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where in it, is concentrated in the court, and the looks of the Grand Monarch ; by the sunshine of whose countenance, or the clouds which pass across it, every Frenchman lives or dies.' This, however, is certainly not the case with Frenchmen of the present day.
But the principal drawback upon the pleasure of travelling in France, is decidedly the multitude of mendicants by whom you are continually, noyed, and whose miserable appearance offends the eye, while it sickens the heart. Scarcely ever does the vehicle stop wi ut being immediately surrounded by the most distressing object. hat the mind can conceive, in such numbers as to render it impossible for any one except the possessor of Fortunatus's or Rothschild's purse, to bestow alms, however inconsiderable, upon them all. A humane individual, who should attempt to do it, with a pocket of but moderate dimensions, would soon be reduced to the necessity of enrolling himself in the mendicant band, and crying out with the rest of them, in their peculiar tone, “Donnez un sous, à un pauvre malheureux, pour l'amour de Dieu, et de la Sainte Vierge.” “Give a sous to a poor unfortunate, for the love of God and of the Holy Virgin." The crowds of these beggars upon the French roads, lead the stranger to apprehend that in Paris they will swarm to such an extent as to mar in a degree the pleasure of his residence there; he is, however, agreeably disappointed at finding in his perambulations through its streets, that they are completely free from them, in consequence of the admirable regulations of the police. It is worthy of remark, that the reverse of this is the case in England. There the roads and villages rarely afford cause for the tear of compassion, or the exclamation of disgust, elicited by scenes of misery; but in walking about London, one must be made of sterner stuff than was sentimental Yorick, who can avoid endeavouring to repeat “Psha! with an air of carelessness," at almost every step, after being obliged to refuse infinitely stronger claims upon charity than those which were advanced by the poor Franciscan.
We have thus enumerated most of the reasons why travelling in England is preferable to that in France, yet there is one circumstance to be remarked in favour of the latter, which almost counterbalances every consideration of an unfavourable kind. We allude to the facility with which a stranger can make acquaintance with his fellow passengers, in the gay, smiling land of social mirth and ease.” In England he may journey from Plymouth to Berwick without speaking more than ten words to any persons who chance to be his companions in the coach, or hearing ten words spoken by them if ihey happen not to know each other ; but in a French public conveyance, only a short time elapses before all its occupants are as much at ease, and upon as
VOL. IX.-NO. 17.
an hour in weeping, like a f!
the traveller and historian of Modern Egypt
Lady Morgan's France in 1829-30. [March, good terms with each other, as if they were familiar acquaintances. Many a pleasant hour have we spent in a diligence, in consequence of the conversations we have fallen into with individuals whom we have there encountered, some of which were of a highly ludicrous character. We shall never forget a series of interrogatories put to us by a loquacious fellow next to whom we were seated in the diligence in going from Rouen to Paris, and who was about as ignorant as he was garrulous. Hearing us say, in answer to a question of another person, that we were from the United States, he asked us how we liked Italy; and on our telling him we had never been there, inquired with a face of great surprise, whether the United States was not on the other side of Italy? After endeavouring to give him an idea of the situation of our country, he asked successively, if we had crossed the ocean in a steam-boat, if the United States belonged to England or to France, and if Philadelphia was not the place where the great revolt of the Negroes took place. But we must return to her Ladyship, with the wish that she would contrive to render her company more agreeable, that we might have less temptation to wander from her at this rate.
With regard to the English furniture of her Ladyship’s apartments, and the English confectionaries and perfumeries which gave rise to the memorable adventures we have related above, we may remark that it may have been so ordained by fate that she should light upon one of the very few hotels, one of the very few confectionary shops, and one of the very few perfumery stores in Paris, in which matters are ordeređ in the English style ; but to give us to understand, in consequence, that all the hotels are furnished in the same way, and that bonbons, extraits, &c. are not to be procured, is like the proceeding of the Hon. Frederick de Roos, R. N. who affirms, in his sapient work on the United States, that all the inhabitants in Philadelphia take tea on the steps before their doors in summer evenings, because, forsooth, he saw a family sitting on those of the house in which they lived, in order to enjoy a July twilight.
One of the first things that her Ladyship does on the morning subsequent to her arrival, is to give notice to her friends of that important event,-a gratuitous piece of kindness altogether, as it seems to us, for it must doubtless have been announced by as many portentous signs as accompanied the birth of Owen Glen
How kind her Ladyship is! Fearing her rea tressed by the ideas that
, in consequence Denon, she might bave been in some want has takes the precaution of setting them at ea by the above ingeniona sentence. In mention ker intimacy with Denon, she employs lang gular kind, which, if maliciously interpreted subject her to uncomfortable remarks, thoug nothing but an effusion of gurging vanity. It ever, to what a degree that sentiment, when better of all sense of propriety and decoru even if Denom bad not been such a person 25 "ll, he suited me, I swited him. There sympathy, in spite of the disparity of years whether in trifles or essentials, between profound,-makes the true basis of those ti so bitter to break!" It is well for Sir C) el mind, that he is acquainted, as he mu kerrolity and exotism. How, indeed, he c to come before the world with such phrase we cannot imagine, unless on the suppositio husband as La Bruyère has described. “IT wille que de montrer l'exemple d'un sileru parfaite soumission. Il ne lui est dû na fiona; mais cela prla, et qu'il accouc me, et elle le mari."
Alter bere Ladyshin had addered. wa rowing earth wpa Denon's grave wh across kis precious and historical
the traveller and historian of Modern Egypt, the director of the Musée of France,” &c. &c., who, we are informed, used always to be so particularly delighted with her Ladyship's visits to Paris, that he was wont to hail them with his hand, and welcome them with a cordial smile. Alas! death had overtaken him, notwithstanding his friendship with Lady Morgan; and she could no longer expect his salutations. “Other hands were now extended, other smiles beamed now as brightly; but his were dimmed for ever!” How kind her Ladyship is ! Fearing her readers might be distressed by the idea, that, in consequence of the decease of Denon, she might have been in some want of welcoming, she has taken the precaution of setting them at ease upon that point, by the above ingenious sentence. In mentioning the reasons of her intimacy with Denon, she employs language of a very sin gular kind, which, if maliciously interpreted to the letter, might subject her to uncomfortable remarks, though we are sure it is nothing but an effusion of gurgling vanity. It is an instance, however, to what a degree that sentiment, when extreme, gets the better of all sense of propriety and decorum. She says, that even if Denon had not been such a person as she describes him, “still, he suited me, I suited him. There was between us that sympathy, in spite of the disparity of years and talents, which, whether in trifles or essentials,-between the frivolous or the profound ---makes the true basis of those ties, so sweet to bind, so bitter to break !" It is well for Sir Charles Morgan's peace of mind, that he is acquainted, as he must be, with his wife's frivolity and egotism. How, indeed, he could have allowed her to come before the world with such phraseology in her mouth, we cannot imagine, unless on the supposition that he is such a husband as La Bruyère has described. “Il ne sert dans sa famille qu'à montrer l'exemple d'un silence timide et d'une parfaite soumission. Il ne lui est dû ni douaire ni conventions; mais à cela près, et qu'il n'accouche pas, il est la femme, et elle le mari.”
After her Ladyship had “shuddered,” and “felt as if she was throwing earth upon Denon's grave whilst drawing her pen across his precious and historical name,” she spent about half an hour in weeping, "like a fair flower surcharged with dew," over the names of others of her departed friends, Guinguené, Talma, Langlois, Lanjuinais, &c., until she fortunately recollected that the climate of Paris is one that “ developes a sensibility prompt, not deep.” Lucky thought! She immediately threw down the visiting book, threw up the window to let in the climate, wiped from her eyes the tears “which parted thence, as pearls from diamonds dropp’d,” and began to think of “all that death had left her, of the greater still behind,'—of friends, each in his way, a specimen of that genius and virtue, which,
1891. Lady Morgan's France in 1825
il s'y a qu'une bête de plus.? Perhaps the s
. The Rue de
, &c. &c. that for a ship could not
, as she says, “ find leisure to re
Lady Morgan's France in 1829–30. [March, in all regions, and in all ages, make the ne plus ultra of human excellence.” Admire the delicacy of the method by which Miladi lets us into the secret of her being a ne plus ultra ; it is not by a bold assertion, but by a modest inuendo. She keeps company with ne plus ultras_birds of the same feather flock together-ergo, she is a ne plus ultra herself. And so she is, but in her own way. “ Il y a malheureusement,” observes a French writer of the present day “plus d'une manière de se rendre célèbre,"_" there is, unfortunately, more than one method of becoming celebrated,”—and as this writer is an acquaintance of Lady Morgan, we are half inclined to think he committed that sentence to paper after returning from a visit to her Celebrityship.
We may as well cite here a few more instances of her ingenuity in communicating, obliquely, how distinguished a personage she is,-a quality she possesses in a degree that we do not recollect ever to have seen rivalled. We
verbatim. • The other day I dined in the Chaussée d'Antin, in that house where it is always such a privilege to dine ; where the wit of the host, like the menus of his table, combines all that is best in French or Irish peculiarity; and where the society is chosen with reference to no other qualities than merit and agreeability."
Speaking of the weekly assemblies at an eminent individual's house, at which she was a constant attendant, she says, they
“ Are among the most select and remarkable in Paris. Inaccessible to common.place mediocrity and pushing pretension, their visiter must be ticketted in some way or another" (by writing a “France," or an “Italy,” for instance,) "to obtain a presentation."
With regard to another circle of which she was a large segment, she observes,
“ It is sufficient to have merit, agreeability, or the claims of old acquaintance to belong to it, but, truth to tell, it is still so far exclusive, that what Madame Roland calls l'universelle mediocrité, gains no admission there."
Again: “I happened one night at Gen. La Fayette's to say that I should remain at home on the following morning, and the information brought us a numerous circle of morning visitors; others dropped in by chance, and some by appointment. From twelve till four, my little salon was a congress composed of the representatives of every vocation of arts, letters, science, bon ton," (the Congress of Vienna was nothing to this,)“ and philosophy, in which, as in the Italian opera-boxes of Milan and Naples, the comers and goers succeeded each other, as the narrow limits of the space required that the earliest visitor should make room for the last arrival."
pression for her own amusement, or haply for which
, it must be allowed, is not very difficul this sentiment we request leave, before goin card our unqualified concurrence, and also knoe oi no one from whom it could procee priety and weight than from Miladi. expressed before, by various other book-maka feel confident, by one whose career affords its correctness
, or who could adduce more for port of it
, should they be required. In sue fact need only be cited, that "France in 18. the same hand which indited Ida of Athu years previous, and which, during that inte
the world lanost
, amelly, with quartos, cimus.
The verwants that ber Ladyship gives entertainments of which she partook, cons large number of her pages
. It it be true, ha to observe well, one ought to screen one's se she could have had little opportunity of obta with the constitution of French society; her own story, there was no social assembl which she went, where she was not the obs the centre of attraction, the nucleus of exce information is to be derived from her relatio a soirée there, beyond the very interesting and most eredible intelligence, that as soon as of Lady Morgan's name falls
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she is Observes suere de han one Is an ilhink he 1 a fisit
il n'y a qu'une bête de plus.” Perhaps the sensation might be
The accounts that her Ladyship gives of the various festive entertainments of which she partook, constitute the matter of a large number of her pages. If it be true, however, that in order to observe well, one ought to screen one's self from observation, she could have had little opportunity of obtaining acquaintance with the constitution of French society; for, if we believe her own story, there was no social assemblage of any kind to which she went, where she was not the observed of every one, the centre of attraction, the nucleus of excellence. And what information is to be derived from her relation of a ball here, or a soirée there, beyond the very interesting, highly important, and most credible intelligence, that as soon as the announcement of Lady Morgan's name falls upon the ears of the company, everything else is forgotten ; a dead silence instantaneously takes place of the conversational hum that before prevailed ; all eyes are directed towards the door ; Lady MORGAN ENTERS; a buzz of admiration succeeds ; she advances with a dignified air towards the hostess, or rather the hostess runs eagerly forward to meet her; she drops a romantic curtesy ; she sits down; and thenceforward nothing is thought of by any of the guests but Miladi, and the pearls that fall from her lips. As the French are fond of forming queues, or files, for the purpose