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style it), which is said to be abundant in this part of the Seine, and also of a peculiarly fine flavour. The Dorade is an iron steamer, about two hundred English feet in length, and at midships twenty feet across, exclusive of the paddle-boxes. It terminates in a point at both ends, and is of forty-horse power. We found but few first-place passengers on board. There were, however, some twenty or thirty sturdy-looking rustics in the rear, rather above the order of labouring peasantry, and yet not quite the yeoman in appearance. I was told that the average daily number of passengers by the boats which ply from Rouen to Paris was about fifty. "The first places are twelve francs, the second nine. There is a restaurateur on board, so that, as in Normandie, you can dine very much according to your own taste. The Dorade, as well as the other boats on this station, are necessarily narrow, as they have to pass through the arches of several old bridges, to the builders of which it never occurred to make any provision for iron steam-boats.
We did not get away until about half-past four A.M. The morning was remarkably cold, considering that we were near midsummer. The wind blew keenly from the east, and compelled us to wrap ourselves in our cloaks. The ruin-crowned eminences on our left teemed with the histories of sieges and battles of former days; in the midst shone out the pretty chapel of the Virgin, seated, as if to witness the meek triumph and uninterrupted continuance of religion through all the vicissitudes of barbarian ages. The banks of the river on our right were low and evidently subject to ivundations, which, although they contributed to fertilize the land, left behind them marshes, said to be productive of malaria. An enormous winding of the river took us down to Elbeuf, and then up in a parallel course to Pont-de-l'Arche. Elbeuf has been long celebrated for its fine cloth manufactures. The revocation of the Edict of Nantes suspended their prosperity for some time, by compelling its inhabitants, who were principally Huguenots, and almost all engaged in that trade, to take refuge in England. During the early stages of the revolution, however, the factories gradually resumed their former activity; they extended rapidly after the separation of Belgium from France, and they now afford occupation to five or six thousand persons of both sexes and every age. The town is very agreeably situated in a valley, overlooked by a chain of mountains, well wooded throughout their whole extent.
One of Prout's most picturesque sketches of the Seine is the Pont-del'Arche. A fine old bridge of twenty arches extends from a little above the confluence of the Seine with the Eure, and at the same time passes over three branches of the former river. It is said to have been erected so long ago as the year 854. An ancient mill and church come with great effect into the picture, and render it, perhaps, the most interesting object between Rouen and Paris. Amongst our English companions on board, I detected one of our most accomplished artists, in consequence of the enthusiasm with which he admired this scene, and of the happy phraseology which he used in pointing out its most striking features to his wife and two female friends by whom he was accompanied. He turned out to be an old acquaintance of Mr. Forster; and so we all forthwith concluded a league of friendship, as if we had known each other a hundred
years. Mrs. M was, if I might say so, quite a devotee to the beauties and still more to the antiquities and legends, of the Seine.
She had traversed it repeatedly-had stopped and roamed about for days among its most storied towns and villages-had collected many traditions from the elderly people whom she had met everywhere--and was full of all sorts of information, which to me was new and exciting. The party, morever, did me the favour to say that they had been already rendered quite familiar with me through my voyage on the Danube. It is indeed, a compensation for many of the ills of life thus to meet persons, strange to my eye most friendly to my heart, by reason of the communications previously established between us through the instrumentality of literature.
The bank on our right, hitherto monotonous, began to be varied by bosomy undulations, soon after we quitted Pont-de-l'Arche. Through some of these eminences chalk formations occasionally broke out ; but, for the most part, they were clothed with verdure, and presented at their feet lines of poplars, the picturesque character of which I had to defend against my fellow-voyagers, who almost continually denounced them as a nuisance.
A wit on board, who took my view of the question, cut the controversy short, by asking one of the ladies," wherefore is it that those poplars there are not popular here?”
She replied that she thought it was because they intercepted the scenery behind them, and always looked so melancholy and so useless.
“ Not at all,” rejoined my advocate ; "it is because they have not you (u) there,''
“ Bravo!” exclaimed Mr. M ; “ here are at once a compliment and a pun, which I have seldom heard united before. Mademoiselle will be no longer on our side. I must repeat this to Horace Smith when I see him.”
“ You may; hut tell him he must not use my thunder.”
From the poplars our attention was directed to a young French artist, who was sitting, as he conceived, in a most striking attitude, near one of the paddle-boxes, holding in his right hand a tortoiseshell, silverheaded cane, his left arm akimbo, one leg thrown over the other, his hair hanging in thick ringlets over his shoulders, and on the top of his head a little, soft, yellow, round hat, or rather cap, with a narrow edge turned in all round. The hat was less on the top than on the side of his pericranium, where it hung with an air of coxcombry that was exquisitely ludicrous. This is a style which has been recently affected by the young artists of France. The cut of the coat is also peculiar, the object of the whole costume being to imitate the portraits of Raffaelle as closely as a slight deference to modern fashion will permit. They thus separate themselves at once from the general mass of the community; wherever they meet they are enabled to recognise each other, and they flatter themselves that their mustaches and whiskered cheeks and chins, aided by a studious, pensive, languishing look, render them irresistible to the ladies. The inconsistency between the self-importance assumed by this specimen of " young France,” and his seat near the paddle-box, where he was mixed up with the motley groups of the secondary class of passengers, was not the least striking feature of the exhibition which he presented to my friend M-, who by stealth copied him off capitally.
Another character, or rather pair of characters, we had on board, consisted of an elderly French gentleman of the ancien régime, and his fat,
dumpling-looking, neatly-capped and shawled housekeeper. He appeared bordering close on his seventy-fifth summer, enjoying a green old age, a buoyant cheerful temper, a good appetite, and his manners were of the most amiable and engaging description. His companion made him put on his cloak whenever she thought the wind blew too keenlyand, undoubtedly, he had much occasion for it; as, although the sun shone out in a perfectly cloudless sky, whenever we became by the windings of the river fully exposed on the eastern side, the cold was more piercing than I ever felt it eveu in December. If the temperature varied, she took off the cloak again, and, fulding it up neatly, held it in her lap until he again required it. Her services were all performed with a degree of recognised authority, but, at the same time, with a manifest feeling of respect and affection which were beautiful in their way. When he slept, she shut her eyes and nodded too. When he awoke, she also brightened up, as if by inagnetic sympathy. The contrast between them was complete-he a tall, slender, venerable, very gentlemanly-looking person; she a short, thick-built woman, cleanly and substantially dressed, a stout gold ring on the second finger of her right hand, but altogether a personage much superior to our waitress of the “ Normandie.” They breakfasted comfortably together on a petage, and a bottle of the best vin de Macon-which she recommended him to take in preference to another he had named. She thought, good soul! that the Macon would do him more good. I observed that she did not forget to help herself.
It is no uncommon thing for octogenarians in France to go about attended by domestiques of this description ; in walking through the streets of Paris, they are followed by these faithful nurses, who carry their cloaks and umbrellas for them, and warn them at the crossings, lest they should knock a foot against a stone, or be run down by a cab. When the master pays a visit, she sits in the hall, or in a separate room, maintaining a certain degree of state of her own, apart indeed from him, but also distinguished from the rank of a menial servant.
By the by, let us here observe one of the results of steam-navigation, with reference to its probable agency in extending the duration of human life. Assuming that the gentleman whom I have just noticed was obliged by his affairs to take a journey from Rouen to Paris-if there had been no steam-boat, he must have gone in the diligence, or posted perhaps in his own carriage. He appeared to be rheumatic, and very feeble; if he had been shut up in a carriage, and subjected to its motion, the effect upon his health could not have been otherwise than injurious ; fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, would have tended to impair the little strength that remained to him ; he might have had uneasy, interrupted slumbers, but he could not have slept; whereas, on board the Dorade, he had his couch to go to when he pleased, whereupon to extend his limbs-- he had the deck to walk upon-the open air to inhale-his meals when he liked - his bottle of Medoc-and his domestique to cloak or uncloak him, as the varying temperature of the day required. He suffered no more inconvenience in going to Paris by the steamer than he would have had to encounter in his own house. Let the insurance-offices look to it; steamers, will, I suspect, be found no friend to their annuities.
Our secondary passengers appeared to be principally mechanics and
agriculturists-all well-built men, in good condition, and comfortably dressed---especially the farmer-looking men, who seemed to have plenty of money. When the fare was demanded all round, they usually pulled out from their waistcoat-pockets a cotton handkerchief well stored with five-franc pieces. When the operation of payment was over-a duty performed on one side with a reluctance very little in keeping with the avidity betrayed on the other—they diligently knotted the handkerchief again, and stuffed it into the pocket whence it had been drawn. The lump must have been inconvenient in such a place, but I presume they like it, as a constant evidence that their treasure is in safety.
As we glided along amidst scenery ever new and beautiful, we kept up a smart fire of conversation upon all sorts of topics—the transcendental school of Germany—to me an entire mystery--the pervasion of the electric soul of love throughout all nature, in which I am a firmi believer—the faculty of consciousness bestowed upon all creatures, from man down to the most minute gnat that dances quadrilles in the sunbeams—of which said consciousness I am also a decided advocate, as a power of thought altogether separate from that which belongs to the human mind, and ceasing with the death of the inferior creature—the luxurious attractions of the John-Dory for my namesake, the wellknown player-and a hundred other subjects.
We passed under a very handsome suspension-bridge, near Château Gaillard : the ruins of that celebrated castle present to the view a remarkably imposing and picturesque object. It was originally erected by our Richard Cour-de-Lion, to defend his Norman possessions against France. It was in one of its dungeons that Margaret of Burgundy was strangled for her debaucheries. Near it is the very beautiful town of Andelys, where Poussin was born. A little shabby house is shown there, upon which lustre nevertheless dwells, because it is said to have been once the abode of Corneille-such is the power
of poetry! Blanchard, the æronaut, and Brunel, the engineer, are understood also to have first seen the light at Andelys. The hospital founded there by the Duke of Panthievre, grandfather of the present King of the French, is a most splendid pile, looking much more oriental than European. Mr. M -- admitted that my cypress-looking poplars, grouped near this magnificent structure, added materially to its picturesque effect.
Winding up the river we reach the town of Vernon, which, from a petty village, was converted into a place of great strength by our Henry the First. An enormous tower, in which the archives of the district are now preserved, lifts its head like a hoary warrior of those sanguinary ages. The streets are wretchedly built, but the antiquity of the houses, its very beautiful parish church, and its commanding situation, render Vernon an object of marked interest in the panorama through which we are moving. The bridge is one of the oldest structures of the kind on the river; in consequence of some concussion to which it was subjected, one of the arches was bent out of its place altogether; the modern restorer -instead of taking the whole arch down, left the deformity just as it was, and filled in the vacuum made by its displacement-a truly French idea, worthy of the men who conceived the idea of the iron summit to the tower of the Rouen cathedral.
By the noon we experienced some approach to the genial temperature of summer; patches of grey cloud were scattered here and there upon a
Sept.-VOL. LIV. NO. ccxiii.
dark green sky; great numbers of swallows were sporting everywhere around us ; on either side were fields of a rich emerald green, interspersed with patches of a yellow flower, the seeds of which yield oil. The contrasts between the two lively colours, and the chasing of shadow after shadow as the clouds passed over them, lent to the scene a magical variety.
Out sounds the bell whenever we approach a village or a town; then the groups assembling on the shore-the joy of friends meeting—the adieus of friends separating—the sudden disappearance of the one party from the other before they half finish the talk which they had just renewed -- the whirl of the boat from fields glowing with herbage amongst rugged rocks or mural precipices of chalk, over whose snowy summits troops of jackdaws are hovering - habitations, and even churches, excavated in the hills-vineyards, planted on the slopes where the southern sun seems to sleep—the alternations of fertility and barrenness--the distant vistas through clumps of trees and through arches of bridges-the spires of churches, from which occasionally flies the tri-coloured flag-old high-roofed châteaus, with their straight avenues—these, and a thousand other objects in the panorama, the pencil in vain attempts to preserve. The slightest movement of the helm to the one side or the other imparts to the whole a new combination of features, which the wild deviations of the current again tend to diversify. Casties, and towers, and mountains appear to turn themselves round on all sides, as if they were rivals in their claims upon our admiration ; but lo! just as we are about to decide to which the preference ought to be given, they all, with a sort of flirting sauciness, bid us good by! How
very few birds one sees or hears in France ! With the exception of the swallows and jackdaws just noticed, I saw none. At Rouen, I heard the cuckoo ; but we all miss the twittering sparrow, the joyous thrush and blackbird, the goldfinch, and the other gay and musical visitors of our English woods and hedges. Absent too is that chorus of insects, which in the summer-time seldom fail to sing their vespers to the Creator in our own firmament.
Many questions have been lately raised as to the most advantageous mode of constructing steam-boat paddles. Experiments performed by direction of the Admiralty have developed a most unexpected result, clearly demonstrating that the paddle-boards hitherto employed have been much larger than is required, and that vessels have been most unnecessarily shaken and the engines strained in consequence. The constructors of the Dorade thought that they could not make her paddleboards sufficiently extensive. The arches of the bridges through which she had to pass somewhat restrained their ambition, but they endeavoured to compensate the supposed evil as far as they could, by giving the board a direction divergent from the axis. The consequence was, the vessel trembled through all her joints at every stroke. Another result was less disagreeable. The board struck the water at an angle, which threw off the element the outer edge in an arch of sharp light particles. Observing this, I immediately looked for the prismatic bow beneath, and there I found it, larger or smaller as the course of the vessel changed in relation to the sun. Sometimes a perfect circle of the prismatic colours was formed in the bosom of the river; sometimes