A Trip to Paris in July and August 1792
by Richard Twiss
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P A R I S,


JULY and AUGUST, 1792.


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Road from Calais, Unneccessary Passports. Chantilly. 1 Expenses 6 Miscellaneous observations. Chess-men. Tree of Liberty. Crucifixes. Virgins. Saints. Bishops, Old Women 8 Wall round Paris. New Bridge. Field of the Federation. Bastille 15 Coins and Tokens 19 Theatres 24 Pantheon. Jacobins. Quai Voltaire. Rue Rousseau. Cockades 27 Execution of two criminals with a beheading machine 32 Versailles. Botany, Sounding meridians 38 Dogs and Cats. Two-headed Boy 50 Miscellanies. Books burnt. Chess, Convents 54 Dress. Inns 65 Assignats 66 Battle and massacre at the Tuileries 71 Statues pulled down. New names 84 Beheading. Dead naked bodies 90 Courage and curiosity of the fair sex. Massacre in 1572 93 Miscellanies. Number of slain 99 Breeches. Pikes. Necessary Passports 105 Miscellanies. Dancing. Poultry, Taverns. Wig 111 Extent, Population, &c. of France 116 Emendations and Additions. Return to Calais 123 Epilogue 129

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THE following excursion was undertaken for several reasons: the first of which was, that though I had been many times in Paris before, yet I had not once been there since the Revolution, and I was desirous of seeing how far a residence of a few years in France might be practicable and agreeable; secondly, a Counter-Revolution, or, at least, some violent measures were expected, and I was willing to be there at the time, if possible; and lastly, I wanted to examine the gardens near Paris.

I must here premise that I sent for a passport from the Secretary of State's office, which I knew could do no harm if it did no good, thinking I should have it for nothing, and obtained one signed by Lord Grenville, but at the same time a demand was made for two guineas and sixpence for the fees; now, as I have had passports from almost all the European nations, all and every one of which were gratis, I sent the pass back; it was however immediately returned to me, and I was told that, "A passport is never issued from that office without that fee, even if the party asking for it changes his mind." I paid the money, and that is all I shall say about the matter.

Mr. Chauvelin (the minister from France) sent me his pass gratis; those which I afterwards received in Paris from Lord Gower, and the very essential one from Mr. Petion, were likewise gratis.

That of Mr. Chauvelin has at the top a small engraving of three Fleurs de Lys between two oak branches, surmounted by a crown: at the bottom is another small engraving, with his cypher F. C. it was dated London, 17th July, 1792, 4th year of Liberty.

No passport of any kind is necessary to enter France. At Calais one was given to me by the magistrates, mentioning my age, stature, complexion, &c. and this would have been a sufficient permit for my going out of France by sea or by land, if the disturbances in Paris, of the 10th of August, had not happened.

I embarked at Dover on the 25th July, at one in the afternoon, and landed at Calais after a pleasant passage of three hours and a half.

I immediately procured a national cockade, which was a silk ribband, with blue, white, and red stripes; changed twenty guineas for forty livres each, in paper, (the real value is not more than twenty-five livres) hired a cabriolet, or two wheeled post-chaise of Dessin, (which was to take me to Paris, and bring me back in a month) for three louis d'ors in money, bought a post-book, drank a bottle of Burgundy, and set off directly for Marquise (about fifteen miles) where I passed the night.

The next day, 26th, I proceeded only to Abbeville, and it was ten at night when I got there, because a gentleman in the chaise with me, and another gentleman and his wife, who had not been in France before, and who accompanied us all the way to Paris, wished to see Boulogne. We accordingly walked round the ramparts, and then went on.

The 27th we remained a few hours at Amiens, and saw the cathedral and the engine which supplies the city with water, called La Tour d'Eau. We slept at Breteuil which is a paltry town (Bourg.)

The 28th. We were five hours occupied in seeing Chantilly. This palace is the most magnificent of any in Europe, not belonging to a sovereign. In the cabinet of natural history, which has lately been very considerably augmented, by the addition of that of Mr. Valmont de Bomare (who arranged the whole) I observed the foetus of a whale, about fourteen inches long, preserved in spirits; and the skin of a wolf stuffed. I saw this identical wolf at Montargis, a palace beyond Fontainebleau, in 1784, soon after it had been shot. The carp came, as usual, to be fed by hand. Some of them are said to have been here above a century. As to the gardens, they are well known; all that I shall say is, that they do not contain a single curious tree, shrub, or flower. We hired a landau, at the inn, to drive us about these gardens, and in the evening proceeded to St. Denis, which is only a single post from Paris, where we remained, as it would not have been so convenient to seek for a lodging there at night.

The next day, Sunday 29th, early in the morning, we entered Paris, and put up at the Hotel d'Espagne, Rue du Colombier, and in the evening went to the opera of Corisandre.


THE whole expences of our journey from Calais to Paris was as follows. The distance is thirty-four posts and a half, the last of which must be paid double.[1] The two chaises were each drawn by two horses, at 30 sous per horse, and 20 sous to each postillion per post, is 35 and half posts, at eight livres, is Livres 284.

[Note 1: A post is about two leagues, or between four and six miles, as the posthouses are not exactly at the same distance from each other.]

Greasing the wheels and extra gratifications to drivers, about 32

The fees for seeing Chantilly, including the hire of a carriage, 24

Inns on the road, four days and four nights, about 200 ——— L. 540

This, at 40 livres per guinea, amounts to thirteen guineas and a half; to which must be added, for the hire of the two chaises to Paris, three Louis in money, adequate to three pounds sterling, which altogether does not amount to four guineas each person, travelling post above two hundred miles, and faring sumptuously on the road, drinking Burgundy and Champagne, and being as well received at the inns as if the expences had been quadrupled. One hot meal a day, at three livres a head, one livre for each bed, and the wine paid for apart, was the customary allowance. After this manner I have travelled several times all over France, to Bourdeaux, Toulouse, Montpelier, Marseille, Toulon, Hieres, Avignon, Lyon, &c.

Had the exchange been at par, the expence would have been doubled, in English money; but even then would have been very reasonable, compared to the cost of a similar journey in England.

At Paris I received 42 livres 15 sous for each guinea; soon after which I was paid forty-two livres for every pound sterling which I drew on London: on my return to Calais I found the exchange to be forty-four livres per guinea, and once it was as high as forty-nine. This, of course, very much injures the trade between England and France; but, for the same reason, English families residing in France at present, more than double their income, by drawing bills on London for such income, and it will probably be many years before the exchange will be at par again.


THE whole way from Calais to Paris the land was in the highest state of cultivation.

The sandy soil near the gates of Calais abounded with the Chelidonium Glaucium, or common yellow horned poppy.

The first vines on this road are about a mile on this side of Breteuil.

Between St. Just and Clermont is a magnificent chateau and garden belonging to the ci-devant Duc de Fitzjames: this seat has never been described; it is not shewn to strangers at present, as the proprietor is emigrated.

The country all around Chantilly, consists of cornfields; formerly it appeared barren, because the immense quantity of game which infested and over-ran it devoured all the crops and ruined the farmers, who were sent to the gallies if they shot a bird.

I passed this way in 1783 and 1784, and saw vast numbers of pheasants, partridges, and hares cross the road, and feed by the side of it, as tame as poultry in a farm-yard; but at present the game is all destroyed; neither are there any more wild boars in the forest, which is of 7600 acres. These animals still inhabit the forest of Fontainebleau. This forest (which covers almost four times as much ground as that of Chantilly)[2] contains a greater number of trees, of a more enormous size, than I have seen in any other part of Europe, growing amongst rocks and stones equally remarkable for their dimensions. I know not of any parallel to the sublime-beautiful, and to the wild and romantic grandeur of the scenery here displayed. The landscapes of Salvator Rosa appear to have been taken from natural objects, similar to those which are here seen. It is only forty miles from Paris.

[Note 2: It is about five square miles, or rather, eight miles in length from two to four miles in breadth.]

In the treasury of the Abbey at St. Denis were formerly preserved the Chess-men of Charlemagne; these I described in the first volume of Chess, published in 1787; they are now either stolen or strayed, and will probably never more be heard of.

All the horses (many of which were stone-horses) we had occasion to make use of along this road were very gentle, and so were the cattle which were feeding on the grass growing on the borders of the cornfields, (without any inclosure) which they were prevented from entering by a string tied to their horns, one end of which was sometimes held by a child of five or six years old. The people here are very merciful and kind to their beasts. I have seen droves of oxen walking leisurely through the green markets in the cities, smelling at the vegetables, and driven to the slaughter-house by children. There are no instances here of mad oxen, mad dogs, or run-away horses.

In every one of the towns between Calais and Paris a full-grown tree (generally a poplar) has been planted in the market-place, with many of its boughs and leaves; these last being withered, it makes but a dismal appearance; on the top of this tree or pole is a red woollen or cotton night-cap, which is called the Cap of Liberty, with streamers about the pole, of red, blue and white ribbands.

I saw several statues of saints, both within and without the churches (and in Paris likewise) with similar caps, and several crucifixes with the national cockade of ribbands tied to the left arm of the image on the cross, but not one with the cockade in its proper place; the reason of which I know not.

I was both surprised and sorry to see the wooden images, many of them as large as the life, on crosses, painted with the natural colours, to the amount of perhaps twenty between Calais and Paris, still suffered to remain nuisances on the side of the road. The perpendicular of each cross being seasoned, by having been exposed many years to the open air, might make a couple of excellent pike staves;[3] but the remainder would, as far as I know, be of no other use than for fuel.

[Note 3: This was written after I had become familiarized to pikes.]

Another absurdity which has not been attended to as yet is, that most of the almanacks, even that which is prefixed to Mr. Rabaut's Account of the Revolution, contains against every day in the year, the name of some saint or other, male or female; some of them martyrs, and others not, others archangels, angels, arch-bishops, bishops, popes, and virgins, to the number of twenty-four, and of these, four were martyrs into the bargain; and this at a time when churches are selling by auction and pulling down, when the convents are turned into barracks, when there is neither monk nor nun to be seen in the kingdom, nor yet any Abbe, and when no priest dares appear in any sacerdotal garment, or even with any thing which might mark him as an ecclesiastic. It must however be acknowledged, that the saints have lost all their credit in France, and of course so have the Bienheureux, or Blessed. In order to arrive at saint-hood, the candidate must first have died en odeur de Saintete, which, were it not too ludicrous, might be translated smelling of holiness; he was then created a Bienheureux, and after he had been dead a century, the pope might canonize him if he pleased; after which he, the saint, might work miracles if he could, or let it alone.

France formerly contained eighteen arch-bishopricks, and one hundred and thirteen bishopricks; the Arch ones are all abolished, and likewise forty-seven of the others; there are, however, plenty remaining, no less than seventy-three, which includes seven new ones, and one in Corsica.

The churches in Paris are not much frequented on the week days, at present; I found a few old women on their knees in some of them, hearing mass; and, at the same time, at the other end of one of these churches commissaries were sitting and entering the names of volunteers for the army.

The iron rails in the churches which part the choir from the nave, and also those which encompass chapels and tombs, are all ordered to be converted into heads for pikes.

On Sundays, before the 19th of August, the churches were still resorted to, but by no means crowded; I know not whether this be the case now.

All the jours de fete, holidays, are very judiciously abolished, and likewise les jours gras, et maigres, (Flesh and meagre days.)

All shops are allowed to be open, and every trade carried on on Sundays, notwithstanding which, few are open excepting those where provisions are sold; the inhabitants choosing to have one day's relaxation in seven, to take a little fresh air, and to appear well dressed.


THERE is a Wall which encompasses Paris, of about twelve feet high and two feet thick, about nine miles long on the North side, and five on the South side; this was built just before the Revolution, and was intended to prevent goods from being smuggled into Paris. On the North side are thirty-six barriers, and on the other side eighteen; of these fifty-four I saw only ten. They were intended for the officers of the customs; at present they are used as guardrooms. Most of them are magnificent buildings, of white stone, some like temples, others like chapels; several of these are described in the new Paris Guides; but views of none of them have as yet been engraven.[4]

[Note 4: The Rotunda D'Orleans, in this wall, at the back of the gardens of the ci-devant Duke of that name is worthy of observation.]

A bridge of white stone was just finished and opened for the passage of carriages; it was begun in 1787, it is of five arches, the centre arch is ninety-six feet wide, the two collateral ones eighty-seven feet each, and other two seventy-eight, each of these arches forms part of a circle, whose centre is considerably under the level of the water; it is thrown over the river from the Place de Louis XV. to the Palais Bourbon.

The Champ de la Federation, formerly Champ de Mars, is a field which served for the exercises of the pupils of the Royal Military School; it is a regular parallelogram of nine hundred yards long, and three hundred yards broad, exclusive of the ditches by which it is bounded, and of the quadruple rows of trees on each side; but if these are included the breadth is doubled. At one extremity is the magnificent building above-mentioned,[5] and the river runs at the foot of the others. In this field is formed the largest Circus in the world, being eight hundred yards long and four hundred broad; it is bordered by a slope of forty yards broad, and of which the highest part is ten feet above the level ground; the lower part is cut into thirty rows, gradually elevated above each other, and on these rows or ridges a hundred and sixty thousand persons may fit commodiously; the upper part may contain about a hundred and fifty thousand persons standing, of which every one may see equally well what is doing in the Circus. The National confederation was first held here, 14th July, 1790, and at that time a wooden bridge was thrown on boats over the river for convenience.

[Note 5: In 1788 the school was suppressed, the scholars were placed in the army, or in country colleges, and the building is intended, when the necessary alterations are completed, to be one of the four hospitals which are to replace that of the Hotel-Dieu. This hospital is in such a bad situation, being in the midst of Paris, that a quarter of the patients die. It contains only two thousand beds; each of the four new hospitals is to contain twelve hundred beds.]

Of the Bastille nothing remains but the foundations; it was demolished and levelled with the ground in about eleven months; the expences at the end of the first three months amounted to about twenty thousand pounds sterling. The materials were sold for half that sum, and the nation paid the remainder. And on the 14th of July, 1790, the anniversary of the day of its having been taken, a long mast was erected in the middle of the place where it stood, crowned with flowers and ribbands, and bearing this simple and expressive inscription; Ici on Danse. Here is dancing.


IN the Hotel de la Monnoye (the Mint) I procured some new coins. The silver crown piece of six livres has on one side the king's head in profile, round which is Louis XVI. Roi des Francois, 1792; over this date is a small lion passant, being a Mint mark. The reverse, is a human figure with an enormous pair of wings,[6] holding a book in its left hand, which book rests on an altar, and with its other is represented as if writing in it; the word Constitution is already seen there. The figure is naked, except a slight drapery on the left arm; behind the figure is a bundle of staves, like the Roman Fasces, surmounted by the cap of liberty, and behind the altar is a cock standing on one leg; the inscription is Regne de la Loi. L'An 4 de la Liberte. Besides this, there are two other Mint marks, one a small lyre, and the other the letter A; at the foot of the altar is Dupre, the name of the person who engraved the die; and on the edge is La Nation, La Loi, et le Roi, in Relievo.

[Note 6: There is to be a new coinage without the king's profile, and it is to be hoped these wings, or rather the whole figure, will be left out.]

There are no new half crowns. The dies of the new thirty and fifteen sol pieces are just like that of the crown, except that their value is stamped on them 30 Sols, 15 Sols, and that there is no inscription on the edge.

There are two other coins, made of a sort of bell-metal; one of two Sols, with the king's profile; inscription and date like those on the silver coin, and on the reverse the Fasces and cap, between two oak branches, and the inscription, La Nation, Le Loi, Le Roi. L'an 4 de la Liberte. 2 S. The other of half this size, and with the same impressions, except that its value is specified thus, 12 D. or Deniers, equal to one Sol.

I have not seen any new Louis. No paper money or assignats is known in the Mint; I bought some coins here, and paid for them in guineas, which are currant for twenty-five livres. There are twelve or fourteen mills, which were all at work in coining crown pieces, and likewise several hammering machines, one of which was coining 2 Sols pieces.

Besides the national coins, several tradesmen have been permitted to fabricate silver and copper medals or tokens, for public convenience, the most beautiful of which are those of M. Monneron. The largest is of almost pure copper, exactly of the size and thickness of the crown piece; in an oval is represented a female figure with a helmet on, sitting on an elevated place, on which is Dupre f. (or fecit) holding a book, inscribed Constitution des Francois; at her side is a shield with the arms of France, and at her feet an altar, on one side of which is the profile of the king; several soldiers are represented extending their right arms, as if taking the oath; at top is Pacte Federatif; at bottom 14 Juillet, 1790; round the oval vivre libres ou mourir, which is repeated in one of the banners carried by a soldier. On the reverse, in a circle, is Medaille de confiance de cinq-sols remboursable en assignats de 50L et au dessus. L'An IV. de la Liberte; round this is Monneron Freres Negocians a Paris, 1792; and on the edge is cut Departemens de Paris, Rhone et Loire. Du Gard.

I have another of these pieces, not quite so large nor so well executed; one of the sides is similar to that already described; on the other is Medaille qui se vend 5 Sols a Paris chez Monneron patente. L'An IV. de la Liberte. Round this is, Revolution Francaise, 1792; and on the edge, Bon pour les 83 Departemens. I am told this was made at Birmingham.

The other token of the same merchant is rather larger and thicker than our halfpenny. On one side is a woman sitting, with a staff in her right hand with the cap of liberty; her left arm leans on a square tablet, on which are the words, Droits de l'Homme. Artic. V.[7] the sun shines just over her head, and behind her is a cock perched on half a fluted column; round the figure, Liberte sous la Loi, and underneath, L'An III. de la Liberte. On the reverse, Medaille de confiance de deux sols a echanger contre des assignats de 50L et au dessus. 1791. Round this the merchant's name, as in the first; and on the edge, Bon pour Bord. Marseil. Lyon. Rouen. Nant. et Strasb.

[Note 7: This article is, "The law has the right of prohibiting only those actions which are hurtful to society."]

I have seen a silver token almost as big as a shilling. On one side is represented a woman sitting, leaning with her left arm on a large open book, at her right is a cock perched on half a fluted column; and the inscription round these figures is, Le Fevre, Le Sage et Compie. ngt. a Paris. On the reverse is B.P. (bon pour) 20 Sols a echanger en assignats de 50L and round this, et au dessus l'an 4 me de la Liberte, 1792.[8]

[Note 8: This and the former echanger, &c. and remboursable, &c. appear to be superfluous.]

In this Hotel is the cabinet of the royal school of mineralogy, which Mr. Le Sage has been four and twenty years in forming and analyzing; it is contained in a magnificent building, with a dome and gallery almost entirely of marble.


AT this time there were ten regular theatres open every evening. The first and most ancient of which is the Opera, or Royal Academy of Music. The old house which was in the Palais Royal, was burnt in 1781, and the present house, near St. Martin's Gate, was built in seventy-five days. The number of performers, vocal and instrumental, dancers, &c. employed in this theatre is about four hundred and thirty. The price of admission to the first boxes is seven livres ten sous, about six shillings and eight pence, (or three shillings and four pence as the exchange then was.)

2. The French playhouse is at present called Theatre de la Nation. In the vestibule or porch is a marble statue of Voltaire, sitting in an arm chair; it is near the Luxembourg.

3. The Italian theatre behind the Boulevart Richelieu. Notwithstanding the name, nothing but French pieces, and French music, are performed here.

4. Theatre de Monsieur. Rue Feydeau. Comedies and operas are performed here, three times a week in the Italian, and the other days in the French language; for which purpose two sets of players are engaged at this house.

5. Theatre Francais. Rue de Richelieu. At these four theatres the price of admission into the boxes was a crown.

6. Theatre de la Rue de Louvois.

7. Theatre Francais. Rue de Bondy.

8. Theatre de la Demoiselle Montansier, au Palais Royal. The box price of these three last was half a crown.

9. Theatre du Marais, quartier St. Antoine.

10. Theatre de Moliere. Rue St. Martin.

To these must be added about five and twenty more; the best of which is the Theatre de l'ambigu comique, on the North Boulevarts;[9] the box price was half a crown. The others were rope dancers, and such kind of spectacles as Sadler's Wells, &c. and the prices were from two shillings down to sixpence. The French themselves, laughing at the great increase of their theatres, said, "We shall shortly have a public spectacle per street, an actor per house, a musician per cellar, and an author per garret."

[Note 9: These Boulevarts were made in 1536, and planted with four rows of trees in 1668; these beautiful walks are too well known to be described here; they are 2400 Toises (4800 yards, or almost three miles) long. The South Boulevarts are planted in the same manner, were finished in 1761, and are 3683 Toises, or fathom (above four miles) in length.]


THE new church of Sainte Genevieve was begun in 1757; but the building was discontinued during the last war; in 1784 it was resumed, and is at present almost finished. The whole length of the front is thus inscribed in very large gilt capitals: Aux grands hommes: la Patrie reconnoissante. To great men: their grateful country. And over the entrance: Pantheon Francais. L'An III de la Liberte.

As to the size of Paris, I saw two very large plans of that city and of London, on the same scale, on which it was said, that Paris covered 5,280,000 square Toises, and London only 3,900,000. A Toise is two yards; and from the plan it appeared to be near the truth.

The new buildings which surround the garden of the Palais Royal form a parallelogram, that for beauty is not to be matched in Europe. They consist of shops, coffee-houses, music rooms, four of which are in cellars, taverns, gaming-houses, &c. and the whole square is almost always full of people. The square is 234 yards in length, and 100 in breadth; the portico which surround it consists of 180 arches.

The celebrated Jacobins are a club, consisting at present of about 1300 members, and so called, because the place of meeting is in the hall which was formerly the library of the convent of that name, in the Rue St. Honore, about 300 yards distant from the National Assembly. The proper name of the club is, Society of the Friends of the Constitution. There are three or four other societies of less note.

The Quai, which was formerly called des Theatins is at present named Quai Voltaire, in honor of that philosopher, who died there in the house of the Marquis de Villette, in 1778.

The street which was formerly called Platriere, and in which the general post-office is situated, is called Rue Jean Jaques Rousseau, in honour of this writer, who resided some time in this street. I found him here in 1776, and he copied some music for me; he had no other books at that time than an English Robinson Crusoe and an Italian Tasso's Jerusalem. He died 1st July, 1778, very soon after Voltaire, at the country seat of le Marquis de Girardin about ten leagues from Paris; and is buried there, in a small island.

And the street which was formerly called Chaussee d'Antin is now named Rue de Mirabeau, in honour of the late patriot of that name.

The church des Innocens was pulled down in 1786, and the vast cimetiere (burying ground) was filled up. Every night, during several months, carts were employed in carrying the bones found there, to other grounds out of Paris; it is now a market for vegetables. Very near this place was a fountain, which is mentioned in letters patent so long ago as 1273. It was rebuilt with extraordinary magnificence in 1550, repaired in 1708, and at last, in 1788, carefully removed to the center of the market, where it now stands.

The new Quai de Gesvres was constructed in 1787, and all the shops which formed a long narrow alley for foot passengers only, were destroyed.

At this time no person was permitted to walk in any other part of the Tuileries gardens than in the terrace of the Feuillans, which is parallel to the Rue St. Honore, and under the windows of the National Assembly; the only fence to the other part of the garden was a blue ribband extended between two chairs.

Hitherto cockades of silk had been worn, the aristocrats wore such as were of a paler blue and red, than those worn by the democrats, and the former were even distinguished by their carriages, on which a cloud was painted upon the arms, which entirely obliterated them, (of these I saw above thirty in the evening promenade, in the Bois de Boulogne:) but on the 30th of July, every person was compelled by the people to wear a linen cockade, without any distinction in the red and blue colours.


ON the 4th of August a criminal was beheaded, in the Place de Greve. I did not see the execution, because, as the hour is never specified, I might have waited many hours in a crowd, from which there is no extricating one's self. I was there immediately after, and saw the machine, which was just going to be taken away. I went into a coffee-house and made a drawing, which is here engraven. It is called la Guillotine, from the name of the person who first brought it into use in Paris: that at Lisle is called le Louison, for a similar reason. In English it is termed a maiden.[10]

[Note 10: Mr. Pennant, in the second volume of his Tour in Scotland, has given a long account of such a machine, from which the following particulars are taken. "It was confined to the limits of the forest of Hardwick, or the eighteen towns and hamlets within its precincts. The execution was generally at Halifax; Twenty five criminals suffered during the reign of Queen Elizabeth; the records before that time were lost. Twelve more were executed between 1623 and 1650, after which it is supposed the privilege was no more exerted.——This machine is now destroyed, but there is one of the same kind, in a room under the Parliament house, at Edinburgh, where it was introduced by the Regent Morton, who took a model of it as he passed through Halifax, and at length suffered by it himself. It is in form of a painters easel, and about ten feet high: at four feet from the bottom is a cross-bar, on which the felon laid his head, which was kept down by another placed above. In the inner edges of the frame are grooves; in these is placed a sharp axe, with a vast weight of lead, supported at the summit by a peg; to that peg is fastened a cord, which the executioner cutting, the axe falls, and beheads the criminal. If he was condemned for stealing a horse or a cow, the string was tied to the beast, which pulled out the peg and became the executioner."]

I have seen the following seven engravings of such an instrument. The most ancient is engraven on wood, merely outlines, and very badly drawn; it is in Petrus de Natalibus Catalogus Sanctorum, 1510.

There was a German translation of some of Petrarch's Works, published in 1520; this contains an engraving in wood, representing an execution, with a great number of figures, correctly drawn.

Aldegrever, in 1553, published another print on this subject.

The fourth is in Achillis Bocchii Quaestiones Symbolicae, 1550.

There is one in Cats's Dutch Emblems, 1650.

And the two last are in Golfrieds's Historical Chronicles, in German, folio, 1674. These five last are engraven on copper.

In all these representations the axe is either straight or semicircular, but always horizontal. The sloping position of the French axe appears to be the best calculated for celerity.

Machines of this kind are at present made use of for executions throughout all France, and criminals are put to death in no other manner.

The following is the account of an execution, which I had from an eye-witness.

The crowd began to assemble at ten in the morning, and waited, exposed to the intense heat of the sun in the middle of July, till four in the afternoon, when the criminals, a Marquis and a Priest, were brought, in two coaches; they were condemned for having forged assignats.

The Marquis ascended the scaffold first; he was as pale as if he had already been dead, and he endeavoured to hide his face, by pulling his hair over it; there were two executioners, dressed in black, on the scaffold, one of which immediately tied a plank of about 18 inches broad, and an inch thick, to the body of the Marquis, as he stood upright, fastening it about the arms, the belly, and the legs; this plank was about four feet long, and came almost up to his chin; a priest who attended, then applied a crucifix to his mouth, and the two executioners directly laid him on his belly on the bench, lifted up the upper part of the board which was to receive his neck, adjusted his head properly, then shut the board and pulled the string which is fastened to the peg at the top of the machine, which lifted up a latch, and down came the axe; the head was off in a moment, and fell into a basket which was ready to receive it, the executioner took it out and held it up by the hair to show the populace, and then put it into another basket along with the body: very little blood had issued as yet.

The Priest was now taken out of the coach, from which he might have seen his companion suffer; the bloody axe was hoisted up and he underwent the same operation exactly. Each of these executions lasted about a minute in all, from the moment of the criminal's ascending the scaffold to that of the body's being taken away. It was now seen that the body of the Marquis made such a violent expiration that the belly raised the lid of the basket it was in, and the blood rushed out of the great arteries in torrents.

The windows of the Place de Greve were, as usual on such occasions, filled with ladies.[11] Many persons were performing on violins, and trumpets, in order to pass the time away, and to relieve the tediousness of expectation.

[Note 11: Mrs. Robinson tells me, that when she was at Paris, a few years ago, her valet de place, came early one morning, informing her there would be a grand spectacle, and wanted to know if he should hire a place for her. This superb spectacle was no other than the execution of two murderers, who were to be broken alive on the wheel, in the Place de Greve, on that day. She however says, that she declined going.]

I have on several other days seen felons sitting on stools on this scaffold, with their hands tied, and their arms and bodies fastened to a stake by a girth, bareheaded, with an inscription over their heads, specifying their crimes and punishment; they are generally thus exposed during five or fix hours, and then sent to prison, or to the gallies according to the sentence.


I went once to Versailles; there is hardly any thing in the palace but the bare walls, a very few of the looking-glasses, tapestry, and large pictures remaining, as it has now been near two years uninhabited. I crossed the great canal on foot; there was not a drop of water in it.

In the Menagerie I saw the Rhinoceros, which has been 23 years there; there is likewise a lion, with a little dog in the same den, as his companion, and a zebra.

The collection of orange trees cannot be matched in any country where these trees do not grow naturally; the number is about six hundred, the largest trunk is about fifteen inches in diameter, and the age of the most ancient of these trees exceeds three centuries.

The Jardin Potager, or kitchen garden, is of fifty acres, divided into about five or six and twenty small gardens, of one, two, or three acres, walled round, both for shelter to the plants, and for training fruit trees against. One of these gardens, of two acres, was entirely allotted to the culture of melons, and these were all of the warty rock cantalupe kind, and were growing under hand-glasses, in the manner of our late cucumbers for pickling.

The season had been so unfavourable for wall-fruit, that (as the gardener told me) all these gardens had yielded less than a dozen peaches and nectarines.

The fruit was sent regularly to the Royal Family in Paris.

There is a botanical garden at the Petit Trianon in the park of Versailles, but the person who shews it was out of the way, so that I did not see it.

I passed several mornings in the Botanical National Garden, (ci-devant Jardin du Roi.) That part of the garden which contains the botanical collection is separated from the other part, which is open to the public at large, by iron palisades. The names of the plants are painted on square plates of tin, stuck in the ground on the side of each plant. I saw a Strelitzia, which was there called Ravenala, (probably from some modern botanist's name) Mr. Thouin, who superintends this garden, said to me, "We will not have any aristocratic plants, neither will we call the new Planet by any other name than that of its discoverer, Herschel." I neglected to ask him why the plant might not retain its original and proper name of Heliconia Bihai?

I here found the Anastatica Hierochuntica or Rose of Jericho, which I sought for in vain for several years, and advertised for in the Gentleman's Magazine, for January 1791, and in the newspapers. Many descriptions and figures of this plant are to be found in old books, and the dried plants are frequently to be met with. Old Gerard very justly says, "The coiner spoiled the name in the mint, for of all plants that have been written of, there is not any more unlike unto the rose." The annexed figure represents a single plant; it had been transplanted into a deep pot, which had been filled with earth, so as to make it appear like two plants. The stalks are shrubby, the leaves are fleshy, and of a glaucous or sea-green colour. The corolla consists of four very small white petals. Its scientific description may be found in Linnaeus[12]. One of the silicles is drawn magnified.

[Note 12: Genera plantarum, 798.]

Mr. Thouin pointed out to me a new and very beautiful species of Zinnia, of which the flower is twice the size of that of the common sort, and of a deep purple colour: a new verbascum, from the Levant; it was about four feet high, the leaves were almost as woolly as those of the Stachys lanata, and terminated in a point like a spur; it had not yet flowered. And a new solanum, with spines the colour of gold.

He recommended the flower of the spilanthus brasiliana, which our nurserymen call Verbesina acmella as an excellent dentifrice.

I also found here the amethystea, coerulea: this annual has been lost in England above twenty years.[13]

[Note 13: The seeds which are sold in the London shops, for those of this plant, are those of the hyssopus bracteatis.]

The datura fastuosa, the French call Trompette du jugement a trois fleurs l'une dans l'autre; I have myself raised these with triple flowers, both purple and white, though some of our nurserymen pretended the flowers were never more than double. The anthemis arabica, a very singular and pretty annual. A zinnia hybrida, which last has not yet been cultivated in England. Twenty-two sorts of medicago polymorpha, (snails and hedgehogs) of these I had seen only four in England.

Here was a small single moss-rose plant, in a pot, which is the only one I ever saw in France. The air is too hot for those roses, and for the same reason none of the American plants, such as the magnolia (tulip tree) kalmia, &c. thrive in France, though kept in pots in the shade and well watered; the heat of the atmosphere dries the trunk of these trees. But there are many other plants, to the growth of which the climate is much more favourable than it is in England. In the open part of this garden are a great number of bignonia-catalpa trees, which were then in flower, resembling horse-chesnut flowers at a distance, but much larger and more beautiful; and many nerium oleander trees, in wooden chests; several of these trees are about eight feet high and the trunk a foot in diameter; they were then full of flowers of all the sorts, single and double, red and white; these are placed in the green-house in the winter.

On a mount in this garden is a meridien sonnant (sounding meridian) this is an iron mortar which holds four pounds of gunpowder, it is loaded every morning, and exactly at noon the sun discharges the piece by means of a burning glass, so placed that the focus at that moment fires the powder in the touch-hole. The first meridian that was made of this kind is in the garden of the Palais Royal, at the top of one of the houses; I could not see it, but it is thus described in the Paris Guide: "The touch-hole of the cannon is two inches long and half a line (the twentieth part of an inch) broad, this length is placed in the direction of the meridian line. Two transoms or cross-staves placed vertically on a horizontal plane, support a lens or burning glass, which, by their means, is fixed according to the sun's height monthly, so as to cause the focus to be exactly over the touch-hole at noon. It is said to have been invented by Rousseau." Small meridians of this sort are sold in the shops; these are dials of about a foot square, engraven on marble, with a little brass cannon and a lens.

The market for plants and flowers in pots, and for nosegays, is kept on the Quai de la Megisserie, twice a week, very early in the morning; the following were the most abundant: Nerium double flowering pomegranate, vinca rosea, (Madagascar periwinkle) prickly lantana, peruvian heliotropium (turnsole) tuberoses, with very large and numerous single and double flowers, and very great quantities of common sweet basil, which is much used in cookery.

I visited the apothecaries garden, and also two or three nursery gardens in that neighbourhood, but found nothing remarkable in them.

There are many gardens in the environs of Paris which are worthy of notice, but I was prevented from seeing them in consequence of the disturbances hereafter mentioned. In the books which describe these places, I find the village of Montreuil-sous-le-Bois particularly mentioned on account of its fertility. In the Tableau de Paris it is said, "Three acres of ground produce to the proprietor twenty thousand livres annually, (near 800 guineas.) The rent of an acre is six hundred livres, and the king's tax sixty (together about six and twenty guineas.) The peaches which are produced here are the finest in the world, and are sometimes sold for a crown a piece. When a prince has given a splendid entertainment, three hundred Louis d'ors worth of these fruits have been eaten." It is situated on a hill, just above Vincennes, about three miles from the fauxbourg Saint Antoine, and is likewise celebrated for its grapes, strawberries, all sorts of wall fruit, pease, and every kind of esculent vegetables. In the garden called Mouceaux which belongs to the ci-devant Duke of Orleans; at the extremity of the fauxbourg du Roule are, it is said, magnificent hot-houses, of which I have no recollection, though I was in the garden in 1776. There is a description of these gardens in print, with sixteen copper plates. In the Luxembourg gardens only common annuals were growing, such as marigolds, sun-flowers, &c. probably self sown; neither were there in the Tuileries gardens, which I afterwards saw, any remarkable plants.

I bought very large peaches in the markets at 30 sous each, the ordinary ones were at 10 sols. The melons (which are brought to market in waggons, piled up like turnips in England) were all of the netted sort, and of so little flavor, that they would not be worth cultivating, were it not for the sake of cooling the mouth in hot weather; they were sold at 15 or 20 sous each. Strawberries were still plentiful (second week in August.) Cerneaux, which are the kernel of green walnuts, were just coming into season.

I had now no opportunity of acquiring any more knowledge of the plants in France, and shall only add, that I passed the winter of 1783 and 1784, at Marseille and at Hieres; and that besides oranges, lemons, cedras,[14] pistachios, pomegranates, and a few date palm trees, I found several species of geranium, myrtles, and cactus opuntia, (Indian fig) growing in the soil, and likewise the mimosa farnesiana, sweet scented sponge tree, or fragrant acacia, the flowers of which are there called fleurs de cassier; these flowers, together with those of the jasmine, and those which fall from the orange and lemon trees, are sold to the perfumers of Provence and Languedoc.

[Note 14: These trees are planted as close together as possible, hardly eight feet asunder, and no room is left for any walks, so that these gardens are, properly speaking, orange orchards. The oranges were then sold at the rate of ten for a penny English.]

Among the small plants, the arum arisarum, (friar's cowl) and the ruscus aculeatus (butcher's broom) were the most conspicuous, this latter is a pretty ever-green shrub, and the berries were there as large as those of a common solanum pseudo capsicum, (Pliny's amomum, or winter cherry) and of a bright scarlet colour, issuing from the middle of the under surface of the leaves; I never saw any of these berries any where else. Parkinson, in his Theater of Plants, 1640, says, after describing three or four species of this genus, "They scarse beare flower, much lesse fruite, in our land." Perhaps the berries might ripen in our hot-houses.

Many arbutus, or strawberry-trees, grow here, but they are not equal in size and beauty to many which I saw both in Portugal and in Ireland.

In 1784, M. J. J. de St. Germain, a nurseryman in the Fauxbourg St. Antoine, published a book in 8vo of 400 pages, entitled Manuel des Vegetaux, or catalogue in Latin and French, of all the known plants, trees, and shrubs, in the world, arranged according to the system of Linnaeus; those plants which grow near Paris are particularly specified, and a very copious French index is added to the Latin one. The author died a few years ago; the plants were sold, and the nursery ground is at present built upon.


LION Dogs and Cats are common in Paris.

The lion-dog greatly resembles a lion in miniature; the hair of the fore part of its body is long, and curled, and the hinder part short; the nose is short, and the tail is long and tufted at the extremity; the smallest are little larger than guinea-pigs; these are natives of Malta, and are the most valuable; those which are produced in France are considerably larger, and the breed degenerates very soon. Their general colour is white; they are frequently called Lexicons, which word is derived, not from a dictionary, but from a French compound word of nearly the same sound, descriptive of one of their properties.

The lion-cat comes originally from Angora, in Syria. It is much larger than the common cat; its hair is very long, especially about the neck, where it forms a fine ruff, of a silvery whiteness and silky texture, that on the tail is three or four inches long; these cats frequently spread their tails on their backs, as squirrels do. The colour is generally white, but sometimes light brown; they do not catch mice. This beautiful species does not degenerate speedily, and it appears to thrive better in Paris than in any other part of Europe. The figures of both these animals are in Buffon's Natural History.

About the Palais Royal persons are frequently found who offer for sale white mice in cages; these are pretty little animals, their fur is snow white, and their eyes are red and sparkling. Other persons carried for sale canary-birds, linnets, and two or three other sorts of small birds, perched on their fingers; these birds had been rendered so tame that they did not attempt to fly away.

But the greatest curiosity in Natural History which I saw there, was a male child with two heads and four arms; it was then three months old, the two faces were perfectly alike, the noses aquiline, the eyes blue, and the countenances pleasing; the two bodies were joined together at the chest, and the remainder was just like that of a common male child; one navel, one belly, one penis one anus, and two legs. The two bodies were face to face, so that they could embrace and kiss each other; in their natural position they formed an angle of 65 degrees, like the letter Y. I remained above an hour with this child, it's mother and the nurse, and saw it suck at both breasts at the same time. It was tolerably strong, the skin was very soft, and almost transparent, the arms and legs were very lean, and the latter were crossed, and appeared incapable of being extended voluntarily; so that if the child should live two or three years, which I do not think probable, it is not likely it will ever be able to walk. One head would laugh while the other cried, one head would sleep whilst the other was awake; the inspiration and expiration of the breath, in each, was alternate, that is to say, one inspired while the other expired its breath. There was nothing remarkable in the mother (a peasant's wife) except her obstinacy in refusing to disencumber these two poor heads from a couple of thick quilted blue sattin caps with which they had dressed them, and which I endeavoured to convince both her and the nurse would heat the heads, so as to be the means of shortening the child's life, and consequently of curtailing the profits arising from this unique exhibition.

To this description an English physician, who likewise saw it, adds, "It must have had two brains, as motion and sensation were equal, and apparently perfect, in each head and chest, and in all the four arms. It had two hearts, and two sets of lungs; it had also two passages into the stomach, but, as was supposed, only one set of abdominal viscera, as the belly was not larger than that of a common child of that age usually is. The hearts and arteries beat more strongly than was consistent with a long continuance of health. The action of the arteries was plainly seen under the skin."

Mr. Buffon, in the Supplement to his Natural History, has given the figure and description of a monster something similar to this, part of which description I shall give in a note, as a parallel to that of the living child.[15]

[Note 15: "In 1701 there were born in Hungary two Girls who were joined together by the loins; they lived above twenty-one years. At seven years old they were shown almost all over Europe; at nine years of age a priest purchased them, and placed them in a convent at Petersburg, where they remained till their death, which happened in 1723. An account of them was found among the papers of the surgeon who attended the convent, and was sent to the Royal Society of London in 1757. In this account we are told, that one of these twins was called Helen, the other Judith. Helen grew up and was very handy, Judith was smaller and a little hump-backed. They were joined together by the reins, and in order to see each other they could turn their heads only. There was one common anus, and of course there was only one common need of going to stool, but each had her separate urinary passage, and separate wants, which occasioned quarrels, because when the weakest was obliged to evacuate, the strongest, who sometimes would not stand still, pulled her away; they perfectly agreed in every thing else, and appeared to love each other. When they were seen in front, they did not differ apparently from other women. At six years old Judith lost the use of her left side by a paralytick stroke; she never was perfectly cured, and her mind remained feeble and dull; on the contrary, Helen was handsome, intelligent and even witty. They had the small-pox and the measles at the same time, but all their other sicknesses indispositions happened to each separately. Judith was subject to a cough and a fever, whereas Helen was generally in good health. When they had almost attained the age of twenty-two Judith caught a fever, fell into a lethargy and died. Poor Helen was forced to follow her fate; three minutes before the death of Judith she fell into an agony, and died nearly at the same time. When they were dissected it was found, that each had her own entrails perfect, and even, that each had a separate excretory conduit, which however terminated at the same anus." Linnaeus has likewise described this monster. Many figures of double children of different kinds may be seen in Licetus de Monstris, 4to. 1665; and in the Medical Miscellanies, which were printed in Latin at Leipzig, in several quarto volumes, in 1673.]

I went several times to the National Assembly; the Tribunes, or Galleries, (of which there are three) entered warmly, by applauses and by murmurs and hisses, into the affairs which were treated of.

Letters are franked by the assembly as far as the frontiers, by being stamped with red printers ink, Ass. Nationale.

About this time many hundreds of folio volumes of heraldry, and of the registers of the nobility, were publicly burnt in la Place Vendome, after due notice had been given of the time and place by advertisements pasted against the walls. A wicked wag observed, that it was a pity all their books of divinity, and almost all those of law and physic, were not added to the pile but he comforted himself with reflecting that ca viendra.

All the coats of arms which formerly decorated the gates of Hotels are taken away, and even seals are at present engraven with cyphers only.

The Chevaliers de St. Louis still continue to wear the cross, or the ribband, at the button-hole; all other orders of knighthood are abolished. No liveries are worn by servants, that badge of slavery is likewise abolished; and also all corporation companies, as well as every other monopolizing society; and there are no longer any Royal tobacco nor salt shops.

I went once to the Cafe de la Regence,[16] with the intention of playing a game at chess, but I found the chess-men so very little different in colour, that I could not distinguish them sufficiently to be able to play. It seems it is the fashion for chess-men at present to be made of box-wood, and all nearly of the same colour. I then went to another coffee-house frequented by chess-players, and here the matter was worse; they had, in addition to the above-mentioned fashion, substituted the cavalier, or knight, for the fou, or bishop, and the bishop for the knight, so that I left them to fight their own battles.

[Note 16: Rousseau used to play at chess here almost every day, which attracted such crowds of people to see him, that the Lieutenant de Police was obliged to place a sentinel at the door.]

Books of all sorts are printed without any approbation or privilege. Many are exposed on stalls, which are very improper for the public eye. One of these was called the Private Life of the Queen, in two volumes, with obscene prints. The book itself is contemptible and disgusting, and might as well have been called the Woman of Pleasure. Of books of this sort I saw above thirty, with plates. Another was on a subject not fit even to be mentioned.

I read a small pamphlet, entitled "le Christ-Roi, or a Parallel of the Sufferings of Lewis XVI. &c." I can say nothing in favor of it.

I found no new deistical books, the subject has already been exhausted, and every Frenchman is a philosopher now; it may be necessary here to recollect, that there are gradations in philosophy.

Since the Revolution, monarchs and courts are not quite so respectfully mentioned in books as they were formerly. The following few examples are taken from Mr. du Laure's Curiosities of Paris, in two volumes, 1791, third edition. [17] "Louis XIV. has his bust in almost every street in Paris. After the most trifling reparation of a street it was customary to place his great wig-block (tete a perruque) there. The saints have never obtained such multiplied statues. That bully (Fanfaron) as Christina, Queen of Sweden, used to call him, wanted to be adored even in turn-again alleys (culs-de-Sac.") Courtiers are here termed canaille de la cour (the rabble of the court;) the former aldermen of Paris (echevins) machines a complimens (complimenting machines;) and monks des bourreaux encapuchonnes (cowled executioners.)

[Note 17: The same author has likewise published, Historical Singularities of Paris, in a single volume, and a Description of the Environs, in two volumes, 1790.]

All the following articles of information are taken from the same work: The colossal statue of St. Christopher is no longer in the church of Notre-Dame; "He was, without doubt, the greatest Saint Christopher in all France. This ridiculous monument of the taste and devotion of our ancestors has lately been demolished."

"The court before the porch of this church was considerably enlarged in 1748, and at the same time a fountain was destroyed, against which leaned an old statue, which had successively been judged to be that of Esculapius, of Mercury, of a Mayor, and of a Bishop of Paris, and lastly, that of J.C."

"Entering the street which leads to the Pont-rouge, by the cloisters of this church, the last house on the right, under the arcades, stands where the canon Fulbert, uncle to Eloisa, lived. Although it has been several times rebuilt during 600 years, there are still preserved two stone medallions, in basso-relievo, which are said to be the busts of Abelard and Eloisa."

The number of inhabitants in Paris is computed at one million, one hundred and thirty thousand, (including one hundred and fifty thousand strangers) two hundred thousand of which are, through poverty, exempt from the poll-tax, and two hundred thousand others are servants.

In 1790 there were in Paris forty-eight convents of monks, containing nine hundred and nine men; the amount of their revenue was estimated at two millions, seven hundred and sixty thousand livres; five abbeys or priories, estimated at six hundred and twelve thousand livres; seventy-four convents of nuns, containing two thousand, two hundred and ninety-two women, their income two millions and twenty-eight thousand livres. When to these we add the revenue of the archbishoprick, and of the fifteen collegiate churches, of one million, six thousand and five hundred livres, we shall have a total of upwards of seven millions of livres for the former ecclesiastical revenue in Paris only.[18]

[Note 18: Almost L300,000 sterling, about a tenth part of the Church income of the whole kingdom. The establishment for the Royal Family, or Civil List, is said to have been forty millions of livres. Thus the Religion and the Monarch cost one hundred and ten millions of livres annually (about five millions sterling) the greater part of which sum is now appropriated to other uses. The convents are converted, or perverted, into secular useful buildings, and their inhabitants have been suffered to spend the remainder of their lives in their former idleness, or to marry and mix with society. Annuities have been granted to them from thirty-five to sixty louis per annum, according to their age.]

There are about six hundred coffee-houses in Paris.

In the saloon of the Louvre every other year is an exhibition of pictures, in the months of August and September.

The Pont-neuf is one hundred toises in length and twelve in breadth.[19]

[Note 19: 1020 feet by 72. Westminster-bridge is 1220 feet long, but only 44 feet wide.]

The cupola of the Halle au Bled, or corn and flour market, is one hundred and twenty feet in diameter; it forms a perfect half circle, whose centre is on a level with the cornice, forty feet from the ground. The vault or dome is composed merely of deal boards, four feet long, one foot broad and an inch thick.[20]

[Note 20: The inner diameter of the dome of St. Peter's, at Rome, 138 feet, which is the same size as that of the pantheon in Rome. St. Paul's in London 108. The Invalids in Paris 50.]

Describing the church of St. John of the Minstrels, so called, because it was founded by a couple of fidlers, in 1330. M. du Laure says, "Among the figures of saints with which the great door is decorated, one is distinguished who would play very well on the fiddle, if his fiddle-stick were not broken."

There is a parcel-post as well as a letter penny-post in Paris.

The salary of the executioner was eighteen thousand livres per annum; [21] his office was to break criminals on the wheel, and to inflict every punishment on them which they were sentenced to undergo.

[Note 21: L750 sterling; I know not the present salary.]

There are no longer any Espions de Police, or spies, employed by government. "That army of thieves, of cut-throats, and rascals, kept in pay by the ancient police, was perhaps a necessary evil in the midst of the general evil of our old administration. A body of rogues and traitors could be protected by no other administration than such a one as could only subsist by crimes and perfidy. Those were the odious resources of despotism. Liberty ought to make use of simple and open means, which justice and morality will never disavow."

There is a school at the point of the isle of St. Louis, in the river Seine, to teach swimming; persons who chuse to learn in private pay four louis, those who swim among others, half that sum, or half-crown a lesson; if they are not perfect in that art in a season, (five summer months) they may attend the following season gratis.


THE common people are in general much better clothed than they were before the Revolution, which may be ascribed to their not being so grievously taxed as they were. An English Gentleman who has gone for many years annually from Calais to Paris, remarks, that they are almost as well dressed on working days at present, as they were on Sundays and holidays formerly.

All those ornaments which three years ago were worn of silver, are now of gold. All the women of the lower class, even those who sit behind green-stalls, &c. wear gold ear-rings, with large drops, some of which cost two or three louis, and necklaces of the same. Many of the men wear plain gold ear-rings; those worn by officers and other gentlemen are usually as large as a half-crown piece. Even children of two years old have small gold drops in their ears. The general dress of the women is white linen or muslin gowns, large caps which cover all their hair, excepting just a small triangular piece over the forehead, pomatumed, or rather plaistered and powdered, without any hats: neither do they wear any stays, but only corsets (waistcoats or jumps.) Tight lacing is not known here, nor yet high and narrow heeled shoes. Because many of the ladies ci-devant of quality have emigrated or ran away, and that those which remain in Paris, keep within doors, I saw no face that was painted, excepting on the stage. Most of the men wear coats made like great-coats, or in other words, long great-coats, without any coat: this in fine weather and in the middle of summer made them appear to me like invalides. There is hardly any possibility of distinguishing the rank of either man or woman by their dress at present, or rather, there are no ranks to distinguish.

The nation in general is much improved in cleanliness, and even in politeness. The French no longer look on every Englishman as a lord, but as their equal.

The inns on the road from Calais to Paris, are as well furnished, and the beds are as clean at present as almost any in England. At Flixcourt especially, the beds are remarkably excellent, the furniture elegant, and there is a profusion of marble and of looking-glasses in this inn. The plates, dishes, and basons which I saw in cupboards, and on shelves in the kitchen, and which are not in constant use, were all of silver, to which being added the spoons and forks of the same metal, of which the landlord possesses a great number; the ladies and gentlemen who were with me there, going to and returning from Paris, estimated the value at, perhaps, a thousand pounds sterling. Now, if we allow only half this sum to be the value, it is, notwithstanding, considerable. Every inn I entered was well supplied with silver spoons, of various sizes, and with silver four pronged forks; even those petty eating-houses in Paris, which were frequented by soldiers and sans-culottes.

There are no beggars to be seen about the streets in Paris, and when the chaise stopped for fresh horses, only two or three old and infirm people surrounded it and solicited charity, whereas formerly the beggars used to assemble in hundreds. I did not see a single pair of sabots (wooden-shoes) in France this time. The table of the peasants is also better supplied than it was before the revolution.


EXCEPTING the coins which I purchased at the mint in Paris, I did not see a piece of gold or silver of any kind; a few brass sols and two sols were sometimes to be found in the coffee-houses, and likewise Mouneron's tokens.

The most common assignats or bills, are those of five livres, which are printed on sheets; each sheet containing twenty of such assignats, or a hundred livres; they are cut out occasionally, when wanted for change. I do not know that there are any of above a thousand livres. The lowest in value which I saw were of five sols, and these were of parchment. Those of five livres and upwards, have the king's portrait stamped on them, like that on the coins.

Besides the national assignats, which are current all over France, every town has its own assignats, of and under, but not above five livres; these are only current in such town and its neighbourhood.

The assignats of and above five livres are printed on white paper, those which are under, are for the convenience of the lower class of people, of which few can read, printed on different coloured paper according to their value; for instance, those of ten sols on blue paper, those of thirty on red, &c. though this method is not correctly adhered to.

I had projected many excursions in the neighbourhood of Paris, which were all put a stop to, in consequence of the events of the tenth of August, of which I shall give a true and impartial narrative, carefully avoiding every word which may appear to favour either party, and writing not as a politician, but as a spectator.

I had written many anecdotes, as well aristocratical as democratical, but as I was unable properly to authenticate some of them, and that others related to excesses which were inevitable, during such a time of anarchy, I thought it not proper to prejudice the mind of the public, and have accordingly expunged them all. I have only recounted facts, and the readers may form their own opinion.

Some particulars relative to the massacre in August, 1572, are inserted to corroborate the description of the similar situation of Paris, in August, 1792, though not from similar causes. The execrable massacre above-mentioned was committed by raging fanatics, cutting the throats of their defenceless fellow-creatures, merely for difference in religious opinion.


ON Thursday, the 9th of August, the legislative body completed the general discontent of the people, (which had been raised the preceding day, by the discharge of every accusation against la Fayette) by appearing to protract the question relative to the king's decheance (forfeiture) at a time when there was not a moment to lose, and by not holding any assembly in the evening.

The fermentation increased every minute, in a very alarming manner. The mayor himself had declared to the representatives of the nation, that he could not answer for the tranquillity of the city after midnight. Every body knew that the people intended at that hour to ring the alarm-bell; and to go to the chateau of the Tuileries, as it was suspected that the Royal Family intended to escape to Rouen, and it is said many trunks were found, packed up and ready for taking away, and that many carriages were seen that afternoon in the court-yard of the Tuileries.

At eight in the evening the generale,(a sort of beat of drum) was heard in all the sections, the tocsin was likewise rung, (an alarm, by pulling the bells of the churches, so as to cause the clappers to give redoubled strokes in very quick time. Some bells were struck with large hammers.)

All the shops were shut, and also most of the great gates of the hotels; lights were placed in almost every window, and few of the inhabitants retired to their repose: the night passed however without any other disturbance; many of the members of the National Assembly were sitting soon after midnight, and the others were expected. Mr. Petion, the mayor, had been sent for by the king, and was then in the chateau; the number of members necessary to form a sitting, being completed, the tribunes (galleries) demanded and obtained a decree to oblige the chateau to release its prey, the mayor; he soon after appeared at the bar, and from thence went to the commune (mansion-house.)

It was now about six o'clock on Friday morning (10th) the people of the fauxbourgs (suburbs) especially of St. Antoine and St. Marcel, which are parted by the river, assembled together on the Place de la Bastille, and the crowd was so great that twenty-five persons were squeezed to death.[22] At seven the streets were filled with-armed citizens, that is to say, with federates (select persons sent from the provinces to assist at the Federation, or confederacy held last July 14) from Marseille, from Bretagne, with national guards, and Parisian sans-culottes, (without breeches, these people have breeches, but this is the name which has been given to the mob.) The arms consisted of guns, with or without bayonets, pistols, sabres, swords, pikes, knives, scythes, saws, iron crows, wooden billets, in short of every thing that could be used offensively.

[Note 22: According to the Journal de la seconde legislature, seance de la nuit II Aout.]

A party of these met a false patrol of twenty-two men, who, of course, did not know the watch-word. These were instantaneously put to death, their heads cut off and carried about the streets on pikes (on promena leurs tetes sur des piques.) This happened in la Place Vendome; their bodies were still lying there the next day. Another false patrol, consisting of between two and three hundred men, with cannon, wandered all night in the neighbourhood of the theatre francais: it is said they were to join a detachment from the battalion of Henri IV. on the Pont-neuf, to cut the throats of Petion and the Marseillois, who were encamped on the Pont St. Michel (the next bridge to the Pont-neuf) which caused the then acting parish assemblies to order an honorary guard of 400 citizens, who were to be answerable for the liberty and the life of that magistrate, then in the council-chamber. Mandat, commander-general of the National Guard, had affronted M. Petion, when he came from the chateau of the Tuileries, to go to the National Assembly; he was arrested and sent to prison immediately.

The insurrection now became general; the Place du Carrousel (square of the Carousals, a square in the Tuileries, so called from the magnificent festival which Lewis XIV. in 1662, there gave to the queen and the queen-mother) was already filled; the king had not been in bed; all the night had probably been spent in combining a plan of defence, if attacked, or rather of retreat; soon after seven the king, the queen, their two children (the dauphin, seven years old, and his sister fourteen) Princess Elizabeth, (the queen's sister, about 50 years old) and the Princess de Lamballe, crossed the garden of the Tuileries, which was still shut, escorted by the National Guard, and by all the Swiss, and took refuge in the National Assembly, when the Swiss returned to their posts in the chateau.

The alarm-bells, which were incessantly ringing, the accounts of the carrying heads upon pikes, and of the march of almost all Paris in arms; the presence of the king, throwing himself, as it were, on the mercy of the legislative body; the fierce and determinate looks of the galleries; all these things together had such an effect on the National Assembly, that it immediately decreed the suspension of Lewis XVI. which decree was received with universal applause and clapping.

At this moment a wounded man rushed into the Assembly, crying, "We are betrayed, to arms, to arms, the Swiss are firing on the citizens; they have already killed a hundred Marseillois."

This was about nine o'clock. The democrats, that is to say, the armed citizens, as beforementioned, had dragged several pieces of cannon, six and four pounders, into the carousel square, and were assembled there, on the quais, the bridges, and neighbouring streets, in immense numbers, all armed; they knew the king was gone to the National Assembly, and came to insist on his decheance (forfeiture) or resignation of the throne. All the Swiss (six or seven hundred) came out to them, and permitted them to enter into the court-yard of the Tuileries, to the number of ten thousand, themselves standing in the middle, and when they were peaceably smoking their pipes and drinking their wine, the Swiss turned back to back, and fired a volley on them, by which about two hundred were killed;[23] the women and children ran immediately into the river, up to their necks, many jumping from the parapets and from the bridges, many were drowned, and many were shot in the water, and on the balustrades of the Pont-royal, from the windows of the gallery of the Louvre.

[Note 23: This is asserted on the authority of all the French newspapers, and of several eye-witnesses. It will never be possible to know the exact truth, for the people here said to be the aggressors are all slain.—These Swiss had trusted that they would have been backed by the National Guard, who, on the contrary, took the part of the people, and fired on the Swiss (who ran into the chateau as soon as they had discharged their pieces) by which several were killed.]

The populace now became, as it were, mad, they seized on five cannon they found in the court yard, and turned them against the chateau; they planted some more cannon on the Pont-royal and in the garden, twenty-two pieces in all, and attacked the chateau on three sides at once. The Swiss continued their fire, and it is said they fired seven times to the people's once; the Swiss had 36 rounds of powder, whereas the people had hardly three or four. Expresses were sent several miles to the powder-mills, for more ammunition, even as far as Essonne, about twenty miles off, on the road to Fontainebleau. The people contrived however to discharge their twenty-two cannon nine or ten times.[24] From nine to twelve the firing was incessant; many waggons and carts were constantly employed in carrying away the dead to a large excavation, formerly a stone quarry, at the back of the new church de la Madeleine de la ville l'Eveque (part of the Fauxbourg St. Honore, thus called.)

[Note 24: The balls did no other damage to the palace than breaking the windows, and leaving impressions in the stones, perhaps an inch in depth.]

Soon after noon the Swiss had exhausted all their powder, which the populace perceiving, they stormed the chateau, broke open the doors, and put every person they found to the sword, tumbling the bodies out of the windows into the garden, to the amount, it is supposed, of about two thousand, having lost four thousand on their own side. Among the slain in the chateau, were, it is asserted, about two hundred noblemen and three bishops: all the furniture was destroyed, the looking-glasses broken, in short, nothing left but the bare walls.

Sixty of the Swiss endeavoured to escape through the gardens, but the horse (gendarmerie nationale) rode round by the street of St. Honore, and met them full butt at the end of the gardens; the Swiss fired, killed five or six and twenty horses and about thirty men, and were then immediately cut to pieces; the people likewise put the Swiss porters at the pont-tournant (turning bridge) to death, as well as all they could find in the gardens and elsewhere: they then set fire to all the casernes (barracks) in the carousel, and afterwards got at the wine in the cellars of the chateau, all of which was immediately drank; many citizens were continually bringing into the National Assembly jewels, gold, louis d'ors, plate, and papers, and many thieves were, as soon as discovered, instantly taken to lamp irons and hanged by the ropes which suspend the lamps. This timely severity, it is supposed, saved Paris from an universal pillage. Fifty or sixty Swiss were hurried by the populace to the Place de Greve, and there cut to pieces.

At about three o'clock in the afternoon every thing was tolerably quiet, and I ventured out for the first time that day.[25]

[Note 25: The whole of the foregoing account is taken from verbal information, and from all the French papers that could be procured.]

The quais, the bridges, the gardens, and the immediate scene of battle were covered with bodies, dead, dying, and drunk; many wounded and drunk died in the night; the streets were filled with carts, carrying away the dead, with litters taking the wounded to hospitals; with women and children crying for the loss of their relations, with men, women, and children walking among and striding over the dead bodies, in silence, and with apparent unconcern; with troops of the sans-culottes running about, covered with blood, and carrying, at the end of their bayonets, rags of the clothes which they had torn from the bodies of the dead Swiss, who were left stark naked in the gardens.[26]

[Note 26: Although I was not an eye-witness, I was however an ear-witness of the engagement, being only half a mile distant from it.]

One of these sans-culottes was bragging that he had killed eight Swiss with his own hand. Another was observed lying wounded, all over blood, asleep or drunk, with a gun, pistols, a sabre, and a hatchet by him.

The courage and ferocity of the women was this day very conspicuous; the first person that entered the Tuileries, after the firing ceased, was a woman, named Teroigne, she had been very active in the riots at Brussels, a few years ago; she afterwards was in prison a twelvemonth at Vienna, and when she was released, after the death of the Emperor, went to Geneva, which city she was soon obliged to leave; she then came to Paris, and headed the Marseillois; she began by cleaving the head of a Swiss, who solicited her protection, and who was instantaneously cut in pieces by her followers. She is agreeable in her person, which is small, and is about twenty-eight years of age.

Many men, and also many women, as well of the order of Poissardes (which are a class almost of the same species and rank with our fishwomen, and who are easily distinguished by their red cotton bibs and aprons) as others, ran about the gardens, ripping open the bellies, and dashing out the brains of several of the naked dead Swiss.[27]

[Note 27: At the taking of the Bastille, on the day of which only eighty-three persons were killed on the spot, though fifteen died afterwards of their wounds, these Poissardes were likewise foremost in bravery and in cruelty, so much, that the Parisians themselves ran away from them as soon as they saw them at a distance. They are armed, some with sabres and others with pikes.]

At six in the evening I saw a troop of national guards and sans-culottes kill a Swiss who was running away, by cleaving his skull with a dozen sabres at once, on the Pont-royal, and then cast him into the river, in less time than it takes to read this, and afterwards walk quietly on.

The shops were shut all this day, and also the theatres; no coaches were about the streets, at least not near the place of carnage; the houses were lighted up, and patroles paraded the streets all night. Not a single house was pillaged.

The barracks were still in flames, as well as the houses of the Swiss porters at the end of the gardens; these last gave light to five or six waggons which were employed all night in carrying away the dead carcases.


THE next day, Saturday the 11th, about an hundred Swiss who had not been in the palace placed themselves under the protection of the National Assembly. They were sent to the Palais Bourbon escorted by the Marseillois, with Mr. Petion at their head, in order to be tried by a court-martial.

The people were now employed, some in hanging thieves, others with Mademoiselle Teroigne on horseback at their head, in pulling down the statues of the French Kings.

The first was the equestrian one in bronze of Lewis XV. in the square of the same name, at the end of the Tuileries gardens; this was the work of Bouchardon, and was erected in 1763. At the corners of the pedestal were the statues, also in bronze, of strength, peace, prudence, and justice, by Pigalle. Many smiths were employed in filing the iron bars within the horse's legs and feet, which fastened it to the marble pedestal, and the sans-culottes pulled it down by ropes, and broke it to pieces; as likewise the four statues above-mentioned, the pedestal, and the new magnificent balustrade of white marble which surrounded it.

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