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Title: A tour through some parts of France, Switzerland, Savoy, Germany and Belgium, during the summer and autumn of 1814

Author: Richard Boyle Bernard

Release date: September 6, 2004 [eBook #13377]
Most recently updated: December 18, 2020

Language: English

Credits: Produced by Carlo Traverso, Frank van Drogen and Distributed
Proofreaders Europe. This file was produced from images generously
made available by the Bibliotheque nationale de France (BnF/Gallica)




Majora minorane famæ! HOR. Say are they less or greater than report!






Permit me to offer my most respectful thanks to Your Royal Highness, for the honor you have conferred upon me, by permitting the following pages to be inscribed to Your Royal Highness.

I beg at the same time to express my congratulations to Your Royal Highness on the late glorious events, which have distinguished Your Royal Highness's Government, which have restored to England the blessings of universal Peace, and will render the present æra ever memorable in History.

I have the Honor to be,

With the highest Respect,


Your Royal Highness's

Obliged and most obedient Servant,



Had the following Pages required the exertion either of superior judgment, or of abstruse research, the Author is not sufficiently vain to have submitted them to the notice of the Public.

They are therefore not recommended to the perusal of the critical reader; as in fact, they contain merely the hasty observations suggested by the scenes he visited in the course of his Tour, together with a few occasional remarks, which he thought might be acceptable to the generality of readers: since notwithstanding the late increase of travellers, the numbers are still very great, who, being prevented by business, or deterred by the inconveniences of travelling, from visiting the Continent, might be disposed to pardon some inaccuracies, should they meet with a small portion either of amusement or information.




Introduction—On the opening of the Continent—Departure from

London—Arrival in France—Different appearance of Things-Large

Bonnets—Custom House and Passports—Of Travelling in France—French

Dinners—Abbeville—Beauvais—Vines—Chantilly; its ruined

Appearance—St. Denis and its Abbey



Of the Approach to Paris—General Appearance of that City—Its

Bridges—Is inferior in Comfort to London—Settled at an

Hotel—Population of Paris—Its Markets—Badly supplied with

Water—Of its various Divisions and their Inhabitants—Palais

Royal—Gamblers—Police—English Papers—Rule to find one's Way

through Paris—The Tuilleries—The Louvre—Plans of Improvement



Visit to the Gallery of The Louvre and Museum—To the Luxemburg—To

the Royal Library—To the Palais des Beaux Arts—To the Church of

Notre Dame—To the Pantheon—Protestant Church and Congregation—Of

the Number of English in Paris—Column in the Place Vendôme—Gobelin

Manufactory—Post Office—Botanic Garden—Lady and her Dog—Story of

Dr. Moore—Of the Character of the Parisians—Their Loquacity—Of

the Legislative Body—Heat of the Weather—Champs Elysées—Quarter

of St. Antoine—Of the Revolution—Of the Boulevards—Of the

Restaurateurs—Of Ladies frequenting Coffee-houses, &c.



The Invalides—Elevation of different Buildings—Buonaparte desirous of

Eclat—Champ de Mars—Place de Grenelle—Of the Plan of General Mallet

and his Execution—Visit to the Museum of French Monuments—Infidelity

of its Promoters—Of Colbert—Gardens of Tivoli—Great Numbers of

Military Officers in Public Places—Of the Capture of Paris by the

Allies—View of Paris from Montmartre—Vanity of the French—Their Love

of Novelty—The Emperor Alexander's Entry into Paris—Of the

Establishment of M. Delacroix—At the Tuilleries—Of the King—His

Regard for England—France still unsettled—Advice of Galba to

Piso—Curious Glass Stair Case—Of the French Theatres, and their

Italian Opera—Number of Bureau d'Ecrivains.

Visit to the Royal Palaces—St. Cloud—St.
Cyr—Malmaison—Versailles—Its Formality—Accuracy of Pope's
Description of the Old Style of Decoration—Comparison of Windsor
and Versailles—City of Versailles greatly
reduced—Trianon—Sèvres—Porcelain Manufactory—Barrier of
Passy—Of the Harvest—Castle of Vincennes—Few private Carriages at
Paris—Great Numbers of Fiacres and Cabriolets—Attend at the
Foreign Office for Passports to leave Paris—Arrive at
Fontainebleau—Memorable for the Abdication of
Buonaparte—Reflections on the Captivity and Character of the
Pope—Reflections on Buonaparte—At Montereau; Battle near the
Town—Sens—Auxerre—Description of the French Diligence—Dinners,

At Avalon—Public Promenades—Number of Beggars—Villages and
Country Houses more numerous in Vine than in Corn Countries-Farming
in this District—Land Tax and Customs of Descent—Dijon—A large
and handsome City—Its Public Buildings—Company in the Diligence
increased by the Arrival of two French Officers—Their Political
Opinions—Advantage of the Diligence—Arrival at Dole—Battle near
Auxonne—Genlis—Poligny—Vin d'Arbois—Woods but without
Birds—Moray—English Breakfast—Resemblance to North
Wales—Magnificent View of the Lake of Geneva—Excellent Roads made
by Buonaparte—Visit to Ferney—Description of Geneva—View from its
Cathedral—Its Manufactures—Population—Territory—Determination to
visit the Alps; and not to go into Italy

Departure for Chamouny—Bonneville—Valley of Cluse—Cascade
d'Arpennas—St. Martin—Extravagant Bill—Proceed on Mules—Their
astonishing Safety—River Arve—Pont de Chèvres—Cascade of
Chede—Extravagance of English Travellers very prejudicial—Lake of
Chede—Servoy and its Mines—Visited by the Empress Maria
Louisa—Glaciers des Bossons—Definition of Glacier—Of the Valley
and Village of Chamouny—Guides—Politics of the Savoyards—State of
Taxation —Ascent of Montanvert—Magnificent and awful Spectacle of
the Mer de Glace—Height of various Mountains, compared with Mont
Blanc—Simile from Pope—Return to Chamouny—Larch and Fir mixed on
these vast Mountains—Their Productions—The Valley continually
threatened with Avalanches

Leave Chamouny—Delightful Situation of Valorsine—Festival
there—Of the Savoyard Peasants—Anecdote from M. de
Saussure—Country difficult to travel through—Trient—Magnificent
View from the Fourcle—The French not so much disliked in the Valais
as their Cruelty deserved—Castle of la
Rathia—Martigny—Unsuccessful Attempt of two English Gentlemen to
ascend Mont Blanc—Less adventurous, we did not ascend Mount St.
Bernard—Cascade of the Pisse Vache—Number of Idiots and Goitrous
Persons in the Valais—Opinion of Mr. Coxe on the Subject—Opinion
of M. de Saussure—St. Maurice—Its strong Position—Roman Bridge
and Antiquities—Passports demanded here—Different Colour of the
Rhone here and at Geneva.

Bex—Industry of the Inhabitants of this Country—Their Cottages and
Wandering Lives—Salt Springs—Aigle—Growth of
Corn—Villeneuve—Agitated State of the Lake—Labours of the
Inhabitants often destroyed by the Fall of
Rocks—Chillon—Clarens—Vevay—Magnificent View from its Church—Of
General Ludlow—Lausanne—Its singular Situation—Its Antiquity—Its
Cathedral—View from the Church-yard—Population and
Manufactures—French Manners prevail here—Gibbon—Pope Felix V. a
singular Character—Reformation—Morges—Festivity there—Rolle—Its
Spa—Country Seats—Delightful Scene from the Garden of its Castle
in the Evening—Nyon—Château de Pranqui—Joseph
Buonaparte—Vines—Swiss Artillery—Copet—Anecdote of Mde. de
Staël—Versoi—Return to Geneva

On the Introduction of History into Tours—Early Government of
Geneva—Reformation—Alliance with Berne and Zurich—A few Laws
peculiar to Geneva—Theatre—Town Hall—Permission obtained to
reside at Geneva—Lodging procured in Consequence—Fortifications of
Geneva not devoid of Utility—Views from the Ramparts—Maintenance
of the Allied Troops very expensive to Geneva—Regret of the
Genevese at the Destruction of some ancient Avenues by them—Meet a
Person who gives a melancholy Account of the State of Geneva under
the French—State of Society—Fête de Navigation—Dress,
&c.—Epigram by a Prince of
Hesse—Rousseau—Voltaire—Raynal—Remarks of a Savoyard
Peasant—The College of Geneva—The Library—Of Calvin—Water
Works—Society of Arts—Corn Magazine—Churches, Service, &c. at

Excursion to the Perte du Rhone—Magnificent Spectacle which it
affords—Rise of the Rhone—Hop Gardens—Malt Liquor badly
made—Climate of Geneva—Of Switzerland in general—Opinion of
Haller—Soil, Grain, and Population of Switzerland—Quantities of
Cattle—Various Plants—Visit to a Watchmaker's Warehouse—Its
elevated Situation—Great Ingenuity, but want of what in England
would be thought good Taste—Circles of Genevese—Introduced to a
French Gentleman who bad twice escaped the Guillotine—Walks and
Rides—Junction of the Rhone and Arve—Coligny—Carrouge—St.
Julian—Battle there—Inferiority of the Austrian Troops to the
French—French Politics—Empress Maria Louisa—Lord Castlereagh at

Regret at leaving Geneva—Lake of
Joux—Coponex—Robbers—Lassera—Curious Separation of a
Rivulet—-Orbe—Face of the Country—Price of Land—Yverdun—Sea
View—Spa—School—Anecdote of a Conductor—Game—Bridge of
Serrier—Neufchâtel, said to resemble Naples—Description of its
Territory—Anecdote respecting the Religion of Landeron—David
Riri—Sketch of the History of Neufchâtel—Competitors for its
Sovereignty—Lake of Bienne—Island of St. Pierre—Singular
Government of Bienne—Great Change on passing the Pont de
Thiel—Charge of Rapacity against the Swiss—Pleasant
Travelling—Extensive View from Julemont—Agriculture—Arberg

Morat—famous for Kirschwasser—Monument commemorating the Defeat of
the Burgundians removed by the French—Its
Inscription—Seedorf—View of the Island of St. Pierre—Beauty of
the distant View of Berne—Its Interior also handsome—Its
Fortifications—Stags and Bears kept in the Trenches—Public
Library—Botanic Garden—Chemists' and Bakers' Shops—Convicts
chained in the Streets—Beautiful Public Walks—Government of
Berne—Opinion of Pope—Excursions to Hofwyl and Hindelbanck—Extent
of the Canton of Berne—Its Population, Productions, &c. &c—State
of the Clergy—Departure from Berne—Village of Worb—Saw
Mill—Bleach Greens—Care which the Swiss take of their
Horses—Sumiswald—Little Wooden Inn—Zell—Castle of
Haptalla—Irrigation—Beautiful Situation of Lucerne—Its Melancholy
Interior—General Pfiffer's Model—Beautiful Lake—Mount Pilate and
Rigi—Visit two Classic Spots—And the Small
Canton—Gersau—Intolerance—Lake and Canton of Zug—Swiss
Honey—Magnificent View of Zurich, described by
Zimmerman—Considerations on the Difference between the Swiss
Cantons, &c

Zurich—Its Interior not answerable to its distant
Appearance—Population, Buildings, &c.—Dinner at the Table
d'Hote—Excursion on the Lake—Country and Villages near
Zurich—Winter there—Cascade of Lauffen—Its magnificent
Effect—Cyder—Bad Vintage—Schaffhausen—Its
Bridge—Population—Laws—Manufactures, &c.—View of Mount
Banken—Chapsigre Cheese—Swiss Tea—Set out in the Diligence with a
Doctor of Leipzig—His uncommon Love of Smoking—Civility, Dress,
&c. of the Germans—Deutlingen—Pass the Danube—Taste of the
Germans for Music, preferable to the political Arguments of the
French—Passports—Subdivisions of Germany—Trade—Posts well
conducted—Accident at Bahlingen—House of Hohenzollern

Tubingen—Its University—Different from ours—Agree to post to
Frankfort—Of German Posting, and
Dinners—Feather-beds—Stoves—Stutgard—A handsome City—Palace,
its Decorations—Industry of the Queen—Council Chamber—Royal
Stables—Garrison composed handsome Troops—Palace at
Ludwigsburg—Waggons and Traffic on the road—Heilbron—Escape from
being overturned—Sinzheim—Cossaok arrives there—Heidelberg—Its
Castle—Venerable in Ruins—The Inn—Rich Country—Quantity of
Potatoes—Manheim—Regularly built, but much deserted—The Palace in
Decay—Walks—Darmstadt—Unfurnished and ill
situated—Palace—Handsome Gardens—Frankfort a Magnificent
City—Inns—Opulence of its Merchants—Population—Jews—Gates and
Wines—Mayence—Its Strength—Handsome only at a Distance—Its
Bridge—Cathedral—Population—Exportation of Corn—Large Cabbage

Embark on the Rhine—Political Rhapsodies of two
Frenchmen—Beautiful Scenery—Gulph of Bingerlock—Blighted state of
the Vines—Most distressing to the Inhabitants—Boppart—'God Save
the King'—Bonfires—Size of Paris and London—St.
Goar—Coblentz—Royal Saxon Guards—Ruins of
Ehrenbreitstein—Andernach—The Devil's
House—Lowdersdorf—Linz—Bonn—Illuminations, Balls, &c.—End of
the Picturesque Scenery—Boat driven on Shore—Walk to Cologne—A
vast and gloomy City—Simile of Dr. Johnson's—Few Country Houses on
the Rhine—Rubens—His excellence as a Painter and his great
Modesty—Juliers—Aix la Chapelle—Its Antiquity—Waters—Pleasant
Situation—Population not equal to its
Estent—Burscheid—Manufactures of Cloth, &c.—Cathedral—Sunday ill
observed—Liege—A large and extremely dirty
City—Booksellers—Cutlery—Distress of the
Manufacturers—Thieves—Bad Money—Expeditions Public
Carriage—Axiom of Rousseau—St.Tron—Chimes—Tirlemont, its much
reduced Manufactures

Population of the Netherlands—Louvain—Its Public
Buildings—University—Character of the Belgians—By some
represented as the worst in Europe—That Statement probably
overcharged—Extortion—John Bull at Paris—French Kitchens,
&c.—Breweries—Roads—Taste in Gardening—Canals not an agreeable
mode of Travelling—Heavy Taxes—Unsettled Political State—Vast
Numbers of English at Brussels—Its Extent, Population and
Appearance—The Park—Anecdote of Peter the Great—Town
House—Churches—Collections of Paintings—Anecdote of
Bassano—Hotels—Table d'Hote, like the Tables at
Cheltenham—Expence of Living—Houses—Jurourin—Forest of
Sogne—House of Correction compared with ours—Walk round the
City—Fortified Towns—Sieges of Ostend, Valenciennes, Troy and
Azotus—Malines—Considerations on its Decline—Its
Silk—Population—Buildings—Manner of cutting the Trees near the
Roads—Antwerp, its Importance—Docks—River—Riches of
Belgium—Buildings at Antwerp—Accuracy of the Flemish
Painters—Appearance of the Country—The Inns not equally decorated
with those in Germany—Wooden Shoes

Ghent—Its great Size—Decreased in Populalation and
V.—D'Arteville—Canals—Trade—Buildings-Prison—Land and Water
Travelling—Ostend and Bruges—Derivation of Bourse—Noisy and
Silent Travellers—Proficiency of Foreigners in English—Taste in
Bonnets—Sportsmen without Game—Courtray—Dogs Drawing—Boundary
Stone of France—Custom House—Passports, Danger of being
without—Lille—Fortified by
Residence-Remarkable View from
Cassel—Berg—Fens—Canals—Dunkirk—First Impressions—The Origin
of its Name—Buildings and Population—Flemish Language—Of the
Union of Belgium with France—Political Consideration—Dunkirk sold
by Charles II.—Lord Clarendon's House so called—Its Fortifications
demolished—Gravelines—-Its strong Situation—Liberty and
Equality—Cheap Travelling—Calais the last English Possession in
France—Contrary Winds—French Officers displeased at the
Theatre—General Jealousy of England—Embark on board a French
Packet—Loquacity of the French—Arrival in England—Its Superiority
to other Countries



I had long been desirous of visiting the Continent, but the long continuance of the war, and the little prospect which lately appeared of its termination, seemed to afford no chance for the accomplishment of my wish. At a period, however, when that arbitrary power, which had so long held in subjection the other nations of the Continent, sought to overthrow the only monarch who dared to oppose it, and to claim for his subjects the natural rights from which they had been excluded by the "Continental System," it pleased Divine Providence to destroy the fetters which enslaved the nations of Europe, as if to try, whether in the school of adversity, they had learned to merit the blessings of independence. These great and glorious changes, the reality of which it was at first difficult to believe, having opened to the subjects and commerce of Britain, countries from which they had been for so many successive years proscribed, it was not long before numbers of British repaired to the continent to indulge that love of roving for which they had been always distinguished (and which a long war had suppressed but not eradicated) and to claim from all true patriots, in the countries they visited, that friendly reception to which the long perseverance and vast sacrifices of England, during a struggle unexampled in history, had so justly entitled the lowest of her subjects.

The unsettled state in which most part of the Continent necessarily remained for a little time after the entrance of the Allies into Paris, did not afford the most favourable moment for the journey of one who was not a military traveller; and I did not regret that business prevented my leaving England for a few months after the opening of the Continent, as I had the gratification of being a witness, in the British metropolis, to the exultation of all ranks of men; first, at seeing the legitimate monarch of France arrive there in company with our illustrious Regent who having long contributed to lessen the afflictions of the exiled Count de Lille, had first the satisfaction (to which he, amongst all the sovereigns of Europe, was best entitled, by the great part, which under his government, England had performed for the cause of European liberty) of saluting him as King of France, amidst the cheers of applauding thousands; and, secondly, of witnessing the arrival of the magnanimous Alexander, of that too long unfortunate monarch, Frederick William, of those chiefs, Platoff and Blucher, whose exploits have ranked them amongst the first of heroes, and, at last, of seeing, in the person of a Wellington, a British marshal who had successively foiled the most renowned of the generals of Buonaparte, and who, like Turenne, was accustomed "to fight without anger, to conquer without ambition, and to triumph without vanity."

About the middle of July I left London and proceeded to Dover, a journey which, in the improved state of our roads and of our conveyances, is easily performed in one day; and often as I had before travelled the Kent road, yet I could not see without surprise, the astonishing number of public and private carriages with which it abounds, and which must have doubtless much increased within the last few months. I became acquainted on the road with a French Abbé, who, accompanied by his sister, was returning home after an absence of twenty-two years, which he had spent mostly in England, but he could by no means express himself intelligibly in English. I therefore addressed him in his own language, which pleased him extremely, and I found him an amusing companion, as well as very grateful for some little services I rendered him in arranging with the coachman respecting his baggage and that of his sister, as they took the whole of their property to France with them, including many household articles which I should not have thought worth the expence of carriage. We supped in the same apartment at Dover, but they had brought their provisions with them, which as I afterwards found was sometimes the practice in France, either from motives of comfort or economy. Such travellers, however, would not be much wished for at an English inn.

Next morning my first business was to attend at the custom-house; and the officers, after a diligent search, finding nothing illegal amongst my baggage, permitted me to purchase a sufferance for it to be embarked for France. The rest of the passengers having likewise arranged their affairs and obtained sufferances, we proceeded on board the packet, and found that it was extremely full without this last reinforcement; but I doubt whether the captain way of that opinion. I found the charge for the passage amounted to one guinea, which is the sum paid for the passage between Dublin and Holyhead, although that is nearly three times the extent of the channel between Dover and Calais. I was informed that the seeming disproportion in those prices was to be attributed to the heavy post dues at Calais, which, for so small a vessel as the packet, amounted to £14 or £15, although in the year 1793 they did not exceed eighteen shillings.

Amongst the passengers was a Swiss gentleman, who I found passed for a man of great importance amongst the sailors. His carriage perhaps contributed not a little to this, as it had once been the property of the duke of Northumberland; and although the arms were defaced, yet the coronet, the garter, and the gilding with which it was still decorated, no doubt contributed to increase the expences of a journey which, from its length, is a heavy tax on the pockets of the generality of travellers, however plain may be their equipage.

We were above two hours on board before it was possible to extricate our vessel from the great number of transports (I believe not less than thirty-two) which crowded the harbour, being engaged for some time in bringing home a large portion of our cavalry, who added to the military glory they had acquired in Spain and Portugal, by their forbearance in tolerating insults to which they were but too often exposed in their passage through France, by a people whose vanity forbids them to admire valour, except in Frenchmen, but whose conduct on those occasions served only to increase the obligations which they had in so many instances experienced from the humanity which always attends on British valour.

If we had to regret the delay we experienced in getting out to sea, that sentiment soon vanished before the favourable breeze which, in about four hours, brought us to the French coast. As the day was hazy, we had not long to admire the venerable castle of Dover, and the cliff which Shakspeare has celebrated; and some time elapsed before we could distinguish the shores of France, which differ entirely from those of England, rising gradually from the water's edge, with the single exception of Scales Cliff, which seems to correspond with some of those bulwarks which characterize our coast from Dover to Portland, where, I think, chalk cliffs are succeeded by masses of rock and grey stone.

The tide being out on our arrival before Calais, we could not get into the harbour, and with that impatience to leave a ship, which is natural to landsmen, we were glad to accept the offers of some boats which hastened around the packet, to offer their services in landing us; this, however, they did not exactly perform, being too large to get very near the shore, to which we were each of us carried by three Frenchmen, one to each leg, and a third behind. This service I had often had performed by one of my fellow-subjects, and it seemed to verify the old saying, that 'one Englishman is equal to three frenchmen.'

Each Monsieur however insisted on a shilling for his services, and the boatmen five shillings from every passenger. But I had travelled enough to know, that extortion on such occasions is so general, as not to be peculiarly the characteristic of the inhabitants of any country, and if ever there is pleasure in being cheated, it is surely on such an occasion as that of exchanging the misery of a ship for the comforts of the most indifferent inn.

The arrival for the first time in a foreign country, of a person who has never before quitted his own, is an epoch of considerable moment in his life. Most things are different from those he has been accustomed to, and the force of first impressions is then stronger than, perhaps, at almost any other period. We are, in general, not much disposed to like any custom, or mode of dress, which is greatly at variance with what we have been long used to, and the enormous height of the bonnets in France produces, in my opinion, an effect far from pleasing; the ladies, by their strange costume, out-top many of the military.

I found the town of Calais in a state of equal bustle with Dover, and from the same cause. It is regularly fortified, and contains many very good houses. The population is estimated at between seven and eight thousand. The market-place forms a spacious square. The town-house and church are handsome buildings, and altogether it must be allowed much to surpass Dover as to appearance.

The search which ray portmanteau had undergone the day before in England, was here renewed by the officers of the French Douane, but with no better success on the part of the officers in being able to seize any thing. They were, however, very polite, and their fees only amounted to half a crown. My next care was, to attend at the town-hall, and present my passport to the inspection of the mayor, who indorsed it with his licence for me to proceed to Paris.

I accordingly determined on setting out without further delay, and joined an acquaintance in hiring a cabriolet for the journey, to obviate the trouble of changing our luggage at every post, and to avoid any delay that might arise from not finding a carriage at every station, which is by no means certain, as in England. We found the Cabriolet a very pleasant conveyance, it is nearly as light as a curricle, and has a head and windows, which exclude rain. It is drawn by two or three horses, and proceeds at a tolerably good pace. The postilions are provided with boots of a very inconvenient size, and with whips which they are perpetually cracking, not much to the comfort of the ears of their passengers.

Those who have never seen any thing but an English stage-coach, cannot but feel some surprise at the different appearance which a French Diligence presents. Most of them carry nine inside passengers, and three in the cabriolet, and as much luggage behind, and in the Imperial, as would load a tolerably large waggon. They are generally drawn by four horses, which present a very different appearance from those under the English carnages, and they are driven by one postilion, who rides the wheel-horse. Occasionally, a second postilion and two more leaders are necessary from the weight of the carriage, or the heaviness of the roads. Carriages in France, in passing each other, take exactly different sides of the road from what they are obliged to do by our laws of travelling.

The country, for many leagues round Calais reminded me very strongly of Cambridgeshire in its general appearance, being flat, well cultivated, unenclosed, and abounding in wind-mills. About the villages there are some trees and enclosures; but a few more church spires are wanting to complete the resemblance. The distance from Calais to Paris is about 180 English miles, and may generally be considered as a flat country, occasionally diversified by a few hills of no great magnitude. Enclosures are rarely seen, but the quantity of corn is quite astonishing. Agriculture appeared to me to be in a highly improved state: there are artificial grasses and meliorating crops. The appearance of the villages in general on this road is but little inferior to those in many parts of England. But the peasants, although not for the most part badly off, have no idea of that neatness, and of those domestic comforts which form the great characteristic of the same class of people in England.

An English farmer would laugh at the great cocked hat which is usually worn by the French husbandman, and would not be disposed to change his white frock for the blue one used on the Continent. Some wood is occasionally to be seen; but Picardy is not famous either for the quantity or quality of its timber. The general fuel of the lower orders is turf, which, however, is not in any great quantity; and in appearance it is inferior to that used by the Irish peasants. The roads are in general kept in good repair, and near Paris and some other great towns they are paved in the centre. They are flanked in many places by avenues of trees, which are for the most part cut with great formality; but even where left to themselves, they do not add much to the ornament of the country or to the comfort of the traveller, affording but a scanty shade.

The whole of this road is without turnpikes; they were, as I understood, abolished about three years ago, and the roads are now managed by the government. The French praise Buonaparte extremely for his attention to the state of their roads, and it must be owned that in this particular he merits the praise bestowed on him, which cannot be said with truth of many other parts of his conduct which seem to have been also approved of by the French. Buonaparte, it is true, made excellent roads, but he made them only for his soldiers, either to awe those who had submitted to his yoke, or to afford a facility of extending still further his conquests.

The drivers in France do not tax themselves at every public-house as with us, for porter or spirits, which they do not want; they seldom stop, unless the stage is unusually long, and their horses require a little rest.

Before we were admitted within the gates of Boulogne our passports were demanded, and underwent a strict examination, probably the remains of the etiquette established by Buonaparte, this place being chiefly remarkable as the port, from whence he proposed making his threatened descent into England. We observed a vast unfinished fort, which he had ordered to be constructed; it will probably never be completed, but crumble to pieces like the vast and ill-acquired authority of its founder. The town of Boulogne is large and well fortified, but the bustle in the port was chiefly occasioned by the embarkation of the English cavalry.

We dined at Samers, and there had the first specimen of a French dinner (as at Calais we had lodged at an hotel, which is kept by an Englishman, and where every thing was à l'Angloise). The general hour for dining is twelve o'clock; many public carriages stop to dine before that hour, however, from twelve to one o'clock, the traveller is sure at every tolerable inn of finding a very abundant and cheap repast. We found the bread excellent, as also a profusion of fruit; the wine of Picardy is bad, but good wine may be had from the southern provinces, at a reasonable price.

Their meats are so much stewed, that their real flavour can hardly be distinguished, but were they dressed by a mode of cookery that did them more justice, I do not apprehend the epicure would have to find fault with their quality.

The next place which presented any thing worthy of remark, was Abbeville, a large fortified city, which has manufactures of cloth and damask. The church which has suffered much during the anarchy of the revolution, is still a large and handsome edifice. We proceeded to breakfast at Boix, where the coffee was excellent, and the milk was served up boiled, as is generally the custom throughout France.

We also found good accommodation at Beauvais, a large and ancient city, where the architecture of the houses reminded me much of Shrewsbury. The streets are narrow and winding. The cathedral is well worthy the attention of the antiquarian, although it has, like many others in France, suffered greatly during the revolution. In the neighbourhood of Beauvais are a vast number of vineyards, and the effect produced by them is very striking to those who have never seen a vine but in a stove. But the novelty soon ceases, and a vineyard is then seen with as little astonishment as a field of corn.

We were easily persuaded to make a short deviation from the direct road, in order to visit Chantilly, the once splendid residence of the Princes of Condé, but which now affords a melancholy contrast to the scene which it exhibited in more tranquil times. The Great Château has disappeared; but a small building remains at a distance, which is to be fitted up for the reception of its venerable owner, who is expected in the course of the summer to pay a visit to the inheritance which the late happy revolution has restored to him, after having undergone a sad change in its appearance. The great stables are standing, but only serve to add to the desolation of the scene by their vacancy, and the contrast which they form to the small house which now only remains to the possessor of this great domain.—St. Denis, where we soon arrived, is a small town not far distant from Paris; it was anciently remarkable for its abbey, which contained the magnificent tombs of the Kings of France. These were mostly destroyed early in the revolution (but a few still remain, in the museum of monuments at Paris, as I afterwards found) when the promoters endeavoured to obliterate all traces of royalty: but when after a long series of convulsions, Buonaparte thought his dynasty had been firmly established on the throne of the Bourbons, he decreed that this abbey should be restored as the burying place of the monarchs of France; and it is probable that decree will be carried into effect, although not in the sense which its promulgator intended.


The approach to Paris is certainly very striking, but considering the vast extent of the city, its environs do not present an appearance of any thing like that bustle and activity which marks the vicinity of the British metropolis: nor do the villas which are to the north of Paris display that aspect of opulence which distinguishes those streets of villas by which London is encompassed. The gate of St. Denis, under which we passed, is a fine piece of architecture; it stands at the end of a long and narrow street, which is but ill calculated to impress a stranger with those ideas of the magnificence of Paris of which the French are perpetually boasting, although it conducts him nearly to the centre of the city. I afterwards found that this is the most crowded quarter of the city; the houses are from six to eight stories in height, and are almost universally built of stone.—But although it must be admitted that this entrance to Paris is one of the least distinguished, yet at the same time it must be observed, that there are but very few streets in that city which have much to boast of in point of appearance; they are mostly narrow, and the height of the houses necessarily makes them gloomy. They are (except in one or two new streets at the extremity of the town) extremely incommodious for pedestrians, there being here no place set apart for them as in London; hence they traverse the streets in perpetual dread of being run over by some of those numerous carriages which are continually passing along with an impetus which raises just apprehensions in the mind of the foot passenger, that he may share the fate of Doctor Slop, if nothing more serious should befall him; as in avoiding the carriages it is no easy task to keep clear of the kennel, which is in the centre of the street; the descent to it is rapid, and it is rarely dry even in the warmest weather.

It is when seen from one of the bridges, that Paris appears to most advantage, as many of the quays are unquestionably very handsome, and decorated with many elegant edifices. The Seine is in no part so much as half the width of the Thames, in some places not a fourth part, as it forms two islands, on one of which stands the original city of Paris. Its waters are united at the Pont Neuf, on which stands the statue of Henry IV. looking towards the Louvre, which he founded. The view from this bridge is without comparison the most striking in Paris, and is perhaps unequalled in any city, for the great number of royal and public edifices which are seen from it; and inconsiderable as is the Seine compared with many other rivers, yet nothing has been neglected to render its banks striking to the passenger.—Many of the bridges (of which I think there are altogether 16) are handsome, particularly those of Austerlitz and of Jena, constructed by order of Buonaparte. There is one bridge, the arches of which are of iron, opposite the gallery of the Louvre, which is open only to foot passengers, each person paying two sous for the privilege of being admitted on this promenade, which is often much crowded with company. Very soon after my arrival at Paris I came to this conclusion, that although Paris far exceeds London, Dublin, or Edinburgh, in the splendour of its public buildings, and often in the handsome appearance of many of its houses, yet those cities are far preferable in point of all essential comforts. And after spending a considerable time in Paris, I saw no reason to change the opinion which I had first formed; that opinion however cannot, I should apprehend, be questioned by a Frenchman, as it admits fully the magnificence of many parts of his favourite city, and this is sufficient for his vanity. With us cleanliness and comfort are preferred to shew, we find them in most of our own cities, but those who know most of Paris will not deny that they are rarely to be met with there.

I had been recommended to the Hotel de Pondicherry, by a gentleman who had for some time lodged there; but I found there were no vacant apartments. After making application in vain at many of the hotels in the Rue de Richelieu, I at last succeeded in meeting with good accommodation in the Hotel des Prouvaires, which was in a convenient situation, and had the advantage of having been lately painted. I found the people of the house very civil and attentive, and produced my passport from the Secretary of States' Office, signed by Lord Castlereagh, to satisfy them that I was no avanturier, a very numerous class here. The expence I found differed but little from, that of most of the hotels in London; but the French hotels are in fact more what we should call lodging-houses, as they do not supply dinners, &c. which must be procured from a restaurateur's, of which there are a vast number; and I have heard it stated, that there are no less than 2500 coffee-houses in Paris.

The population of Paris is stated by Marchant, in the last edition of his Guide to Paris at 580,000; the number of houses is estimated to be 29,400; this would give an average of nearly twenty persons to each house. This I do not consider as too great a proportion to allow, if we consider the vast number of hotels that can contain at least double that number of persons; and that in many parts of the town each story is occupied (as in Edinburgh) by a separate family.

The population of Paris has undoubtedly decreased since the revolution; Dutens, who published his Itinerary about thirty years ago, tells us, at that period the inhabitants of Paris amounted to 650,000: but even supposing him to have over-rated them, still there remains a great disparity in the two calculations, and it is reasonable to conclude, that the present statement by Marchant is accurate, from the facilities which the system of police affords in forming a just calculation on the subject.

Paris, including all its suburbs, is said to be about eight leagues in circumference, and, except London and Constantinople, exceeds all the other cities of Europe in extent.

The markets of Paris are remarkably well supplied with provisions of every description, and at a price which appears moderate to an Englishman. I have been told, that fuel is sometimes at a very high price in the winter; but not being there at that season, I cannot speak from my own experience. What I had most reason to complain of during my stay, was scarcity of that great essential to health and cleanliness, good water. The city is for the most part supplied with this first of necessaries from the river Seine. Adjoining to one of the bridges is a vast machine, which raises its waters, which are conducted to all parts of the town, and also supply several public fountains. They have, however, an extremely bad taste from the numerous establishments for washing for all Paris, which are established in boats on all parts of the river, which is thus strongly impregnated with soap-suds, and its cathartic qualities have been experienced by many strangers on their first arrival in Paris.

The French never drink this water without mixing in it a proportion of sugar, and then call it eau sucré, which is often called for at the coffee-houses. Most houses have reservoirs of sand for filtering the water before it is used for drinking; but those who have been accustomed to the luxury of good water, cannot be soon reconciled to that of the Seine. The water of the Ville d'Arblay is sold in jars in the streets for making tea, and some of the fountains are supplied by springs. I believe the late government had a scheme in contemplation for the construction of an aqueduct, to supply purer water for the Parisians than what they now use.

Many fountains have been established within the last few years, and the site of that once formidable building the Bastile is now occupied by one. None of these modern fountains (although many of them display much taste) are, however, by any means to be compared, in point of elegance, to that which stands in the market of Innocents, and which was erected in the year 1550. Its situation is too confined for so handsome a structure, and I had some difficulty in finding my way to it. It has the following inscription from the pen of M. Santeuil, (who has furnished many others, particularly that on the fountain near the Luxemburg Palace:)


Quos duro cernis simulatos marmore fructus

Hujus Nympha loci credidit esse suos.

Which may be thus translated,

The fruits you see on this cold marble hewn,

This Fountain's Nymph believes to be her own.

The Guide to Paris informs us, that the city is divided into several quarters; that the vicinity of the Palais Royal, of the Thuilleries, and of the Chaussée d'Antin, are the most fashionable, and of course the most expensive; but that lodgings are to be met with on reasonable terms in parts of the city, which are fully as desirable, particularly in the suburb of St. Germain. There are furnished hotels to be met with on a large scale in that quarter, it having been mostly inhabited by foreign princes and ambassadors; and it was also much frequented by English families, as they considered it the most healthy and quiet part of Paris.

The Quarter du Marais was principally occupied by lawyers, financiers, annuitants; and, in short, all the Jews of the nation lodged there.

The Quarter of the Palais Royal is chiefly inhabited by sharpers, cheats, loungers, and idle people of all descriptions. Who could think that a space of ground not exceeding 150 acres, contains more heterogeneous materials blended together than are to be found in the 9910 acres (the French acre is one and a quarter, English measure) on which the city of Paris stands? It is the great mart of pleasure, of curiosity, and of corruption; and if the police wish to apprehend an offender, it is in the Palais Royal that they are sure to find him. Before the period of the revolution there were here but two public gaming houses; but at present the number is really astonishing. The police under Buonaparte did not discourage their increase; they argued that these houses were the rendezvous of all sharpers, villains, and conspirators; and that they often saved an ineffectual search for them in other quarters. A government like that of Buonaparte did not reflect, that these houses, which thus abounded with desperate characters, did not fail to perpetuate their number by the corruption which they caused in the principles of the rising generation; and many of the best informed Frenchmen are well aware that it will be the work of time, to recover their country from the demoralized state in which it was left after the government of Buonaparte.

On the subject of gaming a French writer has justly observed: "Quand il serait vrai que la passion du jeu ne finit pas toujours par le crime, toujours est il constant qu'elle finit par l'infortune et le deshonneur." "Granting it to be true, that the love of gaming does not always terminate in crime, yet still it invariably ends in misfortune and dishonour." But is it not rather improbable that those who have so far transgressed as to apprehend the vigilance of the police, should venture into the very places where they must be aware of immediate detection?

Perhaps the same argument holds in Paris as in London, against totally suppressing the haunts of these depredators on society, That if there were no thieves there would be no thief-takers; and the police are content to keep within moderate bounds, a set of men who often contribute to their emolument, and whom they fear to exterminate. It must, however, be allowed, that in all large towns, however great may be the vigilance of the police, there still must be abundance of the followers of Macheath. Perhaps Paris most abounds in sharpers who cheat with finesse, and London in the number of pick-pockets and robbers. The nightly police of Paris is admirably conducted; and during my stay there I never experienced the smallest molestation in the streets.

The Palais Royal consists of six squares, the chief of which is large and handsomely built on piazzas. There are rows of trees in the centre, but they by no means contribute to its beauty.

The shops under these arcades are many of them the most shewy in Paris; and, as the owners pay a heavy rent for them, they take care to enhance the price of their goods, so as not to carry on a losing concern. The number of coffee-houses and restaurateurs for dining, in this square are very numerous, and most of them are by no means moderate in their prices, at least when we compare them with others in a different part of Paris, or even near the Palais Royal; but it is not under these piazzas that economy is to be practised. The Café de Foi is one of the most celebrated for newspapers and politicians; but one is considered as having seen nothing of the manners of the place, if the Café des Aveugles is not visited. This is situated under the Italian Coffee-house, and has its name from the large orchestra which performs here continually, being composed wholly of blind persons. I visited this place with a friend for a few moments after its opening, which is never till five o'clock in the afternoon, as its frequenters tolerate only the light of candles.

The subterranean situation of this apartment renders it difficult of ventilation; and the noise of the musicians and their audience contending for the supremacy, added to the extraordinary heat of the place and the density of the air, occasioned us to make a speedy retreat to what, after leaving such a place, might be considered as a pure atmosphere.

Often as the Palais Royal has been described, and forcibly as the scenes which it exhibits have been depicted, yet I confess I do not think the descriptions I have read of it by any means overcharged; and it may be safely affirmed that there is no place in the world where the scene varies so often in the twenty-four hours as it does here. I was attracted by a notice, that the English newspapers were taken in at the Cabinet Littéraire of M. Rosa; and, having paid my subscription, was conducted into a spacious reading room, exclusively for the English papers. The love of news is at all times natural; but at a distance from home the mind is doubly anxious for the details of what is going on there, and attaches an interest to particulars which, under other circumstances, it would consider as too trivial to be worthy of attention. During my stay on the Continent, I felt very forcibly the truth of Dr. Johnson's observation, "that it is difficult to conceive how man can exist without a newspaper." I was, however, for a considerable time, forced to be satisfied with the French papers, the expence of the English being so great, as to cause them to be seldom taken in abroad; and after my departure from Paris, I saw no English paper until my arrival at Frankfort, an interval of above two months.

If the pedestrian is exposed to many inconveniences and dangers in the streets of Paris, yet intricate as they often are, he is seldom in danger of going far out of his way, if he attends to the manner in which the names of the streets are coloured, those leading to the river being lettered in black, and those parallel to, or not leading directly to it, in red. The quays form the most prominent feature in Paris, and when arrived there, he can experience little difficulty in finding the road he desires. The mode of numbering the houses in Paris differs from that used with us, all the odd numbers being on one aide the street, and the even numbers on the other.

After having seen the Palais Royal, my attention was next attracted by the Palace of the Tuilleries (so called from the circumstance of tiles having been formerly made on the spot where it stands). This is a vast and magnificent building, extending in front next the gardens 168 toises (about 1050 feet English measure). The gardens were laid out by Le Nôitre, and exhibit a specimen of the taste of that time, abounding in statues, avenues, and water-works; but it must at the same time be admitted, that the general effect produced is not devoid of magnificence, which is heightened by the communication between these gardens and the Champs Elysées, which forms a vista of great length, and when illuminated, the coup d'œil must be really superb. On the side of the gardens next the river, is a terrace considerably elevated, which commands a view well deserving the praise which has been bestowed on it. This was the usual promenade of Buonaparte, who caused a subterranean communication to be formed between it and the Palace, to avoid passing through those parts of the garden which were open to the public, who, during his promenade, were excluded from the terrace. The Parisians did not like this exclusion, and used to say, on seeing his Majesty, "See, the lion is come out of his den." This terrace was also the constant walk of the ex-Empress and her son. I was told, that shortly after Buonaparte's installation as Emperor, the people, to mark their disapprobation of the dignity which he had assumed, entirely deserted the gardens of this palace, which had always been their favourite walk in the evenings; and that, being hurt at this, the Emperor ordered one of his military bands to play here every evening. The scheme succeeded; the attraction being too great for the Parisians to resist, and the gardens were more frequented than ever.

The other front of the Tuilleries looks towards the Place du Carousel, from which it is separated by a lofty iron balustrade, the top of which is gilt. Opposite the centre entrance of the Palace stands a magnificent triumphal arch, erected by Buonaparte, on the top of which he has placed the four celebrated bronze horses, which were removed to Paris on the seizure of Venice by his army, as they had been formerly transported by conquest from Corinth to Constantinople, and thence to Venice, where they adorned for several centuries the Place of St. Mark. These horses are conducted by two figures of Victory, and Peace, executed by M. Sencot, which many admire extremely.

Buonaparte has been no bad locumtenens of this palace for the Bourbons, as it bears abundant testimony to the taste with which he caused it to be decorated. He had the entire of the Louvre scratched, so as to give it quite a new appearance, and his crown and initials are everywhere to be seen. On the grand façade was an inscription, signifying, "that Napoleon the Great had completed what Henry the Fourth had begun;" but this inscription has disappeared, since the return of the descendants of Henry IV. to the palace which that great king had built, and which an usurper endeavoured to persuade posterity he had a share in constructing. It is worthy of remark, that this chef d'œuvre of architecture, as if has always been considered, was not the work of a professed architect, but of M. Perrault, a physician. The word Louvre is, by some, derived from the Saxon Louvar, signifying a castle.

Buonaparte's plans for the further improvement of this palace were on the most extensive scale imaginable, as he intended to remove all the buildings situated between the Louvre and the Tuilleries; and some idea of the extent of the proposed area may be formed, when it is considered that, in its present state, the place du Carousel is sufficiently capacious to admit of 15,000 men being drawn up there in battle array. Whilst I remained at Paris, a considerable number of workmen were engaged in carrying on these improvements, but it is probable, from the exhausted state in which the projector of these undertakings has left the finances of France, that it will be many years before it will be possible to complete them.


If the stranger at Paris is struck by the magnificent appearance which the exterior of the Louvre presents, he cannot fail of being delighted with an inspection of the contents of its invaluable Museum. This, like nearly all the museums and libraries in Paris, is open to every individual, except on the days appropriated for study, when only artists are admitted; but even then, a stranger, whose stay is limited, may be admitted on producing his passport, a regulation which is highly commendable for its liberality; and at none of these repositories are the attendants permitted to lay any contributions on the visitants. The gallery of the Louvre was built by Henry IV. to join that palace with the Tuilleries, from which it was formerly separated, by the walls which surrounded Paris. This vast gallery is two hundred toises in length (not a great deal short of a quarter of an English mile); the collection of works of art here in without any parallel, as in this place are assembled most of the finest paintings and statues in the world, which the most indifferent must survey with admiration. But at the same time, it is impossible not to feel a portion of regret at the causes which have robbed Italy of those monuments, which its inhabitants so well knew how to appreciate, and for many of which they entertained a religious veneration, as the ornaments of their churches.

The French, as far as I am able to judge, do not (in general) possess any such feeling of sensibility, and merely value these chefs d'œuvre because their merit is allowed to be incontestable, and because their vanity is flattered, in seeing them thus collected by their victories as an additional attraction for strangers to visit their capital.

But Italy, although thus despoiled of so many of her ornaments, will still have many and great attractions for the man of taste; her buildings exhibit the finest specimens of art that are any where remaining; and those possessed of a classic genius will always behold with delight the scenes celebrated by a Horace or a Virgil. The paintings in this gallery exceed 1200 in number; they are divided into three classes, the first contains the French school, the second the German, and the third the Italian. Catalogues and descriptions of the paintings may be had at the doors. I often visited this gallery, and always with increased admiration. I shall not attempt to enter into any details as to the respective excellence of the different paintings. Volumes have been written on the subject, and my testimony could add nothing to excellence which is acknowledged by all—by those who have not seen, on the reports of those who have visited this splendid assemblage, who, having seen, have not failed to admire, and to give currency to their admiration. The following lines on Raphael, will be readily admitted as just by those who have seen some of his sublime pictures:

Hic ille est Raphael, timuit quo sospite vinci,

Rerum magna parens, et moriente mori.

Here Raphael lies, who could with nature vie,

To him she feared to yield, with him to die.

Although I thought my admiration had been so largely called forth by the pictures I had just visited, as to have been almost exhausted, yet the distinguished excellence of the statues did not fail to rekindle it; and indeed it is impossible it should have been otherwise, when surrounded by such admirable specimens of art.—The number bears its due proportion to that of the pictures, and the same reasons which induced me to say little of them, will prevent my dilating on the excellence of the statues—

Et la meilleure chose, on la gâte souvent.

Pour la vouloir outrer, et pousser trop avant.

I must, however, observe, that here are assembled the three finest statues in the world, the Laocoon, the Venus de Clomene, from the collection of the Medici family, and the Apollo Belvidere, which was found amongst the ruins of Antrum, about the end of the 15th century; and eveu in imagining the most perfect nature, it is difficult to form an idea of such perfection as is here exhibited; but much as I admired the Apollo, I was yet more delighted by contemplating the excellence displayed in the graceful figure of the Venus.

The gallery of paintings at the palace of the Luxemburg (which is now called the palace of the Peers of France, as they sit at present in the hall, formerly occupied by Buonaparte's Conservative Senate) although vastly inferior to that at the Louvre, both as to the number, and value of the collection it contains; yet it is well worthy the attention of the stranger, and the circumstance of its not being too crowded is favourable to the visitant, whose attention is not so much divided here as by the attractions of the greater collection, where he is often at a loss which way he shall turn. Here are statues of Bacchus and Ariadne. The gallery of Rubens contains twenty-one pictures by that great master, representing the history of Mary of Medicis; it also contains his Judgment of Paris. The gallery of Vernet contains a series of views of the principal sea-ports of France, by that painter, and also Poussin's picture of the Adoration of the Magi. Here are also two celebrated pictures by that great modern painter, David—Brutus after having condemned his Son, and the Oath of the Horatii, which appeared to me worthy of the favourable report I had before heard of them.

This palace has a spacious and handsome garden; the front of Queen's College, Oxford, is an imitation on a reduced scale of its façade to the street.

After the paintings, I next inquired after the Libraries which Paris contains; these are very numerous, but as I had so much to see, I contented myself with visiting the two principal ones, first, the royal library, Rue Richelieu. This contains the library of Petrarch, which alone would render it an object of curiosity. Here are also the globes of the Jesuit Coronelli, which are upwards of thirty-four feet in circumference. The Cabinet of Antiquities contains the collection of Count Caylus. The number of printed volumes is stated to amount to 350,000. The manuscripts are not less than 72,000. Here is also a vast and very valuable collection of medals, and about 5000 engravings. All persons are permitted to read here from ten until two o'clock.

The second Library which I visited was one which formerly belonged to that celebrated Minister, Cardinal Mazarin, and is now in the Palais des Beaux Arts, on the opposite side of the river from the Louvre. This collection consists of 60,000 volumes, amongst which are many works of great value.

If the traveller sees much to interest him, and much to admire during the course of his tour, it is natural that he should occasionally meet with disappointment; and I must confess that in the Metropolitan Church of Notre Dame, I saw little worthy of that praise which is lavished on it by the French; it is only venerable from its antiquity, being one of the most ancient Christian churches in Europe.—In point of architecture, and the general appearance of the exterior, it yields to any of the cathedrals, and to very many of the parish churches in England. The interior is mean in the extreme (the High Altar only excepted;) the body of the church being entirely filled up with the commonest rush bottomed chairs, and not kept in any tolerable order. But the most splendid church in Paris is unquestionably that of St. Sulpice, which is also one of the most striking buildings in the metropolis, notwithstanding the dissimilitude of the two towers of its grand Western front.

The Pantheon is not very different as to its general appearance from the last mentioned church. This edifice has cost already vast sums, but is not considered as completed. I saw during my stay at Paris most of the churches which it contains, and was in general disappointed with their appearance. The church of St. Roque is the handsomest after that of St. Sulpice. There is a Protestant church in the Rue St. Honoré, called L'Oratoire. Bossuet said of this congregation, "It is a body where all obey, and where no one commands."—Adjoining to this church is a very small chapel, where since the peace the service has been performed according to the form of the church of England. I attended here the Sunday after my arrival in Paris, and found the congregation consisted of about 40 persons, and at first sight one could not have supposed they were all British subjects, so completely had the ladies adopted the great hat, and the other peculiarities of the French ton.

Still one sees in the streets and public places several who do not desire to be thought French subjects, and who persist in wearing the much-abused habits of their own country.

There have been many disputes respecting the number of English actually in Paris; I have no doubt it has been extremely exaggerated. I saw, at my bankers, Messrs. Perregeaux & Co. a list of all those who had credit with them, which was less considerable by half at least than report had stated.

In the Place Vendôme stands a truly magnificent column (copied from that of Trajan at Rome) to commemorate the victories of Buonaparte, and his army in Germany. The execution of the bas reliefs reflects credit on the state of sculpture in France, and cannot fail to claim the approbation of the beholder.

On the top of the column stood a colossal statue of Buonaparte; this, like the other statues of that modern Sejanus, has disappeared since the downfall of his empire, and the return of the ancient dynasty has caused to be placed on its summit the white flag, formerly so much venerated by the French.

I set out at an early hour to go over the celebrated Gobelin manufactory in the Rue Mouffetard, the proprietor of which is extremely civil to strangers, and permits them to see his premises from ten till one o'clock, and they are well worthy of attention. The name of this manufactory is derived from its founder Gille Gobelin, originally from Rheims, who settled here in 1450.—I was also the same day much pleased with surveying the Stereotype press of that famous printer Didot, whose editions of various authors are in such esteem amongst judges of the art.

In the Place des Victoires, I observed an enormous statue of General Dessaix, on the site formerly occupied by one of Lewis XIV. (I have been informed, that about two months after my departure from Paris, this statue has been removed to a foundery, where by fusion, it may perhaps assume the appearance of a Bourbon.)—The Great Bureau of the Post, where only foreign letters can be franked, that is postpaid by those who send them (without which they are not forwarded) is in the Rue J.J. Rousseau, whose name was given to this street, from his having for some time occupied an attic story in it.

The Botanic Garden (Jardin des Plantes) being open to the public only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and its situation being at the farthest extremity of Paris from my hotel, I set out as early as possible to view it with the attention it deserved. It is on a very great scale, and contains about 7000 plants, arranged according to the scientific method of M. Jussieu. The Library I did not see, but the Museum and the Menagerie are on the most extensive scale, and accounts have been published of their curiosities.—Being fatigued with seeing the Lions, I sat down to rest for a short time on a vacant seat in the garden; but presently two elderly ladies came to the same place, and lamented in the most expressive terms the loss of a favourite dog; the lady who had lost it, said it was the only consolation she had, that it was absolutely necessary to love something, and that she felt most miserable at her loss.

This concern for the loss of a dog appeared to me much more natural, than the delight with which some virtuosos, whom I observed in the Museum, contemplated many of the specimens preserved there. The French have a great latitude of expression, being naturally an extremely lively people; but certainly not so much so as formerly. I recollect some years ago being much amused by an anecdote, related by the late Dr. Moore, in his "View of the State of Society and Manners in France, Italy, and Germany." The Doctor was informed by a French gentleman of his acquaintance, with that vivacity which distinguishes his nation, that he had just then received a final dismissal from a lady, who had for some time appeared to favour his addresses, and that he was absolutely in despair. Dr. Moore, who, from the vivacity of his friend's manners, had no idea that any thing had happened that seriously distressed him, answered, that he thought him the merriest person he had ever seen in such a situation. The other immediately replied, "but you English have such an idea of despair!"

The various revolutions of the last twenty-five years have doubtless contributed, in no small degree, to diminish much of that gaiety, which formerly distinguished the French from most other nations, and which formed one of their chief characteristics.

Under the late government reserve was positively necessary, so numerous were the emissaries of the police, and so anxious were they to report the most trifling circumstances to their employer, that they might convince him how very necessary they were to the furtherance of his government. In those unhappy times every man mistrusted his neighbour, fearing he might be concerned in one of the eighteen police establishments supported by the mistrust of the emperor in the affections of his subjects. The Conscription Laws, and the right which Buonaparte assumed of disposing in marriage all ladies possessed of a certain income, as a measure of rewarding the services of his officers, and which violated the closest connexions and best interests of society; together with his system of forced loans, which entirely destroyed the rights of private property, did not leave his subjects many incitements to mirth—although it was dangerous to appear dejected. "The Voyage Descriptif et Philosophique de Paris, par L—— P——," contains the following remarks, the truth of which renders them interesting, and I shall therefore translate them, for the information of those who may chance to peruse these pages. The author observes, "An air of inquietude has succeeded that openness and sociability, which so much distinguished the French. Their serious air announces that most people are considering the amount of their debts, and are always put to expedients. One guesses, that in a company of thirty at least twenty-four are revolving the means of acquiring wealth; and notwithstanding twenty are without it." I shall quote in conclusion what the same writer says of the Parisian, and which strikes me as a correct statement. "The Parisian is in general tolerably indifferent as to his political situation; he is never wholly enslaved, never free. He repels cannon by puns, and links together power and despotism by witty epigrams. He quickly forgets the misfortunes of the preceding day; he keeps no diary of grievances, and one might say, he has sufficient confidence in himself not to dread too absolute a despotism. It is to be hoped, that the happy restoration of the Bourbons will restore to the Parisian his gaiety, and that Louis XVIII. the legitimate father of the French, will cause all former political convulsions to be forgotten."

The Parisians are distinguished by their loquacity. Having occasion to employ a hair-cutter, I was quite stunned by his volubility of tongue. King Archelaus would find it difficult to be suited here; for being asked how he would have his hair cut, he answered—"silently."

After many ineffectual attempts, I at last succeeded in satisfying my curiosity by seeing the assembly of the Legislative Body. The building is one of the greatest ornaments of which Paris can boast; it was chiefly the work of Buonaparte, who was satisfied to lodge these gentlemen in a palace, provided they did not interfere in the government of their country. I was not gratified in proportion to the trouble I had in getting into the hall, by the short and uninteresting debate which ensued. This House was occupied during the greatest part of my stay in Paris in discussing the forms proper to be observed when the king meets the peers and commons.

The deputies object, that the king should himself desire the peers to be seated, and that they should only receive that permission through the medium of the chancellor: how the point has been decided, I have not been since informed.

The weather was intensely hot during part of my stay at Paris, the quicksilver being occasionally at 26° Réaumur, equal to 90° of Fahrenheit's scale, and the sky without a cloud, there not being, in general, such a cloud of smoke over Paris as generally obscures the atmosphere of London. Yet, I believe, the best accounts allow that London is to the full as healthy a city as Paris, and if cleanliness is conducive to health the point can admit of little doubt. During part of this oppressive weather, I used generally to resort, about mid-day, to the gallery of the Louvre, being anxious to take every opportunity of contemplating its superb collection of the works of art. There, notwithstanding the number of visitors, the marble floors and ventilators rendered the air much more cool than it was out of doors. I generally set out on my rambles through the city at as early an hour as custom would permit, and in the evening, often joined the pedestrians in the gardens of the Tuilleries, which were always thronged with company of all descriptions. There are a vast number of chairs under the trees, and their proprietors demand one or two sous for the right of sitting in them. I have been assured that this inconsiderable charge procures a total by no means contemptible.

I sometimes extended my walk into the Champs Elysées, which extend a long way beyond the Place de Louis XV. Its avenues are lighted like the streets of Paris, by lanthorns, suspended across them by ropes and pulleys, which give a stronger light than our lamps, but do not seem equally secure. At the end of the centre avenue, which runs in a straight line from the grand entrance to the Tuilleries, Buonaparte had lately begun a triumphal arch to commemorate the victories of his armies; and still further, exactly opposite the bridge of Jena, he caused a vast number of houses to be destroyed, to make way for a projected palace for the King of Rome. The foundations only of this edifice had been laid before the overthrow of Buonaparte, and this large plot of ground now presents a scene of waste and desolation.

The present government, which will not prosecute so expensive and useless an undertaking, will still have to make compensation to the owners of the buildings of which only the ruins remain.

The quarter of St. Antoine is celebrated in the annals of the Revolution; and, indeed, there are but few parts of Paris, which do not recall to one's mind some of those scenes so disgraceful to humanity of which it was the great theatre. The Place Royale in this district is only remarkable, for having been built by Henry IV.: it forms a square with a small garden in the centre, but has long ceased to be a fashionable residence. In Paris there are no squares similar in plan to those in London, but occasionally one sees places formed by the junction of streets, &c. The town-house is a large, and as I think, a tasteless Gothic edifice; and in the Place de Grève stood that guillotine which deprived such incredible multitudes of their lives. At one period of the Revolution every successful faction in turn, endeavoured, as it should seem, to exterminate its enemies, when it succeeded in possessing itself of the supreme power, which then chiefly consisted in the command of this formidable instrument; and these successive tyrants, like Sylla, were often in doubt whom they should permit still to remain alive.

I do not know that the invention of the guillotine, is to be ascribed to the ingenuity of the French, but they will for ever remain obnoxious to the charge of the most dreadful abuse of it. I have heard it stated that, so late as the reigns of Elizabeth, and James the First, an instrument similar to the guillotine, was used for the execution of offenders in the vicinity of Hardwicke Forest, in Yorkshire.

The Boulevards are now merely very spacious streets, with avenues of trees at the sides, but formerly they were the boundaries of the city. They form a fashionable promenade for the Parisians, and abound with horsemen and carriages more than any other quarter of the town. Along the Boulevard Poissonnier are some of the handsomest houses in Paris. I dined with a family in one of them which commands a very cheerful scene. There are here, as in the Palais Royal, a vast number of coffee-houses, billiard-tables, and restaurateurs. The price of a dinner differs little from what is usually paid in London, but bread is about half the price, and there is a great saving in the charge for wine, with this additional advantage, that it is generally of much better quality than can be met with in London for double the price; as the heavy duties on importing French wines necessarily induces their adulteration. A stranger to French manners, is surprised at seeing ladies of respectability frequenting coffee-houses and taverns, which they do as matter of course;—so powerful are the habits in which we have been educated.

After the Boulevards, the Rue Royale and the Rue de Rivoli are the handsomest in Paris. The last named is far from being completed, and runs in a line, facing the gardens of the Tuilleries; in these two streets there is a division to protect foot passengers, but they are not flagged.


The Royal Hotel of the Invalids, is one of the principal establishments in Paris, which claims the attention of the stranger, and I accordingly went to view it with a party of friends. The principal court has just resumed the title of Royal, but we could easily distinguish that it had been a few months since dignified by that of Imperial. Indeed, all over Paris, this change is very perceptible. The last letters are often in the old gilding, and the first part of the style only altered, as the French do not, in general, like to do more than is necessary, and but seldom condemn a house, but continue to patch it up in some manner, so as to make it last a little longer, which accounts for the appearance of antiquity which generally distinguishes their towns.

But to return to the Invalids. The establishment is said to be calculated to accommodate 5000 men; but we found upon inquiry, that the number then actually maintained did not exceed 3600. As it was their dinner hour, we went into their refectory; each man has a pint of the vin ordinaire, (the general price of which is from ten to twenty sous the bottle;) but I doubt whether it would be received as a substitute for malt liquor either at Chelsea or Kilmainham. The church of this establishment, is one of the most splendid in the capital. The ex-Emperor caused monuments to be erected here to Vauban and Turenne. The latter, by a special mark of the favour of Lewis XIV. had been interred in the royal vault at St. Denis; but his remains now rest here; and the monument is worthy of so distinguished a general. That to Vauban, on the opposite side, is by no means equally elegant.

The elevation of the dome of this church, exceeds that of any other building in Paris; and the French boast, that it rises to a greater height than St. Paul's Cathedral in London; but this I do not think is the case, although the point is of little moment. M. Dutens gives us the following scale of the comparative elevation of some of the highest buildings in the world.

The highest Pyramid77½
Strasburg Cathedral to the top of the vane71¾
St. Peter's at Rome, to the summitof the cross68
Church of the Invalids at Paris to the vane54
St. Paul's Cathedral, London, to the top of the Cross53

The interior of the dome of the Invalids is handsomely painted; but the exterior exhibits what I must consider as a very misplaced species of decoration for a place of this nature, being completely gilt, pursuant to an order of Buonaparte, dated, as I have been informed by good authority, from Moscow. This decoration has, as can well be supposed, cost vast sums, but it probably obtained for the ex-Emperor that eclat, by which he constantly sought to please the vanity of the Parisians. Many of his decrees for the embellishment of their city, being dated from Vienna, Berlin, and Madrid, he sought to astonish the multitude, by attempting to accomplish in a few years, what it would in general require an age to effect. Perhaps, calculating on the instability of his power, he hastened the construction of whatever might render it famous. A French writer observes, "Il "vouloit courir à cheval à la postérité."

Near the Invalids there is a Military School for 500 children; and near the Champ de Mars are two large barracks. Indeed, Paris abounds with them, as the military power has long been predominant in France. The Champ de Mars is only celebrated in the history of the Revolution; its present appearance is by no means interesting. In this vicinity is the Place de Grenelle, famous for being the spot where military executions used to take place. One of the last victims who perished here, was the unfortunate General Mallet, who whilst the oppressor of his country was still contemplating the devastation which he had occasioned in Russia, sought to deliver France from so galling a yoke; and he is said to have been possessed of many of the qualities necessary for so honourable and arduous an undertaking; but the reign of Buonaparte was still to continue for eighteen months longer; and he who had the resolution to attempt, had not the satisfaction of seeing, its subversion. In his way to the place of execution, being assailed by a hired mob with cries of 'Vive l'Empereur,' "yes, yes!" said the General, "cry "long live the Emperor if you please, but you will only be happy when he is no more." He would not suffer his eyes to be covered; and displayed in his last moments a fortitude, that will cause his memory to be long revered by the enemies of despotic power.

The Museum of French Monuments is one of the numerous institutions produced by the Revolution. This place contains a collection of those tombs which escaped the fury of a Revolution that at once proscribed both royalty and religion. They were deposited here as models of art, which did honour to the republic, by proving the genius of its statuaries and sculptors, (the works being classed according to the centuries in which they were made;) and as the busts of the most celebrated and declared enemies of Christianity, are every-where interspersed, the design seems obviously to have been to inculcate the principles which they inculcated; if, indeed, they acted upon any principle, each fearing to acknowledge the superiority of the other. To doubt was their criterion of wisdom (but although Hume said, that even when he doubted, he was in doubt whether he doubted or not, he does not appear to have once doubted that he was wrong in his attacks on religion,) and they only united in ridiculing that belief in a Supreme Being, which has been received, as it were instinctively, by all nations, however savage, and which has been the consolation of the best and wisest of mankind.

Any believer in religion, or any one who has not by perverted reasoning, brought his mind really to doubt its divine truths, (for men are but too apt to admit even the arguments of absurdity, when they tend to absolve them from duties, which they would avoid,) cannot but experience a sentiment of regret at this violation of the ancient consecrated burial places, (where the contemplation of these emblems of mortality was calculated to inspire a beneficial awe;) and of sorrow, that as religion is by law restored in France, these monuments, many of which have been taken from the royal burying place of St. Denis, should not be replaced in the churches from which they were taken in those calamitous times.

I here saw the tomb of Cardinal Richelieu, which was originally in the college of the Sorbonne. It is the work of the celebrated Gerardin, and is a fine piece of sculpture. Many of the other monuments are very elegant; but it would be tedious to enter into further details.

In walking through the Rue Colbert, a French gentleman of my acquaintance pointed out to me the house in which Louvois had resided, and declared his opinion, that that minister had proved one of the greatest causes of the ruin of France; he followed up his assertion by a declamation of such length, that I shall not attempt to collect his arguments, but leave my readers to come to their own conclusions on the subject.

I had intended visiting those vast catacombs which extend under a great part of Paris, and which now serve as burial places, but was induced to desist from the undertaking by the advice of a person who had made the experiment, and had suffered much more from the state of the air in those caverns, than he had been gratified by the curiosity of the scene. I was in the evening induced to visit a scene of a very different nature, and accompanied a party to the Gardens of Tivoli, in the Rue Lazare. This was, before the Revolution, the property of M. Boutin, formerly treasurer of the marine, who had spared no expense in it's decoration. The extent is about fourteen acres, and it much resembles Vauxhall.

The vast proportion which the military officers bear in all companies, and in all the public places here, cannot fail to be remarked by a stranger, and proves the success of the ex-Emperor, in his endeavours to render the French merely a military people. Under the old regime, no military uniforms were permitted to be worn in public places; but at present such a regulation would be quite impracticable. At present the military take a great lead in society, which has, perhaps, suffered more than is generally thought by the civil commotions of the state.

Wishing to be able to form some idea of the military events which led to the capture of Paris, I went by the gate of St. Martin to the other places which were connected with those memorable operations. It was on the 30th of March, 1814, that the allied armies, consisting of nearly 200,000 men, attacked the heights of Bellevue, St. Chaumont, and Montmartre; the cannonade continued from six in the morning until half past three o'clock in the afternoon, and after a bloody combat in the plains of Villette, where they were opposed by 30,000 French troops, a suspension of arms was signed a little after five o'clock. The next day about noon, the Emperor of Russia and King of Prussia entered Paris by the barrier of Villette, at the head of 50,000 men. A French writer remarks, that Montmartre is rendered famous by the gallant-stand made there by a small body of French troops against the whole of the allied army. The French cannot bring themselves to allow that their nation has the worst in any contest. They are now, however, sensible that they have been defeated, which no doubt conduces greatly to their present ill humour. Vanity is their domineering passion, and this Buonaparte always contrived to flatter so successfully, by concealing unwelcome truths, and exaggerating success, that he is still regretted by a large number of persons, who hate the present government for the openness of their conduct, as 'after being so long accustomed to the fabulous histories with which they were amused by their late ruler, they have a contempt for that candour which informs them of their actual situation, and which would excite the approbation of a nation possessed of a less degree of vanity. A great love of novelty is also very conspicuous in the French character. I think it was Frederic the Great, who observed in writing to d'Alembert, 'that to please the French, they should have every two years a new king.'

From the heights of Montmartre, a vast and magnificent panorama is presented to the view. Nearly the whole of Paris is seen from thence, and a great extent of country terminated by distant mountains. Those who wish to have a good general idea of Paris, should not fail to ascend this eminence. In point of size, Paris does not appear to me to be more than half the extent of London, when seen from Hampstead or Greenwich. It was from this situation that the Emperor Alexander first surveyed Paris, and he probably was struck with the shewy appearance of the gilded dome of the Invalids, but perhaps was uninformed that it was from the Kremlin, and whilst surrounded by the flames of Moscow, that Buonaparte, gave orders for the commencement of this new and extravagant decoration to increase the splendour of Paris. But the magnanimous perseverance of Alexander in the contest, was at last rewarded, and he saw from Montmartre that proud city, which had so often exulted at hearing of the capture of the other capitals of Europe, lying in his power. Without the capture of Paris in its turn, the triumph of Europe for the injuries which were inflicted in most parts of it, by the French, so long the willing instruments of Buonaparte's tyranny, had been incomplete.

Alexander's entry into Paris was haired as a liberation from that despotism, which its inhabitants, had not themselves the energy to shake off, and which they had acquiesced in or abetted for so many successive years.

That Alexander should have triumphed over Buonaparte, was fortunate for the liberty of France, but it was also indispensable to the peace of Europe.

The establishment of M. Delacroix, Rue Croix-des Petits Augustins, to remedy the defect of nature by a gymnastic process, is unique in France. I shall give the prospectus a place here; and feeling my inability to do it justice, shall not attempt to translate it.

"Dans la Rue des "Vieux Augustin» est l'établissement de M.

Delacroix Mécanicien Bandagiste Gymnastique pour redresser les

défauts de la nature, particulièrement chez les femmes. On y

remarque Le Mât qui est une Colonne en forme de Mât, autour

duquel se trouvent des echellons servant à monter pour developer

les hanches et la poitrine; les Colonnes ou piliers, exercice

servant à mettre le corps droit. Le Balancier sert à redresser la

Colonne vertébrale ou épine du dos. Les Barilles pour redresser

la tète les épaules et les hanches. Le Balançoir est pour

maintenir la tète et les reins droits quand on est assise. Le puits

la balle et la manivelle pour donner de la force à une épaule

faible. L'Echelle pour redresser les épaules. Le Cheval pour

apprendre à y monter, et tenir le corps dans un état naturel.

Le Jube pour redresser la tête et donner des grâces; lès Plombs

pour apprendre à marcher avec grâce. Le Fauteuil pour lever un

coté de la poitrine qui seroit plus bas que l'autre; le soufflet

pour donner un exercise régulier à toutes les parties du corps.

Ce mécanicien habile fait des mains dont les doigts ont les

mouvements naturels; et son éstablissement est l'unique en France."

To judge, from this description, it should seem as if those to whom nature has not been propitious, or those who have been deprived by accident of a limb, are culpably negligent if they do not apply at an institution which professes to remedy some of the most desperate calamities incident to human nature. With what probability of success, however, such an application would be attended, it is not possible for me to determine. I copy the prospectus of the Professor without being able to judge myself of his proficiency.

I accepted one morning a proposal to accompany a gentleman to the Tuilleries to see the King go to mass (which he had been prevented by the gout from doing, at least in public for some time); we found a great number of spectators had assembled on the occasion in the hall through which his Majesty was to pass, and which was lined with his corps de garde. We had a considerable time to wait before he made his appearance, and had ample leisure to survey the portraits of the marshals of France, with which the apartment is decorated, as well as with paintings representing many of Buonaparte's victories. His Majesty appeared to be in excellent health, and received with much affability several papers which were handed to him, and which he gave to a gentleman in waiting. He was greeted repeatedly by cries of Vive le Roi! and there is no doubt that by far the most respectable portion of the French sincerely wish him prosperity. Ï trust they may prove sufficiently strong to keep under those, who I fear are at least as numerous a class, and who have not learned, by the experience of so many years of confusion, to value the blessings of tranquillity when they have at last obtained it, attended with the advantages of a mild government.

I believe it is agreed by all that the King has a good heart. His regard for England, which has done so much for his family, is highly to his honour; and I hear he testifies it upon all occasions. Lately, at a consultation of his physicians, one of them having said he feared a long residence in a damp climate, had contributed to increase the attacks of the gout, the King interrupted him by saying, "Ah! Monsieur P——, ne dites pas du mal d'Angleterre." The conduct of his Majesty, since his restoration to the crown of his ancestors, proves him not to be deficient in either ability or resolution; and there perhaps never was a period which called for a greater exertion of both than the present. The other day Paris was thrown into considerable alarm by the arrival of intelligence from Nevers, that the garrison there had declared for Buonaparte. In consequence every precaution was resorted to on the part of government, and the guards in Paris were doubled; but happily nothing occurred to disturb the public tranquillity. The number of discontented spirits which the Revolution has left afloat, and which it would not require any very considerable share of artifice to raise against any government, will require for a long time the exertion of the utmost vigilance on the part of the present administration. Louis might have been addressed with propriety, on his arrival in France, in the admonitory words of Galba to Piso:

"Imperaturus es hominibus, qui nec totam servitutem pati possunt

nec totam libertatem."

On my departure from the Tuilleries my friend conducted me to a famous glass manufactory, where I saw several mirrors of very large dimensions, and also a staircase of glass, which had a splendid effect, and was the first thing of the kind I had ever seen. The balustrades were of glass, supported by steel, and had a particularly handsome appearance. The number of theatres in Paris have of late years much increased, and amount at present to eight or ten. The Opera Italien is justly celebrated as the best in Europe; but I received more entertainment at the Theatre François, in witnessing the representation of one of the admirable comedies of Molière. The Theatre de l'Odéon is curious from its construction, but the minor theatres on the Boulevards, de Gaieté, and des Variétiés, are in general the most frequented; and, except on extraordinary occasions, the Theatre François is by no means fully attended. A stranger in Paris is surprised at the number of bureaux d'ecrivains, or offices for writing, which abound in all parts of the town, where all materials for writing are provided for a few sous, and where persons attend to write letters, in any language, to the dictation of such as are not skilled in the graphic art.


I resolved not to take my departure from Paris without visiting some of the numerous royal palaces situated in its vicinity. St. Cloud first claimed my attention, both from its proximity to Paris, and from its having been for a considerable time the favourite residence of the ex-ruler of France. Its situation is certainly one of the most striking near the capital, and the views from it are both diversified and extensive. The improvements made here by Buonaparte render it a most agreeable residence, and display an extremely good taste. This palace is at present occupied by the Prince of Condé. The approach to it from Paris is very striking, through avenues of elms, with lamps at regular distances.

I also visited Marli, which is chiefly remarkable for the machine which raises water from the Seine to the height of five hundred feet. St. Cyr was the retreat of Madame de Maintenon, and Malmaison was the residence of Buonaparte, when first consul; but it is far inferior to St. Cloud. The palace of St. Germain is in a situation inferior to none I had seen. My expectations had however been particularly raised by the accounts I had heard of Versailles, which has at all times been the object of the admiration of the French; and it is certainly better suited to their ideas of grandeur than to ours.

This palace is about four leagues distant from Paris. The approach to it has nothing of that magnificence that I had been led to expect, and the road is in bad repair. On my arrival, I found it was impossible to gain admittance into the palace, which was undergoing a thorough repair, rendered indispensable by neglect during the last twenty years. The number of workmen employed is stated to amount to two thousand. It is a vast pile of building, and certainly one of the most famous royal residences in Europe. A Frenchman tells you with exultation of the vast sums which have been expended in its construction, and thinks that a sufficient proof of its magnificence. An Englishman, however, will very naturally be out of patience at the praises bestowed on gardens laid out in that taste which has been so long exploded in England, and cannot help exclaiming with the poet—

"Lo! what huge heaps of littleness around!"

In front of the palace is a vast terrace which you mount with considerable difficulty by innumerable flights of stairs. To occasion an unexpected treat to the admirers of art, by excluding every thing natural, the whole of this elevation is abundantly supplied with ponds and water-works. The grand vista in front of the palace is formed into a canal, and no description can give a more just idea of these boasted gardens than the following lines of Pope; the only difference being, that the water-works of Versailles are put in motion the first Sunday of every month, and remain stagnant the rest of the year.

"Grove nods at grove, each alley has a brother,

And half the platform just reflects the other.

The suffering eye inverted nature sees,

Trees cut to statues, statues thick as trees;

With here a fountain, never to be play'd,

And there a summer-house that knows no shade;

Here Amphitrite sails thro' myrtle bow'rs,

There gladiators fight or die in flow'rs;

Unwater'd see the drooping sea-horse mourn,

And swallows roost in Nilus' dusty urn."

What pleased me most at Versailles was the great number of large orange and lemon trees.

The forest of Versailles is of great extent, and abounds in wood, but there is little of what would be considered in England as good timber.

Windsor and Versailles have been often compared, although no two places can possibly differ more completely than they do. To have again recourse to the words of the poet, Windsor is a place,

"Where order in variety we see;

And where, tho' all things differ, all agree."

And, in my judgment, it is as far superior to Versailles as its forests of oak are to the elms which surround that boasted palace.

I was permitted to see the royal stables. They are, it is said, sufficiently large to contain 4000 horses, but are at present much out of repair. The city of Versailles is large and well built, but has a melancholy and deserted appearance, having lost nearly half its population since it has ceased to be a royal residence, and the present number of inhabitants does not exceed 30,000. The Grand and Petit Trianons deserve attention from having been the favourite retreats of the late unfortunate Queen of France; but few traces of the taste once displayed in their decoration now remain. They are situated within the limits of the forest of Versailles, which is said to be twenty leagues in circuit. At Sèvres, which is celebrated for the beauty of its porcelain manufactory, I observed workmen employed in finishing a new and handsome bridge of nine arches over the Seine, in place of the old one which is hardly passable. Near the barrier of Passy is a carpet-manufactory, which was established there by Henry the Fourth. This barrier is thought to be the most striking entrance to Paris. In my excursions in the vicinity of Paris, I observed that the harvest was extremely abundant, but the majority of those employed in collecting it were women. I was informed that last year the greatest difficulty was experienced in saving the harvest for want of a sufficient number of hands. I saw, at a distance, the castle of Vincennes, where Buonaparte (who had caused the removal of every vestige of the Bastile) had dungeons constructed many feet under ground, and with walls ten feet thick. This place is distinguished for the atrocious murder of the Duke d'Enghien. I had occasion to observe, both in the streets of Paris and on the roads in its vicinity, that there were but few private carriages to be seen, and those by no means handsome; but the roads are covered with cabriolets, of which there are 2,800 in Paris, besides about 2,000 fiacres, or hackney-coaches. The fare for an hour is only thirty sous.

As I had by this time pretty well satisfied my curiosity, in visiting the objects in Paris that principally arrest the attention of a traveller who has not leisure to dwell longer than is indispensable in one place, I began to be impatient to exchange the continual bustle of that city—its

"Fumum opes strepitumque,"

for those romantic and enlivening scenes in which Switzerland stands without a rival, and is, as it were, by acclamation, allowed to surpass the other countries of Europe.

I therefore attended at the office for foreign affairs, and obtained the signature of the Prince of Benevento (for about ten francs) in addition to the signature of our own distinguished minister, Lord Castlereagh. I was told it was necessary also to have my passport visited by the police before leaving Paris; and my landlord offered his services to arrange that affair for me. I however recollected Dr. Franklin's maxim, "If you would have your business clone, go; if not, send," and went accordingly to the office myself.

These affairs being arranged, so as to permit my passing without molestation through the interior of France, I quitted Paris without any sensations of regret at leaving a place which, highly as I had been pleased with many of the great objects which it contains, I cannot but consider, when curiosity is once gratified, to be an unpleasant residence. I took the road to Fontainbleau, distant about thirty-seven English miles; a place formerly only remarkable for its castle, situated in a forest of about 30,000 acres, and often visited by the Kings of France, for the amusements of the chace; but which will hold in history a distinguished page, and be visited in future ages as being the scene where it pleased Providence to terminate a tyranny unexampled in the history of the world. It is worthy of remark, that in this very castle, in which the venerable Head of the Romish Church was so long and so unjustly detained a captive, his once formidable oppressor was obliged to abdicate that authority which he had so long usurped and abused; and the 11th of April 1814, will be long hailed over Europe as the epoch when liberty, peace and good order were restored to its inhabitants, after the long and stormy reign of oppression, war and anarchy had so long precluded the expected time of which it was impossible entirely to despair—when Europe, so long a prey to dissension, should again be united as one common family. These hopes have at last been realized; the evils of the French Revolution (more productive of misfortune than the fabled box of Pandora) have in a manner been surmounted; and we have only further to wish, that the nations who have restored tranquillity to Europe, may continue to act with the moderation for which they have hitherto been distinguished [guess: distinguished].

It was natural, in beholding a place rendered memorable by such great events,—events which are probably destined to fix the fortunes of succeeding centuries, that the mind should dwell with more than common attention on the scene, and give itself up to the reflections it was calculated to produce. My thoughts were principally engaged in considering the very opposite characters of Pius VII. and of Buonaparte.

In the first we see united all that can give dignity to an exalted station, or that is praiseworthy in private life. We see him disposed as much as possible to conciliation, and even persuaded by his cardinals to cross the Alps in the most inclement season notwithstanding his advanced age, to crown the Usurper of France, in the expectation of advancing the interests of religion, by consenting to submit to a power which then appeared but too firmly established. The hopes of the pope were not realized; Buonaparte soon forgetting past services, made demands which he well knew could not be complied with, and amongst them that his holiness should declare war against England, and that too without the slightest motive for such a proceeding on his part, as he stated in his manifesto against the outrages of Buonaparte, a paper which must affect all who peruse it, and excite their regret that the pope was not in a situation effectually to preserve that independence which did such honour to his heart.

The new-made emperor was not, however, to be reasoned with but by force; and in about four years after the pope had placed the diadem on his head, he caused him to be removed from his capital as a prisoner, and united the Ecclesiastical States to the dominions of France. The spirit of the pope was still unsubdued, and he refused, for himself and his cardinals, all offers of subsistence from the usurper of their possessions. When urged to come to some agreement with Buonaparte, he answered that his regret at having accepted the late Concordat, would be a sufficient security against his being again deceived. And when the cardinals represented the evils which might result from his refusal, he answered, "Let me die worthy of the misfortunes I have suffered." On the 23d of January, 1814, the pope was removed from Fontainbleau, as were each of the seventeen cardinals, in custody of a gend'arme, and their destination was kept secret. But on the 5th of April following, the provisional government of France gave orders, that all obstacles to the return of the pope to his states might be removed; and, after five years of confinement and outrage, Pius VII. returned to his capital, to receive the reward of that firmness and moderation, which, blended so happily in his character, will long render it an object of admiration.

I next considered the character of the tyrant, who so long and so successfully triumphed over prostrate Europe, England alone preserving unimpaired that liberty, which she was destined to be the means of diffusing to rival nations. It would be absurd to deny Buonaparte the praise due to the matchless activity, and consummate skill, with which he conducted the enterprizes suggested by his boundless ambition; and which made him the most formidable enemy with whom England ever had to contend; but his cruelty, his suspicion, and his pride, (which made him equally disregard those laws of honour, and those precepts of morality, respected by the general feelings of mankind), as they excited the indignation of thinking men, prevented any pity at his fall. Such a man was destined only to excite astonishment, not admiration; and that astonishment could not fail of being greatly diminished, by his want of extraordinary resources, when placed in a situation, upon the possibility of which he had disdained to calculate.

His continued aggressions raised Europe against him from without, and he was overthrown, because he had completely disgusted the fickle people, whom he had made the instruments of his ambition.

It would surely require the pen of a Tacitus to delineate with accuracy the character of such a man, who, to use the words of the lamented Moreau, "had covered the French name with such shame and disgrace, that it would be almost a disgrace to bear it; and who had brought upon that unhappy country the curses and hatred of the universe."

His ambitious wars are supposed to have occasioned the destruction of nearly four millions of men, whom he considered merely as instruments to accomplish his extravagant views; and he is reported to have said repeatedly, that "it signified little whether or not he reigned over the French, provided he reigned over France."

He delighted in carnage, and speaks in one of his bulletins of "800 pieces of cannon dispersing death on all sides," as presenting "a most admirable spectacle."

On Buonaparte's arrival from Egypt, he found things as favourable for his projected usurpation as his most sanguine hopes could have imagined. In the eighteen months which had preceded his arrival, there had arisen no fewer than four constitutions, and the French might well exclaim, "They have made us so many constitutions, that we have now none remaining!" Wearied out with the succession of sanguinary factions, each endeavouring to establish itself by proscriptions, banishments, and confiscations, France submitted without opposition to the government of a ruler, who seemed sufficiently strong to keep all minor tyrants in subjection; and, despairing of freedom, sought only an interval of repose. This hope was, however, not destined to be realized, for Buonaparte soon pursued all those who presumed to oppose his schemes in the slightest degree with astonishing eagerness, and those who submitted with the most alacrity, were treated only with contempt.

He was hardly seated on his throne, before he spoke of making France a camp, and all the French soldiers. A long series of success made him despise those precautions so necessary to insure it, and rendered his catastrophe the more striking.

The character given by Seneca of the Corsicans, has been quoted as applicable to the most famous character that island has ever produced: he says, "the leading characteristics of these islanders are revenge, theft, lying, and impiety." Over the downfall of such a man, the civilized world must rejoice; but the contemplation of his character affords a salutary lesson to ambition, which, carried to excess, ruins that greatness it would so madly increase.

The last years of his reign were distinguished by the number of plots which were pretended to be discovered, and proved the truth of a remark of Mary de Medicis, "That a false report believed during three days, tended to secure the crown on the head of an usurper."

But neither his guards, nor his police, could insure him a moment of repose.

"Volvilur Ixion, et se sequiturque fugitque."

Modern history has fully demonstrated a truth, which might have been collected from more ancient records, and of which England affords an illustrious example, that the attachment of a free and enlightened people is the only basis on which thrones can rest with security.

Having now sufficiently satisfied my curiosity at Fontainbleau, I determined on continuing my journey (which I fear my reader may regret I did not do sooner), and I accordingly arrived at noon at Montereau, which is an inconsiderable town, but beautifully situated in a fertile plain, at the junction of the rivers Seine and Yonne. The bridges over those rivers had been partly broken down, to impede the progress of the allied troops in the late memorable campaign. They have been repaired with timber in a temporary manner, but cannot be considered as at all sufficiently secure for the passage of heavy carriages. Many of the houses in this town still exhibit abundant marks of bullets, but the country around appears in such a luxuriant state of cultivation, that had I not myself seen the spot where a battle had been fought in the last spring, I could hardly hare persuaded myself it had so lately been the theatre of war.

I next reached Sens, a large and ancient city, but thinly inhabited, and with little marks of activity, although situated in a country abounding with all the conveniences of life, and possessing a situation on the rivers Vanne and Yonne, which seems to shame its inhabitants for their neglect of the commercial advantages they afford.

The Cathedral is a venerable structure, and contains the tomb of the Dauphin, father of the present King, who died in 1765.—About sixteen English miles distant is Joigny, beautifully situated on the Yonne, and surrounded on all skies by vineyards; we now were approaching one of the parts of France most famous for its wines.

The road, which is in excellent repair, follows the windings of the river to Auxerre, which, although much less than Sens, has a more lively appearance, and the inhabitants seem to make more use of the facilities which the river affords of communicating with Paris and the rest of the country. The churches here are handsome, the tower of one of them is said to have been built by the English.

The Vineyards in this neighbourhood are numerous, and the wine is much esteemed.

I waited here for the arrival of the Paris Diligence, in which I proposed to proceed to Dijon, wishing not to leave France without having made trial of one of their public carriages.

The appearance of that which I saw at Calais was much against it; the one I met with here proved a very tedious conveyance, not going in general above three or four English miles an hour; which, however is as much as could be expected from a carriage which is scarcely less laden than many of our waggons. It was drawn by five horses, all managed by one postilion, mounted on one of the wheel horses, and furnished with a vast and unwieldy pair of boots, cased with iron, and a long whip, which he is perpetually employed in cracking. Another important personage is Monsieur le Conducteur, who has the care of the luggage, &c. The French in general adhere to old customs, as well as the postilions to their antiquated boots; their hour of dinner in general being from eleven to twelve o'clock, and seldom so late as one. This in England would be considered only as a Déjeûner à la Fourchette. The hour of supper is from seven to nine, according as the length of the stages may determine.

If the hour of a French dinner is singular to an Englishman, the order in which it is served up is not less so. The soup (that great essential to a Frenchman) is always followed by bouilli, which having contributed to make the soup, is itself very tasteless.—Fricassées and poultry succeed; then follow fish and vegetables, and last of all comes the rôti, which, as I before had occasion to observe, is so much done as not to be very palatable. The pastry and desert conclude their dinners, which certainly deserve the praise of being both cheap and abundant. The fruit is astonishingly cheap; I. have seen excellent peaches sell for a sous apiece. A traveller is not, however, in general disposed to criticise these singularities, either in the hour or order of the repast with too much severity, as the remark attributed to Alexander the Great, has probably been made by many of less celebrity, "that night travelling serves to give a better appetite than all the skill of confectioners."

The general price of the Table d'Hôte in France, including the vin ordinaire, is about three francs, which are at the present rate of exchange equal to about a shilling each.—Those who call for better wine pay of course extra.

The vin ordinaire, or common wine of Burgundy, is a pleasant beverage, little stronger than cider, but in many parts of France it is by no means palatable. The cider and beer in France are, with few exceptions, extremely indifferent, and consequently little used.


My first day's journey in the Diligence was short and uninteresting1. We arrived to sleep at Avalon, a small town partaking, in common with most others in France, of a degree of gloom occasioned by the want of those shops which enliven most of our country towns. Here a few articles are placed in a window, to indicate that there is a larger supply to be had within. There are few towns in France which have not a public place or walk, which is generally planted with trees, and kept in good order. Whilst supper was preparing, we took a few turns on the promenade of Avalon, and found a considerable number of persons assembled there; but were much shocked at the number and miserable appearance of the beggars, who thronged around us. They are much too numerous in all parts of France, and particularly here.

At an early hour next morning, we were summoned to resume our places in the Diligence; these places are in general numbered, and each person takes his seat in the order in which he has paid his fare, a regulation which prevents any delay, and precludes disputes or ceremony.

We continued our journey through the small towns of Rouvray and Viteaux; the country is diversified with hills, which are not of sufficient magnitude to present any great obstacle to the progress of the traveller.

There are vast numbers of vineyards, but there are few trees. In this, as in all other wine countries, villages and country houses are more numerous than in the districts producing only corn, either because the lands which produce vines are more valuable, and consequently are divided amongst a greater number of owners, or that the culture of the vine requires more people than other species of tillage.

In one district, where corn was the chief crop, I enquired respecting the usual mode of farming, and found that the land, which was this year under corn, was intended to be sown next year with maize (of which there is a vast quantity) and the year following to lie fallow, after which it will be considered as again fit to produce corn.

I found also, that the direct land-tax through France was not less than 20 per cent, exclusive of the other taxes which fall incidentally on landed property. There are also in many provinces customs which regulate the descent of land (often in a manner very different from the disposition which the owner would wish) amongst the relations of the last owner. These customs and the heavy taxes on land may account for the seemingly small price which it in general sells for throughout France.

The approach to Dijon is striking, and the Diligence arrived there sufficiently early to afford us time to survey the city, which is one of the best built and most considerable in France. It was formerly the capital of the province, and the residence of the ancient sovereigns of Burgundy, whose tombs are still to be seen at the Chartreuse, near the city. It is now the chief place in the department of the Côte d'or, and contains a population of about 22,000 inhabitants. It is situated between the small rivers Ouche and Suzon, in a valley, which is one of the most highly cultivated districts in France, and which is worthy of its name of Côte d'or. The churches here are handsome structures, as is also the palace of the Prince of Condé, where the Parliament used to assemble. The square before it is spacious and well-built, and the corn market is worthy of remark. The University of Dijon was formerly one of the most considerable in Prance, but my stay was not sufficient, to enable me to enquire with accuracy into its present state. Our company next day was augmented by two French officers, who were going to Besançon, and who intended proceeding in this carriage as far as Dole, where smaller conveyances were to be had for those going to Geneva, &c. as the Great Voiture went on to Lyons. These officers did not long continue silent, and politics seemed the subject which occupied the first place in their thoughts. They said that Belgium and the Rhine were indispensable to France, and were particularly violent against Austria, for the part she had taken in the late contest. 'One of them did not affect to conceal his attachment to the ex-emperor; but the other, although he agreed with his companion in wishing, for a renewal of the war, did not seem at all pleased with Buouaparte for having said the French nation wanted character. They had both been at Moscow, and acknowledged that the Emperor had committed a capital error in not retreating in time from what he himself acknowledged to be such a frightful climate.

If a public carriage has not all the comfort and expedition of a private one, it certainly has this advantage, that one often meets companions from whom may be derived amusement or information; and I think those who travel with a view to either of those objects, would do well occasionally to go in one of those conveyances. In a foreign country, the attention of the traveller is continually attracted by a variety of objects of a novel nature, which can be best explained to him by the inhabitants of the country: besides, it is impossible to have any correct idea of the manners and customs of foreigners, without constantly associating with them, which, in general, English travellers do not much desire. Whilst abroad, I would wish to accommodate myself as much as possible, to the habits of the country in which I were to reside, but if I found them irksome, I would certainly hasten my departure.

We reached Dole about the French hour of dinner: here our company separated, and, accompanied by a friend, I continued my journey to Geneva. The road which we took is only practicable during four or five months in the year, on account of the snow which is drifted from the mountains of Jura. Near Auxonne we passed a plain, where a battle had been fought between the French and the Allied forces. Many houses had been destroyed, but the agriculture of the country did not seem to have suffered by the contest. We passed through the village of Genlis, and within sight of the Chateau, the property of the lady of that name, well known by her numerous writings and compilations.

We arrived late at Poligny, a small town, surrounded by lofty mountains. On leaving the place, one hill occupies three hours in ascending; but the road is as good as the uneven surface of the country will permit. The people here begin to have quite a different appearance from the French: wooden shoes are generally worn; and the projecting roofs of the houses shew that the climate is more rainy and severe than in the countries we had passed. In this vicinity are some of the finest forests I had yet seen in France, and the views from the road are occasionally interesting. About two leagues from Poligny is Arbois, famous for its white wine. We had a bottle by way of experiment, and thought it not undeserving of the reputation it had acquired. A Frenchman observed, "Le vin nest pas mauvais," which phrase may be taken for a commendation, as they seldom carry their praise so far as to say a thing is positively good. The country between Poligny and Moray exhibits a continued succession of fir-trees, unmixed with any thing to give variety to the scene. The woods, however, seemed to afford shelter to but few birds; and in most parts of the continent, even the singing-birds are not spared, but included in the general proscription to gratify the palate of the epicure.

We arrived to an English breakfast at Moray; they told us its honey was in great repute throughout France, and we thought it deserved more than the ordinary commendation of a Frenchman. Every thing here was neat and clean, and both the town and appearance of its inhabitants brought North Wales strongly to my recollection. This being a frontier place, the French custom-house officers put seals on our portmanteaus, for which favour we paid two francs for each seal; these were cut off with great formality on our arrival at Geneva. After having travelled for many hours amongst a succession of gloomy mountains, which afford nothing that can either interest or enliven, I never recollect feeling a greater sensation of delight and astonishment, than when, from the summit of one of the mountains of Jura, I first beheld the lake and city of Geneva, backed by the mountains of Savoy, and by the Alps, which, even at this vast distance, made all the other mountains we had passed appear but trivial.

It is by contrast that all pleasures are heightened, and even the tour which I afterwards made amongst the Alps, did not lessen the force of that impression which the sudden appearance of this magnificent spectacle had left upon my mind. The road down the mountain is an astonishing work, and is part of the grand line of road made by Buonaparte, to facilitate the passage of troops into Italy over the Grand Simplon. A fountain near the road has an inscription to Napoleon the Great; in one part the road winds through an excavation in the rock. One cannot but here exclaim with the poet,

What cannot Art and Industry perform,

When Science plans the progress of their toil!

At Fernay we visited the Château, so long celebrated as the residence of Voltaire. It is now the property and residence of M. de Boudet, who, as we were informed, has made great improvements in the place since it has come into his possession.

The saloon and bed-chamber of Voltaire are, however, preserved in exactly the same state as when he occupied them. There are a few portraits of his friends, and under his bust is this inscription:

"Son esprit est partout et son cœur est ici."

"His genius is every where, but his heart is here."

His Cenotaph, as it is called, has a miserably mean appearance, and bears this inscription:

"Mes mânes sont consolés puisque mon cœur

"Est au milieu de vous."

"My manes are consoled, since my heart is with


The formal taste in which the garden is laid out, but ill accords with the stupendous scenery which is seen on all sides. The approach to the Château from the road is through a double avenue of trees. Near the house stands the parish-church, and also a Heliconian fountain in the disguise of a pump, of excellent water, which we tasted, but without experiencing any unusual effects. We had not leisure to prolong- our researches, as it was necessary for us to reach Geneva before the closing of the gates. If the first and distant appearance of the city of Geneva, of its beautiful lake, and of the lofty mountains by which it is surrounded, produces the strongest sensations of delight in the beholder, a nearer approach is not (as is too frequently the case) calculated to do away, or, at least, greatly to diminish the impression made by the distant view.

Having, after a long descent, at length reached the Plain, the traveller cannot fail of being delighted with the richly cultivated scene which surrounds him, with the neatness of the villages, and with the apparent ease of the inhabitants of a country where property seems pretty equally divided, and where he is not shocked (as he is unhappily too generally throughout Europe) by the melancholy contrast between the splendour of the opulent, and the extreme misery of the peasantry. Here the peasant, as Goldsmith observes,

Sees no contiguous palace rear its head,

To shame the meanness of his humble shed;

Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose,

Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes.

The situation of Geneva is as striking as can be well imagined. It seems to rise out of the transparent waters of its lake. Some tourists tell us, that, Naples and Constantinople excepted, no city in Europe can be compared to Geneva in point of situation, and those who have ascended the towers of its cathedral, will feel disposed to admit, that the prospect of the lake, the junction of the river Rhone with the Arve, the number of villas dispersed on all sides, the scene of cultivation which the nearer mountains present, almost to their summits, and the imposing effect produced by the more distant Alps, whose bases rest in Italy, and whose tops, covered with perpetual snow, seem to unite with the clouds, present a spectacle which it would be indeed difficult to surpass.

——" While admiration, feeding at the eye

"And still unsated, dwells upon the scene."


The lake of Geneva (which, according to M. de Luc, is 187 toises, or 1203 English feet above the level of the Mediterranean Sea) is one of the most considerable in Europe, being about eighteen leagues in length, by about three and a half at its greatest width. Its waters are at this season about six feet higher than in winter, and are of a beautiful blue colour, derived from the nature of the soil beneath. Its depth, near Meillerie, is 190 fathoms, that of the Baltic, according to Dr. Goldsmith, being only 115 fathoms. This lake abounds with fish of various kinds. I myself saw a trout of twenty-three pounds, and there have occasionally been taken of nearly double that weight. These extraordinarily large fish are often presented by the republic to its allies, and are frequently sent as far as Paris or Berlin. The Rhone issuing, with vast rapidity, from the lake forms an island which is covered with houses, and constitutes the lower part of the city, which rises to the summit of a hill, where stand the cathedral and many elegant private houses. The city is, in general, tolerably well built; but many of the streets have domes, or arcades of wood, which are frequently fifty or sixty feet in height, and which have an inelegant appearance, but are useful in the winter, and under some of them are rows of shops, Containing every article of luxury or utility, in equal perfection with those that are to be met with in some of the greatest cities.

Here is every appearance of the activity produced by the revival of commerce, after the long prohibition it suffered during the period whilst Geneva remained united to France.

The chief manufacture of Geneva is that of clocks and watches; in the period of the prosperity of Geneva, this trade was calculated to afford employment to five or six thousand persons, but at present it is much reduced. There are a considerable number of goldsmiths, and the ingenuity of the Genevese, produces very curious musical-watches, snuff-boxes, and seals, many of which are sent to Paris and London, where they find a ready sale; they are sent likewise to Persia and to America, there are considerable manufactures also of calico, muslin, &c. and a good deal of banking business is transacted. Perhaps there is no example of a city so destitute of territory, which has obtained such commercial celebrity, and the persevering industry of its inhabitants, enabled them to place large sums of money in the funds of other nations, particularly of England. The revenues of the state are much exceeded by those of many individuals; but, during the oppressive government of France, the taxes of Geneva were nearly quadrupled.

The population of Geneva and its territory, having been so differently stated as to leave the truth involved in ranch uncertainty, M. Naville, a senator, who possessed every facility for making the necessary enquiries, published a calculation, which assigns to the republic a population of 35,000, of which number 26,000 resided in the city. This is a very large number if we consider that the territory of this little state is so limited as, according to M. Bourritt's Itinerary, to contain only 3 7/100 square leagues; being about 11,400 inhabitants to each square league. But, contracted as their territory certainly is, those citizens of Geneva, with whom I have conversed, do not seem to wish its extension. They fear the introduction of religious dissensions, as the Savoyards, (on which side it could be most easily extended) are Roman Catholics and by no means cordial with their neighbours, the Hugonots of Geneva, as they call them. Nor would the nobility of Savoy wish to be the subjects of so popular a government as that of Geneva. Religious differences have, at all times, been productive of the worst species of civil discord, and the Genevese (although they tolerate most fully all religious sects) are undoubtedly stronger at present, with their limited possessions, than they possibly could be with any increase of territory, accompanied by the chance of such unfortunate dissensions.

All they seem desirous of, at present, is to see their little state consolidated; it being at present intersected by the possessions of France, the Canton of Vaud, &c. in such a manner as to oblige the Genevese to pass over some portion of the territories of those states, in visiting many of their own villages. But more of Geneva hereafter, as although I had so recently arrived there, I was soon to quit it for a short time.

I found at my hotel a party, consisting of two of my countrymen and a French gentleman, who were waiting for a fourth person to join them, in making an excursion to the celebrated scenes of Chamouny and Moutanvert.

This was an opportunity not to be neglected, particularly as my former companion had determined on going into Italy, notwithstanding the very alarming accounts of its disturbed state, given us by some travellers, lately arrived from thence, who had themselves been robbed, and who reported that the banditti, in many of the mountains, amounted to from 500 to 1500 men. The unsettled political state of Italy too, rendered the present, in my opinion, by no means an auspicious moment, for an excursion of curiosity into that country. To see Italy well would occupy a longer portion of time than I had at my disposal, and if once across the Alps it would be almost impossible to return without visiting Rome. Under these circumstances, I resolved to content myself with seeing Chamouny, and Mt. Blanc, and I had every reason to be pleased with my determination, as the party were extremely agreeable, and we had the good fortune of having fine weather for our excursion, an occurrence which is rare amongst such lofty mountains nor were we disposed to complain of the inconvenience of occasional showers, in a country where it is not unusual for the rains to continue without intermission for many days.


Having made the necessary arrangements in the evening, our carriage was in readiness at an early hour next morning. It was something like an English sociable, but had a leather cover which could occasionally be drawn over our heads, and of which we more than once experienced the utility, in protecting us from the very sudden and violent showers which we sometimes met with. As soon as the rain was over we drew back the cover, and enjoyed the romantic prospects which surrounded us. From Geneva we ascended continually through a wild but not uninteresting country to Bonnevilie, a distance of about five leagues; here we breakfasted, and remained two or three hours to allow our horses to repose from the fatigues of the road. This little town has nothing particularly worthy of remark, and its appearance is dull, although it is the chief place of one of the three divisions which are formed of Savoy. Here is a bridge of stone (which is not usual in this country, where timber abounds, and where many of the rivers are so rapid, as to oblige the inhabitants to remove the bridges, at the commencement of autumn) over the river Arve, the course of which we followed for several leagues through the valley of Cluse, so called from the little town of that name. This long and narrow district is surrounded by lofty mountains, and the traveller is often at a loss to guess which way he can proceed, until some sudden turning discovers an outlet, barely sufficient to admit the passage of a carriage, and by various windings he arrives in the valley of Magi an, which presents a still more interesting variety of objects, amongst others the cascade of Nant d'Arpennas and many other inferior ones, which tumble from the mountains, and increase the rapidity of the Arve. About a league beyond the fall d'Arpennas is an excellent view of Mont Blanc, which crowned with all the horrors of a perpetual winter, presents one of the most sublime, and majestic spectacles, which it is possible to conceive. To describe the contrast between its snowy summit, and the cultivated valley beneath, so as to convey any just idea of the scene, to those who have not themselves seen it, would require all the descriptive powers of a Radcliffe. We arrived to a late dinner at the hotel de Mont Blanc, at St Martin, which is a large single house situated about a quarter of a league from the little town of Salenche, of which I do not recollect having heard any thing remarkable, except that the right of burgership may be purchased for forty-five livres. The windows of our hotel commanded a most astonishing extent of mountain scenery diversified by the windings of the Arve through a well cultivated valley. The hotel was sufficiently comfortable, but the bill was extravagant beyond any precedent in the annals of extortion. We had occasion to remonstrate with our host on the subject, and our French companion exerted himself so much on the occasion, that at last we succeeded in persuading the landlord to make a considerable reduction in his charges, which were out of all reason, making every allowance that his house was so situated, as not to be accessible during the whole year. We were afterwards told that he would have considered himself amply paid by receiving the half of his first demand, and I found it is often the practice to ask of the English at least double of what is charged to travellers of any other nation. Appearances were so much against our landlord, that one might say to him in the words of the epigram, "If thou art honest thou'rt a wondrous cheat."

The carriage road ends at Salenche; and we, therefore, made the necessary arrangements to proceed on mules, and sent back our carriage to Geneva. It was the first time I had travelled in a country only accessible on foot or by mules, and I cannot but add my testimony to that of all those who have ever made excursions into these mountains, respecting the very extraordinary and almost incredible safety with which the mule conveys his rider over tracks, which were any one to see suddenly, coming out of a civilized country, he would think it the height of folly to attempt to pass even on foot. There are, however, places where it is expedient to climb for one's self, but as long as one remains on the back of the mule, it is advisable not to attempt to direct his course, but to submit one's reason for the time to the instinct of the animal. Our guides assured me that they had never known a single instance of any one's having had reason to regret having placed this confidence in them; and, indeed, it is by having the command of his head that the mule is enabled to carry his rider in safety over passes, which one is often afraid to recall to one's memory. Several of the mules in Savoy are handsome, but one of our party, who had crossed the Fyrenean mountains, thought the Spanish mules were much more so; the ordinary price of a mule here, is from fourteen to twenty Louis d'Ors.

The distance between St. Martin and Chamouny, is little more than six leagues, but from the extreme inequality of the ground and the intricacy of the paths, occupied a very long space of time in passing. We still continued to follow the course of the Arve, which, according to the opinions of some writers, is believed to have, at one period, formed a lake between the mountains which encompass this valley; a conjecture which the marshy appearance of the ground seems to render probable.

These mountains abound with an animal which is mostly an inhabitant of the Alps, the marmot, and there are a vast abundance of wild strawberries. The river is most considerable at this season of the year, being supplied with the meltings of the snow and ice. About two hours after our departure from St. Martin we passed over the `Pont des Chèvres, which, from the extreme slightness of its construction, seems hardly secure enough to permit the passage of a goat; and it is rendered more formidable to the nervous traveller by its vast height from the bed of the rocky torrent over which it passes.

We went a little way out of the regular track to see the beautiful cascade of Chede, which is by M. Bourritt ascertained to be sixty-seven feet in height. A number of peasants attended us from a cottage, where we left our mules, and one of them carried a plank to serve as a bridge over a neighbouring stream, and levied toll on us for permission to pass over it. We returned in about a quarter of an hour to the cottage, and paid, as we thought, very liberally for the trouble the peasants had in holding the mules during that short time; but where expectations are unreasonable it is impossible to satisfy them; and that was the case here. One old woman, in particular, exclaimed against us. She said, "We were English, and ought to give gold." Such is the idea entertained, even in these secluded mountains, of the riches of the English, that a sum, which would be received with thanks from the travellers of almost any other country, would be considered as an object of complaint if given by an Englishman; and the thoughtless profusion of some English travellers is a subject of regret to many persons, who, although less opulent, are still desirous of visiting foreign countries, as the inhabitants of the Continent, in general, receive from some of our fellow-subjects such an idea of the opulence of their country, that they think it impossible to charge all who come from thence too extravagantly. We next proceeded to the lake of Chede, which is not far distant. It was first discovered by M. Bourritt, when hunting a wolf amongst these mountains, as he mentions in his Itinerary, which contains much useful information, and is a necessary appendage to the traveller in these wild districts. This lake, considering its limited extent, is a handsome object. Here is a curious species of moss which gives the banks a singular appearance. We stopped to breakfast, as well as to refresh our mules, at a little cottage-inn near the village of Servoy, in the neighbourhood of which are mines of lead and copper, together with many large buildings and furnaces for the preparation of the ore. We here met another party also going to Chamouny. They had preferred travelling in little carriages drawn by mules, which they were obliged to quit continually, by the uneven nature of the road; and they did not arrive till some time after us. We here found that one of our party was mounted on the mule which had lately had the honor of carrying the Ex-Empress Maria Louisa, who passed this way on her tour to Chamouny. She is said to have appeared very thoughtful; but the guides praised both her courage and her beauty.

We breakfasted with the other travellers, under the shade of an orchard, near the inn; and the repast was much more luxurious than we could have supposed from the rustic appearance of the place. As soon as the guides informed us that they were ready to attend us, we continued our journey to Chamouny, making another little detour to visit the glacier des Bossons. Here we were astonished at the singular appearance which was exhibited by a vast number of pyramids and towers of ice, many of them upwards of 100 feet in height, and which remained at this season almost in the centre of a valley richly cultivated and well inhabited.

The definition of the word glacier has given rise to several arguments. I shall therefore insert that given by the celebrated M. de Saussure, in his Tour amongst the Alps, of which he was one of the first and most able explorers. He says, "The word glacier designates any one of those cavities, natural or artificial, which preserve the ice, or guard it from the rays of the sun." This glacier is only three quarters of a league from Chamouny, or the priory, where we soon arrived. The valley of Chamouny is about eighteen English miles long, and hardly one in breadth. It is as varied a scene as can possibly be imagined; and no where can the contrast between nature in its wild and in its cultivated state, make a more forcible impression on the mind.

Many of the farms here are very neat. They sow the grain in May, and reap in August.

We remarked several small chapels and crosses where promises of indulgence for thirty days are held out to those persons who shall repeat there a certain number of prayers. One of these chapels, more spacious than the rest, was constructed by a bishop of Sion. The village of Chamouny is not large, but contains several extremely good inns, which, since the opening of the Continent, have had their full share of English travellers, whose names, in the books of the hotel where we lodged, more than doubled those of all other nations who had visited the various grand scenes with which this country abounds; and the most lucrative employment here is that of a guide. Strangers are often much imposed on by them, and should therefore be careful to get recommended to such as will conduct them safely to all that is curious. We met a party who had been deceived by either the ignorance or laziness of their guides; and who, we found, after spending two or three days in exploring this neighbourhood, had seen but a small portion of what is worthy of attention. The air here is of a very wintry temperature. This, however, is not astonishing, when we consider that this place is situated 500 toises, or 2,040 feet above the lake of Geneva, and 3,168 feet above the level of the sea, but 11,532 feet below the summit of Mont Blanc.

Chamouny is the chief place in the commune to which it gives name, and which is inhabited by a remarkably hardy and intelligent peasantry. I was informed that the Austrians obliged this district to furnish 100 cows, a vast quantity of cheese, butter, &c. &c.; but the inhabitants were so much rejoiced at being released from the French yoke, that they did not complain of these exactions. As far as I could judge, the wish of the young men here seems to be, that Savoy should form a canton of Switzerland; but the old men, who formerly lived under the government of the King of Sardinia, wish for the restoration of the order of things to which they were long accustomed; and it seems most probable that the King of Sardinia will be restored to that part of this ancient patrimony of his family which has not been ceded to France. The Savoyards complain of this division of their country. The part assigned to France is the most valuable district, and forms above a third of the duchy: in it is situated its ancient capital, Chambery. It is, however, not probable that the wishes of the Savoyards will be consulted as to these points, which will be determined by the Allied Powers on the grounds of political expediency.

I also made inquiries concerning the state of taxation in Savoy, and found, that under France the inhabitants were obliged to pay more than three times the sum which they had paid to Sardinia. The imposts were here the same as in the rest of France, no distinction having been made between this mountainous country and the other more productive departments. Doors and windows are amongst the articles taxed, and the stamp duties are very heavy.

Having refreshed ourselves sufficiently to encounter fresh difficulties, we determined to visit Montanvert, and the Mer de Glace, two of the most distinguished objects of curiosity which this place boasts of. Having provided ourselves with guides and mules, we set out accordingly; and, after quickly passing the narrow valley, began to ascend mountains which abound with chamois, and which, by their height and irregularity, seemed to render our arrival on their summit an event not speedily to be expected. We had more reason than ever to be astonished at the extraordinary security with which our mules carried us up such abrupt ascents, which in many places more resembled a flight of steps, hewn roughly in a rock, than a practicable road, and there were in many places hardly any marks to shew which was the preferable way.

After a continual ascent of between two and three hours, we were advised to send back our mules to wait our return in the valley, and to continue our way on foot, which we did accordingly, being provided with long sticks, pointed with iron, to assist us in climbing the remainder of the ascent. Our arrival on the summit amply repaid us for the toil which it had cost us: the view is not to be described;—before us lay the Mer de Glace (sea of ice) extending to the length of four leagues, and being about three quarters of a league in width; which is one of the most sublime spectacles in nature.—Around us were mountains much more elevated than those which cost us so much trouble in ascending, which consisting of granite, dispersed in the most majestic forms, and being the perpetual abode of frosts, storms, and tempests, leave a most awful impression on the mind. It is impossible to behold these stupendous scenes without, in the language of the Psalmist, 'ascribing unto the Lord worship and power.'

Although we had ascended not less than 3000 feet, yet, to our astonishment, Mont Blanc appeared nearly as elevated as when we viewed it from the Galley. It is unquestionably the highest mountain in the three old quarters of the world (being exceeded in height only by the Andes); and I shall insert here the calculations of its elevation, and of that of some other mountains:

English feet.
English feet
Chimboraco, the highest of the Cordillerasp20,608
Mont Blanc, above the level of the Mediterranean,
according to Sir G. Shuckburgh15,662
Ditto, according to M. de Lucl5,302 1/3
Mount Caucasus 15,000
Etna, according to M, de Saussure10,700

The highest mountain in Scotland is Ben-Nevis, 4,337 feet. In Wales, Snowdon, 3,555. In England, Ingleborough, 3,200 feet. In Ireland, Croagh Patrick, 2,666.

Mont Blanc is easily distinguished from amongst the other mountains (of which Mont Buet; of 9984 feet in height, approaches the nearest to it) when Steen on this side, by the astonishing altitude to which it rises, and by the vast body of snow with which its top and sides are covered to the perpendicular height of above 4000 feet, without the intervention of any rock, to take off from that extreme whiteness that gives name to this mountain, uniting in the circular form of its summit all the majesty that can possibly be imagined. We partook of some refreshment in an apartment on the summit of Montanvert, which the extreme cold of the atmosphere rendered very acceptable. Having enrolled our names in a book kept here for that purpose, which abounds with the praises of all travellers who have viewed these scenes, we descended to the Mer de Glace, which is appropriately so named, from the striking resemblance which its broken masses of ice bear to the waves of the ocean, and the resemblance is still further heightened by the blue appearance which the numerous cavities present to the eye.—We walked a little way on this frozen ocean, the better to contemplate its vast extent, as well as to have it in our power to boast of having walked on a mass of ice in the month of August. The depth of the ice is calculated to be from three to four hundred feet, and the solemnity of this scene of desolation is increased by the sound of several torrents tumbling from the surrounding rocks. We again returned to the summit of Montanvert, and were again lost in astonishment at the scene; which did not fail to recall to my recollection the beautiful lines of Pope, in his Essay on Criticism:

So pleas'd at first the tow'ring Alps we try,

Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,

Th' eternal snows appear already past,

And the first clouds and mountains seem the last.

But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey

The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,

Th' increasing prospect tires our wand'ring eyes,

Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise.

Having sufficiently contemplated the view, we began to think of returning to the valley, which presented a most enlivening appearance after the chaos we had left. The descent was much easier than the ascent, and we were not long before we met our mules, and returned to our inn in great prosperity, although we had, most of us, occasional falls during so difficult a progress.

We had great reason to be pleased with our expedition, and were most fortunate in the clearness of the day, without which our labour would have been lost. The valley is, of course, much more mild in its atmosphere than the mountain, but the weather was autumnal, and a fire was quite indispensable to our comfort. There are no less than five glaciers in this valley, they are separated from each other by forests and by cultivated lands, and this intermixture presents an appearance which, from its singularity, cannot fail to astonish the beholder. These glaciers all lie at the foot of that vast chain of mountains, which supply the sources of many of the greatest rivers in Europe. I observed that the mountains in this vicinity were the first I had seen enlivened by the mixture of the larch with the fir, which produces a very pleasing effect, and continues afterwards to be often seen. The vast quantities of Alpine strawberries that every-where abound on these mountains, have a most excellent flavor, and numbers of children employed in gathering them find ready sale among the numerous strangers, attracted by the wonders of the neighbourhood. These Alps possess great attractions for the botanist, who is surrounded by saxifrage, rhododendrons, and a variety of other plants, which he must highly value, but which I have not sufficient knowledge of the science to distinguish particularly. Nor would the mineralogist find fewer attractions in the rocks themselves, than the botanist in the plants which they produce. We did not witness any of those avalanches which are said to fall so frequently from the mountains, and of the dreadful effects of which such interesting statements have been published. The whole of this valley, however, appears to be continually threatened, by the enormous masses which hang over it, and seem to need the application of but a trifling force, to move them from situations, to which they are to all appearance so slightly attached.


We left Chamouny at an early hour to proceed on our way to Martigny, from which it is nine leagues distant; but as there is nothing which deserves the name of a road, we continued our journey on mules. The morning was so very hazy, that we were prevented from enjoying the prospect from the Col de Balme, and we travelled for several hours amongst mountains, at one moment enveloped in the fog, which was sometimes the next instant carried to a considerable distance from us, by one of those sudden currents of air which are so common in these elevated situations. As we approached Valorsine, the rain began to fall, but fortunately it was not of long continuance, and afterwards the weather became much clearer.

Nothing can surpass the romantic situation of this little village, its valley is one of the most secluded we had yet seen amongst the Alps. The impression which this scene has left on my mind, can never be effaced; every thing presented an appearance of tranquillity, and of extreme simplicity. It was the feast of the patron saint of the village, and the peasants were in their best dresses. The women were of a better appearance than is usual in Savoy; their dress attracted the particular attention of our French companion, who had never before quitted his own country, and who had previously expressed a contempt for Savoy, which he now seemed willing to retract; and certainly it would be difficult to see a spot where primitive simplicity was more conspicuous. We determined to refresh ourselves here, and afterwards went through the village to the church, which was decorated with flowers for the festival; and during our walk we were saluted with the utmost civility by the peasants, who surveyed us with a curiosity which proved they had but little intercourse with strangers. A monk saluted me, and said in Latin he was rejoiced again to see Englishmen. In one of the groups, I observed a fortune-teller, who seemed to have a good deal of custom, but her dialect was one of the most singular I ever heard. The inn where we breakfasted, like most of the houses here, was raised on beams, to allow for the depth of the snow in winter. They are built of timber, and covered with pieces of fir, cut to about the size of tiles. The rooms were very small, and could with difficulty accommodate the unusual number of guests then assembled. Civility was more abundant than provisions, but there was more fruit than one could expect to see amongst these mountains.

If the peasants of Meillerie, which is the part of Savoy Rousseau took so much pleasure in describing, at all resemble those of Valorsine, he cannot there at least be accused of having dealt in fiction. M. de Saussure relates an anecdote which serves to give an idea of the Savoyards in these situations, so remote from the corruption incident to cities. He says, "I was one day prosecuting my researches amongst the Alps, and being without provisions, was induced to take some fruit not far distant from a cottage. I observed a woman coming towards me, as I concluded, to ask payment for the fruit; and I assured her I had no intention of going away without satisfying her. She answered, 'I came out thinking you had lost your way, and that I might be able to set you right. As for the fruit, I will take nothing for it. He who made it, did not intend it for the use of one in particular.'"

We had not yet performed above half our journey, and as it was getting late, we were obliged by the representation of our guides to continue on our road, which lay through a romantic district, abounding with streams and falls of water. Some of the fir trees on the Tête Noire opposite to us, are said to be above 100 feet in height. We were after the first league frequently obliged to dismount, having in some places literally to ascend steps cut in the rock, which I think must have not a little puzzled two gentlemen, who set out on horseback about the same time we did from Chamouny, but who did not reach Martigny for a long time after us, and were greatly tired with the difficulties they had to encounter.

The village of Trient is in a romantic situation, but has not the same attractions as Valorsine. The hill near it is astonishingly difficult of ascent. The guides wished us to let the mules shift for themselves; and we all at last arrived at the summit. An hour afterwards, we reached the Mount Fourcle, from which is seen a vast extent of country. This view is by some travellers considered as surpassing all others in Switzerland, as it embraces the greatest part of the Canton of the Valais, watered by the Rhone; and we could distinctly see its capital city Sion, although above eight leagues distant. Martigny and St. Branchier seemed to lie at our feet; but we had still a long way to descend before we reached them. The city of Sion will be long remembered as the scene of one of the most horrible of those outrages which cast such a just odium on the French name. It was given up to the savage fury of an army irritated by the brave but ineffectual resistance, which its inhabitants attempted to oppose against the invaders of their property and liberty. But here, as in too many other instances, numbers occasioned the worse to prevail over the better cause. A person on whose authority I can confide, assured me he was at Geneva, when a part of the French army arrived there after this glorious exploit, and that rather than return without plunder, they carried away with them the miserable household furniture of these unfortunate people, which sold at Geneva for a sum so trifling as hardly to pay for the expense of conveying them thither. It may seem incredible, but it is however true, that many of the inhabitants of the Valois, regret the recovery of their independence, and would wish again to see their country in the possession of the French. They prefer the advantages which Buonaparte's military road, and the frequent passage of his troops into Italy afforded them of making money, to their present liberty under a government of their own selection.

The country, for about a league before the entrance into Martigny, becomes much more civilized than that we had just passed. The fields are well cultivated, and are divided by hedges from the road: here are some of the largest walnut trees I have ever seen.

On the left we remarked the venerable and extensive remains of la Bathia, an ancient castle, formerly inhabited by the Bishops of Sion. It is boldly situated on a rock, which rises over that impetuous torrent the Dreuse, which a little below falls into the Rhone.

The town of Martigny is situated on the Rhone, in that delightful plain which we had so much admired from the Fourcle, and which did not disappoint the expectations we had formed of it. It is well watered, highly cultivated, and abounds with neat cottages, and seems almost to realize some fancied descriptions of enchanted valleys, being shut out from the surrounding countries by a formidable barrier of snow-clad mountains, and possessing in itself so attractive an aspect. Martigny is a well-built town; and some antiquarians insist, that it is the ancient Octodurum of the Romans. I can give no opinion on a point which has occasioned differences amongst the learned; but the present appearance of the inhabitants was very favourable, it being a holiday here as well as at Valorsine, and although their festivity was not altogether marked by the same simplicity, yet it was sufficiently removed from that which prevails in many other countries to interest us by its singularity. We were here amused with an account of two English gentlemen, who attempted to ascend Mont Blanc, notwithstanding the assurances they received of the impracticability of the attempt under present circumstances, as a chasm had lately been made by the thaw on one side of the mountain; but they were not to be intimidated either by the advice of the inhabitants, or by the accounts of the hardships suffered by M. de Saussure, and judging with Hannibal,

"Nil actum reputans si quid superesset agendum."

"Think nothing gained while ought remains."

They set out on this difficult enterprise, attended by eighteen guides, but were at length obliged to desist, after running many hazards, and after having expended at least £50. If they failed in accomplishing their undertaking, they had at least the satisfaction of exciting much wonder amongst the surrounding peasants, at the curiosity and rashness of the English. Our party were more easily satisfied; and having seen as much as could be accomplished without very great difficulty, we were contented to judge of the rest from the ample descriptions that have been published respecting them.

I could have wished, however, that time and the consent of the majority of the party, would have permitted my ascending to the convent on the Great St. Bernard; but being left in the minority, I did not feel disposed to make the excursion by myself, and I therefore prepared to accompany my friends back to Geneva. At Martigny, we entered on a part of the grand road of the Simplon, and bidding adieu to our mules, and to the mountains over which they had carried us, we proceeded on our journey in a charaban (or light country cart, with seats across it) to Bex. I did not observe that extreme indolence in the inhabitants of the Lower Valais, with which they have been reproached by some travellers. They are no doubt very poor, but their cottages are not devoid of neatness and comfort. Our attention was soon attracted by the famous cascade called the Pisse Vache, the beauty of which consists chiefly in its seeming to issue immediately from a cavity in the rock, which is surrounded by thorns and bushes. Its perpendicular height cannot be estimated at less than 200 feet, although many make it double that, or even more. The country of the Valais is remarkable for the vast numbers of persons it contains, affected with the goitres and also of idiots. The neighbouring provinces are also more or less affected with these maladies.

Many writers have exerted their ingenuity in endeavouring to account for this singularity with greater or less success; but what at Geneva is considered as the best treatise on the subject, is that by Coxe in his Account of Switzerland. A gentleman there lent me a French edition of this valuable work, from which I extracted the following account of the origin of the Goitres, (or extraordinary swellings about the glands of the throat,) which in Switzerland is considered as very satisfactory. Mr. Coxe says,

"The opinion that water derived from the melting of snow, occasions

these excrescences, is entirely destitute of foundation, which one

cannot doubt if it is considered how generally such water is used

in many parts of Switzerland, where the inhabitants are not at all

subject to this malady, which is, however, very prevalent in parts

where no such water abounds.

"These swellings are also frequently seen near Naples, in Sumatra,

&c. where there is little or no snow."

Mr. C. proceeds to shew that this malady is occasioned by a calcareous matter called in Swiss Tuf; and adds, "This stone resembles very much the incrustations at Mallock in Derbyshire, which dissolve so completely in the water as not to lessen its transparency; and I think that the particles of this substance so dissolved, resting in the glands of the throat, occasion the Goitres, and during the course of my travels in different parts of Europe, I have never failed to observe, that where this Tuf, or calcareous deposit is common, Goitres are equally so. I have found an abundance of tuf, and also of goitrous persons in Derbyshire, the Valois, the Valteline, at Lucerne, Berne, Fribourg, in parts of Piedmont, in the valleys of Savoy, at Milan, and at Dresden. I also observed that at Berne and Fribourg, the public fountains are supplied from sources where there is a vast quantity of this calcareous deposit. General Pfiffer has informed me, that there is but one spring at Lucerne, which is free from tuf, and that those who reside in its vicinity, are much less subject to the goitres than the rest of the inhabitants. A surgeon also, whom I met at the baths of Louesch, informed me that he had frequently extracted from different goitres small pieces of tuf, which is also found in the stomachs of cows, and the dogs of this country are also subject to this malady. This gentleman added, that, to complete the cure of young persons attacked by this complaint, he either removed them from waters impregnated with tuf, or recommended them to drink only of water that had been purified. The children of goitrous parents are often born with these swellings; but there are also instances of children born with goitres, whose parents are free from them."

That celebrated naturalist, M. de Saussure, attributes Goitres not to the water, but to the heat of the climate, and to the stagnation of the air, and he informs us, he has never seen Goitres in any place elevated 5 or 6,000 toises above the level of the sea, and that they are most common in valleys where there is not a free circulation of air. "But it may be observed, that in these elevated situations, fountains are too near their sources to dissolve as much calcareous sediment as by the time they reach the plain. Some say, that strangers are never attacked by the Goitres, but the truth is, they are only less subject to them than natives of the country. In fine, we may observe, that if snow water occasions the Goitres wherever they abound, there should also be snow water, which experience proves not to be the fact. If the concentration of heat and stagnation of the air are necessary to their formation, it would follow that they should not abound in those places where the air circulates freely, which is not less contrary to fact than the former supposition. If waters impregnated with tuf, or certain calcareous substances, produce the Goitres, it will follow, that in every place where they abound, the inhabitants should drink of waters so impregnated, which seems consonant to the truth of the fact." The same causes which occasion the Goitres, have probably a considerable operation in producing the number of idiots, as they are always in most abundance where the Goitres prevail. Such is the intimate and inexplicable sympathy between the body and the mind. When the Goitres become large, they produce a difficulty of breathing, and render the person so affected, extremely indolent and languid. These idiots are treated with great regard by the rest of the inhabitants of the country, who even consider them, in some degree, peculiarly favoured by Providence—thinking that they are certain of eternal happiness, as not being capable of forming any criminal intentions. Exaggeration is the common fault of travellers, and, to judge from the accounts given by some who have visited this country, a stranger would be led to suppose, that all its population were either idiots, or afflicted with Goitres. The fact, however, is, that the inhabitants of the Valais are in general a strong and healthy race, but that these two unfortunate maladies are here in greater frequency than in any other country.

Our next stage, after leaving Martigny, was St. Maurice, which derives its name from an abbey, founded by Sigismund, king of Burgundy, about the commencement of the sixth century, in honour of a saint, who is said to have here suffered martyrdom, having refused to abjure Christianity at the command of the Emperor Maximin. Its more ancient name is said by antiquarians to have been Agaunum. This place is very justly considered as the key of the Lower Valais, of which it is the chief town. Its bridge over the Rhone is of one arch, of 130 feet, which is thought to be the work of the Romans, and by its boldness, does not seem unworthy of a people whose edifices are so justly distinguished for their elegance and durability. Here is also a curious Mosaic pavement, and the antiquity of the place is proved incontestably by the many ancient medals and inscriptions which have been found here at different periods. It must, indeed, have been always remarkable as a military position, and it is difficult to imagine one of greater natural strength, or more easily defensible by a small force against superior numbers. The road, which is extremely narrow, passes for a considerable length under a mountain, which is absolutely inaccessible.

Having passed the bridge, we entered the territories of the ancient canton of Berne, but now of Vaud (as I think there appears to be but little doubt that it will be speedily acknowledged as such by the Swiss diet). Here our passports were demanded, but more in compliance with old regulations, than from any mistrust of us; and one of our party having forgotten his passport, the officer was perfectly satisfied with his leaving his name and address.

The Rhone is here of astonishing rapidity, and its waters have quite a milky hue, from the vast quantities of melted snow with which they are supplied. On quitting the lake at Geneva, the river is of a transparent blue colour, which is attributed partly to its having deposited its sediment in the lake, and partly to the nature of the soil over which it there passes. The rest of our stage was through a picturesque country, and the road was excellent.


We found at Bex an excellent inn, which is not undeserving the reputation it has acquired of being the best in Switzerland. This little town is situated amongst lofty mountains, which the industry of the peasants have cultivated wherever it was practicable, and they often carry their cattle with great labour to little spots of pasture which would otherwise have been lost, as without assistance, they could not have arrived at them. The cottages on the side of the Valais are so placed, as to contribute greatly to enliven the scenery; and they are also remarkable for their singular construction, being mostly built on wooden pillars, several feet above the surface of the ground.

Many of the inhabitants have two or three houses in different parts of their possessions, which they inhabit according as the season of the year requires their attention to the different places where they are situated. These people are said to be descended from the northern tribes, and certainly resemble them in their wanderings; I have seen a whole hamlet deserted, the season not requiring the residence of the people. In countries which boast a larger portion of civilization, the fashion prevails over the division which the seasons seem to point out. An inhabitant of the Valais would no doubt be surprised at the summer being the season in which our fashionables resort to London, from the purer air of the country. The Valais abounds with vineyards, but the wines are by no means palatable to persons who have tasted those of more favoured countries.

In the vicinity of Bex and Aigle are the only salt-springs in Switzerland. They are of vast extent, and the view of the subterranean galleries, and of tin: reservoirs of brine, is very striking. The town of Aigle is principally built of black marble, which is in great abundance in its neighbourhood, and the polishing of which affords employment to a number of persons.

I observed more corn in this district than I had before seen in Switzerland, but was informed, that it did not grow a sufficient quantity for the consumption of its inhabitants, who are said to exceed 10,000. The church of Bex is neat, and has been lately repaired. We next arrived at Villeneuve, which is only remarkable as a place of embarkation on the lake of Geneva. Our plan was to return to Geneva by water, but the violence of the wind, which was against us, and which had greatly ruffled the lake, obliged us to continue our journey along its banks. The length of this lake is about 50 or 53 English miles, and its breadth from 10 to 12. This vast body of water is sometimes so much agitated by sudden storms from the surrounding mountains, as to be covered with waves like the sea. We were highly pleased with the extraordinary scene of cultivation which its banks presented; they are sometimes extremely steep, but are formed by the unceasing industry of the inhabitants into terraces supported by walls, and if their labour in originally making these divisions is calculated to astonish, their perseverance in repairing, and sometimes in rebuilding them, after the torrents have carried them away, is not less worthy of praise. The industry of the inhabitants seems continually threatened by the vast masses of rock which hang over their possessions, and which sometimes cover them with ruin. We saw an enormous mass which had fallen from one of the mountains, and is now in the lake, having been removed thither by the inhabitants after it had for some time completely obstructed the road. We passed near the castle of Chillon, which is singularly situated, being built on some rocks in the lake, by which it is completely surrounded. It consists of a number of circular towers, and was formerly used as a state prison. A more secure position, for such an edifice, it is difficult to conceive. Before our arrival at Vevay, we saw the village of Clarens, so much celebrated by Rousseau. Vevay is a handsome town, with about 4,000 inhabitants; and is, after Lausanne, the principal place in the Canton of Vaud. The principal church is situated on an eminence above the town; from its tower I saw a most magnificent prospect, embracing nearly the whole of the lake, (which is here nearly at its greatest breadth) the entrance of the Rhone through a romantic valley, and the stupendous scenery of the Alps, heightened by the numerous villages on the Savoy side the lake. For the union of wild and cultivated scenery this view stands unequalled. No description of mine could do it justice:

"Car la parole est toujours réprimée

Quand le sujet surmonte le disant."

"When we most strongly would delight express,

Words often fail in which our thoughts to dress."

In this church is the tomb of the celebrated General Ludlow, who died here in 1693, aged 63. His monument, according to custom, only speaks his praise; and makes no mention of his having been a member of that assembly which condemned the ill-fated Charles to death. Over the door of the house he inhabited, is this motto, 'Omne Solum Forti Patria.' He had resided for some time at Lausanne, but fearing the fate of Lisle, who was assassinated, he retired to this place.

Between Vevay and Lausanne is the vineyard of Vaux, which bears a great reputation. We passed through the village of Cully and Lutri, both situated on the lake, and after mounting a considerable hill arrived at Lausanne, which is the capital of the Canton of Vaud. It stands on three hills, and on the intervening valleys, which being very steep, render its situation more picturesque than convenient. It is situated about 400 feet above the level of the lake, from which it is distant about half a league; the village of Ouchy serves as its port, and carries on a good deal of trade. Lausanne contains several remains which prove its antiquity, and several Roman inscriptions are preserved in the townhouse, which is a handsome building. Here are three churches, one on each of the hills. Of these the cathedral is well worthy of attention. It is said to have been founded by one of the ancient kings of Burgundy, and is certainly superior to any church I had hitherto seen in Switzerland. Its architecture exhibits various specimens of Gothic: there are many windows of painted glass in good preservation, and also several handsome monuments. The choir is handsome, and its pillars are of black marble. Its spire rises to a great height, and from the church-yard there is a fine prospect of the lake, and the surrounding country, with which I should have been more delighted, had I not so recently seen the still grander scene which Vevay commands. The population of Lausanne is computed at 8,000, and they are very industrious; there are manufactories of hats and cottons, and the printing business is carried on to a greater extent than in any other town in Switzerland. There are also several jewellers' shops and watchmakers' warehouses.

Of all the Swiss towns this is considered as the most remarkable for the adoption of French fashions, and there is much more dissipation here than at Geneva, as it is the constant residence of many wealthy families; but, with few exceptions, the houses are neither large nor well built. Near the church is shewn the residence of Gibbon, the historian, and his library is now the property of a gentleman of this town, who purchased it in England.

Lausanne was formerly subject to its bishops, who were princes of the German Empire. A council was held here in 1448, when Pope Felix V., to restore peace to the Romish church, and extinguish the schisms to which it was then a prey, resigned the tiara and retired to the Abbey of Ripaille, in Savoy, a second time. This prince is distinguished by some of the historians of his century by the title of the Solomon of the age. He succeeded to the Dukedom of Savoy by the name of Amadeus VII., and having abdicated that sovereignty, retired to the abbey of Ripaille, which he had long admired as a secluded retreat, and to which he was a great benefactor. His restless disposition having induced him to seek the papal dignity, he, soon after obtaining it, became a second time a recluse but did not subject himself to any great mortification.

This remarkable character died in 1451, æt. 69, at Geneva; he was buried with a Bible under his head, with this inscription, the application of which, I do not exactly understand:

"La ville de Genèva est située au milieu des montagnes; son

territoire est sablonneux, très-peu etendu, et les habitans sont

curieux de nouveautés." "The city of Geneva is situated amongst

mountains, its territory is sandy, and of small extent, and its

inhabitants are curious concerning novelty."

The reformation was established in the Pays de Vaud, in 1536, after a public controversy had been held between the Protestant and Romish ecclesiastics. The environs of Lausanne present as cheerful and animated a sight as is to be seen in any part of Switzerland, and the view from the public walk, in particular, is enlivened by the bays and promontories, which diversify the sides of the lake.

Our first stage, after leaving Lausanne, was Morges, which is situated on the lake; it consists chiefly of two well built streets, and carries on a good deal of trade, having a secure port with two moles, which, when seen from a distance, have a good effect, being ornamented with turrets. The church is a handsome edifice of Grecian architecture, and is calculated to accommodate a congregation much more numerous than the town affords. But, in general, modern churches are not to be reproached for being on too large a scale. The public walk is near the water; it is shaded by lofty rows of glens, and presented, when we saw it, a very lively appearance, as it was under its shade that the town of Morges entertained at dinner, two companies of infantry, and their officers, sent from Zurich to garrison Geneva. No place could be better adapted for the purpose, during so hot a season. The conviviality and good humour which prevailed were unbounded, and the patriotic tendency of the toasts, given by those at the upper table, was proved by the cheers with which they were received by all the others.

The road from Morges to Rolle does not continue along the banks of the lake, which is, however, occasionally seen, and heightens the beauty of the country, by the effect produced by its waters. We passed near the town of Aubonne, which is chiefly distinguished by the venerable castle, which formerly protected it from attack, and now adds to the beauty of its appearance. Rolle is a charming village: having neither walls, nor gates, it is denied the title of a town, which it certainly merits more than many paltry places, which have no other pretensions to the name, than the circumstance of their being so enclosed. It consists chiefly of one wide and well built street; it is situated on the lake, which is here very wide, and is surrounded by a country inferior to none we had passed.

There is but little trade carried on here. Its mineral waters are, however, an attraction to strangers, and the society is generally pleasant. Many families of distinction reside in this neighbourhood, and their villas are handsome. I was particularly struck with the situation of one, which had been built by a Dutch gentleman; it was of an oval form and crowned with a dome. We found its owner had lately returned to Holland; his house was shut up, and we could not gratify our curiosity in going over it. After dinner we took a turn on the promenade, which is laid out with great taste. From thence we visited the castle, formerly the residence of the Barons of Rolle, but now vested in the commune by purchase, and applied to various purposes. One part is reserved for public meetings, another as a poor house, and a third portion accommodates the school of the district. We entered into conversation with a person whom we met at the gate (who proved to be the master of the school); and who, after having taken several pinches of snuff from the box of one of our party, became extremely communicative, and shewed us some of the apartments of the castle, as well as the garden, where is a terrace washed by the lake, which as the sun had long set, and at its waters presented an unruffled surface, was altogether one of the most tranquillizing scenes which I have ever witnessed, and which was heightened by the venerable and mouldering appearance of this part of the castle. We contemplated the scene for some time in silence, and it was not without regret that we left it. We arrived at an early hour next morning at Nyon, which is also built on the margin of the lake. It is chiefly remarkable for its Porcelain manufactory, and for the handsome appearance of its castle, situated above the town. Very near it is the Chateau de Prangin, which has been purchased within the last few months by Joseph Buonaparte, who proposes to console himself in this retirement for the loss of regal power. His carriage passed us just before we entered Nyon; and we were told he was on his way to another house which he has in this neighbourhood, where he mostly resides, to superintend the alteration he is now carrying on at Prangin. We went to see the chateau, and found a considerable number of men employed about it. It is a large building, with a tower at each angle, and surrounds a paved court. The terrace commands a charming prospect, and no man could desire a more agreeable residence. We entered into conversation with an officer of his titular majesty's household, who said it was very natural we should desire to see one of the members of a family which had of late years acted so distinguished a part in Europe. He told us that King Joseph was extremely fond of hunting, and intended to enclose a large portion of the land he had purchased with a wall, in order to form a chasse pour les bêtes sauvages. This will be a great novelty in this highly improved country, and the wall must cost a vast sum of money.

We waited some time, but without success, in the hope of seeing his Majesty. He will be probably much happier in this retirement than if the armies of his brother had succeeded in placing him on a throne which he wanted ability to fill with honour to himself, or with advantage to the people over whom Buonaparte designed he should act as governor and promulgator of his oppressive system. The Spaniards despised Joseph extremely, and gave him the appellation of El Rey Botelli, from his love of wine; drunkenness being a vice to which the Spaniards are not addicted.

The hills which bound the lake near Nyon produce excellent wine, when compared with the rest of the Pays de Vaud. The vin de la Cote is much esteemed; I cannot, however, with all the partiality I feel for Switzerland, contend for the general excellence of its wines; and although it is said, "Bacchus amat colles," yet I think the hills of the Pays de Vaud will hardly contend for this favour with those of the Rhingau and of Burgundy. Between Nyon and Copet we saw some of the artillery of this canton practising at a mark, and were informed that they exercise here in turns, and that they are great proficients in the art of taking a correct aim. It is doubtless well to be prepared to resist any enemy who may wish to seize and oppress one's country; but I hope Switzerland may not soon have to contend with the overwhelming armies of France.

Copet is a pleasantly situated village. Fishing seems to be the chief occupation of its inhabitants.

Near it is the chateau, formerly the property of M. Necker, and now the residence of his daughter, Madame de Staël, who will probably be as celebrated in future times for her writings, as her father for the administration of the French finances. I was to have accompanied two friends to a fête given here by Madame de Staël, but unfortunately we did not return in time from our excursion to Chamouny; and shortly after Madame de Staël went to Paris. This lady is said to have formerly remarked, that she should probably find it very difficult to be suited with a husband, as her mother insisted she should marry a man of quality; her father wished for a man of talents, and she to please herself. The Baron de Staël Holstein was finally accepted, as no doubt uniting all the points required. We soon reached Versoi, which belongs to France, and was, during the disturbances which prevailed at Geneva in 1765, much encouraged by the then minister, the Duke de Choiseul, who expected that its advantageous situation, as well as its proximity to Geneva, would attract many of its inhabitants to settle there; and that, by their well-known industry, his newly founded town would speedily flourish.

The duke was, however, disappointed in the expectations he had formed (as the present situation of Versoi affords ample testimony); for it was too much to suppose, that men born under a free government would, on account of trifling internal dissensions, abandon their country, and become the voluntary subjects of a despotic monarchy. Confidence is a plant of slow growth, and an absolute government is not likely to encourage it. An enlightened monarch may frame an edict equally liberal as that of Nantes; but the tyranny or bigotry of a succeeding sovereign may revoke what only proceeded from sentiments to which he is a stranger. The Genevese have now nothing to apprehend from Versoi as a rival, but are anxious that it should be united to Switzerland, the French custom-house there being an obstacle to their trade by land, as they are only separated from the rest of Switzerland by this narrow point which projects from the country of Gex. Gex was at one time subject to Savoy, and at another period to Geneva. It is six leagues in length, and about three and a half in width. On the road from Versoi to Geneva we had ourselves reason to perceive the inconveniences of the French custom-house, as it is quite absurd to insist on opening packages which are not destined to remain above ten minutes on the French territory. The country here is finely varied, and the distant view of Geneva again drew from us expressions of admiration, after an excursion through a country where the traveller often sees more to delight and to interest him in one day than he sometimes meets with in travelling for a week through other Provinces.


Having left Geneva so soon after my arrival there, I had not of course sufficient time to speak sufficiently of a city so peculiarly interesting on many accounts. The journal of a traveller is not however the place to look for long statements of the revolutions, wars, and sieges of the cities which he visits; but still there are very few tourists who have omitted to swell their pages with details more properly the province of the historian, and, from the unconnected manner in which they are generally introduced, not calculated to give any very accurate idea of the history of the place. I shall not therefore attempt to mention the various revolutions which have at different times disturbed the city of Geneva; and shall only remark, that it was formerly annexed to the German empire, and that its bishops, like those of Lausanne, having taken advantage of the precarious authority of some of the emperors, succeeded in uniting to the spiritual jurisdiction most of the temporal authority of the state, and lost both together at the introduction of the reformation in 1585. The citizens, to defend themselves from the powerful pretensions of the Dukes of Savoy, concluded, in 1584, a perpetual alliance with the cantons of Zurich and Berne (the most powerful of the reformed cantons), by which alliance this republic became a part of the Swiss confederacy, and continued so to be until forced to unite itself to France, by the revolutionary government of that country. It has again recovered its independence; and the general wish is that Geneva may be declared a canton of Switzerland (this has, since I left Geneva, actually taken place, and the event was celebrated with the utmost enthusiasm by its inhabitants). Their present government is not absolutely arranged, and seems but little varied from that democratic form which anciently prevailed (the merits of which have given rise to much discussion), and by which all power is finally vested in the general or sovereign council, composed of all the citizens of Geneva who have attained their majority, there being a few particular exemptions. All citizens are equally eligible to the public employments of the state, of which, however, the emoluments are so scanty, as only to make them objects of honourable ambition.

By the laws of Geneva, a father can never dispose of more than half his estate, according to his inclination; the other half must be divided equally amongst his children. Those citizens who do not discharge the debts of their father after his decease, are excluded from holding any public situations; as also, if they omit to pay debts which they have themselves contracted. There are still subsisting many sumptuary laws, which appear useful, to exclude the introduction of too great a degree of luxury, which is generally so fatal to the liberty of a people.

There is a theatre at Geneva, which I have heard was first projected by M. d'Alembert, but the magistrates endeavour to prevent as much as possible the frequency of theatrical entertainments; and, during my stay at Geneva (between three and four weeks), I think the theatre was open but twice for plays, and once for a concert.

The town-house is a large and ancient building, and devoid of regularity. It is chiefly worthy of mention, from the ascent to the upper apartments, being by an inclined plane, sufficiently spacious to admit a carriage to drive up to them. Here are the apartments of the senate, the councils of government, officers of justice, &c. Here I left my passports and received, in return, a permission to reside in the city, which must be renewed every fortnight. The passport is returned upon the final departure of its owner.

I now found it easy to provide myself with a lodging (as, without the authority of the state, no citizen can receive strangers into his house) on reasonable terms, for three weeks. My apartment commanded a handsome prospect of the lake from one of the windows. I, however, occasionally dined at the hotel where I had first lodged (the Balances d'Or). I here found sometimes pleasant society at the Table d'Hote. The hour of dinner was about a quarter past one o'clock, and the table was plentifully supplied, much in the order I before mentioned, in speaking of the French dinners. I observed that excellent vegetable, the potatoe, was here in great estimation, at the tables both of the higher and inferior classes; and, except in Italy, I understand its value is duly appreciated in the principal parts of Europe. I now proceed, according to my promise, to speak more of Geneva, having been for some time domesticated there.

The city is regularly fortified; but, according to the modern system of warfare, it would not probably make any efficient resistance; yet although its fortifications may not be sufficient to secure it during a siege, they are not entirely devoid of utility: they would prevent the city's being suddenly occupied by an enemy, and thus afford time for the conclusion of a regular capitulation. Situated as the city is, between France and Sardinia, and divided from the rest of Switzerland, it must be granted, that the government acts wisely in preserving its fortifications. Indeed, their utility was fully exemplified during the eventful period of last spring, when the allied troops, after having for some days occupied the city, were suddenly called away, and the inhabitants were menaced by a force of 3,000 Frenchmen, who demanded admission. This was refused them; and happily, the return of the allied forces in a few days, saved Geneva from the melancholy effects which must have ensued from the irruption of the French, who were greatly exasperated that the city did not at first oppose the entrance of the Allies. The ramparts form the principal promenade of the Genevese; and from some of them (particularly from the Place St. Antoine, which commands the lake, and is well planted) the views are very striking over a highly cultivated valley, enclosed by some of the most lofty mountains in Europe. Detachments of the allied forces remained a very considerable time at Geneva, and at one period the Republic had to defray a daily expence of not less 40,000 francs.

But what seems to be most regretted by the Genevese, is the destruction by those troops, of several avenues of trees, which had for many years lined one of the roads near the city, and formed one of their favourite walks. The Austrians, in their impatience to obtain fuel, could not be persuaded to spare them, and the inhabitants now avoid a walk which they once delighted in.

I have not, however, heard many complaints at the sums expended for the maintenance of the allied troops, as they have relieved Geneva from the yoke of France, under which their trade (which alone had raised their city to such celebrity) was nearly annihilated.

I obtained some information on this subject, from a person of whom I inquired my way to the hamlet of the Petit Sacconnex, near Geneva, where is the best view of Mont Blanc. Seeing I was a stranger, he was very civil; but he was delighted when he discovered of what country I was, and spoke of England with enthusiasm, as it was to her perseverance that his country, in common with most of Europe, was indebted for the late glorious change in the state of their affairs. He informed me, that before the union of Geneva to France, he had been in good business as a watchmaker (the great occupation of the Genevese) but, like numberless others, was thrown out of employment. Many emigrated, some worked as day labourers, others were forced into the army, and he, being very old, maintained himself with difficulty by setting up a small school.

I found my conductor an extremely well informed man, as indeed are most of the tradespeople of Geneva. The higher circles are remarkable for that freedom, blended with politeness, which places society on its most natural basis, as I had frequent occasion to remark during my stay at Geneva. I must not omit to mention the pleasure I experienced from the fête de navigation (to which I was invited by the kindness of a gentleman, to whom I had been introduced) which is one of the most splendid at Geneva; and the scene of the lake, covered with boats of various sizes, filled with elegant females (and I have seen few places that can boast of a greater proportion,) prevented my reflections on the more distant scene which its shores presented, and which, under different circumstances, would not have passed unnoticed. After having spent some time on the water, the company repaired to the Hall of Navigation, near the village of Secheron, where a handsome entertainment was provided. The evening concluded with a brilliant display of fire-works, and the Lake was again enlivened by the boats carrying back the company to the city. I observed amongst the company an English Admiral, who attended this fête in his uniform. The Genevese lamented that so handsome a dress should be disfigured by the small hat he wore, and it was indeed small compared with those of their officers. The peasants here wear larger hats than any I saw in France, probably to shade them from the sun; but in any climate, I do not think an English labourer would feel at his ease with such a vast edifice on his head. The bonnets worn by the inhabitants of parts of Savoy and Vaud, are not very dissimilar in shape from some I have seen in Wales; they are of straw, and are commonly ornamented with black ribbon.

I shall here insert an epigram composed in 1602, by a Prince of Hesse, who, at his departure, presented the city with 10,000 crowns.

Quisquis amat vitam, sobriam, castamque tueri,

Perpetuò esto illi casta Geneva domus:

Quisquis amat vitani hanc bene vivere, virere et illam,

Illi iterum fuerit casta Geneva domus.

Illic iuvenies, quidquid, conducit utrique:

Relligio hic sana est, aura, ager, atque lucus.

Amongst the various objects which are pointed out as deserving the attention of a stranger, is the house in which the celebrated J.J. Rousseau was born, in the year 1712. The circumstance is recorded by an inscription over the door. His father was a watchmaker, and his house was small and obscurely situated.

Rousseau was perhaps the most eloquent and fascinating of all the sceptical writers of the last century; and probably the only one amongst them who established a system of his own, if indeed his eccentricities can be so called. His character exhibited a strange mixture of pride, which made him perpetually anxious to be of public notoriety, and of an unsociable temper, which often made him retire in disgust with the world, and treat (without any rational cause, that has been assigned) those who were most his friends, as if he considered them to be his bitterest enemies. He was far more jealous of the reputation obtained by his contemporaries, than delighted with the approbation he personally received. Considered as a philosopher, he was paradoxical; as a moralist, dangerous and licentious; as a parent, unnaturally abandoning his offspring; as a friend, suspicious and ungrateful. As pride was the ruling passion of Rousseau, so was vanity beyond dispute the grand characteristic of Voltaire, (the proximity of Fernay may excuse my here comparing him with Rousseau,) and this passion induced him to pervert transcendent talents to the most pernicious and fatal purposes.

The hostility of Voltaire to the Christian dispensation has been compared to the enmity rather of a rival than of a philosopher. He is thought to have wished its overthrow, not so much because he entertained any solid objections to its sublime theories, or had real doubts as to the miracles by which it is attested; as because his vanity led him to think, that if he once could persuade men to the abolition of Christianity, he might himself become the founder of a new system of moral indulgence. The Abbé Raynal, in 1791; already repented of the philosophic principles, which he had so sedulously inculcated, and expressed his conviction, that the consequence of the theories then so finely fancied, would be a general pillage, for that their authors wanted experience, to reduce their speculations to a practical system. The Abbé was right in this last expectation, and from the French Revolution, so destructive in most respects, there has at least resulted this advantage; it has furnished the most satisfactory comment upon the grand experiment of the philosophers, and proved most folly that it is religion alone that possesses authority to silence the clamours of interest, to control the passions, and to fetter the ambition of mankind. The same year (1778) is memorable for the deaths both of Voltaire and Rousseau; the first is represented as exhibiting on his death bed the most melancholy spectacle of horror and remorse that can be possibly conceived; the latter is thought to have committed suicide at Ermenonville, where he found an asylum, after having been banished successively from many states. This opinion is founded chiefly on the authority of Madame de Staël; it is related, that he rose in the morning in perfect health, and returned after his usual walk; that soon after, he desired his wife to open the window, that he might, as he expressed it, contemplate nature for the last time and that being presently taken ill, he refused to receive any assistance, and died in a few hours.

Those who have seen both those celebrated characters (who long attracted persons from all parts of Europe to this country) have remarked, that Voltaire at first sight was acknowledged to be a man of genius; but that Rousseau was only suspected of possessing superior abilities.

I have perhaps said too much on this subject, into which I have been led insensibly, by reflecting on what I had read of these philosophers, and shall therefore conclude with inserting the remark of a Savoyard peasant, who, according to M. Lantier, being asked his opinion of them, answered, "I think that Voltaire has done a great deal of mischief in the age in which he lived; and that Rousseau will not do less to posterity."

The college of Geneva and its library are generally pointed out to strangers as worthy of a visit; for the Genevese are no less celebrated for their proficiency in literature, than for their commercial industry. The college consists of nine classes, and owes its foundation to the celebrated Calvin, who was born at Nyon, where his father was a cooper. He first arrived at Geneva in 1536, was exiled in 1538, and recalled finally in 1541; he became the legislator as well as the religious reformer of the state. He is still the great hero of the Genevese, who believe him to be innocent of the death of Michael Servet, which has in the general opinion cast such disgrace on his memory. He did not affect to deny the great perversity of his temper, which is indeed exhibited by many of his actions, so forcibly as not to admit of concealment. His writings, in 44 volumes, containing 2023 sermons, and his portrait, are preserved in the college, library, which contains about 50,000 volumes, besides 200 manuscripts, some of which are of great value. This library was originally founded by Bonnival, prior of St. Victor, and is open from one till three o'clock every Tuesday. Two secretaries are then engaged, under the inspection of the librarian, in taking lists of the books which are borrowed or returned. The hydraulic machine on the Rhone, which supplies the city with water, although it is less complicated than that at Marli, is not less ingenious, and is certainly of greater utility. The wheel is twenty-four feet in diameter, and raises about 500 pints a minute at all seasons (being preserved from the effects of frost) to two reservoirs, one seventy, the other 126 feet above the level of the river. The first supplies the fountains and houses in the lower part of the town, and the second those in the more elevated situations. The water of the Rhone, although transparently clear, is hard and unpleasant to drink.

In enumerating the public establishments of Geneva, I must not omit to mention the Society for the Advancement of the Arts, which was originally projected by M. Faizan, an eminent watch-maker; its first meetings were held at M. de Saussure's house. This society is now so considerable as to be under the direction of government, and its meetings are held in the town-hall, where subjects connected with agriculture and the useful arts are discussed, and prizes distributed, as well to the school of drawing (which is on a most respectable footing) as to all, who distinguish themselves, either by inventions of utility, or by noble or humane actions.

Another excellent establishment here, is the Chambre des Blés, or magazine of corn; this is a large and handsome building, and always contains an ample supply of good wheat. The direction of this establishment is immediately in the government, and its managers are selected from the different councils. The benefits arising from abundant seasons, cover the expences occasioned by years of scarcity. The bakers being obliged to buy here whatever quantity of corn they may require, and at an uniform price it follows that the price of bread always continues the same, and that price is fixed by the grand council. The managers of this store, to prevent the bakers from making bread of an inferior quality, have established a shop in each quarter of the city; and the bakers, to ensure a ready sale, are obliged to make their bread of equal quality with that which could be procured at the shops of the managers of this establishment. The churches of Geneva are not distinguished by any architectural beauties, if we except the portico of the cathedral, which is constructed of rough marble, said to be copied after that of the Rotunda at Rome; it is considered equal to that of St. Genevieve at Paris, but I cannot subscribe to that opinion.

The Calvinistic tenets (which are those of the state) are most generally adopted at Geneva; but the Lutherans, the Germans of the Confession of Augsburg, and the Roman Catholics, have each a church. The ministers are appointed by the Government, and care is taken that the Roman Catholic minister be subject to a Swiss Bishoprick. In the Calvinistic churches, the hours of divine service are nine in the morning and two in the afternoon. The service consists in the reading the commandments, a few prayers, a chapter in the Bible, and the sermon; and concludes with a psalm or hymn, accompanied by the organ; the whole service generally occupies an hour. The Sunday is principally distinguished by the sermon, the rest of the week being allotted for reading the Scriptures.—A stranger is much surprised at seeing many persons wear their hats during the sermon, a custom which indicates a want of respect to the place that cannot be excused, however inferior the compositions of a preacher may be to the rest of the service. There is one thing to be noticed here as worthy of imitation: no burials are allowed within the city. At Paris also, most of the burial places near the churches have been removed to the catacombs, a change which has tended greatly to purify the air of the city. There is a box at each door of the churches here, and as the congregation retire after divine service, a person is stationed near it, to desire them to remember the poor. These collections must be liberal, as few places are so free from beggars as Geneva.


The Perte du Rhone, or the spot where the Rhone suddenly sinks into the ground, forms one of the objects usually visited from Geneva, and I accepted a proposal to join a party in making an excursion thither. We were careful in providing a carriage, which was so constructed, as to allow us a view on both sides, as some only afford a prospect of half the country, the passengers all sitting on one side, and the cover being immoveable.

We set out at an early hour, and arrived at Vanchy about noon, from whence we proceeded on foot to the spot where the vast waters of the Rhone, in approaching a ridge of rocks, with inconceivable rapidity, sink into the earth. The cavern is covered with foam, from the agitation of so great a body of water being forced into so small an aperture; and the sight is at once magnificent and solemn. The emersion of the Rhone is not far distant from the place of its ingulphation, but presents a very different spectacle, as the river ascends so gradually as to be completely smooth, which in attributed to the depth of the caverns from which it issues. It seems probable that these caverns have some undiscovered outlet, as the Rhone, after its rise from them, is but inconsiderable, compared with what it is before its disappearance.

Not far distant is the Pont de Bellegarde, over the little river Valserine, which runs through a deep dell into the Rhone. The scene is well deserving of attention. In the vicinity of Geneva are several hop gardens, which seem very flourishing; but whether it is that the inhabitants do not understand the art of brewing as well as in England, or that there is any difference in the plant, I do not know; but no one, who has been accustomed to good malt liquor, could be persuaded to relish theirs.

The elevation of Geneva (187 toises above the Mediterranean) together with the proximity of the Alps, and of the mountains of Jura, cause winters to be long, and often severe. The summers are often extremely hot, but the air is refreshed by the gales from the mountains, which sometimes occasion very sudden changes in the atmosphere.

The thermometer of Réaumur has been known to rise 26 degrees above freezing, but I have never myself observed it above 18 or 20 during my stay.

It is said, that very severe cold has brought it to 14 degrees below freezing, and then the lake, and even the rapid current of the Rhone, have been frozen.

Often, during the summer months, the lake is ruffled by the Bise, or regular north-east wind; but the east and west winds occasion the most destructive tempests. The climate of Switzerland is in general much colder than in the countries by which it is surrounded. Its numerous lakes, mostly very elevated, add greatly to the freshness of the air, and the frequent rains from the Alps bring with them the temperature of those mountains. But, although the climate is so variable, being often changed in a few hours, from the great heat which the reflection of the sun occasions in the valleys, to the cold rains which proceed from the surrounding mountains, yet these sudden transitions do not appear to have an ill effect on the health of the inhabitants. On the contrary, the celebrated physician Haller attributes the salubrity of the air of Switzerland to the currents from the Alps, which preserve it continually pure, and prevent its stagnation in the valleys.

The soil of Switzerland is, in general, stony and unfertile, but the peasants spare no pains to render it productive. I have had more than once before occasion to express my astonishment at the sight of mountains divided into terraces, and cultivated to their very summits. I have been informed by a gentleman, who has devoted much of his attention to agricultural pursuits, that the general return of grain in Switzerland is about five times the quantity sown, and that Switzerland does not produce much above a tenth part of the corn necessary for the subsistence of its population, which he calculates at 130 to the square mile, or nearly two millions; but if the parts which it is impossible can ever be cultivated, were left out of the calculation, the average population to the square mile would be of course greatly increased; as the present scheme includes the whole superficies of the country.

The proportion which some other countries bear to Switzerland, in respect to the population subsisting on each square mile, is as follows, viz.

China, the most populous country
in the world, of the same extent260
Holland, which has a greater population
than any country of its limited extent275
France, as in 1782174
United kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland145
Russia in Europe30

I have been assured that in one part of the Canton of Appenzell, the population amounts to 562 per square mile. It is one of the most secluded parts of Switzerland, and is famous for the music called the Ranz des Suisses. The Alps greatly increase the surface of Switzerland when compared with less mountainous countries, and it therefore can support vast flocks in situations where agriculture would be impracticable. I have been frequently surprised to see cattle in places, whither they must have been carried by the inhabitants. The number of the cattle, in many of the Swiss Cantons, greatly exceeds that of the inhabitants.

Haller has observed that Switzerland presents, as it were, three distinct regions; that on the tops of the mountains are found the plants indigenous in Lapland; lower down, are found those of the Cape of Good Hope; and the valleys abound with plants peculiar to Switzerland, besides others which are found in the same latitude. I observed in a former chapter, that the great occupation of the inhabitants of Geneva consists in the manufacture of watches, clocks, &c. and having a desire to see some specimens of their workmanship, I accompanied a friend, who had purchased a musical snuff-box, to the workshop of its fabricator, who although he was of the first celebrity in Geneva, had no warehouse in a more accessible situation than his workshop on the fifth story. I afterwards found that most of the watchmakers had their workshops at the tops of the houses, which here, as in Edinburgh, are mostly occupied by several families, who have a common stair-case to their apartments. I was much pleased with the display of ingenuity in this warehouse, and found that many of the articles were intended to be sent to Paris, to Asia, &c. Geneva itself could not, of course, supply purchasers for such a profusion of expensive mechanism. The taste of many of the articles, is by no means such as would ensure them a ready sale in London.

There are at Geneva many pleasant circles or societies, who have a common apartment to meet in within the city, where the papers are taken in; and often a garden in the neighbourhood for their recreation. I was introduced to one of these circles, and went to their garden, which was large and well-shaded with walnut trees. About the centre was a large pleasure house, furnished with billiard, chess, and backgammon tables. Some of the party were engaged at bowls; their game differs from ours in many respects, as here they prefer a gravel walk or uneven surface, and they throw the bowl a considerable height into the air, instead of letting it glide gently along. I became acquainted with a French gentleman, much advanced in years, who had resided here chiefly since the French Revolution. He told me his head had been twice laid on the block for execution, and that the whole of his family had perished during the troubles in France: he therefore did not wish to return into his country, which would only recall melancholy recollections; but he rejoiced much to see the royal family again seated on the throne. It is to be feared, that there are, in many parts of Europe, several individuals in equally unfortunate circumstances, after the dreadful carnage occasioned by the continued succession of wars with which it has been ravaged. I must not take my leave of Geneva without mentioning, that there are few places which afford more of the requisites to a pleasant residence. The walks and rides in its vicinity, are very numerous, and abound with interesting prospects. The view of the city from the village of Coligny, on the Savoy side of the lake, is highly impressive. The junction of the rivers Arve and Rhone forms another very fine scene. The waters of the Rhone are at least three times greater than those of the Arve, and are of a transparent blue colour, whilst those of the Arve are of a milky hue, something like the appearance of the Rhone when it first enters the Lake of Geneva, where it leaves the tint it acquired from the mountain snows and torrents. The Rhone seems for a considerable distance to retire from any amalgamation with the Arve, but at length assumes a less transparent aspect.

About half a league from Geneva is the town of Carrouge, which at one period was in some degree its rival in trade, but is at present by no means in a flourishing state. Its future destiny remains to be decided along with those of more important states, at the approaching Congress of Vienna. The general opinion seems to be that the Carrougians wish to be reunited to France; but the King of Sardinia has invited them to submit to his authority.

I walked one morning to St. Julian, about two leagues from Geneva; it is pleasantly situated in that part of Savoy which is ceded to France, and which is in fact the most essential part of the country, as it is said this division materially interrupts the communication between those parts which remain with the King of Sardinia. The object in visiting St. Julian, was principally to see the plain, where after a sharp contest, the Austrians were defeated by little more than half their number of French troops, but having received reinforcements, renewed the action and were victorious. It must be confessed, that the Austrian troops are much inferior to the French; and the latter having so frequently defeated them, feel quite indignant against the Austrians for the part taken by their government in the invasion of France, and the restoration of the Bourbons.

Most of the French officers I have met with indulge the hope, that some differences at the Congress may occasion a fresh war with Austria. The French in general join the officers in looking forward to the recovery of what they contend are their natural limits—the Rhine and Belgium;—and after so many years of war, are dissatisfied at having no conquests to boast of.

It cannot be however expected that the great bias given to the French in favour of war, by their late ruler, should speedily subside; but the restless and impatient spirit which at present prevails in France, and which would engage immediately in a fresh war, must be in some degree restrained by the exhausted state of their finances; and as it is, many of the taxes are much complained of.


I remained at Geneva longer than I had at first intended, and at last quitted it with regret. I shall ever recollect the time I spent there with pleasure; but the period allotted for my tour would not permit me to remain any longer stationary; and I therefore set off for the mountains of Jura, celebrated for the extensive and varied prospects which they afford of the Alps, &c. I was much pleased with the scenery of the little lake and valley of Joux, shut out by mountains from the rest of the Canton of Vaud. At Coponex I met two gentlemen, who were indebted to their horse for having escaped being robbed the evening before. They were travelling slowly in an open carriage, when suddenly they were ordered to stop by several men of French appearance, who were thought to be disbanded soldiers. This adventure made a great noise in a neighbourhood, where highway robbery is extremely unusual. We breakfasted at a neat inn in the village of Lassera, and afterwards went to see the chief curiosity of the place, the separation of a rivulet into two branches, one of which falls into the Lake of Neufchâtel, and eventually through the rivers Aar and Rhine into the German Ocean; the other runs into the Lake of Geneva, and by means of the Rhone at length reaches the Mediterranean. This singularity proves the facility with which the Lakes of Neufchâtel and Geneva might be made to communicate with each other. Accordingly, a canal has long since been commenced; but its projectors have made little p>rogress in their undertaking. The little town of Orbe, is nearly surrounded by a river of the same name; it bears evident marks of antiquity, and from its position, must have been in former times a place of considerable strength. The ancient kings of Burgundy had a residence here.

This part of the country is highly varied, and presents a most picturesque appearance.

Land in the Pays de Vaud, I found, generally sells for about twenty-five years purchase; and 3½ or 4 per cent, is thought sufficient interest for money invested in it. Travelling and living are much dearer in this country than in France, as although the inhabitants have few superfluities, yet they have to fetch them from a distance, Switzerland not affording a sufficient supply of food for the support of its inhabitants.

Yverdun was our next stage; it is after Lausanne and Vevay the most considerable town in the canton. It is situated close to the Lake of Neufchâtel, and is surrounded by water. It consists of three parallel streets, terminating in a square, in which are the church and townhouse, both neat structures. The population is about 5000. The castle is flanked by numerous turrets, and has a venerable appearance. The promenade presents a sort of sea view, as the extremity of the lake (which is about nine leagues in length, by two in breadth) is hid from the eye by the convexity of its waters, and the view is terminated by the sky. At a little distance from the town, is a mineral spring, with a large building containing baths and a pump-room.

I found the waters were strongly impregnated with sulphur. Here is a celebrated school, containing about 250 boys; the annual expense for each boarder is not less than fifty louis.

We proceeded in the diligence to Neufchâtel, through the towns of Granson, St. Aubin, and Boudri. The banks of the lake present a continued succession of vineyards, which afford the best red wine in Switzerland. The conductor of our voiture amused us a good deal by his eccentricity. He seemed thoroughly happy and contented; and when an old gentleman of the party wished for a bag of crowns that were put into the carriage, to be conveyed to Berne, the conductor declared, he was not like Napoleon, and wished for nothing he had not. We found that the establishment of a game licence had occasioned some discontent in this country. The quantity of game is said to have greatly diminished. One gentleman told me, they sometimes hunted wild boars on the mountains near France. The roads here have been much shortened by a new line of communication which has been lately opened, and the bridge at Serrier of a single arch over a deep valley, (which formerly obliged travellers to make a considerable circuit) has a very handsome as well as useful effect. The town of Neufchâtel contains between 4 and 5,000 inhabitants; it is partly built on a hill, where stand the church and castle, and partly on a plain near the lake, on the borders of which are handsome public walks and further improvements are carrying on. The elegant appearance of many of the private houses proves the wealth of their owners.

Neufchâtel is without fortifications, but is in general well built; it is said to present a perspective, resembling, in miniature, the distant view of Naples. The lake is not deep, but seldom freezes, although it is thirty-one toises more elevated than that of Geneva.

The principalities of Neufchâtel and Vallingen are about twelve leagues long, by eight at the broadest part; the soil is far from fertile, but the industry of the inhabitants renders it astonishingly productive. Any person having a certificate of his general good conduct may settle here, and enjoy every essential privilege of the native subjects. This is perhaps the only country in Europe exempt from taxes; for the payment of a few sous annually from every householder cannot be considered as a tax. This circumstance lessens our astonishment at the commercial activity which prevails in this little state, the population of which exceeds 40,000. The villages of Chaux de Fond and Locle, with their districts, contain about 600 inhabitants, and furnish annually 10,000 watches in gold and silver, besides clocks. There are also numerous engravers and enamellers. The country is celebrated for its wild beauty; and our excursion, which occupied a day, was pleasant.

The Protestant is the established religion of the state, with the exception of the little town of Landeron, where the Roman Catholic religion is maintained. It is recorded, that the inhabitants, having assembled to deliberate, which of the two forms of worship should be acknowledged, the numbers were equally divided. It being however discovered, that a shepherd was absent, he was sent for, and having given his vote, that the Roman Catholic religion should be continued, it was decided accordingly.

The town of Neufchâtel is much indebted to one of its citizens, David Riri, who expended three or four millions of livres in works of public utility. Another individual built the town-house, which is a handsome edifice of the Corinthian order.

The little brook called the Serrieres, which does not run above the length of two gun-shots before it falls into the lake, turns a great number of mills of various kinds.

Having been much struck with the spirit of industry and activity which distinguishes the appearance of this little state, I felt anxious to inquire concerning the government, and a gentleman of this town, to whom I was introduced when at Geneva, was kind enough to give me ample information on the subject. As I say but little respecting the history of large states, perhaps I may be excused for the following details, which I think possess some interest.

The state of Neufchâtel is an independent sovereignty, allied with Switzerland; which alliance secures its independence, and every prince, on succeeding to the sovereignty, is obliged to ratify it. The actual government is a mixture of aristocracy and democracy. The sovereignty, which is almost a name, is inalienable and indivisible, and cannot be sold or given to a younger branch of the reigning family, without the consent of the people—it is hereditary, and a female is capable of inheriting it. The revenues of the sovereign arise from quitrents, fines, tithes, and the exclusive right of trout fishing in the autumn; he can, on no pretext whatever, exact any thing additional from the state, and the total of his revenue does not exceed 45,000 francs. The prince has the disposal of all civil and military employments, not reserved particularly for popular election; he is represented by a governor, who presides at the general meetings of the estates of the principality, but has no vote unless the numbers are equally divided. In the event of a contest relative to the succession to the principality, the Estates General are alone competent to decide between the different claimants; and the Canton of Berne has always decided any differences that may have arisen between the prince and the people respecting their particular rights. The last time when the estates were called upon to decide between a number of claimants for the sovereignty, was in 1707, on the death of the Duchess of Nemours without issue. Most of the claimants came in person to Neufchâtel, or sent ambassadors to support their pretensions. Amongst them were the King of Prussia, Margrave of Baden Dourlach, the Prince of Nassau, the Prince of Condé, the Marquis d'Algers, the Count of Montbeliard, &c. &c. In bestowing the sovereignty on the King of Prussia, care was taken that he should confirm all the doubtful privileges of the people; for it is a fundamental maxim of this little state, "that the sovereignty resides not in the person of the prince, but in the state".

The Neufchâtelois are permitted to serve in the armies of any power, not at war with the Prince of Neufchâtel, as such, and accordingly it has happened that they have often fought against the Prussians in the wars of Frederic the Great. By the treaty of Tilsit, 1806, this state was severed from Prussia, and given by Buonaparte to Marshal Berthier; but the recent events have restored it to the King of Prussia, and the inhabitants seem to bear the greatest attachment to his Majesty. I saw, in two places, the triumphal arches under which he passed in his late visit to Neufchâtel. It appears probable that this will be acknowledged as a canton by the Swiss Diet, but that the nominal sovereignty of the King of Prussia will be preserved. The chief advantage his Majesty derives from this country is the supply of a great number of recruits to his army. I saw a body of 1,400 soldiers, of excellent appearance, set out on their march for Prussia.

At the village of St. Blaise we observed, under the sign of one of the inns, the sentiment, "Honorez le Roi; soignez l'agriculture" We next proceeded to visit the celebrated lake of Bienne, which is about nine English miles by four. The isle of St. Pierre, so much praised by Rousseau, is situated near the centre of the lake, about a league from Cerlier, where we embarked for it. It is about half a league in circumference. The ancient convent is inhabited by a farmer, and the bed of the philosophic Rousseau is now at the command of any of his admirers who may wish to repose in it.

There is also a large building, which is in summer the scene of much festivity, and which commands an extensive and interesting prospect.

One side of this island rises boldly from the lake to a great height; the other is on a level with its waters. It contains many vineyards, and several large chesnut trees. The town of Bienne, until its union to France in 1799, presented the singularity of a Protestant state being nominally subject to a Roman Catholic prelate (the Bishop of Basle). Its liberties were guaranteed by the Swiss Diet, where it sent a representative, a privilege the bishop did not possess. Its future government is not yet determined on. The country about Nydau more resembles Holland and Switzerland, being marshy, or drained by Canals. Many Swiss writers are of opinion, that formerly the lakes of Neufchâtel, Morat and Bienne were united; and the appearance of the country renders the supposition not improbable.

The Pont de Thiel divides the territories of Rome and Neufchâtel; and it is also the limit of the French language, none of the peasants beyond the bridge being able to answer any questions but in German. However, at all the chief inns, in both Switzerland and Germany, some of the waiters speak French. It is difficult to suppose a more sudden change than presents itself to the traveller on his passing this bridge. The houses, dress, and appearance of the inhabitants, all announce that he is arrived in a country differing entirely from France, Savoy, and the Pays de Vaud.

The enormous black crape head-dresses of the women have a most singular effect, as well as their long hair, which reaches halfway down their backs, plaited into several divisions. It is said, that in some districts, the females after marriage, roll it round their heads. The costume of the men much resembles that of our sailors. Cotton or woollen caps are more worn than hats, as was the custom in England until about the time of Henry the Eighth.

We sent our baggage by the coach to Berne, and walked three leagues to breakfast at Anet, in German Eis, a large village pleasantly situated. We observed that the direction posts had a translation into French of the German names, &c.; a precaution very useful on the frontiers of nations speaking two different languages. We found our inn extremely neat, as indeed the inns generally are throughout Switzerland; and that is one great advantage to the traveller which it possesses over France, where it is seldom that good accommodations can be procured at a country inn. If the inns are more expensive than in France, the comfort is greater also. The French talk much of the rapacity of the Swiss, and have a common saying-, "Point d'argent point de Suisse"; but it would be unreasonable to expect that the Swiss should give their services gratuitously to strangers; and, considering how much their country is frequented by strangers, the guides, servants, &c. &c. cannot be accused of any particularly great extortion. Still, those who expect to find Switzerland a cheap country will be disappointed, as many of their inns (particularly at Zurich) are more expensive than some in England. There can be, however, no country more agreeable to travel in than this, as the scene is continually varying, and presents a succession of lofty mountains, forests, cultivated grounds, lakes, rivers, and cascades, which will fully occupy the attention and excite the admiration of the tourist. The people are extremely civil. and those who understand German have assured me that they are also well informed.

Although Anet is at such a short distance from the frontiers of Neufchâtel, we found there were but two persons there who could speak French. One of them was our landlord, who provided us with a guide to conduct us to Mount Iulemont, or Suslemont (which was the object we wished to see particularly, from previous report) as he could speak only German, our intentions were explained to him by the Landlord, and we managed, by signs, to understand enough for our purpose. Many of the German and English words have a strong resemblance; and a stranger in Germany is more likely to be understood by trying English than French, where neither are spoken. We at length arrived on the mountain, and were much pleased with the extensive prospect from it, which resembles a vast chart or map; the country surrounding us for many leagues in all directions, being flat, although the view was terminated by distant mountains. From hence we saw, at the same time, the three lakes of Neufchâtel, Bienne, and Morat, which had a beautiful effect. A traveller should not fail to visit this place. We continued our walk in the afternoon to Arberg, three and a half leagues further, through a plain which presented one of the most cheerful and interesting scenes I had seen. It was quite covered with peasants, engaged in ploughing out potatoes, and in gathering the leaves of the tobacco-plant, of which there was a vast quantity. We were constantly occupied in returning their salutations, as they seldom fail to speak to passengers. The country was mostly unenclosed. I here observed the first extensive beech woods I had yet seen on the Continent, which are occasionally mixed with fir, the most common timber in Switzerland. We arrived, after sunset, at Arberg, where we found good accommodations after the fatigues of the day. It takes its name from the river Aar, by which it is surrounded. At each end of the town is a wooden bridge covered, to preserve the timber from the weather. The town is a great thoroughfare between Berne, Neufchâtel, and the Pays de Vaud; and we observed, in the market-place, several waggons stationed until morning.


We proceeded next day to Morat. Its lake is about two leagues in length by three quarters of a league in breadth, and is said to be the only lake in Switzerland where that voracious fish, the silurus, is found. There are many vineyards in this vicinity, but the wine is very indifferent. It is, however said to produce the best Kirschrvasser, or Cherry brandy in Switzerland. Morat is celebrated in history for the memorable victory obtained under its walls, by the Swiss, over the formidable army of the last duke of Burgundy in 1476. The bones of the Burgundians were piled up by way of monument on the field of battle. The triumph of the Swiss over their invaders was recorded by many inscriptions, of which the following is admired for its simplicity.


Caroli incliti et fortissimi Burgundiæ ducis exercitus

Muratum obsidiens, ab Helvetiis cæsus, hoc sui

Monumentum reliquit, 1476.

This trophy was destroyed by the French in 1798; as they, perhaps, feared that this memorial of the success of the Swiss, in contending for their liberty, should incite them again to rise against the descendants of those whom they had formerly defeated; and their vanity was probably hurt by the existence of a record, disadvantageous to their countrymen.

We dined at the neat little village of Seedorf, and proceeded in the evening in an open carriage to Berne. Part of the road is very hilly, and at one time we had an interesting prospect of the island of St. Pierre, and the end of the lake of Neufchâtel, at about five or six leagues distance. About half a league from Berne we passed the Aar (which is here a broad and rapid stream) by a long bridge of wood, covered according to the general custom in Switzerland.

The city of Berne presents a beautiful coup-d'œil, and is one of the few places I have seen, where the interior does not greatly diminish the impression, occasioned by the distant prospect. The road was lined by lofty trees, and presented a very cheerful scene.

Berne is deservedly considered as one of the handsomest cities in Europe; it stands on a hill surrounded on two sides by the beautiful stream of the Aar; it is surrounded by higher grounds richly cultivated, and interspersed with woods, whilst the view is terminated by the snowy summits of the Alps.

The chief street is half a league in length. The houses, which are in general uniform, are built of free-stone upon piazzas, and have a stately appearance, and there are several towers which add to the general effect. In the middle of the street, runs a rapid stream, and there is sufficient space for two carriages to pass at each side of it. Fountains are also placed at regular distances. The piazzas are flagged and kept extremely neat; but, I should think, that in this climate they must make the houses cold in winter. This was the first place since my departure from London, where I found a flagged way for the convenience of pedestrians.

Berne is not a city of very remote antiquity, having been founded in the year 1191. It is 1650 feet above the level of the sea. The fortifications are kept in tolerable order, but from the height of most of the surrounding hills, above the city, cannot be considered as of much utility. In the trenches are kept several very large stags, and also several bears; there being an annual rent of 1200 livres for their support. This animal is thus favoured, as being the armorial bearing of the city (to which it gives name) and these arms are every where to be seen, there being few barns without them. There are many handsome churches in Berne: the tower of the cathedral is very fine, and it contains many windows of stained glass. The public library is well worth visiting; as is also the botanic garden, which is on a most extensive scale; in it is placed the tomb of the celebrated Haller. I was much struck by the great number of chemists' shops in Berne. The bakers' shops also are very numerous, and the bread is inferior to none in Europe.

A stranger is surprised to see the convicts chained to the carts which are constantly in use to keep the streets clean. I confess the sight displeased me, and this system would not be tolerated in England, where I think there was an attempt to introduce it during the reign of Edward the Sixth. The objects that most pleased me, at Berne, were the public walks, which are unequalled by any I have ever seen, in respect to their number, extent, and the neatness with which they are kept. The views from some of these walks are quite magnificent; one, in particular, on an eminence beyond the city, which follows the course of the Aar for a long distance, commands a view which can never be forgotten by these who have seen it. The city is a striking object at a distance from the number of its spires; but although, from the spaciousness of its streets, it covers a good deal of ground, yet it is by no means populous, the inhabitants being only 11,500, but there are no mendicants. The public roads, in the Canton of Berne, are kept in excellent order, and every thing indicates the activity of the administration. The government is an aristocracy, and I was informed the chief power of of the state is vested in about twentyfour of the principal families. There are, doubtless, in general, many strong objections against this form of government, but the comfort, opulence, and appearance of content, which is remarked in the Bernese is such, that it is impossible to suppose they are not well governed; the least observant traveller may soon perceive, by the appearance of a people, whether they are subject to a free or to a despotic government. I cannot, however, subscribe to Pope's opinion,

"That which is best administered is best."

The form is still in my judgment the first requisite; nor can I agree that the goodness consists in the mere administration. I visited the agricultural establishment of M. de Fellenberg, at Hofwyl, two leagues from Berne, where may be learnt the principles of rural economy, and where annual fêtes are given for the encouragement of farming; and I also made an excursion to Hindelbanck, three leagues distant, where is a much admired monument, erected from a design of M. Nahl; it represents his wife, who died in child-bed, breaking; from her tomb with her child in her arms. The Canton of Berne, before the separation from it of the Cantons of Vaud and Argovia, formed about a third of Switzerland; its population is now about 300,000. The country is fruitful, but like the rest of Switzerland does not afford a sufficient supply of corn for its inhabitants. Its fruit and vegetables are excellent. Its mountains feed vast herds of cattle, and there is abundance of game. Its exports are principally horses, cottons, watches, and kirschwasser, (or spirit extracted from the cherry) there are manufactories of silks, and woollen stuffs, and its gunpowder is in much estimation throughout Europe. The salt comes mostly from France, but does not cost above five sols the pound. Groceries are still dear, but.are much reduced since the downfall of the continental system. This Canton first entered into the Swiss Confederation, in 1353. I made some enquiries respecting clergy, from a most respectable minister of my acquaintance, who informed me, that the senate appoint to all ecclesiastical benefices—that the clergy are divided into synods which assemble separately every year under the presidency of a Dean, to examine into the conduct of each pastor, and to deliberate in the presence of the Bailiff of the District, concerning ecclesiastical affairs. The criminal code is well arranged, and justice is administered with a promptitude that merits the highest praise, since legal delay often proves worse than injustice.

I was doubtful in what direction I should next proceed, when I was induced, as the season was advanced, to give up the idea of visiting Oberland, and to accompany a gentleman going to Lucerne; if the country was less romantic than that which I lost the opportunity of seeing, I was with a companion who would have rendered an excursion in any country entertaining. We left Berne in an open carriage, and took the road to Worb, where we visited a sawmill, and were much pleased with that useful invention. There are near the village several of the most extensive bleach-greens in Switzerland. At Luzelflüh we passed the river Emmen, and soon after stopped some time whilst oar horses rested. I have never been in a country where horses are taken better care of; they are always in excellent condition, and after mounting any considerable hill, the driver does not fail to give them some slices of bread.

As we proceeded, we were struck with the profusion of autumnal crocuses, with which the fields were enlivened, and stopped to sleep at the inconsiderable village of Sumiswald, where the inn, like the rest of the houses, was entirely built of wood. We were shewn into an apartment where several peasants were at supper, and on the table lay a newspaper, which (although its date was not very recent) seemed to interest them extremely. Several more peasants having come in, we were, as strangers, conducted into a more private room, but it was so small, as to give us the idea that we were in a box. Our hostess was not long in preparing supper, and as it was extremely frugal, she produced for us a bottle of Neufchâtel wine, of much better quality than one could have expected to meet with in so retired a situation. We set out at an early hour next morning, and, after passing through a vast forest of fir, arrived to breakfast at Zell, in the canton of Lucerne, where the number of chapels by the road-side announced that the Roman Catholic was the established religion. The valley beyond Zell is extensive and well watered. The peasants display much ingenuity in irrigating their meadows. The orchards are numerous, and, as well as the meadows, are refreshed by ductile streams. In the centre of the valley rises a lofty eminence, on the summit of which are the remains of the castle of Hapstalla, which, half concealed by a mass of wood, forms a conspicuous object amidst the cultivation of the surrounding scenery. The small towns of Huttweil and Willisan present nothing worthy of remark; but Sursee is a neat town, and the lake of Sempacli adds greatly to the cheerful appearance of the country, which it waters to a considerable extent. The town of Sempach is noted in history for the defeat of Leopold, Duke of Austria, in 1386, by the forces of the Swiss confederation. The Duke, together with his chief nobility, perished in the engagement, which is further memorable by the heroism of Arnold Winkdried. The approach to Lucerne along the river Reuss is singularly beautiful, the banks are steep and well wooded, and the distant appearance of the city, front the number of its turrets and spires, is highly impressive. Its situation is certainly superior to that of any city in Switzerland (Berne perhaps excepted). The mountains which surround that part of the lake seen from the town, immediately reminded me of the magnificent scenery pf Killarney. The beauty of its situation, and the imposing aspect which Lucerne presents at a distance, renders the gloominess of its interior the more striking; and 1 do not know, whether coming from Berne, where all is activity, gave me the impression, but I think I never was in a more melancholy and deserted town of the same magnitude. The population is only 4,000; but, to judge from its extent, it might contain at least three times that number. It is difficult to account exactly for the causes of this inactivity, but I should be inclined to think some blame attaches to its government, as here are no traces of that beneficial superintendence which is so perceptible at Berne, This city cannot even boast of a public library. There are at Lucerne several curious wooden bridges, to join the different parts of the town separated by the river and the lake. They are from 5 to 600 feet in length, and one of them contains a vast number of paintings from scriptural subjects, and also from the Swiss history.

There are several handsome buildings at Lucerne, but many towns that cannot boast of such a number, much exceed it in general appearance.

We observed a great quantity of fruit for sale, and good peaches for one sol each. The celebrated plan, or rather, model, of this and the three surrounding cantons, by General Pfiffer, is to be seen here on payment of thirty sols; it is well worthy of a visit, and the General is said to have refused ten thousand pounds for it. Buonaparte is said to have wished to possess it.

The lake of Lucerne, called also the lake of the Four Cantons, or the Waldstraller See, is one of the most picturesque pieces of water in Switzerland, and by its numerous windings, as well as by the rivers which fall into it, affords facilities for commerce, which are astonishingly neglected.

Mont Pilate rises majestically from the lake. It is, perhaps, one of the highest mountains in Switzerland, if measured from its base, and not from the level of the sea. Its elevation from the level of the lake is, according to the measurement of General Pfiffer, not less than 6000 feet. Its name was, it is thought, given it by the Romans, from the accumulation of snow upon its summit.

Mount Rigi, so generally visited by travellers, presents another distinguished feature in this romantic country. The ascent to this mountain having been within a few days rendered extremely difficult by a fall of snow, we were advised not to attempt it, and I the more readily acquiesced, having found the ascent to Montanvert difficult, although unobstructed with snow. I therefore set out to visit two classic spots in the history of Switzerland, which distinguish the banks of this lake; first, the Grütli (the Runnimede of Switzerland), a field now covered with fruit-trees, where the neighbouring cantons on the 12th of November, 1307, first took the engagement to found the liberty of their country. They carried their plan into execution on the 1st of January, 1308, by forcing their tyrannical governors to quit a country thenceforward destined to be free. The second place is about a league and a half distant, it is the Rock of Aschen-berg, 5240 feet above the level of the lake (which is here 600 feet deep), on a part of which, called Tell Platte, that patriot killed the tyrant Gessler here is a small chapel. I also visited the little town of Gersau (which was, by the French, united to the canton of Schweitz), remarkable as being the smallest republic existing in Europe, as it contains only one hundred square toises, and from 900 to 1000 inhabitants, who subsist chiefly by agriculture; there is besides, a small manufacture of cotton. Their metropolis is a neat village, where only, perhaps; a pure democracy subsisted without anarchy and dissensions.

The canton of Schweitz, which, at present, gives name generally to the whole confederation of cantons, is said to have been first inhabited by some persons forced to quit Sweden by religious differences. The union of this canton to those of Uri and Unterwald, first suggested that more extended confederacy, so essential to the existence of these diminutive states.

Here the Roman Catholic is the only religion tolerated, but intolerance in Switzerland is not peculiar to the Roman Catholic cantons, as in some, Calvinism only is permitted. At Brunnen I met some persons going on a pilgrimage to the shrine of Notre Dame des Ermites, at Einsiedlen, one of whom was a Frenchman, decorated with the Lys. It would be well for the Bourbons if all their subjects were possessed of but a small part of the loyalty which this gentleman expressed for them. Brunnen is a large and handsome town, situated on the lake; it was here that the cantons of Schweitz, Uri, and Unterwald, concluded their perpetual alliance. Altorf is the capital of the canton of Uri, it contains many handsome houses, and here is the statue of William Tell, in the place where he was condemned to shoot the arrow at his son. The cattle in this Canton, as well as in Schweitz, are large and handsome. I was told that many of their favourite cows had silver bells fastened round their necks. The horses are also provided with tails of a large size, the noise of which I thought extremely unpleasant, although often obliged to listen to it for many hours together. Stantz is the chief town of Unterwald, but is only remarkable for its being prettily situated. In the three original cantons, every citizen on attaining the age of sixteen, has the right of suffrage in the General Assemblies. On my return to Lucerne from this excursion, it appeared more gloomy than ever, and I determined on quitting it next morning for Zug. The Pope's nuncio resides in this town, as being the capital of the chief Roman Catholic canton, and I observed sentinels at his door, although there were none at the gates of the city. Lucerne was, under the French system, the seat of the general government of Switzerland, now removed to Zurich. The canton of Lucerne is, in general, well cultivated, and contains not less than 100,000 inhabitants. Between Lucerne and Zug, I observed a number of peasants practising with the ancient weapons of William Tell, which they appeared to use with great dexterity.

The badness of the road retarded considerably our arrival at Zug (Zoug, as it is pronounced and written in German); & small but neat town, and the capital and only town of its Canton, which is the least in Switzerland, containing- only 30,000 inhabitants, of whom 2500 inhabit the capital. The lake, which washes the town, is about three leagues long by one broad; one side of it presents a few mountains, but the other (nearest the town) is flat, marshy, and uninteresting. Between Zug and Zurich, we passed over the field of battle, where Zuingle, the reformer, lost his life; the plain is, I think, called Cappel. The road, which is still indifferent, passes through a country which resembles a continued orchard. We passed the river Sill by a long covered bridge, and stopped at a neat inn, where we found some honey not inferior to any in France, although here they do not think it necessary (as in Poitou) to carry the hives of bees about the country, that by travelling they may collect every sort of perfume which it affords. Above the inn is a mountain of vast height, which commands an extensive prospect over the surrounding country. We soon after beheld one of the most magnificent scenes of which Switzerland can boast, the view of the lake of Zurich, from the hill above the village of Horgen. As it was evening when we arrived there, I could judge of the justness of Zimmerman's beautiful description of it at that time, which I had often admired at a period when I had but faint expectation of ever seeing the scene itself.

Before visiting Switzerland, I had often felt surprise, on considering the great variety of states which subsist in a country of such comparatively limited extent; but I no longer felt that astonishment, when I saw how completely many of the Cantons are divided from each other, by chains of mountains, and how greatly their inhabitants differ in their dress, manners, and religion. In one day, in the cantons of Berne, Lucerne, and Zug, I saw three perfectly distinct modes of dress; and the enormous sleeves and crape head dresses of Berne, compared with the large flat hats, and short petticoats of Lucerne, are as totally different costumes as could be supposed to prevail in two of the most remote countries. The political divisions of Switzerland are almost as numerous as its geographical; and there are few countries where more diversities of opinion prevail, respecting the means of securing that liberty which is the boast of its inhabitants.

At a distance, Zurich seems surrounded by beautiful hills, descending gradually to the river Limmat, which, issuing from the lake, divides the city into two unequal parts. These bills are rich in pastures and vineyards, interspersed with neat cottages; the horizon is bounded by the mountains of Utliberg, which are connected with the Alps; forming, altogether, a very striking and interesting picture.


On entering Zurich, it is impossible not to feel a sensation of disappointment, as its internal appearance by no means corresponds with the beauty of the distant scene. Its streets are narrow and winding, and the houses are mostly of mean architecture, but there are few places where I observed more of the activity of commerce. Many of its churches and public buildings are handsome. It boasts a population of 14,000, a number exceeding that of any town in Switzerland, Geneva excepted. The Canton is next in importance to Berne, and contains 180,000 inhabitants.

The reformation was introduced here in 1523, by Ulric Zuingle, whose death was noticed in the last chapter; he, like Pope Julius, exchanged for a time the mitre for the helmet. The inns at Zurich are more expensive than the hotels of Paris; they say it is owing to this being the seat of the Swiss Diet. I had the honour of dining in company with several of the Deputies (at the public table at the Sword Tavern) and they seemed very inquisitive as to the state of affairs in England. Our company exceeded thirty, and the dinner was unusually tedious: this seems to have been expected, as there were pans of charcoal or ashes, placed under the principal dishes, which had a very unpleasant effect. A band of music, stationed in an adjoining room, only served to add to the confused noise of the servants, without allowing us to judge of the beauty of the music, or of the merits of the musicians; and I felt no regret when the master of the band at length thought fit that we should purchase an interval of quiet. Before I quitted Zurich, I was desirous of making an excursion on its lake, and accordingly joined a party in visiting Rapperschwill, which is situated in a charming country, but is chiefly remarkable for its bridge, constructed of wood, over that part of the lake which is by a promontory reduced to the width of 1800 feet, forming, perhaps, the longest bridge in Europe, except that of St. Esprit, near Nismes, which is 3000 feet. The bridge of Prague is 1700 feet, and that of Westminster 1200.

Soon after my return from this excursion, I set out for Schaffhausen; but after we had lost sight of the lake and city of Zurich, the country had nothing to interest the traveller. About a league from Zurich is the Greinfensee, but that piece of water is not interesting, either in point of scenery or extent. The river Glatt flows through the plain; it has none of the characteristics of a Swiss stream, "but choked with sedges, works its weary way."

About two leagues further, we passed the river Jòss, which, by the beauty of its windings amongst wooded hills (on one of which stands an ancient castle) convinced us that we had not yet altogether bid farewell to the romantic scenery of Switzerland.

The woods here are very extensive, and almost entirely composed of fir; they produce annually a succession of plants which form an underwood, and greatly contribute to the beauty of the scene, by concealing the naked stems of the older trees.

The houses in the villages in the canton of Zurich much resemble those in England, being mostly built of plaster, and roofed with tiles. I was pleased with this change, after the heavy wooden houses, and projecting roofs (of nearly three times the height of the building) usually seen in the canton of Berne. They do not tend to enliven the country like those of Zurich, where the eye notices the contrast between the whitened cottages and green meadows. We spent a day at Winterthur, which is a considerable municipal town, rendered lively by trade. The manufactory of oil of vitriol is on a large scale, and is worthy of attention. There are several bleach-greens in the neighbourhood, as well as many vineyards, but of no great celebrity. The public library is extensive, and there is also a considerable collection of medals.

We left Winterthur on foot, as the bridge over the river Thur was under repair, and not passable for a carriage, and as we wished to approach the fall of the Rhine by this road. We breakfasted at Adelfaigen, three leagues distant, and near the town were ferried over the Thar. About two hours afterwards, we heard the distant roar of the Cataract, and although I had heard so much previously of the grandeur of the scene, yet I was not disappointed with the sight. There are many falls much greater in point of height, and I had seen two previously which exceed the present one in that particular, but then the force of Water was there inconsiderable and uncertain: here one of the greatest rivers in Europe falls with inconceivable force down a perpendicular height of from sixty to eighty feet. The colour of the Rhine is greenish, and the mixture of the water with the foam, has a curious effect. The castle of Lauffen hangs over the river, and appears to tremble from the force of the Cataract.

The surrounding scenery is bold and picturesque, and when viewed from a boat on the river, the effect is very striking. There is a camera obscura placed in an ancient castle, which projects into the fiver, and which we admired extremely. It is supposed that the height of this celebrated cascade is much diminished from what it was formerly, and if we consider the vast force of the torrent which the rock has sustained for ages, it seems but reasonable to conclude, that it must have yielded to such powerful and long continued assaults. We remained a considerable time contemplating this magnificent scene, and then returned through the village of Lauffen, and observed that the spire of its church was covered with painted tiles, which in this district seem a common species of decoration.

We observed the peasants in many places employed in making cyder, which they but seldom think of doing except the season has proved unfavourable for the vines. I was told that here, as in Burgundy, the last favourable vintage was that of 1811, and that consequently the proprietors of the vineyards (of which the cultivation is so expensive) were much distressed.

The red stockings of the peasants in this Canton have a remarkable appearance, and reminded me of the dress of the theatre.

Schaffhausen is the capital of the Canton of that name, and is built on the right bank of the Rhine. Its bridge is but lately completed, in the place of the ancient one, constructed by Grubenman, which was considered as a great architectural curiosity, but was destroyed during one of the campaigns in this country. The town of Schaffhausen is well built, and has a handsome appearance. Its population is calculated at 7000, and that of the Canton at 23,000.

The reformed religion was introduced here in 1529. The clergy are paid by the state, but their allowance is far from liberal. Many sumptuary laws exist here, and dancing is prohibited by them, except under particular circumstances. I am, however, inclined to question whether these laws are still enforced.

In the vicinity of the town are some manufactories of linens, cottons, and silks. The country is well cultivated, and the road between Oerlingen and Bancken affords an extensive prospect of the Swiss mountains, which seem ranged in array to bid a last farewell to the departing traveller, who cannot but feel regret on leaving a country not less distinguished for the magnificence of its scenery, than for the simplicity and good nature of its inhabitants.

At Schaffhausen I made many inquiries respecting the celebrated Schabecyge or Chapsigre cheese (made in the canton of Glarus) and found that the principal ingredient which gives it so strong a perfume is the trifolium odoratum, or meliot odorant. The aromatic qualities of this cheese render it very wholesome. The Swiss tea, composed of mountain herbs, is said to be so likewise; it is not, however, very palatable as a beverage, nor should I think it very effectual as a remedy. If it meets in general with no greater approbation than it did in a party where I saw it tried, Switzerland cannot expect to carry on any trade in this article, sufficient to prejudice the exclusive commerce which the East India Company enjoy with China.

There being nothing to detain,me at Schaffhausen, I was induced, at the request of a Doctor of the University of Leipsic, with whom I became acquainted at Zurich, to join him in proceeding in the diligence into Germany. I found this conveyance, although tedious, yet little if at all inferior to those in France (although I had understood the contrary in that country). The Doctor would have been a most agreeable companion, but for his unfortunate love of tobacco; his pipe was hardly well extinguished, before he was busy in striking his flint to rekindle it. He seemed much surprised that I did not smoke, and still more so when I told him it was not usual in England to smoke in company; for in Germany, after dinner and in the evening, when ladies are present, it is usual to smoke a segar. The Doctor seemed to meditate a journey into England, but I doubt whether he will find any thing there sufficient to afford him an equivalent for the abandonment of the six pipes which he told me he used alternately at Leipsic.

The others who composed our party had also their pipes, but were moderate in using them.

The Germans are an extremely civil people compared with the French; a traveller is better treated among them, without the perpetual affectation of superiority; and, in the parts where I have been, he will have no reason to regret the change from a French to a German inn.

The general civility I met with in Germany, and the pains the people often took to make themselves understood, as well as to understand, and supply whatever might be requisite, claims my best acknowledgments. I had occasion to observe the truth of the remark, that there are many words, and expressions, very similar in the English and German languages; they further agree in being the two languages in Europe, the most difficult to be learnt by a stranger.

The Sunday dress of the peasants resembles that worn a century ago in England. Woollen caps are little used in Germany; and, in Suabia, I observed cocked hats were very general.

It was late in the day when we left Schaffhausen. Our road lay through a country, where the succession of woods, shewed us, that the Black Forest, although reduced, was not destroyed, and occasionally we had extensive views towards Switzerland. We had fallen into that sort of reverie which most travellers experience towards the close of the day, and which generally suspends conversation, the mind finding entertainment in its own illusions, when we were roused by finding ourselves in Deutlingen. We here passed the Danube, which is inconsiderable, when compared with the vast size it afterwards acquires, by the junction of other considerable rivers, in the various countries which it fertilizes by its waters. We reposed here for some hours, and to my astonishment the Doctor, laying aside his pipe, entertained us with his performance on a piano forte, which was in the room, and when his tea arrived his place was occupied by another performer.

The passion of the Germans for music is very strong, and certainly this was a more agreeable mode of passing the evening, than the tiresome recurrence of political discussions, so general in France, and which seldom fail to end in unpleasant altercations. At Deutlingen we entered the kingdom of Wurtemberg; and our passports, which had been signed previously to our leaving Schaffhausen, were here re-examined: at Stutgard they were again demanded, and although the Royal Arms were affixed by the police there, yet at Ludwigsburg, we were detained half an hour for further scrutiny, although it is only one stage from Stutgard. The Grand Dukes of Baden, and of Hesse Darmstadt, whose dominions we next entered, were less suspicious and were satisfied at our writing down our names and destination. There are few countries more sub-divided than Germany. Its ancient constitution was described as, "Confusio divinitùs conservata," and a confusion it certainly was, for the circle of Suabia alone, contained four ecclesiastical, and thirteen secular principalities: nineteen independent abbies and prelacies, and thirty-one free cities. This list was, however, greatly reduced during Buonaparte's supremacy in Germany; he increased the dominions of Baden, Bavaria, and Wurtemberg with the spoils of the ecclesiastical possessions, and of the free cities. He nearly doubled the territory of Wurtemberg, and its population was increased from 700,000 to 1,300,000. The territory of Baden is of great length, but narrow; its population is now increased to 940,000. The Germans are, in general, extremely anxious for the re-establishment of the ancient system; as, notwithstanding its defects, it afforded them an appeal from the tyranny of their numerous sovereigns to the Diet and the Emperor, besides that it united the Germans as one people. On the dissolution of the old system, the several princes of the "Confederation of the Rhine" became absolute over their own subjects, but military vassals to Buonaparte, who, like Cade, was content they should reign, but took care to be Viceroy over them.

The game laws are much and justly complained of in Germany. In Wurtemberg they are particularly oppressive. The farmers, however, seem more opulent than in France. The possessions of many of the nobility are much neglected, as they reside almost entirely at one of the great capitals. Suabia is generally unenclosed, and is not often enlivened by country houses, the inhabitants residing together in villages. Its trade consists in the sale of its cattle, which are in vast numbers, together with that of its corn, wood, and wines, which are occasionally of tolerably good quality. The kingdom of Wurtemberg is extremely fruitful, and is well watered by the Necker, as well as by several smaller streams. After supplying its own population, which is as numerous as can be found in most parts of Europe of the same extent, it exports vast quantities of grain to Switzerland. Almost the whole kingdom consists of well-wooded mountains, and of cultivated plains; and farming seems to be well understood.

The posts are conducted in a much better manner than I had expected. The drivers are all provided with a French horn, and wear the royal livery, yellow and black, with which colours also the direction-posts are painted. The roads are in excellent order, and mile-stones are regularly placed; these roads are vastly superior to those in the states of Baden and Darmstadt, where there are a number of turnpikes. The traveller cannot fail to perceive that the activity of the government of Wurtemberg, much exceeds that of many of the surrounding states. We breakfasted at Bahlingen, a handsome and regularly built town. Here we witnessed a dreadful accident: the conductor of the diligence, a large and heavy man, whilst arranging some packages, fell from the top of the carriage into the street, and laid open one side of his head, and had he fallen on a pavement it would probably have proved fatal. A surgeon was immediately sent for, who informed us that the wound was not very deep, and that he hoped it would have no serious effects. Our next stage was Heckingen, in the little state of Hohenzollern. The ancient castle of that name is situated on an eminence, and is visible, for many leagues, in all directions. The territories of this state are about fifteen miles by ten, and contain about 30,000 inhabitants: but I believe there are two reigning families; those of Hohenzollem Heckingen and Hohenzollern Sigmaringen. This house is of considerable eminence; the royal family of Prussia are descended from a junior branch, which became possessed by purchase of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, and thus founded a power, which being aggrandized by the policy of succeeding sovereigns, now holds so distinguished a place in the political scale of Europe. We soon quitted the territories of the princes of Hohenzollern, and again entered Wurtemberg, and after passing for several leagues over a highly improved country arrived at Tubingen.


Tubingen is a large and ancient town, containing about 5000 inhabitants: its situation is low, and it is chiefly worthy of notice, as being one of the most celebrated universities of the south of Germany. I was informed by one of its members who travelled in the Diligence, that the number of students did not then exceed 250, but that he had no doubt it would increase as public affairs assumed a more settled appearance. Here is little of that academic discipline, which distinguishes our universities. There are no colleges, and the students live in private houses, according to their respective inclinations. There are eight professors, and an attendance on the lectures of such of them as the student may prefer seems to constitute the sum of his academic duty. There is a large botanic garden, which is kept in good order, and contains a long range of green-houses and stoves.

I here agreed to accompany a gentleman of my acquaintance, who wished to travel post to Frankfort: and had no reason to regret having left the Diligence, with the tediousness of which I was heartily tired. We set out accordingly in a sort of cabriolet, resembling a covered curricle, for Stutgard. We found much less delay at each post than we were led to expect; and part of the time was employed in greasing and examining the wheels of the carriage before starting: this custom prevents many accidents, for that operation for which no time is specified, is commonly neglected.

The price of each station is regulated by government; and the postmasters and drivers are very civil and obliging; but the celerity with which every thing is procured at an English inn, is not to be expected here, as the Germans are habitually slow in all their movements.

A German dinner is still more tedious than a French one, and it is perhaps yet more foreign to our taste. The custom of sleeping between feather beds, as it may be altered by the traveller, if unpleasant to him, cannot be considered as a grievance; but all who have been accustomed to the social and companionable cheerfulness of a fire, must regret that custom, which here substitutes for it, the dull and unenlivening heat of a stove.

That fire-place, which is so essential to the comfort of our apartments, is by German taste placed in the passage and shut up, whilst heat is conveyed into their rooms by flues.

We arrived at Stutgard without the occurrence of any thing worthy of mention, and were much pleased with its general appearance; its streets are spacious, and the houses mostly well built. The city has increased considerably in size, since it has become the constant residence of its sovereign. Its population is estimated at 24,000. It is an open place, but although there are no fortifications there are gates, the only use of which are to detain the traveller whilst his passport is under examination. The reformed religion is here established, but the churches have nothing to boast of in appearance. The palace is a handsome building of Italian architecture, surrounding three sides of a square. It is built of hewn stone, and over the centre entrance is placed a large gilt crown. Not far from the modern palace is the ancient Château, surrounded by a deep ditch, and flanked by gloomy bastions, formerly the requisites to a prince's residence, but incompatible with the luxury sought for in a modern palace.

Wishing to judge of the taste of a German palace, we procured a Valet de Place to conduct us over this; we found it fitted up in a manner which corresponded in many points to that usual in great houses in England. The suites of rooms are very numerous, but they are mostly of small dimensions. Every apartment is provided with a musical clock. The marbles, carpets, china, and glass lustres, are generally the production of Wurtemberg. Many of these productions display much taste, and seem to deserve the encouragement they receive.

A few of the rooms had fire-places, and almost all of them had to boast of some specimens of the industry and ingenuity of the Queen, either in painting or embroidery. There is a museum of considerable extent, which opens into the King's Private Library, where the books are all concealed behind large mirrors, so that we could not judge of either the value or taste of the selection. In a building near the palace, is the King's Public Library, but we were told there was nothing in it particularly worthy of notice. There are but very few paintings by the great masters in this palace; but we were particularly struck by a portrait of Frederick the Great, by a German artist. I have forgotten his name; but this portrait proves his skill.

The Council Chamber is a handsome apartment, and contains two marble figures of Silence and Meditation. The Council Table is long and narrow, which would not meet with Lord Bacon's approbation, as, if I recollect right, he gives the preference to a round table, where all may take a part, instead of a long one, where those at the top chiefly decide. We next visited the royal stables, which contain a vast number of fine horses, the King being very fond of the chase.

I was informed, that in his Private Stables here and at Ludwigsburg, there were from 700 to 800 horses, a number which exceeds that of most princes in Europe. The garrison of Stutgard consists of about 3000 men. We saw some of the troops go through their evolutions; and I have seldom seen a finer body of men. The band was remarkably fine. On the parade were two little boys, sons of Prince Paul, who were decorated with stars. Having sufficiently satisfied our curiosity at Stutgard, we proceeded to Ludwigsburg, one stage distant, where there is a handsome royal palace adorned with extensive gardens, and many enclosures for game, of great extent. The town is not large, but is regularly built; and the houses, as at Stutgard and many other places in Germany, are remarkable for having a vast number of windows. After some delay about passports, we were suffered to proceed, as they sometimes will not give post horses without examining the passports. Beyond the town we met several waggons, one of them I remarked was drawn by fourteen horses. There is much more traffic on this road than on any I had yet travelled.

We passed through but one great town, Heilbron, formerly an imperial free city, but which, together with Ulm and many others, was given by Buonaparte to the King of Wurtemberg. It is a tolerably well built place; and from the number of vessels in the river, I conclude it has a share of trade. The country round it is unenclosed, and for a great distance we saw no pastures, to that they must support their cattle on artificial crops. At Furfeld we could procure no accommodation, it being full of company; we were therefore, notwithstanding the lateness of the hour, obliged to go on to Sinzheim. We parried the rain tolerably well (the carriages are but partly covered) with our umbrellas; and escaped narrowly a more serious disaster, having been nearly overturned by a waggon, which broke one side of our carriage.

We found the inn small, but the people particularly obliging. I perceived that they expected some personage of great importance, as the landlady questioned our driver repeatedly whether Der Cossack had arrived at the last stage. It was not, however, until we had retired to rest, that the expected guest arrived; and if importance is to be measured by noise, his must have been great indeed.

Our road to Heidelberg lay for several miles along the banks of the Necker, which are well-wooded, and adorned with several villages, and a large convent. The gate by which we entered Heidelberg, is a remarkably fine piece of Grecian architecture. The city is large and well built; but there is little appearance of trade or activity amongst its inhabitants. The Castle is situated on a steep hill above the town, and its terrace commands a vast prospect over a plain, enlivened by the windings of the river, as well as by the spires of the city. This palace was the residence of the electors palatine, and must have been a fine piece of Gothic architecture. It was laid waste, together with the whole palatinate, in consequence of those orders which will for ever disgrace the memory of Lewis the Fourteenth.

It is, however, still striking; and although the scene is silent and desolate, it is unquestionably grand.

In a building adjoining the castle, is the famed Tun of Heidelberg, constructed by one of the electors at the suggestion of his buffoon, whose statue is placed near this enormous tun, which can contain 326,000 bottles. We were told that the jester (some will not allow him to be called the fool) assisted his master in drinking eighteen bottles of the best Rhenish wine daily. The table where they sat, near the tun, is still shewn. The country about Heidelberg and Manheim is from its fertility called the Garden of Germany; but I have seen in Germany much finer districts. It is a well cultivated plain, and abounds with vineyards: beyond Manheim is a greater extent of ground under potatoes, than I have ever met with before out of Ireland. There is but little wood, and the roads run between rows of walnut and cherry trees. Manheim is considered as one of the handsomest cities in Germany, being built on a regular plan. It consists of twelve streets, intersected at right angles by eight others; but there is in this regularity a sameness which soon tires the eye.

The Rhine passes close on one side of the city, and the Necker washing the other side, soon after falls into the Rhine, over which there is a bridge of boats. The palace is in a fine situation, and next to Versailles, is the largest structure for the residence of a sovereign that I have seen. This city became the residence of the electors palatine, after the destruction of the Castle of Heidelberg, and the palace was erected in consequence. On the accession of the reigning family to Bavaria, Munich became their capital, and this palace was neglected. Subsequent changes have transferred this country to the Grand Duke of Baden, who continues to reside at Carlsruhe.

It would now require vast sums to restore this edifice; which will probably be soon as desolate as the Castle of Heidelberg, with which, however, it could never stand a comparison, either in point of situation or architecture. There are some handsome walks near the palace, which extend along the Rhine, where the fortifications have been demolished. There are some spacious squares in the city; that before the town-house is adorned by a handsome bronze fountain. The population of the city has been estimated at 24,000; but it has probably rather diminished of late. Several of the tradespeople exhibit the arms of Baden over their shops, and boast of supplying their sovereign's family with various articles; but trade has every appearance of being here at a very low ebb. The road for some leagues beyond Manheim was by far the worst we had yet passed in Germany; but then we had made a detour in visiting Manheim, which does not lie on the direct road to Frankfort.

The next place of any note was Darmstadt, the residence of the grand duke of Hesse Darmstadt: it seems a place of recent origin, where much has been attempted and but little completed. There are several spacious streets marked out, and a few good houses dispersed over a considerable extent of ground, which give it a melancholy appearance.

Its situation is not well chosen, as it is in a sandy plain, without any river in the vicinity.

We visited the old castle or palace, situated in the centre of the town, which seems now used as a barrack. The number of troops seemed very considerable, and they are not inferior to the Wurtembergers in appearance. Near the old palace are handsome gardens laid out in the English taste, which were much frequented on Sunday. The present grand duke inhabits a palace in the suburbs, which has little to boast of.

A few hours drive brought us to Frankfort. The country for the most part is flat, and abounds with woods, but, except near Frankfort, has little to interest the traveller. We found that great commercial city fully answerable to our expectations. Every thing announces the opulence of its inhabitants. The streets are spacious, and adorned with houses far surpassing any that either Paris or London can boast of. Some of the great merchants maybe literally said to inhabit palaces. There are a vast number of inns; some of them are on a great scale, and worthy to be ranked among the best in Europe. I observed in the streets here a greater number of handsome private carriages than I had seen in Paris. Although the situation of Frankfort is not remarkable, in a picturesque point of view, when compared with some other cities, yet it is extremely advantageous for its inhabitants, being placed in the centre of the richest country in Germany, whilst the Mein and Rhine afford every facility for commerce. The roads are also in excellent order. That between Frankfort and Mayence is paved, and is perhaps the most frequented in Germany. There are various well-known manufactures, and the shops are supplied with the productions of all countries. I first noticed here the custom of having small mirrors projecting into the streets, that the inhabitants may see, by reflection, what passes in them.

The advantages of Frankfort for commerce have attracted a vast number of Jews, and reconcile them to many regulations, imposed by the magistrates, which otherwise they would not submit to. Their numbers are said to exceed 6,000 in a total population of nearly 50,000. The fame of Frankfort is not, however, merely of a commercial nature. It can boast of having produced many of the most eminent literary characters of Germany.

All religions are here tolerated; but, under its old constitution, the members of government were Lutherans, and Calvinists were excluded from any share in the management of affairs. The present magistrates are only provisionally appointed since the late change in its situation. The cathedral is a venerable Gothic edifice, as is also the town-house; but Frankfort is more remarkable for a general air of magnificence than for the exclusive elegance of any particular buildings. There are seven or eight gates to the city, some of which are handsome, and adorned with statues of many worthies, whose names I could not learn. The busts of Alexander and Roxana were however too conspicuous to escape notice; but their connexion with Frankfort I am not antiquary enough to trace. Frankfort cannot be considered as a fortified place. Its bastions are planted with shrubs, and form a pleasant walk for the citizens. Hamburg has recently afforded a melancholy example of the evil which walls may bring upon a commercial city; and the people of Frankfort cannot regret the use to which their bastions are applied. I was, by the favour of a merchant, to whom I had an introduction, admitted as a temporary member of the Casino, or Public Institution. It is one of the best conducted establishments I have seen. There are not less than 110 newspapers, besides other periodical publications; and, after an interval of two months, I was glad again to peruse an English newspaper. The reading-room, like the council-chamber at Stutgard, is adorned by a figure of Silence, and I think the hint seems well observed. There are, however, several very spacious and elegantly decorated apartments, for conversation, cards, billiards, &c. These rooms are frequented by ladies in the evenings, and then bear some resemblance to a London rout. The concerts at Frankfort are remarkably good. There is only one theatre; and, as the performance was in German, I only went once out of curiosity. The number of villas around Frankfort are numerous and handsome, and the villages are large, and have every appearance of opulence. Here are many fine orchards, and the cider of Afschaffenburg can be only distinguished from wine by a connoisseur.

At Hochst, six miles from Frankfort, stands the large edifice noticed by Dr. Moore, as having been built by a great tobacconist of Frankfort, out of spite to the magistrates of that city, with whom he had quarrelled; and he endeavoured to induce merchants to settle here. His plan, however, failed, and this great building is almost uninhabited. This village is at present chiefly remarkable for a manufacture of porcelain of excellent quality.

Great preparations were making at Frankfort to celebrate the anniversary of the glorious battle of Leipsig; and I was present at the inspection of about 6,000 men, preparatory to the great review on the eighteenth. There were many ladies present, and, although the weather was far from being warm, yet few of them wore bonnets. In general their hair was rolled round their heads.

Not being able to delay any longer in Frankfort, I took the road to Mayence, and passed through the large village of Hochheim, which contains 300 families. It was formerly the property of the chapter of Mayence, but its future destiny is at present undecided. From this place is derived the English name of Hock, which is applied to all the wine of the Rhingau. There are vast numbers of vineyards and. fruit-trees around the village; and, from a hill above it, is seen the junction of the Mayn with the Rhine, in the midst of this rich country. The waters of the Mayn are of a dark hue, but do not, however, succeed in obscuring altogether the colour which the Rhine brings from Switzerland, and which I had so much admired at Schaffhausen. From the bridge of boats, which is 1,400 feet in length, and which forms the communication between Mayence and Cassel, one sees the Rhine forced by mountains to change its northerly direction, and, after forming some small islands it runs for some distance to the eastward. The mountains, which change the course of this vast river, form the Rhingau so celebrated for its wines. That of the village of Rudesheim is particularly noted for producing the best wine of the Rhingau, and consequently of Germany. The French had expended vast sums on the fortifications of Cassel and Mayence, and rendered the latter one of the keys of Germany, as well from its strength as from its situation. They had always a great depot here, which considerably benefited the city; the loss of that advantage is much regretted.

When seen from the bridge (which is longer than that of Westminster) Mayence presents a striking appearance on account of its spires, and the vessels that line its quay, which presents a scene of considerable activity. On the customhouse were displayed the flags of Austria, Prussia, and Bavaria; but to which of those powers the city is to be subject is still undetermined. On the river are a great number of corn-mills, necessary where there is so great a garrison. The barracks are handsome, and on a large scale. The general appearance of the interior of Mayence is bad. The streets are in general narrow, dirty, and intricate. Near the castle are some good houses.

The cathedral is one of the largest buildings in Germany, It has suffered considerably in the late wars, and is now covered with wood. Its appearance is not, however, very striking, and it is surrounded with mean houses. I observed that a statue, "a l'Empereur" is still standing- in front of one of the houses in this city. Its population is said to be 26,000. The inhabitants, for a considerable distance round Mayence, subsist principally by agriculture. They export their grain on the Rhine to Switzerland. They have abundance of vegetables, and the lower orders live a good deal on cabbage, which is here of a large size.


At Mayence I embarked on the Rhine for Cologne (above 100 English miles distant), to see the banks of a river s>o highly celebrated. Our company in the boat was not numerous, and would have been sufficiently agreeable, but for the continual political rhapsodies of two Frenchmen, one of whom was an officer, and spoke with confidence of recovering all the conquests of France. These Frenchmen, in spite of the remonstrances of the Germans present, insisted, like the physicians in Molière, that they best knew what was for their good, and that they (the Germans) mast be again united to France. One of these politicians asked me, if I did not think that Talleyrand would demand the left bank of the Rhine, as essential to France, at the congress of Vienna. I answered, I did not think it was probable he would ask for countries which France had so recently relinquished, nor was it to be expected that the Allies would, to oblige him, depart from their principle of restraining France within those boundaries, which had, for centuries, been found as extensive as were consistent with the tranquillity of the rest of Europe; and that, for my own part, I could not conceive the acquisition of those provinces to be essential to France, which had never been more prosperous than at a period when she formed no pretensions to so great an aggrandizement.

Waving any further discussions on a subject which the vanity of these gentlemen would have extended ad infinitum, or, at least, longer than I wished, I left them to their own lucubrations, and went on deck to contemplate the grandeur of the scenery which surrounded us, and which was reflected in the transparent waters of the Rhine. The river here resembles a succession of lakes, and is surrounded in many places by such lofty mountains, that I was often at a loss to guess on which side we should find an opening to continue our course. The country along the Rhine is considered as one of the richest districts in Europe; it abounds with considerable towns, and with villages which, in other countries, would be considered as towns. Almost every eminence is crowned with an ancient castle, and there is scarcely a reach of the river which does not exhibit some ruin in the boldest situation that can be imagined. The houses too being mostly white, and covered with blue slates, add considerably to the beauty of the scene.

The Tour de Souris is situated on an island near the Gulph of Bingerlock, where the river presents a curious appearance, being extremely agitated by hidden rocks, and the different currents are very violent. We dined at Bingen, where the Noh falls into the Rhine. The mountains of Niederwald cast a considerable shade around, and the mixture of woods and vineyards is highly picturesque, but the vines being mostly blighted, had this year the same autumnal tint as the trees. In this country, the vine is almost the only product of the soil, and the inhabitants, who subsist chiefly by it, now behold with regret its withered state, and are melancholy and inactive, instead of being engaged in the pleasing cares of the vintage.

This is the third year here, as well as in Burgundy and other districts, since there has been a favourable vintage; and it is only by mixing some of the vintage of 1811, with that of the subsequent years, that the inhabitants can dispose of a small portion of this inferior produce.

Boppart was the former residence of the electors of Treves, but the Palace is now falling to decay. Whilst contemplating this mouldering pile, I was struck with the well-known sounds of our national air, 'God save the King,' which some of the company below sang in chorus (being probably tired of the politics of the Frenchmen, as much as I was), this air being originally German. The evening was fine for the season, and about sun-set, several of the distant hills presented a fine appearance, having bonfires ou their tops, this being the 18th of October, which will be long celebrated in commemoration of the decisive battle of Leipzig. Most of the company came on deck to witness the effect of the bonfires. The Germans seemed delighted at the sight which the Frenchmen surveyed in silence. One of them, however, soon recovering his loquacity, asked me if I had been at Paris, which he said was the greatest city in the world, and larger than London.

This I could not assent to, being contrary to fact. Yet it would he difficult for French ingenuity to prove what benefits result to a country from an overgrown capital. Superiority is, however, all they contend for. We soon saw the singular building (in an island) called the Palatinate; it is now used as a public granary, and was illuminated in honour of the day, as was also the neat village of St. Goar, where we passed the night. All seemed to partake of the festivity, and I could net discern in the inhabitants any symptoms of regret that they were no longer subject to France.

Having set out at an early hour, we reached Coblentz to breakfast. It is a large town, containing 12,000 inhabitants, and is advantageously situated at the confluence of the Moselle and Rhine. It was garrisoned chiefly by the Royal Guards of Saxony, who exceeded in appearance any troops I had seen on the Continent. Some of them are stationed in the ci-devant palace, which is situated close to the river.

The lofty mountain opposite the town is covered with the ruins of Ehrenbreitstein, which was at one time considered as the strongest fortress on the Rhine. Opposite the town was a bridge of boats, but it was destroyed in the last war, and a flying bridge is substituted pro tempore. The Rhine is so rapid near Andernach, as never to freeze in the severest winter, and it here proceeds longer in a straight course, than I had yet seen in any part. Neuwied, although subject to inundations, is a large well built and commercial town. Lower down, on the left bank of the river, I observed an obelisk, which I found, on inquiry, was erected to the French General Marsan, who fell during the period of the first invasion of Germany by the French republicans. Still farther, and close to the river, stands an ancient building, called The Devil's House, but, from what circumstance, I could not exactly discover. Some attribute it to the vast number of windows which it contains.

The situation of Lowdersdorf is highly picturesque, and the surrounding hills are shaded with woods of great antiquity. We here saw several rafts of timber of large dimensions, proceeding slowly down the stream. At Linz, the landsturm were mustered to fire a volley, as the victory of Leipzig was celebrated for two or three days in most parts of Germany. At Bonn, I witnessed further rejoicings, and the illuminations presented a highly pleasing effect when beheld from the river. I was at this place invited to a ball and supper, where I remained until a late hour, enjoying the general festivity.

Bonn is a well built city, containing about 14,000 inhabitants, and was formerly the general residence of the electors of Cologne. About a league above the city are the seven mountains, and near them is a beautiful island of considerable extent, in which is a large convent.

Here ends the picturesque scenery of the Rhine, which pursues the rest of its course through a flat country, until its waters are dispersed amongst the canals of Holland. The river is here of great width, but not so deep as it is higher up.

Before Bonn we saw the remains of two merchant vessels which had been wrecked there a few days before. Those who embark on the Rhine for pleasure, should here leave their boats, and pursue the rest of their journey by land, as the country ceases to be interesting, and the navigation is often difficult.

We set out with a favourable wind; but about a league from Cologne our boat was driven on the right bank of the Rhine by a violent gale; and as there appeared no immediate prospect of proceeding by water, most of the party determined on walking to the city. We found the flying bridge had been damaged by the late storm, and were therefore obliged,to wait a long time for a boat of sufficient size to pass the river, which was greatly agitated, and which is here of great depth, although much narrower than at Mayence. Few cities present a more imposing appearance than Cologne; a vast extent of buildings, a profusion of steeples, and a forest of masts, raise the expectations of the traveller. The deception cannot be more justly or more emphatically described than in the words of Dr.Johnson: "Remotely we see nothing but spires of temples, and turrets of palaces, and imagine it the residence of splendour, grandeur, and magnificence; but when we have passed the gates, we find it perplexed with narrow passages, disgraced with despicable cottages, embarrassed with obstructions, and clouded with smoke."

Cologne is one of the largest and most ancient cities in Germany; it was founded by Agrippa, and is above three miles in length; but the population is only between 40 and 50,000, which is very inconsiderable for its great extent. From the number of its churches, which at one time amounted to 300, it has been called the Rome of Germany. One of them (the Dome), although still unfinished, is one of the grandest efforts of architecture, and excites the admiration of all judges of that art. The port owes its improvement to Buonaparte, and the quay is lined with ships of considerable size.

The city was anciently imperial, and the Elector of Cologne could not reside more than three days together in it without permission of the magistrates; but those who have ever seen this gloomy city, will not, I think, consider this restriction as a grievance.

I here left the Rhine; it is difficult sufficiently to praise the beauties of its banks, which afford also ample scope for the researches of the naturalist. They are not, however, adorned with that number of country-seats which enliven many of our rivers, and a few convents and palaces only are to be seen; although villages and towns are very numerous. I must not omit to mention, that I visited the house in which Rubens was born; his name is given to the street, which, like most others at Cologne, has little beauty. He had furnished many of the churches of his native city with paintings, but several of them have been removed to Paris. He has been called the Ajax of painters, and his great excellence appears in the grandeur of his compositions; the art of colouring was by him carried to the highest pitch. Rubens, however great his skill, deserves the praise of modesty, as, although he is allowed to have been little inferior to Titian in landscape, he employed Widens and Van-uden when landscapes were introduced into his paintings, and Snyders for animals, who finished them from his designs.

The country around Cologne is well cultivated, but is unenclosed up to the walls of the city, and there are none of those elegant villas to be seen which distinguish the neighbourhood of Frankfort; but it is impossible for any two places to be more completely the reverse of each other in every respect.

My next stage was Juliers, the ancient capital of the duchy of the same name; it is a small city, but is well fortified, and its citadel is said to be of uncommon strength. As we approached Aix-la-Chapelle the roads became very indifferent, the soil being a deep sand; they are, however, in many places paved in the centre.

Aix-la-Chapelle is a large, and, in general, a well-built city. The windows, in most of the houses, are very large, and give it a peculiar appearance. It was called by the Romans Aquisgranum, or Urbs Aquensis. It has for ages been celebrated for its waters, which resemble extremely those of Bath; but some of the springs are still hotter. There are five springs which attract every year much company; but the season had ended before my arrival. This city was chosen by Charlemagne as the place of his residence, on account of the pleasantness of its situation; and, until its incorporation with France, held the first rank amongst the imperial cities of Germany. According to the Golden Bull the emperors were to be crowned here; but Charles V was the last who conformed to that regulation.

The ancient walls of Aix enclose a vast extent of ground, and afford a pleasant walk; but there is much of the space enclosed in fields and gardens, and the population is not proportioned to the remaining buildings, being no more than 30,000. The surrounding country is highly picturesque and varied, cultivation and woods being interspersed. The woods in this country have been, however, much diminished of late years. But there are, it may be observed, coal mines to supply sufficient fuel for the inhabitants.

The town or great village of Burscheid adjoins the gates of Aix; it is very flourishing. Near it is a fine abbey. I was also pleased with the ruins of the Castle of Frankenberg. Here is a manufactory of needles, and about Aix are several of cloth.

From the Tower of Sittard is a view of vast extent over the Netherlands. The cathedral of Aix is a large Gothic structure, but many of its decorations are trifling, and inconsistent with the solidity of its massy columns of marble and granite. Its doors are of bronze highly wrought, but full of fissures.

The streets here are crowded with beggars; and I think I never was in a place where so little respect is paid to the observance of Sunday. In most towns on the continent the theatres, &c. are open, but most of the shops are closed during some part of the day; here they were open during the whole day, and seemed equally busy as during the rest of the week.

The country between Aix and Liege produces great quantities of hops (the vine of the north of Europe), and the beer here is very good. Clermont is a neat village, with several good houses.

We passed over some mountains, which seem to be the limit of the German language; the inhabitants of them speak a dialect intelligible neither at Liege nor Aix.

The country near Liege is rich, and the city is situated in a beautiful valley on the Meuse; it is extremely large, but is ill built, and the streets are more intricate and dirty even than those of Cologne. There is a good deal of trade carried on here, and the population is estimated at not less than 50,000. There are a great number of churches, but I was not much struck with any of them; that of the Dominicans is said to be copied from St. Peter's at Rome. There are a great number of booksellers here, and I was told it was a famous place to procure cheap books. The coal here seems of good quality, and the place is surrounded with collieries. The lower orders in this city speak a jargon called Walloon, which is completely unintelligible to the higher classes.

The French customs are generally prevalent here; and it is said, the inhabitants regret their separation from France. There were vast manufactories of cutlery here, but the French, before their departure, destroyed most of the machinery; this, together with the failure of other trades, is said to produce the distress which fills the streets with beggars.

The general appearance of the inhabitants of Liege is not more prepossessing to a stranger than that of their city. There are said to be a great number of thieves, and I saw some surprised whilst cutting the trunks from behind a carriage at the inn-door. The money here is extremely adulterated, and is not taken one stage from the city, a circumstance which frequently is attended with great loss to the traveller, if he has occasion to receive much change.

In this neighbourhood are several vineyards, but the climate is too cold to admit of the wine having a good flavour. They here cultivate a species of cabbage, the seed of which produces a thick oil, which is used in dying stuffs, and forms part of the composition of the black soap of this country.

I found that the season had long ended at Spa; that the roads were bad, and that it was above thirty miles out of my way, and therefore determined on proceeding to Brussels in the diligence, to make trial of one of the public carriages of this country, having found the posting good from Cologne to Liege. I found it extremely spacious, when compared to those in England, and it was lined with faded yellow damask. I had but two companions, who, according to Rousseau's Axiom, would not be entitled to the name of men, which, he says, belongs to none under five feet six inches.

They proved, however, sufficiently agreeable companions, and I found they resided at Louvain. We proceeded at the rate of rather more than four English miles an hour, which was quicker than I had before travelled in a public carriage on the continent. Our first stage presented nothing remarkable; but the next, St. Tron, was a remarkably neat little town. There is a spacious square, surrounded with good houses, and at one end is the town-house; the church is a large building, and its steeple contains a set of musical chimes, to which the people of this country are very partial.

We next reached Tirlemont, formerly one of the most considerable cities of Brabant, which is at present by no means of equal importance. The surrounding country is fruitful; many of its villages contain cottages of clay, which I did not expect to see in so opulent a province; they are indeed spacious, and the interior is kept very neat. The general appearance of the people here is much more in their favour than at Liege.

Tirlemont contains manufactures of flannels, stockings, and cloth. The cotton trade, formerly the great staple of the Netherlands, has of late years been greatly on the decline.


Although the present population of the Netherlands bears no proportion to that which it formerly maintained, yet it is still very considerable, and exceeds that of any country in Europe, Holland only excepted; being 202 persons to each square mile (see ch. xi. for the population of Switzerland, &c.) The decrease in the number of inhabitants in these provinces is chiefly to be attributed to the religious persecutions which compelled thousands of industrious families to emigrate.

This depopulation is very perceptible in many of the cities I passed through, which are capable of containing double their present number of inhabitants, and is nowhere more striking than at Louvain, where the present population does not exceed 25,000, and where formerly there were 4000 manufactories of cloth, which supported 15,000 labourers. This city is surrounded with an ancient wall of brick, which, as well as its numerous towers, presents a half mined appearance. Many of the public buildings of Louvain indicate its former opulence. The town-house is considered as a model of Gothic architecture, and the cathedral of St. Peter is a stately building. The portal of the Collegium Falconis presents a specimen of Grecian architecture, which is much admired for the simplicity. The University of Louvain was formerly of great celebrity, and no person could exercise any public authority in the Austrian Netherlands, without having graduated here. This regulation, however beneficially intended, only produced the effect of raising extremely the expence of the different diplomas, without being attended with any advantage, except to the funds of the university. In the present unsettled state of the Netherlands, it cannot be expected that the seats of learning should be as much frequented, as they probably will be when their new sovereign shall have had leisure to turn his attention to the important subject of public education; and the wisdom of the regulations he has promulgated, on other matters of general interest (particularly that which enforces the more solemn observation of Sunday) leaves little room to doubt that this point will, in its turn, be duly and successfully attended to. Those who have resided at Louvain have observed, that its inhabitants are in general more polite than in most of the towns in these provinces; but my stay was not sufficiently long to enable me to form any opinion on the subject. The manners of the people do not seem to me very dissimilar from those of the French, but others think they most resemble the Dutch. In fact, the Netherlanders have no very peculiar characteristics, but partake, in many respects, of those which distinguish the various nations from whom they are descended. They have been much and often abused by various writers, who have attributed to them the faults of almost all the nations of Europe, without allowing that they possess any of the good qualities by which those faults are palliated in the other nations. Those, however, who are of a candid disposition will not feel inclined to assent to the truth of statements so evidently dictated by enmity or spleen. But whilst I would not have the Flemish considered as a compound of all that is exceptionable in the human character, I do not consider them as meriting any particular praise; nor can I vindicate them from the charge of dishonesty, which has been so often alleged against them. In general on the Continent, where the English are the subjects of extortion, the fraud is considered as trivial, and the French often boast in conversation how John Bull is pillaged at Paris. But whatever may be the Flemish character, it is allowed by all that they follow the French customs in their domestic arrangement, but are in general more cleanly. Their kitchens are kept very neat, and the cooking apparatus is ranged in order round the stove, which, in many of the kitchens that I saw in the small inns, projects considerably into the room.

Many of the inhabitants of these provinces (like my two companions in the Louvain Diligence) are below the middle size; they are extremely intelligent and active, and in general civil to strangers. Before I quit Louvain, I must not omit to notice that it is famous for its beer, which is certainly the best I have tasted on the Continent. The number of breweries is said to exceed twenty, and the consumption is astonishingly great in the neighbourhood, besides a considerable export trade.

I continued my journey to Brussels along an excellent road, the centre of which was paved, as from the nature of the soil, it would be otherwise impassable in winter. The roads in this country run for many miles together, in a straight line between rows of trees; and I must confess I thought it very uninteresting to travel through. The flatness of its surface, is but rarely interrupted by any eminence, which affords a prospect calculated to make any impression on the mind. There are many neat villages, and occasionally one sees country seats decorated in that formal style of gardening, which was originally introduced from this country into England, but which has there long since yielded to a more natural taste. The farming seems very neatly managed; the numerous canals, although they add nothing to the beauty of the country, are of great utility to the farmer; and travelling is very cheap in the boats, which pass between the chief towns.

It would require scenery like that of the Rhine, to induce me to adopt this conveyance; but many of these canals pass between banks which exclude all view of the surrounding country. I found the Netherlander generally impatient to be relieved from the great military expences, incident to their present situation. There is, I think, little reason to doubt, that when some of the existing taxes can be removed, the Orange family will become popular. The stamp duties are very heavy; there are land and house taxes, and a personal tax. It is to be expected, that the people should wish for a diminution of their burdens, but Liege is the only place I have visited in the countries lately relinquished by France, where the separation seems to be generally regretted. I found that the Prussian government, was by no means popular, on the left bank of the Rhine, and that an union with either Austria or Bavaria, was much wished for in those provinces, whose future destiny remains to be decided at the Congress of Vienna.

Having met with but few English travellers since I had quitted Switzerland, I was much struck on entering Brussels with the vast numbers of my fellow subjects, moving in all directions. The garrison was almost entirely composed of English troops, so that I felt here quite at home. I found that there was an English theatre, as well as a French one, and that balls, and entertainments of all descriptions, à l'Anglaise, were in abundance. Indeed the upper part of the city differed little in appearance from an English watering place.

Brussels is a city of great extent, built partly on the river Senne (naturally a very inconsiderable stream, but which, being formed here into a canal, becomes of much advantage), and partly on a hill, commanding an extensive view of the rich. and fertile plain by which it is surrounded; much of which resembles a vast kitchen garden. It is, like Louvain, surrounded by a ruined wall of brick, as formerly all the towns of Flanders were fortified. This was the capital of the Austrian Netherlands, and lately the chief place of the French department of the Dyle: it will, probably, now become, for a part of the year, the residence of its new sovereign, whose sons are at present amongst its inhabitants. The inhabitants of Brussels are calculated at 70,000, and its environs give the traveller an idea of its importance, as they have an appearance of much traffic and are decorated with many villas which announce the opulence, but not always the good taste of their owners. The city is, in general, irregularly built, and the lower part does not deserve commendation; but the place royale is fine: the park is surrounded by many handsome public buildings, and by a number of private houses, which would ornament any capital in Europe. The park is of considerable extent, and forms an agreeable promenade. Its avenues are kept in excellent order; they abound with statues and other formal decorations, which are, however, more admissible in a city promenade than in the retirement of the country. A fountain here was celebrated by Peter the Great's having fallen into it, as that monarch, like Cato, was said,

"Sæpe mero caluisse virtus."

"His virtue oft with wine to warm."

The circumstance was recorded by the following inscription:

"Petrus Alexowitz, Czar Moscoviæ, magnus dux, margini hujus fontis

insidiens, illius aquam nobilitavit libato vino hora post meridiam

tertia, die 16 Aprilis, 1717."

"That renowned General P.A., Czar of Moscovy, having poured forth

ample libations of wine, whilst sitting on the brink of this

fountain fell into, and ennobled its waters about three o'clock in

the afternoon of the 16th of April, 1717.

The town-house is one of the most conspicuous of the public buildings at Brussels, although it is situated in the lowest part of the town, its steeple rising to the height of 364 feet; it is a very fine piece of Gothic architecture. The equestrian statue, noticed by M. Dutens, as being placed on the top of a house in the square before the town-house, has disappeared; the horse and his rider having been removed to a more suitable situation. The church of St. Gudule presents a venerable and interesting appearance; it contains several fine paintings, and windows of stained glass. There are many ancient tombs of the old Dukes of Brabant. The church of St. James is also worthy of notice, and its façade of the Corinthian order, is an elegant and uniform piece of architecture, which does honour to the taste of the builder.

Brussels contains many fine collections of paintings, which I have not time to enumerate; but I was much pleased with some pictures of M. Danoots, to whom I had a letter. They are not very numerous, but are undoubted originals of S. Rosa, Teniers, Rembrandt, Myiens, and of J. Bassano, who is remarkable for having attained a greater age (82) than most of the great painters, he has accordingly left behind him a greater number of pictures than almost any other master. He is said to have expressed great regret on his death-bed, that he should be obliged to quit the world at the moment when he had begun to make some little progress in his art. A shorter life than Bassano's, is, however, sufficient to establish the reputation of an artist. Raphael died in his 37th year, but public opinion has placed him at the head of his art for general proficiency.

There are several excellent hotels in Brussels which command a view of the park. I was at one of these, the Hotel de Bellevue, and found the hour of the table d'hote had been changed to accommodate the English, to four o'clock, at least two hours later than the usual time; but as the company consisted always entirely of English it was but reasonable they should fix the hour. The dinner here more resembled an English one than any I had hitherto seen on the Continent, and reminded me of the public tables at Cheltenham.

Brussels was some months since a very cheap residence, but I have been assured, that the prices of most articles have more than doubled since our troops first arrived here. Living at an hotel here is nearly as expensive as in London; but no doubt there is a considerable saving in the expences of a family who are recommended to honest trades-people. There are still a number of good houses to be let, notwithstanding the great influx of English, many of whom have engaged houses for four or five years, on terms which seem very reasonable to those accustomed to the London prices.

The country round Brussels presents several excursions which would probably have better answered my expectations had the weather been more favourable. The Abbey of Jurourin, was a country seat of the princes of the Austrian family, and was formerly famous for its menagerie. The forest of Sogne is of great extent; and its numerous avenues, which now had a sombre appearance, are, no doubt, in summer, much frequented by the inhabitants of Brussels. This forest was the property of the Emperor of Germany, and is said to have produced an annual revenue of one million of florins.

The prison, or house of correction, at Vilvorde, is worthy of attention, from the excellent manner in which it is conducted. Those who wish for the introduction of some improvements into our workhouses, might surely derive many useful hints from the manner in which similar establishments are conducted abroad; and although I have never thought much on the subject, yet I did not fail to remark the cleanliness, regularity, and industry, which prevailed here and in another place of the same kind near Berne.

Brussels is seen to great advantage from the ancient ramparts which surround it. I went entirely round the city in about two hours, and afterwards attended divine service, which was performed in English, to a congregation which proved the great number of English now here. There are at present but few very strongly fortified cities in Belgium, compared with the vast number which it formerly contained. The period is past, when, after the ablest engineers had exerted their utmost skill in the construction of fortifications around its cities, generals, not less distinguished, contended for the honour of reducing them. Amongst numberless other instances, the siege of Ostend sufficiently attests how successful the engineers have been in rendering those places strong; and also bears ample testimony to the perseverance of the commanders who at last succeeded in taking them. Ambrose Spinola entered Ostend in 1604, after a siege of above three years, during which the besieged lost 50,000 and the besiegers 80,000 men. The siege and capture of Valenciennes might also be adduced, if testimony were wanting of the zeal and bravery of British armies and commanders. But however justly these sieges are celebrated in modern times, the antiquarian who contends for the supremacy of past ages over the present, will not fail to instance the siege of Troy and the exploits of Achilles and Agamemnon, as a more distinguished instance of perseverance than any to be met with in these degenerate days, and if he should meet with some sceptic who insists that the heroes of Homer owe their existence only to the imagination of the poet, although he can assent to no such hypothesis, yet he will also instance the siege of Azotus, on the frontiers of Egypt, which Psammeticus, meditating extensive conquests, and thinking it beneath him to leave so strong a fortress unsubdued, is related to have spent 29 years of his reign in reducing.

As I was desirous of visiting Antwerp and Ghent, and as the period allotted for my tour was drawing to a close (a circumstance which the advanced season of the year gave me but little reason to regret) I left Brussels, enveloped in a fog, which might remind the English fashionables of those so prevalent in London during the gloomy season of November, and proceeded to Malines, 14 miles distant, formerly one of the greatest cities of Belgium, but now like too many other once celebrated places in that country, affording a melancholy contrast to its former splendour, and proving that in the vicissitude of all sublunary affairs, cities, as well as their inhabitants, are subject to decay.

Non indignemur mortalia corpora solvi Cernimus exemplis oppida

posse mori.

Here are several manufactories of excellent lace and many breweries, but the beer is considered as greatly inferior to that of Louvain. The houses are spacious, and exhibit singular specimens of ancient taste; the roofs rise to a great height and terminate in a sharp point. Their walls are generally of an excessive whiteness. The tower of the cathedral is highly finished, and rises to a vast height. There being little to detain me here, Malines being more remarkable for what it once was, than for what it now is, I continued my way to Antwerp along an excellent paved road, lined by avenues of trees, which are often so cut (the Dutch differing from the Minorquins, who never prune a tree, saying, that nature knows best how it should grow) as not to be at all ornamental, and in some places cannot be said to afford either "from storms a shelter, or from heat a shade." In that state, however unnatural, they answer the intention of their planters, by marking the course of the road in the snowy season, without excluding the air from it in the wet weather, prevalent in autumn.

Antwerp is one of the most celebrated cities of Europe, and although its present situation is far from comparable with its former celebrity, yet it has revived greatly of late years; and the events which have restored to these provinces their independence, will, no doubt, fill with the vessels of all trading nations those docks, which were constructed by the French Government at such incredible expence, and with far different views than the encouragement of commercial speculations. The canals by which these docks communicate with Bruges and Ostend, that the navy of Napoleon might run no risks by passing on the high seas, are vast works, which must have cost enormous sums of money. The Scheld is here about half the width of the Thames at Westminster; but Antwerp is above fifty miles from its mouth. Its depth is very considerable; and such was at one period the commerce of Antwerp, that not less than 2000 vessels annually entered its port. The present population of this city is stated at 60,000. There are manufactures of lace, silk, chocolate, and extensive establishments for refining sugar. The export of the productions of the fruitful district which surrounds the city is very considerable. Nothing proves more strongly the riches of these provinces, than the short period in which they recover the evils of a campaign; and it was their fertility in grain, which principally rendered them of such importance to the French government. During the late scarcity in France, the crops succeeded tolerably well here; and Buonaparte obliged the inhabitants of Belgium to supply France at a price which he fixed himself, and by which they lost considerably.

There are many buildings at Antwerp, which are justly admired for their magnificence, particularly the cathedral, which, like many other churches here, was decorated by the pencil of Rubens. The tower of the cathedral is a rich specimen of Gothic. The general effect of this building is lessened by a number of mean houses which surround it. The church of St. Andre contains a monument to the memory of Mary Queen of Scotland. The town-house is a large building; its façade is 250 feet in length, and is composed of all the orders of architecture. Many of the streets at Antwerp are tolerably well built. I was informed that many individuals have good collections of paintings, by the chief painters which this country has produced. It is impossible to pass through Flanders without being struck with the exactness with which its painters have represented the face of their country, and the persons of its inhabitants. Antwerp, on the whole, has a tolerably cheerful appearance. The promenade of Penipiere is pleasant, and much frequented by the citizens.

The country between Antwerp and Gand, presents, like the rest of Flanders, a level surface, highly cultivated, traversed by excellent roads, running in straight lines from one town to another. I must, however, own that I have seldom traversed a more uninteresting country. But as the reign of a prince, which affords the fewest incidents for the commemoration of the historian, is thought to be often the most fortunate for the interests of his subjects, so a country, which is passed over in silence by the tourist, as devoid of those natural beauties, which fix his attention, often contains the most land susceptible of cultivation, which best repays the labours of the husbandman, and is the most valuable to the possessor. Many of the Flemish inns are very neat; but the traveller who has recently quitted Germany, is struck with their inferiority in point of decoration (although, perhaps, in no other respect) to those of that country, which abound with gilding, trophies, and armorial bearings, to invite the stranger, who here has a less shewy intimation of the entertainment he seeks for. The peasants here commonly wear wooden shoes; and they who do not consider how powerful is the force of custom, are surprised how they contrive to walk so well, in such awkward and clumsy machines.


Gand, or Ghent, is the capital of Flanders, and is one of the greatest cities in Europe as to extent; it is seven miles in circumference. It is situated on the Scheldt and Lys, which are here joined by two smaller rivers, which with numerous canals intersect the city, and form upwards of twenty islands, that are united by >above 100 bridges. No position can be conceived more favourable for trade than this. But Gand is greatly fallen from the once splendid situation she held amongst the cities of Europe, and although superior to either Brussels or Antwerp in point of appearance, its population is now inferior to those cities, being reduced to 58,000: a very inconsiderable number for a city of such extent. Gand is celebrated as the birthplace of the Emperor Charles the Fifth. It exhibited at different periods proofs of his attachment to a place of which he boasted being a citizen, and of the severity with which he punished the revolt of its inhabitants. In more ancient times Gand produced another character of political importance, d'Arteville, a brewer, whose influence in this city (then one of the first in Europe) made King Edward the Third of England solicitous for his friendship; and history informs us, that one of his sons, at the head of 60,000 Gantois, carried on a war against his sovereign.

Here was concluded the celebrated treaty in 1516, called the Pacification of Gand; and it may in future times be famous for the conclusion of a treaty between England and America.

Charles the Fifth comparing the extent of Paris with that of this city, is said to have remarked, "qu'il auroit mis tout Paris dans Gand;" and, except Paris, and perhaps Cologne, it is the largest city I have seen on the Continent. Many of the canals have some appearance of trade. I observed many very extensive bleach-greens beyond the ancient ditches and works which surround the city. The walls along the canal of la Coussure are the most frequented by the inhabitants.

The cathedral is a handsome structure, and contains some beautiful carving. The church of St. Michael is also a noble and venerable edifice. There are many other handsome churches amongst the number which the city contains, and I do not recollect ever to have been in a place where there are such a number and variety of chimes.

The town-house is an extremely large and handsome building, in the ancient taste, as indeed are most of those in the Netherlands. The city contains many elegant private houses. The streets are remarkably clean and spacious, but the want of an adequate population is very perceptible. Here is a good public library, and the Botanic Garden is considered as the best in the Netherlands. The prison built by the Empress Maria Teresa is well worthy of a visit; and the stranger cannot fail of being struck with the extreme activity and industry which prevails within its walls. Every thing seems conducted much in the same manner, of which I had occasion to notice the advantages at Vilvorde. There is a theatre; but those who have lately arrived from Brussels or Lisle will not be much struck with the merits of the performers. From Gand to Ostend and Dunkirk there are no public conveyances, except along the canals. This mode of travelling I was not inclined to adopt; and hearing that the road by Lisle, although thirty miles longer, passed through a finer country, I determined to proceed that way. I did not hear a favourable account of Ostend; and, notwithstanding the peace, above a third of the houses were said to be untenanted. Bruges has neither river nor fountain, but abundance of stagnant canals and reservoirs. The word Bourse, as designating the place where merchants assemble to transact business, had its first origin from a house at Bruges, then belonging to the family of Van der Bourse, opposite to which the merchants of the city used to meet daily. As the road between Ghent and Lisle did not claim any minute survey, and as I had been satisfied with the trial I had before made of a diligence in their country, I engaged a place for Lille for the next morning.

I was awakened, long before daybreak, by the noise of packing in the carriages in the yard, and by the vociferations of several Frenchmen in the house, who seemed to exert their lungs more than the occasion required. I was not sorry to see them set off in a different carriage from that in which I was to proceed, as their extreme noise would have been tiresome. I had not to complain that my companions made an unnecessary depense de parole. They were, I believe, all Flemish. One of them prided himself on being able to speak a little English, which he said he could read perfectly, and pulled from his pocket "The Vicar of Wakefield," which, he assured me, he admired extremely. I have, on many occasions, in Germany, been in company with persons who were more desirous of beginning a conversation in English, than able afterwards to continue it; but in general I have found that the English make less allowance for the want of proficiency of foreigners in their language than foreigners do for our ignorance of theirs. On one occasion, at a table d'hote, a person who sat near me pointed out a gentleman at some distance, and observed that it would be impossible to please him more than by giving him an opportunity of speaking English, as he valued himself much on his knowledge of that language. He was not long without finding the opportunity he sought for, but not the approbation which he had probably expected.

But to return to the diligence. The rest of the passengers being lethargic after dinner, an elderly lady and I had the conversation to ourselves. She complained frequently of her poor bonnet, which, from its extraordinary elevation (having to all appearance antiquity to boast of) was frequently forced in contact with the top of the carriage by the roughness of the pavement. I told her, I had heard that the bonnets at Paris had been much reduced in point of height, and that perhaps something between the French and English fashions would in time be generally worn. But although she had to complain of the inconvenience arising from the unnecessarily large dimensions of her headdress, she expressed a hope that no such reduction might take place, as the English bonnets were in her opinion so extremely unbecoming, that she should much regret any bias in the French ladies towards such an innovation.

The pavement on which we travelled was rendered very necessary by the weight of the carriages, which would soon make the road impassable. The country resembled the rest of Flanders. I observed a greater number of sportsmen than I had yet seen, well provided with dogs, ranging a country which is too thickly inhabited to abound in game; and I have seldom seen a district where there are fewer birds of any kind. Courtray is a large and handsome town. Here I observed some large dogs employed in drawing small carts, a custom very general in Holland. The town-house bears an inscription, indicating that it was erected by the senate and people of Courtray; a style lately used by all the cities of Germany which depended on the empire, however inconsiderable they had become in the course of years. There are many beggars here although the town and neighbourhood exhibits more industry than I had observed since I left Antwerp.

At Courtray and Menin the garrisons are English, and a little beyond the last named place we entered France. The boundary stone was pointed out to me as curious, from having escaped unnoticed during the revolutionary times, as it bears the royal arms of France on one side and those of Austria on the other, and after a series of eventful years, it serves again to point out the ancient and legitimate limits of France. We were detained above an hour at the custom-house, as the diligence was heavily laden and all merchandise, as well as the baggage of the passengers, was examined with minute attention.

The tax was however only on the patience, the purse not being diminished by any claim from the officers, who were extremely civil in assisting to arrange what their search had convinced them not to be illegal. Our passports were not demanded until we reached the out-posts of Lille, and we were not long detained, as every thing was satisfactory. I was told that a few days before, two English travellers not being provided with sufficient passports, were taken out of the diligence and conveyed under an escort into Lille, where they were next day recommended to return to England, and provide themselves with proper passports.

Lille is the capital of French Flanders, and the chief place in the department du Nord; it is one of the handsomest and best built cities of France, as well as the strongest fortified. The citadel especially, is considered as the chef d'œuvre of the celebrated Vauban, this place having been one of the most important fortresses on this side of France; it has again become so, although far removed from that line which an insatiable ambition would have established as the boundary of France; and which included nations not desirous of the union. The population of Lille is estimated at 61,500. It contains many manufactories, which a period of tranquillity will probably restore to their ancient prosperity. Many of the streets here reminded me of Paris. The cathedral is a handsome building, as are also the exchange, the theatre, and the porte royale. The barracks are large and spacious; and there being generally a large garrison, the theatre is well attended and the performers superior to those in most provincial towns. I was told by a gentleman who has resided here for some time, that there are few towns in France which exceed this in point of agreeable society. He had two letters of introduction on his arrival and found no difficulty in enlarging the circle of his acquaintance. He added, that many English had settled here for the sake of economy; and it certainly is cheaper than most of the great towns of Belgium.

I had much reason to be satisfied that I took this road to Calais, instead of going by the canals, as the country was much diversified, and the view from Cassel was one of the most striking and extensive that I had ever seen. Notwithstanding that the month of November is not calculated for seeing a country to advantage, some of the richest and best cultivated provinces of France and Flanders are discovered from this commanding situation. The scene is bounded on one side by the sea and on the other by the mountains of Hainault. Those who are acquainted with the country assert that from Cassel you can see thirty towns or considerable villages, of which seventeen are fortified. Cassel itself is by no means remarkable; it was at one time a place of great strength, but its fortifications have gone to decay, although its situation must always render it a strong position. After a considerable descent on leaving Cassel, we arrived in the plain, which extends to the coast, with but little variation. It is fertile in corn and produces hops. There are several rich pastures and a tolerable proportion of wood. This day we travelled entirely in the department du Nord, where the roads are much attended to. I observed a few country houses and a château of General Vandamme.

Berg is a considerable town, but badly situated; the country from thence to Dunkirk is a flat and marshy plain, resembling those extensive tracts which occupy a large proportion of the counties of Cambridge and Lincoln. It abounds with canals and drains, which in some places are higher than the fields, but this uninteresting district feeds large herds of cattle, and is in many parts well cultivated. One of the chief canals leading to Dunkirk runs parallel with the road for a great distance, its banks are planted with trees, which have a stunted appearance, owing probably to their proximity to the sea. I observed on the canal several boats laden with the produce of the country, as well as the stage boats. Dunkirk is well built, and the streets being spacious it makes a favourable impression on the mind of the traveller, who is perhaps more liable to the force of a first impression than most others. Some of the churches and public buildings are handsome and the number of inhabitants is estimated at 22,000. Its name is said to originate from a church built here by the Duns in 646, and in Flemish its name signifies the church of the Duns. There is much similarity between many words in the English and Flemish, but the latter cannot claim the praise of agreeableness.

It is endeavoured by a proclamation of the Prince Sovereign to restore the Flemish language in all public acts and pleadings at law, to the exclusion of the French, which during the union of Belgium with France, was alone allowed to be used, and pains were taken that in all schools the French language only should be taught. But it is a difficult task, to overcome the partiality of a people for their ancient dialect, and the Flemish language is still used by the lower classes even in those parts of Flanders which have been united for above a century to France. At this day the difference between the two nations is not altogether done away.

The scheme of again uniting Belgium and the left bank of the Rhine to France, is here perpetually introduced. The French talk of the oppressed state of the Belgians, and of the vast number of ordinary, extraordinary, and indirect imposts to which they are subject, and conclude that they must wish to become again the subjects of France, as if they would by that means escape taxation. That they would rather be subject to the mild government of Louis XVIII. than to the oppressive tyranny of Buonaparte, I can easily conceive; but is it unnatural that they should be desirous of existing as an independent nation, under a government of their own? Yet were it ascertained beyond dispute, that the wishes of the Belgians are such as the French represent them, surely the general interests of Europe, and the preservation of that balance of power so essential to its permanent tranquillity, would forbid the further extension of France, which might again reassume that preponderance which it has cost the other powers so much to reduce. I am, however, inclined to think, that the wishes of the Belgians are not such as they are represented; but the French knowing a little, presume a good deal, and so jump to a conclusion.

The merchants here seem to expect that their city will obtain the privileges of a free port, which have been lately granted to Marseilles, but upon what grounds their hopes are founded, I did not distinctly understand.

Dunkirk was at one period subject to England; being taken in 1658, it continued an English garrison until sold by that needy monarch Charles the Second, to Louis the Fourteenth, in 1662. The odium of this transaction was one of the causes of the disgrace of that great statesman, Lord Clarendon, and a house which he was then building, obtained the popular appellation of Dunkirk House. In the possession of so enterprising and ambitious a sovereign as Louis, Dunkirk became so formidable by its fortifications, that the demolition of them was deemed essential to the interests of England, and was accordingly insisted on by the Treaty of Utrecht, 1713; but by the treaty of 1783, the article against its being fortified was annulled, and although several works have been constructed since that period, it has by no means re-assumed its former strength. From Dunkirk, I proceeded to Gravelines, which, although inconsiderable as a town, is strong as a fortress, since the flat country which surrounds it may be laid under water to a great extent on the approach of an enemy. The market-place is spacious, but overgrown with weeds. I observed that it still bears the name of the Place de la Liberté, and a street which communicates with it is designated Rue de l'Egalité.

The title of the market-place is more applicable to the present than to the former state of France; that of the street cannot long exist in any country, for the maxim tells us, "that all men are by nature unequal," and the attempt to render them equal has been often compared, in point of absurdity, to the labours of Procrustes. An equal right to justice is all the equality that can subsist in civilized society, consistent with the liberty, property, and personal security, of individuals, which would be perpetually violated by a system, to preserve which, it would be requisite continually to take from the acquisitions of the industrious, to give to the idle and the profligate. It is possible that the experience of the last twenty years may not have produced as full a conviction as might have been expected on the minds of the French; but it cannot be supposed to have been altogether unheeded by them.

I found at Gravelines a diligence, which I think the cheapest land conveyance I ever met with. It runs from Dunkirk to Calais (about twenty-five English miles) for three francs. It carries six passengers, and performs the journey in about five or six hours. It is the spirit of opposition which has so advantageously for the public reduced the price, which used to be double, and which will probably, in a little time, rise one franc more.

The country between Gravelines and Calais is as uninteresting as can be conceived. The ground is shewn where Edward III. of England had his camp during the memorable siege of Calais. This town continued to be possessed by England until the reign of Queen Mary, (being the last place in France proper which remained of the numerous territories once possessed by England), and its loss is said to have greatly afflicted her Majesty. The fortifications of Calais are kept in tolerably good repair. I found that for three days previous to my arrival no vessel had been able to sail, owing to the contrary winds and the violent agitation of the sea. Two vessels had been wrecked by these storms, but nearly all the crews were saved. In the evening I visited the theatre, and was sorry to observe, that a sentiment introduced into the performance expressive of satisfaction at the peace between France and England, excited much disapprobation from the officers present. The jealousy which prevails against the English in France is very striking, after the cordiality with which they are received in Germany. It seems to be the Englishman's purse alone that commands a certain interested assiduity, which they take care shall be amply remunerated.

The port of Calais presented no appearance of activity, the transports which filled it on my first arrival having long disappeared. After being detained one day, I was glad to hear a bustle in the hotel at an early hour next morning, and perceiving that the wind had become more favourable for England, I hastened on board the packet, in which my landlord had engaged me a place; the price I found was now reduced to half a guinea. I had procured the day before a sufferance for the embarkation of myself and baggage. Our captain and crew were French, and the vessel was not in the neatest order.

Two other packets sailed at the same time, but arrived in Dover before us. All were full of passengers, owing to the weather having been long unfavourable for sailing. We had on board forty-six passengers, amongst whom were several Frenchmen, who again gave me occasion to remark the loquacity of their nation; and they only agreed with La Fontaine in the former part of the line, where he says, "Il est bon de parler, et meilleur de se taire;" 'Tis good to speak, but better to be silent. Our passage was extremely rough; but after twelve hours sailing, we entered the port of Dover, and I felt great pleasure in finding myself again in a country, which had only risen still higher in my estimation, from the comparison I had been enabled to form between it and the other countries I had visited.