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where they would make a part of the conversation, or my walk was ordered me. You will easily find by my observations, that I incline rather to nature than dominion; and that I took more pleasure to see Monsieur Breman in his white waistcoat digging in the royal physic garden, and sowing his couches, than Monsieur de Saintot making room for an ambassador; and I found myself better disposed, and more apt to learn the names and physiognomy of a hundred plants, than of five or six princes. After all, I had much rather have walked a hundred paces under the meanest hedge in Languedoc, than any the finest valley at Versailles or St. Cloud, so much I prefer fair nature and a warm sun, before the most exquisite performances of art in a cold and barren climate.

Another reason, that I give you little or no trouble in telling you court matters, is, that I was no more concerned in the embassy, than in the sailing of the ship which carried me over it is enough for me, with the rest of the people of England, to feel the good effects of it, and pass away this life in peace and quietness. It is a happy turn for us, when kings are made friends again. This was the end of this embassy, and I hope it will last our days. My lord ambassador was infinitely caressed by the king, his ministers, and all the princes. It is certain the French are the most polite nation in the world, and can praise and court with a better air than the rest of mankind. However the generality of the kingdom were through great necessity well disposed to receive the peace: the bigots and some disbanded officers might be heard at our first going to grumble, but those also gave over, and we heard no more of them when we came away. But to the business.

I happily arrived at Paris after a tedious journey in very bad weather; for we set out of London the tenth of December, and I did not reach Paris till the first of January; for I fell sick upon the road, and staid five days at Bologne, behind the company, till my fever abated; yet notwithstanding so rude a journey, I recovered, and was perfectly cured of my cough in ten days; which was the chiefest reason of my leaving London at that time of the year, and never had the least return of it all the winter, though it was as fierce there as I ever felt it in England. This great benefit of the French air I had experienced three several times before, and had therefore longed for a passage many years; but the continuance of the war was an insuperable obstacle to my desires. Therefore the first opportunity which offered itself I readily embraced, which was my lord Portland's acceptance of my attendance of him in his extraordinary embassy; who ordered me to go before with one of my good friends, who was sent to prepare matters against his arrival.

Now that I might not wholly trust my memory, in what I saw at Paris, I set down my thoughts under certain heads.


THOUGH I had much spare time the six months I staid in that city, yet the rudeness of the winter season kept me in for some time. Again, I believe I did not see the tithe of what deserves to be seen, and well considered; because for many things I wanted a relish, particularly for painting and building; however I viewed the city in all its parts, and made the round of it; took several prospects of it at a distance when well thought on, I must needs confess it to be one of the most beautiful and magnificent in Europe, and in which a traveller might find novelties enough for six months for daily entertainment, at least in and about this noble city. To give therefore a strict and general idea of it, and not to enter far into the vain disputes of the number of inhabitants, or its bigness, compared to London; sure I am, the standing

croud was so great, when my lord ambassador made his entry, that our people were startled at it, and were ready the next day to give up the question, had they not well considered the great curiosity of the Parisians, who are much more delighted in fine shews than the people of London, and so were well near all got into the way of the cavalcade. One thing was an evident argument of this humour, that there were some hundreds of coaches of persons of the best quality, even some bishops and lords which I saw, who had placed themselves in a file to line the streets, and had had the patience to have so remained for some hours.

It is also almost certain, that for the quantity of ground possessed by the common people, this city is much more populous than any part of London; here are from four to five and to ten menages, or distinct families in many houses; but this is only to be understood of certain places of trade. This difference betwixt the two cities also is true, that here the palaces and convents have eat up the people's dwellings, and crouded them excessively together, and possessed themselves of far the greatest part of the ground; whereas in London the contrary may be observed, that the people have destroyed the palaces, and placed themselves upon the foundations of them, and forced the nobility to live in squares or streets in a sort of community: but this they have done very honestly, having fairly purchased them.

The views also which it gives upon the river are admirable: that of the Pont-neuf downwards to the Tuilleries, or upwards from the Pont-Royal; and some other places, as from Pont St. Bernard, the Greeve, &c. The river Seine, which passes through the midst of the city, is all nobly banked or keyed with large free-stone; and incloses in the heart of the city two islands, which causes many fine bridges to be built to pass over them.

The houses are built of hewn stone entirely, or whited over with plaister: some indeed in the beginning of this age are of brick with free-stone, as the Place-Royal, Place-Dauphin, &c. but that is wholly left off now; and the white plaster is in some few places only coloured after the fashion of brick, as part of the abbey of St. Germain. The houses every where are high and stately; the churches numerous, but not very big; the towers and steeples are but few in proportion to the churches, yet that noble way of steeple, the domes or cupolas, have a marvellous effect in prospect; though they are not many, as that of Val de Grace, des Invalides, College Mazarin, de l'Assumption, the Grand Jesuits, la Sarbonne, and some few others.

All the houses of persons of distinction are built with porte-cocheres, that is, wide gates to drive in a coach, and consequently have courts within; and mostly remises to set them up. There are reckoned above 700 of these great gates; and very many of these are after the most noble patterns of ancient architecture.

The lower windows of all houses are grated with strong bars of iron; which must be a vast expence.

As the houses are magnificent without, so the finishing withinside and furniture answer in riches and neatness: as hangings of rich tapestry, raised with gold and silver threads, crimson damask and velvet beds or of gold and silver tissue. Cabinets and bureaus of ivory inlaid with tortoise-shell, and gold and silver plates in 100 different manners: branches and candlesticks of crystal: but above all most rare pictures. The gildings, carvings and paintings of the roofs are admirable.

These things are in this city and the country about, to such a variety and excess, that you can come into no private house of any man of substance, but you see something of them; and they are observed frequently to ruin themselves in these expences. Every one, that has any thing to spare, covets to have some good picture or sculpture of the best artist; the like in the ornaments of their gardens, so that it is incredi

ble what pleasure that vast quantity of fine things give the curious stranger. Here as soon as ever a man gets any thing by fortune or inheritance, he lays it out in some such way as now named.

Yet, after all, many utensils and conveniencies of life are wanting here, which we in England have. This makes me remember what Monsieur Justell, a Parisian formerly, told me here, that he had made a catalogue of near threescore things of this nature which they wanted in Paris.

The pavements of the streets is all of square stone, of about eight or ten inches thick; that is, as deep in the ground as they are broad at top; the gutters shallow, and laid round without edges, which makes the coaches glide easily over them.

However, it must needs be said, the streets are very narrow, and the passengers a-foot no ways secured from the hurry and danger of coaches, which always passing the streets with an air of haste, and a full trot upon broad flat stones, betwixt high and large resounding houses, makes a sort of music which should seem very agreeable to the Parisians.

The royal palaces are surprisingly stately; as the Louvre and Tuilleries, Palais Luxembourg, Palais Royal.

The convents are great, and numerous, and well built; as Val de Grace, St. Germains, St. Victor, St. Genevieve, the Grand Jesuits, &c.

The squares are few in Paris, but very beautiful; as the Place Royal, Place Victior, Place Dauphine, none of the largest, except the Places Vendosme, not yet finished. The gardens within the walls, open to the public, are vastly great, and very beautiful; as the Tuilleries, Palais Royal, Luxembourg, the Royal Physic Garden, of the arsenal, and many belonging to convents, the Carthusians, Celestins, St. Victor, St. Genevieve, &c.

But that which makes the dwelling in this city very diverting for people of quality, is the facility of going out with their coaches into the fields on every side; it lying round, and the avenues to it so well paved; and the places of airing so clean, open, or shady, as you please, or the season of the year and time of the day require: as the Cour de la Reyne, Bois de Bologne, Bois de Vincennes, les Sables de Vaugerarde, &c. But to descend to a more particular review of this great city, I think it not amiss to speak first of the streets and public places, and what may be seen in them; next of the houses of note; and what curiosities of nature or art, also of men and libraries, I met with next of their diet and recreations; next of the gardens, and their furniture and ornaments; and of the air and health. We shall conclude the whole with the state of physic and pharmacy here.


To begin with the coaches, which are very numerous here and very fine in gilding: but there are but few, and those only of the great nobility, which are large, and have two seats or funds. But what they want in the largeness, beauty, and neatness of ours in London, they have infinitely in the easiness of carriage, and the ready turning in the narrowest streets. For this purpose, they are all crane-necked, and the wheels before very low; not above two feet and a half diameter; which makes them easy to get into, and brings down the coach-box low, that you have a much better prospect out of the foremost glass, our high seated coachmen being ever in the point of view. Again, they are most, even fiacres or hackneys, hung with double springs at the four corners, which insensibly breaks all jolts. This I never was so sensible of, as after having practised the Paris coaches for four months, I once rid in the easiest chariot of my lord's, which came from England; but not a jolt but what affected a man: so as to be tired more in one hour in that, than in six in these.

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