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an emergency which was to be over visible. Moustache, whisker, and chin. before an answer of any kind could be tuft accomplished this object for their received.
faces, and I was content with the pri. However, the gallant Marshal led vation. the way on this occasion, as he had As the time was approaching when done on so many others, and the diplo- the procession was to move, I returned matists-extraordinary ordered their to our friend's house. The streets had equipages to follow the stream, a prin- now assumed a new appearance. The ciple which is the essence of all success moving crowd moved no longer, it in diplomacy, as well as in all things had formed solid masses on the trotof this life.
toir; the police force had taken their My next movement was to pass in stand along the line in front of the review their equipages, drawn up in masses ; the troops were spread in the Bird-Cage Walk, now a wide and front of the police; the space in the public road, but once a retired path centre was gravelled over, and kept where Charles II., the brother of our clear for the carriages; and what was St. Germain's King, a hundred and infinitely more to the purpose, in the fifty years ago, used to take his morn- way of ornament, the ladies had taken ing's promenade, attended by his cour- their places in the balconies. This tiers and spaniels, two races of animals view was worth all I had seen, which, differing in the number of their and worth all the gilded carriages that legs, agreed in several capital points, I ever hope to see. the only exceptions of which I know
Let me pause a
moment to recoany thing being that the spaniels, ver my breath, and I shall give you though they fondle, do not fatter; my final opinion of the beauty of Eng. and though they may bite now and lishwomen. They are the only wothen, never betray.
men in the world who can venture to The carriages were fully worth the show their faces in daylight! Let this trouble of looking at them. They were be said without any undue qualificacertainly superb affairs. John Bull is tion of my homage for foreign beauty supposed to be the best of coach- in general, and French beauty in par. makers and the worst of politicians, ticular. to be unequalled in building an equi " Quoi !--Neron est il amoureux ? page, and the worst in constructing Depuis un moment; mais pour toute a treaty, of any man in existence. But ma vie, time seems to equalize all things; and as J'aime, que dis-je aimer ? j'idolatre we have within these later years certain Junie.” ly arrived at the art of making the most But it was made for the light of chanridiculous of possible treaties, we deliers. Its poignancy, like gunpowhave almost reached him in the art der, sleeps until it is touched by flame. of panels, harness, and hammer. It is a fine picture, but the picture recloths. The Marshal's carria was quires to be placed in the right posia prodigiously glittering creation. A tion, to be shaded by draperies, and cornice of fretted and flowered silver coloured by contrast, and a hundred a foot high surrounded its top. The other ingenuities, which amply exercise solitary star of the Legion of Honour the taste and talents of the possesblazed on its blue panels ; half extin- sor. In fact, its finest effect is like guished every where else, it flashed every other fine thing in our country; from its blue escutcheon as from a sky. it is theatrical. The scene must not The Marshal had the good taste to al. be approached too near, nor glared on low no competitor to rival it, among with too much light, nor dimmed with the fifty orders which he had conquer- too little—but the lamps are essential, ed or commanded from the trembling and then we have nothing to do but courts of the continent. His baton was to gaze and be undone. the only additional emblem. But it For an hour or two we had amused was enough.
ourselves with the spectacle of the carThe other carriages were of Span- riages conveying the nobility to the ish and Portuguese, Austrian and Cathedral. Next to the women, by Russian grandeeism. Inside sat uni- far the finest things in England are forms of every conceivable embroid- the horses. The Duke of Northumery, spangled with every conveivable berland's steeds, covered with blue order. The wearers were all but in- ribbons, the Duke of Devonshire's,
the Duke of Buccleuch's, and a mul “ But he has fought against them titude of others, were superb animals. so long." And the prices given for them are su They like him the better for it. perb. An English gentleman, who He has fought stoutly, and you canseemed fully conversant with such mat- not get nearer to John Bull's heart, ters, told me that the Duchess of than by showing that you have a stout Kent's horses cost each upwards of heart of your own." 8000 francs ! But those English nobles “ But your newspapers are at this are the richest in the world. Many moment attacking his talents as a solof them could buy a German principals dier, and discussing over again the ity, prince and all, and even their tenth battle of Thoulouse." class could swallow up a dozen of our “Well, who can help them? The majorats. This enormous opulence newspapers don't care a pin's-head arises from two things, the possession upon the subject, nor do the people. of pedigree, and the absence of pride, But newspapers are like those policeSome of the noble families reach back men before you, they flourish their to the Normans, and are like mighty staves to show that they can knock rivers whose course is perpetually down upon occasion; or, like the wild swelled by smaller rivers falling into beasts in the Zoological Gardens, they their course. Those families gradu- roar to remind you of their existence, ally become the deposit of a succession and show their teeth to tell you that of minor families. But when the Eng- they want something to eat. But, sir, lish noble family decays in its exche- with all respect for your country, i quer, it seldom exhibits any scruple never met a Frenchman who could be whatever, to recruit its losses by an al- persuaded that every peevish paraliance with the commercial classes. A graph in a London newspaper was not handsome girl is not thought the worse a declaration of war, and that the of for bringing a couple of millions of writer was not a Secretary of State.” francs in her hand. She gains her “ But your graver
publications, grand object, a title; the honest trader your Reviews, have taken up the subwho has made her dower gains his ject, and angrily too." grand object, the honour of having a “ Well, and who can help the Repeer for a son-in-law; the peer gains views? We have no censorship here, his grand object, a sum sufficient to and every one who has an opinion pay off the incumbrances of the family may give it, and this very license estate; and the bargain thus pleases breaks off the point of the sting. Who every body but the maiden aunts and cares for an opinion, when it is only the Herald's College, for whom no- one of a million of opinions? A man body cares.
in a garret thinks your Marshal the As I stood at one of the windows, greatest general that the sun looking down over a whole parterre shone upon. A man in a drawingof bonnets and beauties in front, at room, with a Turkey carpet, and an the endless stream of showy vehicles ormolu inkstand, thinks that he does which carried the elite of England to not know a musket from a pocketthe Abbey, I happened to say some- pistol. A man in a printing office to thing implying a doubt of the Mar. day compares him to Marlborough shal's reception by the populace. and Turenne, next day he pronounces “ The higher ranks of your country,” that he is not fit to carry their knapI observed to a solid-looking English- sacks. Who cares for all this? Beman, who was uneasily standing on a sides, to do the English papers justice, bench to make the same experiment they did not begin. A pamphleteer over my shoulders, for we on the other side of the water opened crowded like pigeons in coop, the ball, sank Wellington to the dust, “will doubtless treat him with the and lifted Soult up to the skies. respect due to his rank, but the This put the match to the gun, and off people in the streets, what will they it went." do?"
“ Yes, the beginning of the skir“I shall undertake to say,” was mish I allow to have been French. But the reply, “ that they will treat him the pamphleteer was so obscure, his reabetter than even the higher ranks, if sons were so absurd, and the whole he has the sense to prefer cordiality to was so evidently the work of Jacoceremony."
binism to sour the people of England
against the Marshal, and the Marshal boxing-match or a campaign, no people against the people, that English saya. on earth are more ready to shake hands city should have seen through the when all is over, and say no more about scheme and despised it.”
it.” " Perhaps so; they certainly ought After this homely exposition of the to have shown more temper than to soul of John Bull, how shall I rise to care about such tricks. But the bulls the description of the pomps within the dog lives for fighting ; show him the Abbey. I shall not attempt the diffibull
, and whether it is for sport or culty. I must leave it to your vivid slaughter he flies at it. As for the bat- imagination to conceive all that is contle of Thoulouse, the whole affair has ceivable on such subjects—the splenbeen over nearly a quarter of a century; dour, the loyalty, the embroidered three-fourths of all men alive were born robes of the Duchess of Sutherland, since and know nothing about it; the and the diamond stomacher of Prince other fourth have forgotten it, except- Esterhazy, whose outer man on this ing old women and lords of the bed- day, I understand, has been valued by chamber. We might as well abuse the authorities on such subjects at a each other for the wars of the Edwards, quarter of a million sterling. Never or quarrel about the chivalry of Amadis was a noble so well worth running de Gaul.”
away with. Never was a prince whose The trumpets of the squadrons lead- value would be so vexatiously dimin. ing the procession were now heard, ished by his returning to those times and all eyes were turned to its entrance of simplicity when coats and waistinto the street. It looked as fine as coats were unknown. However, he plumes, cuirasses, chasseurs, and valets is a favourite here, for reasons less all over gilding, and carriages hung all sparkling perhaps than his wardrobe, over with chasseurs and valets, could but not less important to his mission. look ; it was an endless column of all - The newspapers will tell you all the kinds of brilliancy glittering under a formal proceedings of the day. The cloudless sun.
As the principal equi- ceremony is the same in all its chief pages passed, and were recognised, features with our own. The Pope, the populace gave them huzzas, more however, neither comes across the Alps or less loud according to their favour- for it, nor are the Cardinals an essenitism. The Duchess of Kent, as the tial part of the performance. But the Queen's mother, shared largely in the whole is ecclesiastical in the highes huzzas. The Duke of Sussex, as her degree. The prelates are the managers uncle, shared still more largely, his re- -every part of the crowning is per. lationship and his radicalism combining. formed by the hands of archbishops and -But among this moving panorama of bishops. The laity, peers, Privy Counprinces, by far the most warmly ap- cillors, and even Ministers, stand at plauded was Soult. My English friend an awful distance while the Sovereign looked at me with a face of triumph receives the diadem from the hands of at the success of his prediction. the Church, and pledges herself to "I told you how it would be,” said its privileges for ever and ever. When he." “ Yes," was my answer, “your the golden circlet is laid on the royal nation knows how to pay the rights of brow the Peerage place their coronets hospitality.”
on their own, and shout, having no“ Not an atom of it," said this in- thing else to do. A roar of artillery tractable Cicerone. “Do you think announced the auspicious act to the that these fellows below are for any multitude without, and was answered thing of the kind ? Not they ; they by acclamations. We next heard the are merely indulging in the national answering roar of cannon from their curiosity; and they are not the worse different positions round the city; and for that neither. Every man of them then the day of pomp was done. The has heard of Soult, and every man is Queen retired, followed by the corotrying to get a sight of his weather- neted crowd, the pageantry disappeared beaten face. They know him to be a like phantoms, and a philosopher, look. brave old soldier, and they don't care ing at the sudden clearance of the scara feather whether he fought against let benches, might have moralized on them or for them. To do them jus- the vanity of human things, though at tice, they never think of the blow after the imminent hazard of being locked the battle; and whether the affair is a in for the night.
If he had, his philosophy wonld have shutting at once the heart, the brain, cost him more than his supper—for the and the eyes of an empire, makes am. night was even more amusing than bition innocent, pleasure stingless, the day. London was one blaze of gaming dull, and money light as air ; illumination. Stars that eclipsed all makes the young Queen forget that their namesakes in the skies, flashed she has this day worn a crown worth from the fronts of the numberless build- three millions of francs, and that a hun. ings. Inscriptions of fire, portraits dred dukes and princes are sighing to framed in flaming rainbows, all the lay their caps and coronets at her footmiracles of lamps and gas were in full stool; hushes even Grisi's trumpetvigour, and the night closed with fire. tones; makes Taglioni's twinkling feet works from various commanding points, as stiff as marble, and extinguishes all which at a distance gave the idea of a things for the time but policemen and general conflagration of the metropolis ; parliamentary orators, the peace-makers and which, if the astronomers of the and peace-breakers of that system of moon happened to have been awake at refined barbarism which we call civilthe hour, must have given them mate-ized society. Thus in solitude, and rials for many a paper of erudite ab- reflections worthy of an ultra-philososurdity in their “ Memoires de l'Insti- pher, have I finished one day. I think tut," or immortalized some Lunarian the ghost of Titus stands before me, Buckland.
and bids me go to bed. Or Burrhus I am now writing at midnight. A himself, inspired by our immortal bard, million or two of sleepers are dreaming exclaims, of the day, within the horizon of chim- “Plût aux dieux, que ce fat le dernier neys from my window. All now is
de ses crimes !" stis. How curious a magic is it which,
July 5. DEAR ALPHONSE
lish themselves speak of it as the finest Since the coronation London has corps in Europe. I had accordingly been a round of entertainments—bal- some curiosity to see its performances: loons in the public gardens—fetes at not that I have quite got rid of that the palace—and dinners at the ambas- salutary idea which makes a Frenchsador's. The eternal succession has man, in every part of the globe, think absorbed all our faculties. The life of that France can do every thing better a diplomatist in this country is no trifle. than any other people, but that the Between trying to recollect the faces remarkable calmness with which an of the well-dressed multitude to whom Englishman generally makes an asyou are perpetually introduced, and to sertion has some effect in making whom you must afterwards bow, on you believe it to be a fact. The want pain of death; sitting out three inter- of this calmness does us prodigious minable courses every day; and alter- harm in the matter of imposing on wards either doing the honours of the mankind. We throw too much pasembassy at home, or doing your own sion into our statement to win creabroad, in the midst of some nightly dulity. I never could fully believe thousands, with the thermometer at 90 an Italian upon any subject whatdegrees, and Musard's band stunning ever; his visage worked too strongly you with Polonaises for twelve hours for the purpose, his arms and legs together, I have had serious thoughts were in too much muscular convulof abandoning all hope of being min- sion, his voice was too high ; in short, ister for foreign affairs in my time, and he made my conviction so much an retiring to the comparative solitudes of affair of his soul and body, that my Paris.
confidence instinctively hung back; But to-day we have had something but when he proceeded to tear his of a higher kind to take off a little of hair, scream, and dance about the our ennui. The English artillery, taken room, I set it down for a fiction at as a whole, is known to be one of the once. Why should any man put all this finest corps in their army. The Eng- machinery in motion when the fact was
strong enough of itself? Here the popular distinction, many a man as composure of the Englishmen has all simple as your friend became unconthe advantage. If he acts the knave, sciously a public character. The cahe does it with all the look of perfect valcade continued to rush on, now and indifference to the effect; he tells his then a little impeded by the obstinacy tale, and leaves you to take it just as of some noble driver of a barouche and you may; he suppresses all the advo four, who insisted on taking his own cate, and you accept him as the histo- way, and overtaking every body's else; rian. But-a nos moutons.
the sight of a dragoon posted across As the review was to be some miles the road to prevent our running out of from London, at the chief station the train ; or the approach of some of the artillery in England, I rose supereminent personage to whom all two hours before my time, breakfasted the inferior world were bound to yield. with unusual despatch, and after dis- I myself drew up in succession to a charging those petty cares of the toilet shoal of Ambassadors, took off my cap which form so important a part of with all humility to his Highness of our duty, I ordered my horse, and Nemours, who rushed by me exactly at an hour before noon, gal- fierce, fast-trotting English horse, too loped towards the scene. You will rapidly I fear to have been sensible have to learn that though Woolwich, of my loyalty in a strange land, and the place of rendezvous, is perhaps made a salaam worthy of a dragoman, three leagues from what is called Lon- to his Highness Mahommed Ben Ali don, it is actually almost a part of this Ben Uglou, representative of the Submonster-metropolis—a monster which lime Porte, and through him represenis evidently proceeding to devour every tative of the Sun and Moon. He was field for fifty miles round; and which worthy of the magnitude of his miswill soon make a blade of grass as re- sion ; long-bearded and grim, equally markable a curiosity to the eyes of the vast and venerable, with the look of a citizens as a rhinoceros. The road dreamer and diplomatist of the first though broad, level and admirably water; the whole idea however much kept in order, as are all the high roads diluted by a pair of spectacles. What of this country, was lined through the necesity can those Tartars have for chief part of the distance with houses, such contrivances of an effeminate civi. some of those guingettes, surmounted lisation? The Turcoman sees a carawith full-length paintings of Welling- van fifty miles off, or shoots his man at ton, Howe, Mi Lord Grey, and other a mile off without spectacles. The warlike and civil lights and disturbers Tartar rides a hundred miles a-head, of this restless world; the paintings through swamp, sand, forest, and mounof course wholly inferior to our French tain, straight as an arrow ; finds his signs, for we are excellent in medio- way from the Wall of China to the batcrity, but exhibiting all the honour tlements of Astracan, and robs a prothat could be given by remorseless em vince or overruns an empire without broidery and gigantic epaulettes. At them. It is only in cities among the intervals rows of private houses, call. enfeebled sons of Europe, or this sued by the general name of terraces, preme generation of elegance who stretched along and now and then a love debility for its own sake, that such pretty villa peeped from its bowery appendages can become necessary. trellises and silvan shades, as if to re- The Turk ought to wear them no mind the passenger that he was not more than the American Indian. Sastill in the heart of the most inordinate vages alike, and differing only by the collection of brick on the face of the difference between a cashmere shawl earth.
and a painted skin, they ought to The visitants, including all the fo- be alike contemptuous of every thing reign Ambassadors, all their suites that can impair the original dignity of military and civil, a crowd of generals, their nature. The Moslem spectacles and a following crowd of fashionable spoiled my homage for the man of the people in dashing equipages, now be- scymitar. I looked no more even at gan to pour along. The inhabitants of the head of Mahommed. the houses on both sides flocked to their The review ground lies beyond windows in their best apparel ; we thus Woolwich, part of it along the banks had a preliminary review of our own; of the Thames which are here low and and if popular curiosity could stamp part of it on an elevated plain inland.