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The Idler in France by Marguerite Gardiner

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I have omitted to notice the route to this place, having formerly
described the greater portion of it. I remarked a considerable
improvement in the different towns we passed through: the people look
cleaner, and an air of business has replaced the stagnation that used
to prevail, except in Marseilles and Toulon, which were always busy

Nismes surpasses my expectations, although they had been greatly
excited, and amply repays the long _detour_ we have made to visit it.

When I look round on the objects of antiquity that meet my eye on every
side, and above all on the Amphitheatre and _Maison Carree_, I am
forced to admit that Italy has nothing to equal the two last: for if
the Coliseum may be said to surpass the amphitheatre in dimensions, the
wonderful state of preservation of the latter renders it more
interesting; and the _Maison Carree_, it must be allowed, stands
without a competitor. Well might the Abbe Barthelemy, in his _Voyage
d'Anacharsis_, call it the masterpiece of ancient architecture and the
despair of modern!

The antiquities of Nismes have another advantage over those of Italy:
they are kept wholly free from the disgusting _entourage_ that impairs
the effect of the latter; and in examining them in the interior or
exterior, no risk is incurred of encountering aught offensive to the
olfactory nerves, or injurious to the _chaussure_.

We devoted last evening to walking round the town, and so cloudless was
the sky, so genial the air, and so striking the monuments of Roman
splendour, that I could have fancied myself again transported to Italy.

Our inn, the Hotel du Midi, is an excellent one; the apartments good,
and the _cuisine soignee_. In this latter point the French hotels are
far superior to the Italian; but in civility and attention, the hosts
of Italy have the advantage.

We had no sooner dined than half-a-dozen persons, laden with silk
handkerchiefs and ribands, brocaded with gold and silver, and silk
stockings, and crapes, all the manufacture of Nismes, came to display
their merchandise. The specimens were good, and the prices moderate; so
we bought some of each, much to the satisfaction of the parties
selling, and also of the host, who seemed to take a more than common
interest in the sale, whether wholly from patriotic feelings or not, I
will not pretend to say.

The _Maison Carree_, of all the buildings of antiquity I have yet seen,
is the one which has most successfully resisted the numerous assaults
of time, weather, Vandalism, and the not less barbarous attacks of
those into whose merciless hands it has afterwards fallen. In the early
part of the Christian ages it was converted into a church, and
dedicated to St.-Etienne the Martyr; and in the eleventh century it was
used as the Hotel-de-Ville. It was then given to a certain Pierre Boys,
in exchange for a piece of ground to erect a new hotel-de-ville; and
he, after having degraded it by using a portion of it as a party-wall
to a mean dwelling he erected adjoining it, disposed of it to a *Sieur
Bruyes, who, still more barbarous than Pierre Boys, converted it into a
stable. In 1670, it was purchased by the Augustin monks from the
descendants of Bruyes, and once more used as a church; and, in 1789, it
was taken from the Augustin monks for the purposes of the
administration of the department. From that period, every thing has
been done for its preservation. Cleared from the mean houses which had
been built around it, and enclosed by an iron palisade, which protects
it from mischievous hands, it now stands isolated in the centre of a
square, or _place_, where it can be seen at every side. Poldo
d'Albenas, a quaint old writer, whose book I glanced over to-day,
attributes the preservation of the _Maison Carree_ to the fortunate
horoscope of the spot on which it stands. His lamentations for the
insults offered to this building are really passionate.

The _Maison Carree_ is not square, though its denomination might lead
one to suppose it to be so, being nearly eighty feet long, and only
thirty-eight feet wide. Elevated on a base of cut stone, it is ascended
by a flight of steps, which extends the length of the base in front.
The walls of the building are of a fine white stone, and are admirably

The edifice has thirty fluted columns, with Corinthian capitals
beautifully sculptured, on which rests the architrave, with frieze and
cornice. This last is ornamented with sculpture; and the frieze, with
foliage finely executed.

The entrance is by a portico, open on three sides, and supported by two
columns, included in the thirty already named, of which six form the
front, and extend to the fourth, when commences the wall of the
building, in which the other columns are half imbedded, being united in
the building with its architrave. The fronton, which is over the
portico, has no ornament in the centre; neither has the frieze nor
architrave: but some holes mark where the bronze letters of an
inscription were once inserted.

This inscription has been conjectured, by the ingenious mode of placing
on paper the exact dimensions of the holes which formerly contained the
letters of it, and is now said to be as follows:--


But as more holes are found than would be filled by these letters, the
conclusion does not seem to me to be justified.

At the far end of the portico is the door of entrance, the only opening
by which light is admitted to the building. It is very lofty, and on
each side is a pilaster; beneath the cornice are two long cut stones,
which advance like a kind of architrave, pierced by a square hole of
above twelve inches, supposed to have been intended to support a bronze

The original destination of this beautiful edifice still furnishes a
subject for discussion among the antiquaries; some asserting it to have
been erected by the Emperor Adrian in honour of Plotina, while others
maintain it to have been a forum.

At present, it is used as a museum for the antiquities discovered at
Nismes, and contains some admirable specimens. Among these are a torso
in marble of a Roman knight, in a cuirass, and another colossal torso,
with a charming little draped statue seated in a curule chair, and
holding a cornucopia in the left hand; a cinerary monument, enriched
with bassi-relievi, representing a human sacrifice; a bronze head of
Apollo, much injured; and a Janus.

A funereal monument found in the neighbourhood of Nismes in 1824,
offers a very interesting object, being in a good state of
preservation. It is richly decorated, and by the inscription is proved
to have been that of Marcus Attius, aged twenty-five years, erected to
him by his mother Coelia, daughter of Sextus Paternus.

So fine is the proportion, so exquisite is the finish, and so wonderful
is the preservation of the _Maison Carree_, that I confess I had much
more pleasure in contemplating its exterior, than in examining all that
it contains, though many of these objects are well worth inspection.

I should like to have a small model of it executed in silver, as an
ornament for the centre of a table; but it would require the hand of a
master to do justice to the olive leaves of the capitals of the
columns; that is, if they were faithfully copied from the original.

It was, if I remember rightly, Cardinal Alberoni who observed that this
beautiful building ought to be preserved in a golden _etui_, and its
compactness and exquisite finish prove that the implied eulogium was
not unmerited.

I have nowhere else noticed the introduction of olive leaves in
Corinthian capitals instead of those of the acanthus; the effect of
which is very good. A design was once formed of removing the _Maison
Carree_ to Versailles. Colbert was the originator of this barbarous
project, which, however, was fortunately abandoned from the fear of
impairing, if not destroying, the beauty of the building. The Emperor
Napoleon is said to have entertained a similar notion, and meant to
grace Paris with this model of architectural perfection; but it was
found to be too solidly built to admit of removal, and he who could
shake empires, could not stir the _Maison Carree_.

The transportation of antiquities from their original site can never be
excused, except in cases where it was the only means of insuring their
preservation. All the power of association is lost when they are
transferred to other places; and the view of them ceases to afford that
satisfaction experienced when beheld where they were primarily destined
to stand. I can no more fancy the _Maison Carree_ appropriately placed
in the bustle and gaiety of Paris, than I could endure to see one of
the temples at Paestum stuck down at Charing Cross.

One loves, when contemplating such precious memorials of antiquity, to
look around on the objects in nature, still wearing the same aspect as
when they were reared. The hills and mountains, unlike the productions
of man, change not; and nowhere can the fragments of a bygone age
appear to such advantage as on the spots selected for their erection,
where their vicinity to peculiar scenery had been taken into

We spent a considerable time in examining the Amphitheatre, and so well
is it preserved, that one can hardly bring one's self to believe that
so many centuries have elapsed since it was built; and that generation
after generation has passed away, who have looked on this edifice which
now meets my view, so little changed by the ravages of that ruthless
conqueror Time, or the still more ruthless Visigoths who converted it
into a citadel, flanking the eastern door with two towers. In 737
Charles Martel besieged the Saracens, and set fire to it, and after
their expulsion it continued to be used as a citadel.

The form of this fine building is elliptical, and some notion of its
vast extent may be formed, when it is stated to have been capable of
containing above 17,000 spectators.

Its facade consists of two rows of porticoes, forming two galleries one
over the other, composing sixty arcades, divided by the same number of
Tuscan pilasters in the first range, and of Doric columns in the upper,
and an attic, which crowns all. Four principal doors, fronting the four
cardinal points, open into the amphitheatre, divided at nearly equal
distances one from the other.

The attic has no arcades, pilasters, or columns; but a narrow ledge
runs along it, which was probably used for the purpose of approaching
the projecting consoles, 120 in number, placed in couples at equal
distances between two columns, and pierced with a large hole, which
corresponds with a similar one in the cornice, evidently meant for
securing the awnings used to prevent the spectators from being
inconvenienced by the rain or sun.

These awnings did not extend to the arena, which was usually left open,
but were universally adopted in all the Roman amphitheatres, after
their introduction by Q. Catullus. The vast extent and extraordinary
commodiousness of the amphitheatres erected by the Romans, prove not
only the love of the sports exhibited in them entertained by that
people, but the attention paid to their health and comfort by the
architects who planned these buildings. The numerous vomitories were
not amongst the least important of these comforts, securing a safe
retreat from the theatre in all cases of emergency, and precluding
those fearful accidents that in our times have not infrequently
occurred, when an alarm of fire has been given. The mode of
arrangements, too, saved the spectators from all the deleterious
results of impure air, while the velarium preserved them from the sun.
But not only were the spectators screened from too fervid heat, but
they could retreat at pleasure, in case of rain or storm, into the
galleries, where they were sheltered from the rain. Our superior
civilization and refinement have not led to an equal attention to
safety and comfort in the mode of our ingress and egress from theatres,
or to their ventilation; but perhaps this omission may be accounted for
by the difference of our habits from those of the Romans. Public
amusements were deemed as essential to their comfort, as the enjoyment
of home is to ours; and, consequently, while we prefer home--and long
may we continue to do so--our theatres will not be either so vast or so
commodious as in those times and countries, where domestic happiness
was so much less understood or provided for.

The erection of this magnificent edifice is attributed to Vespasian,
Titus, or Domitian, from a fragment of an inscription discovered here
some fourteen or fifteen years ago, of which the following is a

VII. TRI. PO.....

And as only these three filled the consulate eight times since
Tiberius, in whose age no amphitheatre had been built in the Roman
provinces, to one of them is adjudged its elevation.

Could I only remember one half the erudition poured forth on my addled
brain by the cicerone, I might fill several pages, and fatigue others
nearly as much as he fatigued me; but I will have pity on my readers,
and spare them the elaborate details, profound speculations, ingenious
hypotheses, and archaiological lore that assailed me, and wish them,
should they ever visit Nismes, that which was denied me--a tranquil and
uninterrupted contemplation of its interesting antiquities, free from
the verbiage of a conscientious cicerone, who thinks himself in duty
bound to relate all that he has ever heard or read relative to the
objects he points out.

Even now my poor head rings with the names of Caius and Lucius Caesar,
Tiberius, Trajan, Adrian, Diocletian, and Heaven only knows how many
other Roman worthies, to whom Nismes owes its attractions, not one of
whom did this learned Theban omit to enumerate.

Many of the antiquities of Nismes, which we went over to-day, might
well command attention, were they not in the vicinity of two such
remarkable and well-preserved monuments as the Amphitheatre and _Maison

The Gate of Augustus, which now serves as the entrance to the barracks
of the gendarmerie, is worthy of inspection. It consists of four
arches--two of equal size, for the admittance of chariots and horsemen,
and two less ones for pedestrians. The centres of the two larger arches
are decorated by the head of a bull, in alto-relievo; and above each of
the smaller arches is a niche, evidently meant for the reception of a

A Corinthian pilaster divides the larger arches from the less, and a
similar one terminates the building on each side; while the two larger
arches are separated by a small Ionic column, which rests on a
projecting abutment whence the arches spring. The Gate of France has
but one arch, and is said to have been flanked by towers; of which,
however, it has little vestige.

The inhabitants of Nismes seem very proud of its antiquities, and even
the humbler classes descant with much erudition on the subject. Most,
if not all of them, have studied the guide-books, and like to display
the extent of their _savoir_ on the subject.

They evince not a little jealousy if any preference seems accorded to
the antiquities of Italy over those of their town; and ask, with an air
of triumph, whether any thing in Italy can be compared with their
_Maison Carree_, expressing their wonder that so few English come to
look at it.

La Tour-Magne stands on the highest of the hills, at the base of which
is spread the town. It is precisely in the state most agreeable to
antiquaries, as its extreme dilapidation permits them to indulge those
various conjectures and hypotheses relative to its original
destination, in which they delight. They see in their "mind's eye" all
these interesting works of antiquity, _not_ as they _really_ are, but
as it pleases them to imagine they _once_ were; and, consequently, the
less that actually remains on which to base their suppositions, the
wider field have they for their favourite speculations.

This tower is said by some to have been intended for a lighthouse;
others assert it to have been a treasury; a third party declares it to
be the remains of a palace; and, last of all, it is assumed to have
been a mausoleum.

Its form, judging from what remains, must have been pyramidical,
composed of several stages, forming octagons, retreating one above the
other. It suffered much from Charles Martel in 737, who wished to
destroy it, owing to its offering a strong military position to the
Saracens; and still more from the ravages of a certain Francis Trancat,
to whom Henry IV granted permission to make excavations in the interior
of it, on condition that three parts of the product should be given up
to the royal coffer.

The result did not repay the trouble or expense; and one cannot help
being rejoiced that it did not, as probably, had it been otherwise, the
success would have served as an incentive to destroy other buildings.

In the vicinity of the Tour-Magne are the fountain, terrace, and
garden, the last of which is well planted, and forms a very agreeable
promenade for the inhabitants of Nismes. The fountain occupies the site
of the ancient baths--many vestiges of which having been discovered
have been employed for this useful, but not tasteful, work.

It was not until the middle of the eighteenth century, that it was
suspected that the water which served to turn a mill in the immediate
vicinity had been obstructed by the ruins which impeded its course.
This obstruction led to excavations, the result of which was the
discovery of the remains of buildings, columns, statues, inscriptions,
and fragments of rare marbles.

The obstructions being thus removed, and the town enriched by the
precious objects found, the persons to whom the direction of the
excavation was confided, instead of vigorously pursuing the task, were
content with what they had already discovered, and once more closed up
the grave in which so many treasures of antiquity were still
interred--using many of the materials disinterred for the formation of
the terraces which now cover it.

The architect selected to execute this work was Philip Marechal, an
engineer, never previously employed, except in military architecture: a
fact to which may be attributed the peculiar style that he has
exhibited--bastions and trenches being adopted, instead of the usual
and more appropriate forms generally used for terraces and canals.

To these are subjoined ornaments of the period in which the work was
completed--the fitness of which is not more to HBO commended than that
of the work itself: the whole offering a curious mixture of military
and _rococo_ taste.

It was in the freshness of early morning that I, yesterday, again
visited the garden of the fountain and its fine chesnut trees and
laurel roses; the latter, growing in great luxuriance, looked
beautiful, the sun having not yet scorched them. The fountain, too, in
its natural bed, which is not less than seventy-two French feet in
diameter, and twenty feet in depth, was pellucid as crystal, and
through it the long leaves that nearly cover the gravel appeared green
as emerald.

The hill above the fountain has been tastefully planted with evergreen
trees, which shade a delicious walk, formed to its summit.

This improvement to the appearance, as well as to the _agrements_, of
Nismes, is due to Monsieur d'Haussey[1], prefect, whose popularity is
said to be deservedly acquired, by his unremitting attention to the
interests of the city, and his urbanity to its inhabitants.

Nismes is a gay town, if I may judge by the groups of well-dressed
women and men we have observed at the promenade.

It has a considerable garrison, and the officers are occasionally seen
passing and repassing; but not, as I have often remarked in England,
lazily lounging about as if anxious to kill time, but moving briskly as
if on business.

The various accomplishments acquired by young men in France offer a
great resource in country quarters. Drawing, in which most of them have
attained a facility, if not excellence, enables them to fill albums
with clever sketches; and their love of the fine arts leads them to
devote some hours in most days to their cultivation.

This is surely preferable to loitering in news-rooms, sauntering in the
shops of pretty milliners, breaking down the fences of farmers, or
riding over young wheat--innocent pastimes, sometimes undertaken by
young officers for mere want of some occupation.

The Temple of Diana is in the vicinity of the fountain, which has given
rise to the conjecture that it originally constituted a portion of the
ancient baths. Its shape is rectangular, and a large opening in the
centre forms the entrance.

Twelve niches, five of which open into the partition of the temple, and
two on the right and left of the entrance, are crowned by frontons
alternately circular and triangular, and are said to have contained
statues. This is one of the most picturesque ruins I ever saw. Silence
and solitude reign around it, and wild fig-trees enwreath with their
luxuriant foliage the opening made by Time, and half conceal the wounds
inflicted by barbarian hands.

I could have spent hours in this desecrated temple, pondering on the
brevity of life, as compared with its age. There is something pure and
calm in such a spot, that influences the feelings of those who pause in
it; and by reminding them of the inevitable lot of all sublunary
things, renders the cares incidental to all who breathe, less acutely
felt for the time.

Is not every ruin a history of the fate of generations, which century
after century has seen pass away?--generations of mortals like
ourselves, who have been moved by the same passions, and vexed by the
same griefs; like us, who were instinct with life and spirit, yet whose
very dust has disappeared. Nevertheless, we can yield to the futile
pleasures, or to the petty ills of life, as if their duration was to be
of long extent, unmindful that ages hence, others will visit the
objects we now behold, and find them little changed, while we shall
have in our turn passed away, leaving behind no trace of our existence.

I never see a beautiful landscape, a noble ruin, or a glorious fane,
without wishing that I could bequeath to those who will come to visit
them when I shall be no more, the tender thoughts that filled my soul
when contemplating them; and thus, even in death, create a sympathy.



We stopped but a short time at Beaucaire, where we saw the largo plain
on the banks of the Rhone, on which are erected the wooden houses for
the annual fair which takes place in July, when the scene is said to
present a very striking effect.

These wooden houses are filled with articles of every description, and
are inhabited by the venders who bring their goods to be disposed of to
the crowds of buyers who flock here from all parts, offering, in the
variety of their costumes and habits, a very animated and showy

The public walk, which edges the grassy plain allotted to the fair, is
bordered by large elm-trees, and the vicinity to the river insures that
freshness always so desirable in summer, and more especially in a
climate so warm as this.

The town of Beaucaire has little worthy of notice, except its
Hotel-de-Ville and church, both of which are handsome buildings. We
crossed the Rhone over the bridge of boats, from which we had a good
view, and arrived at Tarascon.

The chateau called the Castle of King Rene, but which was erected by
Louis II, count of Provence, is an object of interest to all who love
to ponder on the olden time, when gallant knights and lovely dames
assembled here for those tournaments in which the good Rene delighted.

Alas for the change! In those apartments in which the generous monarch
loved to indulge the effusions of his gentle muse, and where fair
ladies smiled, and belted knights quaffed ruby wine to their healths,
now dwell reckless felons and hopeless debtors; for the chateau is
converted into a prison.

In the Church of St. Martha we saw a relic of the barbarism of the dark
ages, in the shape of a grotesque representation of a dragon, called
the Tarasque. This image is formed of wood, rudely painted in gandy

Twice a-year it is borne through the streets of Tarascon, in
commemoration of the destruction of a fabulous monster that long
frequented the Rhone, and devoured many of the inhabitants of the
surrounding country, but was at length vanquished by St. Martha; who,
having secured it round the neck by her veil, delivered it to the just
vengeance of the Tarascons. This legend is received as truth by common
people, and our guide informed us that they warmly resent any _doubt_
of its authenticity.

The monument of St. Martha is shown in the church dedicated to her, and
her memory is held in great reverence at Tarascon.

The country between this place and Tarascon is fertile and well
cultivated, and the cheerfulness of its aspect presents a striking
contrast to the silence and solitude of the town. The streets, however,
are as clean as those of Holland, and the inhabitants are neat and tidy
in their attire.

The houses are for the most part old and dilapidated, looking in nearly
as ruined a condition as the fragments of antiquity which date so many
centuries before them. Nevertheless, some of the streets and dwellings
seem to indicate that a spirit of improvement is abroad.

Our hotel is a large, crazy, old mansion, reminding me of some of those
at Shrewsbury; and its furniture appears to be coeval with it, as
nothing can be more homely or misshapen. Oak and walnut-tree chairs,
beds, and tables form the chief part, and these are in a very rickety
condition; nevertheless, an air of cleanliness and comfort pervades the
rooms, and with the extreme rusticity of the _ameublement_, give one
the notion of being in some huge old farm-house.

Nor is the manner of the good hostess calculated to dispel this
illusion. When our three carriages drove to her door, though prepared
for our arrival by the courier, she repeatedly said that her poor house
had no accommodation for such guests, and we had some difficulty in
persuading her that we were easily satisfied.

She had donned her fete dress for our reception, and presented a very
picturesque appearance, as she stood smiling and bustling about at the
door. She wore a high cap reminding me of those of the women in
Normandy: brown stays; linsey-woolsey, voluminous petticoats;
handkerchief and apron trimmed with rich old-fashioned lace; and long
gold ear-rings, and chain of the same material, twisted at least ten
times round her neck.

She explained to us, in a _patois_ not easily understood, that her
house was only frequented by the farmers, and their wives and
daughters, who attended the fetes, or occasionally by a stray traveller
who came to explore the antiquities.

Before I had travelled much on the Continent, I confess that the
appearance of this dwelling would have rather startled me as a _sejour_
for two days, but now I can relish its rusticity; for cleanliness, that
most indispensable of all requisites to comfort, is not wanting.

The furniture is scrubbed into brightness, the small diamond-shaped
panes of the old-fashioned casements are clean as hands can make them;
the large antique fireplace is filled with fresh flowers; and the
walnut-tree tables are covered with white napkins.

No sooner had we performed our ablutions, and changed our travelling
dresses for others, than our good hostess, aided by three active young
country maidens, served up a plentiful dinner, consisting of an
excellent _pot-au-feu_, followed by fish, fowl, and flesh, sufficient
to satisfy the hunger of at least four times the number of our party.

Having covered the table until it literally "groaned with the weight of
the feast," she seated herself at a little distance from it, and issued
her commands to her hand-maidens what to serve, and when to change a
plate, what wine to offer, and which dish she most recommended, with a
good-humoured attention to our wants, that really anticipated them.

There was something as novel as patriarchal in her mode of doing the
honours, and it pleased us so much that we invited her to partake of
our repast; but she could not be prevailed on, though she consented to
drink our healths in a glass of her best wine.

She repeatedly expressed her fears that our dinner was not sufficiently
_recherche_, and hoped we would allow her to prepare a good supper.

When we were descending the stairs, she met us with several of her
female neighbours _en grande toilette_, whom she had invited to see the
strangers, and who gazed at us with as much surprise as if we were
natives of Otaheite, beheld for the first time. Cordial greetings,
however, atoned for the somewhat too earnest examination to which we
had been subjected; and many civil speeches from our good hostess, who
seemed not a little proud of displaying her foreign guests, rewarded
the patience with which we submitted to the inspection.

One old lady felt the quality of our robes, another admired our
trinkets, and a third was in raptures with our veils. In short, as a
Frenchwoman would say, we had _un grand succes_; and so, our hostess
assured us.

We went over the Amphitheatre, the dimensions of which exceed those of
the Amphitheatre at Nismes. Three orders of architecture are also
introduced in it, and it has no less than sixty arcades, with four
large doors; that on the north side has a very imposing effect. The
corridor leading to the arena exhibits all the grandeur peculiar to the
public buildings of the Romans, and is well worthy of attention; but
the portion of the edifice that most interested me was the
subterranean, which a number of workmen were busily employed in
excavating, under the superintendence of the Prefect of Arles, a
gentleman with whose knowledge of the antiquities of his native town,
and urbanity towards the strangers who visit them, we have every reason
to be satisfied.

Under his guidance, we explored a considerable extent of the recently
excavated subterranean, a task which requires no slight devotion to
antiquities to induce the visitor to persevere, the inequalities of the
ground exposing one continually to the danger of a fall, or to the
still more perilous chance--as occurred to one of our party--of the
head coming in contact with the roof.

We saw also fragments of a theatre in the garden of the convent of La
Misericorde, consisting of two large marble columns and two arches.

In the ancient church of St. Anne, now converted into a museum, are
collected all the fragments of antiquity discovered at Arles, and in
its vicinity; some of them highly interesting, and bearing evidences of
the former splendour of the place.

An altar dedicated to the Goddess of Good; the celebrated Mithras with
a serpent coiled round him, between the folds of which are sculptured
the signs of the zodiac; Medea and her children; a mile-stone, bearing
the names of the Emperors Theodosius and Valentinian; a basso-relievo
of the Muses; several sarcophagi, votive altars, cornices, pillars,
mutilated statues, and inscriptions, are here carefully preserved: but
nothing in the collection equals the statue known by the title of the
Venus of Arles, found here, and which is so deservedly admired at the

An obelisk of granite, about sixty feet high, said to be the only
antique one in France, stands on the place of the Hotel-de-Ville.
Discovered in 1389, it was not disinterred from the earth in which it
was embedded until the reign of Charles IX, and was erected on its
present site in 1676, with a dedication to the then reigning sovereign,
Louis XIV; A globe, ornamented with _fleurs de lis_ placed on its
point, deteriorates, in my opinion, from the beauty of its effect. It
was originally in one block, but it was broken in two by its overturn.

Many houses in the streets have portions of columns, friezes, and
cornices embedded in their walls; and one of them, occupied by a
barber, had a column in front, to which the insignia of his profession
were attached. Ruins, said to be those of the palace of Constantine,
were pointed out to us, as well as fragments of a forum and baths.

Arles is certainly one of the most interesting towns I have ever seen,
whether viewed as a place remarkable for the objects of antiquity it
contains, or for the primitive manners of its inhabitants and its
picturesque appearance.

The quays are spacious and well built, presenting a very different
aspect to the streets; for the former are very populous, being
frequented by the boatmen who ply their busy commerce between Lyons and
Marseilles--depots for the merchandise being erected along them, while
the latter are comparatively deserted.

With this facility of communication with two such flourishing towns, it
is extraordinary that Arles should have so long retained the primitive
simplicity that seems to pervade it, and that a good hotel has not yet
been established here.

Our good hostess provided nearly as substantial a supper for us last
night as the early dinner served up on our arrival, and again presided
at the repast, pressing us to eat, and recommending, with genuine
kindness, the various specimens of dainties set before us. Our beds,
though homely, were clean; and I have seldom, in the most luxurious
ones, reposed equally soundly.

When our courier asked for the bill this morning, the landlady declared
she "knew not what to charge, that she never was in the habit of making
out bills, and that we must give her what we thought right."

The courier urged the necessity of having a regular bill, explaining to
her that he was obliged to file all bills, and produce them every week
for the arrangement of his accounts,--but in vain: she could not, she
declared, make one out; and no one in her house was more expert than

She came to us, laughing and protesting, and ended by saying, "Pay what
you like; things are very cheap at Arles. You have eaten very little;
really, it is not worth charging for." But, when we persisted on having
her at least name a sum, to our infinite surprise she asked, if a
couple of louis would be too much?--And this for a party of six, and
six servants, for two days!

We had some difficulty in inducing her to accept a suitable
indemnification, and parted, leaving her proclaiming what she was
pleased to consider our excessive generosity, and reiterating her good



The town of St.-Remy is delightfully situated in a hollow that
resembles the crater of an extinct volcano, and is surrounded by
luxuriant groves of olive. The streets, though generally narrow, are
rendered picturesque by several old houses, the architecture of which
is striking; and the _place_--for even St.-Remy has its Place Publique
and Hotel-de-Ville--is not without pretensions to ornament. In the
centre of this _place_ is a pretty fountain, of a pyramidal form.

The antiquities which attracted us to St.-Remy are at a short distance
from the town, on an eminence to the south of it, and are approached by
a road worthy the objects to which it conducts. They consist of a
triumphal arch, and a mausoleum, about forty-five feet asunder.

Of the triumphal arch, all above the archivault has disappeared,
leaving but the portico, the proportions of which are neither lofty nor
wide. On each side of it are two fluted columns, said to have been of
the Corinthian order, but without capitals, and the intercolumniations,
in each of which are figures of male and female captives.

A tree divides the male from the female; their hands are tied, and
chained to the tree; and a graceful drapery falls from above the heads
down to the consoles on which the figures stand.

On the eastern side of the arch are also figures, representing two
women, by the side of two men. One of the women has her hand on the arm
of a chained warrior, and the other has at her feet military trophies;
among which bucklers, arms, and trumpets, may be seen. The pilasters
that bound the intercolumniations are of the Doric order, and their
capitals support the arch.

The cornice and astragals form a frieze, in which military emblems and
symbols of sacrifice are intermingled. The archivault is ornamented on
each side with sculptured wreaths of ivy, pine cones, branches of
grapes and olives, interlaced with ribands. The ceiling of the portico
is divided into hexagons and squares, enriched by various designs in
the shape of eggs and roses, finely executed.

This interesting monument appears to have been ornamented with equal
care and richness on every side, but its decorations have not enabled
any of the numerous antiquaries who have hitherto examined it to throw
any light on its origin; and the destruction of its architecture must
have caused that of its inscription, if, indeed, it ever bore one.

The mausoleum is even more curious than the arch, as being the only
building of a similar character of architecture to be seen.

Placed on a large square pediment, approached by two steps, the edifice
rises with unequalled lightness and beauty against the blue sky,
forming two stages supported by columns and pilasters, united by a
finely sculptured frieze. The first stage retreats from the pediment;
and the second, which is of a round form, and terminated by a
conical-shaped top, is less in advance than the first, giving a
pyramidal effect.

The four fronts of the pediment are nearly covered by bassi-relievi,
representing battles of infantry; the figures of which are nearly as
large as life, and admirably designed.

On the north front is a combat of cavalry; on the west, an engagement,
in the midst of which the body of a man is lying on the ground, one
party of soldiers endeavouring to take possession of it, while another
band of soldiers are trying to prevent them.

The basso-relievo of the south front represents a field of battle,
strewed with the dead and wounded, and mingled with warriors on
horseback and on foot. On one side is seen a wild boar between the legs
of the soldiers; and on the other, a female figure, quite nude,
prostrate on the earth before a rearing horse, which some soldiers are
endeavouring to restrain.

In the centre of the basso-relievo is an old man expiring, surrounded
by several persons; and at one end a soldier, bearing arms on his
shoulder, has been left unfinished by the sculptor; there not being
sufficient space for the figure, which is partly designed on the
adjoining pilaster.

On the east front is a winged female bearing the attributes of Victory,
with several women and warriors, and an allegorical personage said to
represent a river, because it holds in one hand a symbol of water. This
last figure, also, is partly sculptured on the contiguous pilaster, as
is the one previously noted, which proves that these ornaments were not
executed at the time of the erection of the edifice.

The pediment has a simple cornice around it, and the angles are
finished by voluted pilasters without a base, but with Ionic capitals,
which have an extraordinary effect. Above the basso-relievo is a
massive garland, supported by three boys, at equal distances; and
between them are four heads of old men, as hideously grotesque as the
imaginations of the sculptors could render them.

The first stage of the mausoleum which rises from this pedestal is
pierced by an arch on each side, in the form of a portico, and their
archivaults are ornamented by foliage and scrolls.

The arches rest on plain pilasters, with capitals more resembling the
Doric than any other order of architecture. On the keystone of each
arch is the mark of a youthful male head, surmounted by two wings. The
four angles of the first stage are finished by a fluted column, with a
capital charmingly executed, like, but not quite, the Corinthian. These
columns sustain an entablature or two, which terminate this stage, and
its frieze is enriched with sculpture representing winged sea-monsters
and sirens with sacrificial instruments.

Above the first stage rises the second, which is of a round form, with
ten fluted columns, which support its circular entablature; the
capitals of these columns are similar to those of the first stage, and
the frieze is ornamented with foliage delicately sculptured.

A round cupola terminates this building, through which the light shines
in on every side, although two male statues in togas occupy the centre
of it.

To view the height at which these figures are placed, one would suppose
they were safe from the attacks of the mischievous or the curious;
nevertheless, they did not escape, for, many years ago, during the
night, their heads were taken off, and those that replaced them reflect
little credit on the taste or skill of the modern sculptor who executed
the task.

On the architrave of the entablature of the first stage, and on the
north front, is the following inscription:--


Various are the opinions given by the writers who have noticed this
monument as to the cause for which, and person, or persons for whom, it
was erected. Some maintain that the triumphal arch from its vicinity
has a relation to the mausoleum, while others assert them to have been
built at different epochs.

The inscription has only served to base the different hypotheses of
antiquaries, among which that of the Abbe Barthelemy is considered the
most probable; namely, that in the three first words are found two
initials, which he considers may be rendered as follows:--


and the two other initials, C.F., which follow the word JVLIEI, may be
explained in the same manner to signify Caii Filii, and, being joined
to Juliei, which precedes, may be received to mean Julii Caii Filii.

Mantour's reading of the inscription is, Caius Sextius Lucius, Maritus
JULIAE Incomparabilis, Curavit Fieri PARENTIBUS SUIS; which he
translates into Caius Sextius Lucius, Husband of Julia, caused this
Monument to be erected to the Memory of his Ancestors, and the
victories achieved by them in Provence, which on different occasions
had been the theatre of war of the Romans.

Bouche's version of it is,--

{Lucius, }
Sextus {Laelius, } Maritus Juliae.

Istud Cenotaphium,}
or, } Fecit Parentibus Suis;
Intra Circulum, }

which he asserts to mean,--Sextus, in honour of his Father and Mother,
buried in this place, and represented by the two statues surrounded by
columns in the upper part of the mausoleum.

Monsieur P. Malosse, to whose work on the antiquities of St.-Remy I am
indebted for the superficial knowledge I have attained of these
interesting objects, explains the inscription to mean,--


which he translates into Sextus, Lucius, Marcus (all three), of the
race of Julius, elevated this monument to the glory of their relations.

M. Malosse believes that the mausoleum was erected to Julius, and the
arch to Augustus Caesar--the first being dead, and the second then
living; and that the statues in the former, in the Roman togas, were
intended to represent the two.

He imagines that the subjects of the bassi-relievi on the four fronts
of the mausoleum bear out this hypothesis. That of the east, he says,
represents the combat of the Romans with the Germans on the bank of the
Rhine (of which river the one on the basso-relievo is the emblem), and
the triumph of Caesar over Ariovistus, whoso women were taken prisoners.

The basso-relievo on the south front represents Caesar's conquest of the
Allobroges, and the capture of the daughter of Orgetorix, one of the
most powerful men of the country, and instigator of the war. The
basso-relievo on the north front, representing a combat of cavalry,
refers to the victory over the Britons; and that of the west front, to
the battle gained by the Romans over the Gauls, in which the general of
the latter was killed in the midst of his soldiers, who endeavoured to
prevent his being seized by the enemy.

Passages from the _Commentaries of Caesar_, favour this ingenious
interpretation of M.P. Malosse; but the abbreviations adopted in the
inscription, while well calculated to give rise to innumerable
hypotheses, will for ever leave in doubt, by whom, and in honour of
whom, these edifices were erected, as well as the epoch at which they
were built.

Who could look on these monuments without reflecting on the vanity of
mortals in thus offering up testimonials of their respect for persons
of whose very names posterity is ignorant? For the identity of those in
whose honour the Arch of Triumph and Mausoleum of St.-Remy were raised
puzzles antiquaries as much as does that of the individual for whom the
pyramid of Egypt was built. Vain effort, originating in the weakness of
our nature, to preserve the memory of that which was dear to us, and
which we would fain believe will insure the reverence of ages unborn
for that which we venerated!



Yon stately tomb that seeks the sky,
Erected to the glorious dead,
Through whose high arches sweeps, the sigh
The night winds heave when day has fled;


How fair its pillared stories rise
'Gainst yon blue firmament so pure;
Fair as they met admiring eyes,
Long ages past, they still endure.


Yes, many a race hath left the earth
Since first this Mausoleum rose;
So many, that the name, or birth,
Of dead, or founder, no one knows.


The sculptured pictures, all may see,
Were by a skilful artist wrought;
But, Time! the secret rests with thee,
Which to unravel men have sought.


Of whom were they, the honoured dead,
Whose mem'ry Love would here record?
Lift up the veil, so long o'erspread,
And tell whose dust yon fane doth guard.


Name those whose love outlived the grave
And sought to give for aye to fame
Mementos of the good and brave,
Of whom thou hast effaced the name.


We know but that they lived and died,--
No more this stately tomb can tell:
Here come and read a lesson, Pride,
This monument can give so well.


They lived--they hoped--they suffered--loved--
As all of Earth have ever done;
Were oft by wild Ambition moved,
And basked, perchance, 'neath glory's Sun.


They deemed that they should leave behind
Undying names. Yet, mark this fane,
For whom it rose, by whom designed,
Learned antiquaries search in vain.


Still doth it wear the form it wore,
Through the dim lapse of by-gone age;
Triumph of Art in days of yore,
Whose Hist'ry fills the classic page.


To honour Victors it is said
'Twas raised, though none their names can trace;
It stands as monument instead,
Unto each long-forgotten race,


Who came, like me, to gaze and brood
Upon it in this lonely spot--
Their minds with pensive thoughts imbued,
That Heroes could be thus forgot.


Yet still the wind a requiem sighs,
And the blue sky above it weeps;
Thu Sun pours down its radiant dyes,
Though none can tell who 'neath it sleeps.


And seasons roll, and centuries pass,
And still unchanged thou keep'st thy place;
While we, like shadows in a glass,
Soon glide away, and leave no trace.


And yon proud Arch, the Victor's meed,
Is nameless as the neighbouring Tomb:
Victor, and Dead, the Fates decreed
Your memory to oblivion's gloom.



I see little alteration at Lyons since I formerly passed through it.
Its manufactories are, nevertheless, flourishing, though less
improvement than could be expected is visible in the external aspect of
the place.

This being Sunday, and the _Fete-Dieu_, the garrison, with flags
flying, drums beating, trumpets sounding, and all in gala dress,
marched through the streets to attend Divine worship. The train was
headed by our old acquaintance General Le Paultre de la Motte, (whom we
left at Lyons on our route to Italy), and his staff; wearing all their
military decorations, attended by a vast procession, including the
whole of the clergy in their rich attires and all the different
religious communities in the town.

The officers were bare-headed--their spurred heels and warlike
demeanour rendering this homage to a sacred ceremony more picturesque.
The gold and silver brocaded vestments and snowy robes of the priests
glittering in the sun, as they marched along to the sound of martial
music, looked very gorgeous; and this mixture of ecclesiastical and
military pomp had an imposing effect.

The streets through which the procession passed were ornamented with
rich draperies and flowers, reminding me of Italy on similar occasions;
and the intense heat of a sun glowing like a fiery furnace, aided the

Since I have been on the continent, it has often struck me with
surprise, that on solemn occasions like the present, sacred music has
not been performed instead of military. Nay, I have heard quadrilles
and waltzes played, fruitful in festive associations little suited to
the feelings which ought to have been excited by solemn ceremonials.

Knowing, by experience, the effect produced on the mind by sacred
music, it is much to be wished that so potent an aid to devotional
sentiment should not be omitted, _malgre_ whatever may be said against
any extraneous assistance in offering up those devotions which the
heart should be ever prompt to fulfil without them.

I leave to casuists to argue whether, or how far, music, sculpture, or
painting, may be employed as excitements to religious fervour: but I
confess, although the acknowledgment may expose me to the censure of
those who differ with me in opinion, that I consider them powerful
adjuncts, and, consequently, not to be resigned because _some_--and
happy, indeed, may they be deemed--stand in no need of such incitements
to devotion.

Who that has heard the "_Miserere_" in the Sistine chapel at Rome, and
seen, while listening to it, "The Last Judgment," by Michael Angelo, on
its walls, without feeling the powerful influence they exercised on the



_June_, 1828.--A fatiguing journey, over dusty roads, and in intensely
hot weather, has brought us to Paris, with no accident save the failure
of one of the wheels of our large landau--a circumstance that caused
the last day's travelling to be any thing but agreeable; for though our
courier declared the temporary repair it received rendered it perfectly
safe, I was by no means satisfied on the point.

We have taken up our abode in the Hotel de la Terrasse, Rue de Rivoli,
are well-lodged, but somewhat incommoded by the loud reverberation of
the pavement, as the various vehicles roll rapidly over it. We were
told that "it would be nothing when we got used to it"--an assertion,
the truth of which, I trust, we shall not remain sufficiently long to
test; for I have a peculiar objection to noise of every kind, and a
long residence in Italy has not conquered it.

So here we are, once more, at Paris, after six years' absence from it;
and I find all that has hitherto met my eyes in it _in statu quo_. How
many places have I seen during that period; how many associations
formed; how many and what various impressions received; and here is
every thing around looking so precisely as I left them, that I can
hardly bring myself to believe that I have indeed been so many years

When we bring back with us the objects most dear, and find those we
left unchanged, we are tempted to doubt the lapse of time; but one link
in the chain of affection broken, and every thing seems altered.

On entering Paris, I felt my impatience to see our dear friends there
redouble; and, before we had despatched the dinner awaiting our
arrival, the Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, came to us. How warm was our
greeting; how many questions to be asked and answered; how many
congratulations and pleasant plans for the future to be formed; how
many reminiscences of our mutual _sejour_ in dear Italy to be talked

The Duchesse was radiant in health and beauty, and the Duc looking, as
he always does, more _distingue_, than any one else--the perfect _beau
ideal_ of a nobleman.

We soon quitted the _salle a manger_; for who could eat during the joy
of a first meeting with those so valued?--Not I, certainly; and all the
rest of our party were as little disposed to do honour to the repast
commanded for us.

It was a happy evening. Seated in the _salon_, and looking out on the
pleasant gardens of the Tuileries, the perfume of whose orange-trees
was wafted to us by the air as we talked over old times, and indulged
in cheerful anticipations of new ones, and the tones of voices familiar
to the ears thus again restored, were heard with emotion.

Yes, the meeting of dear friends atones for the regret of separation;
and like it so much enhances affection, that after absence one wonders
how one has been able to stay away from them so long.

Too excited to sleep, although fatigued, I am writing down my
impressions; yet how tame and colourless they seem on paper when
compared with the emotions that dictate them! How often have I
experienced the impossibility of painting strong feelings during their

[_Mem_.--We should be cautious in giving implicit credit to
descriptions written with great power, as I am persuaded they indicate
a too perfect command of the faculties of the head to admit the
possibility of those of the heart having been much excited when they
were written.

This belief of mine controverts the assertion of the poet--

"He best can paint them who has felt them most."

Except that the poet says who _has_ felt; yes, it is after, and not
when most felt that sentiments can be most powerfully expressed. But to
bed! to bed!]

I have had a busy day; engaged during the greater portion of it in the
momentous occupation of shopping. Every thing belonging to my toilette
is to be changed, for I have discovered--"tell it not in Gath"--that my
hats, bonnets, robes, mantles, and pelisses, are totally _passee de
mode_, and what the _modistes_ of Italy declared to be _la derniere
mode de Paris_ is so old as to be forgotten here.

The woman who wishes to be a philosopher must avoid Paris! Yesterday I
entered it, caring or thinking as little of _la mode_ as if there were
no such tyrant; and lo! to-day, I found myself ashamed, as I looked
from the Duchess de Guiche, attired in her becoming and pretty
_peignoir a la neige_ and _chapeau du dernier gout_, to my own dress
and bonnet, which previously I had considered very wearable, if not
very tasteful.

Our first visit was to Herbault's, the high-priest of the Temple of
Fashion at Paris; and I confess, the look of astonishment which he
bestowed on my bonnet did not help to reassure my confidence as to my

The Duchesse, too quick-sighted not to observe his surprise, explained
that I had been six years absent from Paris, and only arrived the night
before from Italy. I saw the words _a la bonne heure_ hovering on the
lips of Herbault, he was too well-bred to give utterance to them, and
immediately ordered to be brought forth the choicest of his hats, caps,
and turbans.

Oh, the misery of trying on a new _mode_ for the first time, and before
a stranger! The eye accustomed to see the face to which it appertains
enveloped in a _chapeau_ more or less large or small, is shocked at the
first attempt to wear one of a different size; and turns from the
contemplation of the image presented in the glass with any thing but
self-complacency, listening incredulously to the flattering encomiums
of the not disinterested _marchand de modes_, who avers that "_Ce
chapeau sied parfaitement a Madame la Comtesse, et ce bonnet lui va a

I must, however, render M. Herbault the justice to say, that he evinced
no ordinary tact in suggesting certain alterations in his _chapeaux_
and caps, in order to suit my face; and, aided by the inimitable good
taste of the Duchesse, who passes for an oracle in _affaires de modes a
Paris_, a selection was made that enabled me to leave M. Herbault's,
looking a little more like other people.

From his Temple of Fashion we proceeded to the _lingere a la mode_,
Mdlle. La Touche, where _canezous_ and _robes de matin_ were to be
chosen and ordered; and we returned to the Hotel de la Terrasse, my
head filled with notions of the importance of dressing _a la mode_, to
which yesterday it was a stranger, and my purse considerably lightened
by the two visits I had paid.

Englishwomen who have not made their purchases at the houses of the
_marchandes de modes_ considered the most _recherche_ at Paris, have no
idea of the extravagance of the charges. Prices are demanded that
really make a prudent person start; nevertheless, she who wishes to
attain the distinction so generally sought, of being perfectly well
dressed, which means being in the newest fashion, must submit to pay
largely for it.

Three hundred and twenty francs for a crape hat and feathers, two
hundred for a _chapeau a fleurs_, one hundred for a _chapeau neglige de
matin_, and eighty-five francs for an evening-cap composed of tulle
trimmed with blonde and flowers, are among the prices asked, and, to my
shame be it said, given.

It is true, hats, caps, and bonnets may be had for very reasonable
prices in the shops in the Rue Vivienne and elsewhere at Paris, as I
and many of my female compatriots found out when I was formerly in this
gay capital; but the bare notion of wearing such would positively shock
a lady of fashion at Paris, as much as it would an English one, to
appear in a hat manufactured in Cranbourn Alley.

Here Fashion is a despot, and no one dreams of evading its dictates.

Having noticed the extravagance of the prices, it is but fair to remark
the elegance and good taste of the millinery to be found at Monsieur
Herbault's. His _chapeaux_ look as if made by fairy fingers, so fresh,
so light, do they appear; and his caps seem as if the gentlest sigh of
a summer's zephyr would bear them from sight, so aerial is their
texture, and so delicate are the flowers that adorn them, fresh from
the _ateliers_ of Natier, or Baton.

Beware, O ye uxorious husbands! how ye bring your youthful brides to
the dangerous atmosphere of Paris, while yet in that paradise of fools
ycleped the honey-moon, ere you have learned to curve your brows into a
frown, or to lengthen your visages at the sight of a long bill.

In that joyful season, when having pleased your eyes and secured your
hearts, your fair brides, with that amiability which is one of the
peculiar characteristics of their sex, are anxious to please all the
world, and from no other motive than that _your_ choice should be
admired, beware of entering Paris, except _en passant_. Wait until you
have recovered that firmness of character which generally comes back to
a Benedict after the first year of his nuptials, before you let your
wives wander through the tempting mazes of the _magasins de modes_ of
this intoxicating city.

And you, fair dames, "with stinted sums assigned," in the shape of
pin-money, beware how you indulge that taste for pretty bonnets, hats,
caps, and turbans, with which all bountiful Nature has so liberally
gifted you; for, alas! "beneath the roses fierce Repentance rears her
snaky crest" in form of a bill, the payment of which will "leave you
poor indeed" for many a long day after, unless your liege lord, melted
by the long-drawn sighs heaved when you remark on the wonderfully high
prices of things at Paris, opens his purse-strings, and, with something
between a pshaw and a grunt, makes you an advance of your next
quarter's pin-money; or, better still, a present of one of the hundred
pounds with which he had intended to try his good luck at the club.

Went yesterday to the Rue d'Anjou, to visit Madame Craufurd. Her hotel
is a charming one, _entre cour et jardin_; and she is the most
extraordinary person of her age I have ever seen. In her eightieth
year, she does not look to be more than fifty-five; and possesses all
the vivacity and good humour peculiar only to youth.

Scrupulously exact in her person, and dressed with the utmost care, as
well as good taste, she gives me a notion of the appearance which the
celebrated Ninon de l'Enclos must have presented at the same age, and
has much of the charm of manner said to have belonged to that
remarkable woman.

It was an interesting sight to see her surrounded by her grand-children
and great-grand-children, all remarkable for their good looks, and
affectionately attached to her, while she appears not a little proud of
them. The children of the Duc de Guiche have lost nothing of their
beauty since their _sejour_ at Pisa, and are as ingenuous and amusing
as formerly.

I never saw such handsome children before, nor so well brought up. No
trouble or expense is spared in their education; and the Duc and
Duchesse devote a great portion of their time to them.

All our friends are occupied in looking out for a house for us; and I
have this day been over, at least, ten--only one of which seems likely
to suit.

I highly approve the mode at Paris of letting unfurnished houses, or
apartments, with mirrors and decorations, as well as all fixtures (with
us, in England, always charged separately) free of any extra expense.
The good taste evinced in the ornaments is in general remarkable, and
far superior to what is to be met with in England; where, if one
engages a new house lately papered or painted, one is compelled to
recolour the rooms before they can be occupied, owing to the gaudy and
ill-assorted patterns originally selected.

The house of the Marechal Lobau, forming the corner of the Rue de
Bourbon, is the one I prefer of all those I have yet seen, although it
has many _desagremens_ for so large an establishment as ours. But I am
called to go to the review in the Champ-de-Mars, so _allons_ for a
_spectacle militaire_, which, I am told, is to be very fine.

The review was well worth seeing; and the troops performed their
evolutions with great precision. The crowd of spectators was immense;
so much so, that those only who formed part of the royal _cortege_
could reach the Champ-de-Mars in time to see its commencement. No
carriages, save those of the court, were allowed to enter the file.

The dust was insupportable; and the pretty dresses of the ladies
suffered from it nearly as much as did the smart uniforms of the

The _coup d'oeil_ from the pavilion (where we had, thanks to our
_chaperon_, the Duchesse de Guiche, front seats) was very fine. The
various and splendid uniforms, floating standards, waving plumes,
glittering arms, and prancing steeds, gave to the vast plain over which
the troops were moving a most animated aspect, while the sounds of
martial music exhilarated the spirits.

Nor was the view presented by the interior of the pavilion without its
charms. A number of ladies, some of them young and handsome, and all
remarkably well-dressed, gave to the benches ranged along it the
appearance of a rich _parterre_, among the flowers of which the
beautiful Duchesse de Guiche shone pre-eminent.

I was seated next to a lady, with large lustrous eyes and a pale olive
complexion, whose countenance, from its extreme mobility, attracted my
attention; at one moment, lighting up with intelligence, and the next,
softening into pensiveness.

A remarkably handsome young man stood behind her, holding her shawl,
and lavishing on her those attentions peculiar to young Benedicts. The
lady proved to be the Marchioness de Loule, sister to the King of
Portugal; and the gentleman turned out to be her husband, for whose
_beaux yeux_ she contracted what is considered a _mesalliance_.

The simplicity of her dress, and unaffectedness of her manner, invested
her with new attractions in my eyes; which increased when I reflected
on the elevated position she had resigned, to follow the more humble
fortunes of her handsome husband.

How strange, yet how agreeable too, must the change be, from the most
formal court, over which Etiquette holds a despotic sway, to the
freedom from such disagreeable constraint permitted to those in private
life, and now enjoyed by this Spanish princess!

She appears to enjoy this newly acquired liberty with a zest in
proportion to her past enthralment, and has proved that the daughter of
a King of Portugal has a heart, though the queens of its neighbour,
Spain, were in former days not supposed to have legs.

During the evolutions, a general officer was thrown from his horse; and
a universal agitation among a group of ladies evinced that they were in
a panic. Soon the name of the general, Count de Bourmont, was heard
pronounced; and a faint shriek, followed by a half swoon from one of
the fair dames, announced her deep interest in the accident.

Flacons and vinaigrettes were presented to her on every side, all the
ladies present seeming to have come prepared for some similar
catastrophe; but in a few minutes a messenger, despatched by the
general, assured Madame la Comtesse of his perfect safety; and tears of
joy testified her satisfaction at the news.

This little episode in the review shewed me the French ladies in a very
amiable point of view. Their sensibility and agitation during the
uncertainty as to the person thrown, vouched for the liveliness of
their conjugal affection; and their sympathy for Madame la Comtesse de
Bourmont when it was ascertained that her husband was the sufferer,
bore evidence to the kindness of their hearts, as well as to their
facility in performing the little services so acceptable in moments
like those I had just witnessed.

Charles X, the Dauphin and Dauphine, and the Duchesse de Berri, were
present--the two latter in landaus, attended by their ladies. The king
looked well, his grey hair and tall thin figure giving him a very
venerable aspect.

The Dauphine is much changed since I last saw her, and the care and
sorrow of her childhood have left their traces on her countenance. I
never saw so melancholy a face, and the strength of intellect which
characterises it renders it still more so, by indicating that the marks
of sorrow so visible were not indented on that brow without many an
effort from the strong mind to resist the attacks of grief.

I remember reading years ago of the melancholy physiognomy of King
Charles I, which when seen in his portrait by a Florentine sculptor, to
whom it was sent in order that a bust should be made from it, drew
forth the observation that the countenance indicated that its owner
would come to a violent death.

I was reminded of this anecdote by the face of the Duchesse
d'Angouleme; for though I do not pretend to a prescience as to her
future fate, I cannot help arguing from it that, even should a peaceful
reign await her, the fearful trials of her youth have destroyed in her
the power of enjoyment; and that on a throne she can never forget the
father and mother she saw hurried from it, to meet every insult that
malice could invent, or cruelty could devise, before a violent death
freed them from their sufferings.

Who can look on this heroic woman without astonishment at the power of
endurance that has enabled her to live on under such trials? Martyr is
written in legible characters on that brow, and on those lips; and her
attempt to smile made me more sad than the tears of a mourner would
have done, because it revealed "a grief too deep for tears."

Must she not tremble for the future, if not for the present, among a
people so versatile as those among whom she is now thrown? And can she
look from the windows of the palace she has been recalled to inhabit,
without seeing the spot where the fearful guillotine was reared that
made her an orphan?

The very plaudits that now rend the skies for her uncle must remind her
of the shouts that followed her father to the scaffold: no wonder,
then, that she grows pale as she hears them; and that the memory of the
terrible past, written in characters of blood, gives a sombre hue to
the present and to the future.

The sight of her, too, must awaken disagreeable recollections in those
over whom her husband may be soon called to reign, for the history of
the crimes of the Revolution is stamped on her face, whose pallid lint
and rigid muscles tell of the horror and affliction imprinted on her
youth; the reminiscence of which cannot be pleasant to them.

The French not only love their country passionately, but are
inordinately proud of it; hence, aught that reminds them of its
sins--and cruelty is one of a deep dye--must be humiliating to them; so
that the presence of the Duchesse d'Angouleme cannot be flattering to
their _amor patriae_ or _amour propre_. I thought of all this to-day, as
I looked on the face of Madame la Dauphine; and breathed a hope that
the peace of her life's evening may console her for the misfortunes of
its morning and its noon.

The Duchesse de Berri has an animated and peculiarly good-natured
expression of countenance. Her restored gaiety makes the French forget
why it was long and cruelly overclouded, and aids the many good
qualities which she possesses, in securing the popularity she has so
generally acquired in the country of her adoption.

House-hunting again, and still unsuited. Dined yesterday at the
Duchesse de Guiche's; a very pleasant party, increased by some
agreeable people in the evening. Our old acquaintance, William Lock,
was among the guests at dinner, and is as good-looking and
light-hearted as ever.

The Marquis l'Esperance de l'Aigle was also present, and is a perfect
specimen of the fine gentleman of _la Vieille Cour_--a race now nearly
extinct. Possessing all the gaiety and vivacity of youth, with that
attention to the feelings of others peculiar only to maturity and
high-breeding, the Count l'Esperance de l'Aigle is universally beloved.

He can talk over old times with the grand-mother with all the wit that
we read of, oftener than we meet with; give his opinion of _la derniere
mode_ to the youthful mother, with rare tact and good taste; dance with
the young daughter as actively and gracefully as any _garcon de
dix-huit ans_ in Paris; and gallop through the Bois de Boulogne with
the young men who pride themselves on their riding, without being ever
left behind. I had frequently heard his praises from the Duchesse de
Guiche, and found that her description of him was very accurate.

The house of the Duc de Guiche is a picture of English comfort and
French elegance united; and that portion of it appropriated to its fair
mistress is fitted up with exquisite taste. Her _salons_ and _boudoir_
are objects of _vertu, bijouterie_, and vases of old Sevre, enough to
excite envy in those who can duly appreciate such treasures, and tempt
to the violation of the tenth commandment. Order reigns in the whole
arrangement of the establishment, which, possessing all the luxurious
appliances of a _maison montee_, has all the scrupulous cleanliness of
that of a Quaker.

Went to the Opera last night, where I saw the _debut_ of the new
_danseuse_ Taglioni. Hers is a totally new style of dancing; graceful
beyond all comparison, wonderful lightness, an absence of all violent
effort, or at least of the appearance of it, and a modesty as new as it
is delightful to witness in her art. She seems to float and bound like
a sylph across the stage, never executing those _tours de force_ that
we know to be difficult and wish were impossible, being always
performed at the expense of decorum and grace, and requiring only
activity for their achievement.

She excited the most rapturous applause, and received it with a "decent
dignity," very unlike the leering smiles with which, in general, a
_danseuse_ thinks it necessary to advance to the front of the
proscenium, shewing all her teeth, as she lowly courtesies to the

There is a sentiment in the dancing of this charming votary of
Terpsichore that elevates it far beyond the licentious style generally
adopted by the ladies of her profession, and which bids fair to
accomplish a reformation in it.

The Duc de Cazes, who came in to the Duchesse de Guiche's box, was
enthusiastic in his praises of Mademoiselle Taglioni, and said hers was
the most poetical style of dancing he had ever seen. Another observed,
that it was indeed the poetry of motion. I would describe it as being
the epic of dancing.

The Duc de Cazes is a very distinguished looking man, with a fine and
intelligent countenance, and very agreeable manners.

_A propos_ of manners, I am struck with the great difference between
those of Frenchmen and Englishmen, of the same station in life. The
latter treat women with a politeness that seems the result of habitual
amenity; the former with a homage that appears to be inspired by the
peculiar claims of the sex, particularised in the individual woman, and
is consequently more flattering.

An Englishman seldom lays himself out to act the agreeable to women; a
Frenchman never omits an opportunity of so doing: hence, the attentions
of the latter are less gratifying than those of the former, because a
woman, however free from vanity, may suppose that when an Englishman
takes the trouble--and it is evidently a trouble, more or less, to all
our islanders to enact the agreeable--she had really inspired him with
the desire to please.

In France, a woman may forget that she is neither young nor handsome;
for the absence of these claims to attention does not expose her to be
neglected by the male sex. In England, the elderly and the ugly "could
a tale unfold" of the _naivete_ with which men evince their sense of
the importance of youth and beauty, and their oblivion of the presence
of those who have neither.

France is the paradise for old women, particularly if they are
_spirituelle_; but England is the purgatory.

The Comtesses de Bellegarde called on me to-day, and two more
warm-hearted or enthusiastic persons I never saw. Though no longer
young, they possess all the gaiety of youth, without any of its
thoughtlessness, and have an earnestness in their kindness that is very

Dined yesterday at Madame Craufurd's--a very pleasant party. Met there
the Duc de Gramont, Duc and Duchesse de Guiche, Colonel and lady
Barbara Craufurd, and Count Valeski.

The Duc de Gramont is a fine old man who has seen much of the world,
without having been soured by its trials. Faithful to his sovereign
during adversity, he is affectionately cherished by the whole of the
present royal family, who respect and love him; and his old age is
cheered by the unceasing devotion of his children, the Duc and Duchesse
de Guiche, who are fondly attached to him.

He gives up much of his time to the culture of flowers, and is more
interested in the success of his dahlias than in those scenes of
courtly circles in which he is called to fill so distinguished a part.
It pleased me to hear him telling his beautiful daughter-in-law of the
perfection of a flower she had procured him with some trouble; and then
adding: "_A propos_ of flowers, how is our sweet Ida, to-day? There is
no flower in my garden like her!--Ay, she will soon be two years old."

There is something soothing to the mind in the contemplation of a man
in the evening of life, whose youth was spent in all the splendour of a
court, and whose manhood has been tried by adversity, turning to Nature
for her innocent pleasures, when the discovery of the futility of all
others has been made. This choice vouches for the purity of heart and
goodness of him who has adopted it, and disposes me to give ample
credit to all the commendation the Duchesse de Guiche used to utter of
him in Italy.

Lady Barbara Craufurd is an excellent specimen of an English woman.
Pretty, without vanity or affectation; gentle, without insipidity; and
simple, yet highly polished, in mariners. She has, too, a low, "sweet
voice, an excellent thing in woman," and, to me, whose ears offer even
a more direct road to the heart than do the eyes, is a peculiar

Colonel Craufurd seems to be the quintessence of good nature and of
good sense. Count Valeski is an intelligent young man, greatly _a la
mode_ at Paris, and wholly unspoilt by this distinction. Handsome,
well-bred, and agreeable, he is very popular, not only among the fine
ladies but fine gentlemen here, and appears worthy of the favour he

Several people of both sexes came in the evening to Madame Craufurd's,
and we had some excellent music. Madame C. does the honours of her
_salon_ with peculiar grace. She has a bright smile and a kind word for
every guest, without the slightest appearance of effort.

Still house-hunting; continually tempted by elegantly decorated
_salons_, and as continually checked by the want of room and comfort of
the rest of the apartments.

We have been compelled to abandon the project of taking the Marechal
Lobau's house, or at least that portion of it which he wishes to
dispose of, for we found it impossible to lodge so large an
establishment as ours in it; and, though we communicated this fact with
all possible courtesy to the Marechal, we have received a note in
answer, written in a different style, as he is pleased to think that,
having twice inspected his apartments, we ought to have taken them.

In England, a person of the Marechal's rank who had a house to let
would not show it _in propria persona_, but would delegate that task,
as also the terms and negotiations, to some agent; thus avoiding all
personal interference, and, consequently, any chance of offence: but if
people _will_ feel angry without any just cause, it cannot be helped;
and so Monsieur le Marechal must recover his serenity and acquire a
temper more in analogy with his name; for, though a brave and
distinguished officer, as well as a good man, which he is said to be,
he certainly is _not Bon comme un mouton_, which is his cognomen.

Paris is now before us,--where to choose is the difficulty. We saw
to-day a house in the Rue St.-Honore, _entre cour et jardin_, a few
doors from the English embassy. The said garden is the most tempting
part of the affair; for, though the _salons_ and sleeping-rooms are
good, the only entrance, except by a _passage derobe_ for servants, is
through the _salle a manger_, which is a great objection.

Many of the houses I have seen here have this defect, which the
Parisians do not seem to consider one, although the odour of dinner
must enter the _salons_, and that in the evening visitors must find
servants occupied in removing the dinner apparatus, should they, as
generally happens, come for the _prima sera_.

French people, however, remain so short a time at table, and dine so
much earlier than the English people do, that the employment of their
_salle a manger_ as a passage does not annoy them.

Went to the opera last night, and saw the _Muette de Portici_. It is
admirably got up, and the costumes and scenery, as well as the
_tarantulas_, transported me back to Naples--dear, joyous
Naples--again. Nourrit enacted "Massaniello," and his rich and flexible
voice gave passion and feeling to the music. Noblet was the "Fenella,"
and her pantomime and dancing were good; but Taglioni spoils one for
any other dancing.

The six years that have flown over Noblet since I last saw her have
left little trace of their flight, which is to be marvelled at, when
one considers the violent and constant exercise that the profession of
a _danseuse_ demands.

When I saw the sylph-like Taglioni floating through the dance, I could
not refrain from sighing at the thought that grace and elegance like
hers should be doomed to know the withering effect of Time; and that
those agile limbs should one day become as stiff and helpless as those
of others. An _old danseuse_ is an anomaly. She is like an old rose,
rendered more displeasing by the recollection of former attractions.
Then to see the figure bounding in air, habit and effort effecting
something like that which the agility peculiar to youth formerly
enabled her to execute almost _con amore_; while the haggard face, and
distorted smile revealing yellow teeth, tell a sad tale of departed
youth. Yes, an old _danseuse_ is a melancholy object; more so, because
less cared for, than the broken-down racer, or worn-out hunter.

Went to Tivoli last night, and was amused by the scene of gaiety it
presented. How unlike, and how superior to, our Vauxhall! People of all
stations, of all ages, and of both sexes, threading the mazy dance with
a sprightliness that evinced the pleasure it gave them.

We paused to look at group after group, all equally enjoying
themselves; and the Duchesse de Guiche, from her perfect knowledge of
Paris, was enabled, by a glance, to name the station in life occupied
by each: a somewhat difficult task for a stranger, as the remarkably
good taste of every class of women in Paris in dress, precludes those
striking contrasts between the appearance of a _modiste_ and a
_marquise_, the wife of a _boutiquier_ and a _duchesse_, to be met with
in all other countries.

But it is not in dress alone that a similarity exists in the exteriors
of Parisian women. The air _comme il faut_, the perfect freedom from
all _gaucherie_, the ease of demeanour, the mode of walking, and, above
all, the decent dignity equally removed from _mauvaise honte_ and
effrontery, appertain nearly alike to all. The class denominated
_grisettes_ alone offered an exception, as their demonstrations of
gaiety, though free from boisterousness, betrayed stronger symptoms of
hilarity than were evinced by women belonging to a more elevated class
in society.

The dancing, too, surprised as well as pleased me; and in this
accomplishment the French still maintain their long-acknowledged
superiority, for among the many groups I did not see a single bad

Around one quadrille party a more numerous audience was collected than
around the others, and the _entrechats_ of one of the gentlemen were
much applauded. Nods and smiles passing between the dancers and the
Duchesse de Guiche, revealed to me that they were among the circle of
her acquaintance; and, approaching nearer, I recognised in the
gentleman whose _entrechats_ were so much admired, my new acquaintance
the Marquis l'Esperance de l'Aigle, of whose excellence in the mazy
dance I now had an opportunity of seeing that Fame had not said too

The ladies who formed the quadrille were la Marquise de Marmier, the
Vicomtesse de Noailles, and Madame Standish; all excellent dancers, and
attired in that most becoming of all styles of dress, the
_demi-toilette_, which is peculiar to France, and admits of the
after-dinner promenades or unceremonious visits in which French ladies
indulge. A simple robe of _organdie_, with long sleeves, a _canezou_ of
net, a light scarf, and a pretty _chapeau_ of _paille de riz_, form
this becoming toilette, which is considered a suitable one for all
theatres, except the Opera, where ladies go in a richer dress.

On our return from Tivoli, we had a small party to drink tea, and
remained chatting till one o'clock--a late hour for Paris. Among the
guests was our old friend Mr. T. Steuart, the nephew of Sir William
Drummond, who continues to be as clever and original as ever. His
lively remarks and brilliant sallies were very amusing.

Having complained of the want of a comfortable chair last evening, I
found a _chef d'oeuvre_ of Rainguet's in my _salon_ this morning, sent
me by my thoughtful and ever-kind friend the Duc de Guiche. A
connoisseur in chairs and sofas, being unhappily addicted to "taking
mine ease" not only in "mine inn," but wherever I meet these requisites
to it, I am compelled to acknowledge the superiority of Rainguet over
any that I have previously seen; and my only fear is, that this
luxurious chair will seduce me into the still greater indulgence of my
besetting or _besitting_ sin, sedentary habits.

At length, we have found a house to suit us, and a delightful one it
is; once the property of the Marechal Ney, but now belonging to the
Marquis de Lillers. It is situated in the Rue de Bourbon, but the
windows of the principal apartments look on the Seine, and command a
delightful view of the Tuilerie Gardens. It is approached by an avenue
bounded by fine trees, and is enclosed on the Rue de Bourbon side by
high walls, a large _porte-cochere_, and a porter's lodge; which give
it all the quiet and security of a country house.

This hotel may be viewed as a type of the splendour that marked the
dwellings of the imperial _noblesse_, and some notion of it may be
conceived from the fact that the decorations of its walls alone cost a
million of francs. These decorations are still--thanks to the purity of
the air of Paris--as fresh as if only a year painted, and are of great
beauty; so much so, that it will be not only very expensive but very
difficult to assort the furniture to them; and, unfortunately, there is
not a single _meuble_ in the house.

The rent is high, but there are so many competitors for the hotel,
which has only been three days in the market, that we consider
ourselves fortunate in having secured it.

A small garden, or rather terrace, with some large trees and plenty of
flowers, separates the house from the Quai d'Orsay, and runs back at
its left angle. The avenue terminates in a court, from which, on the
right, a gate opens into the stable offices; and a vestibule, fitted up
as a conservatory, forms an entrance to the house. A flight of marble
steps on each side of the conservatory, leads to a large ante-room,
from which a window of one immense plate of glass, extending from the
ceiling to the floor, divides the centre, permitting the pyramids of
flowers to be seen through it. A glass door on each side opens from the
vestibule to the steps of the conservatory.

The vestibule, lofty and spacious, is lighted also by two other
windows, beyond the conservatory, and is ornamented with pilasters with
Corinthian capitals.

On the right hand is the _salle a manger_, a fine room, lighted by
three windows looking into the court-yard, and architecturally arranged
with pilasters, a rich cornice and ceiling: the hall is stuccoed,
painted in imitation of marble, and has so fine a polish as really to
deceive the eye. In the centre of this apartment is a large door
between the pilasters, opening into a drawing-room, and at the opposite
end from the door that opens from the vestibule is that which leads to
the kitchen offices, and by which dinner is served.

_Vis-a-vis_ to the _salle a manger_, and divided from it by the large
vestibule, is a dressing and bed-chamber with an alcove, both rooms
being ornamented with columns and pilasters, between which are mirrors
of large dimensions inserted in recesses. A corridor and _escalier
derobe_ at the back of these two apartments admit the attendance of
servants, without their passing through the vestibule.

In the centre of this last, and opposite to the large plate of glass
that divides it from the conservatory, large folding doors open into
the principal drawing-room, which is lighted by three large and lofty
windows, the centre one exactly facing the folding doors, and, like
them, supported by pilasters.

This room is of large dimensions, and finely proportioned; the sides
and ends are divided by fluted pilasters with Corinthian capitals
richly gilt. At one extremity is a beautifully sculptured chimney-piece
of Parian marble, over which is a vast mirror, bounded by pilasters,
that separate it from a large panel on each side, in the centre of
which are exquisitely designed allegorical groups.

At the opposite end, a mirror, of similar dimensions to that over the
chimney-piece, and resting like it on a white marble slab, occupies the
centre, on each side of which are panels with painted groups. Doors at
each end, and exactly facing, lead into other _salons_; opposite to the
two end windows are large mirrors, resting on marble slabs, bounded by
narrow panels with painted figures, and between the windows are also
mirrors to correspond. The pictorial adornments in this _salon_ are
executed by the first artists of the day, and with a total disregard of
expense, so that it is not to be wondered at that they are beautiful.
Military trophies are mingled with the decorations, the whole on a
white ground, and richly ornamented with gilding. The Seine, with its
boats, and the gay scene of the Tuilerie Gardens, are reflected in the
mirrors opposite to the windows, while the groups on the panels are
seen in the others.

Nothing can exceed the beauty of this room, in which such fine
proportion, architectural decoration, and exquisite finish reign, that
the eye dwells on it with delight, and can trace no defect.

The door on the right-hand end, on entering, opens to a less richly
ornamented _salon_, inside which are two admirable bed-chambers and
dressing-rooms, communicating by an _escalier derobe_ with a suite of
servants' apartments.

The door on the left-hand end of the large _salon_ opens into a
beautiful room, known as the _Salle de la Victoire_, from its being
decorated by paintings allegorical of Victory. This apartment is
lighted by two large windows, and opposite to them is a deep recess, or

A cornice extends around the room, about four feet beneath the ceiling,
and is supported by white columns, projecting into the chamber, on each
of which stands a figure of Victory offering a wreath of laurels. This
cornice divides the room from the recess before mentioned.

The chimney-piece is in a recess, with columns on each side; and the
large mirror over it, and which is finished by the cornice, is faced by
a similar one, also in a recess, with white columns, standing on a
plinth on each side. The windows are finished by the former cornice,
that extends round the rooms, and have similar columns on each side
with Victories on them, and a mirror between. The room is white and
gold, with delicate arabesques, and medallions exquisitely painted.

This _salon_ communicates with a corridor behind it, which admits the
attendance of servants without the necessity of their passing through
the other apartments. Inside this _salon_ is a _chambre a coucher_,
that looks as if intended for some youthful queen, so beautiful are its
decorations. A recess, the frieze of which rests on two white columns
with silvered capitals, is meant to receive a bed.

One side of the room is panelled with mirrors, divided by pilasters
with silver capitals; and on the opposite side, on which is the
chimney, similar panels occupy the same space. The colour of the
apartment is a light blue, with silver mouldings to all the panels, and
delicate arabesques of silver. The chimney-piece and dogs for the wood
have silvered ornaments to correspond.

Inside this chamber is the dressing-room, which is of an octagon shape,
and panelled likewise with mirrors, in front of each of which are white
marble slabs to correspond with that of the chimney-piece. The
mouldings and architectural decorations are silvered, and arabesques of
flowers are introduced.

This room opens into a _salle de bain_ of an elliptical form; the bath,
of white marble, is sunk in the pavement, which is tessellated. From
the ceiling immediately over the bath hangs an alabaster lamp, held by
the beak of a dove; the rest of the ceiling being painted with Cupids
throwing flowers. The room is panelled with alternate mirrors and
groups of allegorical subjects finely executed; and is lighted by one
window, composed of a single plate of glass opening into a little spot
of garden secluded from the rest. A small library completes the suite I
have described, all the apartments of which are on the ground floor.
There are several other rooms in a wing in the court-yard, and the
whole are in perfect order.

I remembered to-day, when standing in the principal drawing-room, the
tragic scene narrated to me by Sir Robert Wilson as having taken place
there, when he had an interview with the Princesse de la Moskowa, after
the condemnation of her brave husband.

He told me, years ago, how the splendour of the decorations of the
_salon_--decorations meant to commemorate the military glory of the
Marechal Ney--added to the tragic effect of the scene in which that
noble-minded woman, overwhelmed with horror and grief, turned away with
a shudder from objects that so forcibly reminded her of the brilliant
past, and so fearfully contrasted with the terrible present.

He described to me the silence, broken only by the sobs that heaved her
agonised bosom; the figures of the few trusted friends permitted to
enter the presence of the distracted wife, moving about with noiseless
steps, as if fearful of disturbing the sacredness of that grief to
offer consolation for which they felt their tongues could form no
words, so deeply did their hearts sympathise with it.

He told me that the images of these friends in the vast mirrors looked
ghostly in the dim twilight of closed blinds, the very light of day
having become insupportable to the broken-hearted wife, so soon to be
severed for ever, and by a violent death, from the husband she adored.
Ah, if these walls could speak, what agony would they reveal! and if
mirrors could retain the shadows replete with despair they once
reflected, who dare look on them?

I thought of all this to-day, until the tears came into my eyes, and I
almost determined not to hire the house, so powerfully did the
recollection of the past affect me: but I remembered that such is the
fate of mankind; that there are no houses in which scenes of misery
have not taken place, and in which breaking hearts have not been ready
to prompt the exclamation "There is no sorrow like mine."

How is the agony of such moments increased by the recollection that in
the same chamber where such bitter grief now reigns, joy and pleasure
once dwelt, and that those who shared it can bless us no more! How like
a cruel mockery, then, appear the splendour and beauty of all that
meets the eye, unchanged as when it was in unison with our feelings,
but which now jars so fearfully with them!

I wonder not that the bereaved wife fled from this house, where every
object reminded her of a husband so fondly loved, so fearfully lost, to
mourn in some more humble abode over the fate of _him_ who could no
more resist the magical influence of the presence of that glorious
chief, who had so often led him to victory, than the war-horse can
resist being animated by the sound of that trumpet which has often
excited the proud animal into ardour.

Peace be to thy manes, gallant Ney; and if thy spirit be permitted to
look down on this earth, it will be soothed by the knowledge that the
wife of thy bosom has remained faithful to thy memory; and that thy
sons, worthy of their sire--brave, noble, and generous-hearted--are
devoted to their country, for which thou hadst so often fought and


To my surprise and pleasure, I find that a usage exists at Paris which
I have nowhere else met with, namely, that of letting out rich and fine
furniture by the quarter, half, or whole year, in any quantity required
for even the largest establishment, and on the shortest notice.

I feared that we should be compelled to buy furniture, or else to put
up with an inferior sort, little imagining that the most costly can be
procured on hire, and even a large mansion made ready for the reception
of a family in forty-eight hours. This is really like Aladdin's lamp,
and is a usage that merits being adopted in all capitals.

We have made an arrangement, that if we decide on remaining in Paris
more than a year, and wish to purchase the furniture, the sum agreed to
be paid for the year's hire is to be allowed in the purchase-money,
which is to be named when the inventory is made out.

We saw the house for the first time yesterday; engaged it to-day for a
year; to-morrow, the upholsterer will commence placing the furniture in
it; and to-morrow night we are to sleep in it. This is surely being
very expeditious, and saves a world of trouble as well as of wailing.

Spent last evening at Madame Craufurd's. Met there the Prince and
Princesse Castelcicala, with their daughter, who is a very handsome
woman. The Prince was a long time Ambassador from Naples at the Court
of St. James, and he now fills the same station at that of France.

The Princesse is sister to our friend Prince Ischetella at Naples, and,
like all her country-women, appears sensible and unaffected. She and
Mademoiselle Dorotea speak English perfectly well, and profess a great
liking to England and its inhabitants. The Dowager Lady Hawarden, the
Marquise de Brehan, the Baroness d'Etlingen, Madame d'Ocaris, Lady
Barbara Craufurd, and Lady Combermere, composed the rest of the female
portion of the party.

Lady Hawarden has been very pretty: what a melancholy phrase is this
same _has been_! The Marquise de Brehan is still a very fine woman;
Lady Combermere is very agreeable, and sings with great expression; and
the rest of the ladies, always excepting Lady Barbara Craufurd, who is
very pretty, were very much like most other ladies of a certain time of
life--addicted to silks and blondes, and well aware of their relative

Madame Craufurd is very amusing. With all the _naivete_ of a child, she
possesses a quick perception of character and a freshness of feeling
rarely found in a person of her advanced age, and her observations are
full of originality.

The tone of society at Paris is very agreeable. Literature, the fine
arts, and the general occurrences of the day, furnish the topics for
conversation, from which ill-natured remarks are exploded. A
ceremoniousness of manner, reminding one of _la Vieille Cour_, and
probably rendered _a la mode_ by the restoration of the Bourbons,
prevails; as well as a strict observance of deferential respect from
the men towards the women, while these last seem to assume that
superiority accorded to them in manner, if not entertained in fact, by
the sterner sex.

The attention paid by young men to old women in Parisian society is
very edifying, and any breach of it would be esteemed nothing short of
a crime. This attention is net evinced by any flattery, except the most
delicate--a profound silence when these belles of other days recount
anecdotes of their own times, or comment on the occurrences of ours, or
by an alacrity to perform the little services of picking up a fallen
_mouchoir de poche, bouquet_, or fan, placing a shawl, or handing to a

If flirtations exist at Paris, they certainly are not exhibited in
public; and those between whom they are supposed to be established
observe a ceremonious decorum towards each other, well calculated to
throw discredit on the supposition. This appearance of reserve may be
termed hypocrisy; nevertheless, even the semblance of propriety is
advantageous to the interests of society; and the entire freedom from
those marked attentions, engrossing conversations, and from that
familiarity of manner often permitted in England, without even a
thought of evil on the part of the women who permit these
indiscretions, leaves to Parisian circles an air of greater dignity and
decorum, although I am not disposed to admit that the persons who
compose them really possess more dignity or decorum than my

Count Charles de Mornay was presented to me to-day. Having heard of him
only as--

"The glass of fashion and the mould of form,
The observed of all observers,"

I was agreeably surprised to find him one of the most witty,
well-informed, and agreeable young men I have ever seen. Gay without
levity, well-read without pedantry, and good-looking without vanity. Of
how few young men of fashion could this be said! But I am persuaded
that Count Charles de Mornay is made to be something better than a mere
man of fashion.

Spent all the morning in the Hotel Ney, superintending the placing of
the furniture. There is nothing so like the magicians we read of as
Parisian upholsterers; for no sooner have they entered a house, than,
as if touched by the hand of the enchanter, it assumes a totally
different aspect. I could hardly believe my eyes when I entered our new
dwelling, to-day.

Already were the carpets--and such carpets, too--laid down on the
_salons_; the curtains were hung; _consoles_, sofas, tables, and chairs
placed, and lustres suspended. In short, the rooms looked perfectly

The principal drawing-room has a carpet of dark crimson with a

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