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[102]

Chapter 6:


Journal.

Paris, September 18.1—I was at Bossange's book-shop and two or three other similar establishments to-day. They are less ample and less well supplied with classical books of all kinds than they used to be. The living literature, too, does not much figure in them, and from what I could judge and learn, especially in a long and somewhat curious conversation with the elder Bossange, I suppose the booksellers now are driven for a good deal of their profits to reprinting popular authors with extravagant ornaments, like ‘Gil Blas,’ ‘La Fontaine,’ and ‘Paul and Virginia,’ which have recently been published with engravings on every page . . . .

September 20.—I had a visit from Von Raumer this morning. He is in Paris to consult and make extracts from the Archives of the Foreign Affairs, and is now near the end of a two-months' labor for his great historical work, like that which he gave to it, last year and the year before, in London. He says he has found an immense mass of materials, and that he is permitted to search where he likes, and copy, with only the formality of an examination, which is made by Mignet, the historian.

It was not my intention to make acquaintances or visits at Paris till the winter shall come on, but to-day I was driven to make one that I found very agreeable; I mean that of M. Fauriel. I wanted his work on the Romances of the Provencal, and desired Bossange to procure it for me some days ago. Not finding it, or any trace of it, he applied to Fauriel for some indication in relation to it. Fauriel told him, what was new both to Bossange and myself, that the Essay on Romances had been printed only in a periodical; and [103] being surprised that an American should inquire for it, Fauriel sent me last evening a copy of it, with a very civil note. Of course I called on him to-day and delivered him a letter of introduction which Schlegel had given me at Bonn. I found him a man above sixty years old, I should think, living in the Faubourg St. Germain, in a quiet and modest manner, and surrounded with a library of extremely curious books, in the early literature of France, Germany, Spain, and Provence. His conversation was more accurate and careful than is commonly found in his countrymen, but still lively; and his knowledge in early Spanish literature, on which we chiefly talked, is such as I have not found before in Europe. It exceeded that of Wolf at Vienna, as much as his years do, and gave me great pleasure.

October 1.—I went this morning to see Camillo Ugoni, the author of the ‘History of Italian Literature in the Eighteenth Century,’ in order to make some inquiries of him about Count Confalonieri, who has lately been in Paris, and been sent away by the Police.2 . . . Ugoni I found a pleasant Italian, about sixty years old, with the apparatus of a man of letters about him; but I talked with him only concerning Confalonieri, whose intimate friend he is, and, I believe, also a fellow-sufferer in exile from political causes.

On my return home I found all Paris in motion in the upper part of the city, chiefly with a fete at the Gardens of Tivoli, but partly, also, with the St. Germain Railroad. It looked very little like Sunday. Indeed, so few shops are shut, and all works—even those for the government—are so diligently carried on, that I cannot distinguish Sunday from other days.

We attended service at the Oratoire, where Monod, son of the person who was a preacher there twenty years ago, officiated. The sermon was thoroughly Calvinistic. He seemed serious and earnest. . . .

October 5.—The Duke and Duchess de Broglie being announced in the papers as having come to town, I went to see them this morning, and I am glad I did; they received me as an old friend,—as if it were but a short time since I was last in their saloon. But they are, of course, a good deal altered. The Duke, who is above fifty, shows that he has had cares upon him, and that he has not been Prime Minister with impunity; but still he has preserved his natural and original manner, a singular mixture of pride, warmheartedness, and modesty, which gives him a slight air of embarrassment, and makes him blush a little whenever he expresses a strong or decided opinion. Mad. de Broglie is just forty years old, but does not [104] look so much; is still pretty; and has that charm she always had, of perfectly simple and even naive manners, added to great frankness and talent. Her daughter, the Viscountess d'haussonville, was there, and is beautiful; . . . . and a M. Doudan, who is a sort of secretary to the Duke, and who has the reputation of beaucoup de moyens. We talked chiefly about old times, and the changes that years have brought,—the death of their beautiful daughter Pauline, and of Miss Randall; the death of Auguste de Stael, etc.,—till Villemain came in, who has grown quite stout, with his added reputation, and then I came away, promising to dine with them to-morrow, and meet Guizot, who is expected in town on business to-night. I asked the Duke about Confalonieri's case; and he said he was as much in the dark about it as everybody else, and extremely sorry not to find him in Paris. . . .

October 6.—I dined at the de Broglies', and went an hour before dinner, because Mad. de Broglie said she wanted me to come so early that we might have some quiet talk before company should come in. She was very interesting; told me much of her life and of her family during the last twenty years, and talked largely of her religious opinions, which are Calvinistic, knowing mine to be Unitarian. Of her children, and of her husband and his public career, she spoke with all her natural frankness; and about America and our institutions she was curious, but is evidently less democratically inclined than when I knew her before. Her conversation was always earnest, sometimes brilliant, and I was sorry when the approach of dinner interrupted it. Her pretty, or rather beautiful daughter came first, with her husband; then M. Doudan and then Alphonse de Rocca, the youngest son of Mad. de Stael, now about twenty-five, extremely ugly in the lower part of his face, like his mother,— very good-natured, it is said, but with a moderate capacity.

The Duke de Broglie came last, with Guizot, who, having had his hints beforehand, pretended to remember a great deal more about me than my vanity could render credible.3 He talked at first, with much French esprit, upon a recent article of Montalembert on the Revival of the Arts, upon an Edinburgh review on Bacon attributed to Macaulay, and such matters.

I thought, in all this, there was something got up for effect, a little more of the fashionable air of the salon than became his character and position. But all Frenchmen—or almost all—desire this reputation for esprit, and are not insensible to the succes de salon; and [105] this was the first time M. Guizot had seen the de Broglie family for several months. At table he talked more like a statesman, on the French elections now approaching, and on American politics. He treated Mr. Van Buren, compared with the other Presidents of the United States, as a person not known in Europe. But on American affairs the Duke de Broglie seemed better informed, and talked better than he did. . . . .

October 8.—Gans of Berlin came in early this morning to see me, full of activity and lively conversation as ever. He has been travelling in the South of France, to restore himself after a considerable illness, and seems very round and hearty, as if the experiment had quite succeeded . . . .

October 9.—I visited Guizot this morning. He is poor, and lives very modestly in a small apartment, where it would be quite impossible for him to receive fashionable company; but I believe that he has never sought to make a fortune, and that, being without debts, he is contented. He was very curious this morning in his inquiries about the United States, and showed that he has ceased to believe in the stability of our popular institutions. It was not so formerly. He professes to be very anxious on the subject; to consider it a great calamity to the world if the experiment of liberty in the United States should fail; is much concerned about our mobs, the question of slavery, etc. But if he talked the other day, at the Duke de Broglie's, like an homme d'esprit and like a statesman, he talked this morning like a politician. . . . .

In the evening we went to Mad. de Broglie's. Though she does not receive regularly, a good many persons came in, most of them men of letters, or men marked by intellectual endowments. I was particularly glad to see Ste. Beuve, a modest little gentleman of about fifty-five; for if I had not seen him now, I should have missed him altogether, as he is just going for the winter to Lausanne. No man alive has so good a knowledge of French literature in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries as he has; and I obtained some good indications from him this evening, which will make me regret his absence this winter the more.

October 16.—Mad. de Broglie made us a long visit this morning, and talked politics and religion in abundance, which it was agreeable to listen to, because she is so frank and sincere, but in which it is not possible for me to agree with her, because she is so Calvinistic, and looks with so much less favor than she used to on free institutions. . . . . [106]

October 25. . . . . . In the evening we went to see a Miss Clarke, an English lady, living with her aged mother over in the old Abbaye aux Bois, in the Faubourg St. Germain.4 She brought us letters lately from Mrs. Fletcher. She has lived in France a large part of her life, and keeps a little bureau d'esprit all of her own, à la Fran-çaise. Au reste, she is, I believe, an excellent person, and is a friend of Mad. Arconati, as well as of other good people.

We found there Fauriel, who is, I believe, to be seen in her salon every night, and one other Frenchman, I think Merimee. There was much talk both in English and French, which Miss Clarke seems to speak equally well. Fauriel was witty and cynical, as usual; and the lady very agreeable.

The latter part of the evening I spent at Mad. de Broglie's, where I met Pageot; Rossi,5 formerly a great politician in Geneva, and now, it is said, preparing himself for a peerage in France; the Duke Decazes, so long the Minister, and the favorite of Louis XVIII.; Vieil-Castel, one of the principal employes in the Department of Foreign Affairs; Janvier, the well-known debater in the House of Deputies, on the Doctrinaire side, etc., etc. It was very agreeable.

October 26.—We drove out, in beautiful weather, this afternoon, to Vincennes, and saw the outside of the fine old castle; but as it is a military depot, we were not permitted to see the inside. The strongest recollection that now dwells on it, of course, is that connected with the death of the Duke d'enghien.

On our way back we went to the suburb, or village, of Piepus; and there, in a cemetery behind the convent of the Sacre Coeur de Jesus, saw the grave of Lafayette. This convent consisted of distinguished women, who devoted themselves to the business of education; and in its cemetery a few of the higher aristocracy had their graves. The Revolution broke it up, and made it the resort of a Jacobin club. In 1804 it was restored, and the tombstones that had been overthrown were replaced. I should think about fifty families of the higher and older aristocracy have their places of rest here, but everything looks fresh and recent.

Mad. de Lafayette was buried near some of the Noailles, and her husband desired to be placed near her. There is nothing remarkable about the two stones, except their simplicity. They are exactly alike, —no titles are given to Mad. de Lafayette, and to her husband only Major-General and Deputy; and on each gravestone is recorded the [107] date of their respective births, of their marriage, and of their deaths, and the two stones are united by a cross.

October 27.—Ugoni—who has been frequently to see us of late, chiefly to talk about Confalonieri, whose case excites everywhere great remark—carried me this evening to the weekly soiree of Mad. Mojon.6 She is an Italian, her husband a Spaniard, long a professor of medicine and physician at Genoa, and both are great friends of Confalonieri, Sismondi, and other persons of mark. They live here to enjoy their fortune and educate their children. I found several agreeable people there, and passed a pleasant evening. . . .

October 30.—At the Duke de Broglie's, to-night, I met Count Mole, now the French Premier, and holding the place of President of the Council, which the Duke formerly held. It was curious and amusing to see the two ministers together, who, without being positively enemies, cannot certainly be very good friends. Their talk was chiefly about the elections, which are to happen next week, and which they seem to think might be less favorable to the Ministry than had been hoped. M. Mole is an intellectual-looking man of about sixty, and talks well. After he was gone, I had some curious conversation with the Duke de Broglie about the King and about Confalonieri's case.

October 31.—I went this morning—at her request — to Mad. de Broglie's at their breakfast-hour, and sat out a part of their family breakfast, where I talked politics with M. de Broglie, who has less confidence in free institutions than he used to have. Afterwards I went with Mad. de Broglie into her boudoir, where she showed me a picture by Scheffer, representing her daughter Pauline, who died at fourteen . . . . It is a small picture, arranged like the picture of an Oratoire, and I could not help being struck by the circumstance that her Calvinism approaches here, as in other instances, to the faith or the feelings of the Romish Church. This is the more natural, to be sure, as her husband, to whom she is devotedly attached, is a Catholic; but still I think it also lays in her own character and feelings. At any rate, she is a very interesting person; full of simplicity, sincerity, and talent. I talked with her a good deal this morning about christianizing the poor and those who neglect all religion, and she showed much practical familiarity with the subject, as well as a strong interest in it. [108]

November 6.—I spent an hour this evening very agreeably at the Countess de Ste. Aulaire's,7 where I found only her daughters and two or three gentlemen, this not being one of her evenings of reception, though I supposed it was when I went. Her character, her talents, and her graceful and winning manners plainly fit her for her place as the wife of a foreign ambassador; but, like all the French, she rejoices in the opportunity to come back to Paris. I talked with her about the elections and French politics, which are at this moment the absorbing subject. She is of course ministerial, but it was striking to see how much she fears the Chamber of Deputies, now grown, by the changes of the times, of great and preponderating consequence. No such opinions and feelings could have been expressed when I was here before; and I find them on all sides, though expressed with more reserve by such men as the Duke de Broglie and Count Mole than by a lady like Mad. de Ste. Aulaire.

On the case of Confalonieri she expressed herself with equal frankness; as did also Rossi, whom I visited this afternoon. The whole of that affair, indeed, is very discreditable to the French government, and especially to the King; but persons standing in the same relations of party and personal friendship to the President of the United States and his Cabinet, as the Duke de Broglie, Rossi, and Mad. de Ste. Aulaire do to the French throne and administration, would not have spoken out their opinions as freely and truly as these persons have spoken them out to me. This is a difference between the countries discreditable to us, and which I feel as a moral stain upon us.

November 7.—I spent some time this morning in the King's private library, originally Bonaparte's, and which I knew under Barbier as the library of Louis XVIII. It is an uncommonly comfortable and well-arranged establishment; better than any of the sort I know of, except the Grand Duke's at Florence, and larger than that. Jouy, the author of the ‘Hermite de la Chaussee d'antin,’ is the head of it, a hale, hearty, white-headed old gentleman of about sixty-five. Like everybody else, now, he talked about politics and the elections, and rejoiced at the success of the Ministry. He seemed to be throughout very content, and has occasion to be so. He made a good fortune by his periodicals, and admits very frankly that he wrote for that purpose; wrote as long as the booksellers would pay him well, and wrote a great deal too much. And he has now a good, easy place under government, where he occupies himself with his literary studies, and has settled all his arrangements for an agreeable old age. [109]

November 8.—Being at Guizot's this morning, he told me some curious particulars about the King. He says, the King commence beaucoup de fautes, et en finit fort peu; that he feels his talent and power of action, and sometimes decides without consulting his ministers; that when he himself was Minister for the first time, the King twice so decided in affairs that were of his department, but that, having himself immediately caused it to be understood that he had no responsibility in those cases, the King, never did it afterward; that the King sometimes asked him to leave his brouillons of memoires, etc., with him, to be looked over, but that he always refused, because he did not choose the King should consult others about his unfinished and unexplained projects, or make a separate work and decision of his own upon them, etc., etc. . . . . The King, too, Guizot says, is very anxious and sensitive on the subject of the punishment of death, examines each case of capital conviction himself, and makes a written abstract of the reasons for and against a pardon, in parallel columns, and decides with care and conscientiously without the intervention of his ministers.

In the afternoon I saw Confalonieri. He was in bed, broken down in health, and much broken in the brightness and strength of his intellectual powers, but full of kindly affection and gratitude. I went over the whole of his strange case with him; his case, I mean, so far as the French government is concerned, and told him, what he did not before know, how completely it was the King's personal affair. I did not stay long with him, for it was not well that he should talk much. He has been in Paris, this time, three days. To-morrow he is to have an operation performed, and when he is sufficiently recovered will go to the South of France. It is a great pain to see him so different from what he was when I knew him at Milan in 1817, and at Paris in 1818-19. The Austrian government seems to have succeeded. It has crushed him, broken his spirit, broken his heart; and his nature was so noble and lofty that it seems as if tyranny were encouraged and strengthened, by his present condition, to proceed as far as it has power. It seems as if it had now found new and better means to work withal titan it had ever discovered before. . . . .

November 12.—The case of Confalonieri is so remarkable, and, from accidental circumstances, I have become so fully and exactly possessed of details that are almost unknown even in Paris, and some of which Confalonieri himself learnt only from me, that I have thought I would write it out in full. It is strongly illustrative of the way in which things are managed, not only in France, but by [110] other governments in Europe; and I dare say no proper account of it will ever be published, and the whole truth will never be known.

Count Confalonieri, belonging to one of the first and richest families in Lombardy, was, by his position in society, by his talents, by the nobleness of his character, and by his personal relations throughout Europe, not only one of the most prominent persons in Italy, but altogether the first and most important of the victims of Austria in 1821. When in the United States he wrote to his old friend, the Duke de Broglie, then Minister for Foreign Affairs to Louis Philippe, to inquire whether his presence in France would be unwelcome to the government. The Duke––who told me this fact–said he replied that he ought not to have permitted himself to ask such a question; that France was, as it were, his natural asylum; and that the sooner he should be here the more happiness he would give his friends. On receiving this assurance he gave notice in New York, to the Austrian Consul, of his intention to come to France, that he might not even seem to do anything covertly, and embarked for England.

He there gave a new and somewhat formal notice to the French Charge d'affaires,—the Ambassador being absent,—and desired him, if he had any doubt about his reception in France,—where the Duke de Broglie had been displaced by Count Mole,—to write for instructions; to which the Charge replied, that there could be no doubt in the case, and that he should hold it to be a pleasure as well as a duty to viser his passport. Under these circumstances he crossed the Channel, and arrived in Paris about September 20, where he established himself in a private hospital to undergo a surgical operation, intending to pass the winter in the South of France, as his constitution is much shattered by his confinement and sufferings for sixteen years in the Spielberg.

When he had been a few days in this Maison de Sante he was suddenly sent for to the police, and there, very rudely, as he told me, ordered to leave France, and to go back to England by the very road by which he had come from it, quitting Paris within twenty-four hours. Confalonieri replied that, to a gentleman, any command on such a subject was quite unnecessary; that to make him anxious to leave the country it would have been sufficient to have intimated to him that his presence in it was unwelcome; and that he should not fail at once to obey the injunctions of the government. But the next day the Prefect of Police came to him in the Maison de Sante, four miles from his office, in person, with mitigated instructions, and followed up this sort of visitation for three successive days, with offers of kindness, and intimations [111] of an unaccountable regret, which Confalonieri received very politely, but declined, unless it were understood that the government had changed its opinion about his residence in France. He accepted, however, the permission to go to Belgium instead of England; and on the 29th of September set off to join his friends the Arconatis, at their castle of Gaesbeck, near Brussels.

Meantime the newspapers had got possession of the matter, and the government was attacked for its harshness. The Temps, the Ministerial paper, replied, and defended the king by three assertions: 1. That Confalonieri had come to Europe contrary to his promise given to Austria, that he would not return. 2. That the king in 1823, being then Duke of Orleans, had used his influence with Austria to have Confalonieri's sentence changed from death to imprisonment, and implied that it was partly at least through this influence that it had been so changed. 3. That the king had, two years since, again used his intervention with Austria and procured Confalonieri's full liberation, on condition that he should not be received in France. Confalonieri, feeling his honor attacked by this semi-official statement made with great formality, replied by a few decisive words in a note, to which he subscribed his name: 1. That, as to the promise to Austria, he never made any whatever; a fact well known, but since proved by the publication of the paper which contained what he did sign on his release from prison. 2. That, as to the two interferences spoken of and said to have been made by the Duke of Orleans and the King of the French, he had remained in complete ignorance of both of them up to the moment of the publication in the Temps. . . . . Everybody has known, since 1823, that the commutation of Confalonieri's punishment was procured, at the last possible moment, by the agony of his wife at the feet of the Empress; and that the Duke of Orleans, as the head of the liberal party then existing in France, would have injured instead of helped her cause, if he had been known or even suspected to favor it. . . . . The assertions, however, about the two interferences were made anew in the official paper after Confalonieri's note appeared; the matter seemed to grow more and more serious, and people began to wonder how it was to end. . . .

At last it came out. It was ascertained that the Austrian Charge d'affaires, Baron von Hugel,—Count d'appony, the Ambassador, being in Vienna,—as soon as he knew Confalonieri was here, went to Count Mole, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, and declared that Confalonieri had broken his word, that it was an outrage to Austria to permit him to be in France; and, in short, took up the matter so violently [112] that Mole said afterwards he expected little less than a speedy demand to have Confalonieri delivered up to Austria, or something equally extravagant. Mole, however, is a cool and a cautious man, and did not commit himself by any decisive answer. Whereupon Von Hugel drove out the same evening to St. Cloud, and made similar representations to the King in person, who, less cautious than his Minister, declared at once that Confalonieri should be sent out of the country. . . .

Further and more strange developments soon followed. Von Hugel turned out to be deranged in mind, and his representations to the King and Mole were found to be wholly unauthorized by his government, were found to be, in fact, the first outbreak of his insanity. His recall was asked for by France, and he is just gone off to England, because, I suppose, they think, with the Clown in Hamlet, that it will not be seen in him there, where all the men are as mad as he. This made things bad enough. But Prince Metternich took care to make them worse. He felt his advantage instinctively, and used it with his inevitable shrewdness. He made no explanations or statements to France, for these might have been answered, and so the difficulty covered up, if not got over by diplomatic ingenuity. But as soon as Confalonieri was settled in Belgium he sent a despatch to the Austrian Minister at Brussels, written wholly in his own hand, and directing him to show it to Confalonieri, declaring that the Austrian government had nothing to do with the proceedings in France, and claimed no right, and had no wish, to prevent his residing there. . . . .

Meanwhile the King's enemies say, as V. did last evening, ‘Le voila! il a menti de nouveau, et pour si petite chose!’ or with the spirituel—‘Un fou l'a effraye avec un mourant.’. . . . In Brussels, the Belgian government, urged by Count Merode, gave Confalonieri to understand, at once, that he should not in any event be molested there. But this was not necessary; for it was impossible the French government should stand where it now stood. It must either go forward or go back. After some hesitation, therefore, and an attempt to persuade Confalonieri indirectly to ask for permission to return to France,—which of course failed,—Count Mole was obliged to write him a letter, offering him the leave he would not solicit.

Even now, however, the newspapers were full of misrepresentations. It was said ‘mistakes had been committed in consequence of Confalonieri's unexpected appearance at Paris’; that ‘in consequence of representations from his physicians he had received permission to go to Montpellier’; that ‘the Count had written from Brussels,’ [113] etc., etc., all of which is false, and only intended to let the public come gradually at the truth. However, Confalonieri arrived here on the 5th instant, and on the 9th it was finally admitted, by the government journals, that there was no longer any objection to his being in Paris. December 11.—I dined to-day at Mr. Harris's,8 where were General Cass, our Minister, Prince Czartoriyski, formerly Prime Minister of Alexander of Russia, General Lallemand, and a few others. But the person who most interested me was Baron Pichon.9 I sat next to him at dinner, and talked with him afterwards till half past 10 o'clock, long after the rest of the company was gone. He was Secretary of Legation to Genet and Fauchet in the United States; afterwards in the office of Foreign Affairs here, during the Directory and under Talleyrand; then again in the United States, Secretary and Charge d'affaires from 1801 to 1805, and I know not what else, until he was Governor of Algiers under Louis Philippe, to whom he is now Conseiller d'etat. Among other things he told me that Tom Paine, who lived in Monroe's house at Paris, had a great deal too much influence over Monroe; that Monroe's insinuations and representations of General Pinckney's character, as an aristocrat, prevented his reception as Minister by the Directory, and that, in general, Monroe, with whose negotiations and affairs Pichon was specially charged, acted as a party-democrat against the interests of General Washington's administration, and against what Pichon considered the interests of the United States. Of Burr, he said that he was the most unprincipled man he had almost ever known, and that he hardly knew how he could have become so, to such a degree, in the United States. He said that between 1801 and 1805, while Burr was Vice-President of the United States, he made suggestions and proposals to Pichon, for throwing the United States into confusion, and separating the States under the influence and with the aid of France; and that when Burr was in France afterwards, he renewed the same offers and suggestions, both to Talleyrand and to Bonaparte. Of Hamilton he spoke with great praise and admiration; but said he must qualify it somewhat, because Hamilton once said to him that Talleyrand was the greatest of modem statesmen, because he had so well known when it was necessary both to suffer wrong to be done and to do it. Talleyrand, he said, who had been the entire cause of [114] his—Pichon's—fortune, and with whom, for the greater part of his life, he had been extremely intimate, hates the United States. He has never—Pichon thinks—forgotten Washington's refusal to receive him at his levee, because he did not think it suitable, in the delicate position of affairs with France, to receive an émigre in the presence of the French Minister. At any rate, since the 18th Brumaire, he had always expressed himself openly against the United States, and used his influence recently against granting our claims for the famous twenty-five millions.

Burr once said to Pichon, ‘The rule of my life is, to make business a pleasure, and pleasure my business.’

December 14.—. . . . In the latter part of the evening I went to a fashionable party at the Marquis Brignole's, the Sardinian Ambassador. Count Mole and several other of the ministers were there, most of the foreign diplomacy, and a good deal of the fashion of Paris. But this is the first party that has been given this season, and the whole force of the beau monde is, therefore, by no means collected. It was, like all such parties in the great capitals of the Continent, a collection of extremely well dressed people in beautiful and brilliantly lighted rooms. Among them I found a few old acquaintances, especially the Duke de Villareal, recently Prime Minister in Portugal, and son of the Souza who published the magnificent ‘Camoens.’ I knew him when he was Minister of Portugal at Madrid, and had much pleasant talk with him about old times. The Circourts were there, Count d'appony, Countess de Ste. Aulaire, and a good many persons whom I knew, so that I had an agreeable visit.

December 18.—I went, as usual on Mondays, to Fauriel's lecture on Spanish Literature; which, as usual, was much too minute on the antiquities that precede its appearance. In fact, now, after an introductory lecture and two others, he has not completed his view of the state of things in Spain at the first dawning of tradition, seven hundred years before Christ. At this rate, he will not, by the time we leave Paris next spring, have reached the Arabs. He lectures at the Sorbonne, whose ancient halls are now as harmless as they were once formidable, and has an audience thus far of about fifty or sixty persons, not more than half of whom are young men. He is very learned and acute, but too minute and elaborate.

In the evening I went to Mad. Martinetti's,10 who is here for the winter. She is as winning as ever, and as full of knowledge and [115] accomplishments, but her beauty is somewhat faded. There were a few people there, and it was pleasant, but I did not stay long.

December 19.—In the evening I went to Count Moleas, at the Hotel des Affaires Etrangeres, where, as on the evening when I was presented, I found his large saloon full of the foreign ambassadors, and the great notabilityes of the country. As the Chamber of Deputies began its session yesterday, there were many of them present, not a few who came for the first time; and the way in which the old huissier, seventy years old, who has stood at the door of all the ministers from Bonaparte's time, announced these different individuals, was often amusing. He evidently did it sometimes in a tone which, but for his gray hairs, would have been impertinent, since it distinguished the rank of those who entered, if they were Frenchmen. I found a good many persons whom I knew. . . . . Among the new acquaintance I made, the most agreeable were Koenneritz, the Saxon Minister, and Mignet, the author of the ‘History of the French Revolution’; a man of about forty, evidently full of talent and striking qualities.

December 22.—I went this afternoon to see Mignet and Rossi, certainly two of the most distinguished persons I have yet become acquainted with in Paris; and talked with them, of course, on political subjects, or subjects connected with politics and history.

In the evening I went with Count Circourt, and made my first visit to Thierry, the author of the admirable history of the Normans. It is rare to see so striking an instance of the triumph of intellectual power and moral energy over personal infirmities.

He is about forty years of age; but fifteen years ago he lost his sight entirely, and for the last eight years has been paralyzed in his lower extremities, so as to be incapable of moving himself at all. But after his blindness was upon him, and after the paralysis was already begun,—but not so far advanced as it is now,—a lady of intellectual habits and accomplishments, and of an eligible position in society, became attached to him and married him, from a desire to devote herself to his happiness, which she has done faithfully and cheerfully for seven years . . . . . He, meanwhile, has gone on with his difficult studies as if no infirmity had befallen him.

Under the auspices of the government he is employed in collecting manuscript materials from all parts of France for a history of the tiers état, and is, besides, engaged in a historical work on the Merovingian race. He has published, too, his letters on the Communes, and many reviews, and other single articles on the same difficult and obscure subjects; all written with great felicity of manner, and [116] showing laborious and careful research into the original and unpublished sources of French history. I found him this evening, with two or three friends, in an uncommonly pretty and well-arranged parlor, sitting in his arm-chair, with a sort of comforter of silk thrown about the lower part of his person. His infirmities were plainly upon him, but there was nothing or very little that was painful in their character. He talked with great distinctness of opinion and phrase upon a wide variety of subjects; such as the different races of men in the early ages of the world, the impossibility of two races becoming mixed on equal terms, the state of Canada at this moment, Cooper's novels, etc. He says he is, though entirely liberal in his politics, less inclined to republican, or democratic, institutions than he used to be, because he thinks the people are, from the tendencies of their nature, less disposed to choose the most elevated minds for the most important places, or to intrust their affairs generally to the wisest and most disinterested hands.

At ten o'clock I left him,—for his visitors do not stay late, on account of his health,—and went to the Duchess de Broglie's. I went to see her in the forenoon, a couple of days ago, when she first returned from Broglie; and she then told me that she intends to receive le monde every Wednesday night, but that her friends would find her, besides, on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. So I went this evening,—Friday,—and found about a dozen persons there: Eynard, Rossi, Lebrun, etc. It was extremely agreeable, and I stayed till the tea-table was brought in at eleven o'clock. So much for French hours! There was an extremely animated talk for some time about Arnauld, Pascal, and the writers of Port-Royal generally; and if it had continued, I dare say I should have stayed later.

December 23.—. . . . I left a dinner at Colonel Thorne's somewhat early, to go to Lamartine's, who, being in rather feeble health, does not like to receive late. He is a man of fortune, and lives as such; besides which, he is eminently the fashionable intellectual man of his time in Paris.

He has just been elected to the Chamber of Deputies from three different places, a distinction which has happened to no other; and in the Chamber he has a little party of his own, about fifteen or twenty in number, who generally support the Ministry, but are understood to vote independently, and to desire nothing from the government; so that, in the present balanced state of parties, he has a good deal of political power in his hands. As a poet, he is, of course, the first and most fashionable, and he has always round him a considerable [117] number of young aspirants for fame, to whom he is said to be more kind than is even discreet or useful for them.

I found him in a beautiful hotel and a tasteful saloon, in which were five or six pictures by his wife, and among the rest an excellent likeness of himself. About a dozen gentlemen were there, of whom I knew only Tourgueneff and Count Circourt.

He knew I was coming, and when my name was announced received me frankly, and almost as if I had been an old acquaintance. His wife seems about forty years old, and was dressed in black,—a color she has constantly worn since the death of their only child, a daughter of fourteen, who died on their journey in the East. She avoids the world and general society, and receives only gentlemen who visit her husband. She talked well with me about the Abbe de Lamennais, and his ‘Livre du Peuple’; and showed herself to be, what I believe she really is, a lady of much intellectual accomplishment.

Lamartine himself, I think, is about forty-five years old, thin in person, but dignified and graceful in his manners, and with a very fine style of head,—a head and countenance, indeed, that may be called poetical. He is, I should imagine, nervous and sensitive; and walks up and down in the back part of his saloon, talking with only one, or at most two persons, who walk with him. This, I am told, is his habit, and that it is not agreeable to him to talk when sitting. In the course of half an hour, thus walking and talking with him, only two things struck me,—his complete ignorance of the present English literature, and the strong expression of his poetical faith that the recent improvements in material life, like steam and railroads, have their poetical side, and will be used for poetical purposes with success. He was as curious about America and American literature as was polite, but I think cares really very little about either. His table was covered, and even heaped, with recent publications by living authors, who wish to get a word or a smile from the reigning favorite; for nobody now publishes anything in elegant literature without sending him a copy, I am told.

December 25.—. . . . In the evening I went to Jomard's, at the [Royal] Library. He is now the head of that vast establishment, as well as the head of all Egyptian knowledge in the world; indeed, from the time of Bonaparte's expedition to Egypt down to the present day, he has been one of the principal members of the Institute, and one of their most learned men. He is now old, and his eyes are bad, but he has much reputation for kindness of disposition, and receives, gladly and agreeably, all men of learning. [118]

To-night was his first soiree for the season, and I found his rooms filled with books, curiosities, and interesting people. Among those I was most glad to see, and with whom I chiefly talked, were Aime Martin, the editor of Moliere, who was outrageous in his ignorance of America; and Ternaux,11 whose acquaintance I made diligently, because Fauriel tells me he has one of the finest libraries of Spanish literature in the world. It was more of a meeting for learned men than any I have seen in Paris.

December 26.—I spent an hour this morning with Mignet, at the Affaires Étrangeres, where, since 1830, he has had a comfortable and agreeable office at the head of the Archives. Considering the part he took in the Revolution, and the length of time that has elapsed since he published his History, he looks to me very young. In fact, he does not seem to be thirty-five years old; but he must be older, and is one of the finest-looking men I have seen in France. He is, too, acute, and has winning manners. I do not wonder, therefore, that he is popular. This morning, after some general conversation, he was curious to learn from me any particulars I could give him about Mr. Edward Livingston, on whom it is his duty, as Secretary of the Academy of Moral Sciences, to pronounce an éloge next spring.

Count Balbo, who is here from Turin, on account of the death of Villeneuve, father of his late wife, dined with me; and we had a great deal of agreeable talk upon old matters and old recollections, as well as upon things passing.

Afterwards I went with him to see Mad. de Pastoret, the Mad. de Fleury of Miss Edgeworth.12 She is, of course, much altered since I knew her in 1818-19; but she is well, and able to devote herself, as she always has done, to works of most faithful and wise charity. Her fortune, and that of her family, is large; but being Carlists, and sincerely and conscientiously so, they gave up offices in 1830, to the aggregate amount of 180,000 francs a year, including the dignity of Chancellor of France. The Marquis de Pastoret is now the legal guardian of the Duke de Bordeaux,13 though from his great age the duties of the office are chiefly exercised by his son, the Count. Once a week, however, he holds publicly, in his hotel, a Council on the [119] affairs of the Duke de Bordeaux, or Henry V., as they of course call him. The government is wise enough not to notice this sort of sincere and honest treason; and lately, therefore, when a violent Carlist was reproaching the reigning family with un esprit vraiment perse-cuteur, Mad. de Pastoret said, in her gentle and beautiful, but decided manner, ‘Je crois, Monsieur, que nous sommes une forte preuve du contraire de tout cela’

Mad. de Pastoret has the distinguished honor of being the first person to imagine and establish an infant school, and she told me tonight that she had lived long enough to see the grandchildren of her first objects of charity coming daily to receive its benefits, with—in several instances — the same matrons to take care of them. Until lately she was the Lady President of these institutions in France; but this year the Ministry thought fit–perhaps wisely–to put them under the protection and control of the University, and as she said to-night, ‘the wife of M. de Pastoret could not with propriety enter into relations with the Minister of Public Instruction’; so that she resigned her place, without, however, giving up her interest or diminishing her real exertions in the cause. I was delighted to see her again, and to find her still, though nearly seventy-five years old, so full of the talent, gentleness, and practical wisdom that have always marked her character. Among other little things I learnt from her to-night is the fact that ‘de Fleury’ is not an invented name, but the name of an estate belonging to her, and taken as such by Miss Edgeworth, whom she knows, personally, extremely well.

After spending an hour with her I went to Guizot's and spent another. His modest rooms were full of peers and deputies, of whom I think an hundred, at least, were there at different times while I stayed; among them were Decazes,14 Lamartine, and nearly all the principal Doctrinaires. . . . .

December 27.—We spent three or four hours this morning at the meeting of the class of Moral Sciences of the Institute. It was their annual meeting, and their fine rotunda was filled with a fashionable audience of gentlemen and ladies. The members of the class of Moral Sciences were there in their uniform, the other Academicians in their common dress. It was a goodly show, and a dignified one. The president announced the prizes for the next year, and then gave, with very little ceremony, a medal of fifteen hundred francs to a young man named Barthelemy de St. Hilaire for a dissertation on the Organon of Aristotle. After this Mignet read, for above an hour, an éloge and [120] biography of Roederer, very brilliantly written, and in reading which he was often interrupted by very hearty rounds of applause; and the whole was concluded by parts of a memoir of the state of the civil law of France, considered in its relations with the economical condition of society, by Rossi,—again frequently interrupted by applause,— which was admirable for its soundness, wisdom, and strength, worthy of a solemn academical occasion. As a meeting, it had more of dignity in it, and seemed better to fulfil its purpose, than any meeting of the sort at which I remember to have been present. There was really a good deal to be learned at it by those who went with a wish to be taught.

In the evening I went a little while to Baron Pichon's, where I found a form of soiree different from the common one at Paris; almost everybody gravely seated at whist,—deputies, peers, and all. But I had some strong talk with M. Pichon himself, with whom it is not easily possible to have anything else, so masculine is his mind and so practical and business-like the tone of his faculties. However, I could stay only a short time. We had promised to take Mad. Martinetti to the de Broglies' to-night.

It was the evening of her grande reception, and, arriving at about ten o'clock, we found her beautiful saloon open, and the notabilityes of the time coming and going. The Russian Ambassador was there; Guizot and a plenty of Doctrinaire peers and deputies; the Countess de Ste. Aulaire and her accomplished daughters; the Duchess of Massa; the well-known Princess Lieven, who figured so long in London; Janvier, one of the most eloquent of the Chamber of Deputies; the d'haussonvilles, etc. Everything was very brilliant, but it was less agreeable than on the petites soirees. We stayed late, however, for Mad. Martinetti enjoyed it so well that she did not at all like to come away.

December 28.—. . . . In the evening I was presented at Court, which took a tedious while; for I left home before seven o'clock and did not get back till nearly ten, the first hour being spent in assembling, with eight or ten other Americans, at General Cass's and getting to the palace, an hour and a half at the palace itself, and half an hour to find my carriage and get home . . . . . I think about an hundred and thirty persons were presented. Of these, perhaps seven or eight were Austrians, sixty or more English, one Russian,—my friend Tourgueneff,—and the rest chiefly Germans, with a few Italians and Spaniards. The Russians are hardly permitted to come to Paris now, or, if they do come, hardly dare to be presented at Court, so [121] small is the ill — will of the Emperor, and so detailed his inquisition into private affairs. Tourgueneff avowed it to me as we went up the stairs.

When we were all arranged in a row round the two halls of audience, with the ambassadors and ministers in the order of their reception at Court, the King, the Queen with the Princess Clementine on her arm, the Duchess of Orleans, Madame Adelaide, and the Duke of Orleans entered and went round, speaking generally a word to each individual as he was presented; for we were all gentlemen, the ladies being presented later. It took them a little more than an hour. One thing was soon apparent from their manners. They wished to please.

. . . . The King came first. He is stout without being fat, and clumsy from having too short legs. He spoke English to all the English and to all the Americans, and spoke it uncommonly well. He asked me about my former visit to Paris, inquired particularly after Mr. Gallatin, and praised Boston and its hospitalities, which he said he remembered with much pleasure and gratitude. He took some time to say this, of course, and bowed and smiled most profusely. The Queen came next. She looked much older than he does, is very thin and gray-headed, and seemed worn and anxious. But she, too, smiled abundantly, and asked me about the differences between Paris now and when I was here before; which adroitly relieved her from the necessity of saying much herself. She spoke French to me, as did all the ladies to those who could understand it. Her lovely daughter, with the most intellectual countenance in the family, looked very naturally uninterested, and only courtesied to each as she passed, without thinking it necessary to smile or to speak to anybody. She was dressed with perfect simplicity, in a light pink satin, without lace or ornament of any kind on any part of her person. She must be admitted to be lovely, perhaps beautiful, but certainly she had a very dull time to-night.

After her came the Duchess of Orleans, the only one much dressed. She wore many diamonds, and, without being beautiful, is very good-looking, graceful, and winning. She spoke to me in German, and said some very pretty things about Germany, and how much she still loves her ‘Vaterland,’ where, she said, the people are so true and so happy. Her manner was more natural than that of any of the rest of the family. Indeed, perhaps it was quite natural. Mad. Adelaide, who followed, is short and stout, like her brother, whom she resembles both in countenance and in an air of firm, full health. [122] She spoke to me, in French, of the great pleasure her brother had in the United States, and how well he remembered our hospitalities; and said, with great emphasis, repeatedly, that they were always glad to see the Americans at the Tuileries. And so she played her part. The Duke of Orleans, who closed the scene, spoke English well, but had nothing to say. He is a pretty fellow, but looks feeble in intellect, and was embarrassed in the merest commonplaces of asking me about my journeyings and residence in France. . . . .

December 29.—. . . . In the evening we went first to Mad. Mojon's, where the party was much as usual; and to Mrs. Garnett's . . . .

About half past 10 I went with a couple of friends to the great gambling-house which passes under the name of Frascati.

It was the first time in my life I ever was in a large establishment of the sort, or, indeed, at any, except such as are seen at watering-places; and I shall probably never see another, for it is one of the good deeds of Louis Philippe's government that, after having abolished lotteries, it has now ordered all public gaming-houses to be closed from January 1, 1838, that is, in two days. This evening we found the rooms full, but not crowded. . . . .

The usual marks of superstition accompanied some of the more regular gamblers. One person kept a sou constantly in a particular position on the table as a sort of luck-penny; and another, a woman, as soon as she had put down her money, shut her eyes, and muttered something without looking up, till the result was announced.

The person that interested me the most, however, was a middle-aged man, who played upon a somewhat ingenious system; waiting, perhaps, thirty or forty times, till he found three numbers that had not come up at all, and then playing and doubling on those three till he won. He was a large gainer while I watched him; but I take it, his system, like the systems of all gamblers, would not stand before La Place's ‘Calcul des Probabilites,’ and that, in the long run, the table would ruin him, as it does everybody else.

I reached home by twelve o'clock, having found my visit little curious or interesting. Perhaps it would have been more so if I had stayed later; for the company was increasing fast when I came away, and the older faces there looked as if it would take a long sitting to work them up to anything like external excitement, so hard were they, and settled. But to me it was all simply wearisome and disagreeable.

December 30.—I took the whole of this evening to go with Count Circourt all the way to the Bibliotheque de l'arsenal, to see Charles [123] Nodier, who is its librarian. It took us nearly an hour to drive there, and another to return, and yet in the time of Henry IV., and even in the time of Louis XIII., that was the fashionable part of the city; so much is everything changed in Paris. The bad part of the matter, however, was that we did not see Nodier. Circourt had warned me beforehand, that when his daughter and her husband chance to go out, Nodier, who is a whimsical old fellow, not being able to make up his party of whist with his wife alone, goes to bed and takes to his bibliographical studies. Unluckily, as we entered his grim old residence, at nine o'clock, we met his daughter in a ball-dress just coming out for a party in the gay quarter of the city from which we were just arrived; and instantly afterward received Mad. Nodier's melancholy exclamation that her husband was in bed. Nothing remained but to sit down and be agreeable to Mad. Nodier for nearly an hour, which we did faithfully. Luckily, she is an agreeable person herself, so that we were not so badly off as we might have been. The best of the matter was the drive of two hours with Circourt, who, at my request, related to me in great detail, and with picturesque effect, what he knew of the outbreak of the Revolution of July, 1830, when he was the confidential Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Prince Polignac.


1 He had reached Paris September 11.

2 See Vol. I. pp. 161, 256.

3 See Vol. I. p. 256.

4 Since Madame Mohl.

5 Pellegrino Rossi, assassinated in Rome, November 15, 1848.

6 Mad. Bianca Milesi-Mojon translated Mrs. Barbauld's Hymns and some of Miss Edgeworth's Tales into Italian; and a sketch of her life was published by Emile Souvestre, in 1854.

7 See Vol. I. p. 256.

8 Earlier our Charge d'affaires in Paris, for a time.

9 See Vol. I. pp. 132 and 261.

10 Countess Rossi-Martinetti of Bologna. See Vol. I. p. 166, and Vol. II. p. 47.

11 M. Henri Ternaux-Compans.

12 See Vol. I. p. 255 et seq. ‘Madame de Fleury’ is the title of one of the Tales of Fashionable Life, by Miss Edgeworth, which is founded on incidents of Madame de Pastoret's experience. M. de Pastoret received the title of Marquis from Louis XVIII.

13 Comte de Chambord.

14 See Vol. I. p. 253 et seq.

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