A Residence in France - With an Excursion Up the Rhine, and a Second Visit to Switzerland
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A Residence in France - With an Excursion Up the Rhine, and a Second Visit to Switzerland


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of A Residence in France, by J. Fenimore Cooper This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.net Title: A Residence in France With An Excursion Up The Rhine, And A Second Visit To Switzerland Author: J. Fenimore Cooper Release Date: July 22, 2004 [EBook #12990] Language: English Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1 *** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK A RESIDENCE IN FRANCE *** Produced by Robert Connal, and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team. This file was produced from images generously made available by the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica) at http://gallica.bnf.fr COLLECTION OF ANCIENT AND MODERN BRITISH AUTHORS VOL. CXLIV. A RESIDENCE IN FRANCE; WITH AN EXCURSION UP THE RHINE, AND A SECOND VISIT TO SWITZERLAND. BY J. FENIMORE COOPER ESQ. AUTHOR OF "THE PILOT," "THE SPY," &c. PARIS, BAUDRY'S EUROPEAN LIBRARY, RUE DU COQ. NEAR THE LOUVRE; SOLD ALSO BY AMYOT, RUE DE LA PAIX; TRUCHY, BOULEVARD DES ITALIENS; THEOPHILE BARROIS, JUN., RUE RICHELIEU; LIBRAIRIE DES ETRANGERS, RUE NEUVE-SAINT-AUGUSTIN; AND HEIDELOFF AND CAMPE, RUE VIVIENNE. 1836. PREFACE. The introduction to Part I. of the "Sketches of Switzerland," leaves very little for the author to say in addition. The reader will be prepared to meet with a long digression, that touches on the situation and interests of another country, and it is probable he will understand the author's motive for thus embracing matter that is not strictly connected with the principal subject of the work. The first visit of the writer to Switzerland was paid in 1828; that which is related in these two volumes, in 1832. While four years had made no changes in the sublime nature of the region, they had seriously affected the political condition of all Europe. They had also produced a variance of feeling and taste in the author, that is the unavoidable consequences of time and experience. Four years in Europe are an age to the American, as are four years in America to the European. Jefferson has somewhere said, that no American ought to be more than five years, at a time, out of his own country, lest he get behind it. This may be true, as to its facts; but the author is convinced that there is more danger of his getting before it, as to opinion. It is not improbable that this book may furnish evidence of both these truths. Some one, in criticising the First Part of Switzerland, has intimated that the writer has a purpose to serve with the "Trades' Unions," by the purport of some of his remarks. As this is a country in which the avowal of a tolerably sordid and base motive seems to be indispensable, even to safety, the writer desires to express his sense of the critic's liberality, as it may save him from a much graver imputation. There is really a painful humiliation in the reflection, that a citizen of mature years, with as good natural and accidental means for preferment as have fallen to the share of most others, may pass his life without a fact of any sort to impeach his disinterestedness, and yet not be able to express a generous or just sentiment in behalf of his fellow-creatures, without laying himself open to suspicions that are as degrading to those who entertain them, as they are injurious to all independence of thought, and manliness of character. CONTENTS. LETTER I. Influence of the late Revolution in France.—General Lafayette.—Sketch of his Private Life.—My visits to him.—His opinion of Louis XVI.—Mr. Morris and Mr. Crawford.—Duplicity of Louis XVIII.—Charles X.—Marie Antoinette. —Legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux.—Discovery of the Plot of 1822. —Lafayette's conduct on that occasion.—A negro Spy.—General Knyphausen. —Louis-Philippe and Lafayette.—My visit to Court.—The King, the Queen, Madame Adelaide, and the Princesses.—Marshal Jourdan.—The Duke of Orleans.—Interview with the King.—"Adieu l'Amérique!"—Conversation with Lafayette.—The Juste Milieu.—Monarchy not inconsistent with Republican Institutions.—Party in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux. LETTER II. The Cholera in Paris.—Its frightful ravages.—Desertion of the city—My determination to remain.—Deaths in the higher classes.—Unexpected arrival and retreat.—Praiseworthy conduct of the Authorities.—The Cholera caricatured!—Invitation from an English General.—Atmospherical appearance denoting the arrival of the Cholera.—Lord Robert Fitzgerald.—Dinner at the house of Madame de B—— LETTER III. Insecurity of the Government—Louis-Philippe and the Pear.—Caricatures. —Ugliness of the Public Men of France.—The Duke de Valmy.—Care-worn aspect of Society under the New Regime.—Controversy in France respecting the Cost of Government in America.—Conduct of American Agents in Europe LETTER IV. Gradual disappearance of the Cholera.—Death of M. Casimir Perier.—His Funeral.—Funeral of General Lamarque.—Magnificent Military Escort.—The Duc de Fitzjames.—An Alarm.—First symptoms of popular Revolt.—Scene on the Pont Royal.—Charge on the people by a body of cavalry.—The Sommations.—General Lafayette and the Bonnet Rouge .—Popular Prejudices in France, England, and America.—Contest in the Quartier Montmartre.—The Place Louis XVI.—A frightened Sentinel.—Picturesque Bivouac of troops in the Carrousel.—Critical situation.—Night-view from the Pont des Arts. —Appearance of the Streets on the following morning.—England an enemy to Liberty.—Affair at the Porte St. Denis.—Procession of Louis-Philippe through the streets.—Contest in the Rue St. Méry.—Sudden Panic.—Terror of a national Guard and a young Conscript.—Dinner with a Courtier.—Suppression of the Revolt LETTER V. National Guards in the Court of the Palace.—Unclaimed Dead in the Morgue. —View of the Scene of Action.—A blundering Artillerist.—Singular Spectacle. —The Machinations of the Government.—Martial Law.—Violations of the Charter.—Laughable Scene in the Carrousel.—A refractory Private of the National Guard. LETTER VI. Aspect of Paris.—Visit to Lafayette.—His demeanour.—His account of the commencement of the Revolt.—Machinations of the Police.—Character of Lafayette.—His remarkable expression to General ——.—Conversation on the Revolution of July.—The Doctrinaires.—Popular Sympathy in England and on the Rhine.—Lafayette's dismissal from the command of the National Guards. —The Duke of Orleans and his Friends.—Military Tribunals in Paris.—The Citizen King in the Streets.—Obliteration of the Fleur-de-lis.—The Royal Equipage.—The Duke of Brunswick in Paris.—His forcible Removal from France.—His Reception in Switzerland.—A ludicrous Mistake. LETTER VII. Public Dinner.—Inconsiderate Impulses of Americans.—Rambles in Paris. —The Churches of Paris.—View from the leads of Notre Dame.—The Place Royale.—The Bridges.—Progress of the Public Works.—The Palaces of the Louvre and the Tuileries.—Royal Enclosures in the Gardens of the Tuileries. —Public Edifices.—Private Hotels and Gardens.—My Apartments in the house of the Montmorencies.—Our other Residences.—Noble Abodes in Paris. —Comparative Expense of Living in Paris and New York.—American Shopkeepers, and those of Europe. LETTER VIII. Preparations for leaving Paris.—Travelling arrangements.—Our Route.—The Chateau of Ecouen.—The Croisée.—Senlis.—Peronne.—Cambray.—Arrival at the Frontier.—Change in the National Character.—Mons.—Brussels.—A Fête. —The Picture Gallery.—Probable Partition of Belgium. LETTER IX. Malines.—Its Collection of Pictures.—Antwerp.—The Cathedral.—A Flemish Quack.—Flemish Names.—The Picture Gallery at Antwerp.—Mr. Wapper's Carvings in Wood.—Mr. Van Lankeren's Pictures.—The Boulevards at Brussels.—Royal Abodes.—Palace of the Prince of Orange.—Prince Auguste d'Ahremberg's Gallery of Pictures.—English Ridicule of America. LETTER X. School System in America.—American Maps.—Leave Brussels.—Louvain. —Quarantine.—Liége.—The Soleil d'Or.—King Leopold and Brother.—Royal Intermarriages.—Environs of Liége.—The Cathedral and the Church of St. Jacques.—Ceremonies of Catholic Worship.—Churches of Europe.—Taverns of America.—Prayer in the Fields.—Scott's error as regards the Language spoken in Liége.—Women of Liége.—Illumination in honour of the King LETTER XI. Leave Liége.—Banks of the Meuse.—Spa.—Beautiful Promenades. —Robinson Crusoe.—The Duke of Saxe-Cobourg.—Former magnificence of Spa.—Excursions in the vicinity.—Departure from Spa.—Aix-la-Chapelle. —The Cathedral.—The Postmaster's Compliments.—Berghem.—German Enthusiasm.—Arrival at Cologne. LETTER XII. The Cathedral of Cologne.—The eleven thousand Virgins.—The Skulls of the Magi—House in which Rubens was born.—Want of Cleanliness in Cologne. —Journey resumed.—The Drachenfels.—Romantic Legend.—A Convent converted into an Inn.—Its Solitude.—A Night in it.—A Storm.—A Nocturnal Adventure.—Grim Figures.—An Apparition.—The Mystery dissolved.—Palace of the Kings of Austrasia.—Banks of the Rhine.—Coblentz.—Floating Bridges. —Departure from Coblentz.—Castle of the Ritterstein.—Visit to it.—Its Furniture.—The Ritter Saal.—Tower of the Castle.—Anachronisms. LETTER XIII. Ferry across the Rhine.—Village of Rudesheim.—The Hinter-hausen Wine. —Drunkenness.—Neapolitan curiosity respecting America.—The Rhenish Wines enumerated.—Ingelheim.—Johannisberg.—Conventual Wine. —Unseasonable praise.—House and Grounds of Johannisberg.—State of Nassau.—Palace at Biberich.—The Gardens.—Wiesbaden.—Its public Promenade.—Frankfort on the Maine. LETTER XIV. Boulevards of Frankfort.—Political Disturbances in the town.—Le petit Savoyard.—Distant glimpse of Homberg.—Darmstadt.—The Bergestrasse. —Heidelberg.—Noisy Market-place.—The Ruins and Gardens.—An old Campaigner.—Valley of the Neckar.—Heilbronn.—Ludwigsberg.—Its Palace. —The late Queen of Wurtemberg.—The Birthplace of Schiller.—Comparative claims of Schiller and Goethe.—Stuttgart.—Its Royal Residences.—The Princess of Hechingen.—German Kingdoms.—The King and Queen of Wurtemberg.—Sir Walter Scott.—Tubingen.—Ruin of a Castle of the middle ages.—Hechingen.—Village of Bahlingen.—The Danube.—The Black Forest. —View from a mountain on the frontier of Baden.—Enter Switzerland. LETTER XV. A Swiss Inn.—Cataract of the Rhine.—Canton of Zurich.—Town of Zurich. —Singular Concurrence.—Formidable Ascent.—Exquisite View.—Einsiedeln. —The Convent.—"Par exemple ."—Shores of the Lake of Zug.—The Chemin Creux .—Water Excursion to Alpnach.—Lake of Lungern.—Lovely Landscape. —Effects of Mists on the prospect.—Natural Barometer.—View from the Brunig. —Enter the great Canton of Berne.—An Englishman's Politics.—Our French Companion.—The Giesbach.—Mountain Music.—Lauterbrunnen. —Grindewald.—Rising of the Waters in 1830.—Anecdote.—Excursion on the Lake to Thoun. LETTER XVI. Conspiracy discovered.—The Austrian Government and the French Carlists. —Walk to La Lorraine.—Our old friend "Turc."—Conversation with M. W——. —View of the Upper Alps.—Jerome Bonaparte at La Lorraine.—The Bears of Berne.—Scene on the Plateforme. LETTER XVII. Our Voiturier and his Horses.—A Swiss Diligence.—Morat.—Inconstancy of feeling.—Our Route to Vévey.—Lake Leman.—Difficulty in hiring a House.—"Mon Repos" engaged for a month.—Vévey.—The great Square. —The Town-house.—Environs of Vévey.—Summer Church and Winter Church.—Clergy of the Canton.—Population of Vaud.—Elective qualifications of Vaud. LETTER XVIII. Neglect of the Vine in America.—Drunkenness in France.—Cholera especially fatal to Drunkards.—The Soldier's and the Sailor's Vice.—Sparkling Champagne and Still Champagne.—Excessive Price of these Wines in America.—Burgundy.—Proper soil for the Vine.—Anecdote.—Vines of Vévey. —The American Fox-grape. LETTER XIX. The Leman Lake.—Excursions on it.—The coast of Savoy.—Grandeur and beauty of the Rocks.—Sunset.—Evening Scene.—American Families residing on the banks of the Lake.—Conversation with a Vévaisan on the subject of America.—The Nullification Question.—America misrepresented in Europe —Rowland Stephenson in the United States.—Unworthy arts to bring America into disrepute.—Blunders of Europe in respect of America.—The Kentuckians. —Foreign Associations in the States.—Illiberal Opinions of many Americans. —Prejudices. LETTER XX. The Equinox.—Storm on the Lake.—Chase of a little Boat—Chateau of Blonay. —Drive to Lausanne.—Mont Benon.—Trip to Geneva in the Winkelried. —Improvements in Geneva.—Russian Travellers.—M. Pozzo di Borgo.—Table d'hôte.—Extravagant Affirmations of a Frenchman.—Conversation with a Scotchman.—American Duels.—Visit at a Swiss Country-house.—English Customs affected in America.—Social Intercourse in the United States. —Difference between a European and an American Foot and Hand.—Violent Gale.—Sheltered position of Vévey.—Promenade.—Picturesque View.—The great Square.—Invitation.—Mountain Excursion.—An American Lieutenant. —Anecdote.—Extensive Prospect.—Chateau of Glayrole. LETTER XXI. Embark in the Winkelried.—Discussion with an Englishman.—The Valais. —Free Trade.—The Drance.—Terrible Inundation.—Liddes.—Mountain Scenery.—A Mountain Basin.—Dead-houses.—Melancholy Spectacle. —Approach of Night.—Desolate Region.—Convent of the Great St. Bernard. —Our Reception there.—Unhealthiness of the Situation.—The Superior. —Conversation during Supper.—Coal-mine on the Mountain.—Night in the Convent. LETTER XXII. Sublime Desolation.—A Morning Walk.—The Col.—A Lake.—Site of a Roman Temple.—Enter Italy.—Dreary Monotony.—Return to the Convent.—Tasteless Character of the Building.—Its Origin and Purposes.—The Dead-house.—Dogs of St. Bernard.—The Chapel.—Desaix interred here.—Fare of St. Bernard, and Deportment of the Monks.—Leave the Convent.—Our Guide's Notion of the Americans.—Passage of Napoleon across the Great St. Bernard.—Similar Passages in former times.—Transport of Artillery up the Precipices. —Napoleon's perilous Accident.—Return to Vévey. LETTER XXIII. Democracy in America and in Switzerland.—European Prejudices.—Influence of Property.—Nationality of the Swiss.—Want of Local Attachments in Americans.—Swiss Republicanism.—Political Crusade against America. —Affinities between America and Russia.—Feeling of the European Powers towards Switzerland. LETTER XXIV. The Swiss Mountain Passes.—Excursion in the neighbourhood of Vévey. —Castle of Blonay.—View from the Terrace.—Memory and Hope.—Great Antiquity of Blonay.—The Knight's Hall.—Prospect from the Balcony. —Departure from Blonay.—A Modern Chateau.—Travelling on Horseback. —News from America.—Dissolution of the Union predicted.—The Prussian Polity.—Despotism in Prussia. LETTER XXV. Controversy respecting America.—Conduct of American Diplomatists. —Attachés to American Legations.—Unworthy State of Public Opinion in America. LETTER XXVI. Approach of Winter.—The Livret.—Regulations respecting Servants. —Servants in America.—Governments of the different Cantons of Switzerland. —Engagement of Mercenaries.—Population of Switzerland.—Physical Peculiarities of the Swiss.—Women of Switzerland.—Mrs. Trollope and the American Ladies.—Affected manner of speaking in American Women.—Patois in America.—Peculiar manner of Speaking at Vévey.—Swiss Cupidity. LETTER XXVII. Departure from Vévey.—Passage down the Lake.—Arrival at Geneva. —Purchase of Jewellery.—Leave Geneva.—Ascent of the Jura.—Alpine Views.—Rudeness at the Custom-house.—Smuggling.—A Smuggler detected. —The second Custom-house.—Final View of Mont Blanc.—Re-enter France. —Our luck at the Post-house in Dôle.—A Scotch Traveller.—Nationality of the Scotch.—Road towards Troyes.—Source of the Seine. LETTER XXVIII. Miserable Inn.—A French Bed.—Free Trade.—French Relics.—Cross Roads. —Arrival at Lagrange.—Reception by General Lafayette.—The Nullification Strife.—Conversation with Lafayette.—His Opinion as to a Separation of the Union in America.—The Slave Question.—Stability of the Union.—Style of living at La Grange.—Pap.—French Manners, and the French Cuisine. —Departure from La Grange.—Return to Paris. RESIDENCE IN FRANCE. LETTER I. Influence of the late Revolution in France.—General Lafayette—Sketch of his Private Life.—My visits to him.—His opinion of Louis XVI.—Mr. Morris and Mr. Crawford.—Duplicity of Louis XVIII.—Charles X.—Marie Antoinette.—Legitimacy of the Duc de Bordeaux.—Discovery of the Plot of 1822.—Lafayette's conduct on that occasion.—A negro Spy.—General Knyphausen.—Louis-Philippe and Lafayette.—My visit to Court.—The King, the Queen, Madame Adelaide, and the Princesses.—Marshal Jourdan.—The Duke of Orleans.—Interview with the King.—"Adieu l'Amérique! "—Conversation with Lafayette.—The Juste Milieu. —Monarchy not inconsistent with Republican Institutions.—Party in favour of the Duc de Bordeaux. Paris, February, 1832. Dear ——, Your speculations concerning the influence of the late revolution, on the social habits of the French, are more ingenious than true. While the mass of this nation has obtained less than they had a right to expect by the severe political convulsions they have endured, during the last forty years, they have, notwithstanding, gained something in their rights; and, what is of far more importance, they have gained in a better appreciation of those rights, as well as in the knowledge of the means to turn them to a profitable and practical account. The end will show essential improvements in their condition, or rather the present time shows it already. The change in polite society has been less favourable, although even this is slowly gaining in morals, and in a healthier tone of thought. No error can be greater, than that of believing France has endured so much, without a beneficial return. In making up my opinions of the old regime, I have had constant recourse to General Lafayette for information. The conversations and anecdotes already sent you, will have prepared you for the fine tone, and perfect candour, with which he speaks even of his bitterest enemies; nor can I remember, in the many confidential and frank communications with which I have been favoured, a single instance where, there has been the smallest reason to suspect he has viewed men through the medium of personal antipathies and prejudices. The candour and simplicity of his opinions form beautiful features in his character; and the bienséance of his mind (if one may use such an expression) throws a polish over his harshest strictures, that is singularly adapted to obtain credit for his judgment. Your desire to know more of the private life of this extraordinary man, is quite natural; but he has been so long before the public, that it is not easy to say anything new. I may, however, give you a trait or two, to amuse you. I have seen more of him this winter than the last, owing to the circumstance of a committee of Americans, that have been appointed to administer succour to the exiled Poles, meeting weekly at my house, and it is rare indeed that he is not present on these benevolent occasions. He has discontinued his own soirées, too; and, having fewer demands on his time, through official avocations, I gain admittance to him during his simple and quiet dinners, whenever it is asked. These dinners, indeed, are our usual hours of meeting, for the occupations of the General, in the Chamber, usually keep him engaged in the morning; nor am I commonly at leisure, myself, until about this hour of the day. In Paris, every one dines, nominally, at six; but the deputies being often detained a little later, whenever I wish to see him, I hurry from my own table, and generally reach the Rue d'Anjou in sufficient season to find him still at his. On quitting the Hôtel de l'Etat Major, after being dismissed so unceremoniously from the command of the National Guard, Lafayette returned to his own neat but simple lodgings in the Rue d'Anjou. The hotel, itself, is one of some pretensions, but his apartments, though quite sufficient for a single person, are not among the best it contains, lying on the street, which is rarely or never the case with the principal rooms. The passage to them communicates with the great staircase, and the door is one of those simple, retired entrances that, in Paris, so frequently open on the abodes of some of the most illustrious men of the age. Here have I seen princes, marshals, and dignitaries of all degrees, ringing for admission, no one appearing to think of aught but the great man within. These things are permitted here, where the mind gets accustomed to weigh in the balance all the different claims to distinction; but it would scarcely do in a country, in which the pursuit of money is the sole and engrossing concern of life; a show of expenditure becoming necessary to maintain it. The apartments of Lafayette consist of a large ante-chamber, two salons, and an inner room, where he usually sits and writes, and in which, of late, he has had his bed. These rooms are en suite, and communicate, laterally, with one or two more, and the offices. His sole attendants in town, are the German valet, named Bastien, who accompanied him in his last visit to America, the footman who attends him with the carriage, and the coachman (there may be a cook, but I never saw a female in the apartments). Neither wears a livery, although all his appointments, carriages, horses, and furniture, are those of a gentleman. One thing has struck me as a little singular. Notwithstanding his strong attachment to America and to her usages, Lafayette, while the practice is getting to be common in Paris, has not adopted the use of carpets. I do not remember to have seen one, at La Grange, or in town. When I show myself at the door, Bastien, who usually acts as porter, and who has become quite a diplomatist in these matters, makes a sign of assent, and intimates that the General is at dinner. Of late, he commonly dispenses with the ceremony of letting it be known who has come, but I am at once ushered into the bed-room. Here I find Lafayette seated at a table, just large enough to contain one cover and a single dish; or a table, in other words, so small as to be covered with a napkin. His little white lap-dog is his only companion. As it is always understood that I have dined, no ceremony is used, but I take a seat at the chimney corner, while he goes on with his dinner. His meals are quite frugal, though good; a poulet rôti invariably making one dish. There are two or three removes, a dish at a time, and the dinner usually concludes with some preserves or dried fruits, especially dates, of which he is extremely fond. I generally come in for one or two of the latter. All this time, the conversation is on what has transpired in the Chambers during the day, the politics of Europe, nullification in America, or the gossip of the chateau, of which he is singularly well informed, though he has ceased to go there. The last of these informal interviews with General Lafayette, was one of peculiar interest. I generally sit but half an hour, leaving him to go to his evening engagements, which, by the way, are not frequent; but, on this occasion, he told me to remain, and I passed nearly two hours with him. We chatted a good deal of the state of society under the old regime. Curious to know his opinions of their private characters, I asked a good many questions concerning the royal family. Louis XVI. he described as a-well-meaning man, addicted a little too much to the pleasures of the table, but who would have done well enough had he not been surrounded by bad advisers. I was greatly surprised by one of his remarks. "Louis XVI," observed Lafayette, "owed his death as much to the bad advice of Gouverneur Morris, as to any one other thing." You may be certain I did not let this opinion go unquestioned; for, on all other occasions, in speaking of Mr. Morris, his language had been kind and even grateful. He explained himself, by adding, that Mr. Morris, coming from a country like America, was listened to with great respect, and that on all occasions he gave his opinions against democracy, advising resistance, when resistance was not only too late but dangerous. He did not call in question the motives of Mr. Morris, to which he did full justice, but merely affirmed that he was a bad adviser. He gave me to understand that the representatives of America had not always been faithful to the popular principle, and even went into details that it would be improper for me to repeat. I have mentioned this