The Alvan Stewart Papers
|May 16 - June 10, 1831
Across the Atlantic,
|June 11 - June 18, 1831
Landing in Liverpool;
|June 19 - June 26, 1831
|June 27 - June 30, 1831
From London to Paris
|July 1 - July 8, 1831
|July 9 - July 14, 1831
|July 15 - July 21, 1831
From Paris to Havre
|July 22 - September 1, 1831
Return across the Atlantic,
Paris, July 1 - July 8, 1831
July 1st 1831. 11 A.M. I was at the town of Beauvais, where we breakfasted. There are walls around part of the town, and a fine Abbey here. We next came to Mont Vaud and crossed the noble Oise River on a bridge into it. We then came to St. Denis, a suburb of Paris, where Bonaparte had his troops, and saw Bona's large canal. Paris was now in view, as we rode into the town the sun was just sinking behind the walls of Montmartre.
Another system of espionage has made them fall on my tobacco, and Joseph whom I redeemed at L2 but the money and tobacco are to be fought for as contraband at 9 A.M. of tomorrow morning at the Revenue office. I took lodgings by mere accident at a first rate house in Rue St. Honore, in one minutes walk of the Louvre and two minutes from the Palais Royale. - After dark I took my tea and walked through the Louvre to the Seine, which is a fine muddy river, running to the west at three miles an hour, and about the size of the Mohawk. On returning I saw a circle of an hundred persons or more standing in one of the squares of the Louvre around a curious spectacle, a boy without legs standing on his head, on a stool singing songs for the gratification of his audience. I went to bed and rose and eat a good breakfast, and went at 9 A.M. to the Revenue office and found I had subjected myself to 1000 francs fine by bringing a few papers of tobacco which the government has power to remit. A long process verbal was drawn up stating my country, the necessity I was under of using it, that I had used no means to conceal it, but had acted in a frank and open manner, and that the tobacco had been weighed and tied in a handkerchief, and that I had pledged fifty francs as bail for my appearance. Which process verbal of half a sheet finely written I signed in duplicate, I holding one part and the government the other. I was told nothing more could be down till the subject had gone before three distinct officers for decision, of which I am to be informed on Monday noon next at 12 o'clock. The French are more than 200 years from anything like rational liberty; every thing is marked by a system of espionage and ignorance. - They are unfit for republican institutions - And when the common people talk of liberty, they mean agrarian laws and dividing their neighbor's piles, which are larger than their own, down right licentiousness, and attribute all evils to government, the best of which can relieve but few of the ills life is heir to. A French woman is the most industrious creature in the world. She is found taking the charge of boarding houses, taverns, restaurants, shops of all kinds, and they are brokers and mechanics, and field laborers. While their husbands are fighting, drinking, fighting dogs, monkeys, bears, and playing billiards, their wives look so clean, and so nice and jumpey in the morning, no greasy night caps, no disgusting look of that sort.
I this morning made a regular attack upon the Magazine of all that is splendid in art. The Louvre is a hollow square of four acres, two acres of square open space inside and then high white marble buildings exactly alike enclose the square, on the four sides; rooms four and five hundred feet long arranged and filled with all the paintings of the most beautiful. Other vast rooms filled with the sculpture of Egypt, India, Greece and Rome. Tombs, monuments, vases and almost everything which denoted luxury for the dead, or extravagance for the living are here found in vast profusion. The Ancients sculptured out Hermaphrodites, I saw also a curious piece of sculpture from the ruins of Herculaneum, a man skinning a deer hung up by the heels, and the gutting of the deer, at the moment the intestines roll out in fine white marble, the artist appears to great advantage.
I bought a book containing 3001 explanations for the franc. But this is nothing to do with those armies of Greek, Roman, Egyptian and Indian statues. All the gods of the Roman and Greeks of any standing in their time here meet, as in convention, with just as much power as they possessed when their deluded followers worshipped them. A part of the Louvre is public and a part I had to open with a golden key.
If possessed of the power to describe (which I have not) what I saw volumes would be filled. For it would make a respectable volume to simply print their names. One thing strikes me as horrid; it appears occasionally with the Greek, sometimes with the Egyptian and often with the artists of India to fix the face of a man or woman upon a beast.
From the Louvre, I went to the "Palais Royal," or Royal Palace, another square of three or four acres surrounded, on each side by marble buildings; in the center is a reservoir of water five or six rods wide with a marble curb, the water is about three feet deep, and in the center is an immense jet deauf, or water spouts to 10 or 15, rising about twenty feet, and turning beautiful parabolas in the air; a section of these immense buildings is occupied as a palace. The residue for the most fashionable shops. - There are through the open area, four rows of trees; two of which are so near as to form an unbroken shade to those who cross the open space. Divers statues show themselves furnished as nature provided them in perfect nudety. However that is as common as any other thing all over Paris.
I next went a short distance to the west and came to the Palace of the Tuillerues, which is a grand pile of marble buildings with an open space of five or six acres before it, paved with large stones, without a spear of grass; adjoining the Tuilleries, west of the Palace is the garden of the Tuilleries, which is splendid, cut into great many parts, and covered with foreign and domestic trees and statues of marble, adjoining which is about ten or fifteen acres of thick large trees, and by far the tallest I have seen in Europe, which makes a dense forest of Elm, chestnut, limes and other trees. It is the most beautiful grove which the imagination can paint; it is almost impervious to the sun, not a spear of grass can grow from the many feet which tread. Benches, and thousands and tens of thousands of chairs of a coarse kind are found all over this wood, which would contain 50,000, persons at time to rest themselves. I found one very grateful. In every direction you see solitary individuals winding their way through these woods, or two or three, or five, ten or twenty in little cotteries conversing, some writing, some reading newspapers. Upon the whole I thought it the most beautiful and delightful spot in the world, while through the center extends west an avenue towards the Elysian fields and place of Louis 15th, which is another large square like the Palais Royal and Tuilleries, in the center of which is an immense monument erected by Napoleon to commemorate his victories over the Germans and Austrians. Directly south from the place of Louis the XVth is a bridge of beautiful marble, leading across the Seine to the chamber of Deputies, called Louis XVIth bridge, the only thing I have seen to call up the remembrance of that unfortunate king's name. The bridge is very grand and there are twelve statues cut in beautiful marble, perpetuating the memory and looks of Sully, Richelieu, Chevalier, Bayard and others, distinguished statesmen. They are three times the natural size of men, and stand at equal distances, six on each side, facing each other. I crossed the Seine and found myself at the foot of the great Legislative Hall of France. I went into the Chambers of Deputies and Peers, where I found nothing but dust, lime, mortar, mud, and the inside of the building town out and hundreds of men at work altering, repairing and fixing it up in good taste and style for the reception of the new Chamber of Deputies, to be elected throughout France in the coming week, to meet at this place on 23rd of July instant. I saw enough to satisfy me of the vast superiority of the building to the English Hall of Legislation. I then went up the Seine on the south side and saw Napoleon's barracks, now war offices. But what was the strongest proof I have seen of Napoleon's destruction, was the Exchange, commenced by him, covering an acre of ground of marble columns, which building progressed as far as the sills above the windows about twenty feet above the ground. In that half made condition Bonaparte was driven from France, and the work stands exactly where he left it, and already begins to exhibit claims to a splendid ruin. I then crossed over the Seine by the bridge, next above the one of Louis the 16th, and went to the "Grand Hotel du Rhone," Rue Grenelle Saint Honore, kept by Madame Verberckmoes, the lady with whom I stay at Paris. After resting about half an hour I concluded to go to the Opera or Theater, after going through a dozen sheets, and as many long arcades, for hollow square courts and arcades meet you every moment in Paris, I found that the opera did not go till Monday. I saw however in this ramble "La Bourse de tribunal de Commerce" or the Merchant's Exchange, recently built north of the Seine, some ways instead of South as Bona' meant it. It is a very large and splendid building surrounded with an immense number of huge columns standing very thick.
I then went to the Palais Royal Theater where a man met us, and offered us tickets if we liked the location, we wound to the sky and came down in a great hurry and returned his tickets, finding ourselves so high we could hardly see the boards below, independent of the want to reputation in those who visit these sky scraping regions. We found women even engaged in all the laborious parts of the management of the Theater, the selling of tickets, taking the money, guarding the doors and avenues. In fact men are almost unnecessary beings at Paris, except as instruments to aid in the making of women. I was so fatigued I gladly abandoned the undertaking. For since I landed in England I never worked so hard in my life, frequently ten hours on my legs at a time, I never knew what hard labor was before. Yet this is called travelling for pleasure and amusement. Saturday night 11 P.M. I must and will go to bed.
July 3rd Sabbath day. Paris. It is a common saying which is no less true than common, "That Paris is all France," "All France is Paris." Paris contains every thing to be found in France, and governs all France, and therefore "Paris is France." But I should hope the metropolis is not imitated in the provinces in its violation of the sabbath, that holy day, which when a nation ceases to respect, it ceases to be prosperous or happy. But I suppose from what I hear the sabbath is as well kept in Paris as in France generally. Judge of my surprise after having left New York and London, where every shop is shut except for bare eating, and every bell tolling for divine service, no noise, universal silence and respect paid to the day, by the countless well dressed multitudes, pressing in company different ways to the houses of their Almighty Father, to offer up adorations and praises to Him, who is the Creator and preserver of all men and the giver of every good and perfect gift. But what is a Sabbath day in Paris since the revolution in July Last? For during Charles 10th's time Paris shut their shops on the sabbath. But now no tolling or ringing of bells summon its gay and irreligious population to worship. Soldiers patrolling streets in different directions, dreams playing, colors flying. Shops all open and the general activity increased, as it is not only a day for labor, but also a holiday for frolic and fun - dice and dominoes clattering on your ears, cryers of goods and old clothing bawling, every sort of dissipation, every sort of business, transacted, as if by common consent each one was exerting himself to blot out every recollection from his mind that it was the sabbath, and each one seems to be anxious by his profanation of the holy day to make amends to the devil for the time past, in which his authority was not so highly respected as at the present. They intend to redeem past time by showing an alacrity in the service of satan, which must be highly acceptable to him as it is the only point in which his city of Paris is sincere and steadfast, and have no tendency to revolution, but an unflinching allegiance mark their devotion to his subjection.
I this morning crossed the Seine with a view of visiting Notre Dame, the Metropolitan Church of Paris, where in March last the Archbishop gave such offence by attempting to celebrate a mass for the Duke de Barri, who was assassinated some time since that the populace broke into the church tore out fifty or sixty statues of Saints, tore down the Fleui de Lis, from the towers, tore many of the paintings, and threw them with the Archbishop's library and furniture into the Seine, from which his Honor scarcely escaped himself. This is a tremendous church with three great doors opening under a grand arch from the West. As I entered it I was truly struck with the sublimity of this vast gothic pile which is supported inside, I should suppose by 160 immense pillars. No object, no seats or pews break in upon the vast amplitude of this house. You walk a floor of marble 450 feet from east to west and 200 feet from north to south. Some thousand of plain kitchen chairs are piled up, and sitting about for the use of the worshippers. Within in the Iron vailed place of about sixty feet diameter, being round, are the priests, boys, readers, candle carriers, and bearer of the silver cross, and the chorister of singers. Without this railing is here and there a child, an old woman, a few decayed looking men, a scanty few of worshippers, who yet seemed to feel some little desire to worship, in the ancient temple, where kings and queens in older days came to worship God. But where are the rich, the gay, the powerful, the learned? Alas they no longer come up to the solemn assemblies. The organ which has for ages poured forth his imprisoned and spirit striving tones, has been placed under an embargo, by the late affair. Reading and singing Latin, marching and counter marching formed, with a female solo of exquisite excellence, the substance of an hour and a half's worship, with sprinkling of holy water, crossing with many other things of like import. Even Roman Catholic Religion is too pure with all her fopperies and monkiries for a nation of infidels. France has made wonderful progress in obtaining liberty, which is that wild and ungodly independence, which does not acknowledge any subjection to the laws of God. Deliver me from what a discontented Parisian calls independance.
After attending worship in Notre Dame we bid farewell to its paintings and venerable time-smitten walls, and took a cabriolet, and hastened to Pere La Chaise, the most distinguished part of Paris, and it is truly worth a voyage across the Atlantic, to behold this city of the dead with its splendid mausolea temples and urns, of the fashionable and the great of the City of Paris, who have played their great or little parts, in this modern Babylon, and are now laid away in sepulchral pomp on one of the great hills which environ the metropolis of France, looking down as it were with contempt upon the follies and vanities of that city which they have forsaken forever. There seems to be a large hill of fifty or sixty acres of woods in which the red cedar abounds, the lilach, the cypress and various other short trees and shrubs.
You pass Pere La Chaise chapel a neat little marble edifice up the hill, in this silent city, where the last service is immediately performed before interment, where I saw tapers burning this day. Immediately above this chapel, the silent city commences, in which no expense or ornament, which might under a charnel house less dreadful than it is, is spared.
All other cemetries of this sort which I have seen in England or America will not bear a comparison with this. I cannot give another a faint idea of its magnificence. One would think the Parisians the most loving and affectionate people in the World, by looking into this extravagant receptacle of every ornament in marble, brass and iron.
Thousands and thousands of these monuments must have cost a fortune, which would have supported with economy a family for life. The plainest have a round marble column five or six feet high with a square iron railing around them; others rise like pyramids from ten feet to seventy feet high; others are octagons; some quintigons, coming to a taper; others with a large likeness of the person lying in marble state on the top of the tomb table; others with brass doors and marble covering, and a place with silk damask, covered chairs for you to sit down; others with the head of the deceased cut on some part of the marble; others with a rich gold set miniature painting imbedded in the marble giving you an exact likeness of the deceased; others where the man and wife are buried near each other two hands spring from the top of each other's marble and embrace; others after tons and tons of fine cut marble work, are piled together, it is inlaid on the marble with brass, inlaid with green marble, inlaid with alabaster, inlaid with black marble, family arms, titles, honors are emblazoned, flowers growing by each, wreaths and chaplets of flowers from decayed old one's to those which had been placed by affection there in the last 24 hours make even this place fragrant. Paths run through the woods in every direction among these beautiful receptacles. You may wander day reading inscriptions and admiring new exertions of ingenuity to give variety to this subject. I saw Marshal Ney's, the Duke of Rivoli, murdered by Louis 18th ministers; Suchet, one of Bonaparte's Field-marshals next arrested my attention. Moliere and La Fontaine very simple inscriptions with only the names "Moliere" and "La Fontaine." Countess Strongonoff lies under a pile of marble costing 100,000 francs, very beautiful. Paul Barras, the great orator of the National Assembly who was afterwards executed. Marshal Le Fevre, Gen'l. Foy - Talma, the tragedian, David, the painter, Guyot, are here. Though last yet not least, Benjamin Constant, that excellent man of France, from whose marble I begged a dried bouquet of flowers as a token of remembrance, he having died since the last revolution. I broke a spring of Red cedar from Moliere, and Lilac from La Fontaine. I then turned my back after three hours company with this innumerable army of venerated dead, and descended the hill, where in a few moments from the sacred stillness of the silent city, the busy hum of Paris' active million broke upon my ear, we jumped into a cabriolet, and hastened over the Place de Greve, the scene of the revolutionary guillotine, near the banks of the Seine, home, where I mean to continue till Monday morning.
July 4th 1831, Paris, France in the 56th year of our Independence.
I arose this morning and feeling myself a perfect stranger in Paris, the thought of its being the 4th of July made me hasten to Mr. Rives, the American Minister Plenipotentiary, extraordinary, to find out if there were Americans enough in Paris to celebrate the day of my country's glory. He received me kindly, and told me that the day was to be celebrated at 5 P.M. at the Place Richelieu, 104 Rue Richelieu. He was very much engaged with the French Minister, with whom a treaty was this day made, by which France acknowledges the spoliations committed by Bonaparte, under the Berlin and Milan decrees and France, agrees to pay so many millions of dollars to America in lieu and full of this claim.
I then visited the Banker Mr. Hottinger and found all right as to my money, I then visited the Directeur General in relation to my fifty francs and tobacco - He promised here after to send my money and tobacco, but whether he will or not, I know not.
I next went to the French Institute, the great body of the French savans, who were in session, and found them gathered together, listening to memoirs on different subjects, among which was a very long memoir on the Cholera Morbus. Divers books were presented to the Society by their authors, which were read by their titles, for being approved or criticized by the Academy. After looking upon this noble body about 1 1/2 hours, and examining the immense library I left it behind with great regret that I was not a good French scholar.
I then went to the splendid apartments, where the 4th of July was to be celebrated, and subscribed my name and found twenty or thirty of my countrymen already assembled. I was directly introduced to Mr. James Fennimore Cooper, who was very kind, who gave me a card of invitation to breakfast with his family at 10 A.M. tomorrow morning.
Old Mr. Barnett our Consul was very kind to me and made a thousand inquiries after Gen'l. Morris' family. At 7, Gen'l La Fayette arrived who was cheered and greeted to whom I was presented by Mr. Barnett. He is a fine, healthy, lame old man. At 1/2 after 7, sixty of us sat down to as splendid a dinner as Paris could prepare.
The regular toasts were drank to 13, among which La Fayette was 7th, I recollect right, with great enthusiasm, the General made a speech in English. I sat exactly opposite Cooper, the President, who had La Fayette on the right, and Rives on the left. I sat beside Mr. Barnett. In the volunteer toasts Mr. Cooper, Mr. Rives, and Mr. Barnett were toasted and cheered separately. I made a short speech on the day which was received with interrupting cheers and great approbation, and after I sat down the company called for Yankee Doodle. Sometime after I made another short speech in favor of the Poles, which was received with unbounded enthusiasm at the end of every paragraph. Every body enquired me out and they gave me a public toast for which I thanked them. It was then agreed to take up a subscription for Poland and memoralize the United States on the subject. I was appointed Secretary of the meeting, hereafter I will give the substance of my remarks on this occasion. Tomorrow at 8 P.M. we meet on this interesting subject. This was truly a happy day - at 12 o'clock I got into my bed.
July 5th 1831. This morning at 10 A.M. I took a coach for No. 59 Rue St. Dominique. I found Mr. Cooper, Lady, two daughters, women grown, and a boy about 9 years old, master of four living languages, with a young man in ill-health a son of Mr. William Cooper, most respectfully lodged in a fine house and very happy, spending about $5,000 per annum; at 11 o'clock breakfast was announced, when Mrs. Cooper took my arm and we led the way down to the sumptuous breakfast table in company with Mr. Francis of Philadelphia. We spent one hour at the table and then retired to the garden, where I was made very happy by this most learned author and great traveller, Mr. Cooper, till 1/2 after 1 o'clock, when I took a coach, went to Montmartre, a mount out of Paris overlooking the City and surrounding country for many leagues.
I then came home and lay down about 2 1/2 hours, rested and have since written the fourth and fifth days so far and now go to my Polish committee at 8 P.M. of this evening.
At 7 o'clock P.M. I met the committee and was chosen chairman and the committee after two hours of deliberation concluded to issue a circular to the Americans in Paris for a general meeting of them at Lointier's Salon, Rue Richelieu 104, at 7 on Saturday evening. I went to bed and had rather an ill and sleepless night. I am already worn out with Paris.
July 6th. This morning I went to a shop in the Palais Royal and paid twenty francs for a silk waistcoat and ordered two velvet one's of the first quality made. I went and visited the Place Ven Donce, where Bonaparte in 1810, erected a brass monument 220 feet high and 20 feet in diameter, which is made entirely of the brass cannon taken at the great battles of Marengo and Austerlitz. The devices of men, horses, colors, cannons, dead men falling, officers pointing, enemies retreating, and French pursuing surround the first two feet of the column, going entirely around it, that circle describes one of Bonaparte's battles. Then comes the next circle going around the monument covering about two feet more of the monument and so every two feet of the monument from the bottom to the top contains an hieroglyphical account of this great conqueror's engagements, amounting to 100 battles, fought at different times and places. On the top a collossal statue of Bonaparte in bronze was to have been placed. But the fortune of the Hero changed. But an individual, an artist of great eminence has completed it and it is supposed that this year will witness the crowning circumstance of this brazen column in the likeness of Napoleon. When the allied armies were in Paris and saw this monument of Brass recording with their own, the hundred battles in which they had yielded to Bona', they to wipe away the shame placed great cables and ropes around its top and then with their countless throng endeavored to pull it down, but wonderful to relate, the monument was to firmly seated, and resisted this vast impulse as if it was proud of its own destiny, and disdained to kiss the dust. It is truly the finest monument in Paris. I visited the Kendome Church and found votaries worshipping with that mechanical formality peculiar to Roman Catholics. The church is a pleasant one. My friend Robinson and myself at 12 o'clock took a coach took a coach to visit the palace of the Luxembourgh, which was the abode of Louis 14th where we found it an immense pile with forty or fifty acres of pleasure grounds, orange trees, vistas, shady walks, every thing denoting magnificence, and near it saw the most magnificent chapel in the world, built by Ann of Austria, the mother of Louis 14th, who after being long barren vowed a vow that if she could be mother of a son, to erect the most splendid chapel to the Virgin Mary which was ever built. Louis 14th was born, and his mother kept her vow. Everything in marble with its variety and painting, with its diversified excellence has been united with gold to adorn this splendid chapel. From this chapel we went to the Pantheon, one of the largest public buildings in France, which has been 100 years in building, and is far from being completed, a most perfect specimen of Grecian architecture. There are eight large domes over your head painted with flying angels, the center dome of which is 220 feet from the floor to the ceiling. The highest object of human ambition with an irreligious Frenchman is to be put in a sort of Apotheosis, after death in this receptacle of the great dead. We desired to go below the floor, when the keeper lit his lamp and conducted us to the vaults under the mosaic pavement, where we saw most of Bonaparte's Field Marshals, Peers of the Empire, snugly resting in their marble coffins, fastened and plastered to the walls so as to appear to form a projection of the walls. We saw Rousseau and Voltaire, the boast of Infidelity and the pride of Atheism, quietly mouldering in their narrow houses, after squandering talents bestowed on them in the prodigality of nature, to purposes unworthy of the destiny of an immortal being. At a certain point beneath the pavement, one of the most astonishing echoes is obtained ever listened to, you speak in a common tone and you are answered in the same words a thousand times louder. Our conductor had a small stick in his hand, with which he struck the tail of surtout, the echo was the firing of cannon distinctly, and by striking it very quick, it appeared like the firing of a pack of Artillery. I gave our keeper a franc and visited the world again, and went into the church of St. Sulpice, which is reckoned among the finest in France for its magnitude, its taste and beautiful painting in fresco. We then went to a restaurateurs and took coffee, and then visited the Morgue one of the most melancholly spots in Paris. It is the place where all persons, who have been murdered, drowned, or committed suicide, and being found dead are deposited in a state of nudety, forty-eight hours and are then buried, with the clothing which was found on them is hung up and exposed so that if any relative or acquaintance can identify them by the bodies or the clothing, they may find out the cause of their death, and detect their murderer, if murdered they were. When murdered they are generally thrown from some of the many bridges or banks of the Seine into that River, which runs through the center of Paris. I saw four, two of them appeared very black by lying long in the water, and appeared to have met their death by having their brains beat out, which appeared to be oozing from the fracture in their skull, the third one looked very black and swollen and appeared much injured about the mouth. The fourth appeared perfectly natural like a man who had gone to sleep, hair greyish, visage thin, his hair combed back like a man who was attentive to his person, and his whole countenance was marked with intelligence and some degree of refinement, there was no visible marks of violence about this man that I saw. I came from this painful exhibition in a very melancholly mood. I visited next the Tribunal of Justice, or the Westminster Hall of Paris, where, the Instance Court of Cassation and various other Courts. I saw at the Luxembourgh Palace the Court Room in which Polignac and his three fellow-ministers were tried. We then took a coach and visited the Elysian Fields, and went to the great barrier of Paris in the west. It is truly grand, the gravel walks, the woods, the fountains playing, the statuary almost bursting into life prove this place not unworthy of its name. On our return through the long avenue, the bridges, palaces, the Tuilleries, gardens, lawns, fountains, parapets, equestrian statues, collossal statues, gods, godesses, fawns, satyrs, with groups of fashionables, which were rolling in carriages and moving on foot in every direction, gives Paris the appearance of a terrestrial paradise from this point of view.
There are more good buildings with Court yards, than in any other city. I presume, there are more than on hundred long arcades. Some of them are entirely glass. Every fashionable public or private house, restaurateur, is lined almost with mirrors, and your own image whether agreeable to yourself or others is every moment obtruding itself upon your own attention as well as that of others. There are some curious things about Paris, which it will not do to record.
July 7th 1831. This day I spent rather idly with my friend Dr. Nelson of Canada.
I purchased two volumes of Italian Prints, and four new prints, and four old prints, and a little pocket spy glass. I have bought three of the finest vests, which could be made in Paris, one blue coat, one pair of blue pantaloons, and one white for 230 francs. For prints I pay no more, and as to clothing I have been extravagant. I spent the afternoon at the Palais Royal and at the Garden of the Tuilleries. But I am so anxious to go home, that I do not enjoy Paris as I ought. Europe is threatened with a general desolation from the Cholera Morbus. The election in France proceeded quietly without interruption, and it is believed the ministers have a majority of the deputies in their favor. Lafitte, the great banker paid L30,000 sterling in two days, five francs a day to the citizen soldiers who fought the battles of the 27th, 28th and 29th of July 1830. This he paid out of his own pocket. I bought 200 drawings of different views of Rome, and great towns in Italy, which are bound in two large volumes, which I would not take $100 for, they are so beautiful. I paid 34 francs for my 4th of July dinner, almost $7, but nothing could be more splendid with two hundred different sorts of things on the table. The table at which we sat down was between eight and ten feet wide, which gave it a most imposing effect. The music was a band which kept playing; The immense room was almost lined with mirrors. It is supposed that there were at least 10,000 persons killed in the affair of July. I saw a little building erected on the public ground of the Louvre, which is inhabited by a dog, who is fed and tended at the public expense. His master was shot down on this spot last July; the dog stood over his master for two or three days, then he was buried, but for a number of days the poor dog was observed to sit mourning on the spot, when his master's life's blood ran into the ground, and would not quite by force or flattery the spot; whereupon the Parisians to testify their respect and kindness for the animal built him a small house from which he has never departed for almost a whole year, day and night, summer and winter, from the moment of his master's death till not he has not walked from the spot. He is fed at the public expense, and many persons call to see him daily, whom he treats with a kind of mournful respect.
The French Institute, the Louvre, and many public and private buildings show the marks of the cannon, grape and bullet shots, which appear to have been fired in every direction. The buildings in Paris are very large, and built of stone, which is taken from large quarries in the neighborhood. There is the Palais Royal, Palace of the Tuilleries, Palace of Luxembourgh, Palace at Versailles, Palace at St. Cloud, Palace of Vincennes, and two or three more, making nine or ten in the whole, with those immense orangeries, gardens, walks, pleasure grounds for miles in extent, with statuary, bronze ponds of water, lions spouting water, jet d'eaus, and everything manifesting expense of millions on millions. All the parks in America appurtenant to our great cities would not equal in extent and magnificence, what is attached to one of the palaces of France. An Englishman well dressed, and a gentleman in his manners, made an attack upon my generosity today. His name he said was Hancock. He pretended to be an outlawed English bankrupt, who had delivered 4th of July orations in Connecticut, I told him I could do nothing for him and that he must look to his countrymen, but he pursued me till I was in self-defence obliged to change a 1/2 sovereign and give him 45 sous, and hope I shall not witness his eloquent flippancy any more.
July 8th 1831. I visited Mr. Corige of New Orleans today, was received kindly. I also engaged my passage for the 20th of July in the Havre. Capt. Depeyster, commander of the Packet. Passage money is 750 francs. I visited the Directeur General of the customs to get my tobacco and two sovereigns, but all is yet delay. Eighth of July in the afternoon I took a ramble through the Palais Royal, Place Vendome, Place du Carousel, the Louvre, the Tuilleries and their paradisical gardens, and finally strolled over the bridge of Louis 16th where the young artists displayed their taste in the twelve colossal statues of the twelve immortals of France, Sutieire, Du Quesne, Tourville, Colbert, Sully, Bayard, Richelieu, Suger, Dugeuselin, Surenne and Conde. The statues are so colossal they bridge and destroy proportion, Atresestatries were purchased of young artists, by Charles 10th to encourage them in this laudable pursuit.
We next went to the "Hotel des Invalides" or the great retreat of maimed, infirm and aged soldiers, 3500 of whom are now at this place covering many acres with its buildings, resembling the finest palaces in the magnificence of its architecture, its courts, corridors and hollow squares. I was struck with the vast number of wooden legs, among this population, a stranger would have supposed it more fashionable to have but one leg of flesh and the other of wood.
Here were the brave remnants of many a dreadful fight, here were the witnesses of the battles of Austerlitz, Marengo and Iena; here are actors in the dreadful carnage and in the burning flames of Moscow; here were survivors of Wagram and Waterloo. Here were the unhealed of the three great days.
There is the most beautiful church in France annexed to this establishment, built by Bonaparte, it is a proud monument of the arts. Turenne has been dead 156 years, remains were removed and interred here in all the pomp of marble's art. Vauban, who in 1807, had been dead 100 years, his heart having been preserved, stands in a glass urn upon the top of a marble column springing from a world of marble demonstration of his greatness. The nuns take care of the wounded soldiers at this place. We next visited a monument erected to La Fayette, the patriot of two worlds and friend of Washington and Louis Philippe, as the inscription imports, and a guard of soldiers watch it night and day to prevent the friends of Charles 10th from mutilating it and tearing it down.
Further down to the outer western part of the city lie buried in great heaps with flags flying over them the slain of the three great days. Near here the government has its immense tobacco stores or warehouses for it. As the Government in the first instance is the sole proprietor of tobacco.
Returning in the night through the immense gardens of the Tuilleries, it was astonishing to see the hundred different sports, amusements, gambling and debauchery which sprung into existence, the moment candles and lamps occupied the place of the sun. I first saw a ring under some trees around a woman who laid her head in one chair and feet in another on her back, she being fat, weighing 200 lbs. Terrible stout and dirty; two men first lifted a stone weighing 200 and laid it upon her bowels she having no support under back, then other junks of stone were laid on the large one, while a stout man took a blacksmith's sledge and broke up the small stone on the large one by pounding.
Six men then took a hogshead full of water, containing 64 gallons of water, which they lifted with great difficulty by means of straps put around the hogshead and a pole run through the straps, which pole the six men when on their shoulders staggered up to the woman lying in the same position before described and set the hogshead lengthwise across her bowels, where she sustained it a minute, the pole being let down and the ropes became dangling or loose, while the hogshead lay on the woman. After satisfying everybody it was fairly done the men put the pole on their shoulders carried the hogshead to the outside of the Ring. A gentleman who stood near me told me that he had seen her do it often before to the great astonishment of the Parisians, who have a maxim to be astonished at nothing. The next thing I saw in the woods of the Garden aforesaid for two sous was one of the sublimest pieces of panoramic view of Bonaparte's Russian campaign. The battles to the life, next burning of Moscow is the most awfully sublime sight the imagination can fancy short of that great day, when the elements themselves shall melt with fervent heat.
The next scene is a Russian winter; the snow, ice; the retreating army, stragglers dying here and there; the dreadful bridge scene in crossing the river, and the final despair in many instances, in which you saw the possessors of carriages burning them in the midst of the storm on the heath in order to have one fire and dies.
I then pursued my way home catching occasional glimpses of many different performances, which time would not allow me to investigate. I shall never forget a horrid remark made to me by a hackney coachman, a middle-aged man, who has followed the business 12 years, who was driving me this morning - speaking of religion said, "That since the last revolution, they had had so much trouble that they could not be troubled about religion."