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Title: A tour through some parts of France, Switzerland, Savoy, Germany and Belgium
Author: Bernard, Richard Boyle
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.

*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A tour through some parts of France, Switzerland, Savoy, Germany and Belgium" ***

made available by the Bibliotheque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica)
at http://gallica.bnf.fr.



Majora minorane famæ! HOR.
Say are they less or greater than report!




       *       *       *       *       *

Skinner Street, London

       *       *       *       *       *



Permit me to offer my most respectful thanks to Your Royal Highness, for
the honor you have conferred upon me, by permitting the following pages
to be inscribed to Your Royal Highness.

I beg at the same time to express my congratulations to Your Royal
Highness on the late glorious events, which have distinguished Your
Royal Highness's Government, which have restored to England the
blessings of universal Peace, and will render the present æra ever
memorable in History.

    I have the Honor to be,
    With the highest Respect,
    Your Royal Highness's
    Obliged and most obedient Servant,


       *       *       *       *       *


Had the following Pages required the exertion either of superior
judgment, or of abstruse research, the Author is not sufficiently vain
to have submitted them to the notice of the Public.

They are therefore not recommended to the perusal of the critical
reader; as in fact, they contain merely the hasty observations suggested
by the scenes he visited in the course of his Tour, together with a few
occasional remarks, which he thought might be acceptable to the
generality of readers: since notwithstanding the late increase of
travellers, the numbers are still very great, who, being prevented by
business, or deterred by the inconveniences of travelling, from visiting
the Continent, might be disposed to pardon some inaccuracies, should
they meet with a small portion either of amusement or information.

       *       *       *       *       *


CHAP. I.                                                               PAGE

    Introduction--On the opening of the Continent--Departure from
    London--Arrival in France--Different appearance of Things-Large
    Bonnets--Custom House and Passports--Of Travelling in France--French
    Dinners--Abbeville--Beauvais--Vines--Chantilly; its ruined
    Appearance--St. Denis and its Abbey


    Of the Approach to Paris--General Appearance of that City--Its
    Bridges--Is inferior in Comfort to London--Settled at an
    Hotel--Population of Paris--Its Markets--Badly supplied with
    Water--Of its various Divisions and their Inhabitants--Palais
    Royal--Gamblers--Police--English Papers--Rule to find one's Way
    through Paris--The Tuilleries--The Louvre--Plans of Improvement


    Visit to the Gallery of The Louvre and Museum--To the Luxemburg--To
    the Royal Library--To the Palais des Beaux Arts--To the Church of
    Notre Dame--To the Pantheon--Protestant Church and Congregation--Of
    the Number of English in Paris--Column in the Place Vendôme--Gobelin
    Manufactory--Post Office--Botanic Garden--Lady and her Dog--Story of
    Dr. Moore--Of the Character of the Parisians--Their Loquacity--Of
    the Legislative Body--Heat of the Weather--Champs Elysées--Quarter
    of St. Antoine--Of the Revolution--Of the Boulevards--Of the
    Restaurateurs--Of Ladies frequenting Coffee-houses, &c.


    The Invalides--Elevation of different Buildings--Buonaparte desirous of
    Eclat--Champ de Mars--Place de Grenelle--Of the Plan of General Mallet
    and his Execution--Visit to the Museum of French Monuments--Infidelity
    of its Promoters--Of Colbert--Gardens of Tivoli--Great Numbers of
    Military Officers in Public Places--Of the Capture of Paris by the
    Allies--View of Paris from Montmartre--Vanity of the French--Their Love
    of Novelty--The Emperor Alexander's Entry into Paris--Of the
    Establishment of M. Delacroix--At the Tuilleries--Of the King--His
    Regard for England--France still unsettled--Advice of Galba to
    Piso--Curious Glass Stair Case--Of the French Theatres, and their
    Italian Opera--Number of Bureau d'Ecrivains.


    Visit to the Royal Palaces--St. Cloud--St.
    Cyr--Malmaison--Versailles--Its Formality--Accuracy of Pope's
    Description of the Old Style of Decoration--Comparison of Windsor
    and Versailles--City of Versailles greatly
    reduced--Trianon--Sèvres--Porcelain Manufactory--Barrier of
    Passy--Of the Harvest--Castle of Vincennes--Few private Carriages at
    Paris--Great Numbers of Fiacres and Cabriolets--Attend at the
    Foreign Office for Passports to leave Paris--Arrive at
    Fontainebleau--Memorable for the Abdication of
    Buonaparte--Reflections on the Captivity and Character of the
    Pope--Reflections on Buonaparte--At Montereau; Battle near the
    Town--Sens--Auxerre--Description of the French Diligence--Dinners,


    At Avalon--Public Promenades--Number of Beggars--Villages and
    Country Houses more numerous in Vine than in Corn Countries-Farming
    in this District--Land Tax and Customs of Descent--Dijon--A large
    and handsome City--Its Public Buildings--Company in the Diligence
    increased by the Arrival of two French Officers--Their Political
    Opinions--Advantage of the Diligence--Arrival at Dole--Battle near
    Auxonne--Genlis--Poligny--Vin d'Arbois--Woods but without
    Birds--Moray--English Breakfast--Resemblance to North
    Wales--Magnificent View of the Lake of Geneva--Excellent Roads made
    by Buonaparte--Visit to Ferney--Description of Geneva--View from its
    Cathedral--Its Manufactures--Population--Territory--Determination to
    visit the Alps; and not to go into Italy


    Departure for Chamouny--Bonneville--Valley of Cluse--Cascade
    d'Arpennas--St. Martin--Extravagant Bill--Proceed on Mules--Their
    astonishing Safety--River Arve--Pont de Chèvres--Cascade of
    Chede--Extravagance of English Travellers very prejudicial--Lake of
    Chede--Servoy and its Mines--Visited by the Empress Maria
    Louisa--Glaciers des Bossons--Definition of Glacier--Of the Valley
    and Village of Chamouny--Guides--Politics of the Savoyards--State of
    Taxation--Ascent of Montanvert--Magnificent and awful Spectacle of
    the Mer de Glace--Height of various Mountains, compared with Mont
    Blanc--Simile from Pope--Return to Chamouny--Larch and Fir mixed on
    these vast Mountains--Their Productions--The Valley continually
    threatened with Avalanches


    Leave Chamouny--Delightful Situation of Valorsine--Festival
    there--Of the Savoyard Peasants--Anecdote from M. de
    Saussure--Country difficult to travel through--Trient--Magnificent
    View from the Fourcle--The French not so much disliked in the Valais
    as their Cruelty deserved--Castle of la
    Rathia--Martigny--Unsuccessful Attempt of two English Gentlemen to
    ascend Mont Blanc--Less adventurous, we did not ascend Mount St.
    Bernard--Cascade of the Pisse Vache--Number of Idiots and Goitrous
    Persons in the Valais--Opinion of Mr. Coxe on the Subject--Opinion
    of M. de Saussure--St. Maurice--Its strong Position--Roman Bridge
    and Antiquities--Passports demanded here--Different Colour of the
    Rhone here and at Geneva.


    Bex--Industry of the Inhabitants of this Country--Their Cottages and
    Wandering Lives--Salt Springs--Aigle--Growth of
    Corn--Villeneuve--Agitated State of the Lake--Labours of the
    Inhabitants often destroyed by the Fall of
    Rocks--Chillon--Clarens--Vevay--Magnificent View from its Church--Of
    General Ludlow--Lausanne--Its singular Situation--Its Antiquity--Its
    Cathedral--View from the Church-yard--Population and
    Manufactures--French Manners prevail here--Gibbon--Pope Felix V. a
    singular Character--Reformation--Morges--Festivity there--Rolle--Its
    Spa--Country Seats--Delightful Scene from the Garden of its Castle
    in the Evening--Nyon--Château de Pranqui--Joseph
    Buonaparte--Vines--Swiss Artillery--Copet--Anecdote of Md^e. de
    Staël--Versoi--Return to Geneva


    On the Introduction of History into Tours--Early Government of
    Geneva--Reformation--Alliance with Berne and Zurich--A few Laws
    peculiar to Geneva--Theatre--Town Hall--Permission obtained to
    reside at Geneva--Lodging procured in Consequence--Fortifications of
    Geneva not devoid of Utility--Views from the Ramparts--Maintenance
    of the Allied Troops very expensive to Geneva--Regret of the
    Genevese at the Destruction of some ancient Avenues by them--Meet a
    Person who gives a melancholy Account of the State of Geneva under
    the French--State of Society--Fête de Navigation--Dress,
    &c.--Epigram by a Prince of
    Hesse--Rousseau--Voltaire--Raynal--Remarks of a Savoyard
    Peasant--The College of Geneva--The Library--Of Calvin--Water
    Works--Society of Arts--Corn Magazine--Churches, Service, &c. at


    Excursion to the Perte du Rhone--Magnificent Spectacle which it
    affords--Rise of the Rhone--Hop Gardens--Malt Liquor badly
    made--Climate of Geneva--Of Switzerland in general--Opinion of
    Haller--Soil, Grain, and Population of Switzerland--Quantities of
    Cattle--Various Plants--Visit to a Watchmaker's Warehouse--Its
    elevated Situation--Great Ingenuity, but want of what in England
    would be thought good Taste--Circles of Genevese--Introduced to a
    French Gentleman who bad twice escaped the Guillotine--Walks and
    Rides--Junction of the Rhone and Arve--Coligny--Carrouge--St.
    Julian--Battle there--Inferiority of the Austrian Troops to the
    French--French Politics--Empress Maria Louisa--Lord Castlereagh at


    Regret at leaving Geneva--Lake of
    Joux--Coponex--Robbers--Lassera--Curious Separation of a
    Rivulet---Orbe--Face of the Country--Price of Land--Yverdun--Sea
    View--Spa--School--Anecdote of a Conductor--Game--Bridge of
    Serrier--Neufchâtel, said to resemble Naples--Description of its
    Territory--Anecdote respecting the Religion of Landeron--David
    Riri--Sketch of the History of Neufchâtel--Competitors for its
    Sovereignty--Lake of Bienne--Island of St. Pierre--Singular
    Government of Bienne--Great Change on passing the Pont de
    Thiel--Charge of Rapacity against the Swiss--Pleasant
    Travelling--Extensive View from Julemont--Agriculture--Arberg


    Morat--famous for Kirschwasser--Monument commemorating the Defeat of
    the Burgundians removed by the French--Its
    Inscription--Seedorf--View of the Island of St. Pierre--Beauty of
    the distant View of Berne--Its Interior also handsome--Its
    Fortifications--Stags and Bears kept in the Trenches--Public
    Library--Botanic Garden--Chemists' and Bakers' Shops--Convicts
    chained in the Streets--Beautiful Public Walks--Government of
    Berne--Opinion of Pope--Excursions to Hofwyl and Hindelbanck--Extent
    of the Canton of Berne--Its Population, Productions, &c. &c--State
    of the Clergy--Departure from Berne--Village of Worb--Saw
    Mill--Bleach Greens--Care which the Swiss take of their
    Horses--Sumiswald--Little Wooden Inn--Zell--Castle of
    Haptalla--Irrigation--Beautiful Situation of Lucerne--Its Melancholy
    Interior--General Pfiffer's Model--Beautiful Lake--Mount Pilate and
    Rigi--Visit two Classic Spots--And the Small
    Canton--Gersau--Intolerance--Lake and Canton of Zug--Swiss
    Honey--Magnificent View of Zurich, described by
    Zimmerman--Considerations on the Difference between the Swiss
    Cantons, &c


    Zurich--Its Interior not answerable to its distant
    Appearance--Population, Buildings, &c.--Dinner at the Table
    d'Hote--Excursion on the Lake--Country and Villages near
    Zurich--Winter there--Cascade of Lauffen--Its magnificent
    Effect--Cyder--Bad Vintage--Schaffhausen--Its
    Bridge--Population--Laws--Manufactures, &c.--View of Mount
    Banken--Chapsigre Cheese--Swiss Tea--Set out in the Diligence with a
    Doctor of Leipzig--His uncommon Love of Smoking--Civility, Dress,
    &c. of the Germans--Deutlingen--Pass the Danube--Taste of the
    Germans for Music, preferable to the political Arguments of the
    French--Passports--Subdivisions of Germany--Trade--Posts well
    conducted--Accident at Bahlingen--House of Hohenzollern


    Tubingen--Its University--Different from ours--Agree to post to
    Frankfort--Of German Posting, and
    Dinners--Feather-beds--Stoves--Stutgard--A handsome City--Palace,
    its Decorations--Industry of the Queen--Council Chamber--Royal
    Stables--Garrison composed handsome Troops--Palace at
    Ludwigsburg--Waggons and Traffic on the road--Heilbron--Escape from
    being overturned--Sinzheim--Cossaok arrives there--Heidelberg--Its
    Castle--Venerable in Ruins--The Inn--Rich Country--Quantity of
    Potatoes--Manheim--Regularly built, but much deserted--The Palace in
    Decay--Walks--Darmstadt--Unfurnished and ill
    situated--Palace--Handsome Gardens--Frankfort a Magnificent
    City--Inns--Opulence of its Merchants--Population--Jews--Gates and
    Hochheim--Rhiagau Wines--Mayence--Its Strength--Handsome only
    at a Distance--Its Bridge--Cathedral--Population--Exportation of
    Corn--Large Cabbage


    Embark on the Rhine--Political Rhapsodies of two
    Frenchmen--Beautiful Scenery--Gulph of Bingerlock--Blighted state of
    the Vines--Most distressing to the Inhabitants--Boppart--'God Save
    the King'--Bonfires--Size of Paris and London--St.
    Goar--Coblentz--Royal Saxon Guards--Ruins of
    Ehrenbreitstein--Andernach--The Devil's
    House--Lowdersdorf--Linz--Bonn--Illuminations, Balls, &c.--End of
    the Picturesque Scenery--Boat driven on Shore--Walk to Cologne--A
    vast and gloomy City--Simile of Dr. Johnson's--Few Country Houses on
    the Rhine--Rubens--His excellence as a Painter and his great
    Modesty--Juliers--Aix la Chapelle--Its Antiquity--Waters--Pleasant
    Situation--Population not equal to its
    Estent--Burscheid--Manufactures of Cloth, &c.--Cathedral--Sunday ill
    observed--Liege--A large and extremely dirty
    City--Booksellers--Cutlery--Distress of the
    Manufacturers--Thieves--Bad Money--Expeditions Public
    Carriage--Axiom of Rousseau--St. Tron--Chimes--Tirlemont, its much
    reduced Manufactures


    Population of the Netherlands--Louvain--Its Public
    Buildings--University--Character of the Belgians--By some
    represented as the worst in Europe--That Statement probably
    overcharged--Extortion--John Bull at Paris--French Kitchens,
    &c.--Breweries--Roads--Taste in Gardening--Canals not an agreeable
    mode of Travelling--Heavy Taxes--Unsettled Political State--Vast
    Numbers of English at Brussels--Its Extent, Population and
    Appearance--The Park--Anecdote of Peter the Great--Town
    House--Churches--Collections of Paintings--Anecdote of
    Bassano--Hotels--Table d'Hote, like the Tables at
    Cheltenham--Expence of Living--Houses--Jurourin--Forest of
    Sogne--House of Correction compared with ours--Walk round the
    City--Fortified Towns--Sieges of Ostend, Valenciennes, Troy and
    Azotus--Malines--Considerations on its Decline--Its
    Silk--Population--Buildings--Manner of cutting the Trees near the
    Roads--Antwerp, its Importance--Docks--River--Riches of
    Belgium--Buildings at Antwerp--Accuracy of the Flemish
    Painters--Appearance of the Country--The Inns not equally decorated
    with those in Germany--Wooden Shoes


    Ghent--Its great Size--Decreased in Populalation and
    V.--D'Arteville--Canals--Trade--Buildings-Prison--Land and Water
    Travelling--Ostend and Bruges--Derivation of Bourse--Noisy and
    Silent Travellers--Proficiency of Foreigners in English--Taste in
    Bonnets--Sportsmen without Game--Courtray--Dogs Drawing--Boundary
    Stone of France--Custom House--Passports, Danger of being
    without--Lille--Fortified by
    Residence-Remarkable View from
    Cassel--Berg--Fens--Canals--Dunkirk--First Impressions--The Origin
    of its Name--Buildings and Population--Flemish Language--Of the
    Union of Belgium with France--Political Consideration--Dunkirk sold
    by Charles II.--Lord Clarendon's House so called--Its Fortifications
    demolished--Gravelines---Its strong Situation--Liberty and
    Equality--Cheap Travelling--Calais the last English Possession in
    France--Contrary Winds--French Officers displeased at the
    Theatre--General Jealousy of England--Embark on board a French
    Packet--Loquacity of the French--Arrival in England--Its Superiority
    to other Countries

       *       *       *       *       *

&c. &c.

       *       *       *       *       *


I had long been desirous of visiting the Continent, but the long
continuance of the war, and the little prospect which lately appeared of
its termination, seemed to afford no chance for the accomplishment of my
wish. At a period, however, when that arbitrary power, which had so long
held in subjection the other nations of the Continent, sought to
overthrow the only monarch who dared to oppose it, and to claim for his
subjects the natural rights from which they had been excluded by the
"_Continental System_," it pleased Divine Providence to destroy the
fetters which enslaved the nations of Europe, as if to try, whether in
the school of adversity, they had learned to merit the blessings of
independence. These great and glorious changes, the reality of which it
was at first _difficult_ to believe, having opened to the subjects and
commerce of Britain, countries from which they had been for so many
successive years proscribed, it was not long before numbers of British
repaired to the continent to indulge that love of roving for which they
had been always distinguished (and which a long war had suppressed but
not eradicated) and to claim from all true patriots, in the countries
they visited, that friendly reception to which the long perseverance and
vast sacrifices of England, during a struggle unexampled in history, had
so justly entitled the lowest of her subjects.

The unsettled state in which most part of the Continent necessarily
remained for a little time after the entrance of the Allies into Paris,
did not afford the most favourable moment for the journey of one who
was not a military traveller; and I did not regret that business
prevented my leaving England for a few months after the opening of the
Continent, as I had the gratification of being a witness, in the British
metropolis, to the exultation of all ranks of men; first, at seeing the
legitimate monarch of France arrive there in company with our
illustrious Regent who having long contributed to lessen the afflictions
of the exiled _Count de Lille_, had first the satisfaction (to which he,
amongst all the sovereigns of Europe, was best entitled, by the great
part, which under his government, England had performed for the cause of
European liberty) of saluting him as _King of France_, amidst the cheers
of applauding thousands; and, secondly, of witnessing the arrival of the
magnanimous Alexander, of that too long unfortunate monarch, Frederick
William, of those chiefs, Platoff and Blucher, whose exploits have
ranked them amongst the first of heroes, and, at last, of seeing, in the
person of a _Wellington_, a British marshal who had successively foiled
the most renowned of the generals of Buonaparte, and who, like Turenne,
was accustomed "_to fight without anger, to conquer without ambition,
and to triumph without vanity_."

About the middle of July I left London and proceeded to Dover, a journey
which, in the improved state of our roads and of our conveyances, is
easily performed in one day; and often as I had before travelled the
Kent road, yet I could not see without surprise, the astonishing number
of public and private carriages with which it abounds, and which must
have doubtless much increased within the last few months. I became
acquainted on the road with a French Abbé, who, accompanied by his
sister, was returning home after an absence of twenty-two years, which
he had spent mostly in England, but he could by no means express himself
intelligibly in English. I therefore addressed him in his own language,
which pleased him extremely, and I found him an amusing companion, as
well as very grateful for some little services I rendered him in
arranging with the coachman respecting his baggage and that of his
sister, as they took the whole of their property to France with them,
including many household articles which I should not have thought worth
the expence of carriage. We supped in the same apartment at Dover, but
they had brought their provisions with them, which as I afterwards found
was sometimes the practice in France, either from motives of comfort or
economy. Such travellers, however, would not be much wished for at an
English inn.

Next morning my first business was to attend at the custom-house; and
the officers, after a diligent search, finding nothing illegal amongst
my baggage, permitted me to purchase a sufferance for it to be embarked
for France. The rest of the passengers having likewise arranged their
affairs and obtained sufferances, we proceeded on board the packet, and
found that it was extremely full without this last reinforcement; but I
doubt whether the captain way of that opinion. I found the charge for
the passage amounted to one guinea, which is the sum paid for the
passage between Dublin and Holyhead, although that is nearly three
times the extent of the channel between Dover and Calais. I was informed
that the seeming disproportion in those prices was to be attributed to
the heavy _post dues_ at Calais, which, for so small a vessel as the
packet, amounted to £14 or £15, although in the year 1793 they did not
exceed eighteen shillings.

Amongst the passengers was a Swiss gentleman, who I found passed for a
man of _great importance_ amongst the sailors. His carriage perhaps
contributed not a little to this, as it had once been the property of
the duke of Northumberland; and although the arms were defaced, yet the
coronet, the garter, and the gilding with which it was still decorated,
no doubt contributed to increase the expences of a journey which, from
its length, is a heavy tax on the pockets of the generality of
travellers, however plain may be their equipage.

We were above two hours on board before it was possible to extricate our
vessel from the great number of transports (I believe not less than
thirty-two) which crowded the harbour, being engaged for some time in
bringing home a large portion of our cavalry, who added to the military
glory they had acquired in Spain and Portugal, by their forbearance in
tolerating insults to which they were but too often exposed in their
passage through France, by a people whose vanity forbids them to admire
valour, except in Frenchmen, but whose conduct on those occasions served
only to increase the obligations which they had in so many instances
experienced from the humanity which always attends on British valour.

If we had to regret the delay we experienced in getting out to sea, that
sentiment soon vanished before the favourable breeze which, in about
four hours, brought us to the French coast. As the day was hazy, we had
not long to admire the venerable castle of Dover, and the cliff which
Shakspeare has celebrated; and some time elapsed before we could
distinguish the shores of France, which differ entirely from those of
England, rising gradually from the water's edge, with the single
exception of _Scales Cliff_, which seems to correspond with some of
those bulwarks which characterize our coast from Dover to Portland,
where, I think, chalk cliffs are succeeded by masses of rock and grey

The tide being out on our arrival before Calais, we could not get into
the harbour, and with that impatience to leave a ship, which is natural
to landsmen, we were glad to accept the offers of some boats which
hastened around the packet, to offer their services in landing us; this,
however, they did not exactly perform, being too large to get very near
the shore, to which we were each of us carried by three Frenchmen, one
to each leg, and a third behind. This service I had often had performed
by one of my fellow-subjects, and it seemed to verify the old saying,
that '_one Englishman is equal to three Frenchmen_.'

Each Monsieur however insisted on a shilling for his services, and the
boatmen five shillings from every passenger. But I had travelled enough
to know, that extortion on such occasions is so general, as not to be
peculiarly the characteristic of the inhabitants of any country, and if
ever there is _pleasure in being cheated_, it is surely on such an
occasion as that of exchanging the misery of a ship for the comforts of
the most indifferent inn.

The arrival for the first time in a foreign country, of a person who has
never before quitted his own, is an epoch of considerable moment in his
life. Most things are different from those he has been accustomed to,
and the force of first impressions is then stronger than, perhaps, at
almost any other period. We are, in general, not much disposed to like
any custom, or mode of dress, which is greatly at variance with what we
have been long used to, and the enormous height of the bonnets in France
produces, in my opinion, an effect far from pleasing; the ladies, by
their strange costume, _out-top_ many of the military.

I found the town of Calais in a state of equal bustle with Dover, and
from the same cause. It is regularly fortified, and contains many very
good houses. The population is estimated at between seven and eight
thousand. The market-place forms a spacious square. The town-house and
church are handsome buildings, and altogether it must be allowed much to
surpass Dover as to appearance.

The search which ray portmanteau had undergone the day before in
England, was here renewed by the officers of the French _Douane_, but
with no better success on the part of the officers in being able to
seize any thing. They were, however, very polite, and their fees only
amounted to half a crown. My next care was, to attend at the town-hall,
and present my passport to the inspection of the mayor, who indorsed it
with his licence for me to proceed to Paris.

I accordingly determined on setting out without further delay, and
joined an acquaintance in hiring a cabriolet for the journey, to obviate
the trouble of changing our luggage at every post, and to avoid any
delay that might arise from not finding a carriage at every station,
which is by no means certain, as in England. We found the _Cabriolet_ a
very pleasant conveyance, it is nearly as light as a curricle, and has
a head and windows, which exclude rain. It is drawn by two or three
horses, and proceeds at a tolerably good pace. The postilions are
provided with boots of a very inconvenient size, and with whips which
they are perpetually cracking, not much to the comfort of the ears of
their passengers.

Those who have never seen any thing but an English stage-coach, cannot
but feel some surprise at the different appearance which a French
_Diligence_ presents. Most of them carry nine inside passengers, and
three in the cabriolet, and as much luggage behind, and in the Imperial,
as would load a tolerably large waggon. They are generally drawn by four
horses, which present a very different appearance from those under the
English carnages, and they are driven by one postilion, who rides the
wheel-horse. Occasionally, a second postilion and two more leaders are
necessary from the weight of the carriage, or the heaviness of the
roads. Carriages in France, in passing each other, take exactly
different sides of the road from what they are obliged to do by our
laws of travelling.

The country, for many leagues round Calais reminded me very strongly of
Cambridgeshire in its general appearance, being flat, well cultivated,
unenclosed, and abounding in wind-mills. About the villages there are
some trees and enclosures; but a few more church spires are wanting to
complete the resemblance. The distance from Calais to Paris is about 180
_English miles_, and may generally be considered as a flat country,
occasionally diversified by a few hills of no great magnitude.
Enclosures are rarely seen, but the quantity of corn is quite
astonishing. Agriculture appeared to me to be in a highly improved
state: there are artificial grasses and meliorating crops. The
appearance of the villages in general on this road is but little
inferior to those in many parts of England. But the peasants, although
not for the most part badly off, have no idea of that neatness, and of
those domestic comforts which form the great characteristic of the same
class of people in England.

An English farmer would laugh at the great cocked hat which is usually
worn by the French husbandman, and would not be disposed to change his
white frock for the blue one used on the Continent. Some wood is
occasionally to be seen; but Picardy is not famous either for the
quantity or quality of its timber. The general fuel of the lower orders
is _turf_, which, however, is not in any great quantity; and in
appearance it is inferior to that used by the Irish peasants. The roads
are in general kept in good repair, and near Paris and some other great
towns they are paved in the centre. They are flanked in many places by
avenues of trees, which are for the most part cut with great formality;
but even where left to themselves, they do not add much to the ornament
of the country or to the comfort of the traveller, affording but a
scanty shade.

The whole of this road is without turnpikes; they were, as I understood,
abolished about three years ago, and the roads are now managed by the
government. The French praise Buonaparte extremely for his attention to
the state of their _roads_, and it must be owned that in this
particular he merits the praise bestowed on him, which cannot be said
with truth of many other parts of his conduct which seem to have been
also approved of by the French. Buonaparte, it is true, made excellent
roads, but he made them only for his soldiers, either to awe those who
had submitted to his yoke, or to afford a facility of extending still
further his conquests.

The drivers in France do not tax themselves at every public-house as
with us, for porter or spirits, which they do not want; they seldom
stop, unless the stage is unusually long, and their horses require a
little rest.

Before we were admitted within the gates of Boulogne our passports were
demanded, and underwent a strict examination, probably the remains of
the etiquette established by Buonaparte, this place being chiefly
remarkable as the port, from whence he proposed making his threatened
descent into England. We observed a vast unfinished fort, which he had
ordered to be constructed; it will probably never be completed, but
crumble to pieces like the vast and ill-acquired authority of its
founder. The town of Boulogne is large and well fortified, but the
bustle in the port was chiefly occasioned by the embarkation of the
English cavalry.

We dined at Samers, and there had the first specimen of a French dinner
(as at Calais we had lodged at an hotel, which is kept by an Englishman,
and where every thing was _à l'Angloise_). The _general_ hour for dining
is twelve o'clock; many public carriages stop to dine before that hour,
however, from twelve to one o'clock, the traveller is sure at every
tolerable inn of finding a very abundant and cheap repast. We found the
bread excellent, as also a profusion of fruit; the wine of Picardy is
bad, but good wine may be had from the southern provinces, at a
reasonable price.

Their meats are so much stewed, that their real flavour can hardly be
distinguished, but were they dressed by a mode of cookery that did them
more justice, I do not apprehend the epicure would have to find fault
with their quality.

The next place which presented any thing worthy of remark, was
Abbeville, a large fortified city, which has manufactures of cloth and
damask. The church which has suffered much during the anarchy of the
revolution, is still a large and handsome edifice. We proceeded to
breakfast at Boix, where the coffee was excellent, and the milk was
served up boiled, as is generally the custom throughout France.

We also found good accommodation at Beauvais, a large and ancient city,
where the architecture of the houses reminded me much of Shrewsbury. The
streets are narrow and winding. The cathedral is well worthy the
attention of the antiquarian, although it has, like many others in
France, suffered greatly during the revolution. In the neighbourhood of
Beauvais are a vast number of vineyards, and the effect produced by them
is very striking to those who have never seen a vine but in a stove. But
the novelty soon ceases, and a vineyard is then seen with as little
astonishment as a field of corn.

We were easily persuaded to make a short deviation from the direct road,
in order to visit Chantilly, the once splendid residence of the Princes
of Condé, but which now affords a melancholy contrast to the scene which
it exhibited in more tranquil times. The Great Château has disappeared;
but a small building remains at a distance, which is to be fitted up for
the reception of its venerable owner, who is expected in the course of
the summer to pay a visit to the inheritance which the late happy
revolution has restored to him, after having undergone a sad change in
its appearance. The great stables are standing, but only serve to add to
the desolation of the scene by their vacancy, and the contrast which
they form to the small house which now only remains to the possessor of
this great domain.--St. Denis, where we soon arrived, is a small town
not far distant from Paris; it was anciently remarkable for its _abbey_,
which contained the magnificent tombs of the Kings of France. These were
mostly destroyed early in the revolution (but a few still remain, in
the museum of monuments at Paris, as I afterwards found) when the
promoters endeavoured to obliterate all traces of royalty: but when
after a long series of convulsions, Buonaparte thought his dynasty had
been firmly established on the throne of the Bourbons, he decreed that
this abbey should be restored as the burying place of the monarchs of
France; and it is probable that decree will be carried into effect,
although not in the sense which its promulgator intended.

       *       *       *       *       *


The approach to Paris is certainly very striking, but considering the
vast extent of the city, its environs do not present an appearance of
any thing like that bustle and activity which marks the vicinity of the
British metropolis: nor do the villas which are to the north of Paris
display that aspect of opulence which distinguishes those streets of
villas by which London is encompassed. The gate of St. Denis, under
which we passed, is a fine piece of architecture; it stands at the end
of a long and narrow street, which is but ill calculated to impress a
stranger with those ideas of the magnificence of Paris of which the
French are perpetually boasting, although it conducts him nearly to the
centre of the city. I afterwards found that this is the most crowded
quarter of the city; the houses are from six to eight stories in height,
and are almost universally built of stone.--But although it must be
admitted that this entrance to Paris is one of the least distinguished,
yet at the same time it must be observed, that there are but very few
streets in that city which have much to boast of in point of appearance;
they are mostly narrow, and the height of the houses necessarily makes
them gloomy. They are (except in one or two new streets at the extremity
of the town) extremely incommodious for pedestrians, there being here no
place set apart for them as in London; hence they traverse the streets
in perpetual dread of being run over by some of those numerous carriages
which are continually passing along with an _impetus_ which raises just
apprehensions in the mind of the foot passenger, that he may share the
fate of Doctor Slop, if nothing more serious should befall him; as in
avoiding the carriages it is no easy task to keep clear of the _kennel_,
which is in the centre of the street; the descent to it is rapid, and it
is rarely dry even in the warmest weather.

It is when seen from one of the bridges, that Paris appears to most
advantage, as many of the quays are unquestionably very handsome, and
decorated with many elegant edifices. The Seine is in no part so much as
half the width of the Thames, in some places not a fourth part, as it
forms two islands, on one of which stands the original city of Paris.
Its waters are united at the _Pont Neuf_, on which stands the statue of
Henry IV. looking towards the Louvre, which he founded. The view from
this bridge is without comparison the most striking in Paris, and is
perhaps unequalled in any city, for the great number of royal and public
edifices which are seen from it; and inconsiderable as is the Seine
compared with many other rivers, yet nothing has been neglected to
render its banks striking to the passenger.--Many of the bridges (of
which I think there are altogether 16) are handsome, particularly those
of Austerlitz and of Jena, constructed by order of Buonaparte. There is
one bridge, the arches of which are of iron, opposite the gallery of the
Louvre, which is open only to foot passengers, each person paying two
sous for the privilege of being admitted on this promenade, which is
often much crowded with company. Very soon after my arrival at Paris I
came to this conclusion, that although Paris far exceeds London, Dublin,
or Edinburgh, in the splendour of its public buildings, and often in the
handsome appearance of many of its houses, yet those cities are far
preferable in point of all essential comforts. And after spending a
considerable time in Paris, I saw no reason to change the opinion which
I had first formed; that opinion however cannot, I should apprehend, be
questioned by a Frenchman, as it admits fully the magnificence of many
parts of his favourite city, and this is sufficient for his vanity. With
us cleanliness and comfort are preferred to shew, we find them in most
of our own cities, but those who know most of Paris will not deny that
they are rarely to be met with there.

I had been recommended to the Hotel de Pondicherry, by a gentleman who
had for some time lodged there; but I found there were no vacant
apartments. After making application in vain at many of the hotels in
the Rue de Richelieu, I at last succeeded in meeting with good
accommodation in the Hotel des Prouvaires, which was in a convenient
situation, and had the advantage of having been lately painted. I found
the people of the house very civil and attentive, and produced my
passport from the Secretary of States' Office, signed by Lord
Castlereagh, to satisfy them that I was no _avanturier_, a very numerous
class here. The expence I found differed but little from, that of most
of the hotels in London; but the French hotels are in fact more what we
should call lodging-houses, as they do not supply dinners, &c. which
must be procured from a restaurateur's, of which there are a vast
number; and I have heard it stated, that there are no less than 2500
coffee-houses in Paris.

The population of Paris is stated by Marchant, in the last edition of
his Guide to Paris at 580,000; the number of houses is estimated to be
29,400; this would give an average of nearly twenty persons to each
house. This I do not consider as too great a proportion to allow, if we
consider the vast number of hotels that can contain at least double that
number of persons; and that in many parts of the town each story is
occupied (as in Edinburgh) by a separate family.

The population of Paris has undoubtedly decreased since the revolution;
Dutens, who published his Itinerary about thirty years ago, tells us, at
that period the inhabitants of Paris amounted to 650,000: but even
supposing him to have over-rated them, still there remains a great
disparity in the two calculations, and it is reasonable to conclude,
that the present statement by Marchant is accurate, from the facilities
which the system of police affords in forming a just calculation on the

Paris, including all its suburbs, is said to be about eight leagues in
circumference, and, except London and Constantinople, exceeds all the
other cities of Europe in extent.

The markets of Paris are remarkably well supplied with provisions of
every description, and at a price which appears moderate to an
Englishman. I have been told, that fuel is sometimes at a very high
price in the winter; but not being there at that season, I cannot speak
from my own experience. What I had most reason to complain of during my
stay, was scarcity of that great essential to health and cleanliness,
_good water_. The city is for the most part supplied with this first of
necessaries from the river Seine. Adjoining to one of the bridges is a
vast machine, which raises its waters, which are conducted to all parts
of the town, and also supply several public fountains. They have,
however, an extremely bad taste from the numerous establishments for
washing for all Paris, which are established in boats on all parts of
the river, which is thus strongly impregnated with soap-suds, and its
cathartic qualities have been experienced by many strangers on their
first arrival in Paris.

The French never drink this water without mixing in it a proportion of
sugar, and then call it _eau sucré_, which is often called for at the
coffee-houses. Most houses have reservoirs of sand for filtering the
water before it is used for drinking; but those who have been accustomed
to the luxury of good water, cannot be soon reconciled to that of the
Seine. The water of the _Ville d'Arblay_ is sold in jars in the streets
for making tea, and some of the fountains are supplied by springs. I
believe the late government had a scheme in contemplation for the
construction of an aqueduct, to supply purer water for the Parisians
than what they now use.

Many fountains have been established within the last few years, and the
site of that once formidable building the _Bastile_ is now occupied by
one. None of these modern fountains (although many of them display much
taste) are, however, by any means to be compared, in point of elegance,
to that which stands in the market of Innocents, and which was erected
in the year 1550. Its situation is too confined for so handsome a
structure, and I had some difficulty in finding my way to it. It has the
following inscription from the pen of M. Santeuil, (who has furnished
many others, particularly that on the fountain near the Luxemburg


    Quos duro cernis simulatos marmore fructus
    Hujus Nympha loci credidit esse suos.

Which may be thus translated,

    The fruits you see on this cold marble hewn,
    This Fountain's Nymph believes to be her own.

The Guide to Paris informs us, that the city is divided into several
quarters; that the vicinity of the _Palais Royal_, of the _Thuilleries_,
and of the _Chaussée d'Antin_, are the most fashionable, and of course
the most expensive; but that lodgings are to be met with on reasonable
terms in parts of the city, which are fully as desirable, particularly
in the suburb of St. Germain. There are furnished hotels to be met with
on a large scale in that quarter, it having been mostly inhabited by
foreign princes and ambassadors; and it was also much frequented by
English families, as they considered it the most healthy and quiet part
of Paris.

The Quarter du Marais was principally occupied by lawyers, financiers,
annuitants; and, in short, all the Jews of the nation lodged there.

The Quarter of the Palais Royal is chiefly inhabited by sharpers,
cheats, loungers, and idle people of all descriptions. Who could think
that a space of ground not exceeding 150 acres, contains more
heterogeneous materials blended together than are to be found in the
9910 acres (the French acre is one and a quarter, English measure) on
which the city of Paris stands? It is the great mart of pleasure, of
curiosity, and of corruption; and if the police wish to apprehend an
offender, it is in the Palais Royal that they are sure to find him.
Before the period of the revolution there were here but two public
gaming houses; but at present the number is really astonishing. The
police under Buonaparte did not discourage their increase; they argued
that these houses were the _rendezvous_ of all sharpers, villains, and
conspirators; and that they often saved an ineffectual search for them
in other quarters. A government like that of Buonaparte did not
reflect, that these houses, which thus abounded with desperate
characters, did not fail to perpetuate their number by the corruption
which they caused in the principles of the rising generation; and many
of the best informed Frenchmen are well aware that it will be the work
of time, to recover their country from the _demoralized_ state in which
it was left after the government of Buonaparte.

On the subject of gaming a French writer has justly observed: "Quand il
serait vrai que la passion du jeu ne finit pas toujours par le crime,
toujours est il constant qu'elle finit par l'infortune et le
deshonneur." "Granting it to be true, that the love of gaming does not
always terminate in crime, yet still it invariably ends in misfortune
and dishonour." But is it not rather improbable that those who have so
far transgressed as to apprehend the vigilance of the police, should
venture into the very places where they must be aware of immediate

Perhaps the same argument holds in Paris as in London, against totally
suppressing the haunts of these depredators on society, _That if there
were no thieves there would be no thief-takers_; and the police are
content to keep within moderate bounds, a set of men who often
contribute to their emolument, and whom they fear to exterminate. It
must, however, be allowed, that in all large towns, however great may be
the vigilance of the police, there still must be abundance of the
followers of _Macheath_. Perhaps Paris most abounds in sharpers who
cheat with _finesse_, and London in the number of pick-pockets and
robbers. The _nightly police_ of Paris is admirably conducted; and
during my stay there I never experienced the smallest molestation in the

The Palais Royal consists of six squares, the chief of which is large
and handsomely built on piazzas. There are rows of trees in the centre,
but they by no means contribute to its beauty.

The shops under these arcades are many of them the most shewy in Paris;
and, as the owners pay a heavy rent for them, they take care to enhance
the price of their goods, so as not to carry on a losing concern. The
number of coffee-houses and restaurateurs for dining, in this square are
very numerous, and most of them are by no means moderate in their
prices, at least when we compare them with others in a different part of
Paris, or even near the Palais Royal; but it is not under these piazzas
that economy is to be practised. The _Café de Foi_ is one of the most
celebrated for newspapers and politicians; but one is considered as
having seen nothing of the _manners of the place_, if the _Café des
Aveugles_ is not visited. This is situated under the Italian
Coffee-house, and has its name from the large orchestra which performs
here continually, being composed wholly of blind persons. I visited this
place with a friend for a few moments after its opening, which is never
till five o'clock in the afternoon, as its frequenters tolerate only the
light of candles.

The subterranean situation of this apartment renders it difficult of
ventilation; and the noise of the musicians and their audience
contending for the supremacy, added to the extraordinary heat of the
place and the density of the air, occasioned us to make a speedy retreat
to what, after leaving such a place, might be considered as a pure

Often as the Palais Royal has been described, and forcibly as the scenes
which it exhibits have been depicted, yet I confess I do not think the
descriptions I have read of it by any means overcharged; and it may be
safely affirmed that there is no place in the world where the scene
varies so often in the twenty-four hours as it does here. I was
attracted by a notice, that the English newspapers were taken in at the
Cabinet Littéraire of M. Rosa; and, having paid my subscription, was
conducted into a spacious reading room, exclusively for the English
papers. The love of news is at all times natural; but at a distance from
home the mind is doubly anxious for the details of what is going on
there, and attaches an interest to particulars which, under other
circumstances, it would consider as too trivial to be worthy of
attention. During my stay on the Continent, I felt very forcibly the
truth of Dr. Johnson's observation, "_that it is difficult to conceive
how man can exist without a newspaper_." I was, however, for a
considerable time, _forced_ to be satisfied with the French papers, the
expence of the English being so great, as to cause them to be seldom
taken in abroad; and after my departure from Paris, I saw no English
paper until my arrival at Frankfort, an interval of above two months.

If the pedestrian is exposed to many inconveniences and dangers in the
streets of Paris, yet intricate as they often are, he is seldom in
danger of going far out of his way, if he attends to the manner in which
the names of the streets are coloured, those leading to the river being
lettered in black, and those parallel to, or not leading directly to it,
in red. The quays form the most prominent feature in Paris, and when
arrived there, he can experience little difficulty in finding the road
he desires. The mode of numbering the houses in Paris differs from that
used with us, all the odd numbers being on one aide the street, and the
even numbers on the other.

After having seen the Palais Royal, my attention was next attracted by
the Palace of the Tuilleries (so called from the circumstance of tiles
having been formerly made on the spot where it stands). This is a vast
and magnificent building, extending in front next the gardens 168 toises
(about 1050 feet English measure). The gardens were laid out by _Le
Nôitre_, and exhibit a specimen of the taste of that time, abounding in
statues, avenues, and water-works; but it must at the same time be
admitted, that the general effect produced is not devoid of
magnificence, which is heightened by the communication between these
gardens and the Champs Elysées, which forms a vista of great length, and
when illuminated, the _coup d'oeil_ must be really superb. On the side of
the gardens next the river, is a terrace considerably elevated, which
commands a view well deserving the praise which has been bestowed on
it. This was the usual promenade of Buonaparte, who caused a
subterranean communication to be formed between it and the Palace, to
avoid passing through those parts of the garden which were open to the
public, who, during his promenade, were excluded from the terrace. The
Parisians did not like this exclusion, and used to say, on seeing his
Majesty, "_See, the lion is come out of his den_." This terrace was also
the constant walk of the ex-Empress and her son. I was told, that
shortly after Buonaparte's installation as Emperor, the people, to mark
their disapprobation of the dignity which he had assumed, entirely
deserted the gardens of this palace, which had always been their
favourite walk in the evenings; and that, being hurt at this, the
Emperor ordered one of his military bands to play here every evening.
The scheme succeeded; the attraction being too great for the Parisians
to resist, and the gardens were more frequented than ever.

The other front of the Tuilleries looks towards the Place du Carousel,
from which it is separated by a lofty iron balustrade, the top of which
is gilt. Opposite the centre entrance of the Palace stands a magnificent
triumphal arch, erected by Buonaparte, on the top of which he has placed
the four celebrated _bronze horses_, which were removed to Paris on the
seizure of Venice by his army, as they had been formerly transported by
conquest from Corinth to Constantinople, and thence to Venice, where
they adorned for several centuries the Place of St. Mark. These horses
are conducted by two figures of Victory, and Peace, executed by M.
Sencot, which many admire extremely.

Buonaparte has been no bad _locumtenens_ of this palace for the
Bourbons, as it bears abundant testimony to the taste with which he
caused it to be decorated. He had the entire of the Louvre _scratched_,
so as to give it quite a new appearance, and his crown and initials are
everywhere to be seen. On the grand _façade_ was an inscription,
signifying, "_that_ _Napoleon the Great had completed what Henry the
Fourth had begun_;" but this inscription has disappeared, since the
return of the descendants of Henry IV. to the palace which that great
king had built, and which an usurper endeavoured to persuade posterity
he had a share in constructing. It is worthy of remark, that this chef
d'oeuvre of architecture, as if has always been considered, was not the
work of a professed architect, but of M. Perrault, a physician. The word
Louvre is, by some, derived from the Saxon _Louvar_, signifying a

Buonaparte's plans for the further improvement of this palace were on
the most extensive scale imaginable, as he intended to remove all the
buildings situated between the Louvre and the Tuilleries; and some idea
of the extent of the proposed area may be formed, when it is considered
that, in its present state, the place _du Carousel_ is sufficiently
capacious to admit of 15,000 men being drawn up there in battle array.
Whilst I remained at Paris, a considerable number of workmen were
engaged in carrying on these improvements, but it is probable, from the
exhausted state in which the projector of these undertakings has left
the finances of France, that it will be many years before it will be
possible to complete them.

       *       *       *       *       *


If the stranger at Paris is struck by the magnificent appearance which
the exterior of the Louvre presents, he cannot fail of being delighted
with an inspection of the contents of its invaluable Museum. This, like
nearly all the museums and libraries in Paris, is open to _every
individual_, except on the days appropriated for study, when only
_artists_ are admitted; but even then, a stranger, whose stay is
limited, may be admitted on producing his _passport_, a regulation which
is highly commendable for its liberality; and at none of these
repositories are the attendants permitted to lay any contributions on
the visitants. The gallery of the Louvre was built by Henry IV. to join
that palace with the Tuilleries, from which it was formerly separated,
by the walls which surrounded Paris. This vast gallery is _two hundred
toises_ in length (not a great deal short of a quarter of an English
mile); the collection of works of art here in without any parallel, as
in this place are assembled most of the finest paintings and statues in
the world, which the most indifferent must survey with admiration. But
at the same time, it is impossible not to feel a portion of regret at
the causes which have robbed Italy of those monuments, which its
inhabitants so well knew how to appreciate, and for many of which they
entertained a religious veneration, as the ornaments of their churches.

The French, as far as I am able to judge, do not (in general) possess
any such feeling of sensibility, and merely value these _chefs d'oeuvre_
because their merit is allowed to be _incontestable_, and because their
vanity is flattered, in seeing them thus collected by their victories as
an additional attraction for strangers to visit their capital.

But Italy, although thus despoiled of so many of her ornaments, will
still have many and great attractions for the man of taste; her
buildings exhibit the finest specimens of art that are any where
remaining; and those possessed of a classic genius will always behold
with delight the scenes celebrated by a Horace or a Virgil. The
paintings in this gallery exceed 1200 in number; they are divided into
three classes, the first contains the French school, the second the
German, and the third the Italian. Catalogues and descriptions of the
paintings may be had at the doors. I often visited this gallery, and
always with increased admiration. I shall not attempt to enter into any
details as to the respective excellence of the different paintings.
Volumes have been written on the subject, and my testimony could add
nothing to excellence which is acknowledged by all--by those who have
not seen, on the reports of those who have visited this splendid
assemblage, who, having seen, have not failed to admire, and to give
currency to their admiration. The following lines on Raphael, will be
readily admitted as just by those who have seen some of his sublime

    Hic ille est Raphael, timuit quo sospite vinci,
    Rerum magna parens, et moriente mori.

    Here Raphael lies, who could with nature vie,
    To him she feared to yield, with him to die.

Although I thought my admiration had been so largely called forth by the
pictures I had just visited, as to have been almost exhausted, yet the
distinguished excellence of the statues did not fail to rekindle it; and
indeed it is impossible it should have been otherwise, when surrounded
by such admirable specimens of art.--The number bears its due proportion
to that of the pictures, and the same reasons which induced me to say
little of them, will prevent my dilating on the excellence of the

    Et la meilleure chose, on la gâte souvent.
    Pour la vouloir outrer, et pousser trop avant.

I must, however, observe, that here are assembled the three finest
statues in the world, the _Laocoon_, the _Venus_ de Clomene, from the
collection of the Medici family, and the _Apollo_ Belvidere, which was
found amongst the ruins of Antrum, about the end of the 15th century;
and eveu in imagining the most perfect nature, it is difficult to form
an idea of such perfection as is here exhibited; but much as I admired
the Apollo, I was yet more delighted by contemplating the excellence
displayed in the graceful figure of the Venus.

The gallery of paintings at the palace of the Luxemburg (which is now
called the palace of the Peers of France, as they sit at present in the
hall, formerly occupied by Buonaparte's Conservative Senate) although
vastly inferior to that at the Louvre, both as to the number, and value
of the collection it contains; yet it is well worthy the attention of
the stranger, and the circumstance of its not being too crowded is
favourable to the visitant, whose attention is not so much divided here
as by the attractions of the greater collection, where he is often at a
loss which way he shall turn. Here are statues of Bacchus and Ariadne.
The gallery of Rubens contains twenty-one pictures by that great master,
representing the history of Mary of Medicis; it also contains his
Judgment of Paris. The gallery of Vernet contains a series of views of
the principal sea-ports of France, by that painter, and also Poussin's
picture of the Adoration of the Magi. Here are also two celebrated
pictures by that great modern painter, David--Brutus after having
condemned his Son, and the Oath of the Horatii, which appeared to me
worthy of the favourable report I had before heard of them.

This palace has a spacious and handsome garden; the front of Queen's
College, Oxford, is an imitation on a reduced scale of its façade to the

After the paintings, I next inquired after the Libraries which Paris
contains; these are very numerous, but as I had so much to see, I
contented myself with visiting the two principal ones, first, the royal
library, Rue Richelieu. This contains the library of Petrarch, which
alone would render it an object of curiosity. Here are also the globes
of the Jesuit _Coronelli_, which are upwards of thirty-four feet in
circumference. The Cabinet of Antiquities contains the collection of
Count Caylus. The number of printed volumes is stated to amount to
350,000. The manuscripts are not less than 72,000. Here is also a vast
and very valuable collection of medals, and about 5000 engravings. All
persons are permitted to read here from ten until two o'clock.

The second Library which I visited was one which formerly belonged to
that celebrated Minister, Cardinal Mazarin, and is now in the Palais des
Beaux Arts, on the opposite side of the river from the Louvre. This
collection consists of 60,000 volumes, amongst which are many works of
great value.

If the traveller sees much to interest him, and much to admire during
the course of his tour, it is natural that he should occasionally meet
with disappointment; and I must confess that in the Metropolitan Church
of Notre Dame, I saw little worthy of that praise which is lavished on
it by the French; it is only venerable from its antiquity, being one of
the most ancient Christian churches in Europe.--In point of
architecture, and the general appearance of the exterior, it yields to
any of the cathedrals, and to very many of the parish churches in
England. The interior is mean in the extreme (the High Altar only
excepted;) the body of the church being entirely filled up with the
commonest rush bottomed chairs, and not kept in any tolerable order. But
the most splendid church in Paris is unquestionably that of St. Sulpice,
which is also one of the most striking buildings in the metropolis,
notwithstanding the dissimilitude of the two towers of its grand Western

The Pantheon is not very different as to its general appearance from the
last mentioned church. This edifice has cost already vast sums, but is
not considered as completed. I saw during my stay at Paris most of the
churches which it contains, and was in general disappointed with their
appearance. The church of St. Roque is the handsomest after that of St.
Sulpice. There is a Protestant church in the Rue St. Honoré, called
L'Oratoire. Bossuet said of this congregation, "It is a body where all
obey, and where no one commands."--Adjoining to this church is a very
small chapel, where since the peace the service has been performed
according to the form of the church of England. I attended here the
Sunday after my arrival in Paris, and found the congregation consisted
of about 40 persons, and at first sight one could not have supposed they
were all British subjects, so completely had the ladies adopted the
_great hat_, and the other peculiarities of the French _ton_.

Still one sees in the streets and public places several who do not
desire to be thought French subjects, and who persist in wearing the
much-abused habits of their own country.

There have been many disputes respecting the number of English actually
in Paris; I have no doubt it has been extremely exaggerated. I saw, at
my bankers, Messrs. Perregeaux & Co. a list of all those who had credit
with them, which was less considerable by half at least than report had

In the Place Vendôme stands a truly magnificent column (copied from that
of Trajan at Rome) to commemorate the victories of Buonaparte, and his
army in Germany. The execution of the _bas reliefs_ reflects credit on
the state of sculpture in France, and cannot fail to claim the
approbation of the beholder.

On the top of the column stood a colossal statue of Buonaparte; this,
like the other statues of that modern _Sejanus_, has disappeared since
the downfall of his empire, and the return of the ancient dynasty has
caused to be placed on its summit the white flag, formerly so much
venerated by the French.

I set out at an early hour to go over the celebrated Gobelin manufactory
in the Rue Mouffetard, the proprietor of which is extremely civil to
strangers, and permits them to see his premises from ten till one
o'clock, and they are well worthy of attention. The name of this
manufactory is derived from its founder Gille Gobelin, originally from
Rheims, who settled here in 1450.--I was also the same day much pleased
with surveying the Stereotype press of that famous printer _Didot_,
whose editions of various authors are in such esteem amongst judges of
the art.

In the Place des Victoires, I observed an enormous statue of General
Dessaix, on the site formerly occupied by one of Lewis XIV. (I have
been informed, that about two months after my departure from Paris, this
statue has been removed to a foundery, where by _fusion_, it may perhaps
assume the appearance of a Bourbon.)--The Great Bureau of the Post,
where only foreign letters can be _franked_, that is postpaid by those
who send them (without which they are not forwarded) is in the Rue J.J.
Rousseau, whose name was given to this street, from his having for some
time occupied an attic story in it.

The Botanic Garden (Jardin des Plantes) being open to the public only on
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and its situation being at the farthest
extremity of Paris from my hotel, I set out as early as possible to view
it with the attention it deserved. It is on a very great scale, and
contains about 7000 plants, arranged according to the scientific method
of M. Jussieu. The Library I did not see, but the Museum and the
Menagerie are on the most extensive scale, and accounts have been
published of their curiosities.--Being fatigued with _seeing the Lions_,
I sat down to rest for a short time on a vacant seat in the garden; but
presently two elderly ladies came to the same place, and lamented in the
_most expressive terms_ the loss of a favourite dog; the lady who had
lost it, said it was the _only consolation_ she had, that it was
absolutely _necessary to love something_, and that she felt most
miserable at her loss.

This concern for the loss of a dog appeared to me much more natural,
than the delight with which some virtuosos, whom I observed in the
Museum, contemplated many of the specimens preserved there. The French
have a great _latitude of expression_, being naturally an extremely
lively people; but certainly not so much so as formerly. I recollect
some years ago being much amused by an anecdote, related by the late Dr.
Moore, in his "View of the State of Society and Manners in France,
Italy, and Germany." The Doctor was informed by a French gentleman of
his acquaintance, with that vivacity which distinguishes his nation,
that he had just then received a final dismissal from a lady, who had
for some time appeared to favour his addresses, and that he was
absolutely in _despair_. Dr. Moore, who, from the vivacity of his
friend's manners, had no idea that any thing had happened that seriously
distressed him, answered, that he thought him the merriest person he had
ever seen in such a situation. The other immediately replied, "but you
English have such an idea of despair!"

The various revolutions of the last twenty-five years have doubtless
contributed, in no small degree, to diminish much of that gaiety, which
formerly distinguished the French from most other nations, and which
formed one of their chief characteristics.

Under the late government reserve was positively _necessary_, so
numerous were the emissaries of the police, and so anxious were they to
report the most trifling circumstances to their employer, that they
might convince him how very necessary they were to the furtherance of
his government. In those unhappy times every man mistrusted his
neighbour, fearing he might be concerned in one of the _eighteen police
establishments_ supported by the mistrust of the emperor in the
affections of his subjects. The _Conscription Laws_, and the right which
Buonaparte assumed of _disposing in marriage all ladies_ possessed of a
certain income, as a measure of rewarding the services of his officers,
and which violated the closest connexions and best interests of society;
together with his system of _forced loans_, which entirely destroyed the
rights of _private property_, did not leave his subjects many
incitements to mirth--although it was dangerous to appear dejected. "The
Voyage Descriptif et Philosophique de Paris, par L---- P----," contains
the following remarks, the truth of which renders them interesting, and
I shall therefore translate them, for the information of those who may
chance to peruse these pages. The author observes, "An air of inquietude
has succeeded that openness and sociability, which so much distinguished
the French. Their serious air announces that most people are considering
the amount of their debts, and are always put to expedients. One
guesses, that in a company of thirty at least twenty-four are revolving
the means of acquiring wealth; and notwithstanding twenty are without
it." I shall quote in conclusion what the same writer says of the
Parisian, and which strikes me as a correct statement. "The Parisian is
in general tolerably indifferent as to his political situation; he is
never wholly enslaved, never free. He repels cannon by puns, and links
together power and despotism by witty epigrams. He quickly forgets the
misfortunes of the preceding day; he keeps no diary of grievances, and
one might say, he has sufficient confidence in himself not to dread too
absolute a despotism. It is to be hoped, that the happy restoration of
the Bourbons will restore to the Parisian his gaiety, and that Louis
XVIII. the legitimate father of the French, will cause all former
political convulsions to be forgotten."

The Parisians are distinguished by their loquacity. Having occasion to
employ a hair-cutter, I was quite stunned by his volubility of tongue.
_King Archelaus_ would find it difficult to be suited here; for being
asked how he would have his hair cut, he answered--"silently."

After many ineffectual attempts, I at last succeeded in satisfying my
curiosity by seeing the assembly of the Legislative Body. The building
is one of the greatest ornaments of which Paris can boast; it was
chiefly the work of Buonaparte, who was satisfied to lodge these
gentlemen in a palace, provided they did not interfere in the government
of their country. I was not gratified in proportion to the trouble I had
in getting into the hall, by the short and uninteresting debate which
ensued. This House was occupied during the greatest part of my stay in
Paris in discussing the forms proper to be observed when the king meets
the peers and commons.

The deputies object, that the king should himself desire the peers to be
seated, and that they should only receive that permission through the
medium of the chancellor: how the point has been decided, I have not
been since informed.

The weather was intensely hot during part of my stay at Paris, the
quicksilver being occasionally at 26° Réaumur, equal to 90° of
Fahrenheit's scale, and the sky without a cloud, there not being, in
general, such a cloud of smoke over Paris as generally obscures the
atmosphere of London. Yet, I believe, the best accounts allow that
London is to the full as healthy a city as Paris, and if cleanliness is
conducive to health the point can admit of little doubt. During part of
this oppressive weather, I used generally to resort, about mid-day, to
the gallery of the Louvre, being anxious to take every opportunity of
contemplating its superb collection of the works of art. There,
notwithstanding the number of visitors, the marble floors and
ventilators rendered the air much more cool than it was out of doors. I
generally set out on my rambles through the city at as early an hour as
custom would permit, and in the evening, often joined the pedestrians in
the gardens of the Tuilleries, which were always thronged with company
of all descriptions. There are a vast number of chairs under the trees,
and their proprietors demand one or two sous for the right of sitting in
them. I have been assured that this inconsiderable charge procures a
total by no means contemptible.

I sometimes extended my walk into the Champs Elysées, which extend a
long way beyond the Place de Louis XV. Its avenues are lighted like the
streets of Paris, by lanthorns, suspended across them by ropes and
pulleys, which give a stronger light than our lamps, but do not seem
equally secure. At the end of the centre avenue, which runs in a
straight line from the grand entrance to the Tuilleries, Buonaparte had
lately begun a triumphal arch to commemorate the victories of his
armies; and still further, exactly opposite the bridge of Jena, he
caused a vast number of houses to be destroyed, to make way for a
projected palace for the King of Rome. The foundations only of this
edifice had been laid before the overthrow of Buonaparte, and this large
plot of ground now presents a scene of waste and desolation.

The present government, which will not prosecute so expensive and
useless an undertaking, will still have to make compensation to the
owners of the buildings of which only the ruins remain.

The quarter of St. Antoine is celebrated in the annals of the
Revolution; and, indeed, there are but few parts of Paris, which do not
recall to one's mind some of those scenes so disgraceful to humanity of
which it was the great theatre. The Place Royale in this district is
only remarkable, for having been built by Henry IV.: it forms a square
with a small garden in the centre, but has long ceased to be a
fashionable residence. In Paris there are no squares similar in plan to
those in London, but occasionally one sees places formed by the junction
of streets, &c. The town-house is a large, and as I think, a tasteless
Gothic edifice; and in the Place de Grève stood that guillotine which
deprived such incredible multitudes of their lives. At one period of
the Revolution every successful faction in turn, endeavoured, as it
should seem, to exterminate its enemies, when it succeeded in possessing
itself of the supreme power, which then chiefly consisted in the command
of this formidable instrument; and these successive tyrants, like
_Sylla_, were often in doubt _whom they should permit still to remain

I do not know that the invention of the _guillotine_, is to be ascribed
to the ingenuity of the French, but they will for ever remain obnoxious
to the charge of the most dreadful abuse of it. I have heard it stated
that, so late as the reigns of Elizabeth, and James the First, an
instrument similar to the guillotine, was used for the execution of
offenders in the vicinity of Hardwicke Forest, in Yorkshire.

The _Boulevards_ are now merely very spacious streets, with avenues of
trees at the sides, but formerly they were the boundaries of the city.
They form a fashionable promenade for the Parisians, and abound with
horsemen and carriages more than any other quarter of the town. Along
the Boulevard Poissonnier are some of the handsomest houses in Paris. I
dined with a family in one of them which commands a very cheerful scene.
There are here, as in the Palais Royal, a vast number of coffee-houses,
billiard-tables, and restaurateurs. The price of a dinner differs little
from what is usually paid in London, but bread is about half the price,
and there is a great saving in the charge for wine, with this additional
advantage, that it is generally of much better quality than can be met
with in London for double the price; as the heavy duties on importing
French wines necessarily induces their adulteration. A stranger to
_French manners_, is surprised at seeing ladies of respectability
frequenting coffee-houses and taverns, which they do as matter of
course;--so powerful are the habits in which we have been educated.

After the Boulevards, the Rue Royale and the Rue de Rivoli are the
handsomest in Paris. The last named is far from being completed, and
runs in a line, facing the gardens of the Tuilleries; in these two
streets there is a division to protect foot passengers, but they are not

       *       *       *       *       *


The Royal Hotel of the Invalids, is one of the principal establishments
in Paris, which claims the attention of the stranger, and I accordingly
went to view it with a party of friends. The principal court has just
resumed the title of _Royal_, but we could easily distinguish that it
had been a few months since dignified by that of _Imperial_. Indeed, all
over Paris, this change is very perceptible. The last letters are often
in the old gilding, and the first part of the style only altered, as the
French do not, in general, like to do _more than is necessary_, and but
seldom _condemn_ a house, but continue to patch it up in some manner, so
as to make it last a little longer, which accounts for the appearance of
antiquity which generally distinguishes their towns.

But to return to the Invalids. The establishment is said to be
calculated to accommodate 5000 men; but we found upon inquiry, that the
number then actually maintained did not exceed 3600. As it was their
dinner hour, we went into their refectory; each man has a pint of the
_vin ordinaire_, (the general price of which is from ten to twenty sous
the bottle;) but I doubt whether it would be received as a substitute
for malt liquor either at Chelsea or Kilmainham. The church of this
establishment, is one of the most splendid in the capital. The
ex-Emperor caused monuments to be erected here to Vauban and Turenne.
The latter, by a special mark of the favour of Lewis XIV. had been
interred in the royal vault at St. Denis; but his remains now rest here;
and the monument is worthy of so distinguished a general. That to
Vauban, on the opposite side, is by no means equally elegant.

The elevation of the dome of this church, exceeds that of any other
building in Paris; and the French boast, that it rises to a greater
height than St. Paul's Cathedral in London; but this I do not think is
the case, although the point is of little moment. M. Dutens gives us
the following scale of the comparative elevation of some of the highest
buildings in the world.


    The highest Pyramid                     77½

    Strasburg Cathedral to the top of the
      vane                                  71¾

    St. Peter's at Rome, to the summit
      of the cross                          68

    Church of the Invalids at Paris to
      the vane                              54

    St. Paul's Cathedral, London, to
      the top of the Cross                  53

The interior of the dome of the Invalids is handsomely painted; but the
exterior exhibits what I must consider as a very misplaced species of
decoration for a place of this nature, being _completely gilt_, pursuant
to an order of Buonaparte, dated, as I have been informed by good
authority, from _Moscow_. This decoration has, as can well be supposed,
cost vast sums, but it probably obtained for the ex-Emperor that
_eclat_, by which he constantly sought to please the vanity of the
Parisians. Many of his decrees for the embellishment of their city,
being dated from Vienna, Berlin, and Madrid, he sought to astonish the
multitude, by attempting to accomplish in a few years, what it would _in
general_ require an _age_ to effect. Perhaps, calculating on the
instability of his power, he hastened the construction of whatever might
render it famous. A French writer observes, "Il vouloit courir à cheval
à la postérité."

Near the Invalids there is a _Military School_ for 500 children; and
near the _Champ de Mars_ are two large barracks. Indeed, Paris abounds
with them, as the military power has long been predominant in France.
The _Champ de Mars_ is only celebrated in the history of the Revolution;
its present appearance is by no means interesting. In this vicinity is
the _Place de Grenelle_, famous for being the spot where military
executions used to take place. One of the last victims who perished
here, was the unfortunate _General Mallet_, who whilst the oppressor of
his country was still contemplating the devastation which he had
occasioned in Russia, sought to deliver France from so galling a yoke;
and he is said to have been possessed of many of the qualities
necessary for so honourable and arduous an undertaking; but the reign of
Buonaparte was still to continue for eighteen months longer; and he who
had the resolution to attempt, had not the satisfaction of seeing, its
subversion. In his way to the place of execution, being assailed by a
hired mob with cries of 'Vive l'Empereur,' "_yes, yes_!" said the
General, "_cry "long live the Emperor" if you please, but you will only
be happy when he is no more_." He would not suffer his eyes to be
covered; and displayed in his last moments a fortitude, that will cause
his memory to be long revered by the enemies of despotic power.

The _Museum of French Monuments_ is one of the numerous institutions
produced by the Revolution. This place contains a collection of those
_tombs_ which escaped the fury of a _Revolution_ that at once proscribed
both _royalty_ and _religion_. They were deposited here as models of
art, which did honour to the republic, by proving the genius of its
statuaries and sculptors, (the works being classed according to the
centuries in which they were made;) and as the busts of the most
celebrated and declared enemies of Christianity, are every-where
interspersed, the design seems obviously to have been to inculcate the
principles which they inculcated; if, indeed, they acted upon any
principle, each fearing to acknowledge the superiority of the other. To
_doubt_ was their criterion of wisdom (but although Hume said, that even
when he doubted, he was in doubt whether he doubted or not, he does not
appear to have once doubted that he was wrong in his attacks on
religion,) and they only united in ridiculing that _belief in a Supreme
Being_, which has been received, as it were instinctively, by all
nations, however savage, and which has been the consolation of the best
and wisest of mankind.

Any believer in religion, or any one who has not by perverted reasoning,
brought his mind _really_ to doubt its divine truths, (for men are but
too apt to admit even the arguments of absurdity, when they tend to
absolve them from duties, which they would avoid,) cannot but
experience a sentiment of regret at this violation of the ancient
consecrated burial places, (where the contemplation of these emblems of
mortality was calculated to inspire a beneficial awe;) and of sorrow,
that as religion is by law restored in France, these monuments, many of
which have been taken from the royal burying place of St. Denis, should
not be replaced in the churches from which they were taken in those
calamitous times.

I here saw the tomb of Cardinal Richelieu, which was originally in the
college of the Sorbonne. It is the work of the celebrated _Gerardin_,
and is a fine piece of sculpture. Many of the other monuments are very
elegant; but it would be tedious to enter into further details.

In walking through the Rue Colbert, a French gentleman of my
acquaintance pointed out to me the house in which _Louvois_ had resided,
and declared his opinion, that that minister had proved one of the
greatest causes of the ruin of France; he followed up his assertion by a
declamation of such length, that I shall not attempt to collect his
arguments, but leave my readers to come to their own conclusions on the

I had intended visiting those vast _catacombs_ which extend under a
great part of Paris, and which now serve as burial places, but was
induced to desist from the undertaking by the advice of a person who had
made the experiment, and had suffered much more from the state of the
air in those caverns, than he had been gratified by the curiosity of the
scene. I was in the evening induced to visit a scene of a very different
nature, and accompanied a party to the _Gardens of Tivoli_, in the Rue
Lazare. This was, before the Revolution, the property of M. Boutin,
formerly treasurer of the marine, who had spared no expense in it's
decoration. The extent is about fourteen acres, and it much resembles

The vast proportion which the military officers bear in all companies,
and in all the public places here, cannot fail to be remarked by a
stranger, and proves the success of the ex-Emperor, in his endeavours
to render the French merely a military people. Under the _old regime_,
no military uniforms were permitted to be worn in public places; but at
present such a regulation would be quite impracticable. At present the
military take a great lead in society, which has, perhaps, suffered more
than is generally thought by the civil commotions of the state.

Wishing to be able to form some idea of the military events which led to
the capture of Paris, I went by the gate of St. Martin to the other
places which were connected with those memorable operations. It was on
the 30th of March, 1814, that the allied armies, consisting of nearly
200,000 men, attacked the heights of Bellevue, St. Chaumont, and
Montmartre; the cannonade continued from six in the morning until half
past three o'clock in the afternoon, and after a bloody combat in the
plains of Villette, where they were opposed by 30,000 French troops, a
suspension of arms was signed a little after five o'clock. The next day
about noon, the Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia entered Paris by
the barrier of Villette, at the head of 50,000 men. A French writer
remarks, that Montmartre is rendered famous by the gallant-stand made
there by a _small body_ of French troops against the _whole_ of the
allied army. The French cannot bring themselves to allow that their
nation has the worst in any contest. They are now, however, sensible
that they have been defeated, which no doubt conduces greatly to their
present ill humour. Vanity is their domineering passion, and this
Buonaparte always contrived to flatter so successfully, by concealing
unwelcome truths, and exaggerating success, that he is _still regretted_
by a large number of persons, who hate the present government for the
openness of their conduct, as 'after being so long accustomed to the
_fabulous histories_ with which they were amused by their late ruler,
they have a contempt for that candour which informs them of their
_actual_ situation, and which would excite the approbation of a nation
possessed of a less degree of vanity. A great love of novelty is also
very conspicuous in the French character. I think it was Frederic the
Great, who observed in writing to d'Alembert, 'that to please the
French, they should have every two years a new king.'

From the heights of Montmartre, a vast and magnificent panorama is
presented to the view. Nearly the whole of Paris is seen from thence,
and a great extent of country terminated by distant mountains. Those who
wish to have a good general idea of Paris, should not fail to ascend
this eminence. In point of size, Paris does not appear to me to be more
than half the extent of London, when seen from Hampstead or Greenwich.
It was from this situation that the Emperor Alexander first surveyed
Paris, and he probably was struck with the shewy appearance of the
_gilded_ dome of the Invalids, but perhaps was uninformed that it was
from the _Kremlin_, and whilst surrounded by the flames of Moscow, that
Buonaparte, gave orders for the commencement of this new and
_extravagant decoration_ to increase the splendour of Paris. But the
magnanimous perseverance of Alexander in the contest, was at last
rewarded, and he saw from Montmartre that proud city, which had so often
exulted at hearing of the capture of the other capitals of Europe, lying
in his power. Without the capture of Paris in its turn, the triumph of
Europe for the injuries which were inflicted in most parts of it, by the
French, so long the willing instruments of Buonaparte's tyranny, had
been incomplete.

Alexander's entry into Paris was haired as a liberation from that
despotism, which its inhabitants, had not themselves the energy to shake
off, and which they had acquiesced in or abetted for so many successive

That Alexander should have triumphed over Buonaparte, was fortunate
for the _liberty_ of _France_, but it was also indispensable to the
_peace of Europe_.

The establishment of M. Delacroix, Rue Croix-des Petits Augustins, to
remedy the defect of nature by a gymnastic process, is unique in France.
I shall give the prospectus a place here; and feeling my inability to
_do it justice_, shall not attempt to translate it.

     "Dans la Rue des "Vieux Augustin" est l'établissement de _M.
     Delacroix_ Mécanicien Bandagiste Gymnastique pour redresser les
     défauts de la nature, particulièrement chez les femmes. On y
     remarque _Le Mât_ qui est une Colonne en forme de Mât, autour
     duquel se trouvent des echellons servant à monter pour developer
     les hanches et la poitrine; _les Colonnes_ ou piliers, exercice
     servant à mettre le corps droit. Le _Balancier_ sert à redresser la
     Colonne vertébrale ou épine du dos. Les _Barilles_ pour redresser
     la tète les épaules et les hanches. Le _Balançoir_ est pour
     maintenir la tète et les reins droits quand on est assise. Le puits
     la _balle_ et la _manivelle_ pour donner de la force à une épaule
     faible. _L'Echelle_ pour redresser les épaules. Le _Cheval_ pour
     apprendre à y monter, et tenir le corps dans un état naturel.
     Le _Jube_ pour redresser la tête et donner des grâces; lès _Plombs_
     pour apprendre à marcher avec grâce. Le _Fauteuil_ pour lever un
     coté de la poitrine qui seroit plus bas que l'autre; le soufflet
     pour donner un exercise régulier à toutes les parties du corps.

     Ce mécanicien habile fait des mains dont les doigts ont les
     mouvements naturels; et son éstablissement est l'unique en France."

To judge, from this description, it should seem as if those to whom
nature has not been propitious, or those who have been deprived by
accident of a limb, are culpably negligent if they do not apply at an
institution which professes to remedy some of the most desperate
calamities incident to human nature. With what probability of success,
however, such an application would be attended, it is not possible for
me to determine. I copy the prospectus of the Professor without being
able to judge myself of his proficiency.

I accepted one morning a proposal to accompany a gentleman to the
Tuilleries to see the King go to mass (which he had been prevented by
the gout from doing, at least in public for some time); we found a great
number of spectators had assembled on the occasion in the hall through
which his Majesty was to pass, and which was lined with his _corps de
garde_. We had a considerable time to wait before he made his
appearance, and had ample leisure to survey the portraits of the
marshals of France, with which the apartment is decorated, as well as
with paintings representing many of Buonaparte's victories. His Majesty
appeared to be in excellent health, and received with much affability
several papers which were handed to him, and which he gave to a
gentleman in waiting. He was greeted repeatedly by cries of _Vive le
Roi_! and there is no doubt that by far the most respectable portion of
the French sincerely wish him prosperity. Ï trust they may prove
sufficiently strong to keep under those, who I fear are at least as
numerous a class, and who have not learned, by the experience of so many
years of confusion, to value the blessings of tranquillity when they
have at last obtained it, attended with the advantages of a mild

I believe it is agreed by all that the King has a good heart. His regard
for England, which has done so much for his family, is highly to his
honour; and I hear he testifies it upon all occasions. Lately, at a
consultation of his physicians, one of them having said he feared a long
residence in a damp climate, had contributed to increase the attacks of
the gout, the King interrupted him by saying, "Ah! Monsieur P----, ne
dites pas du mal d'Angleterre." The conduct of his Majesty, since his
restoration to the crown of his ancestors, proves him not to be
deficient in either ability or resolution; and there perhaps never was a
period which called for a greater exertion of both than the present. The
other day Paris was thrown into considerable alarm by the arrival of
intelligence from Nevers, that the garrison there had declared for
Buonaparte. In consequence every precaution was resorted to on the part
of government, and the guards in Paris were doubled; but happily nothing
occurred to disturb the public tranquillity. The number of discontented
spirits which the Revolution has left afloat, and which it would not
require any very considerable share of artifice to raise against any
government, will require for a long time the exertion of the utmost
vigilance on the part of the present administration. Louis might have
been addressed with propriety, on his arrival in France, in the
admonitory words of Galba to Piso:

     "Imperaturus es hominibus, qui nec totam servitutem pati possunt
     nec totam libertatem."

On my departure from the Tuilleries my friend conducted me to a famous
glass manufactory, where I saw several mirrors of very large dimensions,
and also a _staircase of glass_, which had a splendid effect, and was
the first thing of the kind I had ever seen. The balustrades were of
glass, supported by steel, and had a particularly handsome appearance.
The number of theatres in Paris have of late years much increased, and
amount at present to eight or ten. The Opera Italien is justly
celebrated as the best in Europe; but I received more entertainment at
the Theatre François, in witnessing the representation of one of the
admirable comedies of Molière. The Theatre de l'Odéon is curious from
its construction, but the minor theatres on the Boulevards, de Gaieté,
and des Variétiés, are in general the most frequented; and, except on
extraordinary occasions, the Theatre François is by no means fully
attended. A stranger in Paris is surprised at the number of _bureaux
d'ecrivains_, or offices for writing, which abound in all parts of the
town, where all materials for writing are provided for a few sous, and
where persons attend to write letters, in any language, to the dictation
of such as are not skilled in the graphic art.

       *       *       *       *       *


I resolved not to take my departure from Paris without visiting some of
the numerous royal palaces situated in its vicinity. St. Cloud first
claimed my attention, both from its proximity to Paris, and from its
having been for a considerable time the favourite residence of the
ex-ruler of France. Its situation is certainly one of the most striking
near the capital, and the views from it are both diversified and
extensive. The improvements made here by Buonaparte render it a most
agreeable residence, and display an extremely good taste. This palace is
at present occupied by the Prince of Condé. The approach to it from
Paris is very striking, through avenues of elms, with lamps at regular

I also visited Marli, which is chiefly remarkable for the machine which
raises water from the Seine to the height of five hundred feet. St. Cyr
was the retreat of Madame de Maintenon, and Malmaison was the residence
of Buonaparte, when first consul; but it is far inferior to St. Cloud.
The palace of St. Germain is in a situation inferior to none I had seen.
My expectations had however been particularly raised by the accounts I
had heard of Versailles, which has at all times been the object of the
admiration of the French; and it is certainly better suited to their
ideas of grandeur than to ours.

This palace is about four leagues distant from Paris. The approach to it
has nothing of that magnificence that I had been led to expect, and the
road is in bad repair. On my arrival, I found it was impossible to gain
admittance into the palace, which was undergoing a thorough repair,
rendered indispensable by neglect during the last twenty years. The
number of workmen employed is stated to amount to two thousand. It is a
vast pile of building, and certainly one of the most famous royal
residences in Europe. A Frenchman tells you with exultation of the vast
sums which have been expended in its construction, and thinks that a
sufficient proof of its magnificence. An Englishman, however, will very
naturally be out of patience at the praises bestowed on gardens laid out
in that taste which has been so long exploded in England, and cannot
help exclaiming with the poet--

    "Lo! what huge heaps of littleness around!"

In front of the palace is a vast terrace which you mount with
considerable difficulty by innumerable flights of stairs. To occasion an
unexpected treat to the admirers of art, by excluding every thing
natural, the whole of this elevation is abundantly supplied with ponds
and water-works. The grand vista in front of the palace is formed into a
canal, and no description can give a more just idea of these boasted
gardens than the following lines of Pope; the _only_ difference being,
that the water-works of Versailles are put in motion the first Sunday
of every month, and remain stagnant the rest of the year.

    "Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,
    And half the platform just reflects the other.
    The suffering eye inverted nature sees,
    Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees;
    With here a fountain, never to be play'd,
    And there a summer-house that knows no shade;
    Here Amphitrite sails thro' myrtle bow'rs,
    There gladiators fight or die in flow'rs;
    Unwater'd see the drooping sea-horse mourn,
    And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn."

What pleased me most at Versailles was the great number of large orange
and lemon trees.

The forest of Versailles is of great extent, and abounds in wood, but
there is little of what would be considered in England as _good timber_.

Windsor and Versailles have been often compared, although no two places
can possibly differ more completely than they do. To have again recourse
to the words of the poet, Windsor is a place,

    "Where order in variety we see;
    And where, tho' all things differ, all agree."

And, in my judgment, it is as far superior to Versailles as its forests
of oak are to the elms which surround that boasted palace.

I was permitted to see the royal stables. They are, it is said,
sufficiently large to contain 4000 horses, but are at present much out
of repair. The city of Versailles is large and well built, but has a
melancholy and deserted appearance, having lost nearly half its
population since it has ceased to be a royal residence, and the present
number of inhabitants does not exceed 30,000. The Grand and Petit
Trianons deserve attention from having been the favourite retreats of
the late unfortunate Queen of France; but few traces of the taste once
displayed in their decoration now remain. They are situated within the
limits of the forest of Versailles, which is said to be twenty leagues
in circuit. At Sèvres, which is celebrated for the beauty of its
porcelain manufactory, I observed workmen employed in finishing a new
and handsome bridge of nine arches over the Seine, in place of the old
one which is hardly passable. Near the barrier of Passy is a
carpet-manufactory, which was established there by Henry the Fourth.
This barrier is thought to be the most striking entrance to Paris. In my
excursions in the vicinity of Paris, I observed that the harvest was
extremely abundant, but the majority of those employed in collecting it
were women. I was informed that last year the greatest difficulty was
experienced in saving the harvest for want of a sufficient number of
hands. I saw, at a distance, the castle of Vincennes, where Buonaparte
(who had caused the removal of every vestige of the Bastile) had
dungeons constructed many feet under ground, and with walls ten feet
thick. This place is distinguished for the atrocious murder of the Duke
d'Enghien. I had occasion to observe, both in the streets of Paris and
on the roads in its vicinity, that there were but few _private_
carriages to be seen, and those by no means handsome; but the roads are
covered with _cabriolets_, of which there are 2,800 in Paris, besides
about 2,000 fiacres, or hackney-coaches. The fare for an hour is only
thirty sous.

As I had by this time pretty well satisfied my curiosity, in visiting
the objects in Paris that principally arrest the attention of a
traveller who has not leisure to dwell longer than is indispensable in
one place, I began to be impatient to exchange the continual bustle of
that city--its

    "Fumum opes strepitumque,"

for those romantic and enlivening scenes in which Switzerland stands
without a rival, and is, as it were, by _acclamation_, allowed to
surpass the other countries of Europe.

I therefore attended at the office for foreign affairs, and obtained the
signature of the Prince of Benevento (for about ten francs) in addition
to the signature of our own distinguished minister, Lord Castlereagh. I
was told it was necessary also to have my passport visited by the police
before leaving Paris; and my landlord offered his services to arrange
that affair for me. I however recollected Dr. Franklin's maxim, "If you
would have your business clone, go; if not, send," and went accordingly
to the office myself.

These affairs being arranged, so as to permit my passing without
molestation through the interior of France, I quitted Paris without any
sensations of regret at leaving a place which, highly as I had been
pleased with many of the great objects which it contains, I cannot but
consider, when curiosity is once gratified, to be an unpleasant
residence. I took the road to Fontainbleau, distant about thirty-seven
English miles; a place formerly only remarkable for its castle, situated
in a forest of about 30,000 acres, and often visited by the Kings of
France, for the amusements of the chace; but which will hold in history
a distinguished page, and be visited in future ages as being the scene
where it pleased Providence to terminate a tyranny unexampled in the
history of the world. It is worthy of remark, that in this very castle,
in which the venerable Head of the Romish Church was so long and so
unjustly detained a captive, his once formidable oppressor was obliged
to abdicate that authority which he had so long usurped and abused; and
the _11th of April 1814_, will be long hailed over Europe as the epoch
when liberty, peace and good order were restored to its inhabitants,
after the long and stormy reign of oppression, war and anarchy had so
long precluded the expected time of which it was impossible entirely to
despair--when Europe, so long a prey to dissension, should again be
united as one common family. These hopes have at last been realized; the
evils of the French Revolution (more productive of misfortune than the
fabled box of Pandora) have in a manner been surmounted; and we have
only further to wish, that the nations who have restored tranquillity to
Europe, may continue to act with the moderation for which they have
hitherto been distinguished [guess: distinguished].

It was natural, in beholding a place rendered memorable by such great
events,--events which are probably destined to fix the fortunes of
succeeding centuries, that the mind should dwell with more than common
attention on the scene, and give itself up to the reflections it was
calculated to produce. My thoughts were principally engaged in
considering the very opposite characters of Pius VII. and of Buonaparte.

In the first we see united all that can give dignity to an exalted
station, or that is praiseworthy in private life. We see him disposed as
much as possible to conciliation, and even persuaded by his cardinals to
cross the Alps in the most inclement season notwithstanding his advanced
age, to crown the _Usurper of France_, in the expectation of advancing
the interests of religion, by consenting to submit to a power which then
appeared but too firmly established. The hopes of the pope were not
realized; Buonaparte soon forgetting past services, made demands which
he well knew could not be complied with, and amongst them that his
holiness should declare war against England, and that too without the
slightest motive for such a proceeding on his part, as he stated in his
manifesto against the outrages of Buonaparte, a paper which must affect
all who peruse it, and excite their regret that the pope was not in a
situation effectually to preserve that independence which did such
honour to his heart.

The new-made emperor was not, however, to be reasoned with but by
_force_; and in about four years after the pope had placed the diadem on
his head, he caused him to be removed from his capital as a prisoner,
and united the Ecclesiastical States to the dominions of France. The
spirit of the pope was still unsubdued, and he refused, for himself and
his cardinals, all offers of subsistence from the usurper of their
possessions. When urged to come to some agreement with Buonaparte, he
answered that his regret at having accepted the late _Concordat_, would
be a sufficient security against his being again deceived. And when the
cardinals represented the evils which might result from his refusal, he
answered, "Let me die worthy of the misfortunes I have suffered." On the
23d of January, 1814, the pope was removed from Fontainbleau, as were
each of the seventeen cardinals, in custody of a _gend'arme_, and their
destination was kept secret. But on the 5th of April following, the
provisional government of France gave orders, that all obstacles to the
return of the pope to his states might be removed; and, after five years
of confinement and outrage, Pius VII. returned to his capital, to
receive the reward of that _firmness_ and _moderation_, which, blended
so happily in his character, will long render it an object of

I next considered the character of the tyrant, who so long and so
successfully triumphed over prostrate Europe, England alone preserving
unimpaired that liberty, which she was destined to be the means of
diffusing to rival nations. It would be absurd to deny Buonaparte the
praise due to the matchless activity, and consummate skill, with which
he conducted the enterprizes suggested by his boundless ambition; and
which made him the most formidable enemy with whom England ever had to
contend; but his cruelty, his suspicion, and his pride, (which made him
equally disregard those laws of honour, and those precepts of morality,
respected by the general feelings of mankind), as they excited the
indignation of thinking men, prevented any pity at his fall. Such a man
was destined only to excite astonishment, not admiration; and that
astonishment could not fail of being greatly diminished, by his want of
extraordinary resources, when placed in a situation, upon the
possibility of which he had disdained to calculate.

His continued aggressions raised Europe against him from without, and he
was overthrown, because he had completely disgusted the fickle people,
whom he had made the instruments of his ambition.

It would surely require the pen of _a Tacitus_ to delineate with
accuracy the character of such a man, who, to use the words of the
lamented Moreau, "had covered the French name with such shame and
disgrace, that it would be almost a disgrace to bear it; and who had
brought upon that unhappy country the curses and hatred of the

His ambitious wars are supposed to have occasioned the destruction of
nearly _four millions of men_, whom he considered merely as instruments
to accomplish his extravagant views; and he is reported to have said
repeatedly, that "it signified little whether or not he reigned over the
French, provided he reigned over France."

He delighted in carnage, and speaks in one of his bulletins of "800
pieces of cannon dispersing death on all sides," as presenting "a most
admirable spectacle."

On Buonaparte's arrival from Egypt, he found things as favourable for
his projected usurpation as his most sanguine hopes could have imagined.
In the eighteen months which had preceded his arrival, there had arisen
no fewer than four constitutions, and the French might well exclaim,
"They have made us so many constitutions, that we have now none
remaining!" Wearied out with the succession of sanguinary factions, each
endeavouring to establish itself by proscriptions, banishments, and
confiscations, France submitted without opposition to the government of
a ruler, who seemed sufficiently strong to keep all minor tyrants in
subjection; and, despairing of freedom, sought only an interval of
repose. This hope was, however, not destined to be realized, for
Buonaparte soon pursued all those who presumed to oppose his schemes in
the slightest degree with astonishing eagerness, and those who submitted
with the most alacrity, were treated only with contempt.

He was hardly seated on his throne, before he spoke of making France a
camp, and all the French soldiers. A long series of success made him
despise those precautions so necessary to insure it, and rendered his
catastrophe the more striking.

The character given by Seneca of the Corsicans, has been quoted as
applicable to the most famous character that island has ever produced:
he says, "the leading characteristics of these islanders are revenge,
theft, lying, and impiety." Over the downfall of such a man, the
civilized world must rejoice; but the contemplation of his character
affords a salutary lesson to ambition, which, carried to excess, ruins
that greatness it would so madly increase.

The last years of his reign were distinguished by the number of plots
which were pretended to be discovered, and proved the truth of a remark
of Mary de Medicis, "That a false report believed during three days,
tended to secure the crown on the head of an usurper."

But neither his guards, nor his police, could insure him a moment of

    "Volvilur Ixion, et se sequiturque fugitque."

Modern history has fully demonstrated a truth, which might have been
collected from more ancient records, and of which England affords an
illustrious example, that the attachment of a free and enlightened
people is the only basis on which thrones can rest with security.

Having now sufficiently satisfied my curiosity at Fontainbleau, I
determined on continuing my journey (which I fear my reader may regret I
did not do sooner), and I accordingly arrived at noon at Montereau,
which is an inconsiderable town, but beautifully situated in a fertile
plain, at the junction of the rivers Seine and Yonne. The bridges over
those rivers had been partly broken down, to impede the progress of the
allied troops in the late memorable campaign. They have been repaired
with timber in a temporary manner, but cannot be considered as at all
sufficiently secure for the passage of heavy carriages. Many of the
houses in this town still exhibit abundant marks of bullets, but the
country around appears in such a luxuriant state of cultivation, that
had I not myself seen the spot where a battle had been fought in the
last spring, I could hardly hare persuaded myself it had so lately been
the theatre of war.

I next reached Sens, a large and ancient city, but thinly inhabited, and
with little marks of activity, although situated in a country abounding
with all the conveniences of life, and possessing a situation on the
rivers Vanne and Yonne, which seems to shame its inhabitants for their
neglect of the commercial advantages they afford.

The Cathedral is a venerable structure, and contains the tomb of the
Dauphin, father of the present King, who died in 1765.--About sixteen
English miles distant is Joigny, beautifully situated on the Yonne, and
surrounded on all skies by vineyards; we now were approaching one of the
parts of France most famous for its wines.

The road, which is in excellent repair, follows the windings of the
river to Auxerre, which, although much less than Sens, has a more lively
appearance, and the inhabitants seem to make more use of the facilities
which the river affords of communicating with Paris and the rest of the
country. The churches here are handsome, the tower of one of them is
said to have been built by the _English_.

The Vineyards in this neighbourhood are numerous, and the wine is much

I waited here for the arrival of the Paris Diligence, in which I
proposed to proceed to Dijon, wishing not to leave France without having
made trial of one of their public carriages.

The appearance of that which I saw at Calais was much against it; the
one I met with here proved a very tedious conveyance, not going in
general above three or four English miles an hour; which, however is as
much as could be expected from a carriage which is scarcely less laden
than many of our waggons. It was drawn by five horses, all managed by
_one_ postilion, mounted on one of the wheel horses, and furnished with
a vast and _unwieldy_ pair of _boots_, cased with iron, and a long whip,
which he is perpetually employed in cracking. Another important
personage is Monsieur le _Conducteur_, who has the care of the luggage,
&c. The French in general adhere to old customs, as well as the
postilions to their antiquated boots; their hour of dinner in general
being from eleven to twelve o'clock, and seldom so late as one. This in
England would be considered only as a _Déjeûner à la Fourchette_. The
hour of supper is from seven to nine, according as the length of the
stages may determine.

If the _hour_ of a French dinner is singular to an Englishman, the
order in which it is served up is not less so. The soup (that great
essential to a Frenchman) is always followed by bouilli, which having
contributed to make the soup, is itself very tasteless.--Fricassées and
poultry succeed; then follow fish and vegetables, and last of all comes
the rôti, which, as I before had occasion to observe, is so much done as
not to be very palatable. The pastry and desert conclude their dinners,
which certainly deserve the praise of being both cheap and abundant. The
fruit is astonishingly cheap; I. have seen excellent peaches sell for a
sous apiece. A traveller is not, however, in general disposed to
criticise these singularities, either in the hour or order of the repast
with too much severity, as the remark attributed to Alexander the Great,
has probably been made by many of less celebrity, "that night travelling
serves to give a better appetite than all the skill of confectioners."

The general price of the Table d'Hôte in France, including the _vin
ordinaire_, is about three francs, which are at the present rate of
exchange equal to about a shilling each.--Those who call for better
wine pay of course extra.

The vin ordinaire, or common wine of Burgundy, is a pleasant beverage,
little stronger than cider, but in many parts of France it is by no
means palatable. The cider and beer in France are, with few exceptions,
extremely indifferent, and consequently little used.

       *       *       *       *       *


My first day's journey in the Diligence was short and uninteresting. We
arrived to sleep at Avalon, a small town partaking, in common with most
others in France, of a degree of gloom occasioned by the want of those
shops which enliven most of our country towns. Here a few articles are
placed in a window, to indicate that there is a larger supply to be had
within. There are few towns in France which have not a _public place_ or
walk, which is generally planted with trees, and kept in good order.
Whilst supper was preparing, we took a few turns on the promenade of
Avalon, and found a considerable number of persons assembled there; but
were much shocked at the number and miserable appearance of the beggars,
who thronged around us. They are much too numerous in all parts of
France, and particularly here.

At an early hour next morning, we were summoned to resume our places in
the Diligence; these places are in general numbered, and each person
takes his seat in the order in which he has paid his fare, a regulation
which prevents any delay, and precludes disputes or ceremony.

We continued our journey through the small towns of Rouvray and Viteaux;
the country is diversified with hills, which are not of sufficient
magnitude to present any great obstacle to the progress of the

There are vast numbers of vineyards, but there are few trees. In this,
as in all other wine countries, villages and country houses are more
numerous than in the districts producing only corn, either because the
lands which produce vines are more valuable, and consequently are
divided amongst a greater number of owners, or that the culture of the
vine requires more people than other species of tillage.

In one district, where corn was the chief crop, I enquired respecting
the usual mode of farming, and found that the land, which was this year
under corn, was intended to be sown next year with maize (of which
there is a vast quantity) and the year following to lie fallow, after
which it will be considered as again fit to produce corn.

I found also, that the direct land-tax through France was not less than
20 per cent, exclusive of the other taxes which fall incidentally on
landed property. There are also in many provinces _customs_ which
regulate the descent of land (often in a manner very different from the
disposition which the owner would wish) amongst the relations of the
last owner. These customs and the heavy taxes on land may account for
the seemingly small price which it in general sells for throughout

The approach to Dijon is striking, and the Diligence arrived there
sufficiently early to afford us time to survey the city, which is one of
the best built and most considerable in France. It was formerly the
capital of the province, and the residence of the ancient sovereigns of
Burgundy, whose tombs are still to be seen at the Chartreuse, near the
city. It is now the chief place in the department of the Côte d'or, and
contains a population of about 22,000 inhabitants. It is situated
between the small rivers Ouche and Suzon, in a valley, which is one of
the most highly cultivated districts in France, and which is worthy of
its name of _Côte d'or_. The churches here are handsome structures, as
is also the palace of the Prince of Condé, where the Parliament used to
assemble. The square before it is spacious and well-built, and the corn
market is worthy of remark. The University of Dijon was formerly one of
the most considerable in Prance, but my stay was not sufficient, to
enable me to enquire with accuracy into its present state. Our company
next day was augmented by two French officers, who were going to
Besançon, and who intended proceeding in this carriage as far as Dole,
where smaller conveyances were to be had for those going to Geneva, &c.
as the Great Voiture went on to Lyons. These officers did not long
continue silent, and politics seemed the subject which occupied the
first place in their thoughts. They said that Belgium and the Rhine
were _indispensable_ to France, and were particularly violent against
Austria, for the part she had taken in the late contest. 'One of them
did not affect to conceal his attachment to the ex-emperor; but the
other, although he agreed with his companion in wishing, for a renewal
of the war, did not seem at all pleased with Buouaparte for having said
the French nation _wanted character_. They had both been at Moscow, and
acknowledged that the Emperor had committed a capital error in not
retreating in time from what he himself acknowledged to be such a
frightful climate.

If a public carriage has not all the comfort and expedition of a private
one, it certainly has this advantage, that one often meets companions
from whom may be derived amusement or information; and I think those who
travel with a view to either of those objects, would do well
occasionally to go in one of those conveyances. In a foreign country,
the attention of the traveller is continually attracted by a variety of
objects of a novel nature, which can be best explained to him by the
inhabitants of the country: besides, it is impossible to have any
correct idea of the manners and customs of foreigners, without
constantly associating with them, which, in general, English travellers
do not much desire. Whilst abroad, I would wish to accommodate myself as
much as possible, to the habits of the country in which I were to
reside, but if I found them irksome, I would certainly hasten my

We reached Dole about the French hour of dinner: here our company
separated, and, accompanied by a friend, I continued my journey to
Geneva. The road which we took is only practicable during four or five
months in the year, on account of the snow which is drifted from the
mountains of Jura. Near Auxonne we passed a plain, where a battle had
been fought between the French and the Allied forces. Many houses had
been destroyed, but the agriculture of the country did not seem to have
suffered by the contest. We passed through the village of Genlis, and
within sight of the Chateau, the property of the lady of that name,
well known by her numerous writings and compilations.

We arrived late at Poligny, a small town, surrounded by lofty mountains.
On leaving the place, one hill occupies three hours in ascending; but
the road is as good as the uneven surface of the country will permit.
The people here begin to have quite a different appearance from the
French: wooden shoes are generally worn; and the projecting roofs of the
houses shew that the climate is more rainy and severe than in the
countries we had passed. In this vicinity are some of the finest forests
I had yet seen in France, and the views from the road are occasionally
interesting. About two leagues from Poligny is _Arbois_, famous for its
white wine. We had a bottle by way of experiment, and thought it not
undeserving of the reputation it had acquired. A Frenchman observed,
"_Le vin nest pas mauvais_," which phrase may be taken for a
commendation, as they seldom carry their praise so far as to say a thing
is positively good. The country between Poligny and Moray exhibits a
continued succession of fir-trees, unmixed with any thing to give
variety to the scene. The woods, however, seemed to afford shelter to
but few birds; and in most parts of the continent, even the
singing-birds are not spared, but included in the general proscription
to gratify the palate of the epicure.

We arrived to an _English breakfast_ at Moray; they told us its honey
was in great repute throughout France, and we thought it deserved more
than the ordinary commendation of a Frenchman. Every thing here was neat
and clean, and both the town and appearance of its inhabitants brought
_North Wales_ strongly to my recollection. This being a frontier place,
the French custom-house officers put _seals_ on our portmanteaus, for
which favour we paid two francs for each seal; these were cut off with
great formality on our arrival at Geneva. After having travelled for
many hours amongst a succession of gloomy mountains, which afford
nothing that can either interest or enliven, I never recollect feeling a
greater sensation of delight and astonishment, than when, from the
summit of one of the mountains of Jura, I first beheld the lake and city
of Geneva, backed by the mountains of Savoy, and by the Alps, which,
even at this vast distance, made all the other mountains we had passed
appear but trivial.

It is by contrast that all pleasures are heightened, and even the tour
which I afterwards made amongst the Alps, did not lessen the force of
that impression which the sudden appearance of this magnificent
spectacle had left upon my mind. The road down the mountain is an
astonishing work, and is part of the grand line of road made by
Buonaparte, to facilitate the passage of troops into Italy over the
Grand Simplon. A fountain near the road has an inscription to Napoleon
the Great; in one part the road winds through an excavation in the rock.
One cannot but here exclaim with the poet,

    What cannot Art and Industry perform,
    When Science plans the progress of their toil!

At Fernay we visited the Château, so long celebrated as the residence
of Voltaire. It is now the property and residence of M. de Boudet, who,
as we were informed, has made great improvements in the place since it
has come into his possession.

The saloon and bed-chamber of Voltaire are, however, preserved in
exactly the same state as when he occupied them. There are a few
portraits of his friends, and under his bust is this inscription:

    "Son esprit est partout et son coeur est ici."

    "His genius is every where, but his heart is here."

His _Cenotaph_, as it is called, has a miserably mean appearance, and
bears this inscription:

    "Mes mânes sont consolés puisque mon coeur
    "Est au milieu de vous."

    "My manes are consoled, since my heart is with

The formal taste in which the garden is laid out, but ill accords with
the stupendous scenery which is seen on all sides. The approach to the
Château from the road is through a double avenue of trees. Near the
house stands the parish-church, and also a Heliconian fountain in the
disguise of a pump, of excellent water, which we tasted, but without
experiencing any unusual effects. We had not leisure to prolong our
researches, as it was necessary for us to reach Geneva before the
closing of the gates. If the first and distant appearance of the city of
Geneva, of its beautiful lake, and of the lofty mountains by which it is
surrounded, produces the strongest sensations of delight in the
beholder, a nearer approach is not (as is too frequently the case)
calculated to do away, or, at least, greatly to diminish the impression
made by the distant view.

Having, after a long descent, at length reached the Plain, the traveller
cannot fail of being delighted with the richly cultivated scene which
surrounds him, with the neatness of the villages, and with the apparent
ease of the inhabitants of a country where property seems pretty
equally divided, and where he is not shocked (as he is unhappily too
generally throughout Europe) by the melancholy contrast between the
splendour of the opulent, and the extreme misery of the peasantry. Here
the peasant, as Goldsmith observes,

    Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,
    To shame the meanness of his humble shed;
    Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,
    Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes.

The situation of Geneva is as striking as can be well imagined. It seems
to rise out of the transparent waters of its lake. Some tourists tell
us, that, Naples and Constantinople excepted, no city in Europe can be
compared to Geneva in point of situation, and those who have ascended
the towers of its cathedral, will feel disposed to admit, that the
prospect of the lake, the junction of the river Rhone with the Arve, the
number of villas dispersed on all sides, the scene of cultivation which
the nearer mountains present, almost to their summits, and the imposing
effect produced by the more distant Alps, whose bases rest in Italy,
and whose tops, covered with perpetual snow, seem to unite with the
clouds, present a spectacle which it would be indeed difficult to

    ----"While admiration, feeding at the eye
    "And still unsated, dwells upon the scene."


The lake of Geneva (which, according to M. de Luc, is 187 toises, or
1203 English feet above the level of the Mediterranean Sea) is one of
the most considerable in Europe, being about eighteen leagues in length,
by about three and a half at its greatest width. Its waters are at this
season about six feet higher than in winter, and are of a beautiful blue
colour, derived from the nature of the soil beneath. Its depth, near
Meillerie, is 190 fathoms, that of the Baltic, according to Dr.
Goldsmith, being only 115 fathoms. This lake abounds with fish of
various kinds. I myself saw a _trout of twenty-three pounds_, and there
have occasionally been taken of nearly double that weight. These
extraordinarily large fish are often presented by the republic to its
allies, and are frequently sent as far as Paris or Berlin. The Rhone
issuing, with vast rapidity, from the lake forms an island which is
covered with houses, and constitutes the lower part of the city, which
rises to the summit of a hill, where stand the cathedral and many
elegant private houses. The city is, in general, tolerably well built;
but many of the streets have domes, or arcades of wood, which are
frequently fifty or sixty feet in height, and which have an inelegant
appearance, but are useful in the winter, and under some of them are
rows of shops, Containing every article of luxury or utility, in equal
perfection with those that are to be met with in some of the greatest

Here is every appearance of the activity produced by the revival of
commerce, after the long prohibition it suffered during the period
whilst Geneva remained united to France.

The chief manufacture of Geneva is that of clocks and watches; in the
period of the prosperity of Geneva, this trade was calculated to afford
employment to five or six thousand persons, but at present it is much
reduced. There are a considerable number of goldsmiths, and the
ingenuity of the Genevese, produces very curious musical-watches,
snuff-boxes, and seals, many of which are sent to Paris and London,
where they find a ready sale; they are sent likewise to Persia and to
America, there are considerable manufactures also of calico, muslin,
&c. and a good deal of banking business is transacted. Perhaps there is
no example of a city so _destitute of territory_, which has obtained
such commercial celebrity, and the persevering industry of its
inhabitants, enabled them to place large sums of money in the funds of
other nations, particularly of England. The revenues of the state are
much exceeded by those of many individuals; but, during the oppressive
government of France, the taxes of Geneva were nearly quadrupled.

The population of Geneva and its territory, having been so differently
stated as to leave the truth involved in ranch uncertainty, M. Naville,
a senator, who possessed every facility for making the necessary
enquiries, published a calculation, which assigns to the republic a
population of 35,000, of which number 26,000 resided in the city. This
is a very large number if we consider that the territory of this little
state is so limited as, according to M. Bourritt's Itinerary, to contain
only 3 7/100 square leagues; being about 11,400 inhabitants to each
square league. But, contracted as their territory certainly is, those
citizens of Geneva, with whom I have conversed, do not seem to wish its
extension. They fear the introduction of religious dissensions, as the
_Savoyards_, (on which side it could be most easily extended) are Roman
Catholics and by no means cordial with their neighbours, the _Hugonots_
of Geneva, as they call them. Nor would the nobility of Savoy wish to be
the subjects of so popular a government as that of Geneva. Religious
differences have, at all times, been productive of the worst species of
civil discord, and the Genevese (although they tolerate most fully all
religious sects) are undoubtedly stronger at present, with their limited
possessions, than they possibly could be with any increase of territory,
accompanied by the chance of such unfortunate dissensions.

All they seem desirous of, at present, is to see their little state
_consolidated_; it being at present intersected by the possessions of
France, the Canton of Vaud, &c. in such a manner as to oblige the
Genevese to pass over some portion of the territories of those states,
in visiting many of their own villages. But more of Geneva hereafter, as
although I had so recently arrived there, I was soon to quit it for a
short time.

I found at my hotel a party, consisting of two of my countrymen and a
French gentleman, who were waiting for a fourth person to join them, in
making an excursion to the celebrated scenes of Chamouny and Moutanvert.

This was an opportunity not to be neglected, particularly as my former
companion had determined on going into Italy, notwithstanding the very
alarming accounts of its disturbed state, given us by some travellers,
lately arrived from thence, who had themselves been robbed, and who
reported that the banditti, in many of the mountains, amounted to from
500 to 1500 men. The unsettled political state of Italy too, rendered
the present, in my opinion, by no means an auspicious moment, for an
excursion of curiosity into that country. To see Italy well would occupy
a longer portion of time than I had at my disposal, and if once across
the Alps it would be almost impossible to return without visiting Rome.
Under these circumstances, I resolved to content myself with seeing
Chamouny, and Mt. Blanc, and I had every reason to be pleased with my
determination, as the party were extremely agreeable, and we had the
good fortune of having fine weather for our excursion, an occurrence
which is rare amongst such lofty mountains nor were we disposed to
complain of the inconvenience of occasional showers, in a country where
it is not unusual for the rains to continue without intermission for
many days.

       *       *       *       *       *


Having made the necessary arrangements in the evening, our carriage was
in readiness at an early hour next morning. It was something like an
English _sociable_, but had a leather cover which could occasionally be
drawn over our heads, and of which we more than once experienced the
utility, in protecting us from the very sudden and violent showers which
we sometimes met with. As soon as the rain was over we drew back the
cover, and enjoyed the romantic prospects which surrounded us. From
Geneva we ascended continually through a wild but not uninteresting
country to Bonnevilie, a distance of about five leagues; here we
breakfasted, and remained two or three hours to allow our horses to
repose from the fatigues of the road. This little town has nothing
particularly worthy of remark, and its appearance is dull, although it
is the chief place of one of the three divisions which are formed of
Savoy. Here is a bridge of stone (which is not usual in this country,
where timber abounds, and where many of the rivers are so rapid, as to
oblige the inhabitants to remove the bridges, at the commencement of
autumn) over the river Arve, the course of which we followed for several
leagues through the valley of Cluse, so called from the little town of
that name. This long and narrow district is surrounded by lofty
mountains, and the traveller is often at a loss to guess which way he
can proceed, until some sudden turning discovers an outlet, barely
sufficient to admit the passage of a carriage, and by various windings
he arrives in the valley of Magi an, which presents a still more
interesting variety of objects, amongst others the cascade of Nant
d'Arpennas and many other inferior ones, which tumble from the
mountains, and increase the rapidity of the Arve. About a league beyond
the fall d'Arpennas is an excellent view of _Mont Blanc_, which crowned
with all the horrors of a perpetual winter, presents one of the most
sublime, and majestic spectacles, which it is possible to conceive. To
describe the contrast between its snowy summit, and the cultivated
valley beneath, so as to convey any just idea of the scene, to those who
have not themselves seen it, would require all the descriptive powers of
a _Radcliffe_. We arrived to a late dinner at the hotel de Mont Blanc,
at St Martin, which is a large single house situated about a quarter of
a league from the little town of Salenche, of which I do not recollect
having heard any thing remarkable, except that the right of burgership
may be purchased for forty-five livres. The windows of our hotel
commanded a most astonishing extent of mountain scenery diversified by
the windings of the Arve through a well cultivated valley. The hotel was
sufficiently comfortable, but the bill was extravagant beyond any
precedent in the annals of extortion. We had occasion to remonstrate
with our host on the subject, and our French companion exerted himself
so much on the occasion, that at last we succeeded in persuading the
landlord to make a considerable reduction in his charges, which were out
of all reason, making every allowance that his house was so situated, as
not to be accessible during the whole year. We were afterwards told that
he would have considered himself amply paid by receiving the half of his
first demand, and I found it is often the practice to ask of the English
at least double of what is charged to travellers of any other nation.
Appearances were so much against our landlord, that one might say to him
in the words of the epigram, _"If thou art honest thou'rt a wondrous

The carriage road ends at Salenche; and we, therefore, made the
necessary arrangements to proceed on mules, and sent back our carriage
to Geneva. It was the first time I had travelled in a country only
_accessible on foot or by mules_, and I cannot but add my testimony to
that of all those who have ever made excursions into these mountains,
respecting the very extraordinary and almost incredible safety with
which the mule conveys his rider over tracks, which were any one to see
suddenly, coming out of a civilized country, he would think it the
height of folly to attempt to pass even on foot. There are, however,
places where it is expedient to climb for one's self, but as long as one
remains on the back of the mule, it is advisable not to attempt to
direct his course, but to submit one's reason for the time to the
instinct of the animal. Our guides assured me that they had never known
a single instance of any one's having had reason to regret having placed
this confidence in them; and, indeed, it is by having the command of his
head that the mule is enabled to carry his rider in safety over passes,
which one is often afraid to recall to one's memory. Several of the
mules in Savoy are handsome, but one of our party, who had crossed the
Fyrenean mountains, thought the Spanish mules were much more so; the
ordinary price of a mule here, is from fourteen to twenty Louis d'Ors.

The distance between St. Martin and Chamouny, is little more than six
leagues, but from the extreme inequality of the ground and the
intricacy of the paths, occupied a very long space of time in passing.
We still continued to follow the course of the Arve, which, according to
the opinions of some writers, is believed to have, at one period, formed
a lake between the mountains which encompass this valley; a conjecture
which the marshy appearance of the ground seems to render probable.

These mountains abound with an animal which is mostly an inhabitant of
the Alps, the marmot, and there are a vast abundance of wild
strawberries. The river is most considerable at this season of the year,
being supplied with the meltings of the snow and ice. About two hours
after our departure from St. Martin we passed over the `_Pont des
Chèvres_, which, from the extreme slightness of its construction, seems
hardly secure enough to permit the passage of a goat; and it is rendered
more formidable to the nervous traveller by its vast height from the bed
of the rocky torrent over which it passes.

We went a little way out of the regular track to see the beautiful
cascade of Chede, which is by M. Bourritt ascertained to be sixty-seven
feet in height. A number of peasants attended us from a cottage, where
we left our mules, and one of them carried a plank to serve as a bridge
over a neighbouring stream, and levied toll on us for permission to pass
over it. We returned in about a quarter of an hour to the cottage, and
paid, as we thought, very liberally for the trouble the peasants had in
holding the mules during that short time; but where expectations are
unreasonable it is impossible to satisfy them; and that was the case
here. One old woman, in particular, exclaimed against us. She said, "_We
were English, and ought to give gold._" Such is the idea entertained,
even in these secluded mountains, of the riches of the English, that a
sum, which would be received with thanks from the travellers of almost
any other country, would be considered as an object of complaint if
given by an Englishman; and the thoughtless profusion of some English
travellers is a subject of regret to many persons, who, although less
opulent, are still desirous of visiting foreign countries, as the
inhabitants of the Continent, in general, receive from some of our
fellow-subjects such an idea of the opulence of their country, that they
think it impossible to charge all who come from thence too
extravagantly. We next proceeded to the lake of Chede, which is not far
distant. It was first discovered by M. Bourritt, when hunting a wolf
amongst these mountains, as he mentions in his Itinerary, which contains
much useful information, and is a necessary appendage to the traveller
in these wild districts. This lake, considering its limited extent, is a
handsome object. Here is a curious species of moss which gives the banks
a singular appearance. We stopped to breakfast, as well as to refresh
our mules, at a little cottage-inn near the village of Servoy, in the
neighbourhood of which are mines of lead and copper, together with many
large buildings and furnaces for the preparation of the ore. We here met
another party also going to Chamouny. They had preferred travelling in
little carriages drawn by mules, which they were obliged to quit
continually, by the uneven nature of the road; and they did not arrive
till some time after us. We here found that one of our party was mounted
on the mule which had lately had the honor of carrying the Ex-Empress
Maria Louisa, who passed this way on her tour to Chamouny. She is said
to have appeared very thoughtful; but the guides praised both her
courage and her beauty.

We breakfasted with the other travellers, under the shade of an orchard,
near the inn; and the repast was much more luxurious than we could have
supposed from the rustic appearance of the place. As soon as the guides
informed us that they were ready to attend us, we continued our journey
to Chamouny, making another little detour to visit the _glacier des
Bossons_. Here we were astonished at the singular appearance which was
exhibited by a vast number of _pyramids and towers of ice_, many of them
upwards of 100 feet in height, and which remained at this season almost
in the centre of a valley richly cultivated and well inhabited.

The definition of the word _glacier_ has given rise to several
arguments. I shall therefore insert that given by the celebrated M. de
Saussure, in his Tour amongst the Alps, of which he was one of the first
and most able explorers. He says, "The word _glacier_ designates any one
of those cavities, natural or artificial, which preserve the ice, or
guard it from the rays of the sun." This glacier is only three quarters
of a league from Chamouny, or the priory, where we soon arrived. The
valley of Chamouny is about eighteen English miles long, and hardly one
in breadth. It is as varied a scene as can possibly be imagined; and no
where can the contrast between nature in its wild and in its cultivated
state, make a more forcible impression on the mind.

Many of the farms here are very neat. They sow the grain in May, and
reap in August.

We remarked several small chapels and crosses where promises of
_indulgence for thirty days_ are held out to those persons who shall
repeat there a certain number of prayers. One of these chapels, more
spacious than the rest, was constructed by a bishop of Sion. The village
of Chamouny is not large, but contains several extremely good inns,
which, since the opening of the Continent, have had their full share of
English travellers, whose names, in the books of the hotel where we
lodged, more than doubled those of all other nations who had visited the
various grand scenes with which this country abounds; and the most
lucrative employment here is that of a guide. Strangers are often much
imposed on by them, and should therefore be careful to get recommended
to such as will conduct them safely to all that is curious. We met a
party who had been deceived by either the ignorance or laziness of their
guides; and who, we found, after spending two or three days in exploring
this neighbourhood, had seen but a small portion of what is worthy of
attention. The air here is of a very wintry temperature. This, however,
is not astonishing, when we consider that this place is situated 500
toises, or 2,040 feet above the lake of Geneva, and 3,168 feet above
the level of the sea, but 11,532 feet below the summit of Mont Blanc.

Chamouny is the chief place in the commune to which it gives name, and
which is inhabited by a remarkably hardy and intelligent peasantry. I
was informed that the Austrians obliged this district to furnish 100
cows, a vast quantity of cheese, butter, &c. &c.; but the inhabitants
were so much rejoiced at being released from the French yoke, that they
did not complain of these exactions. As far as I could judge, the wish
of the young men here seems to be, that Savoy should form a canton of
Switzerland; but the old men, who formerly lived under the government of
the King of Sardinia, wish for the restoration of the order of things to
which they were long accustomed; and it seems most probable that the
King of Sardinia will be restored to that part of this ancient patrimony
of his family which has not been ceded to France. The Savoyards complain
of this division of their country. The part assigned to France is the
most valuable district, and forms above a third of the duchy: in it is
situated its ancient capital, _Chambery_. It is, however, not probable
that the wishes of the Savoyards will be consulted as to these points,
which will be determined by the Allied Powers on the grounds of
_political expediency_.

I also made inquiries concerning the state of taxation in Savoy, and
found, that under France the inhabitants were obliged to pay more than
three times the sum which they had paid to Sardinia. The imposts were
here the same as in the rest of France, no distinction having been made
between this mountainous country and the other more productive
departments. Doors and windows are amongst the articles taxed, and the
stamp duties are very heavy.

Having refreshed ourselves sufficiently to encounter fresh difficulties,
we determined to visit _Montanvert_, and the _Mer de Glace_, two of the
most distinguished objects of curiosity which this place boasts of.
Having provided ourselves with guides and mules, we set out accordingly;
and, after quickly passing the narrow valley, began to ascend mountains
which abound with chamois, and which, by their height and irregularity,
seemed to render our arrival on their summit an event not speedily to be
expected. We had more reason than ever to be astonished at the
extraordinary security with which our mules carried us up such abrupt
ascents, which in many places more resembled a flight of steps, hewn
roughly in a rock, than a practicable road, and there were in many
places hardly any marks to shew which was the preferable way.

After a continual ascent of between two and three hours, we were advised
to send back our mules to wait our return in the valley, and to continue
our way on foot, which we did accordingly, being provided with long
sticks, pointed with iron, to assist us in climbing the remainder of the
ascent. Our arrival on the summit amply repaid us for the toil which it
had cost us: the view is not to be described;--before us lay the _Mer de
Glace_ (sea of ice) extending to the length of four leagues, and being
about three quarters of a league in width; which is one of the most
sublime spectacles in nature.--Around us were mountains much more
elevated than those which cost us so much trouble in ascending, which
consisting of granite, dispersed in the most majestic forms, and being
the perpetual abode of frosts, storms, and tempests, leave a most awful
impression on the mind. It is impossible to behold these stupendous
scenes without, in the language of the Psalmist, 'ascribing unto the
Lord worship and power.'

Although we had ascended not less than 3000 feet, yet, to our
astonishment, Mont Blanc appeared _nearly as elevated_ as when we viewed
it from the Galley. It is unquestionably the highest mountain in the
three old quarters of the world (being exceeded in height only by the
Andes); and I shall insert here the calculations of its elevation, and
of that of some other mountains:

                                              English feet.

    Chimboraco, the highest of the
      Cordilleras                             20,608

    Mont Blanc, above the level of
      the Mediterranean, according
      to Sir G. Shuckburgh                    15,662

    Ditto, according to M. de Luc             15,302 1/3

    Mount Caucasus                            15,000

    Etna, according to M, de Saussure         10,700

    Teneriffe                                 10,954

The highest mountain in Scotland is Ben-Nevis, 4,337 feet. In Wales,
Snowdon, 3,555. In England, Ingleborough, 3,200 feet. In Ireland, Croagh
Patrick, 2,666.

Mont Blanc is easily distinguished from amongst the other mountains (of
which _Mont Buet_; of 9984 feet in height, approaches the nearest to it)
when Steen on this side, by the astonishing altitude to which it rises,
and by the vast body of snow with which its top and sides are covered to
the perpendicular height of above 4000 feet, without the intervention of
any rock, to take off from that extreme whiteness that gives name to
this mountain, uniting in the circular form of its summit all the
majesty that can possibly be imagined. We partook of some refreshment in
an apartment on the summit of Montanvert, which the extreme cold of the
atmosphere rendered very acceptable. Having enrolled our names in a
book kept here for that purpose, which abounds with the praises of all
travellers who have viewed these scenes, we descended to the _Mer de
Glace_, which is appropriately so named, from the striking resemblance
which its broken masses of ice bear to the waves of the ocean, and the
resemblance is still further heightened by the blue appearance which the
numerous cavities present to the eye.--We walked a little way on this
frozen ocean, the better to contemplate its vast extent, as well as to
have it in our power to boast of _having walked on a mass of ice in the
month of August_. The depth of the ice is calculated to be from three to
_four hundred_ feet, and the solemnity of this scene of desolation is
increased by the sound of several torrents tumbling from the surrounding
rocks. We again returned to the summit of Montanvert, and were again
lost in astonishment at the scene; which did not fail to recall to my
recollection the beautiful lines of _Pope_, in his Essay on Criticism:

    So pleas'd at first the tow'ring Alps we try,
    Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
    Th' eternal snows appear already past,
    And the first clouds and mountains seem the last.
    But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
    The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,
    Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring eyes,
    Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.

Having sufficiently contemplated the view, we began to think of
returning to the valley, which presented a most enlivening appearance
after the _chaos_ we had left. The descent was much easier than the
ascent, and we were not long before we met our mules, and returned to
our inn in great prosperity, although we had, most of us, occasional
falls during so difficult a progress.

We had great reason to be pleased with our expedition, and were most
fortunate in the clearness of the day, without which our labour would
have been lost. The valley is, of course, much more mild in its
atmosphere than the mountain, but the weather was autumnal, and a fire
was quite indispensable to our comfort. There are no less than _five
glaciers_ in this valley, they are separated from each other by forests
and by cultivated lands, and this intermixture presents an appearance
which, from its singularity, cannot fail to astonish the beholder. These
glaciers all lie at the foot of that vast chain of mountains, which
supply the sources of many of the greatest rivers in Europe. I observed
that the mountains in this vicinity were the first I had seen enlivened
by the mixture of the larch with the fir, which produces a very pleasing
effect, and continues afterwards to be often seen. The vast quantities
of Alpine _strawberries_ that every-where abound on these mountains,
have a most excellent flavor, and numbers of children employed in
gathering them find ready sale among the numerous strangers, attracted
by the wonders of the neighbourhood. These Alps possess great
attractions for the _botanist_, who is surrounded by saxifrage,
rhododendrons, and a variety of other plants, which he must highly
value, but which I have not sufficient knowledge of the science to
distinguish particularly. Nor would the _mineralogist_ find fewer
attractions in the rocks themselves, than the botanist in the plants
which they produce. We did not witness any of those _avalanches_ which
are said to fall so frequently from the mountains, and of the dreadful
effects of which such interesting statements have been published. The
whole of this valley, however, appears to be continually threatened, by
the enormous masses which hang over it, and seem to need the application
of but a trifling force, to move them from situations, to which they are
to all appearance so slightly attached.

       *       *       *       *       *


We left Chamouny at an early hour to proceed on our way to Martigny,
from which it is nine leagues distant; but as there is nothing which
deserves the name of a road, we continued our journey on mules. The
morning was so very hazy, that we were prevented from enjoying the
prospect from the Col de Balme, and we travelled for several hours
amongst mountains, at one moment enveloped in the fog, which was
sometimes the next instant carried to a considerable distance from us,
by one of those sudden currents of air which are so common in these
elevated situations. As we approached Valorsine, the rain began to fall,
but fortunately it was not of long continuance, and afterwards the
weather became much clearer.

_Nothing can surpass_ the romantic situation of this little village, its
valley is one of the most secluded we had yet seen amongst the Alps.
The impression which this scene has left on my mind, can never be
effaced; every thing presented an appearance of tranquillity, and of
extreme simplicity. It was the feast of the patron saint of the village,
and the peasants were in their best dresses. The women were of a better
appearance than is usual in Savoy; their dress attracted the particular
attention of our French companion, who had never before quitted his own
country, and who had previously expressed a contempt for Savoy, which he
now seemed willing to retract; and certainly it would be difficult to
see a spot where primitive simplicity was more conspicuous. We
determined to refresh ourselves here, and afterwards went through the
village to the church, which was decorated with flowers for the
festival; and during our walk we were saluted with the utmost civility
by the peasants, who surveyed us with a curiosity which proved they had
but little intercourse with strangers. A monk saluted me, and said in
Latin he was rejoiced again to see Englishmen. In one of the groups, I
observed a fortune-teller, who seemed to have a good deal of custom,
but her dialect was one of the most singular I ever heard. The inn where
we breakfasted, like most of the houses here, was raised on beams, to
allow for the depth of the snow in winter. They are built of timber, and
covered with pieces of fir, cut to about the size of tiles. The rooms
were very small, and could with difficulty accommodate the unusual
number of guests then assembled. Civility was more abundant than
provisions, but there was more fruit than one could expect to see
amongst these mountains.

If the peasants of Meillerie, which is the part of Savoy Rousseau took
so much pleasure in describing, at all resemble those of Valorsine, he
cannot there at least be accused of having dealt in fiction. M. de
Saussure relates an anecdote which serves to give an idea of the
Savoyards in these situations, so remote from the corruption incident to
cities. He says, "I was one day prosecuting my researches amongst the
Alps, and being without provisions, was induced to take some fruit not
far distant from a cottage. I observed a woman coming towards me, as I
concluded, to ask payment for the fruit; and I assured her I had no
intention of going away without satisfying her. She answered, 'I came
out thinking you had lost your way, and that I might be able to set you
right. As for the fruit, I will take nothing for it. He who made it, did
not intend it for the use of one in particular.'"

We had not yet performed above half our journey, and as it was getting
late, we were obliged by the representation of our guides to continue on
our road, which lay through a romantic district, abounding with streams
and falls of water. Some of the fir trees on the Tête Noire opposite to
us, are said to be above 100 feet in height. We were after the first
league frequently obliged to dismount, having in some places literally
to ascend steps cut in the rock, which I think must have not a little
puzzled two gentlemen, who set out on _horseback_ about the same time we
did from Chamouny, but who did not reach Martigny for a long time after
us, and were greatly tired with the difficulties they had to encounter.

The village of Trient is in a romantic situation, but has not the same
attractions as Valorsine. The hill near it is astonishingly difficult of
ascent. The guides wished us to let the mules shift for themselves; and
we all at last arrived at the summit. An hour afterwards, we reached the
Mount Fourcle, from which is seen a vast extent of country. This view is
by some travellers considered as surpassing all others in Switzerland,
as it embraces the greatest part of the Canton of the Valais, watered by
the Rhone; and we could distinctly see its capital city Sion, although
above eight leagues distant. Martigny and St. Branchier seemed to lie at
our feet; but we had still a long way to descend before we reached them.
The city of Sion will be long remembered as the scene of one of the most
horrible of those outrages which cast such a just odium on the French
name. It was given up to the savage fury of an army irritated by the
brave but ineffectual resistance, which its inhabitants attempted to
oppose against the invaders of their property and liberty. But here, as
in too many other instances, numbers occasioned the worse to prevail
over the better cause. A person on whose authority I can confide,
assured me he was at Geneva, when a part of the French army arrived
there after this _glorious_ exploit, and that rather than return without
plunder, they carried away with them the miserable household furniture
of these unfortunate people, which sold at Geneva for a sum so trifling
as hardly to pay for the expense of conveying them thither. It may seem
_incredible_, but it is however _true_, that many of the inhabitants of
the Valois, _regret the recovery of their independence_, and would wish
again to see their country in the possession of the French. They prefer
the advantages which Buonaparte's military road, and the frequent
passage of his troops into Italy afforded them of making money, to their
present liberty under a government of their own selection.

The country, for about a league before the entrance into Martigny,
becomes much more civilized than that we had just passed. The fields
are well cultivated, and are divided by hedges from the road: here are
some of the largest walnut trees I have ever seen.

On the left we remarked the venerable and extensive remains of la
Bathia, an ancient castle, formerly inhabited by the Bishops of Sion. It
is boldly situated on a rock, which rises over that impetuous torrent
the Dreuse, which a little below falls into the Rhone.

The town of Martigny is situated on the Rhone, in that delightful plain
which we had so much admired from the Fourcle, and which did not
disappoint the expectations we had formed of it. It is well watered,
highly cultivated, and abounds with neat cottages, and seems almost to
realize some fancied descriptions of enchanted valleys, being shut out
from the surrounding countries by a formidable barrier of snow-clad
mountains, and possessing in itself so attractive an aspect. Martigny is
a well-built town; and some antiquarians insist, that it is the ancient
Octodurum of the Romans. I can give no opinion on a point which has
occasioned differences amongst the learned; but the present appearance
of the inhabitants was very favourable, it being a holiday here as well
as at Valorsine, and although their festivity was not altogether marked
by the same simplicity, yet it was sufficiently removed from that which
prevails in many other countries to interest us by its singularity. We
were here amused with an account of two English gentlemen, who attempted
to ascend Mont Blanc, notwithstanding the assurances they received of
the impracticability of the attempt under present circumstances, as a
chasm had lately been made by the thaw on one side of the mountain; but
they were not to be intimidated either by the advice of the inhabitants,
or by the accounts of the hardships suffered by M. de Saussure, and
judging with _Hannibal_,

    "Nil actum reputans si quid superesset agendum."

    "Think nothing gained while ought remains."

They set out on this difficult enterprise, attended by eighteen guides,
but were at length obliged to desist, after running many hazards, and
after having expended at least £50. If they failed in accomplishing
their undertaking, they had at least the satisfaction of exciting much
wonder amongst the surrounding peasants, at the curiosity and rashness
of the English. Our party were more easily satisfied; and having seen as
much as could be accomplished without very great difficulty, we were
contented to judge of the rest from the ample descriptions that have
been published respecting them.

I could have wished, however, that time and the consent of the majority
of the party, would have permitted my ascending to the convent on the
Great St. Bernard; but being left in the minority, I did not feel
disposed to make the excursion by myself, and I therefore prepared to
accompany my friends back to Geneva. At Martigny, we entered on a part
of the grand road of the Simplon, and bidding adieu to our mules, and to
the mountains over which they had carried us, we proceeded on our
journey in a _charaban_ (or light country cart, with seats across it) to
Bex. I did not observe that extreme indolence in the inhabitants of the
Lower Valais, with which they have been reproached by some travellers.
They are no doubt very poor, but their cottages are not devoid of
neatness and comfort. Our attention was soon attracted by the famous
cascade called the _Pisse Vache_, the beauty of which consists chiefly
in its seeming to issue immediately from a cavity in the rock, which is
surrounded by thorns and bushes. Its perpendicular height cannot be
estimated at less than 200 feet, although many make it double that, or
even more. The country of the Valais is remarkable for the vast numbers
of persons it contains, affected with the _goitres_ and also of
_idiots_. The neighbouring provinces are also more or less affected with
these maladies.

Many writers have exerted their ingenuity in endeavouring to account for
this singularity with greater or less success; but what at Geneva is
considered as the best treatise on the subject, is that by _Coxe_ in his
_Account of Switzerland_. A gentleman there lent me a French edition of
this valuable work, from which I extracted the following account of the
origin of the _Goitres_, (or extraordinary swellings about the glands
of the throat,) which in Switzerland is considered as very satisfactory.
Mr. Coxe says,

     "The opinion that water derived from the melting of snow, occasions
     these excrescences, is entirely destitute of foundation, which one
     cannot doubt if it is considered how generally such water is used
     in many parts of Switzerland, where the inhabitants are not at all
     subject to this malady, which is, however, very prevalent in parts
     where no such water abounds.

     "These swellings are also frequently seen near Naples, in Sumatra,
     &c. where there is little or no snow."

Mr. C. proceeds to shew that this malady is occasioned by a calcareous
matter called in Swiss _Tuf_; and adds, "This stone resembles very much
the incrustations at Mallock in Derbyshire, which dissolve so completely
in the water as not to lessen its transparency; and I think that the
particles of this substance so dissolved, resting in the glands of the
throat, occasion the Goitres, and during the course of my travels in
different parts of Europe, I have never failed to observe, that where
this _Tuf_, or calcareous deposit is common, _Goitres_ are equally so. I
have found an abundance of tuf, and also of goitrous persons in
Derbyshire, the Valois, the Valteline, at Lucerne, Berne, Fribourg, in
parts of Piedmont, in the valleys of Savoy, at Milan, and at Dresden. I
also observed that at Berne and Fribourg, the public fountains are
supplied from sources where there is a vast quantity of this calcareous
deposit. General Pfiffer has informed me, that there is but one spring
at Lucerne, which is free from tuf, and that those who reside in its
vicinity, are much less subject to the goitres than the rest of the
inhabitants. A surgeon also, whom I met at the baths of Louesch,
informed me that he had _frequently_ extracted from different goitres
_small pieces of tuf_, which is also found in the stomachs of cows, and
the dogs of this country are also subject to this malady. This gentleman
added, that, to complete the cure of young persons attacked by this
complaint, he either removed them from waters impregnated with tuf, or
recommended them to drink only of water that had been purified. The
children of goitrous parents are often born with these swellings; but
there are also instances of children born with goitres, whose parents
are free from them."

That celebrated naturalist, M. de Saussure, attributes Goitres not to
the water, but to the heat of the climate, and to the stagnation of the
air, and he informs us, he has never seen Goitres in any place elevated
5 or 6,000 toises above the level of the sea, and that they are most
common in valleys where there is not a free circulation of air. "But it
may be observed, that in these elevated situations, fountains are too
near their sources to dissolve as much calcareous sediment as by the
time they reach the plain. Some say, that strangers are never attacked
by the Goitres, but the truth is, they are only less subject to them
than natives of the country. In fine, we may observe, that if snow water
occasions the Goitres wherever they abound, there should also be snow
water, which experience proves not to be the fact. If the concentration
of heat and stagnation of the air are necessary to their formation, it
would follow that they should not abound in those places where the air
circulates freely, which is not less contrary to fact than the former
supposition. If waters impregnated with tuf, or certain calcareous
substances, produce the Goitres, it will follow, that in every place
where they abound, the inhabitants should drink of waters so
impregnated, which seems consonant to the truth of the fact." The same
causes which occasion the Goitres, have probably a considerable
operation in producing the number of idiots, as they are always in most
abundance where the Goitres prevail. Such is the intimate and
inexplicable sympathy between the body and the mind. When the Goitres
become large, they produce a difficulty of breathing, and render the
person so affected, extremely indolent and languid. These idiots are
treated with great regard by the rest of the inhabitants of the country,
who even consider them, in some degree, peculiarly favoured by
Providence--thinking that they are certain of eternal happiness, as not
being capable of forming any criminal intentions. Exaggeration is the
common fault of travellers, and, to judge from the accounts given by
some who have visited this country, a stranger would be led to suppose,
that all its population were either idiots, or afflicted with Goitres.
The fact, however, is, that the inhabitants of the Valais are in general
a strong and healthy race, but that these two unfortunate maladies are
here in greater frequency than in any other country.

Our next stage, after leaving Martigny, was St. Maurice, which derives
its name from an abbey, founded by Sigismund, king of Burgundy, about
the commencement of the sixth century, in honour of a saint, who is said
to have here suffered martyrdom, having refused to abjure Christianity
at the command of the Emperor Maximin. Its more ancient name is said by
antiquarians to have been Agaunum. This place is very justly considered
as the key of the Lower Valais, of which it is the chief town. Its
bridge over the Rhone is of one arch, of 130 feet, which is thought to
be the work of the Romans, and by its boldness, does not seem unworthy
of a people whose edifices are so justly distinguished for their
elegance and durability. Here is also a curious Mosaic pavement, and the
antiquity of the place is proved incontestably by the many ancient
medals and inscriptions which have been found here at different periods.
It must, indeed, have been always remarkable as a military position, and
it is difficult to imagine one of greater natural strength, or more
easily defensible by a small force against superior numbers. The road,
which is extremely narrow, passes for a considerable length under a
mountain, which is absolutely inaccessible.

Having passed the bridge, we entered the territories of the ancient
canton of Berne, but now of Vaud (as I think there appears to be but
little doubt that it will be speedily acknowledged as such by the Swiss
diet). Here our passports were demanded, but more in compliance with old
regulations, than from any mistrust of us; and one of our party having
forgotten his passport, the officer was perfectly satisfied with his
leaving his name and address.

The Rhone is here of astonishing rapidity, and its waters have quite a
milky hue, from the vast quantities of melted snow with which they are
supplied. On quitting the lake at Geneva, the river is of a transparent
blue colour, which is attributed partly to its having deposited its
sediment in the lake, and partly to the nature of the soil over which it
there passes. The rest of our stage was through a picturesque country,
and the road was excellent.

       *       *       *       *       *


We found at Bex an excellent inn, which is not undeserving the
reputation it has acquired of being the best in Switzerland. This little
town is situated amongst lofty mountains, which the industry of the
peasants have cultivated wherever it was practicable, and they often
carry their cattle with great labour to little spots of pasture which
would otherwise have been lost, as without assistance, they could not
have arrived at them. The cottages on the side of the Valais are so
placed, as to contribute greatly to enliven the scenery; and they are
also remarkable for their singular construction, being mostly built on
wooden pillars, several feet above the surface of the ground.

Many of the inhabitants have two or three houses in different parts of
their possessions, which they inhabit according as the season of the
year requires their attention to the different places where they are
situated. These people are said to be descended from the northern
tribes, and certainly resemble them in their wanderings; I have seen a
whole hamlet deserted, the season not requiring the residence of the
people. In countries which boast a larger portion of civilization, the
fashion prevails over the division which the seasons seem to point out.
An inhabitant of the Valais would no doubt be surprised at the _summer
being the season_ in which our fashionables resort to London, from the
purer air of the country. The Valais abounds with vineyards, but the
_wines_ are by no means palatable to persons who have tasted those of
more favoured countries.

In the vicinity of Bex and Aigle are the only _salt-springs_ in
Switzerland. They are of vast extent, and the view of the subterranean
galleries, and of tin: reservoirs of brine, is very striking. The town
of Aigle is principally built of black marble, which is in great
abundance in its neighbourhood, and the polishing of which affords
employment to a number of persons.

I observed more corn in this district than I had before seen in
Switzerland, but was informed, that it did not grow a sufficient
quantity for the consumption of its inhabitants, who are said to exceed
10,000. The church of Bex is neat, and has been lately repaired. We next
arrived at Villeneuve, which is only remarkable as a place of
embarkation on the lake of Geneva. Our plan was to return to Geneva by
water, but the violence of the wind, which was against us, and which had
greatly ruffled the lake, obliged us to continue our journey along its
banks. The length of this lake is about 50 or 53 English miles, and its
breadth from 10 to 12. This vast body of water is sometimes so much
agitated by sudden storms from the surrounding mountains, as to be
covered with waves like the sea. We were highly pleased with the
extraordinary scene of cultivation which its banks presented; they are
sometimes extremely steep, but are formed by the unceasing industry of
the inhabitants into terraces supported by walls, and if their labour in
originally making these divisions is calculated to astonish, their
perseverance in repairing, and sometimes in rebuilding them, after the
torrents have carried them away, is not less worthy of praise. The
industry of the inhabitants seems continually threatened by the vast
masses of rock which hang over their possessions, and which sometimes
cover them with ruin. We saw an enormous mass which had fallen from one
of the mountains, and is now in the lake, having been removed thither by
the inhabitants after it had for some time completely obstructed the
road. We passed near the castle of Chillon, which is singularly
situated, being built on some rocks in the lake, by which it is
completely surrounded. It consists of a number of circular towers, and
was formerly used as a state prison. A more secure position, for such an
edifice, it is difficult to conceive. Before our arrival at Vevay, we
saw the village of Clarens, so much celebrated by Rousseau. Vevay is a
handsome town, with about 4,000 inhabitants; and is, after Lausanne,
the principal place in the Canton of Vaud. The principal church is
situated on an eminence above the town; from its tower I saw a most
magnificent prospect, embracing nearly the whole of the lake, (which is
here nearly at its greatest breadth) the entrance of the Rhone through a
romantic valley, and the stupendous scenery of the Alps, heightened by
the numerous villages on the Savoy side the lake. For the union of wild
and cultivated scenery this view stands unequalled. No description of
mine could do it justice:

    "Car la parole est toujours réprimée
    Quand le sujet surmonte le disant."

    "When we most strongly would delight express,
    Words often fail in which our thoughts to dress."

In this church is the tomb of the celebrated General Ludlow, who died
here in 1693, aged 63. His monument, according to custom, only speaks
his praise; and makes no mention of his having been a member of that
assembly which condemned the ill-fated Charles to death. Over the door
of the house he inhabited, is this motto, '_Omne Solum Forti Patria_.'
He had resided for some time at Lausanne, but fearing the fate of Lisle,
who was assassinated, he retired to this place.

Between Vevay and Lausanne is the vineyard of Vaux, which bears a great
reputation. We passed through the village of Cully and Lutri, both
situated on the lake, and after mounting a considerable hill arrived at
Lausanne, which is the capital of the Canton of Vaud. It stands on three
hills, and on the intervening valleys, which being very steep, render
its situation more picturesque than convenient. It is situated about 400
feet above the level of the lake, from which it is distant about half a
league; the village of Ouchy serves as its port, and carries on a good
deal of trade. Lausanne contains several remains which prove its
antiquity, and several Roman inscriptions are preserved in the
townhouse, which is a handsome building. Here are three churches, one on
each of the hills. Of these the cathedral is well worthy of attention.
It is said to have been founded by one of the ancient kings of
Burgundy, and is certainly superior to any church I had hitherto seen in
Switzerland. Its architecture exhibits various specimens of Gothic:
there are many windows of painted glass in good preservation, and also
several handsome monuments. The choir is handsome, and its pillars are
of black marble. Its spire rises to a great height, and from the
church-yard there is a fine prospect of the lake, and the surrounding
country, with which I should have been more delighted, had I not so
recently seen the still grander scene which Vevay commands. The
population of Lausanne is computed at 8,000, and they are very
industrious; there are manufactories of hats and cottons, and the
printing business is carried on to a greater extent than in any other
town in Switzerland. There are also several jewellers' shops and
watchmakers' warehouses.

Of all the Swiss towns this is considered as the most remarkable for the
adoption of French fashions, and there is much more dissipation here
than at Geneva, as it is the constant residence of many wealthy
families; but, with few exceptions, the houses are neither large nor
well built. Near the church is shewn the residence of Gibbon, the
historian, and his library is now the property of a gentleman of this
town, who purchased it in England.

Lausanne was formerly subject to its bishops, who were princes of the
German Empire. A council was held here in 1448, when Pope _Felix V._, to
restore peace to the Romish church, and extinguish the schisms to which
it was then a prey, resigned the tiara and retired to the Abbey of
Ripaille, in Savoy, a second time. This prince is distinguished by some
of the historians of his century by the title of the Solomon of the age.
He succeeded to the Dukedom of Savoy by the name of Amadeus VII., and
having abdicated that sovereignty, retired to the abbey of Ripaille,
which he had long admired as a secluded retreat, and to which he was a
great benefactor. His restless disposition having induced him to seek
the papal dignity, he, soon after obtaining it, became a second time a
recluse but did not subject himself to any great _mortification_.

This remarkable character died in 1451, æt. 69, at Geneva; he was buried
with a Bible under his head, with this inscription, the application of
which, I do not exactly understand:

     "La ville de Genèva est située au milieu des montagnes; son
     territoire est sablonneux, très-peu etendu, et les habitans sont
     curieux de nouveautés." "The city of Geneva is situated amongst
     mountains, its territory is sandy, and of small extent, and its
     inhabitants are curious concerning novelty."

The reformation was established in the Pays de Vaud, in 1536, after a
public controversy had been held between the Protestant and Romish
ecclesiastics. The environs of Lausanne present as cheerful and animated
a sight as is to be seen in any part of Switzerland, and the view from
the public walk, in particular, is enlivened by the bays and
promontories, which diversify the sides of the lake.

Our first stage, after leaving Lausanne, was _Morges_, which is situated
on the lake; it consists chiefly of two well built streets, and carries
on a good deal of trade, having a secure port with two moles, which,
when seen from a distance, have a good effect, being ornamented with
turrets. The church is a handsome edifice of Grecian architecture, and
is calculated to accommodate a congregation much more numerous than the
town affords. But, in general, modern churches are not to be reproached
for being on too large a scale. The public walk is near the water; it is
shaded by lofty rows of glens, and presented, when we saw it, a very
lively appearance, as it was under its shade that the town of Morges
entertained at dinner, two companies of infantry, and their officers,
sent from Zurich to garrison Geneva. No place could be better adapted
for the purpose, during so hot a season. The conviviality and good
humour which prevailed were unbounded, and the patriotic tendency of the
toasts, given by those at the upper table, was proved by the cheers with
which they were received by all the others.

The road from Morges to Rolle does not continue along the banks of the
lake, which is, however, occasionally seen, and heightens the beauty of
the country, by the effect produced by its waters. We passed near the
town of Aubonne, which is chiefly distinguished by the venerable castle,
which formerly protected it from attack, and now adds to the beauty of
its appearance. Rolle is a charming village: having neither walls, nor
gates, it is denied the title of a town, which it certainly merits more
than many paltry places, which have no other pretensions to the name,
than the circumstance of their being so enclosed. It consists chiefly of
one wide and well built street; it is situated on the lake, which is
here very wide, and is surrounded by a country inferior to none we had

There is but little trade carried on here. Its mineral waters are,
however, an attraction to strangers, and the society is generally
pleasant. Many families of distinction reside in this neighbourhood, and
their villas are handsome. I was particularly struck with the situation
of one, which had been built by a Dutch gentleman; it was of an oval
form and crowned with a dome. We found its owner had lately returned to
Holland; his house was shut up, and we could not gratify our curiosity
in going over it. After dinner we took a turn on the promenade, which is
laid out with great taste. From thence we visited the castle, formerly
the residence of the Barons of Rolle, but now vested in the commune by
purchase, and applied to various purposes. One part is reserved for
public meetings, another as a poor house, and a third portion
accommodates the school of the district. We entered into conversation
with a person whom we met at the gate (who proved to be the master of
the school); and who, after having taken several pinches of snuff from
the box of one of our party, became extremely communicative, and shewed
us some of the apartments of the castle, as well as the garden, where is
a terrace washed by the lake, which as the sun had long set, and at its
waters presented an unruffled surface, was altogether one of the most
_tranquillizing_ scenes which I have ever witnessed, and which was
heightened by the venerable and mouldering appearance of this part of
the castle. We contemplated the scene for some time in silence, and it
was not without regret that we left it. We arrived at an early hour next
morning at Nyon, which is also built on the margin of the lake. It is
chiefly remarkable for its Porcelain manufactory, and for the handsome
appearance of its castle, situated above the town. Very near it is the
Chateau de Prangin, which has been purchased within the last few months
by _Joseph Buonaparte_, who proposes to console himself in this
retirement for the loss of regal power. His carriage passed us just
before we entered Nyon; and we were told he was on his way to another
house which he has in this neighbourhood, where he mostly resides, to
superintend the alteration he is now carrying on at Prangin. We went to
see the _chateau_, and found a considerable number of men employed about
it. It is a large building, with a tower at each angle, and surrounds a
paved court. The terrace commands a charming prospect, and no man could
desire a more agreeable residence. We entered into conversation with an
officer of his titular majesty's household, who said it was very natural
we should desire to see one of the members of a family which had of late
years acted so distinguished a part in Europe. He told us that King
Joseph was extremely fond of hunting, and intended to enclose a large
portion of the land he had purchased with a wall, in order to form a
_chasse pour les bêtes sauvages_. This will be a great novelty in this
highly improved country, and the wall must cost a vast sum of money.

We waited some time, but without success, in the hope of seeing his
Majesty. He will be probably much happier in this retirement than if the
armies of his brother had succeeded in placing him on a throne which he
wanted ability to fill with honour to himself, or with advantage to the
people over whom Buonaparte designed he should act as governor and
promulgator of his oppressive system. The Spaniards despised _Joseph_
extremely, and gave him the appellation of _El Rey Botelli_, from his
love of wine; drunkenness being a vice to which the Spaniards are not

The hills which bound the lake near Nyon produce excellent wine, when
compared with the rest of the _Pays de Vaud_. The vin de la Cote is much
esteemed; I cannot, however, with all the partiality I feel for
Switzerland, contend for the general excellence of its wines; and
although it is said, "Bacchus amat colles," yet I think the hills of the
Pays de Vaud will hardly contend for this favour with those of the
Rhingau and of Burgundy. Between Nyon and Copet we saw some of the
artillery of this canton practising at a mark, and were informed that
they exercise here in turns, and that they are great proficients in the
art of taking a correct aim. It is doubtless well to be prepared to
resist any enemy who may wish to seize and oppress one's country; but I
hope Switzerland may not soon have to contend with the overwhelming
armies of France.

Copet is a pleasantly situated village. Fishing seems to be the chief
occupation of its inhabitants.

Near it is the chateau, formerly the property of M. Necker, and now the
residence of his daughter, Madame de Staël, who will probably be as
celebrated in future times for her writings, as her father for the
administration of the French finances. I was to have accompanied two
friends to a fête given here by Madame de Staël, but unfortunately we
did not return in time from our excursion to Chamouny; and shortly after
Madame de Staël went to Paris. This lady is said to have formerly
remarked, that she should probably find it very difficult to be suited
with a husband, _as her mother insisted she should marry a man of
quality; her father wished for a man of talents, and she to please
herself_. The Baron de Staël Holstein was finally accepted, as no doubt
uniting all the points required. We soon reached Versoi, which belongs
to France, and was, during the disturbances which prevailed at Geneva in
1765, much encouraged by the then minister, the Duke de Choiseul, who
expected that its advantageous situation, as well as its proximity to
Geneva, would attract many of its inhabitants to settle there; and that,
by their well-known industry, his newly founded town would speedily

The duke was, however, disappointed in the expectations he had formed
(as the present situation of Versoi affords ample testimony); for it was
too much to suppose, that men born under a free government would, on
account of trifling internal dissensions, abandon their country, and
become the voluntary subjects of a despotic monarchy. _Confidence is a
plant of slow growth_, and an absolute government is not likely to
encourage it. An enlightened monarch may frame an edict equally liberal
as that of Nantes; but the tyranny or bigotry of a succeeding sovereign
may revoke what only proceeded from sentiments to which he is a
stranger. The Genevese have now nothing to apprehend from Versoi as a
rival, but are anxious that it should be united to Switzerland, the
French custom-house there being an obstacle to their trade by land, as
they are only separated from the rest of Switzerland by this narrow
point which projects from the country of Gex. Gex was at one time
subject to Savoy, and at another period to Geneva. It is six leagues in
length, and about three and a half in width. On the road from Versoi to
Geneva we had ourselves reason to perceive the inconveniences of the
French custom-house, as it is quite absurd to insist on opening packages
which are not destined to remain above ten minutes on the French
territory. The country here is finely varied, and the distant view of
Geneva again drew from us expressions of admiration, after an excursion
through a country where the traveller often sees more to delight and to
interest him in one day than he sometimes meets with in travelling for a
week through other Provinces.

       *       *       *       *       *


Having left Geneva so soon after my arrival there, I had not of course
sufficient time to speak sufficiently of a city so peculiarly
interesting on many accounts. The journal of a traveller is not however
the place to look for long statements of the revolutions, wars, and
sieges of the cities which he visits; but still there are very few
tourists who have omitted to swell their pages with details more
properly the province of the historian, and, from the unconnected manner
in which they are generally introduced, not calculated to give any very
accurate idea of the history of the place. I shall not therefore attempt
to mention the various revolutions which have at different times
disturbed the city of Geneva; and shall only remark, that it was
formerly annexed to the German empire, and that its bishops, like those
of Lausanne, having taken advantage of the precarious authority of some
of the emperors, succeeded in uniting to the spiritual jurisdiction most
of the temporal authority of the state, and lost both together at the
introduction of the reformation in 1585. The citizens, to defend
themselves from the powerful pretensions of the Dukes of Savoy,
concluded, in 1584, a perpetual alliance with the cantons of Zurich and
Berne (the most powerful of the reformed cantons), by which alliance
this republic became a part of the Swiss confederacy, and continued so
to be until forced to unite itself to France, by the revolutionary
government of that country. It has again recovered its independence; and
the general wish is that Geneva may be declared a canton of Switzerland
(this has, since I left Geneva, actually taken place, and the event was
celebrated with the utmost enthusiasm by its inhabitants). Their present
government is not absolutely arranged, and seems but little varied from
that democratic form which anciently prevailed (the merits of which
have given rise to much discussion), and by which all power is finally
vested in the general or sovereign council, composed of all the citizens
of Geneva who have attained their majority, there being a few particular
exemptions. All citizens are equally eligible to the public employments
of the state, of which, however, the emoluments are so scanty, as only
to make them objects of honourable ambition.

By the laws of Geneva, a father can never dispose of more than half his
estate, according to his inclination; the other half must be divided
equally amongst his children. Those citizens who do not discharge the
debts of their father after his decease, are excluded from holding any
public situations; as also, if they omit to pay debts which they have
themselves contracted. There are still subsisting many _sumptuary laws_,
which appear useful, to exclude the introduction of too great a degree
of luxury, which is generally so fatal to the liberty of a people.

There is a theatre at Geneva, which I have heard was first projected by
M. d'Alembert, but the magistrates endeavour to prevent as much as
possible the frequency of theatrical entertainments; and, during my stay
at Geneva (between three and four weeks), I think the theatre was open
but twice for plays, and once for a concert.

The town-house is a large and ancient building, and devoid of
regularity. It is chiefly worthy of mention, from the ascent to the
upper apartments, being by an inclined plane, sufficiently spacious to
admit a carriage to drive up to them. Here are the apartments of the
senate, the councils of government, officers of justice, &c. Here I left
my passports and received, in return, a permission to reside in the
city, which must be renewed every fortnight. The passport is returned
upon the final departure of its owner.

I now found it easy to provide myself with a lodging (as, without the
authority of the state, no citizen can receive strangers into his house)
on reasonable terms, for three weeks. My apartment commanded a handsome
prospect of the lake from one of the windows. I, however, occasionally
dined at the hotel where I had first lodged (the Balances d'Or). I here
found sometimes pleasant society at the Table d'Hote. The hour of dinner
was about a quarter past one o'clock, and the table was plentifully
supplied, much in the order I before mentioned, in speaking of the
French dinners. I observed that excellent vegetable, the potatoe, was
here in great estimation, at the tables both of the higher and inferior
classes; and, except in Italy, I understand its value is duly
appreciated in the principal parts of Europe. I now proceed, according
to my promise, to speak more of Geneva, having been for some time
domesticated there.

The city is regularly fortified; but, according to the modern system of
warfare, it would not probably make any efficient resistance; yet
although its fortifications may not be sufficient to secure it during a
siege, they are not entirely devoid of utility: they would prevent the
city's being suddenly occupied by an enemy, and thus afford time for the
conclusion of a regular capitulation. Situated as the city is, between
France and Sardinia, and divided from the rest of Switzerland, it must
be granted, that the government acts wisely in preserving its
fortifications. Indeed, their utility was fully exemplified during the
eventful period of last spring, when the allied troops, after having for
some days occupied the city, were suddenly called away, and the
inhabitants were menaced by a force of 3,000 Frenchmen, who demanded
admission. This was refused them; and happily, the return of the allied
forces in a few days, saved Geneva from the melancholy effects which
must have ensued from the irruption of the French, who were greatly
exasperated that the city did not at first oppose the entrance of the
Allies. The ramparts form the principal promenade of the Genevese; and
from some of them (particularly from the Place St. Antoine, which
commands the lake, and is well planted) the views are very striking over
a highly cultivated valley, enclosed by some of the most lofty mountains
in Europe. Detachments of the allied forces remained a very considerable
time at Geneva, and at one period the Republic had to defray a daily
expence of not less 40,000 francs.

But what seems to be most regretted by the Genevese, is the destruction
by those troops, of several avenues of trees, which had for many years
lined one of the roads near the city, and formed one of their favourite
walks. The Austrians, in their impatience to obtain fuel, could not be
persuaded to spare them, and the inhabitants now avoid a walk which they
once delighted in.

I have not, however, heard many complaints at the sums expended for the
maintenance of the allied troops, as they have relieved Geneva from the
yoke of France, under which their trade (which alone had raised their
city to such celebrity) was nearly annihilated.

I obtained some information on this subject, from a person of whom I
inquired my way to the hamlet of the Petit Sacconnex, near Geneva, where
is the best view of Mont Blanc. Seeing I was a stranger, he was very
civil; but he was delighted when he discovered of what country I was,
and spoke of England with enthusiasm, as it was to her perseverance that
his country, in common with most of Europe, was indebted for the late
glorious change in the state of their affairs. He informed me, that
before the union of Geneva to France, he had been in good business as a
watchmaker (the great occupation of the Genevese) but, like numberless
others, was thrown out of employment. Many emigrated, some worked as day
labourers, others were forced into the army, and he, being very old,
maintained himself with difficulty by setting up a small school.

I found my conductor an extremely well informed man, as indeed are most
of the tradespeople of Geneva. The higher circles are remarkable for
that freedom, blended with politeness, which places society on its most
natural basis, as I had frequent occasion to remark during my stay at
Geneva. I must not omit to mention the pleasure I experienced from the
_fête de navigation_ (to which I was invited by the kindness of a
gentleman, to whom I had been introduced) which is one of the most
splendid at Geneva; and the scene of the lake, covered with boats of
various sizes, filled with elegant females (and I have seen few places
that can boast of a greater proportion,) prevented my reflections on the
_more distant scene_ which its shores presented, and which, under
different circumstances, would not have passed unnoticed. After having
spent some time on the water, the company repaired to the Hall of
Navigation, near the village of Secheron, where a handsome entertainment
was provided. The evening concluded with a brilliant display of
fire-works, and the Lake was again enlivened by the boats carrying back
the company to the city. I observed amongst the company an English
Admiral, who attended this fête in his uniform. The Genevese lamented
that so handsome a dress should be disfigured by the _small hat_ he
wore, and it was indeed small compared with those of their officers. The
peasants here wear larger hats than any I saw in France, probably to
shade them from the sun; but in any climate, I do not think an English
labourer would feel at his ease with such a vast _edifice_ on his head.
The bonnets worn by the inhabitants of parts of Savoy and Vaud, are not
very dissimilar in shape from some I have seen in Wales; they are of
straw, and are commonly ornamented with black ribbon.

I shall here insert an epigram composed in 1602, by a Prince of Hesse,
who, at his departure, presented the city with 10,000 crowns.

    Quisquis amat vitam, sobriam, castamque tueri,
      Perpetuò esto illi casta Geneva domus:
    Quisquis amat vitani hanc bene vivere, virere et illam,
      Illi iterum fuerit casta Geneva domus.
    Illic iuvenies, quidquid, conducit utrique:
      Relligio hic sana est, aura, ager, atque lucus.

Amongst the various objects which are pointed out as deserving the
attention of a stranger, is the house in which the celebrated J.J.
Rousseau was born, in the year 1712. The circumstance is recorded by an
inscription over the door. His father was a watchmaker, and his house
was small and obscurely situated.

Rousseau was perhaps the most eloquent and fascinating of all the
sceptical writers of the last century; and probably the only one amongst
them who established a _system of his own_, if indeed his eccentricities
can be so called. His character exhibited a strange mixture of _pride_,
which made him perpetually anxious to be of public notoriety, and of an
_unsociable temper_, which often made him retire in disgust with the
world, and treat (without any rational cause, that has been assigned)
those who were most his friends, as if he considered them to be his
bitterest enemies. He was far more jealous of the reputation obtained by
his contemporaries, than delighted with the approbation he personally
received. Considered as a _philosopher_, he was paradoxical; as a
_moralist_, dangerous and licentious; as a _parent_, unnaturally
abandoning his offspring; as a _friend_, suspicious and ungrateful. As
_pride_ was the ruling passion of Rousseau, so was _vanity_ beyond
dispute the grand characteristic of _Voltaire_, (the proximity of Fernay
may excuse my here comparing him with Rousseau,) and this passion
induced him to pervert transcendent talents to the most pernicious and
fatal purposes.

The hostility of Voltaire to the _Christian dispensation_ has been
compared to the enmity rather of a rival than of a philosopher. He is
thought to have wished its overthrow, not so much because he entertained
any solid objections to its sublime theories, or had real doubts as to
the miracles by which it is attested; as because his _vanity_ led him to
think, that if he once could persuade men to the abolition of
Christianity, he might himself become the founder of a new system of
_moral indulgence_. The Abbé Raynal, in 1791; _already repented_ of the
philosophic principles, which he had so sedulously inculcated, and
expressed his conviction, that the consequence of the theories then so
finely fancied, would be a general pillage, for that their authors
wanted experience, to reduce their speculations to a practical system.
The Abbé was right in _this last_ expectation, and from the French
Revolution, so destructive in most respects, there has at least resulted
this advantage; it has furnished the most satisfactory comment upon the
_grand experiment_ of the philosophers, and proved most folly that it is
_religion alone_ that possesses authority to silence the clamours of
interest, to control the passions, and to fetter the ambition of
mankind. The same year (1778) is memorable for the deaths both of
Voltaire and Rousseau; the first is represented as exhibiting on his
_death bed_ the most melancholy spectacle of horror and remorse that can
be possibly conceived; the latter is thought to have committed _suicide_
at Ermenonville, where he found an asylum, after having been banished
successively from many states. This opinion is founded chiefly on the
authority of Madame de Staël; it is related, that he rose in the morning
in perfect health, and returned after his usual walk; that soon after,
he desired his wife to open the window, that he might, as he expressed
it, _contemplate nature for the last time_ and that being presently
taken ill, he refused to receive any assistance, and died in a few

Those who have seen both those celebrated characters (who long attracted
persons from all parts of Europe to this country) have remarked, that
_Voltaire_ at first sight was acknowledged to be a man of genius; but
that _Rousseau_ was only suspected of possessing superior abilities.

I have perhaps said too much on this subject, into which I have been led
insensibly, by reflecting on what I had read of these philosophers, and
shall therefore conclude with inserting the remark of a Savoyard
peasant, who, according to M. Lantier, being asked his opinion of them,
answered, "_I think that Voltaire has done a great deal of mischief in
the age in which he lived; and that Rousseau will not do less to

The college of Geneva and its library are generally pointed out to
strangers as worthy of a visit; for the Genevese are no less celebrated
for their proficiency in literature, than for their commercial industry.
The college consists of nine classes, and owes its foundation to the
celebrated Calvin, who was born at Nyon, where his father was a cooper.
He first arrived at Geneva in 1536, was exiled in 1538, and recalled
finally in 1541; he became the legislator as well as the religious
reformer of the state. He is still the great hero of the Genevese, who
believe him to be innocent of the _death of Michael Servet_, which has
in the general opinion cast such disgrace on his memory. He did not
affect to deny the _great perversity of his temper_, which is indeed
exhibited by many of his actions, so forcibly as not to admit of
concealment. His writings, in 44 volumes, containing 2023 sermons, and
his portrait, are preserved in the college, library, which contains
about 50,000 volumes, besides 200 manuscripts, some of which are of
great value. This library was originally founded by Bonnival, prior of
St. Victor, and is open from one till three o'clock every Tuesday. Two
secretaries are then engaged, under the inspection of the librarian, in
taking lists of the books which are borrowed or returned. The hydraulic
machine on the Rhone, which supplies the city with water, although it is
less complicated than that at Marli, is not less ingenious, and is
certainly of greater utility. The wheel is twenty-four feet in diameter,
and raises about 500 pints a minute at all seasons (being preserved
from the effects of frost) to two reservoirs, one seventy, the other 126
feet above the level of the river. The first supplies the fountains and
houses in the lower part of the town, and the second those in the more
elevated situations. The water of the Rhone, although transparently
clear, is hard and unpleasant to drink.

In enumerating the public establishments of Geneva, I must not omit to
mention the Society for the Advancement of the Arts, which was
originally projected by M. Faizan, an eminent watch-maker; its first
meetings were held at M. de Saussure's house. This society is now so
considerable as to be under the direction of government, and its
meetings are held in the town-hall, where subjects connected with
agriculture and the useful arts are discussed, and prizes distributed,
as well to the school of drawing (which is on a most respectable
footing) as to all, who distinguish themselves, either by inventions of
utility, or by noble or _humane_ actions.

Another excellent establishment here, is the Chambre des Blés, or
magazine of corn; this is a large and handsome building, and always
contains an ample supply of good wheat. The direction of this
establishment is immediately in the government, and its managers are
selected from the different councils. The benefits arising from abundant
seasons, cover the expences occasioned by years of scarcity. The bakers
being obliged to buy here whatever quantity of corn they may require,
and at an uniform price it follows that the price of bread always
continues the same, and that price is fixed by the grand council. The
managers of this store, to prevent the bakers from making bread of an
inferior quality, have established a shop in each quarter of the city;
and the bakers, to ensure a ready sale, are obliged to make their bread
of equal quality with that which could be procured at the shops of the
managers of this establishment. The churches of Geneva are not
distinguished by any architectural beauties, if we except the portico of
the _cathedral_, which is constructed of rough marble, said to be
copied after that of the Rotunda at Rome; it is considered equal to that
of St. Genevieve at Paris, but I cannot subscribe to that opinion.

The Calvinistic tenets (which are those of the state) are most generally
adopted at Geneva; but the Lutherans, the Germans of the Confession of
Augsburg, and the Roman Catholics, have each a church. The ministers are
appointed by the Government, and care is taken that the Roman Catholic
minister be subject to a Swiss Bishoprick. In the Calvinistic churches,
the hours of divine service are nine in the morning and two in the
afternoon. The service consists in the reading the commandments, a few
prayers, a chapter in the Bible, and the sermon; and concludes with a
psalm or hymn, accompanied by the organ; the whole service generally
occupies an hour. The Sunday is principally distinguished by the sermon,
the rest of the week being allotted for reading the Scriptures.--A
stranger is much surprised at seeing _many persons wear their hats
during the sermon_, a custom which indicates a want of respect to the
place that cannot be excused, however inferior the compositions of a
preacher may be to the rest of the service. There is one thing to be
noticed here as worthy of imitation: no burials are allowed within the
city. At Paris also, most of the burial places near the churches have
been removed to the catacombs, a change which has tended greatly to
purify the air of the city. There is a box at each door of the churches
here, and as the congregation retire after divine service, a person is
stationed near it, to desire them to _remember the poor_. These
collections must be liberal, as few places are so free from beggars as

       *       *       *       *       *


The _Perte du Rhone_, or the spot where the Rhone suddenly sinks into
the ground, forms one of the objects usually visited from Geneva, and I
accepted a proposal to join a party in making an excursion thither. We
were careful in providing a carriage, which was so constructed, as to
allow us a view on _both sides_, as some only afford a prospect of _half
the country_, the passengers all sitting on one side, and the cover
being immoveable.

We set out at an early hour, and arrived at Vanchy about noon, from
whence we proceeded on foot to the spot where the vast waters of the
Rhone, in approaching a ridge of rocks, with inconceivable rapidity,
_sink into the earth_. The cavern is covered with foam, from the
agitation of so great a body of water being forced into so small an
aperture; and the sight is at once magnificent and solemn. The
_emersion_ of the Rhone is not far distant from the place of its
ingulphation, but presents a very different spectacle, as the river
ascends so gradually as to be completely smooth, which in attributed to
the depth of the caverns from which it issues. It seems probable that
these caverns have some undiscovered outlet, as the Rhone, after its
rise from them, is but inconsiderable, compared with what it is before
its disappearance.

Not far distant is the Pont de Bellegarde, over the little river
Valserine, which runs through a deep dell into the Rhone. The scene is
well deserving of attention. In the vicinity of Geneva are several hop
gardens, which seem very flourishing; but whether it is that the
inhabitants do not understand the art of brewing as well as in England,
or that there is any difference in the plant, I do not know; but no one,
who has been accustomed to good malt liquor, could be persuaded to
relish theirs.

The elevation of Geneva (187 toises above the Mediterranean) together
with the proximity of the Alps, and of the mountains of Jura, cause
winters to be long, and often severe. The summers are often extremely
hot, but the air is refreshed by the gales from the mountains, which
sometimes occasion very sudden changes in the atmosphere.

The thermometer of _Réaumur_ has been known to rise 26 degrees above
freezing, but I have never myself observed it above 18 or 20 during my

It is said, that very severe cold has brought it to 14 degrees below
freezing, and then the lake, and even the rapid current of the Rhone,
have been frozen.

Often, during the summer months, the lake is ruffled by the _Bise_, or
regular north-east wind; but the east and west winds occasion the most
destructive tempests. The climate of Switzerland is in general much
colder than in the countries by which it is surrounded. Its numerous
lakes, mostly very elevated, add greatly to the freshness of the air,
and the frequent rains from the Alps bring with them the temperature of
those mountains. But, although the climate is so variable, being often
changed in a few hours, from the great heat which the reflection of the
sun occasions in the valleys, to the cold rains which proceed from the
surrounding mountains, yet these sudden transitions do not appear to
have an ill effect on the health of the inhabitants. On the contrary,
the celebrated physician _Haller_ attributes the salubrity of the air of
Switzerland to the currents from the Alps, which preserve it continually
pure, and prevent its stagnation in the valleys.

The soil of Switzerland is, in general, stony and unfertile, but the
peasants spare no pains to render it productive. I have had more than
once before occasion to express my astonishment at the sight of
mountains divided into terraces, and cultivated to their very summits. I
have been informed by a gentleman, who has devoted much of his attention
to agricultural pursuits, that the general return of grain in
Switzerland is about five times the quantity sown, and that Switzerland
does not produce much above a tenth part of the corn necessary for the
subsistence of its population, which he calculates at 130 to the square
mile, or nearly two millions; but if the parts which it is impossible
can ever be cultivated, were left out of the calculation, the average
population to the square mile would be of course greatly increased; as
the present scheme includes the whole superficies of the country.

The proportion which some other countries bear to Switzerland, in
respect to the population subsisting on each square mile, is as follows,

    China, the most populous country
      in the world, of the same extent        260

    Holland, which has a greater population
      than any country of its limited
      extent                                  275

    France, as in 1782                        174

    United kingdom of Great Britain and
      Ireland                                 145

    Russia in Europe                           30

    Iceland                                     1

I have been assured that in one part of the Canton of Appenzell, the
population amounts to 562 per square mile. It is one of the most
secluded parts of Switzerland, and is famous for the music called the
_Ranz des Suisses_. The Alps greatly increase the surface of Switzerland
when compared with less mountainous countries, and it therefore can
support vast flocks in situations where agriculture would be
impracticable. I have been frequently surprised to see cattle in places,
whither they must have been carried by the inhabitants. The number of
the cattle, in many of the Swiss Cantons, greatly exceeds that of the

_Haller_ has observed that Switzerland presents, as it were, three
distinct regions; that on the tops of _the mountains_ are found the
plants indigenous in Lapland; _lower down_, are found those of the Cape
of Good Hope; and the _valleys_ abound with plants peculiar to
Switzerland, besides others which are found in the same latitude. I
observed in a former chapter, that the great occupation of the
inhabitants of Geneva consists in the manufacture of watches, clocks,
&c. and having a desire to see some specimens of their workmanship, I
accompanied a friend, who had purchased a _musical snuff-box_, to the
workshop of its fabricator, who although he was of the first celebrity
in Geneva, had no warehouse in a more accessible situation than his
workshop on the fifth story. I afterwards found that most of the
watchmakers had their workshops at the tops of the houses, which here,
as in Edinburgh, are mostly occupied by several families, who have a
common stair-case to their apartments. I was much pleased with the
display of ingenuity in this warehouse, and found that many of the
articles were intended to be sent to Paris, to Asia, &c. Geneva itself
could not, of course, supply purchasers for such a profusion of
expensive mechanism. The _taste_ of many of the articles, is by no means
such as would ensure them a ready sale in London.

There are at Geneva many pleasant _circles_ or _societies_, who have a
common apartment to meet in within the city, where the papers are taken
in; and often a garden in the neighbourhood for their recreation. I was
introduced to one of these circles, and went to their garden, which was
large and well-shaded with walnut trees. About the centre was a large
pleasure house, furnished with billiard, chess, and backgammon tables.
Some of the party were engaged at _bowls_; their game differs from ours
in many respects, as here they prefer a gravel walk or uneven surface,
and they throw the bowl a considerable height into the air, instead of
letting it glide gently along. I became acquainted with a French
gentleman, much advanced in years, who had resided here chiefly since
the French Revolution. He told me his head had been _twice laid on the
block for execution_, and that the _whole_ of his family had perished
during the troubles in France: he therefore did not wish to return into
his country, which would only recall melancholy recollections; but he
rejoiced much to see the royal family again seated on the throne. It is
to be feared, that there are, in many parts of Europe, several
individuals in equally unfortunate circumstances, after the dreadful
carnage occasioned by the continued succession of wars with which it has
been ravaged. I must not take my leave of Geneva without mentioning,
that there are few places which afford more of the requisites to a
pleasant residence. The walks and rides in its vicinity, are very
numerous, and abound with interesting prospects. The view of the city
from the village of Coligny, on the Savoy side of the lake, is highly
impressive. The junction of the rivers _Arve_ and _Rhone_ forms another
very fine scene. The waters of the Rhone are at least three times
greater than those of the Arve, and are of a transparent blue colour,
whilst those of the Arve are of a milky hue, something like the
appearance of the Rhone when it first enters the Lake of Geneva, where
it leaves the tint it acquired from the mountain snows and torrents. The
Rhone seems for a considerable distance to retire from any amalgamation
with the Arve, but at length assumes a less transparent aspect.

About half a league from Geneva is the town of Carrouge, which at one
period was in some degree its rival in trade, but is at present by no
means in a flourishing state. Its future destiny remains to be decided
along with those of more important states, at the approaching Congress
of Vienna. The general opinion seems to be that the Carrougians wish to
be reunited to France; but the King of Sardinia has invited them to
submit to his authority.

I walked one morning to St. Julian, about two leagues from Geneva; it is
pleasantly situated in that part of Savoy which is ceded to France, and
which is in fact the most essential part of the country, as it is said
this division materially interrupts the communication between those
parts which remain with the King of Sardinia. The object in visiting St.
Julian, was principally to see the plain, where after a sharp contest,
the Austrians were defeated by little more than half their number of
French troops, but having received reinforcements, renewed the action
and were victorious. It must be confessed, that the Austrian troops are
much inferior to the French; and the latter having so frequently
defeated them, feel quite indignant against the Austrians for the part
taken by their government in the invasion of France, and the
restoration of the Bourbons.

Most of the French officers I have met with indulge the hope, that some
differences at the Congress may occasion a fresh war with Austria. The
French in general join the officers in looking forward to the recovery
of what they contend are their natural limits--the Rhine and
Belgium;--and after so many years of war, are dissatisfied at having no
conquests to boast of.

It cannot be however expected that the great bias given to the French in
favour of war, by their late ruler, should speedily subside; but the
restless and impatient spirit which at present prevails in France, and
which would engage immediately in a fresh war, must be in some degree
restrained by the exhausted state of their finances; and as it is, many
of the taxes are much complained of.

       *       *       *       *       *


I remained at Geneva longer than I had at first intended, and at last
quitted it with regret. I shall ever recollect the time I spent there
with pleasure; but the period allotted for my tour would not permit me
to remain any longer stationary; and I therefore set off for the
mountains of Jura, celebrated for the extensive and varied prospects
which they afford of the Alps, &c. I was much pleased with the scenery
of the little lake and valley of _Joux_, shut out by mountains from the
rest of the Canton of Vaud. At Coponex I met two gentlemen, who were
indebted to their horse for having escaped being robbed the evening
before. They were travelling slowly in an open carriage, when suddenly
they were ordered to stop by several men of French appearance, who were
thought to be disbanded soldiers. This adventure made a great noise in a
neighbourhood, where highway robbery is extremely unusual. We
breakfasted at a neat inn in the village of Lassera, and afterwards went
to see the chief curiosity of the place, the separation of a rivulet
into two branches, one of which falls into the Lake of Neufchâtel, and
eventually through the rivers Aar and Rhine into the German Ocean; the
other runs into the Lake of Geneva, and by means of the Rhone at length
reaches the Mediterranean. This singularity proves the facility with
which the Lakes of Neufchâtel and Geneva might be made to communicate
with each other. Accordingly, a canal has long since been commenced; but
its projectors have made little progress in their undertaking. The
little town of Orbe, is nearly surrounded by a river of the same name;
it bears evident marks of antiquity, and from its position, must have
been in former times a place of considerable strength. The ancient kings
of Burgundy had a residence here.

This part of the country is highly varied, and presents a most
picturesque appearance.

Land in the Pays de Vaud, I found, generally sells for about
twenty-five years purchase; and 3½ or 4 per cent, is thought sufficient
interest for money invested in it. Travelling and living are much dearer
in this country than in France, as although the inhabitants have few
superfluities, yet they have to fetch them from a distance, Switzerland
not affording a sufficient supply of food for the support of its

Yverdun was our next stage; it is after Lausanne and Vevay the most
considerable town in the canton. It is situated close to the Lake of
Neufchâtel, and is surrounded by water. It consists of three parallel
streets, terminating in a square, in which are the church and townhouse,
both neat structures. The population is about 5000. The castle is
flanked by numerous turrets, and has a venerable appearance. The
promenade presents a sort of _sea view_, as the extremity of the lake
(which is about nine leagues in length, by two in breadth) is hid from
the eye by the convexity of its waters, and the view is terminated by
the sky. At a little distance from the town, is a mineral spring, with
a large building containing baths and a pump-room.

I found the waters were strongly impregnated with sulphur. Here is a
celebrated school, containing about 250 boys; the annual expense for
each boarder is not less than fifty louis.

We proceeded in the diligence to Neufchâtel, through the towns of
Granson, St. Aubin, and Boudri. The banks of the lake present a
continued succession of vineyards, which afford the best red wine in
Switzerland. The conductor of our voiture amused us a good deal by his
eccentricity. He seemed thoroughly happy and contented; and when an old
gentleman of the party wished for a bag of crowns that were put into the
carriage, to be conveyed to Berne, the conductor declared, _he was not
like Napoleon, and wished for nothing he had not_. We found that the
establishment of a game licence had occasioned some discontent in this
country. The quantity of game is said to have greatly diminished. One
gentleman told me, they sometimes hunted wild boars on the mountains
near France. The roads here have been much shortened by a new line of
communication which has been lately opened, and the bridge at Serrier of
a single arch over a deep valley, (which formerly obliged travellers to
make a considerable circuit) has a very handsome as well as useful
effect. The town of Neufchâtel contains between 4 and 5,000 inhabitants;
it is partly built on a hill, where stand the church and castle, and
partly on a plain near the lake, on the borders of which are handsome
public walks and further improvements are carrying on. The elegant
appearance of many of the private houses proves the wealth of their

Neufchâtel is without fortifications, but is in general well built; it
is said to present a perspective, resembling, in miniature, the distant
view of Naples. The lake is not deep, but seldom freezes, although it is
thirty-one toises more elevated than that of Geneva.

The principalities of Neufchâtel and Vallingen are about twelve leagues
long, by eight at the broadest part; the soil is far from fertile, but
the industry of the inhabitants renders it astonishingly productive.
Any person having a certificate of his general good conduct may settle
here, and enjoy every essential privilege of the native subjects. This
is perhaps the only country in Europe _exempt from taxes_; for the
payment of a few sous annually from every householder cannot be
considered as a tax. This circumstance lessens our astonishment at the
commercial activity which prevails in this little state, the population
of which exceeds 40,000. The villages of Chaux de Fond and Locle, with
their districts, contain about 600 inhabitants, and furnish annually
10,000 watches in gold and silver, besides clocks. There are also
numerous engravers and enamellers. The country is celebrated for its
wild beauty; and our excursion, which occupied a day, was pleasant.

The Protestant is the established religion of the state, with the
exception of the little town of Landeron, where the Roman Catholic
religion is maintained. It is recorded, that the inhabitants, having
assembled to deliberate, which of the two forms of worship should be
acknowledged, the numbers were equally divided. It being however
discovered, that a shepherd was absent, he was sent for, and having
given his vote, that the Roman Catholic religion should be continued, it
was decided accordingly.

The town of Neufchâtel is much indebted to one of its citizens, David
Riri, who expended three or four millions of livres in works of public
utility. Another individual built the town-house, which is a handsome
edifice of the Corinthian order.

The little brook called the Serrieres, which does not run above the
length of two gun-shots before it falls into the lake, turns a great
number of mills of various kinds.

Having been much struck with the spirit of industry and activity which
distinguishes the appearance of this little state, I felt anxious to
inquire concerning the government, and a gentleman of this town, to whom
I was introduced when at Geneva, was kind enough to give me ample
information on the subject. As I say but little respecting the history
of _large states_, perhaps I may be excused for the following details,
which I think possess some interest.

The state of Neufchâtel is an independent sovereignty, allied with
Switzerland; which alliance secures its independence, and every prince,
on succeeding to the sovereignty, is obliged to ratify it. The actual
government is a mixture of aristocracy and democracy. The sovereignty,
which is _almost a name_, is inalienable and indivisible, and cannot be
sold or given to a younger branch of the reigning family, without the
consent of the people--it is hereditary, and a female is capable of
inheriting it. The revenues of the sovereign arise from quitrents,
fines, tithes, and the exclusive right of trout fishing in the autumn;
he can, on no pretext whatever, exact any thing additional from the
state, and the total of his revenue does not exceed 45,000 francs. The
prince has the disposal of all civil and military employments, not
reserved particularly for popular election; he is represented by a
governor, who presides at the general meetings of the estates of the
principality, but has no vote unless the numbers are equally divided. In
the event of a _contest_ relative to the succession to the principality,
the _Estates General_ are alone competent to decide between the
different claimants; and the Canton of Berne has always decided any
differences that may have arisen between the prince and the people
respecting their particular rights. The last time when the estates were
called upon to decide between a number of claimants for the sovereignty,
was in 1707, on the death of the Duchess of Nemours without issue. Most
of the claimants came in person to Neufchâtel, or sent ambassadors to
support their pretensions. Amongst them were the King of Prussia,
Margrave of Baden Dourlach, the Prince of Nassau, the Prince of Condé,
the Marquis d'Algers, the Count of Montbeliard, &c. &c. In bestowing the
sovereignty on the King of Prussia, care was taken that he should
confirm all the doubtful privileges of the people; for it is a
fundamental maxim of this little state, "_that the sovereignty resides
not in the person of the prince, but in the state_".

The Neufchâtelois are permitted to serve in the armies of _any power,
not at war with the Prince of Neufchâtel, as such_, and accordingly it
has happened that they have often fought against the Prussians in the
wars of Frederic the Great. By the treaty of Tilsit, 1806, this state
was severed from Prussia, and given by Buonaparte to Marshal Berthier;
but the recent events have restored it to the King of Prussia, and the
inhabitants seem to bear the greatest attachment to his Majesty. I saw,
in two places, the triumphal arches under which he passed in his late
visit to Neufchâtel. It appears probable that this will be acknowledged
as a canton by the Swiss Diet, but that the nominal sovereignty of the
King of Prussia will be preserved. The chief advantage his Majesty
derives from this country is the supply of a great number of recruits to
his army. I saw a body of 1,400 soldiers, of excellent appearance, set
out on their march for Prussia.

At the village of _St. Blaise_ we observed, under the sign of one of the
inns, the sentiment, "_Honorez le Roi; soignez l'agriculture_" We next
proceeded to visit the celebrated lake of Bienne, which is about nine
English miles by four. The isle of St. Pierre, so much praised by
Rousseau, is situated near the centre of the lake, about a league from
Cerlier, where we embarked for it. It is about half a league in
circumference. The ancient convent is inhabited by a farmer, and the bed
of the philosophic Rousseau is now at the command of any of his admirers
who may wish to repose in it.

There is also a large building, which is in summer the scene of much
festivity, and which commands an extensive and interesting prospect.

One side of this island rises boldly from the lake to a great height;
the other is on a level with its waters. It contains many vineyards, and
several large chesnut trees. The town of Bienne, until its union to
France in 1799, presented the singularity of a Protestant state being
nominally subject to a Roman Catholic prelate (the Bishop of Basle). Its
liberties were guaranteed by the Swiss Diet, where it sent a
representative, a privilege the bishop did not possess. Its future
government is not yet determined on. The country about Nydau more
resembles Holland and Switzerland, being marshy, or drained by Canals.
Many Swiss writers are of opinion, that formerly the lakes of
Neufchâtel, Morat and Bienne were united; and the appearance of the
country renders the supposition not improbable.

The Pont de Thiel divides the territories of Rome and Neufchâtel; and it
is also the limit of the French language, none of the peasants beyond
the bridge being able to answer any questions but in German. However, at
all the chief inns, in both Switzerland and Germany, some of the waiters
speak French. It is difficult to suppose a more sudden change than
presents itself to the traveller on his passing this bridge. The houses,
dress, and appearance of the inhabitants, all announce that he is
arrived in a country differing entirely from France, Savoy, and the Pays
de Vaud.

The enormous black crape head-dresses of the women have a most singular
effect, as well as their long hair, which reaches halfway down their
backs, plaited into several divisions. It is said, that in some
districts, the females after marriage, roll it round their heads. The
costume of the men much resembles that of our sailors. Cotton or woollen
caps are more worn than hats, as was the custom in England until about
the time of Henry the Eighth.

We sent our baggage by the coach to Berne, and walked three leagues to
breakfast at Anet, in German _Eis_, a large village pleasantly situated.
We observed that the direction posts had a translation into French of
the German names, &c.; a precaution very useful on the frontiers of
nations speaking two different languages. We found our inn extremely
neat, as indeed the inns generally are throughout Switzerland; and that
is one great advantage to the traveller which it possesses over France,
where it is seldom that good accommodations can be procured at a country
inn. If the inns are more expensive than in France, the comfort is
greater also. The French talk much of the rapacity of the Swiss, and
have a common saying-, "_Point d'argent point de Suisse_"; but it would
be unreasonable to expect that the Swiss should give their services
gratuitously to strangers; and, considering how much their country is
frequented by strangers, the guides, servants, &c. &c. cannot be accused
of any particularly great extortion. Still, those who expect to find
Switzerland a cheap country will be disappointed, as many of their inns
(particularly at Zurich) are more expensive than some in England. There
can be, however, no country more agreeable to travel in than this, as
the scene is continually varying, and presents a succession of lofty
mountains, forests, cultivated grounds, lakes, rivers, and cascades,
which will fully occupy the attention and excite the admiration of the
tourist. The people are extremely civil. and those who understand
German have assured me that they are also well informed.

Although Anet is at such a short distance from the frontiers of
Neufchâtel, we found there were but two persons there who could speak
French. One of them was our landlord, who provided us with a guide to
conduct us to Mount _Iulemont, or Suslemont_ (which was the object we
wished to see particularly, from previous report) as he could speak only
German, our intentions were explained to him by the Landlord, and we
managed, by signs, to understand enough for our purpose. Many of the
German and English words have a strong resemblance; and a stranger in
Germany is more likely to be understood by trying English than French,
where neither are spoken. We at length arrived on the mountain, and were
much pleased with the extensive prospect from it, which resembles a vast
chart or map; the country surrounding us for many leagues in all
directions, being flat, although the view was terminated by distant
mountains. From hence we saw, at the same time, the three lakes of
Neufchâtel, Bienne, and Morat, which had a beautiful effect. A traveller
should not fail to visit this place. We continued our walk in the
afternoon to Arberg, three and a half leagues further, through a plain
which presented one of the most cheerful and interesting scenes I had
seen. It was quite covered with peasants, engaged in ploughing out
potatoes, and in gathering the leaves of the tobacco-plant, of which
there was a vast quantity. We were constantly occupied in returning
their salutations, as they seldom fail to speak to passengers. The
country was mostly unenclosed. I here observed the first extensive
_beech_ woods I had yet seen on the Continent, which are occasionally
mixed with fir, the most common timber in Switzerland. We arrived, after
sunset, at Arberg, where we found good accommodations after the fatigues
of the day. It takes its name from the river Aar, by which it is
surrounded. At each end of the town is a wooden bridge covered, to
preserve the timber from the weather. The town is a great thoroughfare
between Berne, Neufchâtel, and the Pays de Vaud; and we observed, in the
market-place, several waggons stationed until morning.

       *       *       *       *       *


We proceeded next day to Morat. Its lake is about two leagues in length
by three quarters of a league in breadth, and is said to be the only
lake in Switzerland where that voracious fish, the _silurus_, is found.
There are many vineyards in this vicinity, but the wine is very
indifferent. It is, however said to produce the best _Kirschrvasser_, or
Cherry brandy in Switzerland. Morat is celebrated in history for the
memorable victory obtained under its walls, by the Swiss, over the
formidable army of the last duke of Burgundy in 1476. The bones of the
Burgundians were piled up by way of monument on the field of battle. The
triumph of the Swiss over their invaders was recorded by many
inscriptions, of which the following is admired for its simplicity.

    Caroli incliti et fortissimi Burgundiæ ducis exercitus
    Muratum obsidiens, ab Helvetiis cæsus, hoc sui
    Monumentum reliquit, 1476.

This trophy was destroyed by the French in 1798; as they, perhaps,
feared that this memorial of the success of the Swiss, in contending for
their liberty, should incite them again to rise against the descendants
of those whom they had formerly defeated; and their vanity was probably
hurt by the existence of a record, disadvantageous to their countrymen.

We dined at the neat little village of Seedorf, and proceeded in the
evening in an open carriage to Berne. Part of the road is very hilly,
and at one time we had an interesting prospect of the island of _St.
Pierre_, and the end of the lake of Neufchâtel, at about five or six
leagues distance. About half a league from Berne we passed the _Aar_
(which is here a broad and rapid stream) by a long bridge of wood,
covered according to the general custom in Switzerland.

The city of Berne presents a _beautiful coup-d'oeil_, and is one of the
few places I have seen, where the interior does not greatly diminish the
impression, occasioned by the distant prospect. The road was lined by
lofty trees, and presented a very cheerful scene.

Berne is deservedly considered as _one of the handsomest cities in
Europe_; it stands on a hill surrounded on two sides by the beautiful
stream of the Aar; it is surrounded by higher grounds richly cultivated,
and interspersed with woods, whilst the view is terminated by the snowy
summits of the Alps.

The chief street is half a league in length. The houses, which are in
general uniform, are built of free-stone upon piazzas, and have a
stately appearance, and there are several towers which add to the
general effect. In the middle of the street, runs a rapid stream, and
there is sufficient space for two carriages to pass at each side of it.
Fountains are also placed at regular distances. The piazzas are flagged
and kept extremely neat; but, I should think, that in this climate they
must make the houses cold in winter. This was the first place since my
departure from London, where I found a flagged way for the convenience
of pedestrians.

Berne is not a city of very remote antiquity, having been founded in
the year 1191. It is 1650 feet above the level of the sea. The
fortifications are kept in tolerable order, but from the height of most
of the surrounding hills, above the city, cannot be considered as of
much utility. In the trenches are kept several very large stags, and
also several _bears_; there being an annual rent of 1200 livres for
their support. This animal is thus favoured, as being the _armorial
bearing_ of the city (to which it gives name) and these arms are every
where to be seen, there being few barns without them. There are many
handsome churches in Berne: the tower of the cathedral is very fine, and
it contains many windows of stained glass. The public library is well
worth visiting; as is also the _botanic_ garden, which is on a most
extensive scale; in it is placed the tomb of the celebrated _Haller_. I
was much struck by the great number of chemists' shops in Berne. The
bakers' shops also are very numerous, and the bread is inferior to none
in Europe.

A stranger is surprised to see the _convicts chained to the carts_
which are constantly in use to keep the streets clean. I confess the
sight displeased me, and this system would not be tolerated in England,
where I think there was an attempt to introduce it during the reign of
Edward the Sixth. The objects that most pleased me, at Berne, were the
_public walks_, which are unequalled by any I have _ever_ seen, in
respect to their number, extent, and the neatness with which they are
kept. The views from some of these walks are quite magnificent; one, in
particular, on an eminence beyond the city, which follows the course of
the Aar for a long distance, commands a view which can never be
forgotten by these who have seen it. The city is a striking object at a
distance from the number of its spires; but although, from the
spaciousness of its streets, it covers a good deal of ground, yet it is
by no means populous, the inhabitants being only 11,500, but there are
no mendicants. The public roads, in the Canton of Berne, are kept in
excellent order, and every thing indicates the activity of the
administration. The government is an aristocracy, and I was informed
the chief power of of the state is vested in about twentyfour of the
principal families. There are, doubtless, in general, many strong
objections against this form of government, but the comfort, opulence,
and appearance of content, which is remarked in the Bernese is such,
that it is impossible to suppose they are not well governed; the least
observant traveller may soon perceive, by the appearance of a people,
whether they are subject to a free or to a despotic government. I
cannot, however, subscribe to Pope's opinion,

    "That which is best administered is best."

The _form_ is still in my judgment the first requisite; nor can I agree
that the goodness consists in the mere administration. I visited the
agricultural establishment of M. de Fellenberg, at Hofwyl, two leagues
from Berne, where may be learnt the principles of rural economy, and
where annual fêtes are given for the encouragement of farming; and I
also made an excursion to Hindelbanck, three leagues distant, where is
a much admired monument, erected from a design of M. Nahl; it represents
his wife, who died in child-bed, breaking; from her tomb with her child
in her arms. The Canton of Berne, before the separation from it of the
Cantons of Vaud and Argovia, formed about a third of Switzerland; its
population is now about 300,000. The country is fruitful, but like the
rest of Switzerland does not afford a sufficient supply of corn for its
inhabitants. Its fruit and vegetables are excellent. Its mountains feed
vast herds of cattle, and there is abundance of game. Its exports are
principally horses, cottons, watches, and kirschwasser, (or spirit
extracted from the cherry) there are manufactories of silks, and woollen
stuffs, and its gunpowder is in much estimation throughout Europe. The
salt comes mostly from France, but does not cost above five sols the
pound. Groceries are still dear, but are much reduced since the downfall
of the continental system. This Canton first entered into the Swiss
Confederation, in 1353. I made some enquiries respecting clergy, from a
most respectable minister of my acquaintance, who informed me, that the
senate appoint to all ecclesiastical benefices--that the clergy are
divided into _synods_ which assemble separately every year under the
presidency of a _Dean_, to examine into the conduct of each pastor, and
to deliberate in the presence of the _Bailiff of the District_,
concerning ecclesiastical affairs. The criminal code is well arranged,
and justice is administered with a promptitude that merits the highest
praise, since legal delay often proves worse than injustice.

I was doubtful in what direction I should next proceed, when I was
induced, as the season was advanced, to give up the idea of visiting
Oberland, and to accompany a gentleman going to Lucerne; if the country
was less romantic than that which I lost the opportunity of seeing, I
was with a companion who would have rendered an excursion in any country
entertaining. We left Berne in an open carriage, and took the road to
Worb, where we visited a _sawmill_, and were much pleased with that
useful invention. There are near the village several of the most
extensive bleach-greens in Switzerland. At Luzelflüh we passed the river
Emmen, and soon after stopped some time whilst oar horses rested. I have
never been in a country where horses are taken better care of; they are
always in excellent condition, and after mounting any considerable hill,
the driver does not fail to give them some slices of bread.

As we proceeded, we were struck with the profusion of autumnal crocuses,
with which the fields were enlivened, and stopped to sleep at the
inconsiderable village of Sumiswald, where the inn, like the rest of the
houses, was entirely built of wood. We were shewn into an apartment
where several peasants were at supper, and on the table lay a newspaper,
which (although its date was not very recent) seemed to interest them
extremely. Several more peasants having come in, we were, as strangers,
conducted into a more private room, but it was so _small_, as to give us
the idea that we were in a _box_. Our hostess was not long in preparing
supper, and as it was _extremely frugal_, she produced for us a bottle
of _Neufchâtel wine_, of much better quality than one could have
expected to meet with in so retired a situation. We set out at an early
hour next morning, and, after passing through a vast forest of fir,
arrived to breakfast at Zell, in the canton of Lucerne, where the number
of chapels by the road-side announced that the Roman Catholic was the
established religion. The valley beyond Zell is extensive and well
watered. The peasants display much ingenuity in _irrigating_ their
meadows. The orchards are numerous, and, as well as the meadows, are
refreshed by _ductile streams_. In the centre of the valley rises a
lofty eminence, on the summit of which are the remains of the castle of
Hapstalla, which, half concealed by a mass of wood, forms a conspicuous
object amidst the cultivation of the surrounding scenery. The small
towns of Huttweil and Willisan present nothing worthy of remark; but
Sursee is a neat town, and the lake of Sempacli adds greatly to the
cheerful appearance of the country, which it waters to a considerable
extent. The town of Sempach is noted in history for the defeat of
Leopold, Duke of Austria, in 1386, by the forces of the Swiss
confederation. The Duke, together with his chief nobility, perished in
the engagement, which is further memorable by the heroism of _Arnold
Winkdried_. The approach to Lucerne along the river Reuss is singularly
beautiful, the banks are steep and well wooded, and the distant
appearance of the city, front the number of its turrets and spires, is
highly impressive. Its situation is certainly superior to that of any
city in Switzerland (Berne perhaps excepted). The mountains which
surround that part of the lake seen from the town, immediately reminded
me of the magnificent scenery of Killarney. The beauty of its situation,
and the imposing aspect which Lucerne presents at a distance, renders
the gloominess of its interior the more striking; and I do not know,
whether coming from Berne, where all is activity, gave me the
impression, but I think I never was in a more melancholy and deserted
town of the same magnitude. The population is only 4,000; but, to judge
from its extent, it might contain at least three times that number. It
is difficult to account exactly for the causes of this inactivity, but I
should be inclined to think some blame attaches to its government, as
here are no traces of that beneficial superintendence which is so
perceptible at Berne, This city cannot even boast of a public library.
There are at Lucerne several curious wooden bridges, to join the
different parts of the town separated by the river and the lake. They
are from 5 to 600 feet in length, and one of them contains a vast number
of paintings from scriptural subjects, and also from the Swiss history.

There are several handsome buildings at Lucerne, but many towns that
cannot boast of such a number, much exceed it in general appearance.

We observed a great quantity of fruit for sale, and good peaches for one
sol each. The celebrated plan, or rather, model, of this and the three
surrounding cantons, by General Pfiffer, is to be seen here on payment
of thirty sols; it is well worthy of a visit, and the General is said to
have refused _ten thousand pounds_ for it. Buonaparte is said to have
wished to possess it.

The lake of Lucerne, called also the lake of the _Four Cantons_, or the
_Waldstraller See_, is one of the most picturesque pieces of water in
Switzerland, and by its numerous windings, as well as by the rivers
which fall into it, affords facilities for commerce, which are
astonishingly neglected.

Mont Pilate rises majestically from the lake. It is, perhaps, one of the
highest mountains in Switzerland, if measured from its base, and not
from the level of the sea. Its elevation from the level of the lake is,
according to the measurement of General Pfiffer, not less than 6000
feet. Its name was, it is thought, given it by the Romans, from the
accumulation of snow upon its summit.

Mount Rigi, so generally visited by travellers, presents another
distinguished feature in this romantic country. The ascent to this
mountain having been within a few days rendered extremely difficult by
a fall of snow, we were advised not to attempt it, and I the more
readily acquiesced, having found the ascent to Montanvert difficult,
although unobstructed with snow. I therefore set out to visit two
classic spots in the history of Switzerland, which distinguish the banks
of this lake; first, the Grütli (the Runnimede of Switzerland), a field
now covered with fruit-trees, where the neighbouring cantons on the 12th
of November, 1307, first took the engagement to found the liberty of
their country. They carried their plan into execution on the 1st of
January, 1308, by forcing their tyrannical governors to quit a country
thenceforward destined to be free. The second place is about a league
and a half distant, it is the Rock of Aschen-berg, 5240 feet above the
level of the lake (which is here 600 feet deep), on a part of which,
called Tell Platte, that patriot killed the tyrant _Gessler_ here is a
small chapel. I also visited the little town of _Gersau_ (which was, by
the French, united to the canton of Schweitz), remarkable as being the
smallest republic existing in Europe, as it contains only _one hundred
square toises_, and from 900 to 1000 inhabitants, who subsist chiefly by
agriculture; there is besides, a small manufacture of cotton. Their
_metropolis_ is a neat village, where only, perhaps; a pure democracy
subsisted without anarchy and dissensions.

The canton of Schweitz, which, at present, gives name generally to the
whole confederation of cantons, is said to have been first inhabited by
some persons forced to _quit Sweden_ by religious differences. The union
of this canton to those of Uri and Unterwald, first suggested that more
extended confederacy, so essential to the existence of these diminutive

Here the Roman Catholic is the only religion tolerated, but intolerance
in Switzerland is not peculiar to the Roman Catholic cantons, as in
some, _Calvinism_ only is permitted. At Brunnen I met some persons going
on a _pilgrimage_ to the shrine of Notre Dame des Ermites, at
Einsiedlen, one of whom was a Frenchman, decorated with the _Lys_. It
would be well for the Bourbons if all their subjects were possessed of
but a small part of the loyalty which this gentleman expressed for them.
Brunnen is a large and handsome town, situated on the lake; it was here
that the cantons of Schweitz, Uri, and Unterwald, concluded their
perpetual alliance. Altorf is the capital of the canton of _Uri_, it
contains many handsome houses, and here is the statue of William Tell,
in the place where he was condemned to shoot the arrow at his son. The
cattle in this Canton, as well as in Schweitz, are large and handsome. I
was told that many of their favourite cows had silver bells fastened
round their necks. The horses are also provided with tails of a large
size, the noise of which I thought extremely unpleasant, although often
obliged to listen to it for many hours together. Stantz is the chief
town of Unterwald, but is only remarkable for its being prettily
situated. _In the three original_ cantons, every citizen on attaining
the age of sixteen, has the right of suffrage in the General Assemblies.
On my return to Lucerne from this excursion, it appeared more gloomy
than ever, and I determined on quitting it next morning for Zug. The
Pope's nuncio resides in this town, as being the capital of the chief
Roman Catholic canton, and I observed sentinels at his door, although
there were none at the gates of the city. Lucerne was, under the French
system, the seat of the general government of Switzerland, now removed
to Zurich. The canton of Lucerne is, in general, well cultivated, and
contains not less than 100,000 inhabitants. Between Lucerne and Zug, I
observed a number of peasants practising with the ancient weapons of
William Tell, which they appeared to use with great dexterity.

The badness of the road retarded considerably our arrival at Zug (Zoug,
as it is pronounced and written in German); & small but neat town, and
the capital and only town of its Canton, which is the least in
Switzerland, containing only 30,000 inhabitants, of whom 2500 inhabit
the capital. The lake, which washes the town, is about three leagues
long by one broad; one side of it presents a few mountains, but the
other (nearest the town) is flat, marshy, and uninteresting. Between Zug
and Zurich, we passed over the field of battle, where Zuingle, the
reformer, lost his life; the plain is, I think, called Cappel. The road,
which is still indifferent, passes through a country which resembles a
continued orchard. We passed the river _Sill_ by a long covered bridge,
and stopped at a neat inn, where we found some honey not inferior to any
in France, although here they do not think it necessary (as in Poitou)
to carry the hives of bees about the country, that by _travelling_ they
may collect every sort of perfume which it affords. Above the inn is a
mountain of vast height, which commands an extensive prospect over the
surrounding country. We soon after beheld one of the most magnificent
scenes of which Switzerland can boast, the view of the lake of Zurich,
from the hill above the village of Horgen. As it was evening when we
arrived there, I could judge of the justness of Zimmerman's beautiful
description of it at that time, which I had often admired at a period
when I had but faint expectation of ever seeing the scene itself.

Before visiting Switzerland, I had often felt surprise, on considering
the great variety of states which subsist in a country of such
comparatively limited extent; but I no longer felt that astonishment,
when I saw how completely many of the Cantons are divided from each
other, by chains of mountains, and how greatly their inhabitants differ
in their dress, manners, and religion. In one day, in the cantons of
Berne, Lucerne, and Zug, I saw three perfectly distinct modes of dress;
and the enormous sleeves and crape head dresses of _Berne_, compared
with the large flat hats, and short petticoats of Lucerne, are as
totally different costumes as could be supposed to prevail in two of the
most remote countries. The _political_ divisions of Switzerland are
almost as numerous as its geographical; and there are few countries
where more diversities of opinion prevail, respecting the means of
securing that liberty which is the boast of its inhabitants.

At a distance, Zurich seems surrounded by beautiful hills, descending
gradually to the river Limmat, which, issuing from the lake, divides the
city into two unequal parts. These bills are rich in pastures and
vineyards, interspersed with neat cottages; the horizon is bounded by
the mountains of Utliberg, which are connected with the Alps; forming,
altogether, a very striking and interesting picture.

       *       *       *       *       *


On entering Zurich, it is impossible not to feel a sensation of
disappointment, as its internal appearance by no means corresponds with
the beauty of the distant scene. Its streets are narrow and winding, and
the houses are mostly of mean architecture, but there are few places
where I observed more of the activity of commerce. Many of its churches
and public buildings are handsome. It boasts a population of 14,000, a
number exceeding that of any town in Switzerland, Geneva excepted. The
Canton is next in importance to Berne, and contains 180,000 inhabitants.

The reformation was introduced here in 1523, by Ulric Zuingle, whose
death was noticed in the last chapter; he, like _Pope Julius_, exchanged
for a time the mitre for the helmet. The inns at Zurich are more
expensive than the hotels of Paris; they say it is owing to this being
the seat of the Swiss Diet. I had the honour of dining in company with
several of the Deputies (at the public table at the Sword Tavern) and
they seemed very inquisitive as to the state of affairs in England. Our
company exceeded thirty, and the dinner was unusually tedious: this
seems to have been _expected_, as there were pans of _charcoal_ or
_ashes_, placed under the principal dishes, which had a very unpleasant
effect. A _band of music_, stationed in an adjoining room, only served
to add to the confused noise of the servants, without allowing us to
judge of the beauty of the music, or of the merits of the musicians; and
I felt no regret when the master of the band at length thought fit that
we should purchase an interval of quiet. Before I quitted Zurich, I was
desirous of making an excursion on its lake, and accordingly joined a
party in visiting Rapperschwill, which is situated in a charming
country, but is chiefly remarkable for its bridge, constructed of wood,
over that part of the lake which is by a promontory reduced to the width
of 1800 feet, forming, perhaps, the longest bridge in Europe, except
that of St. Esprit, near Nismes, which is 3000 feet. The bridge of
Prague is 1700 feet, and that of Westminster 1200.

Soon after my return from this excursion, I set out for Schaffhausen;
but after we had lost sight of the lake and city of Zurich, the country
had nothing to interest the traveller. About a league from Zurich is the
Greinfensee, but that piece of water is not interesting, either in point
of scenery or extent. The river Glatt flows through the plain; it has
none of the characteristics of a Swiss stream, "_but choked with sedges,
works its weary way_."

About two leagues further, we passed the river Jòss, which, by the
beauty of its windings amongst wooded hills (on one of which stands an
ancient castle) convinced us that we had not yet altogether bid farewell
to the romantic scenery of Switzerland.

The woods here are very extensive, and almost entirely composed of fir;
they produce annually a succession of plants which form an underwood,
and greatly contribute to the beauty of the scene, by concealing the
naked stems of the older trees.

The houses in the villages in the canton of Zurich much resemble those
in England, being mostly built of plaster, and roofed with tiles. I was
pleased with this change, after the heavy wooden houses, and projecting
roofs (of nearly three times the height of the building) usually seen in
the canton of Berne. They do not tend to enliven the country like those
of Zurich, where the eye notices the contrast between the whitened
cottages and green meadows. We spent a day at Winterthur, which is a
considerable municipal town, rendered lively by trade. The manufactory
of oil of vitriol is on a large scale, and is worthy of attention. There
are several bleach-greens in the neighbourhood, as well as many
vineyards, but of no great celebrity. The public library is extensive,
and there is also a considerable collection of medals.

We left Winterthur on foot, as the bridge over the river Thur was under
repair, and not passable for a carriage, and as we wished to approach
the _fall of the Rhine_ by this road. We breakfasted at _Adelfaigen_,
three leagues distant, and near the town were ferried over the Thar.
About two hours afterwards, we heard the distant roar of the Cataract,
and although I had heard so much previously of the grandeur of the
scene, yet I was not disappointed with the sight. There are many falls
much greater in point of height, and I had seen two previously which
exceed the present one in that particular, but then the force of Water
was there inconsiderable and uncertain: here one of the greatest rivers
in Europe falls with inconceivable force down a perpendicular height of
from sixty to eighty feet. The colour of the Rhine is greenish, and the
mixture of the water with the foam, has a curious effect. The castle of
Lauffen hangs over the river, and appears to tremble from the force of
the Cataract.

The surrounding scenery is bold and picturesque, and when viewed from a
boat on the river, the effect is very striking. There is a _camera
obscura_ placed in an ancient castle, which projects into the fiver, and
which we admired extremely. It is supposed that the height of this
celebrated cascade is much diminished from what it was formerly, and if
we consider the vast force of the torrent which the rock has sustained
for ages, it seems but reasonable to conclude, that it must have yielded
to such powerful and long continued assaults. We remained a considerable
time contemplating this magnificent scene, and then returned through the
village of Lauffen, and observed that the spire of its _church_ was
covered with _painted tiles_, which in this district seem a common
species of decoration.

We observed the peasants in many places employed in making _cyder_,
which they but seldom think of doing except the season has proved
unfavourable for the _vines_. I was told that here, as in Burgundy, the
_last favourable vintage was that of_ 1811, and that consequently the
proprietors of the vineyards (of which the cultivation is so expensive)
were much distressed.

The red stockings of the peasants in this Canton have a remarkable
appearance, and reminded me of the dress of the theatre.

Schaffhausen is the capital of the Canton of that name, and is built on
the right bank of the Rhine. Its bridge is but lately completed, in the
place of the ancient one, constructed by _Grubenman_, which was
considered as a great architectural curiosity, but was destroyed during
one of the campaigns in this country. The town of Schaffhausen is well
built, and has a handsome appearance. Its population is calculated at
7000, and that of the Canton at 23,000.

The reformed religion was introduced here in 1529. The clergy are paid
by the state, but their allowance is far from liberal. _Many sumptuary
laws_ exist here, and dancing is prohibited by them, except under
particular circumstances. I am, however, inclined to question whether
these laws are still enforced.

In the vicinity of the town are some manufactories of linens, cottons,
and silks. The country is well cultivated, and the road between
Oerlingen and Bancken affords an extensive prospect of the Swiss
mountains, which seem ranged in array to bid a last farewell to the
departing traveller, who cannot but feel regret on leaving a country not
less distinguished for the magnificence of its scenery, than for the
simplicity and good nature of its inhabitants.

At Schaffhausen I made many inquiries respecting the celebrated
_Schabecyge_ or _Chapsigre_ cheese (made in the canton of Glarus) and
found that the principal ingredient which gives it so strong a perfume
is the _trifolium odoratum_, or _meliot odorant_. The aromatic qualities
of this cheese render it very wholesome. The _Swiss tea_, composed of
_mountain herbs_, is said to be so likewise; it is not, however, very
palatable as a beverage, nor should I think it very effectual as a
remedy. If it meets in general with no greater approbation than it did
in a party where I saw it tried, Switzerland cannot expect to carry on
any trade in this article, sufficient to prejudice the exclusive
commerce which the East India Company enjoy with China.

There being nothing to detain, me at Schaffhausen, I was induced, at the
request of a Doctor of the University of Leipsic, with whom I became
acquainted at Zurich, to join him in proceeding in the diligence into
Germany. I found this conveyance, although tedious, yet little if at all
inferior to those in France (although I had understood the contrary in
that country). The Doctor would have been a most agreeable companion,
but for his unfortunate love of tobacco; _his pipe_ was hardly well
_extinguished_, before he was busy in striking his flint to _rekindle_
it. He seemed much surprised that I did not smoke, and still more so
when I told him it was not usual in England to smoke in _company_; for
in Germany, after dinner and in the evening, when ladies are present, it
is usual to smoke a segar. The Doctor seemed to meditate a journey into
England, but I doubt whether he will find any thing there sufficient to
afford him an equivalent for the abandonment of the _six pipes_ which he
told me he used alternately at Leipsic.

The others who composed our party had also their pipes, but were
moderate in using them.

The Germans are an extremely civil people compared with the French; a
traveller is better treated among them, without the perpetual
_affectation of superiority_; and, in the parts where I have been, he
will have no reason to regret the change from a French to a German inn.

The general civility I met with in _Germany_, and the pains the people
often took to make themselves understood, as well as to understand, and
supply whatever might be requisite, claims my best acknowledgments. I
had occasion to observe the truth of the remark, that there are many
words, and expressions, very similar in the English and German
languages; they further agree in being the two languages in Europe, the
most difficult to be learnt by a stranger.

The Sunday dress of the peasants resembles that worn a century ago in
England. Woollen caps are little used in Germany; and, in Suabia, I
observed cocked hats were very general.

It was late in the day when we left _Schaffhausen_. Our road lay
through a country, where the succession of woods, shewed us, that the
_Black Forest_, although reduced, was not destroyed, and occasionally we
had extensive views towards Switzerland. We had fallen into that sort of
_reverie_ which most travellers experience towards the close of the day,
and which generally suspends conversation, the mind finding
entertainment in its own illusions, when we were roused by finding
ourselves in Deutlingen. We here passed the _Danube_, which is
inconsiderable, when compared with the vast size it afterwards acquires,
by the junction of other considerable rivers, in the various countries
which it fertilizes by its waters. We reposed here for some hours, and
to my astonishment the Doctor, laying aside his pipe, entertained us
with his performance on a piano forte, which was in the room, and when
his tea arrived his place was occupied by another performer.

The passion of the Germans for _music_ is very strong, and certainly
this was a more agreeable mode of passing the evening, than the
tiresome recurrence of political discussions, so general in France, and
which seldom fail to end in unpleasant altercations. At Deutlingen we
entered the kingdom of Wurtemberg; and our passports, which had been
signed previously to our leaving Schaffhausen, were here re-examined: at
Stutgard they were again demanded, and although the Royal Arms were
affixed by the police there, yet at Ludwigsburg, we were detained half
an hour for further scrutiny, although it is only one stage from
Stutgard. The Grand Dukes of Baden, and of Hesse Darmstadt, whose
dominions we next entered, were less suspicious and were satisfied at
our writing down our names and destination. There are few countries more
sub-divided than Germany. Its ancient constitution was described as,
"_Confusio divinitùs conservata_," and a _confusion_ it certainly was,
for the circle of Suabia alone, contained _four ecclesiastical, and
thirteen secular principalities: nineteen independent abbies and
prelacies, and thirty-one free cities_. This list was, however, greatly
reduced during Buonaparte's supremacy in Germany; he increased the
dominions of Baden, Bavaria, and Wurtemberg with the spoils of the
ecclesiastical possessions, and of the free cities. He nearly doubled
the territory of Wurtemberg, and its population was increased from
700,000 to 1,300,000. The territory of Baden is of great length, but
narrow; its population is now increased to 940,000. The Germans are, in
general, extremely anxious for the re-establishment of the _ancient
system_; as, notwithstanding its defects, it afforded them an appeal
from the tyranny of their numerous sovereigns to the _Diet and the
Emperor_, besides that it _united the Germans as one people_. On the
dissolution of the old system, the several princes of the
"_Confederation of the Rhine_" became _absolute_ over their own
subjects, but _military vassals to Buonaparte, who, like Cade, was
content they should reign, but took care to be Viceroy over them_.

The _game laws_ are much and justly complained of in Germany. In
Wurtemberg they are particularly oppressive. The farmers, however, seem
more opulent than in France. The possessions of many of the nobility are
much neglected, as they reside almost entirely at one of the great
capitals. Suabia is generally unenclosed, and is not often enlivened by
country houses, the inhabitants residing together in villages. Its trade
consists in the sale of its cattle, which are in vast numbers, together
with that of its _corn_, wood, and wines, which are occasionally of
tolerably good quality. The kingdom of Wurtemberg is extremely fruitful,
and is well watered by the Necker, as well as by several smaller
streams. After supplying its own population, which is as numerous as can
be found in most parts of Europe of the same extent, it exports vast
quantities of grain to Switzerland. Almost the whole kingdom consists of
well-wooded mountains, and of cultivated plains; and farming seems to be
well understood.

The posts are conducted in a much better manner than I had expected. The
drivers are all provided with a French horn, and wear the royal livery,
yellow and black, with which colours also the direction-posts are
painted. The roads are in excellent order, and mile-stones are regularly
placed; these roads are vastly superior to those in the states of Baden
and Darmstadt, where there are a number of turnpikes. The traveller
cannot fail to perceive that the activity of the government of
Wurtemberg, much exceeds that of many of the surrounding states. We
breakfasted at Bahlingen, a handsome and regularly built town. Here we
witnessed a dreadful accident: the conductor of the diligence, a large
and heavy man, whilst arranging some packages, fell from the top of the
carriage into the street, and laid open one side of his head, and had he
fallen on a pavement it would probably have proved fatal. A surgeon was
immediately sent for, who informed us that the wound was not very deep,
and that he hoped it would have no serious effects. Our next stage was
Heckingen, in the little state of Hohenzollern. The ancient castle of
that name is situated on an eminence, and is visible, for many leagues,
in all directions. The territories of this state are about fifteen
miles by ten, and contain about 30,000 inhabitants: but I believe there
are two reigning families; those of _Hohenzollem Heckingen_ and
_Hohenzollern Sigmaringen_. This house is of considerable eminence; the
royal family of Prussia are descended from a junior branch, which became
possessed by purchase of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and thus
founded a power, which being aggrandized by the policy of succeeding
sovereigns, now holds so distinguished a place in the political scale of
Europe. We soon quitted the territories of the princes of Hohenzollern,
and again entered Wurtemberg, and after passing for several leagues over
a highly improved country arrived at Tubingen.

       *       *       *       *       *


Tubingen is a large and ancient town, containing about 5000 inhabitants:
its situation is low, and it is chiefly worthy of notice, as being one
of the most celebrated _universities_ of the south of Germany. I was
informed by one of its members who travelled in the Diligence, that the
number of students did not then exceed 250, but that he had no doubt it
would increase as public affairs assumed a more settled appearance. Here
is little of that academic discipline, which distinguishes our
universities. There are no colleges, and the students live in private
houses, according to their respective inclinations. There are eight
professors, and an attendance on the lectures of such of them as the
student may prefer seems to constitute the sum of his academic duty.
There is a large botanic garden, which is kept in good order, and
contains a long range of green-houses and stoves.

I here agreed to accompany a gentleman of my acquaintance, who wished
to _travel post_ to Frankfort: and had no reason to regret having left
the Diligence, with the tediousness of which I was heartily tired. We
set out accordingly in a sort of cabriolet, resembling a covered
curricle, for Stutgard. We found much less delay at each post than we
were led to expect; and part of the time was employed in greasing and
examining the wheels of the carriage before starting: this custom
prevents many accidents, for that operation for which no time is
specified, is commonly neglected.

The price of each station is regulated by government; and the
postmasters and drivers are very civil and obliging; but the celerity
with which every thing is procured at an English inn, is not to be
expected here, as the Germans are habitually slow in all their

A German dinner is still more tedious than a French one, and it is
perhaps yet more foreign to our taste. The custom of sleeping between
_feather beds_, as it may be altered by the traveller, if unpleasant to
him, cannot be considered as a _grievance_; but all who have been
accustomed to the _social and companionable cheerfulness of a fire_,
must regret that custom, which here substitutes for it, the _dull and
unenlivening heat of a stove_.

That fire-place, which is so essential to the comfort of our apartments,
is by German taste placed in the passage and shut up, whilst heat is
conveyed into their rooms by flues.

We arrived at Stutgard without the occurrence of any thing worthy of
mention, and were much pleased with its general appearance; its streets
are spacious, and the houses mostly well built. The city has increased
considerably in size, since it has become the constant residence of its
sovereign. Its population is estimated at 24,000. It is an open place,
but although there are no fortifications there are gates, the only use
of which are to detain the traveller whilst his passport is under
examination. The reformed religion is here established, but the churches
have nothing to boast of in appearance. The palace is a handsome
building of Italian architecture, surrounding three sides of a square.
It is built of hewn stone, and over the centre entrance is placed a
large _gilt crown_. Not far from the modern palace is the ancient
_Château_, surrounded by a deep ditch, and flanked by gloomy bastions,
formerly the requisites to a prince's residence, but incompatible with
the luxury sought for in a modern palace.

Wishing to judge of the taste of a German palace, we procured a _Valet
de Place_ to conduct us over this; we found it fitted up in a manner
which corresponded in many points to that usual in great houses in
England. The suites of rooms are very numerous, but they are mostly of
small dimensions. Every apartment is provided with a musical clock. The
marbles, carpets, china, and glass lustres, are generally the production
of Wurtemberg. Many of these productions display much taste, and seem to
deserve the encouragement they receive.

A few of the rooms had fire-places, and almost all of them had to boast
of some specimens of the industry and ingenuity of the _Queen_, either
in painting or embroidery. There is a museum of considerable extent,
which opens into the _King's Private Library_, where the books are all
concealed behind large _mirrors_, so that we could not judge of either
the value or taste of the selection. In a building near the palace, is
the King's Public Library, but we were told there was nothing in it
particularly worthy of notice. There are but very few paintings by the
great masters in this palace; but we were particularly struck by a
portrait of _Frederick_ the Great, by a German artist. I have forgotten
his name; but this portrait proves his skill.

The Council Chamber is a handsome apartment, and contains two marble
figures of _Silence_ and _Meditation_. The Council Table is _long and
narrow_, which would not meet with _Lord Bacon's_ approbation, as, if I
recollect right, he gives the preference to a _round table_, where all
may take a part, instead of a long one, where those at the top chiefly
decide. We next visited the royal stables, which contain a vast number
of fine horses, the King being very fond of the chase.

I was informed, that in his _Private Stables_ here and at Ludwigsburg,
there were from 700 to 800 horses, a number which exceeds that of most
princes in Europe. The garrison of Stutgard consists of about 3000 men.
We saw some of the troops go through their evolutions; and I have seldom
seen a finer body of men. The band was remarkably fine. On the parade
were two little boys, sons of Prince Paul, who were decorated with
stars. Having sufficiently satisfied our curiosity at Stutgard, we
proceeded to Ludwigsburg, one stage distant, where there is a handsome
royal palace adorned with extensive gardens, and many enclosures for
game, of great extent. The town is not large, but is regularly built;
and the houses, as at Stutgard and many other places in Germany, are
remarkable for having a vast number of windows. After some delay about
_passports_, we were suffered to proceed, as they sometimes will not
give post horses without examining the passports. Beyond the town we met
several waggons, one of them I remarked was drawn by fourteen horses.
There is much more traffic on this road than on any I had yet travelled.

We passed through but one great town, Heilbron, formerly an imperial
free city, but which, together with Ulm and many others, was _given_ by
Buonaparte to the King of Wurtemberg. It is a tolerably well built
place; and from the number of vessels in the river, I conclude it has a
share of trade. The country round it is unenclosed, and for a great
distance we saw no pastures, to that they must support their cattle on
artificial crops. At Furfeld we could procure no accommodation, it being
full of company; we were therefore, notwithstanding the lateness of the
hour, obliged to go on to Sinzheim. We parried the rain tolerably well
(the carriages are but partly covered) with our umbrellas; and escaped
narrowly a more serious disaster, having been nearly overturned by a
waggon, which broke one side of our carriage.

We found the inn small, but the people particularly obliging. I
perceived that they expected some personage of great importance, as the
landlady questioned our driver repeatedly whether _Der Cossack_ had
arrived at the last stage. It was not, however, until we had retired to
rest, that the expected guest arrived; and if importance is to be
measured by noise, his must have been great indeed.

Our road to Heidelberg lay for several miles along the banks of the
Necker, which are well-wooded, and adorned with several villages, and a
large convent. The gate by which we entered Heidelberg, is a remarkably
fine piece of Grecian architecture. The city is large and well built;
but there is little appearance of trade or activity amongst its
inhabitants. The _Castle_ is situated on a steep hill above the town,
and its terrace commands a vast prospect over a plain, enlivened by the
windings of the river, as well as by the spires of the city. This palace
was the residence of the electors palatine, and must have been a fine
piece of Gothic architecture. It was laid waste, together with the
_whole palatinate_, in consequence of those orders which will for ever
disgrace the memory of Lewis the Fourteenth.

It is, however, still striking; and although the scene is _silent and
desolate_, it is _unquestionably grand_.

In a building adjoining the castle, is the famed _Tun of Heidelberg_,
constructed by one of the electors at the suggestion of his buffoon,
whose statue is placed near this enormous tun, which can contain 326,000
bottles. We were told that _the jester_ (some will not allow him to be
called _the fool_) assisted his master in drinking eighteen bottles of
the best Rhenish wine daily. The table where they sat, near the tun, is
still shewn. The country about Heidelberg and Manheim is from its
fertility called the _Garden of Germany_; but I have seen in Germany
much finer districts. It is a well cultivated plain, and abounds with
vineyards: beyond Manheim is a greater extent of ground under potatoes,
than I have ever met with before out of Ireland. There is but little
wood, and the roads run between rows of walnut and cherry trees. Manheim
is considered as one of the handsomest cities in Germany, being built
on a regular plan. It consists of twelve streets, intersected at right
angles by eight others; but there is in this regularity a _sameness_
which soon tires the eye.

The Rhine passes close on one side of the city, and the Necker washing
the other side, soon after falls into the Rhine, over which there is a
bridge of boats. The palace is in a fine situation, and _next to
Versailles_, is the largest structure for the residence of a sovereign
that I have seen. This city became the residence of the electors
palatine, after the destruction of the Castle of Heidelberg, and the
palace was erected in consequence. On the accession of the reigning
family to Bavaria, Munich became their capital, and this palace was
neglected. Subsequent changes have transferred this country to the Grand
Duke of Baden, who continues to reside at Carlsruhe.

It would now require vast sums to restore this edifice; which will
probably be soon as desolate as the Castle of Heidelberg, with which,
however, it could never stand a comparison, either in point of
situation or architecture. There are some handsome walks near the
palace, which extend along the Rhine, where the fortifications have been
demolished. There are some spacious squares in the city; that before the
town-house is adorned by a handsome _bronze fountain_. The population of
the city has been estimated at 24,000; but it has probably rather
diminished of late. Several of the tradespeople exhibit the arms of
Baden over their shops, and boast of supplying their sovereign's family
with various articles; but trade has every appearance of being here at a
very low ebb. The road for some leagues beyond Manheim was by far the
worst we had yet passed in Germany; but then we had made a _detour_ in
visiting Manheim, which does not lie on the direct road to Frankfort.

The next place of any note was Darmstadt, the residence of the grand
duke of Hesse Darmstadt: it seems a place of recent origin, where much
has been attempted and but little completed. There are several spacious
streets marked out, and a few good houses dispersed over a considerable
extent of ground, which give it a melancholy appearance.

Its situation is not well chosen, as it is in a sandy plain, without any
river in the vicinity.

We visited the old castle or palace, situated in the centre of the town,
which seems now used as a barrack. The number of troops seemed very
considerable, and they are not inferior to the Wurtembergers in
appearance. Near the old palace are handsome gardens laid out in the
English taste, which were much frequented on Sunday. The present grand
duke inhabits a palace in the suburbs, which has little to boast of.

A few hours drive brought us to Frankfort. The country for the most part
is flat, and abounds with woods, but, except near Frankfort, has little
to interest the traveller. We found that great commercial city fully
answerable to our expectations. Every thing announces the opulence of
its inhabitants. The streets are spacious, and adorned with houses far
surpassing any that either Paris or London can boast of. Some of the
great merchants maybe literally said to inhabit palaces. There are a
vast number of inns; some of them are on a great scale, and worthy to be
ranked among the best in Europe. I observed in the streets here a greater
number of _handsome private carriages_ than I had seen in Paris.
Although the _situation_ of Frankfort is not remarkable, in a
picturesque point of view, when compared with some other cities, yet it
is extremely advantageous for its inhabitants, being placed in the
centre of the richest country in Germany, whilst the Mein and Rhine
afford every facility for commerce. The roads are also in excellent
order. That between Frankfort and Mayence is paved, and is perhaps the
most frequented in Germany. There are various well-known manufactures,
and the shops are supplied with the productions of all countries. I
first noticed here the custom of having small mirrors projecting into
the streets, that the inhabitants may see, by reflection, what passes in

The advantages of Frankfort for commerce have attracted a vast number
of Jews, and reconcile them to many regulations, imposed by the
magistrates, which otherwise they would not submit to. Their numbers are
said to exceed 6,000 in a total population of nearly 50,000. The fame of
Frankfort is not, however, merely of a commercial nature. It can boast
of having produced many of the most eminent _literary_ characters of

All religions are here tolerated; but, under its old constitution, the
members of government were Lutherans, and Calvinists were excluded from
any share in the management of affairs. The present magistrates are only
provisionally appointed since the late change in its situation. The
cathedral is a venerable Gothic edifice, as is also the town-house; but
Frankfort is more remarkable for a general air of magnificence than for
the exclusive elegance of any particular buildings. There are seven or
eight gates to the city, some of which are handsome, and adorned with
statues of many worthies, whose names I could not learn. The busts of
Alexander and Roxana were however too conspicuous to escape notice; but
their connexion with Frankfort I am not antiquary enough to trace.
Frankfort cannot be considered as a fortified place. Its bastions are
planted with shrubs, and form a pleasant walk for the citizens.
_Hamburg_ has recently afforded a melancholy example of the evil which
walls may bring upon a commercial city; and the people of Frankfort
cannot regret the use to which their bastions are applied. I was, by the
favour of a merchant, to whom I had an introduction, admitted as a
temporary member of the _Casino_, or _Public Institution_. It is one of
the best conducted establishments I have seen. There are not less than
110 _newspapers_, besides other periodical publications; and, after an
interval of two months, I was glad again to peruse an English newspaper.
The reading-room, like the council-chamber at Stutgard, is adorned by a
figure of Silence, and I think the hint seems well observed. There are,
however, several very spacious and elegantly decorated apartments, for
conversation, cards, billiards, &c. These rooms are frequented by ladies
in the evenings, and then bear some resemblance to a London rout. The
_concerts_ at Frankfort are remarkably good. There is only one theatre;
and, as the performance was in German, I only went once out of
curiosity. The number of villas around Frankfort are numerous and
handsome, and the villages are large, and have every appearance of
opulence. Here are many fine orchards, and the _cider of Afschaffenburg_
can be only distinguished from wine by a connoisseur.

At Hochst, six miles from Frankfort, stands the large edifice noticed by
Dr. Moore, as having been built by a great tobacconist of Frankfort, out
of spite to the magistrates of that city, with whom he had quarrelled;
and he endeavoured to induce merchants to settle here. His plan,
however, failed, and this great building is almost uninhabited. This
village is at present chiefly remarkable for a manufacture of porcelain
of excellent quality.

Great preparations were making at Frankfort to celebrate the anniversary
of the glorious battle of Leipsig; and I was present at the inspection
of about 6,000 men, preparatory to the great review on the eighteenth.
There were many ladies present, and, although the weather was far from
being warm, yet few of them wore bonnets. In general their hair was
rolled round their heads.

Not being able to delay any longer in Frankfort, I took the road to
_Mayence_, and passed through the large village of _Hochheim_, which
contains 300 families. It was formerly the property of the chapter of
Mayence, but its future destiny is at present undecided. From this place
is derived the English name of _Hock_, which is applied to all the wine
of the _Rhingau_. There are vast numbers of vineyards and fruit-trees
around the village; and, from a hill above it, is seen the junction of
the Mayn with the Rhine, in the midst of this rich country. The waters
of the Mayn are of a dark hue, but do not, however, succeed in
obscuring altogether the colour which the Rhine brings from Switzerland,
and which I had so much admired at Schaffhausen. From the bridge of
boats, which is 1,400 feet in length, and which forms the communication
between Mayence and Cassel, one sees the Rhine forced by mountains to
change its northerly direction, and, after forming some small islands it
runs for some distance to the eastward. The mountains, which change the
course of this vast river, form the _Rhingau_ so celebrated for its
wines. That of the village of _Rudesheim_ is particularly noted for
producing the best wine of the Rhingau, and consequently of Germany. The
French had expended vast sums on the fortifications of _Cassel_ and
_Mayence_, and rendered the latter one of the keys of Germany, as well
from its strength as from its situation. They had always a great depot
here, which considerably benefited the city; the loss of that advantage
is much regretted.

When seen from the bridge (which is longer than that of Westminster)
Mayence presents a striking appearance on account of its spires, and the
vessels that line its quay, which presents a scene of considerable
activity. On the customhouse were displayed the flags of Austria,
Prussia, and Bavaria; but to which of those powers the city is to be
subject is still undetermined. On the river are a great number of
corn-mills, necessary where there is so great a garrison. The barracks
are handsome, and on a large scale. The general appearance of the
interior of Mayence is bad. The streets are in general narrow, dirty,
and intricate. Near the castle are some good houses.

The cathedral is one of the largest buildings in _Germany_, It has
suffered considerably in the late wars, and is now covered with wood.
Its appearance is not, however, very striking, and it is surrounded with
mean houses. I observed that a statue, "_a l'Empereur_" is still
standing in front of one of the houses in this city. Its population is
said to be 26,000. The inhabitants, for a considerable distance round
Mayence, subsist principally by agriculture. They export their grain on
the Rhine to Switzerland. They have abundance of vegetables, and the
lower orders live a good deal on cabbage, which is here of a large size.

       *       *       *       *       *


At Mayence I embarked on the Rhine for Cologne (above 100 English miles
distant), to see the banks of a river so highly celebrated. Our company
in the boat was not numerous, and would have been sufficiently
agreeable, but for the continual _political rhapsodies_ of two
Frenchmen, one of whom was an officer, and spoke with confidence of
recovering all the conquests of France. These Frenchmen, in spite of the
remonstrances of the Germans present, insisted, like the physicians in
Molière, _that they best knew what was for their good_, and that they
(the Germans) mast be again united to France. One of these politicians
asked me, if I did not think that Talleyrand would demand the left bank
of the Rhine, as _essential_ to France, at the congress of Vienna. I
answered, I did not think it was probable he would ask for countries
which France had so recently relinquished, nor was it to be expected
that the Allies would, to oblige him, depart from their principle of
restraining France within those boundaries, which had, for centuries,
been found as extensive as were consistent with the tranquillity of the
rest of Europe; and that, for my own part, I could not conceive the
acquisition of those provinces to be _essential_ to France, which had
never been more prosperous than at a period when she formed no
pretensions to so great an aggrandizement.

Waving any further discussions on a subject which the _vanity_ of these
gentlemen would have extended _ad infinitum_, or, at least, longer than
I wished, I left them to their own lucubrations, and went on deck to
contemplate the grandeur of the scenery which surrounded us, and which
was reflected in the transparent waters of the Rhine. The river here
resembles a succession of lakes, and is surrounded in many places by
such lofty mountains, that I was often at a loss to guess on which side
we should find an opening to continue our course. The country along the
Rhine is considered as one of the richest districts in Europe; it
abounds with considerable towns, and with villages which, in other
countries, would be considered as towns. Almost every eminence is
crowned with an ancient castle, and there is scarcely a reach of the
river which does not exhibit some ruin in the boldest situation that can
be imagined. The houses too being mostly white, and covered with blue
slates, add considerably to the beauty of the scene.

The _Tour de Souris_ is situated on an island near the _Gulph of
Bingerlock_, where the river presents a curious appearance, being
extremely agitated by hidden rocks, and the different currents are very
violent. We dined at Bingen, where the Noh falls into the Rhine. The
mountains of Niederwald cast a considerable shade around, and the
mixture of woods and vineyards is highly picturesque, but the vines
being mostly blighted, had this year the same autumnal tint as the
trees. In this country, the vine is _almost the only product_ of the
soil, and the inhabitants, who subsist chiefly by it, now behold with
regret its withered state, and are melancholy and inactive, instead of
being engaged in the pleasing cares of the vintage.

This is the _third year_ here, as well as in Burgundy and other
districts, since there has been a favourable vintage; and it is only by
mixing some of the vintage of 1811, with that of the subsequent years,
that the inhabitants can dispose of a small portion of this inferior

Boppart was the former residence of the electors of Treves, but the
Palace is now falling to decay. Whilst contemplating this mouldering
pile, I was struck with the well-known sounds of our national air, '_God
save the King_,' which some of the company below sang in chorus (being
probably tired of the politics of the Frenchmen, as much as I was), this
air being originally German. The evening was fine for the season, and
about sun-set, several of the distant hills presented a fine appearance,
having bonfires ou their tops, this being the 18th of October, which
will be long celebrated in commemoration of the decisive battle of
Leipzig. Most of the company came on deck to witness the effect of the
bonfires. The Germans seemed delighted at the sight which the Frenchmen
surveyed in silence. One of them, however, soon recovering his
loquacity, asked me if I had been at _Paris_, which he said was the
greatest city in the world, and _larger than London_.

This I could not assent to, being contrary to fact. Yet it would he
difficult for _French ingenuity_ to prove what _benefits_ result to a
country from an overgrown capital. _Superiority_ is, however, all they
contend for. We soon saw the singular building (in an island) called the
_Palatinate_; it is now used as a public granary, and was _illuminated_
in honour of the day, as was also the neat village of St. Goar, where we
passed the night. _All_ seemed to partake of the festivity, and _I_
could net discern in the inhabitants any symptoms of regret that they
were no longer subject to France.

Having set out at an early hour, we reached Coblentz to breakfast. It is
a large town, containing 12,000 inhabitants, and is advantageously
situated at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine. It was garrisoned
chiefly by the _Royal Guards of Saxony_, who exceeded in appearance any
troops I had seen on the Continent. Some of them are stationed in the
ci-devant palace, which is situated close to the river.

The lofty mountain opposite the town is covered with the _ruins of
Ehrenbreitstein_, which was at one time considered as the strongest
fortress on the Rhine. Opposite the town was a bridge of boats, but it
was destroyed in the last war, and a flying bridge is substituted pro
tempore. The Rhine is so rapid near Andernach, as never to freeze in the
severest winter, and it here proceeds longer in a straight course, than
I had yet seen in any part. Neuwied, although subject to inundations, is
a large well built and commercial town. Lower down, on the left bank of
the river, I observed an obelisk, which I found, on inquiry, was erected
to the French General Marsan, who fell during the period of the first
invasion of Germany by the French republicans. Still farther, and close
to the river, stands an ancient building, called _The Devil's House_,
but, from what circumstance, I could not exactly discover. Some
attribute it to the vast number of windows which it contains.

The situation of Lowdersdorf is highly picturesque, and the surrounding
hills are shaded with woods of great antiquity. We here saw several
rafts of timber of large dimensions, proceeding slowly down the stream.
At Linz, the landsturm were mustered to fire a volley, as the victory of
Leipzig was celebrated for two or three days in most parts of Germany.
At Bonn, I witnessed further rejoicings, and the illuminations presented
a highly pleasing effect when beheld from the river. I was at this place
invited to a _ball and supper_, where I remained until a late hour,
enjoying the general festivity.

Bonn is a well built city, containing about 14,000 inhabitants, and was
formerly the general residence of the electors of Cologne. About a
league above the city are the seven mountains, and near them is a
beautiful island of considerable extent, in which is a large convent.

Here ends the picturesque scenery of the Rhine, which pursues the rest
of its course through a flat country, until its waters are dispersed
amongst the canals of Holland. The river is here of great width, but not
so deep as it is higher up.

Before Bonn we saw the remains of two merchant vessels which had been
wrecked there a few days before. Those who embark on the Rhine for
pleasure, should here leave their boats, and pursue the rest of their
journey by land, as the country ceases to be interesting, and the
navigation is often difficult.

We set out with a favourable wind; but about a league from _Cologne_ our
boat was driven on the right bank of the Rhine by a violent gale; and as
there appeared no immediate prospect of proceeding by water, most of the
party determined on walking to the city. We found the flying bridge had
been damaged by the late storm, and were therefore obliged, to wait a
long time for a boat of sufficient size to pass the river, which was
greatly agitated, and which is here of great depth, although much
narrower than at _Mayence_. Few cities present a more imposing
appearance than Cologne; a vast extent of buildings, a profusion of
steeples, and a forest of masts, raise the expectations of the
traveller. The deception cannot be more justly or more emphatically
described than in the words of Dr._Johnson:_ "Remotely we see nothing
but spires of temples, and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the
residence of splendour, grandeur, and magnificence; but when we have
passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced
with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded
with smoke."

Cologne is one of the largest and most ancient cities in Germany; it was
founded by _Agrippa_, and is above three miles in length; but the
population is only between 40 and 50,000, which is very inconsiderable
for its great extent. From the number of its churches, which at one time
amounted to 300, it has been called the Rome of Germany. One of them
(the Dome), although still unfinished, is one of the grandest efforts
of architecture, and excites the admiration of all judges of that art.
The port owes its improvement to Buonaparte, and the quay is lined with
ships of considerable size.

The city was anciently imperial, and the Elector of Cologne could not
reside more than three days together in it without permission of the
magistrates; but those who have ever seen this gloomy city, will not, I
think, consider this restriction as a grievance.

I here left the Rhine; it is difficult sufficiently to praise the
beauties of its banks, which afford also ample scope for the researches
of the naturalist. They are not, however, adorned with that number of
country-seats which enliven many of our rivers, and a few convents and
palaces only are to be seen; although villages and towns are very
numerous. I must not omit to mention, that I visited the house in which
_Rubens_ was born; his name is given to the street, which, like most
others at Cologne, has little beauty. He had furnished many of the
churches of his native city with paintings, but several of them have
been removed to Paris. He has been called _the Ajax of painters_, and
his great excellence appears in the grandeur of his _compositions_; the
art of colouring was by him carried to the highest pitch. Rubens,
however great his skill, deserves the praise of _modesty_, as, although
he is allowed to have been little inferior to Titian in _landscape_, he
employed Widens and Van-uden when landscapes were introduced into his
paintings, and Snyders for animals, who finished them from his designs.

The country around Cologne is well cultivated, but is unenclosed up to
the walls of the city, and there are none of those elegant villas to be
seen which distinguish the neighbourhood of Frankfort; but it is
impossible for any two places to be more completely the reverse of each
other in every respect.

My next stage was Juliers, the ancient capital of the duchy of the same
name; it is a small city, but is well fortified, and its citadel is said
to be of uncommon strength. As we approached Aix-la-Chapelle the roads
became very indifferent, the soil being a deep sand; they are, however,
in many places paved in the centre.

Aix-la-Chapelle is a large, and, in general, a well-built city. The
windows, in most of the houses, are very large, and give it a peculiar
appearance. It was called by the Romans _Aquisgranum_, or _Urbs
Aquensis_. It has for ages been celebrated for its waters, which
resemble extremely those of Bath; but some of the springs are still
hotter. There are five springs which attract every year much company;
but the season had ended before my arrival. This city was chosen by
_Charlemagne_ as the place of his residence, on account of the
pleasantness of its situation; and, until its incorporation with France,
held the first rank amongst the imperial cities of Germany. According to
the _Golden Bull_ the emperors were to be crowned here; but Charles V
was the last who conformed to that regulation.

The ancient walls of Aix enclose a vast extent of ground, and afford a
pleasant walk; but there is much of the space enclosed in fields and
gardens, and the population is not proportioned to the remaining
buildings, being no more than 30,000. The surrounding country is highly
picturesque and varied, cultivation and woods being interspersed. The
woods in this country have been, however, much diminished of late years.
But there are, it may be observed, coal mines to supply sufficient fuel
for the inhabitants.

The town or great village of Burscheid adjoins the gates of Aix; it is
very flourishing. Near it is a fine abbey. I was also pleased with the
ruins of the Castle of Frankenberg. Here is a manufactory of needles,
and about Aix are several of cloth.

From the Tower of Sittard is a view of vast extent over the Netherlands.
The cathedral of Aix is a large Gothic structure, but many of its
decorations are trifling, and inconsistent with the solidity of its
massy columns of marble and granite. Its doors are of bronze highly
wrought, but full of fissures.

The streets here are crowded with beggars; and I think I never was in a
place where so little respect is paid to the observance of Sunday. In
most towns on the continent the theatres, &c. are open, but most of the
shops are closed during some part of the day; here they were open during
the whole day, and seemed equally busy as during the rest of the week.

The country between _Aix_ and _Liege_ produces great quantities of hops
(the vine of the north of Europe), and the beer here is very good.
Clermont is a neat village, with several good houses.

We passed over some mountains, which seem to be the limit of the German
language; the inhabitants of them speak a dialect intelligible neither
at Liege nor Aix.

The country near Liege is rich, and the city is situated in a beautiful
valley on the Meuse; it is extremely large, but is ill built, and the
streets are more intricate and dirty even than those of Cologne. There
is a good deal of trade carried on here, and the population is estimated
at not less than 50,000. There are a great number of churches, but I was
not much struck with any of them; that of the Dominicans is said to be
copied from St. Peter's at Rome. There are a great number of booksellers
here, and I was told it was a famous place to procure cheap books. The
coal here seems of good quality, and the place is surrounded with
collieries. The lower orders in this city speak a jargon called
_Walloon_, which is completely unintelligible to the higher classes.

The French customs are generally prevalent here; and it is said, the
inhabitants regret their separation from France. There were vast
manufactories of cutlery here, but the French, before their departure,
destroyed most of the machinery; this, together with the failure of
other trades, is said to produce the distress which fills the streets
with beggars.

The _general appearance_ of the inhabitants of Liege is not more
prepossessing to a stranger than that of their city. There are said to
be a great number of _thieves_, and I saw some surprised whilst cutting
the trunks from behind a carriage at the inn-door. The money here is
extremely adulterated, and is not taken one stage from the city, a
circumstance which frequently is attended with great loss to the
traveller, if he has occasion to receive much change.

In this neighbourhood are several vineyards, but the climate is too cold
to admit of the wine having a good flavour. They here cultivate a
species of cabbage, the seed of which produces a thick oil, which is
used in dying stuffs, and forms part of the composition of the black
soap of this country.

I found that the season had long ended at Spa; that the roads were bad,
and that it was above thirty miles out of my way, and therefore
determined on proceeding to Brussels in the diligence, to make trial of
one of the public carriages of this country, having found the posting
good from Cologne to Liege. I found it extremely spacious, when compared
to those in England, and it was lined with faded yellow damask. I had
but two companions, who, according to _Rousseau's Axiom_, would not be
entitled to the name of _men_, which, he says, belongs to none under
_five feet six inches_.

They proved, however, sufficiently agreeable companions, and I found
they resided at _Louvain_. We proceeded at the rate of rather more than
four English miles an hour, which was quicker than I had before
travelled in a public carriage on the continent. Our first stage
presented nothing remarkable; but the next, _St. Tron_, was a remarkably
neat little town. There is a spacious square, surrounded with good
houses, and at one end is the _town-house_; the church is a large
building, and its steeple contains a set of musical chimes, to which the
people of this country are very partial.

We next reached _Tirlemont_, formerly one of the most considerable
cities of Brabant, which is at present by no means of equal importance.
The surrounding country is fruitful; many of its villages contain
cottages of clay, which I did not expect to see in so opulent a
province; they are indeed spacious, and the interior is kept very neat.
The general appearance of the people here is much more in their favour
than at Liege.

Tirlemont contains manufactures of flannels, stockings, and cloth. The
_cotton trade_, formerly the great staple of the Netherlands, has of
late years been greatly on the decline.

       *       *       *       *       *


Although the present population of the Netherlands bears no proportion
to that which it formerly maintained, yet it is still very considerable,
and exceeds that of any country in Europe, Holland only excepted; being
202 persons to each square mile (see ch. xi. for the population of
Switzerland, &c.) The decrease in the number of inhabitants in these
provinces is chiefly to be attributed to the religious persecutions
which compelled thousands of industrious families to emigrate.

This depopulation is very perceptible in many of the cities I passed
through, which are capable of containing double their present number of
inhabitants, and is nowhere more striking than at Louvain, where the
present population does not exceed 25,000, and where formerly there were
4000 manufactories of cloth, which supported 15,000 labourers. This
city is surrounded with an ancient wall of brick, which, as well as its
numerous towers, presents a half mined appearance. Many of the public
buildings of Louvain indicate its former opulence. The town-house is
considered as a model of Gothic architecture, and the cathedral of St.
Peter is a stately building. The portal of the _Collegium Falconis_
presents a specimen of Grecian architecture, which is much admired for
the simplicity. The _University of Louvain_ was formerly of great
celebrity, and no person could exercise any public authority in the
Austrian Netherlands, without having graduated here. This regulation,
however beneficially intended, only produced the effect of raising
extremely the expence of the different diplomas, without being attended
with any advantage, except to the funds of the university. In the
present unsettled state of the _Netherlands_, it cannot be expected that
the seats of learning should be as much frequented, as they probably
will be when their new sovereign shall have had leisure to turn his
attention to the important subject of _public education_; and the
wisdom of the regulations he has promulgated, on other matters of
general interest (particularly that which enforces the more solemn
observation of Sunday) leaves little room to doubt that this point will,
in its turn, be duly and successfully attended to. Those who have
resided at Louvain have observed, that its inhabitants are in general
_more polite_ than in most of the towns in these provinces; but my stay
was not sufficiently long to enable me to form any opinion on the
subject. The manners of the people do not seem to me very dissimilar
from those of the French, but others think they most resemble the Dutch.
In fact, the _Netherlanders_ have no _very peculiar characteristics_,
but partake, in many respects, of those which distinguish the various
nations from whom they are descended. They have been much and often
abused by various writers, who have attributed to them the _faults_ of
almost all the nations of Europe, without allowing that they possess any
of the good qualities by which those faults are palliated in the other
nations. Those, however, who are of a candid disposition will not feel
inclined to assent to the truth of statements so evidently dictated by
enmity or spleen. But whilst I would not have the Flemish considered as
a compound of all that is exceptionable in the human character, I do not
consider them as meriting any _particular praise_; nor can I vindicate
them from the charge of dishonesty, which has been so often alleged
against them. In general on the Continent, where _the English_ are the
_subjects of extortion_, the fraud is considered as trivial, and the
French often boast in conversation how _John Bull is pillaged at Paris_.
But whatever may be the _Flemish character_, it is allowed by all that
they follow the French customs in their domestic arrangement, but are in
general more cleanly. Their _kitchens_ are kept very neat, and the
cooking apparatus is ranged in order round the stove, which, in many of
the kitchens that I saw in the small inns, projects considerably into
the room.

Many of the inhabitants of these provinces (like my two companions in
the Louvain Diligence) are below the middle size; they are extremely
intelligent and active, and in general civil to strangers. Before I quit
Louvain, I must not omit to notice that it is famous for its beer, which
is certainly the best I have tasted on the Continent. The number of
breweries is said to exceed twenty, and the consumption is astonishingly
great in the neighbourhood, besides a considerable export trade.

I continued my journey to Brussels along an excellent road, the centre
of which was paved, as from the nature of the soil, it would be
otherwise impassable in winter. The roads in this country run for many
miles together, in a straight line between rows of trees; and I must
confess I thought it very uninteresting to travel through. The flatness
of its surface, is but rarely interrupted by any eminence, which affords
a prospect calculated to make any impression on the mind. There are many
neat villages, and occasionally one sees _country seats_ decorated in
that formal style of gardening, which was originally introduced from
this country into England, but which has there long since yielded to a
more natural taste. The farming seems very neatly managed; the numerous
canals, although they add nothing to the beauty of the country, are of
great utility to the farmer; and travelling is very cheap in the boats,
which pass between the chief towns.

It would require scenery like that of the Rhine, to induce me to adopt
this conveyance; but many of these canals pass between banks which
exclude all view of the surrounding country. I found the Netherlander
generally impatient to be relieved from the great military expences,
incident to their present situation. There is, I think, little reason to
doubt, that when some of the existing taxes can be removed, the _Orange
family_ will become popular. The stamp duties are very heavy; there are
land and house taxes, and a personal tax. It is to be expected, that the
people should wish for a diminution of their burdens, but _Liege_ is the
only place I have visited in the countries lately relinquished by
France, where the separation seems to be generally regretted. I found
that the Prussian government, was by no means popular, on the left bank
of the Rhine, and that an union with either Austria or Bavaria, was much
wished for in those provinces, whose future destiny remains to be
decided at the Congress of Vienna.

Having met with but few English travellers since I had quitted
Switzerland, I was much struck on entering Brussels with the _vast
numbers_ of my fellow subjects, moving in all directions. The garrison
was almost entirely composed of English troops, so that I felt here
quite at home. I found that there was an _English theatre_, as well as a
French one, and that balls, and entertainments of all descriptions, _à
l'Anglaise_, were in abundance. Indeed the upper part of the city
differed little in appearance from an English watering place.

Brussels is a city of great extent, built partly on the river Senne
(naturally a very inconsiderable stream, but which, being formed here
into a canal, becomes of much advantage), and partly on a hill,
commanding an extensive view of the rich and fertile plain by which it
is surrounded; much of which resembles a vast kitchen garden. It is,
like Louvain, surrounded by a ruined wall of brick, as formerly all the
towns of Flanders were fortified. This was the capital of the Austrian
Netherlands, and lately the chief place of the French department of the
Dyle: it will, probably, now become, for a part of the year, the
residence of its new sovereign, whose sons are at present amongst its
inhabitants. The inhabitants of Brussels are calculated at 70,000, and
its environs give the traveller an idea of its importance, as they have
an appearance of much traffic and are decorated with many villas which
announce the opulence, but not always the good taste of their owners.
The city is, in general, irregularly built, and the lower part does not
deserve commendation; but the _place royale_ is fine: the park is
surrounded by many handsome public buildings, and by a number of private
houses, which would ornament any capital in Europe. The park is of
considerable extent, and forms an agreeable promenade. Its avenues are
kept in excellent order; they abound with statues and other formal
decorations, which are, however, more admissible in a city promenade
than in the retirement of the country. A fountain here was celebrated by
_Peter the Great's_ having fallen into it, as that monarch, like Cato,
was said,

     "Sæpe mero caluisse virtus."

     "His virtue oft with wine to warm."

The circumstance was recorded by the following inscription:

     "Petrus Alexowitz, Czar Moscoviæ, magnus dux, margini hujus fontis
     insidiens, illius aquam nobilitavit libato vino hora post meridiam
     tertia, die 16 Aprilis, 1717."

     "That renowned General P.A., Czar of Moscovy, having poured forth
     ample libations of wine, whilst sitting on the brink of this
     fountain fell into, and ennobled its waters about three o'clock in
     the afternoon of the 16th of April, 1717."

The town-house is one of the most conspicuous of the public buildings at
Brussels, although it is situated in the lowest part of the town, its
steeple rising to the height of 364 feet; it is a very fine piece of
Gothic architecture. The equestrian statue, noticed by M. Dutens, as
being placed on the _top of a house_ in the square before the
town-house, has disappeared; the horse and his rider having been removed
to a more suitable situation. The church of St. Gudule presents a
venerable and interesting appearance; it contains several fine
paintings, and windows of stained glass. There are many ancient tombs of
the old Dukes of Brabant. The church of St. James is also worthy of
notice, and its façade of the Corinthian order, is an elegant and
uniform piece of architecture, which does honour to the taste of the

Brussels contains many fine collections of paintings, which I have not
time to enumerate; but I was much pleased with some pictures of _M.
Danoots_, to whom I had a letter. They are not very numerous, but are
undoubted originals of S. Rosa, Teniers, Rembrandt, Myiens, and of J.
Bassano, who is remarkable for having attained a greater age (82) than
most of the great painters, he has accordingly left behind him a
greater number of pictures than almost any other master. He is said to
have expressed great regret on his death-bed, that he should be obliged
to quit the world at the moment when he had begun to make some little
progress in his art. A shorter life than Bassano's, is, however,
sufficient to establish the reputation of an artist. _Raphael_ died in
his 37th year, but public opinion has placed him at the head of his art
for _general proficiency_.

There are several excellent hotels in Brussels which command a view of
the park. I was at one of these, the _Hotel de Bellevue_, and found the
hour of the _table d'hote_ had been changed to accommodate the English,
to four o'clock, at least two hours later than the usual time; but as
the company consisted always entirely of English it was but reasonable
they should fix the hour. The dinner here more resembled an _English
one_ than any I had hitherto seen on the Continent, and reminded me of
the public tables at Cheltenham.

Brussels was some months since a very _cheap_ residence, but I have
been assured, that the prices of most articles have more than doubled
since our troops first arrived here. Living at an hotel here is nearly
as expensive as in London; but no doubt there is a considerable saving
in the expences of a family who are recommended to honest trades-people.
There are still a number of good houses to be let, notwithstanding the
great influx of English, many of whom have engaged houses for _four or
five years_, on terms which seem _very reasonable_ to those accustomed
to the _London prices_.

The country round Brussels presents several excursions which would
probably have better answered my expectations had the weather been more
favourable. The Abbey of _Jurourin_, was a country seat of the princes
of the Austrian family, and was formerly famous for its menagerie. The
forest of _Sogne_ is of great extent; and its numerous avenues, which
now had a sombre appearance, are, no doubt, in summer, much frequented
by the inhabitants of Brussels. This forest was the property of the
Emperor of Germany, and is said to have produced an annual revenue of
one million of florins.

The prison, or house of correction, at _Vilvorde_, is worthy of
attention, from the excellent manner in which it is conducted. Those who
wish for the introduction of some improvements into our workhouses,
might surely derive many useful hints from the manner in which similar
establishments are conducted abroad; and although I have never thought
much on the subject, yet I did not fail to remark the cleanliness,
regularity, and industry, which prevailed here and in another place of
the same kind near Berne.

Brussels is seen to great advantage from the ancient ramparts which
surround it. I went entirely round the city in about two hours, and
afterwards attended divine service, which was performed in English, to a
congregation which proved the great number of English now here. There
are at present but _few very strongly fortified cities_ in Belgium,
compared with the vast number which it formerly contained. The period is
past, when, after the ablest engineers had exerted their utmost skill
in the construction of fortifications around its cities, generals, not
less distinguished, contended for the honour of reducing them. Amongst
numberless other instances, the siege of _Ostend_ sufficiently attests
how successful the engineers have been in rendering those places strong;
and also bears ample testimony to the perseverance of the commanders who
at last succeeded in taking them. Ambrose Spinola entered Ostend in
1604, after a siege of above three years, during which the besieged lost
50,000 and the besiegers 80,000 men. The siege and capture of
_Valenciennes_ might also be adduced, if testimony were wanting of the
zeal and bravery of British armies and commanders. But however justly
these sieges are celebrated in _modern times_, the _antiquarian_ who
contends for the _supremacy of past ages_ over the present, will not
fail to instance the siege of _Troy_ and the exploits of Achilles and
Agamemnon, as a more distinguished instance of perseverance than any to
be met with in these _degenerate_ _days_, and if he should meet with
some _sceptic_ who insists that the heroes of Homer owe their existence
only to the imagination of the poet, although he can assent to no such
hypothesis, yet he will also instance the siege of _Azotus_, on the
frontiers of Egypt, which Psammeticus, meditating extensive conquests,
and thinking it beneath him to leave so strong a fortress unsubdued, is
related to have spent 29 years of his reign in reducing.

As I was desirous of visiting Antwerp and Ghent, and as the period
allotted for my tour was drawing to a close (a circumstance which the
advanced season of the year gave me but little reason to regret) I left
Brussels, enveloped in a fog, which might remind the English
fashionables of those so prevalent in London during the gloomy season of
November, and proceeded to Malines, 14 miles distant, formerly one of
the greatest cities of Belgium, but now like too many other once
celebrated places in that country, affording a melancholy contrast to
its former splendour, and proving that in the vicissitude of all
sublunary affairs, cities, as well as their inhabitants, are subject to

     Non indignemur mortalia corpora solvi Cernimus exemplis oppida
     posse mori.

Here are several manufactories of excellent lace and many breweries, but
the beer is considered as greatly inferior to that of Louvain. The
houses are spacious, and exhibit singular specimens of ancient taste;
the roofs rise to a great height and terminate in a sharp point. Their
walls are generally of an excessive whiteness. The tower of the
cathedral is highly finished, and rises to a vast height. There being
little to detain me here, Malines being more remarkable for what it once
was, than for what it now is, I continued my way to Antwerp along an
excellent paved road, lined by avenues of trees, which are often so cut
(the Dutch differing from the Minorquins, who never prune a tree,
saying, that nature knows best how it should grow) as not to be at all
ornamental, and in some places cannot be said to afford either "from
storms a shelter, or from heat a shade." In that state, however
unnatural, they answer the intention of their planters, by marking the
course of the road in the snowy season, without excluding the air from
it in the wet weather, prevalent in autumn.

Antwerp is one of the most celebrated cities of Europe, and although its
present situation is far from comparable with its former celebrity, yet
it has revived greatly of late years; and the events which have restored
to these provinces their independence, will, no doubt, fill with the
vessels of all trading nations those docks, which were constructed by
the French Government at such incredible expence, and with far different
views than the encouragement of commercial speculations. The canals by
which these docks communicate with Bruges and Ostend, that the navy of
Napoleon might run no risks by passing on the _high seas_, are vast
works, which must have cost enormous sums of money. The Scheld is here
about half the width of the Thames at Westminster; but _Antwerp_ is
above fifty miles from its mouth. Its depth is very considerable; and
such was at one period the commerce of Antwerp, that not less than 2000
vessels annually entered its port. The present population of this city
is stated at 60,000. There are manufactures of lace, silk, chocolate,
and extensive establishments for refining sugar. The export of the
productions of the fruitful district which surrounds the city is very
considerable. Nothing proves more strongly the _riches of these
provinces_, than the short period in which they recover the evils of a
campaign; and it was their fertility in grain, which principally
rendered them of such importance to the French government. During the
late scarcity in France, the crops succeeded tolerably well here; and
Buonaparte obliged the inhabitants of Belgium to supply France at a
price which he fixed himself, and by which _they lost_ considerably.

There are many buildings at Antwerp, which are justly admired for their
magnificence, particularly the cathedral, which, like many other
churches here, was decorated by the pencil of Rubens. The tower of the
cathedral is a rich specimen of Gothic. The general effect of this
building is lessened by a number of mean houses which surround it. The
church of St. Andre contains a monument to the memory of Mary Queen of
Scotland. The town-house is a large building; its façade is 250 feet in
length, and is composed of all the orders of architecture. Many of the
streets at Antwerp are tolerably well built. I was informed that many
individuals have good collections of paintings, by the chief painters
which this country has produced. It is impossible to pass through
Flanders without being struck with the exactness with which its painters
have represented the face of their country, and the persons of its
inhabitants. Antwerp, on the whole, has a tolerably cheerful appearance.
The promenade of Penipiere is pleasant, and much frequented by the

The country between Antwerp and Gand, presents, like the rest of
Flanders, a level surface, highly cultivated, traversed by excellent
roads, running in straight lines from one town to another. I must,
however, own that I have seldom traversed a more uninteresting country.
But as the reign of a prince, which affords the fewest incidents for the
commemoration of the historian, is thought to be often the most
fortunate for the interests of his subjects, so a country, which is
passed over in silence by the tourist, as devoid of those natural
beauties, which fix his attention, often contains the most land
susceptible of cultivation, which best repays the labours of the
husbandman, and is the most valuable to the possessor. Many of the
Flemish inns are very neat; but the traveller who has recently quitted
Germany, is struck with their inferiority in point of decoration
(although, perhaps, in no other respect) to those of that country, which
abound with gilding, trophies, and armorial bearings, to invite the
stranger, who here has a less shewy intimation of the entertainment he
seeks for. The peasants here commonly wear wooden shoes; and they who do
not consider how powerful is the force of custom, are surprised how
they contrive to walk so well, in such awkward and clumsy machines.

       *       *       *       *       *


Gand, or _Ghent_, is the capital of Flanders, and is one of the greatest
cities in Europe as to extent; it is seven miles in circumference. It is
situated on the Scheldt and Lys, which are here joined by two smaller
rivers, which with numerous canals intersect the city, and form upwards
of twenty islands, that are united by above 100 bridges. No position can
be conceived more favourable for trade than this. But Gand is greatly
fallen from the once splendid situation she held amongst the cities of
Europe, and although superior to either Brussels or Antwerp in point of
appearance, its population is now inferior to those cities, being
reduced to 58,000: a very inconsiderable number for a city of such
extent. Gand is celebrated as the birthplace of the Emperor Charles the
Fifth. It exhibited at different periods proofs of his attachment to a
place of which he boasted being a citizen, and of the severity with
which he punished the revolt of its inhabitants. In more ancient times
Gand produced another character of political importance, _d'Arteville_,
a brewer, whose influence in this city (then one of the first in Europe)
made King Edward the Third of England solicitous for his friendship; and
history informs us, that one of his sons, at the head of 60,000 Gantois,
carried on a war against his sovereign.

Here was concluded the celebrated treaty in 1516, called the
Pacification of Gand; and it may in future times be famous for the
conclusion of a treaty between England and America.

Charles the Fifth comparing the extent of Paris with that of this city,
is said to have remarked, "_qu'il auroit mis tout Paris dans Gand_;"
and, except Paris, and perhaps Cologne, it is the largest city I have
seen on the Continent. Many of the canals have some appearance of trade.
I observed many very extensive bleach-greens beyond the ancient ditches
and works which surround the city. The walls along the canal of _la
Coussure_ are the most frequented by the inhabitants.

The cathedral is a handsome structure, and contains some beautiful
carving. The church of St. Michael is also a noble and venerable
edifice. There are many other handsome churches amongst the number which
the city contains, and I do not recollect ever to have been in a place
where there are such a number and variety of _chimes_.

The town-house is an extremely large and handsome building, in the
ancient taste, as indeed are most of those in the Netherlands. The city
contains many elegant private houses. The streets are remarkably clean
and spacious, but the want of an adequate population is very
perceptible. Here is a good public library, and the Botanic Garden is
considered as the best in the Netherlands. The prison built by the
Empress Maria Teresa is well worthy of a visit; and the stranger cannot
fail of being struck with the extreme activity and industry which
prevails within its walls. Every thing seems conducted much in the same
manner, of which I had occasion to notice the advantages at Vilvorde.
There is a theatre; but those who have lately arrived from Brussels or
Lisle will not be much struck with the merits of the performers. From
Gand to Ostend and Dunkirk there are no public conveyances, except along
the canals. This mode of travelling I was not inclined to adopt; and
hearing that the road by Lisle, although thirty miles longer, passed
through a finer country, I determined to proceed that way. I did not
hear a favourable account of _Ostend_; and, notwithstanding the peace,
above a third of the houses were said to be untenanted. Bruges has
neither river nor fountain, but abundance of stagnant canals and
reservoirs. The word _Bourse_, as designating the place where merchants
assemble to transact business, had its first origin from a house at
Bruges, then belonging to the family of _Van der Bourse_, opposite to
which the merchants of the city used to meet daily. As the road between
Ghent and Lisle did not claim any minute survey, and as I had been
satisfied with the trial I had before made of a diligence in their
country, I engaged a place for Lille for the next morning.

I was awakened, long before daybreak, by the noise of packing in the
carriages in the yard, and by the vociferations of several Frenchmen in
the house, who seemed to exert their lungs more than the occasion
required. I was not sorry to see them set off in a different carriage
from that in which I was to proceed, as their extreme noise would have
been tiresome. I had not to complain that my companions made an
unnecessary _depense de parole_. They were, I believe, all Flemish. One
of them prided himself on being able to speak a little English, which he
said he could read perfectly, and pulled from his pocket "The Vicar of
Wakefield," which, he assured me, he admired extremely. I have, on many
occasions, in Germany, been in company with persons who were more
desirous of beginning a conversation in English, than able afterwards to
continue it; but in general I have found that the English make less
allowance for the want of proficiency of foreigners in their language
than foreigners do for our ignorance of theirs. On one occasion, at a
_table d'hote_, a person who sat near me pointed out a gentleman at some
distance, and observed that it would be impossible to please him more
than by giving him an opportunity of speaking English, as he valued
himself much on his knowledge of that language. He was not long without
finding the opportunity he sought for, but not the approbation which he
had probably expected.

But to return to the diligence. The rest of the passengers being
lethargic after dinner, an elderly lady and I had the conversation to
ourselves. She complained frequently of her _poor bonnet_, which, from
its _extraordinary elevation_ (having to all appearance antiquity to
boast of) was frequently forced in contact with the top of the carriage
by the roughness of the pavement. I told her, I had heard that the
bonnets at Paris had been much reduced in point of height, and that
perhaps something between the French and English fashions would in time
be generally worn. But although she had to complain of the
inconvenience arising from the unnecessarily large dimensions of her
headdress, she expressed a hope that no such reduction might take
place, as the English bonnets were in her opinion so extremely
unbecoming, that she should much regret any bias in the French ladies
towards such an innovation.

The pavement on which we travelled was rendered very necessary by the
weight of the carriages, which would soon make the road impassable. The
country resembled the rest of Flanders. I observed a greater number of
sportsmen than I had yet seen, well provided with dogs, ranging a
country which is too thickly inhabited to abound in game; and I have
seldom seen a district where there are fewer birds of any kind. Courtray
is a large and handsome town. Here I observed some large dogs employed
in drawing small carts, a custom very general in Holland. The town-house
bears an inscription, indicating that it was erected _by the senate and
people of Courtray_; a style lately used by all the cities of Germany
which depended on the empire, however inconsiderable they had become in
the course of years. There are many beggars here although the town and
neighbourhood exhibits more industry than I had observed since I left

At Courtray and Menin the garrisons are English, and a little beyond the
last named place we entered France. The _boundary stone_ was pointed out
to me as curious, from having escaped unnoticed during the revolutionary
times, as it bears the royal arms of France on one side and those of
Austria on the other, and after a series of eventful years, it serves
again to point out the ancient and legitimate limits of France. We were
detained above an hour at the custom-house, as the diligence was heavily
laden and all merchandise, as well as the baggage of the passengers, was
examined with minute attention.

The tax was however only on the patience, the purse not being diminished
by any claim from the officers, who were extremely civil in assisting to
arrange what their search had convinced them not to be illegal. Our
passports were not demanded until we reached the out-posts of Lille, and
we were not long detained, as every thing was satisfactory. I was told
that a few days before, two English travellers not being provided with
sufficient passports, were taken out of the diligence and conveyed under
an escort into Lille, where they were next day recommended to return to
England, and provide themselves with proper passports.

Lille is the capital of French Flanders, and the chief place in the
department _du Nord_; it is one of the handsomest and best built cities
of France, as well as the strongest fortified. The _citadel_ especially,
is considered as the _chef d'oeuvre_ of the celebrated _Vauban_, this
place having been one of the most important fortresses on this side of
France; it has again become so, although far removed from that line
which an insatiable ambition would have established as the boundary of
France; and which included nations not desirous of the union. The
population of Lille is estimated at 61,500. It contains many
manufactories, which a period of tranquillity will probably restore to
their ancient prosperity. Many of the streets here reminded me of Paris.
The cathedral is a handsome building, as are also the exchange, the
theatre, and the porte royale. The barracks are large and spacious; and
there being generally a large garrison, the _theatre_ is well attended
and the performers superior to those in most provincial towns. I was
told by a gentleman who has resided here for some time, that there are
few towns in France which exceed this in point of agreeable society. He
had two letters of introduction on his arrival and found no difficulty
in enlarging the circle of his acquaintance. He added, that many English
had settled here for the sake of economy; and it certainly is cheaper
than most of the great towns of Belgium.

I had much reason to be satisfied that I took this road to Calais,
instead of going by the canals, as the country was much diversified, and
the _view from Cassel_ was one of the most striking and extensive that I
had ever seen. Notwithstanding that the month of November is not
calculated for seeing a country to advantage, some of the richest and
best cultivated provinces of France and Flanders are discovered from
this commanding situation. The scene is bounded on one side by the sea
and on the other by the mountains of Hainault. Those who are acquainted
with the country assert that from Cassel you can see thirty towns or
considerable villages, of which seventeen are fortified. Cassel itself
is by no means remarkable; it was at one time a place of great strength,
but its fortifications have gone to decay, although its situation must
always render it a strong position. After a considerable descent on
leaving Cassel, we arrived in the plain, which extends to the coast,
with but little variation. It is fertile in corn and produces hops.
There are several rich pastures and a tolerable proportion of wood. This
day we travelled entirely in the department _du Nord_, where the roads
are much attended to. I observed a few country houses and a château of
General _Vandamme_.

Berg is a considerable town, but badly situated; the country from thence
to Dunkirk is a flat and marshy plain, resembling those extensive
tracts which occupy a large proportion of the counties of Cambridge and
Lincoln. It abounds with canals and drains, which in some places are
higher than the fields, but this uninteresting district feeds large
herds of cattle, and is in many parts well cultivated. One of the chief
canals leading to Dunkirk runs parallel with the road for a great
distance, its banks are planted with trees, which have a stunted
appearance, owing probably to their proximity to the sea. I observed on
the canal several boats laden with the produce of the country, as well
as the stage boats. Dunkirk is well built, and the streets being
spacious it makes a favourable impression on the mind of the traveller,
who is perhaps more liable to the force of a first impression than most
others. Some of the churches and public buildings are handsome and the
number of inhabitants is estimated at 22,000. Its name is said to
originate from a church built here by the Duns in 646, and in Flemish
its name signifies the _church of the Duns_. There is much similarity
between many words in the English and Flemish, but the latter cannot
claim the praise of agreeableness.

It is endeavoured by a proclamation of the _Prince Sovereign_ to restore
the _Flemish language_ in all public acts and pleadings at law, to the
exclusion of the French, which during the union of Belgium with France,
was alone allowed to be used, and pains were taken that in all schools
the French language only should be taught. But it is a difficult task,
to overcome the partiality of a people for their ancient dialect, and
the Flemish language is still used by the lower classes even in those
parts of Flanders which have been united for above a century to France.
At this day the difference between the two nations is not altogether
done away.

The scheme of again uniting Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine to
France, is here perpetually introduced. The French talk of the oppressed
state of the Belgians, and of the vast number of _ordinary_,
_extraordinary_, and _indirect_ imposts to which they are subject, and
conclude that they must wish to become again the subjects of France, as
if they would by that means escape taxation. That they would rather be
subject to the _mild government of Louis XVIII_. than to the _oppressive
tyranny of Buonaparte_, I can easily conceive; but is it unnatural that
they should be desirous of existing as an independent nation, under a
government of their own? Yet were it ascertained beyond dispute, that
the wishes of the Belgians are such as the French represent them, surely
the general interests of Europe, and the preservation of that balance of
power so essential to its permanent tranquillity, would forbid the
further extension of France, which might again reassume that
preponderance which it has cost the other powers so much to reduce. I
am, however, inclined to think, that the wishes of the Belgians are not
such as they are represented; but the French _knowing a little, presume
a good deal, and so jump to a conclusion_.

The merchants here seem to expect that their city will obtain the
privileges of a _free port_, which have been lately granted to
Marseilles, but upon what grounds their hopes are founded, I did not
distinctly understand.

Dunkirk was at one period subject to England; being taken in 1658, it
continued an English garrison until sold by that needy monarch Charles
the Second, to Louis the Fourteenth, in 1662. The odium of this
transaction was one of the causes of the disgrace of that great
statesman, Lord Clarendon, and a house which he was then building,
obtained the popular appellation of _Dunkirk House_. In the possession
of so enterprising and ambitious a sovereign as Louis, Dunkirk became so
formidable by its fortifications, that the demolition of them was deemed
essential to the interests of England, and was accordingly insisted on
by the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713; but by the treaty of 1783, the article
against its being fortified was annulled, and although several works
have been constructed since that period, it has by no means re-assumed
its former strength. From Dunkirk, I proceeded to Gravelines, which,
although inconsiderable as a town, is strong as a fortress, since the
flat country which surrounds it may be laid under water to a great
extent on the approach of an enemy. The market-place is spacious, but
overgrown with weeds. I observed that it still bears the name of the
_Place de la Liberté_, and a street which communicates with it is
designated _Rue de l'Egalité_.

The title of the market-place is more applicable to the present than to
the former state of France; that of the street cannot long exist in any
country, for the maxim tells us, "_that all men are by nature unequal_,"
and the attempt to render them equal has been often compared, in point
of absurdity, to the labours of _Procrustes_. _An equal right to
justice_ is all the _equality_ that can subsist in civilized society,
consistent with the _liberty_, _property_, and _personal security_, of
individuals, which would be perpetually violated by a system, to
preserve which, it would be requisite continually to take from the
acquisitions of the industrious, to give to the idle and the profligate.
It is possible that the experience of the last twenty years may not have
produced as full a conviction as might have been expected on the minds
of the French; but it cannot be supposed to have been altogether
unheeded by them.

I found at Gravelines a diligence, which I think the cheapest land
conveyance I ever met with. It runs from Dunkirk to Calais (about
twenty-five English miles) for three francs. It carries six passengers,
and performs the journey in about five or six hours. It is the _spirit
of opposition_ which has so advantageously for the public reduced the
price, which used to be double, and which will probably, in a little
time, rise one franc more.

The country between Gravelines and Calais is as uninteresting as can be
conceived. The ground is shewn where Edward III. of England had his camp
during the memorable siege of Calais. This town continued to be
possessed by England until the reign of Queen Mary, (being the last
place in France _proper_ which remained of the numerous territories once
possessed by England), and its loss is said to have greatly afflicted
her Majesty. The fortifications of Calais are kept in tolerably good
repair. I found that for three days previous to my arrival no vessel had
been able to sail, owing to the contrary winds and the violent agitation
of the sea. Two vessels had been wrecked by these storms, but nearly all
the crews were saved. In the evening I visited the theatre, and was
sorry to observe, that a sentiment introduced into the performance
expressive of satisfaction at the peace between France and England,
excited much disapprobation from the officers present. The _jealousy
which prevails against the English in France is very striking_, after
the cordiality with which they are received in Germany. It seems to be
the Englishman's _purse alone_ that commands a certain interested
assiduity, which they take care shall be _amply_ remunerated.

The port of Calais presented no appearance of activity, the transports
which filled it on my first arrival having long disappeared. After being
detained one day, I was glad to hear a bustle in the hotel at an early
hour next morning, and perceiving that the wind had become more
favourable for England, I hastened on board the packet, in which my
landlord had engaged me a place; the price I found was now reduced to
half a guinea. I had procured the day before a _sufferance_ for the
embarkation of myself and baggage. Our captain and crew were French, and
the vessel was not in the neatest order.

Two other packets sailed at the same time, but arrived in Dover before
us. All were full of passengers, owing to the weather having been long
unfavourable for sailing. We had on board forty-six passengers, amongst
whom were several _Frenchmen_, who again gave me occasion to remark the
loquacity of their nation; and they only agreed with La Fontaine in the
former part of the line, where he says, "_Il est bon de parler, et
meilleur de se taire_;" _'Tis good to speak, but better to be silent._
Our passage was extremely rough; but after twelve hours sailing, we
entered the port of Dover, and I felt great pleasure in finding myself
again in a country, which had only risen still higher in my estimation,
from the comparison I had been enabled to form between it and the other
countries I had visited.


*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "A tour through some parts of France, Switzerland, Savoy, Germany and Belgium" ***

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