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to the Tuileries, and have the Elysian fields in my eye for my evening walk.
I liked much what little I saw of the French people. They are accused of vanity; and doubtless they have it, and after a more obvious fashion than other nations; but their vanity at least includes the wish to please ; other people are necessary to them; they are not wrapped up in themselves; not sulky, not too vain even to tolerate vanity. Their vanity is too much confounded with self-satisfaction There is a good deal of touchiness, I suspect, among them,-a good deal of ready-made heat, prepared to fire up in case the little commerce of flattery and sweetness is not properly carried on.
But this is better than ill temper, or an egotism not to be appeased by any thing short of subjection. On the other hand, there is more melancholy than one could expect, especially in old faces. Consciences in the south are frightened in their old age, perhaps for nothing. In the north, I take it, they are frightened earlier, perhaps from equal want of knowledge. The worst in France is, (at least, from all that I saw,) that fine old faces are rare. There are multitudes of pretty girls; but the faces of both sexes fall off deplorably as they advance in life; which is not a good symptom. Nor do the pretty faces, while they last, appear to contain much depth, or sentiment, or firmness of purpose. They seem made like their toys, not to last, but to break up. Fine faces in Italy are as abundant as cypresses. However, in both countries, the inhabitants appeared to us naturally amiable, as well as intelligent; and without disparagement to the angel faces which you meet with in England, and some of which are perhaps even finer than any you see elsewhere, I could not help thinking, that as a race of females, the aspects both of the French and Italian women announced more sweetness and reasonableness of intercourse, than those of my fair and serious countrywomen. A Frenchwoman looked as if she wished to please you at any rate, and to be pleased herself. She is too conscious; and her coquetry is said, and I believe with truth, to promise more than an Englishman would easily find her to perform : but at any rate she thinks of you somehow, and is smiling and good-humoured. An Italian woman appears to think of nothing, not even herself. Existence seems enough for her. But she also is easy of intercourse, smiling when you speak to her, and very unaffected. Now in simplicity of character the Italian appears to me to have the advantage of the English women, and in pleasantness of intercourse both Italian and French. When I came to England, after a residence of four years abroad, I was shocked at the succession of fair sulky faces which I met in the streets of London. They all appeared to come out of unhappy homes. In truth, our virtues, or our climate, or whatever it is, sit so uneasily upon us, that it is surely worth while for our philosophy to inquire whether in some points, or some degree of a point, we are not a little mistaken. Gypseys will hardly allow us to lay it to the climate.
It was a blessed moment, nevertheless, when we found ourselves among those dear sulky faces, the countrywomen of dearer ones, not sulky. On the 12th of October, we set out from Calais in the steam-boat, which carried
us rapidly to London, energetically trembling all the way under us, as if its burning body partook of the fervour of our desire. Here, in the neighbourhood of London, we are; and may we never be without our old fields again in this world, or the old “ familiar faces” in this world or in the next.
It was intended to close this edition with some letters out of the Morning Chronicle, and“ an attempt (which I had promised in them) to estimate my own character.” But I am obliged to break my promise, on finding my advisers of opinion, that the performance of it, instead of doing what I wished, would subject me to a suspicion of intending the reverse. I find it difficult to persuade myself, that some things which I had said in that estimate could be considered as any other than extraordinary specimens' of a candour far beyond the wish to profit by it; but I'am aware of the involuntary tricks played by self-love. I can only say, as a proof that I am not sensible of them in the present instance, that I cannot but feel relieved at not having to lay myself thus open to the public. I had thought of retaining the ill I had spoken, and leaving out the good. But while the egotism of my critics might have found an excess of pretension even in this,' on the other hand, it would not have been reasonably fair to myself, considering how I am treated. So little ceremony is used towards some of my real faults, so