Full Text Archive logoFull Text Archive — Books, poems, drama…

After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819 by Major W. E Frye

Part 3 out of 8

Adobe PDF icon
Download this document as a .pdf
File size: 0.9 MB
What's this? light bulb idea Many people prefer to read off-line or to print out text and read from the real printed page. Others want to carry documents around with them on their mobile phones and read while they are on the move. We have created .pdf files of all out documents to accommodate all these groups of people. We recommend that you download .pdfs onto your mobile phone when it is connected to a WiFi connection for reading off-line.

like compulsion; they are besides more pacific than war-like and tho' like
the Dutch they have displayed great valour where their interest is at
stake, yet Mercury is a deity far more in veneration among them than
Bellona. The natural talent of this people is great, and it has been
favoured and developed by the freedom of their institutions; and this
republic has produced too many eminent men for that talent to be called in
question; they seem to have decided talents and dispositions for financial
operations. A Genevois has the aptitude of great application united to a
very discerning, natural genius, and he generally succeeds in everything he
undertakes. Literature is much cultivated here, and the females, who are
in general handsome and graceful, excel not only in the various feminine
accomplishments, such as music, dancing and drawing, but they carry their
researches into the higher branches of litterature and science and acquire
with great facility foreign languages. It is true that you now and then
meet with a little pedantry on the part of the young men and some of the
young women are _tant soit feu precieuses_; and you may guess from their
conversation, which is sometimes forced, that the person who speaks has
been learning his discourse by heart from some book in the morning, with
the intention of sporting it as a natural conversation in the evening. In
short, one does not meet with that _abandon_ in society that is to be met
with in Paris; you must measure your words well to shine in a Genevese
society. This, however, is a very pardonable sort of coxcombry; and tho' it
appear sometimes pedantic, and occasionally laughable, yet it tends to
encourage learning and science, and compels the young men to read in order
to shine and captivate the fair.

The Genevese women make excellent wives and mothers; and many strangers,
struck with their beauty and talent, as well as with the _agremens_ of the
country in general, marry at Geneva and settle themselves there for life.
It is observed that the Genevoises are so attached to their country that on
forming a matrimonial connection with foreigners, they always stipulate
that they shall not be removed from it. On the dismemberment of the Empire
of Napoleon, Geneva was _agrege_ to the Helvetic Confederation, as an
independent Canton of which there are now twenty-two. Three, viz. Geneva,
Vaud, and Neufchatel, are French in language and manners. One, the Tessino,
is Italian, and the remaining eighteen are all German. It is a great
advantage to Geneva to belong to the Helvetic Confederacy, as formerly,
when she was an isolated independent state, she was in continual dread of
being swallowed up by one or other of her two powerful neighbours, France
and the King of Sardinia, and only existed by their forbearance and mutual
jealousy.

I walked out one morning to Ferney in order to visit the chateau of
Voltaire and to do hommage to the memory of that great man, the benefactor
of the human race. It was he who gave the mortal blow to superstition and
to the power of the clergy. It is the fashion for priests, Ultras and
Tories to rail against him, but I judge him by his works and the effect of
his works. His memory is held in reverence by the inhabitants of Ferney as
their father and benefactor. He spent his whole fortune in acts of the most
disinterested charity; he saved entire families from ruin and portioned off
many a young woman who was deprived of the gifts of fortune and enabled
them to form happy matrimonial connections; in short, doing good seems to
have been one of the most ardent passions of his soul. In three memorable
instances he shewed his hatred of cruelty and injustice, and unmasked
triumphantly ecclesiastical imposture and fanaticism. He has been
reproached with vanity, but surely that may be pardoned in a man who
received the hommage of the whole literary world, who was considered as an
oracle, and whose every sentence was recorded; whose talent was so
universal, that he excelled in every branch of litterature that he
undertook.

Ferney, which was only a miserable village when Voltaire first took up his
residence there, is now a large flourishing and opulent town.

I found Voltaire's Chateau occupied by a fat heavy Swiss Officer who was on
duty there, Ferney being at this moment occupied by the troops of the Swiss
confederation. He was at breakfast, but on my stating to him that I was
come to see the apartments of Voltaire he directed the housekeeper to shew
them to me. On the left hand side after ascending a flight of steps, before
you come into the Chateau, is a Chapel built by Voltaire with this simple
inscription: "_Deo erexit Voltaire_." In the apartment usually occupied by
him for the purpose of composition, are preserved his chair, table,
inkstand and bed as sacred relics; and in the Salon are to be seen the
portraits of several public characters, his contemporaries, and which were
constantly appended there in his life time. Among these portraits I
distinguished those of Frederick the Great of Prussia, Catherine II of
Russia, Lekain, Diderot, Alembert, Franklin, Helvetius, Marmontel and
Washington, besides many others. There is nothing remarkable either in the
Chateau, or in the gardens appertaining to it; but as it stands on an
elevation, it commands a fine view, which is so well described in that ode
which begins:

O maison d'Aristippe, o jardins d'Epicure!

I returned to Geneva and dined with my friend M. Picot the banker, who
presented me to his brother's family, which I found a very amiable one, and
I was particularly delighted with his father, a fine venerable old man, who
is a pastor of the Church of Geneva and a great admirer of our poets
Thomson and Milton.

I have made acquaintance at the _Ecu de Geneve_ with a very gallant and
accomplished officer, the Chevalier Zadera, a Pole by birth and a Colonel
in the French army.[51] He had been on the staff of the Prince d'Eckmuehl at
Hamburgh and had served previously in St Domingo, in Germany and in Italy.
He had just quitted the French service, having a great repugnance to serve
under the Bourbon dynasty, and he is about to go to Italy on private
business. He seems a very well informed man and well versed in French,
Italian and German litterature. He also understands well to read and write
English and speaks it, but not at all fluently. He acquired his English in
the United States of America, whither he went when he escaped from the
horrors of St Domingo. By the Americans he was received with open arms and
unbounded hospitality as the compatriot of Pulaski who fell gloriously
fighting in their cause, the cause of liberty, at the battle of Savannah.
He was liberally supplied with money by several individuals without the
smallest expectation or chance of repayment at the time, and was forwarded
in this manner from town to town and from state to state throughout the
whole Union; so that the tour he made and the time he passed in that land
of liberty, he reckons as far the most agreeable epoch of his life. One
evening at the _Ecu de Geneve_ I found Zadera in altercation on political
subjects with two French Ultras who had been emigrants, a Genevois and a
Bernois, both anti-liberal. This was fearful odds for poor Zadera to be
alone against four _acharnes_. I sat down and espoused his cause and we
maintained our argument gloriously. The dispute began on the occasion of
Zadera condemning the harshness shewn by the government of Geneva towards
the _Conventionnels_ and others who were banished from France on the second
restoration of Louis XVIII by a vote of the _Chambre introuvable_ in
refusing them an asylum in the Republic and compelling them to depart
immediately in a very contumelious manner. I said it was inconsistent and
unworthy of the Genevese who called themselves republicans to persecute or
join in the persecution of the republicans of France in order to please
foreign despots. The others then began to be very violent with me. I
replied, "Messieurs, vous avez beau parler; les Genevois sont de tres bons
cambistes et les meilleurs banquiers de l'Europe, mais il ne sont pas bons
republicains."

Geneva has been so often described by tourists that I shall not attempt any
description except to remark that there are several good Cabinets and
collections of pictures belonging to individuals. There is a magnificent
public library. The manufactures are those of watches and models of the
Alps which are exceedingly ingenious. There are no theatrical amusements
here; and during divine service on Sunday the gates of the city are shut,
and neither ingress nor egress permitted; fortunately their liturgy (the
Calvinistic) is at least one hour shorter than the Anglican. Balls and
concerts take place here very often and the young Genevois of both sexes
are generally proficient in music. They amuse themselves too in summer with
the "tir de l'arc" in common with all the Swiss Cantons.

October 3rd.

I have been in doubt whether I should go to Lausanne, return to Paris or
extend my journey into Italy; but I have at length decided for the latter,
as Zadera, who intends to start immediately for Milan, has offered me a
place in his carriage _a frais communs_. I found him so agreeable a man and
possessing sentiments so analogous to my own that I eagerly embraced the
offer, and we are to cross the Simplon, so that I shall behold a travel
over that magnificent _chausee_ made by Napoleon's orders, which I have so
much desired to see and which everybody tells me is a most stupendous work
and exceeding anything ever made by the Romans. As the Chevalier has served
in Italy and was much _repandu_ in society there, I could not possibly have
a pleasanter companion. He has with him Dante and Alfieri, and I have
Gessner's _Idylls_ and my constant travelling companion Ariosto, so that we
shall have no loss for conversation, for when our native wits are
exhausted, a page or two from any of the above authors will suggest
innumerable ideas, anecdotes, and subjects of discourse.

MILAN, 10th Oct.

We started from Geneva at seven in the morning of the 4th October, and in
half an hour entered the Savoyard territory, of which _douaniers_ with blue
cockades (the cockade of the King of Sardinia) gave us intimation. The road
is on the South side of the lake Leman. In Evian and Thonon, the two first
villages we passed thro', we do not find that _aisance_, comfort and
cleanliness that is perceivable on the other side of the lake, in the
delightful Canton de Vaud. The double yoke of priestcraft and military
despotism presses hard upon the unhappy Savoyard and wrings from him his
hard-earned pittance, while no people are better off than the Vaudois; yet
the Savoyards are to the full as deserving of liberty as the Swiss. The
Savoyard possesses honesty, fidelity and industry in a superior degree, and
these qualities he seldom or ever loses, even when exposed to the
temptations of a great metropolis like Paris, to which they are compelled
to emigrate, as their own country is too poor to furnish the means of
subsistence to all its population. When in Paris and other large cities,
the Savoyards contrive, by the most indefatigable industry and incredible
frugality, to return to their native village after a certain lapse of time,
with a little fortune that is amply sufficient for their comfort. The
poorest Savoyard in Paris never fails to remit something for the support of
his parents. Both Voltaire and Rousseau have rendered justice to the good
qualities of this honest people. It is a thousand pities that this country
(Savoy) is not either incorporated with France, or made to form part of the
Helvetic confederacy.

On passing by La Meillerie we were reminded of "La nouvelle Heloise" and
the words of St Preux: "Le rocher est escarpe: l'eau est profonde et je
suis au desespoir." On the opposite side of the lake is to be seen the
little white town of Clarens, the supposed residence of the divine Julie. A
little beyond St Gingolph, which lies at the eastern extremity of the lake,
we quit Savoy and enter into the Valais, which now forms, a component part
of the Helvetic confederacy. German is the language spoken in the Valais.
As the high road into Italy passes thro' the whole length of this Canton,
Napoleon caused it to be separated from the Helvetic union and to form a
Republic apart, with the ulterior view and which he afterwards carried into
execution of annexing it to the French Empire. The Valais forms a long and
exceedingly narrow valley, thro' the whole length of which the Rhone flows
and falls into the lake Leman at St Gingolph. The breadth of this valley in
its widest part is not more probably than 1,000 yards, and in most places
considerably narrower, and it is enclosed on each side, or rather walled up
by the immense mountains of the higher Alps which rise here very abruptly
and seem to shut out this valley from the rest of the world. The high road
runs nearly parallel to the course of the Rhone and is sometimes on one
side of the river and sometimes on the other, communicating by bridges;
from the sinuosity of the road and the different points of view presented
by the salient and re-entering angles, of the mountains the scenery is
extremely picturesque, grand and striking, and as sometimes no outlet
presents itself to view, you do not perceive how you are ever to get out of
this valley but by a stratagem similar to that of Sindbad in the Valley of
Diamonds. At St Maurice is a remarkable one-arched bridge built by the
Romans. We stopped at Martigny to pass the night; within one mile of
Martigny and before arriving at it, we perceived the celebrated waterfall
called the _Pissevache_; and the appellation, though coarse, is perfectly
applicable. From Martigny a bridle road branches off which leads across the
Grand St Bernard to Aoste. The next morning we arrived at Sion, called in
the language of the country Sitten, the metropolis of the Valais; it is a
neat-looking and tolerably large town, and which from its position might be
made a most formidable military post, as there is a steep hill close to it
which rises abruptly from the centre of the valley, and commands an
extensive view east and west. Works erected on this height would enfilade
the whole road either way and totally obstruct the approach of an enemy.
There is besides a large castle on the southern _paroi_ of mountains which
hem in this valley, which would expose to a most galling fire and take in
flank completely those who should attempt to force the passage whether
coming from St Maurice or Brieg. We stopped two hours at Sion to mend a
wheel and this gave me time to ascend the mountain on which the castle
stands. There were several masons and workmen employed in the construction
of a church which they are erecting at the request and entire expense of
His Sardinian Majesty. I could not ascertain what were the reasons that
induced the King to build a church in a foreign territory. I did not
observe either on the road or in any of the village thro' which we passed
any striking specimen of Valaisan female beauty; but I often remarked the
prominent bosom that Rousseau describes as frequent among them. We met with
several _cretins_ or idiots, all of whom had _goitres_ in a greater or less
degree. These _souls of God without sin_, as the cretins are called, are
very merry souls; they always appear to be laughing. They seem to have
adopted and united three systems of philosophy: they are Diogenes as to
independence and neglect of decency and cleanliness; Democriti as to their
disposition to laugh perpetually; and Aristippi inasmuch as they seem to be
perfectly contented with their state. They are in general fat and well fed,
for the poorest inhabitants give them something. They have a good deal of
cunning, and many curious anecdotes are related of them which shews that
they are endowed with a sort of sagacity resembling the instinct of
animals. I recollect one myself mentioned by Zimmermann in his Essay on
Solitude, of a cretin who was accustomed to imitate with his voice the
sound of the village clock whenever it struck the hours and quarters; one
day, by some accident, the clock stopped; yet the cretin went through the
chimes of the hours and quarters with the same regularity as the clock
would have done had it been going.

We arrived at night at the village of Brieg at the foot of the Simplon and
put up at a very comfortable inn. Brieg and Glisse are two small villages
lying within a quarter of a mile distance from each other. The direct road
runs thro' Brieg and is a great advantage to this town; while Glisse lost
this benefit from the opposition shewn by its inhabitants to the annexation
of the Valais to the French Empire. They now deeply regret this refusal as
few travellers chuse to stop at Glisse.

_Passage of the Simplon_.

Chi mi dara la voce e le parole
Convenienti a si nobil soggetto?[52]

Who will vouchsafe me voice that shall ascend
As high as I would raise my noble theme?

--Trans. W.S. ROSE.

How shall I describe the Simplon and the impressions that magnificent piece
of work, the _chaussee_ across it, made on my mind? On arrival at the
village of the Simplon, which lies at nearly the greatest elevation off the
road and is more than half-way across, I wrote in my enthusiasm for the
author of this gigantic work, the following lines:

O viaggiator, se avessi tu veduto
Quel monte, pria che fosse il cammin fatto,
Leveresti le mani, e stupefatto
Diresti, "chi l'avrebbe mai creduto?
Son come quel d'Alcide i tuoi miracoli!
Vincesti, Napoleon', piu grandi ostacoli!"

Imagine a fine road or causeway broad enough for three carriages to go
abreast, cut in the flanks of the mountains, winding along their contours,
sometimes zigzag on the flank of one ravine, and sometimes turning off
nearly at right angles to the flank of another; separated from each other
by precipices of tremendous depth, and communicating by one-arched bridges
of surprising boldness; besides stone bridges at each re-entering angle, to
let pass off the water which flows from the innumerable cascades, which
fall from the summits of the mountains. Ice and snow eternal on the various
_pics_ or _aiguilles_ (as the summits are here called) which tower above
your head, and yet in the midst of these _belles horreurs_ the road is so
well constructed, so smooth, and the slope so gentle that when there are
fogs, which often happen here and prevent you from beholding the
surrounding scenery, you would suppose you were travelling on a plain the
whole time. Balustrades are affixed on the sides of the most abrupt
precipices and buttresses also in order to secure the exterior part of the
_chaussee_. On the whole length of the _chaussee_ on the exterior side are
conical stones of four feet in height at ten paces distant from each other,
in order to mark the road in case of its being covered with snow. There are
besides _maisons de refuge_ or cottages, at a distance of one league from
each other, wherein are stationed persons to give assistance and food to
travellers, or passengers who may be detained by the snow storms. There is
always in these cabins a plentiful supply of biscuit, cheese, salt and
smoked meats, wine, brandy and fire-wood. In those parts of the road where
the sides of the ravines are not sloping enough to admit of the road being
cut along them, subterraneous galleries have been pierced through the rock,
some of fifty, some of a hundred and more yards in length, and nearly as
broad as the rest of the road. In a word it appears to me the grandest work
imagined or made by man, and when combined with its extreme utility, far
surpasses what is related of the Seven Wonders of the world. There are
fifty-two bridges throughout the whole of this route, which begins at the
distance of three miles from Geneva, skirts the southern shore of the lake,
runs thro' the whole Valais, traverses the Simplon and issuing from the
gorges of the mountains at Domo d'Ossola terminates at Rho in the Milanese.
From Brieg to the toll-house, the highest part of the road, the distance is
about 18 miles. It made me dreadfully giddy to look down the various
precipices; and what adds to the vertigo one feels is the deafening noise
of the various waterfalls. As the road is cut zigzag, in many parts, you
appear to preserve nearly the same distance from Brieg after three hours'
march, as after half an hour only, since you have that village continually
under your eyes, nor do you lose sight of it till near the toll-house.
Brieg appears when viewed from various points of the road like the
card-houses of children, the Valais like a slip of green baize, and the
Rhone like a very narrow light blue ribband; and when at Brieg before you
ascend you look up at the toll-house, you would suppose it impossible for
any human being to arrive at such a height without the help of a balloon.
It reminded me of the castle of the enchanter in the _Orlando Furioso_, who
keeps Ruggiero confined and who rides on the Hippogriff.

The village of the Simplon is a mile beyond the toll-house, descending. We
stopped there for two hours to dine. A snow storm had fallen and the
weather was exceedingly cold; the mountain air had sharpened our appetite,
but we could get nothing but fish and eggs as it was a _jour maigre_, and
the Valaisans are rigid observers of the ordinances of the Catholic church.
We however, on assuring the landlord that we were _militaires_, prevailed
on him to let us have some ham and sausages. German is the language here.
The road from the toll-house to Domo d'Ossola (the first town at the foot
of the mountain on the Italian side) is a descent, but the slope is as
gentle as on the rest of the road. Fifteen miles beyond the village of the
Simplon stands the village of Isella, which is the frontier town of the
King of Sardinia, and where there is a rigorous _douane_, and ten miles
further is Domo d'Ossola, where we arrived at seven in the evening. Between
Isella and Domo d'Ossola the scenery becomes more and more romantic,
varying at every step, cataracts falling on all sides, and three more
galleries to pass. Domo d'Ossola appears a large and neat clean town, and
we put up at a very good inn. At Isella begins the Italian language, or
rather Piedmontese.

The next morning we proceeded on our journey till we reached Fariolo, which
is on the northern extremity of the _Lago Maggiore_. The road from Domo
d'Ossola thro' the villages of Ornavasso and Vagogna is thro' a fertile and
picturesque valley, or rather gorge, of the mountain, narrow at first, but
which gradually widens as you approach to the lake. The river Toso runs
nearly in a parallel direction with the road. The air is much milder than
in Switzerland, and you soon perceive the change of climate from its
temperature, as well as from the appearance of the vines and mulberry trees
and Indian corn called in this country _grano turco_.

At Fariolo, after breakfast, my friend Zadera took leave of me and embarked
his carriage on the lake in order to proceed to Lugano; and I who was bound
to Milan, having hired a cabriolet, proceeded to Arona, after stopping one
hour to refresh the horses at Belgirate. The whole road from Fariolo to
Arona is on the bank of the _Lago Maggiore_, and nothing can be more neat
than the appearance of all these little towns which are solidly and
handsomely built in the Italian taste.

Before I arrived at Arona, and at a distance of two miles from it, I
stopped in order to ascend a height at a distance of one-eighth of a mile
from the road to view the celebrated colossal statue in bronze of St
Charles Borromaeus, which may be seen at a great distance. It is seventy
cubits high, situated on a pedestal of twenty feet, to ascend which
requires a ladder. You then enter between his legs, or rather the folds of
his gown, and ascend a sort of staircase till you reach his head. There is
something so striking in the appearance of this black gigantic figure when
viewed from afar, and still more when you are at the foot of it, that you
would suppose yourself living in the time of fairies and enchanters, and it
strongly reminded me of the Arabian Nights, as if the statue were the work
of some Genie or Peri; or as if it were some rebel Genius transformed into
black marble by Solomon the great Prophet. I am not very well acquainted
with the life and adventures of this Saint, but he was of the Borromean
family, who are the most opulent proprietors of the Milanese. Every tract
of land, palace, castle, farm in the environs of Arona seem to belong to
them. If you ask whose estate is that? whose villa is that? whose castle is
that? the answer is, to the Count Borromeo, who seems to be as universal a
proprietor here as _Nong-tong-paw_ at Paris or _Monsieur Kaniferstane_ at
Amsterdam.[53] Arona is a large, straggling but solidly built town, and
presents nothing worth notice.

We proceeded on our journey the next morning. Shortly after leaving Arona,
the road diverges from the lake and traverses a thick wood until it reaches
the banks of the Tessino; on the other bank of which, communicating by
means of a flying bridge, stands the town of Sesto Calende. The Tessino
divides and forms the boundary between the Sardinian and Austrian
territory, and Sesto Calende is the frontier of His Imperial, Royal and
Apostolic Majesty. After a rigorous search of my portmanteau at the
_Douane_, and exhibiting my passport, I was allowed to proceed on my
journey to Milan.

At Rho, where I stopped to dine, stands a remarkably ancient tree said to
have been planted in the time of Augustus. The country presents a perfect
plain, highly cultivated, all the way from Sesto to Milan. The _chaussee_
is broad and admirably well kept up and lined on both sides with poplars.
The roads in Lombardy are certainly the finest in Europe. I entered Milan
by the gate which leads direct to the esplanade between the citadel and the
city, and drove to the _Pension Suisse_, which is in a street close to the
Cathedral and Ducal palace.

MILAN, 12 October.

I am just returned from the _Teatro della Scala_, renowned for its immense
size: it certainly is the most stupendous theatre I ever beheld and even
surpassed the expectation I had formed of it, so much so that I remained
for some minutes lost in astonishment. I was much struck with the
magnificence of the scenery and decorations. An _Opera_ and _Ballo_ are
given every night, and the same are repeated for a month, when they are
replaced by new ones. The boxes are all hired by the year by the different
noble and opulent families, and in the _Parterre_ the price is only thirty
soldi or sous, about fifteen pence English, for which you are fully as well
regaled as at the _Grand Opera_ at Paris for three and a half francs and
far better than at the Italian theatre in London for half a guinea. The
opera I saw represented is called _L'Italiana in Algieri_, opera buffa, by
Rossini.

The _Ballo_ was one of the most magnificent spectacles I ever beheld. The
scenery and decorations are of the first class and superior even to those
of the _Grand Opera_ at Paris. The _Ballo_ was called _Il Cavaliere del
Tempio_. The story is taken from an occurrence that formed an episode in
the history of the Crusades and which has already furnished to Walter Scott
the subject of a very pleasing ballad entitled the _Fire-King_, or _Count
Albert and Fair Rosalie_. Battles of foot and horse with real horses,
Christians and Moslems, dancing, incantations, excellent and very
appropriate music leave nothing to be desired to the ravished spectator. In
the _Ballo_ all is done in pantomime and the acting is perfect. The
Italians seem to inherit from their ancestors the faculty of representing
by dumb show the emotions of the mind as well as the gestures of the body,
and in this they excel all other modern nations. The dancing is not quite
so good as what one sees at the Paris theatre, and besides that sort of
dancing they are very fond in Italy of grotesque dances which appear to me
to be mere _tours de force_. But the decorations are magnificent, and the
cost must be great.

It was a fine moonlight night on my return from the _Scala_, which gave a
very pleasing effect to the _Duomo_ or Cathedral as I passed by it. The
innumerable aiguilles or spires of the most exquisite and delicate
workmanship, tapering and terminating in points all newly whitened, gave
such an appearance of airiness and lightness to this beautiful building
that it looked more visionary than substantial, and as if a strong puff of
wind would blow it away. The next morning I went to visit the Cathedral in
detail. It stands in the place called _Piazza del Duomo_. On this _piazza_
stands also the Ducal Palace; the principal cafes and the most splendid
shops are in the same _piazza_, which forms the morning lounge of Milan.
Parallel to one side of the _Duomo_ runs the _Corsia de' Servi_, the widest
and most fashionable street in Milan, the resort of the _beau monde_ in the
evening, and leading directly out to the _Porta Orientale_. The Cathedral
appears to me certainly the most striking Gothic edifice I ever beheld. It
is as large as the Cathedral of Notre Dame at Paris, and the architecture
of the interior is very massive. There is little internal ornament,
however, except the tomb or mausoleum of St Charles Borromeo, round which
is a magnificent railing; there are also the statues of this Saint and of
St Ambrogio. There are several well-executed bas-reliefs on the outside of
the Church, from Scripture subjects, and the view from any of the balconies
of the spires is very extensive. On the North the Alps, covered with snow
and appearing to rise abruptly within a very short horizon, tho' their
distance from Milan is at least sixty or seventy miles; and on all the
other sides a vast and well-cultivated plain as far as the eye can reach,
thickly studded with towns and villages, and the immense city of Milan nine
miles in circumference at your feet. The streets in general in Milan are
well paved; there is a line of trottoir on each side of the street
equi-distant from the line of houses; so that these trottoirs seem to be
made for the carriage wheels to roll on, and not for the foot passengers,
who must keep within the space that lies between the trottoirs and line of
houses. With the exception of the _Piazza del Duomo_ there is scarcely
anything that can be called a _piazza_ in all Milan, unless irregular and
small open places may be dignified with that name; the houses and buildings
are extremely solid in their construction and handsome in their appearance.
A canal runs thro' the city and leads to Pavia; on this canal are stone
bridges of a very solid construction. The shops in Milan are well stored
with merchandize, and make a very brilliant display. The finest street,
without doubt, is the _Corsia de' Servi_. In the part of it that lies
parallel to the Cathedral, it is about as broad as the _Rue St Honore_ at
Paris; but two hundred yards beyond it, it suddenly widens and is then
broader than Portland Place the whole way to the _Porta Orientale_. On the
left hand of this street, on proceeding from the Cathedral to the _Porta
Orientale_, is a beautiful and extensive garden; an ornamental iron railing
separates it from the street. From the number of fine trees here there is
so much shade therefrom that it forms a very agreeable promenade during the
heat of the day. On the right hand side of the _Corsia de' Servi_,
proceeding from the Cathedral, are the finest buildings (houses of
individuals) in Milan, among which I particularly distinguished a superb
palace built in the best Grecian taste with a colonnaded portico,
surmounted by eight columns. Just outside the _Porta Orientale_ is the
_Corso_, with a fine spacious road with _Allees_ on each side lined with
trees. The _Corso_ forms the evening drive and _promenade a cheval_ of the
_beau monde_. I have seen nowhere, except in Hyde Park, such a brilliant
show of equipages as on the Corso of Milan. I observe that the women
display a great _luxe de parure_ at this promenade.

The women here appear to me in general handsome, and report says not at all
cruel. They have quite a _fureur_ for dress and ornaments, hi the adapting
of which, however, they have not so much taste as the French women have.
The Milanese women do not understand the _simplicite recherchee_ in their
attire, and are too fond of glaring colours. The Milanese women are accused
of being too fond of wine, and a calculation has been made that two bottles
_per diem_ are drank by each female in Milan; but, supposing this
calculation were true, let not the English be startled, for the wine of
this, country is exceedingly light, lighter indeed than the weakest
Burgundy wine; indeed, I conceive that two bottles of Lombard wine are
scarce equivalent in strength to four wine glasses of Port wine. The
Lombards for this reason never drink water with their wine; and indeed it
is not necessary, for I am afraid that all the wine drank in Milan is
already baptised before it leaves the hands of the vendor, except that
reserved for the priesthood; such, at any rate, was the case before the
French Revolution, and no doubt the wine sellers would oppose the abolition
of so _ancient_ and _sacred_ a custom. The Milanese are a gay people,
hospitable and fond of pleasure: they are more addicted to the pleasures of
the table than the other people of Italy, and dinner parties are in
consequence much more frequent here than in other Italian towns. The women
here are said to be much better educated than in the rest of Italy, for
Napoleon took great pains to promote and encourage female instruction, well
knowing that to be the best means of regenerating a country.

The dialect spoken in the Milanese has a harsh nasal accent, to my ear
peculiarly disagreeable. Pure Italian or Tuscan is little spoken here, and
that only to foreigners. French, on the contrary, is spoken a good deal;
but the Milanese, male and female, among one another, speak invariably the
_patois_ of the country, which has more analogy to the French than to the
Italian, but without the grace or euphony of either.

I have visited likewise the _Zecca_, or Mint, where I observed the whole
process of coining. They still continue to coin here Napoleons of gold and
silver, with the date of 1814, and they coin likewise crowns or dollars
with Maria Theresa's head, with the date of the last year of her reign. The
double Napoleon of forty _franchi_ of the Kingdom of Italy is a beautiful
coin; on the run are the words, _Dio protegge l'Italia_. It may not be
unnecessary to remark that in Italy by the word _Napoleone_, as a coin, is
meant the five franc piece with the head of Napoleon, and a twenty franc
gold piece is called _Napoleone d'oro_.

At the _Zecca_ I was shown some gold, silver and bronze medals, struck in
commemoration of the formation of the Lombardo-Venetian Kingdom, under the
sceptre of Austria. They bear the following inscription, which, if I
recollect aright, is from Horace:

Redeunt in aurum
Tempora priscum,[54]

but this golden age is considered by the Italians as a very leaden one; and
it seems to bear as much analogy to the golden age, as the base Austrian
copper coin, daubed over with silver, and made to pass for fifteen and
thirty soldi, has to the real gold and silver _Napoleoni_, which by the way
are said to be fast disappearing; they are sent to Vienna, and Milan will
probably be in time blessed with a similar paper currency to that of
Vienna.

Napoleon seems to be as much regretted by the Milanese as the Austrian
Government is abhorred; in fact, everybody speaks with horror and disgust
of the _aspro boreal scettro_ and of the _aquila che mangia doppio_, an
allusion taken from the arms of Austria, the double-headed Eagle.

I have visited the ancient Ducal, now the Royal, Palace; it is a spacious
building, chaste in its external appearance, but its ulterior very
magnificent; its chiefest treasures are the various costly columns and
pilasters of marble and of _jaune antique_ which are to be met with. The
_salle de danse_ is peculiarly elegant, and in one of the apartments is a
fine painting on the plafond representing Jupiter hurling thunderbolts on
the Giants. Jupiter bears the head of Napoleon. Good God! how this man was
spoiled by adulation!

The staircase of the Palace is superb, and the furniture is of the most
elegant description, being faithfully and classically modelled after the
antique Roman and Grecian. After visiting the Ambrosian library (by the
way, it is quite absurd to visit a library unless you employ whole days to
inspect the various editions), I went to the Hospital, which is a
stupendous building, and makes up 8,000 beds. The arrangement of this
hospital merits the greatest praise. I then peeped into several churches,
and I verily believe my conductor would have made me visit every church in
Milan, if I had not lost all patience, and cried out: _perche sempre
chiese? sempre chiese? andiamo a vedere altra cosa_. He conducted me then
to the citadel, or rather place where the citadel stood, and which now
forms a vast barrack for the Austrian troops. We then went to visit the
_Teatro Olimpico_, which was built by Napoleon. It is built in the style of
the Roman amphitheatres, but much more of an oval form than the Roman
amphitheatres were in general; that is to say, the transverse axis is much
longer in proportion to the conjugate diameter than is the case in the
Roman amphitheatres, and it is by no means so high. In the time of
Napoleon, games were executed in this circus in imitation of the games of
the ancients, for Napoleon had a great hankering to ape the Roman Caesars
in everything. There were, for instance, gymnastic exercises, races on
foot, horse races, chariot races like those of the Romans, combats of wild
beasts, and as water can be introduced into the arena, there were sometimes
exhibited _naumachiae_ or naval fights. These exhibitions were extremely
frequent at Milan during the vice-regency of Prince Eugene Napoleon; during
this Government, indeed, Milan flourished in the highest degree of opulence
and splendour and profited much by being one of the principal depots of the
inland trade between France and Italy, during the continental blockade,
besides enjoying the advantage of being the seat of Government during the
existence of the _Regno d'Italia_. Even now, tho' groaning under the leaden
sceptre of Austria, it is one of the most lively and splendid cities I ever
beheld; and I made this remark to a Milanese. He answered with a deep sigh:
"Ah! Monsieur, si vous aviez ete ici dans le temps du Prince Eugene! Mais
aujourd'hui nous sommes ruines."

My next visit was to the _Porta del Sempione_, which is at a short distance
from the amphitheatre, and which, were it finished, would be the finest
thing of the kind in Europe; it was designed, and would have been completed
by Napoleon, had he remained on the throne. Figures representing France,
Italy, Fortitude and Wisdom adorn the facade and there are several
bas-reliefs, among which is one representing Napoleon receiving the keys of
Milan after the battle of Marengo. All is yet unfinished; columns,
pedestals, friezes, capitals and various other architectural ornaments,
besides several unhewn blocks of marble, lie on the ground; and probably
this magnificent design will never be completed for no other reason than
because it was imagined by Napoleon and might recall his glories. Verily,
Legitimacy is childishly spiteful!

Yesterday morning I went to see an Italian comedy represented at the
_Teatro Re_. The piece was _l'Ajo nell' imbarazzo_--a very droll and
humorous piece--but it was not well acted, from the simple circumstance of
the actors not having their parts by heart, and the illusion of the stage
is destroyed by hearing the prompter's voice full as loud as that of the
actors, who follow his promptings something in the same way that the clerk
follows the clergyman in that prayer of the Anglican liturgy which says "we
have erred and strayed from our ways like lost sheep." An Italian audience
is certainly very indulgent and good-natured, as they never hiss, however
miserable the performance.

But in speaking of theatrical performances, no person should leave Milan
without going to see the _Teatro Girolamo_, which is one of the
"curiosities" of the place, peculiar to Milan, and more frequented,
perhaps, than any other. This is a puppet theatre, but puppets so well
contrived and so well worked as to make the spectacle well worth the
attention of the traveller. It is the _Nec plus ultra of Marionettism_, in
which Signer Girolamo, the proprietor, has made a revolution, which will
form an epoch in the annals of puppetry; having driven from the stage
entirely the _graziosissima maschera d'Arlecchino_, who used to be the hero
of all the pieces represented by the puppets and substituted himself, or
rather a puppet bearing his name, in the place of Harlequin, as the
principal _farceur_ of the performance. He has contrived to make the puppet
Girolamo a little like himself, but so much caricatured and so monstrously
ugly a likeness that the bare sight of it raises immediate laughter. The
theatre itself is small, being something under the size of our old
Haymarket little theatre, but is very neatly and tastefully fitted up. The
puppets are about half of the natural size of man, and Girolamo, aided by
one or two others, works them and gives them gesture, by means of strings,
which are, however, so well contrived as to be scarcely visible; and
Girolamo himself speaks for all, as, besides being a ventriloquist, he has
a most astonishing faculty of varying his voice, and adapting it to the
_role_ of each puppet, so that the illusion is complete. The scenery and
decorations are excellent. Sometimes he gives operas as well as dramas, and
there is always a _ballo_, with transformation of one figure into another,
which forms part of the performance. These transformations are really very
curious and extremely well executed. Almost all the pieces acted on the
theatre are of Girolamo's own composition, and he sometimes chooses a
classical or mythological subject, in which the puppet Girolamo is sure to
be introduced and charged with all the wit of the piece. He speaks
invariably with the accent and _patois_ of the country, and his jokes never
fail to keep the audience in a roar of laughter; his mode of speech and
slang phrases form an absurd contrast to the other figures, who speak in
pure Italian and pompous _versi sciolti_. For instance, the piece I saw
represented was the story of Alcestis and was entitled _La scesa d'Ercole
nell Inferno_, to redeem the wife of Admetus. Hercules, before he commences
this undertaking, wishes to hire a valet for the journey, has an interview
with Girolamo, and engages him. Hercules speaks in blank verse and in a
phrase, full of _sesquipedalia verba_, demands his country and lineage.
Girolamo replies in the Piedmontese dialect and with a strong nasal accent:
"_De mi pais, de Piemong_." Girolamo, however, though he professes to be as
brave as Mars himself has a great repugnance to accompanying his master to
the shades below, or to the "_casa del diavolo_," as he calls it; and while
Hercules fights with Cerberus, he shakes and trembles all over, as he does
likewise when he meets _Madonna Morte_.

All this is very absurd and ridiculous, but it is impossible not to laugh
and be amused at it. An anecdote is related of the _flesh and blood_
Girolamo, that he had a very pretty wife, who took it into her head one day
to elope with a French officer; and that to revenge himself he dramatized
the event and produced it on his own theatre under the title of _Colombina
scampata coll'uffiziale_, having filled the piece with severe satire and
sarcastic remarks against women in general and Colombina in particular.

The atelier of the famous artist in mosaic Rafaelli is well worth
inspecting; and here I had an opportunity of beholding a copy in mosaic and
nearly finished of the celebrated picture of Leonardo da Vinci representing
the _Caena Domini_. What a useful as well as admirable art is the mosaic to
perpetuate the paintings of the greatest masters! I recollected on
beholding this work that Eustace, in his _Tour thro' Italy_,[55] relates
with a pious horror that the French soldiers used the original picture as a
target to practise at with ball cartridge, and that Christ's head was
singled out as the mark. This absurd tale, which had not the least shadow
of truth in it, has, it appears, gained some credit among weak-minded
people; and I therefore beg leave to contradict it in the most formal
manner. It was Buonaparte who, the moment the picture was discovered,
ordered it to be put in mosaic. No! the French were the protectors and
encouragers, and by no means the destroyers of the works of art; and this
ridiculous story of the picture being used as a target was probably
invented by the priesthood, who seemed to have taken great delight in
imposing on poor Eustace's credulity. To me it seems that such a story
could only have been invented by a monk, and believed and repeated by an
old woman or a bigot. The priests and French emigrants have invented and
spread the most shameful and improbable calumnies against the French
republicans and against Napoleon, and that credulous gull John Bull has
been silly enough to give full credence to all these tales, and stand
staring with his eyes and mouth open at the recital, while a vulgar jobbing
ministry (as Cobbet would say) _picked his pockets_.

Quite of a piece with this is the said Mr Eustace's bigotry, in not chusing
to call Lombardy by its usual appellation "Lombardy," and affectedly
terming it "the plain of the Po." Why so, will be asked? Why because Mr
Eustace hates the ancient Lombards, and holds them very nearly in as much
horror as he does the modern French; because, as he says, they were the
enemies of the Church and made war on and despoiled the Holy See. The fact
is that the Lombard princes were the most enlightened of all the monarchs
of their time; they were the first who began to resist the encroachments of
the clergy and to shake off that abject submission to the Holy See which
was the characteristic of the age. The Lombards were a fine gallant race of
men and not so bigoted as the other nations of Europe. Where has there ever
reigned a better and more enlightened and more just and humane prince than
Theodoric?[56] But Theodoric was an Arian, hence Mr Eustace's aversion, for
he, with the most servile devotion, rejects, condemns and anathematizes
whatever the Church rejects, condemns and anathematizes. For myself I look
on the extinction of the Lombard power by Charlemagne to have been a great
calamity; had it lasted, the reformation and deliverance of Europe from
Papal and ecclesiastical tyranny would have happened probably three hundred
years sooner and the Inquisition never have been planted in Spain. I have
made this digression from a love of justice and from a wish to vindicate
the French Republic and Napoleon from one at least of the many unjust
aspersions cast on them. I feel it also my duty to state on every occasion
that I, belonging to an army sent to Egypt in order to expel them from that
country, have been an eyewitness of the good and beneficial reforms and
improvements that the French made in Egypt during a period of only three
years. They did more for the good of that country in this short period,
than we have done for India in fifty years.

Being obliged to be in London on the 24th December I took leave of the
agreeable city of Milan with much regret on the 19th of October and engaged
a place in a Swiss _voiture_ going to Lausanne. My fellow travellers were
two Brunswick officers in the service of the Princess of Wales, who were
returning to their native country; and a Hungarian and his son settled in
Domo d'Ossola. Nothing occurred till we arrived at Arona, where we were
detained a whole day, in consequence of some informality in the passport of
the two Germans, viz., that of its not having been _vise_ by the Sardinian
Charge d'Affaires at Milan.

During our detention at Arona, I fell in with a young Frenchman who was
going to Milan in company of some Swiss friends. The Swiss were permitted
to proceed, but the other was not, for no other reason than because he was
a Frenchman; so that he took a place in our carriage in order to return to
Switzerland. I found him a very agreeable companion, for tho' much
chagrined and vexed at this harsh and ungenerous treatment on the part of
the Piedmontese authorities, he soon recovered his good humour, and
contributed much to the pleasure of our journey. The Germans came back to
Arona very late at night, and during the rest of the journey gave vent to
their feelings with many an execration such as _verfluchter Spitzbube,
Hundsfott_, on the heads of the inexorable police officers of Arona. The
next day, on passing by Belgirate, we took a boat to visit the Borromean
islands, and afterwards returned to rejoin our carriage at Fariolo. The
first of these islands that we visited was the _Isola Bella_, where there
is a large and splendid villa, belonging to the Borromean family. The rooms
are of excellent and solid structure, and there are some good family
pictures. The furniture is ancient, but costly. The _rez de chaussee_ or
lower part of the house, which is completely _a fleur d'eau_ with the lake,
is tastefully paved, and the walls decorated with a mosaic of shells. One
would imagine it the abode of a sea nymph. I thought of Calypso and
Galatea. There are in these apartments _a fleur d'eau_ two or three
exquisite statues.

LAUSANNE, 11th November.

I have been now nearly three weeks at Lausanne and am much pleased both
with the inhabitants, who are extremely affable and well-informed, and with
the beautiful sites that environ this city, the capital of the Canton de
Vaud. The sentiments of the Vaudois, with the exception of a few absurd
families among the _noblesse_, who from ignorance or prejudice are
sticklers for the old times, are highly liberal; and as they acquired their
freedom and emancipated themselves from the yoke of the Bernois, thro' the
means of the French Revolution, they are grateful to that nation and
receive with hospitality those who are proscribed by the present French
Government; their behaviour thus forming a noble contrast to the servility
of the Genevese. The Government of the Canton de Vaud is wholly democratic
and is composed of a Landamman and grand and petty council, all
_bourgeois_, or of the most intelligent among the agricultural class, who
know the interests of their country right well, and are not likely to
betray them, as the _noblesse_ are but too often induced to do, for the
sake of some foolish ribband, rank, or title. The _noblesse_ are in a
manner self-exiled (so they say) from all participation in the legislative
and executive power; for they have too much _morgue_ to endure to share the
government with those whom they regard as _roturiers_; but the real state
of the case is that the people will not elect them, and the people are
perfectly in the right, for at the glorious epoch when, without bloodshed,
the burghers and plebeians upset the despotism of Bern, the conduct of the
_noblesse_ was very equivocal. La Harpe was the leader of this beneficial
Revolution, for which, however, the public mind was fully prepared and
disposed; and La Harpe was a virtuous, ardent and incorruptible patriot.

This canton had been for a long period of years in a state of vassalage to
that of Bern; all the posts and offices of Government were filled by
Bernois and the Vaudois were excluded from all share in the government, and
from all public employments of consequence. When the Sun of Revolution,
after gloriously rising in America, had shone in splendour on France, and
had successfully dissipated the mists of tyranny, feudality, priestcraft
and prejudice, it was natural that those states which had languished for so
many years in a humiliating situation should begin to look about them and
enquire into the origin of all the shackles and restraints imposed on them;
and no doubt the Vaudois soon discovered that it was an anomaly in politics
as well as in reason that two states of such different origin, the one
being a Latin and the other a Teutonic people, with language, customs, and
manners so different, should be blended together in a system in which all
the advantages were on the side of Bern, and nought but vassalage on the
part of Vaud. A chief was alone wanting to give the impulse; he was soon
found; the business was settled in forty-eight hours; and by the mediation
of the French Government, Vaud was declared and acknowledged an independent
state and for ever released from the dominion of Bern. The federative
constitution was then abolished throughout the union, and a general
Government, called the Helvetic Republic, substituted in its place; but
this constitution not suiting the genius and habits of the people, nor the
locality of the country, was not of long duration; troubles broke out and
insurrections, which were fomented and encouraged by the adherents of the
old regime. But Napoleon, by a wise and salutary mediation, stepped in
between them, and prevented the effusion of blood, by restoring the old
confederation, modified by a variety of ameliorations. In the act of
mediation, Napoleon contented himself with separating the Valais entirely
from the confederation, and shortly after annexing it to France, on account
of the high road into Italy across the Simplon running thro' that
territory, and which it became of the utmost importance to him to be master
of. The new Helvetic Confederation was inviolably respected and protected
by Napoleon; for never after the act of mediation did any French troops
enter in the Canton de Vaud, or any part of the Union to pass into Italy.
They always moved on the Savoy side of the Lake to enter into the Valais.
This act of mediation saved probably a good deal of bloodshed and in a very
short time gave such general satisfaction, and was in every respect so
useful and beneficial to the Helvetic Union, that in spite of the intrigues
of the Senate of Bern, who have never been able to digest the loss of Vaud,
the Allied Powers in the year 1814 solemnly guaranteed the Helvetic
Confederation as established by the Act of Mediation, merely restoring the
Valais to its independence and aggregating it as an independent Canton to
the general Union. Geneva, on its being severed from the French Empire, and
recovering its independence, solicited the Helvetic Union to be admitted as
a member and component part of that Confederacy; which was agreed to, and
it was and remains aggregated to it also.

In 1815, on the return of Napoleon from Elba and on the renewal of the war,
the Bern Government made a most barefaced attempt to regain possession of
the Canton de Vaud; to this they were no doubt secretly encouraged by the
Allies, and principally it is said by the British Government, the most
dangerous, artful and determined enemy of all liberty; but this project was
completely foiled, by the penetration, energy and firmness of the
inhabitants of the Canton de Vaud and of its Government in particular. The
central Government of the Union was at that time held at Bern and it was
agreed upon in the Diet that Switzerland should remain perfectly neutral
during the approaching conflict; an army of observation of 80,000 men was
voted and levied to enforce this neutrality, but the command of it was
given to De Watteville, who had been a colonel in the English service, and
was a determined enemy of the French Revolution and of everything connected
with or arising out of it. On the approach of the Austrian army, De
Watteville, instead of defending the frontier and repelling the invasion,
disbanded his army and allowed the Austrians to enter. No doubt he was
encouraged, if not positively ordered to do this, by the Government of
Bern, many members of which are supposed to have received bribes from the
British Government to render the decreed neutrality null and void. At the
same moment that this army was disbanded, the directoral Canton (Bern)
caused to be intimated to the Canton de Valid that it was the wish and
intention of the High Allies to replace Switzerland in the exact state it
was in, previous to the French Revolution; and that, in consequence, two
Commissioners would be sent from Bern to Lausanne, to take charge of the
Bureaux, Archives and _insignia_ of Government, etc., and to act as a
provisional Government under the direction of Bern. The Landamman and the
grand and petty council at Lausanne, on learning this intelligence,
immediately saw thro' the scheme that was planned to deprive them of their
independence; they, therefore, passed a decree, threatening to arrest and
punish as conspirators the Commissioners, should they dare to set their
foot in the Canton, and declaring such of their countrymen who should aid
or abet this scheme, or deliver up a single document to the Commissioners,
traitors and rebels; they likewise called on the whole Canton to arm in
defence of its independence and proclaimed at the same time that should
this plan be attempted to be carried into execution, they would join their
forces to those of Napoleon and thus endanger the position of the Allies.
They took their measures accordingly; the whole Canton Sew to arms; the
Bernois and the Allies were alarmed and consultations held; the Count de
Bubna, the Austrian General, being consulted, thought the attempt so
hazardous and so pregnant with mischief that he had the good sense to
recommend to the Allied Powers and to the Canton of Bern to desist from
their project and not to make or propose any alteration in the Helvetic
Constitution, as guaranteed in 1814. His advice was of great weight and was
adopted, and thus the Vaudois by their firmness preserved their
independence. They met with great support likewise on this trying occasion
from General La Harpe, preceptor to the Emperor of Russia, and a relation
to the gentleman of the same name who was so instrumental in the
emancipation of Vaud. La Harpe, who enjoyed the confidence of his pupil,
exerted himself greatly in procuring his good offices in favour of the
Vaudois his countrymen, and this was no small weight in the scale.

Lausanne is an irregularly built city, and not very agreeable to
pedestrians, for its continual steep ascents and descents make it extremely
fatiguing, and there is a part of the town to which you ascend by a flight
of stairs; the houses in Lausanne have been humorously enough compared to
musical notes. The country in the environs is beautiful beyond description
and has at all times elicited the admiration of travellers. There is an
agreeable promenade just outside the town, on the left hand side of the
road which leads to Geneva, called _Montbenon_, which is the fashionable
promenade and commands a fine view of the lake. On the left hand side is a
Casino and garden used for the _tir de l'arc_, of which the Vaudois, in
common with the other Helvetic people, are extremely fond. On the right
hand side of the road is a deep ravine planted in the style of an English
garden, with serpentine gravel walks, and on the other side of the ravine
stands the upper part of the city, the Cathedral, _Hotel de Ville_, and the
_Chateau du Bailli_, which is the seat of Government. From the terrace of
the Cathedral you enjoy a fine view, but a still finer and far more
comprehensive one is from the Signal house, or _Belvedere_ near the forest
of Sauvabelin (_Silva Bellonae_ in Pagan times)[57]. In this wood fairs,
dances and other public festivals are held, and it is the favourite spot
for parties of pleasure to dine _al fresco_; it is a pity, however, that
the edifice called the _Belvedere_ was not conceived in a better taste; it
has an uncouth and barbarous appearance.

Lausanne is situated about a quarter of a mile (in a right line) from the
lake, and you descend continually in going from the city to the Lake Leman
by a good carriage road, until you arrive on the borders of the lake, where
stands a neat little town called Ouchy, or as it is sometimes termed _le
port de Lausanne_. There is a good quai and pier. The passage across the
lake from Ouchy to the Savoy side requires four hours with oars.

I have made several pleasant acquaintances here, viz., M. Pidon the
Landamman, a litterato of the first order; Genl La Harpe, the tutor of the
Emperor of Russia; but the most agreeable of all is the Baron de
F[alkenskiold], an old gentleman of whose talents, merits and delightful
disposition I cannot speak too highly. He has the most liberal and
enlightened views and opinions, and is extremely well versed in English,
French and German litterature. He is a Dane by birth and was exiled early
in life from his own country, on account of an accusation of being
implicated in the affair of Struensee; and it is generally supposed that he
was one of Queen Matilda's favoured lovers, which supposition is not
improbable, as in his youth, to judge from his present dignified and
majestic appearance, he must have been an uncommonly handsome man. He has
lived ever since at Lausanne, and tho' near seventy-four years of age and
tormented with the gout, he never loses his cheerfulness, and passes his
time mostly with his books. He gives dinner parties two or three times a
week, which are exceedingly pleasant, and one is sure to meet there a
small, but well informed society of natives and foreigners. Most German
travellers of rank and litterary attainments, who pass thro' Lausanne,
bring letters of introduction and recommendation to the Baron and are sure
to meet with the utmost hospitality and attention.

The women of the Canton de Vaud are in general very handsome, well shaped
and graceful; litterature, music, dancing and drawing are cultivated by
them with success; and among the men, tho' one does not meet perhaps with
quite as much instruction as at Geneva (I mean that it is not so general),
yet no pedantry whatever prevails as in Geneva. At Lausanne they have
sincere and solid republican principles and they do not pay that servile
court to the English that the Genevese do; nor have they as yet adopted the
phrase "_Dieu me damne_."

PARIS, Dec. 5th.

I returned to Paris by Geneva and crossing the Jura chain of mountains
passed thro' Dole, Auxonne and Dijon. At Geneva, where I stopped three
days, I met, at a musical party given by M. Picot the banker, the
celebrated cantatrice Grassini, who looked as beautiful as ever, and sung
in the most fascinating style several airs, particularly "_Quelle pupille
tenere_" in the opera of the _Orazj e Curiazi_. To my taste her style of
singing is far preferable to that of Catalani; there is much more pathos
and feeling in the singing of Grassini; it is completely and truly the
"_cantar che nell'anima si sente_." Catalani is very powerful, wonderful,
if you will, in execution; but she does not touch my heart as Grassini
does.

On my return to Paris from Geneva I found that the conditions of peace had
been made public. They are certainly hard, not so much on account of the
cession of territory, which is trifling, as on account of the vast sums of
money that Prance is obliged to pay, and the still more galling condition
of having to pay and feed at her expense an army of occupation of 150,000
men, of the Allied troops, for a term of three or five years, and to cede
during that period several important fortresses. The inhabitants of Paris
look very gloomy and nobody seems to think that the peace will last half as
long. Prussia and Austria strove hard to wrest Alsace and German Lorraine
from France; hosts of German publicists had accompanied their armies into
France and had written pamphlet upon pamphlet to prove that mountains and
not rivers were the proper boundaries of nations and that wherever the
German language prevails, the country ought to belong to the Germanic body.
Ergo, the Vosges mountains were the natural boundaries of France, and
Alsace and German Lorraine should revert to Germany. Russia and England,
however, opposed this, and insisted that these two provinces should remain
with France; but I have no doubt that the first movements that may occur in
France (and they will perhaps be secretly encouraged) will serve as a
pretext for the Allies to separate these countries definitively from
France.

The Louvre has been stripped of the principal statues and pictures which
have been sent back to the places from whence they were taken, to the great
mortification of the Parisians, most of whom would have consented to the
cession of Alsace and Lorraine and half of France to boot on condition of
keeping the statues and pictures. The English Bureaux are preparing to
leave Paris and the troops will soon follow; a new French army is
organizing and several Swiss battalions are raised. It is generally
supposed that by the end of December France, with the exception of the
fortresses and districts to be occupied by the Allied Powers, will be freed
from the pressure of foreign troops.

The Chamber of Peers is occupied with the trial of Marshall Ney, the
Conseil de Guerre, which was ordered to assemble for that purpose having
declared itself incompetent. The friends of Ney advised him to claim the
protection of the 12th Article of the Capitulation of Paris, and Madame
Ney, it is said, applied both to the Duke of Wellington and to the Emperor
of Russia; both ungenerously refused; to the former Nature has not given a
heart with much sensibility, and the latter bears a petty spite against Ney
on account of his title, _Prince de la Moskowa_. It is pretty generally
anticipated that poor Ney will be condemned and executed; for tho' at the
representation of _Cinna_ a few nights ago, at the Theatre Francais, the
allusions to clemency were loudly caught hold of and applauded by the
audience, yet I suspect Louis XVIII is by no means of a relenting nature,
and that he is as little inclined to pardon political trespasses as his
ancestor Louis IX was disposed to pardon those against religion; for,
according to Gibbon, his recommendation to his followers was: _"Si
quelqu'un parle contre la foi chretienne dans votre presence, donnez lui
l'epee ventre-dedans_."

December 18th.

I met with an emigrant this day at the Palais Royal who was acquainted with
my family in London. It was the Vicomte de B*****ye.[58] He had resided
some time in England and also in Switzerland. He is an amiable man, but a
most incorrigible Ultra. He displayed at once the ideas that prevail among
the Ultras, which must render them eternally at variance with the mass of
the French nation. In speaking of the state of France, he said: "_Je n'ai
jamais cesse et jamais je ne cesserai de regarder comme voleurs tous les
acquereurs des biens des emigres. Il faudroit, pour le bonheur de la
France, qu'elle fut places dans le meme etat ou elle etait avant la
Revolution._" He would not listen to my reasons against the possibility of
effecting such a plan, even were the plan just and reasonable in itself. I
told him that for the emigrants to expect to get back their property was
just as absurd as for the descendants of those Saxon families in England,
whose ancestors were dispossessed of their estates by William the
Conqueror, to think of regaining them, and to call upon the Duke of
Northumberland, for instance, as a descendant of a Norman invader, to give
up his property as unjustly acquired by his progenitors. We did not hold
long converse after this; his ideas and mine diverged too much from each
other.

The English are very much out of favour with the emigrants, as well on
account of the stripping of the Louvre as on account of not having shot all
the _liberaux_. They had the folly to believe that the Allied troops would
merely make war for the emigrants' interests, and after having put to death
a considerable quantity of those who should be designated as rebels and
Jacobins by them (the emigrants), would replace France in the exact
position she was in 1789, and then depart.

Poor Marshall Ney's fate is decided. He was sentenced to death, and the
sentence was carried into execution not on the _Place de Grenelle_ as was
given out, but in the gardens of Luxemburgh at a very early hour. He met
his fate with great firmness and composure. I leave Paris to-morrow for
London.

[47] Ariosto, _Orlando Furioso_, VI, 20, 7.

[48] Virgil, _Aen_., VI, 620 (temnere _divos_).--ED.

[49] Louis Wirion (1764-1810), an officer of _gendarmerie_,
commander-general of the _place_ de Verdun since 1804, was accused in
1808 of having extorted money from certain English prisoners quartered
in Verdun (Estwick, Morshead, Garland, etc.). Wirion shot himself
before the end of the long proceedings, which do not seem to have
established his guilt, but had reduced him to misery and despair.--ED.

[50] Richard Brinsley Sheridan's (1751-1816) _Pizarro_, produced at Drury
Lane in 1799.--ED.

[51] Three brothers Zadera, all born in Warsaw, served in the Imperial
army.--ED.

[52] Ariosto, _Orlando Furioso_ III, 2, i.--ED.

[53] These words mean, or are supposed to mean, in French and in Dutch: "I
don't understand" (_je n'entends pas_).--ED.

[54] Horace, _Carm._, IV, 2,39.--ED.

[55]John Chetwode Eustace (1762-1815), author of _A Tour through Italy_
(2 vol., London, 1813), the eighth edition of which appeared in
1841.--ED.

[56] Theodoric was a Goth, not a Lombard.--ED.

[57] Of course, _Silva Beleni_.--ED.

[58] Perhaps Clement Francois Philippe de Laage Bellefaye, mentioned in the
_Souvenirs_ of Baron de Frenilly, p. 94. His large estates had been
confiscated in the Revolution.--ED.

AFTER
WATERLOO

PART II

CHAPTER VI

MARCH-JUNE,1816

Ball at Cambray, attended by the Duke of Wellington--An Adventure between
Saint Quentin and Compiegne--Paris revisited--Colonel Wardle and Mrs
Wallis--Society in Paris--The Sourds-Muets--The Cemetery of Pere La
Chaise--Apathy of the French people--The priests--Marriage of the Duke de
Berri.

March, 1816.

This time I varied my route to Paris, by passing thro' St Omer, Douay and
Cambray. At Cambray I was present at a ball given by the municipality. The
Duke of Wellington was there. He had in his hand an extraordinary sort of
hat which had something of a shape of a folding cocked hat, with divers red
crosses and figures on it, so that it resembled a conjurer's cap. I
understand it is a hat given to his Grace by magnanimous Alexander; St
Nicholas perhaps commissioned the Emperor to present it to Wellington, for
his Grace is entitled to the eternal gratitude of the different Saints, as
well as of the different sovereigns, for having maintained them
respectively in their celestial and terrestrial dominions; and it is to be
hoped, after his death, that the latter will celebrate for him a brilliant
apotheosis, and the former be as complaisant to him and make room for him
in the Empyreum as Virgil requests the Scorpion to do for Augustus:

...Ipse tibi jam brachia contrahit ardens
Scorpios, et coeli jusia plus parts reliquit.[59]

I met with an adventure in my journey from St Quentin to Compiegne, which,
had it happened a hundred years ago in France, would have alarmed me much
for my personal safety. It was as follows. I had taken my place at St
Quentin to go to Paris; but all the diligences being filled, the _bureau_
expedited a _caleche_ to convey me as far as Compiegne, there to meet the
Paris diligence at nine the next morning. It was a very dark cold night,
and snowed very hard.

Between eleven and twelve o'clock at night, half way between St Quentin and
Compiegne, the axle tree of the carriage broke; we were at least two miles
from any village one way and three the other; but a lone house was close to
the spot where the accident happened. We had, therefore, the choice of
going forward or backward, the postillion and myself helping the carriage
on with our hands, or to take refuge at the lone house till dawn of day. I
preferred the latter; we knocked several times at the door of the lone
house, but the owner refused to admit us, saying that he was sure we were
_gens de mauvaise vie_, and that he would shoot us if we did not go away.
The postillion and I then determined on retrograding two miles, the
distance of the nearest village, and remaining there till morning. We
arrived there with no small difficulty and labour, for it snowed very fast
and heavily, and it required a good deal of bodily exertion to push on the
carriage. Arrived at the village, we knocked at the door of a small
cottage, the owner of which sold some brandy. He received me very civilly,
gave me some eggs and bacon for supper, and a very fair bed.

The next morning, after having the axle tree repaired, we proceeded on our
journey to Compiegne. I suffered much from the cold during this adventure,
and did not sleep well, having fallen into a train of thought which
prevented me from so doing; and I could not help bringing to my
recollection the adventure of Raymond in the forest near Strassburg, in the
romance of _The Monk_. Nothing worthy of note occurred during the rest of
the journey; but this adventure obliged me to remain one day at Compiegne
to wait for the next diligence.

PARIS, April 8th, 1816.

I delivered my letters to the Wardle family and am very much pleased with
them. I meet a very agreeable society at their house. Col Wardle is quite a
republican and very rigid in his principles.[60] His daughter is a young
lady of first rate talents and has already distinguished herself by some
poetical compositions. I met at their house Mrs Wallis, the sister of Sir
R. Wilson.[61] She is an enthusiastic Napoleonist, and wears at times a
tricolored scarf and a gold chain with a medal of Napoleon's head attached
to it; this head she sometimes, to amuse herself, compels the old emigrants
she meets with in society to kiss. The trial of her brother is now going on
for aiding and abetting the escape of Lavalette. I sincerely hope he will
escape any severity of punishment, but I more fear the effects of Tory
vengeance against him in England, in the shape of depriving him of his
commission, than I do the sentence of any French court. Yet tho' I wish him
well, I cannot help feeling the remains of a little grudge against him for
his calumny against Napoleon in accusing him of poisoning the sick of his
own army before the walls of St Jean d'Acre. I have always vindicated the
character of Napoleon from this most unjust and unfounded aspersion,
because having been in Egypt with Abercrombie's army and having had daily
intercourse with Belliard's division of the French army, after the
capitulation of Cairo, and during our joint march on the left bank of the
Nile to Rosetta, I knew that there was not a syllable of truth in the
story. Mrs Wallis, however, tells me that her brother has expressed deep
regret that he ever gave credence and currency to such a report; and that
he acknowledges that he was himself deceived. But he did Napoleon an
irreparable injury, and his work on the Egyptian campaign contributed in a
very great degree to excite the hatred of the English people against
Napoleon, as well as to flatter the passions and prejudices of the Tories.

In the affair however of Lavalette Wilson has nobly retrieved his character
and obliterated all recollection of his former error. It is amazing the
popularity he and his two gallant associates have acquired in France by
this generous and chevaleresque enterprise.

I meet at Col Wardle's a very pleasant French society: conversation, music
and singing fill up the evening.

April 15th.

I have been presented to a very agreeable lady, Madame Esther Fournier, who
holds a _conversazione_ at her house in the Rue St Honore every Wednesday
evening. Here there is either a concert, a ball or private theatricals;
while in a separate room play goes forward and _crebs_, a game of dice
similar to hazard, is the fashionable game. Refreshments are handed round
and at twelve o'clock the company break up. Mme Fournier is a lady of very
distinguished talent and always acts a principal role herself in the
dramatic performances given at her private theatricals.

I have become acquainted too with a very pleasant family, M. and Mme
Vanderberg, who are the proprietors of a large house and magnificent garden
in the Faubourg du Roule. M. Vanderberg is a man of very large fortune.[62]
He has three daughters, handsome and highly accomplished, and one son; one
of them was married to General R----, but is since divorced; the second is
married to a young colonel of Hussars, and the third is still unmarried;
but being very young, handsome, accomplished and rich, there will be no
lack of suitors whenever she is disposed to accept the connubial chain. I
have dined several times with this family. There is an excellent table. The
choicest old wines are handed about during dinner, and afterwards we
adjourn to another room to take coffee and liqueurs.

If there is no evening party, the company retire, some for the theatre,
some for other houses, where they have to pass the evening; if the family
remain at home you have the option of retiring or remaining with them, and
the evening is filled up with music or _petits jeux_. I meet with several
agreeable and distinguished people at this house, among whom are M. Anglas,
Mme Duthon from the Canton de Vaud, a lady of great vivacity and talent,
and General Guilleminot and his lady. Col. Paulet, who married M.
Vanderberg's second daughter, was on the staff of General Guilleminot at
the battle of Waterloo and suffered much from a fever and ague that he
caught on the night bivouacs.

I have attended a seance of the Institution of the _Sourds-Muets_ founded
by the famous Abbe de l'Epee, and continued with equal success by his
successor the Abbe S[icard],[63] who delivered the lecture and exhibited
the talent and proficiency of his pupils. The eldest pupil, Massieu,
himself deaf and dumb, is an extraordinary genius and he may be said in
some measure to direct all the others. Massieu, who has a very interesting
and even handsome countenance, and manners extremely prepossessing,
conducts the examination of the pupils by means of signs, and writing on a
slate or paper; and it is wonderful to observe the progress made by these
interesting young persons, who have been so harshly treated by Nature. The
definitions they give of substances and qualities are so just and happy;
and in their situation, definition is everything, for they cannot learn by
rote, as other boys often do, who, in the study of philology, acquire only
words and not things or meanings. The deaf and dumb persons, on the
contrary, acquire at once by this method of instruction the philosophy of
grammar; and then it is far from being the dry study that many people
suppose. A German princess who was present exclaimed in a transport of
admiration at some of the specimens of definitions and inferences given by
the pupils; " Oh! I wish that I were born deaf and dumb, were it only to
learn grammar properly!" Sir Sidney Smith was present at this lecture and
seemed inclined to make himself a little too conspicuous. For instance,
before the examination began, he seated himself close by the Abbe S[icard]
and pulling a paper out of his pocket said that he had found it on the
ground on his way hither; and that it was part of a leaf from an edition of
Cicero which contained a sentence so applicable to the character and
talents of his friend the Abbe, that he requested permission to read it
aloud and translate it into French for the benefit of those who did not
understand Latin. He then read the sentence. The Abbe, not to be out-done
in compliments, then rose and made a most flaming speech in eulogium of his
friend "the heroic defender of St John d'Acre" and pointed him out to the
audience as the first person who had foiled the arms of the "Usurper."

Now this word "Usurper" applied to Napoleon did not at all please the
audience, and it shewed a great deal of servility on the part of the Abbe
to insult fallen greatness, and in the person too of a man who had rendered
such vast services to science. In fact this episode was received coldly,
and somewhat impatiently by the audience; and many thought it was a thing
_got up_ between the Admiral and the Abbe to flatter each other's vanity;
indeed my friend Mrs Wallis, next to whom I was placed, and who does not at
all agree with the gallant Admiral in politics, intimated this in a
whisper, loud enough to be heard by all the audience and added: "Such a
humbug is enough to make one sick." Sir Sidney Smith heard all this and
seemed a good deal abashed and disconcerted; he, however, had the good
sense to say nothing, and the examination began.

PARIS, May 5th.

I formed a party with some friends to visit the cemetery of Pere la Chaise.
We remarked in particular the places where poor Labedoyere and Marshal Ney
are buried. There is no tombstone on the former, but some shrubs have been
planted, and a black wooden cross fixed to denote the spot where he lies.

To Marshal Ney there is a stone sepulchre with this inscription: "_Cy-git
le Marechal Ney, Prince de la Moskowa_." This cemetery is most beautifully
laid out. The multitude of tombs, the variety of inscriptions in prose and
verse, some of which are very affecting, the yews, the willows, all render
this a delightful spot for contemplation; it commands an extensive view of
Paris and the surrounding country. Foreigners of distinction who die in
Paris are generally buried here; but it would require a volume to describe
to you in detail this interesting cemetery. I think the practice of
strewing flowers over the grave is very touching and classic; it reminded
me of the description of Marcellus's death in Virgil:

... Manibus date lilia plenis.

We however strewed over the tombs of Labedoyere and Ney not lilies, but
violets, for my friend Mrs W[allis], who was of our party, has a great
aversion to the lily.

We have just heard of Didier's capture and execution at Grenoble.[64] There
are continual reports of insurrections and plots, but it is now well known
that the most of them are _got up_ by the Ultras to entrap the unwary. The
French people seem sunk in apathy and to wish for peace at any rate;
nothing but the most extreme provocation will induce them to take up arms;
but then, if they once do so, woe to the _Chambre Introuvable_, as the
present Chamber of Deputies is called; certainly such a set of venal,
merciless and ignorant bigots and blockheads never were collected in any
assembly. There have occurred several scandalous scenes at Nimes and other
places. The Protestants are openly insulted and threatened, and the
government is either too weak to prevent it, or, as is supposed, secretly
encourages those excesses. In fact in Paris there are two polices; the one,
that of the Government, the other, and by far the most troublesome, that of
_Monsieur_[65] and the violent Ultra party, or as they are collectively
called the _Pavilion Marsan_.[66] The priests are at work everywhere
trumping up old legends, forging communications from the Holy Ghost,
receiving letters dropped from heaven by Jesus Christ, and all this is done
with the idea of working on fanatical minds, to induce them to commit acts
of outrage and violence on those whom the priests designate as enemies to
the faith, and on weak ones, with the idea of frightening them into
restoring the lands and property which they have purchased or inherited and
which formerly belonged to emigrants or to the Church.

A lady of my acquaintance (to give you an idea of the arts of these holy
hypocrites) sent for a priest to confess and to receive absolution, not
from any faith in the efficacy of the business, but merely from a desire of
conforming to the ceremonies of the national worship. The priest arrived,
but began by apologizing to her that he was sorry he could not administer
to her the sacrament of absolution; she, surprized, asked the reason; he
answered that it was because her uncle had purchased Church lands, which
she inherited, and that unless she could resolve to restore them to the
church, he could not think of giving her absolution. The lady was at a loss
whether to be indignant at his impudence or to laugh outright at his folly.
She however assumed a becoming gravity and _sang-froid_, and told him that
he was very much mistaken if he thought he had got hold of a simpleton or a
bigot in her; that she had sent for him merely with the idea of conforming
to the national worship, and not with the most remote persuasion of the
necessity or efficacy of his or any other priest's absolution; she added:
"Your conduct has opened my eyes as to the views of all your cloth; I see
you are incurable. I shall never send for any of you again; and be assured
this anecdote shall not be forgotten. You may retire." The priest, abashed
and mortified in finding himself mistaken in his supposed prey, stammered
an excuse and retired.

I intend to remain at Paris until after the marriage ceremony of the Duke
and Duchess of Berri, and I shall then proceed to Lausanne. It is expected
there will be some disturbance on the occasion of this marriage.

I have witnessed an execution by the guillotine on the Place de Greve near
the _Hotel de Ville_. The criminal was guilty of a burglary and murder. It
is the only execution (except political ones) that has taken place at Paris
for the last six months, whereas in England they are strung up by dozens
every fortnight. Independent of there being far less crimes committed in
France than in England, the French code punishes but few offences with
death.

Why is not the sanguinary English criminal code with death in every
line--why is it not reformed, I say? 'Twould be well if our legislators,
instead of their puerile and frothy declamations against revolutionary
principles and the ambition of Napoleon, would occupy themselves seriously
with this subject. But then the lawyers would all oppose the simplification
of our Code. They find by experience that a complicated one, obstructed by
customs, statutes and acts of Parliament, difficult to be correctly
interpreted, and frequently at variance with each other, is a much more
profitable thing, a much wider and more lucrative field for the exercise of
their profession, than the simplicity of the Code Napoleon; and they would
die of rage and despair at the thought of anybody not a lawyer being able
to interpret the laws himself. Now as our country gentlemen and members of
Parliament are always much inclined to take lawyer's advice, and are
besides fully persuaded and convinced that there are no abuses whatever in
England and that everything is as it should be, there is no hope of any
amelioration in this particular. All reasoning and argument is lost on such
political optimists.

The punishment of the guillotine certainly appears to be the most humane
mode of terminating the existence of a man that could possibly be invented.
The apparatus is preserved in the _Hotel de Ville_, and is never exposed to
view or erected on the place of execution, till about an hour before the
execution itself takes place. At the hour appointed the criminal is brought
to the scaffold, fastened to the board, placed at right angles with the
fatal instrument, the head protruding thro' the groove, which embraces the
neck; the executioner pulls a cord, the axe descends and the head of the
criminal falls into a basket. The whole ceremony of the execution does not
take three minutes when the criminal once arrives at the foot of the
guillotine. There is none of that horrible struggling that takes place in
the operation of hanging.

June 21st, 1816.

The ceremony of the marriage of the Duke and Duchess of Berri passed off
quietly enough. Several people, it is true, were arrested for seditious
expressions, but no tumult occurred. A great apprehension seemed to prevail
lest something should occur, but the gendarmerie and police were so
vigilant that all projects, had there been any, would have proved abortive.

[59] Virgil, _Georg._, I, 35.--ED.

[60] Colonel Gwyllym Lloyd Wardle was the celebrated exposer of the scandal
in 1808-9, when the mistress of the Duke of York was found to be
trafficking in Commissions. He had retired from active service in
1802, with the rank of lieutenant-colonel. Financial reasons obliged
him, after 1815, to live on the Continent; he died in Florence,
1833.--ED.

[61] Sir Robert Thomas Wilson (1779-1849), author of _The History of the
British Expedition to Egypt_, 1802; a French translation of that work
elicited a protest from Napoleon.--ED.

[62] Vanderberg had made a fortune as a contractor to the French army; he
is mentioned in Ida Saint Elme's _Memoires d'une contemporaine_ and
elsewhere.--ED.

[63] Abbe Sicard (Rooh Ambroise) was director of the Institution of
Sourds-Muets from 1790 to 1797 and from 1800 to 1822.--ED.

[64] Paul Didier (1758-1816) took part in a Bonapartist conspiracy at Lyons
in 1816, raised an insurrection in the Isere and fled to Piedmont,
whence he was surrendered to the French authorities, condemned to
death and executed at Grenoble.--ED.

[65] The King's brother, afterwards Charles X.--ED.

[66] The N.E. pavilion of the Tuileries.--ED.

CHAPTER VII

Journey from Paris to Lausanne--Besancon--French refugees in
Lausanne--Francois Lamarque--General Espinassy--Bordas--Gautier--Michau--
M. de Laharpe--Mlle Michaud--Levade, a Protestant minister--Chambery--Aix--
Details about M. de Boigne's career in India--English Toryism and
intolerance--Valley of Maurienne--Passage across Mont Cenis and arrival at
Suza--Turin.

LAUSANNE, July 8th.

Departing from Paris on the 24th June, 1816, I varied my journey into
Switzerland this time, for instead of travelling thro' Lyons or Dole, I
took the route of Besangon, Pontarlier, Jougne and Orbe. The country
between Dijon and Besancon is a rich and fertile plain. At Besancon the
mountainous country begins; it is a strong fortress, and the last
considerable town of the French frontier. It lies in a very picturesque
situation, being nearly environed by the Doubs, which meanders under its
walls, and by very lofty mountains; on the other side of the Doubs stands
the citadel, its chief strength. The town of Besangon is exceedingly
handsome and well built, and there are several agreeable promenades, two of
which I must particularize, viz., the promenade de Chamarre and the garden
of the Palace of Granvelle. There are besides several Roman antiquities and
the remains of a large amphitheatre. I amused myself very well for a couple
of days at Besancon, and met with some agreeable society at the _Hotel de
France_ where I lodged. I left Besancon at eight in the morning of the 30th
June, and arrived at Pontarlier at six the same evening. Pontarlier is a
dreary, melancholy looking place, consisting of a very long street and
several offsets of streets, situated in the midst of mountains, eternally
covered with snow. Winter reigns here during nine months of the year. At
Pontarlier the whole garrison were under arms, when I arrived, to pay the
last duties to a most respectable and respected officer, whose death was
occasioned by falling into the river, while at the _necessary_, by the
under board giving way. This officer had served in almost all the campaigns
of Napoleon and had greatly distinguished himself. What a cruel death for a
warrior who had been in fifty battles! That death should have shunned him
in the field of battle, to make him fall in a manner at once inglorious and
ridiculous! yet such is destiny. Pyrrhus fell by a tile flung from a house
by an old woman, and I am acquainted with a gallant captain in the British
Navy who lost his leg by amputation, having broken it (oh horror!) by a
fall from the top of a stage coach.

I left Pontarlier on the 2d July, and arrived at Lausanne the same evening
at five o'clock. On my return to Lausanne I had the pleasure to form an
acquaintance with several eminent Frenchmen proscribed and banished from
France, on account of having voted the death of Louis XVI, as members of
the National Convention, which tried him, and for having voted, after the
return of Napoleon from Elba, the _Acte additionnel_, which excluded the
Bourbons for ever from the throne of France, Among them are, 1st, Monsieur
Lamarque, who was one of the commissioners sent by the Convention to arrest
Dumouriez, but being seized by him, and delivered over to the Austrians, he
passed some time in captivity and was at length released, by being
exchanged with some others against the Duchess d'Angouleme.[67] He is a
very able man and seems to have far more political talent than any of the
other _Conventionnels_ who are here. On Napoleon's return from Elba he
voted for him, but made strong objections against the formation of a
peerage, which he said was perfectly useless in France, and pregnant with
mischief to boot, as it would only serve as an _appui_ to despotism. He
wrote a pamphlet with some excellent remarks on this, subject. He therein
points out the evils of an hereditary Chamber, and of a priviledged
aristocracy, who have nothing to expect from the people, but all from the
Prince; and in its stead he proposes an additional elective Chamber,
something on the plan of the Senate in America, but he decidedly reprobates
an hereditary peerage.

The next is General Espinassy, a very good classical scholar and a most
upright and amiable man.[68] In his vote he was solely influenced by strong
but conscienscious republican principles; he resides here with his wife and
two sons; he was considered as one of the best engineer officers in France
and he opposed the nomination of Napoleon to the Imperial dignity in 1804.

Another, M. Bordas,[69] opposed Napoleon's assumption of the Consulship on
the 18th Brumaire, and was proscribed by him for a short time, but
afterwards amnestied and received into favour. He gave his vote for
Napoleon on the _Champ de Mai_ in 1815, but accompanied this vote by a bold
speech towards Napoleon wherein he found fault with his former despotic
practises, and reminded him of the solemnity of his promise to govern in
future paternally and nationally, as became the sovereign of a free people.
M. Bordas is a very cheerful, lively, companionable man and tho' seventy
years of age, he has an uncommon share of vivacity, with something of the
_ci-devant jeune homme_ about him, and He is pleased to be considered still
as a man _a bonnes fortunes_.

The next to him is M. Gauthier, who had been a lawyer, and held a
considerable post as a magistrate in the time of the Republic and under the
Empire.[70] He possesses a good deal of talent, close logical reasoning,
and has determined public principle.

The next, M. Michaud, had been also an advocate, and is possessor of
considerable property in the department of the Doubs;[71] he is a most
rigid unbending republican, something in the style of Verrina in Schiller's
_Fiesco_; he opposed the assumption of the supreme power by Buonaparte on
the 18th Brumaire; he voted against the Consulship for life, as well as
against the assumption of the Imperial dignity. He is a very good classical
scholar. He is a widower and has with him here Mlle Elisa, his only
daughter, who follows her father's fortunes. She is a very amiable and
accomplished young lady; she has a thorough knowledge of music and of
painting in oils, and is classically versed in the Italian language. I soon
became acquainted with the whole of these illustrious exiles, and I find
great delight and instruction from their conversation; and this is a great
relief to me, for the life one leads in a Swiss town is rather monotonous.

LAUSANNE.

I dine very often with my neighbour the Baron de Falkenskioeld, and at his
house I became acquainted with M. de Laharpe, who was preceptor to the
present Emperor of Russia. He is a native of this Canton, and has returned
here to pass the remainder of his life. He is married to a very amiable
Russian lady, and having acquired a pretty good fortune in Russia, he lives
here very happily and comfortably; but notwithstanding this, he is often
tempted to visit Paris, Milan and other great cities, and when there, sighs
to return to his native mountains.

As the Ultras of France bear a great hatred towards the inhabitants of the
Canton de Vaud, on account of the asylum given and sympathy shown to the
_proscrits_, they have been at the pains of trumping up and printing a
pretended petition from the inhabitants of the department of the Doubs,
praying that the French Government would endeavor to obtain the removal of
these _proscrits_ from the Canton de Vaud, and stating that the said Canton
was the _foyer_ of Jacobinical principles, and the place where Napoleon's
return from Elba was planned and accelerated, and thro' which the
conveyance of intelligence backwards and forwards was conducted. I have no
doubt that in this petition more is meant than meets the ear; that the
Oligarchs of Bern, as well as the Ultras of France, have a share in it, and
that it may be considered not so much as an attempt to compel the Canton to
refuse asylum to these exiles, as to excite the Great Powers to enforce the
abolition of the independence of Vaud, and to replace it under the dominion
and authority of the Canton of Bern.

Everybody here, however, sees thro' the drift of this petition, and many
persons whose names are put down as having signed it, have written to their
friends at Lausanne, to declare not only that they never signed such a
petition, but their entire ignorance even of the agitation of the question
till they saw the petition itself in print. The French government, however,
has not ventured to act any further upon it, than to make a pompous display
of the royalist zeal and _bon esprit_ that pervades the Department of the
Doubs.

I see a good deal of Mlle Michaud. I find her conversation extremely
agreeable. She had lent to me an Italian work by Verri entitled _Le notti
Romane al sepolcro di Stipione_. She is a very rigid Catholic, having been
educated by a priest of very strict ideas. Her devotion however does not
render her less cheerful or less amiable. She having expressed a wish to
hear the Protestant church service, I offered to accompany her and we went
together one Sunday to the Cathedral Church at Lausanne. But it
unfortunately happened that on that day a sermon was preached which must
have given a great deal of pain to her filial feelings. Mr Levade, the
minister, took it into his head to give a political sermon, in which, after
a great deal of commonplace abuse of Voltaire, Rousseau and the French
Revolution, and very fulsome adulation towards the English government (a
subject which was brought in by the head and shoulders), of that _island_
(as he termed it) _surrounded by the Ocean_, he lavished a great deal of
still more fulsome adulation on the Bourbons; and then most wantonly and
unnecessarily began a furious declamation against the _regicides_ as he
termed them, who had taken refuge in the Canton, and intimated pretty
plainly how pleasing it would be to God Almighty that they should be
expelled from it. This intolerant discourse, more worthy of a raving Jesuit
than of a Protestant minister, was deservedly scouted by the inhabitants of
Lausanne; but this did not hinder poor Mlle Michaud from being much
affected at the opprobrious tirade directed against a set of men, among
whom her father bore a conspicuous part, and who acted from patriotic
motives. I must not omit to state that in this discourse M. Levade
interwove some hyperbolical compliments towards the young Prince of Sweden,
who attended the service that morning. He told him that the eyes of all
Europe were fixed upon him, and that Providence had him under his especial
care.

Now the following is the character of M. Levade.[72] He is a time-serving,
meddling priest, and a most flagrant adulator of the powers that be. He
thinks that by declaiming against the French Revolution, and against
Voltaire and Rousseau, that he will get into favor with the great people
who pass thro' Lausanne, with the French and English Government adherents,
and with the great Tory families of England. No considerable personage ever
passes through Lausanne, but Mr Levade is the first to make him a visit;
and no rich or noble English family arrives with whom he does not
ingratiate himself, and he is not sparing of his adulations. This mode of
procedure has been a very profitable concern to him, as he has received a
vast number of presents, and several valuable legacies, besides securing a
number of pupils among the English families, that come or that have been
here. He is in short a thorough parasite and time server, in every sense of
the word. This adulation of the Bourbon family in his sermon, besides the
meanness of it, was highly misplaced, coming from the mouth of a Protestant
minister, and somebody exclaimed on leaving the Church: "_Que doit-on
penser d'un ministre protestant du Canton de Vaud, qui prodigue des
louanges a une famille qui a ete l'ennemie acharnee de l'Elise reformee, et
qui a persecute les protestants d'une maniere si atroce?_" But Mr Levade
(tho' to the honor of the clergymen of the Canton de Vaud he is singular
among _them_), yet he has many persons who perfectly resemble him among the
members of the Church of England, and who are as eager to support despotism
and to crush liberty as any disciple of Loyola or any Janissary of the
Grand Signor. The other Protestant ministers of this Canton were highly
indignant at this sermon; in fact, it was the first time in this city that
the House of God had been profaned by the introduction of political
subjects into a religious discourse. This sermon was the common topic of
conversation for many days after.

CHAMBERY, 2d August.

I left Lausanne for Geneva on 28 July. I stopped at Nyon to pay a visit to
Mme Duthon, with whom I became acquainted at Paris. I dined with her and
passed a most agreeable day. Her talents are of the first order, and she is
as great an enthusiast for the German language and litterature as myself,
besides being well versed in Italian. She had a female relation with her.
We took a boat after dinner to navigate the lake, and we visited the
Chateau and domains of Joseph Napoleon. The next day I proceeded to Geneva.

I determined on making the journey into Italy this time by Mont-Cenis, and
to make it on foot as far as the foot of Mont-Cenis on the Italian side,
intending to profit of the opportunity of the first conveyance I should
meet with at Suza to proceed to Turin. I accordingly forwarded my
portmanteau to Turin to the care of a banker there, and sallied forth from
Geneva at six o'clock on the morning of 1st August.

I stopped to dine at Frangy and reached Romilly at seven in the evening.
There is nothing worthy of remark at Romilly. The next morning I stopped at
Aix to breakfast, and visited the bath establishment. The scenery is
picturesque on this route, and the whole road from Aix to Chambery is
aligned with remarkably fine large trees. At three in the afternoon I
arrived at Chambery, the capital of Savoy. It is a large handsome city,
situated in a fruitful valley, with a great many gardens and orchards
surrounding it. There is a strong garrison here. Among the many _maisons de
plaisance_ in the environs of this city, the most distinguishable is the
villa of General De Boigne, who has passed the greatest part of his life in
India, in the service of Scindiah, one of the Mahratta chiefs;[73] and it
was by De Boigne's assistance that Scindiah, from being a petty chief, with
not more than three or four hundred horse, became the founder of a powerful
kingdom, comprized chiefly of the provinces of the Ganges and Jumna, torn
from the Mogol Empire, whose Sovereign fell into the hands of Scindiah.
Scindiah caused the Mogol Emperor's eyes to be put out, and kept him as a
state prisoner in Delhi, till the year 1805, when on the Mahrattas engaging
in war with the English, Scindiah was defeated by Lake and lost the greater
part of his conquests. De Boigne had quitted India in 1796, long before
this rupture took place, and at that time Scindiah had a fine regular army
of thirty battalions of 1,000 men, each disciplined, armed and equipped in
the European manner. He had likewise sixty squadrons of regular cavalry and
a formidable train of artillery. At Chambery I met with two French
_voyageurs de commerce_, who with that positiveness, which is often the
national characteristic, insisted that De Boigne owed his riches and
fortune to his treachery, in having betrayed and sold Tippoo Saib to the
English, when he was in Tippoo's service; and I find this is the current
report all over Savoy.

Now it is an accusation totally devoid of foundation, as I shall presently
show; and I took this opportunity of vindicating the reputation of De
Boigne, by simply stating that De Boigne could never have betrayd Tippoo,
since he was never in his service; 2dly, that he had, when in the service
of Scindiah, fought against Tippoo, when the Mahrattas coalesced with the
English against that Prince in 1792; and that had it not been for the
assistance given by the Mahrattas to the English (a most impolitic
coalition on the part of the Mahrattas, as it turned out afterwards),
Tippoo would not have been compelled to conclude so humiliating a treaty of
peace; 3dly, that De Boigne had quitted India in 1796, three years before
the second war and death of Tippoo in 1799. I stated, too, that I was
perfectly well acquainted with these particulars of De Boigne's career,
from having served six years in India, and from having been personally
acquainted with a gentleman of the name of Lucius Ferdinand Smith, who was
the ultimate friend of De Boigne and his lieutenant general in the service
of Scindiah; I added that I could not conceive how so unjust and unfounded
an aspersion on De Boigne's character could find currency.

I hope that what I said will be effectual towards doing away this injurious
report; but very probably it will not, for when the vulgar once imbibe an
opinion, it is difficult to eradicate it from their minds, and they are not
at all obliged to the person who endeavors to undeceive them, so that
General De Boigne's treachery and sale of Tippoo to the English will be
handed down to posterity among the Savoyards, as a fact of which it will be
as little permitted to doubt as of the treachery of Judas.

CHAMBERY, August 3d.

At the _table d'hote_ this day I nearly lost all patience on hearing an
elderly English gentleman extolling the English Ministry to the skies, and
abusing the army of the Loire, calling them rebels and traitors. I stood up
in defence of these gallant men, and stated that the French Army in the
time of the Republic and of the Empire were the most constitutional of all
the European armies, since they were taken from and identified with the
people; and that it was this brotherly feeling for their fellow citizens
that induced them to join the standards of Napoleon, on his return from
Elba; that they only followed the voice of the nation; that all France was
indignant at the tergiversation and breach of faith on the part of the
restored Government, in a variety of instances; and that, had Napoleon and
the army been out of the question, the Bourbons would not have failed to be
upset, from the indignation their measures had excited among the people. He
then said that the Army of the Loire was a most dangerous body of men, and
that that was the reason why the Allies insisted on their being disbanded.
I replied that this was the highest compliment he could pay them, and the
greatest feather in their cap, since it went to prove, that as long as this
Army was in existence, neither the crowned despots, nor the Ultras thought
themselves safe; and that they could not venture to pursue their
anti-national projects, which were all directed towards depriving the
French people of all they had gained by the Revolution and bringing them
back to the _blessings_ of the ancient _regime_. He could say nothing in
reply, but that he feared I had Jacobin principles, to which I made
rejoinder: "If these be Jacobin principles, I glory in them." Some
Sardinian officers, who were present, seemed to enjoy my argument, tho'
they said nothing; and one took me aside, when we quitted the table, and
said he rejoiced to see me take the old man in hand, as he disgusted them
every day by his tirades against the liberal party, and by his fulsome
adulations of the British Government. The old gentleman held forth likewise
in a long speech respecting the finances of England, in praise of the
sinking fund, and when it was suggested to him that England from the
immense national debt must one day become bankrupt: "_Non, Monsieur_," (he
said),"_la Caisse d'Amortissement empechera cela_." In fine, the _Caisse
d'Amortissement_ was to work miracles. I replied that the principle of the
_Caisse d'Amortissement_ was good, provided a constant and consistent
economy were practised; but that at present and during the whole time from
its establishment, it had been a mockery on the understanding of the
Nation, when we reflected on the profligate expenditure of public money,
occasioned by the ruinous, unjust and liberticide wars, which were entered
into and fomented by the British Government. Indeed, I said it was like the
conduct of a man who possessing an income of 200L per annum, should set
apart, in a box as a _Caisse d'epargne_, 20L annually, and at the same time
continue a style of living, the annual expence of which would so far exceed
his income, as to oblige him to borrow 7 or 800L every year. The old
gentleman was all amort at this comparison, which must be obvious to every
one. Nothing shows in a more glaring light the blind and superstitious
reverence paid to great names; for because this sinking fund was proposed
by Pitt, all his adherents extol it to the skies, without analysing it, and
give him besides the credit of an invention to which he had no right
whatever.

ST JEAN DE MAURIENNE.

I started from Chambery on the morning of the fourth of August, and stopped
at Montmelian to breakfast. Here begins the valley of Maurienne, and as
this valley, along which the road is cut, is extremely narrow, being hemmed
in on each side by the High Alps, Montmelian, which stands on an eminence
in the centre of the valley (the road running thro' the town), must be a
post of the utmost importance towards the defence of this pass. It was a
fortified place of great consideration in the former wars, and if the
fortifications were repaired and improved, it might be made almost
impregnable, as it would enfilade the road on each side. From the
above-mentioned features of the ground, the valley narrowing more and more
as you proceed, from the high mountains that align it and from its
sinuosities, it follows that at every angle or curve caused by these
sinuosities, you appear as if you were shut out from all the rest of the
world and could proceed no further. The river Isere runs thro' and parallel
with this valley. It rises in the mountains of Savoy and falls into the
Rhone in Dauphine. I passed the night at Aiguebelle.

From Aiguebelle to St Jean de Maurienne is twelve leagues, and I found
myself so tired with walking, and my legs from being swelled gave me so
much pain, that I determined to give up the _gloriole_ of making the whole
journey on foot as I intended and to remain here for two days to repose and
then profit by the first conveyance that might pass to conduct me to Turin.

From Aiguebelle the valley becomes still more narrow, and there is a
continual ascent, tho' it is so gentle as scarcely to be perceptible. Every
spot of ground in this valley, which will admit of cultivation, is put to
profit by the industry of the inhabitants. Here one sees beans, indian
corn, and even wines; for the heat is very great indeed in summer and
autumn, owing to the rays of the sun being concentrated, as it were, into a
focus, in this narrow valley, and were the bed of the Isere to be deepened,
or were it less liable to overflow, from the melting of the snow in spring
and summer, much land, which is now a marsh, might be applied to
agricultural purposes. The inhabitants of this valley regret very much the
separation of Savoy from France, as during the time that Duchy was annexed
to the French Empire, each peasant possessing an ass could earn three
franks per diem in transporting merchandise across Mont-Cenis. St Jean de
Maurienne is a neat little town. I put up at the same inn, and slept in the
same bedroom which was occupied by poor Didier who was put to death at
Grenoble for having raised the standard of liberty. He was surprized here
in bed by the _Carabiniere Reali_ of the Sardinian government, those
satellites of despotism; and according to the barbarous principles laid
down by the crowned heads, delivered over to the French authorities. I
observed a great many _cretins_ in this valley.

SUZA, 10th August.

On the morning of the 8th August two _vetturini_ passed by the inn at St
Jean de Maurienne, and I engaged a place in one of them, as far as Turin.
We arrived at the village of Modena in the evening. The landscape is much
the same as what we have hitherto passed, but the climate is considerably
colder, from the land being more elevated. Hitherto I had suffered much
inconvenience from the heat. The next morning we reached Lans-le-Bourg, the
last town of Savoy lying at the foot of Mount Cenis.

After breakfast we began the ascent of Mont Cenis, and I made the whole way
from Lans-le-Bourg to the _Hospice_ of Mont Cenis, that is, the whole
ascent, a distance of twenty-five Italian miles, on foot. This _chaussee_
is another wonderful piece of work of Napoleon; a broad carriage road, wide
enough for three carriages to go abreast, and cut zig-zag with so gentle a
slope as to allow a heavy French diligence to pass, with the utmost ease,
across a mountain where it was formerly thought impossible a wheel could
ever run. This _chaussee_ is passable at all seasons of the year; the
mountain is not so high as that of the Simplon and is less liable to
impediments from the snow; the obstacles from nature are less, and you can
descend in a sledge from the _Hospice_ by gliding down the side of the
cone, and thus descending in nine or ten minutes, whereas the ascent
requires four hours' time. From Lans-le-Bourg to the _Hospice_ on
Mont-Cenis the road is on the flank of an immense mountain and you have no
ravines to cross; the road is cut zig-zag on the flank of the mountain and
forms a considerable number of very acute angles, as it is made with so
gentle a slope that you scarcely feel the difficulty of the ascent. These
repeated zig-zags and acute angles formed by the road, and the very slight
slope given to the ascent, make the different branches appear to be almost
parallel to each other, and it is a very curious and novel sight when a
number of carriages are travelling together on this road to see them with
their horses' heads turned different ways, yet all following the same
course, just like ships on different tacks beating against the wind to
arrive at the same port, a comparison that could not fail immediately to
occur to a sailor. There is scarcely ever any detention on this road from
the fall of snow, as there are a considerable number of persons employed to
_deblay_ it as soon as it falls; but here, as well as on the Simplon, there
are _maisons de refuge_ at a short distance from each other. We stopped for
two hours at the inn at Mont-Cenis, which is about one hundred yards from
the _Hospice_. It was a remarkable fine day, and I enjoyed my walk very
much. The mountain air was keen and bracing and particularly delightful
after being shut up for some many days in the close valley. We had some
excellent trout for dinner. At Mont-Cenis, near the _Hospice_, is a large
lake which is frozen during eight months of the year. Here reigns eternal
winter and the mountains are covered with snows that never melt. From
Mont-Cenis to Suza the descent is very grand and striking, and the scenery
resembles that of the Simplon; there are more obstacles of nature than on
the former part of the road, and here ravines are connected by the means of
bridges, and there are subterraneous galleries to pass thro. Several
_chutes d'eau_ are here observable; one of them I cannot avoid mentioning,
as being very magnificent. It is formed by the Cenischia[74] which divides
Savoy from Piedmont and runs into the Dora at Suza. We were highly
gratified at the sight of the sublime scenery on all sides, and at the
magnificent _chaussee_, and we all (I mean the passengers in the two
coaches and myself) did hommage to the mighty genius who conceived and
caused to be executed such a stupendous work. We arrived at Suza at six
o'clock p.m.

TURIN, 18th August.

Suza is a tolerably large town and has a neat appearance. It is commanded
and defended by the fort of Brunetti, now dismantled, but which is to be
repaired according to the treaty of 1815. It will then be a very important
post and completely barr the pass of Suza. The road from Suza to Rivoli is
thro' a valley widening at every step; at Rivoli you _debouche_ at once
from the gorge of the mountain into a boundless plain. The road is then on
a magnificent _chaussee_ the whole way to Turin, and every vegetable
production announces a change of climate to those coming from Savoy. Here
are fields of wheat, indian corn, mulberry and elm trees and vines hung in
festoons from tree to tree, which give a most picturesque appearance to the
landscape, and, together with the country houses, serve as a relief to the
boundless plain. The _chaussee_ is lined with trees on each side the whole
way from Rivoli to Turin; I observed among carriages of all sorts small
cars, like those used by children, drawn by dogs. These cars contain one
person each. They are frequent in this part of the country, and such a
conveyance is called a _cagnolino_. The Convent of St Michael, situated on
an immense height to the right of the road between Suza and Rivoli, is a
very striking object. The mountain forms a single cone and it appears
impossible to reach the summit except on the back of a Hippogriff:

E ben appar che d'animal ch'abbia ale
Sia questa stanza nido o tana propria.[75]

The castle seemed the very neat and lair
Of animal, supplied with plume and quill.

--Trans. W.S. ROSE.

TURIN, 14 August.

Turin is a large, extremely fine and regular city, with all the streets
built at right angles. The shops are very brilliant; the two _Places_, the
_Piazza del Castello_ and the _Piazza di San Carlo_, are very spacious and
striking, and there are arcades on each side of the quadrangle formed by
them. The _Contrada del Po_ (for in Turin the streets are called
_Contrade_) leads down to the Po, and is one of the best streets in Turin.
Over the Po is a superb bridge built by Napoleon. In the centre of the
_Piazza del Castello_ stands the Royal Palace, and on one side of the
_Piazza_ the Grand Opera house. The streets in Turin are kept clean by
sluices. The favorite promenades are, during the day, under the arcades of
the _Piazza del Castello_ and those of the _Contrada del Po_; and in the
evening round the ramparts of the city, or rather on the site where the
ramparts stood. The French, on blowing up the ramparts, laid out the space
occupied by them in walks aligned by trees. The fortifications of the
citadel were likewise destroyed.

In the Cathedral Church here the most remarkable thing is the _Chapelle du
Saint Suaire_ (holy winding sheet). It is of a circular form, is inlaid
with black marble and admits scarce any light; so that it has more the
appearance of a Mausoleum than of a Chapel. It reminded me of the _Palace
of Tears_ in the Arabian Nights.

In the environs of Turin, the most remarkable buildings are a villa
belonging to the King called _La Venezia_, and the _Superga_, a magnificent
church built on an eminence, five miles distant from Turin. In the Royal
Palace, on the _Piazza del Castello_, there is some superb furniture, but
the exterior is simple enough. The country environing Turin forms a plain
with gentle undulations, increasing in elevation towards the Alps, which
are forty miles distant, and is so stocked with villas, gardens and
orchards as to form a very agreeable landscape. From the steeple of the
_Superga_ the view is very fine.

In the University of Turin is a very good _Cabinet d'Histoire naturelle_,
containing a great variety of beasts, birds and fishes stuffed and
preserved; there is also a Cabinet of Comparative Anatomy, and various
imitations in wax of anatomical dissections. Among the antiquities, of
which there is a most valuable collection, are two very remarkable ones:
the one a beautiful bronze shield, found in the Po, called the shield of
Marius; it represents, in figures in bas-relief, the history of the
Jugurthine war.[76] This shield is of the most exquisite workmanship. The
other is a table of the most beautiful black marble incrusted and inlaid
with figures and hieroglyphics of silver. It is called the _Table of Isis_,
was brought from Egypt and is supposed to be of the most remote antiquity.
It is always kept polished. Among the many valuable pieces of sculpture to
be met with here is a most lovely Cupid in Parian marble. He is represented
sleeping on a lion's skin. It is the most beautiful piece of sculpture I
have ever seen next to the Apollo Belvedere and the Venus dei Medici; it
appears alive, and as if the least noise would awake it.[77]

Turin used to be in the olden time one of the most brilliant Courts and
cities in Europe, and the most abounding in splendid equipages; now very
few are to be seen. When Piedmont was torn from the domination of the House
of Savoy and annexed to France, Turin, ceasing to be the capital of a
Kingdom, necessarily decayed in splendor, nor did its being made the _Chef
lieu_ of a _Prefecture_ of the French Empire make amends for what it once
was. The Restoration arrived, but has not been able to reanimate it; an air
of dullness pervades the whole city. Obscurantism and anti-liberal ideas
are the order of the day.

I witnessed a military review at which the King of Sardinia assisted. The
troops made a very brilliant appearance and manoeuvred well. His Majesty
has a very good seat on horseback and a distinguished military air. He is a
man of honor tho' he has rather too high notions of the royal dignity and
authority, and is too much of a bigot in religion; but his word can be
depended on, a great point in a King; there are so many of them that break
theirs and falsify all their promises. He will not hear of a constitution,
and endeavors to abolish or discountenance all that has been effected
during his absence. The priests are caressed and restored to their
privileges, so that the inhabitants of Piedmont are exposed to a double
despotism, a military and a sacerdotal one; the last is ten times more
ruinous and fatal to liberty and improvement than the former.

I have put up in Turin in the _Pension Suisse_, where for seven franks per
diem I have breakfast, dinner, supper and a princely bed room. The houses
are in general lofty, spacious and on a grand scale.

[67] Francois Lamarque, born 1756, a member of the Convention, ambassador
in Sweden, prefect of the Tarn and member of the Cour de Cassation
(1804). He was exiled in 1816.--ED.

[68] Major Frye (who wrote the name Despinassy) certainly means
Antoine-Joseph Marie Espinassy de Fontanelle's (1787-1829), who was a
member of the Convention, voted the King's death and served in the
Republican army of the Alps. In 1816, he was banished and went to
Lausanne, where he died 1829.--ED.

[69] Pardoux Bordas (1748-1842) was a member of the Convention. Though he
had not voted the death of Louis XVI, he was banished from France in
1816 and did not return there before 1828.--ED.

Book of the day: