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A Residence in France by J. Fenimore Cooper

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COLLECTION

OF

ANCIENT AND MODERN

BRITISH AUTHORS

VOL. CXLIV.

A

RESIDENCE IN FRANCE;

WITH AN

EXCURSION UP THE RHINE,

AND A

SECOND VISIT TO SWITZERLAND.

BY J. FENIMORE COOPER ESQ.

AUTHOR OF "THE PILOT," "THE SPY," &c.

PARIS,

BAUDRY'S EUROPEAN LIBRARY,

RUE DU COQ. NEAR THE LOUVRE;

SOLD ALSO BY AMYOT, RUE DE LA PAIX; TRUCHY, BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS;

THEOPHILE BARROIS, JUN., RUE RICHELIEU; LIBRAIRIE DES ETRANGERS,

RUE NEUVE-SAINT-AUGUSTIN; AND HEIDELOFF AND CAMPE,

RUE VIVIENNE.

1836.

PREFACE.

The introduction to Part I. of the "Sketches of Switzerland," leaves
very little for the author to say in addition. The reader will be
prepared to meet with a long digression, that touches on the situation
and interests of another country, and it is probable he will understand
the author's motive for thus embracing matter that is not strictly
connected with the principal subject of the work.

The first visit of the writer to Switzerland was paid in 1828; that
which is related in these two volumes, in 1832. While four years had
made no changes in the sublime nature of the region, they had seriously
affected the political condition of all Europe. They had also produced a
variance of feeling and taste in the author, that is the unavoidable
consequences of time and experience. Four years in Europe are an age to
the American, as are four years in America to the European. Jefferson
has somewhere said, that no American ought to be more than five years,
at a time, out of his own country, lest he get _behind_ it. This may be
true, as to its _facts_; but the author is convinced that there is more
danger of his getting _before_ it, as to _opinion_. It is not improbable
that this book may furnish evidence of both these truths.

Some one, in criticising the First Part of Switzerland, has intimated
that the writer has a purpose to serve with the "Trades' Unions," by the
purport of some of his remarks. As this is a country in which the avowal
of a tolerably sordid and base motive seems to be indispensable, even
to safety, the writer desires to express his sense of the critic's
liberality, as it may save him from a much graver imputation.

There is really a painful humiliation in the reflection, that a citizen
of mature years, with as good natural and accidental means for
preferment as have fallen to the share of most others, may pass his life
without a _fact_ of any sort to impeach his disinterestedness, and yet
not be able to express a generous or just sentiment in behalf of his
fellow-creatures, without laying himself open to suspicions that are as
degrading to those who entertain them, as they are injurious to all
independence of thought, and manliness of character.

CONTENTS.

LETTER I.

Influence of the late Revolution in France.--General Lafayette.--Sketch
of his Private Life.--My visits to him.--His opinion of Louis XVI.--Mr.
Morris and Mr. Crawford.--Duplicity of Louis XVIII.--Charles X.--Marie
Antoinette.--Legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux.--Discovery of the Plot
of 1822.--Lafayette's conduct on that occasion.--A negro Spy.--General
Knyphausen.--Louis-Philippe and Lafayette.--My visit to Court.--The
King, the Queen, Madame Adelaide, and the Princesses.--Marshal
Jourdan.--The Duke of Orleans.--Interview with the King.--"_Adieu
l'Amerique!_"--Conversation with Lafayette.--The _Juste
Milieu._--Monarchy not inconsistent with Republican Institutions.--Party
in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux.

LETTER II.

The Cholera in Paris.--Its frightful ravages.--Desertion of the city--My
determination to remain.--Deaths in the higher classes.--Unexpected
arrival and retreat.--Praiseworthy conduct of the Authorities.--The
Cholera caricatured!--Invitation from an English General.--Atmospherical
appearance denoting the arrival of the Cholera.--Lord Robert
Fitzgerald.--Dinner at the house of Madame de B----

LETTER III.

Insecurity of the Government--Louis-Philippe and the
Pear.--Caricatures.--Ugliness of the Public Men of France.--The Duke de
Valmy.--Care-worn aspect of Society under the New Regime.--Controversy
in France respecting the Cost of Government in America.--Conduct of
American Agents in Europe

LETTER IV.

Gradual disappearance of the Cholera.--Death of M. Casimir Perier.--His
Funeral.--Funeral of General Lamarque.--Magnificent Military
Escort.--The Duc de Fitzjames.--An Alarm.--First symptoms of popular
Revolt.--Scene on the Pont Royal.--Charge on the people by a body of
cavalry.--The _Sommations_.--General Lafayette and the _Bonnet
Rouge_.--Popular Prejudices in France, England, and America.--Contest in
the Quartier Montmartre.--The Place Louis XVI.--A frightened
Sentinel.--Picturesque Bivouac of troops in the Carrousel.--Critical
situation.--Night-view from the Pont des Arts.--Appearance of the
Streets on the following morning.--England an enemy to Liberty.--Affair
at the Porte St. Denis.--Procession of Louis-Philippe through the
streets.--Contest in the Rue St. Mery.--Sudden Panic.--Terror of a
national Guard and a young Conscript.--Dinner with a
Courtier.--Suppression of the Revolt

LETTER V.

National Guards in the Court of the Palace.--Unclaimed Dead in the
Morgue.--View of the Scene of Action.--A blundering
Artillerist.--Singular Spectacle.--The Machinations of the
Government.--Martial Law.--Violations of the Charter.--Laughable Scene
in the Carrousel.--A refractory Private of the National Guard.

LETTER VI.

Aspect of Paris.--Visit to Lafayette.--His demeanour.--His account of
the commencement of the Revolt.--Machinations of the Police.--Character
of Lafayette.--His remarkable expression to General ----.--Conversation
on the Revolution of July.--The _Doctrinaires_.--Popular Sympathy in
England and on the Rhine.--Lafayette's dismissal from the command of the
National Guards.--The Duke of Orleans and his Friends.--Military
Tribunals in Paris.--The Citizen King in the Streets.--Obliteration of
the _Fleur-de-lis._--The Royal Equipage.--The Duke of Brunswick in
Paris.--His forcible Removal from France.--His Reception in
Switzerland.--A ludicrous Mistake.

LETTER VII.

Public Dinner.--Inconsiderate Impulses of Americans.--Rambles in
Paris.--The Churches of Paris.--View from the leads of Notre Dame.--The
Place Royale.--The Bridges.--Progress of the Public Works.--The Palaces
of the Louvre and the Tuileries.--Royal Enclosures in the Gardens of the
Tuileries.--Public Edifices.--Private Hotels and Gardens.--My Apartments
in the house of the Montmorencies.--Our other Residences.--Noble Abodes
in Paris.--Comparative Expense of Living in Paris and New
York.--American Shopkeepers, and those of Europe.

LETTER VIII.

Preparations for leaving Paris.--Travelling arrangements.--Our
Route.--The Chateau of Ecouen.--The
_Croisee_.--Senlis.--Peronne.--Cambray.--Arrival at the
Frontier.--Change in the National Character.--Mons.--Brussels.--A
Fete.--The Picture Gallery.--Probable Partition of Belgium.

LETTER IX.

Malines.--Its Collection of Pictures.--Antwerp.--The Cathedral.--A
Flemish Quack.--Flemish Names.--The Picture Gallery at Antwerp.--Mr.
Wapper's Carvings in Wood.--Mr. Van Lankeren's Pictures.--The Boulevards
at Brussels.--Royal Abodes.--Palace of the Prince of Orange.--Prince
Auguste d'Ahremberg's Gallery of Pictures.--English Ridicule of America.

LETTER X.

School System in America.--American Maps.--Leave
Brussels.--Louvain.--Quarantine.--Liege.--The Soleil d'Or.--King Leopold
and Brother.--Royal Intermarriages.--Environs of Liege.--The Cathedral
and the Church of St. Jacques.--Ceremonies of Catholic
Worship.--Churches of Europe.--Taverns of America.--Prayer in the
Fields.--Scott's error as regards the Language spoken in Liege.--Women
of Liege.--Illumination in honour of the King

LETTER XI.

Leave Liege.--Banks of the Meuse.--Spa.--Beautiful Promenades.--Robinson
Crusoe.--The Duke of Saxe-Cobourg.--Former magnificence of
Spa.--Excursions in the vicinity.--Departure from
Spa.--Aix-la-Chapelle.--The Cathedral.--The Postmaster's
Compliments.--Berghem.--German Enthusiasm.--Arrival at Cologne.

LETTER XII.

The Cathedral of Cologne.--The eleven thousand Virgins.--The Skulls of
the Magi--House in which Rubens was born.--Want of Cleanliness in
Cologne.--Journey resumed.--The Drachenfels.--Romantic Legend.--A
Convent converted into an Inn.--Its Solitude.--A Night in it.--A
Storm.--A Nocturnal Adventure.--Grim Figures.--An Apparition.--The
Mystery dissolved.--Palace of the Kings of Austrasia.--Banks of the
Rhine.--Coblentz.--Floating Bridges.--Departure from Coblentz.--Castle
of the Ritterstein.--Visit to it.--Its Furniture.--The Ritter
Saal.--Tower of the Castle.--Anachronisms.

LETTER XIII.

Ferry across the Rhine.--Village of Rudesheim.--The _Hinter-hausen_
Wine.--Drunkenness.--Neapolitan curiosity respecting America.--The
Rhenish Wines enumerated.--Ingelheim.--Johannisberg.--Conventual
Wine.--Unseasonable praise.--House and Grounds of Johannisberg.--State
of Nassau.--Palace at Biberich.--The Gardens.--Wiesbaden.--Its public
Promenade.--Frankfort on the Maine.

LETTER XIV.

Boulevards of Frankfort.--Political Disturbances in the town.--_Le petit
Savoyard_.--Distant glimpse of Homberg.--Darmstadt.--The
Bergestrasse.--Heidelberg.--Noisy Market-place.--The Ruins and
Gardens.--An old Campaigner.--Valley of the
Neckar.--Heilbronn.--Ludwigsberg.--Its Palace.--The late Queen of
Wurtemberg.--The Birthplace of Schiller.--Comparative claims of Schiller
and Goethe.--Stuttgart.--Its Royal Residences.--The Princess of
Hechingen.--German Kingdoms.--The King and Queen of Wurtemberg.--Sir
Walter Scott.--Tubingen.--Ruin of a Castle of the middle
ages.--Hechingen.--Village of Bahlingen.--The Danube.--The Black
Forest.--View from a mountain on the frontier of Baden.--Enter
Switzerland.

LETTER XV.

A Swiss Inn.--Cataract of the Rhine.--Canton of Zurich.--Town of
Zurich.--Singular Concurrence.--Formidable Ascent.--Exquisite
View.--Einsiedeln.--The Convent.--"_Par exemple_."--Shores of the Lake
of Zug.--The _Chemin Creux_.--Water Excursion to Alpnach.--Lake of
Lungern.--Lovely Landscape.--Effects of Mists on the prospect.--Natural
Barometer.--View from the Brunig.--Enter the great Canton of Berne.--An
Englishman's Politics.--Our French Companion.--The Giesbach.--Mountain
Music.--Lauterbrunnen.--Grindewald.--Rising of the Waters in
1830.--Anecdote.--Excursion on the Lake to Thoun.

LETTER XVI.

Conspiracy discovered.--The Austrian Government and the French
Carlists.--Walk to La Lorraine.--Our old friend "Turc."--Conversation
with M. W----.--View of the Upper Alps.--Jerome Bonaparte at La
Lorraine.--The Bears of Berne.--Scene on the Plateforme.

LETTER XVII.

Our Voiturier and his Horses.--A Swiss Diligence.--Morat.--Inconstancy
of feeling.--Our Route to Vevey.--Lake Leman.--Difficulty in hiring a
House.--"Mon Repos" engaged for a month.--Vevey.--The great Square.--The
Town-house.--Environs of Vevey.--Summer Church and Winter
Church.--Clergy of the Canton.--Population of Vaud.--Elective
qualifications of Vaud.

LETTER XVIII.

Neglect of the Vine in America.--Drunkenness in France.--Cholera
especially fatal to Drunkards.--The Soldier's and the Sailor's
Vice.--Sparkling Champagne and Still Champagne.--Excessive Price of
these Wines in America.--Burgundy.--Proper soil for the
Vine.--Anecdote.--Vines of Vevey.--The American Fox-grape.

LETTER XIX.

The Leman Lake.--Excursions on it.--The coast of Savoy.--Grandeur and
beauty of the Rocks.--Sunset.--Evening Scene.--American Families
residing on the banks of the Lake.--Conversation with a Vevaisan on the
subject of America.--The Nullification Question.--America misrepresented
in Europe--Rowland Stephenson in the United States.--Unworthy arts to
bring America into disrepute.--Blunders of Europe in respect of
America.--The Kentuckians.--Foreign Associations in the
States.--Illiberal Opinions of many Americans.--Prejudices.

LETTER XX.

The Equinox.--Storm on the Lake.--Chase of a little Boat--Chateau of
Blonay.--Drive to Lausanne.--Mont Benon.--Trip to Geneva in the
Winkelried.--Improvements in Geneva.--Russian Travellers.--M. Pozzo di
Borgo.--Table d'hote.--Extravagant Affirmations of a
Frenchman.--Conversation with a Scotchman.--American Duels.--Visit at a
Swiss Country-house.--English Customs affected in America.--Social
Intercourse in the United States.--Difference between a European and an
American Foot and Hand.--Violent Gale.--Sheltered position of
Vevey.--Promenade.--Picturesque View.--The great
Square.--Invitation.--Mountain Excursion.--An American
Lieutenant.--Anecdote.--Extensive Prospect.--Chateau of Glayrole.

LETTER XXI.

Embark in the Winkelried.--Discussion with an Englishman.--The
Valais.--Free Trade.--The Drance.--Terrible
Inundation.--Liddes.--Mountain Scenery.--A Mountain
Basin.--Dead-houses.--Melancholy Spectacle.--Approach of
Night.--Desolate Region.--Convent of the Great St. Bernard.--Our
Reception there.--Unhealthiness of the Situation.--The
Superior.--Conversation during Supper.--Coal-mine on the
Mountain.--Night in the Convent.

LETTER XXII.

Sublime Desolation.--A Morning Walk.--The Col.--A Lake.--Site of a Roman
Temple.--Enter Italy.--Dreary Monotony.--Return to the
Convent.--Tasteless Character of the Building.--Its Origin and
Purposes.--The Dead-house.--Dogs of St. Bernard.--The Chapel.--Desaix
interred here.--Fare of St. Bernard, and Deportment of the Monks.--Leave
the Convent.--Our Guide's Notion of the Americans.--Passage of Napoleon
across the Great St. Bernard.--Similar Passages in former
times.--Transport of Artillery up the Precipices.--Napoleon's perilous
Accident.--Return to Vevey.

LETTER XXIII.

Democracy in America and in Switzerland.--European
Prejudices.--Influence of Property.--Nationality of the Swiss.--Want of
Local Attachments in Americans.--Swiss Republicanism.--Political Crusade
against America.--Affinities between America and Russia.--Feeling of the
European Powers towards Switzerland.

LETTER XXIV.

The Swiss Mountain Passes.--Excursion in the neighbourhood of
Vevey.--Castle of Blonay.--View from the Terrace.--Memory and
Hope.--Great Antiquity of Blonay.--The Knight's Hall.--Prospect from the
Balcony.--Departure from Blonay.--A Modern Chateau.--Travelling on
Horseback.--News from America.--Dissolution of the Union predicted.--The
Prussian Polity.--Despotism in Prussia.

LETTER XXV.

Controversy respecting America.--Conduct of American
Diplomatists.--_Attaches_ to American Legations.--Unworthy State of
Public Opinion in America.

LETTER XXVI.

Approach of Winter.--The _Livret_.--Regulations respecting
Servants.--Servants in America.--Governments of the different Cantons of
Switzerland.--Engagement of Mercenaries.--Population of
Switzerland.--Physical Peculiarities of the Swiss.--Women of
Switzerland.--Mrs. Trollope and the American Ladies.--Affected manner of
speaking in American Women.--Patois in America.--Peculiar manner of
Speaking at Vevey.--Swiss Cupidity.

LETTER XXVII.

Departure from Vevey.--Passage down the Lake.--Arrival at
Geneva.--Purchase of Jewellery.--Leave Geneva.--Ascent of the
Jura.--Alpine Views.--Rudeness at the Custom-house.--Smuggling.--A
Smuggler detected.--The second Custom-house.--Final View of Mont
Blanc.--Re-enter France.--Our luck at the Post-house in Dole.--A Scotch
Traveller.--Nationality of the Scotch.--Road towards Troyes.--Source of
the Seine.

LETTER XXVIII.

Miserable Inn.--A French Bed.--Free Trade.--French Relics.--Cross
Roads.--Arrival at Lagrange.--Reception by General Lafayette.--The
Nullification Strife.--Conversation with Lafayette.--His Opinion as to a
Separation of the Union in America.--The Slave Question.--Stability of
the Union.--Style of living at La Grange.--Pap.--French Manners, and the
French Cuisine.--Departure from La Grange.--Return to Paris.

RESIDENCE

IN FRANCE.

LETTER I.

Influence of the late Revolution in France.--General Lafayette--Sketch
of his Private Life.--My visits to him.--His opinion of Louis XVI.--Mr.
Morris and Mr. Crawford.--Duplicity of Louis XVIII.--Charles X.--Marie
Antoinette.--Legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux.--Discovery of the Plot
of 1822.--Lafayette's conduct on that occasion.--A negro Spy.--General
Knyphausen.--Louis-Philippe and Lafayette.--My visit to Court.--The
King, the Queen, Madame Adelaide, and the Princesses.--Marshal
Jourdan.--The Duke of Orleans.--Interview with the King.--"_Adieu
l'Amerique!_"--Conversation with Lafayette.--The _Juste
Milieu_.--Monarchy not inconsistent with Republican Institutions.--Party
in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux.

Paris, February, 1832.

Dear ----,

Your speculations concerning the influence of the late revolution, on
the social habits of the French, are more ingenious than true. While the
mass of this nation has obtained less than they had a right to expect by
the severe political convulsions they have endured, during the last
forty years, they have, notwithstanding, gained something in their
rights; and, what is of far more importance, they have gained in a
better appreciation of those rights, as well as in the knowledge of the
means to turn them to a profitable and practical account. The end will
show essential improvements in their condition, or rather the present
time shows it already. The change in polite society has been less
favourable, although even this is slowly gaining in morals, and in a
healthier tone of thought. No error can be greater, than that of
believing France has endured so much, without a beneficial return.

In making up my opinions of the old regime, I have had constant recourse
to General Lafayette for information. The conversations and anecdotes
already sent you, will have prepared you for the fine tone, and perfect
candour, with which he speaks even of his bitterest enemies; nor can I
remember, in the many confidential and frank communications with which I
have been favoured, a single instance where, there has been the smallest
reason to suspect he has viewed men through the medium of personal
antipathies and prejudices. The candour and simplicity of his opinions
form beautiful features in his character; and the _bienseance_ of his
mind (if one may use such an expression) throws a polish over his
harshest strictures, that is singularly adapted to obtain credit for his
judgment.

Your desire to know more of the private life of this extraordinary man,
is quite natural; but he has been so long before the public, that it is
not easy to say anything new. I may, however, give you a trait or two,
to amuse you.

I have seen more of him this winter than the last, owing to the
circumstance of a committee of Americans, that have been appointed to
administer succour to the exiled Poles, meeting weekly at my house, and
it is rare indeed that he is not present on these benevolent occasions.
He has discontinued his own soirees, too; and, having fewer demands on
his time, through official avocations, I gain admittance to him during
his simple and quiet dinners, whenever it is asked.

These dinners, indeed, are our usual hours of meeting, for the
occupations of the General, in the Chamber, usually keep him engaged in
the morning; nor am I commonly at leisure, myself, until about this hour
of the day. In Paris, every one dines, nominally, at six; but the
deputies being often detained a little later, whenever I wish to see
him, I hurry from my own table, and generally reach the Rue d'Anjou in
sufficient season to find him still at his.

On quitting the Hotel de l'Etat Major, after being dismissed so
unceremoniously from the command of the National Guard, Lafayette
returned to his own neat but simple lodgings in the Rue d'Anjou. The
hotel, itself, is one of some pretensions, but his apartments, though
quite sufficient for a single person, are not among the best it
contains, lying on the street, which is rarely or never the case with
the principal rooms. The passage to them communicates with the great
staircase, and the door is one of those simple, retired entrances that,
in Paris, so frequently open on the abodes of some of the most
illustrious men of the age. Here have I seen princes, marshals, and
dignitaries of all degrees, ringing for admission, no one appearing to
think of aught but the great man within. These things are permitted
here, where the mind gets accustomed to weigh in the balance all the
different claims to distinction; but it would scarcely do in a country,
in which the pursuit of money is the sole and engrossing concern of
life; a show of expenditure becoming necessary to maintain it.

The apartments of Lafayette consist of a large ante-chamber, two salons,
and an inner room, where he usually sits and writes, and in which, of
late, he has had his bed. These rooms are _en suite_, and communicate,
laterally, with one or two more, and the offices. His sole attendants in
town, are the German valet, named Bastien, who accompanied him in his
last visit to America, the footman who attends him with the carriage,
and the coachman (there may be a cook, but I never saw a female in the
apartments). Neither wears a livery, although all his appointments,
carriages, horses, and furniture, are those of a gentleman. One thing
has struck me as a little singular. Notwithstanding his strong
attachment to America and to her usages, Lafayette, while the practice
is getting to be common in Paris, has not adopted the use of carpets. I
do not remember to have seen one, at La Grange, or in town.

When I show myself at the door, Bastien, who usually acts as porter, and
who has become quite a diplomatist in these matters, makes a sign of
assent, and intimates that the General is at dinner. Of late, he
commonly dispenses with the ceremony of letting it be known who has
come, but I am at once ushered into the bed-room. Here I find Lafayette
seated at a table, just large enough to contain one cover and a single
dish; or a table, in other words, so small as to be covered with a
napkin. His little white lap-dog is his only companion. As it is always
understood that I have dined, no ceremony is used, but I take a seat at
the chimney corner, while he goes on with his dinner. His meals are
quite frugal, though good; a _poulet roti_ invariably making one dish.
There are two or three removes, a dish at a time, and the dinner usually
concludes with some preserves or dried fruits, especially dates, of
which he is extremely fond. I generally come in for one or two of the
latter.

All this time, the conversation is on what has transpired in the
Chambers during the day, the politics of Europe, nullification in
America, or the gossip of the chateau, of which he is singularly well
informed, though he has ceased to go there.

The last of these informal interviews with General Lafayette, was one of
peculiar interest. I generally sit but half an hour, leaving him to go
to his evening engagements, which, by the way, are not frequent; but, on
this occasion, he told me to remain, and I passed nearly two hours with
him.

We chatted a good deal of the state of society under the old regime.
Curious to know his opinions of their private characters, I asked a good
many questions concerning the royal family. Louis XVI. he described as
a-well-meaning man, addicted a little too much to the pleasures of the
table, but who would have done well enough had he not been surrounded
by bad advisers. I was greatly surprised by one of his remarks. "Louis
XVI," observed Lafayette, "owed his death as much to the bad advice of
Gouverneur Morris, as to any one other thing." You may be certain I did
not let this opinion go unquestioned; for, on all other occasions, in
speaking of Mr. Morris, his language had been kind and even grateful. He
explained himself, by adding, that Mr. Morris, coming from a country
like America, was listened to with great respect, and that on all
occasions he gave his opinions against democracy, advising resistance,
when resistance was not only too late but dangerous. He did not call in
question the motives of Mr. Morris, to which he did full justice, but
merely affirmed that he was a bad adviser. He gave me to understand that
the representatives of America had not always been faithful to the
popular principle, and even went into details that it would be improper
for me to repeat. I have mentioned this opinion of Mr. Morris, because
his aristocratical sentiments were no secret, because they were mingled
with no expressions of personal severity, and because I have heard them
from other quarters. He pronounced a strong eulogium on the conduct of
Mr. Crawford, which he said was uniformly such as became an American
minister.

There is nothing, however, novel in these instances, of our
representatives proving untrue to the prominent feeling of the country,
on the subject of popular rights. It is the subject of very frequent
comment in Europe, and sometimes of complaint on the part of those who
are struggling for what they conceive to be their just privileges; many
of them having told me, personally, that our agents frequently stand
materially in their way.

Louis XVIII, Lafayette pronounced to be the _falsest_ man he had ever
met with; to use his own expression, "_l'homme le plus faux_." He gave
him credit for a great deal of talent, but added that his duplicity was
innate, and not the result of his position, for it was known to his
young associates, in early youth, and that they used to say among
themselves, as young men, and in their ordinary gaieties, that it would
be unsafe to confide in the Comte de Provence.

Of Charles X he spoke kindly, giving him exactly a different character.
He thought him the most honest of the three brothers, though quite
unequal to the crisis in which he had been called to reign. He believed
him sincere in his religious professions, and thought the charge of his
being a professed Jesuit by no means improbable.

Marie Antoinette he thought an injured woman. On the subject of her
reputed gallantries he spoke cautiously, premising that, as an American,
I ought to make many allowances for a state of society, that was
altogether unknown in our country. Treating this matter with the
discrimination of a man of the world, and the delicacy of a gentleman,
he added that he entirely exonerated her from all of the coarse charges
that had proceeded from vulgar clamour, while he admitted that she had
betrayed a partiality for a young Swede[1] that was, at least,
indiscreet for one in her situation, though he had no reason to believe
her attachment had led her to the length of criminality.

[Footnote 1: A Count Koningsmarke.]

I asked his opinion concerning the legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux,
but he treated the rumour to the contrary, as one of those miserable
devices to which men resort to effect the ends of party, and as
altogether unworthy of serious attention.

I was amused with the simplicity with which he spoke of his own efforts
to produce a change of government, during the last reign. On this
subject he had been equally frank even before the recent revolution,
though there would have been a manifest impropriety in my repeating what
had then passed between us. This objection is now removed in part, and I
may recount one of his anecdotes, though I can never impart to it the
cool and quiet humour with which it was related. We were speaking of the
attempt of 1822, or the plot which existed in the army. In reply to a
question of mine, he said--"Well, I was to have commanded in that
revolution, and when the time came, I got into my carriage, without a
passport, and drove across the country to ----, where I obtained
post-horses, and proceeded as fast as possible towards ----. At ----, a
courier met me, with the unhappy intelligence that our plot was
discovered, and that several of our principal agents were arrested. I
was advised to push for the frontier, as fast as I could. But we turned
round in the road, and I went to Paris, and took my seat in the Chamber
of Deputies. They looked very queer, and a good deal surprised when they
saw me, and I believe they were in great hopes that I had run away. The
party of the ministers were loud in their accusations against the
opposition for encouraging treason, and Perier and Constant, and the
rest of them, made indignant appeals against such unjust accusations. I
took a different course. I went into the tribune, and invited the
ministers to come and give a history of my political life; of my changes
and treasons, as they called them; and said that when they had got
through, I would give the character and history of theirs. This settled
the matter, for I heard no more from them." I inquired if he had not
felt afraid of being arrested and tried. "Not much," was his answer.
"They knew I denied the right of foreigners to impose a government on
France, and they also knew they had not kept faith with France under the
charter. I made no secret of my principles, and frequently put letters
unsealed into the post office, in which I had used the plainest language
about the government. On the whole, I believe they were more afraid of
me than I was of them."

It is impossible to give an idea, in writing, of the pleasant manner he
has of relating these things--a manner that receives additional piquancy
from his English, which, though good, is necessarily broken. He usually
prefers the English in such conversations.

"By the way," he suddenly asked me, "where was the idea of Harvey Birch,
in the Spy, found?" I told him that the thought had been obtained from
an anecdote of the revolution, related to me by Governor Jay, some years
before the book was written. He laughingly remarked that he could have
supplied the hero of a romance, in the person of a negro named Harry (I
believe, though the name has escaped me), who acted as a spy, both for
him and Lord Cornwallis, during the time he commanded against that
officer in Virginia. This negro he represented as being true to the
American cause, and as properly belonging to his service, though
permitted occasionally to act for Lord Cornwallis, for the sake of
gaining intelligence. After the surrender of the latter, he called on
General Lafayette, to return a visit. Harry was in an anteroom cleaning
his master's boots, as Lord Cornwallis entered. "Ha! Master Harry,"
exclaimed the latter, "you are here, are you?" "Oh, yes, masser
Cornwallis--muss try to do little for de country," was the answer. This
negro, he said, was singularly clever and bold, and of sterling
patriotism!

He made me laugh with a story, that he said the English officers had
told him of General Knyphausen, who commanded the Hessian mercenaries,
in 1776. This officer, a rigid martinet, knew nothing of the sea, and
not much more of geography. On the voyage between England and America,
he was in the ship of Lord Howe, where he passed several uncomfortable
weeks, the fleet having an unusually long passage, on account of the bad
sailing of some of the transports. At length Knyphausen could contain
himself no longer, but marching stiffly up to the admiral one day, he
commenced with--"My lord, I know it is the duty of a soldier to be
submissive at sea, but, being entrusted with the care of the troops of
His Serene Highness, my master, I feel it my duty just to inquire, if
it be not possible, that during some of the dark nights, we have lately
had, _we may have sailed past America_?"

I asked him if he had been at the chateau lately. His reply was very
brief and expressive. "The king denies my account of the programme of
the Hotel de Ville, and we stand in the position of two gentlemen, who,
in substance, have given each other the lie. Circumstances prevent our
going to the Bois de Boulogne to exchange shots," he added, smiling,
"but they also prevent our exchanging visits." I then ventured to say
that I had long foreseen what would be the result of the friendship of
Louis-Philippe, and, for the first time, in the course of our
conversations, I adverted to my own visit to the palace in his company,
an account of which I will extract, for your benefit, from my
note-book.[2]

[Footnote 2: The period referred to was in 1830.]

* * * * *

In the morning I received a note from General Lafayette, in which he
informed me that Mr. M'Lane, who is here on a visit from London, was
desirous of being presented; that there was a reception in the evening,
at which he intended to introduce the minister to England, Mr. Rives not
having yet received his new credentials, and, of course, not appearing
in matters of ceremony. General Lafayette pressed me so strongly to be
of the party, in compliment to Mr. M'Lane, that, though but an
indifferent courtier, and though such a visit was contrary to my quiet
habits, I could do nothing but comply.

At the proper hour, General Lafayette had the good nature to call and
take me up, and we proceeded, at once, for Mr. M'Lane. With this
gentleman we drove to the Palais Royal, my old brother officer, Mr.
T----, who was included in the arrangement, following in his own
carriage.

We found the inner court crowded, and a throng about the entrance to
the great staircase; but the appearance of Lafayette cleared the way,
and there was a movement in the crowd which denoted his great personal
popularity. I heard the words "_des Americains_" passing from one to
another, showing how completely he was identified with us and our
principles, in the public mind. One or two of the younger officers of
the court were at the foot of the stairs to receive him, though whether
their presence was accidental or designed, I cannot say; but I suspect
the latter. At all events the General was received with the profoundest
respect, and the most smiling assiduity.

The ante-chamber was already crowded, but following our leader, his
presence cleared the way for us, until he got up quite near to the
doors, where some of the most distinguished men of France were
collected. I saw many in the throng whom I knew, and the first minute or
two were passed in nods of recognition. My attention was, however, soon
attracted to a dialogue between Marshal Soult and Lafayette, that was
carried on with the most perfect _bonhomie_ and simplicity. I did not
hear the commencement, but found they were speaking of their legs, which
both seemed to think the worse for wear. "But you have been wounded in
the leg, monsieur?" observed Lafayette. "This limb was a little _mal
traite_ at Genoa," returned the marshal, looking down at a leg that had
a very game look: "but you, General, you too, were hurt in America?"
"Oh! that was nothing; it happened more than fifty years ago, and _then
it was in a good cause_--it was the fall and the fracture that made me
limp." Just at this moment, the great doors flew open, and this _quasi_
republican court standing arrayed before us, the two old soldiers limped
forward.

The King stood near the door, dressed as a General of the National
Guards, entirely without decorations, and pretty well tricoloured. The
Queen, Madame Adelaide, the Princesses, and several of the children,
were a little farther removed, the two former standing in front, and
the latter being grouped behind them. But one or two ladies were
present, nor did I see anything at the commencement of the evening of
the Ducs d'Orleans and de Nemours.

Lafayette was one of the first that entered, and of course we kept near
him. The King advanced to meet him with an expression of pleasure--I
thought it studied--but they shook hands quite cordially. We were then
presented by name, and each of us had the honour of shaking hands, if
that can be considered an honour, which fell to the share of quite half
of those who entered. The press was so great that there was no
opportunity to say anything. I believe we all met with the usual
expressions of welcome, and there the matter ended.

Soon after we approached the Queen, with whom our reception had a more
measured manner. Most of those who entered did little more than make a
distant bow to this group, but the Queen manifesting a desire to say
something to our party, Mr. M'Lane and myself approached them. She first
addressed my companion in French, a language he did not speak, and I was
obliged to act as interpreter. But the Queen instantly said she
understood English, though she spoke it badly, and begged he would
address her in his own tongue. Madame Adelaide seemed more familiar with
our language. But the conversation was necessarily short, and not worth
repeating.

Queen Amelie is a woman of a kind, and, I think, intelligent
countenance. She has the Bourbon rather than the Austrian outline of
face. She seemed anxious to please, and in her general air and carriage
has some resemblance to the Duchess of St. Leu.[3] She has the
reputation of being an excellent wife and mother, and, really, not to
fall too precipitately into the vice of a courtier, she appears as if
she may well deserve it. She is thin, but graceful, and I can well
imagine that she has been more than pretty in her youth.

[Footnote 3: Hortense.]

I do not remember a more frank, intelligent, and winning countenance
than that of Madame Adelaide, who is the King's sister. She has little
beauty left, except that of expression; but this must have made her
handsome once, as it renders her singularly attractive now. Her manner
was less nervous than that of the Queen, and I should think her mind had
more influence over her exterior.

The Princess Louise (the Queen of Belgium) and the Princess Marie are
pretty, with the quiet subdued manner of well-bred young persons. The
first is pale, has a strikingly Bourbon face, resembling the profiles on
the French coins; while the latter has an Italian and classical outline
of features, with a fine colour.

They were all dressed with great simplicity; scarcely in high dinner
dress; the Queen and Madame Adelaide wearing evening hats. The
Princesses, as is uniformly the case with unmarried French girls of
rank, were without any ornaments, wearing their hair in the usual
manner.

After the ceremonies of being presented were gone through, I amused
myself with examining the company. This was a levee, not a drawing-room,
and there were no women among the visitors. The men, who did not appear
in uniform, were in common evening dress, which has degenerated of late
into black stocks and trousers.

Accident brought me next to an old man, who had exactly that
revolutionary air which has become so familiar to us by the engravings
of Bonaparte and his generals that were made shortly after the Italian
campaign. The face was nearly buried in neckcloth, the hair was long and
wild, and the coat was glittering, but ill-fitting and stiff. It was,
however, the coat of a _marechal_; and, what rendered it still more
singular, it was entirely without orders. I was curious to know who this
relic of 1797 might be; for, apart from his rank, which was betrayed by
his coat, he was so singularly ugly as scarcely to appear human. On
inquiry it proved to be Marshal Jourdan.

There was some amusement in watching the different individuals who came
to pay their court to the new dynasty. Many were personally and
familiarly known to me as very loyal subjects of the last reign;
soldiers who would not have hesitated to put Louis-Philippe _au fil de
l'epee_, three months before, at the command of Charles X. But times
were changed. They now came to show themselves to the new sovereign;
most of them to manifest their disposition to be put in the way of
preferment, some to reconnoitre, others to conceal their disaffection,
and all to subserve their own interests. It was laughably easy to
discern who were confident of their reception by being of the ruling
party, who distrusted, and who were indifferent. The last class was
small. A general officer, whom I personally knew, looked like one who
had found his way into a wrong house by mistake. He was a Bonapartist by
his antecedents, and in his true way of thinking; but accident had
thrown him into the hands of the Bourbons, and he had now come to see
what might be gleaned from the House of Orleans. His reception was not
flattering, and I could only compare the indecision and wavering of his
manner to that of a regiment that falters before an unexpected volley.

After amusing ourselves some time in the great throng, which was densest
near the King, we went towards a secondary circle that had formed in
another part of the room, where the Duke of Orleans had appeared. He was
conversing with Lafayette, who immediately presented us all in
succession. The Prince is a genteel, handsome young man, with a face
much more Austrian than that of any of his family, so far as one can
judge of what his younger brothers are likely to be hereafter. In form,
stature, and movements, he singularly resembles W----, and there is also
a good deal of likeness in the face, though in this particular the
latter has the advantage. He was often taken for the Duc de Chartres
during our former residence at Paris. Our reception was gracious, the
heir to the throne appearing anxious to please every one.

The amusing part of the scene is to follow. Fatigued with standing, we
had got chairs in a corner of the room, behind the throng, where the
discourtesy of being seated might escape notice. The King soon after
withdrew, and the company immediately began to go away. Three-fourths,
perhaps, were gone, when an aide-de-camp came up to us and inquired if
we were not the three Americans who had been presented by General
Lafayette? Being answered in the affirmative, he begged us to accompany
him. He led us near a door at the other end of the _salle_, a room of
great dimensions, where we found General Lafayette in waiting. The aide,
or officer of the court, whichever might be his station, passed through
the door, out of which the King immediately came. It appeared to me as
if the General was not satisfied with our first reception, and wished to
have it done over again. The King looked grave, not to say discontented,
and I saw, at a glance, that he could have dispensed with this extra
attention. Mr. M'Lane standing next the door, he addressed a few words
to him in English, which he speaks quite readily, and without much
accent: indeed he said little to any one else, and the few words that he
did utter were exceedingly general and unmeaning. Once he got as far as
T----, whom he asked if he came from New York, and he looked hard at me,
who stood farther from the door, mumbled something, bowed to us all, and
withdrew. I was struck with his manner, which seemed vexed and
unwilling, and the whole thing appeared to me to be awkward and
uncomfortable. I thought it a bad omen for the influence of the General.

By this time the great _salle_ was nearly empty, and we moved off
together to find our carriages. General Lafayette preceded us, of
course, and as he walked slowly, and occasionally stopped to converse,
we were among the last in the ante-chamber. In passing into the last or
outer ante-chamber, the General stopped nearly in the door to speak to
some one. Mr. M'Lane and Mr. T---- being at his side, they so nearly
stopped the way that I remained some distance in the rear, in order not
to close it entirely. My position would give an ordinary observer reason
to suppose that I did not belong to the party. A young officer of the
court (I call them aides, though, I believe, they were merely
substitutes for chamberlains, dignitaries to which this republican reign
has not yet given birth), was waiting in the outer room to pass, but
appeared unwilling to press too closely on a group of which General
Lafayette formed the principal person. He fidgeted and chafed evidently,
but still kept politely at a distance. After two or three minutes the
party moved on, but I remained stationary, watching the result. Room was
no sooner made than the officer brushed past, and gave vent to his
feelings by saying, quite loudly and distinctly, "_Adieu, l'Amerique_!"

It is a pretty safe rule to believe that in the tone of courtiers is
reflected the feeling of the monarch. The attention to General Lafayette
had appeared to me as singularly affected and forced, and the manner of
the King anything but natural; and several little occurrences during the
evening had tended to produce the impression that the real influence of
the former, at the palace, might be set down as next to nothing. I never
had any faith in a republican king from the commencement, but this near
view of the personal intercourse between the parties served to persuade
me that General Lafayette had been the dupe of his own good faith and
kind feelings.

In descending the great stairs I mentioned the occurrence just related
to Mr. M'Lane, adding, that I thought the days of our friend were
numbered, and that a few months would produce a schism between him and
Louis-Philippe. Everything, at the moment, however, looked so smiling,
and so much outward respect was lavished on General Lafayette, that this
opinion did not find favour with my listener, though, I believe, he saw
reason to think differently, after another visit to court. We all got
invitations to dine at the palace in a day or two.

* * * * *

I did not, however, touch upon the "_adieu l'Amerique_," with General
Lafayette, which I have always deemed a subject too delicate to be
mentioned.

He startled me by suddenly putting the question, whether I thought an
executive, in which there should be but one agent, as in the United
States, or an executive, in which there should be three, or five, would
best suit the condition of France? Though so well acquainted with the
boldness and steadiness of his views, I was not prepared to find his
mind dwelling on such a subject, at the present moment. The state of
France, however, is certainly extremely critical, and we ought not to be
surprised at the rising of the people at any moment.

I told General Lafayette, that, in my poor judgment, the question
admitted of a good deal of controversy. Names did not signify much, but
every administration should receive its main impulses, subject to the
common wishes and interests, from a close conformity of views, whether
there were one incumbent or a dozen. The English system certainly made a
near approach to a divided executive, but the power was so distributed
as to prevent much clashing; and when things went wrong, the ministers
resigned; parliament, in effect, holding the control of the executive as
well as of the legislative branches of the government. Now I did not
think France was prepared for such a polity, the French being accustomed
to see a real as well as a nominal monarch, and the disposition to
intrigue would, for a long time to come, render their administrations
fluctuating and insecure. A directory would either control the chambers,
or be controlled by them. In the former case it would be apt to be
divided in itself; in the latter, to agitate the chambers by factions
that would not have the ordinary outlet of majorities to restore the
equilibrium.

He was of opinion himself that the expedient of a directory had not
suited the state of France. He asked me what I thought of universal
suffrage for this country. I told him, I thought it altogether unsuited
to the present condition of France. I did not attach much faith to the
old theory of the necessary connexion between virtue and democracy, as a
cause; though it might, with the necessary limitations, follow as an
effect. A certain degree of knowledge of its uses, _action_, and
objects, was indispensable to a due exercise of the suffrage; not that
it was required every elector should be learned in the theory of
governments, but that he should know enough to understand the general
connexion between his vote and his interests, and especially his rights.
This knowledge was not at all difficult of attainment, in ordinary
cases, when one had the means of coming at facts. In cases that admit of
argument, as in all the questions on political economy, I did not see
that any reasonable degree of knowledge made the matter much better, the
cleverest men usually ranging themselves on the two extremes of all
mooted questions. Concerning the right of every man, who was qualified
to use the power, to have his interests directly represented in a
government, it was unnecessary to speak, the only question being who had
and who had not the means to make a safe use of the right in practice.
It followed from these views, that the great desiderata were to
ascertain what these means were.

In the present state of the world, I thought it absolutely necessary
that a man should be able to read, in order to exercise the right to
vote with a prudent discretion. In countries where everybody reads,
other qualifications might be trusted to, provided they were low and
within reasonable reach of the mass; but, in a country like France, I
would allow no man to vote until he knew how to read, if he were as rich
as Croesus.

I felt convinced the present system could not continue long in France.
It might do for a few years, as a reaction; but when things were
restored to their natural course, it would be found that there is an
unnatural union between facts that are peculiar to despotism, and facts
that are peculiarly the adjuncts of liberty; as in the provisions of the
Code Napoleon, and in the liberty of the press, without naming a
multitude of other discrepancies. The _juste milieu_ that he had so
admirably described[4] could not last long, but the government would
soon find itself driven into strong measures, or into liberal measures,
in order to sustain itself. Men could no more serve "God and Mammon" in
politics than in religion. I then related to him an anecdote that had
occurred to myself the evening of the first anniversary of the present
reign.

[Footnote 4: When the term _juste milieu_ was first used by the King,
and adopted by his followers, Lafayette said in the Chamber, that "he
very well understood what a _juste milieu_ meant, in any particular
case; it meant neither more nor less than the truth, in that particular
case: but as to a political party's always taking a middle course, under
the pretence of being in a _juste milieu_, he should liken it to a
discreet man's laying down the proposition that four and four make
eight, and a fool's crying out, 'Sir, you are wrong, for four and four
make ten;' whereupon the advocate for the _juste milieu_ on system,
would be obliged to say, 'Gentlemen, you are equally in extremes, _four
and four make nine_.'" It is the fashion to say Lafayette wanted
_esprit_. This was much the cleverest thing the writer ever heard in the
French Chambers, and, generally, he knew few men who said more witty
things in a neat and unpretending manner than General Lafayette. Indeed
this was the bias of his mind, which was little given to profound
reflections, though distinguished for a _fort bon sens_.]

On the night in question, I was in the Tuileries, with a view to see the
fireworks. Taking a station a little apart from the crowd, I found
myself under a tree alone with a Frenchman of some sixty years of age.
After a short parley, my companion, as usual, mistook me for an
Englishman. On being told his error, he immediately opened a
conversation on the state of things in France. He asked me if I thought
they would continue. I told him, no; that I thought two or three years
would suffice to bring the present system to a close. "Monsieur," said
my companion, "you are mistaken. It will require ten years to dispossess
those who have seized upon the government, since the last revolution.
All the young men are growing up with the new notions, and in ten years
they will be strong enough to overturn the present order of things.
Remember that I prophesy the year 1840 will see a change of government
in France."

Lafayette laughed at this prediction, which, he said, did not quite
equal his impatience. He then alluded to the ridicule which had been
thrown upon his own idea of "A monarchy with republican institutions,"
and asked me what I thought of the system. As my answer to this, as well
as to his other questions, will serve to lay before you my own opinions,
which you have a right to expect from me, as a traveller rendering an
account of what he has seen, I shall give you its substance, at length.

So far from finding anything as absurd as is commonly pretended in the
plan of a "throne surrounded by republican institutions," it appears to
me to be exactly the system best suited to the actual condition of
France. By a monarchy, however, a real monarchical government, or one in
which the power of the sovereign is to predominate, is not to be
understood, in this instance, but such a semblance of a monarchy as
exists to-day, in England, and formerly existed in Venice and Genoa
under their Doges. la England the aristocracy notoriously rules, through
the king, and I see no reason why in France, a constituency with a base
sufficiently broad to entitle it to assume the name of a republic, might
not rule, in its turn, in the same manner. In both cases the sovereign
would merely represent an abstraction; the sovereign power would be
wielded in his name, but at the will of the constituency; he would be a
parliamentary echo, to pronounce the sentiment of the legislative
bodies, whenever a change of men or a change of measures became
necessary It is very true that, under such a system, there would be no
real separation, in principle, between the legislative and the executive
branches of government; but such is to-day, and such has long been the
actual condition of England, and her statesmen are fond of saving, the
plan "works well." Now, although the plan does not work half as well in
England as is pretended, except for those who more especially reap its
benefits, simply because the legislature is not established on a
sufficiently popular basis, still it works better, on the whole, for the
public, than if the system were reversed, as was formerly the case, and
the king ruled through the parliament, instead of the parliament ruling
through the king. In France the facts are ripe for an extension of this
principle, in its safest and most salutary manner. The French of the
present generation are prepared to dispense with a hereditary and
political aristocracy, in the first place, nothing being more odious to
them than privileged orders, and no nation, not even America, having
more healthful practices or wiser notions on this point than themselves.
The experience of the last fifteen years has shown the difficulty of
creating an independent peerage in France, notwithstanding the efforts
of the government, sustained by the example and wishes of England, have
been steadily directed to that object. Still they have the traditions
and _prestige_ of a monarchy. Under such circumstances, I see no
difficulty in carrying out the idea of Lafayette. Indeed some such
polity is indispensable, unless liberty is to be wholly sacrificed. All
experience has shown that a king, who is a king in fact as well as name,
is too strong for law, and the idea of restraining such a power by
_principles_, is purely chimerical. He may be curtailed in his
authority, by the force of opinion, and by extreme constructions of
these principles; but if this be desirable, it would be better to avoid
the struggle, and begin, at once, by laying the foundation of the system
in such a way as will prevent the necessity of any change.

As respects France, a peerage, in my opinion, is neither desirable nor
practicable. It is certainly possible for the king to maintain a chosen
political corps, as long as he can maintain himself, which shall act in
his interests and do his bidding; but it is folly to ascribe the
attributes that belong to a peerage to such a body of mercenaries. They
resemble the famous mandamus counsellors, who had so great an agency in
precipitating our own revolution, and are more likely to achieve a
similar disservice to their master than any thing else. Could they
become really independent, to a point to render them a masculine feature
in the state, they would soon, by their combinations, become too strong
for the other branches of the government, as has been the case in
England, and France would have a "throne surrounded by aristocratic
institutions." The popular notion that an aristocracy is necessary to a
monarchy, I take it, is a gross error. A titular aristocracy, in some
shape or other, is always the _consequence_ of monarchy, merely because
it is the reflection of the sovereign's favour, policy, or caprice; but
_political_ aristocracies like the peerage, have, nine times in ten,
proved too strong for the monarch. France would form no exception to the
rule; but, as men are apt to run into the delusion of believing it
liberty to strip one of power, although his mantle is to fall on the
few, I think it more than probable the popular error would be quite
likely to aid the aristocrats in effecting their object, after habit had
a little accustomed the nation to the presence of such a body. This is
said, however, under the supposition that the elements of an independent
peerage could be found in France, a fact that I doubt, as has just been
mentioned..

If England can have a throne, then, surrounded by aristocratical
institutions, what is there to prevent France from having a throne
"surrounded by republican institutions?" The word "Republic," though it
does not exclude, does not necessarily include the idea of a democracy.
It merely means a polity, in which the predominant idea is the "public
things," or common weal, instead of the hereditary and inalienable
rights of one. It would be quite practicable, therefore, to establish in
France such an efficient constituency as would meet the latter
conditions, and yet to maintain the throne, as the machinery necessary,
in certain cases, to promulgate the will of this very constituency.
This is all that the throne does in England, and why need it do more in
France? By substituting then a more enlarged constituency, for the
borough system of England, the idea of Lafayette would be completely
fulfilled. The reform in England, itself, is quite likely to demonstrate
that his scheme was not as monstrous as has been affirmed. The throne of
France should be occupied as Corsica is occupied, not for the
affirmative good it does the nation, so much as to prevent harm from its
being occasionally vacant.

In the course of the conversation, I gave to General Lafayette the
following outline of the form of government I could wish to give to
France, were I a Frenchman, and had I a voice in the matter. I give it
to you on the principle already avowed, or as a traveller furnishing his
notions of the things he has seen, and because it may aid in giving you
a better insight into my views of the state of this country.

I would establish a monarchy, and Henry V. should be the monarch. I
would select him on account of his youth, which will admit of his being
educated in the notions necessary to his duty; and on account of his
birth, which would strengthen his nominal government, and, by necessary
connexion, the actual government: for I believe, that, in their hearts,
and notwithstanding the professions to the contrary, nearly half of
France would greatly prefer the legitimate line of their ancient kings
to the actual dynasty. This point settled, I would extend the suffrage
as much as facts would justify; certainly so as to include a million or
a million and a half of electors. All idea of the _representation_ of
property should be relinquished, as the most corrupt, narrow, and
vicious form of polity that has ever been devised, invariably tending to
array one portion of the community against another, and endangering the
very property it is supposed to protect. A moderate property
_qualification_ might be adopted, in connexion with that of
intelligence. The present scheme in France unites, in my view of the
case, precisely the two worst features of admission to the suffrage that
could be devised. The qualification of an elector is a given amount of
direct contribution. This _qualification_ is so high as to amount to
_representation_, and France is already so taxed as to make a diminution
of the burdens one of the first objects at which a good government would
aim; it follows, that as the ends of liberty are attained, its
foundations would be narrowed, and the _representation_ of property
would be more and more assured. A simple property qualification would,
therefore, I think, be a better scheme than the present.

Each department should send an allotted number of deputies, the polls
being distributed on the American plan. Respecting the term of service,
there might arise various considerations, but it should not exceed five
years, and I would prefer three. The present house of peers should be
converted into a senate, its members to sit as long as the deputies. I
see no use in making the term of one body longer than the other, and I
think it very easy to show that great injury has arisen from the
practice among ourselves. Neither do I see the advantage of having a
part go out periodically; but, on the contrary, a disadvantage, as it
leaves a representation of old, and, perhaps, rejected opinions, to
struggle with the opinions of the day. Such collisions have invariably
impeded the action and disturbed the harmony of our own government. I
would have every French elector vote for each senator; thus the local
interests would be protected by the deputies, while the senate would
strictly represent France. This united action would control all things,
and the ministry would be an emanation of their will, of which the king
should merely be the organ.

I have no doubt the action of our own system would be better, could we
devise some plan by which a ministry should supersede the present
executive. The project of Mr. Hillhouse, that of making the senators
draw lots annually for the office of President, is, in my opinion,
better than the elective system; but it would be, in a manner, liable to
the old objection, of a want of harmony between the different branches
of the government. France has all the machinery of royalty, in her
palaces, her parks, and the other appliances of the condition; and she
has, moreover, the necessary habits and opinions, while we have neither.
There is, therefore, just as much reason why France should not reject
this simple expedient for naming a ministry, as there is for our not
adopting it. Here, then, would be, at once, a "throne surrounded by
republican institutions," and, although it would not be a throne as
powerful as that which France has at present, it would, I think, be more
permanent than one surrounded by bayonets, and leave France, herself,
more powerful, in the end.

The capital mistake made in 1830, was that of establishing the _throne_
before establishing the _republic_; in trusting to _men_ instead of
trusting to _institutions_.

I do not tell you that Lafayette assented to all that I said. He had
reason for the impracticability of getting aside the personal interests
which would be active in defeating such a reform, that involved details
and a knowledge of character to which I had nothing to say; and, as
respects the Duc de Bordeaux, he affirmed that the reign of the Bourbons
was over in France. The country was tired of them. It may appear
presumptuous in a foreigner to give an opinion against such high
authority; but, "what can we reason but from what we know?" and truth
compels me to say, I cannot subscribe to this opinion. My own
observation, imperfect though it be, has led to a different conclusion.
I believe there are thousands, even among those who throng the
Tuileries, who would hasten to throw off the mask at the first serious
misfortune that should befall the present dynasty, and who would range
themselves on the side of what is called legitimacy. In respect to
parties, I think the republicans the boldest, in possession of the most
talents compared to numbers, and the least numerous; the friends of the
King (active and passive) the least decided, and the least connected by
principle, though strongly connected by a desire to prosecute their
temporal interests, and more numerous than the republicans; the Carlists
or _Henriquinquists_ the most numerous, and the most generally, but
secretly, sustained by the rural population, particularly in the west
and south.

Lafayette frankly admitted, what all now seem disposed to admit, that it
was a fault not to have made sure of the institutions before the King
was put upon the throne. He affirmed, however, it was much easier to
assert the wisdom of taking this precaution, than to have adopted it in
fact. The world, I believe, is in error about most of the political
events that succeeded the three days.

LETTER II.

The Cholera in Paris.--Its frightful ravages.--Desertion of the city--My
determination to remain.--Deaths in the higher classes.--Unexpected
arrival and retreat.--Praiseworthy conduct of the Authorities.--The
Cholera caricatured!--Invitation from an English General.--Atmospherical
appearance denoting the arrival of the Cholera.--Lord Robert
Fitzgerald.--Dinner at the house of Madame de B----.

Dear ----,

We have had little to occupy us since my last letter, but the cholera,
which alighted in the heart of this great and crowded metropolis like a
bomb. Since the excursion on the frontiers last year, and our success in
escaping the quarantine, I had thought little of this scourge, until the
subject was introduced at my own table by a medical man who was among
the guests. He cautiously informed us that there were unpleasant
conjectures among the faculty on the subject, and that he was fearful
Paris was not to go unscathed. When apart, he privately added, that he
had actually seen a case, which he could impute to no other disease but
that of Asiatic cholera.

The next day a few dark hints were given in the journals, and, with
frightful rapidity, reports followed that raised the daily deaths to
near a thousand. The change in the appearance of the town was magical,
for the strangers generally fled, while most of the _habitues_ of the
streets in our immediate vicinity were soon numbered with the dead.
There was a succession of apple-women seated at the corners, between the
Rue St. Dominique and the Pont Royal, with whose faces I had become
intimate in the course of P----'s traffic, as we passed to and fro,
between the hotel and the Tuileries. Every one of these disappeared; the
last, I was told, dropping from her chair, and dying before those who
came to her aid had reached the nearest hospital.

One case, among multitudes, will serve to give you a faint idea of the
situation of Paris, at this moment of severe affliction. Returning from
a walk through the deserted streets one morning, I saw a small
collection of people around the _porte-cochere_ of our hotel. A
matchseller had been seized with the disease, at the gate, and was then
sustained on one of the stone seats, which are commonly used by the
servants. I had her carried info the court, and made such applications
as had been recommended by the faculty. The patient was a robust woman
of middle age, accompanied by her mother, both having come in from a
distant village, to raise a few sous by selling matches. In making the
applications, I had occasion to observe the means by which these poor
people sustain life. Their food consisted of fragments of hard dried
bread, that had been begged, or bought, in the course of their progress.

While two or three of us were busied about the daughter, the mother
knelt on the pavement, and, with streaming eyes, prayed for her child,
for us, and for herself. There was something indescribably touching in
this display of strong natural ties, between those who were plunged so
deep in misery. A piece of five francs was put into the hands of the old
woman, but, though she blessed the donor, her look was not averted an
instant from the agony depicted in her daughter's face, nor did she
appear conscious of what she possessed, a moment after. The carriers
from the hospital bore the sick woman away, and the mother promised to
return, in a day or two, to let me know the result. Not appearing, an
inquiry was made at the hospital, and the answer was, that they were
both dead!

In this manner some ten or fifteen thousand were swept away in a few
weeks. Not only hotels, but, in some instances, nearly whole streets
were depopulated. As every one fled, who could with convenience or
propriety quit the town, you may feel surprised that we chose to remain.
When the deaths increased to eight or nine hundred a day, and our own
quarter began to be visited, I felt it to be a duty to those under my
charge, to retire to some of the places without the limits of the
disease. The trunks were packed, the carriage was in the court, and my
passports were signed, when A---- was suddenly taken ill. Although the
disease was not the cholera, I began to calculate the chances of any one
of us being seized, myself for instance, in one of the villages of the
environs, and the helpless condition of a family of females in a foreign
country, under such circumstances. The result was a determination to
remain, and to trust to Providence. We have consequently staid in our
apartments through it all, although two slight cases have occurred in
the hotel, and hundreds around it.

The manner in which individuals known to us have vanished, as it were,
from before our eyes, has been shockingly sudden. To-day the report may
be that the milkman is gone; yesterday it was the butcher's boy; the
day before the poulterer, and presently a new servant appears with a
message from a friend, and on inquiring for his predecessor, we learn
that he is dead. Ten or fifteen cases of this sort have occurred among
those with whom we are in constant and immediate connexion.

The deaths in the higher classes, at first, were comparatively few, but
of late several of the most distinguished men of France have been
seized. Among them are M. Perier, the prime minister, and the General
Lamarque. Prince Castelcicala, too, the Neapolitan Ambassador, is dead,
in our neighbourhood; as, indeed, are very many others. There is one
short street quite near us, out of which, it is said, between seventy
and eighty dead have been carried. The situation of all this faubourg is
low, and that of the street particularly so.

Dr. S----, of North Carolina, who, with several other young physicians,
has done credit to himself by his self-devotion and application, brought
in the report of the appearance of things, once or twice a week, judging
of the state of the disease more from the aspect of the hospitals, than
from the published returns, which are necessarily and, perhaps,
designedly, imperfect. He thinks of the first hundred that were admitted
at the Hotel Dieu, all but one died, and that one he does not think was
a case of Asiatic cholera at all.

All this time, the more frequented streets of Paris presented, in the
height of the usual season too, the most deserted aspect. I have
frequently walked on the terrace of the Tuileries when there were not a
dozen others in the whole garden, and driven from my own hotel in the
Rue St. Dominique to the Place Vendome without meeting half a dozen
vehicles, including _fiacres_ and _cabriolets de place_.

I was returning one day from the Rue de la Paix, on foot, during the
height of the disease, at the time when this gay and magnificent part of
the town looked peculiarly deserted. There was scarcely a soul in the
street but the _laquais de place_, the _garcons_, and the chambermaids
of the public hotels, that abound in this quarter. These were at the
gateways, with folded arms, a picture in themselves of the altered
condition of the town. Two travelling carriages drove in from the Rue de
Rivoli, and there was at once a stir among those who are so completely
dependent on travellers for their bread. "_On part_" was, at first, the
common and mournful call from one group to another, until the mud on the
carriage-wheels caught the attention of some one, who cried out "_On
arrive_!" The appearance of the strangers under such circumstances,
seemed to act like a charm. I felt no little surprise at seeing them,
and more, when a hand beckoned to me from a carriage window. It was Mr.
H----, of New York, an old schoolfellow, and a friend of whom we had
seen a good deal during our travels in Europe. He had just come from
England, with his family, and appeared astonished to find Paris so
deserted. He told me that Mr. Van Buren was in the other carriage. He
had chosen an unfortunate moment for his visit. I went to see the H----s
next morning, and it was arranged that they should come and pass the
succeeding day in the Rue St. Dominique; but they disappointed us. The
day following I got a letter from H----, dated Amiens, written on his
way to England! They had been imprudent in coming, and wise in hurrying
away from the frightful scene. I believe that Mr. Van Buren remained but
a day or two.

Although most of our acquaintances quitted the town, a few thought it
safer to remain in their own comfortable apartments, than to run the
hazards of travelling; for, in a short time, most of the north of France
was suffering under the same grievous affliction. The authorities
conducted themselves well, and there have been very many instances of
noble self-devotion, on the part of private individuals, the French
character never appearing to better advantage. In this respect,
notwithstanding the general impression to the contrary, I am inclined
to believe, after a good deal of inquiry, that Paris has acquitted
itself better than London. The French, certainly, are less disposed, as
a rule, to "hide their light under a bushel," than most other people;
but, on the spot and a looker-on, my respect for their feelings and
philanthropy has been greatly raised by their conduct during this
terrible calamity.

Notwithstanding the horror of the disease, some of the more prominent
traits of national character have shown themselves lately. Among other
things, the artists have taken to caricaturing the cholera! One gets to
be so hardened by exposure, as to be able to laugh at even these proofs
of moral obtuseness. Odd enough traits of character are developed by
seeing men under such trying circumstances. During one of the worst
periods of the disease, I met a countryman in the street, who, though
otherwise a clever man, has the weakness to think the democracy of
America its greatest blot. I asked him why he remained in Paris, having
no family, nor any sufficient inducement? "Oh," said he, "it is a
disease that only kills the rabble: I feel no concern--do you?" I told
him that, under my peculiar circumstances, I felt a great deal of
uneasiness, though not enough to make an unreflecting flight. A few days
afterwards I missed him, and, on inquiry, learned that he had fled. Some
_nobleman_ had died in our faubourg, when he and one of a fellow
feeling, finding a taint "between the wind and their nobility,"
forthwith beat a retreat!

During the height of the malady, an old English general officer, who had
served in India, and who was now residing near us, sent me an invitation
to dinner. Tired of seeing no one, I went. Here everything was as
tranquil as if we were living in the purest atmosphere in Europe. Sir
----, my host, observed that he had got seasoned in India, and that he
believed _good living_ one of the best preventives against the disease.
The Count de ---- came in just before dinner was announced, and
whispered to me that some twelve or fifteen hundred had been buried the
previous day, although less than a thousand had been reported. This
gentleman told a queer anecdote, which he said came from very
respectable authority, and which he gave as he had heard it. About ten
days before the cholera appeared, a friend of his had accompanied one of
the Polish generals, who are now in Paris, a short distance into the
country to dine. On quitting the house, the Pole stopped to gaze
intently at the horizon. His companion inquired what he saw, when,
pointing to a hazy appearance in the atmosphere, of rather an unusual
kind, the other said, "You will have the cholera here in less than ten
days; such appearances always preceded it in the North." As M. de ----
observed, "I tell it as I heard it."

Sir ---- did me the favour, on that occasion, to introduce me to a mild
gentleman-like old man, who greatly resembled one of the quiet old
school of our own, which is so fast disappearing before the bustling,
fussy, money-getting race of the day. It was Lord Robert Fitzgerald, a
brother of the unfortunate Lord Edward, and the brother of whom he so
pleasantly speaks in his natural and amiable letters, as "Plenipo Bob."
This gentleman is since dead, having, as I hear, fallen a victim to the
cholera.

I went to one other dinner, during this scene of destruction, given by
Madame de B----, a woman who has so much vogue, as to assemble, in her
house, people of the most conflicting opinions and opposite characters.
On this occasion, I was surprised to hear from Marshal ----, one of the
guests, that many believe the cholera to be contagious. That such an
opinion should prevail among the mass, was natural enough, but I was not
prepared to hear it from so high a quarter.

A gentleman mentioned, at this dinner, that the destruction among the
porters had been fearful. A friend of his was the proprietor of five
hotels, and the porters of all are dead!

LETTER III.

Insecurity of the Government.--Louis-Philippe and the
Pear.--Caricatures.--Ugliness of the Public Men of France.--The Duke de
Valmy.--Care-worn aspect of Society under the New Regime.--Controversy
in France respecting the Cost of Government in America.--Conduct of
American Agents in Europe.

Dear ----,

The government is becoming every day less secure, and while it holds
language directly to the contrary, it very well knows it cannot depend
on the attachment of the nation. It has kept faith with no one, and the
mass looks coldly on, at the political agitation that is excited, in all
quarters, by the Carlists and the republicans. The bold movement of the
Duchess of Berri, although it has been unwise and unreflecting, has
occasioned a good deal of alarm, and causes great uneasiness in this
cabinet.[5]

[Footnote 5: Louis-Philippe has been more singularly favoured by purely
fortuitous events than, probably, ever fell to the fortune of one in his
situation. The death of the Duke of Reichstadt, the arrest and peculiar
position of the Duchess of Berri, the failure of the different attempts
to assassinate and seize him, and the sudden death of the young Napoleon
Bonaparte, in Italy (the son of Louis), are among the number.]

In a country where the cholera could not escape being caricatured, you
will readily imagine that the King has fared no better. The lower part
of the face of Louis-Philippe is massive, while his forehead, without
being mean, narrows in a way to give the outline a shape not unlike that
of a pear. An editor of one of the publications of caricatures being on
trial for a libel, in his defence, produced a large pear, in order to
illustrate his argument, which ran as follows:--People fancied they saw
a resemblance in some one feature of a caricature to a particular thing;
this thing, again, might resemble another thing; that thing a third;
and thus from one to another, until the face of some distinguished
individual might be reached. He put it to the jury whether such forced
constructions were safe. "This, gentlemen," he continued, "is a common
pear, a fruit well known to all of you. By culling here, and here,"
using his knife as he spoke, "something like a resemblance to a human
face is obtained: by clipping here, again, and shaping there, one gets a
face that some may fancy they know; and should I, hereafter, publish an
engraving of a pear, why everybody will call it a caricature of a man!"
You will understand that, by a dexterous use of the knife, such a
general resemblance to the countenance of the King was obtained, that it
was instantly recognised. The man was rewarded for his cleverness by an
acquittal, and, since that time, by an implied convention, a rude sketch
of a pear is understood to allude to the King. The fruit abounds in a
manner altogether unusual for the season, and, at this moment, I make
little doubt, that some thousands of pears are drawn in chalk, coal, or
other substances, on the walls of the capital. During the carnival,
masquers appeared as pears, with pears for caps, and carrying pears, and
all this with a boldness and point that must go far to convince the King
that the extreme license he has affected hitherto to allow, cannot very
well accord with his secret intentions to bring France back to a
government of coercion. The discrepancies that necessarily exist in the
present system will, sooner or later, destroy it.

Little can be said in favour of caricatures. They address themselves to
a faculty of the mind that is the farthest removed from reason, and, by
consequence, from the right; and it is a prostitution of the term to
suppose that they are either cause or effect, as connected with liberty.
Such things may certainly have their effect, as means, but every good
cause is so much the purer for abstaining from the use of questionable
agencies. _Au reste_, there is really a fatality of feature and
expression common to the public men of this country that is a strong
provocative to caricature. The revolution and empire appear to have
given rise to a state of feeling that has broken out with marked
sympathy, in the countenance. The French, as a nation, are far from
handsome, though brilliant exceptions exist; and it strikes me that they
who appear in public life are just among the ugliest of the whole
people.

Not long since I dined at the table of Mr. de ----, in company with Mr.
B. of New York. The company consisted of some twenty men, all of whom
had played conspicuous parts in the course of the last thirty years. I
pointed out the peculiarity just mentioned to my companion, and asked
him if there was a single face at table which had the placid, dignified,
and contented look which denotes the consciousness of right motives, a
frank independence, and a mind at peace with itself. We could not
discover one! I have little doubt that national physiognomy is affected
by national character.

You may form some idea, on the other hand, of the perfect simplicity and
good taste that prevails in French society, by a little occurrence on
the day just mentioned. A gentleman, of singularly forbidding
countenance, sat next us; and, in the course of the conversation, he
mentioned the fact that he had once passed a year in New York, of which
place he conversed with interest and vivacity. B---- was anxious to know
who this gentleman might be. I could only say that he was a man of great
acuteness and knowledge, whom I had often met in society, but, as to his
name, I did not remember ever to have heard it. He had always conducted
himself in the simple manner that he witnessed, and it was my impression
that he was the private secretary of the master of the house, who was a
dignitary of the state, for I had often met him at the same table. Here
the matter rested for a few days.

The following week we removed into the Rue St. Dominique. Directly
opposite to the _porte-cochere_ of our hotel was the _porte-cochere_ of
an hotel that had once belonged to the Princes of Conti. A day or two
after the removal, I saw the unknown gentleman coming out of the gateway
opposite, as I was about to enter our own. He bowed, saluted me by name,
and passed on. Believing this a good occasion to ascertain who he was, I
crossed the street, and asked the porter for the name of the gentleman
who had just gone out. "Mais, c'est Monsieur le Duc!" "Duke!--what
Duke?" "Why, Monsieur le Duc de Valmy, the proprietor of this hotel!" It
was the younger Kellerman, the hero of Marengo![6]

[Footnote 6: He is since dead.]

But I could fill volumes with anecdotes of a similar nature; for, in
these countries, in which men of illustrious deeds abound, one is never
disturbed in society by the fussy pretension and swagger that is apt to
mark the presence of a lucky speculator in the stocks. Battles, unlike
bargains, are rarely discussed in society. I have already told you how
little sensation is produced in Paris by the presence of a celebrity,
though in no part of the world is more delicate respect paid to those
who have earned renown, whether in letters, arts, or arms. Like causes,
however, notoriously produce like effects; and, I think, under the new
regime, which is purely a money-power system, directed by a mind whose
ambition is wealth, that one really meets here more of that swagger of
stocks and lucky speculations, in the world, than was formerly the case.
Society is decidedly less graceful, more care-worn, and of a worse tone
to-day, than it was previously to the revolution of 1830. I presume the
elements are unchanged, but the ebullition of the times is throwing the
scum to the surface; a natural but temporary consequence of the present
state of things.

While writing to you in this desultory manner, I shall seize the
occasion to give the outline of a little occurrence of quite recent
date, and which is, in some measure, of personal interest to myself. A
controversy concerning the cost of government, was commenced some time
in November last, under the following circumstances, and has but just
been concluded. As early as the July preceding, a writer in the
employment of the French government produced a laboured article, in
which he attempted to show that, head for head, the Americans paid more
for the benefits of government than the French. Having the field all to
himself, both as to premises and conclusions, this gentleman did not
fail to make out a strong case against us; and, as a corollary to this
proposition, which was held to be proved, he, and others of his party,
even went so far as to affirm that a republic, in the nature of things,
must be a more expensive polity than a monarchy.

This extravagant assertion had been considered as established, by a
great many perfectly well-meaning people, for some months, before I even
knew that it had ever been made. A very intelligent and a perfectly
candid Frenchman mentioned it one day, in my presence, admitting that he
had been staggered by the boldness of the proposition, as well as by the
plausibility of the arguments by which it had been maintained. It was so
contrary to all previous accounts of the matter, and was, especially, so
much opposed to all I had told him, in our frequent disquisitions on
America, that he wished me to read the statements, and to refute them,
should it seem desirable. About the same time, General Lafayette made a
similar request, sending me the number of the periodical that contained
the communication, and suggesting the expediency of answering it. I
never, for an instant, doubted the perfect right of an American, or any
one else, to expose the errors that abounded in this pretended
statistical account, but I had little disposition for the task. Having,
however, good reason to think it was aimed covertly at General
Lafayette, with the intention to prove his ignorance of the America he
so much applauded, I yielded to his repeated requests, and wrote a hasty
letter to him, dissecting, as well as my knowledge and limited access
to authorities permitted, the mistakes of the other side. This letter
produced replies, and the controversy was conducted through different
channels, and by divers agents, up to a time when the varying and
conflicting facts of our opponents appeared to be pretty well exhausted.
It was then announced that instructions had been sent to America to
obtain more authentic information; and we were promised a farther
exposure of the weakness of the American system, when the other side
should receive this re-enforcement to their logic.[7]

[Footnote 7: No such exposure has ever been made; and the writer
understood, some time before he quitted France, that the information
received from America proved to be so unsatisfactory, that the attempt
was abandoned. The writer, in managing his part of the discussion,
confined himself principally to the state of New York, being in
possession of more documents in reference to his own state, than to any
other. Official accounts, since published, have confirmed the accuracy
of his calculations; the actual returns varying but a few sous a head
from his own estimates, which were in so much too liberal, or against
his own side of the question.]

I have no intention of going over this profitless controversy with you,
and have adverted to it here, solely with a view to make you acquainted
with a state of feeling in a portion of our people, that it may be
useful not only to expose, but correct.[8]

[Footnote 8: See my _Letter to General Lafayette_, published by Baudry,
Paris.]

LETTER IV.

Gradual disappearance of the Cholera.--Death of M. Casimir Perier.--His
Funeral.--Funeral of General Lamarque.--Magnificent Military
Escort.--The Duc de Fitzjames.--An Alarm.--First symptoms of popular
Revolt.--Scene on the Pont Royal.--Charge on the people by a body of
cavalry.--The _Sommations_.--General Lafayette and _the Bonnet
Rouge_.--Popular Prejudices in France. England, and America.--Contest in
the Quartier Montmartre.--The Place Louis XVI.--A frightened
Sentinel.--Picturesque Bivouac of troops in the Carousel.--Critical
situation.--Night-view from the Pont des Arts.--Appearance of the
Streets on the following morning.--England an enemy to Liberty.--Affair
at the Porte St. Denis.--Procession of Louis-Philippe through the
streets.--Contest in the St. Mary.--Sudden Panic.--Terror of a national
Guard and a young Conscript.--Dinner with a Courtier.--Suppression of
the Revolt.

Dear ----,

Events have thickened since my last letter. The cholera gradually
disappeared, until it ceased to be the subject of conversation. As soon
as the deaths diminished to two or three hundred a day, most people
became easy; and when they got below a hundred, the disease might be
said to be forgotten. But though the malady virtually disappeared, the
public was constantly reminded of its passage by the deaths of those
who, by force of extraordinary care, had been lingering under its fatal
influence. M. Casimir Perier was of the number, and his death has been
seized on as a good occasion to pass a public judgment on the measures
of the government of the _juste milieu_, of which he has been popularly
supposed to be the inventor, as well as the chief promoter. This
opinion, I believe, however, to be erroneous. The system of the _juste
milieu_ means little more than to profess one thing and to do another;
it is a stupendous fraud, and sooner or later will be so viewed and
appropriately rewarded. It is a profession of liberty, with a secret
intention to return to a government of force, availing itself of such
means as offer, of which the most obvious, at present, are the
stagnation of trade and the pressing necessities of all who depend on
industry, in a country that is taxed nearly beyond endurance. Neither M.
Perier, nor any other man, is the prime mover of such a system; for it
depends on the Father of Lies, who usually employs the most willing
agents he can discover. The inventor of the policy, _sub Diabolo_, is
now in London. M. Perier had the merits of decision, courage, and
business talents; and, so far from being the founder of the present
system, he had a natural frankness, the usual concomitant of courage,
that, under other circumstances, I think, would have indisposed him to
its deceptions. But he was a manufacturer, and his spinning-jennies were
very closely connected with his political faith. Another state of the
market would, most probably, have brought him again into the liberal
ranks.

The funeral obsequies of M. Perier having been loudly announced as a
test of public opinion, I walked out, the morning they took place, to
view the pomp. It amounted to little more than the effect which the
patronage of the ministry can at any time produce. There was a display
of troops and of the _employes_ of the government, but little apparent
sympathy on the part of the mass of the population. As the deceased was
a man of many good qualities, this indifference was rather studied,
proceeding from the discipline and collision of party politics. As an
attempt to prove that the _juste milieu_ met with popular approbations I
think the experiment was a failure.

Very different was the result, in a similar attempt made by the
opposition, at the funeral of General Lamarque. This distinguished
officer fell also a victim to the cholera, and his interment took place
on the 4th of June. The journals of the opposition had called upon its
adherents to appear on this occasion, in order to convince the King and
his ministers that they were pursuing a dangerous course, and one in
which they were not sustained by the sentiment of the nation. The
preparations wore a very different appearance from those made on the
previous occasion. Then everything clearly emanated from authority; now,
the government was visible in little besides its arrangements to
maintain its own ascendency. The military rank of the deceased entitled
him to a military escort, and this was freely accorded to his friends;
perhaps the more freely, from the fact that it sanctioned the presence
of so many more bayonets than were believed to be at the command of the
ministers. It was said there were twenty thousand of the National Guards
present in uniform, wearing, however, only their side-arms. This number
may have been exaggerated, but there certainly were a great many. The
whole procession, including the troops, has been estimated at a hundred
thousand men. The route was by the Boulevards to the Jardin des Plantes,
where the body was to be delivered to the family of the deceased, in
order to be transported to the South of France for interment. Having
other engagements, I merely viewed the preparations, and the
commencement of the ceremonies, when I returned to our own quiet quarter
of the town to pursue my own quiet occupations.

The day passed quietly enough with us, for the Faubourg St. Germain has
so many large hotels, and so few shops, that crowds are never common;
and, on this occasion, all the floating population appeared to have
completely deserted us, to follow the procession of poor Lamarque. I do
not remember to have alluded to the change produced in this particular,
by the cholera, in the streets of Paris. It is supposed that at least
ten thousand of those who have no other abodes, except the holes into
which they crept at night, were swept out of them by this fell disease.

About five o'clock, I had occasion to go to the Rue de Rivoli, and I
found the streets and the garden with much fewer people in them than was
usual at that hour. There I heard a rumour that a slight disturbance had
taken place on the Boulevard des Italiens, in consequence of a refusal
of the Duc de Fitzjames, a leading Carlist, to take off his hat to the
body of Lamarque, as he stood at a balcony. I had often met M. de
Fitzjames in society, and, although a decided friend of the old regime,
I knew his tone of feeling and manners to be too good, to credit a tale
so idle. By a singular coincidence, the only time I had met with General
Lamarque in private was at a little dinner given by Madame de M----, at
which Monsieur de Fitzjames was also a guest. We were but five or six at
table, and nothing could be more amicable, or in better taste, than the
spirit of conciliation and moderation that prevailed between men so
widely separated by opinion. This was not long before Gen. Lamarque was
attacked by his final disease, and as there appeared to me to be
improbability in the rumour of the affair of the Boulevards, I quite
rightly set it down as one of the exaggerations that daily besiege our
ears. It being near six, I consequently returned home to dinner,
supposing that the day would end as so many had ended before.

We were at table, or it was about half-past six o'clock, when the drum
beat the _rappel_. At one period, scarcely a day passed that we did not
hear this summons; indeed, so frequent did it become, that I make little
doubt the government resorted to it as an expedient to strengthen
itself, by disgusting the National Guards with the frequency of the
calls; but of late, the regular weekly parades excepted, we had heard
nothing of it. A few minutes later, Francois, who had been sent to the
_porte-cochere_, returned with the intelligence that a soldier of the
National Guard had just passed it, bleeding at a wound in the head. On
receiving this information, I left the hotel and proceeded towards the
river. In the Rue du Bac, the great thoroughfare of the faubourg, I
found a few men, and most of the women, at their shop-doors, and
_portes-cocheres_, but no one could say what was going on in the more
distant quarters of the town. There were a few people on the quays and
bridges, and, here and there, a solitary National Guard was going to his
place of rendezvous. I walked rapidly through the garden, which, at that
hour, was nearly empty, as a matter of course, and passing under the
arch of the palace, crossed the court and the Carrousel to la Rue de
Richelieu. A profound calm reigned in and about the chateau; the
sentinels and loungers of the Guards seeming as tranquil as usual. There
was no appearance of any coming and going with intelligence, and I
inferred that the royal family was either at St. Cloud, or at Neuilly.
Very few people were in the Place, or in the streets; but those who
were, paused occasionally, looking about them with curiosity, and almost
uniformly in a bewildered and inquiring manner.

I had reached the colonnade of the Theatre Francais, when a strong party
of _gendarmes a cheval_ went scouring up the street, at a full gallop.
Their passage was so swift and sudden, that I cannot say in which
direction they came, or whither they went, with the exception that they
took the road to the Boulevards. A _gendarme a pied_ was the only person
near me, and I asked him, if he could explain the reason of the
movement. "_Je n'en sais rien_," in the _brusque_ manner that the French
soldiers are a little apt to assume, when it suits their humours, was
all the reply I got.

I walked leisurely into the galleries of the Palais Royal, which I had
never before seen so empty. There was but a single individual in the
garden, and he was crossing it swiftly, in the direction of the theatre.
A head was, now and then, thrust out of a shop-door, but I never before
witnessed such a calm in this place, which is usually alive with people.
Passing part of the way through one of the glazed galleries, I was
started by a general clatter that sprung up all around me in every
direction, and which extended itself entirely around the whole of the
long galleries. The interruption to the previous profound quiet, was as
sudden as the report of a gun, and it became general, as it were, in an
instant. I can liken the effect, after allowing for the difference in
the noises, to that of letting fly sheets, tacks, and halyards, on board
a vessel of war, in a squall, and to a sudden call to shorten sail. The
place was immediately filled with men, women, and children, and the
clatter proceeded from the window-shutters that were going up all over
the vast edifice, at the same moment. In less than five minutes there
was not a shop-window exposed.

Still there was no apparent approach of danger. The drums had almost
ceased beating, and as I reached the Carrousel, on my way back to the
Rue St. Dominique, I saw nothing in the streets to justify all this
alarm, which was either the result of a panic, or was calculated for
political effect; artifice acting on apprehension. A few people were
beginning to collect on the bridges and quays, and there was evidently a
greater movement towards the Pont Neuf, than in the lower parts of the
town. As I crossed the Pont Royal, a brigade of light artillery came up
the quays from the Ecole Militaire, the horses on the jump, and the men
seated on the carriages, or mounted, as belongs to this arm. The noise
and hurry of their passage was very exciting, and it gave an impulse to
the shopkeepers of the Rue du Bac, most of whom now began to close their
windows. The guns whirled across the bridge, and dashed into the
Carrousel, on a gallop, by the _guichet_ of the Louvre.

Continuing down the Rue du Bac, the street was full of people, chiefly
females, who were anxiously looking towards the bridge. One _garcon_, as
he aided his master in closing the shop-window, was edifying him with
anathemas against "_ces messieurs les republicains_," who were believed
to be at the bottom of the disturbance, and for whom he evidently
thought that the artillery augured badly. The next day he would be ready
to shout _vive la republique_ under a new impulse; but, at present, it
is "_vive le commerce_!"

On reaching the hotel, I gave my account of what was going on, pacified
the apprehensions that had naturally been awakened, and sallied forth a
second time, to watch the course of events.

By this time some forty or fifty National Guards were collected on the
quay, by the Pont Royal, a point where there ought to have been several
hundreds. This was a sinister omen for the government, nor was the
appearance of the crowd much more favourable. Tens of thousands now
lined the quays, and loaded the bridges; nor were these people rabble,
or _sans culottes_, but decent citizens, most of whom observed a grave,
and, as I thought, a portentous silence. I make no manner of doubt that
had a thousand determined men appeared among them at that moment, headed
by a few leaders of known character, the government of Louis-Philippe
would have dissolved like melting snow. Neither the National Guard, the
army, nor the people were with it. Every one evidently waited the issue
of events, without manifesting much concern for the fate of the present
regime. Indeed it is not easy to imagine greater apathy, or indifference
to the result, than was nearly everywhere visible. A few shopkeepers
alone seemed troubled.

On the Pont Royal a little crowd was collected around one or two men of
the labouring classes, who were discussing the causes of the
disturbance. First questioning a respectable-looking by-stander as to
the rumours, I mingled with the throng, in order to get an idea of the
manner in which the _people_ regarded the matter. It would seem that a
collision had taken place between the troops and a portion of the
citizens, and that a charge had been made by a body of cavalry on some
of the latter, without having observed the formalities required by the
law. Some of the people had raised the cry "_aux arms_;" several _corps
de garde_ had been disarmed, and many thousands were rallying in defence
of their liberties. In short everything wore the appearance of the
commencement of another revolution. The point discussed by the crowd,
was the right of the dragoons to charge a body of citizens without
reading the riot act, or making what the French call, the
"_sommations_." I was struck with the plain common sense of one or two
of the speakers, who were of the class of artisans, and who uttered more
good reason, and displayed more right feeling, in the five minutes I
listened, than one is apt to meet with, on the same subjects, in a year,
in the salons of Paris. I was the more struck by this circumstance, in
consequence of the manner in which the same topic had been broached,
quite lately, in the Chamber of Deputies.

In one of the recent affairs in the east of France, the troops had fired
on a crowd, without the previous _sommations_, in consequence, as was
alleged, of some stones being hurled from the crowd against themselves.
Every one, who has the smallest knowledge of a government of laws,
understands its action in an affair of this sort. Ten thousand people
are in a street, in their own right, and half a dozen of them commit an
outrage. Military force becomes necessary, but before it is applied
certain forms are required, to notify the citizen that his ordinary
rights are suspended, in the interests of public order, and to warn him
to go away. This is a provision that the commonest intellect can
understand; and yet some of the leading administration men, _lawyers
too_, maintained that soldiers had the rights of other men, and if
stones were hurled at them from a crowd, they were perfectly justifiable
in using their arms against that crowd! It is only necessary, you will
perceive, to employ an agent, or two, to cast a few stones from a crowd,
to place every collection of citizens at the mercy of an armed force, on
this doctrine. A soldier has the right of a citizen to defend himself
beyond dispute, against the man who assails him; but a citizen who is
assailed from a crowd has no right to discharge a pistol into that
crowd, by way of defending himself. But this is of a piece with most of
the logic of the friends of exclusion. Their cause is bad, and their
reasoning is necessarily bad also.

From the Pont Royal I proceeded to the Pont Neuf, where the collection
of people was still more numerous, every eye being fastened on the quays
in the direction of the Place de la Bastille, near which the disturbance
had commenced. Nothing, however, was visible, though, once or twice, we
heard a scattering fire of musketry. I waited here an hour, but nothing
farther was heard, and, according to promise, I returned to the hotel,
to repeat the little I had seen and gathered. In passing, I observed
that the number of National Guards at the Pont Royal had increased to
about a hundred.

After quieting the apprehensions of my family, I proceeded to quiet
those of a lady of my acquaintance, who was nearly alone in her
lodgings. I found her filled with apprehensions, and firmly believing
that the present government was to be overturned. Among other things,
she told me that the populace had drawn General Lafayette, in triumph,
to his own house, and that, previously to the commencement of the
conflict, he had been presented with a _bonnet rouge_, which he had put
upon his head. The _bonnet rouge_, you will understand, with all
Frenchmen is a symbol of extreme Jacobinism, and of the reign of terror.
I laughed at her fears, and endeavoured to convince her that the idle
tale about General Lafayette could not be true. So far from wishing to
rule by terror, it was his misfortune not to resort to the measures of
caution that were absolutely necessary to maintain his own legal
ascendancy, whenever he got into power. He was an enthusiast for
liberty, and acted on the principle that others were as well disposed
and as honest as himself. But to all this she turned a deaf ear, for,
though an amiable and a sensible woman, she had been educated in the
prejudices of a caste, being the daughter and sister of peers of France.

I found the tale about General Lafayette quite rife, on going again
into the streets. The disposition to give credit to vulgar reports of
this nature, is not confined to those whose condition in life naturally
dispose them to believe the worst of all above them, for the
vulgar-minded form a class more numerous than one might be induced to
think, on glancing a look around him. Liberality and generosity of
feeling is the surest test of a gentleman; but, in addition to those of
training and of a favourable association, except in very peculiar cases,
they are apt to require some strong natural advantages, to help out the
tendencies of breeding and education. Every one who has seen much of the
world, must have remarked the disposition, on the part of those who have
not had the same opportunities, to cavil at opinions and usages that
they cannot understand, merely because they do not come within the
circle of their own every-day and familiar usages. Our own country
abounds with these rustic critics; and I can remember the time when
there was a species of moral impropriety attached to practices that did
not enter into every man's habits. It was almost deemed immoral to
breakfast or dine at an hour later than one's neighbour. Now, just this
sort of feeling, one quite as vulgar, and much more malignant, prevails
in Europe against those who may see fit to entertain more liberal
notions in politics than others of their class. In England, I have
already told you, the system is so factitious, and has been so artfully
constructed, by blending church and state, that it must be an uncommonly
clever man who, in politics, can act vigorously on the golden rule of
Christ, that of doing "unto others, as you would have others do unto
you," and escape the imputation of infidelity! A desire to advance the
interests of his fellow-creatures, by raising them in the social scale,
is almost certain to cause a man to be set down as destitute of morals
and honesty. By imputations of this nature, the efforts and influence of
some of the best men England has ever produced, have been nearly
neutralized, and there is scarcely a distinguished liberal in the
kingdom, at this moment, whom even the well-meaning of the
church-and-state party do not regard with a secret distrust of his
intentions and character. In the practice of imitation this feeling has
even extended (though in a mitigated form) to America, a country in
which, were the truth felt and understood, a man could not possibly
fulfil all the obligations of education and superior training, without
being of the party of the people. Many gentlemen in America, beyond
dispute, are not of the popular side, but I am of opinion that they make
a fundamental mistake as _gentlemen_. They have permitted the vulgar
feelings generated by contracted associations and the insignificant
evils of a neighbourhood, to still within them the high feelings and
generous tendencies that only truly belong to the caste.

In France, the English feeling, modified by circumstances, is very
apparent, although it is not quite so much the fashion to lay stress on
mere morality. The struggle of selfishness and interests is less veiled
and mystified in France than on the other side of the Channel. But the
selfish principle, if anything, is more active; and few struggle hard
for others, without being suspected of base motives.

By looking back at the publications of the time, you will learn the
manner in which Washington was vituperated by his enemies, at the
commencement of the revolution. Graydon, in his "Memoirs of a Life spent
in Pennsylvania," mentions a discourse he held with a young English
officer, who evidently was well disposed, and wished to know the truth.
This gentleman had been taught to believe Washington an adventurer, who
had squandered the property of a young widow whom he had married, by
gambling and dissipation, and who was now ready to embark in any
desperate enterprise to redeem his fortune! This, then, was probably the
honest opinion the British army, in 1776, entertained of the man, whom
subsequent events have shown to have been uniformly actuated by the
noblest sentiments, and who, instead of being the adventurer
represented, is known to have put in jeopardy a large estate, through
disinterested devotion to the country, and the prevailing predominant
trait of whose character was an inflexible integrity of purpose. Now,
Lafayette is obnoxious to a great deal of similar vulgar feeling,
without being permitted, by circumstances, to render the purity of his
motives as manifest, as was the better fortune of his great model,
Washington. The unhandsome and abrupt manner in which he was dismissed
from the command of the National Guards, though probably a
peace-offering to the allies, was also intended to rob him of the credit
of a voluntary resignation.[9]--But, all this time, we are losing sight
of what is passing in the streets of Paris.

[Footnote 9: General Lafayette took the republican professions of the
King too literally, at first, and he did not always observe the
_menagement_, perhaps, that one seated on a throne, even though it be a
popular one, is apt to expect. In 1830 he told the writer the King had,
that morning, said, that some about him called the General a "maire du
palais." On being asked if the King appeared to entertain the same
notion, his answer was, "Well, he professes not to do so; but then I
think he has _tant soit peu_ of the same feeling." This was ticklish
ground to stand on with a sovereign, and, perhaps, a case without a
parallel in France, since the days of Hugues Capet. A few weeks later,
General Lafayette related another conversation held with Louis-Philippe,
on the subject of his own unceremonious dismissal from office. "You

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