Abbildungen der Seite

woman, entered into conversation with us, at the table, till we conducted them to their habitation.

“ Sept. 30. Set out for Rouen, the capital of Normandy, and birth-place of William the Conqueror. The cabriolets, or single-horse chaises, have large shafts, high wheels, and, in lieu of leathern traces, are drawn by ropes. The postilion, a spruce, lively little fellow, mounts a spare horse which also assists in drawing, having first entered into his jack-boots, which are like large water-stoups, having four iron girths, and weighing, in the whole, between thirty and forty pounds: he goes into them shoes and all. He uses his whip in such manner over his head (for he seldom touches his horses), that, among their narrow streets and high houses, it creates a noise approaching to the sound of bush-fighting. His lively manner, unclouded cheerfulness of temper, and readiness to communicate all he knew, together with his obliging disposition and care of our baggage, render the postilion no inconsiderable figure in the picture.

“ The road from Dieppe to Rouen, about forty miles, is planted on each side with apple-trees, which were loaded with fruit. They make large quantities of cider in this province, and also eau de vie from the cider, which is by no means equal to the eau de vie of Cognac, which is all from the grape. No hedges all the way: every spot cultivated. We did not see, in all our journey, ten acres of land which could be ploughed that was not ploughed. Picardy, for a hundred miles, is

one continued corn-field, without hedge, ditch, or dyke. . “ The châteaux, or gentlemen's seats, all the way to Rouen, are completely devastated; the windows broken or boarded up, the green grass growing on the gravel walks, the statues prostrate, the iron palings wrenched from their sockets, &c. &c. &c. This observation applies in a general sense to all that we saw. The superb palace of the Prince de Condé, at Chantilly, on our way home, is rased to the foundation. The stables, in which he gave a dinner to several German princes, are spared; they hold three hundred horses. On our way to Rouen, I entered into several parish churchyards, but found no head-stones, no flat stones, no monumental inscriptions on the walls, - the broad hand of Equality has swept all away; so that above ground, as below, there is no distinctive vestige of proud pre-eminence.

“ Entered Rouen at dusk. The entrance, between two majestic rows of trees for more than a mile (the large lamps, with reflectors, suspended between the two rows), is very noble. Rouen, containing one hundred thousand inhabitants, is situated on the north side of the Seine, on a gentle acclivity, surrounded, like an amphitheatre, on the east, north, and west, by hills. From a mountain, called St. Catherine, on the east, you see the whole city, and a lovely extent of rich country to the south and west, through which the river winds her course far, far down, till she



reaches Havre de Grace, where she falls into the Atlantic.

Visited Mons. Mordant, Protestant minister. He preaches to about three thousand people. Is not so lively a Christian as Monsieur d'Armand. Hopes of revival of religion in France more from the government than the exertions of her pastors. He preaches in a parish church, but expects, on the arrival of the archbishop, to be turned out. The magistrates, however, have promised him a house. He catechises the youth by means of Osterwald's small Catechism, of which he gave me a copy, He says his church is composed of people who are moderate Calvinists.

“ Was conducted through the city by Mons. Dupont, whom I had known for many years in London, and who is now retired to his vicarage. In the great church of Notre Dame saw many masses; few people attending, and they generally poor old women. Among all the hundreds we saw at confession while we were in the country, and often two at each box, I do not recollect seeing one man. How much more freely the tear of penitence flows from a female eye than from ours! One splendid church was full of wheat: Monsieur Dupont, however, told me he expected the nuisance would be removed on the archbishop's arrival. Buonaparte has as yet paid the established clergy no salary; and as very few of the people give any thing for mass, baptisms, burials, or visitations of the sick, the ministers would starve, but for some little patrimonial property they have, and their brotherly

kindness to each other. The sight of the university, with the grass waving above the pavement, and the doors nailed up, deeply impressed on our minds the barbarous policy of that vile Goth, Robespierre. .

“ Oct. 1. Left Rouen : took the route by Ecouis, Mont Fleuri, Pontoise, and St. Denis. The same rich country; bread excellent; roads bordered with fruit-trees, in the same manner as from Dieppe. At Pontoise the vineyards begin: the vines are not allowed to rise higher than three or four feet; they are supported, like hops, by poles, and extend from the valley to the summit of the heights. The whole country from Pontoise to Paris is covered with orchards and vineyards intermingled. Saw, at last, about noon of Saturday, October 2, the cathedral church of St. Denis, the tutelar saint of France; the slates torn from the roof; the jack-daws flying through and through; the ancient cemeteries of the kings of France violated, the lead coffins having been converted into musket bullets, the bones hurled into a common hole dug in the vicinity ; the beard of Henri Quatre, their Robert Bruce, torn from his face, and worn as moustaches by a rude soldier; not a wreck left behind in all the vaults, which we minutely examined ; the place converted into a store-house for flour, of which it is now almost full...

“Had a full view of Paris, which lies scattered on both sides of the Seine,-a river about the size of the Tweed at Kelso, but not so rapid. The houses are all of stone, with balconies, and

consist of four, five, or six stories. The buildings, especially at the north-east end, where the court is, are very noble. The Louvre, the Tuileries or Consular Palace, l'Hôpital des Invalides, and many others, are magnificent piles of building. Far to the south-west is St. Cloud, the Windsor or summer residence of Buonaparte. On the north-west is St. Germains, the habitation of our James VII. We lodged on the south side of the Seine, in the Fauxbourg St. Germain, in the Hôtel de Rochefoucauld. It deeply affected me the first night, as I went to bed, that a poor seceding minister was sleeping in one of the princely apartments and state beds of the palace of that great and good man (guillotined solely because a nobleman), now become a common hotel. Our accommodations were excellent, and charges very reasonable. .

“ Sabbath, October 3. As there were ten English people in the hotel, we had public worship twice each Sabbath, but early, that we might attend Monsieur Marron at noon in the Protestant chapel of St. Thomas de Louvre. Thither we were accompanied by our Parisian friends, among others, by a guid auld-fashioned Scots wife from the kingdom of Fife, a Mrs. Williams, with whom I went arm-in-arm, speaking of the Erskines and honest Mr. Shirra of Kirkaldy, - to the church in which Louis XIV, with his superb court was wont to worship. The congregation consisted of about four hundred hearers. One of the elders in the reader's desk began by reading a chapter in the Bible; then they sang a few verses

« ZurückWeiter »