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where in it, is concentrated in the court, and the looks of the Grand Monarch ; by the sunshine of whose countenance, or the clouds which pass across it, every Frenchman lives or dies." This, however, is certainly not the case with Frenchmen of the present day.
But the principal drawback upon the pleasure of travelling in France, is decidedly the multitude of mendicants by whom you are continually noyed, and whose miserable appearance offends the eye, while it sickens the heart. Scarcely ever does the vehicle stop wi ut being immediately surrounded by the most distressing object. ' at the mind can conceive, in such numbers as to render it impossible for any one except the possessor of Fortunatus's or Rothschild's purse, to bestow alms, however inconsiderable, upon them all. A humane individual, who should attempt to do it, with a pocket of but moderate dimensions, would soon be reduced to the necessity of enrolling himself in the mendicant band, and crying out with the rest of them, in their peculiar tone, “ Donnez un sous, à un pauvre malheureux, pour l'amour de Dieu, et de la Sainte Vierge.” “Give a sous to a poor unfortunate, for the love of God and of the Holy Virgin." The crowds of these beggars upon the French roads, lead the stranger to apprehend that in Paris they will swarm to such an extent as to mar in a degree the pleasure of his residence there; he is, however, agreeably disappointed at finding in his perambulations through its streets, that they are completely free from them, in consequence of the admirable regulations of the police. It is worthy of remark, that the reverse of this is the case in England. There the roads and villages rarely afford cause for the tear of compassion, or the exclamation of disgust, elicited by scenes of misery; but in walking about London, one must be made of sterner stuff than was sentimental Yorick, who can avoid endeavouring to repeat “Psha! with an air of carelessness,” at almost every step, after being obliged to refuse infinitely stronger claims upon charity than those which were advanced by the poor Franciscan.
We have thus enumerated most of the reasons why travelling in England is preferable to that in France, yet there is one circumstance to be remarked in favour of the latter, which almost counterbalances every consideration of an unfavourable kind. We allude to the facility with which a stranger can make acquaintance with his fellow passengers, in the gay, smiling land of social mirth and ease.” In England he may journey from Plymouth to Berwick without speaking more than ten words to any persons who chance to be his companions in the coach, or hearing ten words spoken by them if they happen not to know each other ; but in a French public conveyance, only a short time elapses, before all its occupants are as much at ease, and upon as
VOL. IX.-NO. 17. 3
good terms with each other, as if they were familiar acquaintances. Many a pleasant hour have we spent in a diligence, in consequence of the conversations we have fallen into with individuals whom we have there encountered, some of which were of a highly ludicrous character. We shall never forget a series of interrogatories put to us by a loquacious fellow next to whom we were seated in the diligence in going from Rouen to Paris, and who was about as ignorant as he was garrulous. Hearing us say, in answer to a question of another person, that we were from the United States, he asked us how we liked Italy ; and on our telling him we had never been there, inquired with a face of great surprise, whether the United States was not on the other side of Italy? After endeavouring to give him an idea of the situation of our country, he asked successively, if we had crossed the ocean in a steam-boat, if the United States belonged to England or to France, and if Philadelphia was not the place where the great revolt of the Negroes took place. But we must return to her Ladyship, with the wish that she would contrive to render her company more agreeable, that we might have less temptation to wander from her at this rate.
With regard to the English furniture of her Ladyship’s apartments, and the English confectionaries and perfumeries which gave
rise to the memorable adventures we have related above, we may remark that it may have been so ordained by fate that she should light upon one of the very few hotels, one of the very few confectionary shops, and one of the very few perfumery stores in Paris, in which matters are ordered in the English style ; but to give us to understand, in consequence, that all the hotels are furnished in the same way, and that bonbons, extraits, &c. are not to be procured, is like the proceeding of the Hon. Frederick de Roos, R. N. who affirms, in his sapient work on the United States, that all the inhabitants in Philadelphia take tea on the steps before their doors in summer evenings, because, forsooth, he saw a family sitting on those of the house in which they lived, in order to enjoy a July twilight.
One of the first things that her Ladyship does on the morning subsequent to her arrival, is to give notice to her friends of that important event,--a gratuitous piece of kindness altogether, as it seems to us, for it must doubtless have been announced by as many portentous signs as accompanied the birth of Owen Glendower. Nevertheless, in order to make assurance doubly sure, she despatched cards to some, and notes to others, after the Parisian fashion,' but previously indulged in a very pretty sentimental fit. This was caused by the first name that met her eye as she opened her old Paris visiting book for 1818'--that of Denon, “the page, minister, and gentilhomme de la chambre of Louis XV., the friend of Voltaire, the intimate of Napoleon,
the traveller and historian of Modern Egypt, the director of the Musée of France,” &c. &c., who, we are informed, used always to be so particularly delighted with her Ladyship's visits to Paris, that he was wont to hail them with his hand, and welcome them with a cordial smile. Alas! death had overtaken him, notwithstanding his friendship with Lady Morgan; and she could no longer expect his salutations. “Other hands were now extended, other smiles beamed now as brightly; but his were dimmed for ever!” How kind her Ladyship is ! Fearing her readers might be distressed by the idea, that, in consequence of the decease of Denon, she might have been in some want of welcoming, she has taken the precaution of setting them at ease upon that point, by the above ingenious sentence. In mentioning the reasons of her intimacy with Denon, she employs language of a very sin gular kind, which, if maliciously interpreted to the letter, might subject her to uncomfortable remarks, though we are sure it is nothing but an effusion of gurgling vanity. It is an instance, however, to what a degree that sentiment, when extreme, gets the better of all sense of propriety and decorum. She says, that even if Denon had not been such a person as she describes him, “ still, he suited me, I suited him. There was between us that sympathy, in spite of the disparity of years and talents, which, whether in trifles or essentials,-between the frivolous or the profound,-makes the true basis of those ties, so sweet to bind, so bitter to break!” It is well for Sir Charles Morgan's peace of mind, that he is acquainted, as he must be, with his wife's frivolity and egotism. How, indeed, he could have allowed her to come before the world with such phraseology in her mouth, we cannot imagine, unless on the supposition that he is such a husband as La Bruyère has described. “Il ne sert dans sa famille qu'à montrer l'exemple d'un silence timide et d'une parfaite soumission. Il ne lui est dû ni douaire ni conventions ; mais à cela près, et qu'il n'accouche pas, il est la femme, et elle le mari."
After her Ladyship had “shuddered,” and “ felt as if she was throwing earth upon Denon's grave whilst drawing her pen across his precious and historical name,” she spent about half an hour in weeping, “like a fair flower surcharged with dew,” over the names of others of her departed friends, Guinguené, Talma, Langlois, Lanjuinais, &c., until she fortunately recollected that the climate of Paris is one that “developes a sensibility prompt, not deep.” Lucky thought! She immediately threw down the visiting-book, threw up the window to let in the climate, wiped from her eyes the tears " which parted thence, as pearls from diamonds dropp’d,” and began to think of “all that death had left her, of the greater still behind,'-of friends, cach in his way, a specimen of that genius and virtue, which,
Lady Morgan's France in 1829–30.
in all regions, and in all ages, make the ne plus ultra of human excellence.” Admire the delicacy of the method by which Miladi lets us into the secret of her being a ne plus ultra ; it is not by a bold assertion, but by a modest inuendo. She keeps company with ne plus ultras_birds of the same feather flock together-ergo, she is a ne plus ullra herself. And so she is, but in her own way: “Il y a malheureusement,” observes a French writer of the present day “plus d'une manière de se endre célèbre,” there is, unfortunately, more than one method of becoming celebrated,”—and as this writer is an acquaintance of Lady Morgan, we are half inclined to think he committed that sentence to paper after returning from a visit to her Celebrityship.
We may as well cite here a few more instances of her ingenuity in communicating, obliquely, how distinguished a personage she is,—a quality she possesses in a degree that we do not recollect ever to have seen rivalled. We
verbatim. “ The other day I dined in the Chaussée d'Antin, in that house where it is always such a privilege to dine ; where the wit of the host, like the menus of his table, combines all that is best in French or Irish peculiarity; and where the society is chosen with reference to no other qualities than merit and agreeability.'
Speaking of the weekly assemblies at an eminent individual's house, at which she was a constant attendant, she says, they
“ Are among the most select and remarkable in Paris. Inaccessible to common-place mediocrity and pushing pretension, their visiter must be ticketted in some way or another" (by writing a “ France," or an “Italy,” for instance,) " to obtain a presentation."
With regard to another circle of which she was a large segment, she observes,
“ It is sufficient to have merit, agreeability, or the claims of old acquaintance to belong to it, but, truth to tell, it is still so far exclusive, that what Madame Roland calls l'universelle mediocrité, gains no admission there."
Again: "I happened one night at Gen. La Fayette's to say that I should remain at home on the following morning, and the information brought us a numerous circle of morning visitors; others dropped in by chance, and some by appointment. From twelve till four, my little salon was a congress composed of the representatives of every vocation of arts, letters, science, bon ton," (the Congress of Vienna was nothing to this,) "and philosophy, in which, as in the Italian opera-boxes of Milan and Naples, the comers and goers succeeded each other, as the narrow limits of the space required that the carliest visitor should make room for the last arrival."
We might fill pages with similar specimens of her modesty, but we must proceed.
The notes and cards being all despatched, authentic intelligence is at length diffused throughout Paris of her arrival, and such a commotion is forthwith excited as had never been seen even in that city of commotions, since the time the Giraffe made her entrée into it, and said to the gaping multitude, “Mes amis,
il n'y a qu'une bête de plus.” Perhaps the sensation might be excepted which was created by “Messieurs les Osages,” the American deputation whose “France” has not yet, we believe, appeared in either hemisphere. The Rue de Rivoli was instantly crowded with “old friends” and “intimate acquaintances,” ne plus ultras included, besides various others anxious for the honour of an introduction, all striving who should get first into the “ Hôtel de la Terrasse;" and such was the press of visits, dinner-parties, suppers, balls, &c. &c. that for a period her Ladyship could not, as she says, “ find leisure to register a single impression for her own amusement, or haply for that of a world, which, it must be allowed, is not very difficult to amuse." In this sentiment we request leave, before going further, to record our unqualified concurrence, and also to state, that we know of no one from whom it could proceed with more propriety and weight than from Miladi. It has been, doubtless, expressed before, by various other book-makers, but never, we feel confident, by one whose career affords fuller evidence of its correctness, or who could adduce more forcible proofs in support of it, should they be required. In such case, the simple fact need only be cited, that “France in 1830” is the work of the same hand which indited “ Ida of Athens,” some twenty years previous, and which, during that interval, has furnished the world almost annually, with quartos, octavos, or duodecimos.
The accounts that her Ladyship gives of the various festive entertainments of which she partook, constitute the matter of a large number of her pages. If it be true, however, that in order to observe well, one ought to screen one's self from observation, she could have had little opportunity of obtaining acquaintance with the constitution of French society ; for, if we believe her own story, there was no social assemblage of any kind to which she went, where she was not the observed of every one, the centre of attraction, the nucleus of excellence. And what information is to be derived from her relation of a ball here, or a soirée there, beyond the very interesting, highly important, and most credible intelligence, that as soon as the announcement of Lady Morgan's name falls upon the ears of the company, everything else is forgotten; a dead silence instantaneously takes place of the conversational hum that before prevailed; all eyes are directed towards the door ; Lady MORGAN ENTERS; a buzz of admiration succeeds ; she advances with a dignified air towards the hostess, or rather the hostess runs eagerly forward to meet her; she drops a romantic curtesy ; she sits down ; and thenceforward nothing is thought of by any of the guests but Miladi, and the pearls that fall from her lips. As the French are fond of forming queues, or files, for the purpose of