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vey to the subjects, thus transferred, that love and too surely seated, and the times, it may be hoped, affection to their new dynasty of rulers, that rever- too liberal, for such fulminations to interfere with ence for the institutions in church and state, those the progress of toleration. Meanwhile, the king newholesome and honest prejudices in favour of the glects nothing that sairly can be done to conciliate political society to which we belong, which go so his new Catholic subjects. He has recently pledged far in forming the love of our native country? himself to use his ulmost exertions to recover from
Care 1 for the limbs, the thewes, the sinews of a the possession of the French the pictures which mun-Give me the spirit !"-and when the stipula- they carried off from various churches in the Nethtions of a treaty, or the decrees of a conqueror, can erlands, and particularly from Brussels and Anttransfer, with the lands and houses, the love, faith, werp. Among the last, was the chef d'euvre of Ru. and attachment of the inhabitants, I will believe bens, the Descent from the Cross, which, with two that such arrondissements make a wholesome and corresponding pictures relative to the same subject, useful part of the state to which they are assigned. once hung above the high altar in the magnificent Until then the attempt seems much like that of a church at Antwerp, where the copartments, which charlatan who should essay to engraft, as a useful they once filled, remain still vacant, to remind the and serviceable limb, upon the person of one patient, citizens of their loss. All the other ornaments of the arm or leg which he has just amputated from that church, as well as of the cathedral, shared the another.
fate of this masterpiece, excepting only a painting But though it seems in general sound and good which Rubens executed to decorate the chapel in doctrine, to beware of removing ancient landmarks, which he himself lies buried; and which an unusuand although the great misfortunes of Europe may al feeling of respect and propriety prevented the be perhaps traced 10 the partition of Poland, in spoilers from tearing away from his tomb. The which this attempt was first made upon the footing composition of the picture is something curious; for of open violence, yet the union between the Low under the representation of a Holy Family, and vaCountries and the States of Holland must be ad- rious characters of the New Testament, the artist mitted to form a grand exception to the general rule. has painted his grandfather, his father, his three It is, indeed, rather restoration of the natural wives, and his mistrezs, the last in the characier of union which subsisted before the time of Philip the the Virgin Mary, to whom the others are rendering Second, than a new-modelled arrangement of ter- homage. He has also introduced his own portrait, ritory; the urisettled situation of Flanders, in par a noble martial figure, dressed in armour, and in the ticular, having long been such as to make it the act of unfurling a banner. Whatever may be thought common and ordinary stage, upon which all the of the decorum of such a picture painted for such a prize-fighters of Europe decided their quarrels. To place, the beauty of the execution cannot be suffi. à people too often abandoned to the subaltern op- ciently admired. While the English traveller is callpression of governors sent from their foreign mas. ed upon for once to acknowledge the moderation of ters, it is no small boon to be placed under a mild the French, who have left at least one monument of and mitigated monarchy, and united with a nation art in the place 10 which it was most appropriate, whose customs, habits, and language, are so simi- he will probably wish they had carried off with them lar to their own. Still, however, such is the influ- the trash of wax figures, which, to the disgrace of ence of the separate feelings and opinions acquired good taste and common sense, are still the objects of during the lapse of two centuries, that many preju- popular adoration. Abstracted from all polemics, one dices remain to be smoothed away, and much jea- can easily conceive that the sight of an interesting lousy to be allayed, and soothed, before the good painting, representing to our material organs the purinfluence of the union can be completely felt. trait of a saint, or an affecting scene of scripture, may
The first and most irritating cause of apprehen- not only be an appropriate ornament in the temple of sion is the difference of religion. The Flemings worship, but, like church-music, may have its etfect are very zealous, and very ignoranı Catholics, over in fixing the attention, and aiding ihe devotion of whom their clergy have a proportional power. The the congregation. It may be also easily understood, King's declared purpose of toleration has greatly and readily forgiven, thai when kneeling before the alarıned this powerful body, and the nerve which very aliar to which our ancestors in trouble resort. has thus been touched has not failed to vibrate led for comfort, we may be gradually led to annex a through the whole body politic. The Bishop of superstitious reverence to the place itself: but when, Ghent, formerly a great adherent and ally of Bona in the midst of such a cathedral as that of Antwerp, parte, has found his conscience alarmingly twinged one of the grandest pieces of Gothic architecture by 50 omninous a declaration on the part of a Cal- which Europe can show,-when among the longvinistic monarch, and has already made his remon- drawn aisles and lofty arches, which seem almost the strance against this part of the proposed constitution work of demi-gods, so much does the art and toil in a pastoral letter, which is couched in very deter- bestowed surpass what modern times can present, mined language.* But the present royal family are - when, in the midst of such a scene, we find a wax
* I take this opportunity to announce the correction of a very figure of the Virgin, painted, patched, frizzled, and gross error in the first edition of these Letters, where the name powdered ; with a tarnished satin gown, (the skirt for that of the Bishop of Ghent. The extent of this mistake, lace, differing in no respect, but in size, from the of the Bishop of Liege had, through inisinformation, been inserted held up by two cherubs,) paste ear-rings and neckwhich I deeply re-ret, will be beat understood by the following extract from a letter, in which it is pointed out and correcte.
most paltry doll that ever was sold in a loy-shop; The authority of the writer is boyond dispute, and Paul readily and observe this incongruous and ridiculous sica my admits the inaccuracy of his notes, though taken upon the spot. the object of fervid and zealous adoration from the
** The Bishop of Liege was never an adherent or ally of Lona votaries who are kneeling before it, we see the idolafor the Sre of Liege was formerly both.) he took refuge at Ratis: try of the Romish Church in a point of view disgust. bonne, where his residence has, I believe, ever been, and where he ing and humiliating as that of ancient Egypt, and has never ceased to enjoy the respect of those who were most op cease to wonder at ihe obstinacy of the prelate aforeposed to the views of the usurper. having been alarmingly twinzed by the king's proposed toleration, said, and that part of the priesthood, who fear the that, recommended by his punjesty to the Archbishopric of Ma: light which universal toleration would doubtless lines in the room of the Abbe de Pradt, he repaired to Brussels throw upon the benighted worship of their great when the constitution was proposed, and acted there, at a very Diana. In the meanwhile, the promise of the king critical moment, as the most strenuous supporter of that very tole. Tatian which he is accused so erroneously as having opposed.
to procure restoration of the pictures, is received by Yo'l, who were present with meat Brussels when the constitution most of the Flemings as a pledge, that the religion of the Low.Countries was proposed and adopted, were a personal which he himself professes, will not prevent his in: speak of it as it deserves. De would have been impossibile for the teresting himself in that of the Cacholics; and I Bishop of Liege to have issued a pastoral letter, not only of the think there can be little doubt that, under the granature in question, but of any kind whatever; because, though still Ayiet Bishop, he has ir cflect no dioces, that of Liege hat will exactly apply, except that I am not aware of his haring, as ing been abolished during the French occupancy. I should con stated in the 2230 page, had brethren in his intolerance, at least ceive the prelate whose name ought to have been cited in this episcopal brethren, the Bishop of Touray having been the only part of the work, to be the Bishop of Ghont, to whom all that has bishop of the Netherlands who adopted a similar course of oppo bus been erroneously attributed to the Prince Bisbop of Lioge sition."
So far from his conscience
dual influence of time and example, the grosser ! since many of the highest and most respectable clas. points of superstition will be tacitly abandoned ses threw pride and delicacy aside to minister to the here, as in other Catholic countries.
wants of the sufferers. On their part, the Flemings The Dutch have a more worldly subject of jealousy were often compelled to admire ihe endurance and in the state of their commerce, which cannot but be hardihood of their patients. “Your countrymen, materially atfected by the opening of the Scheldt, said a lady to me, who spoke our language well, whenever that desirable eveni shall have taken place, "are made of iron, and not of flesh and blood. I and also by the principal residence of the government saw a wounded Highlander stagger along the street, being changed from the Hague to Brussels. But supporting himseli by the rails, and said to him, I they are a reflecting people, and are already aware am afraid you are severely hurt. 'I was born in that the operation of both these changes will be slow Lochaber,''answered the poor fellow, 'and I do not and gradual; for commerce is not at once transferred care for a wound;' but ere I could complete my offer from the channels in which it has long flowed ; and of shelter and assistance, he sunk down at my feet for some time, at least family recollections and at a dying man. In one house in Brussels, occupied tachments will make the royal family frequent resi- by a respectable manufacturer and his two sisters, dents in Holland, notwithstanding the charms of the thirty wounded soldiers were received, nursed, fed, palace of Lacken. In the meanwhile, the Dutch gain and watched, the only labour of the medical attenthe inestimable advantage of having the battle turn- dants being to prevent their hosts from giving the paed from their gates, and of enjoying the protection tients wine, and more nourishing food than suited of a strong barrier placed at a distance froin their their situation. We may hope the reciprocal benefits own frontier, -blessings of themselves sufficient to of defence and of hospitality will be long remembered, compensate the inconvenience which they may for forming a kindly connexion between England and a a time sustain, until they transfer their capital and in-country, which, of all others, may be most properly dustry to the new channels offered for them by the termed her natural ally. union.
I have again wandered from agriculture into poliNothing could have happened so fortunate for the tics and military affairs, but I have little to add which popularity of the house of Orange, as the active and properly belongs to your department, since I have no energetic character of the hereditary prince. His doubt that you have already sate in judgment upon whole behaviour during the actions of Quatre Bras the Flemish plough, rake, and hayfork, presented to and Waterloo, and the wound which (it may be al- the Highland Society by one of its most active menmost said fortunately) he received upon the latter bers. The most remarkable implement of agricul. occasion, have already formed the strongest bond of ture which fell under my observation was a sort of union between his family and their new subjects, hooked stick, which the reaper holds in his left hand, long unaccustomed to have sovereigns who could and uses to collect and lay the corn as he cuts it lead them to battle, and shed their blood in the na- with a short scythe. The operation is very speedy, tional defence. The military force, which he is at for one person engaged in it can keep two or three this moment perpetually increasing, is of a respectable constantly employed in binding the sheafs. But I description; for, though some of the Belgian troops suppose it would only answer where the ground is behaved ill during the late brief campaign, there were level and free from stones. other corps, and particularly insantry and artillery, The furniture of the Flemings, and, generally speakboth Dutch and Flemings, whose firmness and dis-ing, their implements of labour, &c. have a curious cipline equalled those of any regiments in the field. correspondence with what we have been accustomed The braves Belges are naturally proud of the mili- to consider as their national character; being strong tary glory they have acquired, as well as of the prince and solid, but clumsy and inelegant, and having a who led them on. In every corner of Brussels there great deal more substance employed in constructing were ballad-singers bellowing out songs in praise of them than seems at all necessary. Thus the lever the prince and his followers. I, who am a collector of an ordinary draw-well is generally one long tree; of popular effusions, did not fail to purchase specimens and their wagons and barges are as huge and heavy of the Flemish minstrelsy, in which, by the way, as the horses which draw them. The same cumthere is no more mention of the Duke of Wellington, brous solidity which distinguishes the female figures or of John Bull, than if John Bull and his illustrious of Rubens, may be traced in the domestic implements general had nothing to do with the battle of Waterloo. and contrivances of his countrymen. None would
This little omission of the Flemish bards proceeds, have entertained you more than the apparatus prohowever, from no disinclination to the Duke or to vided for securing a horse whilo in the act of being Ęngland. On the contrary, our wounded received shod, a case in which our Vulcans trust to an ordinary during their illness, and are yet experiencing during halter and their own address. But a Flemish horse their convalescence, the mosi affecting marks of kind is immured within a wooden erection of about his ness and attention from the inhabitants of Brussels. I own size, having a solid roof, supported by four masThese acts of friendship towards their allies were sive posts, such as a British carpenter would use to not suspended (as will sometimes happen in this ereci a harbour-crane. The animal's head is fastenworld) until the chance of war had decided in favour ed between two of these huge columns with as many of the English. Even on the 17th, when the defeat chains and cords as might have served to bind Baron of Blucher, and the retreat of the Duke of Welling- Trenck; and the foot which is to be shod is secured ton, authorized them to entertain the most gloomy in a pair of stocks, which extend between two of apprehensions for their own safety, as well as to fear the upright beams. This is hardly worth writing, the vengeance of the French for the partiality they though ridiculous to look at; but there is something, might show towards their enemies, the kind citizens as Anstey says, “so clumsy and clunch" in the masof Brussels were not deterred from the exercise of sive strength of the apparatus, in the very unneces. kindness and hospitality. They were seen meeting sary extent of the precaution, and in the waste 04 the wounded with refreshments; some seeking for time, labour, and materials, that it may be selected those soldiers who had been quartered in their houses, as an indication of a national character, displaying others bestowing their care on the first disabled suf- itself in the most ordinary and trifling particuferer they met with, carrying him to their home, and lars. nursing him like a child of the family, at all the cost, Adieu, my dear friend ; I am sorry I can send you trouble, and risk, with which their hospitality might no more curious information on your favourite subbe attended. The
people of Antwerp, to which city ject. But it would be unnecessary to one who is were transferred upon the 17th and 18th most of skilled in all the modern arts of burning without fire, those who had been wounded at Quatre Bras, were and feeding without pasture; and who requires no equally zealous in the task of the good Samaritan receipts from Holland to teach him how 10 lay on so Many of our poor fellows told me, that they must much fat upon a bullock or a pig, as will make the have perished but for the attention of these kind Hesh totally unfit for eating. Flemings, whose
Yours affectionately, "Entire affection scorned nicer hands,"
TO THE SADIE.
I apprehensions had been considerably relieved by General Rey having himself assumed ihe white cockade; but as he still refused to admit any of the allied
troops within the city, there remained a great doubt Road to Paris --Valenciennes --Garrison of Valenciennes-Dismay whether the allies would content themselves with of the Inhabitants-- Diabanded Garnison of Coude, Extortions the blockade, to which they had hitherto restricteri --Rivers—Churches--Fortitied Towns-Wünlot Ruins of Feus their operations against Valenciennes. The inhabitdal Castles-ot Farm houses-ui Enclosures - Mode of Feeling ants were partial, the landlady said, to the English, Cuttle--Want of Country seats--French forests--Richness of with whom they were well acquainted, as Valenthe soil-Mad Ambition of the French-Retaliativn--Foraging Parties-Odd Rencounter-Bourion Badges-Strict Discipline
ciennes had been a principal depot for the prisoners of the British Military License of the Pru-siung - Military Me- of war; but they deprecated their town being occuthod of Picking Locks-loteresting, Adventure--Distress of a pied by the Prussians or Belgians, in whose lenty Flemushi Peasant at the loss of his Horses-Discomforts tiek by ihey seemed to place but little reliance. the British-Regulations or Posts respected-Towns--Cambra y -Peronne - Attachment of the People in the Towns to the On the road next day we met with very undesiraBourbons-Feles on the Restoration-Pont de St. Maxence- ble company, being the disbanded garrison of Cond, Senis-Road to Chantilly-Forest of Chantilly--Chantilly oc. whom the allies had dismissed aiter occupying that cupied by the Prussians-Palace-stable of the Prince of Conde --Ruins of the Palace-Le Petit Chateau-Ruins of the Palace.
town. There is, you may have remarked, something
sinister in the appearance of a common soldier of I have now, my dear friend, reached Paris, after any country when he is divested of his uniform. The traversing the road from Brussels to this conquered martial gait, look, and manner, and the remaining capital through sights and sounds of war, and yet articles of military dress which he has retained, more terrible marks of its recent ravages. The time being no longer combined with that neatness was interesting, for although our route presented no which urgues, that the individual makes part of real danger, yet it was not, upon some occasions, civilized army, seem menacing and ominous irom the without such an appearance of it as naturally to im want of that assurance. If this is the case even press a civilian with a corresponding degree of with the familiar faces of our own soldiery, the wild alarm. All was indeed new to ine, and the scenes and swarthy features, mustaches, and singular dress which I beheld were such as press most deeply on of foreigners, added much, as may well be supposed, the feelings.
of the look of banditti to the garrison of Cond. Ther We were following the route of the victorious Eng. were, indeed, a true sample of the desperate school lish army, to which succours of every sort, and rein to which they belonged, for it was not many days forcements of troops recently landed in Flanders, since they had arrested and put to death a French were pressing eagerly forward, so that the towns loyalist oificer named Gordon, solely for summoning and roads were filled with British and foreign troops. them to surrender the town to the king. For this For the war, although ended to all useful and essen crime the brother of the murdered individual is now tal purposes, could not in some places be said to be invoking vengeance, but as yet fruitlessly, at the court actually finished. Condé had surrendered but a few of the Tuilleries. These desperadoes, strolling in days before, and Valenciennes still held out, and, as bands of eight or ten or twenty, as happened, occupied report informed us, was to undergo a renewal of the the road for two or three miles, and sullen resentment bombardment. Another and contrary rumour assu- and discontent might easily be traced in their looks. red us that an armistice had taken place, and that, They offered us no rudeness, however, but contentas non-combatants, the garrison would permit a od themselves with staring hard at us, as a trucuparty even as alarming as our own to pass through lent-looking fellow would now and then call out the town without interruption. I felt certainly a de Vive le Roi! and subjoin an epithet or two to show gree of curiosity to see the most formidable operation that it was uttered in no mood of loyal respect. of modern war, but, as I was far from wishing the At every cross-road two or three dropped off from city of Valenciennes to have been burnt for my the main body, aiter going, with becoming grace, amusement, we were happy to find that the latter through the ceremony of embracing and kissing their report was accurate. Accordingly we passed the greasy companions. The thought involuntarily works and batteries of the besiegers unquestioned pressed itseli upon our mind, what will become of by the Dutch and Prussian videttes, who were these men, and what of the thousands who, in simistalking to and fro upon their posts, and proceeded lar circumstances, are now restored to civil life, with to the gate of the place, where we underwent a brief all the wild habits and ungoverned passions which examination from the non-commissioned officer on war and license have so long fostered? Will the duty, who looked at our passports, requested to know lion lie down with the kid, or the trained freebooter if we were military men, and being answered in the return to the peaceable and laborious pursuits of civil negative, permitted us to enter a dark, ill-built, and industry ? Or are they not more likely io beg, borrow, dirty town. And these are the men," I thought, starve, and steal, until some unhappy opportunity as I eyed the ill-dressed and ragged soldiers upon shall again give them a standard and a chieftain? duty at the gates of Valenciennes, these are the We were glad when we got free of our military men who have turned the world upside down, and fellow-travellers, with whom I should not have whose name has been the night-mare of Europe, chosen to meet by night, or in solitude, being exactsince most of this generation have written man!"" ly of their appearance who would willingly say, They looked ugly and dirty and savage enough cer- "Stand," to a true man. But we had no depredatong tainly, but seemed to have little superiority in strength to complain of, excepting the licensed extortions of or appearance to the Dutch or Belgians. There was, the innkeepers, -a maiter of which you are the less indeed, in the air and eye of the soldiers of Bonaparte, entitled to complain, because every prudent trazeller (for such these military men still called themselves, makes his bargain for his refreshments and lodging something of pride and self-elation, that indicated before he suffers the baggage to be taken from his undaunted confidence in their own skill and valour; carriage. Each reckoning is, therefore, a formal but they appeared disunited and disorganized. Some treaty between you and mine host or hostess, in wore the white cockade, others still displayed the which you have your own negligence or indifference tri-colour, and one prudent fellow had, for his own to blame, if you are very much overreached. It is amusement and that of his comrades, stuck both in scarce necessary to add, that the worst and pooresi his hat at once, so as to make a cocarde de conve- inns are the most expensive in proportion. But I nance, which might suit either party that should get ought not to omit informing you, that notwithstanduppermost. We were not permitted to go upon the ing a mode of conducting their ordinary business, so ramparts, and I did not think it necessary to walk much savouring of imposition, there is no just room about a town in possession of a hostile soldiery to charge the French with more direct habits of left to the freedom of their own will. The inhabit- dishonesty. Your baggage and money are always ants looked dejected and unhappy, and our landlady, safe from theft or depredation; and when I hapfar from displaying the liveliness of a Frenchwoman, pened to forget a small writing-box, in which there was weeping-ripe, and seemned ready to burst into was actually some money, and which had the aptears at every question which we put to her. Their pearance of being intended for securing valuable
articles, an ostler upon horseback overtook our cient and defensible habitations, and the few, the carriage with it before I had discovered my mis- very few country houses which the traveller sees, take. Yet it would have cost these people only a resemble those built in our own country about the lie to say they knew nothing of it especially as reign of Queen Anne; while the grounds about their house was full of soldiers of different nations, them seem in general neglected, the fences broken, whose presence certainly afforded a sufficient apo- and the whole displaying ihat appearance of waste, logy for the disappearance of such an article. This which deforms a property after the absence of a incident gave me a favourable opinion of this class proprietor for some years. of society in France, as possessed at least of that The furious patriots of the Revolution denounced sort of limited honesty which admits of no pecula- war against castles, and proclaimed peace to the tion excepting in the regular way of business. coitage. Of the former they found comparatively
The road from Brussels to Paris is, in its ordinary few to destroy, and of the latter, in the English state, destitute of objects to interest the traveller, sense of the word, there were as few to be protectThe high ways, planned by Sully, and completed ed. The cultivator of the fields in France, wheby his followers in office, have a magnificence else- ther farmer or peasanı, does not usually live in a where unknown. Their great breadth argues the detached farm-house or cottage, but in one of the little value of ground at the time they were laid out; villages with which the country abounds. This but the perfect state in which the central causeway circumstance, which is not altogether indifferent, is maintained, renders the passage excellent even so far as it concerns rural economics, blemishes in the worst weather, while the large track of ground greatly the beauty of the landscape. The solitary on each side gives an ample facility to use a softer farm-house, with its lirile dependencies of cottages, road during the more favourable season. They is in itself a beautiful object, while it seldomis fails to are usually shadowed by triple rows of elms, and excite in the mind, the idea of the natural and sysfrequently of fruit-trees, which have a rich and plea- lematic dependance of a few virtuous cottagers upon sant effect. But much of the picturesque delights an opulent and industrious farmer, who exercises over of travelling are lost in France, owing to the very them a sort of natural and patriarchal authority, circumstances which have rendered the roads so which has not the less influence because the subexcellent. For as they were all made by the au- jection of the hinds, and their submission to their thority of a government, which possessed and exer- superior, is in some degree voluntary. A large vilcised the power of going as directly from one point lage, composed of many fariners and small proprieto another as the face of the country admitted, they tors, who hire their labourers at large, and without preserve commonly that long and inflexible straight distinction, from amongst the poorer class of the line, of all others least promising to the traveller, same town, is more open to the fends and disputes who longs for the gradual openings of landscape af- which disturb human society, always least viriuous forded by a road, which, in sweet and varied mo- and orderly when banded in crowds together, and dulation, winds round the corn-field and the hill when uninfluenced by the restraints of example of vines," being turned as it were from its forward and of authority, approaching, as closely as may be, and straight direction by respect for ancient proper to their own station in society. ty, and possession, some feeling for the domestic Another uncomfortable appearance in French privacy and convenience, some sympathy even for landscape, is the total want of enclosure. The the prejudices and partialities, of a proprietor. I ground is sedulously and industriously cultivated, love not the stoical virtue of a Brutus, even in lay- and apparently no portion of it is left without a crop. ing out a turnpike-road, and should augur mure But the want of hedges and hedge-row trees gives happily of a country (were there nothing else to to an eye accustomed to the richness of England, a judge by) where the public appears to have given strange appearance of waste and neglect, even where occasionally a little way to spare private property you are convinced, on a closer examination, that and domestic seclusion, than of one where the high there exists in reality neither the one nor the other. road goes right to its mark without respect to either. Besides, there is necessarily an absence of all those In the latter case it only proves the authority of domestic animals which add so much in reality, as those who administer the government; in the for- well as in painting and descriptive poetry, to the mer, it indicates respect for private rights, for beauty of a country. Where there are no enclosures, the protection of which government itself is insti- and where, at the same time, the land is under crop, tuted.
it is plain ihat the painter must look in vain for his But the traveller in France upon my late route, groups of cattle, sheep, and horses, as the poet must has less occasion than elsewhere to regret the rec miss his lowing herd and bleating flock. The cattle tilinear direction of the road on which he journeys, of France are accordingly fed in the large strawfor the country offers no picturesque beauty. The yards which belong to each Metairie, or farm-house, rivers are sluggish, and have fiat uninteresting and the sheep are chiefly grazed in distant tracts of banks. In the towns there sometimes occurs a open pasture. The former practice, as a mode of church worth visiting, but no other remarkable build- keeping not only the stall-fed bullock, but the cows ing of any kind; and the sameness of the architec- destined for the dairy, has been hailed with acclature of the 15th century, to which period most of mation in our own country by many great agricultu, them may be referred, is apt to weary the attention rists, and by you among others. But until I shall when you have visited four or five churches in the be quite assured that the rustic economics profit by course of two days. The fortifications of the towns this edict of perpetual imprisonment against the are of the modern kind, and consequently more milky mothers of the herd, in proportion to the disformidable than picturesque. Of those feudal cas- comfort of the peaceful and useful animal thus tles which add such a venerable grace to the land, sequestered from its natural habits, and to the loss scape in many places of England and Scotland, I of natural beauty in the rural landscape, thus dehave not seen one either ruinous or entire. It would prived of its mosi pleasing objects, I would willingly seem that the policy of Louis XI., to call up his move for a writ of Habeas Corpus in favour of poor nobility from their estates to the court, and to Crummie, made a bond-slave in a free country: , At render them as far as possible dependent upon the any rate, the total absence of cattle from the fields, crown,--a policy indirectly seconded by the destruc- gives a dull and unanimated air to a French landtion of the noble families which took place in the scape. civil wars of the League, and more systematically In travelling also through such parts of France as by the arts observed during the reign of Louis I have seen, the eye more particularly longs for that XIV.,-had succeeded so entirely, as to root out succession of country-seats, with their accompanialmost all traces of the country having ever been ments of parks, gardens, and paddocks, which not possessed by a noblesse campagnarde, who found only furnish the highest ornaments of an English their importance, their power, and their respectabi- landscape, but afford the best and most pleasing Lity, dependent on the attachment of the peasants signs of the existence of a mild and beneficent arisamong whom they lived, and over whom their in- tocracy of land-holders, giving a tone to the opinions terest extended. There are no ruins of their an- of those around them, not by the despotism of feudal
VOL. 1.-5 E
authority and direct power, bui, as we have already , wagons, met some French peasants driving their said of the farmer, by the gradual and imperceptible caris, which occasioned a temporary stop to both influence, which property, joined with education, parties. While some of the Frenchmen seemed zea. naturally acquires over the more humble cultivator lously engaged in clearing way for the military men, of the soil. It is the least evil consequence of the others approached the wagons, and having previabsence of the proprietor, that with him vanish those ously contrived to ascertain that none of the Prusimprovements upon the soil, and upon the face of sians understood French, they loaded them with all nature, which are produced by opulence under the the abusive epithets which that language affords; guidance of taste. 'The eye in this country seldom taking care, however, amid the viracity of their dwells with delight upon irees growing, single or in vituperation, to preserve such an exterior of respect groups, at large and unconfined, for the sole purpose in their manner and gestures, as induced the honest of ornament, and casting their unrestrained vegeta- Prussians to suppose the Frenchmen were making tion and profusion of shade with such as, being apologies for the temporary obstruction which they trained solely for the axe, have experienced constant had given to their betters. Thus the one party were restraint from the closeness of the masses in which showering coquins, and voleurs, and brigands, upon they are planted, and from the knife of the pruner. the other, who ever and anon with great gravity The French forests themselves, when considered in withdrew their pipes from their mouthis to answer their general effect, though necessarily both nume- these douceurs with Das ist gut--schr wohl, and rous and extensive, as furnishing the principal fuel similar expressions of acquiescence. It would have used by the inhabitants, are not generally so disposed been cruel to have deprived the poor Frenchmen of as to make an interesting part of the scenery. The this ingenious mode of expectorating their resenttrees are seldom scattered into broken groups, and ment, but I could not help giving ihem a hint, tha! never arranged in hedge-rows, unless by the sides of the commissary who was coming up understood the highways. Large woods, or rather masses of their language, which had the instant effect of plantations, cannot and do not supply the variety of sending the whole party to their horses' heads. landscape afforded by detached groves, or the rich
The inhabitants had hastened to propitiate the and clothed appearance formed by a variety of inter- invaders, as far as possible, by assuming the badges secting lines composed of single trees.
of loyalty to the house of Bourbon. Nothing marked The absence of enclosures gives also, at least to to my mind more strongly the distracted state of the our eyes, an unimproved and neglected air to this country, than the apparent necessity which every, country: But upon close inspection, the traveller is even the humblest individual, thoughi himself under, satisfied that the impression is inaccurate. The soil of wearing a white cockade, and displaying from the is rich, generally speaking, and every part of the land thatch of his cottage a white rag, to represent the is carefully cropped and cultivated. Although, there- pavilion blanc. There was a degree of suspicion, fore, the ground being undivided, except by the colour arising from this very uniformity, concerning the of the various crops by which it is occupied, has, at motives for which these einblems were assumed; first sight, that waste and impoverished appearance and I dare say the poor inhabitants might many of to which the inhabitant of an enclosed country is them have expressed their feelings in the words of particularly sensible, yet the returns which it makes Fletcher,to the cultivator amply contradict the false impres
Who is here that did not wish thee chosen, sion. It is truly a rich and fertile land, affording in Now thou art chosen ? Ask them-all will say so, profusion all that can render subsistence easy, and
Nay swear't-'lis for the king : but let that pass.' abounding with corn, wine, and oil. When we con- With equal zeal the inhabitants of the towns were sider France in this light, it is impossible to suppress laying aside each symbol that had reference to our feelings of resentment at the irregular ambition, Bonaparte, and emulously substituting a royal which carried the inhabitants of so rich a country to equivalent. The sign-painter was the cleverest at lay yet more waste the barren sands of Prussia, and his profession who could best convert the word encumber with their corpses the pathless wilderness Imperial into Royal; but there were many bunglers, of Moscow and Kalouga.
whose attempts produced only a complicated union But the hour of retaliation is now come, and with of the two contradictory adjectives. Some prudent whatever feelings of resentment we regard the provo- house-keepers, tired apparently of the late repeated cation, it is impossible to view the distress of the changes, left a blank for the epithet, to be inserted country without deep emotions of compassion. From when the government should show some permaone hill to another our eye descried the road before nency. us occupied by armed bands of every description, These numerous testimonies of acquiescence in horse, foot, arullery, and baggage, with their guards the purpose of their march, were in some measure and attendants. "Here was seen a long file of lost upon the allied troops. The Briush, indeed, cavalry moving on at a slow pace, and collecting preserved the strictest propriety and discipline, in their forage as they advanced. There a park of ar- obedience to the orders issued and enforced by the tillery was formed in a cornfield, of which the crop commander in chief. But as the army was neces. was trampled down and destroyed. In one place sarily to be maintained at the expense of the country we passed a regiment of soldiers, pressing forward through which they passed, heavy requisitions were to occupy some village for their nighi-quarters, issued by the commissaries, which the French auwhere the peasant musi lay his account with find-thorities' themselves were under the necessity of ing his military guests whatever accommodation enforcing. Still as piliage and free-booling, under they are pleased to demand from him; in another pretext of free quarters and maintenance, was we mishi see, what was still more ominous to the strictly prohibited and punished, the presence of the country through which the march was made, small English troops was ardently desired, as a protection parties of infantry or of cavalry, detached upon duty, against those of other nations. or straggling for the purpose of plunder. The har Our allies the Prussians, as they had greater vest stood tip ned upon the fields, but it was only in wrongs to revenge, were far less scrupulous in their a few places that the farmer, amid the confusion of treatment of the invaded country. When our road the country, had ventured upon the operation of lay along their line of march, we found as many reaping it, unless where he was compelled by the deserted villages as would have jointured all Sultan constraint of a military requisition, or the cominands Mahmoud's owls. In some places the inhabitants of a comissary. It would have been a new sort of had fled to the woods, and only a few miserable old harvest-home for you, and your faithful Grieve, to creatures, rendered fearless by age and poverty, have seen the labour of leading in the crop performed came around us, begging, or offering fruit for sale. by an armed force, and your sheaves moving to head- As the peasants had left their cottages locked up, quarters instead of the farm-yard, under the escort the soldiers as regularly broke them open, by disof an armed and whiskered Prussian, smoking his charging a muskei through the key-hole, and sbalpipe with great composure on the top of each cart. tering all the wards at once by the explosion. He Sometimes odd enough rencontres took place during who obtains admission by such violent preliminaries this operation. A Prussian commissary, with his is not likely to be a peaceful or orderly guest; and