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ease, and yet a scrupulous decorum, a vivacity that never passes the limits of good breeding, and a knowledge that never degenerates into pedantry, characterize it; as all must admit who have had opportunities of judging.
An acquaintance of mine once expressed his opinion of French ladies by saying, “ They are pretty, lively, and amusing, but are too clever ; and seem too certain of their own attractions to catch hearts, though they win admiration."
The politeness for which Frenchmen are proverbial is much less flattering to individual vanity than is the less ostentatious civility of Englishmen. The former is so general in his attentions, that he makes one feel that the person to whom he is addressing them, is only receiving what would have been equally offered to any other lady by whom he might chance to have been placed; whereas an Englishman is either silent or reserved, unless animated by a contact with some person who has pleased him: consequently, his compliments have a point, and, if I may use the expression, an individuality, that convince her to whom they are addressed, that they could not have been applied to another. A Frenchman never forgets that he is talking to one of a sex for which he professes a general veneration; the Englishman forgets the whole sex in the individual that interests him.
Accomplishments, such as music and dancing, considered to be peculiar to women in England, are as generally cultivated by males as by females in France. This habit, I think, though I know many will disagree with me, is injurious in its effects : because it assimilates the two sexes, which ought ever to retain their peculiar and distinct attributes. The more masculine a man's pursuits and amusements are, the more highly will he be disposed to estimate feminine accomplishments, in which he can have no rivalry; and which, by their novelty, may tend to form a delightful recreation for his leisure hours. The manly occupations which call him from home, render him more susceptible of the charm of female society when he returns to it; hence I would encourage a system that tended to make women as feminine, without being effeminate, as possible; and men as masculine, without being coarse.
But, mercy on me! here am I systematizing, in the midst of noises that give one an idea of Noah's ark ; instead of enjoying the bright sunshine that is so tempting. Allons! for a promenade en voiture, in the Champs Elysées, and after that à pied in the Tuilleries gardens.
3rd.—La cuisine française has greatly denegerated even within my memory. The judges of the culinary art of l'ancien régime declare that the parvenue noblesse of Napoleon's creation destroyed it, by bringing into vogue
savory but coarse plats of their humbler days; but I think the influx of strangers in 1814 did more to deteriorate it. Those who would form a just notion of la cuisine française in its pristine glory, must acquire a knowledge of it in the salles-à-manger of some of the vieille cour in the Faubourg St. Germain ; or in a few of the houses of our own nobility in London, who have preserved some chef de cuisine, whose savoir has not been corrupted, or his palate impaired, by the impurities of the modern French school. In such houses they will find a preponderance of white over brown sauces ; onions will be rendered innoxious by being stewed in loaf sugar; and fish, fowl, and flesh will be refined by a process that, while expelling their grossness, leaves all the nutritious quality. A perfect French dinner is like the conversation of a very clever and highly educated man-enough of the raciness of the inherent natural quality remains to gratify the taste, but rendered more attractive by the manner in which it is presented. An old nobleman used to say that he could judge of a man's birth by the dishes he preferred; but, above all, by the vegetables : truffles, morels, mushrooms, and peas, in their infancy, he designated as aristocratic vegetables; but all the vast stock of beans, full-grown peas, carrots, turnips, parsnips, cauliflowers, onions, &c. &c., he said were only fit for the vulgar.
The Spaniards have introduced a taste for garlic in Paris, and the restaurants have adopted it in many of their plats, the odour of which, fortunately, warns one in time. Apropos of garlic, somebody said that the Spaniards were so patriotic that they never forgot their country; “How can they," observed a listener, 66 when the taste and smell of it never forsake their mouths ?”
4th. The dinners at our hotel are execrable; and so seemed our friend, Mr. Moore, the poet, to think yesterday. I hate going to dine at a restaurant, though it is quite à la mode for the English to do so here; and consequently, I prefer a bad dinner at home. But it really was provoking to invite T. Moore to partake a repast so unworthy of him. A mouth that utters such brilliant things, should only be fed on dainty ones; and as his skill in gastronomy nearly equals his skill in poetry, a failure in one art must be almost as trying to his temper as the necessity of reading a failure in the other : nay, it would be worse, for one may laugh at a bad poem, but who has philosophy enough to laugh at a bad dinner? A true gastronome might, on seeing one, exclaim with the good Roman Emperor, “I have lost a day;" for no substitute of côtelette-d-la minute, or recherché souper, can atone for the first disappointment. As our cook is considered to be one of the most accomplished artistes, the novelty of a bad dinner abroad may be endured with Christian patience : but so thought not some of our friends, who were eloquent on the abomination of charging extravagantly for fare that was only fit for those who look more to the quantity than to the quality.
5th.--I have passed the morning in descending La Montagne Russe, a very childish, but exhilarating amusement. Onesoon conquers the nervousness attending a first descent; after which, the extreme velocity with which one is hurried along is so agreeable an excitement, that I am not surprised to find that many people have frequent recourse to it. T. Moore often visits this spot, and greatly enjoys a descent. It is pleasant to observe with what a true zest he enters into every scheme of amusement ; though the buoyancy of his spirits, and resources of his mind, render him co inde. pendent of such means of passing time. His is a happy temperament, that conveys the idea of having never lived out of sunshine; and his conversation reminds one of the evolutions of some bird of gorgeous plumage, each varied hue of which becomes visible as he carelessly sports in the air.
Our domestics already murmur at the hardships to which they are exposed, and begin to sigh for the flesh-pots of England. What will they think of Italy? where, by all accounts, servants live in a state nearly approaching patriarchal simplicity. After all, a certain station of life brings with it its own annoyances. The greater number of domestics one is compelled to keep, the greater are the torments they inflict; for they are so incapable of submitting to aught in the shape of hardships, and are so prone to consider every deviation from their ordinary routine of comforts as such, that they are generally found to be more troublesome than useful out of England. The ladies' maids sigh for their tea and toast, and the men groan at the absence of their beef and porter. I have observed that persons accustomed from infancy to the utmost luxury, can better submit to the privations occasioned by travelling than can their servants. The minds of the one class being interested by novel scenes, forget, in the excitement they experience, the loss of those physical enjoyments which habit had rendered almost necessary; while the others, having no such gratification, daily and hourly feel the want of that which constitutes their principal pleasure-a luxurious table. The greater the degree of mental