« PreviousContinue »
The senses give thanks-no responses are made,
The orchestra strikes up a chorus;
Their hands to the sweet Signoras.
Who dab in the holy lotion
And kiss it with blind devotion.
To know what is next intended;
Till both day and night are ended.
Instantly second each mover;
The Garden of Plants, or the Louyre.
And how various—how endless the fare is, From the suburb Guinguette,'to where epicures choose Fricandeaus, fricassées, consumés, and ragouts,
At Grignion's, Beauvillier's, or Very's.
To chat-read the papers, or slumber.
* Bills of fare.
The Boulevards next are the grand rendezvous,
A stream of perpetual friskers.
To the Marshal of France in whiskers.
Crowds sit under trees in defiance of damps;
By far is the smartest of anym
out, Each Parisian beauty may there have a rout
For the price of the chairma penny.
English women are known by their dresses of white; The men by superior neatness and height,
They talk of gigs, horses, and ponies ; All look twice as grave as the French-yet their laugh, When they choose to indulge it, is louder by half,
And they turn in, of course, at Tortoni's.
The theatres open, some thirty or more-
Regardless of mud, or of weather;
And the people all crazy together.
What braying of gongs—what confusion of tongues ! What a compound of noise from drums, trumpets, and
Each striving his neighbour's to smother;
Here's a dwarf, and a monster, both beautiful sights! And there is the man without fingers, that writes
With his chest, and his grinders after,
Which would move a hermit to laughter.
You may see quadrilling bodies;
Or chat to the bar-maid Goddess.
If you pass by a palace or stable.
The blacking-box serving as table..
Of character somewhat uncertain :
New Monthly Magazine.
THE BURNING OF MOSCOW. On the fifteenth of September, 1812, our corps left the village where it had encamped at an early hour, and marched to Moscow. As we approached the city, we saw that it had no walls, and that a simple parapet of earth was the only work which constituted the outer enclosure. Nothing indicated that the town was inhabited ; and the road by which we arrived was so deserted, that we saw neither Russian nor French soldiers. No cry, no noise was heard in the midst of this awful solitude. We pursued our march, a prey to the utmost anxiety, and that anxiety was redoubled when we perceived a thick smoke, which arose in the form of a column from the centre of the town. It was at first believed that the Russians had, as usual, set fire to some magazines in their retreat; but when we recollected the recital of the inhabitant of Moscow, we feared that his prediction was about to be fulfilled. Eager to know the cause of this conflagration, we in yain endeavoured to find some one who might satisfy our irrepressible curiosity, and the impossibility of satisfying it increased our impatience and augmented our alarm.
Although Moscow had been entered by some of our troops the preceding day, so extensive and so deserted was the town, that no soldier had yet penetrated into the quarter which we were to occupy. The most intrepid minds were affected by this loneliness. The streets were so long, that our cavalry could not recognise each other from the opposite extremities. The different parties advanced with caution, and then suddenly fled from each other, though they were all enlisted under the same banners. In proportion as a new quarter was occupied, reconnoitring parties were sent forward to examine the palaces and the churches. In the former were found only old men and children, or Russian officers who had been wounded in the preceding engagements; in the latter, the altars were decorated as if for a festival; a thousand lighted tapers, burning in honour of the patron saint of the country, attested that the pious Moscovites had not ceased to invoke him till the moment of their departure. This solemn and religious spectacle rendered the people whom we had conquered powerful and respectable in our estimation, and filled us with that consternation which is the offspring of injustice. We adyanced with fearful steps through this awful solitude, often stopping and looking trembling behind us; then, struck with sudden terror, we eagerly listened to every sound; for the imagination, frightened at the very magnitude of our conquest, made us apprehensive of treachery in every place. Atthe least noisewe fancied that we heard the clashing of arms and the cries of the wounded. On the following morning, the most heart-rending scene which my imagination had ever conceived, far surpassing the saddest story in ancient or modern history, now presented itself to my eyes. A great part of the population of Moscow, terrified at our arrival, had concealed themselves in cellars or secret recesses of their houses. As the fire spread around, we saw them rushing in despair from their various asylums. They uttered no imprecation, they breathed no complaint; fear had rendered them dumb: and hastily snatching up their most precious effects, they fled before the flames. Others, of greater sensibility, and actuated by the genuine feelings of nature, saved only their parents, or their infants, wlio were closely clasped in their arms. They were followed by their other children, running as fast as their little strength would permit, and with all the wildness of childish terror, vociferating the beloved name of mother. The old people, borne down by grief more than by age, had not sufficient power to follow their families, and expired near the houses in which they were born. The streets, the public places, and particularly the churches, were filled with these unhappy people, who, lying on the remains of their property, suffered even without a murmur. No cry, no complaint was heard. Both the conqueror and the conquered were equally hardened; the one by excess of fortune, the other by excess of misery.
The fire, whose ravages could not be restrained, soon reached the finest parts of the city. Those palaces which we hąd admired for the beauty of their architecture, and the elegance of their furniture, were enveloped in the flames. Their magnificent fronts, _ornamented with bas-reliefs and statues, fell with a dreadful crash on the fragments of the pillars which had supported them. The churches, though covered with iron and lead, were likewise destroyed, and with them those beautiful steeples, which we had seen the night before, resplendent with gold and silver. The hospitals, too, which contained more than twelve thousand wounded, soon began to burn. This offered a dreadful and har