페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

more. The friar that fpoke to us had a pretty apartment.-Mr. Baretti

1775

fay, four rooms; I remember but three.-His books seemed to be French.- Etat. 66.
His garden was neat; he gave me grapes.-We faw the Place de Victoire,
with the ftatues of the King, and the captive nations.

"We faw the palace and gardens of Luxembourg, but the gallery was
fhut. We climbed to the top stairs.—I dined with Colbrooke, who had much
company-Foote, Sir George Rodney, Motteux, Udfon, Taaf.-Called on
the Prior, and found him in bed.

[ocr errors]

" Hotel—a guinea a day.—Coach, three guineas a week.-Valet de place, three 1. day.—Avant-coureur, a guinea a week.-Ordinary dinner, fix 1. a head. Our ordinary feems to be about five guineas a day.-Our extraordinary expences, as diverfions, gratuities, clothes, I cannot reckon.Our travelling is ten guineas a day.

66

"White ftockings, 18 1. Wig.-Hat.

Sunday, Oct. 29. We faw the boarding-school.-The Enfans trouvés.— A room with about eighty-fix children in cradles, as fweet as a parlour.They lofe a third; take in to perhaps more than feven [years old]; put them to trades; pin to them the papers fent with them.-Want nurses.-Saw their chapel.

"Went to St. Euftatia; faw an innumerable company of girls catechifed, in many bodies, perhaps 100 to a catechift.-Boys taught at one time, girls at another. The fermon; the preacher wears a cap, which he takes off at the name-his action uniform, not very violent.

"Oct. 30. Monday. We faw the library of St. Germain.-A very noble
collection.-Codex Divinorum Officiorum, 1459-a letter, fquare like that
of the Offices, perhaps the fame.-The Codex, by Fuft and Gernsheym.-
Meurfius, 12 v. fol.-Amadis, in French, 3 v. fol.-CATHOLICON fine colophone,
but of 1460.-Two other editions, one by

Auguftin. de Civitate Dei, without name, date, or place, but of Fuft's square
letter as it feems.

"I dined with Col. Drumgould ;-had a pleafing afternoon.

"Some of the books of St. Germain's stand in preffes from the wall, like thofe at Oxford.

4 I have looked in vain into De Bure, Meerman, Mattaire, and other typographical books, for the two editions of the "Catholicon," which Dr. Johnfon mentions here, with names which I cannot make out. I read "one by Latinius, one by Boedinus." I have depofited the original MS. in the British Museum, where the curious may fee it. My grateful acknowledgements are due to Mr. Planta for the trouble he was pleased to take in aiding my researches.

"Oct.

1775.

"Oct. 31. Tuesday. I lived at the Benedictines; meagre day; foup Etat, 66. meagre, herrings, eels, both with fauce; fryed fifh; lentils, taftelefs in themfelves. In the library; where I found Maffeus's de Hiftoria Indica: Promontorium flectere, to double the Cape. I parted very tenderly from the Prior and Friar Wilkes.

"Maitre es Arts, 2 y.-Bacc. Theol. 3 y.-Licentiate, 2 y.-Doctor Th. 2 y. in all 9 years.-For the doctorate three difputations, Major, Minor, Sorbonica. Several colleges fuppreffed, and transferred to that which was the Jefuit's College.

"Nov. 1. Wednesday. We left Paris.-St. Denis, a large town; the church not very large, but the middle ifle is very lofty and aweful.-On the left are chapels built beyond the line of the wall, which deftroy the fymmetry of the fides.-The organ is higher above the pavement than any I have ever feen. The gates are of brass.-On the middle gate is the history of our Lord. The painted windows are historical, and faid to be eminently beautiful. We were at another church belonging to a convent, of which the portal is a dome; we could not enter further, and it was almoft dark.

[ocr errors]

"Nov. 2. Thursday. We came this day to Chantilly, a feat belonging to the Prince of Condé.-This place is eminently beautified by all varieties of waters starting up in fountains, falling in cafcades, running in ftreams, and fpread in lakes.—The water feems to be too near the house.-All this water is brought from a fource or river three leagues off, by an artificial canal, which for one league is carried under ground.-The house is magnificent.— The cabinet feems well stocked: what I remember was, the jaws of a hippopotamus, and a young hippopotamus preferved, which, however, is fo fmall that I doubt its reality.-It seems too hairy for an abortion, and too small for a mature birth.-Nothing was in fpirits; all was dry.-The dog; the deer; the ant-bear with long fnout.-The toucan, long broad beak.-The stables were of very great length. The kennel had no scents.-There was a mockery of a village. The Menagerie had few animals 5.-Two fauffans, or Brafilian weafels, fpotted, very wild.-There is a forest, and, I think, a park.

5 The writing is fo bad here, that the names of feveral of the animals could not be decyphered without much more acquaintance with natural hiftory than I poffefs. Dr. Blagden, with his ufual politeness, moft obligingly examined the MS. To that gentleman, and to Dr. Gray, of the British Museum, who alfo very readily affifted me, I beg leave to exprefs my best thanks.

It is thus written by Johnfon, from the French pronunciation of Foffane. It should be obferved, that the perfon who fhowed this Menagerie was mistaken in fuppofing the fossane and the Brafilian weafel to be the fame, the foffane being a different animal, and a native of Madagascar. I find them, however, upon one plate in Pennant's "Synopfis of Quadrupeds.”

2

I walked

[ocr errors]

I walked till I was very weary, and next morning felt my feet battered, and with pains in the toes.

"Nov. 3. Friday. We came to Compiegne, a very large town, with a royal palace built round a pentagonal court. The court is raised upon vaults, and has, I fuppofe an entry on one fide by a gentle rife.-Talk of painting.— The church is not very large, but very elegant and fplendid. I had at first great difficulty to walk, but motion grew continually easier.-At night we came to Noyon, an epifcopal city.-The cathedral is very beautiful, the pillars alternately Gothick and Corinthian.-We entered a very noble parochial church. Noyon is walled, and is faid to be three miles round.

"Nov. 4. Saturday. We rofe very early, and came through St. Quintin to Cambray, not long after three.-We went to an English nunnery, to give a letter to Father Welch, the confeffor, who came to vifit us in the evening.

"Nov. 5. Sunday. We faw the cathedral.-It is very beautiful, with chapels on each fide.-The choir fplendid.-The baluftrade in one part brafs.-The Neff very high and grand.-The altar filver as far as it is seen.The vestments very splendid. At the Benedictines church

""

Here his journal ends abruptly. Whether he wrote any more after this time, I know not; but probably not much, as he arrived in England about the 12th of November. These fhort notes of his tour, though they may seem minute taken fingly, make together a confiderable mass of information, and exhibit fuch an ardour of enquiry and acutenefs of examination, as, I believe, are found in but few travellers, especially at an advanced age. They completely refute the idle notion which has been propagated, that he could not fee; and, if he had taken the trouble to revise and digeft them, he undoubtedly could have expanded them into a very entertaining narrative.

When I met him in London the following year, the account which he gave me of his French tour, was, "Sir, I have feen all the vifibilities of Paris, and around it; but to have formed an acquaintance with the people there, would have required more time than I could stay. I was just beginning to creep into acquaintance by means of Colonel Drumgould, a very high man, Sir, head of L'Ecole Militaire, a moft complete character, for he had firft been a profeffor of rhetorick, and then became a foldier. And, Sir, I was very kindly treated by the English Benedictines, and have a cell appropriated to me in their convent."

7 My worthy and ingenious friend, Mr. Andrew Lumifdaine, by his accurate acquaintance with France, enabled me to make out many proper names, which Dr. Johnfon had written indiftinctly, and fometimes fpelt erroneously.

He

1775

Etat. 66.

1775.

He obferved, "The great in France live very magnificently, but the rest Atat. 66. very miferably. There is no happy middle state as in England. The shops of Paris are mean; the meat in the markets is fuch as would be fent to a gaol in England and Mr. Thrale juftly obferved, that the cookery of the French was forced upon them by neceffity; for they could not eat their meat, unless they added fome tafte to it. The French are an indelicate people; they will fpit upon any place. At Madame 's, a literary lady of rank, the footman took the fugar in his fingers, and threw it into my coffee. I was going to put it afide; but hearing it was made on purpofe for me, I e'en tafted Tom's fingers. The fame lady would needs make tea á l'Angloife. The fpout of the tea-pot did not pour freely: fhe bade the footman blow into it. France is worfe than Scotland in every thing but climate. Nature has done more for the French; but they have done lefs for themselves than the Scotch have done."

[ocr errors]

It happened that Foote was at Paris at the fame time with Dr. Johnson, and his defcription of my friend while there was abundantly ludicrous. He told me, that the French were quite astonished at his figure and manner, and at his dress, which he obftinately continued exactly as in London ;-his brown clothes, black ftockings, and plain fhirt. He mentioned, that an Irish gentleman faid to Johnfon, "Sir, you have not feen the beft French players." JOHNSON. "Players, Sir! I look on them as no better than creatures fet upon tables and joint-ftools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs."" But, Sir, you will allow that fome players are better than others?" JOHNSON. "Yes, Si, as fome dogs dance better than others."

While Johnson was in France, he was generally very refolute in fpeaking
Latin. It was a maxim with him that a man fhould not let himfelf down,
by speaking a language which he speaks imperfectly. Indeed, we must have
often obferved how inferiour, how much like a child a man appears, who
speaks a broken tongue. When Sir Joshua Reynolds, at one of the dinners
of the Royal Academy, prefented him to a Frenchman of
great diftinction, he
would not deign to fpeak French, but talked Latin, though his Excellency
did not understand it, owing, perhaps, to Johnfon's English pronunciation:
yet upon another occafion he was obferved to fpeak French to a Frenchman
of high rank, who spoke English; and being afked the reafon, with fome
expression of surprize,-he answered, "Because I think my French is as good
as his English." Though Johnfon understood French perfectly, he could not
speak it readily, as I have obferved at his firft interview with General Paoli,
in 1769; yet he wrote it, I imagine, very well, as appears from foine of his
letters in Mrs. Piozzi's collection, of which I fhall tranfcribe cne.

6

A Madame

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

A Madame La Comteffe de

July 16, 1771.

Mais

"OUI, Madame, le moment est arrivé, et il faut que je parte. pourquoi faut il partir? Eft ce que je m'ennuye? Je m'ennuyerai alleurs. Eft ce que je cherche ou quelque plaifir, ou quelque foulagement? Je ne cherche rien, je n'efpere rien. Aller voir ce que jai vú, etre un peu rejoué, un peu degouté, ne refouvenir que la vie fe paffe, et qu'elle fe paffe en vain, me plaindre de moi, m'endurcir aux dehors; voici le tout de ce qu'on compte pour les delices de l'anné. Que Dieu vous donne, Madame, tous les agrémens de la vie, avec un esprit qui peut en jouir fans s'y livrer trop."

Here let me not forget a curious anecdote, as related to me by Mr. Beauclerk, which I fhall endeavour to exhibit as well as I can in that gentleman's lively manner; and in juftice to him it is proper to add, that Dr. Johnson told me, I might rely both on the correctnefs of his memory, and the fidelity of his narrative. "When Madame de Boufflers was first in England, (faid Beauclerk,) fhe was defirous to fee Johnson. I accordingly went with her to his chambers in the Temple, where fhe was entertained with his converfation for fome time. When our visit was over, she and I left him, and were got into Inner Temple-lane, when all at once I heard a noise like thunder. This was occafioned by Johnson, who it seems upon a little recollection, had taken it into his head that he ought to have done the honours of his literary refidence to a foreign lady of quality, and eager to fhew himself a man of gallantry, was hurrying down the ftaircafe in violent agitation. He overtook us before we reached the Templegate, and brufhing in between me and Madame de Boufflers, feifed her hand, and conducted her to her coach. His drefs was a rusty brown morning fuit, a pair of old fhoes by way of flippers, a little fhrivelled wig fticking on the top of his head, and the fleeves of his fhirt and the knees of his breeches hanging loofe. A confiderable crowd of people gathered round, and were not a little ftruck by this fingular appearance."

He spoke Latin with wonderful fluency and elegance. When Pere Boscovich was in England, Johnfon dined in company with him at Sir Joshua Reynolds's, and at Dr. Douglas's, now Bishop of Carlifle. Upon both. occafions that celebrated foreigner expreffed his aftonishment at Johnson's Latin conversation.

[blocks in formation]

1775 Ly Ætat. 66.

« 이전계속 »