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Chapter 7:


January 2, 1838.—I passed this evening with Thierry, who talked well on the subject of the Communes in France; of the manuscripts relating to the history of the country still in existence; of the new plan of a Commission relating to them, just submitted by the Minister of Public Instruction, which Thierry thinks will fail; of the politics of the times; and of the affairs of Canada.

He is much skilled in etymology, and thinks our etymologies of the word ‘Yankee’ are all wrong, and that, having arisen from the collision and jeerings of the Dutch and the English, in New York and New England, it is from the DutchJan,’—pronounced Yan,— John, with the very common diminutive ‘kee,’ and ‘doodlen,’ to quaver; which would make the whole, ‘quavering,’ or ‘psalmsinging,’ ‘Jacky,’ or ‘Johnny.’ ‘Doodle-sack’ means bag-pipe.

Johnny would refer to John Bull; and if ‘doodlen’ be made in the present tense, ‘Yankee-doodle’ would be ‘Johnny that sings Psalms.’ ‘Hart-kee,’ my little dear heart, and hundreds of other diminutives, both in endearment and in ridicule, are illustrations of the formation of the word. It amused me not a little, and seems probable enough as an etymology; better, certainly, than to bring it, with Noah Webster, from the Persian.

January 5.—We went last evening to Miss Clarke's, where there was rather more of a party than usual, collected by formal invitation. Fauriel was there, of course, and Mohl; but there was, also, a number of ladies, among whom were Mad. Tastu, the well-known authoress; the Princess Belgiojoso,—the well-known lady of fashion, and one of the most striking and distinguees persons in [125] Parisian society; the Countess de Roy, who also figures in the saloons, etc. I met, too, several men of note, whom I was glad to talk with,—Baron d'eckstein, the opponent of Lamennais; Merimee, the author of ‘Clara Gazul,’ and now employed by the government to collect whatever relates to the ancient monuments of French art; Mignet, the historian; Élie de Beaumont, the great geologist; the two Tourgueneffs, etc. It was as intellectual a party as I have been with since we came to Paris, except at Jomard's; and I enjoyed it very much. Merimee, however, disappointed me. He is affected, and makes pretensions to exclusiveness. He ought to be above such follies.

January 6.—I went this evening to the first soiree of the season at the Duchess de Rauzan's, the headquarters of the more intellectual and more fashionable of the Carlists. She is the daughter of the admirable Duchess de Duras, whom I used to know here, nineteen years ago;1 and she remembered me enough to signify her pleasure that I should come to see her. So I went, but she does not receive till half past 10 o'clock at night, and that is a little too ultra-fashionable for my comfort. I found there the Marquise de Podenas, who was the lady that managed so long the affairs of the Duchess de Berri;2 Mlle. de Bethune, of the old Sully family; a fine, white-headed old Duke, of the time and with the manners and dress of the reign of Louis XVI.; Count Circourt; the Baron d'eckstein; Count Bastard, etc.

The last person has been employed for twenty years—with the assistance of the successive governments that have prevailed in France —in collecting from manuscript miniatures the materials for a history of painting, from the fall of the art in the fourth century to its entire restoration under Raffaelle. The first numbers will come out in May next; there will be forty-two in all, and the average cost of each copy of each number will be eleven hundred francs. He prints, and illuminates, and paints sixty copies for the government and nine for himself; and though the government allows him two millions of francs, yet, like a true Carlist as he is, he complains that it should come through the budget, and be distributed through seven years, instead of being given all at once, and without condition. He interested me very much for an hour by the details of his undertaking. His reason for taking his materials for the History of Painting in the Middle Ages from manuscripts entirely, is, that he can in [126] no other way get them quite authentic, while in the manuscripts he can get them with accurate dates.

January 8.—We went this evening a little while to Thierry's, by appointment with the Circourts, whom we met there. Thierry himself we found in the same chair and in the same position in which he is always seen, but with the same spirit that raises him above his bodily infirmities. He talked about Manzoni, and repeated long passages of the ‘Adelchi’; he talked about the present state of painting in France; and about the Canadians, in whom he takes a great interest, and to whom, for the sake of their French names and origin, his heart warms, till he wishes them success.3 On all these various points he talked well, with interest, and even with enthusiasm, forgetting, apparently,—when he spoke of painting, for instance, or the opera,—that he cannot hope ever again to enjoy either of them.

We finished the evening at Mad. de Broglie's, where we met Villemain; Duchatel, one of the ministers of Louis Philippe; with Guizot, Lady Elgin, and two or three others; besides Doudan and the d'haussonvilles, who are always there. It was a tres petite soiree, and very agreeable. . . . .

January 10.—It was the first grand ball of the season to-night at the Tuileries, and we went, with the rest of the world, to see the show. It was, what is rare in such cases, worth the trouble. . . . . Between three and four thousand persons were collected in the grand halls; but still there was no crowd, so vast was the space, and so well was the multitude attracted and distributed through the different rooms. Nothing could well be more brilliant than the lighting, nothing more tasteful than the dresses. I have seen more diamonds both in Dresden and in Madrid; and, indeed, the Duchess of Anglona, to-night, made more show than anybody else, with the diamonds that, I suppose, I used to see worn by the old Duchess of Ossuna, twenty years ago. . . . .

Having quite accidentally fallen in with Mad. Martinetti, the Count and Countess Baldissero, and the Spanish Ambassador Campuzano, we made one party with them till about one o'clock, when the ladies went in together to supper. We gentlemen stood and saw them pass through, to the number of more than fifteen hundred. It was a beautiful sight. After the King and Queen, nobody attracted so much attention as the very picturesque Princess Belgiojoso. But the whole was striking. The supper, which was in the theatre of the palace, was, I am told, both magnificent and tasteful, and offered a coup [127] d'oeil which would have satisfied an Oriental fancy; but though, after the ladies had supped, the gentlemen were admitted, the crowd was so dense and the struggle so unruly that I would not undertake it.

January 12.—This evening I carried Count Balbo to Thierry's, and introduced him to them. Balbo has written a good deal on the early history of modern Europe, and occupied himself with the Communes of Italy, so that they had high converse together, which I enjoyed. Thierry was striking in his positions and in their illustration, as he always is.

January 13.—I went this evening to the Princess Belgiojoso's. Her house and style of reception are as picturesque as herself, and savor strongly-even to the hot climate she makes in this cold weather–of her Italy. There was much fashion there, and many men of letters: Mignet, Fauriel, Mohl, Quinet, Baron d'eckstein, etc. I saw, too, for the first time, the Count de Montalembert and his graceful wife, who was a Belgian Merode. I was surprised to find the Count, who is already so famous by his ultra Catholic and liberal tone, both in the Chamber of Peers and in his writings, to be so young a man. He will certainly be much distinguished if he lives, notwithstanding his sort of poetical fanaticism, which accords but ill with his free tone in politics. His conversation is acute, but not remarkable.

January 14.—I spent the early part of the evening at the Countess Lipona's, the name under which Madame Murat passes here.4 She is a very good-looking, stout person, nearly sixty years old, I suppose, and with lady-like and rather benevolent manners. She lives in good style, but without splendor; and, like the rest of her family, allows those about her to call her Reine. Prince Musignano was there, and perhaps in the course of an hour twenty people came in, for it was her reception evening; but the whole, I suppose, was Bonapartist, for I happen to know that those who wish to stand well with Louis Philippe avoid her doors; a weakness on his part as great as that which, on hers, permits her to be called Queen. . . . .

January 17.—I passed a large part of to-day with H. Ternaux, who was formerly in the United States, since which time he has been in French diplomacy . . . . . My object was to see his library, which is curious in many respects, especially in old Spanish literature and in early American history. He kept me occupied till dark, in looking at a succession of rarities and curiosities, such as I have not seen before for many a day. [128]

January 20.—At Lamartine's this evening, walking up and down his salon,—as is his wont,—he talked a good deal about himself. He said he wrote no poetry till he was twenty-nine years old, prevented, as he thinks, by the fougue de ses passions. He left it again as soon as he obtained diplomatic employment, because he much prefers the business of the state to anything else, and holds it to be a duty higher and more honorable. He liked his place as Minister at Florence very much, and he likes his occupations as Deputy. In the summer, when in the country, he still writes poetry, and has finished this year a poem of some length; but he makes everything of the sort to yield to public affairs. Indeed, he says he regards poetry as the occupation of youth and of old age, each of which has its appropriate tone and vein; while middle age should be given, as Milton, Dante, and Petrarca gave it, to the business of the country and to patriotism. There was, perhaps, a little affectation in this, but not much. His character seems frank, if not entirely natural. In speaking on politics, he said that he was the first person who urged Thiers to adopt the system of Spanish intervention, and that it was long before he could persuade him to it; but that he little imagined Thiers would be so absurd as to make it a cabinet question, when it was one which would need much time to be understood aright even in the Chamber of Deputies, and much more to be comprehended by the nation. I did not think much of his conversation on these points; it was chiefly an unsuccessful defence of himself, which to me, a stranger, he ought to have known was uninteresting, and, as far as he himself was concerned, he ought to have known was unimportant. . . . .

January 27.—From nine to ten this evening I spent with the venerable and admirable Marchioness de Pastoret. At first she was quite alone; afterwards the Duke de Rauzan came in, some of the Crillons, the Choiseuls, etc. She receives in the simplest way, in her bedchamber; and this circumstance, with the names of historical import that were successively announced, seemed to carry me back to the days of Louis XIV. at least, if not to those of Henry IV. It was, of course, the purest Carlism; but if it was nothing else, it was entirely respectable and elevated in its tone. Nothing else can approach Mad. de Pastoret. . . . .

January 28.—In the afternoon we made a visit to Mad. Amable Tastu, on the whole the most distinguished of the present female authors of France. She is about five-and-forty years old, I should think, very gentle in her manner, and of an excellent reputation. Her husband has lost his fortune, and not showing energy enough to [129] recover it, Mad. Tastu has for some years supported her family by her pen. Her poems, in three volumes, are the best of her works, and indeed she has not published much else. These are very good of their sort, and sometimes remind me, as she herself does, both in her fortunes and her character, of Mrs. Hemans. She talked well this afternoon, and her French, both in accent and in phraseology, was particularly beautiful. Her appearance denotes feeble health, and I am told that she works too hard, writing much for the periodicals to earn a subsistence . . . . January 30.—. . . . The beginning of the evening I spent at Thierry's. There was no company, and I had a great deal of pleasant talk with him about his occupations, and his projected history of the Merovingians; a prodigious work for one broken down with such calamities as he is.5 Afterwards I went to Guizot's, and found a plenty of deputies, the Greek Ambassador, in his costume, and the Baron de Barante, with his beautiful wife, now spending the winter in Paris, on leave of absence from St. Petersburg, where he is French Ambassador.6 He is much altered since I knew him before; but still looks well, and talks as becomes the author of the ‘History of the Dukes of Burgundy.’ As I arrived late, only a portion of the evening's party remained, and I was glad of it; for Guizot's rooms are small, and his friends numerous. January 31.—. . . . I dined to-day at the Duke de Broglie's; a dinner made in honor of the Baron de Barante, and the Count de Ste. Aulaire, French Ambassadors at St. Petersburg and Vienna, now here on leave of absence. It was, of course, a little ceremonious, and a good many of the principal Doctrinaires, Guizot, Duchatel, etc., were there. Barante, however, was missing, and was waited for half an hour; and when we sat down at table it was plain that it was a political dinner; for, except Eynard of Geneva and myself, every individual was of political note. The whole conversation, too, was in the same tone, and was curious, since it turned, for some time, on the character and prospects of Thiers, whom, I must needs say, they treated with great generosity. Ste. Aulaire has all the acuteness and esprit he used to have; but he is grown very old, and looks, more than anybody else I have seen here, like a genuine Frenchman of the ancien regime, his hair powdered, and his physiognomy belonging [130] to the theatre rather than to real life. After dinner I talked a long time with him about Vienna, Prince Metternich, etc., and found him very amusing. Nothing, however, of his conversation indicates in him the author of the; ‘Histoire de la Fronde,’ while in de Barante it is quite different. Afterwards Count Montalembert, Tourgueneff, Villemain, and a crowd of other people came in, as it was grande reception, and I came home . . . .

February 3.—I divided the evening between the Princess Belgiojoso's and the Duchess de Rauzan's; both their saloons were full. In both, too, I found Berryer, the leader of the Carlists in the Chamber of Deputies, and their most able agent and defender in France. He talked well. Before I knew who he was, I had a long conversation with him, Mignet, and the Princess, on the present state of the French theatre, and was much struck with his acuteness. But the hours kept at these fashionable places are intolerable . . . .

February 5.—I dined to-day at Baron De Gerando's, with a tolerably large party of men of letters, whom he had asked to meet me, or at least he had asked Fauriel and one or two others on my account; Patin, the Professor of Latin at the College de France, the remplacant of Villemain; Droz, of the Academy of Moral Sciences, etc. The talk was, of course, all on literary subjects, and Fauriel was clearly the first spirit at table. In the evening, it being De Gerando's reception evening, a crowd came in; members of the Institute, peers, deputies, and men of letters in abundance. At ten I went to the de Broglies', where I found only Guizot and four or five others, and had a most agreeable time. . . . .

February 6.—This evening I went with Mignet, and was introduced at Thiers' house. He lives in a good deal of splendor, with his father-in-law, the banker Dosne, and his rooms to-night were full, chiefly of deputies, among whom, however, I distinguished no considerable notabilitye, except Marshal Maison and the Count Montalembert, who is of the Chamber of Peers. However, I went only to see Thiers, and looked but little about me. He is a short man, wearing spectacles, a little gray-headed, though hardly above forty years old, and with a very natural and earnest, but somewhat nervous manner. He talked to me for half an hour, wholly about his projected history of Florence to the time of Cosmo dea Medici, and talked with great spirit and knowledge. He intends it as a development of the character of the Middle Ages, and means to divide it into four parts, viz. Political History, History of the Laws and Constitution, History of the Commune, and History of the Arts and Letters. Thiers, I ought [131] to add, surpassed even my expectations, in the brilliancy as well as the richness of his conversation.

February 9.—This evening, at Mad. Mojon's, I found the customary sprinkling of Italians, Academicians, and political personages. Coquerel was there, and I talked with him much at large on the religious politics of France. He thinks well of the prospects of Protestantism, in which I suppose he may be right; but he counts much on the Duchess of Orleans, in which, I doubt not, he is wrong. Her position will prevent her from favoring Protestantism, even if she should continue to be a Protestant. All, however, agree that the religious principle makes progress in France, though the external signs of favorable change in this respect are certainly very slight.

Afterward, at the Duke de Broglie's, I introduced the same questions. The party was small, but suitable for the subject, and brilliant with talent, consisting of Duchatel, Lebrun, Duvergier, Guizot, Remusat, Viel-Castel, Doudan, Villemain, and one or two ladies, besides the Duchess. It was like a rocket thrown on straw. They all spoke at once, and seemed all to have different opinions. At last Guizot and Mad. de Broglie were heard, and they both thought religion is making progress in France, and that it will continue to do so. Several of those present were Protestants, and expressed their feelings very warmly, to which Villemain and, after him, Guizot spoke with great indignation of the present condition of the stage and of elegant literature. It was very interesting. . . . .

February 10.—The Duke de Broglie said last night that there would be a good debate to-day in the Peers, on the law for Hospitals for the Insane, and that he would have good seats for us to hear it. So we went. The room is well arranged for business and discussion . . . . . The Duke came to us and explained what was going on. The forms are good, except that of speaking from the Tribune, which, however, is not insisted upon here as pedantically as it is in the other house, though still the more formal speeches are made from it . . . . . We heard, successively, Montalivet, the Minister of the Interior; the Duc de Bassano, so famous under Bonaparte, and now a most venerable, white-headed old gentleman; La Place, son of the mathematician; Barthelemy; Pelet de la Lozere; Gasparin; Villemain; Tascher de la Pagerie, connected by blood with the Bonapartes, and representing their interests; Girod de l'ain; Montalembert, the fanatic and Carlist, etc. The discussion was carried on in the most business-like manner, and to practical purpose. Indeed, for these great ends the House of Peers is admirably constituted, [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 1819.7 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 [133] extent of the establishment, and the number of éleves, in their gloomy dresses and with their formal air, who were walking about in the vast corridors. It was, however, all monkish, as much as if it had been in Austria or Rome; and I could not but feel that it was all out of joint with the spirit of the times, in France at least. I recollected our conversation at de Broglie's the other evening, and could not but think, if the Catholic religion requires for its support such establishments as this, it can hardly be suited to France, or likely to make progress there.

February 14.—Divided a long evening between Thierry and the de Broglies. Poor Thierry was in bed, suffering more than usual; but two or three friends were with him, and he showed how completely his spirits and animation are indomitable. At de Broglie's all was as brilliant as luxury, rank, and talent could make it. The contrast was striking, and not without its obvious meaning; yet both were interesting, and I enjoyed both.

February 15.—A formal, luxurious, splendid dinner at Ternaux's, where were Jaubert, the eloquent and witty Doctrinaire leader; Jouffroy, the popular, liberal professor; Jomard, whose modesty and learning I admire more the oftener I see him; Santarem, a Portuguese nobleman, of the rare scholarship which is sometimes, though very seldom, found in his nation; and several others. I talked much with Santarem, and wish I were likely to see more of him, for he is a very extraordinary person; but he leaves Paris in a few days.

February 17.—We spent the evening at the Delesserts', where we met Eynard, the mover of the Greek affairs, and his winning wife; Ternaux and his wife; Guizot; and a few more. It is a magnificent establishment, in the style of Louis XIV., and the conservatory, making a sort of additional saloon, is, when lighted up in the evening, extremely beautiful. About half a dozen of the pictures, too, are of high merit; and the grave, dignified old Baron seems in good keeping with the whole. They are, too, all good, kind, and true people, and you feel that you are well when you are there; a feeling by no means universal in the brilliant saloons of Paris.

February 18.—I went to Thiers' to-night before ten o'clock, intending to stay only half an hour, and then make some other visits; but I was tempted by the brilliancy of the ex-minister's conversation, and remained till after midnight. There were only three or four persons present; but among them was General Bugeaud, who lately commanded in Africa, and Jusuf, in his Arab costume, who has made such a figure lately by a sort of romantic atrocities on the Algerine [134] frontier,—one of the most picturesque creatures I ever looked upon. The political embarrassments of the Ministry, involving the African affairs, and leading Thiers to the hope of returning to power, gave piquancy to some parts of the conversation. Thiers did not conceal his full consciousness of his position, and Bugeaud did not conceal his desire to have certain things done in Africa if Thiers should come in Minister, while between the two Jusuf cut up and down like a true Arab, until at last Bugeaud became so vexed with him, that he said rather pettishly, ‘If you go on in this way, Jusuf, you will end by having your handsome head cut off.’ The point was, whether the occupation of Africa should be merely military and desolating, or whether it should be conciliating and agricultural; Bugeaud being for the first, and Jusuf for the last. Both showed great adroitness, but both got angry, and so Thiers obtained the advantage of both, and, as he always does, used them both for his own purposes. He was at times very brilliant and eloquent, especially when showing the effect of a military desolation of Northern Africa.

February 19.—Mad. de Pastoret had a grande reception this evening, with the ancien regime about her. I alluded to it, but she said: ‘No, we are not in favor; we have our old friends only about us.’ At that time there were some of the greatest names in French history before her; Crillon, Bethune, and Montmorency. I told her I was going to Mad. de Broglie's, and she spoke of her with great affection and regard, but said their different views of religion and politics kept them quite asunder. She said she knew Mad. de Stael well at one period, but I think the same causes prevented her from ever seeing much more of the mother than of the daughter.

February 23.—Mrs. Fry—the famous Mrs. Fry—has been here a few days, with her husband and a ‘friend Josiah,’ and has excited some sensation. Her object is to have something done about the French prisons, which are no doubt bad enough; . . . . and though she will, I think, bring nothing to pass, she produces the same sort of impression of her goodness here that she does everywhere. We were invited to meet her this evening at the de Broglies'. There were few persons there, the Ste. Aulaires, Guizot, Portalis, Pasquier, Villemain, Eynard; in short, the small coterie, with Barante and two or three others . . . . She is quite stout, very fair, with not a wrinkle in her placid countenance, and a full, rich blue eye, beaming with goodness. She expressed her opinions without reserve, and, whether those about her agreed with her or not, nobody opposed her. She had the air of feeling that she was charged with a mission, but [135] was not offensive or obtrusive; liked to listen, and was pleased with what she heard. . . .

Mad. de Broglie sympathized fully with her religious feelings, and spoke of her to me after she was gone, with deep sensibility, and a sort of despair of seeing her spirit prevail in France. But Portalis, the President of the great Court of Appeals, and Guizot, the practical politician, comprehended her, as I thought, very little. . . . .

February 24.—The Queen gave a ball to-night to the children of those who have the entree, to which no other persons but their parents were admitted; and I cannot help thinking it was one of the most beautiful sights that can be seen in the world. I am sure I never saw anything of the kind so beautiful. It began early, about eight o'clock, and by nine o'clock full five hundred beautifully dressed children, between four and sixteen years old, as bright and happy as such a scene would naturally make them, with about a thousand other persons, including the whole Court and the ministers, were collected in those magnificent halls, where there was abundance of room for everybody to see and enjoy the fairy-like show. There was no etiquette. The King, the Queen, and the rest of the royal family, including the very graceful Duchess of Orleans, moved about the rooms without ceremony; and the children, often ignorant who addressed them, talked to them with the simplicity and directness of their years. One little girl of five years old complained to the King that her shoes pinched her dreadfully, and asked him what she should do; and another said she had not had a good time, for her partners had been disagreeable . . . . . Yet even in so bright a scene, care and business could intrude. I saw the King once talk half an hour with two of his ministers, with as anxious a look as I ever beheld. This, however, was an exception to the tone of the evening, which was as light-hearted as possible. At about eleven the supper-rooms were opened, and the children were all seated; while the Queen and the Court walked round and served them, and saw that they were pleasantly and comfortably attended to in all respects. . . . .

February 26.—There is great trouble in the government, and it seems to be doubtful whether the Ministry can keep their places. In order to see the signs of the times a little more nearly and accurately, I went this evening to the three houses where they can be best considered, and found the experiment amusing. First, at Count Moleas, the Hotel des Affaires Érangeres, I found the magnificent official salons almost deserted. Whenever I have been there before, I have found crowds of deputies; but to-night, when I asked Count d'appony [136] if their number was not uncommonly small, he said that in the course of the half-hour he had been there he had seen but four arrive; and the wary, smooth politician did not conceal the pleasure it gave him.

Count Mole looked more sallow than ever, was awkward and embarrassed, and talked to me some time, which he has not done before since the first evening I was there, and which he did to-night only because I am a perfectly neutral person, to whom his conversation could not be misinterpreted to mean anything whatsoever. The foreign ministers were chiefly there, watching carefully, like spies, and some of them showing that they were amused, more than I thought it quite polite they should.

After staying till it was plain the company would not increase, I drove to Guizot's. The first thing I noticed was, that all access was thronged. It was some time before I could draw up to the door and be set down, and when I got in I could hardly see who was there for the crowd. Barante was much excited. His place as Ambassador at St. Petersburg is safe with Mole, of course, but he would like to have Guizot come in, and especially de Broglie, and he would like, too, to come in himself, which is just within the range of possibilities. Lamartine was more moved than usual, but he overrates his political consequence; though, being the real leader of a few in the Chamber, he has certainly some power, now that the three or four parties in the Chamber are so evenly balanced. Jaubert, Duchatel, Duvergier, and the rest of the clique were very active; and though Guizot was as dignified as ever, there was a rigidity in his features that showed how much he was excited. He was frequently called aside, and whispered to mysteriously, as were several others of the leaders. Among those that were the most busy was the Duc Decazes, who must feel his position a curious one on such an occasion, having been so long the minister and favorite of Louis XVIII., and now playing a part so eager, and yet so inferior. The whole scene was striking, and was a striking contrast to the quietness of the Hotel des Affaires Étrangeres.

Just so it was at Thiers'. The Place St. George, on which he lives, was full of carriages, and though I arrived late, the crowd was still coming. The ex-minister was in excellent spirits, and all about him seemed so too. Arago, Marshal Maison, Mignet, Odillon-Barrot, and the rest of the leaders of the party were more gay than the corresponding personages whom I had just left at Guizot's. Thiers himself talked with everybody, and seemed pleased with everybody, even [137] with Count Montalembert, and some of the Carlists, who came there I hardly know how. He bustled about, perhaps, a little too much for his dignity; but I think he knew his men and his vocation perfectly, and when I came away, between twelve and one o'clock, he seemed quite unwearied.

February 28.—I spent the greater part of the evening at Thierry's very agreeably. He takes a great interest in the movement of the French in Canada. ‘Ces noms Francais,’ he said to-night, ‘me vont au coeur!’ He is unlike his countrymen in many respects, but this is genuinely and completely French. He cannot endure the disgrace and defeat of men who bear such names.

The last of the evening I went to Lamartine's, but the atmosphere was altogether political. It is a pity. He is not a great poet, certainly, but he ought not to be absurd enough to fancy himself a politician.

March 3.—. . . . I dined to-day at Baron Delessert's. The party was not large, but among them was De Metz, the Judge of their Upper Court, who has been lately to the United States, at his own expense, merely to see our prisons, and printed a book about them since his return; Guizot; Remusat; and two or three other deputies.

Mad. Francois Delessert pleases me more the more I see of her, and the old Baron, with his uprightness, his solid wealth, his science and politics, is quite an admirable person. He reminds me of ‘the old courtier of the queen, and the queen's old courtier,’8 so completely has he the air of belonging to the best of the old times.

But I talked chiefly to-day with De Metz, who is full of intelligence and talent, and one of those able, sound, conscientious magistrates of whom any country may be proud. Like Tocqueville, Julius, and Crawfurd, he returns having changed his opinion about solitary confinement, and now thinks the Philadelphia system preferable to the Auburn.

Between nine and ten I took Guizot in my carriage to Mad. de Broglie's, where we had, en tres petit comite, a very gay and brilliant talk, partly political and partly literary, in which the generally degraded tone of French letters at the present time was not spared.

On my way home I stopped at the Duchess de Rauzan's, where there were heaps of Carlists, the Bethunes, the Crillons, the Circourts, Count Bastard, . . . . and among the rest Jusuf, with his picturesque costume, and that sort of spare Arab beauty which Scott [138] has given to Saladin in the Crusaders. . . . Berryer was there, and brilliant.

March 4.—. . . . I was tired in the evening, but went to Thiers', where, with a few other distinguished persons, chiefly politicians, I met Cousin, Villemain, and Mignet, and had a very agreeable talk. Cousin, however, I like as little as any man of letters I have seen. He has a falsetto, and a pretension with his vanity, that takes away much of the pleasure his talent and earnestness would give . . . .

March 6.—We went this morning with Count Circourt, and passed some hours in looking over the materials, and, as far as finished, the extraordinary work of Count Bastard, on the Arts of Design, from the fourth to the sixteenth century; the most splendid work of the kind that was ever issued from the press. . . . .

He has succeeded, thus far, admirably. But the amount of labor and money it has cost him is truly enormous. He has been obliged to have his paper made of linen cambric, in order that it might not injure the colors laid on it; he has been obliged to have all his colors specially made to suit his purpose, and he has been obliged to employ miniature painters of high merit to execute the designs, after the slight engraved outline has been struck off. In this way his own private fortune, which was large, was soon absorbed; Louis XVIII. and Charles X. gave him two million six hundred thousand francs; and when Thiers was Minister he took up the project with great zeal, and appropriated half a million a year for five years to it. Nine numbers are already prepared, and the whole number is to be forty-two; and each contains five or six plates . . . . . I must needs say, I never thought art could go so far. The imitation was absolute, and when an old Missal was put beside its copy, it seemed hardly possible to distinguish.9 . . . .

March 9.—. . . . We made a hard forenoon's work of it this morning, in the Annual Exhibition of living artists; in the new collection of pictures the King has just caused to be brought from Spain; and in the collection of original drawings by the old masters. . . . .

In the evening I went to Mad. Mojon's, where, besides such persons as I commonly have met there, I found Tommaseo, the author of the ‘Duca d'atene.’ He is quite young still, and seemed full of feeling and talent. I talked with him a good deal, and, among other things, he told me he was employed on a work on the Philosophy of History. [139] I should not have thought his talent lay that way, for the ‘Duca d'atene’ is a picturesque book, showing history through the imagination; but we shall see.10

March 10.—I made some visits of ceremony to take leave, and in the evening went to Mad. de Pastoret's, whom I found almost alone, and had some very agreeable talk with her. She is the only true representative I know of the old monarchy, and would be a most respectable one of any period of any nation's history. . . . .

Our friends the Arconatis are come to Paris, and it gave us great pleasure to-day to have a visit from them and Count Arrivabene. Mad. Arconati is certainly one of the most distinguished women I have known, distinguished alike for her talent, and for her delightful, gentle, lady-like qualities of all kinds.

March 13.—To-day we made many visits, and did a great deal of packing. We received, too, several visits, among the rest a long one from the Circourts, two of the most gifted and admirable persons we have known during our absence . . . .

In the evening I went to Thiers' and Guizot's, that I might finish my impressions of French society by its appearance in the two salons in Paris whose political consequence is the most grave, whose avenir, as the French call it, is the most brilliant. Both the great statesmen parted from me with much kindness of manner, and multitudinous expressions of good-will, a little of it French, but some of it serious and certain, especially in Guizot's case.

I went, too, for a moment to the de Broglies'. Mad. de Broglie was not at home, but had left word for us to come to see her at her daughter's.

March 14.—More bidding good by; sad work! The saddest was with the de Broglies . . . . . We stayed, of course, only a short time, and when we came away, Mad. de Broglie followed us to the head of the stairs, and saying to me, ‘Nous sommes amis depuis vingt ans,’ embraced me after the French fashion, adding, ‘Si je ne vous revois pas dans ce monde, je vous reverrai en ciel.’11

As in relation to other cities, Mr. Ticknor on leaving Paris [140] devoted several pages of his Journal to remarks on the public institutions, and the changes he observed since his last visit there. We give one or two passages. Speaking of the theatres, he says:—

The tone is decidedly lower, more immoral, worse than it was twenty years ago; and when it is recollected how much influence the drama exercises in France on public opinion, it becomes an important fact in regard to the moral state of the capital and country. The old French drama, and especially the comedy, from Moliere's time downwards, contained often gross and indelicate phrases and allusions, but the tone of the pieces, as a whole, was generally respectable. The recent theatre reverses all this. It contains hardly any indecorous phrases or allusions, but its whole tone is highly immoral. I have not yet seen one piece that is to be considered an exception to this remark. The popular literature of the time, too, is in the same tone. Victor Hugo, Balzac, the shameless woman who dresses like a man and calls herself George Sand, Paul de Kock, and I know not how many more, belong to this category, and are daily working mischief throughout those portions of society to whom they address themselves. How is this to be explained? Is it that the middling class of society, that fills the smaller theatres and reads the romances of the popular writers, is growing corrupt; that the progress of wealth, and even of education, has opened doors to vice as well as to improvement? I fear so. . . . . . At any rate, I know nothing that more truly deserves the reproach of being immoral and demoralizing than the theatres of Paris, and the popular literature of the day. It is all much worse than it was twenty years ago.

Society, so far as it has changed at all, has changed by becoming more extensive, and more political in its tone. The number of those who go into the higher salons is much increased, and especially in those that are purely political, like Moleas, Guizot's, Thiers', etc., and the numbers that resort to each fluctuate disgracefully, exactly according to the political position of the host. It was quite ridiculous to see how this principle operated once or twice this winter, when the Ministry were supposed to stand insecurely. But in all the salons it is perceptible. Even the Tuileries is not an exception. Party lines decide who shall and who shall not go there. Carlists, of course, are never seen. Deputies in citizens' dresses and black coats go only to show that they are in the opposition; and many a Bonapartist cannot or will not be seen there, though the King himself treats [141] them kindly enough as a party, and even permits Mad. Murat to live in Paris for the prosecution of claims against the government, and lately received Prince Musignano with a sort of distinction which he [Musignano] boasted of more than once to me. . . .

I went to about twenty, or, occasionally, five-and-twenty of the principal salons, and they were all infected with the different shades of the political parties that now divide France; a state of things much worse for society, as well as for the practical administration of government, than if there were but two great divisions running through the whole. . . . . Now here are five different sets, and though it was possible to escape from them all, and go to the literary and philosophical salons of Lamartine, De Gerando, Jomard, Jouy, and some others, yet it is a chance if you would not, after all, even there, fall into the midst of. political disputes between some of those who, even on this neutral ground, could not help the ascendancy of the partisanship that governs them everywhere else.

The Diplomacy—except at Lord Granville's, which was always flooded with English, and at General Cass's, which was nothing but stupid-had no open salons this winter . . . . . The effect of the whole of this is, that the society of Paris is less elegant than it used to be. Its numbers are greater and its tone lower, and politics are heard everywhere above everything else. . . . .

Everything in France, its government, its society, its arts, the modes of life, literature, and the morals and religion of the country, are in a transition state. Nothing is settled there. Nothing, I think, is likely to be in our time.

To William H. Prescott, Boston.

Paris, February 20, 1838.
. . . . I have no time to write you, as I should be glad to, about ourselves. We have made a genuine Parisian winter of it, and are not at all sorry that it is drawing to a close. For two months I have been so much in society that it has, at last, fairly wearied me, and I am obliged to stop a little. Anna, who likes the salons less than I do, goes out less; but enough to see all the forms in which, from the politics or the taste of the people, they appear. . . . .

One thing strikes me in all these places. I find no English. Though there are thirty thousand now in Paris, they can hardly get any foothold in French society, and it is only when you are at a great ball—at Court or elsewhere—that you meet them. These balls are [142] separate things, entirely, from the proper French society. We have been to few of them, and found them very splendid, very crowded, and very tiresome; so much of the last that we were guilty, only last night, of neglecting an invitation to the palace, where we should have met above three thousand people! At the Austrian Ambassador's, a little while ago, we met two thousand. But though such crowds go, and though the balls at the palace are more splendid than anything of the sort I have seen in Europe, I have never yet found a single person who would say they were agreeable. So perverse is fashion, and so severe in its sway.

One more place I must add, separate from all the rest; the neat and quiet salon of Thierry, the historian of the Norman Conquest, long since totally blind, and, from a ten-years' paralysis of his lower limbs, incapable of motion, but with his faculties as active and his habits of labor as efficient as they ever were. He is now the person relied on by the government as head of a commission to collect all manuscripts relating to the history of the cities and of the tiers état in France; besides which he is writing, himself, a history of the Merovingian dynasty. I have passed several most agreeable evenings with him,—one last week, when he was so ill as to be in bed, but still directing two or three young men about the great work of collecting the manuscripts. He is a wonderful man, and his letters on French history, and other small works published within ten years, give no token of his infirmities, over which his spirit seems completely to triumph.

As the time draws near for leaving this exciting, but wearing state of society, we feel more and more impatient to get home. I hope we shall be able to embark before midsummer, so as to get a good passage, and see you all the sooner. Love to all We are all quite well; but I am grievously pushed for time.

G. T.

To William H. Prescott, Boston.

Paris, March 5, 1838.
my dear William,—I send you a single line by this packet, to let you know that three days ago I received from Bentley the six copies of your ‘Ferdinand and Isabella.’ One I sent instantly to Julius,12 by Treuttel and Wurtz, his booksellers here, as he desired; one to Von Raumer by a similar conveyance, with a request to him [143] to review it; one to Guizot, whose acknowledgment I received the same evening, at de Broglie's, with much admiration of a few pages he had read, and followed by a note this morning, which I will keep for you; one to Count Circourt, who will write a review of it, and of whom Thierry said to me the other night, ‘If Circourt would but choose some obscure portion of history, between A. D. 500 and 1600, and write upon it, he would leave us all behind’; one to Fauriel, the very best scholar in Spanish literature and Spanish history alive, as I believe, and one of the ablest men, as a general scholar, I know of anywhere, whom I have also asked to notice it, or cause it to be noticed under his superintendence; and the other copy, keeping for myself, I have lent to Walsh. Moreover, in a few days I expect to have Shattuck's American copy, . . . . for a gentleman named Doudan, attached to the household of the Duke de Broglie; a man of first-rate qualities of esprit, who writes occasionally most beautiful articles for the ‘Revue Francaise,’ who promises me to render there an account of your book. . . . .

In a fortnight we hope to be there [in London], nothing loath to quit Paris, which fatigues me by its bad hours and exciting society . . . . I am impatient to get to London, and still more impatient to get home. I am wearied of Europe, as I am of Paris.

1 See Vol. I. p. 254 et seq.

2 See ante, p. 41.

3 This was during the Canadian insurrection, called the Papineau Rebellion.

4 Caroline Bonaparte. Lipona is an anagram of Napoli, her former kingdom.

5 ‘Recits des Temps Merovingiens,’ 1840; a charming work, made directly from the early chronicles.

6 See Vol. I. p. 256.

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

8 From a song given in ‘Percy Reliques’ as from the Pepys collection.

9 This great undertaking remained incomplete. Twenty numbers were published, at the price of 1,800 francs each; but in the later ones the work was negligent, and, government aid being withdrawn, the enterprise dropped.

10 Tommaseo was associated with Manin in the revolution at Venice, in 1848.

11 Mad. de Broglie died suddenly in September following, of brain fever. M. Guizot, when mentioning her death, calls her ‘l'une des plus nobles, des plus rares, et des plus charmantes creatures que j'ai vu apparaitre en ce monde, et de qui je dirai ce que Saint Simon dit du Duc de Bourgogne, en deplorant sa perte, ‘Plaise à la misericorde de Dieu que je la voie éternellement, ou sa boute sans doute l'a mise.’’ Memoires, etc., de mon Temps, Vol. IV. p. 259.

12 Dr. Julius, of Hamburg, a scholar and philanthropist, had been in the United States in 1834-35.

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