« PreviousContinue »
sioners to Paris, to report her daily dress, and to or«ler copies of her furniture. • , f ;» -iivi
The story may be believed, vfhen the hero of k was well known to be fully qualisied for one of the deepest dungeons of a madhouse. I hope, for the sake of society, and the repose os the world, that the
rest of Madame R 's admirers have not united to
their paffion the bewildered imagination which fatally distinguished, and sinally closed the career of her imperial lover.
Mr. R is very polite to the English, and his
letters ensure the greatest attentions wherever they are produced.
From Mont Blanc I proceeded to theHotel de Caramand, the residence of the British Ambassador, to whom I had a letter of introduction, from a particular friend of his, and who received me with great politeness. His apartments were handsome, and looked into some beautiful gardens. Amongst the English, who were at this time in Paris, a little prejudice existed against the representative of the Britilh monarch, from a reason, which within the jurisdiction of the' lord mayor of London and of most corporate towns in England, will be considered to carry considerable weight. The envoy did not celebrate the laie birth day of his sovereign by a j oily, and convivial dinner. The fact was, Mr. M , who by the sudden return of Mr. J , became unexpectedly invested
« wi& the dignity of an ambassador, was, in constant
tiii& 3&ftrf "*yn Ctblwc* 155
expectation rffcelng recalled, to make room for the, intended appointment of lord W—-—to the consular court, in consequence of which, he had not prepared for the display of those splendid hospitalities, which, on such occasions, always distinguish the table of a British house of embaffy. r;
On a Sunday evening, I went with a party to Tiveli, a favorite place of amusement with the Parisians. At the entrance we found, as at all the public places, a guard of horse, and foot. The admission is twentysols- The evening was very sine. We passed immense crowds of people, who were flocking to the fame place.—Amongst them were many elegant, well dressed women, wholly unattended by gentlemen, a circumstance by no means unusual in Paris. This place seemed to be raised by the magic touch of enchantment. We entered upon gravelled walks, which were cut through little winding and intersecting hillocks of box; those which formed the sides were surmounted by orange trees, which presented a beautiful colonnade; immediately after we had passed them, we entered an elegant treillage of honeysuckles, roses, and eglantine, which formed the grand entrance to the garden. Here a most animated scene of festivity opened upon us. On one side were rope dancers, people riding at the ring, groups of persons playing at shuttlecock, which seemed to be the favorite; and Ttnay add, the most ridiculous diversion; on the other side, were dancers, tumblers, mountebank*. and parties all with gay countenances, seated in little bowers enjoying lemonade and ices. In the centre as, we advanced, were about three hundred people, who were dancing the favorite waltz. This dance wa$ brought from Germany, where, from its nature, the partners are always engaged lovers; but the French, who think that nothing can be blamable which is susceptible of elegance, have introduced the German dance, without adhering to the German regulation. 'The attitudes of the waltz are very graceful, but they would not altogether accord with English female notions of delicacy. At a late fashionable Parisian ball, a gentleman present was requested by the lady of the house, to waltz with a friend others, who was wifiliout a partner. The person of this neglected fair, was a little inclined to the meagre. The gallant, without the least embarrassment, declined observing, "Ah! "ma chere Madame qu'exigez vous de moi, ne savez "vous pas qu'elle n'a point de sein i* In the middle of the platform of the dancers, a very sine full band was playing. At the end of this raised stage, a very capacious Indian marquee was erected, which was beautisully illuminated with variegated lamps, and under its broad canopy, a large concourse of people was seated, some were enjoying conversation, some were playing at buillotte, drinking coffee, &c behind this building, was a noble Corinthian temple, from the doors of which, were covered trellis walks, leading to spacious gardens, which were formed to di£
CS&f. XIH.] . IX FRANCE. 157
play the different tastes of the Englilh, French, ana Dutch nations, whose respective names they bore. These gardens are intersected by little eanals, upon which several persons were amusing themselves with the diversion of canoe racing. The whole was illuminated by large patent reflecting lamps, which shed a lustre almost as brilliant as the day. A few Eng* lish were prcfent> amongst them were the duchess of Cumberland, and a few other ladies. These gardens previous to tha revolution, were the property of a wealthy minister, of France, who, it is said expended near one hundred thousand pounds sterling, in bringing them to perfection, which he just saw accomplish^ ed, when he closed his eyes upon the scaffold. The nation became their next proprietor, who sold them for a large sum of money to their present owners.' From this place we went to Frescati, which is the promenade of the sirst beauty, and fashion of Paris, who generally assemble about half past ten o'clock, after the opera is concluded. No admiffion money is required, but singular as it may seem, no improper intruder has yet appeared, a circumstance which may be accounted for by the awe which well bred society ever maintained over vulgarity. Frescati is situated in the Italian Boulevard ; was formerly the residence Of a nobleman of large fortune, and has aKb undergone the usual transition of revolutionary consiscation. The'streets leading to it were silled with carriages. After ascending a flight bf steps, from 'a Tiahdfome court-yard, we entered a beautiful hall,, which :was lined with pier glasses, and decorated with festoons.of artisicial flowers, at the end of it was a sine statue of Venus de Medicis. Chi one side of this image was an arch, which led into a suite of six magnisicent apartments, which were superbly gilt, painted, and also covered with pier glafles, and lustres of sine diamond cut glass, which latter, looked like so many little glittering cascades. Each room was in a blaze o£ light, and silled with parties, who were taking ices, or drinking coffee. Each room communicated with the others, by arches, or folding doors of mirrors. The garden is small, but very tastefully disposed. It is composed of three walks, which are lined with or-, ange and acacia trees, and vases of roses. At the end is a tower mounted on a rock, temples, and rustic bridges; and on each side of the walks, are little labyrinth bowers, .On the side next-to the Boulevard, is a terrace which commands the whole scene, is lined on each side with beautiful vases of flowers, and is ter-; minated at each end by alcoves, which are lined with mirrors.
Here, in the course of an hour, the astonished and admiring stranger, may see near three thousand females of the sirst beauty and distinction in Paris,,, whose cheeks are no longer dissigued by she corrosion., of rouge, and who, by their symmetry and grace,,, would induce him to believe that the loveliest figure*