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among them. But there are some of these we should not insulithe diseased and the broken, many perhaps in spirit and in heart, that seek in more genial climes to recruit their health and life. 'The numerous tombs with English inscriptions, that are to be seen in Pere La Chaise,* and in the burying-grounds throughout the South of France, attest the final repose
many a valetudinarian. There are, however, more substantial and less sentimental monuments of our love of travel left throughout Europe. Chateaubriand, the epic itinerarian, found very comfortable traces of them in Peloponnesus. “ There is at Misitra,” says he, “a Greek house of entertainment, called the Auberge Anglaise, where they eat roastbeef and drink Port-wine. Travellers are, in this respect, under great obligations to the English; it is they who have established good inns throughout all Europe-in Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Spain--at Constantinople, and at Athens, and here, even to the very gates of Sparta, in despite of Lycurgus." How would the Pythian prophetess have astonished the old worthies of Greece, if she had foretold them the establishment of English chop-houses amidst the ruins of Athens and Lacedæmon!
It is easier to create a demand for roast-beef than to write books our success has consequently been more complete in the former attempt. We have no such traveller as Humboldt; yet some people compare him with Dr. Clarke, who, as a brother correspondent observes somewhere, travelled to Russia for the purpose of proving Richard the Third not so great a villain, after all, as Shakspeare and the pit would have him. As an individual, I must record myself to have learned from that gentleman's first volume an abundance of information extremely difficult to reconcile. I found the Russians to be the most amiable people in the world, and the greatest rogues; and throughout the course of the volume, as of Dr. Clarke's journey, they rise and fall in the scale of human excellence so abruptly, that one is inclined to attribute the unfavourable character of the Russians to the ruggedness of their roads, that jolted the traveller out of good humour, while the Cossacks seem indebted for the praise of honesty and civilization to the smooth plains over which his carriage glided. I am no traveller, mor beholder of sights; yet, like all the world, took a trip to the Continent some years since, and must say, that what most astonished me were the volumes of our tourists. The descriptions of columns, arcs, façades, and colonnades, are all very correct; the pictures of private society abroad, such as Lady Morgan's “ France," may be very correct for aught I know—they are, at any rate, very entertaining; but the accounts we have been favoured with concerning the strange manners of the people--the profound analyses of national character gathered from the alleys of Paris--the levity of the women-the politeness of the men-the cheapness of amusements—the profusion of the English, &c. &c. nine assertions in ten, appear to me the exact converse of the truth. To commence with what I have last enumerated-profusion, what
There are some lamentable traits of national envy displayed in the beautiful cemetery of Mont Louis. Some inscriptions over the bodies of English have been partially injured and defaced: that over Major Randolph, if we recollect aright, is one.
† Itineraire, tom. i. .
ever it may have been, has ceased to be the characteristic of English living in France. The contrary, indeed, is the prevailing disposition. France is crowded from one end to the other with English economists; and the custom they have now learned, of bargaining for every thing before-hand, even with the guides and porters that reply with a " Ce que vous voulez, Monsieur, "-"What you please" -gives an appearance of parsimony and suspicion rather than that of carelessness and prodigality. The French tradesmen find it no longer easy to put the English under contribution; and even when they did, they had a very good excuse. There is twice as much extortion on the English side of the channel, without an atom of the civility that might render it palatable. Let our countrymen then not lay in a double stock of suspicion, when they purpose visiting the Continent-they will no where find more rogues than they have left at home. There is not, in any country in Europe, ope sixteenth part of the petty larceny that is committed in London alone. I never heard of an Englishman who lost even a pockethandkerchief in the streets of Paris.
Another of the generally received and erroneous opinions entertained here, is the cheapness of amusements in Paris; of which but one word. The price of admittance to theatres is of no consideration but to thorough play-goers, that is, to the occupiers of the pit. Now in Paris, although the parterre or pit be cheaper, yet it is farther removed from the stage than ours—it is the cheapest and least respected part of the house, answering to our upper galleries-in short, it is not where our critics would choose to sit.
Next of all, the French do not seem to me a jot more polite than other people, and this is a quality on all hands allowed them. The guides and others that one will have to pay, are undeniably extremely civil; but not in our barbarous inetropolis do we ever meet with the intentional rudeness and brusquerie experienced at every turn in the French capital. The only difference between the nations in this point is, that where we bow, they take off their hats, and where we anxiously seek tidings and news of the health, happiness of friends, &c. they find time to pay a compliment. The politeness of society is another thing--at present, I only busy my. self with the erroneous prejudices, both in our favour and the contrary, with which we regard the nations of the Continent; and of the actual state of their society among themselves, the generality of us neither know nor care any thing.
The levity of French women is a necessary part of John Bull's creed, and the part in which he is most completely mistaken. That the prejudice originated in truth is likely; but if the French had a Duc de Richelieu, we have had Lord Rochester. Their own writers allow that the Revolution has destroyed the French galJantry, and gallantry may be here taken in its most comprehensive sense. There are no women more modest and well-behaved than the Parisians—the eyes of females in London are fully as busy and impudent. And the female peasants of the country parts of France are much more reserved than any of the pretty villagers of Great Britain.
Another of our horrors is a French Sunday; nevertheless, I understand that, at present, we have full as much shop-keeping and
sale here upon that day. The theatres being open on the sabbath is the custom that most shock us, and no wonder-a London theatre is, indeed, a place of profane amusement. But the aspect of the Parisian houses is totally different-there is no dress, no show, DO indecorum in the boxes. The men are silent, and the women muftled-all attentive, sober, and at home, as if they listened to a tea-table conversation in our holy city. John Knox"himself could never persude me that a French theatre was the habitation of Satan; and, if we may judge by those sentiments and passages which they mark with applause, there never was a people in whom the feelings of patriotism and moral principle were stronger. If their enemies deny the assertion, it only proves them to be honester people at the theatre than any where else, which surely is not a proof of its being a bad school.
Two or three pictures neglected and faded,
ON THE STATE AND IMPROVEMENT OF THE FINE ARTS IN
ENGLAND. If we admit that a successful cultivation of the Fine Arts not only demonstrates, but promotes, the refinement of a nation, it can. not but awaken considerable regret, that, remote as we are from perfection, we should not have even made any evident progress towards it in those latter years, which have afforded such facilities for the study of Art.
It is neither to be wondered at, nor objected, that the nation at large is not much interested in the success or reputation of artists; for notwithstanding the occasional aids from Parliament, and the distinguished encouragement by individuals, but little has been produced in the higher walks of Art of which we can be justly proud. Yet many of our artists have travelled, have visited the reliques of Greece and Italy, and been the welcomed and privileged visiters of the richest galleries. The consequence of this is, that the most favourable moments ever possessed by England for the attainment of excellence in matters of taste are elapsing without being profited by; and that, when the present race of Continental travellers (who see what painting has been, what architecture and sculpture are in the actual hour,) shall have passed away, we shall sink into a Gothic oblivion of the nobler models, and shall be thrown upon and dependent on the untalented efforts of the English school. In no country has Nature given the mind more of the creative faculty ; and manual aptitude is every where, and in every occupation, evinced; but either the course of instruction is faulty, or true genius is repressed, or the nationally-charged arrogance of self-opinion directs the labours of the architect and the sculptor, and even too often of the painter; and so communicative are their ill-judged decisions, that I heard an Englishman, while looking at the Thesean Temple at Athens, say, " that he much wondered that some of those buildings had not spires;” similarly tasteless ideas are the general ones of the country. I had been at this period absent for many years from England, and on my way to it, was delayed for some time at Rome. I met there several English young men of great promise, actively employed in copying from the Italian school, and exacting, by the excellence of their specimens, the praises of the most qualisied judges. As the Continent had been accessible for nearly seven years, expected to see, in some of the fine arts in England, an evident and decided purity of design, and ability in execution. I have not yet discovered the one or the other; and taking the three last performances in the sister arts as examples, I believe that I shall bave no difficulty in proving my assertion.
The most public performance and cheapest to see, (for they still demand entrance-money at St. Paul's) and first in dignity, is the line of new buildings intended to ornament the City, and calculated, as the Laureat thinks, to throw Athens into the shade. To the architectural student the entire range may form an admirable study and spot of reference, for it contains every style, from the Athenian to the London—a tissue of incongruity, non-descript and nonsensical; and the only pile that can atone in some degree for VOL. III. No, 1,-1822,
the mass of unharmoniousness, is, from situation, less in a thoroughfare than the rest of the deformed quantity.
But the general opinion has been strongly expressed, and we must hope that, when renewed, it may be in better taste; for it happily is of so perishable a construction, that in some few years
The United Service Club-house, the Fire-office,
Nor leave a house behind. I was in the habit of reading in the journals accounts of the sums yoted by Parliament for the sculptured commemoration of the illustrious men that have bled for their country, and I have pointed out these accounts to the foreigners whom I have met, with pride at such a judicious and grateful application of the public funds. I have sometimes added, " Here is, indeed, what may be called patronage; here is the true field for sculpture. The sentiment thrown around the sepulchral monument must give it a superiority over your Hebes, your Bacchus, and your Faun; for there is something in the subject to inspire-to call forth the magnificence of design.' With all the predisposition to be charmed, I entered St. Paul's. The interior of this superb church was in a state of complete neglect; but it was not until I commenced the perusal of the monuments that I saw the policy of the dirt. I am now convinced that it has been allowed to accumulate at the request of the sculptors; and I am glad to see it, for modesty is the promise of amendment. I will not make remarks on masses of marble that are not of recent erection ; but there is a wretched national penury in the spirit that clusters the names of two or three gallant officers on the same beg. garly-looking slab of marble. If these things are proposed as encouragement for the living, the Legislature must think that human exertion is easily bribed. In the latest monument that, by a more liberal grant, has been produced on a more elaborate scale, we will notice the design as it is, and the incongruity visible in it, as in every other group where allegory is attempted. Sir Thomas Picton was acknowledgedly one of the first generals of the British army. After a series of the most brilliant subordinate services rendered to the country, he fell in the most distinguished battle of modern times; and Sir Thomas Picton's monument exhibits not the form of a General of division, nor a full length of an expiring hero, buta bust;-and so placed, that it requires an opera-glass to observe it well. Now, as General Picton's figure, in the artist's opinion, would not do for sculpture, he has given us three that he thinks may answer better. A Victory, or an England, (I forget which) with a Grecian face, handing a wreath for Picton's brow to a Roman Legionary (who cannot reach to Picton's bust), and who is to represent to the spectator the most appropriate emblem of Valour. Now, we think that a British soldier is as emblematical of valour as any Roman can be. And knowing that there was not a single Italian corps in the army at Waterloo, any soldier of the 5th or 88th regiments, who used to lead in Picton's storming-parties, on visiting this monument, will puzzle his memory to think to what regiment