Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[blocks in formation]

nium !! From the garden a fiacre conveyed us to our hotel. In the evening we again sallied out to the Theatre François. The performance was Hamlet, in which Talma played Hamlet, and DUCHESNOTS the Queen, the part of Ophelia by Mlle. Volnais. The play was considerably altered from the original.

Some part of Talma's acting was very fine, as was also that of Mlle. Duchesnois. There was only one dingy scene (representing a hall) throughout the piece, and no drop was let down between the acts. Indeed, the whole seemed to be in the style of the drama of the Ancients. There was no music, and the acts commenced without a bell being rung, or any other signal given. After Hamlet, we were presented with one of Moliere's Comedies, entitled Les Fourberies de Scapun, in which Baptiste Cadet sustained with great ability the character of an old man.

Saturday 28th.--Engaged a fiacre. The regulations respecting the hiring of these vehicles are very favourable to the hirer, and rather unjust to the coachman. The person engaging the coach may

tell the man that he takes him either by the hour or by the course.

If by the former, he pays thirty sous per hour, which is fair enough for both parties. If he engages him by the course, he has to pay twentyfive sous for each time that he stops the coach, however long may have been the distance between the stoppages. This is hard for the coachman. We first stopped at the Luxembourg-went through the gardens to the OBSERVATORY, which is situated at the

[merged small][ocr errors]

further extremity. We entered the building, but saw none of the instruments, except a large telescope, twenty-two feet in length and two in diameter. From the roof we had a very fine view of the City; to the left, the gilt dome of the Invalids ; a little more to the right, the Tuilleries and Louvre in the distance; in front of us the nearer space was occupied by the Garden of the Luxembourg, the Palace itself, near which were to be seen the two towers of St. Sulpice ; and beyond, in the distance, the heights of Mont-martre, rendered more conspicuous by the windmills on its summit. Farther round to the right rose the towers of Notre Dame, the dome of the Pantheon, and the dome of the Hôpital Val de Grace ! At some distance to the right might be seen the trees of the Jardin de Plantes. Behind us was no remarkable object, except the madhouse, called Bicetre, which rose into view at some little distance from Paris.. Returned through the gardens again to the Palace, and there obtained a sight of the Galerie des Tablenur, which was at that time in a little confusion, on account of some alteration in the arrangement of the pictures. Somewhere to the east of this garden Ney was shot! It astonished us, that of several persons whom we asked, none could point out the exact spot. He was, I believe, justly styled the bravest of the brave, but it is difficult to find an apology for his treachery. By many it is thought he was executed in violation of the Parisian treaty.

The Palace of the LUXEMBOURG is built about

[ocr errors][merged small]

a square court. The slated roof appears too high for the building, but such is the manner of most of the ancient palaces about Paris. Again proceeded in our fiacre to the Barriere d'Enfer, but were too late for the Catacombs, as the hours of admission were twelve and one o'clock, and we did not arrive till a quarter after one, when the second party bad just entered. While waiting about the gate, we were amused by the nonsense of a fellow who wanted to sell us wax tapers, or flambeaux, as he called them, to light us during our descent!

As we could not obtain admission, we proceeded to the Manufacture Royal de Tupisserie, a building appropriated to the making of tapestry. Here we saw the manner in which these woven pictures were formed, and also several finished specimens !

Engaged a fiacre to the PANTHEON, which is at present being restored to its original destination, under the name of the Church of St. Genevieve. The interior is in the Grecian style, and reminded us a little of St. Paul's, in London. Ascended to the gallery, which surrounds the lower part of the dome, and enjoyed from that eminence a most delightful view of Paris. Afterwards went through the vaults under the church, where there are several tombs in wood, designed as models of tombs, which are to be erected in memory of several illustrious Frenchmen. On our way back to the hotel we went into the Church St. Eustache, which, however, contained nothing worthy of notice. Dined at the Café de Chartres in

[merged small][ocr errors]

the Palais Royal, and then returned to the hotel. In the evening we visited the BỌULEVARDS, and partook of some coffee in the Italian coffee-house, where a tolerable concert is given every evening. The building was square, and a part in the middle was sunk below the rest, so as to form a kind of pit. The BOULEVARDS consist of a large wide street, paved in the middle, and rows of trees along the side of the foot-ways. In particular spots there are immense piles of chairs to be let out to those who may wish to hire them. A heavy shower of rain drove us into the American coffee-house, previous to returning to the hotel. All the coffee-houses in Paris are very splendid, and people appear to attend them merely for pleasure, and not for business as in London.

Sunday 29th.-Having learnt that the Gallery of the Louvre was shut up, we had applied to a friend of Mr. G.'s, to know if it was possible by any means to obtain admission. We were, however, informed that it was impossible, since the Gallery was quite in disorder, the pictures being all taken down, preparatory to some new arrangement, in which the paintings from the different palaces, &c. in the country, were to hold a distinguished place. It will, therefore, when completed, be a collection of French pictures. We were also disappointed of a sight of the Bibliotheque Royale, which, we heard, contained 300,000 volumes, an immense pair of globes, thirty feet diameter, and several other curiosities. Mr. G.'s friend having, however, procured us tickets for the King's

542

CONSERVATOIRE DES ARTS.

Chapel, in the TUILLERIES, we hastened thither, but I was refused admittance, on account of my dress not being conformable to the regulations of the place. The common people do not seem very well disposed towards the English. When I was leaving the gate through which the company enter to the Chapel, a soldier sarcastically cried out, “ Anglish,and another “ Jack !The instant an Englishman appears in the streets, he is recognised. One often hears “Voilà les Anglois !” and sometimes “ Gottem, Jack Rostbif!" When money is the object, the case is materially altered. On the Pont-neuf, the shoe-blacks even offer to black your shoes à l'Anglaise !

On the return of my companions, we visited the Conservatoire des Arts et des Metiers, which was formerly used as a church. On entering the large hall, you are struck with the sight of a great many ponderous machines, arranged on each side, and among the rest many fire-escapes. At the further extremity large oiled SILK BALLOON was suspended from the roof, but I could not learn by whom it had been used. Just by was the Parachute, which I understood to be one of Montgolfier's construction. It was exactly similar to Garnerin's, except that it wanted a centre rope. Near these was lying the car in which Charles and Roberts made their first aerial voyage from the garden of the Tuilleries; it is at present in a very rotten state. From this we entered into another long room, containing Hydruulic and Agricultural models. On ascending a very hand

« НазадПродовжити »