LORD  BYRON  and  his  TIMES
Documents Biography Criticism

Fifty Years’ Recollections, Literary and Personal

Vol. I Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
Vol. II Contents
Chapter I.
‣ Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Vol. III Contents
Chapter I.
Chapter II.
Chapter III.
Chapter IV.
Chapter V.
Chapter VI.
Chapter VII.
Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.
Chapter X.
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There was one exhibition in Paris at that time, the dispersion of which, through the priests, was much to be lamented—the museum of French monuments. It possessed great historical value, being composed of the sepulchral and other monuments belonging to the churches and monasteries, destroyed at the revolution. All parts of France, and all ages, contributed to the collection placed in the Rue de Petits Augustins. There was much fine painted glass, and many noble recumbent effigies. The priests obtained the dispersion of this museum to decorate their churches. Lest old dame Ursula and her eleven thousand virgins should be scandalized, the tomb of Abelard and Eloïse—the tomb was that which Peter the Venerable erected over Abelard—and the tombs of several distinguished French writers were let alone by the modern monkery, and taken to Père Lachaise, where I saw them placed afterwards. The Château of Father Lachaise was standing in the grounds, when I first entered them—all the young trees and shrubs were cut down; the walls, too, were crenelled in resistance to the Russians, of whom many were killed on the outside, until they brought up artillery.
They bivouacked among the tombs, on the general surrender of the city. I looked with no small interest at the ancient tombs of Dagobert, Clovis his son, Childebert and Fredigonde in that museum. There were the reclining tombs of Pepin and Bertha; Carloman and Ermentrude; Louis and his brother Eudes; Hugh Capet, Robert le Pieux, and Constance de Arles, Philip de France and Constance de Castile, together with many Roman antiquities.

Speaking of monuments in Pere Lachaise, Ney’s monument, just erected, had been taken away by the police, in consequence of the pasquinades against the Bourbons that were daily scribbled upon the marble.

I had sat down on a warm day upon a tomb overlooking Vincennes. On rising to come away, and looking at the inscription, I found it to be that of Madame Cottin, authoress of the ‘Exiles of Siberia,’ which in youth had so often delighted me, and also of Malek Adhel. Then fresh upon the heart came back the memory of the time when I first read those tales, and where! From a green laurel planted over the grave of the gallant Labedoyere, shot by the Bourbons, I brought away two or three leaves which I still have, in remembrance not only of that officer, but of other events which occurred about the same time. The fête des marts happened a day before I accidentally went there: I found the tombs covered with ‘immortelles’—a name ill agreeing with the fading nature of a flower. So it is, we mock the boundless by the finite, and are insensible of our inconsistency. That all the Parisians were not content with a solitary visit to the graves of their friends or relations, I was a witness. There were several females
in different parts of the cemetery, whose genuine sorrow could not he mistaken. In the matter of funerals, there was much ceremony observed, but far less of the useless than with us. The poor were always remembered on such occasions.

I removed from the Place Carrousel to the Hotel Vivienne, Rue Vivienne, where and at the Hotel de France, I remained during my sojourn. I agreed to become editor of Galignani’s paper: for this Hotel Vivienne was a central spot. The elder Galignani was then alive. He had a good business, and had published a useful Italian grammar, after an idea of his own.

The French papers were brought to me every morning about seven o’clock. I selected the articles necessary, and marked those to be taken out of the English papers. We had no censor. The Duke of Wellington had one day returned with great speed, as he was accustomed to do, from a short visit to London. One of his aides brought over an English paper, forbidden to circulate by the minister of police—a “Morning Chronicle.” It was of importance to give information that no other paper could have; and seeing further a Concordat recently concluded between the courts of France and the Pope, by Blacas, the envoy, I put it in at full length. My morning’s task completed, I set off to the Bois de Boulogne, intending to dine at St. Cloud. When I got there something altered my mind, and made me return, but I did not go to my hotel. In the evening, I called on Galignani, and found there the utmost confusion; old Galignani had posted off to a château he had in the country, and left his eldest son, never to be too kindly appreciated by Englishmen, and myself to
battle the minister. “The gens-d’armes are after you, my dear sir,” he said to me when I came into the reading room; “there is sad work. The minister of police has twice sent, and would hardly believe I did not know where you were to be found. You will have to go to him, but wait till I come back. Where did you get that Concordat? it may save us perhaps to state.”

“Get it? why out of the ‘Morning Chronicle,’ received from some of the Duke of Wellington’s suite this morning early. You mean ‘The Convention between the Sovereign Pontiff Pius VII., and his most Christian Majesty Louis XVIII. King of France, and Navarre, signed by Blacas and Gonsalez?’”

He replied, “Yes, that is the document they mentioned. Stay here, I pray you, till I return.”

“I gave it as an article of intelligence, wholly ignorant that it was treasonable—if there be treason in it. State as much, and how I got the paper, which accounts for other papers not having taken it, unless the censor stopped it.”

In an hour, M. Antonio came back, saying, “that matters would last where they stood for the night, and I should wait on the minister in the morning. You must go with me. The minister says it is most unaccountable to him how such a document should get to England, and that as yet the French papers know nothing about it; besides its being the rule that such documents must be promulgated by the Government that negociated them.”

By the next day, the London papers arrived, and all had got the objectionable article. The truth was seen, and I stood excused. It is not so easy to tell how
Perry of the ‘Chronicle’ obtained it from Rome, first and exclusively. The minister was more satisfied when he found I was an Englishman, and the storm blew over. I went from Galignani’s to Plunket of the Embassy, the head of which was Sir Charles Stuart, and related the facts to him, and that the Duke de Cazes, the minister, was become reasonable on the matter, and he laughed heartily at the affair. Plunket, myself, and two or three others friends of the embassy used to spend our evenings together cheerfully; but his career was cut short, he died in the prime of life not long afterwards.

The ratification of the Concordat was to be exchanged in a month, and the stipulations, were those established by Francis I. sweeping away the Concordat of 1801, so much more in accordance with the times. The disclosure of this sneaking convention, was therefore an annoyance to the government, coming without its remarks, and observations; in fact, without the flummery which makes similar papers go down with the public. What was more, a pamphlet soon followed the promulgation of the document, entitled—“Encore un Concordat,” written by General Jube, it passed through two editions.

About this time, the Princess Charlotte died in child-bed, and many of my countrymen in full belief of their own power of pen, and full of unconquerable loyalty sent their offerings in the way of lamentation to the paper. To my great annoyance, I had to examine and return them, for there was not one creditable to its writer. I was deemed ill-natured, and ignorant, in consequence. I must give an extract of a part of one of these effusions
by an officer of rank in the army, whose military talent must have outshone his literary, or he would never rise except in the mode such individuals do rise to glory on the staff:—

“The tender age, and attic accomplishments of this lamented Princess, the beauties of her amiable disposition, the tenderness of her generous heart, and the love she cherished for the people and the Empire she was destined to govern, gave joy to Englishmen; she felt the sublimity of devoting herself to her native land, and the superior pleasure of being enabled to do good, was to her Royal Highness the sweetest reward of her heavenly actions! It is recollections like these, that has filled the hearts of millions with the bitterest anguish, has plunged the Empire into general despair, and planted the most heart-rending sorrows in the bosom of England. In life there was no heart, but felt enamoured of her Royal Highness, so in death, the human soul is wrung for the irreparable loss of the Princess Charlotte.—Great Britain mourns in affliction the death of her favourite child, the nearest Royal relatives are inconsolable, and you need but pass near the avenues of Claremont Lodge, the once happy Palace of the happy, to behold despair, shrink from the shrieks of the miserable, and to listen to sounds, such as the earth never before owned!

Thou, and thy sufferings, now are all at peace;
But woes, unnumbered woes are yet to come,
If any ask, whose arms have never clasped,
A dying Daughter in a last embrace—
If any ask, whose eyes are forced to see
Unhallowed view!—a dying angel’s corse—
If any ask, what infant tongue can charm
The ghost of sorrow?—There’s none
Conduct them here—and here behold
The scene and centre of all human grief!

“The affectionate Prince Leopold is inconsolable, his attentions and tenderness to the beloved Princess during the eventful period, were conspicuous, and although insensible to his cares at the moment of her dissolution, had the sad gratification to receive the last breath of his beloved Princess. In the agonies of despair he was separated from the dead body of his Royal Consort, and he quitted the chamber of death in a state of distraction which can only be felt—such sorrows cannot be described!—”

The “trials” of an Editor have not yet been written, not the least of them consists in using the monosyllable “No,” when it is wounding to the self love of others.

The number of duels in Paris, at this time, was considerable, generally between the men of the empire, and the returned royalists. The last expected to be reinstated in their ancient places, and triumphed in the success of the restoration. Passing through the Palais Royal, one might hear a dispute, and a few high words, and the next morning have to report the death of one of those whom an inconsiderate phrase had hurried into eternity. A similar trivial matter produced the duel between Count St. Morys and Major Du Fay. The Count was an amiable royalist, a little sore that some of his former paternal property had got into the Major’s hands. A few hasty expressions took them out, and St. Morys fell. I gave as impartial an account of the duel as I was able, Du Fay did not seem pleased with it,
and calling upon me, was shown in at once. I enquired to whom I was indebted for the honour of his call, He replied, “I am Major Du Fay, who killed Count St. Morys the day before yesterday.”

I bowed and asked him what were his commands with me. He replied that he thought I had born too hard upon him in the account I had given of the duel: he declared he was not the aggressor. I assured him if so, it was unintentionally done, that I had taken the statement from a French paper. Did he understand the English language? He replied, very imperfectly. I said there was nothing in the passage which would admit of a partial construction, and I produced it. Du Fay said it had been remarked to him by a friend. I asked if his friend knew the English language. He replied that he thought so, but that he was a Frenchman. I replied that no Englishman would apply a partial construction to the statement, and requested him to show it to any other friend well acquainted with the language, which he promised to do, after I had assured him of his mistake. He took his leave, and made no farther complaint, parting with great civility. The Major was a distinguished military administrator under Napoleon, and most valued in the service. I believe he was killed in defending the Swiss barracks with a handful of men in 1830; for one of that name and rank fell there. The position not being longer tenable, he with his scanty body of men sallied out, to force their way to the next post, when a shot wounding him he fell, and one of the mob split his head open with an axe, leaving his body in a pool of blood.

It may be imagined that all the capitals of Europe
poured in their titled and untitled black-legs into Paris at this time. I recognized many distinguished London characters among them. Many who were at home in that state, described by the poet, who

Look behind
And hear a voice in every wind,
And snatch a fearful joy.

Véry and Beauvilliers led the mode among the gourmands. The choicest dishes and wines heralded the march to the Palais Royal tables, where the winner of yesterday was the ruined man of to-day. Those who were inured to play at home, rushed at once to the houses where it was carried on. Others, who approached the capital gradually, staring at the little idol stuck up for worship at the street corners in country towns in their way—the idol that priests called the “mother of God”—swallowing the best wines in their leisurable journey, came to the same ruin. The last farthing was raised to try a new scheme of profit, a new martingale, as they phrased it, when that failed their remained St. Pélagie or the Morgue. Nor must it be supposed the victims were always people of fashion. I discovered some English city men who were sufferers, and who dared not at home, for their credit sake, be supposed adventurers, trusted with the property of others, as they were, to considerable amount. They were discreet, however, and did not shoot beyond the mark. They all have passed off the stage of existence into “cold obstruction,” and left no praiseworthy deeds behind them. I remember Lord Yarmouth, Martin Hawke, and Ball Hughes, among the more noted. Your gamblers are always predestinarians,
a creed that, perverted, wonderfully lightens a heavy conscience. Those of the tribe who were “done up” in Paris, flocked to Brussels, leaving sums unpaid in the most forgetful manner. Brussels was the only capital of three in which some lost souls could find repose.

Germany, that land of sour croute, and barons, lilliput kingdoms, and heavy vision, poured in its share of stiff and high-bred visitors. Almost all of Teutonic stock, are fond of the hazard table. Many among them were at this time, Chevaliers d’Industrie. Some were incorrigible falsifiers. The better class were employed in civil and military affairs, and these were agreeable men. M. Farmbacher, administer-general of the posts for Bavaria, was a friendly and pleasant man. There was a good-natured young Prussian, named Schultz, like many others, a visitor on public business, who used to make one of our little dining parties in the Palais Royal. Schultz was a great metaphysician in his way, and knew how to divide a hair between “South and South west side.” When he found I had turned into English some of Körner’s poems, he was much pleased. I know not, from pure want of skill to state, how far he had penetrated into the palpable obscure of Kant. I doubt whether Coleridge could have ascertained it, schooled as he was in German mysticism. The transcendentals of Kant, belong to the system of Gall. A few are favoured with the proper boss, and only a few, others travel half way with it, being destitute of the appropriate bump. My dear Schultz, I used to say “I have read Kant—pray enlighten me about him.”

“O, that is because you don’t begin at the beginning—
all would then appear clear—so profound a system is not to be acquired off hand.”

“I do not comprehend. I am told that a great scholar of your country crossed the Oder, and went to communicate a knowledge of Kant to the people of Paris; spent ten years in the effort, and went home unsuccessful, exclaiming against Gallic stupidity.”

“Those who jest are little likely to compass so profound a writer—we must be grave of temper to study him—now listen to me—attend—be patient!”

I had then to hear explanations, definitions, and theories, until my patience was exhausted. I was not to expect mathematical demonstration. To which I added, that I could not follow ideas like Job’s shadowy spectre without form.

“My dear friend come to Germany, and we will teach you. There is great delight in the unfolding of spiritual mysteries: call us idealogists if you please.”

“I cannot afford to abandon the study of life’s realities. Kant’s metaphysics are cameleon entertainment.”

“You must take leisure for it, I admit.”

“Yes, my good friend, leisure to study shadows in the territory of Whimsies—to follow the reflection of a shade.

How well for his shadowy wages
Works the shade of John Cockenay,
Who labours hard with the shade of a brush
To paint out the shade of a tree!

“Bah! bah! my friend—you are not in the humour
for a grave subject,” he would reply; “we will go into it seriously another time.”

The time never came. Schultz was soon afterwards recalled hy his government. He was one of the most even tempered men I ever knew.

There was a German baron I used to meet sometimes whose name I cannot recal, in person and address, what a Munchausen and Cagliostro would be united. I suspect he lived as Frenchmen have it, “par la grâce de Dieu.” He drank brandy copiously, and smoked prodigiously. He reminded me of old wood-cuts of Munchausen, tall, stout, with an eagle nose and strong features. He had an antipathy to truthfulness by nature, and would affirm its opposite with all a bandit’s fierceness of aspect. He sometimes reminded me of the character of Tiger Roche, in his mode of speaking, as that Irish bravo is described in his nonchalant address. He said, he had been in the service of England in Spain; though I never could learn in what corps, most likely as one of Juan Sanchez’s guerillas; because he admitted he had been at one time employed with that partizan, when the governor of Ciudad Rodrigo was captured. He declared, that he had pretended he was a deserter, and was received as such by the French. That he got into the good will of the officers, opened a correspondence with his friends outside, and pretending there was a body of English and Spanish deserters, ready to come in if they could be assured of security, he was successful in getting the governor to go outside the walls with him, to treat, under a small escort. No party of the enemy was thought to be near the city, the cattle turned out to pasture being still unmolested. The governor, thus
tempted, went out of the town, when he and his party were surrounded by a strong body of guerillas, and not one got back. For this exploit, he declared, he had never been even thanked.

“But you were a guerilla, baron, not under Wellington?”

“I was serving your country. Wellington had more than once an understanding with me. I got no reward. Had the governor been there, the town would not have been subsequently taken so easily. I therefore say, I took the place.”

“You did not surround it, baron, did you?—some of my Irish countrymen have taken towns that way.”

“You will not believe what I say—you have little experience in such matters—I excuse you. I should like to see him, who will say it is not true,” looking fiercely.

“I do not say so, baron,” I replied, “I only intended to infer that Juan Sanchez and his men robbed you of credit.”

“No matter now, I took the city. Wellington had little more to do than make a demonstration when he arrived.”

“It was unfortunate such services were overlooked.”

“I am an unfortunate man—I might have been now an English General.”

“You have been in every part of Spain?”

“I have, from St. Jean de Luz to Gibraltar.”

“Did you ever see the bulls of Guisando?

“Aye, I have, and many other bulls too. I have rode a bull tame.”

“After he came out of the bull fight, baron?”


“You do not say I did not ride him!”

“Not at all, I cannot doubt your word—but the bulls of Guisando?”*

“I know the breed well, those with streaked hides—deadly fierce.”

“No, baron, rather a tame breed, for they have not moved seventeen hundred years since the Romans placed them where they stand.”

“You would not mystify me, I hope,” said the baron, beginning to look angry.

One of our party could not help laughing, and fearing the baron might “light up,” I proposed an adjournment to the Café de Commerce. He told me that he had rode from the Isle of Cadiz to Gibraltar in a forenoon. But his tales deceived nobody, and were thought no sins against truth, according to Loyola. The baron died of too much eau-de-vie, taken in the burning Parisian month of July.

At the Hotel de France, Rue St. Thomas du Louvre, at a table-d’hôte where it was necessary to send a card in the morning if you wished to dine, I used to meet many diplomatic characters. I there formed an acquaintance with Joseph Hilpert, colonel of cavalry in the service of Baden, originally from Mannheim. This acquaintance ripened into a friendship that terminated only with his life. He had served Napoleon I. until the defection of the allies of the Emperor in 1813, and had combated in Spain at the siege of Sarragosa. He was a well-informed man, and spoke and wrote three or four

* Carved in stone at Guisando, supposed to be Roman, of a very early date.

languages. At six in the morning I often found him in a dressing-gown smoking a cigar, when for want of something better to do, I used to make him “fight his battles o’er again.” He had come to Paris on a mission relating to the Baden army. A brother of his, in the lancers, fell at the battle of Leipsic, where they separated to meet no more. I had the ring which he took off his brother’s finger on that sanguinary battle-field, as a memento, when we parted for the last time, in May 1817. He has been dead many years. He possessed an estate near Heidelberg. He had been more than once wounded, and his wounds had left him weak. In his letter to me in Paris, he regretted quitting that city, as nearly all the inhabitants of the other countries of Europe, who had been visitors there, always did. He still complained of his health, and was to proceed to the Netherlands to try the sea air. He lamented he could not enjoy our old walks in Tivoli any more, then an extensive, wild, pretty spot, and since built over. He informed me that the Neckar had overflown and inundated his lands, and that he dreaded to visit them, and witness the devastation. Another letter from Antwerp reproached me that I had refused to visit Heidelberg before the mischief took place, and urged me to come over to that city and see him. This my avocations would not permit. He next wrote me from the Hague, hoping to be soon in Paris again. I expected him in vain. Public business prevented his being his own master—he did not despair of it by the end of the year.

“How often I wish to see my dear friend in Paris—I have no real comfort here. I have received ‘Les deux
Anglais,’ a new piece you have seen, at the Odeon, no doubt, from one of my acquaintance. Why dont you translate it, I should imagine it would succeed in London. I continue ill—I am always ill, and shall never recover here (Carlsruhe). I must come to Paris to get well. I believe I told you my old servant was dead. I have been melancholy ever since. I sometimes wish to die too, for there is no real happiness on earth—all goes over the same way—good, bad, all without distinction. I envy all who are no longer obliged to support this tedious and miserable existence. Farewell, may every happiness in life attend you—again Vale!”

I copy his English writing, which is good for one who had never seen England nor much of English people. I received one letter more from him—it was the last. He was a most agreeable man, one of the few who beget regard without intention. Over a glass of Burgundy we talked of England and France, Spain and Russia. War had not made him ferocious, for he was one of the gentlest men I ever knew. His many perils and hair breadth escapes, he related effectively, cheering up during the narration, as if his past adventures acted as a stimulant to throw off his habitual sadness.

He had some rough adventures in Spain, and used to describe his feelings when sent to escort cannon and ammunition to Saragosa for the besiegers, as much more alarming to him than any of the battles in which he had been engaged. The artillery stores and ammunition were intermixed, working up a mountain road, steep precipices on one side. The road was too narrow to pass to the front or rear. He was in the
centre, and night coming on. The clouds collected until the heavens were impenetrably black, and all the tokens of a fierce thunder storm appeared. The iron shot rattled in the waggons, the drivers vociferated, some of the vehicles had come to a stand still—just then the storm commenced. He was among the waggons containing the powder, on an exposed spot, with a quantity of iron which seemed certain to attract the electric spark. Lightning of the most vivid kind soon flashed forth, the thunder responded to the harsh grating of the balls and shells, and situated as was the road on the brink of the precipice, the powder waggons might explode, and destruction be certain. There was nothing to be done but to await the result impassively, let it be what it might. For several hours, while the storm raged, to remain quiescent on so elevated a spot in momentary expectation of being annihilated, was a trial of fortitude of the severest kind. The cold, too, was extreme, and the horses and mules became restless, terrified at the war of the elements, on a narrow road, from which it was wonderful they were not precipitated.

The retreat from Moscow he described in all its horror; for when he pleased he could paint well, and delineate things as if he had poetry in his soul. I spoke lightly to him of the Spanish guerillas, and he corrected me. They were not at all formidable to regular troops prepared for them, but notwithstanding this, they were among the most dangerous enemies in the world. It required incessant watchfulness to guard against their attacks. They were merciless, and destroyed all stragglers. Those led by the priests were horribly
inhuman. He had known them strip French soldiers naked, tie them to trees, and over the heart fix, with a bodkin, a bit of coloured cloth for a bull’s eye, and then shoot them to death for amusement. “I saved a French detachment once, several hundreds in number, that had been out foraging, not knowing there were any guerillas worthy of notice in the neighbourhood. They reached a village, which was their destination, unmolested, and were there but a few moments before they found themselves hemmed in by a numerous body, and as an only resource, threw themselves into a stone church in the centre of the place, which was fortunately insulated. They were attacked by fifteen hundred villainous looking fellows, armed to the teeth. Occupying the church windows, during that day and all the night, they there defended themselves successfully. The next day broke upon them hungry and wearied, parched with thirst, for the weather was dreadfully hot. In vain the Spaniards tried to force the position. They were continually driven back with loss, but in the forenoon of the second day, they contrived to fire the roof of the church, and soon the blazing rafters fell, adding to the atmospheric heat. Fortunately the walls were thick, and the lower aisles arched, so that in a state of dreadful suffering they contrived to resist until the evening of the second day, many were scorched, and all so exhausted that they could not have held out much longer, when I came up with my cavalry and released them, sabreing many of the Spaniards. The Frenchmen were become like spectres from suffering, and lost a fourth of their number.”

It was a considerable time, he told me, before
recruits could be made steady under fire, because if they are devoid of fear, they are certain to become angry, a thing equally prejudicial to good soldiership. “Some of my old dragoons were the most phlegmatic men alive. They could not move with the rapidity of the French, but in every thing done by rule they were excellent soldiers. I had men that would sit their horses and smoke unconcernedly within the range of shot and shell. I once saw a shell fall in front of the line, the fuze burning, the explosion threatening death to the men, still there they sat in perfect steadiness, an old trooper smoking his pipe, and glancing at the shell undisturbed, it burst and took off the fore legs of his horse, killing the man nearest to him. He got up, shook himself, and went to the rear grumbling ‘curse the shell it has broke my pipe.’ All old soldiers are fatalists; if they are to be hit they will be hit, and no escape.”

Paris being the residence of the chief of the army of occupation, communications were continually making from head-quarters, as well as from the different agents of departments belonging to foreign governments, and officers arriving and departing. The Russians whom I met were pleasant, social men, but the Cossack officers were the more gentlemanly. It was a good opportunity for observing the different bearing, both of the European civil and military characters, at a time when war and negotiation were earnest things, and the era of a long series of fierce battles had been just brought to a conclusion.

I heard some curious traits of the Russian reigning family. Alexander I. had a sort of popularity among a Parisian class, as the interposer on behalf of the city
works, in preserving them from destruction on the first occupation of Paris. This was set going by the returned emigrants, who hated England, to whom they had been indebted so deeply. From what I could learn, Alexander was a man of no heart. Given to continual amours, he had no real affection for any of their objects. Attached to
Madam Nariskin, the wife of the chief huntsman, he had several children by her, and kept a noble house for her in St. Petersburgh, with another near the sea. This so mortified the Empress, that she threatened to leave him, and would have done so, had not the queen-mother interposed, and between them made the Emperor send Madame N. out of Russia. She was sent to Paris with her children. The Emperor, thinking little more about them, afterwards turned for consolation to the wives of two Petersburgh merchants, one of whom was an Englishwoman. Opera-dancers and ladies of the theatre were among his chosen dames. Madame N. lived in Paris during the time I was there, and was well known to many of the English.

When Alexander quitted Paris, in 1814-15, he took with him four females, whose friends he pensioned. It was the common topic of conversation. His affection for the sex was purely animal. His brother Constantine, cruel and despotic, as Alexander was mild in disposition, at the same time, was a faithful husband, exhibiting in that regard a different character from the Emperor. Yet, when a mere youth, Constantine used to torture animals by making them dance upon hot iron plates. Some stories I heard in relation to him were scarcely credible, and could only have been
the acts of a madman, as, indeed, subsequent events proved him to be.

I attended a review of French troops, because it was the first at which the Bourbons ventured to be present, after the Hundred Days’ Restoration. It took place in the plain of Neuilly. There was a whisper of a scheme to fire at the King, and a great number of people were upon the ground. The King of Prussia, under the appellation of Count de Ruppin, and the Duke of Wellington, were both present, mounted incog. There were about twenty-seven thousand men, composed of twelve battalions of French guards, three of Swiss guards, six regiments of infantry, hussars, horse grenadiers, cuirassiers, chasseurs, dragoons, and lancers—in all, ten regiments, with horse and foot artillery. As I had heard the rumours about the threatened firing at the King, I was more than usually curious to observe what went forward. The King, with the Duchess d’Angoulême, took a station on the right of the line, and did not pass down the front at all. During the firing the royal pair remained stationary. There was a battery of artillery between the King and the line of infantry. All went off well. I was struck with the rapid firing of the French artillery.

Here I met Sir Sidney Smith once more, of whose brother I have already spoken. He had a large acquaintance in Paris, and, strange to say, principally among the Bonapartists who esteemed him for his bravery and talent. He possessed a grey horse, which he generally led about the streets, dressed in a claret-coloured coat with gilt buttons. He was handsomer in person than his brother Spencer, and his carriage fully as simple, with great
ideas of honour and much chivalrous feeling. He was never appreciated by the government at home, which had none of those ideas. Though useful, such men were not supple enough for ministerial favourites, and possessing a consciousness of talent, they carried themselves in a mode too independent for the times.
Nelson, Smith, Cochrane, and others, were not courtiers. Sir Sidney had been endeavouring to found an order of anti-slavery knights, and invited the co-operation of all who deemed it a measure of necessity to put down slavery along the Moorish coast. Many hints were sent him, with plans and statements for promoting his design. Some were hoaxes. The simplicity of his nature laid him particularly open to these. One day, he put into my hands a letter headed with “Captain S—’s compliments to Sir Sidney Smith.” It purported to be an extract of a letter from Barcelona, stating that the British consul at Alicante announced the almost incredible intelligence from Algiers, that the Dey had, in a fit of rage, decapitated the English, Dutch, and Spanish consuls, together with every member of their respective families, and put into prison all the private individuals of those nations who were in his dominions. It stated further, that the news had been confirmed by another arrival from the same quarter. I expressed my doubts of the truth of the tale. Sir Sidney believed it correct. He declared he could not doubt information sent him by an open-hearted, generous man. “Here,” said he, “is a proof how useful my contemplated order of knighthood would be in keeping down such barbarians.” As I expected, the news turned out not to be true; they knew nothing
even of the rumour at the embassy. At another time, after
Lord Exmouth’s expedition to Algiers, a packet was delivered to Sir Sidney as coming from Rome, commending his efforts to form an order of knighthood for the extirpation of slavery, expressing the high gratification his Holiness, the Pope, entertained at learning the design of the gallant officer, who had made such great efforts in the cause of humanity. It further stated that his Holiness had had the honour done him by Lord Exmouth of the presentation of the key of the dungeons of Algiers, where so many unhappy captives had pined away in misery. His Holiness, on consideration, thought he could not do better than beg Sir Sidney’s acceptance of this key, to be preserved among the archives of the new order, and, at the same time, requested the gallant knight’s acceptance of three orders of the Golden Spur, one for himself, the other two for such individuals as Sir Sidney might think worthy of the decoration. Pius IV., in 1559, had really created such an order, as Sir Sidney knew—how. then, could he doubt! The Duke de Richelieu—the same who, during his emigration, entering the Russian service, planned the city of Odessa—had now become Prime Minister of France under the Bourbons. To the Duke’s hotel Sir Sidney at once posted with one of the orders, delighted to present it to the minister, who was really a clever man. The Duke was out. The order was left for him, and on receiving it, he saw at once that Sir Sidney had been hoaxed, and called upon him to express his doubts of the genuine character of the order, which, as it turned out afterwards, had never passed the barriers of the French capital. Sir Sidney died in Paris long
after I quitted it. Few of his compatriots attended him to his last home in Pere Lachaise. Such is popular regard to worth among Englishmen. Those who most honoured him in life and death, were the old Bonapartist officers, many of whom, respecting valour in an old enemy, followed the remains of the hero of Acre to the church where the funeral service was performed. He was a member of the Legion of Honour. No stone, no monument in his native land, records the name of one of the kindest, noblest-hearted of British seamen, and it may almost be said, soldier as well; like the Athenian Cymon, he knew how to conquer both on sea and land.

The King of Prussia, Frederic William III., lived as a private individual, during his last visit, few knew him personally. I should judge him to have been a stolid man, hardly either good or bad, a dull neutral in character, plain in person and manner. There stood, in those days, in the garden of the Tuilleries, near the Place Louis XV., upon the terrace, a pretty kiosk, originally erected for the accommodation of the young king of Rome, who when drawn about the garden in a little goat cart, used to rest there with his attendant. The horror of a Bourbon at any thing connected with the great name of the Empire, was shown by its immediate desecration on their party coming into power. The kiosk was let to a restaurateur. Breakfasts were to be had there by any body. I had gone into the garden at eight o’clock in the morning, and found only one individual besides myself. He had nearly completed his breakfast. It was the King of Prussia, who soon after finishing his repast walked away. The same day I saw the workmen chipping out the letter N. which was enclosed in the
wreath of laurel over each of the piers of the Bridge of Jena, leaving the wreath entire—from whom did the bridge derive its name? How stupid were those royalists. There was an order, too, from the Bourbon minister of instruction, that the name of
Napoleon should not be spoken or taught in any of the public schools. The Emperor was to be consigned to oblivion, with the column in the Place Vendome standing. A white flag had been substituted for the Emperor’s statue on the summit, but his figure was plainly to be seen in the spiral works on the shaft. The millions of francs in coin throughout the kingdom bore the image of the great man. What the people really thought of the Bourbons, many squibs exhibited. Here is one:—


Le vingt de mars, le gros papa,
Sans bruit ni tambours, décampa:
Savez-vous bien pourquoi cela?
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!
C’est qu’un grand heros débarqua
En Provence, et puis chemina,
Tant qu’a Paris il arriva.
Alleluia! etc.
En le voyant, chacun claqua,
Criant: Bravo! c’est bien cela!
C’est BONAPARTE! le voilà!
Alleluia! etc.
Depuis les noces de Cana,
Chronique jamais n’offrira
Miracle valant celui-là.
Alleluia! etc.
Messieurs les nobles, halte-la!
Calotins, chantez libera,
Car votre règne est à-quia.
Alleluia! etc.
Notre ami Bobèche pourra
Mourir comme et quand il voudra:
Maintenant on l’enterrera.
Alleluia! etc.
Le Pape se lamentera;
Possible est qu’il fulminera:
Mais il est sûr qu’on en rira.
Alleluia! etc..
Musard dit qu’on bataillera.
Moi, j’espère qu’il mentira:
La France eu paix demeurera.
Alleluia! etc.
Berry quitte Virginia;
A Londres il retrouvera
Sa tendre nymphe d’opéra.
Alleluia! etc.
Le d’Angoulême chassera,
Suivi de sa Dolorosa,
A qui bien ou mal il fera,
Alléluia! etc.
De bleu d’Artois habillera
Valets, piqueurs et cætera,
Et dans les rangs se montrera.
Alleluia! etc.
Le Désiré conversera
Avec son clergé, qui dira:
Sire! cela se passera.
Alleluia! etc.
NAPOLEON nous restera,
Et dans l’histoire on écrira:
Resurrexit cum gloria.
Alleluia! etc.

I once or twice got so out of humour with the mockery and foolery of the followers of the returned family, that I used to declare openly I was a Napoleonist only to annoy them. It was soon discovered by this, my candid avowal, that I was no great friend to the restored dynasty, and it obtained for me a confidence in many quarters which I little expected. I asked one of the Garde de Corps, so foolishly replaced, as if to show that the Bourbons distrusted the old French soldiery of the guard, if the king was not fond of reading, particularly the classics, and Horace above all, and that I had heard he had a good library?

“Yes, a noble one,” he replied, “in the Rue Richelieu, if you mean that.”

“No, I mean his private library; he is a tolerable classic, I am told.”

“Indeed I never heard it before.”

“In the Tuilleries where he sometimes reads Horace?”


“Bah! my dear friend, but stay. I shall be on guard in the Tuilleries to-morrow. I will be looking out for you at noon or a little after. Ask for the Garde de Corps, I will show you the library of his majesty and the librarians as well.” Now the Garde de Corps was supposed to be devotedly loyal, full of the afflatus of the divine right and holiness of the kingship.

I was punctual, entered the palace, and we mounted on the leads, walking along by the parapet, till we came to a square court. “There, look down, that is the king’s library, he has no better in this building,” said my companion. The remark was a symptom of a radical change in feeling, and that the time of the old respect for a grand Bourbon king could never return. I looked down and saw five or six cooks in white caps, spitting larks. “There,” said my companion, “that is the king’s private library, I know of no other.” This would be thought a disrespectful remark in relation to majesty, by older emigrants who were evidences that the talent of seeing with their own eyes is not given to every body. While thus in Paris, I found that a grandee of the olden time, who loved good eating, as well as the king, used occasionally to dine with majesty for the mutual solace of their palates. I think it was a Duke, and a Rohan, I forget who. Their enjoyment was great. Both eat as if their last hour was near, and they wished to eat themselves into death. The Duke succeeded, but the king, with his pine apple shaped head, survived, after a short attack of illness, getting the better of the surfeit. When he used to come to London or from Hatfield into Albemarle Street, during his exile, he had live fowls brought to him at his
breakfast time, that he might feel if they were plump enough for his palate. A dozen mutton chops, a single snap at each, was said to be a common breakfast with him. Yet he was much in advance of his courtiers, and would not always do as they desired, adhere rigidly to the palace rules in use before the revolution. Gluttons are seldom ill-natured men, and Louis was on the whole a good-natured man, not inclined, as his friends were, to see every thing replaced as it was before an event which had little respect for monarchs. He was told he must have a mistress as he had no queen, that being essential to legitimacy, particularly as in Germany right or left handed wives were customary, and were part and parcel of several of the Teutonic establishments—German morgianic matrimony so styled. Louis, who would gladly, as the clown says in the play, “eat his pudding and hold his tongue,” gave way for the sake of honouring precedent, and
Zoe Talon, was the favourite or rather Madam de Cayla. This gladdened the hearts of those who loved the ancient time. It was of no moment that Louis’s loving days were past, a step in ceremony towards the ancient dignity was something gained in the sight of the infatuated old courtiers. They were delighted when they saw the important advance of a king’s mistress, and when the king, not to appear too arctic in an affair so important, in order to entertain his courtiers and himself in a rational manner, threw sugar plums into the bosom of the lady’s dress, the more zealous could not restrain their approbation. Like their brethern in the East, ready to cry:—“Karamat! Karamat! marvellous, marvellous!” All, in fact, were prompt, seeing old times returned to realize the Persian,
“S’il le roi dit, en plein midi, qu’il est nuit, il faut dire que voilà la lune et les étoiles!”

Such was the state of things restored by twenty years of war, and the loss of hundreds of thousands of lives. The last time I ever saw Louis, was in the Place Vendôme, in an open carriage, near the foot of the brazen column. His bloated figure upwards, and legs small in proportion to the bulk above, which was exceedingly unwholesome and distended in appearance, made him look like any thing but the ideal of a king. When he escaped from France at the revolution, and ran away trembling for his life, he took care to notice daily, in a journal he kept of his escape, how much he was in fear, and what he had for dinner. Talleyrand called it the “journal of his fear and his appetite, his appetite and his fear.” Yet, as a man, he was worth all the rest of his family put together. The Count d’Artois indulged the same feeling as the most bigotted of the emigrants. Thus the men who had returned with the Bourbons and the people of the empire, were always in opposition. The conduct of those round the king became so out of order, that the Duke of Wellington, in writing to his Majesty upon the subject, told him that the greatest enemies to the tranquillity of his house and throne were in his own palace.

The Duke of Wellington had invited the Count de Ruppin to dine with him, and when Louis XVIII heard of it, he sent word to the Duke that he would come and dine with him also, in order to meet the Prussian King. The Duke spoke of the honour his most Christian Majesty would confer upon him; and all appeared arranged. On the day appointed, an hour
or two before dinner time, an officer of the Palace came in state from the Tuilleries to see that every thing was en règle before the king left for the repast. It was likely enough that Louis knew nothing of his avant-courier, simply thinking, according to custom, of his prospective gustatory enjoyment. When the dinner herald arrived at the Duke’s hotel, and saw the Major-domo, he stated his errand, and requested to be shown into the dining apartment. Seeing six covers, he asked who the guests were, and the place each was to occupy. The reply was that the entertainment was private, and that the arrangements depended upon the master of the feast when the dinner hour arrived.

“That could not be, the Kings of France and Navarre, could not dispense with the customary formalities of the ancient Court. Who were the guests? There were six covers?”

“There was his most Christian Majesty the King of France, the King of Prussia, the Duke de Richelieu, Sir Charles Stuart, the English ambassador, the Captain of the Guard, and the Duke of Wellington. A French Captain’s Guard of Honour had always been in attendance at the Duke’s residence, and the officer had a cover at the table every day, whoever dined.”

“O it could not be! His most Christian Majesty could not sit down to dinner with the Captain of the Guard, a man of no rank. It was out of all ancient precedent.”

The appeal was at once made to the Duke, who said he could not alter the order of his private table. The officer of the Guard dined with him daily—he was not in the habit of breaking a standing rule. The emis-
sary went back full of importance to the palace to report that the King would be subjected to the unheard of humiliation of dining with a Captain of the Guard, a nobody. There was a consultation of the people of the old régime, and it was agreed upon to request the King not to go.
Louis who was not so ceremonious, and had good plain common sense, declared he would go notwithstanding, and did go to the horror of his friends, who deemed their ‘belle France’ deprived of another ray of glory.

The Duke of Wellington rode out daily along the Boulevards, attended only by a boy-groom on a chestnut horse. I had not seen him for six years, when he was Sir Arthur, until I met him in Paris, if anything, a little thinner for his campaigns and victories. He was not a graceful rider, and sat his horse with great stiffness. He used often to stop and speak with his countrymen, and though recognized by most Frenchmen, I never heard of his receiving any insult, beyond M. Godam, applied to all Englishmen. The conduct of the French, in this respect, was decorous and manly. The Bonapartist officers were gallant men, who had a high idea of what the conduct of their profession should be, in such an intercourse. Nor did I find, after a short acquaintance, that I failed, in my humble sphere, to gain the confidence of many of them.

It was forbidden to sell snuff-boxes, engravings, songs, or anything in the way of trade which made an allusion to the great man of the Empire. Yet, when the dealers in such things found I was an Englishman,
and that their secret was safe, I soon had their concealed treasures laid open before me. It was necessary to one object of my residence in Paris, that I should receive information upon one or two rather delicate matters to transmit elsewhere. I succeeded admirably in this respect. I knew of things that went on in some departments which were of the most secret character, nor was I ever deceived; but to prevent deception I devised a check upon my informants which effectually served me. I kept two sources of information open, the one unknown to the other, and used them as counterchecks.

I once or twice met the Duke of Wellington at Sir Henry Blackwood’s in the Rue de Mont Thabor. I have mentioned Sir Henry before as being at Rouen. Going down the Rue de Rivoli with Robert Heathcote, who, in those days was well known to all the world, we often saw the great General on horseback. He was then, apparently, of a humour much less saturnine and reserved than in his later years.

“Ah, Bob, how are you—come to my ball tomorrow night?”

Heathcote held up his gouty foot.

“Can’t dance upon that I think.”

“Ah, Bob, hell table—hell table, Bob! good-bye!”

Thus as he rode off, hitting at poor Heathcote’s failing of play, into which he had been initiated as one of the companions of George IV. when Prince of Wales.

It was about this time that the Duke is said to have been smitten with Mademoiselle Mars, who treated him with disdain.


“He gave my countrymen a good moral lesson—I will give him one—let him go home to his wife.”

The story of the ‘Little Red Man.’ a familiar demon of Bonaparte, was revived at that moment by the Bourbonists, if not originally of their invention. The ex-Emperor first formed an intimacy with the ‘Little Red Man’ during his exploration of one of the Egyptian Pyramids, in the centre, perhaps, of the room where stands the sarcophagus of some renowned Pharoah. Amid masses of impenetrable granite Napoleon held mysterious meetings with his new friend, and as well as the ruins of Egyptian Temples, in the bituminous odour of Catacombs, not yet half explored, and while walking in the refulgence of the glowing moon of a brilliant firmament over the ruins of Heliopolis. After several of these mysterious meetings, at the earnest solicitation of the ‘Little Red Man,’ the ex-Emperor gave way to certain conditions, at a moment, when the promised ripeness of his designs overcame every other object of his mental vision, and he agreed to bestow his lofty soul upon his nether mundane visitor in return for their realization. The ‘Little Red Man’ was also seen with the Emperor, by numbers of persons, on the field of battle about the time of his subsequent successes. He had been observed walking up and down outside the Conservatory at St. Cloud, when Napoleon dissolved the Convention. At Marengo, at Austerlitz, and on other occasions he was present, but when the fortune of the Emperor changed in 1814, he was seen no more, having abandoned his friend because Napoleon violated the pledge he had given to a personage, who had obtained for him all his wonderful successes. The ‘Little Red Man,’ from
the colour of his skin, was evidently of the ancient Egyptian stock. At the greatest of all the Emperor’s victories, those in 1796, he had not made the ‘Little Red Man’s’ acquaintance, for he had not then seen the Pyramids. Thus consistent and clever was the tale. It is hardly credible but true, that I heard this story argued upon as if it were a fact, by some of the Bourbon party. Every body talked about it.

Having the entrée at the house of the Countess of R——, I used to mingle with the company there. The forms and ceremonies dispensed with after the first or second visit, knowing what evenings the head of the house was ‘at home,’ rendered society remarkably pleasant. In that fine house were assembled individuals of almost every country. Orders and decorations made the rooms resplendent; but a German friend, who had served under Napoleon, complained grievously of the double character played by many who were present. He said that it sickened him of human nature to see men who owed every thing to the late Emperor, belying the most solemn avowals of service and gratitude to a great man, and violating those avowals in the most open and needless manner.

“True, my good friend,” I replied, “but it is the return conduct of sovereign to subject. Crowns only reward the gratification of their own selfishness. Those persons were useful to Napoleon, and he rewarded them. They can obtain nothing more from him, and they worship the Bourbon—it is the history of all time.”

“True, but does not the heart revolt at such conduct—tell us it is wrong, immoral.”


“No doubt—it is dishonourable; but we live in an age when dishonour is only second in the reckoning.”

“Rien n’est beau que le vrai; that is my opinion.”

“Yes, my friend, but the many will never subscribe to that doctrine by deeds, if applauding it in words. You expect this medley life of good and evil to be much more in advance towards virtue than it will be for the next thousand years.”

“I hope not—look, there is a girouette, the man who always turns the right way. He, too, supports the Bourbon.”

“Was the main instrument in bringing him back,” I remarked. “How marble faced—how bloodless his cheeks are! Yet his blood is scarlet for all that, he never blushes, the arterial or venal vessels were, no doubt, thickened in his composition.”

It was Prince Talleyrand pale as ashes, seated just opposite to where we stood. His locks seemed then to approach the hue of his countenance. His cold impassive features were not so corrugated as when he last visited England, for he was younger. His resemblance to his portraits at that time was sufficient to make him known, for his countenance was unique and masked every mental expression. To me he was the beau ideal of a diplomatist.

Calm, callous, apparently untroubled by virtuous or vicious considerations, patient, far-seeing, penetrating into motive while apparently careless, or engaged in thought, almost always anticipating correctly the result of an opposition to those who thought differently from himself, having credit for more acumen than he merited, and during the working out of his anticipations, as
unmoved as a dead body by intervening successes or reverses, which, being foreseen, did not surprise him, he stood alone in Europe, the political seer of his day. He reflected deeply and philosophically, ever far in advance of those around him. His discretion was masterly. The statesmen of the other countries of Europe, as they servilely copied the low arts of the old French monarchical diplomatists, kept to their complications. when dealing with him, and were always mastered. His motives and determinations apparently impenetrable, were, no doubt, simple enough, but there was ever an idea that his mind was vast, and his reflections profound. His conclusions appeared to come from a complicated series of decisions out of an intellectual labyrinth, to those who had no power of gathering results from simply combined causes. He was well abused, it did not move him; he was charged with the most weighty offences, he neither denied nor admitted them, for he knew all that could be proved; he smiled at his enemies sometimes, though but rarely, much oftener not regarding them at all. His feelings, if affected, he stifled, for his emotions were all internal; externally, he was unmoved by good or evil, calumny or praise. His feelings seemed so entirely his own, that any concern about them in another, would seem an intrusion.

I found few had as high an opinion of the prince’s talent as I had, but I believe them in the wrong. In regard to his heart and its affections, I cannot judge at all. I scarcely knew him but by sight, and what is more, lost the opportunity I had of an introduction. In person he was plain, and disappointed my previous expectations. His carriage was easy, the gentleman,
not marked by much dignity. His countenance and bearing spoke an extraordinary man—yet I cannot tell why—a man indefinable. He was lame, but when sitting, this was not perceptible. I stood scrutinising his serene, heart-hiding countenance, and waiting for Colonel H——, who was to introduce me.

Talleyrand conversed in a pleasing, and even elegant manner, with not the least assumption, or affectation. I was not a little vexed to see several of his friends surround, and draw him into a game at cards in another room, in the midst of which it would not have been good manners to interrupt him. Indeed, I would not consent to it myself, when Colonel H—— rejoined me. It would have been besides, only a momentary recognition. I confess that as far as sight alone was concerned, I lost a share of my former prejudice against the ci-devant Bishop of Autun. He must have acquired some lessons from adversity, and no doubt considered from his early sacrifices, for what he deemed the public good, he had afterwards a right to make the world the means of his individual advancement. No one knew better the worthlessness of popular gratitude. A bold front, an air of mystery and a paradoxical argument, prevail more with mankind, than the wisdom of Solomon, the justice of Aristides, or the most praiseworthy labours of a protracted existence. “Ce n’est pas la science que fait la médecin heureux, c’est 1’effronterie et le jargon,” observes Moli&re.

At this party appeared Benjamin Constant, the friend of Madame de Stael, several other literati, and a sprinkling of the marshals of France, who had so recently “on the neck of crowned fortune rode.” The
society of the Parisian capital was at that time exceedingly interesting. Individuals met as if it were a point to guard against the smallest slight on account of any political colour.

Cuvier, the delightful naturalist, and his daughter, I met here; Barbier, the librarian; tasteful old Denon, approaching eighty years of age, bland and cheerful; Cuvier I met again, twelve years afterwards, in London; Suard was then on the scene, but died while I was there, far gone in years, I think at the close 1817. I have a catalogue of his library, a large part of which was composed of English books. He was a link connecting the past and present at that time. He had known Fontenelle, Voltaire, D’Alembert, Rousseau, Montesquieu, Duclos, Diderot, Thomas, Boufflers, Buffon, Marmontel, La Harpe, and Helvetius. He was eighty-five at his death in 1817. Fontenelle was born in 1657, a term of a hundred and sixty years. I did not meet La Fayette, he came little to Paris just then.

Links of being are singular. Dr. Wolcot had told me that he knew Mrs. Burr, who died at Bath in 1790, at the age of seventy-nine, a grand niece of Sir I. Newton, with whom she had passed some time in his house in St. Martin’s Street, “because he loved the company of children.” She was but sixteen when he died. At Abingdon, I recollect, in 1832, there was a mason who then mounted a ladder at eighty, whose father was fifteen years old at the death of Charles II.

I used, among other celebrated men, to visit the Chevalier Langlés at the Royal Library. He had agreeable parties o£ literary men at his apartments there weekly. He was an excellent Oriental scholar. It
was at the sale of his effects, that
Beckford bought the ‘Ayeen Ackbery,’ (date 1584), giving for the MS. sixteen thousand francs, as he told me himself, being determined to possess it from having belonged to the great Ackbar. Langlés first publication was a ‘Memoir of the Writings of the Mantchous,’ and he published a dictionary of the same language. He incurred the displeasure of Bonaparte because he refused to go with him to Egypt. His works are numerous and erudite. He was a kind man, covered with titles of scholarship and foreign orders. His evening parties were delightful, visited by the English distinguished for their learning, particularly our eastern scholars.

I shall ever retain a sense of his kindness to myself. He passed unscathed through all the storms of the Revolution, and contrived to secrete the MS. genealogies of families, with various charters which he was commanded to destroy, substituting for them heaps of Jesuitical tracts, the writings of Molina and his followers. Langlés one day took me into the ground apartments of the Great Library, and showed me in progress in different stages, the magnificent works undertaken by order of Napoleon. There was, indeed, shown the most splendid printing ever seen. Several works as large, in the page, as Denon’sEgypt,’ were nearly completed from the celebrated press of Didot. I heard some years afterwards that the works advanced but a little way had been destroyed, and the others locked up in holes and corners of the library cellars, would, it was probable, never again be exhumed. This was done by order of Louis XVIII. There was, after all, something redeeming in many of the acts of Napoleon.


Visiting the Chateau of Vincennes, and going to the spot where the Duke d’Enghien was shot, I did not feel quite as much inclined to magnify that violence as many of my countrymen. The hurried way in which the execution took place, was the worst part of the affair. The continual plottings of the French princes and exiles against Napoleon were disgraceful. His authority was borne by the nation that had no relish for a restoration of the Bourbons, and the prince had placed himself as near to the French frontier as he could do with safety. This was his own act, knowing, that his family had once respected no neutral territory, under circumstances far less weighty against persons who had given them offence. Nay, even as far off as Amsterdam, people had been kidnapped, carried into France and suffered under Louis XIV. It, therefore, seemed to me a sort of retribution. I had already stood on the little that then remained of the Bastile; but here was its counter part yet entire. Here literati, courtiers, artists, any whom court harlots desired to imprison, were accommodated by a lettre de cachet from royalty. Here Louis XI. outdid the late Emperor Francis of Austria in his unrelenting vengeance. His good Bishop of Verdun having invented an iron cage to secure his victims, Louis shut up the holy father in it for ten years. The same king shut up here the Princes of Armagnac, while yet boys, in dungeons formed like inverted sugar loaves, that their feet might not have rest, nor their bodies repose. They were taken out to be scourged twice a week, and a tooth was drawn from each of them every three months. This was done after this Bourbon had made the poor youths stand under the scaffold, while
they executed their father, that the parental blood might fall through upon the tender children’s heads. One of the poor youths died, the other survived his tormentor. The walls of the dungeon are thirteen feet thick. The windows high to preclude all view. Such are my recollections of the history of Vincennes, and of much more connected with it. The Duke d’Enghien seemed an expiatory sacrifice. There is a French history of this château worth perusing.

As to the lettres de cachet, a Frenchman once remarked to me, pertinently enough: “We have now des mots pour des raisons, et des promesses pour des effets, but we have no more lettres de cachet

It was on my return from Vincennes that I first saw three women placed au carcan. In London, such ladies would have passed their time in heaping Billingsgate upon the officers of justice. It was not so here. The criminals uttered not a word, but contrived to pull their caps over their eyes, and down to the tips of their noses. It was a simple exposure, with an iron collar round the neck, fastened to an upright post, standing elevated about three feet above the ground; the back was, of course, towards the post. The nature of the offence was fastened over the head of each on a placard. There was no great number of spectators. The prevalent feeling of those women was evidently that of shame, from their endeavour not to be recognized, which I was pleased to observe. Where shame is felt, reclaim is not impossible. Not a word of abuse was directed towards the culprits, “Ah, mon Dieu, les coupables!” from the passers-by was all the remark heard. Some little larceny was the offence. This punishment
was sometimes inflicted on notorious offenders, previous to branding and taking them off to the gallies for life.

There was a singular character living while I was in Paris, who had escaped the guillotine at the fall of Robespierre, and acted as porter at a private house. He was seen by many English besides myself. He was one of the jury during the Reign of Terror under Fouquier Tinville, the public prosecutor; and consequently one composing the machinery of his horrible tribunal. He had only numbered fifty-five years, but he looked seventy. He had mild blue eyes, seldom seen, for it was rarely he would look up when addressed by a stranger, never, if he had an excuse for looking downwards. Remorse had had possession of him for years. It was not known how he escaped the vengeance which overtook all besides connected with the tribunal. Hour after hour his chin rested on his bosom, as if the lights of heaven were distasteful. He never spoke but in monosyllables. Blood was upon his conscience. For the paltry sum of six francs per day, he had caused the words à la mort to be pronounced against youth and age, innocence and guilt without discrimination; and now life had become a misery to him.

I knew one who had lived through the revolutionary times as a sort of messenger. He had to take confidential letters from and to the different persons in power. He was one day told to take a letter above stairs to Robespierre. Going up, he saw no one in the anteroom. He, in consequence, proceeded to find the great man of the hour, and passed on until he came to a door which was ajar. Pushing it open, he saw Robes-
pierre sitting at a table, his chin resting upon his hands, to appearance wholly abstracted. All at once, the tyrant started up and asked:—

“What do you do here?”

“A letter for you, Citizen Robespierre.”

The tyrant took the note, beat it on the table as if he wished to ascertain whether there was anything obnoxious within, and then asked how the messenger had found his way to that apartment. The latter replied, that no one had challenged him. Robespierre desired he should be searched. Fortunately he had not even a pen-knife in his pocket, or he might have been suspected of a bad design. At another time, he was sent with a message to the same personage, and met him going out, muffled up in a cloak. He bade the messenger follow him, because he evidently did not desire to take the letter in public, or indeed to be recognized at all. He proceeded to the Rue St. Denis, the messenger after him. There they entered a miserable looking house on the outside, and mounting one flight of stairs were received with the ‘Qui vive’ of a sentinel. Robespierre passed on, the messenger was stopped. He then said,

“A letter for Citizen Robespierre.”

The sentinel took the letter and entered a room, the door of which being opened for the soldier’s admission, enabled the bearer to observe that the apartment was large, and that it contained a table laid out with elegance for a considerable number of persons, ill-assorting with the external appearance of the place. The sentinel brought out the reply that Citizen Robespierre would send an answer the next day. This dinner, or
supper, which ever it happened to be, was, probably, one of those orgies at which the dominant party leaders, then deluging France in blood, secretly met for a hideous conviviality. I saw many who had witnessed most painful scenes during the Revolution. Time must now have swept away nearly all old enough to give any account of them. Of these, I remember
Count Scipion du Roure, whose mother was a Bolingbroke; he was advanced in life, a man of considerable attainments. He had belonged to the Orleanist party, and in early years had been as dissipated as most of the French courtiers. He inherited property, through his mother, consisting of houses in Bond Street on the west side running towards Albemarle Street. When the war of 1793 took place, the count was cut off from any benefit out of this property by the war, for between twenty and thirty years, during which a large sum must have accumulated. The whole was confided to the care of Mr. Oliver Cromwell of Cheshunt, descended from the Protector’s son Henry, whose daughter married a Mr. Russell.

I ascertained these facts for the count, and I learned that Mr. Oliver Cromwell, being the last of the name, Mr. Russell had applied to Lord Castlereagh for a license to take the name and arms of Cromwell, which his lordship flatly refused. I communicated the facts to the count. I learned afterwards that Mr. Cromwell had most honourably secured every shilling of the property, and two or three years afterwards resigned his charge. Du Roure came over to take possession, and died in Arundel Street, Strand, when, I presume, the property fell to his son. The count told me that he
was placed in the prison of St. Lazare, and escaped by the execution of
Robespierre, when he had no hope of saving his life. The Duke of Orleans was hated by the reigning family, but was not half as bad a man as he was made out by the princes. They caballed against each other, and cared little about the poor king. Orleans took a part with Necker at the beginning of the Revolution. The friendliness of Orleans to change was acquired in England. He used to say: “It is hard that while the English princes can ride about or travel at their pleasure, I cannot take a horse and ride out of Paris without sending to ask leave of the crown, even when the king is at Versailles.”

The king’s irresolute and vaccillating conduct was owing to the princes and queen. This generated doubts of the regal sincerity, which coupled with the incitements to foreign invasion by the runaway princes were quite enough to account for all that followed. The Duke of Orleans had, at first, no object beyond obtaining freedom of action for himself, to which, with all his vast property he was still a stranger. The flight to Varennes, and the intrigues abroad which ruined the monarchy, the result of d’Artois’ intrigues, principally led the feeble-minded king to the scaffold—it was fratricide. Du Roure was still in prison when the younger Robespierre was brought in there. The noted Baron Trenck was executed only two days before Robespierre’s downfall. His death was his own fault. He was a busy, officious man, and an intolerable liar. The hope of escape, by remaining unnoticed, was all that remained to any prisoner. Above all things, it was wise not to attract the gaoler’s attention by any offensive action, for in that
case, the prisoner was at once sent to the tribunal with a complaint, and death was the result. There had been a rumour in the prison that the Prussians were marching upon Paris, and that all the prisoners would be set free.

Fresh statements of this kind had been circulated one morning before the gates had been unlocked, and the reports, therefore, must have originated within the walls. They were traced to Trenck, fertile in mendacity. The gaoler complained of his circulating false rumours. He was taken to the tribunal, condemned, and beheaded, near the Barrier du Trône; and his body deposited in the corner of the garden of the canonesses of St. Augustine, in the Faubourg St. Antoine, where, in a spot of ground not more than forty feet square, a thousand bodies and more had been interred with layers of quicklime during a few months of 1794. Du Roure possessed considerable literary talent. He was a stout, thick-set man, ordinary in dress, and still more ordinary in person. He was proud of his relationship with the Bolingbrokes, regarding whom I knew nothing, never having heard but of one, the first and last of any fame. He, indeed, is justly renowned as one of the best writers ‘in’ the English language, however his political principles may be impugned.

Madam Gaçon du Four, was another whom I knew, who had been before the revolutionary tribunal. She had escaped twice. She was the wife of an ex-judge, of the departmental tribunal of the Seine, known for his works on jurisprudence, living in the Rue Cimetière, St. André des Arts. She was seldom to be seen without company, and was an authoress of considerable judgment and talent. Her favourite subjects were history and
rural economy. She possessed a fund of anecdote regarding the stormy time of the Revolution, and, as may be expected had no love for the Bourbons. She had been once or twice narrowly watched by
Fouché when minister, for it was known she possessed some curious documents relative to the Bourbons, and so cautious was she obliged to be in her own behalf, that she was careful never to keep a sheet of paper in the house which could compromise her. Among other papers, she possessed a copy of the documents found in the iron chest in the Tuilleries in 1793 or ’94, relative to the royal family, which compromised so many persons of the court, as well as the royal brothers. There were, also, intercepted letters of the Duke of Orleans. She promised me a sight of them. I was once in attendance, and the party despatched to fetch them did not arrive. She was more than ever guarded after 1814, when the Allies entered Paris, and reducing the empire to a kingdom, restored the old family. Fouché knew she had a copy of the documents, and as his services had recommended him to the Bourbons, so might other acts of officiousness in their favour.

The documents, in question, were of no moment to the Bonaparte dynasty, but damnatory to Louis XVIII. and his brother. The redoubted minister, Fouché, had quitted Paris the year before. I was astonished at the hesitation and precaution in regard to these, and some other papers which this lady possessed. We sat down and began to dip into them, when the announcement of some ladies, attended by a devoted gentleman of the restored family, made her shuffle the papers away, nor had I an opportunity, leaving Paris shortly afterwards, of once
more seeing them. There were copies of letters from
Count d’Artois, from Egalité, and the princes, all of which seem to have been intercepted, and to have proved intrigues and complications which hastened the king’s end.

Confidence existed nowhere in that Revolution. I wanted to bring the letters to England; but such was the timidity of the owner, to whose possession they would infallibly have been traced, and I imagine, too, her husband’s dependence still on the government, that she did not dare the hazard of such a measure.

“The police know I have the copies, and I should be persecuted—I must not.”

We used often to talk of the revolutionary tribunal before which she had been twice cited. “Were you afraid?”

“No, because I had made up my mind to the worst, as all people did then. They had nothing to do but to outvie each other, if possible, in dying firmly. I had nothing for the actors in that horrible tragedy, in the way of property; and some of my neighbours, considered good citizens, vouched for my conduct being all that was required.”

She said her astonishment was, that so large a city should have been paralyzed by the few persons really concerned, but then they acted in concert. Panic, terror struck down the many, and caused a want of combination in the well disposed. All being new, fearful in aspect, and distrustful, none rose up to lead. There were enough disposed, heart and soul, to have crushed the Terrorists in a moment, could they have understood one another. “The press would do it
now,” she said, “furtively or openly. I do not believe more than five hundred persons in this great city were the supporters of the massacres, including those who planned and executed them—if it was a planned thing at all. I do not include the mere mob which might have witnessed them, and will follow anything going forward. I doubt even if three hundred acted in concert on that occasion. We had just emerged from the old police and espionage under the Bourbons. We were bewildered. No system reigned, good or bad, and any bold persons seizing the helm might temporarily rule. A proof of this truth is seen in the moment of reaction, in the feebleness of the Terrorists in resistance, and the great facility with which the faction was annihilated. People seemed then to have come to themselves, after being stunned. It is the way of us French to be elated of a sudden beyond bounds, and as rapidly depressed.”

I asked her if she remembered a Mr. Huskisson being often present during the sittings of the sanguinary tribunal. She replied, she did not know the name, but she well remembered there was an Englishman sat there, wearing the bonnet-rouge, for it was the subject of remark. Whoever he was, he remained in great favour with the members of the tribunal. I have no doubt myself it was Huskisson, who eloped afterwards in the suite of our ambassador. I could mention some other circumstances connected with this matter, but they are now out of date. Not so the circumstance of an Englishman having sat and applauded the guilt of a tribunal, to which poor Madame Roland alluded when on the scaffold, she exclaimed: “O Liberty! what crimes are committed in thy name!”


Many were the painful anecdotes I heard of that portentous era. The conduct of the doomed to death was characteristic in those of all parties and opinions. Some would have their jest to the last. On one occasion a Robespierrian general made his appearance at one of the prisons, in height four feet seven, with a gay uniform and plumed hat. He had been a touter to a travelling menagerie. One of the prisoners recognized the little touter at once, and though it was his own sentence of death, called out to his fellow prisoners:—

“Ho! here, come and see the great Talala from La Vendée, an African animal, with teeth that will munch stones. Come and see—come and see—only two sous a head! Walk in ladies and gentlemen—walk in. This is the great general of the woods, who has just come in a balloon from the deserts of Arabia, and descended at the Bombe (the name of the prison). Walk in—walk in ladies and gentlemen! here he is in black breeches and white chemisette. Come and see this wonderful animal!”

A common soldier being jeered by some of the Robespierrian canaille, turned round to them and exclaimed; “You miserable blackguards, would one of you go to your death with the calmness I meet mine?”

Biron, the descendant of a great family, being condemned, said to his fellow prisoner on his return, “Faith, it is all up with me—I must go!”

“What is death?” said a third, “an accident against which we should all be prepared. What is the guillotine? a tap on the neck, that’s all!”

“It is nothing,” said M. Nicolai, going to the scaffold, “the dropping of a scale—no pain.” He had
complained of a pain in the shoulder, and a doctor was recommended: “No, no, my friends, the complaint is in my head, that will carry the other off with it.”

The following is an extract from the Journal, with which I was privately favoured, of Major James, so well known as the friend of Lord Moira, Sir F. Burdett and Horne Tooke. He left home in November, 1792, after the massacre in the prisons. It gives some insight into the doings at the moment in France, after the French princes had stirred up the continental states against the country, and promised slices of her territory, if they would invade it and march to Paris. This caused the mischief, sealed the fate of the king, betrayed the interests of the country, convulsed the capital yet more, and raised up the leaders who formed the revolutionary tribunal. Dumourier had driven out the Prussians with disgrace, after they had committed the most atrocious cruelties, roused all France to arms, and seen their own designs signally defeated.

“Oct. 28. Left Dover in the evening, got to Calais at 11 p.m., went to the Croix de St. Louis, was taken from thence to the municipality, and a mob collected. Went on through St. Omer; slept at Lillers; reached Lille at 2 p.m. Went to see the ruins, not long before made by the Austrians; was told the gens-d’armes, 30,000 strong, had sworn neither to give nor receive quarter. Custine, who commanded the allied troops, fired the first cannon at the town on the feast of St. Francis, in honour of the Emperor of Austria, and played ça ira, in derision of the French. They got a huge mortar to carry a shell of five hundred weight, it burst and killed thirty of their own men. In
the now abandoned trenches, I saw a soldier digging, find the body of a young officer with a pair of new boots on, he transferred them to his own feet. He also found the body of a priest. The sign of the Hotel de Bourbon was taken down and burned in the marketplace. The devastation committed by the Austrians was horrible, and the number of shells they threw during the investment of eight days, was enormous, while they made no progress against the works, the destruction of innocent people seemed their only object. Two sisters standing at the entrance of a cellar, one had an eye cut out, and the other lost her arm at the shoulder, by the splinter of a shell. The Austrians did not aim a shot at the aristocratic part of the town, directed no doubt by the emigrants, in the invading army, fighting against their country. The indignation of the people was roused to the highest pitch of fury against the Austrians, who had so cruelly invaded them without the slightest provocation.

Dumourier is a middle sized man, with a dark complexion, about fifty-two years of age. He had been on the staff of the army before the Revolution. He is vigorous, and the tendency of his mind leads to daring enterprizes. We past a heavy train of artillery. With these marched most of the Parisians and Marseillois, who were at the taking of the Bastile. They seemed awkward enough as soldiers, but vengeance against the Austrians was in every face, and a strong determination to avenge the barbarity of the invaders before Lille. The Hulans, those savage troops, had crossed the frontier, and committed horrible devastations. The French troops were very civil to us Englishmen.


“On the 18th of November, dined at White’s Hotel in Paris, there were at dinner General Arthur Dillon, Thomas Paine, Merry, Lord Edward Fitzgerald, Sir B. Smith, Mr. Herries, and Cook of the German Legion.

“I saw Santerre, who commanded on the noted 10th of August. The abolition of titles was proposed. A committee was formed to address the National Convention relative to England. I refused to be of it. Thomas Paine refused to belong to it. Colonel Oswald, Mr. Merry, and Mr. Jackson were named. November 19th, a report was current that the king was dead; it was false. Saw the porter, De Sac, of the Faubourg St. Antoine, who was reported to have killed the greatest number in the prisons. This miscreant was said to have torn out the entrails of the Princess Lamballe, and some reported, gnawed her liver. He was a robust tall man, with whiskers, about thirty-five years of age. Visited the comedy at the Varieties. The Duke of Orleans and Thomas Paine lived retired. The prices of the theatres nominally the same as before the Revolution, but the currency depreciated made the value less. Dined at Perrigaux, the bankers, in the Rue Mirabeau. Met Mr. Martin. I find Marat getting into the popular esteem. Saw General Kellermann at the Opera, a tall good looking man. They tell me the Duke of Orleans imposes a fine of five sous on all who forget to call him Egalité. The rumour of the king’s death was sent forth to sound the people, and had a different effect from what was expected by his friends. Roland produced some papers which had been in his possession some time, and thus roused suspicion against himself.
The Parisians murmur at the taxes. A man with only one room, paid before only three livres per annum to the contribution mobilière, and now pays seventeen.

“The guard over the king consists of fifty men, mounting at noon. They draw lots who shall be within, and who remain out. They are placed within all the passages where the king passes, and at the doors of the different rooms. Four municipal officers attend. They do not sit down in the royal presence. The apartments are very elegant. The king has endeavoured to talk with the different persons he meets. He cannot see the people outside, the windows being too high. There is a garden, but it is highly walled round. The Temple belonged to the Count d’Artois. The king makes his son read to him frequently. Tacitus is, in general, the book he reads. The king conducts himself with perfect good humour, and the queen is polite and affable, but Madame Elizabeth, to use the words of a municipal officer who had been on guard twenty-four hours in the apartments, is as bad as a mauvaine poissarde. The royal dinners consist of two courses of six dishes each.

“Nov. 22. I was with Rabaut de St. Etienne, and saw Charles de Rohan, a violent democrat, nephew to the cardinal. The Pantheon in the Rue de Chartres is converted into a theatre. The foundation of the Bastile and the subterraneous passages alone remain. The walls of the Temple have been raised, and the towers are blocked up. The Hotel de la Force, is within the inner gate. There are two low doors at the entrance, a sentinel outside and two turnkeys. Louis was in bed, when the
officer last called. He complained of not being left alone. These people remark when the king talks to the masons at work there.

“The English met at White’s to consult about an address, but very few attended. I did not go because I disapproved of any interference by or with England. Barlow and Frost arrived here on the 22nd. A report prevalent that disturbances had commenced in London. An ass led about the streets, with a paper crown on its head, a purple robe, and ribbons tied to its tail. The decorations were then burned.

“On the 21st. Egalité submitted his reasons, and the petition from his daughter to the nation not to be numbered among the emigrants. On the 24th, I saw Rabaut St. Etienne, had a great deal of conversation with him relative to England. He agreed with me, that any interference on the part of France in the politics of Great Britain, would be highly reprehensible. He was not satisfied with White’s translation of his ‘History of the Revolution.’ His ‘Letters to the English’ were translated by Mrs. Barbauld. The king’s trial probably postponed. I went from St. Etienne to the War-office, and appointed to meet Mr. Parke tomorrow. There was a disturbance at the Caisse, from the number of persons who went to have their large assignats changed for smaller ones, and a crowd endeavoured to overpower the National Guard. A body of cavalry called in to restore order.

“Three bankers were connected with the English in Paris. Sir R. Herries’ house, Mr. Cary’s, a republican, and Mr. Boyd’s, besides Perrigaux. Invited to a dinner, at which Thomas Paine, Lord E. Fitzgerald,
Martin, Merry, and others were to be present, I declined the invitation.

“In consequence of the discovery of the papers* in the Tuilleries by Roland, the minister of the interior, twenty-two persons were arrested, among them, La Costa, St. Leon, and Dufresne. St. Leon was director-general of the pay office. A misunderstanding between Anacharsis Clootz, the Prussian, and Roland, the latter treated him most contemptuously. I saw a red cross on the door of the Abbaye prison to-day.

“Orders given to all the sections to be at their posts on the 26th, for the trial of the king, Wednesdays and Saturdays the appointed days. There was a dinner at White’s to take into consideration the motions made in the committee there present, Paine, Barlow, Frost, Lord E. Fitzgerald. I did not go. A violent party is forming here. Egalité is suspected to be at the bottom of it, supported by others. The design is to restore the king and destroy the Convention—much mischief anticipated. On the 26th, saw Rabaut de St. Etienne, he agreed that there was a strong party forming. A deputation met at White’s to present the address at eleven o’clock. I left Paris on the 28th. Upon the way back, dined at Cuvilly, when they told me potatoes were not known in that part of the country until about eighteen months before. Dumourier, I hear, has declared, in returning from the army, he will hang his hat and sword upon a nail and retire. The opinion still prevails in Paris that some attempt will be made to restore the king. All seem unanimously to agree in keeping the princes out of the country. Saw the gens-d’armes

* The papers found there in the iron chest.

returning, they appeared more composed than before. Five thousand of them are said to have fallen at Jemappes. The hospitals were still full. Dumourier had three horses shot under him there. A rumour ran through the army that he was killed, and he hastily rode along the front crying out: ‘Me voilà, mes enfans, n’ayez pas peur, nous gagnerons.’ He was in his shirt, and led the first Parisian battalion when it dashed into the Austrian entrenchments. The regiment of Auvergne lost 700 men. I asked a soldier how he escaped so well, and he smilingly replied: ‘Par pur hasard, car je ne pensais jamais être où je suis.’ The volunteers made sad mistakes and fired through fear or ignorance on their own men. The Austrians fought hard, ‘Ces b— se battent bien,’ said the Frenchman.”

What displays of human nature—what virtues and baseness—what contradictions marked the character of the time. The scene is passed, or I could multiply proofs I heard without end, how nature assumed her noblest aspect in the midst of the most flagitious perversions. The more touching as well as heroic scenes were observed. I must mention one I was told of a poor little girl only eight years of age, who every morning visited the spot where her mother was guillotined, only to cry. She went early in the morning not to be noticed, fearing to attract attention from the myrmidons of the Terrorists prowling about. She repeated her visits for six weeks after the event, gradually pining away till life became extinct. How deeply must nature have engraved the love of the parent in that child’s heart!

I brought over with me a paper written by Madame Dufour, in 1816, which I still possess. I thought I should get some one to publish it, but I was not
able. It was a remarkable prophecy of what subsequently took place in France after the death of
Louis XVIII. It stated that the Bourbon dynasty would not survive long, and would terminate as that of the Stuarts did here. “The title was a parallel between Edward the English prince, and Louis Stanislaus Xavier de Bourbon, the French prince, both having the title of ‘Pretenders’ to the throne of their ancestors.”

The following jeu d’esprit was circulated when Louis XVIII. eloped into Belgium. It was given me by an advocate.

The Funeral Oration of Louis XVIII. of his Relations and his Friends, inscribed to the Chevaliers sans Peur.

“Illustrious outcasts of the Gastons and Bayards, who, despite your constant efforts, and your legitimate titles to the succession of those brave men, have not been able to hinder insolent plebeians from possessing the wisdom and courage of your fathers, of whom you have preserved only the name, weep for yourselves, nobles, gentlemen, weep!

“Louis Stanislaus Xavier, named of France, named of Provence, named Monsieur, named Louis XVIII., is no more! That is to say, dead, Chevaliers! Nevertheless, he has not ceased, and while a single breath remains in his body; never will cease to be king of the emigrants; but alas! he must say with the Christian legislator, ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’

“I must declare courageously that the most illustrious Louis XVIII. is dead—politically and civilly. His august brother is dead; his mild and virtuous niece, his most interesting nephews, his ministers, his pious ecclesiastics, who assisted him with their counsels, they are all dead too! In fine, you high and mighty lords to whom I have the honour of addressing these lines, you are all dead!

“Do I only then address myself to your ghosts? Yes, brave Paladins, after twenty-five years, when you were really deemed among the dead, if your short sojourn in France has enabled you to add something additional to your term, you are still only les ombres Chinoises.

“But we wander from our subject, for the impatient reader seems already to ask with no little anger for the funeral oration. We begin, therefore. Louis XVIII. is the son of Louis XV., the brother
Louis XVI., and the uncle of Louis XVII. He is commonly called, and calls himself, a son of Henry IV. We will not object to this, for he is of the family of that good king. It is a fine thing to have for an ancestor a prince who was the beloved idol of the French, whose renown and name reached the remotest extremities of the globe. Who is there feels not pride in descending from a hero who inspired Voltaire with such fine, and Lamotte with such wretched, verse. It is well known that the last wrote to describe the victor of the League:
“I sing of that fierce fellow,
Little in stature, great in name.”

“It is easy to turn these lines in favour of the hero whom we are celebrating, because if Louis Stanislaus is not of tall stature, he is, at least, of magnificent corpulence, and if the extraordinary events which passed during his reign of nineteen years, give his name some celebrity, it is well known, if he was one of the causes of those great events; he was an innocent one.

Louis Stanislaus, worthy the noble blood which ran in his veins, coveted the throne from his earliest infancy, and all who knew him then, assure us that he never thought without chagrin of its occupation by his elder brother before him, and in consequence, took every opportunity of twitting him. One day the dauphin said, in presence of a number of persons of his court il pleuva.

“’Ah, what barbarism!’ said the Count de Provence.

“’My brother, that is not correct, a prince should know his own tongue.’

“’And you, my brother,’ replied the dauphin, ‘would do well to restrain yours!’

Louis Stanislaus, constant in his desire to reign, in order to attain that object, obtained the fabrication of documents tending to prove that his brother’s children were illegitimate. That conduct, it is to be apprehended, not a little contributed to give to Marie Antoinette, the reputation for gallantry which was reported throughout Europe. These documents were laid before the parliament of Paris by the Duke de Fitzjames.

“Chevaliers who are not without fear or reproach, you know all the means employed by the agents of Louis Stanislaus, to get himself declared regent of the kingdom, in the lifetime of his brother. These means completely failed; but the sage so wise, the man without ambition, with such an object, is he less worthy on that account the admiration of his cotemporaries, and of posterity?


“Zealous defenders of the religion of your fathers, admire the decree of the eternal, and bless divine providence, that has not ceased to watch over the head of that noble race, which inspires such a great interest throughout Europe.

Louis Stanislaus ever faithful to the law of prudence, left his brother to combat the representatives of the rebellious people, whom he had himself advised to work out their own liberty. Soon afterwards, the prince thus forsaken, became the victim of the most painful popular prepossessions against him.

“The son of St. Louis having mounted to heaven, his spouse having followed him, their son, a feeble-minded valetudinarian, having also taken his rank among the angels, the sensitive and compassionate soul of Louis Stanislaus was affected at their fate, and he shed a tear or two to their memory. Fortunately, his wishes were accomplished. He got no kingdom, but he was a king.

“From that moment, Louis XVIII. manifested a desire to be the second father of his people, (Louis XII was the first) and to acquaint his future subjects with his beneficent intentions, he told the people that on his return to France, ‘all should be re-established upon its old footing: those who had acquired national property should restore it; those who held places should be turned out of them; the constitutionalists be hung; and the third estate be treated with cudgelling, and kicks in the belly,’ (Extract from the Moniteur of the 20 Germinal, year 6).

Louis XVIII., whom God proved by great vicissitudes, established his court at Coblentz, Mittau, and Hartwell. He was in that corner of England, when, to serve their objects, the kings of Europe, who, for a long time seemed to have forgotten him, cast their eyes upon him. Loyal and faithful subjects of Louis XVIII, you know how he returned; you gave him the name of the ‘Desired.’ He rules but for you; and it is to prevent the waste of your precious blood, that he was unwilling to dispute the throne of Henry IV. with the chief of eleven hundred warriors at the Isle of Elba. If this model of mercy is dead, let the Bourbonists console themselves; he will revive again when the Russian trumpets announce the judgment of an ungrateful nation, and the father of the French people, accompanied by two hundred thousand foreign soldiers, shall come to burn your houses, change the waters of your rivers into blood, and govern an empire of the dead!”