Abbildungen der Seite

part.-No stranger to their history, that pauses, and observes the gay and animated


that pass across it now, would imagine that, in the memory of many of them, it had been a theatre of horror and of blood, and that, but yesterday, a foreign army had encamped in the adjacent woods. But the history of Paris, for the last thirty years, has been like the ebbing and the flowing of the sea—the impressions of one revolution, however deep, have been rapidly effaced by the quick succession of another and whether the tide has ceased its dreadful alternations, is, with some, a doubtful question, but one by which the majority of the people are, perhaps, but little troubled. Let them have their amusements and their pleasures, and it is enough for them the Theatre-the Palais Royal--and the Boulevards, absorb and captivate them. The dice or the amour afford sufficient occupation for the mind--and with pursuits like these they are content and happy, if, indeed, the artificial gaiety which they awaken can deserve the name of happiness, till the voice of some commanding intellect arouse them, and they turn from their pleasures to abet the schemes of his ambition, or to follow in his career of blood.'

pp. 47, 48. Mr. R.'s observations on the paintings of David are sound and just, though his praise is somewhat higher than we should be quite disposed to admit without qualifying. We regret that we cannot make room for his observations on the scenery, the manners, the society, the morals of Paris ; but they are too long for insertion, and too important for mutilation; they are eloquently written, and we believe, justly inferred. We wish that they may have the effect of rendering our capricious countrymen, better satisfied with their inestimable®Father-land.' An amusing epitome of French cookery is given in the visit to Verés (Very ?) but in the midst of some excellent description we were strangely startled at the following phrase, in which gender and spelling are set at most intrepid defiance :-Madame le Countesse sits beside Monsieur la Count.' p. 78.

Mr. R.'s censure of the restrictions imposed on visiters to the British Museum, which he instances in remarking on the superior advantages of Paris in respect to the free exhibition of the treasures of art, is, happily, no longer just; the limited space allotted to the Townley Marbles in particular, remains, however, as the matter of just regret : they are well arranged, and most gratifyingly accessible for close inspection; but the narrowness of the gallery, when crowded, prevents the attendant from keeping every one within the range of his eye. We remember to have shuddered on seeing a mischievous school-boy grasp in a very rough manner, part of a small, but valuable relic of antiquity.

A striking and distinct description occurs of the perforniance of High Mass in the chapel of the Tuilleries ; we can extract only the portraits of part of the royal family.

• The Duchess D'Angouleme is an interesting woman: her figure is tall and graceful, and her dress was simply elegant. She was deeply engaged in the service during the whole of the performance, and seldom took her eye off the breviary which she held in her hand. Her husband, however, was not so devotional, He is a thin, active looking man, not very tall, with a physiognomy by no means prepossessing, but a quick and piercing eye. He was very restless during the ceremony–was perpetually looking about him, and then, as if suddenly recollecting himself, he turned to his breviary, and seemed to run over his prayers with great rapidity, making the appropriate crosses and gestures with prodigious haste. The Duke de Berri is a taller and a stouter man, more sedate and thoughtful, with features strongly marked and approaching to sternness. He was more occupied with the service than his neighbour, the Duke D'Angouleme.'

The universal profanation of the Sabbath, by Catholics as a matter of course, but uphappily by Protestants also, is forcibly pointed out and feelingly lamented by Mr. R. We fear, indeed, that the cause of genuine Christianity, lies at the heart of but few Frenchmen, and that instead of any present appearance of a happier state of things, we have only to contemplate, in the expressive words of one of the Secretaries of the Bible Society, a prospect darkening every four and twenty hours.

Notwithstanding Mr. R.'s ' full reliance' on his authority for the anecdote which ascribes to Napoleon the intention of becoining the head of an Unitarian sect, we confess that we exceedingly doubt its being fact.

At length the party left Paris for Geneva, and Mr. R.'s reader will accompany him on his route with an interest which is never permitted to become weary, though now and then we find marks of haste, which we are compelled, ex, officio, to note. Ferney, the seat of Voltaire, we twice find written Furney.' The lines written by the Empress Josephine, (p. 201.) cannot surely be correctly quoted. The lake of Geneva and its surrounding scenery, afford many subjects for the graphic pen of Mr. Raffles; and Mont Blanc, the vale of Chamouni, with all the glories of the surrounding Alps, are very strongly and distinctly painted. In one of his excursions he was fortunate enough to witness, in perfect safety, the loosening and descent of an enormous avalanche.

Having again visited the hospice, and added our names to the many recorded there, we began to descend, taking another course to that by which we gained the summit, and skirting, at no very considerable distance, the front of the great glacier de Bois.

The height of this frozen cataract, for such it appears, is two thousand feet, and many of the shaggy pyramids and rugged towers that seem to totter at its brink, and form its wild and fantastic crest, are said to be from a hundred and fifty to two hundred feet high. It is a truly sublime and awful object, and with all its attendant circumstances, the associations it awakens, and the feelings it inspires, sets description at defiance. We observed the eye of our guide perpetually directed to it, and ours were fastened on it more frequently than comported with our safety, for nothing can be conceived more steep and rugged than the path by which we were descending. But we were soon apprised that the attention of our guide was not directed to the glacier in vain, for he desired us to look to a certain point, where we perceived an immense mass of ice, one of the frozen turrets of the glacier, trembling on the verge of fate, and just ready to fall. It inclined yet more and more over the brow of the precipice, till the scanty portion by which it was held at its base yielding, it slipped down with immense rapidity, and a thundering noise, and, instantly dashed into myriads of atoms, rolled like a majestic cataract of quick-silver glittering in the sunbeams, and spent itself upon the surface of the glacier over which it spread. This, the guide assured us, was one of the largest avalanches he had ever witnessed.'

Yet, amid these scenes--surrounded by the sublimest demonstrations of the eternal power and Godhead of the Almighty, a wretch has had the hardihood to avow and record his atheism, having written over against his name in the album at Montanvert, an atheist.It seems as if some emotions of shame touched him at the time, for he has written it in Greek. It caught the eye of a divine who succeeded him, and he very properly wrote underneath, in the same language, " If an atheist, a fool-if not, a liar." ;

At Chamouni, they found the name of Sir Humphry Davy inserted in the shop-book of a vender of minerals, and were amused by hearing the scientific tradesinan's praises of the Chevalier Davy: he was ' a wonderful man;' Monsieur Carrier ' had never seen his equal;' he knew the name and qualities

of every stone' in Monsieur Carrier's shop ;' in short, he

was a prodigy of science! We suspect that Mr. R is rather too partial to Mont Blanc when he compliments that favourite mountain at the expense of Chimborazo; at any rate he does not give a fair representation of their comparative height, when he mounts to the vale of Quito to measure the giant of the Andes, and descends into the valley of Chamouni, to survey the

monarch' of the Swiss mountains. Chimborazo is 3220 French toises above the level of the sea, while the calculations of de Luc give Mont Blanc an altitude of only 2391 toises from the same plane. The passage of the Tête Noire was attended not only with difficulties, but with danger; a female of the party was, at two different times, able to save herself from the verge of the precipice only by grasping the hair of the guide. At Lausanne, the travellers were struck with the general adoption of French manners,

In this part of the narrative we find some



seasonable exhortations against the demoralizing system of sending the Englisb youth of either sex, to the seminaries of • France and the societies of Paris.' At Basle, they met the Rhine.---But the scenery of this noble river, though richly painted by Mr. Railles, must not detain us at present. The following is a touching display of wretchedness.

• While we were at dinner, a poor half-starved dog came in to take what chance or compassion might through in his way. Our pity soon became his advocate, and a plate plentifully supplied with bones and bread was the result of its pleading in his behalf. The door of the room was open, and in the course of the meal, turning that way, I observed a poor, meagre, ragged boy looking wistfully at the bones which the dog was rapidly devouring. I never saw the intense anxiety of hunger so depicted in a human countenance before-or met with such an illustration of the feelings of the prodigal, who would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat. The look was eloquentwho could resist its power? I beckoned him into the room, and put into his eager hand a lump of bread and a mutton chop. He was leaving the room, when an old man, who had witnessed our bounty to the lad, rushed in. At his appearance ! put out my arm to repel his solicitation, crying out, we shall have all the town to dine if we go on at this rate. The poor old man immediately turned away--he made no complaint-he uttered no exclamationbut I could see the pangs of hunger in his countenance, and the tear started in his eye. This was more than I could bear—and touched to the very heart, I tasted an exquisite luxury in seeing this poor wretch depart with the smile of gratitude upon his lips.' p. 305.

At Liege, they witnessed in the following instance of absurd, yet appalling fanaticism, a specimen of the debasing influence of Popery, on the intellects of its (legraded votaries.

We saw a curious paper stuck up on the doors of some of the churches. I did not observe it myself till it was too dark distinctly to read the whole. Sir S, however, assured me he had read it with great attention, and he could pledge his word that it was to the following effect.

• There is a fast in the Romish church, called “ The fast of forty hours," in imitation, I imagine, of the forty days fasting of our Lord in the wilderness, in which Jesus Christ, in their language, remains forty hours upon the altar : when all good Christians are to repair to the said altar, to praise and adore him.

• The paper referred to this fast, which either had been recently observed in Liege, or else was nigh at hand. It was headed “ PRAISE AND A DORE Jesus CHRIST,” and began by setting forth the great piety of the city of Liege in former times, insomuch that it was styled, “ the eldest bori: of the church of Rome," -and obtained many special privileges and indulgences from divers Popes. It then proceeded to state, that in those days of primitive piety, when Jesus Christ was thus exhibited on the altar, the crowds that repaired to pay their homage at his feet, were such, that many were squeezed to death by the pressure ; but now Jesus Christ remained on the altar, and no one came to adore him, It then went on to state that some pious persons, moved with grief that Jesus Christ should be left thus alone, had conceived the idea of paying people to come and adore him--and the paper in question was to entreat the alms of the faithful, for the defraying of this expense-urging it, as an inducement to liberality, that these devout persons, who were thus hired for the solemnity, should pray for those who piously contributed to the fund.

• When I add to the above, that I saw a shop where they sell cau de vie, in other words, a gin shop, with the sign of “ THE NAME OF JESUS," written over the door, you will be able to form some idea of the piety of the city of Liege. Soldiers laughing at the sacramentpriests hiring people to adore the Saviour--and gin shops dedicated to the name of Christ.' pp. 323, 324.

We have derived much pleasure from the perusal of this little volume. Should a second edition be called for, a few corrections and judicious alterations would entirely remove the few and slight errors of composition and reference, which we have had occasion to point out, with some others, too unimportant to note, though they will immediately suggest themselves to Mr. R. on a revision.

Art. VII. The Coalition and France : translated from the French.

London. 8vo. pp. 160. 1817. TH THIS is a magnificent piece of rant, and a most remarkable

exemplification of two vicious habits of coin position, known to the Author's countrymen by the names Phæbus and Emphase. Evidently the production of a man of talent, and at the same time, expressing the views, the feelings, and the wishes of a very strong party in France, it claims a very different kind of attention from that which we should feel inclined to bestow upon it, were it the casual expression of the sentiments of an individual. To analyze it, is hardly possible, and if it were, we should feel very little inclination to engage in so unprofitable a labour; yet, were we called upon to answer it, perhaps the most effectual way to effect our object, would be to subject the whole of the Author's statements and assertions to a simple analysis. If we rightly comprehend this writer, though it is pot very easy to see through the cloud of mist in which he purposely involves himself, he is a decided advocate for the general policy of Napoleon, and exceedingly laments that the headstrong and overweening hardihood of that chief, led to the destruction of the supremacy of France. Ostensibly he condemns the ambition and restlessness of the ex-Emperor, while he professes the most loyal attachment to the Bourbons; but bis real feelings are ill-concealed, and in part, seem hardly meant to be mistaken. The first part, which bas for its title, Vol. XI, N. S.


« ZurückWeiter »