Images de page

bishops waddle up and down in their full robes. The judges have their gowns and wigs. The Lord Chancellor has a wig with immense ears.

The rest of the Lords are dressed in ordinary morning trim, generally in frock coats, very plain, but scrupulously clean. The Chancellor left the woolsack and made a very warm defence of Chancery. Lord Stanley made a powerful attack on the ministry in regard to the navigation laws. Every other sentence was about the United States. He was answered by Lord Grenville, of the Board of Trade, and when I came away at 73 (still dinnerless) Lord Hardwick was just speaking. I thought the debate most able. Stanley is a truly eloquent


Paris, June 20-July 9, 1851. From London to Dover we went like lightning, flying through Kent, too fast to see much. It was about like going from New York to Trenton. O the wretched little steamer across the channel! They are half an age behind us in steamboats. We tossed like an egg-shell. The sea broke over us, so that the deck was soaking, and the spray like rain. Below-one pavement of emetic ladies. As for me, except the ducking, I never enjoyed any thing more. I could not stand up, but I felt perfectly triumphant as we cut through the waves. Calais in sight. What a change for two hours ! Now for the customs. A little Frenchman, indescribably quick and habile, spies out the Americans in an instant; attaches himself to us as commissionaire; carries every thing; takes us to office to show passports; then to bureau to change our sovereigns for French money ; then to a room, where coffee and luncheon; then to an office to get our ticket stamped; then to the cars to secure a separate carriage for ladies, &c.; then to weighing place of trunks; then to another office where baggage-tickets are given; then to cars to see us locked in. All this (which we could never have done ourselves) little Mons. Marguerite does for one franc. · At four we are off on the newly-opened railway. Our carriage is as sumptuous as the finest coach, roomy and soft, in every way luxurious. We had 235 miles to go after 4 P. M. I can hardly collect my thoughits to tell about it. All the trees, even in what seem to be woods, are planted in rows; all trimmed, except the innumerable poplars, which look like green pillars. Perpetual sight of peasantry. As they stop to look, the scenes are for a painter. They wear the boldest colours, and seldom less than four; high caps; groups in the deep-green hay and barley, look beautiful. Dear little children, in hues of the rainbow, held up by fathers in blouses from the hay-fields. Villages on villages, all of one

women are as coarse as men.

66 to

story; all either tiled or thatched, and some both at once. At Amiens the beautiful sun was going down in the western plains, and casting a blush on the ancient cathedral. How indebted I am to the “ Penny Magazine” for its cuts and descriptions! At Douai (where the Bible was translated) the whole neighbourhood is cut up into ups and downs by the fortifications, and the green sides of the moats and ramparts were filled with people. They gathered around us, but in the most civil way. The peasant

It was still daylight when we passed Lille, and these scenes were repeated on a larger scale. Arrived at an enormous station-house in the north of Paris, we take an omnibus for the Hotel, and roll through lighted streets. Thousands sitting out in the rue de la Paix, &c., even at midnight.

After breakfast next day, I took a drive in a cab; stopped to deliver my letters to Dr. F. Monod. The concierge says: the left, second floor.” I ascend; see door marked "Monod, Pasteur." I send in my name; instantly I am seized and kissed on both checks, not by good Dr. M., but by Mr. Bridel, who remembers me in an instant. Adolphe Monod lives opposite." ?

Besides our general view of the President [Louis Napoleon] at the review of the Champ de Mars, [p. 142,] we had two several occasions of looking him closely in the face, at corners where our pushing driver drew up. We were enveloped in the enthusiastic crowd, who began with Vive la Republique, and ended with a universal shout of Vive l’Empereur ! Women ran like mad among the tramping of the horses. The cortége was preceded by guards holding cocked pistols, and followed by the carabiniers in brazen helmets and cuirasses, which sounded as they rode. All the troops were regulars. I never expected to see such a review, as they commonly fall on Sunday. All the fine equipages seem English, as do all the beautiful children. The creatures that go about in sabots, and run after you with bouquets, or carry great panniers on their backs, are brutally hideous. The grisettes in shops, and the trim little women in caps, that trip along every moment, are well-dressed, and graceful to a degree. There is nothing in England like the Avenue des Champs Elysées, or the Concorde, or the Louvre, or the fortifications, or the middle age piles of the Cité, or the quays, or the Arche de Triomphe. This last fills my eye more than any thing architectural I have seen. But I love London more. I miss the ever-present police, always kind and ready, giving you a sense of protection wherever you are. And then there are not ten men in France whom I could care to go ten miles to see; whereas I can name a hundred in London.

1 Dr. A. Monod died April 6, 1856. .

at two.

On the 23d, I passed through lines of soldiers to the south side of the National Assembly. Place assigned me in the gallery, opposite the tribune and President's chair. Assemble

President has an enormous bell, which he rings to keep order. Heard a speech from Leroux, and a long one from Laurent. Then for a long walk, along the matchless Avenue, through the Tuileries, among hundreds of statues, deep shade of trees, and thousands of flowers to the Champs Elysées. Scores of amusements among the trees. All the working people of Paris seem pouring into these artificial forests. Punch and Judy. Cripples with music. Flying-horses and circulating boats. Dancing dogs. Two little open-air theatres, with numerous singers and large orchestra. These immense forests, called gardens, are used by the Parisians as nursery, smoking-room, and study. The people live out of doors. All the men seem to be either priests or soldiers, so the women keep the shops.

In the pays Latin I was in a little rapture. The Hotel Cluny gave me impressions for life. These old black, grim, fimous, conic-topped towers, fill all my mental blanks au sujet of the middle ages. In the rue St. Jacques, that long, long, tumbledown street, I began to breathe afresh, as in the Old Jewry, &c., but with more hoary and romantic souvenirs. The inside of French churches is stable-like, compared with St. George's, Windsor, or Henry VII.'s chapel.

One morning I took my early coffee at a laitière’s. Saw the sale of milk, and the perfect courtesy and elegance of the servants who came for it. I have learnt to bow to the lady when I enter a café; this was, however, a plebeian shop, the cafés were not open.

On returning, I found that Mr. Rives had called in person, and afterwards had sent me his silver medal to admit me for the day to the diplomatic tribune, the best place for seeing and hearing; so I shall go again. I have seen the chief notabilities of France in the Chamber. Soldiers are just as numerous as bees in a hive. The red-legged regulars are the meanest creatures, singly, I ever saw. The enthusiasm for Louis Napoleon is great. I am sick of seeing on every church, house, and wall,

Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.” It is positively babyish. I miss the noble English policemen. It is advised not to ask the soldiers ; they are provincials, and know nothing. I find the priests most suave and agreeable, and they speak such French ; for much of the jumble of the badauds is incomprehensible French men do not compare with the English, but for one goodlooking, graceful English woman, there are 800 French. I observe two marked classes of women : the peasantry, who work like horses and walk like oxen, and the Parisians, who are light, graceful, and bien mises. French children are no touch to the little angelic things of Kensington Gardens.

I wish you could get one glimpse of the Boulevards. Conceive of a curved street, a bow, of which the Seine forms the bowstring. Make this twice as wide as Broadway. Line it with lofty houses; set two rows of large trees in a sidewalk twice as wide as the widest in New York ; illuminate this like daylight; fill it with thousands on thousands of holiday-people; imagine cafés and restaurants with fronts all plate-glass, and interiors all marble, mirror, and gold; then add chairs filling almost all the space on the sidewalk, occupied by well-dressed people, eating and drinking, and this nearly all night. Even the poor do every thing in public view. Before a bit of a shoe-shop, the man, woman, and children cut their loaf and hand about their bottle, and clack, and bandy compliments, as if no mortal were near them. This is repeated during this ambrosial weather every few paces for miles. In the old quarters, near the Pont Neuf, or Hotel de Ville, (town-house,) where the streets are about as wide as a bed, the swarms of people look, I suppose, just as five hundred years ago. They live on bread and wine. The bread is weighed in the shops. I even see broken crusts sold. The people live miserably inside of their houses. A tailor, for example, has a bedroom up eight pair of stairs, and over the river, and no sitting-room. His shop is all glass and gold. His wife keeps a brilliant café, as idol or presidente; i. e. if she is very handsome. After work-hours they are all the time in the public gardens and places, breakfast and dine in the open air, and look like Ahasuerus and Vashti ; as Cobbett says: “pigs in the parlour, peacocks on the promenade.? are full of "Monsieur” and “ Madame," and full of gesture and smiles. The genteel French people are perfectly graceful. When I go to while away an hour over an ice, always accompanied by a whole decanter of ice-water, frozen around the inner surface, I study the groups of three, four, and ten. They are dressed to a marvel, as to fit, colour, and mise. They never stare at you, or seem to know you are near. They have no formal bows or motions. I observe nothing which would be unusual in a first-class New York parlour, except a certain smirk, arising from a feeling that one must always speak with a smile. The people look American; for we get our fashions here. The better sort, as in the Chamber of Deputies, (Cavaignac, Lafayette, Lamartine,) are like very plain American gentlemen; only some have a scarcely visible show of crimson ribbon in the second top button-hole—the decoration of the legion of Honour. Dr. Monod wears one.

A. Monod is a beautiful, saintly man,

for elegant, primitive simplicity. Every Thursday he has a general reception, and probably does more good than by preaching. Prayers in French before tea. Fine singing from the “ Chants Chretiens.” I could not help thinking, at one of these soirées, I never saw so much simplicity, so much polish, and so much affection, mingled. My father would have been pleased with the sweet quietness of the girls. Almost all the conversation was religious.

Parisians hear music every hour for nothing, which it would take large suins to procure in America. I calculated that one might hear gratis thirty orchestras and 150 singers, any evening in the Champs Elysées. The music in the Madeleine, St. Roch, Notre Dame, St. Etienne, Notre Dame de Lorette, and St. Vincent de Paul, is rococo, and probably equal to any out of the Popo's chapel. The solos of a distant, lamenting female voice, tremolo, minore, diminuendo, contrasted with a crash of a hundred instruments, and then a hundred voices like Russell's, [deep bass, and the interspersed canto fermo, or austere Gregorian chant, centuries old, combine with the tableau vivant of a priestly pantomime of purple and gold chasubles, (the mantle with cross,) and the yet more imposing long white flowing robe of cambric over pink, girt with pink-the young priests being picked for their figure-to make a bewitching show, which intoxicates poor female worshippers into a trance of ambiguous rapture, which they deem religion. I think the magic of anti-christian pomp has attained

Poor Puseyism, compared with what it imitates, is but pewter to gold and rubies. They have made a separate art of the dressing and marshalling of hundreds of officiating persons, who move or stand with the height of solemn grace, and the overpowering combination of costume, the prelates, the priests in heavy purple or crimson, gilt--the younger clergy, imitating the white-robed angels of their pictures, the nuns, (most of them seemed crying, with swollen eyes,) the little boys in pure white, and the innumerable girls, in veils. I observed that men, who looked like emperors at the distant altar, were canal

men and bravos, when they passed me in the procession.

When an eminent speaker in the House of Commons said, this week, that none of the Dissenters went over to Popery, adding that the existing plan of Oxonian training tended to rear up Romanists, he uttered what any eye may see confirmed in Paris. Who would not, if he goes pomp-hunting, prefer the real old middle-aged mummery to the would-if-I-could-ish simulation of it? Frequent visits to Popish celebrations, must lead truly Protestant minds to doubt the possibility of giving any aid whatever to genuine worship, by the appliances of costly archi

its acme.

« PrécédentContinuer »