Aug 26 to Sept 13
On Tuesday Aug 26, 1823 I left London for Heath Lodge, near Croydon the residence of my Sister Mary Ann Fowle. On the following morning, being Wednesday Aug 27 I had the honour of leading to the Hymenial Altar at Croydon Church Surry, Mary the only Daughter of the late Thos Booker Esq. of Petersfield Hants.
After the ceremony which was performed in [sic] & honored by the presence of my Father, Mother, Mr & Mrs Fowle Mr J. F. Hilditch, Mrs Dale & Mrs. I. Booker we proceeded in our equipages, consisting of a Carriage and four, a Chariot and four and a post chaise to Mr Fowles of Heath Lodge, were we partook of a cold collation consisting of the delicacies of the season & enjoying the pleasure of the change that had taken place in name & condition of life.
About 1 we all left Mr Fowles and proceeded to Black heath to partake of a Dinner given to us by my Father at the Green Mare. The beauty of the day, with the prospects which occasionally opened to our view from the summit of the hills afforded us a sight of the surrounding country, with its crops bending to the efforts of the husbandman. After enjoying a sumptuous repast and receiving the congratulations of friends, myself & now the better half took our departure of those who had this day met for the purpose of gratifying our inclination in sanctioning our matrimonial alliance, an alliance formed and sanctioned by the approbation of all parties.
The country to appearance was fine, but having a rare and exquisite exotic immediately under my care, I cannot say that I obserbed many of the beauties with which this country abounds.
About Dusk we arrived at Dartford & on the following day reached Dover & after staying one night and enjoying the beauties of a summers breeze on the brink of the English Channel and having a distant view of Calais we ventured to leave the land of Freedom happiness & comfort and of our Fathers and embark ourselves on board the Steam Packet for Calais; there to land on an unknown land, uncertain as to our peace, happiness or freedom.
The beauty of the day added considerably to our gratification, coupled with the opportunity of seeing both the English and French coasts, made the voyage pleasant. The vessel was fann'd over with a gentle breeze, which added to steam, enabled us to land at Calais in three hours from the time we placed ourselves on board the packet.
From the various reports in circulation we landed with some degree of curiosity as to what treatment we should experience from those formidable Gend'Armeria who with that are 'alias' Custom house Officers.
Upon our landing upon the shores of Calais we were requested to proceed to the Custom house, where we presented our passports, which upon examination being found correct, were shewn into an inner room for the purpose (as we supposed) of examination, but to our surprise they opened a little door & were politely informed we might depart, not having undergone any examination.
Our trunks were conveyed to the Custom house and the Commissioner of the Hotel where we took up our quarters having obtained our keys, went to the Custom house & returned with the trunks untouched to appearance.
The Commissioner above named is an individual employ'd by the Hotels on the Coast where Packets sail to & fro, who for a smalll trifle get the trunks and passports without any inconvenience or trouble to yourself. He is a responsible man & can be trusted.
Calais is a fortified sea port town, defended by a castle and surrounded by formidable remparts, and hanving four or five gates strongly fortified on the land side.
The town in general is well built and is surrounded on the land side with heights planted with rows of timber trees affording shady walks on a Summers day.
The Market place called la place d'armis is open and spacious having an extensive handsome Town hall, adjoining to which is the Church an interesting building with pleasing architecture, built by the English. The Houses surrounding the Market place are good.
The most pleasing object at Calais is the pier, which extends a considerable distance over the sands and at High water has a very fine effect.
From the end of the pier Dover cliffs are seen with much effect, upon a clear day. It was very fine when we were on, and afforded a good view of the English coast.
On the pier is a small column surmounted with a ball commemorating the restoration of Lewis 18 and on a brass plate on the pier in the form of a shoe, being the very spot that Louis 18 first set his foot on French ground.
The inhabitants of Calais appear happy & contented and possess countenances that have some faint resemblance to those of our English countenance.
At Calais we put up at a French Hotel bordering in some respects to that of an English one. The apartments were pleasant, with a bedroom adjoining or as it would be called in England a Cupboard, in which were placed two beds, as it is customary in France for Man and Wife to sleep seperate in the Summer & from the smallness of the beds I should think so in winter.
At five o clock we were invited to join the Dinner party, where all the inhabitants of the Hotel are in general assembled. It being the first French dinner presented to our sight, we could not but be struck with the neat appearance exhibited in displaying to the best advantage those necessary articles which gave every indication of an approaching substantial repast. To an Englishman after a journey such an appearance is always a sure indication of something approaching which will satisfy the appatite and warm the heart.
The first dish presented was a poor well salted soup (alias Salt & Water) containing a considerable quantity of bread.
The second dish consisted of the meat which had been previously boiled in rags for the soup and which contained neither taste nor substance.
The third was poultry dressed or smeared over with some very strong disagreeable sauce.
Fourth some peculiar made dishes and of which the French took liberally.
Fifthly was put on the Cheese & Butter, but contrary to our English custome, they were surrounded in every point with a profusion of fruit, consisting of every delicacy the season afforded.
The novil appearance added much to the effect. As to the qualities of the fruit I did not conceive them to be at all equal to those of our own. There is not that delicious favour & firmness which is so fine in the fruit of England.
As a beverage at Dinner you have put on the table in black quart bottles, a wine, light called vin Ordinaire, instead of beer & which most of the Hotels is found very good & is a pleasant drink. The french in general mix water with it. As far as regarded my own drinking I thought it more preferable to take pure. Champaign was very good & is a favourite drink after dinner.
It being our intention to leave Calais on Saturday morning for Paris I proceded to the office of the Royal Diligence to secure places in the Cabriolet part of the diligence which being in front (but secure at night with a front from wind and weather) would afford a fine view of the country it was our intention to travel over.
The distance being 210 french miles from Paris and the coach leaving Calais at 9 in the morning and not reaching Paris until 7 o clock the following evening I availed myself of a permission of being allowed to stop on the road for the Night and proceed on the following day to Paris. It is necessary an engagement in writing be obtained previous to leaving Calais. The coach arrives at Abbeville about 11 at night, so that we had permission to sleep at Abbeville if we felt inclined; if not we might proceed at once to Paris. The fare for each was 45 francs and ten to the Conductor.
After enjoying ourselves at Calais and exchaning passports we proceeded to the office from whence our diligence proceeds to Paris.
Upon our entrance into the yard our attention was attracted by an immense high caravan of the most clumsy description, with pondrous wheels and a team of horses that would have been thought a disgrace to the poorest farmer in England. The accoutrements to the Horses were of the worst order, neither taste nor cleaness or comfort were displayed. The whole concern was of the most wretched and poverty struck description.
The Cabriolet being in front and placed very high it was with some difficulty we could mount the triumphant vehicle.
When all was ready the Conductor or guard who goes to Paris, gave notice all was ready, when there appeared an Man if he could be so called, of an antique appearance, with attire of the filthiest order and legs buried in a huge pair of jack boots, of a size that would admit a small child into them without much inconvenience; when mounted upon his rosinante, he flourished his whip, and produced a loud clap, the pride of the French postillion; the sound of which was well known to the Horses, for off they set. The number of horses are five, being two wheel & three a breast as leaders. The drivers rode post & the one man managed with five horses with considerable ability. The reins and harness are in general made of rope. At the gate of Calais our passports were examined, when we proceeded our road to Paris. No sooner had we verged from the town of Calais than we entered on a wide & substantial road, firm in its texture and from the small stones lying along its side appear to be kept in repair after the plan of McAdam.
The country became hilly, affording occasional views of the coast of England. One peculiar feature of the road was the total want of hedges along its sides or intersecting any part of the surrounding country. The country does not possess any particular tract of rich cultivated ground. The view of a farm house was a treat.
When at a short distance from Calais we passed a single farm house named Haut Buisson from whence we continued over a hilly but naked country, leaving on the right Wissant a sea port town, said to have been honored by the presence of Julius Caesar when he invaded England.
Continuing on to Boulogne the country became open, though hilly, until we nearly entered the village of Wimille situated at the foot of two hills. The entrance to is is pleasant in extreme, an avenue of fine lofty trees, shading the road leading into the village.
From Wimille we continued over a continued range of hills affording various views of the sea in our progress. The nearer we advanced to Boulogne the better the country was cultivated. One mile from the town of Boulogne on the right of the road is a grand marble column begun by Buonaparte when at this spot to invade England in 1804, but now being finished by the Bourbons to commemorate their restoration.
Boulogne is divided into two divisions called high and low town. The division between them is very steep, called la grand rue. The high town which is situated high commands the low town and is inhabited by the gentry & noblemen. It is surrounded by a rampart and planted with trees forming a promenade; on the west the English Channel is seen.
From Bologne the road poss'd nothing attractive to the eye, which could not wander over fertile wood and water, in consequence of the hills which were continued in series. The road continued hilly until we entered the forest of Longvilliers which continued half a league. The entrance into the forest had a glowing appearance and the evening tinge added much to that effect; after our exit from the wood we proceeded over a marshy country, which upon a distant hill presented to our view the strong fortified town of Montreil, the entrance to which was up a considerable hill.
Montruiel is a strong fortified town having only two entrances strongly fortified. The situation of the town being so high that is was considered impregnable. The houses are indifferent & population about 4,000. Our passports were demanded here.
From thence we continued over a country in most parts barren, of a chalky soil, but well wooded and passed through the forest of Cressy about 7 leagues, noted in the annals of English history.
Along this road we first obtained the sight of vinyards. The vines were supported by sticks similar to hops and and appeared about four or five feet thick.
About twelve at night we arrived at the town of Abbeville.
Abbeville had not charms to detain us, therefore we did not avail ourselves of our permission to stay there, but proceeded at once to Paris.
The town was once famous for its manufacture of cloth. The ramparts round the town form a promenade.
The remainder of the journey being in the night, we could not obtain any views of the country, but when Aurora broke forth in all her glory, we had presented to our right a novel appearance of apple trees thickly lining the road for miles open to the depredations of any person, which however remain untouched.
Early in the morning we entered the town of Beauvais, which is the chief town in the department of the Bise. It is noted for its manufactories of woolen and tapestry the latter is of very superior quality.
The streets are broad and houses good. It prides itself upon being never taken.
The road from this spot afforded various interesting views of a country plesant to the eye from the richness of its products in corn & wood. The nearer we approached to the Capital the more cultivated was the country. The road was still lined with fruit trees and occasionaly was presented a villa laid out in a manner similar to an English one & many of them planted with hedges. As we approached nearer to Paris an additional row of fine Elm trees lined the road affording the foot passengers a cool & refreshing walk.
The entrance to Paris was through the town of Denis which is situated about two leagues from Paris, from whence the road is continued to Paris being lined with two rows of fine grown trees.
One remarkable feature of the road is its regular width the whole way, and running as nearly straight as the nature of the country would permit.
In many parts it is paved in its centre. Throughout the whole journey nothing passed us on the road & very few vehicles of any sort we met.
Between each of the towns & villages we scarcely met an individual; as to seeing a carriage or an individual on horseback we did not expect when the barren state of the country as to population was considered. About 7 o clock in the evening we entered the celebrated city of
Upon the arrival of the Diligence at the Messageries Royales, rue Notre Dame de Victories, we were conducted into the office and our passports examined and luggage slightly looked at.
The first consideration upon our arrival in the Capital of France was the obtaining comfortable accommodations; but any inconvenience that we might have been put to was obviated by the kindness of a party of four who reading in our countenance our difficulties offered their services in procuring for us accommodations or if agreeable to ourselves they would be happy of our company to the Hotel they were going to.
Such an offer was eagerly embraced & we closed with the latter. From the coach office we all proceeded to the Hotel of the Ambassadors rue Notre dame des Victories and bargained with the master of the Hotel for the price of furnished apartments.
The second floor containing three bedrooms and a Parlour were the only ones empty, for which we were to pay 60 francs per week. Each room was handsomely furnished, but the want of a carpet lessened the effect.
The master of the Hotel does not find any thing for Breakfast or Tea, but at five those who feel inclined may dine with him at 2 & 1/2 francs each. It frequently happened that we sat down to dinner with eight nations.
The Chambermaid is not known in Paris; but men fill the usual occupation peculiar to females in this country.
It being past the hour for dinner when we arrived & being tired we did not feel inclined to seek one out, it was with much difficulty we could obtain one in our room. The repast was good & the Vin Ordinare was good. Upon retiring to rest our beds were found very comfortable. The bedroom furniture consisting of the washing utensils were of the most miserable kind. The bason was not bigger than a common size piedish, with a small supply of water.
On the following morning Monday we entered into our business of viewing Paris. On our visit from our Hotel we were struck with the great danger foot passengers incur from carriages in consequence of the absence of pavements, an inconvenience great to an Englishman & which requires him to be always on the alert.
The houses in general are high and in most streets are let out with different tenements; from the windows of which are hung out signs of their occupations. The streets are narrow, with the kennel running down the middle & from the constant throwing of water, renders it almost impossible to walk out without being splashed.
The females we met were all without bonnets, having a handsome cap on with the front plain & flat over the forehead, but richly trimmed with three rows of the best lace behind.
We proceeded through the principal streets of Paris and went into many of their most fashionable shops, without obtaining any thing suitable to an English customer. Every article of ladies dress, if of the best quality was equally as dear as in London.
Their silks are much cheaper, but did not appear of that good quality which we had every reason to expect.
After wandering about Paris during the morning of Monday contemplating the curious appearance of the different persons who pursued their occupations in the streets and bargaining with the women who expose their fruit in the different streets we returned to dinner at the table of the Master of the Hotel.
At five dinner was announced, when we were shewn into a dining room, when we took our seats, being six in number to the left of the Master, the centre of the table being considered the post for the Master.
The accomodations and manner of serving up dinner was similar to that of Calais. After dinner each party retires to their apartments and occupy themselves according to their inclination.
In the evening it is customary to take a lounge to some of the fashionable promenade to have an ice or coffee.
The next object in pursuit was the Cathedral Church of Notre Dame.
This edifice is one of the largest & most magnificent in France; built in the Gothic stile in 1010 and was nearly 200 years in building. The entance into the Church is very grand. The floor is paved with marble. The splendid appearance of the choir and sanctuary cannot but strike every individual.
The entrance to the choir is adorned on each side by two estrades 5 feet high of Italian Marble; and in the centre is a railing of the same height of polished iron, gilt and encircled with the monograms of the Virgin and the King.
In the middle of the choir, which is richly paved with precious marble is an eagle in gilt brass which serves as a reading desk.
The church is decorated with paintings corresponding to the sanctity of the place representing the Passions of Christ. Several sacred and precious church ornaments in gold, for the exposition of the Sacrement are also seen here and admired for their beauty & elegance of design; most of which were given to the Church by Buonaparte.
The whole of the building may be considered a superior piece of workmanship adding much to the beauty of Paris, but I fear not to its Sanctity.
After contemplating for some time this stupendous structure and observing the devotion of several individuals we proceeded to the Church of St. Genevieve or as it is commonly called the Pantheon.
The Pantheon is a fine building devoted in 1791 by the national Assembly to receive the remains of great men deceased since the epoch of the French Liberty. Buonaparte in 1806 determined to alter the original intention for which it was built & by an imperial decree restoring it to divine worship and as a burial place for public characters of state.
The tombs of Voltaire and Rousseau are placed there, and many other public and notorious characters.
The dome of the church is surrounded externally by 32 columns of Corinthian orders. The church is always open and a civil man attends to shew the tombs of the different individuals.
The Tuileries was the next public building that attracted our attention. The palace was situated in the centre of a considerable spot of ground, having on one side a railed forecourt; on the other very extensive and beautiful laid out gardens.
The finest perspective view of the Palace is to be obtained from the barreu L'Etoile which is one of the principal entrances.
Facade towards the garden.
The external decorations of the palace of the Tuileries presents two styles of architecture; that of the primitive palace of Catharine and that of the two buildings and Pavilion added on each side. The length of the facade is about 1,000 feet.
The centre pavilion is ornamented towards the garden with niches on each side of the vestibule, in which are antique marble statues of Mars and Minerva. On each side of the door is a lion of white marble resting one foot on a globe; after which is an open galley or portico in which are 18 marble statues of Roman Senators. There porticos are surmounted by the terraces above mentioned. On the sheathes placed between the piers of the windows are 22 marble busts of generals and emperors.
Facade towards the Court.
This facade corresponds nearly with the other. In the middle on each side of the door are antique marble statues of Apollo and a fawn. The marble columns of Corinthian and Composite order support a pediment surrounded by an attic. In the middle of the pediment is the dial plate, above are two semi-recumbent statues representing Justice and Prudence. The attic is supported by 6 colossal cariatides.
The court of the palace forms a paralelogan. An iron railing terminated by gilt lances supported on a wall four feet, which seperates it from the place Carrousel, so called from its being appropriated to the amusements given in the reign of Louis 14.
Columns placed at equal distances on the wall are terminated by gilt balls, surmounted by a point similar to those of the military columns of the Romans. This railing has three openings; that of the centre is a triumphal arch; the other two have on each side stone masses crowned with statures. The first to the right looking towards the palace is Victory, holding in one hand a standard, in the other a crown; the second is Victory, holding in one hand a symbol of Valour & in the other a palm for victorious generals; the third to the left of the triumphal arch represents France victorious. The holding a tablet and pencil.
The triumphal arch was erected in 1806 to the glory of the grand army. Its height is 45 feet; its length 60 and its breadth 20 & 1/2.
The opening of the principal arcade is 14 feet. Those of the lateral only 8 & 1/2. It is decorated with a variety of statues. it cost 1,400,000 francs.
We could not obtain a view of the interior of the Palace his Majesty being resident.
The garden of the Tuileries contains 67 acres laid out with considerable taste affording every comfort either as a retirement from the busy scenes of the world or to mix in the gay and fashionable world.
Many of the walks are retired, but the promenade is crowded between the hours of 3 & 5.
The garden is decorated with fine statues, bronzes and casts, distributed with taste and judgment. The whole is laid out with great skill & must excell every thing of the kind in Europe.
Various views are obtained from different parts of the garden. On the top of the steps from the south terrace, leading to the river, has recently been placed a magnificent lion of the finest white marble. Its appearance is striking, and the whole statue weighs 7,000 pounds, with its pedestal cut out of a huge block.
From the terrace of the garden near the Seine is an interesting view of that river; the magnificent edifices of the quai D'Orsay; the point Royal to the left; and the bridge of Lewis 16 to the right; add to this the view of the colonnade, of the Chamber of Deputies and the Elysian fields.
On the left side of the semicircular terrace, towards the river, a grove was planted in 1808, and a pavilion built in it in 1811 by Buonaparte, for the private convenience of the Empress Maria Louisa, who being then pregnant, used to walk on this terrace & rest and breakfast sometimes in the pavilion; the whole length of the terrace by the side of the river was during that time prohibited.
On the opposite terrace called the terrace des feuillants, a beautiful iron railing with gilt pike heads, seperates the garden from one extremity to the other, from the noble rue de Rivola, and the grand street of Castiglione, shewing the place Vendome, the triumphal column and the Boulevard beyond.
After having contemplated the beauties of the gardens and the noble palace of the King we proceeded to the Palace of the Louvre, to view the gallery of pictures, but upon our arrival at the door we found it was not open to the public on this day--many individuals were in vain soliciting admission; but as we had our passports whic(h) is allowed to gain admission any day, we had the gratification of entering the beautiful building.
The entrance to the interior is grand in the extreme, presented to the view a noble staircase ornamented with fine statues, after passing through several rooms the ceilings and sides of which were decorated with some superb paintings & occupied by individuals copying from them, we entered the noble gallery of paintings which is 1332 feet long and 42 broad--its sides are decorated with paintings of the best masters and presenting to the eye an extensive range of beautiful paintings as could possible be presented.
A great number of individuals were engaged in taking copies from some of the most eminent masters.
From the windows of each side very extensive views are presented. On one side the Palace of the Tuileries, the place Carousel; on the other a fine view of the river Seine.
After walking about for some time enjoying the beauties of the room we were on the eve of departure when one of the Royal Servants of the Palace accosted us, to know if we should like to see the King who was going out; if so he would give us a compleat view of this Majesty & suite.
Having consented we were placed in a balcony attached to the gallery on the side of the door through which his Majesty must pass. After waiting an hour preparations commenced for the reception of his Majesty. The private carriage having each 6 horses with out riders armed, with a body of cavalry. At 3 his Majesty appeared who was greeted by the surrounding individuals. He appeared to labour from the exessive state of corpulency, after his exit we returned once more to our Hotel.
The next subject of consideration & one which generally attracts the stranger most, is the gay & licentious promenade of the Palais Royal, a spot calculated to dazzle the understanding, mislead the most wary & captivate the dissipated.
It was the property of the Duke of Orleans, but the late Duke let it on long leases. It consists of a handsome building with an extensive garden in its centre. The building which surrounds the three sides of the garden are 4 stories high and the arcades are 180. The circuit of the galleries are about a quarter of a league. Each arcade from top to bottom lets for 8,000 francs a year.
The Palais Royal is considered one of the principal curiosities of the city. The shops are of the most brilliant order, every thing that can tempt the eye or charm the taste is there to be found & from the price asked and obtained they are enabled to sustain the enormous rents paid. There is collected together merchandise of every description, master pieces of clock work and all productions of art.
This is the spot where fashion has erected her empire.
Coffee houses, restauranteurs of the most expensive nature are here to be found in abundance.
In the upper stories are other restauranteurs more splendid cafe's gambling houses, & crowds of ladies of light and airy character. These like every other article in trade or amusement are licensed & under the immediate control of government. /When entering these scenes of profligacy and vice they must apply for a license/ which of course makes it lawful/ at an office for the purpose, when the name, age, and residence are entered and once a month she is examined by a Surgeon whose duty it is to furnish or withold her bill of health.
Such are the blessings to be expected from the Roman Catholic religion if it should become dominant in this country, which certainly opens a boundless field to the excessive and uncontrolled passions of men, and which has produced those consequences to such an enormous degree among the Parisions. The Palais Royal rouses the senses, excites the passions and is now the resort of all who frequent or visit Paris--in its self are cemented the greatest rogues and vagabonds, the abode of idleness & festivity.
The wooden galleries, which form the entrance of the garden, have their peculiar attraction of profligacy and vice, on both sides are its famed Caffés. Underneath are cellars & smoking rooms of the worst description, the recepticle of theives and prostitutes.
The restauranteurs in the Palais Royal including Beauvilliers, in the rue de Richeleu & a few others are the best and most frequented.
The Coffee houses are considerable. You can get every thing of the best quality. The best rate coffee houses sell very excellent ices & sorbets.
The gaming tables are very numerous on the first & second floor, all licensed by the governments.
The garden is a minor Vauxhall. It is lined with lime trees which afford a shady promenade during the heat of the day. Its centre is laid out & has a fine fountain of water always playing. Of an evening the gardens are occupied by chairs, having many individuals lounging from the fatigues of the day & many of whom we observed enjoying themselves in the arms of Morpheus.
The clearness & mildness of the atmosphere enables them to enjoy themselves in the open air.
The number of individuals who frequent these fascinating gardens appear never to decrease. Each hour of the day has its party.
The Palais de L'Elyseé Bourbon and the Palais Bourbon, are both very fine buildings and are of the same grand structure as the others; in the former every thing that can add to the convenience, comfort and elegance of a Royal establishments is to be observed.
It was the residence of the late Duke de Berry who went on the 12 Feb, 1820 with his Duchess to the Opera House, who upon his returning to his carriage was murdered by a wretch named Louvel.