Page images

tioners for cakes, and the portet was dispatched aH over the city for the choicest fruits. In a short time a noble dinner was served up to this unfortunate family, followed by confectionary, fruits, and burgundy. When the repast was over, Mons. O—— oidered his bill, and his cabriole to be got ready. Madame

P entered, and in the most amiable manner re

• quested him, as she had exceeded his orders, to consider the dinner as a little acknowledgment of her sense of his past favors; money, though earnestly pressed upon her, she would not receive.

The whole of this interesting party were moved to tears, by this little act of nature and generosity. When they entered their carriage, they found in it bouquets of flowers, and boxes of cakes for the little children. No doubt Madame P— moved lighter that day, than she ever did in her life, and perhaps found the remembrance of her conduct upon the occasion almost as exquisite as the hours of love, which {he appeared most happily to enjoy, when we had the honor of being under her roof.

Monsieur O could not help exhibiting much

feeling, when he related this little event tome. I' must not fail to mention that all the house seemed, for the moment, infected with the happy disease of the mistress. General Ruffia's valet de chambrewas in love with Dorothee, our chambermaid; the porter was pining for a little black eyed grisette, who fold prints and p..strr, in a staH opposite; and the

'<5«AP. VIL] IN FRANCE. . 85

'hostler was eternally quarrelling with the chef de cuisine, who repelled him from the kitchen, which, in the person of the affistant cook, a plump, rosy Norman girl, contained all the treasure of his foul—love

'and negligence reigned throughout the household. We rang the bells, and sacre dieu'd, but all in vain, we suffered great inconvenience, bat who could be angry? In the course of our walks, and conversations,

'with the workmen, whom we met, we found that most of the masons, and gardeners of Rouen, tad fought in the memorable, bloody, and decisive baittle of Marengo, at which it appears that a great part pf the military of France, within four or sive hundred miles of the capital, were present. The change they presented was worthy of observation; we saw mcai sun-browned in campaigns, and enured to all the ferocity of war, at the found of peace assuming all the tranquil habits of ingenious industry, or rustic simplicity. Some of them were occupied in forming the shapeless stone into graceful embeflrflurients for elegant houses, and others in disposing, with botanic taste, the fragrant parterre. After spending spur very delightful days in this agreeable city, I bade ^dieu to my very worthy companion, captain WT C———, whose intention it was to spend some time here, and those friends, from whom I had received great attention and hospitalities, and wishing the amiable Madame P many happy years, and re

Ceiving from her the assurances of civility, about seven o'clock in the evening I seated myself in the diligence for Pat is, and in a comfortable coriier .of it, after we had passed the pave, resigned myself to sleep.


Early dinner.Mante.Frost.Duke dt Sully.approach the Capital.Norman Barrier.Paris.

'^-Hotelde Rouen.Palais Royal.

AT day break, the appearance os the country in all directions was delightful. The faint eastern blush of early morn, threw a mild, refreshing light over the moist and dew-dripping icenery., .. . ': v

The spirit of our immortal bard, awaking from the bosom of nature, seemed to exclaim— •

Look love, what envious streaks . , , Do lace the fevering clouds, ta yonder call; ,-. sight's candles are burnt out ; and jocund Day Stands tiptoe cn the misty mountain tops.

About eight o'clock in the morning, we arrived at Mante, a picturesque town, built upon a fertile mountain, at the base of which the Seine flowed along rippling against its many islands of beautifulpoplars. At this hour, upon our alighting at the inn, we found a regular dinner ready, consisting of soups, meats, fowls CriAV.Vili.] IN FRANCE.? » 8^

arid confectionary. To the no small surprise of the host, I expressed a wish to have soine breakfast, and at length, after much difficulty, procured some coffee and rolls.

The rest os the party, with great composure, tucked their napkins in the buttonholes of their waistcoats, and applied themselves to the good things before them, with very active address.—What a happy race of people' ready for. every thing, and at all times; they scarcely knqw the meaning of inconvenience.

; In the midst of difficulty, they sind aecommodaiiion 5 with them, every thing seems in harmony. After paying thirty sols for my repast, a charge which announced our approach tb the capital, I walked on, •and made my way to the bridge over another winding of the Seine, at the bottom of the town; which is a light, and elegant structure. The houses along the sides of the river are handsome, and delightfully situated. The principal church is % sine gothic building, but is rapidly hastening to decay; some of its pinnacles are destroyed, and all its windows broken in.

'A small chapel, in the street opposite, which had ari appearance of considerable elegance, was' converted into a flaughter-house. Embosomed in woods, on the Other side of the bridge, is a sine chateau, formerly belonging to the count d'Adhetnar; here, while •Mlwyihg the'erichantt'Dg prospect 'ibout me, 1 heard the jingling approach os our heavy diligence, in which, having reseated myself, we proceeded upon a sine high road, through thick rows of walnut, cherry, mulberry, and apple trees, for several miles, on each side of which, were vineyards, upon whose promising vintage, the frost had committed sad devastation.

For a vast extent, they appeared blackened and burnt up. It was said that France sustained a loss. of two millions sterling, by this unusual visitation.

In the course of our journey, I experienced in the conduct of one os our two female companions, an occurrence, allied to that, which is related by Sterne, of Madame de Rambouillet, by which he very justly illustrates the happy ease, with which the French ladies prevent themselves from ever suffering by in.-convenient notions of delicacy,

A few miles from Mante, on the borders of the Seine, we passed one of the venerable chateaus of the celebrated duke de Sully, the faithful, able, and upright minister, of Henry IV. of France, one of those great geniuses, who only at distant eras of time, are permitted to shine out amongst the race of men. Historians unite in observing that the duke performed all the duties of an active and upright minister, under a master, who .exercised all the ofsices of a great and good king; after whose unhappy fate, this excellent man retired from the busy scenes of the w.orld, and covered with time and honors expired in the eighty-second year of his age in the year 1641 at

« PreviousContinue »