ANCIENT AND MODERN
RESIDENCE IN FRANCE;
EXCURSION UP THE RHINE,
SECOND VISIT TO SWITZERLAND.
BY J. FENIMORE COOPER ESQ.
AUTHOR OF "THE PILOT," "THE SPY," &c.
BAUDRY'S EUROPEAN LIBRARY,
RUE DU COQ. NEAR THE LOUVRE;
SOLD ALSO BY AMYOT, RUE DE LA PAIX; TRUCHY, BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS;
THEOPHILE BARROIS, JUN., RUE RICHELIEU; LIBRAIRIE DES ETRANGERS,
RUE NEUVE-SAINT-AUGUSTIN; AND HEIDELOFF AND CAMPE,
The introduction to Part I. of the "Sketches of Switzerland," leaves very little for the author to say in addition. The reader will be prepared to meet with a long digression, that touches on the situation and interests of another country, and it is probable he will understand the author's motive for thus embracing matter that is not strictly connected with the principal subject of the work.
The first visit of the writer to Switzerland was paid in 1828; that which is related in these two volumes, in 1832. While four years had made no changes in the sublime nature of the region, they had seriously affected the political condition of all Europe. They had also produced a variance of feeling and taste in the author, that is the unavoidable consequences of time and experience. Four years in Europe are an age to the American, as are four years in America to the European. Jefferson has somewhere said, that no American ought to be more than five years, at a time, out of his own country, lest he get behind it. This may be true, as to its facts; but the author is convinced that there is more danger of his getting before it, as to opinion. It is not improbable that this book may furnish evidence of both these truths.
Some one, in criticising the First Part of Switzerland, has intimated that the writer has a purpose to serve with the "Trades' Unions," by the purport of some of his remarks. As this is a country in which the avowal of a tolerably sordid and base motive seems to be indispensable, even to safety, the writer desires to express his sense of the critic's liberality, as it may save him from a much graver imputation.
There is really a painful humiliation in the reflection, that a citizen of mature years, with as good natural and accidental means for preferment as have fallen to the share of most others, may pass his life without a fact of any sort to impeach his disinterestedness, and yet not be able to express a generous or just sentiment in behalf of his fellow-creatures, without laying himself open to suspicions that are as degrading to those who entertain them, as they are injurious to all independence of thought, and manliness of character.
Influence of the late Revolution in France.—General Lafayette.—Sketch of his Private Life.—My visits to him.—His opinion of Louis XVI.—Mr. Morris and Mr. Crawford.—Duplicity of Louis XVIII.—Charles X.—Marie Antoinette.—Legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux.—Discovery of the Plot of 1822.—Lafayette's conduct on that occasion.—A negro Spy.—General Knyphausen.—Louis-Philippe and Lafayette.—My visit to Court.—The King, the Queen, Madame Adelaide, and the Princesses.—Marshal Jourdan.—The Duke of Orleans.—Interview with the King.—"Adieu l'Amerique!"—Conversation with Lafayette.—The Juste Milieu.—Monarchy not inconsistent with Republican Institutions.—Party in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux.
The Cholera in Paris.—Its frightful ravages.—Desertion of the city—My determination to remain.—Deaths in the higher classes.—Unexpected arrival and retreat.—Praiseworthy conduct of the Authorities.—The Cholera caricatured!—Invitation from an English General.—Atmospherical appearance denoting the arrival of the Cholera.—Lord Robert Fitzgerald.—Dinner at the house of Madame de B——
Insecurity of the Government—Louis-Philippe and the Pear.—Caricatures.—Ugliness of the Public Men of France.—The Duke de Valmy.—Care-worn aspect of Society under the New Regime.—Controversy in France respecting the Cost of Government in America.—Conduct of American Agents in Europe
Gradual disappearance of the Cholera.—Death of M. Casimir Perier.—His Funeral.—Funeral of General Lamarque.—Magnificent Military Escort.—The Duc de Fitzjames.—An Alarm.—First symptoms of popular Revolt.—Scene on the Pont Royal.—Charge on the people by a body of cavalry.—The Sommations.—General Lafayette and the Bonnet Rouge.—Popular Prejudices in France, England, and America.—Contest in the Quartier Montmartre.—The Place Louis XVI.—A frightened Sentinel.—Picturesque Bivouac of troops in the Carrousel.—Critical situation.—Night-view from the Pont des Arts.—Appearance of the Streets on the following morning.—England an enemy to Liberty.—Affair at the Porte St. Denis.—Procession of Louis-Philippe through the streets.—Contest in the Rue St. Mery.—Sudden Panic.—Terror of a national Guard and a young Conscript.—Dinner with a Courtier.—Suppression of the Revolt
National Guards in the Court of the Palace.—Unclaimed Dead in the Morgue.—View of the Scene of Action.—A blundering Artillerist.—Singular Spectacle.—The Machinations of the Government.—Martial Law.—Violations of the Charter.—Laughable Scene in the Carrousel.—A refractory Private of the National Guard.
Aspect of Paris.—Visit to Lafayette.—His demeanour.—His account of the commencement of the Revolt.—Machinations of the Police.—Character of Lafayette.—His remarkable expression to General ——.—Conversation on the Revolution of July.—The Doctrinaires.—Popular Sympathy in England and on the Rhine.—Lafayette's dismissal from the command of the National Guards.—The Duke of Orleans and his Friends.—Military Tribunals in Paris.—The Citizen King in the Streets.—Obliteration of the Fleur-de-lis.—The Royal Equipage.—The Duke of Brunswick in Paris.—His forcible Removal from France.—His Reception in Switzerland.—A ludicrous Mistake.
Public Dinner.—Inconsiderate Impulses of Americans.—Rambles in Paris.—The Churches of Paris.—View from the leads of Notre Dame.—The Place Royale.—The Bridges.—Progress of the Public Works.—The Palaces of the Louvre and the Tuileries.—Royal Enclosures in the Gardens of the Tuileries.—Public Edifices.—Private Hotels and Gardens.—My Apartments in the house of the Montmorencies.—Our other Residences.—Noble Abodes in Paris.—Comparative Expense of Living in Paris and New York.—American Shopkeepers, and those of Europe.
Preparations for leaving Paris.—Travelling arrangements.—Our Route.—The Chateau of Ecouen.—The Croisee.—Senlis.—Peronne.—Cambray.—Arrival at the Frontier.—Change in the National Character.—Mons.—Brussels.—A Fete.—The Picture Gallery.—Probable Partition of Belgium.
Malines.—Its Collection of Pictures.—Antwerp.—The Cathedral.—A Flemish Quack.—Flemish Names.—The Picture Gallery at Antwerp.—Mr. Wapper's Carvings in Wood.—Mr. Van Lankeren's Pictures.—The Boulevards at Brussels.—Royal Abodes.—Palace of the Prince of Orange.—Prince Auguste d'Ahremberg's Gallery of Pictures.—English Ridicule of America.
School System in America.—American Maps.—Leave Brussels.—Louvain.—Quarantine.—Liege.—The Soleil d'Or.—King Leopold and Brother.—Royal Intermarriages.—Environs of Liege.—The Cathedral and the Church of St. Jacques.—Ceremonies of Catholic Worship.—Churches of Europe.—Taverns of America.—Prayer in the Fields.—Scott's error as regards the Language spoken in Liege.—Women of Liege.—Illumination in honour of the King
Leave Liege.—Banks of the Meuse.—Spa.—Beautiful Promenades.—Robinson Crusoe.—The Duke of Saxe-Cobourg.—Former magnificence of Spa.—Excursions in the vicinity.—Departure from Spa.—Aix-la-Chapelle.—The Cathedral.—The Postmaster's Compliments.—Berghem.—German Enthusiasm.—Arrival at Cologne.
The Cathedral of Cologne.—The eleven thousand Virgins.—The Skulls of the Magi—House in which Rubens was born.—Want of Cleanliness in Cologne.—Journey resumed.—The Drachenfels.—Romantic Legend.—A Convent converted into an Inn.—Its Solitude.—A Night in it.—A Storm.—A Nocturnal Adventure.—Grim Figures.—An Apparition.—The Mystery dissolved.—Palace of the Kings of Austrasia.—Banks of the Rhine.—Coblentz.—Floating Bridges.—Departure from Coblentz.—Castle of the Ritterstein.—Visit to it.—Its Furniture.—The Ritter Saal.—Tower of the Castle.—Anachronisms.
Ferry across the Rhine.—Village of Rudesheim.—The Hinter-hausen Wine.—Drunkenness.—Neapolitan curiosity respecting America.—The Rhenish Wines enumerated.—Ingelheim.—Johannisberg.—Conventual Wine.—Unseasonable praise.—House and Grounds of Johannisberg.—State of Nassau.—Palace at Biberich.—The Gardens.—Wiesbaden.—Its public Promenade.—Frankfort on the Maine.
Boulevards of Frankfort.—Political Disturbances in the town.—Le petit Savoyard.—Distant glimpse of Homberg.—Darmstadt.—The Bergestrasse.—Heidelberg.—Noisy Market-place.—The Ruins and Gardens.—An old Campaigner.—Valley of the Neckar.—Heilbronn.—Ludwigsberg.—Its Palace.—The late Queen of Wurtemberg.—The Birthplace of Schiller.—Comparative claims of Schiller and Goethe.—Stuttgart.—Its Royal Residences.—The Princess of Hechingen.—German Kingdoms.—The King and Queen of Wurtemberg.—Sir Walter Scott.—Tubingen.—Ruin of a Castle of the middle ages.—Hechingen.—Village of Bahlingen.—The Danube.—The Black Forest.—View from a mountain on the frontier of Baden.—Enter Switzerland.
A Swiss Inn.—Cataract of the Rhine.—Canton of Zurich.—Town of Zurich.—Singular Concurrence.—Formidable Ascent.—Exquisite View.—Einsiedeln.—The Convent.—"Par exemple."—Shores of the Lake of Zug.—The Chemin Creux.—Water Excursion to Alpnach.—Lake of Lungern.—Lovely Landscape.—Effects of Mists on the prospect.—Natural Barometer.—View from the Brunig.—Enter the great Canton of Berne.—An Englishman's Politics.—Our French Companion.—The Giesbach.—Mountain Music.—Lauterbrunnen.—Grindewald.—Rising of the Waters in 1830.—Anecdote.—Excursion on the Lake to Thoun.
Conspiracy discovered.—The Austrian Government and the French Carlists.—Walk to La Lorraine.—Our old friend "Turc."—Conversation with M. W——.—View of the Upper Alps.—Jerome Bonaparte at La Lorraine.—The Bears of Berne.—Scene on the Plateforme.
Our Voiturier and his Horses.—A Swiss Diligence.—Morat.—Inconstancy of feeling.—Our Route to Vevey.—Lake Leman.—Difficulty in hiring a House.—"Mon Repos" engaged for a month.—Vevey.—The great Square.—The Town-house.—Environs of Vevey.—Summer Church and Winter Church.—Clergy of the Canton.—Population of Vaud.—Elective qualifications of Vaud.
Neglect of the Vine in America.—Drunkenness in France.—Cholera especially fatal to Drunkards.—The Soldier's and the Sailor's Vice.—Sparkling Champagne and Still Champagne.—Excessive Price of these Wines in America.—Burgundy.—Proper soil for the Vine.—Anecdote.—Vines of Vevey.—The American Fox-grape.
The Leman Lake.—Excursions on it.—The coast of Savoy.—Grandeur and beauty of the Rocks.—Sunset.—Evening Scene.—American Families residing on the banks of the Lake.—Conversation with a Vevaisan on the subject of America.—The Nullification Question.—America misrepresented in Europe—Rowland Stephenson in the United States.—Unworthy arts to bring America into disrepute.—Blunders of Europe in respect of America.—The Kentuckians.—Foreign Associations in the States.—Illiberal Opinions of many Americans.—Prejudices.
The Equinox.—Storm on the Lake.—Chase of a little Boat—Chateau of Blonay.—Drive to Lausanne.—Mont Benon.—Trip to Geneva in the Winkelried.—Improvements in Geneva.—Russian Travellers.—M. Pozzo di Borgo.—Table d'hote.—Extravagant Affirmations of a Frenchman.—Conversation with a Scotchman.—American Duels.—Visit at a Swiss Country-house.—English Customs affected in America.—Social Intercourse in the United States.—Difference between a European and an American Foot and Hand.—Violent Gale.—Sheltered position of Vevey.—Promenade.—Picturesque View.—The great Square.—Invitation.—Mountain Excursion.—An American Lieutenant.—Anecdote.—Extensive Prospect.—Chateau of Glayrole.
Embark in the Winkelried.—Discussion with an Englishman.—The Valais.—Free Trade.—The Drance.—Terrible Inundation.—Liddes.—Mountain Scenery.—A Mountain Basin.—Dead-houses.—Melancholy Spectacle.—Approach of Night.—Desolate Region.—Convent of the Great St. Bernard.—Our Reception there.—Unhealthiness of the Situation.—The Superior.—Conversation during Supper.—Coal-mine on the Mountain.—Night in the Convent.
Sublime Desolation.—A Morning Walk.—The Col.—A Lake.—Site of a Roman Temple.—Enter Italy.—Dreary Monotony.—Return to the Convent.—Tasteless Character of the Building.—Its Origin and Purposes.—The Dead-house.—Dogs of St. Bernard.—The Chapel.—Desaix interred here.—Fare of St. Bernard, and Deportment of the Monks.—Leave the Convent.—Our Guide's Notion of the Americans.—Passage of Napoleon across the Great St. Bernard.—Similar Passages in former times.—Transport of Artillery up the Precipices.—Napoleon's perilous Accident.—Return to Vevey.
Democracy in America and in Switzerland.—European Prejudices.—Influence of Property.—Nationality of the Swiss.—Want of Local Attachments in Americans.—Swiss Republicanism.—Political Crusade against America.—Affinities between America and Russia.—Feeling of the European Powers towards Switzerland.
The Swiss Mountain Passes.—Excursion in the neighbourhood of Vevey.—Castle of Blonay.—View from the Terrace.—Memory and Hope.—Great Antiquity of Blonay.—The Knight's Hall.—Prospect from the Balcony.—Departure from Blonay.—A Modern Chateau.—Travelling on Horseback.—News from America.—Dissolution of the Union predicted.—The Prussian Polity.—Despotism in Prussia.
Controversy respecting America.—Conduct of American Diplomatists.—Attaches to American Legations.—Unworthy State of Public Opinion in America.
Approach of Winter.—The Livret.—Regulations respecting Servants.—Servants in America.—Governments of the different Cantons of Switzerland.—Engagement of Mercenaries.—Population of Switzerland.—Physical Peculiarities of the Swiss.—Women of Switzerland.—Mrs. Trollope and the American Ladies.—Affected manner of speaking in American Women.—Patois in America.—Peculiar manner of Speaking at Vevey.—Swiss Cupidity.
Departure from Vevey.—Passage down the Lake.—Arrival at Geneva.—Purchase of Jewellery.—Leave Geneva.—Ascent of the Jura.—Alpine Views.—Rudeness at the Custom-house.—Smuggling.—A Smuggler detected.—The second Custom-house.—Final View of Mont Blanc.—Re-enter France.—Our luck at the Post-house in Dole.—A Scotch Traveller.—Nationality of the Scotch.—Road towards Troyes.—Source of the Seine.
Miserable Inn.—A French Bed.—Free Trade.—French Relics.—Cross Roads.—Arrival at Lagrange.—Reception by General Lafayette.—The Nullification Strife.—Conversation with Lafayette.—His Opinion as to a Separation of the Union in America.—The Slave Question.—Stability of the Union.—Style of living at La Grange.—Pap.—French Manners, and the French Cuisine.—Departure from La Grange.—Return to Paris.
Influence of the late Revolution in France.—General Lafayette—Sketch of his Private Life.—My visits to him.—His opinion of Louis XVI.—Mr. Morris and Mr. Crawford.—Duplicity of Louis XVIII.—Charles X.—Marie Antoinette.—Legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux.—Discovery of the Plot of 1822.—Lafayette's conduct on that occasion.—A negro Spy.—General Knyphausen.—Louis-Philippe and Lafayette.—My visit to Court.—The King, the Queen, Madame Adelaide, and the Princesses.—Marshal Jourdan.—The Duke of Orleans.—Interview with the King.—"Adieu l'Amerique!"—Conversation with Lafayette.—The Juste Milieu.—Monarchy not inconsistent with Republican Institutions.—Party in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux.
Paris, February, 1832.
Your speculations concerning the influence of the late revolution, on the social habits of the French, are more ingenious than true. While the mass of this nation has obtained less than they had a right to expect by the severe political convulsions they have endured, during the last forty years, they have, notwithstanding, gained something in their rights; and, what is of far more importance, they have gained in a better appreciation of those rights, as well as in the knowledge of the means to turn them to a profitable and practical account. The end will show essential improvements in their condition, or rather the present time shows it already. The change in polite society has been less favourable, although even this is slowly gaining in morals, and in a healthier tone of thought. No error can be greater, than that of believing France has endured so much, without a beneficial return.
In making up my opinions of the old regime, I have had constant recourse to General Lafayette for information. The conversations and anecdotes already sent you, will have prepared you for the fine tone, and perfect candour, with which he speaks even of his bitterest enemies; nor can I remember, in the many confidential and frank communications with which I have been favoured, a single instance where, there has been the smallest reason to suspect he has viewed men through the medium of personal antipathies and prejudices. The candour and simplicity of his opinions form beautiful features in his character; and the bienseance of his mind (if one may use such an expression) throws a polish over his harshest strictures, that is singularly adapted to obtain credit for his judgment.
Your desire to know more of the private life of this extraordinary man, is quite natural; but he has been so long before the public, that it is not easy to say anything new. I may, however, give you a trait or two, to amuse you.
I have seen more of him this winter than the last, owing to the circumstance of a committee of Americans, that have been appointed to administer succour to the exiled Poles, meeting weekly at my house, and it is rare indeed that he is not present on these benevolent occasions. He has discontinued his own soirees, too; and, having fewer demands on his time, through official avocations, I gain admittance to him during his simple and quiet dinners, whenever it is asked.
These dinners, indeed, are our usual hours of meeting, for the occupations of the General, in the Chamber, usually keep him engaged in the morning; nor am I commonly at leisure, myself, until about this hour of the day. In Paris, every one dines, nominally, at six; but the deputies being often detained a little later, whenever I wish to see him, I hurry from my own table, and generally reach the Rue d'Anjou in sufficient season to find him still at his.
On quitting the Hotel de l'Etat Major, after being dismissed so unceremoniously from the command of the National Guard, Lafayette returned to his own neat but simple lodgings in the Rue d'Anjou. The hotel, itself, is one of some pretensions, but his apartments, though quite sufficient for a single person, are not among the best it contains, lying on the street, which is rarely or never the case with the principal rooms. The passage to them communicates with the great staircase, and the door is one of those simple, retired entrances that, in Paris, so frequently open on the abodes of some of the most illustrious men of the age. Here have I seen princes, marshals, and dignitaries of all degrees, ringing for admission, no one appearing to think of aught but the great man within. These things are permitted here, where the mind gets accustomed to weigh in the balance all the different claims to distinction; but it would scarcely do in a country, in which the pursuit of money is the sole and engrossing concern of life; a show of expenditure becoming necessary to maintain it.
The apartments of Lafayette consist of a large ante-chamber, two salons, and an inner room, where he usually sits and writes, and in which, of late, he has had his bed. These rooms are en suite, and communicate, laterally, with one or two more, and the offices. His sole attendants in town, are the German valet, named Bastien, who accompanied him in his last visit to America, the footman who attends him with the carriage, and the coachman (there may be a cook, but I never saw a female in the apartments). Neither wears a livery, although all his appointments, carriages, horses, and furniture, are those of a gentleman. One thing has struck me as a little singular. Notwithstanding his strong attachment to America and to her usages, Lafayette, while the practice is getting to be common in Paris, has not adopted the use of carpets. I do not remember to have seen one, at La Grange, or in town.
When I show myself at the door, Bastien, who usually acts as porter, and who has become quite a diplomatist in these matters, makes a sign of assent, and intimates that the General is at dinner. Of late, he commonly dispenses with the ceremony of letting it be known who has come, but I am at once ushered into the bed-room. Here I find Lafayette seated at a table, just large enough to contain one cover and a single dish; or a table, in other words, so small as to be covered with a napkin. His little white lap-dog is his only companion. As it is always understood that I have dined, no ceremony is used, but I take a seat at the chimney corner, while he goes on with his dinner. His meals are quite frugal, though good; a poulet roti invariably making one dish. There are two or three removes, a dish at a time, and the dinner usually concludes with some preserves or dried fruits, especially dates, of which he is extremely fond. I generally come in for one or two of the latter.
All this time, the conversation is on what has transpired in the Chambers during the day, the politics of Europe, nullification in America, or the gossip of the chateau, of which he is singularly well informed, though he has ceased to go there.
The last of these informal interviews with General Lafayette, was one of peculiar interest. I generally sit but half an hour, leaving him to go to his evening engagements, which, by the way, are not frequent; but, on this occasion, he told me to remain, and I passed nearly two hours with him.
We chatted a good deal of the state of society under the old regime. Curious to know his opinions of their private characters, I asked a good many questions concerning the royal family. Louis XVI. he described as a-well-meaning man, addicted a little too much to the pleasures of the table, but who would have done well enough had he not been surrounded by bad advisers. I was greatly surprised by one of his remarks. "Louis XVI," observed Lafayette, "owed his death as much to the bad advice of Gouverneur Morris, as to any one other thing." You may be certain I did not let this opinion go unquestioned; for, on all other occasions, in speaking of Mr. Morris, his language had been kind and even grateful. He explained himself, by adding, that Mr. Morris, coming from a country like America, was listened to with great respect, and that on all occasions he gave his opinions against democracy, advising resistance, when resistance was not only too late but dangerous. He did not call in question the motives of Mr. Morris, to which he did full justice, but merely affirmed that he was a bad adviser. He gave me to understand that the representatives of America had not always been faithful to the popular principle, and even went into details that it would be improper for me to repeat. I have mentioned this opinion of Mr. Morris, because his aristocratical sentiments were no secret, because they were mingled with no expressions of personal severity, and because I have heard them from other quarters. He pronounced a strong eulogium on the conduct of Mr. Crawford, which he said was uniformly such as became an American minister.
There is nothing, however, novel in these instances, of our representatives proving untrue to the prominent feeling of the country, on the subject of popular rights. It is the subject of very frequent comment in Europe, and sometimes of complaint on the part of those who are struggling for what they conceive to be their just privileges; many of them having told me, personally, that our agents frequently stand materially in their way.
Louis XVIII, Lafayette pronounced to be the falsest man he had ever met with; to use his own expression, "l'homme le plus faux." He gave him credit for a great deal of talent, but added that his duplicity was innate, and not the result of his position, for it was known to his young associates, in early youth, and that they used to say among themselves, as young men, and in their ordinary gaieties, that it would be unsafe to confide in the Comte de Provence.
Of Charles X he spoke kindly, giving him exactly a different character. He thought him the most honest of the three brothers, though quite unequal to the crisis in which he had been called to reign. He believed him sincere in his religious professions, and thought the charge of his being a professed Jesuit by no means improbable.
Marie Antoinette he thought an injured woman. On the subject of her reputed gallantries he spoke cautiously, premising that, as an American, I ought to make many allowances for a state of society, that was altogether unknown in our country. Treating this matter with the discrimination of a man of the world, and the delicacy of a gentleman, he added that he entirely exonerated her from all of the coarse charges that had proceeded from vulgar clamour, while he admitted that she had betrayed a partiality for a young Swede that was, at least, indiscreet for one in her situation, though he had no reason to believe her attachment had led her to the length of criminality.
[Footnote 1: A Count Koningsmarke.]
I asked his opinion concerning the legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux, but he treated the rumour to the contrary, as one of those miserable devices to which men resort to effect the ends of party, and as altogether unworthy of serious attention.
I was amused with the simplicity with which he spoke of his own efforts to produce a change of government, during the last reign. On this subject he had been equally frank even before the recent revolution, though there would have been a manifest impropriety in my repeating what had then passed between us. This objection is now removed in part, and I may recount one of his anecdotes, though I can never impart to it the cool and quiet humour with which it was related. We were speaking of the attempt of 1822, or the plot which existed in the army. In reply to a question of mine, he said—"Well, I was to have commanded in that revolution, and when the time came, I got into my carriage, without a passport, and drove across the country to ——, where I obtained post-horses, and proceeded as fast as possible towards ——. At ——, a courier met me, with the unhappy intelligence that our plot was discovered, and that several of our principal agents were arrested. I was advised to push for the frontier, as fast as I could. But we turned round in the road, and I went to Paris, and took my seat in the Chamber of Deputies. They looked very queer, and a good deal surprised when they saw me, and I believe they were in great hopes that I had run away. The party of the ministers were loud in their accusations against the opposition for encouraging treason, and Perier and Constant, and the rest of them, made indignant appeals against such unjust accusations. I took a different course. I went into the tribune, and invited the ministers to come and give a history of my political life; of my changes and treasons, as they called them; and said that when they had got through, I would give the character and history of theirs. This settled the matter, for I heard no more from them." I inquired if he had not felt afraid of being arrested and tried. "Not much," was his answer. "They knew I denied the right of foreigners to impose a government on France, and they also knew they had not kept faith with France under the charter. I made no secret of my principles, and frequently put letters unsealed into the post office, in which I had used the plainest language about the government. On the whole, I believe they were more afraid of me than I was of them."
It is impossible to give an idea, in writing, of the pleasant manner he has of relating these things—a manner that receives additional piquancy from his English, which, though good, is necessarily broken. He usually prefers the English in such conversations.
"By the way," he suddenly asked me, "where was the idea of Harvey Birch, in the Spy, found?" I told him that the thought had been obtained from an anecdote of the revolution, related to me by Governor Jay, some years before the book was written. He laughingly remarked that he could have supplied the hero of a romance, in the person of a negro named Harry (I believe, though the name has escaped me), who acted as a spy, both for him and Lord Cornwallis, during the time he commanded against that officer in Virginia. This negro he represented as being true to the American cause, and as properly belonging to his service, though permitted occasionally to act for Lord Cornwallis, for the sake of gaining intelligence. After the surrender of the latter, he called on General Lafayette, to return a visit. Harry was in an anteroom cleaning his master's boots, as Lord Cornwallis entered. "Ha! Master Harry," exclaimed the latter, "you are here, are you?" "Oh, yes, masser Cornwallis—muss try to do little for de country," was the answer. This negro, he said, was singularly clever and bold, and of sterling patriotism!
He made me laugh with a story, that he said the English officers had told him of General Knyphausen, who commanded the Hessian mercenaries, in 1776. This officer, a rigid martinet, knew nothing of the sea, and not much more of geography. On the voyage between England and America, he was in the ship of Lord Howe, where he passed several uncomfortable weeks, the fleet having an unusually long passage, on account of the bad sailing of some of the transports. At length Knyphausen could contain himself no longer, but marching stiffly up to the admiral one day, he commenced with—"My lord, I know it is the duty of a soldier to be submissive at sea, but, being entrusted with the care of the troops of His Serene Highness, my master, I feel it my duty just to inquire, if it be not possible, that during some of the dark nights, we have lately had, we may have sailed past America?"
I asked him if he had been at the chateau lately. His reply was very brief and expressive. "The king denies my account of the programme of the Hotel de Ville, and we stand in the position of two gentlemen, who, in substance, have given each other the lie. Circumstances prevent our going to the Bois de Boulogne to exchange shots," he added, smiling, "but they also prevent our exchanging visits." I then ventured to say that I had long foreseen what would be the result of the friendship of Louis-Philippe, and, for the first time, in the course of our conversations, I adverted to my own visit to the palace in his company, an account of which I will extract, for your benefit, from my note-book.
[Footnote 2: The period referred to was in 1830.]
* * * * *
In the morning I received a note from General Lafayette, in which he informed me that Mr. M'Lane, who is here on a visit from London, was desirous of being presented; that there was a reception in the evening, at which he intended to introduce the minister to England, Mr. Rives not having yet received his new credentials, and, of course, not appearing in matters of ceremony. General Lafayette pressed me so strongly to be of the party, in compliment to Mr. M'Lane, that, though but an indifferent courtier, and though such a visit was contrary to my quiet habits, I could do nothing but comply.
At the proper hour, General Lafayette had the good nature to call and take me up, and we proceeded, at once, for Mr. M'Lane. With this gentleman we drove to the Palais Royal, my old brother officer, Mr. T——, who was included in the arrangement, following in his own carriage.
We found the inner court crowded, and a throng about the entrance to the great staircase; but the appearance of Lafayette cleared the way, and there was a movement in the crowd which denoted his great personal popularity. I heard the words "des Americains" passing from one to another, showing how completely he was identified with us and our principles, in the public mind. One or two of the younger officers of the court were at the foot of the stairs to receive him, though whether their presence was accidental or designed, I cannot say; but I suspect the latter. At all events the General was received with the profoundest respect, and the most smiling assiduity.
The ante-chamber was already crowded, but following our leader, his presence cleared the way for us, until he got up quite near to the doors, where some of the most distinguished men of France were collected. I saw many in the throng whom I knew, and the first minute or two were passed in nods of recognition. My attention was, however, soon attracted to a dialogue between Marshal Soult and Lafayette, that was carried on with the most perfect bonhomie and simplicity. I did not hear the commencement, but found they were speaking of their legs, which both seemed to think the worse for wear. "But you have been wounded in the leg, monsieur?" observed Lafayette. "This limb was a little mal traite at Genoa," returned the marshal, looking down at a leg that had a very game look: "but you, General, you too, were hurt in America?" "Oh! that was nothing; it happened more than fifty years ago, and then it was in a good cause—it was the fall and the fracture that made me limp." Just at this moment, the great doors flew open, and this quasi republican court standing arrayed before us, the two old soldiers limped forward.
The King stood near the door, dressed as a General of the National Guards, entirely without decorations, and pretty well tricoloured. The Queen, Madame Adelaide, the Princesses, and several of the children, were a little farther removed, the two former standing in front, and the latter being grouped behind them. But one or two ladies were present, nor did I see anything at the commencement of the evening of the Ducs d'Orleans and de Nemours.
Lafayette was one of the first that entered, and of course we kept near him. The King advanced to meet him with an expression of pleasure—I thought it studied—but they shook hands quite cordially. We were then presented by name, and each of us had the honour of shaking hands, if that can be considered an honour, which fell to the share of quite half of those who entered. The press was so great that there was no opportunity to say anything. I believe we all met with the usual expressions of welcome, and there the matter ended.
Soon after we approached the Queen, with whom our reception had a more measured manner. Most of those who entered did little more than make a distant bow to this group, but the Queen manifesting a desire to say something to our party, Mr. M'Lane and myself approached them. She first addressed my companion in French, a language he did not speak, and I was obliged to act as interpreter. But the Queen instantly said she understood English, though she spoke it badly, and begged he would address her in his own tongue. Madame Adelaide seemed more familiar with our language. But the conversation was necessarily short, and not worth repeating.
Queen Amelie is a woman of a kind, and, I think, intelligent countenance. She has the Bourbon rather than the Austrian outline of face. She seemed anxious to please, and in her general air and carriage has some resemblance to the Duchess of St. Leu. She has the reputation of being an excellent wife and mother, and, really, not to fall too precipitately into the vice of a courtier, she appears as if she may well deserve it. She is thin, but graceful, and I can well imagine that she has been more than pretty in her youth.
[Footnote 3: Hortense.]
I do not remember a more frank, intelligent, and winning countenance than that of Madame Adelaide, who is the King's sister. She has little beauty left, except that of expression; but this must have made her handsome once, as it renders her singularly attractive now. Her manner was less nervous than that of the Queen, and I should think her mind had more influence over her exterior.
The Princess Louise (the Queen of Belgium) and the Princess Marie are pretty, with the quiet subdued manner of well-bred young persons. The first is pale, has a strikingly Bourbon face, resembling the profiles on the French coins; while the latter has an Italian and classical outline of features, with a fine colour.
They were all dressed with great simplicity; scarcely in high dinner dress; the Queen and Madame Adelaide wearing evening hats. The Princesses, as is uniformly the case with unmarried French girls of rank, were without any ornaments, wearing their hair in the usual manner.
After the ceremonies of being presented were gone through, I amused myself with examining the company. This was a levee, not a drawing-room, and there were no women among the visitors. The men, who did not appear in uniform, were in common evening dress, which has degenerated of late into black stocks and trousers.
Accident brought me next to an old man, who had exactly that revolutionary air which has become so familiar to us by the engravings of Bonaparte and his generals that were made shortly after the Italian campaign. The face was nearly buried in neckcloth, the hair was long and wild, and the coat was glittering, but ill-fitting and stiff. It was, however, the coat of a marechal; and, what rendered it still more singular, it was entirely without orders. I was curious to know who this relic of 1797 might be; for, apart from his rank, which was betrayed by his coat, he was so singularly ugly as scarcely to appear human. On inquiry it proved to be Marshal Jourdan.
There was some amusement in watching the different individuals who came to pay their court to the new dynasty. Many were personally and familiarly known to me as very loyal subjects of the last reign; soldiers who would not have hesitated to put Louis-Philippe au fil de l'epee, three months before, at the command of Charles X. But times were changed. They now came to show themselves to the new sovereign; most of them to manifest their disposition to be put in the way of preferment, some to reconnoitre, others to conceal their disaffection, and all to subserve their own interests. It was laughably easy to discern who were confident of their reception by being of the ruling party, who distrusted, and who were indifferent. The last class was small. A general officer, whom I personally knew, looked like one who had found his way into a wrong house by mistake. He was a Bonapartist by his antecedents, and in his true way of thinking; but accident had thrown him into the hands of the Bourbons, and he had now come to see what might be gleaned from the House of Orleans. His reception was not flattering, and I could only compare the indecision and wavering of his manner to that of a regiment that falters before an unexpected volley.
After amusing ourselves some time in the great throng, which was densest near the King, we went towards a secondary circle that had formed in another part of the room, where the Duke of Orleans had appeared. He was conversing with Lafayette, who immediately presented us all in succession. The Prince is a genteel, handsome young man, with a face much more Austrian than that of any of his family, so far as one can judge of what his younger brothers are likely to be hereafter. In form, stature, and movements, he singularly resembles W——, and there is also a good deal of likeness in the face, though in this particular the latter has the advantage. He was often taken for the Duc de Chartres during our former residence at Paris. Our reception was gracious, the heir to the throne appearing anxious to please every one.
The amusing part of the scene is to follow. Fatigued with standing, we had got chairs in a corner of the room, behind the throng, where the discourtesy of being seated might escape notice. The King soon after withdrew, and the company immediately began to go away. Three-fourths, perhaps, were gone, when an aide-de-camp came up to us and inquired if we were not the three Americans who had been presented by General Lafayette? Being answered in the affirmative, he begged us to accompany him. He led us near a door at the other end of the salle, a room of great dimensions, where we found General Lafayette in waiting. The aide, or officer of the court, whichever might be his station, passed through the door, out of which the King immediately came. It appeared to me as if the General was not satisfied with our first reception, and wished to have it done over again. The King looked grave, not to say discontented, and I saw, at a glance, that he could have dispensed with this extra attention. Mr. M'Lane standing next the door, he addressed a few words to him in English, which he speaks quite readily, and without much accent: indeed he said little to any one else, and the few words that he did utter were exceedingly general and unmeaning. Once he got as far as T——, whom he asked if he came from New York, and he looked hard at me, who stood farther from the door, mumbled something, bowed to us all, and withdrew. I was struck with his manner, which seemed vexed and unwilling, and the whole thing appeared to me to be awkward and uncomfortable. I thought it a bad omen for the influence of the General.
By this time the great salle was nearly empty, and we moved off together to find our carriages. General Lafayette preceded us, of course, and as he walked slowly, and occasionally stopped to converse, we were among the last in the ante-chamber. In passing into the last or outer ante-chamber, the General stopped nearly in the door to speak to some one. Mr. M'Lane and Mr. T—— being at his side, they so nearly stopped the way that I remained some distance in the rear, in order not to close it entirely. My position would give an ordinary observer reason to suppose that I did not belong to the party. A young officer of the court (I call them aides, though, I believe, they were merely substitutes for chamberlains, dignitaries to which this republican reign has not yet given birth), was waiting in the outer room to pass, but appeared unwilling to press too closely on a group of which General Lafayette formed the principal person. He fidgeted and chafed evidently, but still kept politely at a distance. After two or three minutes the party moved on, but I remained stationary, watching the result. Room was no sooner made than the officer brushed past, and gave vent to his feelings by saying, quite loudly and distinctly, "Adieu, l'Amerique!"
It is a pretty safe rule to believe that in the tone of courtiers is reflected the feeling of the monarch. The attention to General Lafayette had appeared to me as singularly affected and forced, and the manner of the King anything but natural; and several little occurrences during the evening had tended to produce the impression that the real influence of the former, at the palace, might be set down as next to nothing. I never had any faith in a republican king from the commencement, but this near view of the personal intercourse between the parties served to persuade me that General Lafayette had been the dupe of his own good faith and kind feelings.
In descending the great stairs I mentioned the occurrence just related to Mr. M'Lane, adding, that I thought the days of our friend were numbered, and that a few months would produce a schism between him and Louis-Philippe. Everything, at the moment, however, looked so smiling, and so much outward respect was lavished on General Lafayette, that this opinion did not find favour with my listener, though, I believe, he saw reason to think differently, after another visit to court. We all got invitations to dine at the palace in a day or two.
* * * * *
I did not, however, touch upon the "adieu l'Amerique," with General Lafayette, which I have always deemed a subject too delicate to be mentioned.
He startled me by suddenly putting the question, whether I thought an executive, in which there should be but one agent, as in the United States, or an executive, in which there should be three, or five, would best suit the condition of France? Though so well acquainted with the boldness and steadiness of his views, I was not prepared to find his mind dwelling on such a subject, at the present moment. The state of France, however, is certainly extremely critical, and we ought not to be surprised at the rising of the people at any moment.
I told General Lafayette, that, in my poor judgment, the question admitted of a good deal of controversy. Names did not signify much, but every administration should receive its main impulses, subject to the common wishes and interests, from a close conformity of views, whether there were one incumbent or a dozen. The English system certainly made a near approach to a divided executive, but the power was so distributed as to prevent much clashing; and when things went wrong, the ministers resigned; parliament, in effect, holding the control of the executive as well as of the legislative branches of the government. Now I did not think France was prepared for such a polity, the French being accustomed to see a real as well as a nominal monarch, and the disposition to intrigue would, for a long time to come, render their administrations fluctuating and insecure. A directory would either control the chambers, or be controlled by them. In the former case it would be apt to be divided in itself; in the latter, to agitate the chambers by factions that would not have the ordinary outlet of majorities to restore the equilibrium.
He was of opinion himself that the expedient of a directory had not suited the state of France. He asked me what I thought of universal suffrage for this country. I told him, I thought it altogether unsuited to the present condition of France. I did not attach much faith to the old theory of the necessary connexion between virtue and democracy, as a cause; though it might, with the necessary limitations, follow as an effect. A certain degree of knowledge of its uses, action, and objects, was indispensable to a due exercise of the suffrage; not that it was required every elector should be learned in the theory of governments, but that he should know enough to understand the general connexion between his vote and his interests, and especially his rights. This knowledge was not at all difficult of attainment, in ordinary cases, when one had the means of coming at facts. In cases that admit of argument, as in all the questions on political economy, I did not see that any reasonable degree of knowledge made the matter much better, the cleverest men usually ranging themselves on the two extremes of all mooted questions. Concerning the right of every man, who was qualified to use the power, to have his interests directly represented in a government, it was unnecessary to speak, the only question being who had and who had not the means to make a safe use of the right in practice. It followed from these views, that the great desiderata were to ascertain what these means were.
In the present state of the world, I thought it absolutely necessary that a man should be able to read, in order to exercise the right to vote with a prudent discretion. In countries where everybody reads, other qualifications might be trusted to, provided they were low and within reasonable reach of the mass; but, in a country like France, I would allow no man to vote until he knew how to read, if he were as rich as Croesus.
I felt convinced the present system could not continue long in France. It might do for a few years, as a reaction; but when things were restored to their natural course, it would be found that there is an unnatural union between facts that are peculiar to despotism, and facts that are peculiarly the adjuncts of liberty; as in the provisions of the Code Napoleon, and in the liberty of the press, without naming a multitude of other discrepancies. The juste milieu that he had so admirably described could not last long, but the government would soon find itself driven into strong measures, or into liberal measures, in order to sustain itself. Men could no more serve "God and Mammon" in politics than in religion. I then related to him an anecdote that had occurred to myself the evening of the first anniversary of the present reign.
[Footnote 4: When the term juste milieu was first used by the King, and adopted by his followers, Lafayette said in the Chamber, that "he very well understood what a juste milieu meant, in any particular case; it meant neither more nor less than the truth, in that particular case: but as to a political party's always taking a middle course, under the pretence of being in a juste milieu, he should liken it to a discreet man's laying down the proposition that four and four make eight, and a fool's crying out, 'Sir, you are wrong, for four and four make ten;' whereupon the advocate for the juste milieu on system, would be obliged to say, 'Gentlemen, you are equally in extremes, four and four make nine.'" It is the fashion to say Lafayette wanted esprit. This was much the cleverest thing the writer ever heard in the French Chambers, and, generally, he knew few men who said more witty things in a neat and unpretending manner than General Lafayette. Indeed this was the bias of his mind, which was little given to profound reflections, though distinguished for a fort bon sens.]
On the night in question, I was in the Tuileries, with a view to see the fireworks. Taking a station a little apart from the crowd, I found myself under a tree alone with a Frenchman of some sixty years of age. After a short parley, my companion, as usual, mistook me for an Englishman. On being told his error, he immediately opened a conversation on the state of things in France. He asked me if I thought they would continue. I told him, no; that I thought two or three years would suffice to bring the present system to a close. "Monsieur," said my companion, "you are mistaken. It will require ten years to dispossess those who have seized upon the government, since the last revolution. All the young men are growing up with the new notions, and in ten years they will be strong enough to overturn the present order of things. Remember that I prophesy the year 1840 will see a change of government in France."
Lafayette laughed at this prediction, which, he said, did not quite equal his impatience. He then alluded to the ridicule which had been thrown upon his own idea of "A monarchy with republican institutions," and asked me what I thought of the system. As my answer to this, as well as to his other questions, will serve to lay before you my own opinions, which you have a right to expect from me, as a traveller rendering an account of what he has seen, I shall give you its substance, at length.
So far from finding anything as absurd as is commonly pretended in the plan of a "throne surrounded by republican institutions," it appears to me to be exactly the system best suited to the actual condition of France. By a monarchy, however, a real monarchical government, or one in which the power of the sovereign is to predominate, is not to be understood, in this instance, but such a semblance of a monarchy as exists to-day, in England, and formerly existed in Venice and Genoa under their Doges. la England the aristocracy notoriously rules, through the king, and I see no reason why in France, a constituency with a base sufficiently broad to entitle it to assume the name of a republic, might not rule, in its turn, in the same manner. In both cases the sovereign would merely represent an abstraction; the sovereign power would be wielded in his name, but at the will of the constituency; he would be a parliamentary echo, to pronounce the sentiment of the legislative bodies, whenever a change of men or a change of measures became necessary It is very true that, under such a system, there would be no real separation, in principle, between the legislative and the executive branches of government; but such is to-day, and such has long been the actual condition of England, and her statesmen are fond of saving, the plan "works well." Now, although the plan does not work half as well in England as is pretended, except for those who more especially reap its benefits, simply because the legislature is not established on a sufficiently popular basis, still it works better, on the whole, for the public, than if the system were reversed, as was formerly the case, and the king ruled through the parliament, instead of the parliament ruling through the king. In France the facts are ripe for an extension of this principle, in its safest and most salutary manner. The French of the present generation are prepared to dispense with a hereditary and political aristocracy, in the first place, nothing being more odious to them than privileged orders, and no nation, not even America, having more healthful practices or wiser notions on this point than themselves. The experience of the last fifteen years has shown the difficulty of creating an independent peerage in France, notwithstanding the efforts of the government, sustained by the example and wishes of England, have been steadily directed to that object. Still they have the traditions and prestige of a monarchy. Under such circumstances, I see no difficulty in carrying out the idea of Lafayette. Indeed some such polity is indispensable, unless liberty is to be wholly sacrificed. All experience has shown that a king, who is a king in fact as well as name, is too strong for law, and the idea of restraining such a power by principles, is purely chimerical. He may be curtailed in his authority, by the force of opinion, and by extreme constructions of these principles; but if this be desirable, it would be better to avoid the struggle, and begin, at once, by laying the foundation of the system in such a way as will prevent the necessity of any change.
As respects France, a peerage, in my opinion, is neither desirable nor practicable. It is certainly possible for the king to maintain a chosen political corps, as long as he can maintain himself, which shall act in his interests and do his bidding; but it is folly to ascribe the attributes that belong to a peerage to such a body of mercenaries. They resemble the famous mandamus counsellors, who had so great an agency in precipitating our own revolution, and are more likely to achieve a similar disservice to their master than any thing else. Could they become really independent, to a point to render them a masculine feature in the state, they would soon, by their combinations, become too strong for the other branches of the government, as has been the case in England, and France would have a "throne surrounded by aristocratic institutions." The popular notion that an aristocracy is necessary to a monarchy, I take it, is a gross error. A titular aristocracy, in some shape or other, is always the consequence of monarchy, merely because it is the reflection of the sovereign's favour, policy, or caprice; but political aristocracies like the peerage, have, nine times in ten, proved too strong for the monarch. France would form no exception to the rule; but, as men are apt to run into the delusion of believing it liberty to strip one of power, although his mantle is to fall on the few, I think it more than probable the popular error would be quite likely to aid the aristocrats in effecting their object, after habit had a little accustomed the nation to the presence of such a body. This is said, however, under the supposition that the elements of an independent peerage could be found in France, a fact that I doubt, as has just been mentioned..
If England can have a throne, then, surrounded by aristocratical institutions, what is there to prevent France from having a throne "surrounded by republican institutions?" The word "Republic," though it does not exclude, does not necessarily include the idea of a democracy. It merely means a polity, in which the predominant idea is the "public things," or common weal, instead of the hereditary and inalienable rights of one. It would be quite practicable, therefore, to establish in France such an efficient constituency as would meet the latter conditions, and yet to maintain the throne, as the machinery necessary, in certain cases, to promulgate the will of this very constituency. This is all that the throne does in England, and why need it do more in France? By substituting then a more enlarged constituency, for the borough system of England, the idea of Lafayette would be completely fulfilled. The reform in England, itself, is quite likely to demonstrate that his scheme was not as monstrous as has been affirmed. The throne of France should be occupied as Corsica is occupied, not for the affirmative good it does the nation, so much as to prevent harm from its being occasionally vacant.
In the course of the conversation, I gave to General Lafayette the following outline of the form of government I could wish to give to France, were I a Frenchman, and had I a voice in the matter. I give it to you on the principle already avowed, or as a traveller furnishing his notions of the things he has seen, and because it may aid in giving you a better insight into my views of the state of this country.
I would establish a monarchy, and Henry V. should be the monarch. I would select him on account of his youth, which will admit of his being educated in the notions necessary to his duty; and on account of his birth, which would strengthen his nominal government, and, by necessary connexion, the actual government: for I believe, that, in their hearts, and notwithstanding the professions to the contrary, nearly half of France would greatly prefer the legitimate line of their ancient kings to the actual dynasty. This point settled, I would extend the suffrage as much as facts would justify; certainly so as to include a million or a million and a half of electors. All idea of the representation of property should be relinquished, as the most corrupt, narrow, and vicious form of polity that has ever been devised, invariably tending to array one portion of the community against another, and endangering the very property it is supposed to protect. A moderate property qualification might be adopted, in connexion with that of intelligence. The present scheme in France unites, in my view of the case, precisely the two worst features of admission to the suffrage that could be devised. The qualification of an elector is a given amount of direct contribution. This qualification is so high as to amount to representation, and France is already so taxed as to make a diminution of the burdens one of the first objects at which a good government would aim; it follows, that as the ends of liberty are attained, its foundations would be narrowed, and the representation of property would be more and more assured. A simple property qualification would, therefore, I think, be a better scheme than the present.
Each department should send an allotted number of deputies, the polls being distributed on the American plan. Respecting the term of service, there might arise various considerations, but it should not exceed five years, and I would prefer three. The present house of peers should be converted into a senate, its members to sit as long as the deputies. I see no use in making the term of one body longer than the other, and I think it very easy to show that great injury has arisen from the practice among ourselves. Neither do I see the advantage of having a part go out periodically; but, on the contrary, a disadvantage, as it leaves a representation of old, and, perhaps, rejected opinions, to struggle with the opinions of the day. Such collisions have invariably impeded the action and disturbed the harmony of our own government. I would have every French elector vote for each senator; thus the local interests would be protected by the deputies, while the senate would strictly represent France. This united action would control all things, and the ministry would be an emanation of their will, of which the king should merely be the organ.
I have no doubt the action of our own system would be better, could we devise some plan by which a ministry should supersede the present executive. The project of Mr. Hillhouse, that of making the senators draw lots annually for the office of President, is, in my opinion, better than the elective system; but it would be, in a manner, liable to the old objection, of a want of harmony between the different branches of the government. France has all the machinery of royalty, in her palaces, her parks, and the other appliances of the condition; and she has, moreover, the necessary habits and opinions, while we have neither. There is, therefore, just as much reason why France should not reject this simple expedient for naming a ministry, as there is for our not adopting it. Here, then, would be, at once, a "throne surrounded by republican institutions," and, although it would not be a throne as powerful as that which France has at present, it would, I think, be more permanent than one surrounded by bayonets, and leave France, herself, more powerful, in the end.
The capital mistake made in 1830, was that of establishing the throne before establishing the republic; in trusting to men instead of trusting to institutions.
I do not tell you that Lafayette assented to all that I said. He had reason for the impracticability of getting aside the personal interests which would be active in defeating such a reform, that involved details and a knowledge of character to which I had nothing to say; and, as respects the Duc de Bordeaux, he affirmed that the reign of the Bourbons was over in France. The country was tired of them. It may appear presumptuous in a foreigner to give an opinion against such high authority; but, "what can we reason but from what we know?" and truth compels me to say, I cannot subscribe to this opinion. My own observation, imperfect though it be, has led to a different conclusion. I believe there are thousands, even among those who throng the Tuileries, who would hasten to throw off the mask at the first serious misfortune that should befall the present dynasty, and who would range themselves on the side of what is called legitimacy. In respect to parties, I think the republicans the boldest, in possession of the most talents compared to numbers, and the least numerous; the friends of the King (active and passive) the least decided, and the least connected by principle, though strongly connected by a desire to prosecute their temporal interests, and more numerous than the republicans; the Carlists or Henriquinquists the most numerous, and the most generally, but secretly, sustained by the rural population, particularly in the west and south.
Lafayette frankly admitted, what all now seem disposed to admit, that it was a fault not to have made sure of the institutions before the King was put upon the throne. He affirmed, however, it was much easier to assert the wisdom of taking this precaution, than to have adopted it in fact. The world, I believe, is in error about most of the political events that succeeded the three days.
The Cholera in Paris.—Its frightful ravages.—Desertion of the city—My determination to remain.—Deaths in the higher classes.—Unexpected arrival and retreat.—Praiseworthy conduct of the Authorities.—The Cholera caricatured!—Invitation from an English General.—Atmospherical appearance denoting the arrival of the Cholera.—Lord Robert Fitzgerald.—Dinner at the house of Madame de B——.
We have had little to occupy us since my last letter, but the cholera, which alighted in the heart of this great and crowded metropolis like a bomb. Since the excursion on the frontiers last year, and our success in escaping the quarantine, I had thought little of this scourge, until the subject was introduced at my own table by a medical man who was among the guests. He cautiously informed us that there were unpleasant conjectures among the faculty on the subject, and that he was fearful Paris was not to go unscathed. When apart, he privately added, that he had actually seen a case, which he could impute to no other disease but that of Asiatic cholera.
The next day a few dark hints were given in the journals, and, with frightful rapidity, reports followed that raised the daily deaths to near a thousand. The change in the appearance of the town was magical, for the strangers generally fled, while most of the habitues of the streets in our immediate vicinity were soon numbered with the dead. There was a succession of apple-women seated at the corners, between the Rue St. Dominique and the Pont Royal, with whose faces I had become intimate in the course of P——'s traffic, as we passed to and fro, between the hotel and the Tuileries. Every one of these disappeared; the last, I was told, dropping from her chair, and dying before those who came to her aid had reached the nearest hospital.
One case, among multitudes, will serve to give you a faint idea of the situation of Paris, at this moment of severe affliction. Returning from a walk through the deserted streets one morning, I saw a small collection of people around the porte-cochere of our hotel. A matchseller had been seized with the disease, at the gate, and was then sustained on one of the stone seats, which are commonly used by the servants. I had her carried info the court, and made such applications as had been recommended by the faculty. The patient was a robust woman of middle age, accompanied by her mother, both having come in from a distant village, to raise a few sous by selling matches. In making the applications, I had occasion to observe the means by which these poor people sustain life. Their food consisted of fragments of hard dried bread, that had been begged, or bought, in the course of their progress.
While two or three of us were busied about the daughter, the mother knelt on the pavement, and, with streaming eyes, prayed for her child, for us, and for herself. There was something indescribably touching in this display of strong natural ties, between those who were plunged so deep in misery. A piece of five francs was put into the hands of the old woman, but, though she blessed the donor, her look was not averted an instant from the agony depicted in her daughter's face, nor did she appear conscious of what she possessed, a moment after. The carriers from the hospital bore the sick woman away, and the mother promised to return, in a day or two, to let me know the result. Not appearing, an inquiry was made at the hospital, and the answer was, that they were both dead!
In this manner some ten or fifteen thousand were swept away in a few weeks. Not only hotels, but, in some instances, nearly whole streets were depopulated. As every one fled, who could with convenience or propriety quit the town, you may feel surprised that we chose to remain. When the deaths increased to eight or nine hundred a day, and our own quarter began to be visited, I felt it to be a duty to those under my charge, to retire to some of the places without the limits of the disease. The trunks were packed, the carriage was in the court, and my passports were signed, when A—— was suddenly taken ill. Although the disease was not the cholera, I began to calculate the chances of any one of us being seized, myself for instance, in one of the villages of the environs, and the helpless condition of a family of females in a foreign country, under such circumstances. The result was a determination to remain, and to trust to Providence. We have consequently staid in our apartments through it all, although two slight cases have occurred in the hotel, and hundreds around it.
The manner in which individuals known to us have vanished, as it were, from before our eyes, has been shockingly sudden. To-day the report may be that the milkman is gone; yesterday it was the butcher's boy; the day before the poulterer, and presently a new servant appears with a message from a friend, and on inquiring for his predecessor, we learn that he is dead. Ten or fifteen cases of this sort have occurred among those with whom we are in constant and immediate connexion.
The deaths in the higher classes, at first, were comparatively few, but of late several of the most distinguished men of France have been seized. Among them are M. Perier, the prime minister, and the General Lamarque. Prince Castelcicala, too, the Neapolitan Ambassador, is dead, in our neighbourhood; as, indeed, are very many others. There is one short street quite near us, out of which, it is said, between seventy and eighty dead have been carried. The situation of all this faubourg is low, and that of the street particularly so.
Dr. S——, of North Carolina, who, with several other young physicians, has done credit to himself by his self-devotion and application, brought in the report of the appearance of things, once or twice a week, judging of the state of the disease more from the aspect of the hospitals, than from the published returns, which are necessarily and, perhaps, designedly, imperfect. He thinks of the first hundred that were admitted at the Hotel Dieu, all but one died, and that one he does not think was a case of Asiatic cholera at all.
All this time, the more frequented streets of Paris presented, in the height of the usual season too, the most deserted aspect. I have frequently walked on the terrace of the Tuileries when there were not a dozen others in the whole garden, and driven from my own hotel in the Rue St. Dominique to the Place Vendome without meeting half a dozen vehicles, including fiacres and cabriolets de place.
I was returning one day from the Rue de la Paix, on foot, during the height of the disease, at the time when this gay and magnificent part of the town looked peculiarly deserted. There was scarcely a soul in the street but the laquais de place, the garcons, and the chambermaids of the public hotels, that abound in this quarter. These were at the gateways, with folded arms, a picture in themselves of the altered condition of the town. Two travelling carriages drove in from the Rue de Rivoli, and there was at once a stir among those who are so completely dependent on travellers for their bread. "On part" was, at first, the common and mournful call from one group to another, until the mud on the carriage-wheels caught the attention of some one, who cried out "On arrive!" The appearance of the strangers under such circumstances, seemed to act like a charm. I felt no little surprise at seeing them, and more, when a hand beckoned to me from a carriage window. It was Mr. H——, of New York, an old schoolfellow, and a friend of whom we had seen a good deal during our travels in Europe. He had just come from England, with his family, and appeared astonished to find Paris so deserted. He told me that Mr. Van Buren was in the other carriage. He had chosen an unfortunate moment for his visit. I went to see the H——s next morning, and it was arranged that they should come and pass the succeeding day in the Rue St. Dominique; but they disappointed us. The day following I got a letter from H——, dated Amiens, written on his way to England! They had been imprudent in coming, and wise in hurrying away from the frightful scene. I believe that Mr. Van Buren remained but a day or two.
Although most of our acquaintances quitted the town, a few thought it safer to remain in their own comfortable apartments, than to run the hazards of travelling; for, in a short time, most of the north of France was suffering under the same grievous affliction. The authorities conducted themselves well, and there have been very many instances of noble self-devotion, on the part of private individuals, the French character never appearing to better advantage. In this respect, notwithstanding the general impression to the contrary, I am inclined to believe, after a good deal of inquiry, that Paris has acquitted itself better than London. The French, certainly, are less disposed, as a rule, to "hide their light under a bushel," than most other people; but, on the spot and a looker-on, my respect for their feelings and philanthropy has been greatly raised by their conduct during this terrible calamity.
Notwithstanding the horror of the disease, some of the more prominent traits of national character have shown themselves lately. Among other things, the artists have taken to caricaturing the cholera! One gets to be so hardened by exposure, as to be able to laugh at even these proofs of moral obtuseness. Odd enough traits of character are developed by seeing men under such trying circumstances. During one of the worst periods of the disease, I met a countryman in the street, who, though otherwise a clever man, has the weakness to think the democracy of America its greatest blot. I asked him why he remained in Paris, having no family, nor any sufficient inducement? "Oh," said he, "it is a disease that only kills the rabble: I feel no concern—do you?" I told him that, under my peculiar circumstances, I felt a great deal of uneasiness, though not enough to make an unreflecting flight. A few days afterwards I missed him, and, on inquiry, learned that he had fled. Some nobleman had died in our faubourg, when he and one of a fellow feeling, finding a taint "between the wind and their nobility," forthwith beat a retreat!
During the height of the malady, an old English general officer, who had served in India, and who was now residing near us, sent me an invitation to dinner. Tired of seeing no one, I went. Here everything was as tranquil as if we were living in the purest atmosphere in Europe. Sir ——, my host, observed that he had got seasoned in India, and that he believed good living one of the best preventives against the disease. The Count de —— came in just before dinner was announced, and whispered to me that some twelve or fifteen hundred had been buried the previous day, although less than a thousand had been reported. This gentleman told a queer anecdote, which he said came from very respectable authority, and which he gave as he had heard it. About ten days before the cholera appeared, a friend of his had accompanied one of the Polish generals, who are now in Paris, a short distance into the country to dine. On quitting the house, the Pole stopped to gaze intently at the horizon. His companion inquired what he saw, when, pointing to a hazy appearance in the atmosphere, of rather an unusual kind, the other said, "You will have the cholera here in less than ten days; such appearances always preceded it in the North." As M. de —— observed, "I tell it as I heard it."
Sir —— did me the favour, on that occasion, to introduce me to a mild gentleman-like old man, who greatly resembled one of the quiet old school of our own, which is so fast disappearing before the bustling, fussy, money-getting race of the day. It was Lord Robert Fitzgerald, a brother of the unfortunate Lord Edward, and the brother of whom he so pleasantly speaks in his natural and amiable letters, as "Plenipo Bob." This gentleman is since dead, having, as I hear, fallen a victim to the cholera.
I went to one other dinner, during this scene of destruction, given by Madame de B——, a woman who has so much vogue, as to assemble, in her house, people of the most conflicting opinions and opposite characters. On this occasion, I was surprised to hear from Marshal ——, one of the guests, that many believe the cholera to be contagious. That such an opinion should prevail among the mass, was natural enough, but I was not prepared to hear it from so high a quarter.
A gentleman mentioned, at this dinner, that the destruction among the porters had been fearful. A friend of his was the proprietor of five hotels, and the porters of all are dead!
Insecurity of the Government.—Louis-Philippe and the Pear.—Caricatures.—Ugliness of the Public Men of France.—The Duke de Valmy.—Care-worn aspect of Society under the New Regime.—Controversy in France respecting the Cost of Government in America.—Conduct of American Agents in Europe.
The government is becoming every day less secure, and while it holds language directly to the contrary, it very well knows it cannot depend on the attachment of the nation. It has kept faith with no one, and the mass looks coldly on, at the political agitation that is excited, in all quarters, by the Carlists and the republicans. The bold movement of the Duchess of Berri, although it has been unwise and unreflecting, has occasioned a good deal of alarm, and causes great uneasiness in this cabinet.
[Footnote 5: Louis-Philippe has been more singularly favoured by purely fortuitous events than, probably, ever fell to the fortune of one in his situation. The death of the Duke of Reichstadt, the arrest and peculiar position of the Duchess of Berri, the failure of the different attempts to assassinate and seize him, and the sudden death of the young Napoleon Bonaparte, in Italy (the son of Louis), are among the number.]
In a country where the cholera could not escape being caricatured, you will readily imagine that the King has fared no better. The lower part of the face of Louis-Philippe is massive, while his forehead, without being mean, narrows in a way to give the outline a shape not unlike that of a pear. An editor of one of the publications of caricatures being on trial for a libel, in his defence, produced a large pear, in order to illustrate his argument, which ran as follows:—People fancied they saw a resemblance in some one feature of a caricature to a particular thing; this thing, again, might resemble another thing; that thing a third; and thus from one to another, until the face of some distinguished individual might be reached. He put it to the jury whether such forced constructions were safe. "This, gentlemen," he continued, "is a common pear, a fruit well known to all of you. By culling here, and here," using his knife as he spoke, "something like a resemblance to a human face is obtained: by clipping here, again, and shaping there, one gets a face that some may fancy they know; and should I, hereafter, publish an engraving of a pear, why everybody will call it a caricature of a man!" You will understand that, by a dexterous use of the knife, such a general resemblance to the countenance of the King was obtained, that it was instantly recognised. The man was rewarded for his cleverness by an acquittal, and, since that time, by an implied convention, a rude sketch of a pear is understood to allude to the King. The fruit abounds in a manner altogether unusual for the season, and, at this moment, I make little doubt, that some thousands of pears are drawn in chalk, coal, or other substances, on the walls of the capital. During the carnival, masquers appeared as pears, with pears for caps, and carrying pears, and all this with a boldness and point that must go far to convince the King that the extreme license he has affected hitherto to allow, cannot very well accord with his secret intentions to bring France back to a government of coercion. The discrepancies that necessarily exist in the present system will, sooner or later, destroy it.
Little can be said in favour of caricatures. They address themselves to a faculty of the mind that is the farthest removed from reason, and, by consequence, from the right; and it is a prostitution of the term to suppose that they are either cause or effect, as connected with liberty. Such things may certainly have their effect, as means, but every good cause is so much the purer for abstaining from the use of questionable agencies. Au reste, there is really a fatality of feature and expression common to the public men of this country that is a strong provocative to caricature. The revolution and empire appear to have given rise to a state of feeling that has broken out with marked sympathy, in the countenance. The French, as a nation, are far from handsome, though brilliant exceptions exist; and it strikes me that they who appear in public life are just among the ugliest of the whole people.
Not long since I dined at the table of Mr. de ——, in company with Mr. B. of New York. The company consisted of some twenty men, all of whom had played conspicuous parts in the course of the last thirty years. I pointed out the peculiarity just mentioned to my companion, and asked him if there was a single face at table which had the placid, dignified, and contented look which denotes the consciousness of right motives, a frank independence, and a mind at peace with itself. We could not discover one! I have little doubt that national physiognomy is affected by national character.
You may form some idea, on the other hand, of the perfect simplicity and good taste that prevails in French society, by a little occurrence on the day just mentioned. A gentleman, of singularly forbidding countenance, sat next us; and, in the course of the conversation, he mentioned the fact that he had once passed a year in New York, of which place he conversed with interest and vivacity. B—— was anxious to know who this gentleman might be. I could only say that he was a man of great acuteness and knowledge, whom I had often met in society, but, as to his name, I did not remember ever to have heard it. He had always conducted himself in the simple manner that he witnessed, and it was my impression that he was the private secretary of the master of the house, who was a dignitary of the state, for I had often met him at the same table. Here the matter rested for a few days.
The following week we removed into the Rue St. Dominique. Directly opposite to the porte-cochere of our hotel was the porte-cochere of an hotel that had once belonged to the Princes of Conti. A day or two after the removal, I saw the unknown gentleman coming out of the gateway opposite, as I was about to enter our own. He bowed, saluted me by name, and passed on. Believing this a good occasion to ascertain who he was, I crossed the street, and asked the porter for the name of the gentleman who had just gone out. "Mais, c'est Monsieur le Duc!" "Duke!—what Duke?" "Why, Monsieur le Duc de Valmy, the proprietor of this hotel!" It was the younger Kellerman, the hero of Marengo!
[Footnote 6: He is since dead.]
But I could fill volumes with anecdotes of a similar nature; for, in these countries, in which men of illustrious deeds abound, one is never disturbed in society by the fussy pretension and swagger that is apt to mark the presence of a lucky speculator in the stocks. Battles, unlike bargains, are rarely discussed in society. I have already told you how little sensation is produced in Paris by the presence of a celebrity, though in no part of the world is more delicate respect paid to those who have earned renown, whether in letters, arts, or arms. Like causes, however, notoriously produce like effects; and, I think, under the new regime, which is purely a money-power system, directed by a mind whose ambition is wealth, that one really meets here more of that swagger of stocks and lucky speculations, in the world, than was formerly the case. Society is decidedly less graceful, more care-worn, and of a worse tone to-day, than it was previously to the revolution of 1830. I presume the elements are unchanged, but the ebullition of the times is throwing the scum to the surface; a natural but temporary consequence of the present state of things.
While writing to you in this desultory manner, I shall seize the occasion to give the outline of a little occurrence of quite recent date, and which is, in some measure, of personal interest to myself. A controversy concerning the cost of government, was commenced some time in November last, under the following circumstances, and has but just been concluded. As early as the July preceding, a writer in the employment of the French government produced a laboured article, in which he attempted to show that, head for head, the Americans paid more for the benefits of government than the French. Having the field all to himself, both as to premises and conclusions, this gentleman did not fail to make out a strong case against us; and, as a corollary to this proposition, which was held to be proved, he, and others of his party, even went so far as to affirm that a republic, in the nature of things, must be a more expensive polity than a monarchy.
This extravagant assertion had been considered as established, by a great many perfectly well-meaning people, for some months, before I even knew that it had ever been made. A very intelligent and a perfectly candid Frenchman mentioned it one day, in my presence, admitting that he had been staggered by the boldness of the proposition, as well as by the plausibility of the arguments by which it had been maintained. It was so contrary to all previous accounts of the matter, and was, especially, so much opposed to all I had told him, in our frequent disquisitions on America, that he wished me to read the statements, and to refute them, should it seem desirable. About the same time, General Lafayette made a similar request, sending me the number of the periodical that contained the communication, and suggesting the expediency of answering it. I never, for an instant, doubted the perfect right of an American, or any one else, to expose the errors that abounded in this pretended statistical account, but I had little disposition for the task. Having, however, good reason to think it was aimed covertly at General Lafayette, with the intention to prove his ignorance of the America he so much applauded, I yielded to his repeated requests, and wrote a hasty letter to him, dissecting, as well as my knowledge and limited access to authorities permitted, the mistakes of the other side. This letter produced replies, and the controversy was conducted through different channels, and by divers agents, up to a time when the varying and conflicting facts of our opponents appeared to be pretty well exhausted. It was then announced that instructions had been sent to America to obtain more authentic information; and we were promised a farther exposure of the weakness of the American system, when the other side should receive this re-enforcement to their logic.
[Footnote 7: No such exposure has ever been made; and the writer understood, some time before he quitted France, that the information received from America proved to be so unsatisfactory, that the attempt was abandoned. The writer, in managing his part of the discussion, confined himself principally to the state of New York, being in possession of more documents in reference to his own state, than to any other. Official accounts, since published, have confirmed the accuracy of his calculations; the actual returns varying but a few sous a head from his own estimates, which were in so much too liberal, or against his own side of the question.]
I have no intention of going over this profitless controversy with you, and have adverted to it here, solely with a view to make you acquainted with a state of feeling in a portion of our people, that it may be useful not only to expose, but correct.
[Footnote 8: See my Letter to General Lafayette, published by Baudry, Paris.]
Gradual disappearance of the Cholera.—Death of M. Casimir Perier.—His Funeral.—Funeral of General Lamarque.—Magnificent Military Escort.—The Duc de Fitzjames.—An Alarm.—First symptoms of popular Revolt.—Scene on the Pont Royal.—Charge on the people by a body of cavalry.—The Sommations.—General Lafayette and the Bonnet Rouge.—Popular Prejudices in France. England, and America.—Contest in the Quartier Montmartre.—The Place Louis XVI.—A frightened Sentinel.—Picturesque Bivouac of troops in the Carousel.—Critical situation.—Night-view from the Pont des Arts.—Appearance of the Streets on the following morning.—England an enemy to Liberty.—Affair at the Porte St. Denis.—Procession of Louis-Philippe through the streets.—Contest in the St. Mary.—Sudden Panic.—Terror of a national Guard and a young Conscript.—Dinner with a Courtier.—Suppression of the Revolt.
Events have thickened since my last letter. The cholera gradually disappeared, until it ceased to be the subject of conversation. As soon as the deaths diminished to two or three hundred a day, most people became easy; and when they got below a hundred, the disease might be said to be forgotten. But though the malady virtually disappeared, the public was constantly reminded of its passage by the deaths of those who, by force of extraordinary care, had been lingering under its fatal influence. M. Casimir Perier was of the number, and his death has been seized on as a good occasion to pass a public judgment on the measures of the government of the juste milieu, of which he has been popularly supposed to be the inventor, as well as the chief promoter. This opinion, I believe, however, to be erroneous. The system of the juste milieu means little more than to profess one thing and to do another; it is a stupendous fraud, and sooner or later will be so viewed and appropriately rewarded. It is a profession of liberty, with a secret intention to return to a government of force, availing itself of such means as offer, of which the most obvious, at present, are the stagnation of trade and the pressing necessities of all who depend on industry, in a country that is taxed nearly beyond endurance. Neither M. Perier, nor any other man, is the prime mover of such a system; for it depends on the Father of Lies, who usually employs the most willing agents he can discover. The inventor of the policy, sub Diabolo, is now in London. M. Perier had the merits of decision, courage, and business talents; and, so far from being the founder of the present system, he had a natural frankness, the usual concomitant of courage, that, under other circumstances, I think, would have indisposed him to its deceptions. But he was a manufacturer, and his spinning-jennies were very closely connected with his political faith. Another state of the market would, most probably, have brought him again into the liberal ranks.
The funeral obsequies of M. Perier having been loudly announced as a test of public opinion, I walked out, the morning they took place, to view the pomp. It amounted to little more than the effect which the patronage of the ministry can at any time produce. There was a display of troops and of the employes of the government, but little apparent sympathy on the part of the mass of the population. As the deceased was a man of many good qualities, this indifference was rather studied, proceeding from the discipline and collision of party politics. As an attempt to prove that the juste milieu met with popular approbations I think the experiment was a failure.
Very different was the result, in a similar attempt made by the opposition, at the funeral of General Lamarque. This distinguished officer fell also a victim to the cholera, and his interment took place on the 4th of June. The journals of the opposition had called upon its adherents to appear on this occasion, in order to convince the King and his ministers that they were pursuing a dangerous course, and one in which they were not sustained by the sentiment of the nation. The preparations wore a very different appearance from those made on the previous occasion. Then everything clearly emanated from authority; now, the government was visible in little besides its arrangements to maintain its own ascendency. The military rank of the deceased entitled him to a military escort, and this was freely accorded to his friends; perhaps the more freely, from the fact that it sanctioned the presence of so many more bayonets than were believed to be at the command of the ministers. It was said there were twenty thousand of the National Guards present in uniform, wearing, however, only their side-arms. This number may have been exaggerated, but there certainly were a great many. The whole procession, including the troops, has been estimated at a hundred thousand men. The route was by the Boulevards to the Jardin des Plantes, where the body was to be delivered to the family of the deceased, in order to be transported to the South of France for interment. Having other engagements, I merely viewed the preparations, and the commencement of the ceremonies, when I returned to our own quiet quarter of the town to pursue my own quiet occupations.
The day passed quietly enough with us, for the Faubourg St. Germain has so many large hotels, and so few shops, that crowds are never common; and, on this occasion, all the floating population appeared to have completely deserted us, to follow the procession of poor Lamarque. I do not remember to have alluded to the change produced in this particular, by the cholera, in the streets of Paris. It is supposed that at least ten thousand of those who have no other abodes, except the holes into which they crept at night, were swept out of them by this fell disease.
About five o'clock, I had occasion to go to the Rue de Rivoli, and I found the streets and the garden with much fewer people in them than was usual at that hour. There I heard a rumour that a slight disturbance had taken place on the Boulevard des Italiens, in consequence of a refusal of the Duc de Fitzjames, a leading Carlist, to take off his hat to the body of Lamarque, as he stood at a balcony. I had often met M. de Fitzjames in society, and, although a decided friend of the old regime, I knew his tone of feeling and manners to be too good, to credit a tale so idle. By a singular coincidence, the only time I had met with General Lamarque in private was at a little dinner given by Madame de M——, at which Monsieur de Fitzjames was also a guest. We were but five or six at table, and nothing could be more amicable, or in better taste, than the spirit of conciliation and moderation that prevailed between men so widely separated by opinion. This was not long before Gen. Lamarque was attacked by his final disease, and as there appeared to me to be improbability in the rumour of the affair of the Boulevards, I quite rightly set it down as one of the exaggerations that daily besiege our ears. It being near six, I consequently returned home to dinner, supposing that the day would end as so many had ended before.