LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Samuel Rogers and his Contemporaries
Samuel Rogers to Sarah Rogers, 14 October 1815

Vol. I Contents
Chapter I. 1803-1805.
Chapter II. 1805-1809.
Chapter III. 1810-1812.
Chapter IV. 1813-1814.
Chapter V. 1814-1815.
Chapter VI. 1815-1816.
Chapter VII. 1816-1818.
Chapter VIII. 1818-19.
Chapter IX. 1820-1821.
Chapter X. 1822-24.
Chapter XI. 1825-1827.
Vol. II Contents
Chapter I. 1828-1830.
Chapter II. 1831-34.
Chapter III. 1834-1837.
Chapter IV. 1838-41.
Chapter V. 1842-44.
Chapter VI. 1845-46.
Chapter VII. 1847-50.
Chapter VIII. 1850
Chapter IX. 1851.
Chapter X. 1852-55.
Creative Commons License

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.
Produced by CATH
Paris: Oct. 14th, 1815.

‘My dear Sarah,—I wish you had seen the “Pie Voleuse” with us. It was for the ninetieth time, and, though in a little theatre on the Boulevard, charmingly acted throughout. Palaiseau is a mountain village, and given to the life—the headdresses, I confess, from their extravagance, disturbed me. Little Annette’s cap of white crape resembled at a little distance a plume of feathers. I have seen Mlle. Mars many times with great delight, and Talma, though the life is a little laborious, as I am obliged to read Play and Entertainment before I go (a work of three hours at least) or I don’t understand a word they say. The best dancer at the opera—the best, they say, they ever had—is a Mlle. Goselin; she is very young and one of a large family. When Talma acts the orchestra is full, and the music sent off. I begin rather to like the French tragedy. Talma plays for his benefit next Thursday “Hamlet” and “Shakespeare Amoureux.” The lady, some Warwickshire beauty of course, is to be performed by Mlle. Mars. I was enrhumé for many days last week, but the situation of the hotel consoled me a little for the confinement, as from my windows I see the whole of the palace, and the gardens full of orange trees, and statues, and idlers, and newspaper readers. I wish so much that we had lodged there last year. To dine at Very’s we only cross the street. The King goes out every day. If you remember, there were two carriages. The last is always empty and follows in case of accident. I suppose some king of France once broke down and
had to return on foot.
Du Cane had left Paris before I came, I suppose for Italy. When we had been here seven or eight days, who should walk into our room before breakfast but Millingen! He had been detained by illness and had seen B. at a distance in the street. He set off two hours afterwards. I mentioned your regret at missing him. The Conynghams and Lord Ebrington are at Geneva. Stuart is here from Italy; he saw the last of poor Eustace and was at Genoa when Lady Jane died. The Duchess comes home immediately. The Philipses and Dr. H. removed to our hotel and left us ten days ago, returning by Holland. Jeffrey, the Edinburgh Reviewer, succeeded them, and we have generally dined together.1 As to the English world, I have seen nothing of it. Once I was asked to a ball, but I did not go, and have called on nobody. Lawrence dined with us once at Beauvillier’s and walked afterwards in the Palais Royal. Lord Stuart gave him a horse, and he lived upon it. I wonder whether he ever rode before. The Emperor of Russia promised to sit to him, but never did. I think there are more men here without a leg or an arm than I ever saw anywhere. At a dance (bal paré) on the boulevard last night (where were more fireworks and a conjuror, and all for two livres) a Frenchman quadrilled and waltzed on a wooden leg with an agility and neatness of execution such as I have not often seen on a natural one. We had a fine day for St. Cloud, but saw only half the house, Blucher having rummaged the

1 Jeffrey says to Moore, ‘I was lucky far beyond my deservings in meeting with Sam Rogers at Paris, and we had great comfort in talking of you.’—Life, vol. ii., p. 102.

library, and the
Duchess of Angoulême, who visits the chateau almost every day, being there. I met Lord Mountmorres and his wife and daughter there. Our old friends the concierge and the gardener are gone. In our way we passed, as you know, through the Bois de Boulogne, full of English tents and just like a fair—many French with wares and eatables having established their stalls among them—and I am sorry to say that the axe is very busy in our hands. Last Sunday we were at Versailles, the gardens were gay and full of people, the palace still unfurnished, and I don’t think you lost much. With regard to the gallery, a subject I don’t like to begin upon, it is now only full of picture frames and pedestals, and the swallows are literally on the wing there. Every marble of note, except the Borghese Vase and the fighting gladiator, are gone, and every picture, except a small Correggio and Titian. Much difficulty and many repulses we found, while they were removing—even from our own soldiers, to whom our officers often gave instructions to admit only officers—but now all is thrown open and the French have full leave to contemplate the wreck, a leave none of the better sort avail themselves of. The French are said to show no feeling; but the melancholy groups assembled for some days before the Venetian horses—till our engineers took them down (for the Austrians did not know how)—and those afterwards round the column with the same sad presentiment, would have affected you not a little. The English are very unpopular, a caricature is in circulation of Wellington with large moustaches and a stern countenance, under-written “M. Blucher,” and it is everywhere said
that our officers in the gallery presented their ladies publicly with small Correggios and
Raphaels, a tale we contradict to no purpose. Denon has resigned, and, when I called upon him the other day, I found him in a condition that overcame me. I saw Canova out in the open street with the “Transfiguration,” the “St. Jerome” of Domenichino, and two other Raphaels, half supported in the dirt, and at a loss how to marshal the Austrian soldiers who were to transport them on their heads, uncovered, to the barrack, where I have been two or three times, and which is a terrible scene of confusion.

‘The horses went by our windows, one by one, in as many carts, uncovered, like dead horses, and the people stood at the doors to see them pass by. It is very strange to see an English guard in the Palais Royal and English soldiers strolling in every street. One poor fellow in a jacket accosted me the other day in a Babylonish dialect perfectly unintelligible; at last I said in despair, “Are you an Englishman?” “Thank God, I am, Sir,” he answered very briskly. We dine sometimes at Beauvillier’s, sometimes at Very’s. The first gives far the best dinner and we always see many ladies there—French and English. Why was not it so when we were there? One day when we were there, Lady Caroline Lamb came in alone. I wish Henry had come. We could have lodged him well. It was indeed a cruel thing to come in as Stothard went out. I am glad to hear from Patty (pray thank her for her kind letter—I have just received it) that you have taken possession of your alabasters.

‘Our month is out next Tuesday, and I hope to set
out on that day. In that case we shall be in town probably early in the next week, but don’t expect me till you see me.

‘I have not seen Miss Williams yet. I have called and written and have been asked to a party where I could not go. Mosbourg called and paid me a long visit. My love to Henry and Patty, and all at Highbury and at Newington.

‘Ever yours,
‘S. R.

‘P.S. You remember the avenue by which we entered Paris from Neuilly and St. Germains? The English, men and ladies, and many French ladies, ride up and down there as in Hyde Park every afternoon.

‘I have taken our catalogues from the Wagram Hotel, now removed to another street. The moment I mentioned them, our landlord pointed to them on the table tied up as we had left them. The Spanish Raphaels, so celebrated, are now in the picture gallery we saw opposite our hotel.

‘One of the Lees from Highbury is here—the only one I know. I spent a beautiful morning at Malmaison yesterday. The Emperor of Russia has bought Canova’s marbles, and they are gone with many pictures. The conservatory is the prettiest I ever saw. Mr. Davis from Mark Lane is here. He lost all the gallery. Lord Wellington reviews all the troops to-day under Montmartre—we are going to see them.

‘The Chambers are so violent as to alarm even the Court. M. de Richelieu, the Minister, went down, and in
the House of Peers remonstrated against their recommendation of further measures of punishment, but without success.’