Page images
PDF
EPUB

er. Every rank recess of prostitute pollution in Paris .was ransacked to furnim 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 welldressed people. A few days afterwards, it was presented, as a mark of national esteem, to Cambaceres, the second consul.

Here we rambled till the evening. The sun was setting. The nightingales were singing in great numbers. Not a cloud was to be seen. A breeze, blowing through a plantation of roses, 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 fung by Madame S .

and her lovely daughter, with the most enchanting ^fcth/is. 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 Mcusseaux's sweet arcadian dale, ( 4.>»

Fair Delphine pours the plantive strain;

She chirrcs the list'ning nightingale, .i,^ Vii

And sesms th' enchantress of the plaid. • * ,;,,» CHA>. XVIL] IN FRANCE. . 193

'- '- Brest be those lips, tomasic dear!

'Sweet songstress! never may they move
But with such (ounds to soothe the ear,
( - And melt the yielding heart to love!

Miy sorrow never bid them pout
• ., From the torn heart one suffering sigh
But be thy lise a fragrant flow'r,
Blooming beneath a cloudless flty-

CHAP. XVII.

Curhus Method of raising Hay.Luclett Bonaparte's HtitelA-Opera.Consular Box.Madame Bonaparte's Box.Feydeau Theatre.Belle Vue.Verfailles.The Palace of the Petit Triannon.~—The Grounds.

- . . *

THE people of Paris, who kept horses in stables at

the back of their houses, have a singular mode of

keeping their hay in 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 sirst saw this strange

proce£, my surprise would scarcely have been increase, ed, 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, thrpugh the politeness of Madame H—,1 had free access to aprivatefeox.

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 seale, that government, which is the proprietor, is always a loser upon balancing the receipts and disbursements of each night. The st:ige and its machinery have for many years occupied a great number of the subordinate classes of people, who if not employed in this manner, would in all probability beepme burdensome, and unpleasant to the government. To this circumstaiicc is attributable the superiority of the machinery, and over every other theatre which I ever saw. In the English theatre, 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 has its apprppriate furniture, and distinctive appendages, which are 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 sine, and is composed of ninety eminent musicians. The corps de ballet consists of between eighty and ninety sine - CHAP. XVII.] »N IRANC*. 197

dancers, of whom Monsieur Deshayes Is trie principal. His movements are more graceful, his agility more surprising, and his step more light, sirm, and elastic, than those of any dancer whom I have ev^x seen. He is very lustly considered to be the sirst in Europe. The sirst consul has a private box here, on one side of which, a lofty, hollow, decorative column rises, the flutes of which are open, and through which he views, 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 of exciting the impreffion of dignity, by a. rare, and well-timed display of his person.

"Thus did I keep my person srefli, and ntw
"My presence like a robe pontifical,
"N«'er seen bat wondered at: aod so my sUte:
"Seldom, but susnptuous shewed, like a se#st
'<* And won by rareness such solemnity."

t''" '' - ••• .

Madame Bonaparte's boxison the left side of the stage, over the door, in which the late hapless queen has srequently displayed her beautiful person to the en raptured 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 aUfsi^ated city*almost ever)** R. ft

•iSs' THE STRAN'GEit [alAk;X¥|lJ3

night present their tribute of pleasure to 'the''gay, and deiighted Parisians. A Frenchman once observed tto nie/that a Sunday in London was horrible, on account of there being ho' playhouses open at night! ^he decorum and good manners which are even still observed in all French places of public amusement, are very impreffive, and agreeable. Horse and foot soldiers are stationed at the avenues, to keep them clear, to prevent depredation, and quell the sirst indicatians of poptilar commotion'' 'v \ '* '.'

I was much gratisied by Tin excursion to Versailles, which had been some time- planned by the charming

family of the S -'s. We set off early in the mom~

ing,inone of the government carriages, and after a delightful ride, through a very rich* and luxuriant country, 6fabout twelve miles, the vast, and magnisicent palace of Versailles, opened upon our view, at the end of a street nearly two miles long, lined on each side with noble hotels, and gardens- It was on a Sunday, the day on which the palace is opened to the publk; On the road, we passed several hundreds of persons, in carriages, cabrioles, -dr walking ; all with merry faces, in showy clothes,,and adorned with bouquets, on their route to this spot of favorite delight.

About four miles from Paris we saw Belle Vue, formerly the residence of Mesdames i.soon afterwards we passed the noble palace, and park of St. CloudT which was preparing for the -reception of the, sirst consul.. . v; r..k. ;-i! - uti ...J?

« PreviousContinue »