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Title: The Diary of a Girl in France in 1821

Author: Mary Browne

Author of introduction, etc.: Euphemia Stewart Browne

Editor: Henry N. Shore

Release date: January 6, 2017 [eBook #53908]

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Madeleine Fournier. Images provided by The Internet Archive.










The child who wrote this quaintly-illustrated diary, eighty-three years ago, was the second daughter of William Browne, Esq., of Tallentire Hall, in the County of Cumberland. She was born there, February 15, 1807.

Descended, on her father's side, from a race of sturdy Cumberland yeomen, and on her mother's from the Royal Stuarts and Plantagenets, she grew up, as might be expected from this childish production, an original and uncommon woman.

A keen naturalist and observer of nature, at a time when such pursuits were unusual, she delighted in long solitary country rambles round her beautiful home: an old border watch-tower, dating from 1280 a. d., in full view of the Solway to the north, and of [Pg vi]Skiddaw and the Cumbrian mountains to the south.

An exquisite collection of butterflies and moths is still in existence, painted by her clever fingers from specimens reared by herself. Each one is depicted upon its favourite flower, and accompanied by its caterpillar and chrysalis on the food plant. This was, alas! left unfinished at her death, on May 30, 1833, at the early age of twenty-six.

A picture poem, painted on the page of one of the albums of the period, in drawings so minute and so finely finished that, like the butterflies, they can only be adequately seen through a magnifying-glass, still shows her accuracy of observation, and the dainty and patient care of her work.

She loved flowers, and the garden may still be seen where, in the very early mornings, she planted and tended with her own loving care such fragrant, and old-world [Pg vii]flowers as rose de meaux, clove pinks, and gillyflowers.

But these were only the pastimes of a busy life of unselfish devotion to others. Shy, retiring, and strangely indifferent to appearance and to worldly advantages, she was little understood by the merry young circle around her. She was, as a child, even considered stupid and slow, her governess declaring that 'friend Mary does as well as she can.' But children loved her, and if there was sickness or sorrow in the village it was always 'Miss Mary' who was wanted, and who was never appealed to in vain.

At a time when rural education was viewed with suspicion, and Mrs. Hannah More was contending for the right of the poor to win knowledge, she and her clever elder sister opened the first Sunday-school in the neighbourhood. They also devoted several hours of every morning to teaching in the village dame school.

[Pg viii]The visit to France recorded in this diary extended from April 25th to August 12th, 1821. Mary Browne went abroad when she was fourteen, with her father and mother and five brothers and sisters, all but one being younger than herself, and all being alike in their childish loyalty to their own country, and their whole-hearted conviction that everything un-English must be bad; and that even to admire anything foreign was the blackest treason. Starting in this firm belief, they treasured up everything ugly, eccentric, or uncouth that they came across in their travels, as may be seen in the primitive but forcible illustrations of her diary, with no dawning suspicion that, though different, foreign customs might nevertheless be better than the familiar ways.

They travelled slowly, in two of their own carriages, being a party of thirteen, including the six children, a governess, nurse, cook, manservant, and courier.

[Pg ix]The long journey; the brief sojourn at school; Madame Vernier, their cross landlady; and, above all, the children's delight at finding themselves again in their beloved England—these are all recorded with a vivid and naive wealth of detail, which makes the child life of the early days of the nineteenth century live again as we read of it.

The eldest daughter, Catherine, had been in France before with her parents, in the spring of 1815, when Napoleon Buonaparte escaped from Elba. They were then obliged to leave Paris hurriedly, travelling night and day for fear of detention.

To all the other children everything was new and marvellous, and their keen, though unconscious, delight in all that they saw is evident throughout these pages.

E. S. Browne.

[Pg x] 

[Pg xi]


1.Dieppe Fishwoman
2.The Home of Mary Browne, with Distant View of Solway Firth and Criffell
3.Trees with Coverings like Tombstones.—The most amusing Thing in Miss Linwood's Exhibition.—A 'Pioneer' with Long Beard and Leather Apron.—Miss Wragge being sprinkled with Holy Water6
4.A French Woman and Child
5.A French Boy and Girl, eating, at the Door
6.Sœur de la Charité
7.A French Postillion
11.Part of the Funeral Procession
12.Old Woman of Versailles
13.A Priest in his Common Dress and a Boy
14.Woman with the Curious Cap
15.A Bonne and Children
16.French Miller
17.The Fountain with the Animals.—Latona's Basin.—The Cupid at Tivoli
18.[Pg xii]French Puppet Show
21.Madame Vernier
22.Village Fête
23.Procession at the Première Communion.—Processions at the Fête Dieu.-Reposoir in the Avenue Sceaux.—One of the Children's little 'Petites Chapelles.'—A Passing Soldier in the Street.—The Troublesome Boy in the King's Garden
24.Garde Royale. Infanterie Chasseur, 1er Régiment
25.The Shepherd of the Andalusian Sheep.—Priests carrying the Host to Sick People.—Dancing upon Stilts.—Beggar Woman in a Bower of Dead Leaves.—The Virgin in the Church of St. Remis
26.Louviers Woman
27.Old Woman with a Cotton Cap
28.Fruit-woman with Gilt Cap
29.Dieppe Woman and Children
30.Dieppe Market-woman

From a drawing by Lady Alton in 1842

[Pg 1]


April 1821

April 25th, 1821.—We arrived at London about eleven o'clock: all the hotels we enquired at being full, we drove to the British Hotel, Jermyn Street. We passed through Cavendish Square, which was very pretty, but I was rather disappointed at not seeing London till I was in it. After we had rested, we walked through Burlington Arcade: it was quite cool and pleasant, although the weather was as hot as the middle of summer. There were rows of shops along each side, which had many pretty things in them, particularly artificial flowers; not far from this is the Egyptian Temple, which has sphinxes, etc., carved on it: we saw the Opera House, which is a very fine building. Regent's Street and Waterloo Place are built of white stone. Regent's Street (when finished) is to extend a long way; at the bottom of it is Carlton [Pg 2]House, which is very much blackened by the smoke: there is a great contrast between it and St. James's Palace, the latter being built of red brick, and looks like a prison. In the evening we saw the lamps in Regent's Street, which was lighter than any other street I saw; one house was illuminated. We saw Waterloo Bridge.

April 26th.—We went to see the panorama of Naples: it was a beautiful view, there were a number of vessels in the bay; after one had looked long at them, one could fancy they were moving: in one of the boats there were some ladies sitting under a crimson canopy; in another some fruit; in one place there were some men fishing for mullet in a kind of round net, with fishes jumping through it; there was a man swimming with a basket in one hand, and several other figures; the ships were painted very gay colours, the water and the sky were as clear as crystal, and the whole so natural that one could hardly persuade oneself that it was [Pg 3]not reality. The next panorama we saw was the battle of Waterloo: it was not near so pretty as Naples, it seemed all confusion; the farmhouse, however, was very natural, also some of the black horses. We next went to the panorama of Lausanne: the Lake of Geneva was very like Keswick Lake, but the lower end not so pretty; the mountains did not look very high. There were a great number of trees; some of them had on kind of covers, which looked like tombstones; the white railings and the shadows of the trees were remarkably natural; there were several figures, the prettiest was a little child learning to walk. We went to St. Paul's, and just walked through it. I thought it very fine, but spoiled by the blackness. I had no idea of the height till I observed some people in the gallery, who looked no bigger than flies; the pillars were very thick. In our way to St. Paul's we passed by Perry's glass-shop; in the window there was a curtain of glass drops, with two tassels; it had a very pretty effect, and when the sun shone it appeared all [Pg 4]colours, but when we entered the shop it was quite beautiful, there were such numbers of large glass lamps hanging from the ceiling, and chandeliers, etc., in all parts. We saw the jugs belonging to a dessert-set for a Spanish nobleman, which was to cost twelve hundred pounds. Also a picture of a lamp which the King had had made there: it was gilt dragons with lotuses in their mouths; in these the lamps were placed so as to be quite hid. I should think it would be more curious than pretty. We passed by Green Park, and saw Lord William Gordon's house, which has a very nice garden. We drove through Hyde Park; the trees were very pretty, and the leaves far out; we passed very near the Serpentine. It was excessively hot weather.

April 27th.—We saw the Western Exchange, which is something like a large room full of shops; from that we went to Miss Linwood's Exhibition. The pictures were exactly like paintings; there was a railing [Pg 5]before them, so that one could not see very near them; some of the prettiest were Jephtha's Daughter, a nymph turning into a fountain, a little girl and a kitten, some children on an ass, a girl and a bird, a woodman and a lobster; in a smaller room were several pictures of our Saviour, the finest was a head; there was no railing before them, and when one looked near and could see the stitches, they looked quite rough; we went along a passage and looked through a kind of grating in which there was a head of Buonaparte, in another a lion's den; but the most amusing thing was some children in a cottage; underneath a shelf lay a little black-and-white dog, which we were afraid to go near thinking it was alive; Catherine said she saw its eyes moving. The streets in London were a great deal prettier than I imagined, such numbers of shops, carriages, etc.—indeed the whole far exceeded my expectation. There were a great many carriages in Bond Street driving backwards and forwards.

[Pg 6]April 28th.—We left London about half-past nine o'clock; we passed close by Westminster Abbey, which is prettier than St. Paul's; we had a beautiful view of London from Westminster Bridge, where I think it looks best, all the ships look so lively on the river, and London appears so large. Somerset House is one side of the Thames; we had another view after we were out of the city, where we saw London much better than when we were coming in; we saw the Monument and the Tower at a distance: it was delightful weather, the leaves were quite out; we saw a great number of butterflies, one kind of a bright yellow (that I had never seen before). The country looked very pretty, but the cottages were not so nice as those in Hertfordshire; we had several views of the Thames; we slept at Canterbury.

April 29th.—We breakfasted at Dover.

April 29th.—We embarked at half-past nine on board the Trafalgar, Captain Melle; we waited for passengers for above half [Pg 7]an hour; the ship was very full—there were twelve of ourselves, a foreigner, Mr. and Mrs. Wilkinson, six children, their uncle William, Miss Ash, a manservant and a maid, who were going to Smyrna; the next people I observed were three tall young women with hats and feathers; they had a mattrass put in a boat, which they lay on, there was an old woman with them; next came Mr. Johnson, his sister and daughter; an affected lady; Mrs. Moses and a little girl; a French lady and her daughter; two gentlemen with plaids; a curious old man and an old lady; besides servants and many other people whose names I do not know. There were fifty passengers. It was so foggy that we could hardly see Dover Cliffs. Before we sailed the old man came and sat down not far from us. He was very shabbily dressed, and looked a curious figure. A man came and asked him for some money for carrying down his luggage to the ship. 'Nononono, no no,' said the old man; 'I paid you for my breakfast.' 'But my master, and not I, [Pg 8]got that money,' said the man. 'No no no no, 'said the old gentleman, tapping the deck with his cane, and his stomach with his hand. The man continued to remonstrate, saying that he paid those who did nothing, and did not give anything to those who were really useful; but it was all in vain. So he went away, and presently returned with another man, and they both tried to persuade the old man to give them something. 'Nono-nono-nono,'said he. 'I gave you so much' (mentioning what it was); 'nono-no.' 'But that was for your breakfast, sir, and not for carrying your trunks.' 'Nono-no no; keep it to yourself, keep it to yourself,' said he, nodding, and at last the two men were obliged to leave the ship without having accomplished their purpose. One of them muttered as he went along, 'I'm sure if I'd known this I would not have taken all this trouble; such work as I've had, hunting after that old man's gloves for this half-hour.' We could not tell who he was, nor did any person appear to know him, as they [Pg 9]sometimes spoke English to him and sometimes French, he always returning the answer, 'No-no.' He continued to nod and talk to himself long after the men were gone, to our great amusement. I was very sorry to leave England, but I had not much time to think about it, as the ship began to move. As I had not been in a ship before, I was very much frightened, and when the ship leant to one side I felt as if we were all falling into the sea together. A great wave came over the ship, and wetted all the people at that side, who were obliged to run up higher. Mamma was so ill, she looked like death. She said you might have thrown her into the sea, or done anything with her. After a short time I was sick also; indeed there were hardly any of the passengers that were not, except Euphemia, William, and Caroline[1]. One of the plaid gentlemen was very civil, and took Caroline on his knee. When she was tired she crept by mamma, [Pg 10]and fell asleep. She scarcely spoke a word, except once: when I asked her how she liked being in the ship, she lifted up her head, and said, 'Not at all.' The gentleman said he had come over for pleasure, and was going back again the next day. Oh (thought I), who can come for pleasure?—to be sick oneself, and see every person sick around one, to be surrounded by people who look dead or dying, to hear women groaning, and children crying, and to add to all, to be shivering with cold—who can come for pleasure! Mr. Wilkinson's two little boys cried, and were rather troublesome; the youngest had an immense long whip. His little baby had just recovered from the measles; he nursed it almost the whole time. The little girl with Mrs. Moses had, in addition to being sick, the cramp in her legs. The lady that was with her did not take any charge of her except calling out when the ship tacked, 'O child! come to this side, or else you will be drowned.' The first time somebody was sick, and called 'Steward,' our little Stewart [Pg 11]started up and said, 'What, papa?'[2] William told us that he looked on one side; he saw a spout: he looked on the other side; he saw another spout: so there was nothing for him to look at but the sea. There were a number of seabirds and fishes. We got within sight of Calais in three hours. No boats came out for a long while, and it was generally agreed that the men had gone to the play; but the reason ...

(two pages missing here)

... to their mouths to make him understand, but he always returned the same answer, 'O nonononono, nononono,' so they were obliged to leave him. Only a few people went in the boats. We laid down on the deck, with our head on a basket and a coat over us. The deck was covered with people lying in a heap like pigs. It was so disagreeable, that when I heard that we could not get in till six or seven o'clock, I thought that I would almost sooner go in the next boat than stay where I was. Soon [Pg 12]after, Euphemia told me that the next boat was come, but we did not go in that either. Soon after, almost everybody went down to the cabin, except Carruthers, the affected lady, and me. The old man again began to be troublesome: he wanted to get to a chair at the opposite side of the cabin, and all at once down he got on his hands and knees, and began to crawl over the ladies, who called out, 'O! O dear! he will crush us.' He then wanted to go to bed, and kept poking about: he came to Euphemia's bed, and said, 'I'll get in here. Why mayn't I get in here?' and he stood upon a chair, and peeped into the bed. One of the ladies called out, 'There's a child in that bed.' 'Nononono-no,' said he, and there he stood. Euphemia prepared herself to jump out of bed if he got in, but after looking a little while he went away. Every time she spoke to Catherine he held up two of his fingers, and said, 'That won't do, that won't do.' The affected lady had laid her head on our knees, and she was never still for a moment. [Pg 13]She kept continually asking how long it would be before we got in; it was very foggy, and the sailors had lost sight of the fort, so this lady thought she would direct them. 'Oh!'said she, 'I wish I could look up; I've got such famous eyes,' and then she sat up. 'Oh yes, I can see it.' One of the sailors tried to persuade her that one might fancy anything in a fog, but she still wanted to direct them. 'I'm sure,' said she, 'I see the fort. It would be much better if you were to go into the harbour.' They at last said they thought we should not get in all night.[3] Whenever they moved the helm, the lady screamed out that it would crush her. I felt very stupid and sleepy, and in a short time I fell asleep. When they were going in to Calais we went into the cabin; they took me down half asleep, and when I [Pg 14]awoke I could hardly tell where I was; it looked like a burial-ground; the floor was covered with people and basons, and it was almost dark; in a little while we heard that we were going into the harbour, to our great joy; I thought I would sooner stay all my life in France than cross the sea again. We reached Calais a little after eight; every person got up and groped about: a gentleman said it was like a resurrection. One of Mr. Wilkinson's little girls, about three or four years old, said, 'Papa, must my kisses and cakes go to the custom-house?' When Euphemia[4] was getting up she said, 'I think we all look like wild beasts in our dens'; one of the plaid gentlemen said, 'And you look like a laughing hyena!' Our brothers had been all the time in the hold with the luggage. One of the ladies said she would never cross the sea again, except to go home. I was rejoiced to leave the ship, having spent [Pg 15]one of the longest and most disagreeable days I had ever felt. When we landed it was quite dark.

After we had landed we went to the custom-house. It looked like a public-house, there were some queer-looking men and women with long earrings;[5] here we saw the affected lady—she pulled about her petticoats and said they should feel that she had got nothing about her. From this we went to Rignolle's Hotel; it was very nicely furnished: there were very pretty clocks on the chimney-piece. We went to bed directly after tea; the rooms had a very particular, disagreeable smell.

April 30th.[6]—We took a walk on the pier: it was excessively cold and windy; we saw [Pg 16]the place where Louis the Eighteenth first put his foot on his return from England—there is a little piece of brass, of the shape of a foot, put into the stone: there is also a pillar on which is marked the time that this event took place. There was not much difference between the dress of the people at Calais and that of the English. The custom-house officers had examined our things; they took away nine cambric muslin petticoats, which were slightly run up, and a worked gown of mamma's, which they afterwards gave her back, thinking that she might have worked it. They took away two yards of cambric muslin from Miss Wragge;[7] they likewise examined a shawl and a cotton gown of the servant's many times over: the gown had been washed several times. The servants dined at a table d'hôte; there was a dinner which they [Pg 17]thought very fine, a dessert, wines, brandy and coffee. Rignolle's is a very good hotel; most of the servants speak English; it is in the Rue Eustâche de St. Pierre.




May 1821

May 1st.—Being sufficiently recruited we recommenced our journey; our horses were tied with ropes, they looked quite wild; there were three in each carriage. Calais is surrounded with fortifications. It was very cold, disagreeable weather. Papa has a great aversion to east winds, and dislikes Tallantire on that account, so we expected that in France we should find a delightful climate; but alas! no sooner had we arrived there, than we found both east and north winds. About Calais was the ugliest country without exception I ever beheld; there was scarcely a tree to be seen, no hedgerows, no pretty cottages, everything looked dirty and miserable; there was a great deal of sand, and the country looked exactly like a desert: I thought that if this was a specimen of France, it was certainly a most charming place! We passed [Pg 18]through La Chaussée, a scattered village which skirts the road for more than a mile; after ascending a hill we had a view of the sea, but the weather was so thick that we could not see Dover Cliffs. Our horses began to kick and seemed very restive, but on the driver's dismounting and calling to them in a curious voice they were soon quiet; after we had passed Wimille about a mile there was a succession of hills as far as Boulogne: on one of them we had a view of the town and the tower, which was commenced by Buonaparte to commemorate his intended victories over England. We entered the town by an avenue of trees; we met a procession in the Rue Grande in honour of the Duke of Bordeaux's baptism, which was that day to take place; it was a general fête throughout France. We stopt till the procession had passed. The principal things I remarked were the pioneers with their long beards and leather aprons, with hatchets over their shoulders. We went to the Hôtel Angleterre, Rue de l'Eau; it is kept by an [Pg 19]Englishman of the name of Parker. We breakfasted on bouillon. Euphemia had been very unwell all day: she had no appetite; so we and Miss Wragge went out to buy some oranges for her; we asked several people, and enquired at a number of shops, but all in vain, and we began to despair: we, however, succeeded in getting some of an Englishman—he was the only person in the town who sold them; he told us that he got them from England and was obliged to pay a high duty; we only took four, as the smallest were four sous apiece. After leaving Boulogne the country was a little prettier; it had not that desert appearance that there was at the sea-coast. Before we reached Saumur we saw a woman riding like a man, wrong side before, on a horse, and a cow tied to the horse's tail; in some places we saw women ploughing. About Saumur it was rather pretty; there were rows of apple-trees on each side of the road, but on many of them there was scarcely a leaf; not any of the trees were so far out as they were in [Pg 20]England. The country looks barren, as there are no hedges. The villages in France are also very ugly—there are no gardens before the houses, and instead of the lovely cottages we saw in Hertfordshire we here saw only dirty, untidy-looking houses; it was curious to see the astonishment of the servants, who imagined that they were to travel through bowers of grapes and groves of oranges. I was most disappointed at the weather, as I expected a delightful climate in France. After we had passed Saumur we entered the forest of Longvilliers; we saw some large lilac periwinkles in the hedge.[8] We reached Montreuil in the evening; there is a very steep ascent to the town; it is supposed to be nearly impregnable. We went to Varennes, Hotel de la Cour de France; it was a tolerably clean and civil inn. They told us there was to be a grand illumination on account of the fête; they begged to put some lights in our windows, and stuck two or three candles in. The servants went out [Pg 21]to see the balls and illuminations: they said that there were very few lights, and that they saw some ladies going to the ball, but that, as for the dance on the green, it was so dark they could hardly see, but the people appeared to be in their working dresses; that there was one fiddler; that first one person got up and ran across the green, and then another; but it was nothing like dancing. At this hotel we first saw the curious French beds; they consist of a pole in the wall with the end gilt, over this is thrown a curtain; sometimes instead of the pole there is an octagon; the beds are very uncomfortable, and the curtains slip over one's face. The basons are like pie-dishes.



May 2nd.—It was a cold, disagreeable, rainy morning when we left Montreuil; the country was not pretty; we went for a long way between rows of trees, of which there was nothing left but the stumps; the branches are cut off nearly all the trees, which makes them look like broom-sticks. There were [Pg 22]great numbers of beggars. At every village we passed we were followed by men, women and children; if we gave to a few they came in a double quantity up to the carriage-window; in one village we counted about twenty. Begging seemed to be quite a trade: in some places they brought baskets with cakes and flowers in them; if we would not buy the flowers they threw them into the carriage. In one place a little girl ran by the side of the carriage and said in English 'How do you do? Very well thank you. Give me a penny, papa. How do you do, my dear? I hope you're very well.' Papa asked them where they had learned to speak English; they answered that the English had lived there three years. In one of the villages where we stopped two little girls came and danced by our carriage; they danced in a slow, dull kind of way, and sung a tune something like our quadrilles. The people were in general fat, plain and clumsy; their eyes were half shut, they looked like the pictures one sees of Chinese. The [Pg 23]women wore a woollen or cotton petticoat with a body of a different colour, an apron with shoulder-straps, and a coarse cotton handkerchief: some had high caps on their heads, but most of them wore a checked handkerchief done up like a toque, and long earrings; they had scarcely any hair to be seen, which was very unbecoming. Their waists were generally very short, and they looked quite a bundle; some of them wore sabots (wooden shoes). The children[9] were heavy, ugly figures; they were quite muffled up with clothes, and had very large stomachs, and their clothes were tied over their breasts. They had not the liveliness of children in England; they seemed so fat they could hardly walk,—like what in Scotland they call douce bairns; they had all caps or handkerchiefs on, even the babies. The men wore coloured woollen nightcaps; they were much better-looking than the women. All the [Pg 24]people looked untidy and dirty. We passed through the Forest of Cressy, near which was fought the celebrated battle which bears its name. We reached Abbeville about one o'clock: we breakfasted at the Hôtel d'Angleterre, which is a very good inn, but was rather in confusion when we were there. At Flixcourt, where we stopped to change horses, we saw some people dancing on a green; they told us it was on account of a wedding. In several of the villages there were people standing at their doors eating bean-bread; in one stage we tasted it; it was rather sour, but not bad tasting. The people did not seem to make much use of their houses, as we often saw them out of doors. It was above six o'clock when we arrived at Amiens.[10] The entrance into the town is pretty. We went to the cathedral; it has a pretty light spire: there is a beautiful portal with figures carved all round. The inside is very prettily [Pg 25]ornamented; the pulpit is supported by Faith, Hope and Charity; above it are three angels holding a curtain underneath which is the glory; all the figures are gilt. There are two pretty painted wheel-windows; the organ is silver, and looks rather poor. There are little chapels round the inside of the cathedral, and images with cases of artificial flowers before them. The pillars are so formed that when you strike them they sound as if they were hollow. I did not think it altogether near so grand as York Minster, but it is a very pretty thing. The concierge told us that he had seen ten thousand in the church. When you look up it looks too low, as if the top was cut off. There were several nuns[11] walking up and down the cathedral. We returned to dinner at the Hôtel des Ambassadeurs, where we slept; it is quite in the French style, with red stone floors, no grates, fine clocks, etc.


[Pg 26]May 3rd.—In the morning when we asked for soap they said they had none in the house; we at last sent out to buy a piece, and they brought us in a bit of coarse brown soap. The soap that the French wash their things with smells of aniseed and gives their beds a disagreeable smell. The inn was by far the worst we met with; and the servants were very careless. We set out with very fine weather for the first time, and as the day advanced two or three butterflies made their appearance. Our postillion seemed very gay, as he sung most of the time; presently some of the ropes broke about the horses' heads, and while he was employed in mending, with the help of another bit of rope and an old knife, the postillion at the other carriage had also dismounted, and was amusing himself by plaiting up his horses' tails. The harness often broke and the horses kicked, but the men did not seem to mind it; if we asked what was the matter, they always answered, 'Soyez tranquille, soyez tranquille.' The French horses are little, clumsy-looking [Pg 27]beasts. At Hebecourt we met a kind of covered cart full of children and nurses going to the Hospital des Enfans Trouvés at Paris; there was a soldier to guard it, who sat on his horse like a woman and slapped his horse's face. There seems to be a great want of living creatures in the fields; we never met any except here and there a drove of pigs with very long legs, or a walnut-coloured old woman leading (by a string) a thin, miserable-looking cow. We once met a flock of sheep which followed a man like dogs. Breteuil is a mean, dirty town; we had a very bad breakfast in the Hôtel de ——.[12] The country about Breteuil is very dreary and unpleasant. We saw several vineyards which were not near so pretty as I expected: they were little, diminutive-looking things, not so high as raspberry bushes. Near the villages we saw a number of people washing in the lavoirs or ponds made purposely. There were, as usual, plenty of beggars; some of whom came and begged [Pg 28]for bread and wine. One of our postillions had a dog with him; he threw off his gloves, the dog always picking them up and bringing them to him. Soon after we had passed the village of Wavigny we were overtaken by a violent storm of rain, hail, thunder and lightning, and as the storm increased we were glad to take shelter in the post-house at St. Just. Here we had a good deal of conversation with a servant girl; she told us that they kept all the cattle in stables, and never out of doors. Seeing some pigs that looked finer than usual in the farmyard, she said that they had got them from a school where they brought up pigs. She had a child in her arms which she offered to us all to kiss. When we asked what it eat, she said soup and sweetmeats; she afterwards brought it in some sugar and milk. The child had on a cotton cap trimmed with black net: when she took it off to show us its hair, we told her how much better it looked without it; she said 'yes, but that in France they were afraid of their children catching cold if they [Pg 29]went without caps': which accounts for one's never seeing the children's neck, arms, or hair. The people seemed to have been at dinner; there was a large plate of cabbage, some curd, and apples on the table. Before we went away mamma gave the girl a franc; she seemed hardly to know whether to accept it or not, turned it about, and at last put it into her pocket without saying a word. We were amused at one of our servants saying 'It's well we're off the common now it rains' (owing to the want of hedgerows and trees, the country did look more like a common than anything else). When we set out the storm had abated, but the water was running over the road in streams. A little further on the hail was collected into large heaps, some of them nearly three feet long, and above half a foot thick: these were lying on the sides of the road, and over the fields for a quarter of a mile. We picked up some small pieces: they were hail and mud stuck together; the hailstones were bigger than large peas. A few miles from St. Just we had a very fine [Pg 30]view of Clermont; the town and castle are situated on a hill, nearly surrounded by wood. It was about here that a little dog which I fed with bread followed us for near half a mile. The country was very pretty as we approached Chantilly: the wood of Hallate borders the road on the left, in which we saw some wood pigeons; nearer the town is a meadow, and canals are on each side of the road. In entering Chantilly one of the horses got its leg over the traces, and horse and man fell down beside the carriage; they, however, got up without any accident. We drove to the Hôtel de Bourbon, an excellent inn. The mistress is a nice, civil little woman; the master, who is also cook, was twenty years in England. The rooms were very nicely furnished; in the parlour was a jug full of lilies of the valley, which gave the room a very sweet smell. While dinner was preparing we walked out towards the palace stables. We passed by several neat houses, with gardens and trellis-work covered with vines before the door. The trellis-work was [Pg 31]arched: I should think when it is covered with bunches of grapes it must be very pretty. The stables consist of one enormous building, six hundred feet in length and forty in height; above the entrance are some very fine figures and horses. There was formerly a figure, which the Allies melted into cannon balls when they were quartered there. The palace was destroyed by a mob from Paris early in the Revolution; a smaller château connected with it was spared, which is now the habitation of the Prince of Condé. Several people asked if we wanted to see the inside of the stables, but we had not sufficient time. It was a very fine evening, the country round was very beautiful; there was a great deal of wood about it. We walked a little in the garden belonging to the inn; there were an immense number of cockchafers that flew humming over our heads. Soon after we returned there was a great deal of thunder and lightning. Before I went to bed I sat and watched it at a window; when it lightened, the whole sky [Pg 32]seemed illuminated. It continued during part of the night, so that we were obliged to close the windows. I liked Chantilly better than any place I had seen in France.

May 4th.—Before we set off we got some rolls to take in the carriage. They were not the rolls, a yard and half a quarter long, but quite round like rings, that the bakers carry hung over their arms. We took a turn in the garden, where we met with an Irishman, who told us a great deal about the stables, etc. He said that the Prince of Condé had an extensive forest, where he was very fond of hunting; that one day he would hunt the wild-boar, another day the roe-buck, another the stag, and so on. After we had left Chantilly the country was very pretty, and the forest of Chantilly soon began to skirt the road on the left. Near Ecouen is a seminary for the education of the orphan daughters of the members of the Legion of Honour. As we approached Paris, the postillions were very smart, their queues were well powdered, [Pg 33]and at one place their boots were so large that they stepped into them. Whenever the French postillions come near to a town or village, they begin to crack their whips very dexterously, with which they make an immense noise. The horses are tied with ropes, have sheep-skins over their backs, and are always three abreast. Near many of the villages we saw crucifixes and images. There are some little obelisks on the side of the road, where Philip the Bold and his brothers rested when they bore the corpse of their father from Paris to St. Denis. There is an avenue of trees on each side of the road which bears marks of the ravages of war. Soon after the village of La Chapelle we passed the barrier of Paris. We entered Paris along the Rue de Clichy. We stopped at Meurice's Hôtel, Rue St. Honoré. The sitting-room was carpeted and had a boarded floor; there was a pretty clock and vases of alabaster on the chimney-piece, and mirrors about the room; the furniture was a kind of figured blue cotton velvet, which they have a great [Pg 34]deal of in France. Meurice and many of the waiters speak English; the inn is very good; the servants did not seem to hear the bells, but we thought that was probably because we were at the back of the house, rather out of the way. The back of the hotel looks towards the gardens of the Tuileries. We went to bed directly after tea.



May 5th.[13]—We took a walk in the gardens of the Tuileries. The palace was founded by Catherine de Medicis, and derives its name from having been erected on a piece of ground appropriated to the manufacture of tiles. The front consists of five pavilions, connected with four ranges of buildings. The whole façade is adorned with Ionic pillars placed on pedestals. All the pillars are formed of brown and red marble. The portico of the centre pavilion towards the court is [Pg 35]decorated by columns, and on each side of the gate are statues of Apollo and a Faun. The portico towards the garden is similarly ornamented. On the galleries are eighteen marble statues of Roman senators clad in the toga, and in other parts of the façade are twenty-two busts of Roman emperors and generals. The extraordinary height of the roof in front towards the garden gives an air of heaviness to the façade. An iron palisade encloses the coachyard of the palace. The principal entrance to the court of the Tuileries is by a most beautiful triumphal arch. It was erected by Napoleon, and was built on the plan of that of Septimus Severus at Rome, and is said not to be inferior to the original. It is sixty feet wide and forty-five feet high. The centre arch is fourteen feet wide, the others eight and a half. Each front is decorated with four columns, supporting marble figures, representing different soldiers. On the outside are, on the right, the arms of France, supported by Peace and Plenty; and on the left the arms of Italy, [Pg 36]sustained by Wisdom and Strength. Four other bas-reliefs are over the smaller arches. The inside of the arches is beautifully carved. Over the centre arch was formerly the statue of Napoleon. The gardens are the work of Lenostre; the principal walk extends through the whole length of the garden. The trees are all cut, which gives it a formal look. In the parterres of flowers are statues and basins of water; in one were two swans, and in the others some gold and silver fishes. From the terrace of the garden towards the Seine we had a very fine view of the river; and on the opposite terrace, of the Place Vendôme, the triumphal column, and the Boulevards beyond. Along the walks are rows of chairs, for which you pay two or three sous: there are also stone seats. In the afternoon these gardens are crowded by a gay assembly. In returning we passed through the Place Vendôme. The buildings which enclose the square on three sides are uniform. In the middle is a beautiful column 130 feet high, formed on the model of that of Trajan at [Pg 37]Rome. It is entirely covered with brass, furnished by the artillery taken from the Austrians. The pedestal is fitted with bas-reliefs, and at each angle is an eagle grasping a crown of laurel. At the foot of the column commences another set of bas-reliefs, which trace in chronological order the principal events of the campaign of 1805: a spiral line separates each row. On the top of the column is a gallery, and above the gallery is a small dome on which is a white flag. There were a great many carriages in the square, so that we had to skip first to one side, then the other. There are no pavements for foot passengers in the streets of Paris, which makes it very disagreeable to walk; the coachmen drive close to the very doors of the houses, and if it were not for the portes cochères, one would be run over by the carriages. The streets are narrow and dirty, and the shops in general very shabby. There were a good many people about with nosegays; we bought a bunch of lilies-of-the-valley and ranunculuses for two or three sous. The flower-girls are [Pg 38]quite troublesome; they follow one and throw the flowers into one's hand.

May 6th.—We were very much surprised at having a very good plum-pudding at dinner, and on enquiry we found that they had one every Sunday. The servants complained terribly of not having enough to eat; they said that sometimes they could not each get a potatoe: and other things in proportion. A great many troops passed by the door.


May 7th.[14]—Soon after breakfast we set out in a carriage to go to the Jardin des Plantes. We crossed the Seine by the Pont Royal; the river is dirty and muddy, the water is so green that it cannot be drunk without being filtered. On the bridge were several women clipping poodles, and the limonadiers, both men and women, were [Pg 39]passing backwards and forwards with their castles full of lemonade or sorbets on their backs, their cocks by their sides, and their tin cups over their shoulders, crying as they went along, 'Voulez-vous boire, voulez-vous boire?' Some of them had larger things, a great deal ornamented. When we alighted at the entrance of the botanic garden several women crowded round us, begging us to buy a description of the menagerie. It was a very fine day. This charming garden was founded by Jean de la Brasse, physician to Louis xiii. At the entrance of the garden are several square enclosures. The first contains different kinds of soil and manure; in the second are specimens of hedges, fences, and ditches; there are likewise every different method of training fruit-trees, some like a cup, some like a pyramid, and two trees fastened together with a gate between them. In another enclosure are vegetables, and in another different kinds of fruit-trees and bowers. We then walked to the menagerie, near which are some very fine Judas trees [Pg 40]which were covered with lilac flowers. The wild beasts' dens were very large and kept remarkably clean. There were several lions, tigers, panthers, hyenas, wolves and bears; but what pleased me most was a dog in the den with one of the lions. One very fierce-looking black bear was rearing up against the bars. The bears were formerly kept in sunken enclosures, but since an accident happened they have been confined with the other wild beasts.[15] At the end of the menagerie is the aviary, the bars of which were so close that we could hardly see into it; there did not seem many rare birds, but plenty of monkeys were skipping about. Some distance off this is the house for the elephant: it is a large-looking building near a pond, the whole enclosed by a railing. The elephant was plunging about and enjoying the water while its keeper was rubbing [Pg 41]it with a wet broom. In several enclosures were antelopes, deer, elks, and different kinds of sheep. They were so tame as to come up to the railings and take pieces of bread out of the people's hands. In one enclosure were different kinds of fowls, storks, and an ostrich, and a Botany Bay bird of immense height. There were also two old camels, and two young ones. There were some curious long-eared goats, which were very tame. In the pit, where the bears were formerly, are now some wild boars, and several young ones. The botanic garden consists of more than seven thousand plants, every one of which is labelled, and the beds are divided by little hedges of box. A piece of water, supplied from the Seine, is appropriated to the aquatic plants. We did not look into the greenhouses or hothouses: several of the plants were ranged out of doors. After we had passed these we ascended by a path an artificial hill at the top of which is a kind of temple: from this we had a view of the greater part of Paris. The Museum of [Pg 42]Natural History is at the end of the garden opposite the entrance; it is open on Tuesday and Friday. We could not see it the day we were at the garden.



May 8th.—As we had taken a house at Passy, the servants and trunks went there: but we staid till the afternoon that we might see the Gallery of the Louvre and as much of Paris as we could. In the first saloon of this museum are the earliest works of the French and Italian artists. In the next the celebrated battle-pieces of Le Brun. We then entered the great gallery, which appears to have no end; this magnificent apartment is fourteen hundred feet in length. The ceiling is particularly pretty. I was very much disappointed in the pictures; there were such a number that I could hardly distinguish them. The Déluge by Poussin is very sublime. I also admired the St. Michael vanquishing Satan. The inside of a kitchen, [Pg 43]and another painting in which there is a lamp, are very natural. There is a picture of some dogs, and another of some game, both of which I liked. A basket of fruit and some butterflies is also very pretty.

From the Louvre we went to the Palais Royal. It was begun by Cardinal Richelieu in 1629, and completed in 1636. It was converted by the Duke of Orleans into a bazaar: the front towards the street of St. Honoré was built by him after the destruction of the Opera House. It presents two pavilions adorned with columns. After passing under a portico we entered a square. In the centre is a garden interspersed by young trees and encircled by lattice work; in the middle of the garden is a jet d'eau, which cools the air very much. Round the square are beautiful little shops; the prettiest are the jewellers'. In the windows were a great many ornaments of mother-of-pearl, harps, dogs, men, carts, etc. The china-shops are very pretty also. One very pretty ornament was a gold boy with a china cup on his back [Pg 44]and a dog holding a stick in its mouth, at each end of which was a glass for ink; there were bead-necklaces, smelling-bottles, and every kind of thing. When we returned we went immediately to Passy. This village was about a mile from Paris. When we arrived at our house in the Rue Basse, we found all hands busily employed in cleaning. It was a large house, but dirty from top to bottom. It had been occupied for a year by an English family who had been abroad for three years; their housekeeper and lady's-maid were English, and disliked being in France so much that they sat in their own rooms and left the management of the house entirely to the foreign servants. There was a courier who bought and managed for the family. The consequence was that we found the house in the greatest confusion. The kitchen was like a pig-sty, and the rooms were very dirty and untidy. There were backs of books, old bottles, and all kinds of litters lying about. There was a German housemaid who was to stay on in [Pg 45]the house with us, and she and our servants did little that day but clean. Though we were all anxious to come to a house, I began to think I would sooner have stayed where we were than come here. When we went to bed we expected at least to be at rest, instead of which the beds were so full of bugs that we were bit all over.


May 9th.—We got up pretty early, glad enough to leave our dirty, disagreeable beds. The servants began to clean the kitchen, but the smell was so bad that it made them sick; they therefore got two men in to clean it; and when they came to the pipe that carried away the dirt, they were also unable to proceed till they got a glass of brandy. The oven was an inch thick with dirt; when it was a little cleaned they discovered a looking-glass at the back of the oven. All the egg-shells, stalks of vegetables, etc., had been thrown under the charcoal fires; the rolling-pin [Pg 46]was covered with dirt. Indeed, a dirtier place could not have been imagined. The meat chopper was also an inch thick of dirt. The cellar was overrun with lizards, and the closets with ants, etc. It was rather more agreeable out of doors. The front of the house was turned from the street, and before it were two terraces, one above the other, which were covered with vines, and at the end were some fine Judas trees. From the terrace we had a view of the Seine and Paris. The weather was fine, but we none of us were in a humour to enjoy this view. The porter that lived at the end of the terrace had a little boy of five or six years old. François was a nice boy, but, like most of the French children, rather forward. We walked through the village as far as the Bois de Boulogne. There are streets in Passy like a town, but very few shops; the people who live there get all their things from Paris. We picked up several cantheræ.

May 10th.—We now found the dirt so [Pg 47]intolerable that mamma determined to speak to Madame Gautier, the lady from whom we had taken the house. She said that she would have the house cleaned and painted; but that if we wished to leave it, not to consider that any agreement had been made. (Our house had been taken for a year.) On hearing this papa went immediately to Versailles to look after a house; when he returned he told us that he had taken one, to which we were to go next day. We went to bed in rather better spirits, comforting ourselves that it was the last night we should sleep here.

May 11 th.—This morning we were busy packing and settling our things. We were rather at a loss about some clothes which we had at the wash, not knowing how we could get them. The porter, however, told us that we might be easy, as he knew a coachman who passed constantly by the door, with whom he would send the things. That we might be sure, we again asked him if he was [Pg 48]certain of being able to send the things; but he repeated his answer so often that we had not the least doubt of his being as good as his promise. Soon after breakfast we set off in a cabriolet, which is rather a curious conveyance, but very roomy. It has two seats, one before the other, and it opens in front where the man sits. It jogged very much going downhill. There is only one horse. The man drove so close behind the cabriolet in which the servants were that we could not see anything; on asking him to go to one side he went straight before. Presently he stopped and took up another man, which they call a 'lapin,' and they chatted and laughed all the way, frequently stopping to get little glasses of brandy, as all the French drivers do. They stopt for a long while at a post-house, where the men got some bread out of a bin in the corner, and some wine. The people at the inn brought us out a few little cakes, for which they afterwards charged several francs. It was about the middle of the day when we got to Versailles.


[Pg 49]It is a nice-looking town. There are three avenues up the middle. The soldiers were exercising in the Avenue de Sceaux when we passed; they exercised there several times a week. We used to like to hear their music, but they spoilt it with drumming. Our house was near the end of the Avenue de Sceaux, No. 6. Before the door was what they called 'Deux jolis jardins,' which turned out to be a small garden with a walk, and two hedges up the middle which divided it. We had not the upper story of the house. We paid 300 francs a month. The rooms were all round a court, so that one had to pass from one room to get to another. The drawing-room was furnished quite after the French fashion: there was a round table with two large pieces of marble on it; another table supported by bronze sphinxes; a beautiful piece of furniture that had belonged to the palace, which contained fourteen secret drawers and several mirrors. But besides this there were two clocks, neither of which would go; linen curtains hung on common iron rods; [Pg 50]common painted frames round the glasses. Instead of a carpet there was a very little shabby piece of green cloth; and no grate; and such fire-irons as you would not see in an English kitchen. The furniture was stamped blue cotton-velvet. On the floor of the dining-room there was a little ragged piece of old tapestry; this and the green cloth were the only pretensions to carpet in the house, so that what with the want of grates and the red stone floors, it looked very cold and comfortless. But that we did not much mind, as the heat was what we always dreaded. The locks of the doors hurt all our fingers, they were so stiff. After we had thoroughly looked through the house, we went out to walk through the town. The trees in the avenues are kept cut, which is very formal-looking. We passed before the King's stables. They are in the form of a half moon; before the court is a railing with gilt tops. The great and the little stable are separated by the Avenue de Paris. Nearly opposite is the palace. Higher up the avenue, [Pg 51]on the side of the Grande Ecurie, is the kennel. It looks pretty, and I think very large for a dog-kennel; it was, however, found too small. After walking as far as the Place d'Armes (which separates the old from the new town) we returned, and spent the evening in condoling with one another.


May 12th.—We went this day to see the palace and the gardens. When one looks at it, from the side next Paris, one might fancy it was a town of itself, there seem so many different buildings. As you go up to it there are some curious-looking buildings in imitation of tents. The iron railing that separates the palace from the Place d'Armes is very much ornamented and gilt, and on each side there is a group of gilt figures. After passing by the chapel we entered the park. On this side the palace is 1800 feet long, and from its great length looks rather low. The park of [Pg 52]Versailles is divided into the great and the little park, which united form a circuit of sixty miles. The great park includes several villages. The little park includes the gardens, the groves, the pieces of water, etc. There are several entrances. The principal one is by the arcades of the palace. When one stands in the middle of the terrace one sees the Basin of Latona, the Tapis-vert, Apollo's Bath, and the canal at the right, the parterre of the north, and Neptune's Bath; and at the left the parterre of flowers, the orangery, and the pièce d'eau des Suisses. The whole garden seems almost composed of statues and vases. The vases are, I think, the most beautiful things in the garden; they are mostly of white marble (a few are of bronze), and covered with the most beautiful carving; some are very simple, having only a border round them, and others are covered with figures, sunflowers, or vines. There are also a great many basins of water. The finest is Neptune's Bath. It is a large piece of water surrounded by twenty-two vases. There are [Pg 53]several groups of figures: the principal one in the front is Neptune and Amphitrite seated in a large shell, and surrounded by tritons and naiads. Apollo's Bath is another very fine one. Apollo is represented in his car drawn by four horses, and surrounded by sea-monsters. Latona's basin is as curious as any: in the middle, on several steps of red marble, are Latona and her children, and around them, on the steps, are seventy-four frogs, which represent the Lybian peasants metamorphosed by Jupiter on the complaint made to him by Latona. Some of them seem half frogs and half men. Besides these there are a great many smaller basins. There is one basin which seems gone to decay. In it is represented the giant Enceladus crushed under the ruins of Mount Olympus, and a number of groups of bronze children supporting basins. Around many of them are parterres of flowers.

The Tapis-vert is a long piece of grass, at each side of which are numerous vases and statues. In the evening, before sunset, this [Pg 54]is the favourite promenade, and is quite crowded by all ranks of people. It is a favourite game to try and walk down this green blindfold. The canal is at the bottom of the Tapis-vert, below Apollo's Bath. It is very long, but not very pretty, as it does not finish with anything; it is crossed by another canal, which conducts to the Trianon.

There are a great many long avenues and squares, several of which are closed. The avenues looked suitable to the rest of the garden, but very formal. There are also rows of yew-trees cut into every kind of formal shape, which spoils the look of the gardens very much. The prettiest part of the garden is Hartwell, or the King's garden, which is made in imitation of the place where he resided when in England. It is very like an English garden. In the middle is a column of very pretty marble, with a small figure of Flora at the top. This garden is railed in, but is open every evening for people to walk in. I was very much disappointed in the orangery: it is [Pg 55]lower than the rest of the garden. Most of the orange-trees were standing out, but there is a gallery to put them in. There is a basin of water in the middle of the orangery, and borders of flowers all round. There are immense numbers of orange, lemon, citron, laurel, and pomegranate trees:—the oldest orange-tree is said to be five hundred years old; but they are by no means pretty; they are all in large tubs; and instead of the branches being allowed to spread, they are all cut like box, which make them look still more formal. Even the flowers in the borders of the orangery are planted alternately yellow and white. The blossoms of the oranges are sold. From the orangery we had a view of the Etang Suisse; it looks like a dirty pond on a common. The whole garden is open to every person till nine o'clock, when a drum beats. At the entrance there is a list of rules: no dogs are to be brought in unless tied with a string; and nobody is to fish in the ponds, or to touch the statues or flowers. Notwithstanding, however, these [Pg 56]prohibitions, I have counted seven or eight dogs at one time running over the flower-borders, and boys climbing on the beautiful vases, or fishing for gold and silver fish, of which there are a great many, particularly in Apollo's Bath. As we returned through the court, several very ugly old women pressed round us and asked whether we would like to see the apartments of the palace, but we thought it was better to defer this till another day.

May 13th.—I was very much surprised to see here, as well as at Paris, not the least regard paid to Sunday. All the shops were open, houses were building, and people sitting working at their doors, seeming more industrious this day than any other; even the tradespeople made a point of bringing their things on a Sunday. The English clergyman was a Mr. Beaver. At church we saw several people that we had formerly seen at Clifton and Bath; it was quite full of English.

[Pg 57]


May 14th.—About this time a little circumstance happened which shows the French inconsistency. We wanted a jack put up in the kitchen. The mason and his boy came first, but not finding the blacksmith there, they went away; then came the blacksmith and his boy, but not finding the mason, they went away. After going on in this way for some time, they at last all met. The mason then took out of a paper bag some delicate-looking white powder, which, after mixing into a paste, he layed with great care on to a fine silver trowel, and then proceeded to dab it on to the wall with his fingers.

May 15th.—We now began to be rather surprised that the clothes we had left at Passy, and which the porter said he would send directly, had not arrived. Stephens, our foreign courier, who spoke English, was therefore despatched to bring them. We afterwards found that, so far from knowing a person [Pg 58]to send them by, the porter had consulted with Stephens and asked him if he knew of any person; so that we might have waited long for our clothes if we had trusted to the porter's word. The French are very fond of making promises, but not quite so fond of performing them; this we found to be the case with our house: one of our beds broke down several times; some rooms wanted tables, some jugs, some carpets, and all window-curtains—so that you could see across the yard from one room to another; they found it very easy to promise all these things, but we waited many a week before we got one. The English family above us had one baby of a few months old, called Angelica Ellen, which we were very fond of nursing. The lady was so ill as not to be able to attend to it, and seemed to leave it entirely to the care of a French nurse, who attended to it very badly. She would take it out in the rain, or give it to anybody in the street to hold, while she played at hide-and-seek with the old porter and his wife, who looked to [Pg 59]be above seventy; she one day let it fall into the fire and burnt all its poor little hands. There is a porter to all the French houses. Our porter's wife took care of children: we sometimes used to get her in to clean the pans, etc.; then the nurse used to come in also to chat with her and meddle with the things in the kitchen.


May 19th.—This day was, for a rarity, very warm. We saw in the garden a swallow-tail butterfly and some small red moths, which were almost the only kinds I saw in France. I never saw anywhere so few butterflies: we thought it quite a treat to see a single white one. There was the same scarcity of birds; and, notwithstanding the quantity of wood in the gardens, we hardly heard one. In the middle of the day we walked to the Trianons. The Grand Trianon is situated at the extremity of one of the branches of the canal. We went to it from the palace garden along [Pg 60]a hayfield, near which we sometimes saw the soldiers playing at ninepins. Near the Trianons were some tall lombardy poplars and some very pretty acacias. At the gate were a great many soldiers. An avenue leads up to the little Trianon, which, though it is called a palace, is not larger than a small private house. The Grand Trianon is very pretty, but looks small after the other great palace: it is adorned with eight green marble, and fourteen red marble pillars. We this day saw neither the inside nor the gardens, but merely passed by it. Lower down was a pond near which some sheep were feeding, which, with the wood of the forest, formed a pretty scene. We returned through part of the forest, and home through the gardens. As we were going along one of the walks we saw a great many people running, and on enquiring the reason we were told it was to see the Duchesse d'Angoulême: we saw her go into one of the walks which were closed, and afterwards pass through the Orangerie. She was on horseback; there were [Pg 61]some ladies and gentlemen beside her, and other attendants behind. She was dressed in a dark habit; her eyes were red, as if she had been crying, and she was not good-looking. We saw her two or three times afterwards, when she came to visit a college for educating priests to send over the country, and which was very near our house. We often saw scores of students going a-walking in their long black gowns tucked up through the pocket-hole. They were in general very vulgar and ungentlemanly-looking. The people did not seem to pay them much respect, as the porter's wife and the nurse pointed, and then burst out a-laughing when they passed. There were above three hundred at the college.


May 17th.—There was this day a ball given at the palace in honour of the Duke of Bordeaux's baptism. Mamma did not go, as Mrs. Murray, the only person she knew [Pg 62]there, could not go on account of the death of a friend. They said the supper was to be very splendid. We went to a pâtissier to see some of the ornaments. There were very few, and those were not very pretty: one of the best was the arms of France, made of cake and ornamented with coloured paste. They told us that there were no more ornaments for supper than what we saw; but there must have been more, as we saw people carrying several out of the shop into another room: what we saw were merely a few in the windows. In the evening we walked towards the palace to see the illuminations. Beside the gate and across the court were pieces of iron this shape to which the lamps were fastened. The carriages drove up between the rows of lamps. Mamma and my sisters were not a little surprised to see a gondole (which is the same kind of thing as a stage-coach) drive up to the entrance. The driver lifted out of it a very fat, gouty lady, dressed in a black lace gown over a white satin slip; she had a white satin turban on her head, [Pg 63]short sleeves, and dirty-looking, lead-coloured gloves. She had very thick legs, and there was something very peculiar about her feet. She had worsted stockings on! This is one of the instances out of many of the inconsistency of the French, in dress as well as in other things. The poorest-looking people will have gold chains and earrings, although in other respects remarkably shabbily dressed. The lower class of people are much worse dressed than the English.

May 20th.—We all now began to feel very uncomfortable; everything was so very different to the things in an English house. From the drawing-room to the kitchen all was uncomfortable, and the habits of the people were so dirty and untidy that our three English servants begged that they might do the work themselves instead of having a foreigner to assist them. Stephens our courier was gone, so that we had often to go with Carruthers (our cook) to the market to speak for her. When she went by herself [Pg 64]she, however, contrived to make herself understood; she went all round the market and searched about till she got hold of the thing she wanted, then she touched it and said, Combeen. She soon learnt a few words such as pom-de-tary, chu, mungy, francs, sows, kickshaws, etc.; if she did not understand what they said she answered Inglytary nong comprehendy. Robins (our manservant) got on best; he stammered out a word of French and a word of English, till by words and signs he contrived to get what he wanted. One word they all knew, and that was bukkah, bukkah; they were so determined not to be cheated that Carruthers went all the way back from the Avenue de Sceaux to the market if she found they owed her one sou. Notwithstanding all our care we frequently were cheated; they will try every possible means:[16] sometimes when the market-people set down what we had bought, they would write down a few more pence than they had [Pg 65]before charged, or contrive some other way for getting money. The provisions at Versailles were fully dearer than in England. One of the best shops in the market was Madame Segan's, although she, as well as the rest, would cheat if she could. The butter was very bad in France. Madame Segan's was the best, but as there was no salt in it, and they only got it once a week, it did not keep good. The butcher's meat (except the pork and veal) is not good: they have a curious custom of blowing it up so as to look very large. The French bread being made of leaven is very sour; we got English bread from a baker at Versailles. Another good shop for eggs, etc., is The Black Hen.

Madame Vernier, the woman whom we took the house from, was a restaurateur next door, so we often got some dishes from her. Her chef de cuisine used sometimes also to come to our house to make dishes. It was very curious to see his proceedings; the beginning [Pg 66]of all his dishes was the same, a large piece of batter and a little flour; to this he often added some bouillon. He was one day going to make a small dish off a large dish of cold roast beef. Instead of cutting off a few slices, (before we saw what he was about) he cut every bit of the beef to pieces, and then broke the bones and threw them into the pot an feu, to the great discomposure of Carruthers. The French can make a dish out of almost anything. One day he began to tell us a long story about a place where he used to dip the children, and to show us what he meant he took little Caroline in his arms and pretended to bathe her. This cook was a true French figure; he used to come in with his white nightcap and apron on, and a sharp pointed knife hung by his side. After scraping up the charcoal with his fingers he used to dip two of them into the pan, and putting them to his mouth he used to say, 'Très bon, très bon.' He was, however, a civil enough old man in his way.

[Pg 67]Another curious figure was our water-woman. She was a remarkably ugly, vulgar-looking old woman, and like all the old French women, an immense size. She used to wear a brown petticoat, a tattered apron, and a knitted woollen body. Notwithstanding her uncouth appearance, however, she was by far the most polite old woman I saw in France. Though upwards of seventy, she one day sang us some songs very well. When she came she used to make a curtsy and enquire after us all in the civilest manner possible. Indeed she was nearly the only person whose manner was at all like what I expected. Although one hears so much of French politeness, I do not think that the French are near so polite as the English. The men make better bows, etc., but in other things there is a kind of forwardness in the manners of the people that I cannot admire. If you are walking in the street and a person happens to run against you or hit you with his stick (which frequently happens), he never thinks of saying anything [Pg 68]except calling out 'eh!' laughing, and then walking on.



May 21st.—By this time we were sufficiently settled to have some masters. The dancing master who had been recommended to us was Monsieur le Breton. I believe he taught dancing very well in the French style and took a good deal of pains, but he was not a very agreeable master. The French dancing is completely different from the English; they think it beautiful to dance on the flat of the foot and to bend every step, which makes the dancing look very heavy: they do not like jumping, although their steps are full of little hops. Their tunes too are very dull. The French in general do not admire the English dancing; we were told, however, of one English lady who had danced at the balls, quite after the English fashion, and whose dancing had been very much admired. The constant cry of Monsieur Breton was [Pg 69]pliez, pliez, and indeed part of the time we danced on a stone floor so that we could dance heavy enough to please him. He had expressions like the rest of the French, such as dancing, or working, 'like an angel,' etc. He called the little ones Williaume, Henault, and Coquette. Our dancing master had one very disagreeable, though common French trick; he used to spit so about the floor that it was quite unpleasant to dance. He taught six of us three times a week for six francs a lesson. He had the smallest kit I ever saw. He stayed two hours each time. Madame Breton was a dressmaker. We tried her, but she was by no means a good one. She had three children, one of whom was an idiot; and as three children in France are reckoned a large family, she used always to be complaining. The best dressmaker was Mademoiselle Bouillet, Rue Charcelere. She made our things very well; but towards the last, when she found we were going away, she hurried over the work without taking the least pains, charging very dear for some [Pg 70]things, and quite spoiling others. She used constantly to be promising us to send our things, and as often breaking her promise. She one day told us very coolly that we might believe her promises, as she never told lies; that her little girl was in the habit of lying, but that it was not the case with herself. Another day she told us it was not her nature to tell lies, but her profession. The French people do not seem to think it wrong to cheat or lie, or the least disgraceful to be told they do. Sometimes when we thought anything we were buying dear, and told the shopkeeper that we had bought the same thing cheaper in another shop, she answered, 'O madame, vous ne pouvez pas; c'est impossible.'

Monsieur Violet was our French master. He was a good-humoured little man, and spoke English very well. He generally wore a green coat and light drab slippers; his hair looked as if it had not been combed out for a month: altogether he very much resembled [Pg 71]an ape. He came for an hour every day, and charged two francs a lesson.

Miss Wragge had the best Italian master—-Monsieur Pecci—in Europe (so they told us). He charged a napoleon for twelve lessons, whether she took them or not. He was a dark, disagreeable-looking man. He looked like one of the banditti.

We went to enquire about Monsieur Capan, the drawing master (none of us, however, went). He was finishing one very pretty picture; but he seemed to have a great objection to show us his drawings: he said it was quite unnecessary for us to see them. His pupils drew from busts, he said; they might draw all day if they liked it, but that he generally looked after them for an hour or so in the middle of the day.

We did not get any music master. The general run of French pianos are not good. [Pg 72]Madame Verny offered to sell us a harpsichord for forty francs-certainly cheap enough; but as half the notes were like a pestle and mortar, and the other half would not sound at all, we thought it would be no acquisition.


May 23rd.—As we expected French young ladies to be very elegant, mamma was most anxious that we should go as day scholars to a French school; she thought, besides, that it would be a change, as we were all sufficiently tired of Versailles. We therefore enquired of several people, and were told that the pension of Madame Crosnier de Varigny, Boulevard de la Reine, No. 55, was the best at Versailles: they said it was not indeed the largest, but the best and the most select. We thought that so near the capital there must be good schools; we therefore set out this day to go and speak about it. In our way, as we passed the Church of Notre Dame, we observed it was all hung with [Pg 73]black; we walked in, and enquired of some people the cause. They answered, 'On va faire un enterrement; c'est une dame forte à son aise.' We walked round the church, which is plain and dirty. A number of priests, boys, and beggars went out to meet the corpse with candles in their hands. After waiting till we were almost tired, the funeral at last made its appearance. There first came in the beggars bearing lighted candles in their hands; then a priest carrying a crucifix; then a number of priests, and boys that attend the priests, in black and white; then two priests who held a sort of black pipe, a serpent through which they blew; after that came the coffin, covered with white silk and bordered with black velvet: it was placed on a bier elevated on a platform covered with black near the altar. A great many candles were lighted around it. A priest chanted the whole way up the church and during mass. Mass lasted half an hour. After it was finished they made a collection, after which the procession left the [Pg 74]church in the same order as when it entered. The old beggars also went out, taking their candles along with them. There were forty of them, the most frightfully ugly creatures that can be imagined. Their skins were like brown leather; they had on old patched petticoats; they were blind and lame; one had a nose as big as her face, and the next no nose at all: they were altogether the most frightful set I ever beheld. There were not many people at the church, except some old women, a number of whom are generally standing about the churches. (Some of them take care of the chairs. Every person that takes one chair pays two liard, or on great fêtes two sous.) These old women were likewise very ugly. As the French women (except the ladies) do not wear bonnets, their faces get sunburnt, and the old women's skins look like leather. Some grow excessively fat. They wear a curious kind of cap, and generally a red gown and a dark-blue apron with pockets, and a kind of large chintz handkerchief. After leaving the church we proceeded [Pg 75]to Madame Crosnier's. There were two or three queerly-dressed, vulgar-looking girls standing at the window. We were shown up into a bedroom. Madame Crosnier is a good-looking woman, genteel, and altogether the nicest-looking woman I saw in France: she had on a neat cotton gown (which is more worn in France than in England) and a pelerine. Mademoiselle Allemagne, her sous-maîtresse, was not near so nice-looking. The terms were for day-scholars, who did not get their meals there, 10 francs a month, drawing 10 francs, music 18 francs, harp 36, dancing 9, and Italian 10 francs. School hours were from nine to twelve, and from one to three. Thursday was a half-holiday. Madame Crosnier showed us some of the young ladies' work: it was principally little figures embroidered with coloured silks on white silk. Catherine went to this school the next day; Euphemia and I not till above a fortnight after.


May 25th.—We took a walk in the forest. [Pg 76]It is full of paths, so that one might easily lose one's way: the wood is very pretty. It was evening when we walked in it, and we saw one moth, the only one I saw in France, except the cinnabars and some brown midges. We met the King's gamekeeper, whom papa spoke to: a little further on a drunken man passed us: drunken people were by no means a rare sight here, although we had been told the contrary. When we got home it was quite dark, and they were lighting the lamps, which are hung on ropes stretched across the street.



May 29th.—This was Ascension Day, which is a grand fête. We saw a long procession of priests and soldiers, which I do not remember very distinctly. After breakfast we went to high mass at St. Louis, which we were told was to be very grand. The priests had on very fine dresses, gold, scarlet, silver, purple, green, and all colours. It was quite like some show; they changed places on the [Pg 77]steps and figured about as if they were waltzing. The bishop had on a gold mitre; he was dressed very splendidly. There was a great deal of fine flourishing music. The priests flung about the incense, and the little boys dressed in white muslin over red gowns rang little bells, on which the people knelt down. We went to see service again in the afternoon; it consisted of nothing but loud music like a waltz tune.[17] I missed the prettiest sight, which was seeing a lady make the quête or collection for the poor. The lady sat before the altar; she had on a white gauze gown, and a veil which hung down behind fastened round her head with a wreath of roses. She had on white gloves and shoes, and was dressed as if she was going to a ball. An officer handed her about, and the concierge went before, knocking on the ground with his stick. (The concierge is generally a very tall man dressed in plum colour; he goes before the priests, [Pg 78]funerals, etc.) The lady held in her hand a little box of crimson velvet and gold which she presented to everybody, and curtsied; a servant followed with a crimson bag, into which she emptied the money when the box was full. The French churches are just like some show. We were told that a French gentleman had stayed at the English chapel one Sunday during the sacrament; he said he was very much struck with the stillness and solemnity, 'avec nous c'est tout comédie.' In the afternoon, before service began, we observed a very poor, miserable-looking man sitting with a money-box before him, and at one side a shell full of holy water (which we did not at first observe). Miss Wragge, thinking he was a miserable object, as she passed dropped a sou into his box; which no sooner had she done than he dipped a little mop which he held in his hand into the holy water, and sprinkled it over her face. This set some women who were kneeling down a-laughing. After mass we saw the rooms of the palace; they were very magnificent, [Pg 79]but I had a much better view of them some time afterwards.



May 29th.—As we rather wanted some person to assist our servants, Nannette, the German servant we had at Passy, was sent for. She was most useful in going messages, as she would run all day; several people said they were sure she was not a French woman, she was so active. She, however, had most of the French habits; if she was making a bed, or doing anything else, if she heard anything, down went her work and off she went to see what was the matter. She never could do without going to promener in the evening, and going for a day up to Paris once every week. Nannette also copied the French in eating; besides taking the same meals as our other servants, she used to be continually eating at odd times. Sometimes she cooked herself some potage, or else she asked for pain and quelque chose; one day [Pg 80]she eat half a tureen of cold sorrel soup soon after breakfast; and frequently cold meat and bread. Besides all this, she never went out without buying herself fruit. Her language was a strange mixture of French, English, and German. She hated the French, and used to be very rude to them: they in return could not bear her; they used to call her a Prussian. Our dancing master once said, 'La Prusse est la plus vile de toutes les nations de l'Europe.' If Nannette cleaned a room, she used to throw a pail of water over the floor till the water ran into the passage. The French say themselves, that nothing has spoiled the servants like the Revolution: if anything offends them they will go off; and frequently choose to leave you when you have company, or some time when you most want them.

June 1821


June 1st.—This day was excessively hot: the heat lasted just three days.

[Pg 81]



June 3rd.—In the morning we were informed by the porter's wife that the waters were to play. In the afternoon we accordingly walked in the palace garden, and were very glad to find it was the case. The gardens were very full, as a great many people had come from Paris to see the waters play. Some of the large waterworks did not play, such as Neptune's Bath; and some of the others only partly. Latona's basin was beautiful; it was playing very little at first, but while we were looking at it all the frogs began to spout water, which formed a bower of water over Latona's head, and covered her and her children. The frogs, lizards, etc., at the bottom, spouted water the contrary way, which did not look so well. In the same basin at each side were two pipes, which sent out a column of water. Apollo's Bath was playing a little out of the horses' mouths. Two smaller pieces of water had a very good effect: in the middle was a jet d'eau; on [Pg 82]each side of one was a lion tearing a wolf, and another lion killing a wild boar; on the other was a tiger tearing a bear, and a blood-hound killing a stag—out of the mouths of these figures came streams of water. The figures are bronze. One of the large waterworks, called Le Basin de l'Obélisque, consists of a number of pipes in imitation of reeds in the middle of the basin, which send out a column of water to the height of 75 feet: this waterwork was playing very little when we were there—it appeared like a basket of froth. Some of the smaller waters are quite as pretty as the large ones: one represents Ceres seated on some sheaves and surrounded by children. Another, a number of children, some holding masks, shells, and one a pair of bellows. The one that I liked best was a small basin, in the middle of which there is a little island which appears to be made of bronze: on this are six little children playing with flowers, and one on each side which seems to swim or float. Out of the island rises a column of water. The [Pg 83]waters looked particularly pretty among the trees. There were a great many people in the gardens, and the variety of colours resembled a bed of tulips. Some of the people were very oddly dressed. One woman had on a most extraordinary cap composed of pink satin and very pretty lace; she had a gold chain round her neck, a white gown, and pink cotton apron. (Her cap was not at all common.) The French are very fond of colours, and put them on with very bad taste. We saw some people with perhaps a pink handkerchief, a blue sash, a coarse cotton gown, a yellow bonnet, and green shoes. We saw one lady in church with a yellow bonnet spotted with every colour; and another lady with one side of her bonnet one colour, and the other another colour. The ladies are in general very plain. We were told that a lady having tried to persuade an English gentleman that the French ladies were pretty, he took her to one of the great waterworks, where she could see ten thousand people, and told her that he would give her a gown worth [Pg 84]five hundred francs if she could find three handsome women. The lady tried, but was obliged to acknowledge that she could not. The French women have not good figures: the old women are very fat, and the others are as flat as two boards.[18] Many of the ladies were attended by bonnes, some of whom were dressed more neatly than the French women generally are:—with light cotton gowns, muslin handkerchiefs, and caps trimmed with lace over blue or pink paper. The children that were with them were queer-looking little things. The French children are old-fashioned, dull, grave, and ugly: like little old women in their appearance. The babies are wrapt up in swaddling-clothes like mummies, [Pg 85]and they wear queer little cotton hats. The nurses carry them very carefully hanging on their arms; they say that nursing them, or tossing them about, makes them mad. Some of the children have long hair hanging down their backs and little hats stuck on the tops of their heads and little ridicules in their hands. We stayed in the gardens this evening later than usual looking at the waters, which from the terrace had a very pretty effect.



June 4th.—Our long-expected and much-dreaded hot weather has never arrived, but instead of it cold, wet weather. The French said it was an unusually bad season; they were quite en colère. It was this day quite a storm; from the quantity of rain which had fallen there was a little canal before the door; and as the dining-room was across the yard, we could hardly get to it in wet weather without getting our feet wet. I never felt [Pg 86]anything so cold as it was in France. We used to sit shivering, wrapt up in shawls to try and keep ourselves warm. There were no grates; the fire was lighted on the hearth between two dogs, and we used to sit round it blowing the wood to try and make it burn: to make matters worse there were two holes, one on each side of the fireplace, apparently made to let the smoke into the room; these we were obliged to stuff with paper. It was as bad in bed, and though we had sent repeatedly, we could not get any quilts and only one cotton blanket to each bed. There were no carpets in the rooms; only bare stone floors, from which, besides being very cold, all the red came off on to our gowns. We were most of us sufficiently tired of France. I would have given anything in the world to get back to England, but we thought there was no chance of that for a long time. Every person was dismal: one got the rheumatism, another had a cold, another was ill, another had chilblains, and another was melancholy; and all said they [Pg 87]would not grumble if they did not see other people grumble. I went from room to room, and could get no consolation. In spite of their spectacles and processions, there was a dulness in the streets and a want of life in the people: everything seemed to be creeping along and looking like oysters. The boys amused themselves with a swing; when the soldiers were exercising they used sometimes to look in at the garden gate to watch them. The servants were very dismal: they used often to say how much they had been mistaken in France, and what fine stories they would tell about it when they got back to Cumberland.


June 11th.—This day Euphemia and I went for the first time to Madame Crosnier's. Catherine had gone for some time, and given us a very strange account of it; but notwithstanding all she had said, it was far worse than we had expected. There were twelve or [Pg 88]fourteen English girls, three Miss Stephens whom we had formerly seen at Bath, where they did not look at all nice—they were here very well dressed and genteel-looking; Miss Fuller, a daughter of General Fuller, who had a French mamma, a complete little dandy; Miss Fitzgerald, who was a little plague; Miss Molyneux, a nice little girl who had been left there; Miss Julia Carpenter, and several others. The nicest were two Miss Wergs. The eldest was scarcely nine years old. They were sweet, pretty little girls, with good colours; they were a great contrast to the French girls beside them. Ellen Werg told me that they had come to France for their education, and that their papa liked it so much that they were never going home again; but that they and their mamma hated it. They used sometimes to cry when they heard the other girls talk of going home, and say, 'Oh, I wish I was going too!' We used often to see them at church; their papa was very crabbed-looking. They could not speak a word of French: they left school about the [Pg 89]same time as I did without knowing a word more than when they came. Their mamma said it was such a ruinous school they should stay no longer. The French girls were the dirtiest, rudest set I ever saw. They wore very coarse dark cotton frocks or black petticoats, dirty blue or red aprons with pockets, spotted with ink, black worsted stockings, and listen shoes. Some of them had large bunches of keys hung by their sides, and others sashes and braces of broad scarlet galloon. One girl—Mademoiselle Rose—was so dirty, that even Madame Crosnier used to speak to her about it. She had on an old cotton frock bedaubed with ink, that did not meet by three or four inches; through the gap one saw a pair of dirty stays and an old striped worsted petticoat, and on the top of a frock there was a gauze frill hanging in rags. Her hair was matted with dirt. Some of the girls had pieces of green glass in their ears for earrings, black velvet round their head, and gilt combs with the teeth broken out stuck in their dirty, black, uncombed [Pg 90]hair, which hung over their faces. Their skins were dirty and yellow. The neatest of these young ladies was a Mademoiselle Sélina—who was conceited-looking, and Mademoiselle Joséphine. The girls' manners were as elegant as themselves—they called each other names, and used the most vulgar words. If in school-time any of them were speaking, and their teacher reproved them, they answered, 'Vous mentez, Mademoiselle, vous êtes menteuse, je ne parle pas.' Indeed, if they were doing a thing all the time they were spoken to, they did not scruple to say they were not. There were, beside Madame Crosnier, Mademoiselle Allemagne, the first teacher; Mademoiselle Croissé, the drawing mistress, who also taught in the schoolroom; and Annette, a kind of half teacher, who had been one of the young ladies. I certainly never saw an English kitchen-maid dressed in the way she was. A dirty cap without a border, a black petticoat, a coarse blue gown tucked up like a bed-gown, a very coarse kind of linen apron, and shoes down [Pg 91]at the heels, completed her dress. She used to go about with a broom sweeping the rooms. The girls took it by turns to clean the schoolrooms once every week. They used to tuck up their frocks, sweep the dirt into the cabinet noir (or closet into which the litters were swept), and then throw a pail of water on the floor and mop it up. Miss Stephens used to call it her malheureuse semaine. The first morning we went earlier than usual, school had not begun, and a number of dirty girls were sitting or rather lying on the floor about the passages, looking like a set of gypsies. We went upstairs to the salle de dessin. Mademoiselle Croissé taught drawing. She was tall and sallow, and was reckoned pretty. She had a pair of staring black eyes, and a great deal of long black hair, which she seemed to admire very much, and used to bring in pieces of butter in a curl-paper and grease it beside us. She had done two very pretty drawings, which she kept to show. We sat down to our drawing. Mademoiselle Croissé drew us an [Pg 92]eye for a copy and left us; we might do it or not, just as we pleased, she never looked near us. Little Miss Fitzgerald had been learning drawing for a great many months, but she had only drawn two or three sheets full all the time. Nearly every day that I was there she did not even get out her paper, but sat playing, talking, or running out of the room. Mademoiselle Croissé used sometimes to stand at the window, and if she happened to see a cat, she had such a dislike to the sight of cats that she was obliged to send one of the girls from their drawing to drive these animals away. At other times she was out of the room, or employed with her own drawing, so that she had hardly time to tell us how our drawings looked when we had done them. Once when we had just settled to our drawings (Mademoiselle Croissé absent as usual), in came two of the maids—'Mademoiselle, il faut sortir, car je vais baller la chambre'; we were therefore obliged to decamp. The servants were the rudest set I ever saw. Catherine had a music mistress, [Pg 93]Mademoiselle Pascal; but she begged to have her no longer. One of the pianos would hardly sound, and they had no additional keys. The mistress did not seem to understand music very well, and she used to like heavy playing. I do not think it is any credit in the French masters being cheap; at least, from the specimens we saw here they got their money very easily. Monsieur le Chevalier, the writing master, came once or twice a week; he used to sit down at one end of the table, and never move; he had a curious squeaking voice. I could never find out what he did except mending pens, and those were so bad that we were obliged to get Madame Crosnier to mend them afterwards;-she also gave us the copies: he never saw what I had written the whole time. Euphemia one day said to one of the English girls, 'Pray, is that man sitting there, mending pens, called a writing master?' As for the dancing, it was quite a farce. We heard a great deal about the salle de danse, so we imagined it to be quite a fine place; but [Pg 94]what did this beautiful salle turn out to be, but a passage leading to the schoolroom, in which we hung up our hats, etc. There was not a chair in the place. It was to my astonishment that they could dance at all in such a hole as it was. Monsieur Bréton taught here. The girls dressed in the same elegant dresses as they generally wore, and we used often to hear them laughing, crying, and romping. Of course we did not learn.


June 11th.—After we had finished drawing, we went downstairs into the schoolroom. It was a long room; in it there were two tables, which seemed originally to have been white, but they were now almost black with ink-stains and dirt; at the top of one of the tables sat Madame Crosnier, and at the other Mademoiselle Allemagne. We none of us did anything but write and copy one another's writings; Madame Crosnier sat reading the newspapers, every now and then looking up [Pg 95]and saying 'travaillez,' or 'paix.' The girls stained all their frocks and aprons with ink; if the rulers were inky they wiped them on their aprons, and if there were not inkstands enough, they had a very short expedient; they made an inkstand of the table, by pouring some ink on it into which they dipped their pens. The paper of the room was torn off, so that in many places one could see the canvas that covered the walls. Round the room were hung several maps, which looked as if they had been nibbled away by mice. The girls jumped over the stools, spirted ink at one another, tossed about the books, and danced upon the tables;[19] it did not seem to be in the teachers' power to make them be quiet, though they sometimes gave them verses to write; but the most common punishment was either making them kneel down (which the girls seemed to think good fun), or else sending for the bonnet de nuit, which [Pg 96]they put on and laughed. Soon after we had come down, one of the girls brought in Madame Crosnier's breakfast. She used to have such a variety; one day fish, another asparagus and oil, another dressed eggs, another pease, another minced beef, etc., along with this she had bread, and wine and water; and afterwards she had a cup of coffee and some more bread, so that she did very well. Soon after Madame Crosnier had finished her breakfast, they had prayers; the girls knelt down, while one of them gabbled over a prayer as quick as she could; the only words we could distinguish were, 'C'est ma faute, c'est ma faute, c'est ma grande faute, par St. Jean, et St. Paul, et St. Pierre' (then all the French girls crossed themselves). Madame Crosnier and Mademoiselle Allemagne very seldom knelt down; they used to be employed mending pens or correcting exercises. After prayers were finished, the girls got up and wrote as before. Madame Crosnier's two children used to come running in, or squealing at the door [Pg 97]most of school-time. The youngest was quite an infant, a miserable-looking little thing, wrapt up in a woollen cloth, daubed with dirt: the servants used to sit in the kitchen with it on their knees, and stuff its mouth full of curd. The other child was liked by some of the girls, but I thought it a most disagreeable little brat: it had on a dirty, ragged, little brown pinafore, and its face looked as if it was never washed. At twelve o'clock Madame Crosnier rang a bell, and then all the girls left off school, and went into the luncheon-room. The day-scholars brought their own luncheon, mostly bread and cherries, and capillaire or sorbet to drink; two little French girls brought a bottle of wine, or wine and water, which they drank between them. Those that did not bring their luncheon got the sour French bread and curds, or apples. Mademoiselle Allemagne or Mademoiselle Croissé helped the luncheon. The girls used to eat one, and sometimes two, half slices off the flat loaves a foot in breadth, cut very thick, and [Pg 98]sour curd as thick as the bread; the girls used to take dirty knives out of their pockets and spread the curd on the bread. The English girls told us that they got for breakfast, broth or radishes, or apples and bread; for dinner, bouilli or roast mutton, and instead of pudding, vegetables dressed with butter; and for supper nearly the same as at luncheon. After luncheon they used to go into the garden (which was more like a wilderness) and skip or run, or sit and talk, or else they used to amuse themselves in the house, in making little baskets, fishes, crosses, birds, etc., of beads; which was very agreeable work.[20] At one o'clock the bell rang again, and we employed ourselves much the same as in the morning, till two o'clock, when school was over. Annette taught in a different room, principally the little ones. We once looked in: all the little girls were sitting dawdling and scribbling round the table up [Pg 99]to their elbows in ink; Annette was walking round rapping the table with a short ruler and saying 'travaillez, travaillez.' The youngest of her scholars, who was only five years old, used to walk up and down the passages most of schooltime, and if any of the English girls spoke to her she used to say, 'Moitié Anglaise, moitié Anglaise.' She could, however, speak nothing but French. Notwithstanding the number of English, not one of the French girls could speak a word of English except Mademoiselle Selina, who used to say 'Good nih, good morning.'[21]

We were altogether very much astonished at this genteel and select school; if I had not seen it, I could not have thought it possible for the girls to be specimens of French young ladies. I only attended a month, and though, at first, it was a change, I was not [Pg 100]sorry to leave such a dirty, disagreeable place. Catherine and Euphemia were ill, and therefore stayed a much shorter time. Madame Crosnier's fête was some months after. I was told that on her fête she gave a ball and supper, to which she invited (besides her own friends) all the young ladies and their parents. One English girl said if she might she would have no wish to come, for she knew they would get nothing but scraps to eat and sugar and water to drink.[22] Before the fête it is the custom to give Madame Crosnier a present. One year they gave her a gown, another year a carpet, and this year it was to be a clock. Each of the girls subscribed ten francs or 8s. 4d., and some of the little ones six francs. They also gave a drawing or some present of their own. At Christmas they each gave a pound of tea or sugar, or a pair of gloves or some other thing.


Before the girls took their première communion [Pg 101](which they take as soon as they are ten years old) Madame Crosnier instructed them a great deal on their catechism, etc.; they did not come down or speak to any of the other girls for a week before.

Near the stables there were several girls who used to beg from every person they met; two were quite rude. As we went we used to see people sitting out of doors getting their breakfasts or dinners. They seemed to have very curious messes: bread and fruit, broth, and porringers of preserves into which they dipt their bread, for dinner. On one bench we generally used to see a number of millers[23] sitting getting their breakfast, with a very long roll and a knife in their hands, and a bottle of vin ordinaire beside them.


June 14th.—We had been with Carruthers to the market, and after she had bought her things, as there were more than she could [Pg 102]carry, she got a boy (of whom there were plenty ready) to carry some of her goods home for her. When we reached home she paid him the common price, but to our surprise he refused to take it unless he could get a great deal more; she then offered him some meat and bread besides the money, but this he also refused unless he might carry away the plate; and to try and frighten Carruthers he said he would go and bring the commissaire. After remaining for a quarter of an hour the porter's wife came in, and after scolding him for some time she at last obliged him to take the money (which she said was more than was usually given) and the meat and go away, which he did, abusing Carruthers all the way. This was one of the boys who used to point at us on our way to school.


June 15th.—I this day went to Paris with mamma and papa: papa had been staying [Pg 103]there for a few days. We had a very pleasant ride, and reached the Hôtel du Mont Blanc, Rue de la Paix, where papa had been before. This street is one of the best in Paris; there are footpaths at the sides, and the boulevards run along the bottom. We walked along the boulevards under the rows of trees; at one side there are the Chinese baths, the outsides of which are curiously ornamented with artificial rocks and figures holding umbrellas, etc. There seemed to be a great many people idling about. There was a man with a canary in a kind of moss bower; the bird was so tame as to sit still without attempting to fly away. There was another man with a tame hedgehog, which he held up in his hand to the people; it seemed to be playing tricks. We went through the Passage des Panoramas, where we bought a bunch of clear beads for five sous, a sou dearer than at Versailles. We afterwards went to the Palais Royal, where they asked eight sous a bunch: the shops in the Palais Royal are very dear and disagreeable. [Pg 104]There were some curious things at the windows.


June 16th.—A very fine day. After breakfast we went in a coach to the flower-market. We walked down it: the women had on large straw hats. There were rows of flower-pots down each side, the prettiest collection I ever saw. There were roses, carnations, myrtles, beautiful campanulas, geraniums, Madagascar periwinkles, etc.: there were also strawberries, currant, apple and orange trees, all in pots. The apple-trees were a a very small kind, the branches of which were covered with fruit; there were likewise little oranges on the orange-trees. From this we drove to the Church of St. Sulpice. There is a picture over the altar on which the light falls from the top. There was a wedding going on in it when we entered. They were a curious-looking pair that were married. I was not near enough to see [Pg 105]plainly what the priest was doing, but when the ceremony was over he passed close by us muttering to himself all the way; he was dressed very finely, but he was the most horrid-looking old man I ever saw; he reminded us of the Inquisition and everything horrible.

Near the church is the Fontaine de St. Sulpice; it is a very plain little fountain. From this we went to Notre Dame, where we saw the end of a christening. After that we went to the Fontaine des Innocents; it is a large, high fountain, with several lions' heads, which were not playing when we saw it. From this we drove to Tivoli. In going to it we passed through the narrowest streets I was ever in. I do not think two carriages could possibly have passed. They were very dirty and close, and had such disagreeable smells; I was not sorry to get through them. We got out at Tivoli, and walked under a kind of trellis-work up to the house where you pay. Tivoli is not near so nice, or so large as Sydney Gardens [Pg 106]at Bath. There are several winding walks bordered with Austrian roses, box, etc. There are a great number of swings and roundabouts of ships, swans, and horses. We saw a man playing at a kind of game; to a long wooden box was fastened a string with a wooden bird at the end of it; he threw it so as to fire a pistol, and then Cupid came out of the top. At one part of the garden there is a steep hill; at the top is a temple, and near the bottom a sort of grotto; at the top are kinds of carriages, and whoever wants to ride down gets into one; they slide in grooves down the hill and under the grotto. I should think it would be a frightful thing. After we had walked over the garden we went into a café and got some cakes and wine. We then left Tivoli and walked up to Montmartre; it is very steep up to it, but when one gets to the top near some windmills one has a view of the whole of Paris and the country round it, quite like a panorama. On our way home we stopped at several shops to buy a cap; but [Pg 107]they asked us very dear, and had nothing particularly nice. At some shops there is written 'English spoken here,' and on one 'English spiked here.' It requires a great deal of bargaining to get things for a right price. At some shops there is written 'prix fixe.' The people in the shops are remarkably plain, and plainly dressed.





June 17th.—No sooner were we out of bed than there came several men before our windows, and played tunes. One man came into the street with a fiddle, which he played on, made grimaces, and jumped about as if he were crazy. He was a most extraordinary-looking creature; he was dressed like a merry-andrew, with a white wig and a queue on his head; if one had seen him in England one would have thought he was mad. While he was capering about, another man came into the street with a puppet-show; he put a table on the ground, and made first some men and women, and then a carriage, [Pg 108]go round it[24] In the middle of the day we walked in the gardens of the Tuileries, which were excessively crowded, and through the square of the Louvre. It is the most beautiful thing of the kind I ever saw; I think it is a much more magnificent palace than that of Versailles. It is beautifully carved round every window and door, and excessively white and clean-looking. I altogether admired this palace, and the Colonne de la Place Vendôme, the most of any of the buildings in Paris. In the evening I walked with papa on the boulevards as far as the Fontaine de Bondy, which was not playing. It was dark when we came back, and the boulevards were crowded with people. The cafés were lighted up, and were full of people sitting taking refreshments. There were stalls like a fair, puppet-shows, and conjurers. I never saw anything so unlike Sunday.[25]


[Pg 109]


June 18th.—We went to the Palais Royal (on our way we bought a souvenir). I wanted some little remembrance of France: we went into several shops in the Palais Royal, and the cheapest thing I could get there was a little gilt cart and horse, for which the woman asked ten francs. We, however, got it for eight, which was far too much, as we got as pretty a one in the Rue de la Paix for half the price; we also got some silk winders of mother-of-pearl. The shops in the Palais Royal are very dear and disagreeable: the people seem to make quite a favour of selling you anything.[26] Near this we got some strawberries and cream in a café (Véfours). After that we drove to the Luxembourg. We walked in the gardens, which are very formal, but pretty in their way; there are a great [Pg 110]many flowers and roses growing out of the banks of grass. There are a few basins of water, and a great number of statues. We did not see the inside of the palace. As we were returning we saw the King in his coach a good way before us; he had a great many attendants with him. In the afternoon we dined at Major Cape's. Most of the party liked France very much. Just before we went there we saw a crowd in the street, and after looking a little while we observed a man dressed up in scarlet à la Henri Quatre, with a feather in his hat, on horseback. He rode up and down, and seemed to be making a speech. The people then made a large circle round him, and three little boys and a girl who were with him, dressed up like merry-andrews, got on stilts, and marched and danced before him. The man then got off his horse, and got on stilts; the man and the children were on stilts so as to make them the same height, so that the least, who did not look above five or six years old, must have been more than a yard from the ground. [Pg 111]They all took hold of hands, waltzed, sauteused, ran under each other's arms, and danced a fine figure-dance. The man did the worst. They danced to the beating of a drum; the little one curtsied on his stilts, and after they had done, the man put him on the horse, and sent him round to collect money. We stayed very late at Major Cape's; and I was glad to go to bed when we came in.


June 19th.—This was the last day I was to stay in Paris, for which I was very sorry, as I liked being in Paris a great deal better than in Versailles. There are some very amusing things in Paris, though I do not think it is to be compared to London. We expected Miss Wragge and brothers and sisters to see the museum, which we had been long promised. Miss Wragge, Barbara, the two boys, and Caroline came just after we had finished breakfast; but Catherine [Pg 112]and Euphemia were so ill they could not come. (Catherine was not well when we came to Paris, but we hoped by this time she would have been better.) After they had come we bought some gilt gigs, baskets, etc., in a very cheap, civil shop in the Rue de la Paix, where there were a great many little ornaments. We also bought some silk shoes at a good shop near. After we came in, Mr. and Mrs. Fisher called. We did not go to the museum, but went instead to the Louvre, where we had a longer view of the pictures than before; I did not like them better this time than when I first saw them. There were several Quakers in the Louvre; we saw some in the streets of Paris at different times. As soon as we came back from the Louvre we returned to Versailles. On our way we saw the Duchesse d'Angoulême in an open carriage. When we reached the Avenue de Sceaux we found Catherine very ill, and Euphemia not at all well.

[Pg 113]


June 20th.—Before breakfast we went to see the girls and boys take their première communion at Notre Dame. The church was so full we could hardly get near to see them.[27] The first set of young ladies that came in were dressed in white muslin frocks trimmed with lace and satin, white sashes, gloves, shoes, and ridicules, lace and white satin caps, and lace or muslin veils; the next set were dressed in the same way with pink sashes; the third set blue; the fourth set green; and the two next sets white. After that came a school of girls dressed in buff cotton frocks and common muslin veils, who seemed to be poor girls: several nuns sat with them. Another set had on thick white frocks. All the girls sat in a seat by themselves. The boys had bows of white ribbon on their arms. Madame Crosnier's school was very smart with white sashes like the others; those of [Pg 114]her girls who did not take their communion were dressed in neat white frocks, scarlet sashes, and Leghorn bonnets. Madame Crosnier and her teachers were very nicely dressed. The girls had every advantage that dress could give them; but we could not help remarking how very different a set of English girls would look to those with their dingy complexions. They had candles in their hands, which they lighted and blew out several times during mass. Some of the candles were very much ornamented with gold paper, etc.; one had a little gilt basket filled with flowers round it, and others lyres on them. I thought there was a great chance of the girls setting fire to each other as they sat close together. While we were in the church there were two women with a little child beside us, which squalled and fretted the whole time. It first would have one thing, and then another. The women managed it excessively stupidly; they first gave it a cake, then snatched it away from it, then whipped it, then kissed it; and they looked [Pg 115]at each other as much as to say it is impossible to make it be quiet. The French children are little petted, disagreeable, spoiled things; they say that it hurts their health to find fault with them.[28] They are very dirty, and their heads are covered with a cap of dirt which they call the Écaille du bon Dieu, and it is reckoned a kind of sacrilege to take it off. Even the highest ranks of people do not comb their children's hair till they are two years old, that they may be covered with this cap of dirt, which, they say, prevents them having sore eyes and makes them cut their teeth easily. Another prejudice that they have is that nursing and tossing the children about makes them mad; the doctors say that it is only the dull air of England that requires it:[29] some of them say that it is that which causes so many mad people in England. The consequence is that the French babies are dull, heavy, and stupid. [Pg 116]We were obliged to leave the church to go to breakfast, so we missed seeing the girls take the sacrament, which they take on their tongues and eat whole without breaking it. After they had done we saw them go home; Madame Crosnier's school went in a coach. In the evening we went again to Notre Dame, where one of the priests preached a sermon to the boys and girls that had taken the sacrament, and told them to prepare for being confirmed the next morning. After the sermon was finished they walked in procession round the inside of the church, the girls first and the boys after, with lighted candles in their hands. Some of the candles were so much broken that they could hardly hold them upright. One or two of the girls did not look more than six or seven years old: we supposed that they had not been taking the communion, but were only walking in the procession. It was altogether a pretty sight. After they had walked round the church they all went home. When they receive their première communion it is customary [Pg 117]to give the priest something: this time they gave a clock.


June 23rd.—This day is the fête of St. Jean. We were told that in the evening there was to be a tree burnt down opposite the palace. Accordingly Miss Wragge, brothers, and some of the servants, went to see the ceremony. A tree was fixed up round which were tied bundles of straw and faggots, and a guard stood round it. The son of the governor of the château came out in great style, attended by several servants, with a torch in his hand; he set fire to the tree, and the people tried to pull away the faggots as they were burning. The whole party gave me a very poor account of it. The servants said they could not think what made the people make such a fuss about seeing a bit of a tree burnt down.

[Pg 118]


June 24th.—This was the Fête Dieu, a grand fête day in France. Soldiers and priests were passing all the morning. There was a procession at eight o'clock, which I did not see. At half-past eleven we went to the Avenue de St. Cloud, where we were told the procession would pass. There were a very great number of people, amongst others our porter's wife, who ran to get near the procession that the priests might touch her baby. We stood near Madame Crosnier's school; the girls (except Mademoiselle Rose, who was much as usual) were neatly dressed. There were soldiers along each side of the avenue. We were amused at several women who tried to run quickly across before the procession. After we had waited for a long time the procession at last came:—1st, three men on horseback; 2nd, a man in a red gown trimmed with fur, who carried a large red flag—two boys held the strings; 3rd, a man in purple who held a purple flag—two [Pg 119]boys held the strings; 4th, a priest with a red flag—two priests held the strings; 5th, pioneers and a band of music; 6th, priests singing; 7th, a number of priests with books and crosses, and a concierge; 8th, priests with censors full of incense, and baskets full of flower-leaves;[30] 9th, several priests holding a crimson velvet canopy, under which was the Bishop of Versailles, an old man of eighty-four. A number of pages dressed in coats embroidered with gold, fleurs-de-lys, etc., and a number of officers, closed the procession. Along each side of the avenue there walked the boys and girls who had taken their première communion, dressed as before. The girls walked on one side and the boys on the other. One of the girls was dressed in white silk and a blue and gold mantle, with long hair over her face and back. We were told that this little girl was dedicated to the Virgin; she was a very curious-looking figure. Several nuns walked with the [Pg 120]girls. After them, along each side, there walked a number of priests in very brilliant dresses, gold, red, and green, etc. Besides these there were priests in different parts of the procession. Every now and then the procession stopped, and the priests that went before the bishop turned round and threw incense and flowers, which looked very pretty.

After the procession had passed, we went to see the reposoir of the Lyceum, which we were told was the prettiest. It is a building like a temple. The doors were shut, but a very civil, gentlemanly-looking person let us go in. The pillars were hung with wreaths of green, and there were rows of trees in boxes up the middle, cut like those in the gardens. The altar was a good deal ornamented: there were golden candlesticks, artificial flowers, etc., on it. They were putting away the things while we were there. The person who let us in said it was customary to give away the flowers; we got two or three, which were all that were left. Before [Pg 121]the reposoir there was grass laid for the priests to kneel upon; we saw some women picking it up. There was another reposoir in the Avenue de Berri, and one near us at the end of the Avenue de Sceaux, which was made slightly up, out of doors. There were flower-pots on the sides, and a cross of lilies and roses on the top. The children had dressed up little chapels on tables against the wall, in the streets, with little figures, vials full of flowers, coloured paper, etc. As people went by they came to beg 'pour la petite chapelle.' One girl who came was quite a monster: she had no nose, and two teeth that stuck out of her mouth like tusks. Out of some of the windows in the streets were hung pieces of tapestry and old carpets.

June 26th.—Catherine was now extremely ill; indeed, no person seemed very well. What with the cold, and one thing and another, we grew more dismal than ever. This day papa told us for our comfort (for the first time) [Pg 122]that as soon as Catherine was able we should all go home. This piece of intelligence made us all happy for a short time, as it was what we did not at all expect. I cannot tell what made me dislike France so very much; one reason I think was that I raised my expectations too high. I had heard so much of the fine climate, the excellent fruit, and the lively people, that I was quite disappointed at the cold weather, the bad fruit,[31] and the dull people. Besides, I felt so far away from home that I grew quite unhappy. Nothing seemed agreeable; I was tired of the gardens and the processions. My greatest amusement was a little rose-tree that died soon after I got it. In the morning when I got up, the only thing I wished was that the day was over, and that we had a day less to stay at Versailles. The family that had lived above us was now gone. Miss Ward and [Pg 123]Miss Johnson—two Irish ladies, with Mab, their French servant—now inhabited that part of the house. They had come to France on account of being ill. They were remarkably civil in sending down 'comed-milk,'[32] fruit, or anything else they thought Catherine might like.


June 28th.—Carruthers saw our bread-baker standing at the street door talking to some women, with nothing on him but a small apron. The French do not seem to have any idea what delicacy is.


June 29th.—We went to the lavoir which is at the end of the Avenue de Sceaux. It is covered at both sides, and the water is between. There are boxes full of straw placed along for the women to kneel on. [Pg 124]They beat the clothes with wooden things of this shape . When we saw it this time there were twenty women. One good-natured, civil kind of woman took us to see her wash-house, where she made lie. She told us a great deal about the lavoir. A porter takes charge of it; the blanchisseuses pay three, and the bourgeoises four sous each time, and so much for line for drying their things upon. It closes at seven o'clock. The people go to the porter and say, 'Place my boxes in such a place for so many,' and then he arranges them accordingly. I took a sketch of the side of the lavoir; the people seemed very much amused at it. One disagreeable kind of woman called out, 'Mettez moi en peinture, elle n'est pas gentille, je suis plus gentille qu'elle,' and then she held up her face to show us how pretty she was.[33] She told us to draw a woman with a barrow, and she laughed and said, 'Elle est blanchisseuse de torchons.'


In France they do the things up very well, [Pg 125]but in the washing they spoil them very much. They put the clothes into some kind of liquid which brings the colour out, and they beat them almost into holes. A gown of the servants' was quite spoiled. Our washerwoman had a little girl with green bead baskets in her ears.

July 1821


July 2nd.—We went to the Avenue de Paris to see the funeral of the Duchesse d'Orléans, which was to come from Paris. It was close weather; one heavy shower came on and obliged us to take shelter under the trees. There was a person sitting on a stone who told us she was reduced, and talked[34] a great deal. There were soldiers along both sides of the avenue as far as the [Pg 126]eye could reach. There were a great many cuirassiers; when the sun shone on their steel armour it glittered very much; two of their horses got loose and galloped all the way down. We waited above two hours before the funeral came. First there came three men on horseback, and after them several other men, then several shabby post-chaises, and next the hearse, which was covered with black velvet and silver. After that came guards, pages, people, carriages, etc. The avenue was crowded with people.


At twelve o'clock we went along with Miss Ward and Miss Johnson[35] to Notre Dame to see the marriage of Marshal Soult's nephew to the femme de chambre of the Duchesse d'Angoulême. We sat very near the altar. The church was excessively full; there were a great many English. The bride was not at all pretty. She wore a white gauze gown trimmed with flowers, over a white satin [Pg 127]slip, and a veil fastened round her head with a wreath of white roses. She was little, and had not a good figure; the waist of her gown was very long and made very high in front (which most of the French gowns are), which was not improving to her figure. Marshal Soult was a vulgar-looking man, with a cross, disagreeable countenance. His nephew was not ill-looking. There were three bridesmaids, who looked old enough to be the bride's mother; they were little and fat, and queerly dressed. The marriage ceremony was chiefly done by the priest; he read and prayed by himself, and seemed to have nothing to do with them. At last they each held a lighted candle; the priest read some prayers to them; and one of the little boys brought them a silver castle and a silver plate to kiss. Marshal Soult seemed to look at it with great contempt. During one part of the ceremony a curtain was held over them. While the ceremony was going on we saw the priest do something that appeared very irreverent. After he had been [Pg 128]praying on the steps of the altar, no sooner had he risen than he spit on them: we afterwards saw him dancing across the vestry. After the ceremony there was a collection of money. Miss Ward told us only to give a sous or two; we observed the bridegroom thought he had given too much, as he took out of the plate what he had at first given, and put in a smaller sum.

After we returned from the church there was a great deal of rain, thunder and lightning.


July 3rd.—A very hot day. We went along with uncle Lancaster to see the inside of the palace. The first part we were shown into was the chapel. It is extremely beautiful and magnificent. We looked at it over the railing, which is marble and gold; the ceiling is painted, and the organ (though silver) is very light and pretty. We next entered the Salon d'Hercule. It is 64 feet long and 54 broad. It is entirely composed [Pg 129]of beautiful marble; there is a great deal of painting and gold about the ceiling. The Salle de l'Attendance, Salle de Vénus, Salle de Diane, Salle de Mars, Salle de Mercure, etc., are all much alike, decorated with painting, gold, and marble. After passing through these splendid apartments several other large rooms appeared quite small. The King's library is not fine, nor the bedrooms of the King and Queen. There are some very curious glass closets in which one sees oneself reflected at the top, the bottom, and all sides, apparently without end. The Œil de Bœuf is a long room, but not very splendid. In it is a picture of Louis xiv. surrounded by his family; at the end is a round window like an ox's eye. There is a very plain dining-room, white, with small paintings, which, though nothing like the other rooms, I liked very much; it was quite a relief to my eyes after so much splendour. The Salle de la Guerre is a good deal painted and gilt; there are some very good imitations of bronze. From this you enter the [Pg 130]Grande Galerie, which is 222 feet long, 32 broad, and 40 high. There are seventeen large windows, and as many mirrors opposite to them. These are separated by pillars of marble. On the ceiling is painted, in nine large pictures and eighteen small ones, the history of Louis xiv. From the windows of this gallery you have a good view of the gardens. When we were there they were repairing part of it. We passed from this to the Salon de la Paix and several other apartments. The Salle de l'Opéra is very large, and I dare say when it is lighted up it would look very fine; but I thought it far the least pretty of any of the rooms; it looked gone to ruin. The staircase in the palace is marble. The only piece of furniture in the whole palace is a small clock. I don't think I ever saw anything so unlike the residence of a king: there appears to be nothing but gold, marble, glass, and paintings. A man shows the rooms, to whom you give something; both times I was there it was full of people.

[Pg 131]We went through the gardens to the Grand Trianon. The rooms are all on one floor. They look very different to the rooms of the other palace, but amusing in their way. We waited in a hall for the person to conduct us through the other apartments. In one of the rooms there is a beautiful inlaid table, round which are represented the signs of the zodiac; it was made by a pupil of Sicard who was deaf and dumb. The beds have plumes of white feathers at the top; they reminded us of hearses. Some of the chairs are very pretty tapestry worked in lilies, roses, and birds. There are also several tapestry pictures. There is a long gallery between the windows, in which there are a great many models of ships. There are also several statues and some curious little agate ornaments in it. In one room there is a beautiful green malachite-of-copper basin, and slabs of the same, given by the Emperor of Russia to Maria Louisa; the man who showed us the rooms did not seem to like to speak about it. In the same room there were some common, [Pg 132]vulgar tongs, such as one would not see in a kitchen. There were gold arrows on the chimney-piece for lights, and very pretty lustres. I think the palace is a great deal more amusing than the other. After we had been through the rooms we got some cider and cakes at the place where we left our umbrellas. We did not see the gardens, which are said to be pretty.

When we were rested we went to the Petit Trianon. There is nothing at all to see in the rooms; it is like any small private house. The Queen's bed is gold muslin, and the walls of the room are covered with blue silk. The gardens are remarkably pretty; they are made in imitation of English gardens, designed by the unfortunate Marie Antoinette, and have none of the stiffness and formality of the other French gardens. At one part of the garden there is the figure of a Chinese holding an umbrella; it ought all to turn round like a swing. Near that is a small theatre, or rather music-room. There are little streams in different parts of the [Pg 133]gardens, an artificial river, and a pond. After you cross a bridge with rocks at the sides, you enter a dark grotto, from which you go out by a staircase. There is a music-room and a temple and a tower; the man told us that the late Queen used to get on the top of the tower and sing. The pond scenery makes quite a pretty landscape; several willows overhang it, and three or four swans were swimming in it; at one side there is a farm-house, a dairy, and a mill. We were told that the Queen used sometimes to dress herself up like an English farmer's wife, and call herself Mrs. Browne; she used to stay at the farm, and her attendants used to dress up as her servants.

We returned home very much tired with the heat; in the evening there was rain, thunder and lightning.


July 6th.—As our house was very cold, and the stone floors were thought to be bad [Pg 134]for Catherine, we took a house in the Rue Reservoir, which we this day went to; before we went, however, we had quite a battle with Madame Vernier. We warned her a fortnight before that we were going to quit the house; but it was at five in the afternoon, and she said we ought to have given her warning before twelve; she therefore charged us for another month. As mamma knew this was an imposition she was determined not to pay it. She sent for the proprietor of the house (who was very civil), and also for Madame Vernier. The proprietor talked to her a long time, but she would take no less; he then wanted Miss Wragge to go with her to the juge de paix, which of course she did not do. Madame Vernier had been a camp-follower: she was a great, fat woman with a voice like a man's. We heard of several tricks that she had played the English; she said that the French had payed plenty of contributions, and she was determined that the English should make up for it. Once when some people would not pay her what [Pg 135]she asked for, she went round the house and picked out every scratch and hole, saying a franc for this, and so much for that, till she made up the sum she wanted. Another time she charged an unreasonable price to some people who were dining there (her husband was a restaurateur), and on their refusing to pay it she locked the gates and threatened to detain their trunks. As the gentleman was very lame, he was glad to pay what she required and get off, though they had bargained before for dinner at so much less per head! When mamma knew what a woman she was she determined not to pay her for the next month. Accordingly she sent for papa, who was at Paris, and papa and Dr. Murdoch (who had resided long in France and spoke French perfectly) went along with Madame Vernier to the juge de paix, who said she was wrong, and in case of her detaining our trunks gave papa the name of a huissier. Madame Vernier told the juge de paix that papa had attempted to strangle her, to which he replied [Pg 136]that she looked more likely to strangle one of the garde de corps. She told him that he knew nothing at all about it, and came away in a great passion. She then got a relation of hers who was a lawyer's clerk (or something of the kind), and she brought him upstairs to convince us. The proprietor tried to persuade her to take the money; she, however, refused it; but when she found papa was determined not to give any more they all went downstairs, and after consulting a little while, she sent up to say she would take the money. After this contest she was, like a tamed lion, and was quite civil. We went to our house in the Rue Reservoir, which we did not find quite so comfortable as we had expected.



July 7th.—Our new house was nearly opposite the theatre, which on a Sunday, particularly, was crowded with people; every Sunday evening a number of drunken people passed our windows; one Sunday we counted [Pg 137]six close together.[36] Our servants went one day to the play, but it was so dirty that it made them quite sick. Near our house was a priests' school; we used to hear the boys singing a great part of the day and sometimes in the night. Behind our house there was a small garden with very little in it. When mamma went to see the house two of the rooms were carpeted, and everything was very comfortable. Although Monsieur Grincourt had several days to prepare it, when we came to our new house the carpets were taken up, the curtains were taken off some of the beds, and everything was uncomfortable. The fireplaces were full of every kind of rubbish. There were not enough plates, glasses, etc. And we were reduced to many curious expedients. The French are very dilatory about bringing things. We saw they did not intend to give us back our carpets, as the next day they sent a frotteur[37] [Pg 138]to clean the floors; however, as we had taken the house with a carpet, we told them to bring it, and we used to send Nannette to scold every day till at last we got all we wanted. They also brought quilts for the beds, but they gave great charges that they were to be taken off at night. We got two tea-kettles which were a most extraordinary shape. The French make some little things very nicely, and other common things extremely awkwardly. There was a bath in the house, and the room adjoining it was remarkably damp; a great many toad-stools grew in the closet; there was also an ants' nest below the floor. The porter's wife was much younger than the one in our other house; her husband lived at Paris; she had one son of eleven or twelve, a very rude boy. Different people lived above us, latterly a Mr. and Mrs. Spurrier. Mr. Spurrier was determined his French servants should do like English servants; if he succeeded, I think he did more than any person did before him.

[Pg 139]


July 8th.—The lady above stairs played the whole day without ceasing on the harp; the boys at the priests' school made more noise than usual in their playground; numbers of people were going to a village fête; a great many people passed by on their way to the theatre, among whom was Mademoiselle Croissé; we counted six drunken people; shops were open as usual, and people going about their work as on any other day. On Sunday Madame Crosnier's girls spent the day in working and dancing.


July 9th.—We went in a carriage to see the village fête of Louvécienne. Little Miss Foaker went with us. It was a fine evening. Louvécienne, or Lucien, is above four miles from Versailles; it is very pretty about the village. There were lamps hung across the trees, and seats placed round on the ground where they danced. Three fiddlers were [Pg 140]stuck up in a kind of orchestra, and they played a very dull tune extremely badly. I was very much disappointed in the dancing: it was more like a funeral than a dance. The figure was a quadrille. They walked it all till they came to the setting, which they danced in their way, which was almost duller than the walking. All the time they were dancing their faces were as grave as judges: they behaved as if it was a lesson they wished to be done with; as soon as the dance was done they laughed, pulled each other round, and ran off to buy a sweetmeat at one of the booths; then they came back as grave as possible. One of the nicest girls was dressed in a white gown, pink apron, green shoes, and a gold chain; there was one very impudent, disagreeable, vulgar woman, dressed in blue cotton. Some were in white, and some had on red petticoats, high caps, gold chains, etc. There were booths, stalls, whirligigs, roundabouts, etc., like an English fair. We saw an old man and woman of sixty or seventy riding in a roundabout. At the [Pg 141]other end, near some trees, there was a party of ladies and gentlemen; they danced much like the peasants, in some respects worse—one or two of them, however, danced tolerably well. This party had rather better music, but very dull. As we went away they were beginning to light the lamps. It looked very pretty to see the people under the trees, but the dancing nearly put one to sleep, and the music was like a funeral dirge. They say that the French like dancing better than anything, and we heard it very much admired. For my part, I think it is neither graceful, nor pretty, nor merry.



Tuesday, July 10th.—We went up to Paris at nine o'clock to see the museum; it was a fine morning, but rather cold. It is a very pretty drive; the country is beautiful about the Seine. There were a great many bluebottles and scarlet poppies in the corn, more than I ever saw in England; the fields looked [Pg 142]like a sheet of blue and red. In Paris they sell pretty wreaths of bluebottles. We met a cart guarded by eight soldiers, with nothing in it but old chairs and broken tables. We arrived at Paris at twelve o'clock, and went to two flower-shops, where were beautiful artificial flowers. The carnations were scented. They had not many wreaths: the flowers that brides wear are the buds of orange flowers. We bought several single flowers, jessamine, roses, camilla,[38] japonica, etc. From this we all went to the cabinet d'Histoire Naturelle. We remarked the floating baths on the Seine. When we reached the Jardin des Plantes the museum was not open, so we walked in the garden till three o'clock, when the doors are opened. There was quite a crowd of people of all ranks. I think it is wonderful that the things are not hurt, as the people press close to the glasses. We went to the upper gallery first, that we might have more time to examine it. Several rooms open one into the other. There were [Pg 143]soldiers with swords in their hands, walking up and down. We had not time to look at everything; we only skimmed over the things. The first rooms contain above two hundred monkeys; we scarcely looked at them at all. In this museum there seems to be every kind of creature. There is a great quantity of bats of all sizes; a rat with a young one on its back; some very small mice, marmottes, opossums, armadillos, lions, tigers, panthers, etc.; a horse; most beautiful little deer, some very small; a chevrotin; cats and dogs. These were all in glass cases round the room. In the middle of the room there were two enormous elephants, a rhinoceros, etc., a hippopotamus, which is a frightful-looking creature with an immense mouth. On the top of the cases there is a morse. In the middle of the next room there is a whale, a wild ox, a buffalo, and a cameleopard which almost touched the top of the room. There was the skin of a snake, like a trunk of a tree, near the top of the room. The animals in the middle of the room were not in cases. [Pg 144]There was a great variety of springboks, sjrisboks, etc., in this room, and also porcupines, foxes, and a variety of other animals.

The most beautiful and amusing room was that in which the birds were. There were a great many owls; pink spoonbills, scarlet flamingoes, toucans, parrots of every colour, very pretty kingfishers, penguins, cassowarys, peacocks and hens; there was one petrified ibis. The most beautiful were the humming-birds; their colours were quite dazzling: some were very small, and others larger. There was one beautiful forked-tailed humming-bird: its throat was of the most brilliant green, and its breast amethyst purple; the rest of its body was a shining black. The topaz humming-bird is also very pretty; it has a yellow breast and a red topping. The red-throated humming-bird is also pretty, but not so brilliant as my favourite fork-tail. One of the larger humming-birds is all bright black, like velvet, except the neck, which is the colour of an emerald. No colours could express the brightness of their [Pg 145]plumage. There were several nests which were whitish. In the same case with the humming-birds there were some scarlet creepers, very bright and pretty, and one or two blue creepers which were like precious stones. We examined this case longer than any other.

There was a glass case up the middle of the room in which were lobsters, corals, shells, sponges, etc. In one part all the insects were arranged. The butterflies were the most beautiful things I ever saw. There was one very large blue one that dazzled my eyes to look at; another black and bluish lilac; and the Amboyna butterfly, an immense green and black one, with most brilliant colours and shining like velvet. There were several small ones striped yellow and black; one very beautiful small scarlet and purple one; several very large greyish butterflies or moths which had small clear spots in their wings like glass; there were two or three smallish butterflies marked with every colour like marble. The large butterflies were excessively [Pg 146]beautiful. There were several English ones beside them that looked quite dull and ugly. There were a great many large moths; one grey and a great deal marked was even bigger than the green butterfly; there was another beautiful large grey moth with purple eyes in its under wings. Besides the butterflies there were several other insects: dragon-flies, the colours of which were quite gone; enormous spiders; a great variety of bees; an ant lion at the bottom of a small pit; very large caterpillars; and a great many other insects.

We then went to the lower gallery, which is not so amusing; but there are some curious fishes, a crocodile, very pretty marbles, a large piece of gold ore, and a great variety of stones, etc. Instead of real precious stones there were only imitations in glass, which looked very shabby. I was very sorry to leave the museum; it was the most amusing and beautiful thing in France. It closes at five o'clock. After we had left it we returned to Versailles.

[Pg 147]


July 15th.—Hearing a great deal of noise amongst the boys in the priests' school, we enquired what was the matter, and were told that it was the Duchesse d'Angoulême and the Duchesse de Berri come to visit the priests' school. We went out to see them, and after waiting a very long time for them, they at last came out, got into an open carriage, and drove away very quickly. There were a lady and a gentleman in the carriage with them, and several soldiers on horseback. There were a great many priests and boys looking out of the windows. Neither the Duchesse d'Angoulême nor the Duchesse de Berri are pretty: the Duchesse de Berri has very red eyes. Before this we had heard of the death of Buonaparte. A man used to go about the streets with a bundle of papers, crying, 'Voici les dernières paroles, et la confession importante que faisoit Napoléon Buonaparte [Pg 148]avant de mourir.' We were told that this was a famous spy. It was hot weather for two or three days, and every person watered before their doors.


July 17th.—This evening we had just returned from walking in the gardens when we were told by the servants that three English robbers had been just then taken up. There were two men and a woman, who had robbed some English at an hotel in Paris of a great deal of money, and gone off with it; they were, however, all stopped and taken up at Versailles. We heard of another Englishman that had swindled. An English lady told us that at Boulogne there were quantities of English who came over in debt, and that a prison there was so full of English that it was called the British Hotel.


July 18th.—This (and several other) evenings we walked to the hayfield near [Pg 149]the Trianons. There were a great many grasshoppers and brown butterflies (meadow arguses) flying out of the haycocks. We sat down on the hay, and Miss Wragge got a wisp of hay round her leg, which she took for a snake; this amused the people very much. Near here we used to see some little pensions of poor children going out to walk. At the gate of the Trianons we saw a little child of about three years old standing. It came up to us with a straw in its hand, which it held like a soldier; it then put it to our faces and tickled them. We asked it where it lived; it said 'là-bas.' Miss Wragge gave it a sou. The French children have a very forward manner; they come up to strangers and talk quite at their ease. We returned by the gardens. There was now a band of music (every Wednesday and Friday) in the King's garden, or the Tapis-vert. There were a great many flowers out in the King's garden: many different sorts of columbine, honeysuckle, syringas, and roses on sticks. The trees in the garden [Pg 150](Hartwell) are not cut like those in the rest of the garden, but are suffered to grow naturally. The music was not pretty; the players seemed very much afraid of tiring themselves, as they rested more than half the time. While the music played to-day, the Tapis-vert was crowded with people. We observed one little boy, who did not look more than three or four years old, with light curly hair and rosy cheeks; he had a kind of little bag before him, in which were different sweetmeats—dogs, lambs, etc. He ran to every person and begged them to buy; his little sweetmeats were a sou apiece. At first we thought it looked very pretty to see the little fellow selling the things, but we soon discovered that he was accompanied by a very disagreeable woman, and as the child followed and plagued every one it was quite unpleasant. As we returned through the gardens we saw some watering-pots—great, awkward, copper things—which we drew on our nails. This was a fine day.





[Pg 151]


July 20th.—Monsieur Soupé (from whom we got our wine) was the King's wine-merchant. He told us that there were 500 bottles of wine a day drunk in the King's house, and that the bills are settled every night; and that the King breakfasts at twelve o'clock on eggs and tea. He told us also that he had seen Buonaparte dine, and that he never took longer than eleven minutes. In the beginning of Louis xvi.'s reign 1300 bottles a day were drunk.


July 21st.—This evening (being fine) we walked past the Trianons. We met a shepherd with a flock of Andalusian sheep, and two fine dogs with pieces of wood hung to their necks. He had a crook in his hand, and a bag with a bottle in it by his side; one end of his crook was brass, and at the other there was a kind of little spade. We stopped to talk with the shepherd. Papa [Pg 152]asked him what the dogs' names were; he answered 'Petit et Beau-Rouge.' The wood was round their necks so that he might know them. He said that he used the crook to catch the sheep by their legs. He told us that the use of the spade was to punish his dogs, and to explain what he meant, he dug up a piece of earth and threw it at them. Papa asked what was in his bottle. 'Méchant cidre,' he answered. Papa gave him a franc to fill the bottle.


July 26th.—We drove out in the carriage this afternoon with Catherine, who was getting better, and who frequently drove out. We went round by the Trianons; in the forest we saw some pretty roebucks, which bounded through the wood. We passed a field full of lilac poppies. In returning we stopped at the Boulevard de St. Antoine, where there was a bal champêtre. There were lamps hung on the trees. [Pg 153]The music was very dull. We saw them dance two quadrilles. One garde du corps danced in a most extraordinary manner: he jumped and hopped, and kicked and bounced, as if he had learned off a bear at the North Pole. His partner, a little girl of ten or eleven years old, danced very well. One lady in a pink silk bonnet seemed as if she had learned in the French style, but wanted to dance lighter, for she walked two or three steps and then jumped up. They all kept bad time, walked and hopped. The three Miss Williams and their father were there. In the middle of their dance a heavy shower of rain came on; everybody ran into a house or went home. We saw the Miss Williams standing under a tree, like three white graces, half-way home.


July 28th.—This was an excessively rainy day; we found ten toadstools in Catherine's room. There were several people dining [Pg 154]here; there were fires in the rooms, which everybody was glad to get near. It was wet, disagreeable weather. We were all waiting eagerly to go home; the days seemed like weeks. To make them appear shorter, I made a list of all the days till the time we were to go home, and I scratched out one each day. This day was Nannette's fête; she went to a Dutch frow (a German woman), who gave her a nosegay.


July 29th.—We drove out this evening to Belle Vue. It was a fine evening. We saw a man standing before his door watering some boxes full of mushrooms. At Belle Vue we went through a house where we had a very fine view of Paris, the Seine and St. Cloud. We looked at a vineyard; there were no grapes on the vines there. We heard that the bad season had injured them.[39]

[Pg 155]


July 30th.—As we were walking out, we saw some priests carrying the host to a sick person across the street. A boy in red and white walked first, carrying a lantern on the top of a stick; next went another boy carrying a cross. After him two men in scarlet holding a little red canopy over the priest who carried the host. The sick man died next day. The servants saw the body laid out in the porte cochère with a vessel of holy water and a ladle beside it; every person that went past took a ladle full of holy water and sprinkled the corpse with it.

August 1821


August 4th.—We drove out this evening to Ville d'Avry. This drive is the prettiest I saw about Versailles; there are woody banks and paths, more like England. It was late when we reached the village, but [Pg 156]there was a clear, bright moon; and a woody hill with a house on the top, looked exceedingly pretty in the moonlight. There was also a house under a woody bank covered with vines; and a man was standing on a ladder pruning them. This place is beautiful; more like what I had imagined France. We got out of the carriage to see it plainer.


August 6th.—We were told this morning that the King and Prince Leopold were expected at Versailles. Quantities of troops passed our windows in their way to the Avenue Trianon, where the King was to review them. There were some La Roche Jacquellines on black horses. At about twelve o'clock we went (along with Mr. and Mrs. Spurrier) to Neptune's Bath, near which the King was to pass. The women charged a franc apiece for our chairs. There were rows of soldiers behind the trees. There was a great quantity of people around [Pg 157]Neptune's Bath; there seemed to be nearly all Versailles.[40]

There were several carriages waiting for the King in case it should rain, etc.; one of them was gold and red, very gaudy-looking. A carriage came on first before the King. When the King came, one needed four eyes: to look at the King on one side and round to Neptune's Bath at the other, for as soon as ever he came the waters began to play like fairy-work. The water shot out of each vase, Neptune's horses spouted, and the whole water seemed covered with spouts and cascades. In the first open carriage was the King, the Duchess d'Angoulême, Monsieur, and the Duchess de Berri. Prince Leopold did not come. Several carriages followed with attendants. The King is a very fat, contented-looking man. As soon as the carriages had passed the waters stopped. It was an extremely pretty sight. The King went on to the Trianons and stayed there for a long [Pg 158]while. When he returned the waters played again. They came back with large bunches of flowers in each carriage. We saw great numbers of the soldiers returning. Although the waters played for so short a time, some of the pipes burst. It costs 1200 francs every time the great waters play. The restaurateurs make a great deal of money when they play, as it brings numbers of people from Paris. About a week before this the restaurateurs caused it to be put in the newspapers that the great waters were to play; and this brought a great many people, who found to their disappointment that it was all false.



August 7th.—A very honest man with a voiture was to come for us from Abbeville, and then we were to go home. We expected him on Thursday, but to our great joy he came to-day, two days sooner than was expected. The whole house was in confusion; I was so delighted that I hardly [Pg 159]knew what to do. We set off directly to see the china manufactory at Sèvre. The day was very fine, and we had a most pleasant ride. The rooms in which the china was were up a long pair of stairs. In the first room there was nothing but plain white china: the plates are a franc apiece. There were beautiful large painted vases, some with landscapes on them, some purple, and others brown. Very pretty white baskets of flowers; three little children under lace veils made of white biscuit china. Curious-shaped salt-cellars; an inkstand the shape of a boat, etc.; several pictures, one of the King, the Duchesse d'Angoulême, Sappho, etc.; beautiful cups with humming-birds painted on them; a set of plates with flowers, jonquils, polyanthuses, etc., on them; another set with roses, and another with vegetables, with their names marked in gold; Bacchus and Ceres in a car drawn by bulls ornamented with wreaths of gold flowers—the figures are white; a set of plates with Eastern pictures on them, and another with birds beautifully painted. [Pg 160]There are several very large vases: one with a purple ground that cost 27,000 francs. There is a large china table on which Minerva is represented presenting the Louvre and other galleries to France. Another table, on which there are different palaces, cost 35,000 francs. There were also some very pretty white ornaments, with cones on the top and baskets of grapes about them. On one plate there is a view of Windsor, and on another General —— drowning in a river in Egypt.




The man told us that china was much cheaper than formerly. There was a transparency in the window; and some round pieces of glass on which were feathers, flowers, sea-weeds, etc., made in the shape of birds. From Sèvres we drove to St. Cloud. We could not go in front of the palace because the King was there. I did not think it pretty; there were a number of stalls and shops near it which did not look well. There were a great many guards. We returned home by Ville Daure, a very pretty [Pg 161]drive. As soon as we got home the whole house was in a bustle, as we were to set off next morning. We had shoes to buy, calls to make, bills to pay, clothes to get from the washerwoman's, masters to pay, gowns to get from Mademoiselle Bouillet, and things to pack up. In the midst of all this bustle, Nannette, who had gone up to Paris, had not returned when she promised, so we left Versailles without her knowing it. We tasted some green almonds at dessert, which were tasteless and insipid. The servants packed till two o'clock in the morning; they got the clothes from the wash at twelve at night. All was confusion, but every person was merry. It was the happiest day we spent in France. I went to bed with delight, happy to think it was the last night I should sleep at Versailles.


August 8th, 1821.—We had a cool but pleasant day to begin our journey. Miss [Pg 162]Wragge did not get her gown from Mademoiselle Bouillet till we were all in the carriage, and she declared she would not go without it, and told the man to drive off. At last after great bustling we set off at eleven o'clock; papa, mamma, Catherine and Caroline went before in the carriage, the rest of us went in the voiture. I never felt so little regret at leaving a place. I looked with joy at the houses and people, glad to think I should see them no more. We sang most part of the way. At a distance we saw the convent of St. Cyr. We passed the very long, fine aqueduct of Marli, and a small one further on. About here it was pretty country; there were a good many vineyards and orchards in corn. We had a view of Mount Calvary; near which we saw a set of gypsies by the side of the road. We then saw the Seine running through a pretty valley; and numerous vineyards continued to St. Germains, about which the country is pretty and well wooded. We stopped for some time at Poissy while the man rested [Pg 163]his horses. The house was like a public-house, but the mistress was a civil little woman. There was a cloth on the table on which was some Gruyère cheese, a loaf of bread and some pears; we took the pears, which were very good: she charged a franc. She told us that an English lady had been staying there a month. There was a pretty view out of the window. We walked along beside the river, and got a nice view from the bridge; there were a number of washer-women beating their clothes, and the water was white with soap-suds. After we had left Poissy we saw several horses carrying corn; their backs being hung with sheaves in a very curious manner. The corn about here did not look good. There was a good deal of asparagus; in some places there were alternate rows of corn and asparagus. The man who drove us sang most of the time, and altered his voice: he had been in England, and he said that when he came back to France he could not persuade the people that in England it took [Pg 164]only one man to shoe a horse. He had an English dog with him, which he said understood English, French, and Spanish. The name of the man was Jean de Grange. Here the country was not so pretty, as there are no hedges; the patches of corn and grass looked just like ribbons, particularly on the side of a hill. We reached Mantes in the evening. After crossing two bridges we saw a curious old church. The river looked full of soap; I think the water must be very unwholesome considering the quantity of soap which goes into it. We went to Hôtel du Grand Cerf. The floor of the parlour was boarded, and there were two vases full of artificial flowers; the people of the inn were civil. Two of our beds were in the parlour, from which they were divided by doors that shut like a closet.

August 9th.—We set off at a quarter to six. There were a few vineyards, but the country was not pretty as far as Châlons. The banks of the Seine are quite lovely, [Pg 165]and the river looks well here, as there are several islands in it. We saw a boat full of cattle going across the river. There are a good many houses and vineyards on the banks. Further on there were rows of walnut and plum trees by the roadside, which looked very pretty. The corn looked fine, but very much laid. There were not any animals, except here and there a skinny cow tethered by the roadside. We breakfasted at Vernon. The room we were in was very shabby. In one corner of a room we passed through there was a queer jug—a boy sitting across a barrel. They brought us in an odd-looking teapot; the water was smoked, as the tea-kettle had no lid, and the tea tasted like herbs and water; the milk too was thymy, the butter bad, and the bread sour. We had been told that in this part of the country chickens were fourpence a pair; the woman here told us that they were three francs and a half. It was at Vernon we saw a man sitting at the door eating a raw artichoke and oil. After leaving Vernon there came [Pg 166]on a heavy shower of rain. We saw several men mowing the corn. When it was fair, we got out at a cottage to gather some plums; the man shook the tree, and we picked up those that fell; we gave him half a franc, with which he seemed satisfied. We walked up a hill where we saw several butterflies; some with black and yellow striped upper wings, and under wings the colour of a dead leaf. There were rows of apple and pear trees; we picked up a few apples and pears which were not ripe; the apples were like alum and the pears like stone. The country was here much prettier: it was more like England; we even saw a few flocks of sheep, but they did not seem to get much: in one place they were eating the earth. As we were walking up the hill an old woman came to beg; the driver offered her a card of an inn, which he told her was a Bank of England note: she did not, however, take it, but turned away. There were several crucifixes in the villages and at the side of the road. The women about here had [Pg 167]generally short petticoats, and very high caps. The babies were wrapped up in swaddling-clothes, like mummies. We stopt at Louviers. The inn was very poor and shabby. The mistress had on a curious cap with long muslin lappets. While dinner was preparing we walked through the town. We went into a curious old cathedral, where were several figures with candles burning before them, and some Virgins dressed with little veils, artificial flowers, etc. There were a great many people kneeling down and repeating prayers. We went into a shop to look for some caps, but they asked a great deal for the commonest, so we did not buy them. The women here all wore the high caps. There was one little boy with long flaxen hair, and the lady who was with him took off his velvet cap to shew us his hair. On our way home we saw the same man and boys dancing upon stilts that I had seen at Paris: there was a great crowd round them, and a woman went about collecting money, saying, 'Encouragez la petite famille.' When we reached the inn [Pg 168]dinner had been ready some time. As soon as we had dined we continued our journey. We passed Pont Large in going out of the town. The country was beautiful, and we had another view of the Seine; they were making hay on one of the islands. Our eyes were quite refreshed by seeing two or three green fields hedged in, with a few cows feeding in them. Certainly if any person wished to have a pleasant impression of France they ought to come this way: it is beyond comparison prettier than the Calais road; the banks of the Seine are so beautiful. Near Rouen there is a chalk rock and several caverns with people living in them; and we had another beautiful view of the river. It was dark when we reached Rouen. It is an old, ugly town, but there appeared to be some good shops. We stopped at the Custom-house (there were a number of ships near it): they did not examine our trunks, but sent a person on to the inn with us. We went to the Hôtel de Normandie, which was all in confusion; the father of the people there was just dead: [Pg 169]their mother had been dead two years. When papa and mamma asked what we could have for dinner, they said anything; after it was ordered, however, they brought in only very few of the things and said the table d'hôte had eaten it all: and then they brought in two raw pigeons and asked if we would like to have them dressed. One of the hotel servants had been at Brighton, and she said she was very sorry to leave England, and was going to try to get there again. She spoke English tolerably.


August 10th.—Before breakfast we went to see the Church of St. Ouen, where there is a beautiful wheel-window over the organ. One of the churches here is like a coach-house. We set off again at nine. The streets we passed through were extremely narrow and dirty, and the town looked very busy, particularly about the shipping and river.[41] We had a fine view of a hill just [Pg 170]out of the town. There were a few hedges here. We saw a coffin covered with black and white velvet on some chairs before a door, with several candles burning round it, and a procession of priests and boys with crucifixes at a distance. As we were walking up a hill we saw an old beggar woman sitting by the roadside in a bower of dead leaves: her petticoat was covered with patches of all colours; she begged of us as we went past. We also saw two very curious figures with gilt caps and red cloaks. We did not see near so many beggars this way as we did on the Calais road. We stopped at Tôtes, where we dined. Before dinner we walked out past a long building; we asked some women what it was: they told us it was a corn-market, which belonged to Madame D'Ossonval seigneur du village. We got sugared peas, etc., for dinner. After Tôtes, the country was pretty: there were hedges like England. A good many of the people here (especially the old women) wore ugly cotton caps and [Pg 171]ribbons and crosses. We walked up a hill near Dieppe. I almost strained my eyes to see the sea; it was what I had wished to see for a long time; at last, when we had reached the top of a hill, we had a view of the sea and of Dieppe. We went to Taylor's English hotel. Out of the window of the sitting-room you look upon the ships: it is close to the harbour. This day we saw none of the curious caps we had heard about.


August 11th.—After breakfast we went into the market, where we saw quite as curious figures as we had expected. Some of the caps had lappets like butterflies' wings, and large bunches of hair turned up behind. We saw some of the hair hanging at a shop-door: it was coarse like horse-hair. A number of the people were dressed in black. We saw three women, like a mother and her daughters, coming in to market with baskets on their arms. They had on black gowns, aprons, and handkerchiefs; caps, the lappets of which blew out with the wind and showed [Pg 172]a great bunch of hair; and gold ornaments about their necks. There was one woman selling fruit who had on a very curious cap: the frame was made of pasteboard, and the front of it covered with gold, silver, spangles, tinsel, etc.; round the top there was a long piece of muslin which hung almost to the ground. The women we saw in the market had their lappets pinned up. Some of the old women had on cotton caps. We passed several shops (in our way to the market) full of little ivory ships and figures beautifully cut. We walked up to the castle, from which we saw the whole of the town. We afterwards went on the cliffs on the outside of the castle, from which we had a view of the sea with several boats on it. A woman came and spoke to us about a house which she had to let; she spoke very bad French: she called cinquante 'shinquante.' I could hardly understand the Dieppe people; they spoke so much through their noses.[42] We wanted to [Pg 173]buy a cap and a pair of sabots. We went into two or three shops before we could get a cap to our mind; we at last got a leno cap and an under cap to wear with it, such as the women in black wore, which was the most common kind. They told us that a gilt cap when new cost 20 francs. Our sabots cost sixpence: the old woman thought we intended to wear them, and said we ought to have a nicer kind. We asked several people the way to the Church of St. Remi: the people of Dieppe seemed to have a disagreeable manner. The Church of St. Remi is not beautiful. In one of the little chapels there was a small figure of the Virgin Mary with a child in her arms; her petticoats were painted scarlet, and she had on a lace veil, a crown, and a bunch of flowers in her hand. We went to see the Church of St. Jacques. There is a very pretty purple wheel-window over the organ; and in a kind of recess in the wall there were a great many figures holding a sheet covered with real flowers: before which there were twenty-nine candles [Pg 174]burning; several people came and stuck in a candle. We looked into several of the little chapels: in one there was a virgin, in another a ship, in another some filigree work in frames. We dined at the table d'hôte. There were five English gentlemen. We could not sail this evening, as the wind blew into the harbour; so we went to buy pears to take in the ship next day. While we were buying the pears we observed a number of children standing about and looking at the fruit. Papa bought some currants and held them out to the children, upon which they all ran away; papa and the woman told them that the currants were for them, but they cried and seemed quite stupid. At last one boy rather bigger than the rest took courage and said to the others, 'Comme vous êtes bêtes'; and they all began to eat, except one little child who screamed and tried to get away, and a little girl who ran home. We were all anxious to go next day.


August 12th.—We walked on the pier. [Pg 175]There were a number of men working at the ships; and a great many people were walking about. The women had on full petticoats, coloured jackets, red aprons, queer caps, gold chains, long earrings, and large buckles. The children had high caps, and very full petticoats, so that when their backs were turned I took them for dwarfs. Even some of the babies had old women's caps and earrings.[43] Some of the people had very curious caps trimmed with lace; one had a cap with the crown filled full of frills. The most extraordinary-looking creatures were the fish-women: I could hardly tell whether they were men or women. They had on coarse canvas petticoats, so short that one could see their red garters; blue jackets, and canvas belts round their waists. They brought in a great deal of fish this evening on their backs, which they threw down in the streets. Soon after the Peace an English gentleman brought over twelve of these Dieppe fish-women to Brighton to [Pg 176]see England; they galloped up and down the streets like wild things, stopping to drink at every public-house: he kept them for a day or two, and then sent them back. The sea looked so smooth and pretty we wished to be on it. We saw the Irish come in. We walked out again in the afternoon beside the chalk cliffs. There are a number of caves in them; one large one with doors at the entrance was full of barrels, etc., and in another was a very deep well. At each side of the pier there is a very large crucifix. Some men were employed driving in posts, and others in filling holes up with mud. There were more people to-day at the table d'hôte; amongst whom was a Frenchman who had a very rough voice; he had just returned from England from seeing the Coronation. He scraped out the inside of his roll, and eat a great many French beans and oil. In the evening we saw a child's funeral passing the window: the coffin was covered with a white cloth with flowers painted on it. We all got ready to go down to the ship. Papa had [Pg 177]taken the ship for ourselves, as it was so disagreeable when we came to Calais with so many people. A lady begged that Miss Reed (her niece), who was sixteen, might go over with us, as her father was dead, and her mother wanted her home. She therefore went in the same ship with us.




August 12th, 1821.—We embarked at eight o'clock on board the Wellington, Captain Cheeseman: we got down to the ship by a ladder. The moon shone beautifully on the sea. The commissaire came after we were on board; he asked William how he liked France. William said, 'Je déteste la France,' and Stewart added, 'Et je déteste la France aussi.' We went to bed in the cabin, which was very nicely furnished; but the beds were small and uncomfortable. Soon after we felt the ship moving out of the harbour, and I thought with pleasure that I should awake far from France. Mamma [Pg 178]and Catherine, who slept in another room, were pretty well; all the rest of us, except Euphemia, were very sick. The light went out, and papa was obliged to awake the steward, who was quite tipsy. The captain slept on the sofa. The steward went every now and then to a bottle, and drank out of it.

August 13th.—I awoke very sick. At ten minutes to six Euphemia went upstairs to see England. After we had had some tea I went on deck, where I lay down, very glad to leave the close, hot cabin. Euphemia was a very useful little person; she went up and down, and got us all we wanted. William and Stewart sang 'Merrily every bosom boundeth, merrily oh, merrily oh.' I raised myself up to see England; the sight of the white cliffs quite refreshed me. A boat came out at eight o'clock in the evening; it was very rainy, but we soon got on shore. We went to the Old Ship Inn; the beds were very comfortable.

[Pg 179]


August 14th.[44]—This morning all our bones ached after being at sea, and everything seemed topsy-turvy. It rained so hard that we could not go out. The rooms looked very comfortable, and in the drawing-room there was a pretty clock, and fruit under glasses. There were two neat, civil chambermaids, who looked nicer than some of the French ladies. Our things went to the Custom House; they examined and opened out everything. We had to pay for all our books and drawings, and a smelling-bottle; and for two pipes which only cost twopence a-piece we paid eighteenpence, through a mistake of the servants about the price.


August 15th.—Before we set out for [Pg 180]Mrs. Howard's[45] at Arundel we went to look at the Pavilion. I did not much admire it; it looks like some Chinese thing. We asked a man if we could go in front of it, but he answered very rudely that we could not. It was delightful weather when we set off. It so happened that both when we left and when we returned to England it was fine weather, and very cold while we were in France. I did not think the country about Brighton so very ugly as I had heard it was. We got on the first stage very quickly. We were particularly struck with the neatness of the cottages; most of them were covered with roses or vines, and the grapes were much more forward than they were in France. Everybody looked so genteel and nice, and the children so pretty. There is a steep hill going into Arundel, and one has a very fine view of the castle. Before Mrs. Howard's house there is a small terrace full of flowers; there were geraniums, and large myrtles growing out of doors, though in France [Pg 181]they are obliged to take the laurels into the house in winter.


August 16th.—It was very hot to-day. In the evening we went to see the owls at the castle. There is a great deal of fine ivy about the keep. There are altogether seven owls. One they call 'Lord Thurlow,' another 'Lord Ellenborough,' and two others 'barons of the Exchequer'; they crack their bills very badly. One that had come from Hudson's Bay could mew, bark, and make various noises. We afterwards went along a new walk they were making, and then through a field in which were some deer.

August 18th.—We were surprised to observe this morning that the sun was a bluish silver colour, more like the moon; we afterwards saw it was noticed in the newspaper. We went to see the dresses of [Pg 182]Mr. Wyndham (the Catholic priest), who lived next door; he was a very civil old man, and used to bring us in apricots and gooseberries. His dresses were very splendid-purple, red, green, gold, etc. We saw the chapel; there were artificial flowers, gold candlesticks, etc., on the altar. As we were walking on the terrace we saw the Duke and Duchess of Clarence, the Duchess of Kent, and the Princess Fedor, the Duchess of Kent's daughter. We saw them afterwards in a carriage. I never saw any place with such swarms of children as Arundel; but I thought them very pretty after what I had lately seen. The weather continued oppressively hot.


August 24th.—We set off five minutes before seven. It was very foggy. There is a pretty hill and a good deal of wood going out of Arundel. After the fog cleared away it was excessively hot; every person looked [Pg 183]half roasted. There were a number of pretty cottages; most of which, and even some of the sheds, were covered with vines, roses, and jessamines; there were also many remarkably fine hollyoaks before the doors. Every person looked clean and neat; there seemed to be no poverty: we did not meet with a single beggar. It was delightful to see the green fields full of sheep and cows, all looking so happy. There were several boats full of ladies on the Thames. We saw London some time before we were in it; it only appeared like a great deal of smoke. We scarcely saw any soldiers in London—very different to Paris! We arrived at the New Hummums, Russell Street, at half-past four. In the evening we went to Drury Lane and saw the Coronation. The first play was very ugly. The first scene of the coronation was a distant view of Westminster Abbey. There were a number of soldiers and people painted at a distance. The procession was very long and beautiful. The herb-women walked first, strewing the way [Pg 184]with flowers; they were dressed in white, and pink roses on their heads, and the first had on a scarlet mantle. The king had on a crimson velvet robe with an immense long train covered with gold stars, and borne by seven pages. The second scene was the inside of Westminster Abbey: the ceiling was covered with scarlet drapery; there were a great many chandeliers, and one could not imagine anything more magnificent. There were painted people in the galleries, and real people at one end. There was a great deal of music and a large harmonica. The king went up to the altar, and they put on him a purple crown. In the third scene there came in a sailor who sang a curious song about the coronation. The fourth scene was the banquet. There were gold plates and such a number of lights that they made my eyes quite sore. The champion came in on horseback and threw down the glove: two other men on horseback followed him: the horses reared and plunged: a man in armour made of rings stood on each side of him. [Pg 185]It was altogether beautiful. It was very hot.

August 25th.—Before we set off we went to Covent Garden market, and saw some beautiful fruit in the shop windows; we had not time to go through it, but what we saw was not to be compared to the flower-markets in Paris. We did not see anything here very pretty. It was excessively hot when we set off. We passed several pretty houses, and we stopped at Hampstead Heath to see Mr. and Mrs. Spedding.[46] We dined at Welwin, not a very good inn. There were several nice little girls dancing along with bundles of corn on their heads. We slept at Antonbury Hill. It was a nice inn, and the people were civil.

August 26th.—The weather to-day was quite changed: it was cold and rainy. We dined at Grantham. In one of the towns we passed through there were some soldiers [Pg 186]and a band of music. We slept at Tuxford. It was a middling inn, and the people were civil.

August 27th.—The weather continued cold and disagreeable. We breakfasted at Bawtry. We passed Robin Hood's well. About Ferry Bridge we saw a number of people gathering teasels. We dined at Leeds: it is a dirty, disagreeable town. Numbers of children ran after the carriage; sometimes six or seven got up at a time; we had nothing to do but to watch for them. The country was very pretty. Before Otley there is an excessively steep hill; we walked down it: a number of children got up behind the carriage. We slept at Otley.

August 28th.—It was very rainy when we set off. We went along by a river; where was a pretty wooded bay. There was a great deal of honeysuckle in the hedges, which smelt very sweet. We breakfasted at Skipton, where there was a cattle-market; and [Pg 187]saw some hills near Settle; and passed a pretty rocky river before Kirby Lonsdale. We stayed all night at Kendal, in the same room that we were in before, in 1819.

August 29th.—We set off at seven, happy to think we were near the end of our journey. No person in the inn was ready. It was a dull morning. We passed Windermere and breakfasted at Ambleside. After this we passed some beautiful mountains very much wooded, and Rydal Water, a pretty little lake, and also Grasmere. As soon as we passed the boundary wall and entered Cumberland the sun came out and shone brightly for a little while. We saw the blue mountains peeping up behind, and the clear mountain streams. We passed Thirlmere, which is more like a river, and Helvellyn, an ugly mountain. We saw Keswick Lake; arrived at Keswick by one o'clock, and stayed there till three. After we had left this, a flock of sheep ran on before the carriage for above a mile with a man and his dog after [Pg 188]them. The sun shone as we went up Whinlatter; and we saw the end of Bassenthwaite; the sixth lake we saw to-day. The time seemed very short till we reached Cockermouth, where we saw the new bridge they were building. At last we arrived in safety at Tallantire.

M. B.

Friday, December 21st, 1821.

Printed by T. and A. Constable, Printers to His Majesty at the Edinburgh University Press

[1] Married Lord Teignmouth, Conservative member for Marylebone, in 1838.—Editor.

[2] The steward was very civil.

[3] The packet was nearly lost going in; we lost sight of the lighthouse in the fog, before the light was put up as a signal that there was water enough. In standing in to discover it again, we got into shoal water, near the breakers, and had to tack in ten feet of water, the vessel drawing near eight feet. It was a mere accident our not striking the ground.

[4] In after years published a clever children's book, Aunt Effie's Nursery Rhymes (illustrated), which ran through many editions; also a volume of sacred poems, The Dove on the Cross.—Editor.

[5] We expected we were going for a carriage, so we could not think where they were taking us; the custom-house looked more like a den of robbers.

[6] I awoke this morning very uncomfortable; although I had been very anxious to go to France, I now felt so far from home that I would have done anything to get back again.

[7] The governess. This 'clever and progressive' lady published, anonymously, in 1821, The History of William and his Little Scholar, Joseph, with some account of Joseph's Mother: sketches of Cumberland life, based on her experiences with the Brownes, from whose household the characters were taken.—Editor.

[8] There is a hedge at one side of the Forest.

[9] At the doors of many of the houses we saw children eating something out of a porringer and holding long rolls in their hands.

[10] Here papa left a pocket-handkerchief which was afterwards sent, but another gentleman got it by mistake. The French are very honest about stealing.

[11] They were the Sœurs de Charité; dressed in a black cloth jacket and petticoat, a full apron, and a kind of linen cap. By their side they carry a rosary, a death's head, and a pair of scissors.

[12] The room we breakfasted in was painted like a panorama.

[13] Miss Wragge went to see the Church of Notre Dame which was dressed up with gold cloth, artificial flowers, etc., round the pillars for the Duke of Bordeaux's baptism.

[14] Before breakfast we bought some Leghorn bonnets at Madame Denis, Rue St. Honoré.

[15] As several men were looking down at the bear, one dropt a shilling into the enclosure, and imprudently jumped in to get it, when the black bear tore him to pieces as soon as he reached the bottom. A man told us that the bear had never been well since.

[16] Mamma sent a small gold earring to Paris to be mended, instead of which they changed it for a brass one.

[17] We saw part of the mass at Notre Dame; it was much the same as the other.

[18] It may be of interest to quote the remarks of the author of The Diary of an Invalid (Henry Mathews), in 1819: 'The French women must, I think, yield the palm to their English and Italian neighbours.... It is a curious fact that in 1814, the English ladies were so possessed with a rage for imitating even the deficiencies of their French sisterhood, that they actually had recourse to violent means, even to the injury of their health, to compress their beautiful bosoms as flatly as possible, and destroy every vestige of those charms for which, of all other women, they are perhaps the most indebted to nature.' Paris, May 28, 1819.—Editor.

[19] While Mademoiselle Allemagne was questioning them on geography, Miss Fuller stood on the table fiddling with her hand and imitating M. Bréton.

[20] When we used to work at beads, the French girls were very fond of taking our horsehair, etc. If we discovered them they used to call us every name they could think of, 'Diable,' 'Menteuse,' etc.

[21] The French girls seemed very ignorant; one of them (Mademoiselle Josephe) of thirteen or fourteen, on being asked what an active verb was, replied, 'Un verbe actif c'est un verbe passif.' Another, on being asked what map the map of Africa was, answered, 'C'est Amérique.'

[22] A common refreshment in French parties; and a favourite medicine also (eau sucrée).

[23] The French millers wear very large, curious hats.

[24] We saw a monkey in the opposite balcony which played a number of tricks.

[25] One Sunday, when papa was at Paris, he counted nineteen places of public amusement open; on another seventeen, besides many for the lower classes.

[26] The milliners'shops are very ugly, but there are some very pretty things in the others, particularly little dolls' chairs, etc., of mother-of-pearl and gold, and flowers at the bottom. We saw some pretty clocks; also a snuffer dish and a pair of snuffers covered with flowers under glass.

[27] The girls think of their dresses for weeks before.

[28] They spoil them very much in some things, but they are not near so kind to them as the English.

[29] I never felt anything but dull air in France; while we were at Versailles six French people killed themselves.

[30] The baskets were very pretty: they were ornamented with silk and muslin.

[31] The fruit that we tasted in France (except the melons) was very bad. Their best cherries—cerises anglaises—were so hard one was obliged to chew them, their gooseberries were like blighted ones, and their pears and plums indifferent. (Grapes were not ripe.)

[32] A Cumberland name for 'curds.'—Editor.

[33] She happened to be very plain.

[34] The French are excessively great talkers. If one asks a question in the street, they tell such roundabout stories one can hardly get away. They never say they do not know a thing. We one day went in search of a Mr. Dyas; we enquired of nearly a dozen people the way; they each told us different, and not one right. The people in the house he lived in directed us to a different one.

[35] There were several French ladies with them, who, they said, gave the most fashionable parties in Versailles, and were very agreeable. These ladies were as much like ladies in their appearance as servants.

[36] I think this must be a mistake.—W. B. Indeed it is not.—M. B.

[37] A frotteur is a man that comes to clean the rooms; he fastens a small brush on to each foot and skates about the room till the boards or flags are polished.

[38] An old-fashioned name for camellia.—Editor.

[39] It was a young vineyard; there were plenty of unripe grapes in the old ones, but spoiled by the weather.

[40] It rained part of the time, so we were obliged to keep up our umbrellas.

[41] There were several pretty white buildings which were manufactories.

[42] A number of people were standing round a woman who was quarrelling with her husband.

[43] Some of their earrings were tied on.

[44] Papa would not pay the steward anything as he had been so tipsy (but he asked poor Miss Reed for five shillings). Papa had also a battle with the people, who wished to make some additional charge for landing, which was contrary to his agreement at Dieppe.

[45] An aunt of Mrs. Browne's.—Editor.

[46] Of Mirehouse, Keswick.—Editor.