Page images


During the revolution, this august edisice was converted into a sulphur and gun-pofrder manufactory, 'by Which impious prostitution, the pillars are defaced, and broken, and the whole is blackened and dingy.

The costly cenotaphs of white marble, enriched with valuable ornaments containing the hearts of our Henry III. and Richard I. kings of England, and dukes of Normandy, which were formerly placed on each side of the grand altar-piece were removed during the revolution.

The akarpiece is very sine. Grand preparations Were making for the inauguration of the archbishop, f which was to take place the following Sunday. There were not many people at mass; those who were present, appeared to be chiefly composed of old women, and young children. Over the charity box fastened to one of the pillars was a board upon which was written in large letters "Hospices reconnoissance et frosperite a I'homme genereux et sensible." I saw few people affected by this benedictory appeal.* I next visited the church of St. Ouens, which is not so large as the cathedral, but surpasses that, and every other sacred edisice I ever beheli, in point of elegance. This graceful pile, has also had its share of suiferings, during the reign of revolutionary barbarism. Its chaste, and elegant pillars haVe been violated by the smoke of sulphur and wood; and in many places, present to the distressed eye, chasms, produced by massy forges, which were erected against

them, for casting ball. The costly railing of brass, gilt, which half surrounded the altar, has been torn Up, and meltedintocannon. The large circular stained window over the entrance called La" Rose duPortail is very beautiful, and wholy unimpaired. The organs in all the churches are broken and useless. They experienced this fate, in consequence of their having been considered as fanatical instruments during the time of terror. The sine organ of St. Ouens is in this predicament, and will require much cost to repair it.*

I cannot help admiring the good sense which in all the churches of France is displayed, by placing the organ upon a gallery over the grand entrance, by which the spectator has an uninterrupted view, and commands the whole length of the interior building. In the English cathedrals, it is always placed midway between the choir and church, by which, this desired effect is lost.—St. Ouens is now open for worship.

In spite of all the devastations of atheistic Vandalism, this exquisite building, like the holy cause to which it is consecrated, having withstood the assailing storm, and elevating its meek, but magnisicent head above its enemies, is mildly ready to receive them

* Tbe ornaments of the churches of England v?perienced ■ similir fate from the commissioners of the Long parliament, in 1643.


into the bosom, still dissigured with the traces of blind and barbarous ferocity.

Behind the altar, I met the celebrated prince of Waldec. He, who possessed of royal honors, and ample domains, revolted in the day of battle, from his imperial master, and joined the victorious and pursuing foe. I beheld him in a shaded corner of one of the cloisters of St. Ouens, in poor attire, with aft eld umbrella under his arm, scantily provided for., and scarcely noticed by his new friends. A melancholy, but just example of the rewards due to treachery and desertion.

I have described these churches only generally, it Cannot be expected of me to enter into an elaborate history of them, or of any other public edisice.:. The detail, if attempted, might prove dull, and is altogether incompatible with the limited time, and nature of' my excursiom •

After we left St. Ouens, we visited the square aux Vaux, where the celebrated heroine of Lorrain, Jean d'Avc, commonly called the Maid of Orleans Was' cruelly burnt at the stake, for a pretended sorceress, but in fact to gratify the barbarous revenge of the duke of Bedford, the then regent of France ; because aster signal successes, she conducted her sovereign, Gharle3, in safety, to Rheims, where he was crowned, and obtained decisive Victories o*Ver the English arms-. 'We here saw the statue erected by the French, t

to the memory of this remarkable womari, which as an object of sculpture seems to possess very Httle worthy of notice.


first Consul's Advertisement.Something ridiculous.— Eggs.Criminal Military Tribunal.French Female Confidence.Town House.Convent of Jesuits.Guillotine.Governor W .

UPON looking up against the corner wall of a street, surrounded by particoloured advertisements of quack medicines, wonderful cures, new invested essences, judgments of cassation, rewards for robbers, and bills of the opera, I beheld Bonaparte's address to the people of France, to elect him sirst consul for life. Itook it for granted that the Spanish proverb of "tell me with whom you are, and I will tellyoti "what you are," was not to be applied in this instance, on account of the company in which the -Consular application, by a mere fortuitous coincidence, happened to be placed.

A circumstance occurred at this time, respecting this election, which was rather ridiculous, and excited considerate mirth at Paris. Upoa the sirst appearance of the election book of the sirst consul, in pne of the departments, some wag, instead of subCHAP. VI.] IN FRANCE. 63

subscribing his name, immediately under the title of the p.ige, " shall Napoleon Bonaparte be sirst consul for life i" wrote the following words, "I can't tell."

Tiiis trifling affair affords rather a favorable imjjgreflion of the mildness of that government, which cpuld inspire sufsicient considence to hazard such a stroke ot pleasantry. It reached Mai Maison with great speed, but is said to have occasioned no other sensation there, than a little merriment. Carnct's bold negative was a little talked of, but as it was solitary, it was considered harmless. To the love of sinery which the French still retain to a certain degree, I could alone attribute the gay appearance of' the eggs in the ma;kct; upon which had been bestowed a very smart stain of lilac color. The effect was so singular that I could not help noting it down.

On the third d.iy aster cur arrival in this city, we attended the trial of a man who belonged to one of the banditti which infest the country round this city. The court was held in the hall of the ancient parliament house,,and was composed of three civil judges (one of whom presided) three military judges, and two citizens. The arrangements of thecourt, which was crowded, were excellent, and afforded uninterrupted accommodation to all its members, by separate doors and passages allotted to each, and also to the people, who were permitted to occupy the large area in front, which gradually rose from the last seats of the persons belonging to the court, and enabled every

« PreviousContinue »