
in feeding the animals, some of the most
tame and gentle of which would come to the
fence and eat from their hands. One gentleman,
in offering the largest elephant a piece of cake,
accidentally dropped it in such a manner that the
animal could not find it; and the latter; indignant
at the supposed insult, immediately turned round,
and with one of his hind feet threw a cloud of dust
and gravel into the gentleman’s face, to the great
amusement of the spectators.

We next came to the collection of wild beasts,
which are confined in a large building divided
into cells, wih iron gratings in front, so that they
can all be seen with perfect distinctness. These
cells contained, among other animals, several
lions and lionesses, hyænas, foxes, wolves, and
bears, both white and black. Several animals
from America were presented to the menagerie
by General Lafayette.

The aviary is very extensive, and contains a
large number of birds of different sizes, and
among them some birds of prey of great strength.
The collection of monkeys was also quite large. 12(5)r 141
Some of them we saw eating their dinner, as contentedly
as possible, at the windows of the building
in which they are kept.

I enjoyed my second visit to the garden quite
as much as the first, and viewed it with even
greater admiration; the cold and rainy day, upon
which I visited it before, having prevented my
seeing all its beauties in the greatest perfection.

My visit to the Conciergerie, (1829-10-01October 1st)
was one of the most sadly interesting which I
made in Paris, it having been the prison in which
were confined Marie Antoinette and the Princess
Elizabeth
, previous to their execution, and after
the death of Louis Sixteenth.

Passing through a long gallery, with close dark
cells on each side, one of which was the prison of
Madame Elizabeth, another of Robespierre, and
a third of the assassin Louvel, we entered the
chapel, from whence a passage conducts to the
prison of Marie Antoinette, in which she was immured
for the space of more than seventy days,
and then exchanged it for the scaffold. It is now
converted into a chapelle expiatoire, and every
thing within it, upon which you place your eye,
reminds you of those unfortunate victims of unheard
barbarity and savage cruelty. At both
sides the little passage between the two chapels
are two monuments, the one inscribed,—“A la
memoire de Louis XVI,”
and the other,—“A la
memoire de Madame Elizabeth,”
with a medallion 12(5)v 142
of each. Upon the spot where the Queen’s
bed stood is a picture, which represents the
widowed, solitary prisoner, clothed in mourning
weeds, and kneeling at the bed side in humble
prayer. On one side is another picture, representing
the separation between her and her family,
in which you see her only daughter, now the
Dauphine of France, torn from her mother’s
arms, and fainting in those of her aunt. A third
painting shows the Queen in the middle of the
night, receiving her last communion from the
hands of a priest, who had obtained entrance into
the cell in the disguise of a gendarme.

I cannot express to you the mingled feelings
of pity and indignation, which the sight of these
damp, gloomy vaults inspired. To think that
they should ever have been the abode of beautiful
and delicate women, accustomed from their
infancy to all the splendors of royalty and luxuries
of palaces! Oh! it is an indelible blot, an everlasting
disgrace to the French name, which no
time or change of circumstance can ever efface.
Whether the death of Louis was or was not justifiable,
in a political point of view, is a question
on which many differ, even of the wise and good,
thought I must confess, that I could never see the
justice of it. But there can surely be but one
opinion upon the sacrifice of these unhappy females,
who had committed no crime, who were
incapable, by the laws of their country, of inheriting 12(6)r 143
the crown, or of bestowing it upon their husbands,
should they marry; and yet who were
plunged like the lowest criminal into horrible
dungeons, and dragged forth like him to a public
and violent death. Destitute, indeed, of every
feeling claiming kindred with humanity, must have
been the diabolical spirits, who committed the
shameful deed; and almost equally dead to such
feelings must be the individual, who could justify
it.

In the evening I attended the Italian Opera,
to hear Mademoiselle Sontag and Madame Pisaroni
in Semiramide. This opera, though considered
exceedingly fine, the music being composed
by the great Rossin, is not that in which Mademoiselle
Sontag
appears to the greatest advantage. The music is not exactly adapted to her
voice, which is rather sweet than powerful; and
the piece, moreover, requires talent in acting, of
which she is nearly destitute. One cannot fail of
being charmed with her singing at times; but it
often loses much of its effect by being accompanied
with very ordinary acting. Madame Pisaroni
sings pretty well; but is not comparable to
Mademoiselle Sontag. In order to enjoy her
singing at all, one must not look at her face,
which she distorts most frightfully. It would
doubtless prove great want of taste not to prefer
Rossini’s music to any other, or to pronounce the
Muette de Portici superior to Semiramide; but 12(6)v 144
however that may be, I was certainly much more
delighted with the former than the latter, and the
impression which it left, was far more agreeable
and lasting.

Letter XIII.

Visit to La Grange.—The Chateau.—The Family.—The
Grounds.—The Library.—La Fayette.

On 1829-10-08Thursday, October 8th, we received a second
call from General Lafayette, who offered us
two vacant seats in his carriage with himself and
granddaughter, to go to La Grange on the following
day. The kind offer, we were of course very
happy to avail ourselves of, and the next morning
at eleven o’clock, were on our way to
that spot, which of all others I most desired
to see. Our ride was a delightful one, as
indeed how could it fail to be? The General
conversed a great deal, and his open, unaffected
manner banished all restraint. His granddaughter,
Madame Perier, the daughter of
Mr. George W. Lafayette, I found a most intelligent
and interesting lady, gentle unpretending,
and amiable in her deportment. She has
been two years married, and resides near Grenoble,
to which place her grandfather had made his
recent journey, partly for the purpose of visiting 13(1)r 145
her family and of bringing her back with him to
La Grange.

The face of the country, between Paris and
this place, is not remarkably pleasant, except one
or two pretty views, which we saw in ascending a
steep hill, near the village called Pont de Saint
Maur
. The road is sometimes bordered with
vineyards, and these, the first I have seen, disappointed
me exceedingly in their appearance. Instead
of the beautiful arbors, hung with clustering
grapes, with which a vineyard has ever been associated
in my imagination, I saw nothing but a
field of poles, with the vines attached to them by
wisps of straw, less pleasing to the eye than a
common pea-field in America. They were not
enclosed by hedge or fence, and nothing but a
ditch separated them from the road.

In passing through the several villages, the
people in the streets, at seeing the General’s
carriage pass, raised their hats with the greatest
respect, though they could not see his face or
person.

At length we approached the end of our journey,
and as we entered the boundaries of La
Grange
,— “Now”, cried the General, “we are upon
American ground”
. In a few minutes the turrets
of the ancient chateau appeared in sight, and we
soon drove through the portal and entered a
court, three sides of which are occupied by the
castle, the remaining one opening upon a beautiful13 13(1)v 146
park. The portal is cut through a part of the
building, and this on the outer side is covered
with ivy, which was planted by Fox, when visiting
General lafayette, after the peace of Amiens.

When the carriage stopped at the door, we
found all the family assembled there, ready to
welcome their revered parent. They all embraced
him affectionately, and he then introduced
to them his guests, whom they received with
cordial politeness.

We now ascended to the saloon, where a bright
and cheerful fire shed an air of comfort and hospitality
around the apartment. It is a circular
room, handsomely, but simply furnished. Around
the walls are suspended portraits of General
Greene
, of Mr. Monroe, John Adams, John Q.
Adams
, Jefferson, and Madison. At each side of
the fire-place are portraits, one of Bailly and the
other of La Rochefoucauld; and upon the mantlepiece
are small marble busts, representing the
father of Riego and his wife. At the opposite
side of the room is a pedestal with a bronze bust
of Washington, made at the time he was in the
army.

After remaining here a short time, we were
conducted to our own apartment, in which a
warm fire was also burning and every thing
disposed for our reception. This room was
hung with various prints of scenes in America.

At six o’clock the bell rang for dinner, and we 13(2)r 147
repaired to the saloon, where the numerous
family of the house, and a few temporary visiters,
were already assembled. Descending to the
dining-room, situated upon the lower floor, we
found a table abundantly spread, with meats and
vegetables almost exclusively the produce of the
farm; and the fruits, which formed the desert,
were all of the General’s own raising. And the
cheerfulness and hilarity, which reigned around
the hospitable board, gave additional richness to
the repast.

It was at this time, that Madame Perier
made me acquainted with the names of the family
and their relationship to each other, and I shall
mention them to you here. There were, first, the
eldest daughter of the General, Madame de la
Tour Maubourg
, and her youngest daughter, Jenny.
Next Madame Lasteyrie, who has one son,
Jules, and three daughters. The eldest, Pauline,
is married to the Count de Remusat, and has an
infant son, named Pierre. Her husband was
with her at La Grange. The second daugter
is named Melanie, and the third Octavie.
There were three daughters of Mr G. W.
Lafayette
, who, with his wife and two young sons,
Oscar and Edmund, was now absent. The eldest
daughter, Natalie, wife of M. Augustin Perier,
had with her a little girl, Octavie, about ten months
old. Her sisters are Matilde and Clementine.
Madame de la Tour Maubourg has still another 13(2)v 148
daughter, Celestine, who is married to the Baron
de Brigode
, and has four children. This is, I
believe, a correct list of all the family of the excellent
General, who appeared among them like
the patriarch of the flock, and fully realized all my
ideas of that ancient and venerable character.

Having finished dinner, we returned to the parlor,
and the evening passed in general and agreeable
conversation.

At ten o’clock the next morning we again met
at breakfast table, and afterwards took a walk
around the domains. The General first conducted
us to a pretty little building, with painted windows,
in which was placed the Whitehall boat,
called the American Star, presented to him at
New York. Thence to an enclosure, where
were a beautiful American stag, and a doe, presented
to him from the Jardin des Plantes, but of
American parentage. We then entered a large
yard, surrounded by the buildings of the farm, at
one side of which was the aviary, containing a
number of very curious and beautiful birds.
Then we were conducted to the various sheep
folds, which enclosed flocks of merinos, amounting,
in the whole, to a thousand, all remarkable
for the fineness and beauty of their wool. Entering
the farm-house, we were shown two fine
cool dairies, placed half under ground, and like
all the other apartments which I saw, remarkably
clean and nice.

13(3)r 149

After having seen all the different parts of the
farm, we walked into the woods, which are beautifully
laid out, in the General’s own taste; and a
great number of the trees were planted by his
own hands. Our walk terminated at a pretty little
artificial lake, with an island in the midst of it,
and a pleasure boat for sailing. Returning to
the chateau, we took a run over the beautiful
lawn in front of it, with trees so planted in groups,
as to afford open vistas between them. After this
we all separated, to pursue whatever occupation
we chose.

And this is one of the great charms of La
Grange
; all are left at liberty to go and come as
they please, without any of the restraints of ordinary
visiting. You may read or write,—walk,
sail or hunt, as the one or the other is most
agreeable to your taste, until the dinner bell gives
the signal for again uniting. It seems to make
not the slightest difference in the arrangements
of the family, whether there are twenty guests or
only one. All that come are cordially welcomed,
and they have only to make themselves as happy,
as the numerous attractions of the place enable
them to be.

At dinner we were pleased to meet Mr. Levasseur,
who, with two other French gentlemen,
had arrived during the day. The evening was
spent in music and dancing, the young ladies
taking turns to play for each other. The room 13* 13(3)v 150
appropriated for these purposes, possesses quite
as many memorials of America, as the adjoining
saloon. The most conspicuous object on one
side was the ’star-spangled banner’, suspended
between the portraits of Washington and Franklin,
the latter painted by Madame Perier.
There were also busts of J. Q. Adams and Mr.
Monroe
, a portrait of the commander of the
Brandywine, the Declaration of Independence,
and Washington’s Farewell Address, together
with two French prints, one of the Bastille and
the other of the Champ de Mars.

We then followed to the library, which adjoins
the General’s sleeping chamber. Just outside
the door of this room is a small picture of the
prison at Olmutz, and the jailor unlocking the
door of the cell in which the General was confined.
The bed chamber was adorned with prints
and paintings of different kinds; some of them
portraits of personal and family friends, and 13(4)r 151
others of public characters, such as General Jackson,
Henry Clay, William H. Crawford and others.
There were likewise prints of the Hancock
house, of Mr. Adams’ residence at Quincy, and
the picture of a scene at Yorktown, with the figures
of Washington, Lincoln, and Lafayette,
among others, represented in it. Upon a table
was placed a splendid silver urn, a present from
the officers of the Brandywine. On one side was
seen the harbor of New York, at the moment of
the General’s departure, and the ship was just setting
sail. On the other was the open tomb of Washington,
and three persons about to descend into it,
namely, General Lafayette, his son, and Mr.
Levasseur
.

The library is a handsome circular room, containing
a large number of beautiful books, conveniently
arranged in open book-cases, and consisting
of all the most popular French, English,
and American works, ancient and modern. Beneath
these were other cases, the doors so ingeniously
contrived as perfectly to resemble
ranges of books. In these were kept splendid
specimens of binding and printing executed in the
United States; and large drawers full of the testimonials
of affection and regard, which the General
had received at different periods of his life;
all which he seemed to value very highly, and to
exhibit with the utmost pleasure. In the first
drawer he opened, among a variety of pretty little 13(4)v 152
boxes, was a pocket testament, bound in red morocco,
which he said a pious female friend was so
kind as to give him, when he last visited the United
States
. Upon the blank leaf of it was written:
“Be America his resting place and heaven his home.”
He then showed us the contents of all the other
drawers, the umbrella which Washington was
accustomed to use, his silver spectacles, the
cane of Franklin, a sword blade, made of the
bolts of the Bastille, a large collection of canes,
and a chair cushion, worked by Mrs. Washington
at the age of seventy years. The most beautiful
cane, that the General possesses, and which
he always carries, is one cut from an apple tree,
beneath which he breakfasted with General
Washington
, on the morning of a memorable
battle. The head is of gold, and inscribed with his
name, and beneath,—“It shaded him and his
friend Washington.”

A striking proof of the inherent and delicate
politeness, which displays itself in all the members
of this charming family, is the interest that
they manifested in looking over these gifts, and
expressing the greatest admiration of their beauty,
as if seeing them for the first time, though, in
fact, they must have exhibited them to hundreds
of their different visiters, always, I doubt not,
with equal cheerfulness and alacrity. Among
other curiosities the General showed us a small,
full-length portrait of himself, taken at the 13(5)r 153
age of nineteen, and dressed in the uniform,
worn by the officers of the American revolution.
The countenance is remarkably sweet
and expressive; but although an exact representation
of what he then was, it bears no resemblance
to his present appearance. In the
evening we amused ourselves in looking over a
beautiful collection of engraved portraits of all
the prominent actors in the French revolution,
handsomely bound in a large folio book. The
General entertained us highly by his interesting
remarks, and the anecdotes which he related in
connection with the different portraits. Among
the finest of the engravings were two of Napoleon,
more beautiful than any thing of the kind I
ever saw.

At length the hour for separating for the night
arrived, and as we were to leave La Grange early
on the following morning, we were obliged to take
a reluctant farewell of this most interesting
family circle, in whose delightful society two
days had flown away upon the wings of the wind.

I had heard and read much of La Grange, but
the reality far exceeded my expectations. Never
did I imagine a scene of more unaffected harmony
and domestic love, more unbounded kindness
and hospitality, than this noble mansion presents.
And faultless as had ever appeared to us the
character of our venerable and illustrious host, it
was in the privacy of domestic life, in the bosom 13(5)v 154
of his family, that we were to learn all its perfection.
I say perfection, for I believe if there
exists a perfect or happy man on earth, it is
General Lafayette. In every vicissitude of fortune,
through praise and censure, through prosperity
and adversity, he has alike been true to
himsef, to his conscience, to his country. No
recollections of lawless ambition, of cruelty or
wanton bloodshed, can mar the tranquility of his
declining years. His name is still the rallying
point, to the lovers of liberty in his own country,
and is hailed with warmest gratitude and affection
by millions of the free born citizens of a transatlantic
world. His children, to the third generation,
“rise up and call him blessed,” while his
servants and numerous dependants look up to him
as their protector and friend, and ever find in him
an affectionate and considerate master. To the
rich he is a delightful companion, to the poor a
generous benefactor. No man can justly breathe
a word of censure against his name, and I believe
his own breast to be the seat of kindest feeling
and good will, even to those whom he is compelled
to call his enemies.

To the American peculiarly the home of Lafayette
is one of the most interesting spots on
earth. He not only meets, at every step, memorials
of his beloved native land, from which he
is now far separated; but he hears of his country’s
praises from the lips of its generous defender, 13(6)r 155
and warmly repeated by his grateful and numerous
family. There can be no mistake in their expressions
relative to America; they are not mere
words of course, to please the American ear; they
evidently spring from a sincere, hearty love for
the country, and admiration of its free institutions.

Such is the family, and such the charming residence,
to which I bade adieu on the following
morning with the utmost regret; mingled however,
with a feeling of satisfaction, that I had
been so highly favored, as to have passed even
so short a time within the walls of La Grange:
a circumstance which I shall ever regard as a
bright era in the recollections of my life.

The General is always accustomed to send his
guests in his own carriage to the neighboring village
of Rozoy; and although we left very early
in the morning, we found him already risen to
give us a last adieu. At Rozoy we took the diligence
for Paris, and arrived there in the course
of the afternoon. The next evening at half-past
eight o’clock, 1829-10-13October 13th, we entered the diligence
for Orleans, bidding farewell to Paris, for
a long time to come.—I had passed two months
very delightfully here, and left it with a reluctance,
only lessened by the recollection, that we
were to return again the following spring, after
having enjoyed the now anticipated pleasure of a
winter’s residence in Spain, and a rapid visit to
the south of France.

13(6)v 156

Letter XIV.

Orleans.—Joan of Arc.—Cathedral.—House of Pothier.—
Bridge.—Beffroi.—Vineyards.—Chateau de Menars.—Chambord.
Blois.—Hotel.—The Loire.—Archeveche.—Cathedral.
—Market.—Chateau.

We reached Orleans, hungry and weary, after
riding all night; but were refreshed by a substantial
breakfast at the Hotel de la Boule d’Or, and
sufficiently invigorated to go about and see the
lions of the city.

We first proceeded to the Place de Martroy,
where was a bronze statue of Joan of Arc. Her
figure was very small, too much so for the large
size of the place; and she is clothed in armor,
with a kind of loose robe thrown over the lower
part of the dress. In her left hand she holds a
spear, with a standard upon it, and in her right a
drawn sword.

Passing from this square, through a number of
narrow, dirty streets, bordered with houses of the
most dilapidated and mean appearance, and filled
with wretched beggars, who besieged us on every
side, we entered the place in front of the Cathedral.
This magnificent gothic edifice resembles
in some degree the church of Notre Dame at
Paris; or should I say the general effect of it is
similar, though it is, in fact, very different, and
superior to that of Notre Dame in the grace and
lightness of its architecture. The upper part of 14(1)r 157
each of the two beautiful towers, is supported by
very small carved pillars, which impart a delicacy
and beauty to the building, altogether peculiar.
Between the towers below is a vestibule, still
unfinished, but in the process of being completed.
This vestibule conducts into the interior of the
church, which is remarkable for simple grandeur
of architecture, rather than any elegance of decoration.
The chapels are almost entirely unadorned.
A few of them contain tablets to the memory
of distinguished individuals. In one of them is
the tomb of Pothier, which is only marked by a
plain black marble slab.

Mounting to the towers, we walked around the
roof of the church, and looked down, on each
side, upon a vast number of turrets and other
gothic ornaments, extremely graceful and airy.
From hence you also enjoy a fine view of Orleans,
and catch the first glance of the majestic
Loire. The city, from this elevation, appears
much larger, than I had thought it to be; but the
aspect of age and decay is visibly marked upon
all the buildings, except those of modern date.
Among the latter is a very neat market house,
for the sale of wheat, called the Halle St. Louis.
It is surrounded by pillars, forming an open
gallery.

The Theatre, situated quite near the Cathedral,
is small, and not remarkable.

The public Library is a neat building with a 14 14(1)v 158
pretty front. Near the Library is the Bishop’s
palace, and his garden in which the trees are very
singularly trimmed. They are cut off even at
the top, and all the central branches cut out, so
as to form a regular hollow in the middle of the
trees. The appearance of them is not graceful
by any means, but unnatural and stinted.

From this spot we walked to the former residence
of the great lawyer Pothier, situated in a
street called by his name, opening upon the Place
du Calvaire
, which is ornamented in the centre
by an immense wooden crucifix. The figure of
the Savior is wretchedly executed and produces a
very disagreeable effect. We obtained permission
to enter the garden, a neat little square, laid
out in beds of vegetables and flowers, bordered
with box, and shaded by a few fruit trees. An
old grey headed priest, who occupies the apartment
of Pothier, very obligingly invited us to
come in and see the room. It was perfectly plain
and simple, and had undergone no alteration, except
the erection of a modern fire-place. The
priest was very curious and inquisitive as to who
we were; and when he found that we were Americans,
he said that Pothier, were he living, would
feel very much flattered to see persons, from such
a long distance, come to view his residence. He
then asked us if we were ever acquainted with
Pothier, an inquiry which amused me exceedingly,
as he died in 17721772. Almost immediately, 14(2)r 159
however, he laughed at his own question, and
said he perceived we were rather too young to
have known him.

The quays, which border the banks of the
Loire at Orleans, are solid and well built; and a
very beautiful stone bridge, supported by nine
arches, is thrown across the river, nearly in a
line with a broad handsome street, called the Rue
Royale
, the only one of any beauty, which I have
seen in the place. Passing up this street, I saw
the gothic tower, named the Beffroi, formerly the
Maison de Ville, now occupied as a watch tower,and
from thence I returned to the hotel.

The situation and exterior appearance of the
Hotel de la Boule d’Or are gloomy and uninteresting;
and the rough, brick tiled floors within as
extremely cold and uncomfortable; but it is, nevertheless,
a very good house, and every thing is
well served and of the best quality.

At seven o’clock on Wednesday morning, we
were joined by an American gentleman from
Paris, who was to be our travelling companion
for two or three weeks; and at half-past nine
we entered the diligence for Blois. The day
was delightful, and the road, for nearly the
whole distance, lined on each side by vineyards.
A great number of persons, of both sexes,
were employed in gathering in the vintage. On
alighting from the diligence, I tasted some of the
grapes, which were excessively sour and disagreeable, 14(2)v 160
intended only for making wine, and not
fit for eating. I was much more struck with the ordinary
appearance of the vineyards here here, than near
Paris. The whole country being covered with
them, rendered their homeliness more apparent.
In addition to this, the excessive rains, that prevailed
through the summer, had caused many of
the grapes to decay, and bent the clusters, which
always grow upon the lower part of the vine, entirely
to the ground. We entered one of the
wine presses, and tasted the new wine, which
was standing in large vats, and undergoing fermentation.
The taste is not materially different
from that of new cider, though rather less sweet,
and more astringent.

But the monotonous and uninteresting scenery
of successive vineyards was occasionally exchanged
for pretty views of some white cottage, embowered
in trees, with a rivulet running by its
side, strongly reminding us of American scenery;
while the beautiful Loire, appearing and disappearing
at intervals, presented along its sloping
banks the bright and golden hues of autumn.

After passing through several villages, some of
them quite large, we entered the small village of
Menars, which contains a fine chateau, with a
park in front, through which the road leads.
Here the view becomes delightful. On one side
you have the chateau and the beautiful terraces
of the park,—on the other the river, with a neat 14(3)r 161
little village upon the opposite bank. Richly
cultivated fields are spread out, in all directions,
before you, and in the distance may be seen the
innumerable turrets of the ancient chateau of
Chambord.

At half-past four o’clock in the afternoon we
entered Blois. The first appearance of this city
is very agreeable. It is situated upon the river,
and a fine stone bridge, with a handsome pyramid
in the centre, unites it to a pretty faubourg
upon the opposite side. Close to the bank of the
river, in entering the city, we passed a beautiful
shady terrace, planted with trees, which serves
as a public promenade.

The diligence stopped at the Hotel de la Nouvelle
Angleterre
, and here we determined to remain,
it being one of the best hotels in the city,
as it should be from its name. Our room was
pleasantly situated upon an open gallery, towards
the river, and the weather was sufficiently mild
and agreeable to enjoy it. Even at this comparatively
short distance from Paris, we began to
feel the cheering influences of the southern climate,
in the softness of the air and clearness of
the sky. During the ten weeks, that we had
been in Paris, there was not one, in which it had
not rained more or less every day, so that an
umbrella was quite as necessary as an appendage as
any part of the dress, when going into the street,
even for half an hour. But now we found it very 14* 14(3)v 162
different, and the change was indeed delightful.

At dinner, we were served with a great variety
and abundance of excellent food, the table was
well attended, and every thing in good order.
With the desert, there were placed upon the table
little preserve pots, each covered with a green
leaf and filled with a delicate preparation of
cream, called Creme de Blois, and much celebrated
all over France, as being far superior to
any thing of the kind to be found in the country.
It does not very materially differ from whips, except
that it has much more consistency, and
the sugar, instead of being put in at the time it is
made, is stirred in when you eat it.

The waiters, at this hotel, were chiefly females,
who wore upon their heads the Norman cap, one
of the most frightful head dresses ever invented.
They were worn very high upon the top of the
head, supported by a sort of frame underneath, to
keep them in place. There was no border in
front; but two borders, nearly a quarter of a yard
in width, extended from ear to ear behind, separated
at the back of the neck. The hair was
done up in a club behind and the cap tied above
it. Such is the unbecoming head gear, which
you see among the lower classes of women in
this part of the country.

After dinner, we took a little stroll through
some of the streets, which we found too dark
and irregular, to tempt us to go very far; but 14(4)r 163
at ten o’clock, the beauty of the evening irresistibly
drew us forth again, and we crossed the
bridge into the faubourg, from whence we had a
remarkably good view of the city. But the most
charming prospect was from the open gallery in
front of the hotel, and here I long stood to enjoy
it before retiring to rest. The moonbeams were
sleeping upon the unruffled surface of the river.
The heavens were perfectly unclouded, and the
air balmy and delicious beyond description. In
front were seen the bridge, and the quiet little
village, in which every sound was hushed, that
could disturb the tranquility and calmness of the
scene. Striking, indeed, was the contrast between
this lovely prospect, and the high, dark buildings,
the damp, chilly atmosphere, the noise and confusion,
of the city we had left: a contrast which
doubled the pleasure and satisfaction, with which
I found myself once more surrounded by the inimitable
beauties of nature.

The next morning we walked out to obtain a
more distinct view of the city, than could be afforded
us by moonlight. Its situation is very
peculiar, an abrupt ascent being formed from the
river to a high elevation, and a similar descent
on the other side. In order to reach the palace
of the Archbishop, you ascend a flight of steps
quite to the highest part of the city. Here are
the Cathedral and palace adjoining each other.
The latter is a plain building, not particularly 14(4)v 164
handsome. At the right of it is a fine plantation,
with a beautiful terrace overlooking a garden,
and faced by a heavy stone wall. From this
terrace you may see all the surrounding country
to great advantage, as well as part of the city,
which lies beneath your feet. Some of the
houses have a very singular appearance, being
placed against the hill in such a manner, that you
see only the roofs, rising one above the other.

The Cathedral in its exterior is a strange looking
mass of buildings, put together without design
or taste. The interior is quite handsome and
lofty; but does not equal in beauty other Cathedrals
which I have seen. There are a number
of smaller churches in Blois, and most of
them we visited; but I did not find them particularly
interesting.

In descending from the Cathedral, we passed
down the most dirty, irregular, narrow streets, I
have ever seen; many of them, in fact, mere
alleys, which should not be dignified with the
name of streets, though passing for such. The
interior of the houses, which we could see through
the half open doors, was dark, smoky, and unclean
to a most offensive degree; and their ragged
inmates, who attacked us at almost every
turn to obtain alms, bore all the marks of extreme
poverty and wretchedness.

We next went to the fruit market, which is a
very neat place; but where we found it almost 14(5)r 165
necessary to stop our ears, in order to keep out
the discordant din, occasioned by the screams of
the market women, and the merriment produced
among the crowd by the pranks of a monkey,
which a juggler was exhibiting in the midst of
them. The extreme oddity of the whole scene was
increased by the whimsical appearance of such a
quantity of Norman caps, towering above the
heads of the multitude of fruit sellers.

Our walk terminated at the old Chateau, now
converted into barracks, which is one of the principal
curiosities of Blois. It is a large stone
building, presenting a great variety of different
styles of architecture, and was built at various
periods by Louis Twelfth, Henry Third, and
Gaston, Duke of Orleans. We walked around
the castle, but did not go in, reserving that visit
for a later hour. Towards the street was a brick
wall of great height, almost concealing the building
on that side from view.

Returning to the hotel, we had a plentiful
breakast a la fourchette, consisting of varieties of
fish, meat, pastry, and fruit. After breakfast, we
again repaired to the Chateau to see the interior.
Ascending a steep declivity, we came to the esplanade
in front of one of the buildings, where
were a number of soldiers exercising; then to
an open court, with a huge pile on each of the
four sides; the building through which we entered
the court, having been built by Louis Twelfth. 14(5)v 166
The guide first conducted us to the building
erected by Gaston Duke of Orleans, intended to
have been a superb edifice, but left entirely unfinished.
The windows were filled up with brick,
and heaps of rubbish were strewed about in every
part of it. We walked out upon the broad terrace
which overlooks the brick wall, where a
bridge was to have been thrown across to the opposite
hill, to enable persons to pass directly to
the church, that crowns its summit, instead of
going through obscure passages, on the other
side of the castle.

A stair-case, occupying a round tower, curiiously
ornamented with various gothic and other
carved work, winds up from this building to that
constructed by Henry Third. Here we were
shown a number of sleeping chambers, which
conducted to the dungeons of the Chateau. One
small prison had in the centre of it a trap door,
called an oubliette, beneath which was a precipice
of one hundred feet. Whenever it was desirable
to destroy any of the wretched captives,
who inhabited these fearful vaults, the trap door
was lowered, the prisoners were blind-folded, and
then made to walk forward in such a manner, as
to step directly into the horrible pit. Near the
dungeon was the spot where the Duke of Guise,
and his brother were murdered in the reign
of Henry Third; and not far from it, a small, dark
cell, in which one of the archbishops of Orleans 14(6)r 167
was confined. All the doors of these different
dungeons were of solid iron, and so heavy that,
so I found on trial, much more strength than I
possessed was necessary to move them.

From these dark cells, which had witnessed so
many scenes of blood and cruelty in ancient times,
we were shown to the cabinet of Mary de Medicis,
who was, for a time, a prisoner within the
Chateau, and the window by which she made
her escape by means of a rope. Thence through
several other apartments and finally to the
observatory of Mary de Medicis, where she
was accustomed to amuse herself by studying
astronomy. To reach this we again crossed the
court yard, passed through a heap of ruins, and
ascended another stair-case. From the gallery,
which surrounds the observatory, there is a very
pretty view of the river, the city, and the country
for a considerable distance around. In this gallery
stands the stone table, that was used by the
Queen, and is of course an object of great curiosity
to all who visit the place.

The guide, who conducts strangers in the Chateau,
was a talkative old man, who has resided
in it for eleven years. He at first took us for
English, and was quite astonished when we told
him that we had never seen that country, for he
seemed to be sure it was the same language he
had heard English people speak. After puzzling
him a little while, we finally told him from what 14(6)v 168
country we came. Surprised at this even more,
and looking at us with great apparent curiosity,
he said he was certain we could not be Americans,
because we were not black. This afforded
us all a hearty laugh at the poor old man’s expense,
who seemed, however, to bear it very good
humoredly.

At the moment the steam boat arrived from
Orleans, the ringing of the bell gave us warning
that no time was to be lost in securing places for
Tours, whither she was bound, only stopping
long enough to take in passengers. This boat
was extremely small, with no interior decorations
of any kind, and the ladies cabin so low, that it
was impossible to stand erect in it. A crowd of
people were, however, attracted to the shore to
see it depart; and the bridge and windows of the
houses were also quite full of gazers, who, it
would seem, were not very familiar with a spectacle
of this kind.

15(1)r 169

Letter XV.

Chaumont.—Amboise.—Singular dwellings.—Tours.—Cathedral.
—Tower of Charlemagne.—Music.—Voyage on the
Loire.—Saumur.—Saint Florent.—Chantoceau.—Ouden.—
Clermont.

In leaving Blois, as in entering it, the view is
very delightful. The city being placed upon the
side of a hill appears to great advantage, and you
see nothing of the narrow, dirty streets, the poverty
and misery, which it actually presents to
your eye upon close examination. A person
merely passing through the place, without stopping
at all, might imagine it a beautiful city,
though in fact it is entirely the reverse.

After quitting Blois, the scenery was very
pretty; but no remarkable object attracted my attention,
until reaching the large chateau of Chaumont,
situated upon a lofty eminence, with a
pretty little hamlet below, almost buried in trees.
The chateau is a fine, majestic looking building,
and its commanding situation, the beautiful trees,
which cover the sides of the hill, upon which it
stands, and its ancient and venerable appearance,
combined to render it a most interesting object.

As we advanced the country became more diversified,
and a number of neat villages skirted
the borders of the river. At the town of Amboise,
which, though not well built, is delightfully
situated upon the right bank of the Loire, the 15 15(1)v 170
river is divided by an island, and two bridges, one
of stone and the other of wood, with stone piers,
connect it to the opposite banks. An immense
chateau, partly embedded in trees, is situated
upon a high elevation, commanding the town.
The stone bridge, which connects Amboise with
the island, is formed of arches, and when the
steam-boat passed under, the chimney was lowered
so as to be almost horizontal with the deck;
and I found, upon inquiry, that it was the same
with all the boats, which were so constructed, that
the chimney or mast, whichever it may be, can
be lowered to pass the bridge, instead of having
a draw, the absence of which renders the bridges
in France much more safe, because much more
solid in construction, than ours.

From Amboise the prospect continued very delightful;
but we came to no villages of any importance,
until reaching Mont Louis, which is
remarkable for the following singularity. All
the houses, except a small hamlet in front, are
cut into a perpendicular rock, with the chimnies
coming out at the top of it. In front there are
holes, for windows and doors, which appear like
so many swallows’ nests, rather than the habitations
of human beings. Some of them, however,
are said to be very comfortable residences; the
walls within being ceiled with boards, and the
houses, if so they may be called, decently furnished.
Others are used only as store houses, 15(2)r 171
or inhabited by some poor wretches, who are
glad to find any shelter from excessive heat,
or inclement weather, however comfortless that
shelter may be. We afterwards saw a large
number of similar caves, before reaching Tours;
and frequently observed persons walking about
within them.

In approaching Tours, I was enchanted with
the situation and appearance of the city, and the
superb stone bridge, of fifteen arches, which is
thrown across the river Loire in front of it, to the
faubourg upon the opposite side, as at Blois.
The most conspicuous object, as we advanced,
was the Cathedral, with its two fine, gothic towers
of lofty height; and as the boat drew nearer
to the shore, we saw the handsome Hotel de
Ville
and another large building near it, both recently
constructed, and facing the river, only a
short distance from its banks. Farther to the
right, and nearer the centre of the city, were to
be discerned the stone towers of the ancient
abbey of St. Martin’s.

Alighting from the boat, by means of a staging
put upon wheels, which is drawn into the water
for the want of a wharf, or any other more suitable
landing place, we passed through a part of
the Rue Royale, a very broad, handsome street,
to the Hotel du Faisant. This we found crowded
with visiters, and scarcely succeeded in obtaining
lodgings. By means of a little management 15(2)v 172
on the part of the landlady, however, we
were very well accommodated, and after dinner
walked out to see the city.

The evening was far from pleasant, and the
hazy, thick atmosphere portended approaching
rain; but the city was so well lighted, that we
found our way without the slightest difficulty to
the Cathedral, and seeing a door open, we entered
by a small vestibule into the interior of the
church, where a most solemn and impressive
scene was exhibited to our view. A few candles,
scattered here and there in the different naves
and chapels, cast a dim, indistinct light around
the extensive edifice, just rendering visible the
high vaulted roof, and noble clusters of gothic
columns, which supported it. A deep, dark shade
almost wholly obscured the chapels behind the
choir, so that the eye in vain endeavored to distinguish
any of the objects within them, darkness
and gloom being alone discernible.

The chapel for the dead, in one of the side
naves, was entirely hung with black, and a
crucifix, with a full sized statue of the Savior,
was placed above the altar. A sepulchral lamp
was suspended from the ceiling, which at one moment
emitted a feeble, flickering light, as if just
expiring, and then again beamed up for an instant,
in a bright stream, casting a strong reflection
upon the crucifix, the altar, and all the mournful
decorations of the chapel, only to throw them into 15(3)r 173
deeper obscurity, when the flame again died
away, as suddenly as it had risen.

But in the midst of this silence and darkness,
more than one human form was seen kneeling
upon the stone pavement of the church, in earnest
and humble devotion; and so apparently lost and
absorbed were they in mental prayer, for no
sound issued from their lips, that they had rather
the appearance of statues, than of living beings.
There could be no hypocrisy, no deception in
this. They had not sought the broad glare
of day, to be seen by the eyes of men; but
with unquestionably heart-felt piety, they had
retired from the busy world, to perform their
devotions in secret and alone. Such was the
scene, which inspired us all with a feeling of
solemnity and awe, not easily described; and
long, very long will it be, ere the impression of
it will fade from my memory.

We next walked to the towers of Charlemagne
and St. Martin’s, at the other side of the city,
and on our way to them, passed through a
number of wide, paved streets, with excellent
side-walks, and the lighted windows displaying
many fancy articles of much taste and
beauty. Some of the streets were, to be sure,
narrow and crooked, and the houses dingy enough;
but there was a very much larger proportion of
fine streets and handsome buildings, than either in
Orleans or Blois. The two towers, just mentioned,15* 15(3)v 174
are all that remains of the ancient abbey of
St. Martin’s, much celebrated in its time. We
obtained a very good view of them, although it
was evening, as indeed we did of a considerable
part of the city, through which we wandered by
chance, and returned to our lodgings, quite satisfied
with having seen so much of Tours, which
we feared not to see at all, as the steam-boat, the
same which we came in from Blois, was to leave
for Nantes before day-light in the morning.

At the Hotel du Faisant, we were regaled
with a concert after dinner, during the desert.
There were five musicians, two of them females,
and one went round the table with her little box,
to collect their pay. A small trifle always satisfies
them; and one would be willing to give twice
the sum that is customary, to hear such sweet
music, as some of these wandering musicians are
capable of producing. The instruments, which
were played this evening, were a harp and two
guitars.

When we arose, early the next morning,
it rained very violently, and continued to do so
for many hours, confining me entirely to the little
close cabin, much to my regret and disappointment.
But at length the rain ceased, the
clouds broke away, and we had every prospect of
fair weather. This soon drew all the company
upon deck, to enjoy the delightful country, which
we were passing through. Cities and villages, 15(4)r 175
large and small, continually succeeded each other,
and the beautiful, verdant lawns, some of them
covered with trees, the little bright green islands
formed in the river, the handsome arched
bridges, crossing it at intervals, and the ancient
chateaus, which, with their fine gothic architecture,
their turrets, towers, buttresses, and
ramparts, crowned elevated summits upon its
banks;—all these varied objects composed a most
picturesque and charming prospect. In passing
the city of Saumur, I counted no less than thirty
windmills, most of them in motion, stretching out
in a line, upon a hill back of the city, producing
an exceedingly lively and pretty effect.

Until arriving at Saumur the weather had been
so unpleasant, and the air so chilly, that I had
been often obliged to go below, into the gentlemen’s
cabin, and see the country as I could
through the windows, returning upon deck when
any very remarkable object was to be observed.
But towards the latter part of the afternoon, the
sun shone out clear and pleasant, the air became
mild and agreeable, and I was enabled to enjoy
the sight of a country, even more interesting than
we had already passed.

The most deeply so to me was the town of St.
Florent
and the adjoining country, one of the
theatres of the war of La Vendee. The town is
prettily situated upon a hill, with a deep descent
to the river. The most prominent objects in it, 15(4)v 176
are a church, a large chateau, and a column
erected to the memory of the brave and virtuous
Marquis of Bonchamp, who perished at the passage
of the Loire. Not far from thence is the
very spot, where the hundred thousand Vendeans,
commanded by Bonchamp, crossed the
Loire, of which only eight or ten thousand returned,
the remainder having been cut off in battle,
made prisoners, or driven back to the river by the
victorious republicans, and drowned in its waters.
Here then was the actual scene of many of those
most affecting incidents, so pathetically described
by Madame de Larochejaquelein in her Memoirs,
which I had years since perused with almost painful
interest, little dreaming that the places, which
witnessed them, would ever be presented to my
own eyes.

As we continued onward many memorable
spots were pointed out to us, and the scenery became
more and more enchanting at every step.
At one spot we saw the chateau of Chantoceau,
beautifully placed upon the summit of a very
high grass-clad hill; and opposite, upon a plain
extending back from the river, was seen the large,
handsome tower of Ouden, of an octagon form,
which has existed six hundred years, and from
its perfect state of preservation is likely to continue
for as many years to come. Then followed
a succession of high, towering rocks, covered
with green verdure, bringing to our recollection 15(5)r 177
the highlands upon the Hudson, to which they
bore a striking resemblance. They were not so
lofty, it is true, nor as a whole so fine, occupying
but one side of the river; but still most grand and
majestic. Upon the summit of one stood the noble
chateau of Clermont, rising in solitary grandeur
above all surrounding objects. The sun was
setting most brilliantly, gliding this beautiful chateau
and the tops of the hills with its bright red
beams, which were reflected upon the smooth
expanse of water, so as to paint the whole charming
landscape upon its silver bosom.

The boat passed rapidly along, as we feasted
our eyes upon the beauties, which were every
where displayed around us, until, after a lovely
twilight, darkness closed in, and the damps of
evening obliged me to leave the deck. At half-
past eight o’clock we arrived at Nantes. A porter
conducted us to the Hotel de France, situated
upon the Place Gralin, where an excellent dinner
and very good accommodations of every
kind, awaited us.

15(5)v 178

Letter XVI.

Nantes.—Theatre.—Cours Henri Quatre.—The Bourse.—
Quais.—Notre Dame.—Promenades.—Military Mass.—Diligence.
La Vendee.—Bourbon Vendee.—Rochelle.—Cathedral.
Saint Sauveur.—Harbor.—Flight of Napoleon.—Rochefort.
Saintes.—Triumphal Arch.—Amphitheatre.—Aqueduct.
Pons.—Blaye.

Early after breakfast on the morrow, (1829-10-19October
19th
) we commenced our examination of the curiosities
of Nantes, beginning with the handsome
Theatre, which occupies the whole of one side
of the Place Gralin. The front is formed of
eight columns, supporting a portico, and at
the top of the building are eight statues, to
correspond with them. From the Place Gralin,
we walked to the Course Henri Quatre, which is
a walk planted with trees, and bordered on one
side by a range of handsome houses; next, to
the Place Royale, a large, regular built square;
and then to the Bourse, entering one or two
churches on the way, neither of them remarkable.

The Bourse is a very neat, handsome building,
the interior ornamented with columns, and the
front constructed, like the Theatre, with pillars
and statues, and opening upon a pretty enclosure,
with alleys of trees, which is used as a public
promenade, and as a flower market.

Another pleasant public walk is formed by the
quays, which are well constructed, and remarkably
free from dirt and rubbish of any description. 15(6)r 179
Two rows of elm trees are planted along their
whole extent, forming a street between them, and
and rendering the walk cool and shady. A handsome
block of buildings, chiefly private dwellings,
with balconies in front, occupies one side.

In returning along the quays, we entered the
church of Notre Dame, a small, neat building,
possessing nothing to admire within; but presenting
a curious aspect in approaching it, though
the effect was not bad. There are no ornaments
or even windows in front, which is one flat, uniform
surface of stone. Above the building rises
a small cupola. The Mint, and the Markethouse,
which I also visited, are both very handsome
buildings.

At twelve o’clock, military mass was to be performed
in the Cathedral, and we bent our steps
thitherward; but when we reached it, finding that
the mass would not commence for more than half
an hour, we repaired to the public promenade,
situated very near the Cathedral. This walk is
divided into a double avenue of elm trees, with a
broad, spacious promenade between them, separated,
at the centre, by a space, in which is
erected a splendid, colossal statue of Louis
Sixteenth
. It is raised, like a terrace, above the
streets at each end of it, with flights of steps to
descend into them. At the sides of each flight
are two pedestals bearing statues. At one end
they represent two Constables of France, and at 15(6)v 180
the other Anne of Brittany, and her husband, Arthur
Third, Duke of Brittany
. One extremity
of the walk presents you with a good view of a
part of the city, including an ancient fortress;
and at the other is a more beautiful prospect still,
of the city and of the river Eudre. Descending
the steps, at this side, we walked to the Hotel de
la Prefecture
, a noble stone building, with two
handsome fronts, one facing the river, and the
other the cathedral. The Hotel de Ville is likewise
very handsome, and occupies three sides of
a square. The fourth is the entrance, which consists
of a beautiful stone arch.

We now returned to the Cathedral, and I took
a chair in the chief nave, gentlemen alone being
allowed to go into the choir. I first, however,
examined the most remarkable thing contained in
the church, which is the monument of Francis
Second, Duke of Brittany
, father of Anne of Brittany,
who caused it to be erected. Recumbent
figures of the Duke and his lady are upon the top
of the tomb, and at the corners are four figures,
one having two faces, emblematical of dissimulation.
Around the tomb are some finely executed
bas-reliefs. There are no other ornaments of consequence
in the Cathedral, the interior of which,
however, is, in its style of architecture, grand and
imposing. The front, upon the outside, presents
two towers, strikingly different from those of Orleans,
being heavy and destitute of beauty.

16(1)r 181

Presently the roll of drums, and the sound of
many instruments, announced the approach of the
military, for whose especial benefit the mass was
to be performed. The band first entered, passing
up through the length of the central nave, and
stationing themselves in the choir; followed by
sappeurs, with their immense fur caps, long
beards, and glistening axes. Then came the privates,
who ranged themselves in files on each
side of the nave, leaving a space between for the
general, his staff, and other officers, to pass up to
the choir. The mass consisted alomost entirely of
music, played by the band, and lasted, perhaps
half an hour. The priest was employed at the
altar, during the time, but did not speak sufficiently
loud to be heard by any one. The effect
of the whole was very impressive, though not
bearing much resemblance to a religious service,
except that we saw the priest, and were in a
church. The music was very beautiful, and
sounded peculiarly well, echoing along the vaulted
roof of the Cathedral. After mass was concluded
they all retired in the same order that they
entered.

A great crowd of people attended, so large as
nearly to fill the church. Many of them were
very genteelly dressed ladies and gentlemen,
whom I often observed standing in close contact
with wretchedly dirty and offensive beggars.
This is, I think, an inconvenience in attending 16 16(1)v 182
Roman Catholic churches, on the continent of
Europe, that they have no division for different
classes of people; and as vagrants avail themselves
of the common right to enter the church at
all times, you often find yourself in an extremely
disagreeable and uncomfortable situation, from
their near neighborhood, without being able at
all to rid yourself of them.

After the crowd had dispersed, we ascended to
the top of the tower, where the view is very beautiful,
of all the adjoining country, as well as of
the city itself. Here we had another instance of
the ignorance of the lower classes of persons in
this country respecting Americans. One of the
gentlemen of the party asked the guide, who
conducted us, if there were any Americans in
Nantes. “Oh! yes”, he replied, “we have plenty of
negroes and mulattoes”
. And this he said with all
seriousness, not suspecting that we were Americans,
and greatly astonished when he discovered
it. This was the third time, within a few days,
that we had met with instances of the same kind,
for in addition to the old man at Blois, there were
two female domestics at the hotel at Tours, whom
it was almost impossible to convince, that all who
came from our country were not black; and when
they saw three persons, “as white as themselves”, to
to use their own words, claiming to be Americans,
it seemed quite too much for them to believe.

With the Cathedral I ended my researches in 16(2)r 183
the city of Nantes, which is one of the handsomest
of the French cities I have yet seen. It contains
a large number of sightly edifices and wellbuilt
streets; and being a seaport, there is much
appearance of bustle and activity, which you do
not see in the inland towns, and which always
gives a stranger an agreeable impression of a
place, as indicating prosperity and success of
trade. As compared with Boston, and many of
our American cities, Nantes may be considered
quite inferior in beauty: but comparing it with
other French cities, it certainly holds a distinguished
place. The number of inhabitants is
about eighty thousand.

At ten, the next morning, we left Nantes
for Rochelle. In going out of the city, we passed
over six bridges connecting small islands, of
which there are a large number formed in this part
of the river; and the road then leads through a
tract of the most wretched looking country imaginable.
For the most part it is a mere swamp,
only varied by extensive plains, very imperfectly
cultivated, and not possessing a single object attractive
to the eye. The roads were excessively
bad, and at times it seemed impossible for the six
miserable looking animals, attached to the diligence,
to draw the heavy vehicle through the
deep quagmires, into which the wheels would
sink, nearly to the hubs. The poor creatures
were beaten most unmercifully by their inhuman 16(2)v 184
drivers, the two postillions, who seemed to have
no compassion or consideration for them.

The dress of these postillions, a fair specimen
of what it is in most parts of France, was very
peculiar and ludicrous. They wore blue cotton
frocks, descending to the knee, and fastened
at the neck like a shirt. Their glazed hats,
painted of any color to suit their fancy, were
small at the bottom of the crown, and spread out
broad at the top, and, with a wide brim turned
up a little at the ears, served in place of umbrellas
to keep off the rain. But the most amusing
part of their dress, was the huge leather boots
coming up above the knee, and so large, at that
part, as nearly to admit another pair of legs, in
addition to those they already covered. These
boots are so exceedingly heavy, that it seems a
great exertion to lift the feet after they are once
planted upon the ground; and their whole dress,
springled over with mud and dirt, added to their
ugly unbecoming hats, certainly rendered them
most ill-looking objects, exactly comparing with
the miserable establishment of which they form a
part. By this I do not mean the diligence itself;
but the horses and harnesses, the latter being
usually a combination of ropes, and of old leather
so cracked and rusty, that I think a brush could
never have been applied to it, since the first hour
it was made. The horses bore all the marks of
being ill used and ill kept; and their tails, tied 16(3)r 185
up sometimes with wisps of straws, completed
the deformity of their whole appearance.

Such is a true, and not exaggerated picture of
what we had before our eyes for many hours, on
our way to Rochelle; and when you consider the
dreary scenery around us, and the wretchedly
poor looking hamlets and villages through which
we passed,—the houses often much worse than
the log huts in the wilds of Maine,—you will not
wonder at the pleasure we experienced, when,
upon arriving at the boundary between the
department of the Loire Inferieure and La Vendee,
the scene was suddenly and entirely changed
as if by magic.

Instead of the “sloughs of despond,” through
which we had scarcely dragged along, the road
became as fine as any I ever beheld, and bordered
on each side with wide spread heaths,
blooming with beautiful heath flowers, yellow
and pink, mingled with large quantities of bright
green broom, and occasionally enclosed with
clipped hedges. Sometimes the road would wind
down into little shady dells, with thick groves of
trees on either side, and in rising from them,
delightfully varied prospects extended before us,
as far as the eye could reach. I soon forgot all
the horrors of the preceding hours,—the poor
horses, the postillions, and their huge boots,—
and gave myself up to the pleasing reflections
awakened by the scenery now presented to me, and 16* 16(3)v 186
the consciousness, that I was passing through
La Vendee.

We came to one spot, where was fought a most
bloody battle, between the republicans commanded
by General Hoche, and the Vendeans under
General Charette, in which ten thousand persons
were left dead upon the field. It so happened,
that an old man, who had belonged to the republican
army at the time, was seated just before the
coupee, and accidentally discovering this to be
the case, the gentlemen entered into conversation
with him, and related many very interesting
anecdotes concerning the battle. He had
often seen the two Larochejaqueleins and the
Marquis de Lescure and his wife:—and being a
postillion at the time of Bonaparte’s defeat at
Waterloo, he had carried off Maria Louisa and
the young King of Rome. He still serves as a
postillion, and drove us the latter part of the way.
He seemed to be very intelligent and communicative,
and, like all old soldiers, was glad to find
some one ready to listen to his past adventures.

In some places, we remarked that the trees
were of very small growth, and apparently young.
The old postillion informed us that they were actually
so, all the trees having been cut down by
the government during the war, as affording too
strong a hold for the insurgents.

Towards evening, we arrived at the city of
Bourbon Vendee, which was built by Napoleon, 16(4)r 187
and formerly called Napoleonville. The Cathedral,
near which we passed, was rather a striking
looking building; but the general situation of the
city was far from pleasant. We dined at the Hotel
d’Europe
, and the room, in which dinner was
served, gave strong evidence, that although the
name of the city was changed, some of its inhabitants,
at least, were in spirit true to its great
founder. The landscape paper presented a series
of the different battles in which Napoleon was
engaged; and in several of them his figure was
very conspicuous, and so just a resemblance too,
that no one could doubt, an instant, for whom it
was intended. We have very frequently, in this
part of France, heard sentiments expressed, that
proved the speakers to be Bonapartists in heart,
while the whole Bourborn family are evidently
unpopular, to a very great degree, and particularly
among the lower classes of society. Charles
Tenth
and the priests seem to be equally disliked,
and I may say denounced, by them, and I
never heard a single voice speak in praise of the
King or Dauphin.

Our ride from Bourbon Vendee to Rochelle
was wearisome indeed. Few circumstances are
more trying to the patience, than to be riding all
night in a coach, where it is impossible to sleep,
and where there are no exterior objects to attract
attention, and keep off the ennui and
painful drowsiness, incident upon such a situation. 16(4)v 188
But in France one must either stay by the
diligence day and night, if he has a long journey
before him, or run the risk of not finding a place
again for many days. Consequently those, who
have no time to spare, are in a manner obliged
to ride during the night, and thus often lose a
great deal, by passing through a delightful country,
without being able to see it.

At five o’clock in the morning (1829-10-22Tuesday, the
twenty-second
,) we reached Rochelle, and, after
four or five hours of profound sleep, I arose
much refreshed, and prepared, when breakfast
was concluded, for our usual ramble in a new
city. But I was extremely disappointed as to
the appearance of Rochelle. I had heard it
spoken of as a pretty place, and found it one of
the most homely and ordinary ones I had ever
been in. Scarcely a building, of genteel aspect,
was to be seen; and the streets, almost universally,
were dirty, narrow, and irregular. The exception
to this was three or four streets, near the
Cathedral, bordered with buildings forming arcades
at the bottom, and rather pretty in this
respect; but after seeing the splendid Rue de
Rivoli
in Paris, all streets of this kind must
necessarily appear inferior.

The Cathedral is not in any way remarkable,
either within or without; and the Place d’Armes,
upon which it stands, although a large square, is
not particularly handsome. The church of Saint 16(5)r 189
Savior
, as a whole, quite ordinary; but the
chief altar, of white marble, is very neat and
pretty. It is enclosed by an iron balustrade,
with gilded ornaments; and the steps, and floor
in front of it, are composed of different colored
marbles. One of the most conspicuous objects
in the church is a ship suspended from the wall,
probably relating to the vow of some mariner;—
and it is further remarkable, for being divided
into pews, the first I have seen in a Roman
Catholic church. The Bourse is constructed
upon the same plan with that at Antwerp, but is
very much inferior to it in size and beauty. The
Theatre possesses nothing, in its appearance, to
attract or please the eye.

The harbor of Rochelle is rather pretty than
otherwise, and at each side of the entrance are
large stone towers, which produce an imposing
effect. The works executed in the harbor, for
the very protection of the city against attacks by sea,
are very extensive and quite celebrated.

At two o’clock, the same afternoon, we left
Rochelle for Rochefort, not at all to my regret,
as I could have no desire to remain in so
dismal a city, longer than a few hours. The
country, through which we passed to Rochefort,
was extremely lonely, and destitute of interest.
The villages were few in number, and scanty
signs of cultivation were to be observed in the
long intervals between them. The road was, 16(5)v 190
however, very excellent, and often passed close
to the sea-shore.

At one post, where the horses were changed, I
strolled along the beach, and collected some
shells, to while away the time. Just beyond this
place, a French gentleman pointed out to us a
small tongue of land, extending out into the sea,
which, he said, was the spot werewhere Napoleon embarked
in a little boat, to go on board the Bellerophon,
when he surrendered himself to the
English. Not far from it, he shewed us the little
foot path, by which the fallen monarch had proceeded
to the sea-sidem to throw himself upon the
mercy of his enemies, and as it proved, to be by
them forever exiled from his country, never more
to behold these shores, to which he was now bidding
a sorrowful adieu, and towards which he
doubtless cast many a “longing, lingering look,”
as they receded from his sight.

Upon leaving this spot the country became
rather more interesting, and continued so until
our arrival at Rochefort, at five o’clock. The
entrance to the city, through a faubourg without
the walls, is very pretty, exhibiting an extensive
esplanade, planted with avenues of trees.
Rochefort is celebrated for its arsenal, and other
works relating to the French marine; but the
weather being very unpleasant, I did not attempt
to see more of the city, than the occasional
glimpses of different parts of it, which I could obtain 16(6)r 191
in entering and leaving it. The next day
we started for Blaye. The only remarkable
thing, which I observed on the way, before
reaching Saintes, was fields of Indian corn, the
first I have seen growing in Europe. Great
quantities of it were hung up to dry upon the
sides of the houses.

At Saintes, we remained long enough to dine,
and to see the principal curiosities of the place,
before the diligence was in readiness to depart.
This city is of very ancient date, and contains
some monuments of antiquity. One of the most
striking is the triumphal arch, formerly erected
upon the bank of the river Charente, which
having changed its bed, the arch is now in the
midst of the river, and in fact, forms part of a
bridge erected in modern times, by which means
it is better preserved. The church of St. Eutrope
is said to contain curiosities interesting to
antiquarians, and its elevated tower is the most
conspicuous object, in approaching Saintes.—
The ruins of a Roman amphitheatre and aqueduct
are near the road, upon the right hand in
leaving the city.

The road now passes for a long distance up
an ascent, in some places quite steep, and affording
a pleasant view of the surrounding country,
which is well cultivated, and abounds with
extensive vineyards. Just at dark we passed
through Pons, a city of considerable extent, 16(6)v 192
eminent in former times, and at one o’clock in
the night arrived at Blaye.

The Hotel de l’Union, where we passed the
remainder of the night, was a dreary looking
place, and the rooms, with their dirty, coarse
board floors, very badly aired; a pretty fair indication
that the Hotel had not been much frequented.
The bed-clothes, however, were clean
and dry; and I slept very soundly until ten in the
morning, when, after partaking of an excellent
breakfast, we went on board the steam boat for
Bordeaux. This boat was much larger than the
last we were in, and the cabin quite pleasant and
commodious; the company was numerous; and
we had a very agreeable sail of a few hours, which
brought us to Bordeaux early on Thursday.

Letter XVII.

Bordeaux.—Shipping.—Theatre.—Place Royale.—Bridge.—
Saint Michel.—Vault of Saint Michel.—Cathedral.—Chateau
Royal
.—Exchange.—Place de Tourny.—Hotel Dieu.—Eglise
des Feuillians
.—Palais de Justice.—Museum.—Place des
Quincones
.—Columns.—Cemetery.—Saint Bruno.—Jardin
Public
.—Saint Seurin.—Amphitheatre.—Fair.—Interior of
the Bridge.—Costume.

The approach to Bordeaux by water is exceedingly
fine. Before landing, we passed a
long, uniform row of handsome buildings, and
upon the place in front were two beautiful triumphal 17(1)r 193
columns recently erected. The harbor is
full of shipping, not anchored along the wharves,
as is usually the case with us; but moored off in
the river, having the appearance of a large fleet.
Among the different ships, we joyfully recognized
the stars and stripes of our own dear country,
upon the merchant ship Spartan, whose beauty
was doubly enhanced by being placed in contrast
with a number of Dutch vessels, with their square
bows and clumsy looking hulls. At a little distance
from these was a beautiful French ship, its
snow white flag waving gracefully in the breeze.

In going from the boat to the Hotel de France,
we passed through the fine square containing
the triumphal columns, and planted, in some
parts of it, with regular avenues of trees. Large,
splendid buildings, a pretty cafe, and a small
theatre, have been very recently erected here,
and some of the buildings are not even yet completed.

The following day after our arrival at Bordeaux,
we employed in walking about the city,
which we found to exceed the high expectations,
which we had formed of it, from the observations
of other persons, who had visited it.

The Theatre is a spacious and richly decorated
edifice, surrounded by porticos, and ornamented
in front with columns supporting a
balustrade, upon which are a range of statues
corresponding to the columns. From thence we 17 17(1)v 194
traversed the Place Royale, one of the handsomest
in Bordeaux, and now occupied with
little booths and stalls, temporarily erected for
the great fair, which is held at this season, and
where are sold all varieties of small merchandize.
It was perfectly crowded with persons
buying and selling, and often presented a very
lively and amusing scene. The houses and other
buildings, around the place, are lofty and regular,
and in the centre is a beautiful fountain.

We next passed through a handsome stone
gate, to the magnificent bridge thrown over the
Garonne, which excels in beauty any I have
seen in Europe. It is supported upon sixteen
arches, beautifully finished, and the two side
walks form elevated terraces. They are covered
with gravel, and different kinds of figures are
formed upon them, with small stones. The central
walk is, likewise, overspread with gravel.
One great peculiarity, which this bridge possesses,
is, that you may walk from one end of it
to the other, through a gallery, constructed within
the arches, and lighted by little windows opening
upon the water along the side of the bridge.
The view, from either of the terraces, is very
beautiful, and long ranges of superb edifices are
seen, extending, in a semicircular form, along
each side of the stone gate before mentioned.

Our next point was the church of St. Michel,
which is remarkable for the beauty of its gothic 17(2)r 195
architecture, and for the splendor of its interior
decorations. The chapels, at each side, are enclosed
by rich iron gates, surmounted with gilt
bordering, and they are nearly all ornamented
with a great profusion of gilding and marble.
Some of the ornaments are in very bad taste; but the
effect of the whole is very splendid. The pulpit
is composed of compartments of variegated marbles,
divided by beautifully carved wood work.
The steps, leading to it, are of marble and wood
to correspond. The sounding board represents
the angel Michael, with a drawn sword in his
hand, and cherubim at his feet.

Directly opposite the church, is a tower, called
the Tower of St. Michel, which possesses the
singular property of preserving dead bodies from
decay. We first went to the top, to enjoy a beautiful
view of Bordeaux and the harbor, and afterwards
descended to the vault. It was quite a
large room, with bodies ranged around against
the walls. Some of them had been dead for the
period of eight hundred years; but still the features,
and most of the limbs, remained entire,
and the skin was precisely like parchment. Upon
the head of one there was young hair growing
out, as smooth and soft as an infant’s. Many of
them had been distinguished characters while
living, and among others a Knight of Malta.
In the centre of the vault was a large heap of
bones, and of the dust of the dead, seventeen feet 17(2)v 196
in depth. I will not attempt to describe the feelings,
with which I gazes upon these enduring
remnants of mortality, and upon these inanimate
forms, which retained the lineaments of life,
when the vital principle had been for so many
centuries extinct.

On the same day I visited the Cathedral, an
immense building of the gothic style, and which
would be very elegant, in its exterior, were it not
that the view of it is almost totally concealed, on
every side, by houses, that entirely destroy the
effect, which would otherwise be produced by an
edifice of its large size, and beauty of architecture.
The two spires, rising above the surrounding
buildings, are extremely light and beautiful.
The interior of the church is imposing and grand,
like others of similar style. Upon the same place
with the Cathedral is a sumptuous building, surrounding
a court, called the Chateau Royal, formerly
the palace of the Archbishop. The court
is enclosed by iron gates, with the royal arms
over the centre. From thence we pursued
our way to the Rue de Chapeau Rouge a fine
broad street, very highly and justly celebrated,
nearly all the buildings upon which are lofty and
of much beauty. The Exchange, situated in this
street, is a noble edifice, originally constructed
with an open area and covered arcades around it;
but owing to the great press of business, it was
found that the arcades were not sufficiently extensive 17(3)r 197
to shelter all the merchants in unpleasant
weather, and a roof was, therefore, thrown over
the whole, forming one vast hall. The galleries
are now filled with shops.

Not far from the Rue de Chapeau Rouge, is
the Place de Tourny, where is erected a statue
of Tourney, a former mayor of the city. This
statue has one striking defect, the disproportionate
smallness of the pedestal, which imparts
an air of insignificance to the whole monument.
It stands in a fine open square, with beautiful,
spacious avenues leading from it, and of course it
requires that the statue should be colossal or
equestrian, to appear to any advantage, which now
it certainly does not. The avenues, called Alles
de Tourny
, are much frequented as a promenade.
Thus finished the day’s rambles, which had afforded
me much gratification.

The next day we walked to the Place St. Julien,
remarkable for its beautiful gate, which has
the aspect of a fine triumphal arch; and from
thence to the new Hospital, or Hotel Dieu, a
most magnificent stone building, beautifully contructed,
with a portico in front supported by
four large columns, and a range of buildings extending
from it to each side. Above the centre
of the portico rises a dome. A very fine street
passes to the Hospital on one side; and a little
farther on is a pleasant walk, planted with trees,
called the Allees d’Albret.

17* 17(3)v 198

After this I visited a number of churches, none
of them particularly worthy of remark, except the
Eglise des Feuillans, and that of Notre Dame;
the former, as containing the monument of Montaigne,
and the latter for its beautiful architecture,
its chief altar being composed of one solid
block of marble. The choir is enclosed with
gates of iron. The monument, just mentioned,
consists of a white marble cenotaph, ornamented
with various carved figures. Upon it reclines a
full-length statue of Montaigne, in armor, with a
casque at his head, and a pair of glove at his
side. His feet are supported by a lion.

The Palais de Justice is a very beautiful pile
of buildings, occupying three sides of a large
area, with gates upon the fourth side. The principal
pile is surmounted by the royal arms.

The Museum, in the neighborhood of the Theatre,
possesses a fine collection of natural history,
and of very valuable antiquities. The latter consist
principally of Roman statues, broken pedestals,
large stones with Roman inscriptions upon
them, or carved with various figures, and monuments
forming part of tombs. There is, also, a
carved cenotaph, supposed to have been executed
before the Christian era. The library, belonging
to the same building, contains a very beautiful
bust of Montesquieu. The number of books, composing
it, is one hundred and thirty thousand.

In returning home, we passed through the superb 17(4)r 199
new square, the Place des Quinconces,
and descending a flight of steps, from the place,
into a street bordering upon the river, we obtained
a fine view of the two beautiful triumphal
columns, just erected there, which are exactly
alike, ornamented with military trophies from
distance to distance upon the outside, and the
top surmounted by statues. They are to be
ascended like the column in the Place Vendome.
Looking beyond the columns, to the extremity
of the place, you see the white marble
pedestal, upon which a statue of Louis Sixteenth
is to be erected; and further still, the delightful
Allees de Tourny, the noble place, and the
statue of Tourny, which, if proper height and
size, would be a beautiful object from this spot.

The following morning, (1829-10-25October 25th) we
arose early and walked to the Cemetery. This
is a large square, enclosed within a wall, and
traversed by broad walks, bordered on each side
with plain trees, their branches meeting at the
top. On both sides of these alleys were rows of
beautiful monuments, many of them of similar
construction, perfectly plain and simple; and others,
more striking and elegant, representing the
different forms of temples, columns, pyramids,
and obelisks. The whole of the central spaces,
in the Cemetery, were apparently occupied with
the graves of the poor, as they were only marked
by a plain black wooden cross, bearing the 17(4)v 200
names, ages, time of birth and decease. These
crosses were very numerous, and, unadorned as
they were, produced a pleasing effect.

Near the Cemetery is situated the church of
Saint Bruno, which possesses one of the most
rich and splendid altar-pieces to be found in
France. It is composed entirely of marble, and
the statues which adorn it are of exquisite beauty.
When we came into the church, there were a
great number of little boys, upon their knees,
listening to the exhortations of the priest at the
altar, and the attention, which they paid to the
exercise, might have served as an example to
many, older and wiser than themselves.

Suspended from the ceiling of this church, we
observed, immediately upon entering, a large
white silk flag, with a figure of the Dutchess
d’Angouleme upon it, having cherubs hovering
about her head. The inscription hailed her as
the guardian angel of France, and prayed for long
life to the Bourbons, and that they might ever
reign over the hearts of their people. This is
one, among various other inscriptions of the kind,
which we have seen at Bordeaux, professing the
loyalty of its inhabitants to their sovereign and
his family, a circumstance very unusual in the
present state of things in France.

The Jardin Public, to which we then repaired,
is a very pleasant promenade, surrounded with
trees, and having a green lawn in the centre. It 17(5)r 201
was originally intended to have been formed into
a garden, but has never been completed. The
Allees d’Amour are a pleasant avenue of trees,
leading up to the front of the ancient church of
Saint Seurin. The form of this church, and its
gothic ornaments, are in very curious and whimsical
style. The interior contains nothing remarkable,
except a large monument to the
memory of a celebrated bishop, and a subterranean
chapel, or vault, which is represented to be
rather curious, but can only be seen, when opened
upon very particular religious occasions.

We next came to the ruins of the ancient Amphitheatre.
A number of arches, and many of
the black, heavy masses, once composing the
building, still remain entire; and one may obtain
a tolerably good idea of its former size and grandeur.
The whole of the interior of the ruin is
filled up with wretched hovels, which not only
destroys its venerable aspect, but must inevitably
hasten its total destruction. How strange it is,
that cities possessing such interesting monuments
of former times, should not be more careful
to preserve them from decay; and yet we
often find them, either wantonly abused and injured,
or else entirely neglected, and left to the
destroying hands of any low, indigent person,
who may choose to place a miserable hut within
the precincts of what was once the price and boast
of the greatest of nations.

17(5)v 202

From the Amphitheatre, we proceeded to the
opposite extremity of the city, to see the interior
of the bridge, which we had omitted doing, in
our first visit to it. Arriving at the Place Royale,
I was astonished at the varied and mirthful
scene, which it presented, and, till remembering
that it was the season of the great fair, I could
not imagine a cause for the vast collection of
people assembled there. All kinds of games,
shows, and sports were going on, and small tents
were erected, in different parts of the place, for
those exhibitions, that were to be paid for. At
the great variety of little booths and shops, to be
met with at every step, were crowds of children,
with their attendants, purchasing toys, fruits, and
cakes, which were displayed, by the eager sellers,
in the greatest profusion and abundance, and
cried up as being the best and cheapest to be had.

In another part of the place, were two whirligigs.
One consisted of rigged vessels with the
sails spread, fastened at the ends of poles projecting
from a central post, Between the vessels
were wooden horses, fastened to poles in the
same manner. Upon these horses little boys
were placed, each with a pointed stick in his
hand, and then the whole was turned round, with
the utmost rapidity. The object of the pointed
sticks was, that the boys might catch upon them
a small ring, which was held out to each, as they
passed. If they succeeded in catching it, they 17(6)r 203
paid nothing for their course; but otherwise a few
sous were demanded. The other was the same
as this, only that there were six giraffes, or cameleopards,
instead of the vessels and horses.

Within one of the covered tents was exhibited
a boy, eleven years of age, who weighed a hundred
and forty pounds. He was dressed in a blue
merino robe, trimmed with golds, which came
down to the knees, and white pantalets below.
Upon his head was a purple velvet cap, with
plumes, one large one bending gracefully over in
front. He had very mild blue eyes, and his
brown hair curled in ringlets around his forehead.
His features and complexion were altogether
beautiful, and the expression of his countenance
bright and happy.

Another exhibition of the same kind, was a
girl of sixteen years old, nearly seven feet in height,
but so perfectly well proportioned, that at first
she did not appear of such enormous stature; but
it became very apparent, when a gentleman considerably
above the average height, stood by her
side, and she passed her arm horizontally, backwards
and forwards above his head several times.
There could be no deception, either, as she
walked about, ascended and descended a flight of
steps, and displayed her foot and ancle, which
were in good proportion with the rest of her form.
Like the boy I just mentioned, she had one of the
sweetest faces I ever saw.

17(6)v 204

Then there was a young man, very fantastically
dressed, and having a leather strap around
each ancle, to which hooks were fastened behind.
He places a sort of ladder, or rather, plank, perhaps
eight or ten feet long, with steps upon it,
against the wall, and ascending to the top of it,
attached one foot to one of the two iron rings,
which were upon the board; and then crossing
his arms over his breast, he threw himself down
on one side, and rose again without assistance
and without moving his arms. He then fastened
both hooks, and threw himself forward, raised a
large iron weight in this position, and with a
slight touch, from the man who stood by him, regained
his former position. This achievement
required great muscular strength, and seemed to
fatigue the poor fellow very much, for he breathed
short, and was in a profuse perspiration after
having accomplished it.

He was followed by a girl, twenty-five years of
age, who was left an orphan, when very young,
and had the misfortune nearly at the same time
to lose both her hands. By means, however, of
constant perseverance, she had learned to do with
the mutilated stumps, almost all that we do with
both hands. I saw her knit part of a silk
purse, work lace, make lace upon a frame, string
very small beads, thread a needle, write, and
pare an apple, with as much dexterity as any person,
and all with the wrists alone. It was certainly 18(1)r 205
a wonderful exhibition, and I could scarcely
have believed such a thing to be possible, had I
not seen it with my own eyes.

I was not, as you may suppose, agreeably impressed
with this strange mode of passing Sunday,
so totally different from the manner in which
it is observed in our country. It appears to me,
too, a miserable way of spending time, and calculated
to produce any other than a good effect upon
the minds of young persons, who are exposed to
hear all kinds of vulgar and profane language, and
to acquire a thousand bad habits, from the idle
and dissolute, who are always to be found in
such places. Here, too, poor people are tempted
to spend, in foolish amusements and useless baubles,
the little money, that they may have worked
hard through the week to earn, and which, perhaps
the very next day they may be in absolute
want of. From these scenes I gladly turned, to
pursue my way to the bridge, having been drawn
aside from this object, by the irresistible curiosity
of witnessing the manner in which a Sunday fete
is held in France.

Arriving at the bridge, we crossed over, and
passed into the gallery upon the inside. This I
found perfectly light, and nearly high enough for
me to stand erect, with my bonnet on. I did not
go entirely through, as there was no outlet at the
other end; but advanced sufficiently to see the
whole gallery, which reaches to the farthest extremity18 18(1)v 206
of the bridge. It is not, indeed, of much
use, except as a curiosity; but as such it is very
pretty, and quite unique. Before leaving this
spot for the last time, we stood upon the terrace
of the bridge to admire the beautiful prospect,
which we could not be weary of gazing upon.
The great number of vessels, that seemed to cover
the entire surface of the river, many of them with
full spread sails, and the bright flags of almost
every nation waving from the different masts,
produced an indescribably beautiful effect, added
to the splendid line of buildings, already described,
and which have more the appearance of
a range of palaces, than that of mere houses or
magazines, as most of them are.

Returning home, we again entered the Place
Royale
, and passed through the Exchange, where
were collected, in the part occupied as shops,
great numbers of the grisettes of the city and
country; that is, girls of the lower rank, very
prettily dressed in neat gingham gowns, and
black silk aprons, with the indispensable appendage
of two pockets in front; and wearing upon
their heads striped Madras handkerchiefs, twisted
into tasteful turbans, and over their shoulders
small merino handkerchiefs, all which had a
charming effect. There was, beside these, another
class, which seemed to be of more pretension,
who wore silk dresses and handsome lace
caps, very much trimmed, instead of the striped 18(2)r 207
turbans of the other. The mark of distinction in
dress between this latter class, and that of ladies
is, that they wear no bonnets, these being exclusively
confined to ladies alone.

We arrived at our hotel just in time for dinner,
and the next morning, before day-light, (1829-10-26October
twenty-sixth
,) set off in the steam boat for
Marmande, having spent three days much to our
satisfaction in Bordeaux. It was by far the
handsomest and most agreeable city I had
seen in France, with the exception of Paris, and
appears to be in a very flourishing situation.
New buildings were going up, in various parts of
it, and the great quality of shipping in the harbor,
as well as the general activity, observable in
all the public places of the city, evinced its successful
enterprise.

Letter XVIII.

Steam boat.—Clergy.—The Garonne.—La Reole.—Meillan.—
Marmande.—Agen.—Hermitage.—Cathedral.—Diligence.—
Women.—Face of the Country.—Castelsarasin.—Toulouse.

The steam boat, in which we started for Marmande,
was a very pretty one, particularly the
gentlemen’s cabin, which was neatly finished
with a great deal of mahogany work, and was surrounded
with mirrors. The ladies’ cabin had a 18(2)v 208
profusion of gilding about it, and was too tawdry
to be handsome. Neither of them was carpeted,
but each was covered with handsome red cloth,
with yellow trimming.

Among the variety of persons on board, there
chanced to be quite a party of priests, one of
them a most striking likeness of Napoleon. We
had observed the resemblance, the moment we
looked at him, and one of his companions afterwards
informed us, that the same remark had
frequently been made before. He had a very
mild, interesting countenace, and was quite pensive
and silent, almost all the time he was in the
boat. Several times, during the day, these priests
collected together to read prayers aloud, and
finished each time by crossing themselves, and
repeating a short prayer mentally, covering their
faces with their hands.

I cannot but feel the greatest commiseration
for this class of people in France. They are excessively
disliked by the great body of the nation,
and paid a stipend so small, as scarcely to be sufficient,
itself alone, to find them bread. Never
being allowed to marry, they have none of the
endearments of home, nor any of the comforts
and enjoyments of a happy fireside, to compensate
them for the want of their people’s confidence
and love, or for the arduous and laborious
duties, in which many of them are constantly engaged.
They have appeared to me, as far as my 18(3)r 209
knowledge of them extends, to be very amiable,
kind hearted men; and they are ever ready to give
a stranger any information in their power, as we
have ourselves frequently experienced.

The borders of the Garonne, between Bordeaux
and Marmande, are not for the most part particularly
beautiful; but the very circuitous course,
which the river pursues, often presents pleasing
and varied landscapes. Of the several villages
and towns that we passed, La Reole and Meillan
were the most remarkable. The former was
anciently fortified, and the ruins of its walls,
and part of an old castle, are still to be seen.
The most prominent object, however, is a large,
handsome building, formerly the convent of the
Benedictines, but now devoted to some public
purpose. The town itself is prettily situated,
covering the summit of a hill, and sloping down
to the river. Meillan is built upon the top of a
beetling steep, almost perpendicular in front, and
as you sail along under it, the village seems actually
to be among the clouds. The scenery
around this spot is exceedingly romantic and picturesque.
The road is seen winding along the
side of the hill, and a small cascade, falling from
one of the heights, increases the beauty of the
view.

At half-past eight o’clock, in the afternoon,
we arrived at Marmande. Landing from the
boat, we crossed over a large square, nearly shoe 18* 18(3)v 210
deep in mud, and filled with travellers, porters,
and boot-blacks, and entered a small tavern until
some arrangements should be made to convey us
to Agen, as, contrary to our expectations, we
found no regular line of diligences connected
with the steam boat. A number of vehicles were
standing round, in different parts of the yard,
some of them all in readiness to depart, in various
ways, waiting only for the passengers, who, having,
like ourselves, just arrived in the steam boat,
had entered the inn to obtain a cup of coffee or
tea, to prepare them for the fatigue of their nocturnal
journey.

It was highly amusing to watch the proceedings
of the different individuals in the tavern, and
particularly of the females belonging to it, who
seemed to amount to twenty at least, all busily
engaged in making preparations for serving up the
ample dinner, that was cooking before the enormous
fire; and in answering to the various demands
of the travellers, who were passing in
and out, and who, having no time to spare, hurried
the poor women this way and that, until they
hardly seemed to know whither to turn; and
each crying out to the other to do, what she might
just as well have done herself, created such a
scene of confusion and tumult, as I never saw
surpassed. And it was impossible for me to understand
a single word that was said, as they all
talked, or should I say screamed, in the provincial 18(4)r 211
dialect of the country, a strange mixture of
French, Spanish, and Italian.

Having procured from a neighboring coffeehouse
an excellent cup of coffee, which may always
be found in France, if every thing else
fails, I was prepared to enter the wretched voiture,
which was the only conveyance we could
possibly obtain to take us to Agen, and so filled
with passengers, that we were all obliged to sit
in one position, and that not the most easy, for
four or five hours. At two o’clock the voiture
stopped at a little inn, by the way side, and
gave us an hour to refresh ourselves, of which
we stood very much in need, after such a tedious watching.

But out first glance at the cheerless looking
habitation, into which we were ushered, quite deprived
us of all expectation of finding any thing
to appease our hunger or thirst; and no person
appearing to bid us welcome, we undertook
to make ourselves welcome, and at least to provide
some fire, to warm our chilled limbs, from
a heap of coals almost smothered in ashes,
which we found in the chimney. Procuring some
light, dry wood, we soon kindled a bright blaze,
and, making a virtue of necessity, banished all
care and useless complaints, and seated ourselves
around the cheerful fire in great good humor, comforting
outselves with the reflection, that this was
but a little variety in the usual course of our travels, 18(4)v 212
which would serve to make us more content
with the better fare, we might meet with hereafter.

By this time the landlord had been aroused,
and came down half asleep, with a white cotton
cap upon his head, making a most sorry figure.
Having obtained some wine from him, and a
promise that something more substantial should
be forthcoming, we searched around and found
an earthen pan, in which we heated the wine,
made very sweet with sugar, and found it as refreshing
as it was palatable. The landlady soon
appeared, in a bustling, active good natured-personage
as need be; and in a few moments a table
was set, and a nice cold chicken placed before us,
to which, I assure you, we did not delay to do immediate
justice. Our excellent repast was
seasoned with the merry jokes of our companions,
now become very numerous from the arrival of
two other carriages full of passengers, who,
seating themselves around the fire, seemed quite
to forget, in their joyous mood, all troubles past
and to come.

When the horses were sufficiently rested to
perform the rest of the journey, for we had the
same team for the whole distance of forty-two
miles, we again resumed our place in the voiture,
so much benefitted by the hour’s delay as to ride
along quite patiently, for the next six hours,
which brought us to Agen. It so happened, that
there were two opposition lines of diligences from 18(5)r 213
Agen to Toulouse, and the offices of both were
side by side, near the spot where we alighted.
No sooner was the door opened, than a dozen
loud voices, both male and female, assailed us in
chorus, uttering the most discordant sounds in
equally discordant language. One cried out in
favor of one diligence, two or three for another,
all saying the same thing over and over again,
and not listening at all to the reiterated entreaties,
of the party addressed, that they would
speak one at a time, if they wished to be understood.
For ourselves, we stood looking from one
speaker to the other, and laughing most heartily
at the tremendous din, which they occasioned;
and having fortunately obtained information, from
a disinterested by-stander, that no diligence left
Agen until the following morning, we immediately
repaired to the Hotel Petit St. Jean, upon the
opposite side of the way, leaving the noisy group
to find some one else, upon whom to exercise
their lungs. The hotel proved to be a very good
one, though, as usual, wanting the comforts, that
we think so necessary at home, but which in
France it is impossible to obtain.

After breakfast we took a walk, through a
beautiful avenue of trees along the bank of the
Garonne, to the handsome bridge, erected within
a few years, over a part of the river, where
the water runs with nearly as much velocity,
as at the rapids of the St. Lawrence above 18(5)v 214
Niagara. For a considerable distance, on the
side of Agen, the bank is built up with solid
facings of stone, to protect it against the washing
of the river.

From the bridge a fine view is enjoyed of a
beautiful valley, at a short distance below, and
also of the lofty hills, which bound the prospect
on every side. We then passed around the outskirts
of the city. Agen is a very old place,
irregularly built, and possessing a few handsome
edifices of any description; we, nevertheless, saw
several neat looking streets, in which were a
number of large shops, well filled with goods, of
a better quality than I expected to find in a city
so ordinary in its general appearance.

During our walk we had observed, at the top
of a very steep ascent, a perpendicular rock, into
which houses were cut, in the same style as those
upon the Loire. Upon inquiry at the hotel, we
learned that it was the Hermitage, which we had
heard spoken of as a curiosity of the place, and
we resolved to encounter the fatigue of ascending
to it. This we accomplished with no little toil
and difficulty, and passed through a gate into the
yard in front of the Hermitage. It was originally
the residence of hermits, and afterwards became
the country house of a man of wealth. Subsequently
to his decease it was sold, and is now
owned by a farmer, who resides in it with his
family.

18(6)r 215

A number of little children were playing in the
yard, when we entered it, and we sent them to
call their father, who came and conducted us
around every part of his domain. We were first
shown a curious old chapel, with a rude stone
altar, and near it a jet of water, apparently
issuing from the side of the rock, the water as
clear and pure as chrystal. We then passed
through corridors, with rooms upon each side,
which, within a few years, have been fitted up
and furnished for an English family, who resided
here several months, for the mere curiosity and
fancy of the thing. Many of the rooms were
neatly papered, and seemed very comfortable and
pleasant. The garden was composed of different
kinds of flowers, with fig trees and olives trees, and
was ornamented with a pretty little arbor, covered
with laurel. Beyond the garden were the barns
and pigeon houses.

But the most remarkable thing, about the Hermitage,
is the circumstance that every part of it,
the chapel, the corridors and all the rooms upon
them, the barns and pigeon houses, were excavated
in the solid rock; which renders it sufficiently
curious to compensate one for the trouble
of scrambling up the toilsome ascent to reach it.
Before arriving at the summit, we had half repented
having undertaken the expedition; but we
found ourselves amply repaid, not only by a view
of the Hermitage itself; but in having, also a 18(6)v 216
better prospect of the surrounding country,
than could have been obtained from any other
point. The slope of the elevation, upon which
we stood, was covered with vineyards, or pastures
filled with cattle; and the city beneath, with
the river winding through it, and the wide spread
country beyond, terminated by a circle of majestic
hills,—formed, together, a picture not unworthy
the painter’s pencil.

Descending into the city, we visited several
churches, all very ill-looking buildings, though
containing some few objects worth seeing. The
former Cathedral, destroyed during the revolution,
appears to have been a more stately edifice
than the other churches, if we may judge from
the lofty front, and the seventeen beautiful arches
of the nave, which still remain.

On Wednesday morning, at eight o’clock,
(1829-10-28October twenty-eighth,) we left Agen for Toulouse.
The chief manager of the diligence, in
which we took passage, was a woman, who made
all the bargains with the passengers; and having
occasion to go to Toulouse herself, she
mounted into the imperiale, and became for the
whole journey, actually though not nominally,
the conducteur. She was one of the persons, who
had laid siege to us the preceding day, and her
dress was, in every respect, the same that she
then wore. She had neither bonnet, shawl, nor
any other garment to mark the traveller; but the 19(1)r 217
same gown, apron, and cap, that she would probably
have worn in superintending the domestic
affairs of her family, served for a journey to Toulouse,
and an absence of two or three days from
home. It is, indeed, no unusual sight in France,
to see women assume the coarse and masculine
air and manner of the other sex; nor is it strange
it should be so, when we see them engaged in all
the laborious employments, that, in our more favored
country, are performed by men alone. Often,
when travelling in the steam boat, I have seen
women come to the shore, and bear off heavy
trunks and other baggage upon their shoulders,
and perform various other services of the kind,
like common porters. And in respect to agricultural
occupations, it is quite usual to see nearly
as large a proportion of women, at work in the
fields digging and hoeing, as of men, and the
same thing may be observed in almost all the
active and laborious offices of life.

We had a msot charming ride, for a greater
part of the way to Toulouse, through a delightful
country, abounding with vineyards and orchards,
and with extensive tracts of land in the highest
state of cultivation, and enlivened by multitudes
of laborers, both male and female, engaged in
turning up the rich black mould to receive the different
kinds of grain, which was generally planted
by women, one going just behind the plough to
throw in the grain, and the other following to cover 19 19(1)v 218
it with the soil. In many places the land was divided
into little squares, each belonging to a different
proprietor, and enclosed by rows of grape
vines or currant bushes, forming a thick hedge all
around. The road wound delightfully along, over
hill and dale, mountain and valley,—the river occasionally
hidden from our view, and then again
breaking upon us in renewed beauty, as it passed,
now rapidly, now tranquilly, along its winding
course. Several little villages and hamlets contributed
to diversify the scene, frequently looked
frowningly down upon by some ancient ruin, standing
in solitary desolation upon the highest summit
of a neighboring mountain. At one spot, we passed
through a beautiful, but lonely, valley, which has
been in times past notorious for highway robberies,
and whose retired situation, far from
the habitations of men, rendered it a convenient
retreat for the midnight desperado, though smiling
in all the beauty and loveliness of cultivated
nature.

We took our dinner at the gloomy, dismal looking
town of Castelsarasin, and late in the evening
reached Toulouse, the latter part of the journey
having been very fatiguing and wearisome. The
woman, who had the superintendance of the diligence,
had positively assured us that we should
be in Toulouse at eight o’clock, and used this as
an argument in favor of our taking her diligence
in preference to the other, which she said, would 19(2)r 219
not arrive for two or three hours later. This
must have been merely a trick, to secure our
taking her conveyance, as she undoubtedly knew,
at the moment she told us so, that it was impossible,
at the rate the diligence travels, to get to
Toulouse at the promised hour.

When we arrived at the office, there was no
porter to be found, to carry our baggage to the
hotel; but in a short time a woman came forward,
and offered her services for that purpose, which
being accepted, she lifted one of the trunks upon
her head, took a heavy travelling bag in her
hand, and walked off at such a rapid rate that we
with difficulty kept pace with her.

Letter XIX.

Toulouse.—Canal du Midi.—Canal de Brienne.—Bridge.—
Church of St. Peter’s.—Notre Dame de la Daurade.—Inquisition.
—Cathedral.—Museum.—Capitole.—Palais de Justice.—
Church of the Visitation.—Reservoir.—Church of the Jacobins.
—The Cordeliers.—Anecdote of the Vault.—College.—
Saint Saturnin.

The Hotel d’Europe, at which we lodged in
Toulouse, we found to be an excellent inn, where
the accommodations were all very good, the food
of the first quality, and the charges uncommonly
moderate and reasonable.

We commenced our examination of the city 19(2)v 220
at the Place d’Angouleme, upon which the hotel
stands. This is a regular place, open at one side,
from which proceed the Allees d’Angouleme, a
beautiful promenade leading to the Canal du
Midi
, or famous Canal of Languedoc, begun under
the reign of Louis Fifteenth, and long considered
one of the finest in the world. It is about
the width of the Erie Canal, and has fine broad
tow-paths, on each side, bounded by high, sloping
banks planted with trees, and a great variety of
little wilf flowers springing up by the water’s
side. Occasionally the tall spire of a church is
seen above the top of the bank, indicating the
near vicinity of the city, though the canal is actually
without its limits.

Pursuing the tow-paths for a long distance,
we passed several locks, and finally reached the
junction of the Canal du Midi with that of Brienne,
which empties into it from an opposite direction,
and is indeed only a branch of it. Here
two bridges, joined together, cross the canals,
and at one side of the spot where they meet is a
large bas-relief of white Italian marble. To
reach this you descend under the bridge, by the
tow-path, to a spot of ground, which separates
the two canals. The bas-relief is now much
blackened and mutilated, but must originally have
been very splendid. The central figure is a
female, representing Languedoc, with a male
figure and two boys engaged in digging the 19(3)r 221
canal at one hand, and at the other, a female and
a boy driving a pair of oxen. All these different
figures are colossal, and executed with much
skill.

A little below this spot is the embouchure of
the Canal du Midi, where its waters mingle with
the river; and from thence, turning off to the
right, we followed a path, conducting through
quite a forest of trees, and among them several
beautiful acacias, which leads to a faubourg of
the city, where was a large washing establishment,
a mill, and an extensive cotton manufactory.
Passing along the quay, that borders one
side of the Canal de Brienne, we arrived at a
very pretty waterfall, in shape of a horse-shoe,
and extending quite across the river. Although
this fall is in part evidently artificial, I think there
must have been something of the kind naturally
formed there, otherwise there seems to be no sufficient
reason for thus obstructing the navigation.
Above this, a handsome bridge is thrown across
the river, with a triumphal arch at each end.

We crossed the bridge to view the arch, but
postponed, for the present, a visit to the part of
the city situated on that side of the river, and
again repassing to the opposite side we entered
the church of Saint Peter’s. From the door a
large vestibule conducts into the nave, which is
divided from the choir by a double altar, placed
under the dome of the church, and forming the 19* 19(3)v 222
nave and choir into two nearly equal parts, with
a front to each. This altar is of white marble,
and, like all the other architecture and ornaments
of the church, is very splendid.

The church of Notre Dame de la Daurade is
likewise a fine church, of vast dimensions, and
very striking style of architecture. The choir is
superb, and surrounded by the most beautiful
pictures, illustrative of scenes in the life of
the Virgin Mary. The execution and designs of all
these paintings are truly admirable, and in that
of the Annunciation, particularly, the figure of
the Virgin is perfectly lovely.

This church contains one very singular monument
of catholic superstition, which is a statue of
the Virgin and Child, entirely black. I endeavored,
by inquiry, to discover something, as to the
origin of this strange idea; but could only learn,
that the statue was “Notre Dame noire,” and held
in equal veneration with the white Virgin,
personified in other parts of the church, even
with the beautiful representations of her in the
choir; but how or why she should have been
black, that still remained a mystery, that I in
vain endeavored to solve.

After this we passed through a variety of
streets, remarkable for the fine buildings which
they contain, many of them more ancient than
the rest, richly ornamented with carved stone
work; and these, together with the lofty style in 19(4)r 223
which the private as well as public edifices are
generally erected, impart an air of dignity and
grandeur to the city, though, from its ancient
date, and a certain sober appearance, produced
by these lofty edifices being placed upon streets,
for the most part quite narrow, it cannot be called,
strictly speaking, a handsome place.

The church of the Inquisition, which we found
after some difficulty, buried among the surrounding
buildings, is very small, and only peculiar for
its painted ceiling; and this cannot be seen to any
advantage, owing to its great height, and the obscurity,
that reigns around in consequence of the
situation of the church. But it is nevertheless
interesting, from having been the spot where the
Inquisition was first established in France. The
cell of St. Dominic is still to be seen, at the top
of the stair-case, leading up from the vestibule of
the church. It may be entered, but there being
no person there at the time to unlock it, we only
saw the door, and the grated window of the cell,
from the bottom of the stairs.

The Cathedral, or church of St. Etienne, situated
upon the Place St. Etienne, is a large misshapen
mass outwardly, with no pretensions whatever
to beauty. The interior possesses several
fine painted windows, some rich decorations, and
a few painted windows of considerable merit; but it is
very irregularly built, and, as a whole, not strikingly
elegant. The Palais Royal, or Hotel de la 19(4)v 224
Prefecture
, a large handsome stone building,
stands upon the same place with the Cathedral.

The Museum occupies the buildings of an
ancient convent, the picture gallery being contained
in what was formerly the body of the
church. Many of the pictures are exceedingly
fine, others quite inferior. One very beautiful
picture represents the death of Louis, father of
Francis the First; another the escape of William
Tell
from Gesler; and a third Ulysses appearing
before Penelope in the guise of a beggar. From
the church we entered the part of the building
devoted to the collection of antiques. This was
the former cloister, where the monks were accustomed
to walk. It is a large square, or garden,
surrounded by arcades of coupled columns, and
in these the antiques are admirable arranged, and
form an extremely interesting collection. Several
of the statues, and some of the large monuments,
are placed in different parts of the garden,
surrounded with shrubs and flowers, and so arranged
as to be nearly concealed by the overhanging
branches of the trees, producing an uncommonly
pleasing effect.

The next morning, at nine o’clock, we parted,
with much regret, from our lively fellow traveller,
who had contributed so much to the enjoyment
of our journey thus far; and who departed in
the diligence for Montpelier, on his way to Marseilles.

19(5)r 225

After his departure, we walked to the Hotel
de Ville
, or Capitole, as it is called in the city,
situated upon a large, handsome place of the same
name. The exterior of this edifice is imposing
and majestic, the left wing being occupied as a
theatre. In entering, you pass through a square
court into a vestibule, over the door of which is
a statue of Henry Fourth with an inscription. Ascending
a stair-case to the apartment of the concierge,
or porter, we were shown through a large
anti-chamber, into the Salles des Illustres, a very
beautiful hall, with a double row of niches on
both sides, each niche containing a bust of some
eminent citizen of Toulouse, with the name, and
an inscription beneath. At the upper end is a
bust of Louis Fourteenth, in a niche, with bas-
reliefs around it, and above it two cherubs, holding
a crown, with these words inscribed over it:
“L’esperance la suit, et l’amour l’environne”. The
hall likewise contains a statue of the Duke of
Bordeaux
, and a full length portrait of Louis
Eighteenth
.

In the Salle de l’Academic are a statue very
much mutilated during the revolution, of the
celebrated poetess, Clemence Isaure; also a
plaister statue of the Duke of Bordeaux, busts of
Louis Eighteenth and of the Duke of and Dutchess
d’Angouleme
, and a picture representing the
Duke receiving knighthood. The Salle du Bal
is a neat, beautiful apartment, surrounded with 19(5)v 226
large medallions, containing little dancing figures
in bas-relief, each different from the rest. The
figures are white upon a blue ground.

The Salle du Trone, which leads out from this,
is equally beautiful and more richly decorated.
It is a circular room, with eight bronze female
figures at equal distances around it, supporting
candelabras upon their heads. The ceiling, painted
with various figures of cherubim holding
branches, garlands, and crowns, represents on one
side the rising, on the other the setting sun. The
form of it is concave, and the light is admitted
just beneath the edge of the platform. The room
is farther adorned with military trophies, and with
beautiful chairs, for royal use; and at one side
is a full length portrait of Charles Tenth.

From the Capitole, we proceeded to the Place
St. Etienne
, and again entered the Cathedral, to
examine it more minutely than we had at first
been able to do; and from thence walked to a
delightful public promenade, called the Grand
Rond
, much frequented by the ladies of Toulouse.
The centre is occupied by a large fountain, newly
built, enclosed within an iron railing. There
was no water in the fountain at the time, as it had
not yet gone into operation. Five alleys, bordered
with trees, lead in different directions from
the centre of the walk, and at a little distance
you see the Jardin Royal, thickly planted with
lime trees, affording an agreeable shade.

19(6)r 227

We then passed through the Faubourg Saint
Etienne
, and visited the Palais de Justice. This
was undergoing repair, and a large number of
men and women were at work in the yard, which
was strewed with rubbish and dirt in every part.
We succeeded in making our way through this
to the porter’s lodge, and his daughter then conducted
us into the court house. The principal
room, called the court of Assizes, is entered by a
handsome vestibule, supported by columns. The
windows of the apartments are hung with blue silk
festoons. Behind the judges’ seat are suspended
drapery hangings of blue cloth, spotted with yellow
fleurs de lis. The Chambre Doree is chiefly
remarkable for its ceiling, which is divided into
squares, with a figure as large as life in each compartment.
The whole is highly gilt, and produces
a singular, but not very elegant effect.

We now directed our course towards the bridge,
to view the curiosities upon the opposite side of
the river. On our way to it, we entered the
church of Visitation, through part of a nunnery,
and one of the nuns, or sisters of charity as they
are denominated, came forward to show us the
passage conducting to it. The church is very
pretty, and perfectly neat. At each side the
choir was a large iron grating, behind which the
nuns assemble, when services are performed.

Coming to the bridge, we crossed over, and
passing through the arch already mentioned, 19(6)v 228
adorned at the top by an equestrian statue, we
entered a very spacious, fine street, extending
for some distance, and terminating at a large
square place, surrounded with regular buildings,
enclosed, at the side opposite the street, by a high
iron balustrade. At each side of them are pedestals,
bearing colossal statues, one representing
Toulouse, the other province of Languedoc.

Immediately after passing the bridge, you see
at the left hand a pleasant, shady promenade,
used for exercising troops;—and advancing a little
further, you come to a very neat tower, with
a cupola at the top, situated in a little valley,
a bridge passing over to it from the street. This
is the public reservoir, that supplies the whole
city with water, and really forms an extremely
pretty object, though one would hesitate long,
before he would imagine for what purpose it was
intended.

The Hospital de la Grave, and the church of
Saint Nicholas, neither of them remarkable, completed
our researches on this side of the river; and
we re-crossed the bridge into the city, and pursued
our way to the ancient convent and church
of the Jacobins; and to those of the Dominicans
and the Cordeliers, all near each other, and now
deovted to military purposes alone, either as barracks,
stables, or store-houses.

We entered the immense yard of the Jacobins,
where squadrons of horse may manœuvre with all 20(1)r 229
ease, and by permission of the guard, looked into
the church. A few loose horses were its only
occupants, and they seemed to be wandering
round, very contentedly, among the lofty columns,
which supported two rows of handsome arches on
the side of the church. The effect was very singular,
of seeing an edifice, so splendid as this
evidently had been, converted into a mere stable,—
a use so entirely derogatory to its ancient grandeur,
and to the sacred purposes, for which it
was originally designed. We next passed round
the outside of the building, and came in front of
an enormous brick pile, which was the convent
of the Dominicans. Obtaining permission of one
of the officers to enter, we came to the church,
which contained a large number of horses, all feeding
at stalls placed in the different chapels. The
former arched roof is now concealed by a wooden
ceiling, that has been built more recently. The
back court, to which a passage conducts from the
church, is surrounded by a gallery, supported by
small gothic pillars, which anciently was the
promenade for the monks. At one side was a
range of very large chapels, each now serving as
a stable.

The church of the Cordeliers is appropriated
merely to the storage of hay and grain.
Over the entrance is a painted window, and
the sides are occupied by chapels;—all the
ornaments being, of course, destroyed. This 20 20(1)v 230
church formerly contained a vault, which, like that
of St. Michel in Bordeaux, possessed the property
of preserving dead bodies. A singular anecdote
is related concerning it, as follows:

Two young men were conversing together
respecting this strange phenomenon, and in the
course of conversation, one dared the other to
descend into the vault at midnight, alone and
without a light. This challenge was immediately
accepted, and the night appointed, upon which
the trial was to be made. The proof required by
the challenger, that his companion had actually
been to the vault, was, that he should drive a
nail into a certain part of the wall, which was indicated.
In the mean time, it had been whispered
about that such a thing was in agitation, and on
the night agreed upon a large crowd of persons
had assembled around the church, to await the result.
The young man at length arrived, and descended
very resolutely into the vault, where
he remained so long, that the crowd above became
very uneasy, fearing some fatal accident
might have occurred; but when another hour
passed and he came not, their anxiety grew so
pressing, that it was determined some of the more
bold among them should go down with a light,
and ascertain the cause of his strange and continued
absence. When they arrived at the spot,
they found the unfortunate young man, lying on
his face, perfectly lifeless. In raising the body 20(2)r 231
from the floor, the cause of the state in which he
was found became apparent. In driving the
nail, a part of the skirt of his coat had accidentally
been fastened with it, and when turning to
depart, feeling himself detained by an invisible
hand, as it were, it is probable that his superstitious
fears overcame his better reason. They
were heightened, perhaps, by previous agitation,
and dread of his attempt, which he was ashamed
to confess. He thus fell victim to his own
weakness, either in having undertaken to perform
a task above his courage, or, having once
undertaken it, in not possessing sufficient resolution
to carry him through successfully.
Every means was, of course, used to restore him;
but all in vain, as life has been long extinct ere
the fatal catastrophe was discovered.

Near this church is the College Royale, which
we entered, and saw the chapel, a neat but unadorned
room; and passing through some other
parts of the building, we mounted to the top of
one of the towers, where is obtained an extensive
view of the city.

The church of Saint Saturnin, which we saw
on our return home, is one of the finest churches
in Toulouse, both on account of its size, its beautiful
tower, far surpassing in height and grace
any other in the city, and also for the splendor of
its interior decorations. The light is but partially
admitted into it, which increases the solemn 20(2)v 232
and grand effect of its noble architecture. The
chief altar is high, and ornamented with two beautiful
gilded angels, upon marble pedestals. Back
of the altar, and apparently forming part of it, is
a rich gilded bas-relief, representing the death of
St. Saturnin, who was torn to pieces by four
bulls, to which he was attached by his hands and
feet. To arrive at this spot you ascend a little
flight of steps, behind the altar, and passing
around to the other side of the bas-relief, which
conceals it from view below, you come to the
splendid monument of St. Saturnin, upon which
the saint is seen ascending to heaven, supported
by angels. All the figures, and every part of the
monument are richly gilded, and the effect of it is
admirable. Here, too, you have a view of all the
chapels behind the choir, which are truly superb,
and ornamented with great quantities of beautiful
Languedoc marble. The chapel of St. Thomas
d’Acquin
, particularly, possesses, among other
rich ornaments, a series of gilt bas-reliefs, showing
the saint in striking situations, and portraying
different scenes in his life. The stalls of the canons,
in the choir, are of carved mahogany, and
one of them represents Calvin, under the figure
of a hog, standing in a pulpit, preaching to an
audience. Below is this inscription: “Calvin le
porc, prechant.”
It was carved, I believe, during
the religious controversies of the time of Calvin.
The church of St. Tour, near to this, derives 20(3)r 233
its name, it is said, from being built on the spot
where the bulls, that caused the death of St. Saturnin,
were stopped in their furious career.

Thus ended our pleasant rambles in the interesting
city of Toulouse; and the following
evening, at six o’clock, (1829-10-31October 31st,) we took
our departure for Bayonne.

Letter XX.

Auch.—Tarbes.—Pau.— Bayonne.—Spain.—Col de Perthus.—
Perpignan.—Salces.—Constance de Cezelli.—Fitou.—Narbonne.
Beziers.—Montpelier.

The morning after leaving Toulouse we
breakfasted at Auch, and had just time to walk
about a little, and particularly to see the celebbrated
Cathedral, which was quite near the inn.
This is a very splendid building, both within and
without, and the windows, of painted glass, are
very beautiful. Owing to the early hour of the
morning, I had no opportunity of obtaining other
than a general idea of it, the light being too obscure,
as well as my time too limited, to examine
it closely. But early as it was, a concourse of
people were collected, and a priest was preaching
to them, in the singular and uncultivated patois
of the country. Great as has been the number
of churches, which I have visited in France, 20* 20(3)v 234
and at all hours too, I scarcely recollected one in
which there were not more or less worshuppers;
and to see a church entirely empty would be a
circumstance of such rare occurrence, as to be
considered very extraordinary.

Resuming our seats in the diligence, we continued
our journey from Auch. The day was
exceedingly rainy, damp, and disagreeable, and
the atmosphere so heavy as to obscure, for a
time, every distant object from our view. Occasionally,
as the mist cleared a little, we caught
sight of the lofty hills stretching along the horizon,
and belonging to the chain of the Pyrenees,
which we were gradually approaching. In
the afternoon the sun came out clear and bright,
and we had a very pleasant ride to Tarbes, which
we reached at an early hour in the evening.
Here we supped, and had two or three hours to
repose, before the regular time for the departure
of the diligence.

At two o’clock in the morning, we left Tarbes,
and arrived at Pau between seven and eight.
After breakfast, we walked to the old Chateau,
the birth-place of Henry Fourth. It is a large
mass of buildings, situated upon an eminence
that divides the city from the river. For many
years it was occupied as barracks, but in 18221822 it
was repaired, and is now one of the public edifices
of the place. From the balcony of the castle
you have a fine view of the deep valley, through 20(4)r 235
which the river runs,—the hilly country beyond,—
and, further still, the snow-capt summits of the
lofty Pyrenees.

At the bottom of the grand stair-case, in entering
the Chateau, is an excellent statue of Henry
Fourth
, but resting upon a wooden pedestal. Ascending
the stair-case, we passed through several
of the apartments, which retain not much
of their former splendor, except that in some
places you see the wall ornamented with cut
stone, in the manner of stucco work. The room,
in which Henry was born, however, has been
recently fitted up, by order of the government,
in a style altogether rich and tasteful. The papering
of the apartment is blue, with a handsome
gilded border; and in each space, between the
windows and doors, is a gilded coat of arms.
The chairs are of mahogany, with velvet seats.
In the centre of the room is a kind of pedestal,
covered with rich purple velvet, adorned with
gilt fleur de lis. On each side is the king’s
cipher. Upon the pedestal are placed six gilded
spears, three on each side, forming a kind of tent,
with a small white silk flag attached to each, and
gilt crown and coat of arms embroidered on both
sides of them. In the midst of the spears is suspended
a casque of great beauty,—a present to
Henry,—ornamented with rich white plumes.
Below, is hung the cradle of the monarch, made
of a single unwrought tortoise shell, of large 20(4)v 236
size. In it are some rude forks, used in his day,
that have been preserved as curiosities.

The walks around the Chateau have all
been newly cleared and beautified, and being
planted with trees, are very cool and pleasant.
We afterwards walked though a number of the
principal streets in the city, which, though far
from being handsome, is a busy, active place, and
apparently prosperous. The market was very
much crowded with people; and all the market
women were very neatly clad. The grisettes here
are dressed much like those at Bordeaux, except
that they have a little different manner of twisting
on the turban, which is, also, of different
material.

At Pau, we were first notified of our near approach
to Spain, by seeing the mantilla worn by
a large number of the females. It was generally
made of red kerseymere, faced round with black
velvet, and only large enough to cover the head
and shoulders. Others, that could hardly, however,
be called mantillas, were made of camlet,
lined with woollen, and wrapped entirely around
the body, with a sort of bonnet crown behind.
They were made to fasten under the chin, and to
conceal the face, if desirable.

I returned to the hotel, and while waiting for
the diligence, a little boy and girl, one twelve
and the other seven years of age, came into
the room where we were, to sing to us. The 20(5)r 237
boy had a violin, and they played and sung several
songs very prettily. They said they resided
in Bayonne, and were now, with their father and
mother, also musicians, travelling through the
country,—a journey that they perform every
year, thus earning their subsistence. They
were both modest, pretty looking children, and
the girl, particularly, appeared quite intelligent.

At twelve o’clock, we left Pau for Bayonne.
The road, that we took, was, for the most part, a
very agreeable one, though the scenery was occasionally
dull and uninteresting. This, however,
was true of a small part of the country only,
the remainder presenting to view well cultivated
fields, and pleasant villages. The manner of
building the houses, in every village through
which we passed, was very peculiar. They were
universally constructed of pebbles and brick,
fastened together with a great proportion of clay
mixed with mortar. The roofs were tiled, and
altogether formed secure and durable habitations,
not unpleasing in their effect upon the eye.

The following morning, at six o’clock, we arrived
at Bayonne, and you may judge with how
much need of rest, when you reflect, that we
had been travelling three nights and two days,
with but short intervals of delay, and those chiefly
employed in seeing the towns that we entered.

When we stopped at the office, a very prepossessing
young man came forward to enquire if we 20(5)v 238
were going to Spain, informing us that he had
vacant seats in his voiture, which was to leave
Bayonne for Madrid at twelve o’clock the same
day. Having made enquiries as to his respectability
and probity, which were satisfactorily answered,
we engaged the seats without delay.

By means of four or five hours of refreshing
sleep, followed by an excellent breakfast, I was
sufficiently recovered from my fatigue to take a
new start. Previously, however, to leaving
Bayonne, I walked about a short time in the city,
and entered the Cathedral. The architecture of
this church, together with the cloister belonging
to it, is very fine, though the ornaments are few
and not remarkable. But I had only a moment
to spend here, and returning to the voiture was
soon comfortably upon my way towards Spain.

At eight o’clock in the evening, (1829-11-30November
30, 1829
,) we reached the bridge, that forms the
boundary on this side between France and Spain;
and we here bade adieu, for the present, to the
land of the Gaul.

I re-entered the territories of France by the
pass called the Col de Perthus, at the eastern
extremity of the Pyrenees, it being upon the high
road from Barcelona to Perpinan, (1830-03-23March 23rd,
1830
.) We had been ascending so gradually, for
many miles, that I was not aware of having
reached the most elevated part of the mountains,
until I found that we were at the frontiers.

20(6)r 239

The boundary between the two kingdoms is
indicated here by a plain stone, erected upon the
very spot formerly occupied by Pompey’s famous
pillar, and where afterwards stood an altar constructed
by Julius Cæsar; but all vestiges of
these monuments have now wholly disappeared.

In addition to the boundary stone just mentioned,
the dividing line between the two frontiers
is more distinctly marked by the large castle
of Bellegarde, situated upon a lofty mountain,
and overlooking the road, which passes along at
its feet. Here our baggage was examined and
our passport countersigned; and we then commenced
a long descent towards Perpignan, which
we reached early the same afternoon.

Very different was the face of the country
at this time, from the appearance which it had
presented, when I crossed the confines of
France in the opposite direction. It is true that
the day, on which I entered Spain, had been a
delightful one; but the chilly winds and cloudy
sky of November were beginning to be felt, even
in that usually mild and pleasant climate, and all
nature was giving visible warning of the near approach
of cold and dreary winter. But now the
scene was wholly changed. Although it was
still March, the air was even uncomfortably
warm, and the fields were clothed in all the freshness
and verdure of a charming spring, whose
gentle influences had entirely dispersed the intense 20(6)v 240
cold and severe frosts of the preceding
season.

But, unfortunately, I was prevented from seeing
a considerable part of the country, as well
before reaching Perpignan, as afterwards in passing
through Languedoc, by the great clouds of
dust, which at times completely enveloped the
diligence, and obliged me to keep my eyes
closely shut to prevent their being filled with it.
Thus I lost much of the country, which I might
otherwise have enjoyed. Upon arriving at Perpignan,
we had several hours of daylight in which
to see the place; but I did not attempt it, being
much fatigued, and the city, moreover, possessing
little to interest the traveller.

At four o’clock in the morning we left Perpignan,
and, as the daylight gradually appeared,
we found ourselves surrounded by vineyards, that
continued to succeed each other for a long distance;
and among them was that of Rivesaltes,
which produces the celebrated Muscatel wine.
In passing through the little town of Salces, we
saw the large fort, built by the Emperor Charles
Fifth
, and remarkable for the vast thickness of
its walls, and for its subterranean vaults.

Near Salces is Leucate, a small place of considerable
military note. The following short
story, in relation to this town, illustrates in a
striking manner the heroic fortitude, of which
the female character is capable, when circumstances 21(1)r 241
arise to call it forth. In the year 1590fifteen
hundred and ninety
, during the wars of the
League, the Sieur de Barry, governor of Leucate,
hearing of the disembarkation of the Spaniards
before Leucate, departed immediately, to
go and give intelligence of it to the Duc de
Montmorency, and to receive his orders; but
he was unfortunate enough to fall into the hands
of the Leaguers. He found means, notwithstanding,
to inform his wife, Constance de Cezelli,
who was at Montpellier, her native place,
of his detention, and ordered her to throw herself
promptly into Leucate, and to listen to no proposition
upon the subject of surrendering the position.
Embarking at Maguelonne, she repaired
immediately to Leucate, and stimulated by her
presence the courage of the garrison. The
Spaniards and the Leaguers made an attack,
a short time after her arrival; but she defended
herself with so much valor, as to render
all their efforts useless. The Leaguers, vexed
beyond measure at her resistance, sent her word
that, if she did not promptly surrender the place,
they would put her husband to death, the price
of his ransom being no other than Leucate
itself. She offered all her property to redeem
him; but declared that nothing would be capable
of making her violate the fidelity which they both
owed to their King and country. Upon this
refusal the Leaguers caused her husband to be 21 21(1)v 242
strangled, and sent his body to her in Leucate.
Outraged by the inhumanity of the besiegers, the
garrison, wishing to make reprisals, besought the
lady to deliver up to them the Sieur de Loupian,
a prisoner of war, whom the Duc de Montmorency
had sent her as a kind of hostage for the
security of her husband. But she constantly refused
to deliver him up. Grateful for such noble
constancy, the King left to her the government of
Leucate, until Hercule de Barry, her son, should
be of age to assume it as her successor.

At the hamlet of Fitou, we breakfasted; and
soon after leaving it came to a spot where the
road was repairing, and were much amused by
seeing a large troop of girls, perhaps twenty or
thirty in number, with baskets upon their heads,
in which they collected small stones from the
neighboring fields, and then formed these into
regular heaps by the way side, in readiness for
the workmen to use. They all wore coarse straw
or other hats, tied down under their chins, and
seemed, by their smiling cheerful faces, to perform
their tasks with much ease and pleasure.

Early in the afternoon we reached Narbonne,
where we remained two or three hours. This
city contains few objects of interest, and not being
able to go out, I remained quietly at the hotel
until three o’clock, and then entered the diligence
for Montpellier. The scenery, through
which we passed for the succeeding four hours, 21(2)r 243
was delightfully varied with hill and valley, cultivated
fields, and vineyards; and before dark we
entered the large town of Beziers, beautifully situated
upon a high hill, the river Orbe flowing at
its base, and surrounded on every side by the
most picturesque and charming prospects imaginable.
On one side is seen a range of lofty
mountains, on another a delicious valley, planted
with corn fields, fruit trees, vineyards, and gardens,
stretching out in the greatest luxuriance, as
far as the eye can reach. Just before entering
the town, we again had a view of the Canal du
Midi
, which here empties its waters into the river
Orbe.

At Beziers we remained nearly an hour, and
procured an excellent cup of coffee, before again
setting out upon our way. After leaving the town
the road winds up a long, steep hill, from whence
there is a splendid view of the surrounding
country; and after this I saw little more, until
reaching Montpellier, at six o’clock the following
morning.

This truly charming city is agreeably situated,
and full of attractive objects, which cannot fail to
delight every beholder. A short time after our
arrival, we walked first to the promenade of Porte
Peyron
, one of the most delightful walks it is
possible to conceive. At one extremity of it,
standing upon an artificial elevation ascended by
flight of steps, is the chateau d’eau, a most beautiful 21(2)v 244
fountain, in form of a pavilion, with a vaulted
roof sustained by graceful columns. The interior
contains a basin, from which the water issues in
broad clear sheets; and descending some steps
into a subterranean passage, you are shown the
reservoir of the solidly built aqueduct, which
brings the water from a distance of two leagues.

From the mound, upon which the fountain is
situated, a most extensive and lovely prospect is
enjoyed. The beautiful environs of Montpellier,
the wide spread plain adjoining it, abounding with
vines and olive trees, interspersed with country
houses, the sea, and the distant mountains of
the Pyrenees,—all these varied objects, each
possessing its own peculiar beauty, render
the spot one of the most enchanting I have ever
seen.

Opposite the entrance of the promenade is a
fine gate in the form of an arch, called Porte
Peyron
, adorned with bas-reliefs; and an inscription
over the top indicates its having been erected
in the reign of Louis Fourteenth.

The College of Medicine, which has imparted
great celebrity to the city of Montpellier, occupies
the building that was anciently the episcopal palace.
The new anatomical lecture room is in
form of an amphitheatre, with a large white marble
table in front of the professor’s seat, upon
which the dissections are performed. The chair
of the professor is a great curiosity, being made 21(3)r 245
of an ancient marble one found in the Roman
amphitheatre at Nismes.

The Bourse is a very handsome building, as is
the Museum, which, however, I did not
enter. The Esplanade, so called, is another
beautiful public walk, consisting entirely of alleys
planted with trees. The Jardin des Plantes I
did not visit, as it was too far from the centre of
the city. This garden contains the grace of
Narcissa, referred to in this line of the Night
Thoughts
:
“With pious sacrilege a grave I stole.”
The streets and public squares of Montpellier are
extremely spacious and fine, almost without exception.
The different places are generally adorned
with marble fountains of much beauty. Neat
coffee-houses, situated in the midst of pretty
little gardens, ornamented with pavilions of green
lattice work, are to be seen in various parts of
the city, and add very much to its agreeable
aspect.

The centre of the Place Louis Seize is adorned
with a splendid white marble statue of that
monarch, just completed. It is of colossal stature,
and stands upon a pedestal of corresponding size.
The attitude is remarkably graceful, with one
arm extended, and the other partly concealed
by flowing drapery, sprinkled with fleurs de lis,
and representing the royal coronation robes.
His head is bare, and an angel is crowning it 21* 21(3)v 246
with laurel. The countenance is an exact likeness
of the King. I recognized it immediately
upon entering the place. A handsome iron balustrade,
gilded at the top, encircles the whole.

Montpellier is said to be distinguished for its
mild and salubrious climate, its refined and intellectual
society, its handsome ladies, and the superiority
of its accommodation for strangers, in
the comfort and convenience of the lodgings.
All this I can easily imagine, from what we experienced
of the climate, from the general appearance
of the city, and the neatness and elegance
of the Hotel d’Europe.

Letter XXI.

Nismes.—Amphitheatre.—Pont du Gard.—Lafour.—Maison
Carree
.—Roman Baths.—Temple of Diana.—Porte de Cesar.—
Palais de Justice.—Beaucaire.—Tarascon.—Saint Remy.

The country through which we passed in going
to Nismes, though well cultivated, possesses no
particular attraction. But immediately upon entering
Nismes, I was struck with astonishment
and admiration on viewing the magnificent Roman
Amphitheatre, which far surpassed, in beauty and
grandeur, any idea I had previously formed of
it, highly raised as my expectations had been.
Upon alighting at the hotel, we ascertained that 21(4)r 247
sufficient time would intervene, before the dinner
hour, to see the amphitheatre, which is within
sight of the hotel, and we immediately repaired
thither without delay, first taking a turn around
it, before entering within its vast enclosure.

The form of it is oval, and the exterior, beautifully
adorned with various carved ornaments, is
very nearly entire. But to describe this splendid
monument, so as to impart any just idea of its actual
appearance, is a task, which I should vainly
endeavor to accomplish, and even when its enormous
dimensions are exactly stated, it is impossible
to conceive of the vastness of the reality,
without having seen it. Its greatest diameter is
said to be four hundred and forty French feet, its
smallest three hundred and twenty, its circumference
eleven hundred, and its height seventy feet.

After walking quite around the outside, we
came to a gate opening into a portico, where a
man was seated, who takes charge of the place,
and for a stipulated payment shows you any part
of the interior. We first entered the arched portal,
leading into the immense area, where the
ancient sports were exhibited, and from which
ranges of broad, high seats ascended gradually to
the top of the amphitheatre. Many of these,
however, are now entirely destroyed. When
complete, they were capable of containing seventeen
thousand persons. From the area, we
passed out, and entered successively two galleries, 21(4)v 248
one above the other, which formerly extended
quite around the edifice, and admitted the
spectators to the seats. From the second gallery,
we entered the interior of the Amphitheatre,
and I, with some difficulty, ascended the massive
broad seats to the top, where you obtain the most
distinct impression of its grand and majestic proportions.

When walking along the outside, or standing
in the centre of the area, you can see but a small
portion of it at once, and it does not therefore
appear so striking as when, at the top, you receive
at one glance a view of the entire outline of the
building, and then, indeed, the effect is sublime
beyond description. And what must have been
the splendor of the spectacle, when these, now
vacant and broken seats, were thronged with the
brilliant assemblage of rank and beauty, that once
made this vast area echo to their loud shouts of
applause, as they watched with eager delight the
progress of those warlike and bloody sports, which
formed the pastimes of the ancient masters of the
world! The reflection, that such scenes were
actually witnessed, though ages since, within
these venerable walls, and that the spot upon
which you stand has been marked by the footsteps,
and resounded to the proud tread, of
many a high-born Roman;—such a reflection
imparts a deep, almost sacred interest
to the feelings, with which you gaze upon this 21(5)r 249
truly superb and wonderful production of art.

We were informed by the man, who guided
us, that when the present Queen of Spain and her
parents passed through Nismes, a famous bullfight,
famous at least for France, was given there in
the amphitheatre, which was so crowded in every
part, that it was impossible for another person
to be admitted. This was a very appropriate
entertainment with which to welcome the
future Queen of a nation so passionately fond of
this amusement, that in their eyes every other
loses its charm in comparison with it. We
returned to the hotel through a very pleasant
public walk, called the Esplanade.

The next morning, at four o’clock, we took a
cabriolet to visit the Pont du Gard, or Roman
aqueduct erected for the purposes of carrying
water to Nismes, which is situated about two
or three hours distance from the latter place.

It is constructed between two high hills, and a
bend in the road conceals it from sight, until you
are within a very short distance from it, when it
bursts upon your view in all its beauty and magnificence.
It consists of three ranges of noble
arches one above the other. The first tier,
composed of six arches, is sixty six feet in height
and five hundred and twenty in breadth, and
through the largest arch run the waters of the
river Gardon. The second range, of nine arches,
is of the same length with the first, and eight 21(5)v 250
hundred fifty-four feet in breadth. The third, of
thirty-five arches, is twenty-six feet high, and
eight hundred seventy-four feet wide. The aqueduct,
between four and five feet in breadth, and
between five and six in height, rests upon the top
of the last tier of arches, and is partly covered
with large flag stones.

The aqueduct is reached by ascending the
steep declivity of one of the hills, and you may
then pass entirely through it to the hill upon the
opposite side, as there is no longer any water in
it, and the way perfectly unimpeded. After crossing
the arches the aqueduct extends unseen, to a
distance computed at twenty-five English miles.
The bridge across the Gardon, which forms a
part of the great highway from Nismes to Paris,
is placed between the first and second range of
arches, and is supported by them. The aqueduct
derives its present appellation of the Pont
du Gard
, from its being thus used, as the word
Gard is the old name for Gardon.

The perfect simplicity of this noble monument,
mingled at the same time with the utmost grandeur
and elegance,—its lonely, romantic situation,
the beautiful hills on each side, which it
unites, covered with ivy, wild myrtle, and a thousand
flowering shrubs, fill the beholder with feelings
of admiration and delight, which increase in
intensity the longer he gazes upon the fascinating
scene. Then comes the recollection of that 21(6)r 251
mighty nation, under whose auspices these beautiful
arches grew into form, and the whole
majestic structure rose, in unexampled grandeur,
to become the wonder of succeeding ages,
and to immortalize the almost magic hands, that
reared it. When you look on the immense masses
of stone composing it, which to remove from
their native quarry would seem to be a task above
human strength, and then cast your eyes around
in vain for the spot from which they could have
been brought, you may well call those hands
magic, that could have thus overcome all obstacles,
and performed tasks, the achievement of
which appears to their degenerate descendants as
little less than miraculous; and the sight of which
awakens the involuntary feeling of regret, that
such a race of men should ever have deterioriated,
and that they no longer exist in all their ancient
glory and greatness.

Turning with a reluctant step from this charming
spot, we again entered the cabriolet to return
to Nismes, having first breakfasted at the little
village of Lafour, in the neighbourhood. Near
this village a very beautiful suspension bridge is
constructing across the Gardon, which is to be
supported by iron wire instead of chains.

Immediately upon arriving at Nismes, we walked
out to view the other remarkable Roman monuments,
which exist in the city. The first to be
mentioned is an ancient edifice, now called the 21(6)v 252
Maison Carree, or square house, which must
hold a high place among the most celebrated
monuments, which France, or even Italy, contains.
The perfect state of preservation, in which
it has remained, excites the astonishment of every
one, who beholds it; and, for myself, I could not
believe at first sight, that it was not a comparatively
modern edifice, though a nearer view of its
beautiful architecture sufficiently announced its
origin.

Its form is that of a temple, with a portico ascended
by a flight of steps, and sustained by six
fluted Corinthian columns in front, and three each
side, counting the two corner columns twice.
Pillars of the same description extend along, and
are joined to, the sides of the building, and exceed
twenty-seven feet in height. The length of the
edifice is seventy-seven feet, its breadth more
than thirty-eight, and its height sixty-four. The
beautiful workmanship observable in various parts
of it, and particularly that of the cornice, is of the
most delicate execution, and this circumstance
had led to the supposition, by some learned men,
that it is a Grecian rather than a Roman production.
Indeed, there are a great variety of opinions
respecting the Maison Carree, and much has
been written upon the subject, both as to the
period of its erection, and the purpose to which
it was originally applied. The interior is now
principally occupied with pictures, hung around 22(1)r 253
the wall, and with a very extensive collection of
antiques, which render the pictures completely
uninteresting and scarcely noticeable.

From the Maison Carree, we continued through
the same street, and arrived at a large basin, constructed
for the purpose of washing clothes, and
public to every one. It was surrounded by
women, all busily engaged in rinsing the clothes,
that they had washed. Turning to the left, we
entered a beautiful avenue of trees, extending
along the sides of a fine canal, which brought us
to a very pleasant public garden, planted with
shrubs and flowers, and containing some curious
baths, occupying the site of ancient Roman baths,
and rebuilt as nearly as possible in the same
manner. They consist of large basins of water,
separated from each other, and adorned at the
top with statues. No use is now made of them,
they being only visited as objects of curiosity.
Near these baths, at the foot of a chain of hills, is
the fountain, by which they are supplied with
water. A basin, seventy feet in diameter, and
twenty-four in depth, is naturally formed in a
rock, and the spring issues from the centre.

Pursuing one of the garden paths, to the left
of this, we passed two neat coffee-houses, and
arrived at the ruins of a temple, called the temple
of Diana. A considerable portion of it still remains,
and forms a large mass of huge stones,
joined together without cement. The original 22 22(1)v 254
size of the building is stated to have been one
hundred and forty-six feet in height, and forty-
six feet in breadth. Several remains of columns,
cornices, statues, and other ornaments that formerly
adorned it, are still preserved within the
walls. The guide, employed to exhibit the place
to strangers, conducted us into the interior of
the temple, and showed us the passage by which
victims were brought in, and the spot at which
they were sacrificed.

Upon the summit of the hills already mentioned,
and to which a road leads up from the
fountain, stand the ruins of the Tour Magne,
which is a Roman stone tower of great size,
consisting of several stories, one above the
other. The situation amd appearance of this
tower are remarkably fine; but we had not time
to mount the steep ascent upon which it stands,
and contented ourselves with viewing it from the
city.

The last ancient monument in Nismes, to be
mentioned, is the gate, called the Porte de
Cesar
, built by Augustus, and remarkable only
for its antiquity, nearly all the ornaments upon it
being now destroyed. An inscription, and the
arches that formed it, still remain.

But in addition to all these fine monuments,—
of which, after Rome, Nismes is said to contain
the greatest number, of any city in the world, and
these in finer preservation even, than those of 22(2)r 255
Rome herself,—there are a number of modern
buildings of much beauty, and the general aspect
of the new part of the city is remarkably pleasant
and agreeable. The boulevards surrounding it
are very handsome, and upon them are situated
the Palais de Justice, theatre, and hospital,
all extremely beautiful buildings, and a number
of private edifices, which, although less sumptuous,
are still near and elegant in their appearance.

At twelve o’clock we departed for Aix. The
road passed through a very charming country,
bounded on each side by chains of beautiful hills.
Groves of mulberry trees, vineyards, and cultivated
meadows meet the eye in succession;
and, after passing several pretty villages, you
enter the town of Beaucaire, where is a most
splendid new bridge, thrown across the Rhone,
suspended by iron wire. The wire is very small,
but a large number of strands are fastened together,
and formed into solid wire ropes an inch and
a half thick, five on each side, which are supported
by three uprights in form of arches. The
bridge, as well as the wire, is painted white,
and is truly a very beautiful object. It is also
said to be much more secure than chain bridges
built upon the same principle.

Beaucaire is very prettily situated upon the
Rhone, of which beautiful river we here obtained
the first view. Upon an eminence, near the 22(2)v 256
town, are the ruins of a celebrated chateau of
the old Counts of Toulouse. Passing over the
bridge, we entered the pleasant town of Tarascon,
situated exactly opposite Beaucaire, where also
is a famous chateau, formerly the residence of the
Counts of Provence.

From thence the road leads through agreeable
meadows and fertile plains. In the evening we
arrived at the town of St. Remy, remarkable for
some very fine Roman monuments; but these,
of course, we were not able to see, unless by remaining
a day for the purpose, which we could
not conveniently do. During the night, we
reached Aix, but concluded to keep onwards to
Marseilles.

Letter XXII.

Marseilles.—Harbor.—Place Royale.—Quays.—Greek Church.
—Museum.—Cork Models.—Notre Dame.—Porte d’Aix.—
Allees de Meilhan.—Montagne Russe.—Notre Dame de la
Garde
.—Saint Victor.Hotel de Ville.—Bourse.—Aix.—Le
Cours
.—Palais de Justice.—Hotel de Ville.—Cathedral.—
La Madelaine.—Saint Jean.—Hot Baths.—Orgon.

A very long descent, called the Vista, commences
at some miles distance from Marseilles,
in coming from Aix; and as you gradually approach
the city, the view becomes perfectly magnificent.
On one side, the beautiful waters of the 22(3)r 257
Mediterranean are spread out before you, with
innumerable white sails glistening upon its bosom,
and at the other a lofty range of mountains in the
form of an amphitheatre; and at their foot rises
the city, with a number of little hamlets so near
in its vicinity, as to form apparently a part of it.
The adjacent country is very beautiful, and the
entire prospect picturesque beyond description.

We entered the city through a fine public
walk, called Le Cours, which in fact is a splendid
street, shaded with trees, and having spacious
side-walks beyond, bordered with lofty and elegant
buildings.

Our room at the Hotel de Beauvau looked
out upon the harbor, considered one of the finest
in France. The form of it is an oblong square,
with broad quays extending around three sides of
it, the fourth being the entrance from the seal
and it is so shut up by small islands, that a narrow
passage is alone left, through which the vessels
pass into the harbor. An immense quantity of
shipping, forming a forest of masts, was ranged
around the quays, with an open space in the
middle of the harbor, which it is said will contain
twelve hundred vessels. A great variety of little
pleasure boats, covered with a fanciful canopy,
and displaying from the top the flags of different
countries to attract observation, were scattered
here and there upon the water, or drawn up to the
shore waiting for employment.

22* 22(3)v 258

The quay, upon which our hotel stood, is a
favorite promenade for all classes of people, and
the scene from the windows was very attractive
and amusing. The vast number of seamen,
singing their sailor songs, from their respective
vessels,—the continual “ho, heave ho”, of those
engaged in loading or unloading the ships, together
with the different air and dress of the passing
throng upon the quay beneath, afforded ample
food for entertainment and observation, during a
great part of the first day I arrived at
Marseilles.

The next morning, however, I commenced my
perambulations, and we first directed our steps to
the Place Royale, a very large square, ornamented
in the middle with a handsome fountain,
not unlike in appearance to the chateau d’eau
upon the boulevards in Paris. There are three
vases, one within the other, and decreasing in
size to the top, from whence a stream of water
rises, to descend in showers over the vases
beneath. The lower one is placed in a circular
basin, and is supported by small cariatides, with
a stream of water issuing from the mouth of each.

We next passed through several streets, some
of them regular and well built, to the Greek
church, where we had been told service was performed
every Sunday. We entered, and heard
mass said, or rather sung, for it was all chanted
from beginning to end. I could distinguish no 22(4)r 259
material difference between this service and that
of the Roman Catholics; nor could I feel the
slightest interest in it. The church was a neat
building, but in no way peculiar.

From it we passed to the opposite extremity of
the city, and visited the Museum of pictures,
which, with a collection of natural history, a college,
and a public library, occupy the buildings
of the ancient convent of the Bernardins, situated
upon a pleasant avenue of trees, used as a public
walk, and denominated Boulevard du Musee.
Many of the pictures were good; but, like the
generality of the collections of the kind, it possessed a
very much larger proportion of ordinary than of
fine paintings. The cabinet of natural history
we did not see. The library contains about sixty
thousand volumes.

Nearly opposite the Museum is a very remarkable
collection of cork models, executed by M.
Eugene Duclaux
, and exhibited at his dwelling-
house. They were neatly arranged, each in a
square glass case, and consisted of different
views in relief;—such as the Palais Royal,
Tuileries, and Arc du Carousel at Paris,—
several ancient ruins, the tomb of Cicero and
Rousseau, the Pont du Gard, a representation of
a besieged city, with a vast number of combatants,
all of extreme smallness, but remarkably
well executed; together with vases and urns,
filled with flowers, for chimney ornaments,—and 22(4)v 260
a very pretty country scene, the fore ground
covered with verdure, and back of it, a neat little
church and other buildings forming a small hamlet.
This last is placed in a gilt frame, and behind
it there is a clock work so constructed, that, on
being wound up, a lively strain of music seems to
proceed from the little hamlet, as you can see
nothing of the machinery, by means of which the
tune is played. All the trees, shrubs, and grass
are made of the same material, that artificial
flowers are composed of, and consequently have
rather a stiff appearance; but the buildings are
beautifully done, and the exhibition, as a whole,
is exceedingly pretty and ingenious.

At the church of Notre Dame, near the Museum,
military mass was to be performed, and we went
thither to hear it. The ceremony was in every
respect the same which we saw at Nantes; but
the effect was totally different, owing to the smallness
of the church, which prevented the music
from sounding well; and but few of the soldiers
being able to enter the aisle, their appearance
was far less imposing, than when drawn up in
close files, along the spacious nave of a lofty
cathedral.

We now returned to the hotel, and took a new
departure, and first passing through a part of the
magnificent Rue d’Aix, or in other words Le
Cours
, we arrived at the new Porte d’Aix, a
beautiful triumphal arch of stone, not yet completed. 22(5)r 261
We passed it in coming into the city; but
I did not then particularly notice it. It stands in
a large open place, at one extremity of the Rue
d’Aix
, and when completed will be a great addition
to the beauty of this part of the city.

We next bent our course towards the public
pleasure garden, situated at the farther end of the
Allees de Meilhan, a broad, beautiful promenade,
bordered with trees and fine houses; and at this
time many persons, chiefly ladies with their children
and nurses, were walking about in different
parts of it. The ladies were all very genteelly
dressed, many of them in rich satins and silks,
made purposely for walking dresses, trimmed up
and down before, with an open waist turned over
on each side in front, and a handsome habit handkerchief
beneath. The garden was likewise full
of people, amusing themselves in various ways,
according to the universal practice of passing
Sunday in every part of France.

At one side the garden there was a high building,
which I could not at first imagine the use of;
but in coming to the front of it, I was soon apprized
of the purpose to which it was appropriated.
It is called a Russian Mountain. At
the top is an open portico, with two narrow railways,
nearly perpendicular at the commencement,
leading from it to the garden, through which they
pass for almost its whole extent. A small carriage,
with two persons in it, is then placed upon 22(5)v 262
one of the rail-ways, and the impetus, which it
acquires in descending the steep part of the declivity,
carries it across the garden, where a person
is stationed to give it a push as it passes,
and this carries it round a considerable curve,
and brings it into the second rail-way. Here, a
slight inclination enables it to reach the bottom of
the mountain, where the travellers alight, and the
carriage is drawn to the top by machinery.
There are a large number of these little carriages,
and a long line of them is usually permitted
to collect at the foot, and then they are all
pulled up in succession. It looks very singularly
to see them all going up, one after the other, apparently
without any assistance, the wheel, by
which they are made to ascend, being out of sight
behind the rail-ways. This wheel is carried
round by horses, as I afterwards observed upon
leaving the garden, when the whole was plainly
visible.

At the opposite extremity from the mountain,
several other species of amusement were pursued.
Among them was a whirligig, like those I
saw in Bordeaux. Near it was a large frame,
from the centre of which was suspended a
small wooden bird. At the back of the frame
was a widepiece of board, with a mark in the middle
of it; and the object of the game is to swing
the bird forward in such a manner, that his bill
shall hit the mark,—a task I should think, not 22(6)r 263
easily performed, as the string by which it is suspended
is so very slender, and the bird so light,
that it must be difficult to keep it in an even line
with the mark, however true may be the aim
Independently of these curious machines, the garden
contains very little, that is attractive. It is
neither prettily arranged, nor does it display a
pleasing variety of plants. After rambling round a
short time, in the different paths, we returned home
by the Allees de Meilhan, through which we came.

On Tuesday we walked to the hill, upon which
stand the castle and chapel of Notre Dame de
la Garde
. This is chiefly visited on account of
the splendid view from its summit. In no other
position can one have so accurate an idea of the
appearance of the city, its situation, the form and
beauty of its harbor, in addition to the charming
prospect here afforded of the Mediterranean, with
its little green islands, and the fine range of
mountains on one side, which, forming a half circle
back of the city, seem placed there as a
mighty barrier to protect it from every assault of
wind and tempest, that may harmlessly rage and
break against their firm and unyielding foundations.
Neither the castle nor the chapel is very remarkable.
The latter is hung around with several pictures
of ship wrecks, some of them well done, which
are brought to the church in fulfilment of vows
made by seamen in the hour of danger and apparent
death.

22(6)v 264

Descending from the castle, we passed through
the Cours Bourbon, a pleasant, shady walk, to
the ruins of the ancient abbey of St. Victor. It
consists now of only two old square towers and
an ordinary church; but is peculiarly interesting,
as containing subterranean vaults, where the
early christians were wont to worship. Several
chapels, with rough stone altars, a few statues of
saints, together with small niches cut into the
wall for purposes of confession, are the principal
objects to be seen in these dark caves, where
the primitive professors of the christian religion
were obliged to conceal themselves, to offer their
prayers to God in fear and trembling, persecuted
and driven from the face of day by the enemies
of their faith, whose object and end were to exterminate
them wholly from the earth; but whose
deadly purposes a mightier arm than that of mortal
man stayed and frustrated.

In returning from this church to the hotel, we
passed over the quay upon one side the harbor.
This we found most offensively unclean, and so
filled with barrels, boxes, carts, and horses, and
with men running to and fro in all directions,
that we could scarcely make our way through
without danger of being run down. Upon the
opposite quay to this is situated the Hotel de
Ville
, a noble stone building of great exterior
beauty; but the inside I did not see. Here also
is the Bourse, and the favorite winter promenade 23(1)r 265
of the Marseillois, along a wide pavement,
open to the harbor on the south, and sheltered
by the buildings from the cold winds behind.
The walk is frequently called the Fire Place of
King Rene, as that prince was accustomed to
frequent it very much during the winter season.

On Wednesday morning, we left Marseilles for
Aix. The scenery, for nearly the whole way,
was very pretty, and the country generally in a
good state of cultivation. Just before entering
Aix, we came to the summit of a long and rather
steep hill, where is presented a most beautiful
view of the city, and its environs for a considerable
distance around. Soon after descending this
hill, we entered the spacious street or avenue,
called Le Cours, shaded with four rows of
elm trees, and rendered still more imposing in appearance
by the elegant, lofty buildings, which
adorn it on each side.

Upon arriving at Aix, we accidentally found a
very pleasant conveyance, by which to pursue
our journey to Avignon. This was a private carriage,
returning to that place empty, having
brought some travellers to Aix the day previous.
It was to start whenever we should be ready,
and we lost no time in making the rounds of the
city. The hotel, at which we stopped was upon
Le Courds, and thence we passed through nearly
the whole length of this charming walk. It is
ornamented with several fountains, and from one 23 23(1)v 266
of them issues a stream of warm water, connected
with a source at some distance from the spot, and
which we afterwards visited.

Of the various beautiful buildings that I saw
at Aix, one that particularly pleased me was the
Palais de Justice, which, though not quite completed,
is remarkable for the beauty and simplicity
of its construction. A neat portico, arched at the
sides, is supported in front by eight columns, with
a large square pillar at each corner. Near this
building a new prison is likewise erecting, though
now scarce more than begun.

The Hotel de Ville is rather a handsome edifice,
and contains a good library, in which is a
bust of its founder, M. de Mejares. At the head
of the stair-case, in entering, is a statue of the
Marechal de Villars.

The Cathedral is an ancient gothic building,
the front composed of two towers. A beautiful
baptismal font occupies one of the chapels, and is
placed beneath a dome, supported by eight lofty
columns forming arches around it. This, and
the fine cloister attached to the church, are the
principal objects of interest contained in the Cathedral.
The cloister is surrounded by arches,
sustained by small coupled pillars, in the Moorish
style of architecture.

The church of La Madelaine is of modern
erection, built somewhat in the style of the Spanish
churches, and contains a baptismal font, similar 23(2)r 267
to that in the Cathedral. It stands within a
temple composed of eight large columns, placed
two and two at the four sides of the font.

The church of St. Jean is chiefly remarkable
for its lofty spire, its gothic porch, and a fine
monument, which it contains, to the memory of
Alphonso Eleventh, and his son Raymond Berenger.
This monument is in the form of a gothic
portico, ornamented with bas-reliefs, and supported
by coupled columns. Within is seen a full-
length statue, the arms crossed upon the breast.
At each side is a smaller portico of the same description,
detached from it, and in these the figures
are standing instead of recumbent. The whole
taken together is very beautiful.

Our walk terminated at the public baths, which
receive their waters from the same source as the
fountain in the Cours, already mentioned. This
water is of the temperature proper for bathing,
and the vapor arising from it is sufficiently heated
to impart a pleasant warmth to the apartments.
The baths are of marble, and the rooms remarkably
neat and clean. The water is conducted to
them by pipes, and you may always obtain, at
any moment, whatever quantity you choose, and
in precisely the right state for use. In a yard
back of the house, we were shown a singlar antique
basin, surrounded by bas-reliefs. Into the
basin the water was emptied by three brass cocks,
that from the central one being cold, and from the 23(2)v 268
side ones warm. The source, from whence all
the different hot streams flow, is very near the
baths, and is covered by a building. It was used
as a bathing place by the Romans. The water is
here so warm, that the same moisture is produced
upon the face, if you put your head within the
door of the building, as if you were holding it
over a large quantity of steam. Descending a
few steps from this building, into a kind of shed,
you come to a large reservoir or basin, with a
fountain in the centre, to which any persons may
go to wash, that choose, without payment, and
which is much frequented for this purpose, by the
poorer class of people.

The time of our departure for Avignon having
now arrived, we returned to the hotel, and were
soon upon our way. The air was deliciously
mild, and for part of the distance between Aix
and Orgon, where we dined, the road was skirted
with a succession of olive and almond groves, and
the country beyond was at intervals very beautiful.
Our carriage was a kind of barouche, capable
of being opened, so that we had the advantage
of seeing every thing with quite as much distinctness
as if we had been in the coupee of
the diligence, and the change from a close
cramped position to one every way commodious
and easy, was very acceptable to us, and I enjoyed
the ride exceedingly. After dining at
Orgon, and remaining an hour or two for the 23(3)r 269
horses to rest, we pursued our course to Avignon.

At Orgon I had particularly remarked the singular
hats worn by the lower classes of women,
and which are, I believe, peculiar to Provence,
or at least, I have never seen any thing like them
elsewhere. They are round hats made of black
felt, with a crown so low, as not at all to deserve
the name, and which is scarcely perceptible at a
little distance. The rims of many of them are
immensely large, and they are generally tipped
down over the face, so as to leave all the crown
of the cap projecting out behind. They are most
ungainly, unfeminine looking things, as could
well be contrived, and the remainder of the dress
worn with them displays quite as little taste, to
say nothing of cleanliness, as the hats themselves.
One would hardly suppose these women could
possibly belong to the same race, much less to
the same country, with the tidy, well dressed,
pretty looking grisettes, whose appearance had
been so pleasing in other parts of France.

23* 23(3)v 270

Letter XXIII.

Avignon.—Cathedral.—Papal Palace.—Hotel de la Monnaie.—
Le Rocher.—Chapelle de la Misericorde.—Grave of Laura.—
Environs of Avignon.—L’Isle.—Vaucluse.— Sorgue.—Castle.
—Monument to Petrarch.—Carpentras.—Orange.—Triumphal
Arch.—Roman Theatre.—Circus.—La Palud.

We employed part of a say in seeing the
curiosities of Avignon. We first visited the
Cathedral, a very ancient building, standing upon
an eminence, and only separated by an old ruin
from the Palace of the Popes, who for many
years made Avignon their residence. This is
likewise an edifice of great antiquity, and these
several monuments of years gone by, and which
seem, when standing opposite them, as if composing
one entire mass of stone,—have an interesting
and venerable aspect. The interior of the
Cathedral is said to have formerly contained a
number of fine monuments, and other decorations;
but the destroying hand of the revolution has
swept nearly all these away, and though a few of
the ancient monuments still remain, they are very
much mutilated and broken. Many parts of the
church, too, seem to be almost entirely in ruins,
though several of the chapels have been newly
repaired and ornamented, and others are now
undergoing repairs. Upon the wall on one side
the choir are seen a tablet and inscription to the
memory of “the brave Crillon.”

23(4)r 271

In front of the Cathedral is a crucifix of enormous
dimensions, and which is one of the most
conspicuous objects in approaching the church.
It is enclosed within a circular railing of iron,
gilded at the top, and divided at equal distances
by four large pillars, each supporting a kneeling
angel as large as life. At the foot of the cross,
which is elevated upon four steps, are the figures
of Mary and John; and four iron branches, attached
to the cross upon opposite sides, are terminated
by large gilt lanterns. The figures are
not particularly well done; but the effect of the
whole from the street below is far from being bad.
Nearly opposite the palace is the Hotel de la
Monnaie
, now used as a gendarmerie. It is a
large stone building, ornamented in a very singular
style, and of very striking appearance.

In going out from the Cathedral, we turned to
our right, and came to the spot called Le Rocher,
or the Rock of Avignon, where is a column, resting
upon a mound ascended by steps, and terminated
at the top by a crucifix. From thence
there is one of the most charming views I have
ever seen. The rock itself is very much elevated
above the city, which is pleasantly situated, in
the midst of a delightfully versant and highly
cultivated plain, stretching out on every side, intersected
by the beautiful windings of the Rhone,
and bounded by lofty mountains.

Leaving this spot, we descended, by a long 23(4)v 272
flight of steps, into the city, and proceeded to the
Chapelle de la Misericorde, formerly a convent,
and one of the old priests came forward, when
we entered, and conducted us through several
apartments, hung with pictures, which he praised
very much, and a few of which were in fact quite
good, though not so remarkably fine as he wished
to make us believe they were. But the object,
that attracts all strangers to this chapel, and
which is alone worth a visit to Avignon to see,
is a most exquisite little statue of Christ upon the
cross, carved in polished ivory by Jean Guillermin,
in 1659sixteen hundred fifty-nine. The body
consists of one single piece, with the exception
of the arms, which are separate. It is
impossible for any work of art to be more perfect
than this inimitable piece of sculpture,
and all that could be said in its praise would be
but faint, in comparison to its surprising beauty.
The expression of acute agony could scarcely
be more plainly discernible in the living, breathing
form, than in the admirable representation of
it. The swollen veins, the contracted nerves
and arteries of the body, the speaking anguish of
the countenance, all are so expressive of the most
intense pain and suffering, that no person, unless
wholly destitute of feeling, could gaze upon it
without the deepest emotions of pity and sorrow.
The delicacy and lightness of the material, that
composes it, increase the beauty of the workmanship, 23(5)r 273
and well may its possessors pronounce it invaluable.
the manner in which they became
masters of it is somewhat singular. The members
of the convent had received from the Pope the
privilege of pardoning a criminal every year;—
and the nephew of Jean Guillermin being sentenced
to death, they granted him his life, upon
the condition that this precious and beautiful
morceau should be the recompense. This condition
was, of course, accepted, and the convent
has remained in possession of it to this day.

We next repaired to the grave of Laura,
situated in a garden near the ruins of the ancient
church of the Cordeliers. Before the church was
destroyed the tomb stood within it; but the place
it occupied is now only marked by a cypress tree
and a small column. No tomb-stone or even
mound remained to indicate the exact spot, where
the remains of the lovely object of Petrarch’s romantic
attachment were said to have been deposited;
but after the destruction of the church,
the cypress tree, which is pointed out as overshadowing
her grave, was planted as a memento of
this mysterious, perhaps I may say fabulous being,
and some stranger has since erected the column.

After making a fruitless attempt to enter the
Museum, and a great foundery, each occupying
the remains of a celebrated convent, we returned
to the hotel, and at three o’clock in the afternoon
took a cabriolet for Vaucluse.

23(5)v 274

In going out from Avignon, we passed through
a beautiful avenue of trees, the branches arched
over at the top, forming an agreeable and cool
promenade. At three or four miles distance from
the city, we alighted at the foot of a long hill, and
walked up, in order to enjoy the celebrated view
from its summit. This view differs from that of
the Rocher in exhibiting the city of Avignon in
the distance. And the hill, upon which we now
were, being much higher the prospect was more
extensive,—and the charming plain, with its innumerable
fruit trees, and bright green verdure,
the city, the river, the mountains,—were all seen
at once, instead of in succession as at the Rocher.
I have not seen any scenery in France so like a
Spanish hueria as this, and few landscapes are to
my eye more beautiful, than the huerias, which you
are so freely called upon to admire in travelling
through the eastern part of Spain.

Not far from the hill I have just mentioned, is
a descent on the other side, and here you have
nearly as fine a view as the first, the city being
exchanged for great numbers of small white dwelling
houses scattered over the valley in all directions.
The road winds along through this valley,
after descending the hill, and for nearly the whole
distance to Vaucluse the scenery continues very
delightful. We passed through the village of
L’Isle, to which place it is usual for travellers to
return and sleep, if they visit Vaucluse towards 23(6)r 275
evening. From this fact, we had supposed that
there was no inn at Vaucluse, and that it would
be necessary for us also to return to L’Isle; but
in this, as we afterwards found, we were mistaken.

In drawing near Vaucluse, you see nothing
before you but huge masses of rock, which
you are gradually approaching through a solitary
valley, where you observe not the slightest indication,
that any thing like the habitations of men
is to be found beyond it; as the winding of the
road conceals the hamlet entirely from view.
Making a sudden turn, however, we could at
length plainly discern it, standing in the midst of
inaccessible rocks, and the river Sorgue running
along through it. The hamlet only consists of a
few scattered houses, and among them we found,
to our surprise, no less than three inns, at one of
which, the Hotel de Petrarque, we alighted, and
were shown into a bed-room, very neatly furnished,
and hung around with pictures, one representing
a view of the fountain, and the other two
being very well painted portraits of Petrarch and
Laura.

After resting ourselves a few moments only,
we walked out, and took a path at random, which
brought us directly to the fountain. Never shall
I forget the impressive scene, which here met
our eyes. The evening was perfectly delightful.
The moon, now at her full, rode proudly along the
deep blue heavens, which were closely studded 23(6)v 276
with stars, and a light, passing cloud, which occasionally
obscured her lustre for an instant,
threw an air of greater wildness and grandeur
upon the objects around us. Rocks, whose summits
seemed almost to mingle with the clouds,
and which, by the light of the moon, assumed all
the shapes of pyramids, towers, and castles, shut
in the prospect on every side. All was silent and
solitary. No sound was to be heard by the murmuring
of the waters, as they fell in cascades
over the rocks, and were then seen winding
calmly and smoothly along in the valley below.
Following the little foot path, close to the verge
of the water, we finally reached the fountain, at
which the walk terminates, and beyond which you
cannot pass.

A perpendicular rock of immense size and
height, rises above the fountain, and beneath this
rock is a large cavern, where may be seen in summer,
when the waters are low, the spring, which
forms the source of the river Sorgue. This river
is of considerable width, even at the source of
it, and you may imagine the singularity of seeing
a large body of water issuing from the apparently
solid rock, as the cavern beneath it was almost
wholly concealed, at the time we visited it, by
the height of the water. Immediately without
the mouth of the cavern is a deep basin or pond
of circular form, in which the river commences,
and then passes off from one side of it over the 24(1)r 277
rocks below. The sight of the favorite haunt of
the illustrious Petrarch most warmly interested
my feelings, and the reflection, that his constant
and unfortunate passion for the beautiful Laura
was breathed forth to the echoes of these very
rocks, now towering above my head, and that the
path I was then treading had often been pressed
by his footsteps, threw a magic charm over the
scene, that I want words to express.

But independently of the associations connected
with the place, scarcely could a spot have been
selected of greater natural beauty, or one more
favorable to poetry and romance, than the lonely,
retired valley of Vaucluse. Its perfect stillness
and apparent isolation from the rest of the world,
together with the awe inspired by the view of
those rocky pinnacles, whose firm foundations
appear to have been coeval with time itself,
necessarily awaken feelings, closely allied, to say
the least, with the poetical and romantic. In returning,
by the foot-path, we were much surprised
to remark that the rock, over which it passes,
was perfectly alive with water, and innumerable
little streams trickling from the side of it in
every direction. Some of these little streamlets
gushed out with much violence, and by putting a
stick downwards into the aperture, through which
the water passes, we found that they spouted up in
small jets from the ground under the rock; but the
source of them I in vain endeavored to conjecture.

24 24(1)v 278

Our evening’s ramble being finished, we repaired
to the inn, and, after a good night’s rest,
arose early in the morning to view the fountain
by daylight. But we found very little to observe
that we had not seen perfectly well by the light
of the moon, which had certainly rendered the
scene more striking, if not more distinctly visible.
I did not, however, remark the evening before,
as now, that the whole bed of the river was covered
with green moss, which produced a peculiarly
lively and beautiful effect, as seen through
the crystal clearness of the water. With some
difficulty, and not a little caution, we crossed
over to the opposite side, by means of several
large, moss-covered stones, and pursuing the path
over that side to the hamlet, we mounted up to
the top of an elevated point overlooking the
fountain, where stand the ruins of an ancient
castle. Little else now remains of it, but the
walls, which may be seen very well from below,
without being at the trouble of climbing up to the
summit of the hill.

Just in front of the inn, where we lodged, is a
very neat monument to the memory of him, who
has given to Vaucluse all its celebrity. It is a
plain white column, resting upon a square pedestal,
on each side of which is a small wreath, and
on one this simple inscription, “Petrarque.”
It formerly stood near the fountain, where it was
almost lost to view amid the lofty rocks, and appeared 24(2)r 279
to great disadvantage. By the request of
the Duchess d’Angouleme, it was, a few years
since, removed to the spot it now occupies.

Between eight and nine o’clock we left Vaucluse
for Orange, and, upon paying the bill at
the inn, we discovered, very easily, why so few
travellers resorted to it. It was certainly the
most exorbitant and extravagant bill ever presented
to us in France. We had very much
wondered, upon finding so decent a house at
Vaucluse, that it should be apparently shunned
by visiters; but our wonder ceased before leaving
the place although the obsequious landlady
had assured us, that there was no reason why
their house should not be as much frequented as
that at L’Isle.

A pleasant ride of five hours brought us to
Orange. Before reaching it, we passed through
the town of Carpentras, much celebrated in the
time of the Romans. We had a good view of the
beautiful new hospital, the highway leading directly
by the front of it; and could also see at a
distance the arches of an aqueduct of modern
construction. In riding through the marketplace,
we saw a very large number of oxen,
standing there for sale; and the place was literally
crowded with people, of both sexes and all
ages.

The town of Orange is a small, unsightly looking
place; but pleasantly situated in the midst of 24(2)v 280
a delightful plain. It is chiefly remarkable for
its antiquities. The first, and best preserved of
these is the triumphal arch, which is indeed a
very splendid monument, and standing as it does
upon an open plain, with nothing to intercept the
view, it may be seen for a great distance on every
side. It is formed of three arches, and the central
one, which is much the largest, is exactly in
a line with the road, which would have been continued
through it, but for the fear that the jarring,
occasioned by carriages constantly passing
under it, would hasten its destruction; and it has
therefore been enclosed by small stone pillars,
and the road passes around these on each side.
What still remains of the sculpture, which originally
beautified this noble arch, is extremely rich
and elegant; but a great portion of these ornaments
is now entirely destroyed. It has been
necessary, indeed, to repair nearly the whole of
one side, to preserve it from ruin, and with these
repairs, which are all of plain stone and not ornamented
at all, it will probably stand for many
years to come.

From the arch, we walked to the opposite extremity
of the town, to visit the ruins of a Roman
theatre, which is situated partly upon a high hill,
and is still in so excellent a state of preservation,
that a perfectly accurate idea of its construction
may be obtained. The seats for the spectators,
opposite the stage, are cut into the hill just mentioned, 24(3)r 281
and rise gradually one above the other
to the top of it. The position of the stage is very
distinctly marked by a huge wall of uncemented
stones, that connects together the two ends of the
circular part of the theatre, thus forming the back
of the stage, and the front of the edifice. This
wall is nearly entire, and is twelve feet thick,
three hundred long, and a hundred and eight in
height. The whole extent of it, being, as I have
before observed, the principal front of the building,
is highly ornamented; but, shame to say, the
different apartments still remaining are occupied
as blacksmiths’ shops, a prison, and the wretched
abodes of squalid poverty. The interior of the
theatre, too, between the stage and the spectators’
seats, is filled with the most miserable little
hovels; and troops of idle, dirty, half-naked
urchins may be seen peering at you from every
corner you turn.

We ascended a stair-case, leading to the upper
part of one of the wings, and, conducted by a little
girl, who kept the key, we passed through a
small room, that served as the home of herself
and family. A dirty straw bed upon the floor
in one corner of the room, and a few broken pieces
of wooden furniture, were all that the apartment
contained, and the light and air being admitted
through the door, the dampness and darkness
alone would seem to render it insupportable to
remain in for any length of time. But the wretchedly24* 24(3)v 282
poor have no choice of abode, and the inhabitants
of this miserable dwelling place probably
considered themselves fortunate to be able
to obtain a shelter for their heads, of whatever
description it might be.

Near the theatre are the vestiges of an ancient
circus, or what is supposed to have been such,
from its form, which has been ascertained by the
careful investigation of antiquaries, who have
visited Orange for the purpose of throwing some
light upon the subject, and who have given satisfactory
reasons for the supposition, that this ruin,
believed by many to have been an amphitheatre,
and which in fact has given rise to a variety of
speculations as to its origin, was a circus of
immense size, and covering a large portion of the
ground now occupied by the town. Several remnants
of stones and columns, together with what
is supposed to have been a door of entrance, and
which is almost entire, have been discovered in
different parts of the town contiguous to the ruin;
and, making a plan of all these together upon
paper, in the same position that they actually
stand, a complete circus is formed of them; which
certainly leaves very little doubt that such was
its primitive destination.

Having seen every thing worthy of observation
in Orange, all which is comprised in the
three ruins above described, we were quite ready
to leave it early in the afternoon; but were unable 24(4)r 283
to find a conveyance until one o’clock in the
morning, when we took a cabriolet for the little
post village of La Palud, about three leagues distant.
This village being upon the direct road
from Nismes to Lyons, it is much more easy to
obtain seats in the diligence from thence than
from Orange. Here we remained until eight
o’clock, when the diligence arrived, and we took
our places for Vienne. The ride as far Valence
was very agreeable. The day was pleasant, with
the exception of a few gentle showers, that might
also be called pleasant, as they served to lay the
dust, that would have otherwise much incommoded
us. For almost the whole day, we were traversing
a most charming country, and the waters of the
river Rhone, winding along through a delightful
valley, imparted that feature of beauty so essentially
necessary to the perfection of fine
scenery.

24(4)v 284

Letter XXIV.

Valence.—Vienne.—Pyramid.—Maison Carree.—Cathedral.—
Lyons.—Place de Belle Cour.—Monumental Chapel.—Hotel
de Ville
.—Theatre.—Palais des Arts.—Cathedral.— Quai de
Saint Clair
.

Upon arriving at Valence, early in the evening,
we had expected, through the promise of the
conducteur, to take our seats in the coupee for the
remainder of the night; but owing to a shameful
imposition, on the part of the agent of whom we
took our seats, we were obliged to ride in the
interieur, where, among other persons, were two
officers, each with a little dog fastened by a
chain; and these disagreeable creatures were to
be our companions for ten or twelve hours to
come. I had anticipated not being able to sleep,
as soon as I saw what company we were likely
to have, and my expectations were fully answered,
as I scarcely closed my eyes for a moment,
and when I did, was sure to be aroused by
the restless and continual movement of one of the
poor animals, that,—unaccustomed to his novel
situation, and with no room to move, without
incommoding some one, and consequently receiving
a kick or a blow,—scarcely kept quiet
for an instant, during the whole night.

Few things in France have struck me as more
puerile, than the common practice among gentlemen, 24(5)r 285
of keeping chained dogs attached to them
wherever they go. It is bad enough to see
women throwing away their time and care, upon a
little pet lap-dog; and excites a feeling of regret
and astonishment that they cannot find some more
worthy employment. You may naturally suppose
that the uncomfortable night, which this
foolish practice had occasioned me, did not put
me in any better humor with it; and I was never
more thankful to arrive at any place, than I was
when the diligence stopped at Vienne, where we
were to remain several hours, thus getting rid of
our troublesome fellow travellers.

Almost the first thing, which we did upon
alighting, was to secure places in the coupee for
Lyons; and then, having been refreshed by an
excellent breakfast, we employed ourselves, for
the next four or five hours, in seeing the city.
Vienne is very agreeably situated at the confluence
of the Rhone, and over this river is suspended
a wire bridge, built after the manner of
that at Beaucaire. It was anciently a celebrated
Roman city, and still continues in a flourishing
condition. Among the various remains,
which it possesses, of its former grandeur, are the
ruins of a triumphal arch, a pyramid, and the
Maison Carree, resembling, in form that at
Nismes; but not nearly so splendid. It is, however,
remarkably well preserved, and the interior
contains very many interesting antiques. One 24(5)v 286
of these is a mosaic, of very large dimensions,
and finely executed; and there are likewise several
remnants of columns and altars, upon which
are carved fruits and flowers, of the most delicate
and beautiful description.

Of the triumphal arch very little now remains,
and it is so surrounded and mingled in with other
buildings, as to lose whatever beauty of aspect it
might once have possessed.

The pyramid is of very simple construction,
resting upon four pillars, forming the corners of
a small square, with openings into it from each
of the four sides. There are few ornaments visible
upon any part of it; but the singularity of its
shape, and its situation in the midst of an open
field, render it a striking and conspicuous object
when entering the city, as the road passes within
a few yards of it.

In addition to these ancient monuments, I was
much pleased with a view of the Cathedral,
which is very splendid, both within and without.
A fine broad flight of steps in front, the whole
width of the building, and twenty eight in number,
conduct into the interior, which consists of a
central and two side naves, the former extending
uninterruptedly through the entire length of
the church, and terminating at the choir, which
is, infact, but a continuation of the nave. At
the end composing the choir it is rounded, and
ornamented with some very handsome painted 24(6)r 287
windows. The ceiling of the chief nave is painted
sky-blue, with small yellow stars strewn over it,
the effect of which is remarkably pretty. The
sides of the nave are likewise adorned with
ranges of small arcades.

It happened to be Palm Sunday, the day we
were at Vienne, and the Cathedral was crowded
with persons of all ages and sizes, all holding
green branches in their hands, in honor of the
day. I was much surprised, and not a little
amused, to observe that, notwithstanding the
services, which were going on at the altar, a large
number of little children were frolicing and playing
about the church, without any person’s appearing
to take notice of them, or to make any
effort whatever to stop their untimed glee. Untimed
it was not to them, I suppose, though to
me it seemed strangely incongruous to hear the
voices of romping children resounding through
a church at the hours of prayer. The green
branches, which these little ones bore in their
hands, were hung, in every part, with oranges,
apples, cakes, blown eggs, and large bunches of
different colored ribbons.

At two o’clock, in the afternoon, we left Viienne
for Lyons, and reached that place before
dark. There was nothing particularly pleasant
in the scenery, until arriving at the summit of
a hill, just before reaching Lyons. Here the
prospect is indeed admirable, presenting an uncommonly 24(6)v 288
fine view of the city, and the verdant
plain contiguous to it, watered and fertilised by
the river Rhone, which passes through the midst
of both the plain and the city, which latter is situated
at the junction of that river with the Saone;
while the hilly country around is almost completely
covered with innumerable little villas and
country houses, scattered about in every direction,
to which you can turn your eye. In a few
moments after descending the hill, we passed
through a beautiful faubourg, united by a bridge
to the city on the opposite side of the river. In
entering the city, the first object, which attracts
the attention, is the magnificent new Hospital, a
building of great extent, fronting upon the quay,
which borders the banks of the Rhone. From the
centre of the edifice rises a large and handsome
dome. Passing up a street on one side of the
hospital, we drove directly to the hotel des Ambassadeurs,
delightfully situated upon the Place
de Belle Cour
, where the diligence stopped, and
where we also decided to take up our abode for
the present.

The next morning, we walked out upon the
Place de Belle Cour, or Louis le Grand, the
most spacious and beautiful square in Lyons.
It is one thousand feet in length, and six hundred
fifty in breadth, with a range of regularly built
houses occupying each end of it. One side is
bordered with an avenue of trees, and small 25(1)r 289
cafes in front, and upon the opposite side is a line
of shops, hotels, and other buildings, many of
them very large and handsome. In the centre of
the place stands the bronze equestrian statue of
Louis Fourteenth, the plaister model of which I
have already described to you, as preserved in
the Conservatoires des Arts et Metiers at Paris.
The model is, in every respect, like the actual
statue, except that, the latter being bronze, and
standing upon a lofty pedestal in the centre of an
extensive square, the effect is altogether different.
In this, however, as in the model, I found
it difficult to detect the resemblance to Louis,
from the absence of the wig, or of any other covering
for the head, but the laurel wreath that encircles
his brow. A bronze railing, of much
beauty, encloses the statue, and near the top of
the railing, all around, at short distances apart, is
the cypher L. V. G. D., being part of the letters
of the ancient Latin name of the city.

Our next point to gain, from the Place de
Belle Cour
, was the monumental Chapel, erected
to the memory of those citizens, who perished
during the revolution. To reach this, we crossed
to the other side of the Rhone, upon one of the
great number of bridges, most of them constructed
of wood, that are thrown across the two rivers
at different points, none of them very remarkable
for their beauty, but rather for their great strength
and durability. The monumental Chapel is a 25 25(1)v 290
most odd, fanciful looking building, not at all
agreeable in its effect upon the eye. Its chief
peculiarity consists in this, that upon the part of
the Chapel answering to the tower of a church, is
a tall, heavy pyramid of hewn stone, resting upon
a small, one-story building, with a few windows
at the sides, and a flight of steps to enter in front.
At the back part is an iron latticed door, through
which you may see a large vault, extending under
the whole Chapel. The use to which this is probably
applied is for a burial-place.

Passing by the Quai de St. Clair, and the
splendid range of noble buildings situated upon
it, we returned to the central part of the city, and
visited the Hotel de Ville. This edifice, though
possessing much of the blackness and dinginess
of aspect, common to almost all the buildings,
public and private, in Lyons, is nevertheless,
very majestic and beautiful. We first entered a
court with four large pavilions at the corners,
connected together on two sides by buildings,
and on the other two by ranges of open arcades.
Ascending a flight of steps, we passed through
one of these arcades into a second court, surrounded
with buildings, and thence into a large
vestibule or hall, where are the two beautiful
bronze statues, which originally adorned the pedestal,
upon which a former statue of Louis Fourteenth
once stood, in the Place de Belle Cour.
These colossal figures, the one male, the other 25(2)r 291
female, represent the two rivers Rhone and
Saone. The former is in a reclining attitude,
supported by a huge bronze lion,—and the latter,
also reclining, is upheld by a lioness of equally
gigantic stature. The front of the Hotel de
Ville
is very beautifully constructed, and is
adorned with a bas-relief statue of Henry Fourth,
together with statues of Hercules and Minerva.
Back of these, from the centre of the building,
rises the tower. Very near in the vicinity of the
edifice, they are erecting a most sumptuous and
elegant stone theatre.

The Palais des Arts, in the same neighborhood,
is likewise a very fine building. The inner
court is a large beautiful area, planted with trees
and flowers, with a statue in the centre of it, and
surrounded by galleries of arcades, which form the
base of four lofty piles of buildings. Within the
galleries is contained a large collection of rare
antiquities, arranged with great care and taste, in
arches, placed against the wall to compare with
the arcades. Above these, is a second open
gallery, extending around the buildings, and
bordered by a low iron balustrade. From this
gallery you enter the several apartments, which
together with the antiques, compose the public
Museum.

We visited the gallery of pictures only, and
with these I was perfectly delighted. The paintings,
very many of them, were highly interesting 25(2)v 292
in their subjects, and well executed; and the
whole arrangement of the gallery was truly admirable.
The floor was composed of black and
white marbles, laid in squares, and at the centre
and both ends of the gallery were three beautiful
mosaics, enclosed within railings of bronze.
Among various little curiosities, shown here, in
addition to the paintings, was the will of Louis
Sixteenth
, woven into white silk, and the letters all
as distinctly and regularly done as in the finest
printing I have ever seen. There was, likewise,
the parting of a young conscript with his family,
woven in the same manner, and forming one of the
most interesting pictures in the whole collection.

The Cathedral of Lyons is ranked among the
most splendid in France, with regard to the architecture;
and its beauty is very much increased by
the complete regularity of the front, a circumstance
of rare occurrence, as very few even of the
finest churches in any part of the country are
either completely or regularly finished. We visited
several other churches, besides the Cathedral;
but I found nothing in them particularly
deserving of record, except in one, where were
two granite pillars, which formerly composed but
a single column, supposed to have been brought
from Egypt, and of such enormous size, that even
the two formed from it, by its being sawn across in
the middle, are of astonishingly large dimensions.

Here I concluded my long and agreeable walk, 25(3)r 293
which had comprised all those parts of Lyons
most worthy of being seen. This city, though a
very magnificent one, in many respects, is not
that which I should choose as a place of residence.
Its public buildings are certainly very
fine; and few places can exceed it in the loftiness
and grandeur of its private dwelling houses.
Many of them, and particularly those upon the
Quai de St. Clair, stretching out in long, regular
lines, have a remarkably elegant appearance; but
the perfectly black hue, that they have acquired,
and the narrowness of most of the streets, in
comparison with the height of the buildings upon
them, throw an air of gloom and desolation around
the whole city, which deprives it of much of its
beauty. A very fine place it is, however, in spite
of these disadvantages, and its environs are all
so peculiarly beautiful, that they atone, in a great
measure, for the sombre, gloomy aspect, which
the city itself assumes.

During the time that we were at Lyons, we
saw a large number of French soldiers, on their
march to Toulon, to embark for Algiers. There
were also at dinner with us, a numerous company
of officers, all uniformed, likewise pursuing their
way to Toulon. I could not but look at them
with sadness, as I thought how many of them
might never return to the country, they were now
quitting with so much apparent lightness of
heart, and cheerfulness of spirits.

25* 25(3)v 294

Letter XXV.

River Soane.—Isle Barbe.—Trevoux.—Macon.—Chalons.—
Beaune.—Dijon.—Provinces of Burgundy and Champagne.—
Montereau.—Paris.—Messageries of Laffitte and Caillaud.—
Saint Sulpice.—Luxembourg.—Observatory.—Enfans Trouves.
Maison de’Accouchement.—Gobelins.

On the following morning, at four o’clock, we
entered the steam boat for Chalons, and reached
this place at half-past nine in the evening. The
banks of the Saone, between Lyons and Chalons,
are in many places extremely beautiful, and for
the whole distance, indeed, there is a great variety
of villages and country seats, surrounded by
highly cultivated land, and fresh green fields of
rural and charming aspect. The two largest
places are Trevoux and Macon, at both of which
the boat stopped for a short time, to land and
take in passengers.

Very soon after leaving Lyons, we passed the
Isle Barbe, a favorite resort of the fashionable of
the city, and much celebrated for the beauty of
its scenery. The Emperor Charlemagne is said
to have been so much fascinated with this little
island, that he had contemplated retiring from the
world, and making it the place of his final abode.
A handsome chain bridge connects the island
with the main land.

Upon arriving at Chalons, we found the diligence
for Dijon quite full, and were therefore 25(4)r 295
obliged to remain until the following morning at
five o’clock, thus gaining a good night’s sleep,
but abridging considerably the time, which we
should be able to devote to Dijon.

Our ride from Chalons was very pleasant,
through a country almost exclusively covered
with vines. We passed several of the vineyards,
where the best Burgundy wines are produced.
At Beaune, where we dined, I had an opportunity
of judging, as to the goodness of the wine made
here, for the common table wine set before us
was certainly of a most superior and delicious
quality.

Beaune is a very lively looking place, and
possesses, among other public buildings, a well
endowed hospital, built in the gothic style, and
which I saw to advantage, it being near the hotel
where we dined. In the course of the afternoon
we reached Dijon. The entrance to the city, as
well as the general aspect of those parts of it
which I saw, pleased me very much, but our
arrangements being made to depart for Paris in the
evening, my time was chiefly occupied in obtaintaining
rest and refreshment. I had an opportunity,
however, of seeing the fine Cathedral, whose
beautiful spire, three hundred and seventy-five
feet in height, is much and deservedly admired.

The diligence, in which we left Dijon, was one
of those belonging to Lafitte, Caillard and Company.
The carriages belonging to this line are all 25(4)v 296
uncommonly easy and neatly finished, and having
fortunately secured good corner seats, a circumstance
very desirable when obliged to ride all
night, we determined to keep on direct to Paris
without stopping, being a journey of about forty-
eight hours. The weather was very delightful,
and notwithstanding the fatigue of sitting in the
carriage two days and nights in succession, and
this too almost without sleep, I enjoyed the journey,
for the most part, very highly.

The second day after leaving Dijon, we passed
through the village of Moutereau, celebrated as
the theatre of a bloody conflict between the French
and the Allied Armies in 1814eighteen hundred fourteen.
It is situated at the juncture of the Seine
and the Yonne, in the midst of a charming country,
in a fine state of cultivation. Just after passing
through the village, we came to a long hill,
where all the passengers alighted and walked
up;—a toil for which we were amply repaid, by
the almost boundless and beautiful prospect, that
greeted our eyes from its summit. Indeed, for
the whole journey, objects of great attraction and
interest had constantly succeeded each other,
calling forth our unwearied attention and admiration.
The villages, that we passed through, in
the provinces of Burgundy, Champagne, and Isle
de France
, were extremely numerous; some remarkable
for their charming situation, others for
the chateaus, that, standing imbedded in the 25(5)r 297
trees, with long shady avenues leading from
them, or bright, airy terraces, commanding a
view of the country around, seemed to invite our
longer delay, to enjoy a more protracted and near
inspection of their beauties and splendor.

Part of the journey, that is, from Dijon, through
Semur, Montbard, Ancy-le-Franc, Tonnerre,
and St. Florentin, to Joigny, was a kind of crossroad;
but not the less interesting on that account.
At Joigny, we entered upon the great road from
Lyons through Sens and Montereau to Melun,
and thence, through the delightful villages of
Montgeron, and Villeneuve-Saint-George, into
Paris, by the Barriere de la Gare. As we gradually
approached the metropolis, the villages and
fine castles continued to increase, and country
seats of the most beautiful description lent a still
more pleasing diversity to the scene. At eight
o’clock, on the evening of the 1830-04-09ninth of April, we
once more entered Paris, after having been absent
from it nearly six months. The brilliant
gas-lighted shops, the crowded streets and rattling
carriages, soon announced our having reached
the busy capital, and in a few moments more we
drove into the spacious court-yard of the great
proprietors before mentioned.

And this, through but a court-yard, amply deserves
a description here. One entire side of it
is occupied by an hotel, and around the remaining
part are large, handsome buildings, divided into 25(5)v 298
different offices; and at these travellers may be
booked to every part of France, and to almost
every part of Europe. Over the door of one
building you see, in large letters, Italy,—over
a second, Spain,—over a third, England,—and
so on, each office being marked with the names
of a different set of routes. Thus when a stranger
is desirous of going into Italy, for instance, he
has only to repair to the office designated by that
name, and is spared the trouble of going from
place to place, in order to learn the proper
office, at which to obtain information respecting
the route, or to obtain a seat. This convenient
establishment, termed the Messageries
Generales
, is undoubtedly the most splendid
and extensive of its kind, in the world. There
is, however, another in Paris, of a similar description,
nearly equal to this in extent, though far
less elegantly got up. It is called the Messageries
Royales
; and it was by this line, that we travelled
from Brussels to Paris, the preceding summer.

The night of our arrival, 1830-04-09April ninth, we slept
at the hotel connected with the Messageries
Generales
; and the following morning resumed
our old lodgings in Rue d’Astoi, where we received
a warm welcome from our friends, and
where, I will assure you, I was delighted to be
once more comfortably established after all the
fatigues of a long journey, and of the latter part
of it particularly.

25(6)r 299

For the first four or five days, subsequent to
my reaching Paris, I remained quietly at home,
not only to recover from my fatigue, but also on
account of the rainy, cold, disagreeable weather,
which it seems our fate to have always found in
this otherwise delightful city. We had seen but
little weather like it, since leaving Paris in October;
and a change from the bright and cloudless
skies of the south of Spain, and the almost
equally delightful ones of the south of France,
to the cold, chill atmosphere, and the continual
rain, which greeted our return to the centre of
all gaiety and fashion, was of course far from
pleasant.

1830-04-14Wednesday, the fourteenth, however, being a
fine day, and one of those on which the celebrated
establishment of the Gobelins is exhibited to all
who have obtained tickets for that purpose, we
set out, early after breakfast with the intention of
visiting it, after taking two or three other things
on the way thither, that we were also desirous of
seeing. In passing the church of St. Sulpice,
I could not forbear to enter it again; and was, if
possible, more struck with the splendor of it now,
than when I had first seen it. Few churches can
surpass it in noble and majestic exterior, or in
beauty of decoration within. The painted chapels
have a wonderfully fine effect.

Our path lay through the garden of the Luxembourg,
through which, and the court of its 25(6)v 300
magnificent palace, I passed with admiration,
familiar as they were to my eye. The garden
was fresh, green, and bright, as the most soft and
beautiful verdure could make it, and as I gazed
around, in walking through it, I could scarcely
give the palm of beauty, even to the garden of
the Tuileries itself.

The central walk, leading through the middle
of the garden, terminates at the front of the Observatory,
towards which our steps were directed.
This is a neat stone building, particularly adapted,
in its architecture, to astronomical observations.
The top of the roof composes a terrace, which
you ascend by a very remarkable geometrical
stone stair-case. It is of spiral form, and entirely
supports itself. Before going up to the
top, we entered several apartments, where were
placed telescopes, of different sizes and powers.
Had we gone in the evening, we might have had
an opportunity to view the heavenly bodies through
them, that is, provided an evening could be found
sufficiently clear for such a purpose.

In the vicinity ofthe Observatory is the Hospice
des Enfans Trouves
, or Foundling Hospital.
At the bottom of the stair-case, in entering, is a
marble sttue of St. Vincent de Paule, with one
little infant in his arms, and another lying at his
feet. It was by the persuasion of this benevolent
man, who also founded the order of the Sisters of
Charity
, that Louis Thirteenth gave a donation, 26(1)r 301
of so much per year, for the establishment of a
place of reception for foundlings; and during the
minority of his son Louis Fourteenth, his widow,
Anne of Austria, bestowed double the sum granted
by her husband, upon the same institution.
It is from this period, that the foundation of the
Foundling Hospital in Paris is dated; but it is
only since the year 18111811, that it has been under
such regulations and restrictions, as to prevent
those gross abuses, which had previously crept
into the institution, threatening it with utter
ruin.

The number of children in the Hospice, at the
time I visited it, was one hundred and fifty, all of
them very small infants; and these, under the
kind and tender care of the Sisters of Charity,
and of the nurses appointed to take charge of the
poor helpless beings, are in a situation as
neat and comfortable as it is possible they should
be. It is a rule of the institution, that every
child, received into it, whose health will admit
of this, shall be sent into the country to be nursed,
under the inspection of the overseers of the
hospital, until sufficiently old to become an inmate
of the Hospice des Orphelins, where orphan childdren
are taught to read and write, preparatory to
being bound out to service. No child is permitted
to be taken into the Foundling Hospital over
two years of age; and if, by chance, one should
be left there above that age, it is immediately 26 26(1)v 302
sent to the Orphan Asylum. A cradle, turning
upon a pivot, with a bell beside it, is placed in
the wall of the porter’s lodge, and into this the
children are conveyed, and the bell being rung,
they are removed instantly to the room appropriated
to the purpose of receiving them.

The first room, that I entered, was the Infirmary,
in which was a range of little cribs, in the
form of cradles, with dark blue curtains drawn
closely around, thus screening the eyes of the
little patients from too great a glare of light. We
next passed into the great hall, a fine large room,
lined on both sides with these same little cribs,
only that the curtains were white instead of blue.
In all of them, however, I could not but notice
how perfectly clean and freshly aired were the
beds and bed-clothes, and likewise how neatly
dressed were all the attendants belonging to the
house. The number of nurses is about one to
four children, and their duty is to see that these
are comfortable and suffer for nothing; but they
are not allowed to tend them more than is absolutely
necessary, and each child must occupy its
own appropriate crib.

Near the Foundling Hospital is the Maison
d’Accouchement
, which I cannot pass over in
silence, as it is esteemed one of the most useful
institutions ever established in France. Its great
public utility consists not so much in its affording
a place of refuge for the honest poor, as well as 26(2)r 303
for those, who have strayed from the paths of
virtue,—as in fact, that there is united with
it a school of midwifery, where a large number
of females are regularly educated in that
branch of the medical art.

Every part of this hospital, as well as that for
the foundlings, the two being in fact connected
together, is kept in the nicest order; and large,
airy apartments are appropriated as work rooms,
where all the inmates are employed at stated
hours every day, in making garments for themselves
and for the infants belonging to the two
institutions. A child, born in the Maison d’Accouchement,
is immediately after its birth conveyed
to the Foundling Hospital, in a large box
with long handles at the ends of it, so that it may
be carried by two persons. The box is divided
into four, five, or six parts, as it may be, with a
pillow in each part. In these children are
placed, and then the cover, which is very much
rounded at the top, being shut close, the air is
excluded and they are thus conveyed without
difficulty or danger of taking cold. After the
period of eight days, when the mother is obliged
to quit the Hospital, she may reclaim the child,
or leave it, as she sees fit.

Two o’clock having now arrived, the hour appointed
for exhibiting the Gobelins, we repaired
thither, and were shown into a sort of ante-room,
where we were obliged to wait, till our turn came 26(2)v 304
to enter the work-shops. Each party, as they
enter, receive a number, and when that number
is called, and not before, you are permitted to
enter the manufactory, conducted by a guide.
In the apartments are placed ranges of looms, in
which the warp, instead of lying flat across the
loom, as in ordinary weaving, runs up and down;
and upon each set are drawn the outlines of whatever
picture the workman is required to exhibit
upon the piece of tapestry, when completed. The
painting, from which he is to make a copy, is then
placed behind the loom; and filling of all the
different colors being at hand, he had only to
weave the cloth in exact imitation of the picture;
and when this is finished, the copy is
more splendid and perfect, than you could possibly
imagine such a thing to be. The filling
consists of very fine worsted or crewel, such as
stool coverings, and similar articles, are worked
with; and the warp seemed to be coarse white
yarn. Each time that the worsted is passed
through, it is pressed down, between the threads
of the warp, with a pointed steel or iron instrument;
and you may judge by this, how
great must be the time and labor employed in
completing a large piece of tapestry. The pictures,
which are now weaving, are nearly all
of them copies of some of the most celebrated
paintings in the Louvre.

In addition to the rooms, devoted to this species 26(3)r 305
of tapestry, there are others in which carpets are
woven. These carpets are most superb, and only
used by members of the royal family and some
few great public institutions. Those now in the
looms are destined for the choir of Notre Dame,
and for one of the apartments of the Dauphine.

From the work-rooms, we were shown into the
Salle d’Exposition, which is a picture gallery,
containing a large number of the works, which
have been completed in the manufactory. These
are all framed, and so exactly resemble paintings,
that it is impossible to distinguish the difference,
except upon minute examination. Besides the
larger historical pieces, there are two admirable
portraits of Charles Tenth, the one representing
him in his coronation robes, and the other in his
military uniform. Each of those portraits employed
two workmen two years and a half altogether,
and one of the largest pieces occupied the
space of from six to seven years, with several
men at work upon it.

This celebrated manufactory forms, it is true,
a very brilliant and beautiful exhibition; but it is
at the same time, the most idle piece of extravagance,
that can well be devised. The enormous
expense, necessary to keep up such an establishment,
might be most usefully employed in
the advancement of some less splendid, but more
valuable art, than that of weaving tapestry for the
King’s use; and particularly as, after a few years, 26* 26(3)v 306
the pictures fade to such a degree, as to lose all
their beauty, and to appear like any ordinary tapestry.

Letter XXVI.

Panorama of Rome.—Bazaars.—La Belle Jardiniere.—Lafayette’s
Soirees.—Palais Royal.—General Santander.—Garden
of the Tuileries.—King’s Chapel.—Gallery of the Louvre.—
Murillo.—Rubens.—Saint Vincent de Paule.

In going through the Passage du Panorama,
on our return from the Gobelins, we stopped to
view the Panorama of Rome, there exhibited. It
is said to be a very accurate representation of the
city, as viewed from the dome of St. Peter’s.
The city itself, as it respected the generality of
the buildings, was far from handsome; but the ancient
monuments could all be seen to advantage,
and these, though only viewed as paintings, appeared
so much like reality, that I almost fancied
myself, for the moment, to be actually looking at
the very ruins themselves, so far famed, and so
worthy of admiration, according to all the representations
we have of them.

The evening of the same day, and indeed several
that succeeded it, we passed in walking through
a number of the bazaars, recently established
in Paris. These bazaars consist of large apartments 26(4)r 307
filled with a fine display of fancy articles, of
almost every description, arranged upon counters,
in a manner to show them off to the best advantage.
The counters are all attended by females,
each having a particular set of articles under
her own care, and for which she is answerable.
It is a very amusing and agreeable method
of passing a leisure hour in Paris, to ramble around
in the bazaars and passages, particularly in
the evening, when they are brilliantly lighted,
and crowded with company.

During the same week, I was invited by some
American friends to go and see a very beautiful
painting, purporting to be Raphael’s, in the possession
of Mr. Samuel Williams, the late London
banker. This splendid picture represents the
Virgin
, seated amid green foliage and flowers,
her lovely countenance beaming with the mingled
expressions of maternal affection, sweetness and
piety, as her downcast eye is bent upon the infant
Jesus, who is standing at her knee, resting
his elbow upon her lap, with both his feet upon one
of hers, and looking up smilingly into her face,
while John kneels at one side, his eyes turned
towards the Savior, and clasping a cross in his
arms. The back ground of the picture presents
a view of distant mountains, and some small villages.
This picture is nearly a counterpart to
the celebrated one in the Louvre, called Le
Belle Jardiniere
; but it is doubtful, which of the 26(4)v 308
two was originally painted by Raphael, or whether
they were not both the production of that eminent
artist. The difference between them is
scarcely distinguishable, consisting only in the
comparative brightness of the coloring, and a
slight difference between the foliage and background
of the one and the other. In each of
these respects, Mr. Williams’ picture is superior
to that in the Louvre, particularly in the
coloring, which is much more brilliant and beautiful.
Notwithstanding that the painting is, even
when narrowly examined, remarkably fresh and
smooth in its appearance, it has been wholly
removed from the canvass, which it was originally
painted on, that having been so cracked
and broken as to render the operation necessary.
But this has not injured the picture,
in the slightest degree. I should never have
suspected, from mere observation, that it had
been removed; and even when told of it,
could scarcely believe such a thing possible,
so perfectly free was the painting from injury
or blemish.

On Tuesday evening, 1830-04-20April twentieth, I attended
a soiree at General Lafayette’s, where I
had once more the opportunity of meeting a
greater part of the delightful circle, I had left at
La Grange. Mr G. W. Lafayette and his lady
were also present. The excellent General was
in remarkably fine health, full of cheerfulness, 26(5)r 309
and overflowing with kindness as usual. There
were very few ladies present, on this occasion,
independently of the family. There were, however,
a large number of gentlemen, chiefly French,
but including some Americans and other strangers.
Several rooms were thrown open, and
these were nearly filled. The gentlemen walked
about from room to room, conversing with the
ladies, and with each other.

No ceremony whatever is practised at these
parties, which the General gives every Tuesday
evening, and to which all his friends go, without
any particular invitation. Every person is at
liberty to amuse himself as he chooses, and retires
at whatever hour he thinks proper, merely
bidding the General and Madame Lasteyrie
good night, without breaking up, or disturbing
the rest of the party. Some of the guests remain
only for an hour, nine o’clock being the
time, at which the company usually assemble;
others stay till eleven or twelve, but seldom
later than that. We came away at eleven, and
left almost all the party still there; a few only
having previously retired.

In describing this visit to General Lafayette,
as also in giving an account of the family at La
Grange
, I have departed from the rule hitherto
adopted in my journal, of excluding from it all
notice of visits made to private individuals, which
a traveller should never mention except in confidential 26(5)v 310
letters or conversation. But the high
standing and character of the General, together
with the peculiar relation which he bears with
respect to our country, have led me to speak of
him and his family, with much less reserve, than
I should feel authorised to do in regard to any
other person or family, with whom I have become
acquainted.

On Friday, we visited the apartments of the
Duke of Orleans, in the Palais Royal. A handsome
vestibule, paved with marble, and a very
splendid stair case, conduct to the suite of rooms
above. Visiters do not, however, ascend by this
stair case; but pass by it, to a back flight of
stairs, in order to reach the apartments. Before
entering the first one, we were handed a catalogue
of the pictures, by one of the numerous
liveried attendants, who were in waiting, and requested
to return it again when we came out.
The pictures are nearly all modern, and some of
them well painted, but chiefly remarkable as a
private collection. The family of the Duke are
portrayed, again and again, in every room you
enter, and the various situations, in which he is
himself exhibited, are very numerous.

The different apartments are all handsomely
furnished, the predominant color of the hangings
being yellow, with gilt ornaments. In two
of the rooms I observed some very splendid
glass chandeliers, ornamented with gilding, which, 26(6)r 311
when lighted, are represented to be brilliant beyond
description. The most striking, and in my
opinion the handsomest of the aparment, was a
species of hall, the windows looking out upon the
gardens of the Palais Royal. One end of this
hall is adorned numerous mirrors, and with
some very handsome stucco columns, in imitation
of marble, with gilt capitals and bases; and
opposite each window is a large, handsome picture.
These paintings all relate to incidents that
have taken place in the Palais. Among them is
the presentation of Franklin to the father of the
present Duke of Orleans, after the recognition of
the independence of the United States by Great
Britain
.

Although the day, on which we visited these
apartments, was exceedingly unpleasant, there
was a large company of well dressed ladies and
gentlemen assembled in them. The Duke appoints
certain days in the week, in which his
palace may be seen; and upon those days it is
usually quite full of visiters, as you may suppose.
There is no difficulty in obtaining permission to
view it, as you have only to make application, by
post or otherwise, to the proper officers in the
Duke’s household, and a ticket is sent you without
delay. This is a striking prood, in addition
to numberless others, of the ease with which a
person may have access to every thing worthy of
being seen at Paris. The universal system of 26(6)v 312
things seems to be, that of granting free admission,
to strangers particularly, into all the public
and private institutions, and to all exhibitions, of
whatever description, which the city affords.
This is one of the great reasons, and I esteem it a
sufficient one, that Paris is the resort of such an
immense number of foreigners, as daily flock to
it from all parts of the world. In no other city
whatever, can be found equal advantages, either
for study or amusement, and in no other are these
so easy of access as in Paris: circumstances, which
necessarily serve to render it one of the most
delightful places to visit, which any where exist.

Upon our return home from the Palais Royal,
we received a call from the famous Columbian
General, Santander. He is a very gentlemanly
looking man, has intelligent, penetrating
eyes, converses a good deal and without restraint.
He was, as you know, obliged to leave South
America
on account of his opposition to the ambitious
designs of Bolivar.

We had obtained tickets of admission to the
King’s Chapel, to hear mass performed on 1830-04-25Sunday,
the twenty-fifth
. Previous to the hour
appointed, we repaired to the Tuileries, and
beguiled an hour in walking around the garden,
and admiring anew its never tiring beauties,
more strikingly displayed at this session than at
any other, owing to the sweetness and freshness
of the new blossoms and verdure, with which all 27(1)r 313
the trees were loaded. The garden was, as usual,
full of company, and after having wandered around
through one path and another, we finally all congregatd
together at the gates of the palace. The
day was not remarkably pleasant, and a keen air
was blowing directly upon us as we stood;—and
finding that, in order to get good places, it would
be necessary to remain exposed to the bleak wind
sometime longer, we at length gave up our design,
and, following the example of several of our
companions, who had taken the liberty to depart,
we walked away, and bent our course towards
the Louvre, for the purpose of spending our time
in the picture gallery. There we passed several
hours, much to our gratification.

This splendid gallery loses nothing by being
repeatedly seen, and indeed it is only by visiting
it often, that one learns to appreciate its beauties.
The Italian and Spanish pictures, though these
last are but few in number, chiefly occupied us
during the whole time we remained. Murillo’s
beautiful Virgin and Child, and several of the
same subject by Raphael, rivetted my attention
in a particular manner, as it is a subject, in the
illustration of which both these great masters
peculiarly excel. I have seen many charming
paintings, of various kinds, by both Raphael
and Murillo; but in none have I ever observed
the same degree of that touching simplicity of
beauty, which seizes at once upon the affections,27 27(1)v 314
while it captivates the eye, as in their
inimitable representations of the Holy Family.

The pictures of Rubens, contained in the Louvre,
are much celebrated; but to my eye, they
possess little in them to admire. The most
praised among them are a series of allegorical
paintings, of events in the life of Mary de Medicis,
which appear to me remarkable, indeed; but
only for their extravagance, grossness, and want
of taste. I have in fact seen few, if any, pictures
of Rubens, out of the Netherlands, but what
were equally fastastical and strange in their design,
with those in the Louvre; and did not his
unparallelled Descent from the Cross, and a few
other productions of his, which I had been so much
pleased with in Belgium, sometimes come to my
recollection, I should wonder that he was ever
admired as a painter.

There is one mark, by which a person may always
know Rubens’ pictures, after having seen
two or three of them; and that is the singular and
absurd habit which he had, of painting the portraits
of one of his three wives, whenever he wished
to represent the female face. And this he has done
in nearly all his large pieces. To pay the compliment
to his wives occasionally, would be well
enough; but to paint their features so continually,
that they serve as a kind of index to point out
his pictures wherever they are seen, is, in my
opinion, both egotistical and ridiculous.

27(2)r 315

From the Louvre, we crossed over the Pont
des Arts
to the Quai Voltaire opposite, where
we obtained a stand, to see the procession pass,
which was to accompany the body of St. Vincent
de Paule
. During the revolution it had been
thought necessary to secrete the bones of this
saint; and these have been recently discovered,
filled out with wax, and exposed at the church of
Notre Dame, with various religious ceremonies.
The object of the present procession was to bear
the body to another church, at which it was permanently
to remain.

After waiting until our patience was nearly
exhausted, we were warned that the procession
was approaching, by hearing the sound of distant
voices chanting a hymn, and by seeing a small
flag, with long streamers to it, borne aloft in the
air, above the heads of the surrounding multitude.
I was extremely disappointed, however, to find
that the procession consisted, almost exclusively,
of the clergy and Sisters of Charity, bearing along
at intervals flags of different colors, or large candlesticks,
crosses, and other like badges of the
Catholic faith. There was no other music, than
the chanting of the priests and sisterhood, and
occasionally the beat of a drum, which was carried
before a few platoons of soldiers. The whole thing
was very poorly got up, and was scarcely worth
seeing, except for a view of the splendid silver
shrine, which contained the body of the saint. At 27(2)v 316
the top were figures of himself, and of some
little children;—and within the shrine, upon a
pall of black velvet, fringed with gold, was laid
the body. The shrine was elevated very high,
so that all could have an opportunity of seeing it,
as it was borne slowly along by the priests.

The number of priests, assembled upon this
occasion, was almost incredible. I should not
have believed it possible, that Paris could produce
such an almost endless procession of them,
as we then saw. The press of spectators, too,
both on foot and in carriages, was prodigious.
The whole quay was lined with them, as closely
as they could stand, for a long distance on each
side. If they all had the same opinion with myself,
they must have gone away quite dissatisfied
with having consumed so much time to so little
purpose.

Letter XXVII.

Chateau of St. Cloud.—Park.—Lantern of Napoleon.—Porcelain
Manufactory of Sevres.—Pont de Jena.—Champ de
Mars
.—Le Conte’s Theatre.—Neuilly.—Normandy.

On Monday, we took advantage of the weather,
to visit St. Cloud. A diligence for nine persons
leaves the Rue Duphot every forty minutes,
for St. Cloud and back again direct. At nine 27(3)r 317
o’clock we took our places in one of these, and,
after a pleasant ride of an hour or two, by the
way of Passy and Auteuil, we were set down at
the bottom of the hill, upon which the Chateau of
St. Cloud stands. The appearance of this palace,
as you approach it in ascending the hill, is very
beautiful. It occupies three sides of a square,
and the windows of the central building are ornamented
with pilasters, and surmounted with
bas-reliefs. In front is a gate, with two large
statues, upon pedestals, each side of it.

On applying at the porter’s lodge, we procured
a guide to conduct us through the Chateau.
He led the way into a vestibule, from whence
two handsome stair-cases, opposite each other,
lead to the royal apartment. These stair-cases
are very different in their construction, the railing
of one being iron, that of the other marble.
The first room, that we entered, was a sort of
ante-chamber, hung around with full length
portraits of the Marquis de Lescure, Henri de
Larochejaquelein
, Cathelineau, and five others of
the most distinguished royalist leaders, in the
war of La Vendee. From this you pass into a
second room, in which are portraits of George
Cadoudal
, and other conspirators against the life of
Napoleon. Several other apartments, hung with
silks of different colors, with furniture to match,
lead to a spacious room, which is adorned with
very fine portraits of Henry Fourth, Louis Fourteenth,27* 27(3)v 318
Louis Fifteenth and wife, Louis Sixteenth
and Marie Antoinette, together with those
of the father and mother of Charles Tenth.

This completes the suite of rooms appropriated
to the King’s use. Then follow those of the
Dauphin. The ante-room contains several paintings,
representing hunting scenes, and also a
statue of Henry Fourth, in his youth. The cabinet
is a neat, small apartment, and in it is a most
beautiful little table, with a circular top, composed
of mother of pearl, and covered over with glass,
which prevents any injury to the pearl, but takes
nothing from its beauty, as it is seen with perfect
distinctness through the glass.

The reception room comes next, and this
apartment, said to have been Napoleon’s cabinet,
is one of the most splendid, which the palace contains.
The hangings are of delicate yellow silk,
ornamented with gilding, and the sofa and chairs
are of the same; and in the panels, which divide
the doors and windows, are beautiful little painted
figures. Three handsome tables occupy the upper
end of the room, and upon one of these are
two small equestrian statues, of Francis First
and Henry Fourth, and the busts of the Duke of
Bordeaux
and his sister. Upon the second table
are statues of Saint Louis and Louis Fourteenth;
and upon the third those of Louis Twelfth and
Thirteenth, all equestrian. These little statues
are a beautiful imitation of marble, made at the 27(4)r 319
Sevres porcelain Manufactory. The windows of
the Salle de Reception command a delightful
view of the Park, and of the structure, called the
Lantern of Napoleon, which stands upon an eminence
at one extremity of it. The bed chamber
which adjoins this room, is not remarkable for its
beauty. The bed hangings are of crimson and
yellow damask.

The Dauphine’s suite of apartments follow
those of the Dauphin, and are, I think, the least
sumptuous of any that I saw. Next to the bathing-room,
which is hung with muslin lined with
blue, and ornamented with mirrors, is the Cabinet
de Travail
. This is a neat apartment, the
hangings being composed of white silk, with
colored flowers; and the sofa, made to compare,
has for arms two beautiful gilt swans, with a little
ball suspended at the beak of each.

The next room contains, among other pictures,
a very interesting one of Marie Antoinette surrounded
by her children. An infant, afterwards
Louis Seventeenth, reposes upon her lap, while
his brother, the first Dauphin, who died young,
is drawing aside the curtain, which covers the
cradle. The Duchesse d’Angouleme is represented
hanging affectionately on her mother’s
arm, whose happy expression of countenance
rests upon the little babe, which she holds in her
arms. What a striking contrast did this domestic
scene present to the subsequent unfortunate 27(4)v 320
fate of the same persons; and how must the heart
of the Dauphine be wrung, when she gazes upon
this affecting representation of an unhappy
mother’s maternal love and care. From this
room, you enter the bed chamber, that contains
nothing remarkable, and which finishes the suite.

The succession of apartments, that we were
next shown through, was truly splendid. The
first, called Salon de Reception, is hung with rich
crimson velvet, and furniture of the same trimmings.
Candelabras of bronze, ornamented with
gilding, are placed round the room, together with a
variety of handsome vases, among which is one of
great beauty, and much celebrated, made at the
Sevres Manufactory. From the beautifully painted
ceiling are suspended two remarkably large and
elegant glass lustres. The next apartment, the
Salon de Jeu, has likewise a painted ceiling, and
the hangings and furniture are of bluesilk.
Those of the Salon de Louis Seize, are of a superb
red silk ground, with raised velvet figures
upon it. The Salon de Mars is remarkable for
the beauty of its painted ceiling, but it contains
no other object of interest, although a large
picture, representing the Dauphin in Spain, shows
conspicuously upon one side of the room.

The Galerie d’Apollon is strikingly beautiful.
The ceiling is richly painted and gilded, and a
large number of pictures, several of them very
fine, adorn the walls. A range of windows opens 27(5)r 321
upon the Park, each being hung with white silk
curtains. Opposite each window is a mirror, to
compare with it in size, and also hung with curtains
to match. Various little ornaments, such as
vases, small statues, and busts, farther ornament
the room; and at one end of it is a handsome
bronze model of the statue of Henry Fourth upon
the Pont Neuf.

Adjoining the gallery is another apartment, in
which are several beautiful pictures. One of
them represents the Maison Carree at Nismes,—
a second the ruins at Orange and Saint Remy,—
and a third, a well executed portraits of Louis
Eighteenth
in his youth. As we reached this
apartment intelligence was brought to our guide
that the Dauphine had arrived from Paris: a
hint, of course, to us, that we must retire, which
we did without delay, and directed our steps towards
the Park.

The Park of Saint Cloud is, in many respects,
much inferior to that of Versailles. It presents,
however, a more natural appearance, and is very
extensive and beautiful. It possesses one very
celebrated fountain, said to be finer than any at
Versailles. This I could imagine from its situation
and form, and also from the innumerable
spouts, which I could discover in every part of
it. But only when the waters are playing can
this, or indeed any other fountain, be seen in perfection.
Having sauntered around for some 27(5)v 322
time, amid the fine groves of majestic horse
chestnut trees, all in full blossom, with which the
Park abounds, and amused ourselves by watching
the graceful motions of several stately swans,
which were swimming in the large basin of water
constructed for their use,—we ascended the
hill, to which a broad noble avenue leads from
the Chateau. On the summit of this hill stands a
monument, erected by Napoleon, which I have
already mentioned, as known by the name of the
Lantern of Napoleon. It is a kind of needle or
obelisk, and is a very conspicuous object, from
many points in the neighborhood, as I formerly
had occasion to observe in going from Paris to
Versailles. The view from this Lantern is remarkably
extensive and delightful. A number of
pretty villages, together with wide spread meadows
and a fertile country, meet the eye, while
the lofty domes and towers of Paris may be seen
rising in the distance.

We did not ascend to the top of the Lantern, as
the view is substantially the same from the brow
of the hill, which it occupies; and having enjoyed
this to our satisfaction, we descended the hill, and
passed through the Park, upon the other side of
it, to the village of Sevres, in order to visit the
famous Manufactory, to which I have repeatedly
alluded. Several large work rooms, appropriated
to the purposes of turning and moulding, of
baking, painting, and enamelling the different articles, 27(6)r 323
were first shown us, each process being explained
as we went along. After that, we passed
through the apartments devoted to the models of all
the statues, busts, and works of that description,
which have been executed in the Manufactory, together
with similar works of other countries, and
a large number of plaister models of celebrated
statues, to be used in designing.

The magasin, so called, is a sucession of
rooms, in which are displayed a most sumptuous
collection of rich and valuable articles, all productions
of the Manufactory. These consisted
chiefly of breakfast, dinner, and tea services,
beautifully painted and gilded, most of them containing
correct likenesses of distinguished individuals;
vases of various forms and sizes, with
pictures upon both sides of them, all highly gilded
and enamelled; and several copies of celebrated
paintings, very much decreased in size, but admirably
executed. There is a softness and beauty
of finish about them, which you never see in
any painting whatever done upon canvass. In
addition to these, were several portraits of different
members of the royal family, very excellent
likenesses.

Among the various dinner sets was a collection
of plate, the design of which struck me as being
in fine taste. Each plate represents one of the
departments of France, containing a view of
some celebrated place in that department, with 27(6)v 324
miniatures of the two most renowned persons it
had produced. Another beautiful little article,
which much pleased my fancy, was a small table,
in size and general appearance like that in the
Dauphin’s cabinet at Saint Cloud, and probably
an imitation of it. It was made of the most delicate
white porcelain, with gilt ornaments, and the
top represented, at the centre, a picture of Adam
and Eve in the garden of Eden; and around
this was a band, divided into small, circular pictures,
of different scenes, drawn from the history
of our first parents.

We had now spent as much time here, as we
could devote to the examination of this beautiful
and tempting collection;—of which the greater
part, however, seems only fit for the use of kings
and princes, and altogether too splendid for any
less exalted destination.

In entering Paris, upon our return from
Sevres, we passed along by the Pont de l’Ecole
Militaire
, formerly the Pont de Jena. This
bridge is the same, that Marshal Blucher attempted
to blow up on account of its name; but he only
succeeded in changing its appellation, into that of
Pont des Invalides. A new bridge having been
lately constructed, near the Hotel des Invalides,
and called by its name, this one received its present
designation of Pont de l’Ecole Militaire.
Off against it, in front of the Military School, is
the famous Champ de Mars, which, although I 28(1)r 325
have seen it repeatedly, I have accidentally omitted
to mention. It is a large, open piece of level
ground, surrounded on three sides by sloping terraces,
the fourth, as I have just noticed, opening
upon the road, and the buildings of the Military
School. The use to which the field is now applied
is for horse-racing, reviews, and other shows
and parades of the like description.

On the evening of the same day, that we visited
Saint Cloud, we attended the theatre of M.
Le Comte
, where very young persons alone perform.
These are generally the children of poor
people, and are fed and clothed by the proprietor
of the theatre, who receives the proceeds of their
labors. They performed several little plays,
adapted to their age, remarkably well, and one or
two of the boys, particularly, manifested a good
deal of theatrical talent. The theatre is a small,
but pretty building, neatly fitted up with two rows
of boxes. It is frequented, principally, by married
ladies, who go for the purpose of taking their
children, of whom large numbers, of all ages,
may be seen every night, and who appear to take
the greatest pleasure in the performances. One
box, much more ornamented than the rest, is appropriated
to the Dutchess of Berri, who occasionally
attends, with her son and daughter.

The succeeding evening, (1930-04-28April twenty-eighth),
we bade a final adieu to Paris, and, on my part
at least, with the utmost regret, as I reflected 28 28(1)v 326
that in all probablity I should never behold it
again. The hours, that I have spent in this
charming city, have been very delightful to me,
and the recollection of Paris will ever be accompanied
with associations of the most pleasing
nature.

We passed the barriere du Roule at about six
o’clock, and soon afterwards reached the village
of Neuilly, where is situated an elegant countryseat
of the Duke of Orleans. The bridge, which
crosses the Seine at this village, is highly celebrated
for its beauty and for the solid manner in
which it is constructed. The length of it is seven
hundred and fifty feet, and it rests upon five
arches, each of them one hundred and twenty
feet wide and thirty in height.

From Neuilly, the road lay through Courbevoie
to Bezon, where we changed horses. Owing to
there being an opposition line of diligences, we had
come at a most rapid rate from Paris to Bezon,
and the time occupied here in changing the horses
could scarcely have exceeded two minutes, when
we were again en route. Leaving Corneille and
Montigny a few rods to the right of the road, we
continued onward, through Pontoise and Gisors,
to Ecouis, and thence to Rouen.

Although we travelled a considerable part of
the road by night, we had still several hours of daylight,
the evening after leaving Paris, and several
before arriving at Rouen the next morning, in 28(2)r 327
which every object was perfectly visible; and as
the first dawn of light appeared, I was charmed
with the beauty of the scenery around us, in the
ancient province of Normandy. The number of
small villages and hamlets, through which we
passed, was very considerable, and the whole
face of the country around them presented a
constant variety of rich pastures, and the fields of
grain, together with a great abundance of apple
and pear trees, so seldom seen in other parts of
France. Small, neat farm-houses, with each a
little kitchen-garden attached to it, and often situated
in the midst of a clump of trees, attracted
my attention at every step, while all that I could
see, appertaining to these humble dwellings, bespoke
the thriftiness and comfortable living of industrious
farmers. At eight o’clock we reached
Rouen, and repaired to the Hotel de Normandie,
whither some American friends of ours had gone,
who left Paris the day before us.

28(2)v 328

Letter XXVIII.

Rouen.—Cathedral.—Saint Ouen.—Hotel de Ville.—Celebrated
Missal.—Museum.—Palais de Justice.—Sainte Madelaine.—
Pont de Bateaux.—Environs of Rouen.—Havre de Grace.—
Basins.—New York Packets.—Departure from France.—
Remarks on the French.

Soon after breakfast, we all walked out together,
and first directed our course towards the
Cathedral. This is a large, fine structure, in the
gothic style of architecture; but extremely irregular
in front, as is usually the case with churches
of this description in France. All the ornaments
sculptured upon it, however, are remarkably well
executed, and many of them extremely delicate
and beautiful. The chief nave has a grand and
imposing effect, sustained by clustered columns
of great height and beauty. Several ancient and
very curious monuments are contained in this
church, most of which have been much mutilated
and injured. There is a sumptuous one of two
Cardinals d’Amboise, uncle and nephew, and
another, consisting of a number of figures, which
was erected in memory of Louis de Breze, by his
widow, the famous Diane de Poitiers, dutchess
of Valentinois.

This church formerly contained several monuments,
particularly interesting from their connection
with the history of England. One of these
enclosed the heart of Richard Cœur de Lion; 28(3)r 329
another was the tomb of Henry Second, King of
England; a third, that of the great Duke of Bedford,
brother of Henry Fifth: all which, together
with the tomb of Charles Fifth of France, have
disappeared. There still remains the monument
of Rollo, the Norman conqueror, and of his son,
Guillaume Longue-Epee, the second Duke of
Normandy
. Many other illustrious persons were
also buried in this church.

A fine picture, by Philippe de Champagne, of
the adoration of the shepherds, adorns the altar of
the chapel of the Virgin. There are several
other pictures, but none of them particularly good.

The front of the Cathedral is terminated, at
the corners, by two lofty towers; and over the
centre of the building formerly stood a pyramid,
four hundred feet in height, that was destroyed
not many years since by lightning. A new one
is now going up in its place, which will be made
of cast iron, and carried to even a greater height
than the one destroyed. It is feared by many
persons, that the weight of this enormous iron
pyramid, when wholly completed, will be found
too great for the building to sustain; and taking
into consideration its great age, I should think
much apprehension of such a result might be
justly entertained.

The church of Saint Ouen, also of the gothic
style, is an uncommonly beautiful edifice, much
more graceful in its architecture than the Cathedral.28* 28(3)v 330
The chief nave forms an unbroken line
from the door of entrance to the choir. The clustered
columns, that support the roof, are of the
same construction with those in the Cathedral;
but being considerably smaller, they have a more
light and airy appearance, and are in better keeping
with the other parts of the building. The
painted glass windows are very handsome; and
the light, admitted through them, being partially
obscured, a deep shade is cast over the interior
of the church, by no means unpleasing in its effect.
The side naves are wholly destitute of
chapels, which I consider a great defect, particularly
as the walls are entirely without ornament
of any description. A number of pictures, however,
adorn the chapels in other parts of the
church; but they are not possessed of any peculiar
merit. Upon one of the columns, just beneath
the organ, stands, as is usual in catholic churches,
a basin of holy water, whose situation is
such, that, in looking down into it, you see reflected
the whole interior of the church, from the
foot of the nave to the upper extremity of the
choir, the effect of which is extremely beautiful,
as well as curious.

Back of the church of Saint Ouen, is a very
pleasant little garden, open to the public, called
the Jardin de Saint Ouen, from whence a fine
view is obtained of the church, and particularly
of the delicate and graceful gothic lantern which 28(4)r 331
surmounts it, and which forms its most beautiful
ornament.

The Hotel de Ville, which likewise faces upon
the Jardin de Saint Ouen, consists chiefly of the
buildings of the Benedictine Abbey, to which
the church formerly belonged previous to the
suppression of monasteries in France. Some
improvements have been made to render the buildings
better adapted to their present use. A very
elegant spiral stair-case, constructed after the
same principle with that of the Observatory at
Paris, leads to the valuable public library and
the Museum. Upon a table, in the centre of the
library, is a very beautiful little model of the
church of Saint Ouen, made of a kind of pasteboard,
and executed with great neatness and ingenuity.
It was the work of a poor barber’s boy,
and occupied him for the period of two years.

There was likewise exhibited to us, a splendid
illuminated missal, which cost a monk the labor
of thirty years to produce. The pictures in it are
most beautiful. Nothing can exceed the brilliancy
and richness of the coloring, or of the gilt
work, with which every page of the book is adorned.
All the notes, as well as the words, used in
chanting, are taken off in the neatest manner, and
with all the clearness and exactness of printing.
The man, who showed us this truly magnificent
manuscript, told us that they had been offered its
weight, which is seventy-three pounds, in gold; 28(4)v 332
and another offer, even greater still, was to give
as many guineas, ten in a pile, as would cover
the whole book, each leaf being composed of an
entire skin. The book was, however, considered
invaluable, and all offers for it were consequently
refused.

The Museum consists of several contiguous
apartments, hung with pictures, and containing
some few statues, not very remarkable for their
value. The pictures are much more interesting,
and many of them are exceedingly fine. Of these
are an Assumption of the Virgin, an Ecce-Homo,
in which the face of the Savior is inimitably
touching and benign; our Savior appearing to his
disciples; Jesus and the woman of Samaria;
œdipus and his daughter; and the Death of Cleopatra.
In the last mentioned picture, the work
of a modern French painter, the beautiful features
of Cleopatra portray that peculiar serenity,
that “rapture of repose”, which so frequently
marks the human countenance immediately after
death. Two female domestics are seen standing
around her, the one gazing intently upon the face
of her mistress, and the other clasping her feet.
Several of the best pictures in the Museum purport
to be productions of Raphael; but they are
without doubt copies, or imitations of his style
merely, though strikingly well executed.

Leaving the Hotel de Ville, we proceeded to
the Palais de Justice, anciently the Parliament 28(5)r 333
House, commenced in the year 1499fourteen hundred
and ninety-nine
, and finished in 1506fifteen hundred
six
. It is a very large, gothic edifice, and is considered
a fine specimen of its style of architecture.
The court-yard is enclosed by a wall, and a flight
of steps conducts from it to the Salle des Procureurs,
a spacious hall, one hundred seventy feet
in length, by fifty in breadth. Passing through
the hall, we were shown the room where the assizes
are held, and which was originally the Chamber
of Parliament. Most of the rooms exhibited
are more remarkable for their antique ornaments,
than for any thing else. The wood-work, which
forms the ceiling of the grand hall, represents the
inside of the hull of a ship, reversed. The ceiling
of another room had been richly painted by
Jouvenet; but it has recently fallen in, and is now
in a state of ruin.

The church of Sainte Madelaine, which we
next saw, is a beautiful building of Grecian architecture;
but chiefly remarkable for its constructtion,
as it possesses few pictures or other ornaments
of any consequence. The corinthian columns,
that separate the three naves, and support
the roof, are very fine, as well as those which
decorate the edifice in front.

In walking from the church of Sainte Madelaine,
towards the river, to view the bridge of
boats, we passed through the Place de la Pucelle,
where the unfortunate maid of Orleans was burnt 28(5)v 334
alive by the English in 1431fourteen hundred and
thirty one
. An ill executed statue of her stands
in the centre of the place.

The Pont de Bateaux, so much celebrated at
Rouen, is, in its construction, very similar to that
at Seville. It rests upon nineteen boats, and may
be opened at pleasure, for the passage of vessels.
It may be, likewise, wholly removed, without
injury, if any particular exigency require the
unimpeded navigation of the river. A stone
bridge has been recently thrown across the Seine,
at Rouen, resting, at the centre, upon the small
island of La Croix.

There is much appearance of bustle and activity
observable in this ancient capital of Normandy,
which is, in fact, the great seat of the cotton and
woollen manufactures in France, and consequently
possesses an extensive trade. Its general
aspect is irregular and unprepossessing; but
there are, nevertheless, several good looking
streets, of comparatively modern construction;
and the boulevards, planted with trees, afford
broad and agreeable promenades. The situation
of the place, and all its environs, without exception,
are delightfully pleasant. The celebrated
view, from the summit of Sainte Catherine’s Hill,
in the near neighborhood, is said to be one of the
finest, both as to extent and beauty, to be found
in the country. The day that we were in Rouen
being extremely warm, I did not venture to ascend 28(6)r 335
the hill; more particularly as nearly the same
prospect, although not quite so extensive perhaps,
was afforded us just before entering the city, in
coming from Paris.

Upon making inquiries, as to the hours fixed
for the diligence to start for Havre de Grace, we
learned, much to our chagrin, that it would be
necessary to ride again all night, or remain
in Rouen another day. This latter expedient we
could not adopt, as we might, by that means, lose
the steam-boat, in which it was our intention to
embark for England. We were therefore compelled
to submit to another night’s watching, and
took our places in the diligence accordingly, at
nine o’clock in the evening. The first part of
our journey was uncomfortable enough, owing to
the heat and dust, which together were almost intolerable.
But as morning approached the air
became much cooler, and the beautiful groves of
forest trees, that we frequently passed, produced
a light, but most refreshing breeze. Great numbers
of little thatched cottages were seen peeping
out from amidst these groves, sometimes almost
completely hidden by the bending branches of the
trees. The varied beauties, which the country
now afforded on every side, soon engrossed my
attention, and rendered the remainder of the journey
interesting and agreeable.

We reached Havre at about ten o’clock; passing
through the suburb of Ingouville, much noted 28(6)v 336
as a great place of resort for the merchants of
Havre, during the summer months. I need
scarcely add, that my first care, upon reaching
the hotel, was to make amends for past fatigues,
by some hours of tranquil repose. Fortunately
the steam-boat did not sail for Southampton until
the next afternoon, so that we had ample time to
recruit, and also to see the city, before it should
be necessary to depart. The house, at which we
lodged, was called the Hotel de New-York,
situated upon the quay, where we had a very good
view of a part of the harbor, and a considerable
portion of the shipping.

The morning after we arrived, I took a walk
out, to see the few objects deserving of notice,
which Havre contains. The chief of these are
the docks and quays, the latter well made and
solidly built of stone, and the former consisting of
several large basins, united together by canals,
which are closed with lock-gates. By means of
these the shipping is brought up into the very
centre of the town, a circumstance extremely
convenient for purposes of commerce.

A strange accident occurred here, a few days
before our arrival, which was the wrecking of a
fine large ship, from Rio Janeiro, loaded with
hides and coffee. Owing to great carelessness,
on the part of those, who had charge of her, she
struck against the stone work of the lock or quay,
and was immediately upset, just without the gate, 29(1)r 337
through which she was to pass from the river into
the first or principal dock; so that, of course, all
vessels were prevented from going in or out while
she lay there. Crowds of people were constantly
assembled on the quays and canal bridge, drawn
thither by the spectacle; and indeed I have seldom
witnessed a more singular sight, than that of a
huge ship like this, after having braved the dangers
of the stormy ocean, lying a perfect wreck,
in a situation, which would seem, with ordinary
care and attention, to have rendered such a catastrophe
next to impossible. The packet ship
Edward Quesnel, bound for New-York, and upon
the eve of sailing, had the disagreeable prospect
of being detained several days, by this unexpected
obstacle, as the men, engaged in unloading the
wreck, could only work at the ebb of the tide,
and even then did it in so slow and lazy a manner,
as would shame the same number of boys,
possessed of any enterprising spirit.

We went on board the Edward Quesnel and
the France, both superb ships, possessing every
accommodation for the comfort and convenience of
passengers, which could be desired. The France
seemed rather the finest of the two, that is, her
state-rooms were larger, and she was more elegantly
fitted up; but comfort alone considered, the
Edward Quesnel was quite equal to her. They
are both handsomely carpeted, and furnished in
every part, particularly the state-rooms, with 29 29(1)v 338
much taste and neatness. But after all, the
greatest luxuries and elegancies, though they
may partially mitigate, cannot banish, the sickness
and wearisome sameness, attendant nupon a
sea voyage.

Little else of Havre, than what I have already
noticed, is in any degree remarkable.. The
theatre and arsenal are rather handsome buildings;
but the town, in general, is dull and uninteresting
in the highest degree. Few places,
that I have ever visited, have struck me more
unpleasantly, than Havre, and I scarce know any
thing, that would tempt me to make it a place of
permanent abode.

In the afternoon, we embarked for England in
the steam-boat Camilla, which soon put out to sea,
and in a few hours afterwards, I took my last
farewell look of the shores of France.

In reviewing the time that I have passed in this
country, and the opportunities afforded me of becoming
acquainted with the manners, character,
and customs of the people, I find much to admire,
and also something to censure. So far as the
general appearance of nearly every part of France
is considered;—its great natural beauty, and the
state of high cultivation which the industry of its
inhabitants has imparted to it,—the objects of deep
and peculiar interest, which it contains,—its institutions,
whether public or private, and the
noble manner in which these are rendered useful. 29(2)r 339
to the rest of the world,—call forth and justly
deserve the highest admiration, and the most
unqualified praise. But with regard to the people,
I cannot express myself in terms of equal
approbation.

I will not say, as I have frequently heard it remarked
by others, that the love of pleasure and amusement
is the engrossing, all-absorbing passion
of the French, that the pure principles of religion
exercise no influence over their actions, or that
the tranquil enjoyments of domestic life are totally
unknown to them;—for this I do not believe,
having myself met with instances sufficient to
prove the contrary to my own satisfaction;—but
it is evident to the slightest observation, that the
love of pleasure is carried to far greater excess in
France,—that religion exercises less influence
there,—and that the marriage tie is much more
frequently a matter of expediency between
parents, without reference to the wishes or feelings
of the parties most interested,—than in
America.

That the French surpass every other people in
point of politeness, is an opinion very generally
entertained by all the world. This may, in a
certain sense, be true; but it requires to be
somewhat explained and qualified. With respect
to the higher classes of society, a stranger sees
them only as a visiter, and as such, I am far from
intimating, that the remark does not hold true, as 29(2)v 340
to them, in the strictest sense. I may even go
farther and say, that genuine politeness and good
breeding characterize them, as far as my own
observation extends, in a remarkable degree.
But as it regards the great body of persons, with
whom a traveller comes in contact, the superiority
of politeness is rather in manners, than in
feeling. A Frenchman will be more obsequious,
more polite, undoubtedly, in manner; but I
have not found that he is particularly ready to
make a sacrifice of his own personal convenience
to that of his neighbor. In many instances I have
found it far otherwise. Thus at public exhibitions,
in the streets, at the theatre, in public coaches, I
have not seen that deference and attention paid to
the comfort and convenience of others, which I
have always noticed at home; but have more
than once observed even gross breaches of good
breeding committed with the most courteous air
imaginable.

But while I thus call to mind the defects, which
I have perceived in the French character, let me
not forget their better qualities; but remember
that, with all their faults, they are temperate, industrious,
frugal, and honest, and that they have
not been found wanting in fortitude and courage,
when these manly virtues have been called into
exercise. Peculiar vivacity of manners and conversation,
and a great quickness of repartee,
almost universally distinguish the females of 29(3)r 341
France in a remarkable degree. Even the uneducated
are seldom at a loss for subjects of conversation,
and are ever ready to give an apt and
shrewd answer to any jesting or raillery, that
may be addressed to them. In a well educated
French lady, these traits are indeed delightful,
and render her one of the most agreeable and
entertaining companions in the world.

They atone too, in a great measure, for the
absence of personal beauty, so very apparent in
Parisian ladies particularly. The number of
strikingly handsome faces, that I saw in Paris,
was wonderfully small, and no large proportion of
them could even be called pretty. But still, from
the surpassing taste, which she displays in all articles
of dress, a French lady always looks well,
always had an air of gentility about her, let the
materials of her dress be what they may. Nor is
this observation confined to ladies alone. The
young shop girls, the milliners, the mantuamakers,
and the persons of that class, are equally remarkable
for the perfect neatness, taste, and
propriety, with which they are clad. Thus although
beautiful faces are rarely seen in Paris,
it is quite as uncommon to meet with an ill dressed
or vulgar looking female, whatever may be
her rank or situation in life.

Another trait, that characterizes French women,
is the facility with which they engage in the
active pursuits and employments, which, with us 29* 29(3)v 342
at least, entirely devolve upon the other sex. I
have frequently been led to make this remark,
with regard to labouring people; but it will also
apply to persons of better condition. Not only
do you see women taking an active part,
sometimes the chief command, in extensive
mercantile establishments, or very large public
hotels; but you will also find ladies of the most
elevated rank, perfectly capable of undertaking
the entire management of their husband’s business,
even of the most intricate nature, upon the
occasion of his illness, absence, or death. This
is certainly an argument in favor of their intellectual
properties, and is one great proof, among
others, that the female sex is not naturally incapacitated
for exertions of the kind in question,
when habit and the usages of society lead them
to follow such pursuits.

End of France