previous next

[239] modest, unaffected, and almost conversational; the latter loud-voiced, rhetorical, and ambitious in his delivery. In personal appearance the contrast was great. Jouffroy looked every inch the scholar; Lerminier more like a disciple of Anacreon. His hair was sleek and long, not unlike Nicholas Biddle's, and his size and general appearance reminded me very much of the bank-president. He appeared to be about thirty-eight years of age. Like Jouffroy, he had a large and attentive audience, notwithstanding the lecture-room was uncomfortably cold; and (mirabile dictu) there was a considerable number of ladies in the room. I have since been told that his lectures always attract ladies, many or few. His subject, according to the programme, was the history of comparative legislation; but he was occupied this morning in considering the effect of the conquest of the North of France by the Normans upon the conquerors themselves, since they received Christianity and feudalism from the conquered. His enunciation, though it appeared to be distinct, was so rapid as to make it difficult for me to follow him. His manner was animated, and even excited in the extreme; and frequently, by way of additional emphasis, he gave the desk before him a bang with his hands in time with his voice. There is but one step from the sublime to the ridiculous; and the eloquent and absurd are often separated by thin partitions. Had I been left this morning to my own unassisted judgment, I should have been in great doubt how to regard Lerminier,—whether as an eloquent lecturer or a vapid declaimer. Foelix, the editor of the Revue Étrangere, has told me that he was nothing better than a charlatan; and I must confess that what I heard this morning has not disturbed this opinion. I shall keep my mind open with regard to him, and hope to hear him repeatedly after I shall be better able to understand him.

Jan. 17 (Wednesday). Called on the Ticknors and Walshes,1 and attended to some little affairs in the city, and thus exhausted the day. So much for the distances of Paris! In front of the Theatre Italien, which was burnt, was the funeral of an unfortunate who was destroyed in the conflagration. The house which contained his remains was covered, at the lower part of it, with black cloth; and a hearse was in waiting with black plumes nodding on the top and horses decorated with black. Mourning carriages were also in attendance. In the street were several persons—I took them for hired mourners—dressed in black, with cocked hats and deep weeds. They were engaged in smoking pipes and enjoying jokes, as if they were to assist at a wedding and not at a funeral. I observed to-day the ruins of the building. Its walls and beautiful portico still stand, apparently strong and unaffected by the fire which destroyed the interior of the building. I do

1 Robert Walsh was born in Baltimore in 1784, and died in Paris in 1859. His career was miscellaneous, both as to residence and literary occupations. He studied in the Catholic colleges of Baltimore and Georgetown. Then he resided several years in Europe. Returning to this country, he studied law in Philadelphia, but did not follow the profession. In 1821, he founded, and for fifteen years edited, the National Gazette of that city. He published various papers on American politics, biography, and literature. In 1837 he went to Europe for a permanent residence. From 1845 to 1851 he was Consul of the United States at Paris. In 1834, Sumner met him in Philadelphia. Ante, p. 133.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Department de Ville de Paris (France) (3)
Baltimore, Md. (Maryland, United States) (2)
United States (United States) (1)
France (France) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Jean Louis Eugene Lerminier (2)
Theodore Simon Jouffroy (2)
Robert Walsh (1)
Charles Sumner (1)
M. Foelix (1)
Nicholas Biddle (1)
Anacreon (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
1859 AD (1)
1851 AD (1)
1845 AD (1)
1837 AD (1)
1834 AD (1)
1821 AD (1)
1784 AD (1)
January 17th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: