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tion relative to the subjects announced in the title-page, which he communicates in a style always perspicuous and entertaining, and often elegant and picturesque. Although he avow's that he carried with him English opinions, English society, and English manners, as a sort of criterion or standard, his reflexions arise immediately from the facts before him; and very little that deserves the name of prejudice will be found to distort his descriptions or misguide his sentiments. Indeed, with regard to the leading features of the Parisian character, we have scarcely found any difference of opinion, either among our travelers, or the statistical writers of their own nation. All describe what they have seen; and all saw the same phænomena. • The Sketch is divided into letters: the first, which gives an account of our author's journey from Calais, contains nothing very interesting. In letter II, he commences his series of observations on the palace and gardens of the Tuilleries, the Louvre, the picture gallery, &c. The gardens of the Tuilleries have undergone little alteration, but the palace has received some improvement; and, when the new plan is fully executed, the residence of the first consul will greatly exceed in magnificence all the palaces of Europe. Our au. thor's feelings on entering the musée central des arts, or picture-gallery of the Louvre, are too interesting to be omitted.
At length I found myself in the magnificent room, which I have before mentioned, the walls of which are covered as far as the eye can -reach with the sublimest efforts of human art. Where the mind has long been promised a pleasure, when fancy has dressed it in all her choicest colours, how seldom does the reality approach the phantom of heated imagination. For once I was not disappointed. I expected it is true, a high gratification. I had formed to myself an exalted idea of the objects, which I was about to visit, yet the satisfaction I felt exceeded, far exceeded, what I supposed it possible for the power of sight to afford; nor did I believe that the hand of man was capable of attaining that degree of perfection, which I now beheld. For some time I was lost in wonder, I knew not where to fix my enraptured eye. A catalogue which was offered me, by one of the attendants, and which, as I afterwards found, is drawn up with great clearness and precision, roused me from this pleasing reverie, and gave some order to the train of my thoughts. The arrangement of the collection is admirable.
• After viewing the masterpieces of Le Sueur, Le Brun, Nicolas Poussin, and the three Van Loos, I supposed I had already seen the utmost efforts of the art, and even, under this supposition, was ready to allow that my highest ideas of the power of painting fell short of what these specimens presented. Think of my surprise, when, looking on my catalogue, I found that I had not yet passed the limits of the French school. Astonished and delighted I went on. The Flemish, Dutch, and German masters occupy the second division. Among them I beheld the exquisite works of Van Dyck, of Hans Holbein, of Paul Potter, of Rembrant, of Teniers, and of Rubens. Sublime as were the first objects that had claimed my admiration, even they were exceeded by the latter. Nor had I yet seen the acme of the art, Charmed with the fancy and execution of all the Flemish painters, I was particularly pleased with the beautiful pasturage, by Paul Potter, every object of which seems alive on the canvass.
"A few steps would bring me in view of the wonders of Italy, to see which so many of my countrymen had crossed the Alps; yet so enraptured was I with the objects already before me, that it required all the importunity of my companions, to persuade me to proceed. I was soon rewarded for this temporary sacrifice, and in contemplating the almost supernatural works of Correggio, of Caravaggio, of the Carracci, of Dominichino, of Guido, of Leonardo da Vinci, of Paul Veronese, of Raphael and of Titian, I discovered, that what I had seen before were only so many links in the great chain of perfection, which was now complete. If among these models of the art, you wish me to name some particular picture, I should give the preference to the communion of St. Jerome, by Dominichino, which in expression, colouring, feeling, and variety, seems to me to possess every beauty united. P. 12.
At this place he found artists of both sexes occupied in taking copies of the paintings; which he thinks will conduce to improvement in the art. We suspect, however, that more utility is ascribed to this practice than will be found to result. Copying will make mannerists, but not artists : we shall have many imitators of style, but none of composition. The liberal principles, however, on which every thing relating to this gallery is conducted, do honour to the government. A remark on the double light, which prevents the pictures from being seen to advantage, is thrown into a note; an artist would have probably expatiated on what is certainly a fatal objection to the construction of a picturc-gallery. This letter concludes with some judicious remarks on the statues, and a catalogue of the pictures.
Letter III contains an account of the fite in honour of the preliminaries of peace: from this we shall glean a few particulars of what is principally interesting in this work--the manners of the Parisians. The following is part of a note.
Spectacle.--This is so iniportant a word, and of such general use in French conversation, that I cannot too soon introduce it to the notice of my English readers. It means, first, all the theatres, puppetshows, pantomimes, horse exercises, and other motley amusements of this gay capital.
• It is also perpetually in the mouths both of gentlemen and ladies. If you ask one of the former, whether he were pleased with the opera, he replies, “Oui, enchanté ; le spectacle étoit magnifique.” (Yes, delighted; the spectacle was magnificent.) And if you put a similar
question about a ball to one of the latter, you receive a similar answer.
• If you speak with enthusiasm of the picture gallery, a Parisian coldly observes, " C'est bien vrai, c'est un très beau spectacle.” (Yes, it is a very fine spectacle, or sight.)
• If a stranger enquire, whether the monthly parade of Bonaparte's troops deserve its celebrity, he is told, “Oui, c'est un très beau spectacle." (Yes, it is a tine spectacle.)
• It is also the favourite theme of conversation ; and a Parisian, compelled to talk with a foreigner, is sure to begin with the following words : “ Allez vous souvent, monsieur, au spectacle? Ne sont ils pas bien beaux nos spectacles ?” (Do you often go to the spectacles ? Are not our spectaclis very fine?)
• A similar observation forms likewise the hospitable kind of consolation which an Englisman sometimes receives, if he complain, that he has not seen much of French society. “ Mais cependant, vous ne pouvez pas manquer d'amusement; à Paris les spectacles sont si beaux." (You cannot want amusement, however; the spectacles at Paris are so fine.)' P.41.
In Paris, a shower of rain is a very serious misfortune; and the Parisians would be happy if that branch of the nundane economy were for ever suspended.
«The 18th of Brumaire, that long expected day, began in clouds and rain. The Parisians were au de's spir. Every body predicted, that the vast preparations, which had been made for this jubilee, would he thrown away; that the illuminations would fail; in short, that the whole would be an “ affaire manquée*.". · "Those who ventured into the streets, notwithstanding the torients of rain, heard, on every side, “ quel mauvais temps ! quel malheur ! vraiment c'est terrible--c'est affreux, La fête auroit été si belle, si ce diable de pluie n'avoit pas tombé."
• The morning passed away without the faintest hopes of better weather, and in mutual condolences on the loss of the beau spectacle, which had been promised for this day. The rejoicings were to begin at four o'clock. About three the weather suddenly changed, the clouds dispersed, the sky became serene. It happened that this took place precisely at the moment, when the first consul appeared at the window of the palace, and every body agreed, that the favonrable change was solely produced “ par la bonne fortune de Bonaparte," P. 44.
«* As we should say in English, " a lost thing." The French expression is more commonly used, and is infinitely stronger in its meaning. It is adopted on all occa. sions of misfortune ; such as, to deplore the death of a friend, or the loss of a " spectacle." A general was lately killed in a duel. A fair Parisian of high fashion, so whom he was much attached, on hearing of the accident, exclaimerd, with an accent of deep despair, “ Que je suis à plaindre ! il devoit m'avoir ainenée au bal de l'opéra demain. Voilà une affaire bien manquée." (How am I to be pitied! he was to bave taken me to the ball at the opera to morrow. Here is a lost ching, or a party codi. pletely deranged.)"
The apathy of the Parisians in the midst of their public rejoicings is another singular feature.
- What astonished me most, indeed, the whole day, was the dead calm which prevailed among the spectators. They looked on, walked about, and seemed entertained with the shows which were exhibited ; yet no eries of triumph, no shouts of joy, expressed the public satisfaction. The apathy which prevails in this country on all public events, and which has succeeded to the fever of popular violence, is strikingly apparent on all occasions, but on none more than this.' P. 49.
The following remarks on the state of society at Paris ap, pear to be founded on correct information. We have omit. ted a short digression.
. As to society, it appears to me, that there are three great divi. sions, or principal classes, at Paris. The first, in point of antiquity, and perhaps still of public opinion (for, notwithstanding all the laws to the contrary, family prejudices are as strong as ever in France), is that of i'ancienne noblesse, who separate themselves almost entirely from the other classes, and live together at the houses of such of their body, as are still rich enough to give assemblies. The second, which I shall call the governmental set, consists of the ministers, of the counsellors of state, of the ambassadors, of the senators, legislators, tribunes, &c. in short, of all the constituted authorities. The third class is what the pride of the first denominates “ les parvenus ou nouveaux riches;" consisting of the wealthiest individuals now in France; of persons, who, taking advantage of the circumstances which have occurred, have enriched themselves during the general wreck of private fortunes and public credit. Army contracts, national estates, and speculations in the funds, have afforded the means, by which many of these individuals have accumulated overgrown fortunes ; but several respectable merchants, bankers, and other commercial men, are unjustly confounded with these, and, under the general name of “ fournisseurs," held up to public contempt
· The first class are still affluent, when spoken of as a body, though few of them have individually large incomes. A distinguished person, connected with the government, and to whom the most important acts of state have been specially entrusted, assures me that the old proprietors still hold two thirds of the landed estates of France; though, in consequence of the heavy taxes laid on them during the revolution, by the loss of their woods, of their feudal rights, and of public offices hereditary in their families, (not to mention the present law of descent, by which all children inherit equally), their incomes, though in different degeees, are, in every case, greatly diminished.
Some of the old nob'esse, notwithstanding their misfortunes, still live with considerable splendour, and have houses “ bien montées," in which they give balls and parties. The most distinguished of these are madame la d e - , and madame --, who have each an assembly once in every week. A ci-devant comtesse, belonging to the society, requested the permission of introducing to these houses an
English lady, of whom it will be sufficient to say, that though not of exalted rank, she was unexceptionable in every respect, in birth, in character, in fortune, in person, and in situation of life. I think you will be as much surprised, and as much irritated, as I was, when I add, that this mighty favour was, in both instances, refused. The reason assigned for this strange want of hospitality, has induced me to mention the fact. The lady in question, having been accustomed to the highest circles in her own country, and discovering, for the first time, in this land of “liberty and equality,” the humble distance at which the wife of a commoner ought to regard the chaste and learned festivals of aristocracy, could not help expressing her surprise, if not her anger, to the French friend, who had made the application. “Je suis bien fachée," replied madame la comtesse ; “ mais pour vous dire la vérité,' the émigrés were treated with so little kindness in London, I mean, by the gentlemen and ladies there (for there is no complaint against your government), that it is impossible to persuade their relations to receive the English chiz eux- vraiment je suis au désespoir." P. 54.
· The second class, which I call the governmental, is the most polite to strangers. The second consul has a splendid party every week ; and each of the ministers has a day, to which all foreigners may be taken by their respective ministers, after they have been presented at the Tuilleries.
· Le Brun, the third consul, frequently gives dinners; and English parties, who have been invited, assure îne, that they are particularly pleasant. He is a man of great literary acquirements, and the conversation at his table generally takes a superiour turn.
"The ministerial assemblies are crowded; but the houses are large; the attendance good, and the uniforms of the constituted authorities, and the full dress of the ambassadors, give, altogether, a splendour to these meetings, which no others at Paris possess.
• The third class- I mean, that of it the parvenus " _ if not the most elegant, or the most esteemed, is, at least, the most luxurious. Nothing can exceed the splendour of the persons of this description. The furniture of their houses, the dress of their wives, their table, their plate, their villas, in short, all the “ agrémens" of life, are in the highest style of Oriental magnificence.
• To give you some idea of their manner of living, I will describe to you the house of madame , which I yesterday obtained the permission of seeing, in her absence.
• The house is situate in a street leading from the Boulevard, and is approached by a fine court, of considerable length The back of the house looks on a very pretty garden, arranged à l'Anglaise. It was formerly the residence of a minister of state.
The drawing room, and salle à manger, were not yet finished. The furniture prepared for them was rich. I did not think it partie cularly beautiful; but the bed room, and bathing cabinet, exceeded in luxury every thing which I ever beheld, or even ventured to imagine. The canopy of the bed was of the finest muslin, the covering of pink satin, the frame of beautiful mahogany, supported by figures