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GARDEN OF MOUSSEAU. 173
plain is surrounded with Gobelins tapestry, statues, and Chap. triumphal arches. After contemplating these objects of public XVI'
curiosity, we returned to Mons. S to dinner, where we
met a large party of very pleasant people. Amongst them I was pleased with meeting a near relative of an able and upright minister of the republic, to whose unwearied labours the world is not a little indebted for the enjoyments of its present repose.
After dinner we drove to the beautiful garden of Mousseau, formerly the property of the due d'Orlcans. It is laid out with great taste, and delights the eye with the most romantic specimens of improved rural beauty. It was originally designed by its detestable owner for other purposes than those of affording to a vast and crowded city the innocent delights and recreations of retired and tasteful scenery. In the gloom of its groves, all sorts of horrible profanations were practised by this monster and his midnight crew, at the head of whom was Legendre the Butcher. Every rank recess of prostitute pollution in Paris was ransacked to furnish materials for the celebration of their impure and impious orgies. The ode to Atheism, and the song of Blasphemy, were succeeded by the applauding yells of Drunkenness and Obscenity.
At the time we visited this garden it belonged to the nation, and was open, on certain days, to well-dressed people. A few days afterwards, it was presented, as a mark of national esteem, to Cambacercs, the second consul.
Here we rambled till the evening. The sun was setting. The nightingales were singing in great numbers. Not a cloud
174, LINES TO MADEMOISELLE D. S .
Chap. to be seen. A breeze, blowing through a plantation of roses, XVI' refreshed us with its coolness and fragrance. In a sequestered part of this beautiful ground, under the embowering shades of Acacia trees, upon the ruins of a little temple, we seated ourselves, and were regaled by some charming italian duets, which
were sung by Madame S and her lovely daughter, with
the most enchanting pathos. I hope I shall be pardoned for introducing some lines which were written upon our return, by an enthusiastic admirer of merit and music.
TO MADEMOISELLE D. S .
In Mousseau's sweet arcadian dale,
Fair Dclphine pours the plaintive strain;
She charms the listening nightingale,
Blest be those lips, to music dear!
Sweet songstress! never may they move
And melt the yielding heart to love!
May sorrow never bid them pour
But be thy life a fragrant flow'r,
Curious Method of raising Hay. — Laden Bonaparte's Hdtel. —
people of Paris, who keep horses in stables at the Chap. back of their houses, have a singular mode of keeping their XVI1. hay in the lofts of their dwelling houses. At the top of a spacious and elegant hotel, is to be seen a projecting crane in the act of raising loads of winter provision for the stable. When I first saw this strange process, my surprise would scarcely have been increased, had I beheld the horse ascending after the hay.
I must not forget to offer some little description of the opera, where, during my stay, through the politeness of Madame H , I had free access to a private box.
This spacious and splendid theatre is lighted from above by an immense circular lustre of patent lamps. The form of this brilliant light is in the antique taste, and it is said to have cost two thousand pounds sterling. The effect• which it produces in the body of the theatre, and upon the scenery, is admirable. It prevents the sight from being divided, and distracted by girandoles. This establishment is upon so vast a scale, that government, which is the proprietor, is always a loser upon balancing the receipts and disbursements of each night. The
176 OPERA CONSULAR BOX.
Chap• stage and its machinery have for many years occupied a xv _ great number of the subordinate classes of people, who, if not employed in this manner, would in all probability become burdensome, and unpleasant to the government. To this . circumstance is attributable the superiority of the machinery, and scenery, over every other theatre which I ever saw. In the english theatres, my eye has often been offended at the representations of the internal parts of houses, in which not a chair, or table is introduced, for the purpose. of carrying on the ingenious deception. Upon the stage of the french opera, every scene lias its appropriate furniture, and distinctive appendages, which arc always produced as soon as the scene drops, by numerous attendants. From this attention to the minute circumstances of the drama, the illusion becomes enchanting. The orchestra is very fine, and is composed of ninety en inent musicians. The corps de ballet consists of between eighty and ninety fine dancers, of whom Monsieur Deshaycs is the principal. His movements are more graceful, his agility more surprising, and his step more light, firm, and clastic, than those of any dancer whom I have ever seen. He is very justly considered to be the first in Europe. The first consul has a private box here, on one side of which, a lofty, hcllow, decorative column rises, <he flutes of which arc open, and through which he view ,unseen, the audience and performers. The beholder might be almost inclined to think that this surprising man had borrowed from our immortal bard, his notions MADAME BONAPARTE'S BOX. — FEYDEAU THEATRE.
tions of exciting the impression of dignity, by a rare, and
"Thus did I keep my person fresh, and new;
Madame Bonaparte's box is on the left side of the stage, over the door, in which the hapless queen has frequently displayed her beautiful person to the enraptured audience.
The Feydeau theatre is very elegant; and on account of its excellent arrangements, good performers, and exquisite machinery, is much resorted to, and is in general preferred to the fourteen other dramatic spectacles which, in this dissipated city, almost every night present their tribute of pleasure to the gay, and delighted parisians. A frenchman once observed to me, that a Sunday in London was horrible, on account of there being no playhouses open at night! The decorum and good manners which are even still observed in all the french places of public amusement, are very impressive, and agreeable. Horse and foot soldiers are stationed at the avenues*, to keep them clear, to prevent depredation, and to quell the first indications of popular commotion.
I was much gratified by an excursion to Versailles, which had been some time planned by the charming family of the
A A S s.'