previous next

[132] being filled with men, most of whom have distinguished themselves by business talent among the deputies; but, unhappily, all being nominated by the King, and holding their places only for life, with a miserable pension, they enjoy, as a body, not the smallest political influence in the state. This is, in truth, a great misfortune, because many of the men, thus neutralized by their advancement, are such as ought to exercise in some way or other the power of the state. Indeed, this state of things is so obvious that such men as Thiers and Guizot cannot be induced to enter the Chamber of Peers.

February 13.—I went to-day to see Chateaubriand. He lives in the extreme outskirts of the city, far beyond St. Genevieve, in a sort of savage retirement, receiving few persons, and coming into no society. He has set up there a sort of hospice, where he supports twelve poor men and twelve poor women, in extreme old age; not, indeed, out of his own means, but by an annual contribution which he levies every year, far and wide, even in the palace of the abominated Louis Philippe. He received me kindly in his study, which did not seem very comfortable, but which contained a superb copy of a Holy Family, by Mignard, given to him by the late Duchess de Duras, at whose delightful hotel I used to see him, in 1818 and 1819.1 He is much altered since that time. The wrinkles are sunk deep into his face, and his features are grown very hard; but he has the same striking and somewhat theatrical air he always had, and which is quite well expressed in the common engraved portraits. He talked of Mad. de Duras with feeling, or the affectation of it, and of the days of Louis XVIII. with a little bitterness, and very dogmatically, not concealing the onion that if his judgment had been more followed, things would not now have been where they are. His work on the Congress of Verona, now in the press, will, he says, explain many things the world has not known before; and, from all I have heard, I am disposed to think it will create some sensation when it appears, and probably offend—as he has often before offended—some of his best friends. Indeed, in all respects, save his looks, he seemed to me little altered. He asked me, when I came away, to visit him occasionally, but made many grimaces about it, and said he was a poor hermit and pilgrim, who had nothing to offer to a stranger used to the grands salons of Paris. I am something of his mind, and shall hardly go again.

On my way home I stopped at the Seminary of St. Sulpice to see one of the priests who is a professor there. I was surprised at the


1 See Vol. I. pp. 137, etc., and 254, 255.

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.
Verona (Italy) (1)
Department de Ville de Paris (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.
De Duras (2)
L. A. Thiers (1)
M. Guizot (1)
De Chateaubriand (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.
1819 AD (1)
1818 AD (1)
February 13th (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: