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severity of the English summer," I through some of the heaviest showers amused myself for awhile by looking that I have seen even in this showery at the progress of the preparations. country. The English are not so expert at turn, Still the carpentering, the nailing up ing cities inside out as
And of canvass, and the torrents of rain went Paris would have been converted into a on with equal activity. The sulkycity of bandboxes, or have exhibited a looking streets were rapidly transformhundred palaces of lath, tapestry, and ing into the look of a vast booth at a painted calico fit for as many Emperors; vast fair, and it wanted nothing but or have run up a dozen amphitheatres the canals, we had water enough, and of Titus, with all their flags, embroider- the masquers, to imagine ourselves a ed canopies, and all the lions and tigers thousand miles from the huge city of of the Jardin des Plantes gamboling London, and preparing for the carnain their arenas, before John Bull was val in the Piazza di San Marco, in able to disfigure one of his old brick. Venice, the lovely, the delicious, and built streets. But it was done at last; alas! the dying. and by the help of planks enough to A large party at the hotel of the have stripped a Norwegian forest of all embassy. The Marshal's arrival has its pines, of vast quantities of canvass been the signal for throwing off that and callico, and of zealous carpentering intolerable darknesss which seems to for a week together, London began to be the etiquette of ambassadorship in look unlike itself, and like a Continental this region of tempests. The people city on a fête day. This finery made are like their climate calm, of the it look odd, without making it look gay, most overwhelming calmness, and to The nature of the place predominated be roused by nothing but a war or a over the powers of the brush and the revolution. Since I have come here, hammer.
the spirit of the season or the counYour friend Charles D. and l em- try had sunk me at least fifty deployed ourselves in imagining what the grees in the thermometer. The mer. venerable city of rost bif and smoke cury rapidly approached zero. What most resembled in its new costume was to be done, where a ball scarcely and its ancient gravity. He said that once a month, a drawing-room scarceit was most like the Beuf Gras, that ly once a quarter, and the closed winmost honest of beasts, and most capital dows and doors of every embassy for specimen of its kind, covered from six months in the year together made horn to hoof with ribbons and garlands, life one long funeral procession ? In yet seeming utterly regardless of the Paris, under such circumstances, we honour, and going through the show should have an emeute, nothing else with all the original seriousness of his could restore the circulation of the character. Another suggestion was blood. In Italy we should go upon that of a company of the Banlieu the stage. In Vienna we should preparing for a review in the Champ smoke opium and swallow sour-krout. de Mars; the gentlemen of the trowel, In Stamboul we should break into the the forge, and the milk-pail, adopting Harem, or take the Grand Turk by the sword, the sash, and the shako, the beard; any thing either to extinand marching to the sound of trumpet guish our sensibilities, or to stimulate and drum with the dignity of Sun- them. But here the English are a day saviours of their country. Or provident nation. Till my residence most questionable and flattering of all, at the embassy I did not perceive the our venerable and excellent acquaint- use of their multitude of canals! But ance Madame La Contesse, investing the Marshal's ambassadorship-extraherself with the costume of that fairest ordinary has promised us a change; of the fashionable and most fashionable saved your friend from the necessity of of the fair, at pride of am sa- plunging himself and his crimes togedresses Madame De Hon, and for- ther into the bottom of one of those wa. getting the fifty years interval between tery receptacles for attachés tired of her and beauty, going to a fancy ball life, and saved you from receiving as a at the Tuilleries in silk-web draperies last legacy my opera-glass, the pay. and silver wings, as Psyche. Such ment of my debts, and the honour of was our contrivance for escaping the discharging my pension to instead recollection that we were walking of these little despatches from the very
court of all the muses and graces, all However, I am not one of the royal presiding over the belles jours of young suitors.
Yours, &c. queens. “Mais cette belle voix, et ces beaux
And, now to bed, to bed, to bed."
June 28. I went last night to see the “Coro- canvass houses, and for the fair myriads nation." This too twelve hours before who were 80 soon to take up their its existence. But I hate to be taken abode in thein. But all London set by surprise in any thing, and as one of the elements at defiance ; all was in the suburb theatres exhibited all the motion ; the principal streets were a glories of English royalty in advance, I perpetual line of life, a gulf-stream of ordered my cabriolet, and enjoyed its man, woman and child, ali hurrying in trumpets, drums, huzzas, and horses, the same direction towards the west. by anticipation. Nothing could be The movement was also à Corso, with more loyal and laughable. The house carriages crowding after each other and perfectly suburban,
a phrase which, as flying along, filled with women fashyou have no such idea in Paris or any ionably dressed ; here and there an where else on the continent, implies at officer of rank enjoying the luxury of a once showy and squalid, tremendous whole vehicle to himself, and looking dancing, and sometimes very pretty contemptuously enough, on the pedesfigurantes actors; every thing that is trians on the irottoir. But except for outrageous, and audiences good-hu- the crowd, the streets looked as gloomy moured à l' outrance, grumbling only as the weather ; the shops were all when they insist on the encore of some shut, and as the shops form all the show song, which would break the voices and of London, and as they are shut only the hearts of all the Italians on earth, on Sunday's, or on the days of Royal and bursting out into laughter in the funerals, coronations being rare visita very depths of melodrame.
ants, a stranger suddenly dropped on I went to bed with my eyes full of this globe of ours would have had only stage-lights, tinsel, and odd faces, and his choice of conjecturing that the middreamed that I was ambassador-extra- dle of the week had suddenly jumped ordinary on a mission to marry the back to the beginning, or that there daughter of the great Mogul by proxy was a new hiatus in the House of Hanto the Emperor of Mexico. A shower over. of diamonds was poured upon me by
But when I reached the scene of the magnificent father-in-law, and, the royal programme, the gloom was choaking with brilianey I woke, and all past. Round me where the faces, found my valet standing, coffee in hand, the bonnets, the hats, and the clamours by my bed-side, and shaking me from of at least a hundred thousand people. my slumber, to say that it was five From the spot where the bronze stain the morning and all the world was tue of the first Charles looks down the
vista, at whose end he lost his head, As it was not well to continue in all before me was a sea of heads and rear of all the world, I rose and after all in full motion. Some taking their despatching the trivialities which make places on the scaffoldings raised in front us fit to mingle in the presence of our of the houses ; some mounting the fellow men, I went to look for the house posts of the gas lamps, which then of our friend D. s, if with its new bore the true illuminations of the age, gown and petticoat of callico, and mask whatever might be the state of their of planks and paint, I should be able to coats and breeches ; some fixing themrecognise it again. My valet had told selves steadily in positions on the me truth, but he had not told me the trottoir, with the desperate determinawhole truth. The day had begun with tion not to be unfixed for four or five gloom, the gloom soon deepened into solid hours ; and others like myself rain, and all threatened wofully for the elbowing their way through the mul
itude to the houses where there places the subject. You know Dm's hoshad been kept. Whatever Charles and pitality. On this day it shone. His his charger might have thought of the English father gave him the taste for vista, to me it was remarkably lively. As pieces de resistance, solid masses of far as the eye could glance all was a suc every thing eatable which distinguishcession of waving banners, the flags es the native of this conntry. His of every nation and none of hung out French mother gave him the propenfrom balconies, scaffold above scaffold, sity to enjoy every thing enjoyable, looking in the distance like vast tents which follows the native of ours every of every colour of the rainbow ; the where from Paris to Kamschatkaroofs of the houses crested with groups His house to-day was a complete reof gathering spectators, which, still fectory. Its tables would have made rather scattered, and looking loungingly one of the fathers of the Chartreuse below, might at that distance have break his vow of eating nothing but been taken for scattered statues. At pulse, or have satisfied the superb that moment too, a regiment of heavy longings of a cardinal. They were cavalry entered the street, to take up piled with such luxuries as London can its place in the procession ; and the muster ; I admit not such as the glitter of their brass helmets, their Paris cuisine would produce to be scarlet coats, and the prancing of their proud of, but very well notwithhandsome horses, gave the mass exact- standing. We first had been summonly the relief which the eye of a painter ed to breakfast. The English, it would have desired. The sun too must be acknowledged, breakfast well
. threw in an auspicious burst, and the They even exhibit some taste in the long column of the cavalry under it arrangment. Other nations overload looked like a stream of fire working its the table, or starve the sitters. In way through a stubborn and sullen- England there is a happy medium.coloured soil.
Tea, coffee, toast, and eggs, with a We Frenchmen have heard so much few slices of ham, intermixed with of the buffalo spirit of John Bull
, that I wings of chickens, form the juste had prepared myself for a tough strug- milieu. All beyond spoils the appegle. But I made my way with tolera- tite, occupies attention, and degeneble ease, neither fought, nor was chal. rates into dinner. As for us, Frenchlenged to the combat ; was neither men never breakfast except where trampled to death, nor called a frog- we take our chocholate in a caffe. As eating villain for not having English for the ladies never make their appearance my mother tongue. On the contrary, I in the morning and as we never do escaped without either proving my any thing without them, our mornheroism or being forced to deny my ings pass in picking our teeth, tying country. Frenchman as I was I pass- our neckcloths, and calculating when ed on, saw every thing that I wanted we are to dine. The formality of breakto see ; went every where during the fasting is therefore out of the quesday where I wished to go, and preserv- tion. ed my limbs and my conscience en. At the tables was another feature tire, till I took them both with me equally novel to a Frenchman, and to bed.
captivating to all the world. Between My first movement had all the pre- forty and fifty ladies, generally young, cipitation of fear, D-'s house was for the matrons had probably been at the bottom of the immense cul de scared by the prospect of an ultrasac before me. I feared for my place, squeezing ; generally pretty, all very my breakfast, and my corporeal exist: handsomely costumed, and all in full
I plunged on accordingly. smiles sat down to the table. The But I reached our friend's with such gentlemen at first did themselves the comparative that, all who honour of supplying those fair creatures are alarmed without cause, on getting with all that was necessary for their rid of my alarm, I adopted the perilous appetites, whose delicacy fine and course of leaving my proper balcony, fashionable as it was, was not altogeth. and again returning into the crowd, and er proof against the singularity of seeing all that was to be seen before rising at six o'clock instead of noon, the arrival of the pageant.
and of inhaling the morning air instead Yet I had some compunctions on of the midnight effluvia of the ball
room. When the ladies had sipped ception, and finished in its details. and smiled to the extent of their incli- But its position is unfortunate. It nations, they retired, and the gentle. touches a suburb filled with steammen took their places. In this happy engines and chimneys enough to alternation of indulgences we spent blacken ten palaces. The Parthenon, an hour or two, and if the English in its site, would have worn a robe of proverb is true, that “a good begin- soot in a week. The temple of Luxor ning is half the battle," a proverb, in would have looked like a colossal my opinion, much superior to the tar- blacksmith's shop. The palace of diness of the old Roman saw, that "it Queen Victoria is therefore any thing is the end which crowns the mark,” but an emblem of her innocence. It the gaiety of the morning's meal gave is the atrabilious reverse of “ Candipromise of a goodly day.
dior nive," and has the look of one I am determined to say no more of hackneyed in the ways, and those the the rain. But once for all, I must most fuliginous ways of the world. say, that if the whole body of the Lon- The plan too is no more fortunate don citizens had been one mighty glass than the position. It forms three sides tube, and the whole circulation within of a square, the next deformity to four. it quicksilver, the multitude could not The wings thus effect the purpose have exhibited more susceptibility to directly opposite to that of all other every passing cloud. Half a million wings of earth, or air, if that be lightof eyes were turned every half minute ness. Those wings darken and deupon the sky, and as if to tantalize press. After all, the most graceful them, that sky was a perpetual suc as well as the noblest of all ornaments cession of clouds and sunshine. Below to a great palace is the colonnade. me the street was lined with a detach- Connecting the outer buildings with ment of the Foot Guards. The officers the body of the edifice, they are the put on their blue cloaks, and made pen-feathers, the strength and decorathemselves ready for a winter cam- tion of the wing together. Whether paign. A smart shower came down. smooth or Auted, whether surmounted
The hubbub of the streets instantly with the severe beauty of the Ionic subsided into silence. John Bull drew capital, or the luxuriancy of the Comhis hat across his brows, and awaited posite, they are always a charm : and the deluge with the fortitude of one the chief fault of the palace of the prepared to be drowned on the spot young English Queen is, that it sabut not to be moved. To reward his crifices this truly Greek spell to sullen constancy I suppose, the face of the magnitude and heavy solidity. sky finally changed, the sun blazed But the view in front is pretty and forth, every countenance was lighted gentle; a sort of Tuilleries garden, but up along with it, and from that mo- without the statues, but with what is ment commenced a lovely day—a day infinitely more refreshing to the eye made expressly for this national fes
--a sheet of water, broken by one or tivity.
two little islands; primitive spots, I now sallied forth in good earnest, whose only inhabitants are waterfowl. and directed my march to the Queen's The Englishman shows in every thing palace, naturally the centre of all at- that he is born surrounded by the sea. traction. I found the Park in which Wherever he is surrounded by the it stands crowded; a detachment of land, he makes a mimic ocean, inartillery posted in view of the palace dulges his amphibious instincts by a to fire salutes: bodies of cuirassiers pond in front, and fabricates a little at intervals, and the infantry of the St. George's Channel at the bottom of Royal Guards under arms.
his garden. You have asked me what kind of Far be it from me to decry our monster is this palace? I have not Tuilleries, the multitude of days which now time to talk of it; but the de- I have spent under its shades in that scriptions which reached us in Paris most delightful of all occupations, doing were ridic ulously en caricature. It is nothing ; the quantity of newspaper certainly not a planet among palaces, lucubrations from the pens of all our nor even a meteor. But it has merits illuminati, from Armand Carrell down much superior to any thing that I had to the incarcerated editors of the Tribeen taught to expect. It is even bune, while I was imbibing the gloria showy edifice, elegant in its con- ous science of politics at two sous a
day; and the half-million of black, cerns consist in cutting off the heads brown, demi-brown, and blonde of the of a whole dynasty when they grow makers of human finery and soothers tired of them with their heads on, for. of human cares, who pour through the tunate for the national honour if they little groves in an uninterrupted stream do not roast and eat them; republics of sportiveness, smiles, and short petti- whose existence began last month, and coats, have made it to me classic will close the next, all send diplomaground. Still it does not engross all tists here to represent the high interests the loveliness of the globe. Its marble of their country, and cultivate their heroes, rude as they may be, its stunt- own by dining and dancing at Court ed trees, its fishes gasping for water, and every where else that they can. its loungers gasping for air, and its But on this occasion we always the philosophers gasping for news, revolu- masters of the ceremonies to the great tions, and young Napoleon, do not al. Salle de Danse of Europe, we, par together supersede the velvet softness excellence the nation of gallantry, had and showery green of even this Eng. the honour of setting the example of lish promenade, this quiet and cool homage to the sex, we resolved to water-giving quietness and coolness to send our oldest and baldest Marshal every thing round it; the trees, which to dance before the pretty Queen Vicyoung as they are, seem never to have toria. worn the stays which make our French Our gallantry too was of some sertrees look so prodigiously well behav- vice. The ambassadorial faculty chief. ed; all have a sense of Nature's hav- ly consisting in two points, keeping ing her own way that I am beginning secrets that everyone knows, and to like. I almost doubt whether the religiously respecting ceremonies that spot would be much improved by a all the world besides have exploded; naked Meleager exhibiting his atti- the proposal that those solemn pertudes in the purest marble before an sonages should go in the procession, equally naked Atalanta, or even the produced a universal shudder. Etithree «Graces of Canova,” as palpa- quette was in despair
, the whole body of ble as the most unhesitating chisel attachés were ordered to prepare themcould make them, and revealing to the selves for the last extremities, and their eyes of La Nation Boutiquière those principals were ready to die, portfolio Parian proportions which were once in hand, rather than to hazard this unreserved for the petits soupers of Olym- heard of innovation. Old Soult had pus.
the merit of bringing them to their But now trumpets and drums began senses. Whether he used his old arguto sound. The plot was evidently ment of the sabre and the cannon, thickening, and I made my way to the that “ultima ratio” which the repubesplanade in front of the palace; the licans learned so quickly from the display here was brilliant. A tri- kings, and the pupils handsomely paid umphal arch, exactly modelled on ours back upon their teachers; or whether in the Place du Carousal, placed with he appealed to such understandings equal bad taste as a gateway to the as nature has given to Austrians, palace, and differing from it only in Prussians, Swedes, and Spaniards, are having cost twice the money, and being among the secrets of their function, the repetition of an error, bore upon its and are to be kept in profound secrecy summit the national flag, attended by till any living man shall trouble himsailors, its natural guardians. On either self about the matter. Probably he side were lofty scaffoldings, crowded suggested that, as it was the purpose with ladies, the palace roof had its of their mission to be present at the share of spectators; and every eye performance in the metropolitan Cathewas fixed on the portico from which dral, and as they could go by no other the young sovereign was to descend. way than the streets, they might as
One of the most remarkable features well go along with her Majesty as of the whole ceremonial was the pre- without her. At all events, they came sence of the Foreign Ambassadors. to the determination of joining the Those functionaries abound at the file, first mentally protesting against English Court. They came flocking the breach of etiquette, and severally from every corner of the earth. Na- as I am told sending off couriers to intions unheard of till within these half quire of their Courts what was to be dozen years, and whose political con- done in this formidable emergency,