« ZurückWeiter »
was shut.-We climbed to the top stairs.—I dined with Colbrooke, who had much company :-Foote, Sir George Rodney, Motteux, Udson, Taaf.-Called on the Prior, and found him in bed.
“ Hotel-a guinea a day.-Coach, three guineas a week.—Valet de place, three l. a day.--Avant-coureur, a guinea a week.–Ordi. nary dinner, six l. a head.–Our ordinary seems to be about five guineas a day.-Our extraordinary expenses, as diversions, gratuities, clothes, I cannot reckon.-Our travelling is ten guineas a day.
" White stockings, 181. Wig.-Hat.
“Sunday, Oct. 29. We saw the boarding school.—The Enfans trouvés.—A room with about eighty-six children in cradles, as sweet as a parlour.-They lose a third ; take in to perhaps more than seven (years old]; put them to trades; pin to them the papers sent with them.—Want nurses.-Saw their chapel.
“ Went to St. Eustatia; saw an innumerable company of girls catechised, in many bodies, perhaps 100 to a catechist.-Boys taught at one time, girls at another.—The sermon; the preacher wears a cap, which he takes off at the name :-his action uniform, not very violent.
“Oct. 30. Monday. We saw the library of St. Germain.-A very noble collection.—Codex Divinorum Officiorum, 1459:—a letter, square like that of the Offices, perhaps the same.—The Codex, by Fust and Gernsheym.-Meursius, 12 v. fol.-Amadis, in French, 3 v. fol.-CATHOLICON sine colophone, but of 1460.-Two other editions, one by
Augustin. de Civitate Dei, without name, date, or place, but of Fust's square letter as it seems.
“I dined with Col. Drumgould ;1 had a pleasing afternoon.
“ Some of the books of St. Germain's stand in presses from the wall, like those at Oxford.
“ Oct. 31. Tuesday. I lived at the Benedictines; meagre day ; soup meagre, herrings, eels, both with sauce; fryed fish ; lentils, tasteless in themselves. In the library; where I found Masseus's
I have looked in vain into De Bure, Meerman, Mattaire, and other typographical books, for the two editions of the “ Catholicon," which Dr. Johnson mentions here, with names which I cannot make out. I read “one by Latinius, one by Boedinus." I have deposited the original MS. in the British Museum, where the curious may see it. My grateful acknowledgements are due to Mr. Planta for the trouble he was pleased to take in aiding my researches.
Drumgould long resided at St. Ger. mains, and was a friend of Burke's, to whom he told the interesting fact that
“old Grammont was a very cross, wapleasant, old fellow," though his memoirs are so agreeable.
de Historiâ Indicâ : 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 disputations, Major, Minor, Sorbonica.-Several colleges suppressed, and transferred to that which was the Jesuit's College.
“Nov. 1. Wednesday. We left Paris.-St. Denis a large town; the church not very large, but the middle isle is very lofty and aweful.—On the left are chapels built beyond the line of the wall, which destroy the symmetry of the sides.—The organ is higher above the pavement than any I have ever seen.—The gates are of brass.—On the middle gate is the history of our Lord.—The painted windows are historical, and said 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 almost dark.
“ Nov. 2. Thursday. We came this day to Chantilly, a seat belonging to the Prince of Condé.—This place is eminently beautified by all varieties of waters starting up in fountains, falling in cascades, running in streams, and spread in lakes.—The water seems to be too near the house.—All this water is brought from a source or river three leagues off, by an artificial canal, which for one league is carried under ground. The house is magnificentThe cabinet seems well stocked: what I remember was, the jaws of a hippopotamus, and a young hippopotamus preserved, which, however, is so small that I doubt its reality. It seems too hairy for an abortion, and too small for a mature birth.—Nothing was in spirits; all was dry.—The dog; the deer; the ant-bear with long snout.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. —Two faussans, or Brasilian weasels, spotted, very wild.—There is a forest, and, I think, a park.-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, a The writing is so bad here, that the names of several of the animals could not be decyphered without much more acquaintance with natural history than I possess. Dr. Blagden, with his usual politeness, most obligingly examined the MS. To that gentleman, and to Dr. Gray, of the British Museum, who also very readily assisted me, I beg leave to express my best thanks.
b It is thus written by Johnson, from the French pronunciation of Fossane. It should be observed, that the person who showed this Menagerie was mistaken in supposing the fossane and the Brasilian weasel to be the same, the fossane being a different animal, and a native of Madagascar. I find them, however, upon one plate in Pennant's “Synopsis of Quadrupeds."
Second Edition.-Line 3: Maitre des Arts. " Mrs. Piozzi reminds Johnson how he teased her one day at Compiègne about her
with a royal palace built round a pentagonal court.—The court is raised upon vaults, and has, I suppose an entry on one side by a gentle rise.—Talk of painting. The church is not very large, but very elegant and splendid.--I had at first great difficulty to walk, but motion grew continually easier.-At night we came to Noyon, an episcopal city.–The cathedral is very beautiful, the pillars alternately Gothick and Corinthian.-We entered a very noble parochial church.-Noyon is walled, and is said to be three miles round.
“Nov. 4. Saturday. We rose 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 confessor, who came to visit us in the evening.
“ Nov. 5. Sunday. We saw the cathedral.-It is very beautiful, with chapels on each side.—The choir splendid.—The balustrade in one part brass.—The Neff very high and grand.—The Altar silver as far as it is seen.—The vestments very splendid.—At the Benedictine's 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 short notes of his tour, though they may seem minute taken singly, make together a considerable mass of information, and exhibit such an ardour of enquiry and acuteness 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 see; and, if he had taken the trouble to revise and digest 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 seen all the visibilities 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 most complete character, for he had first been a professor of rhetorick, and then became a soldier. And, Sir, I was very
• My worthy and ingenious friend, Mr. Andrew Lumisdane, by his accurate acquaintance with France, enabled me to make out many proper names, which Dr. Johnson had written indistinctly, and sometimes spelt erroneously.
criticisms on the “contour, grace, and expression" of a picture. Baretti adds in his Marginalia, “He behaved amiss
at St. Deny's, where he took offence at some little thing, fort mal à propos."
kindly treated by the English Benedictines, and have a cell appro. priated to me in their convent.”
He observed, “ The great in France live very magnificently, but the rest very miserably. There is no happy middle state as in England. The shops of Paris are mean; the meat in the markets is such as would be sent to a gaol in England : and Mr. Thrale justly observed, that the cookery of the French was forced upon them by necessity; for they could not eat their meat, unless they added some taste to it. The French are an indelicate people; they will spit upon any place. At Madame -'s, a literary lady of rank, the footman took the sugar in his fingers, and threw it into
I was going to put it aside; but hearing it was made on purpose for me, I e'en tasted Tom's fingers. The same lady would needs make tea à l'Angloise. The spout of the tea-pot did not pour freely : she bade the footman blow into it. France is worse than Scotland in every thing but climate. Nature has done more for the French; but they have done less for themselves than the Scotch have done.'
It happened that Foote was at Paris at the same time with Dr. Johnson, and his description 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 obstinately continued exactly as in London ;-his brown clothes, black stockings, and plain shirt. He mentioned, that an Irish gentleman said to Johnson, “Sir, you have not seen the best French players.” Johnson. Players, Sir! I look on them as no better than creatures set upon tables and joint-stools to make faces and produce laughter, like dancing dogs."-"But, Sir, you will allow that some players are better than others ? " JOHNSON. “ Yes, Sir, as some dogs dance better than others.”
While Johnson was in France, he was generally very resolute in speaking Latin. It was a maxim with him that a man should not let himself down, by speaking a language which he speaks imperfectly. Indeed, we must have often observed how inferiour, how
1 This lady was Madame du Bocage, as Mr. Croker discovered from Miss Reynolds's “Recollections."
Baretti, always ungracious when not malignant, thus describes his fellow. traveller :
“ He mused as much on the road to Paris as he did in his garret in London. During our journey to and from Paris he visited five or six libraries, which is a most idle thing a traveller can do, as
they are to be seen cursorily. With men, women, and children, he never exchanged a word.” And again : “He did so constantly when we went to France together, and noticed the country so little that he scarcely spoke of it ever after. If he noticed the Hebrides somewhat more, it was because he lay under the necessity of giving an account of it... which was not the case in France, where he never touched a pen."- Marginalia.
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, presented him to a Frenchman of great distinction, he would not deign to speak French, but talked Latin, though his Excellency did not understand it, owing, perhaps, to Johnson's English pronunciation : yet upon another occasion he was observed to speak French to a Frenchman of high rank, who spoke English; and being asked the reason, with some expression of surprise,-he answered, “ Because I think my French is as good as his English." Though Johnson understood French perfectly, he could not speak it readily, as I have observed at his first interview with General Paoli, in 1769; yet he wrote it, I imagine, very well, as appears from some of his letters in Mrs. Piozzi's collection, of which I shall transcribe one.
A Madame La Comtesse de
“July 16, 1771. “Oui, Madame, le moment est arrivé, et il faut que je parte. Mais pourquoi faut il partir ? Est ce que je m'ennuye ? Fe m'ennuyerai alleurs. Est ce que je cherche ou quelque plaisir, ou quelque soulagement ? Je ne cherche rien, je n'espere rien. Aller voir ce que jai vû, etre un peu rejoué, un peu degouté, ne resouvenir que la vie se passe, et qu'elle se passe 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 sans s'y livrer trop."
Here let me not forget a curious anecdote, as related to me by Mr. Beauclerk, which I shall endeavour to exhibit as well as I can in that gentleman's lively manner; and in justice to him it is
1 Dated in Mrs. Piozzi's letters May before, be a little amused and a little 16, 1771, and in Boswell's two editions disgusted." July 16, 1771.
In the later editions Mr. Boswell is right to qualify his it stands July 16, 1775. Mr. Croker is moderate praise of Johnson's French by therefore in error when he states that all an “as I imagine." This letter, as the editions but the first have July 16, well as the one addressed to Miss Flint, 1775. Boswell, when copying, often is in wretched French, as indeed Baretti made mistakes as to months and years. testifies (Marginalia). .“ Il faut que je It is evident that the date was changed parte," "je m'ennuyerai alleurs," « alier by Malone, on the idea that the letter voir ce que j'ai vû," “un peu rejoue," was written on the eve of Johnson's
“ la vie se passe,
plaindre de moi," departure from France. But this is not are all barbarous; while “m'endurcir consistent with the passage “ aller voir aux dehors” is unintelligible Johnsonce que jai vû.” From the tone of the French, boldly fashioned for the occarest of the sentence, it looks as though sion. In his third edition Boswell's he were leaving for Lichfield, where he opinion of Johnson's French was likely “to see what he had seen changed from
very well” to “pretty well."