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INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO THE JOURNAL OF A TOUR ON THE CONTINENT - David Ricardo, The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany 
The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo, ed. Piero Sraffa with the Collaboration of M.H. Dobb (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2005). Vol. 10 Biographical Miscellany.
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First published by Cambridge University Press in 1951. Copyright 1951, 1952, 1955, 1973 by the Royal Economic Society. This edition of The Works and Correspondence of David Ricardo is published by Liberty Fund, Inc., under license from the Royal Economic Society.
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INTRODUCTORY NOTE TO THE JOURNAL OF A TOUR ON THE CONTINENT
In the spring of 1822 Ricardo decided that at the end of the Parliamentary session he would carry out a project he had long entertained of making the customary Grand Tour of the Continent with his family. As he wrote to Trower in May, ‘My constant attendance in the House, and the little anxiety which the part I have taken on the Corn question naturally has excited makes a little rest and recreation necessary—I think I shall enjoy my journey, and shall improve my health by it.’1 The session, however, dragged on longer than he had anticipated, and in face of the impatience of the family to start on their journey he agreed to leave on 12 July without waiting for the prorogation of Parliament.2 Just before setting out he delivered his speech against Mr Western’s Motion on the Altered State of the Currency.3
The party included, in addition to Ricardo and Mrs Ricardo, their two youngest daughters, Mary aged seventeen and Birtha aged twelve, Miss Lancey the governess and Mrs Ricardo’s maid Mrs Cleaver. They were accompanied by Shuman the courier. They travelled throughout by their own carriage, which no doubt they had brought over from England;4 the courier riding ahead to arrange for accommodation at the inns and fresh horses at the post-houses.
From Calais they went through Brussels into Holland, staying at the Hague and Amsterdam, which Ricardo remembered from his school-days there. Thence they journeyed up the Rhine by easy stages, reaching Bâle a month after they had left London. From Bâle, after an extensive tour of Switzerland, which occupied nearly another month, they came to Geneva, where Ricardo met Dumont, Sismondi, the Duc de Broglie and other well-known figures of their circle. The original plan had been to go no further than Switzerland and return home ‘after an absence of a couple of months’.1 Ricardo’s own inclination was to turn homeward, but the other members of his party again prevailed upon him, and it was decided to cross into Italy.2 After excursions to the Mer de Glace and the Great St Bernard, they went over the Simplon and by way of the Italian Lakes to Milan, and from there to Venice. The furthest that they went was Florence, where they made a stay of ten days. Hitherto they had been travelling in comfort; but on the first stretch of their return journey, between Pisa and Genoa, they met with impassable roads and ‘detestable’ inns. After a short stay in Turin, with Ricardo by this time travel-weary and anxious for home, they took the Mont Cenis route, and in less than a fortnight had reached Paris. By 8 December the tour was over and they were back once more in London, after an absence of five months.
Owing to the obstacle of language (Ricardo could understand French but spoke too little of it to keep up a conversation)3 they did not make many acquaintances on the journey. There were, however, two notable encounters. The first was with two young Poles on the Simplon, one of whom surprised Ricardo by asking him whether he was the writer on Political Economy; this young man, Stanislaw Kunatt, was to become a well-known economist and translator of Ricardo’s Principles.4 The other encounter was with a French officer who travelled with them on the return journey from Italy; this was the Comte de Saint-Arnaud, a romantic figure who fascinated the Ricardos with his conversation and who, while his pretensions at this time were fraudulent, was to live to become Marshal of France.5
Mill had originally suggested that Ricardo should write a dayto-day account of his travel experiences in the form of a Journal; to be written on folio sheets, each of which as soon as it was filled should be sent as a letter, in the first instance to Mill who would then circulate it to Ricardo’s children. But after the first letter Ricardo felt that so detailed an account was ill-suited to be imposed upon anyone outside the family circle. Subsequent instalments were accordingly sent to Osman and his wife Harriett, while to Mill he wrote separate letters which have been included in Volume IX (letters 506 to 509). These letters to Mill, like those which Ricardo sent on his return to Maria Edgeworth, Trower and Malthus (letters 511 to 513), although to some extent echoing the Journal, give a fuller account of his discussions with economists and other persons whom he met in Geneva and Paris.
Richard Sharp, who was an experienced traveller on the Continent, had given Ricardo a detailed list of suggestions of places to visit and of recommended inns in France, Switzerland and Northern Italy, to which Ricardo refers on several occasions in the Journal as ‘Mr Sharp’s paper of hints’.1 Sharp recommended as ‘indispensible’ Ebel’s Manuel du voyageur en Suisse.2 Ricardo also used Louis Simond’s book on Switzerland,3 to the author of which he was introduced in Geneva by Dumont. There is among Ricardo’s Papers a leather pocket-book with notebook attached, in which Ricardo entered his expenses for the first few weeks of his journey. It contains also a complete list of the places where they spent the night, with the dates.
The Journal is written on fifteen very large sheets, which were severally posted as so many letters. These were preserved by the family, together with two letters written to Osman and Harriett, which were not intended, like the Journal, for circulation. As they do not interrupt the narrative, they have been included in the proper place, being numbered IX and XVII. In 1891 Ricardo’s account of his tour was privately printed for the family at Gloucester under the title, Letters Written by David Ricardo during a Tour on the Continent, a volume of 105 pages in quarto: a number of passages, however, were omitted, among them the whole of letter IX and the greater part of letter XVII. All these passages have been restored in the present edition, as well as the punctuation and spelling of the original (including the frequent misspelling of foreign place-names). For printing, a copy of the private edition, corrected on the MS which is in the Ricardo Papers, has been used.
Journal of a Tour on the Continent
Saturday 13 July 1822.
My Dear Friends
I know that I am ill qualified to write a daily account of our journey and proceedings. If I were to attempt to describe the places through which we pass, you would tell me, and tell me truly, that it would afford you more pleasure to read a good account of them in the various books of travels which have been published, than a bad one in a journal of mine. If I had the talent of writing well, which unfortunately I have not, I should be very deficient in the other requisites of a writer of travels—I have not sufficient energy, boldness, curiosity or call it by any other name you will, to ask questions; and when I do ask them, from my imperfect knowledge of the language, I cannot state the object of my enquiry with sufficient clearness to enable me to obtain a satisfactory answer. You must be contented therefore with a brief account of the names of the places we pass through, together with such observations on the passing occurrences in our little party, and on the people that we daily meet, as may offer themselves to so indolent a traveller.
Yesterday morning we embarked at the Custom House stairs at ¼ past 6 oClock, on board The Talbot Steam packet, for Calais. We found a tolerably large party already assembled on the deck; but, in the hope [of addin]g2 to the number, the captain did not allow the steam to operate on the machinery which was to impel us forward, till 7 oClock. At that hour we commenced our rapid career, and made our way with admirable nicety thro’ the narrow channel which the ships in the pool had left open to us. We expected to be at Calais in 12 hours from the time of starting, but, owing to a strong tide and wind which set against us, we were rather more than 14 hours, and were just too late to enter the harbour, as the water had sunk too low to admit of the vessel’s going over the bar. We were very well pleased with our acquatic expedition;—all our fellow passengers were very obliging and good tempered, and most of them preserved their good spirits and healthy appearance, notwithstanding the swell which we encountered after passing the North Foreland. The sick withdrew from the deck one after another as they felt the uneasy sensations come over them, so that we always had the merry faces surrounding us. Mary, Mrs. Ricardo and I were among the healthy; Miss Lancey, Birtha, and above all, Mrs. Cleaver, who was worse than any of the party, were included in the Sick List.
Mr. Fortescue, Lord Ebrington’s brother, was on board—I thought him very agreeable—he was on his way to Spa.1 We landed at Calais, after trusting our lives to the skill of some French sailors, who got us on board their small boat from the packet, with some difficulty. It was now that we first began to put the talents of our Courier Shuman in requisition, and this his first effort was a successful one. He let most of the passengers depart in the two first boats that came alongside, having taken care to secure the third boat for us exclusively. At Quillacs2 he had secured excellent rooms for us, and soon after our arrival we had an excellent supper served up; dinner he called it, and he was right if we name the meal by the quantity and description of dishes of which it consists, but it must certainly be called supper if reference be made to the hour at which it was served up, and the previous meal of which we had partaken on board the packet.—Even in London with the present rage for late dinner hours they have never yet arrived to the late hour of 11 oClock.—
After a good night’s rest, we were ready to start this morning as soon as we could get our things from the Custom house, which was not till 11 oClock. At that hour we were all prepared for our journey, and none of us more fully than our courier Shuman. He had entirely cast off the plain clothes with which he had accompanied us from London, and appeared as if he had been newly apparel’d for the occasion. His dress I am told cost him £30:—his blue jacket and red waistcoat were abundantly garnished with gold lace,—he had his jack boots with long spurs on, and a clean pair of leather breeches. Thus equipped he mounted his bidet, followed us out of the Inn Yard, and took care to precede us afterwards to bespeak horses, which were always ready for us at every stage as we reached it. He did not shew much talent however in calculating the distance which we should be able to travel before night, for he assured me we should reach Lisle before 8 oClock, and he afterwards thought it proper to halt for the night at Cassell a place no less distant than 30 English miles from Lisle. We arrived at Cassell about 6. The town is dull but its situation is beautiful. It looks over a vast extent of country, all well wooded and affording delightful prospects. It is asserted that 32 fortified towns are to be seen from a small rising ground in Cassell. Among them Dunkirk, Ypres, Calais, Ostend &c. &c. The accomodation at the Inn, The Hotel d’Angleterre, is much better than it was when I was here in 1817. In my journey from Calais, and at Calais, I have been particularly struck by the diminution in the number of beggars since I was in France in 1817. To be sure there could not be two years which could be so well put in contrast to each other with respect to the supply of provisions: 1817 was literally a year of famine over1 all Europe, and no country probably felt it more severely than this; in the present, and 1 or 2 last years on the contrary, the plenty of provisions amounts to a glut, and instead of the consumer’s complaining the producer is every where exclaiming that he is ruined by the cheapness of corn and other produce. There is a medium price, one which shall just remunerate the producer which is I think on the whole most favorable to the consumer himself but if the scale must preponderate let it be on the side of cheapness, if such happy effects, as those which I am now observing, follow from it. The enjoyment which I hoped to derive from my last journey was embittered by the sight and complaints of the miserable wretches who assailed me from all quarters whenever the carriage stopt; now, I will not say there are no beggars to be seen, but their number is very inconsiderable, and their distress does not appear to be great.
The harvest has generally commenced—the crops I am told are not so good as they were last year.
Sunday 14th. July
This morning just as we were going to set off we were reminded by our landlord that we had not seen the garden of Genl. Vandamme who resides in this town. He seemed quite shocked that we should quit the town without seeing an object so worthy of our attention. We accordingly walked to this garden and were well pleased with our excursion. It is itself very prettily laid out, [while]1 its situation commands a very fine view of the beautiful country about Cassell. When the English troops were quartered here after the battle of Waterloo Lord Combermere occupied Genl. Vandamme’s house while the General himself was a prisoner to the Russians;—he was taken at the battle of Leipsic—such was the information communicated by our guide. The ride from Cassell to Lisle is for the most part through a delightful and fruitful country.
Arrived at Lisle to dinner—well pleased with the accomodation at the Hotel de Bourbon. Dressed ourselves, and soon after dinner walked to the Esplanade, a public walk, where all classes of the people were enjoying the fine weather and their day of rest. Lisle a handsome town, the people well dressed, and every appearance of happiness and prosperity. I asked the waiter at the Inn the price of bread and he told me that the best was 3 sols pr. pound. When I was at Lisle in 1817 I was told at this same Inn that it was 11 sols pr. pound—this is a prodigious difference, and would, if bread was the measure of value, as contended for by Mr. Cobbett, Mr. Western and their school, more than treble the amount of the French National debt since 1817. If Mr. Western’s mode of calculation were followed, it would do a great deal more, because he estimates the money value of the debt, at different times, in the money value of wheat; and since 1817 the French Stock has risen 33 pct.. in money value consequently the public debt must have quintupled since I was here last.—
Shuman the Courier has been very active and useful, my only fear is that he puffs me off for a man of consequence. I judge so by the treatment we meet with. Amongst other attentions with which I could have dispensed I must mention the music which played at our door immediately after dinner, and which I was not the better pleased with when I learnt that the extravagant fee of 5 francs was expected for it the first day, and 2½ francs for every other day.
We have been viewing the lions of the place, which are of the usual description, the museum of pictures and the Cathedral. Of the latter I did not think much. I am no judge of pictures [but]1 I thought there were a few good ones [in the] collection in this town. I took a circuit of the town, and was much pleased with it. I found it much larger than I expected. In the evening we went to the Theatre which is very pretty. The actors appeared very good to us, but I strongly suspect that our ignorance of the language leads us to form a too favorable judgment of their talents. I am sure that I am generally disposed to overvalue the talents of foreigners, from their possessing one in a very great degree above me, namely, that of expressing themselves fluently in a language which appears to me very difficult.—
It has long been a matter of doubt whether we should go to Brussells or to Ghent from this place. I once thought of going first to Brussells, and then to Ghent, but I find that it would lengthen my journey about 70 miles.
The party with me are very eager to see Brussells and above all the field of Waterloo, and have relinquished the journey to Ghent for that purpose. In doing so they have I think made a bad choice, for I think the Cathedral at Ghent particularly beautiful and in my last journey I was more pleased with the town than I was with Brussells. We start at 6 to-morrow morng.: we are between 70 and 80 English miles from Brussells, and I doubt whether we shall get through so long a journey in one day, but Shuman assures me we shall finish it by 8 oClock in the evening. He thinks nothing of riding so great a distance.
The victuals we meet with give satisfaction, and considering the particular ladies I am travelling with, that is saying a great deal. I fear that they will have complaints to make before they see Switzerland.
Shuman was right, we started at 6 as we intended, stopped at Tournay to breakfast and afterwards proceeded without stopping, except to change horses, to Brussells, which place we reached at ½ past 5. Shuman was just as alert and active, as if he had only rode 12 miles. I cannot think the distance so great as he represents it—he says it is 80 miles. The Bellevue a good Inn but we are not so well off as we should have been, in regard to apartments, in consequence of the Duke of Gloucester1 and Sir Geo. Warrender2 occupying rooms in the same house. During the whole of our journey to-day we had the satisfaction of seeing the people everywhere busy carrying their corn. The crops appear [to my]3 inexperienced eye to be good. The barley, [as well] as the wheat, is quite ripe, but much of the oats is yet green. They plough universally in the Netherlands with two horses abreast, one man managing the plough and the horses. On one occasion I saw a man ploughing with one horse, but I suppose the work he was doing was of a particular description. Our Inn is situated in the principal square close to the park, but it is so quiet that we cannot help regretting we did not go to a Hotel in a more busy part of the town. At Lisle our Inn was in a large square, but then it was a square full of shops, and thro’ which carts, horses, men, women and children were incessantly passing. Here it is in a more genteel situation, and is proportionably insipid.
We have had a walk in the Park and thro’ a part of the town, but I doubt whether any of us like Brussells so well as we did Lisle. To-morrow the ladies go to Waterloo. Mrs. Ricardo is quite enthusiastic about Waterloo, and all are more or less eager to see it, except myself, but then I have seen it once, and therefore I mean to decline making it a second visit.—
The King of Holland is not here now. He passes one year here, and then another at the Hague:—the year at the Hague does not expire till October. The chambers move with the King.
When you take a long journey avoid the error which we have committed. In the first place I think we are moving in too large a body—five persons, besides the Courier, each requiring a bed, is too large a number to travel together;—secondly we have too many boxes and parcels—we have a box containing a rose wood desk, a box containing threads silks &c.—5 boxes with clothes and two imperials. There are two wells and a sword case in the carriage; they are all full; two out of the 3 with books, of which we have brought by far too great a number. This last error has been one of my committing, and I am sorry for it. It is a serious business to unload and reload the carriage at every place we come to. Every box is regularly taken out of the carriage, at every place where we stop for the night.
Brussells, 17 July.
All the women, Mrs. Cleaver included, with Shuman to take care of them, are gone to Waterloo, and if they have time, will also see the Palace of his majesty the King of Holland, which is not far from this town. We have been to see the Cathedral, and the Museum. In the former they were performing high mass, with all the pomp of the Catholic church. The Cathedral is a fine building, but much inferior to the cathedrals of Ghent and Antwerp.
The day is exceedingly hot, but this did not prevent us from taking a walk through the busy part of the town. Indeed our errand was one of importance for it was to buy a Leghorn bonnet for Mary. I was present at the negociation, which took quite as long a time as a negociation for a loan of 20 millions with Mr. Vansittart would have taken a loan contractor; the bargain was finally struck, and I am told it is a cheap one for me. To me it appeared one of a most extravagant description. Mrs. Ricardo keeps a keen look out after silk and lace the two commodities in which she appears prepared to lay out all her money. I am incessantly telling her that I will have no smuggling, and if any thing is seized I will be an evidence against her. I cannot satisfy myself that smuggling is not a dishonest and an immoral act, I am resolved to discourage it by every means in my power.—Sir Edwd. Codrington1 called upon me this morning, he and Sir Geo Warrender are in the suite of the Duke of Glosr. they all left Brussells soon after I saw Sir Edw. d,—they are going to Spa. From Spa Sir Edwd. is going to Berlin where he means to leave a son of his. I do not see a great many English about,—I have little doubt that the number which used to reside here is much diminished. We understand from the waiter that it was in the house which we now inhabit that the Duke of Wellington was dancing on the evening before the battle of Waterloo, when he and his officers were suddenly called upon to join the army in consequence of the unexpected rapidity of Bonaparte’s movements.—It is with difficulty that I can prevail upon myself to send this paper, it is of such an insipid character, but you wished me to write in this way, and I wish to have credit with you for my ready compliance, however I may fear your condemnation for giving you so little entertainment.—When you1 have read it send it to Osman directed to him at Ledbury,—he and Harriet will be glad to hear how we are going on.
To-morrow we shall sleep at Antwerp, on friday at Rotterdam, on saturday [at the Hague]2 and in the beginning of next week we shall be at Amsterdam. We shall probably leave Amsterdam the beginning of the following week, and shall then make our gradual approach to Switzerland by the banks of the Rhine.
Ever my dear friends—Yrs. most truly,
Antwerp July 18th.. 1822
The party that set off to Waterloo from Brussells yesterday morning came home highly delighted with their jaunt. They fancied themselves present at the battle which took place on that celebrated spot, and appeared alternately to sympathise with the conquerors and the conquered. After a good dinner, at nearly 7 oClock, we terminated the day by a saunter about the town, and by a second visit to the milliners. We left Brussells at 8 oClock this morning, and had performed half of our journey when we arrived at Malines or Mechlin at ½ past 10, where we found a good breakfast ready for us. Shuman is a great comfort to so indolent a traveller as I am, he does every thing for me—orders beds, and dinners, long before we reach the places at which we are to sleep or to dine, and as yet every thing has given us satisfaction. At Malines we went into the Cathedral which is a handsome one. Looked at an exhibition of pictures painted by the artists of the present day, and which are exhibited with a view to their sale. Many of them were marked as bought by the Society for the encouragement of the Arts in Malines.
We suffered much from the heat in our journey from Malines to Antwerp, but a good dinner, “Au Grand Laboureur”, a very good inn, put us all to rights. As we were to stay only one night at Antwerp we were obliged to make the best use of our time, and accordingly after dinner we resumed our usual employment of looking at pictures and churches. Mr. Van Lancken’s collection is, I believe, considered a good one, and there are also many fine pictures of Reubens and Van Dyk at the Museum, which were for some time, with many others, at the Louvre. In the Cathedral we saw the fine pictures of Reubens which were brought back here after the peace. The Cathedral is a fine building. We were particularly pleased with the Church of St. Jacques, where they were performing evening vespers. This Church is much more ornamented than the Cathedral. In the Revolution the latter was stripped of all the marble about it.
After tea we again sallied forth, and put the good temper of the shopkeepers of this town to the test, for we gave them a great deal of trouble and bought very little of them, but they were as civil and obliging as if we had laid out £100 with them. We saw a dozen pieces of silk, and bought one yard and a quarter. At a hardware shop we bought one snuff box for 24 francs, but the woman would shew us all she had, and I believe we saw at least 20. These people proved particularly honest. Amongst my napoleons, by some accident, a sovereign had found a place, and instead of a napoleon and 4 francs I paid a sovereign and 4 francs. Half an hour afterwards we met a young woman in the street, who said she had been looking every where for us, as we had given 5 francs too much in payment—she put a 5 franc piece in my hand, and appeared happy she had succeeded in her errand. We paid a long visit to a confectioners one of the best I have ever seen—he had all sorts of nice things in his shop, many of which we saw and a few we tasted—he was very much obliged to us for buying a pound of chocolate balls, value 4 francs; and a quarter of a pound of other bonbons, value 1 franc. Mrs. Ricardo and the girls came home thoroughly tired, the girls are gone to bed and Mrs. Ricardo and I have been employed since they left us in detailing the events of the day to our respective correspondents. I was obliged in this town to cash one of Hammersley’s notes for £50, half of which I took in gold, and half in silver. For the gold I was obliged to give 1 pct. premium—the usual price is I believe even now that gold is dear about 3 pr. mil. I find it difficult to account for its not being more. If the mint of England was on the same footing as before 1797, gold would in England be at a premium of 5 pct., silver being at 4/11 pr. ounce, and gold £3. 17. 10½
Breda 19 July 1822
We hired an open carriage this morning before breakfast, and had a very pleasant ride in that part of the town of Antwerp which is on the banks of the Scheld. The sight of shipping, and the business which always accompanies it, is very gratifying to me. Antwerp has a very good harbour, and good docks. We were surprised in our short ride to see no less than three markets for vegetables all fully attended. Immediately after breakfast we departed for Breda, and during our journey we had not before had so monotonous, and little interesting ride. The distance is I believe about 30 English miles on a road as straight as an arrow, paved in the middle, and deep in sand on each side. A flat sandy heath, with only a few patches cultivated, is the description of country we passed through for three fourths of the way from Antwerp. Breda is a neat town, quite in the Dutch stile. In a short walk we were caught in the rain, which induced us to seek shelter in a bookseller’s shop, which I was the more tempted to do as I recollected that I was not provided with a Map of Holland. The bookseller was a gentlemanly well-informed man,—he knew a little of English, spoke French well and asked me whether I could speak latin in which language he was prepared to hold a conversation with me. He wanted us to take a glass of wine, to sit down in his house, instead of in the shop, and informed us of the things which were to be seen at Breda. He said he regretted that he had not money enough to travel, as nothing would be more agreeable to him. He furnished me with just such a map as I wanted; it was divided into parts, and bound up together in a small book. In consequence of the booksellers information we went to the Church, where we were much gratified by seeing the tomb of Count Engelbrecht of Nassau and his wife, by Michael Angelo. The execution appeared to us to be admirable. It is to be regretted that this beautiful monument, in which there are 6 figures as large as life, should have suffered mutilation. Every part is there, but the head of the principal figure, (the Count’s) is cracked near the neck if not severed from the body.—The steeple of the church is very handsome, up to a certain height, but the top is of a very modern date, and is not in character with the rest. The want of harmony in the two parts must strike the most careless beholder. The public walk, of which the bookseller spoke as worthy of notice, did not appear to us to merit the character he gave of it. The ladies have paid great attention to the shape and form of the flemish caps, worn by the lower class of people—they think them becoming and pretty, but to my taste they are the very opposite of these. To preserve a proper recollection of these caps, it was resolved to purchase two, and we were for this purpose introduced to a proper shop by the waiter of the Inn. The woman of the shop was exceedingly good natured, and after selling one to Mary for about 3 shillings of our English money, requested to be permitted to try it on Mary’s head, which she did in the shop, and declared Mary was much improved by it, and looked very “mooje” (“pretty”). I tried a word or two of dutch in conversation with her, and was glad to find she understood me. The purchase of these caps afforded a good deal of amusement.
Saturday evening. Rotterdam.
Immediately after breakfast we left Breda for Rotterdam a distance of about 27 miles. The road good. The Farmhouses very neat and no appearance of poverty or distress. Very little corn grown in this part of the country. The people were employed in carting hay, and cutting flax, of both of which there appeared to be an abundant quantity. My companions were much amused with the strange shape of the carriages we met on the road. On our arrival at Moerdyk we had the carriage put on board a vessel which took some time doing. We crossed to the opposite side of the water, a short voyage of 20 minutes. We found our post horses ready on landing, and again proceeded rapidly on our journey. Before reaching Rotterdam we had two more ferries to cross, but they were easily accomplished, as we drove straight into the boat that was to carry us over. The horses were never separated from the carriage but drew us out on the other side. Rotterdam is an excellent town. It is quite such a place as I like to see, full of business and bustle. The houses are very good—the canals full of ships and boats. By boats I mean the smaller ships which are used for the Inland navigation of these provinces. The merchants have houses fit for princes. I called at Mr. Ferrier’s counting house to get cash for a £50 note of Hammersley’s, and being obliged to wait there some time, I had a good deal of conversation with a partner in the house. He informed me that trade was very dull, and prices very low. Agriculture was particularly suffering and he quite ridiculed the idea which I told him was held by many in England, that the low prices on the continent were owing to the enhanced value of money; and the enhanced value of money to the demand for gold, to supply the circulation of England. He was not willing to allow so much effect to this demand for gold as I am disposed to do. Prices he said had been falling ever since the peace, and before this demand for gold commenced. The house in which Mr. Ferrier lives is a sumptuous one. It was used for some government purpose during the dominion of the French in this country, and he said, what I cannot believe, that the ground on which the House and Warehouses are built cost no less than Ten thousand Pounds sterling. He gave me f 12. 2.—pr. pound sterling.
Shuman could not get us into the best Inn, and we were therefore obliged to be contented with the second best, “the Marshall of Turenne”. We came with the determination of staying two nights at Rotterdam, and I cannot give a better proof of the place not giving satisfaction to my companions, or rather my companion, than that it is determined we shall move off to the Hague to-morrow. I am quite sure that Mrs. Ricardo associates the idea of Wapping with ships and barges—she wishes to breathe the courtly air of the Hague.
After tea we took a walk, and I was more than ever pleased with the appearance of wealth and comfort in this town. If the steam packet should continue to pass between London and this place at the rapid rate it now does for it often accomplishes the voyage in 27 hours, many people from London will be induced to visit a place which has so much of novelty to recommend it to those who have not before seen Holland.
Sunday. The Hague
I forgot to mention that the gnats of Holland have taken a great fancy to Mary. I hope they will not go on as they have begun with her or they will very considerably mar the pleasure which she would otherwise receive. This is not the only inconvenience we have suffered on entering this country. In Crossing from Moerdyk I was just behind one of the sailors when he pulled a rope violently and as violently threw his head back which I received directly on my mouth—he cut my lip and I thought had knocked the very few teeth which I had remaining out of my head but on a closer examination I found that he had only made one in front, which was loose, more loose. Another disaster was borne by Miss Lancey, The postillion in flourishing his whip would, as she observed, have knocked her eye out, if she had not had her parasol up:—as it was, the parasol paid the penalty, and she was obliged to purchase some new silk to cover it with.
We left Rotterdam at 2 oClock for the Hague. The carriage was open and Miss Lancey and Birtha on the box. A shower of rain came on, and we got the ladies just mentioned in the carriage, and contrived very imperfectly to shut up the carriage, when the storm became very violent, and we could ill defend ourselves from the wet to which Mrs. Cleaver was wholly exposed. She escaped better than we did, for from the imperfect manner in which the carriage was shut, the front glass could not be put up, and the green silk curtain was giving out copiously a green fluid on the carriage seat, new gowns, shawls, etc.—As soon as the rain ceased we arrived at the Hague, a very handsome town abounding with capital houses. John Bull like, I left England with an exaggerated idea of the wealth and greatness of England, which is slowly subsiding to a more sober and just estimate. The towns of Flanders and particularly of Holland give certain indications of great opulence. The harbours are crowded with ships—the warehouses appear to be full of goods, and the houses are of the first order, and withal kept so clean and neat as to leave no doubt of the opulence of their inhabitants. I see Holland again with pleasure, and notwithstanding her sufferings during the late war from the exactions to which she was subject, she appears to have improved her condition, and I have no doubt is increasing in population and wealth.
We have all been walking in what may justly be called the court end of this town and we are I believe all equally well pleased with it. Mrs. Ricardo is more reconciled to the Dutch than she expected to be before she visited them. Miss Lancey is particularly pleased with them, and Mary in a happy state of indifference. Our lodging and food as yet have been very good, and I have not heard any thing that it would be quite fair to call a complaint, except against the water in Holland, which is certainly not so good and clear as we in England are used to drink it. Neither are we quite satisfied with the wine. We none of us like French wines much, and none other do we get. At dinner to day they got some Brabant bottled beer which they thought very good.—We have a very good lodging in The New Doelen and shall probably stay here till the day after to-morrow. The King is at Loo a considerable distance from here and in his absence we hope to see his palace.—
I do not know whether you will have any pleasure in receiving so minute an account of our movements, but I wish to record them for my own satisfaction, and till I hear from you I shall from time to time send you a full sheet and you can return them all to me when I get home. Remember I only tax your pockets for I do not require of you to read what I write. Mr. Mill requested me to send a daily account of our proceedings to him, and I did send the first sheet as he desired, but on more mature reflection, greatly as I estimate his kindness and indulgence to me, I think I must forbear to tax his patience and forbearance beyond reasonable bounds. From you (I mean you1 and Harriett) I am accustomed to such a very full measure of affection that I may run risks with you which with another might be most imprudent.
On wednesday or thursday we shall be at Amsterdam from which place we shall take a little journey to North Holland and return thither, so that a letter will find us there probably as late as the 31st.. From Amsterdam we shall go to Utrecht, Nimeguen and Cologne;—and so by the Rhine to Switzerland. I shall ask for letters at the Post Offices of Cologne, Coblentz, and Frankfort—then again at Berne and Geneva.—Your mother still speaks of Italy, but I am not in the least more favorable than I was to extending our tour.—I hope I shall hear from you at Amsterdam.
Yrs. with great affection
Monday  July 18222
I no sooner fill one sheet than I commence another—If you are weary of my correspondence you have nothing to do but to throw my letter aside; again I say, I do not require you to read what I write.—
To proceed with my narrative. You may probably remember a character in the play of The Stranger,3 I believe it is the butler, who is a great politician, and no conversation can be brought up but he brings in some account of his pretended correspondence with different parts of the world. We have a waiter at this Inn who incessantly puts me in mind of the butler. He is about 50 years of age, and speaks English very well—you will say there is no wonder in that, when I tell you that according to his account of himself, he is an english man. For an Englishman he speaks the language badly, for a foreigner well. We had not been long in the House before he informed us that he had travelled over most of the countries of Europe. Petersburgh, Moscow, Smolenskow, Vienna, Berlin, Poland, France, etc., etc. had all been visited by him; we laughed at his giving us this information which nothing called for, but we all agreed that if we had been in so many countries we also would contrive to make it known to those with whom we came in contact; but our waiter does more than this. Like the butler in the play if we say any thing of the bad money of this country he tells us he wishes we could see the Polish money as he has done, we should find it much worse. To day at dinner he was angry with Shuman, and made a formal complaint to me. He said he was an Englishman and would not be spoken to by any Frenchman, as Shuman had spoken to him—he had seen much more of the world than Shuman, for he had travelled thro’ every country in Europe. I did what I could to appease the wounded feelings of this great traveller, and took an opportunity to say to Shuman, when his back was turned, that I hoped he would not offend him. Shuman assured me he had said nothing to him except to complain of his slowness. I am in an agony while this waiter is in the room, for he never fails to say something about his travels, and then Mary, Birtha, and Miss Lancey are ready to go into convulsions. So much for our old fashioned waiter. This has proved a showery day, but that did not prevent us from seeing the capital collection of pictures in the Museum, nor the library belonging to the State. We also saw the excellent collection of medals belonging to the public, which appear to be most instructively arranged. The gentleman who has the care of them was very kind and attentive to us,—he asked me whether any gold coin had been issued from our mint with the head of George the 4th., as he had not seen any and wished to have a sovereign with that stamp; luckily Mary had one in her pocket, which I immediately presented to him, and told him he might give me guilders at the current exchange for it. He gave me 7 guilders of their current money, and the other five he paid me in new coins of different denominations, but which were rather specimens of what their coin should be, than what it is intended to give to the public. They appear to be well executed. I have no doubt they are afraid to incur the expence of substituting a more perfect coinage for the miserable money now current. I believe that in no country are the coins more perfect, and on a better system than in England. If we must have metallic money, then give me such money as that of England.—
The palaces of the King and Prince next engaged our attention. The former is handsome—the ball room in particular is a very beautiful room. There are no pictures in it. The Prince’s palace is very well, not particularly good. In the evening we went to the play or rather the Opera—it was very thinly attended, nothing about it to excite particular praise. In the course of the day I called on Mr. Salvador, a gentleman I had seen once before in England—his son is well known to me, and resides in England, but is at this time on a visit to his father. Both father and son were very kind and attentive to me. I called also on two Mr Suassos who have occasionally written to me on behalf of some poor relations of mine, though very distant relations, who reside in this town. They were very civil and obliging. With one of them I called on an old woman to whom I am allowing something, and who wished to express her gratitude to me. The other spoke to me on behalf of another relation to whom I had once at his request sent a little money, and to whom I was obliged again to make a small present. This relation called upon me, and after seeing him I was not very proud of my affinity to him. Mr. Suasso assures me that he is a very deserving man,—he may be so, but I am sure is a very free and vulgar looking one. He was I believe a second cousin of my father and I knew not there was such a person in existence till Mr Suasso wrote to me concerning him.1
We have seen this day the cabinet of Natural History at the Museum, in which there are many things worthy of attention. We have also been at the Chambers where the Peers, and States General meet. The former do not often meet in a greater number than fourteen, altho’ their body consists of 60. The states general consist of 110 members, and it is singular that on a late occasion when it was proposed to lay a general tax on the grinding of corn, every member was present at the discussion, and the measure was rejected by a majority of two, 56 being against it, and 54 for it.
There is nothing worthy of attention in the rooms in which they meet. They have each an inkstand, a sheet of paper, and a small wooden bowl of sand before them. Each of the bowls of sand has a small wooden ladle [to]2 it, so you see that these Dutch senators carry on their state affairs with due precision and economy. We missed the opportunity of seeing them at their sitting yesterday, and to day they do not meet, and as we shall depart early to morrow morning, we shall not see them in discussion.
We have been to Scheveling where there is a good open view of the sea, the ride to it is pretty—from Scheveling we went to the Wood, in the immediate vicinity of the Hague, where there is a handsome palace of the King. The walks and rides in the wood are delightful, and no one should go through the Hague without stopping to see them.
A Mr. Orobio de Castro called upon me to day—I had not at first the least recollection of him, but after he had announced himself to me I by degrees recollected that I had known him when I was a boy in this country. Thirty five years are a great portion of a man’s life, and I had not seen this gentleman for that space of time; even then I was not intimate with him. He told me of the death of many whom I had formerly known.—
We have been in the business part of the Hague to day, to me not the least pleasing part. The shops are very good, and the people actively employed. Your mother is a very bold woman, she does not hesitate going into any shops by herself altho’ she cannot speak to the people but in English,—she depends very much on the language of signs and as the shopkeepers have an interest in understanding her, they do contrive to make their bargains.
Wednesday Evening 24th. July
Left the Hague this morning before breakfast—not very well contented with our host nor with our washerwoman. The host did not keep strictly to his bargain, which he made in Francs, but refused to accept francs in payment, and insisted on turning francs into Guilders at the rate he pleased, and not at the current exchange. The washerwoman imposed upon us abominably, and did not send all the things home till one oClock of the morning we left the Hague, and then not absolutely all, as Miss Lancey lost a cap. We felt no regret at parting from the traveller.
We thought we were to breakfast at Leyden, but to our great surprise and disappointment we had come a different road, and we must have lost 4 hours if we then had gone to Leyden, so we resolved on giving up this part of our plan, and proceeded to Haerlem. At Haerlem we heard the great organ in the Church which is certainly a wonderfully powerful instrument. The organist seemed to possess great skill, and his imitation of a storm with heavy thunder and lightening was admirably well done. I had to pay him 12 florins for this sample of his talent, which I thought a great deal too much before he began, I thought it a more moderate charge before he had finished. From the Church we followed our guide, one of the tribe of Levi whom Shuman had hastily picked up because he professed to know something of English, of which he knew nothing, to a great dealer in flower roots, with whom your mother had a great desire to strike a bargain. We found this man a very intelligent obliging person—he spoke English very well, and refused to sell us a root because he could not do it with justice at this season, as the roots required a month longer to dry—he offered to send them to England for us, but told us that all the great seedsmen in London had their roots from him, and we could buy them as well from them as from him.—By the time we got to the carriage your mother was completely knocked up—she railed against Levi for taking us a round about way back, but he kept protesting to me by all that was sacred he had brought us the nearest way, but no faith whatever was put in poor Levi’s professions. After getting into the carriage we were soon driven to Amsterdam, and found very comfortable apartments provided for us by Shuman at the Great Doelen Hotel.
Altho’ I had not been in this town for more than 30 years I had no difficulty in finding my way, alone, about those places which had formerly been familiar to me. Amsterdam is I think a handsome town. Your mother though enthusiastically attached to every thing foreign to her own country, appears to except the Dutch—her praise of them, their towns, and wares, is always faint and equivocal. She confesses however that we have as yet had no just reason to complain either of our lodging or food. At Amsterdam, where we expected to find the water particularly bad, we meet with it very good,—it is brought from Utrecht. I see this town again with great interest—Miss Lancey is very much pleased with it and with the Dutch,—Mary is flighty and gives no very decided opinion—she very much admired the Hague. Your mother is just gone to bed. She has walked about 2 miles since she has been here, and to day altogether about 5, this for her is a great performance—I am quite sure it will not hurt her.
For three days I have not written a word, and I must now give an account of our proceedings during that time. Immediately after a very good breakfast on thursday I had a carriage at the door to take us about the town to see sights. I had a valet de place on the box who directed our movements. He took us first thro’ the Kalverstraat, the Bond Street of Amsterdam, to the Palace, which was made one by Louis Bonaparte. Before his time, it was the Stadhuis, and much of the public business was transacted in it. It is now certainly a very superb palace. One of the rooms in particular is very large, and the whole may justly be called very elegant. From the Palace we drove to the New Church, where we saw the tomb of the great Admiral Ruyter,—it appeared to us to be a handsome monument. Nothing particularly worthy of notice in the Church—they point out the carved wood of the pulpit, but that in the Netherlands is much superior. We then drove round that part of the town which may be called the port or haven, and which I think very interesting. We walked round the Botanic garden, and had many beautiful and rare plants pointed out to us.—I regretted that I did not understand sufficient of botany to make this interesting to me. The museum is an object worthy of attention, on account of the many good pictures by the Dutch masters which it contains. There is one particularly by Rembrandt, which is very fine. We were then taken to the Rasp Huis and acquired a perfect idea of what it is to be admitted into a den of thieves. We were turned in under the guidance of a prisoner who said he was an Englishman but was in fact as we were told an American, amongst an innumerable gang of prisoners all at large, and clamorous for us to buy the trifling things which they manufactured. In a small hole, which was shewn us, 16 hammocks, all packed as close to each other as possible, were slung—the miserable chamber recalled to my mind the description which I had read of a slave ship. We were glad to make our escape from this place uninjured in person or property. This ended our expedition for this day. In Amsterdam you may hire a coach by the hour—for the first hour you pay 30 stivers, and for every succeeding hour 20 stivers.—After seeing the ladies home, I called on Mrs. Da Costa a cousin of mine who has become a widow this year.1 From the age of 11 to 13 I resided in Amsterdam in the house of my uncle and this cousin was then an inmate of his home—I had seen her in one or two visits which I paid to the family after that time the last of which was about 30 years ago. Since that time both she and I had married,—she, as I before said, had recently lost her husband, who was a highly respectable man. He has left her in comfortable circumstances, with one child, a son, about 24 years of age who married just before his father’s death, and lives with his wife, at his mother’s. Mrs. Da Costa received me in the kindest way possible, and expressed an anxious wish to see your mother and sisters. I took them there next morning, and we agreed to accept her invitation to tea the same evening. Mr. I. Da Costa1 the son was introduced to me—he came to us the same evening and I had an opportunity of conversing with him on various subjects. I had heard much of his great talents before I saw him—he was represented to me to be one of the very best poets in Holland. Of his merits in this department of knowledge I should have no means of judging even if he wrote in a language which I knew. I was told that he was also a metaphysician and generally a well-informed man. I thought him a young man of excellent abilities, who had reflected and read a good deal—he expressed his opinions in French with great fluency and eloquence—he would have shone in a public assembly if his voice were better, there is something in his voice not pleasing. He has lived a great deal by himself, which I think has been of great disadvantage to him, for he delivers his opinions as if it were impossible he should ever change them, and as if there were no chance that he may have come to wrong conclusions, on points too which have long divided the world. In politics he is almost an advocate for absolute government; he has not any correct notions of representative government, nor of securities for freedom. On these points his views are quite crude,—he has read on these subjects, but he has not read enough. I have recommended one or two books to him but I do not think he will read them—his mind is now intent on the history and antiquities of Spain and Portugal, on which subject he is writing in French, and intends I believe, to publish.—
I saw yesterday two more of my cousins, I was glad to hear that one (the other being a female) was doing very well in his business. I had also the pleasure of conversing with Mr. De Leon, in favor of whose character I am much prepossessed.
The ladies went about the town to see the Lions, as they are called, by themselves—they saw the House of Correction with which they were much pleased. To day we have had a very pleasant day. We crossed over in a boat from Amsterdam to Buiksloot—we there hired a carriage with 3 seats, besides that for the coachman, called a Wagen, in which we first went to the neat and singular village of Broek, then returned to Buik sloot, and turned off by another very pleasant road to Saardam. Saardam is a very beautiful place, and the Inn, the Otter, where we dined, is delightfully situated. We saw here the house in which Peter the great of Russia lived, a poor miserable hovel. It has lately been dignified by an inscription on a marble slab introduced into the wall by the Emperor Alexander. Your mother made several purchases of china and old plate tho’ to no great value, being only 20 shillings, of an old Mefrouw who keeps a small shop in this town. I was called upon to perform the office of interpreter, and it was agreed on all hands that I acquitted myself well. We were all much pleased with our jaunt.
We leave Amsterdam on Monday for Utrecht, we shall be at Cologne in 4 days after and at Frankfort in 4 after that. God bless you.
[The following is written by Mrs Ricardo in the margins of the letter.]
My dear Osman and Hart.—do not fancy I do not write to you because I do not think of you and love you—for you will do me wrong—but since your father sends his journal to you so constantly, and Mary I believe considers you my dear Ht. her Correspondant I feel you both have your share of us, and as we are all but one whole in this tour,—I am sure you both must be aware you have the prime parts of that whole devoted to you—my two chief correspondants, are Aunt F.1 and Netty.2 Tho’ I have not had a syllable yet from Netty, and only a few lines from Aunt F.—I think I bear the fatigue of Traveling wonderfully well, and I like it even better than I expected and if I am but well in my Spirits, that is (not nervous) I say this, because the last few days, I have not been very well, but I hope it will go off, and then I shall be full of enjoyment again. I delight in the constant excitement which the novelty of everything affords,—and as to the comforts at the Inns, as yet I have had no trials:—Mary and Birtha are both very kind girls to me, and do all they can to make us comfortable.—Miss Lancey manages so well with Birtha, and keeps her little fidgety Spirit in order, by the check of her presence. She is very kind, and very clever in her management, and her cheerful mind is always ready for enjoyment:—indeed, notwithstanding every drawback,—I had much rather have her with us. When we leave Amsterdam, I expect to have much more to excite my wonder and amazement.—I am more than ever anxious for young people to Travel, it must enlarge their ideas—and puts off the contracted selfish feelings which we all of us are too apt to indulge—pray write, we have been absent more than a fortnight, and only have one letter from England!!! I am very anxious about Netty,—pray heaven no sorrow comes from that quarter.—Your fathers health is pretty good—he is not nearly so prudent in eating as he ought to be, and these wines do not suit him.—As for me, I drink any thing and every thing, sometimes I have a little threatening, but go on very well considering I have lost my Magnesia—your father I see told you I had walked 5 miles, but at the time he said twas full six,—but I was too tired and I fancy that made me have these human feelings—but I walk a great deal every day.—heaven bless you and believe me ever
Tuesday 30 July 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet,
In my last letter from Amsterdam I gave you an account of our expedition to Brock and Saardam on Saturday last. The next day we went to the English Church here, and heard a tolerably good sermon delivered by a man whom some of us thought was an English man. If he was not one, he spoke the English language nearly as well as if he had been. After church we sauntered about the town, and I paid a visit or two to my relations, and to Dr. Capadose,2 whom I knew when I was in Holland. The Dr. is a very friendly man—he is in great practice in this country, and was physician to King Louis Bonaparte, by whom he was made a Chevalier. Dr. Capadose called to see the ladies, and was introduced to your mother alone, when I was absent, and their meeting was rather an awkward one, for he could not speak English and your mother was equally unable to speak French. Mary was sent for, and they were doing tolerably well when I entered. The Doctor told us a few anecdotes about Napoleon, with whom he conversed once or twice. He describes him as gruff, asking an innumerable number of questions, and not making the least pause to receive an answer to them. He dined he said one day in a large party of the dignitaries usually about Bonapartes person, and the conversation turned upon the question of who was the greatest man in Europe. It was evident they all thought Napoleon was, but they insisted on referring the question to the decision of the Doctor, as one more impartial than themselves; evidently expecting, however, that he would decide as they wished. The Doctor however did not do so, he said his profession led him to think that he was the greatest man who contributed most to the preservation of human life, and as Dr. Jenner, by the discovery of vaccination, had tended more than any other person of the present day to prevent the ravages of disease he must give the palm to him. This decision was not relished by the company.
In the evening Mr. Da Costa, his wife, her sister, and Mr. Teixeira drank tea with us, (Mrs. Da Costa senr. who is in the first year of her widowhood does not go out) and as we had had a sample of a Dutch tea visit when we drank tea with Mrs. Da Costa on friday evening, we endeavored to follow it, but in the performance remained at a very humble distance. We had Chocolate drops, Bonbons, Pastry, and Malaga wine, but they were all very mediocre of the sort—they were furnished by the people of the Hotel at which we were staying. Young Mrs. Da Costa and her sister are very agreeable, and friendly, and so indeed is Mr. Da Costa, as well as Mr. Teixeira, who was in partnership with Mr. Da Costas father. We were all very lively, and the evening passed off very well. Next morning we waited till the English letters were delivered before we set off for Utrecht, fully expecting that we should have several letters; we were however disappointed, and were obliged to leave the place without receiving any. On the whole I was much pleased with Amsterdam. I had a delicate task to perform with respect to paying proper attention to my relations, and I hope I have left them with at least as favorable an opinion of me, as when we met. To shew Mrs. Da Costa a small mark of attention, as I was better known to her than to any other part of the family, I took with me an English shawl to present to her. When I bought it, I forgot that she had recently lost her husband, and this shawl was so full of gay colours, that I felt it would be improper to give it to her. I then thought of presenting it to her daughter-in-law, but on reflection I thought I could not do this without making a present also to the mother. My project therefore was to buy something in Holland for that purpose, but on consultation with your mother, we thought that would not be proper, it would look so like an acknowledgment for her civility to us. After all then the shawl is still in our possession, and we have brought it back with us from Amsterdam.—
From Amsterdam we had a very pretty ride to Utrecht, the latter part of which was through heavy rain. Utrecht like most of the Dutch towns is very good. Mary had a great inclination to go to the top of a very high steeple, that of the Cathedral, to view the prospect from it—I therefore accompanied her, Miss Lancey and Birtha in the ascent, which was tedious and fatiguing. Miss Lancey did not go to the top, but the rest did. The view is extensive, but I doubt whether it is worth the trouble of mounting. Utrecht, like the rest of the Dutch towns, very neat and pretty. This morning we breakfasted at half past 7 at the Antwerp Arms, our Inn; and left it, soon after, on our way to Nimeguen. We stopt at Zyst, a Moravian establishment, very neat, and orderly. We were admitted into all their shops, and made a few purchases of trinkets and gloves. From Nimeguen we proceeded to Cleves, which we reached at ½ past 7, after travelling from Nimeguen over the worst road I ever passed for a turnpike road. At Cleves we were tolerably well accomodated. The town a very dull one.
Left Cleves at ¼ before 8, to go one stage before breakfast. The road, though thro’ a pretty country, nearly as bad as that which we travelled over yesterday evening. We did not get to Gueldres, where we were to breakfast, till 12, which we all had reason to regret, as we were much in want of our usual meal, but some of us bore this little disappointment and deprivation, with much better temper than others. I cannot call any one a good traveller who is knocked up by such a trifling occurrence, but it is certain that two young ladies, Birtha was not one of them, were very sick; which is another name for being very much out of humor.
We did justice to our breakfast at Gueldres, and the sickness disappeared for the rest of the day. With great trouble, and over shocking roads, we reached Neuss at 7 oClock, had a very good dinner, and are now thinking of bed. Neuss a very dull-looking town. I miss very much the chearfulness and neatness of the Dutch towns.—I miss too the excellent roads of Holland. In nothing did I observe a greater improvement than in the roads of Holland, they are better than those of any other country in which I have travelled. They are mostly paved with the Dutch clinkers over which there is a layer of sand. The road is quite hard, and as level as a billiard table. We have I believe been grossly cheated to day by Post Masters—we have been charged for 12 or 13 posts from Cleves besides Royal Posts, and yet I believe that the whole distance travelled does not exceed 17 or 18 leagues.
Your mother continues to enjoy her journey, and I believe the whole party do the same. We have excellent health, charming appetites, and generally good nights. I believe we all eat too much; I receive many cautions and am frequently restrained by the superior power, to all which I submit with perfect obedience. I know it is meant well, and I am a great friend to peace and quietness.
Cologne Thursday 1 Augt. 1822
Your mother found her gown though generally sound, in rags about the sleeves and train, I was therefore dispatched as soon as we arrived at Neuss to purchase an ell of black silk to make the old gown look like a new one. This however could not be effected without some time and labour; to complete the sleeves alone your mother sat up till 1 oClock and got up again before 7, the effects of which she is feeling to day. Luckily the man who served me with the black silk spoke French: If he had not I do not know what I should have done for my dutch does not pass current now we have passed the frontiers of Holland. This morning I paid my friend another visit to procure another ell the sleeves having taken the whole of my former purchase. Left Neuss immediately after breakfast, without the least symptoms of sickness, and travelled through sandy roads[,] but not so bad as the day before[,] to Cologne, where we are now comfortably lodged, at La Tour Blanche. We had a walk thro’ the town before town,1 —it is very extensive but not very handsome—some of the houses and buildings are very old. Since dinner we have been at the Church of St. Pierre where there is a capital picture of Rubens’s, whose birth place this was. We have also visited the Cathedral an unfinished building, but what is completed is very beautiful. In the Cathedral is shewn of2 curious ark a part of which is in gold and a part in silver gilt. It is enriched with diamonds, Rubies, Emeralds, Topazes and many other valuable stones. It was the gift of 3 Emperors and is valued at 6 millions of francs.—
The river is beautiful at Cologne and I felt particularly interested in watching the passage of the “Pont Volant” from one side of the river to the other. There are many of these on the Rhine. The current is very rapid here and it is amusing to observe the exertion and ingenuity necessary to row a boat from one bank to the opposite one.
I find it very difficult to make much way with the ladies through the streets first because they walk very slow, and secondly because every shop attracts their attention, and they must see every thing that is exposed at the windows, if not within the shop doors. Of course we could not pass through this place without making a purchase of a small lot of Eau de Cologne, which, if the bill that accompanies it speak truth, is to cure all diseases. A dozen bottles of the best double distilled cost here 24 francs, in England, for the same quantity, 48 shillings are paid.—
Shuman continues to give us great satisfaction—I think him extravagant with the Postillions, and I sometimes suspect he is imposed upon by Post masters, but he is very attentive, and provides befo[rehand]1 for all our wants. He is never tired, and has rode every mile we have travelled [on] all description of horses, sometimes on a pony, and sometimes [on a] horse fit only for a cart or dray. He is provided with spurs of an immense [size,] and makes e[very]thing go a smart pace with him.
Bonn Friday 2 Aug. 1822
This morning we all walked to the water side to see the “Pont Volant” and found it impossible to account for its eccentric movements. I remember that Mr. Warburton once explained to me the principle on which it passed successively from one bank to the other, and I thought I understood it, but I was mistaken and wished for Mr. Warburton to be at my side to answer some questions which I should like to have put to him. This bridge is about a mile from the Inn, and on our return home we were overtaken by several smart showers of rain, and notwithstanding we repeatedly sought shelter under the roofs of several very good natured persons who offered us house room we all got wet and there was a general changing of part of our habiliments as soon as we reached “La Tour Blanche”. I, however, had more than the general share of wet, for I was in want of money and had to find out the banker on whom I had a bill and this knowledge I had to seek from those who could not understand a word of either French or English. After many windings and turnings I at length succeeded, but got a very poor allowance of Francs for my Pounds sterling only 25 per £, besides which a deduction of ½ pct. was made for gold coin. Every thing being completed in the way of preparation for the resumption of our journey we left Cologne at ½ past 12 for Bonn. We had a pleasant ride although the weather was occasionally showery, and arrived at Bonn quite ready for the good dinner which awaited us, and which was speedily served up. After dinner were resolved to take a stroll, and chance led us to a beautiful walk under shady trees, and from which we had a most delightful prospect. The Rhine was not in view, but the 7 hills which are a most conspicuous object on its banks, were, together with a beautifully fertile and undulating country. At the end of this walk we observed a large and handsome building which proved to be the Museum where there was an excellent collection of minerals, butterflies, shells, preserved fishes, stuffed animals, birds, &c. &c., but what pleased me most was a collection of skeletons of a great number of animals, with that of man at the head of them. These were most admirably arranged and put together. This museum is for the use of the students in this place. They are very numerous, not being less than 6 or 700. On our return from this excellent collection a violent storm came on and notwithstanding the partial shelter from it which two umbrellas afforded we were soon wet to the skin and again had the unpleasant task imposed upon us to undress and put on dry things. These are accidents to which travellers are peculiarly subject, and to which they must submit with patience.
Mary has been reading my letter and she has proclaimed aloud what I have said above about her and Miss L.’s sickness the other morning. She declares that I have not been just to her, and that it will be proclaimed every where that she was out of humor for a trifling cause. I think I have been scrupulously just, and I tell her, she is free to give her own representation of the business to you. They accuse me of remembering too minutely what I thought a fault in them, but I say in my vindication the fault if any was of so light a character that it would bear relating without making an impression to their disadvantage. I must now leave off for there are two beds in the room in which we are sitting, and which Mary and Birtha are to occupy. Their bed time is arrived, and yours probably also, so good night.—
(Coblentz, 3 Augt)
It rained in the morning and there was every appearance of a showery day, but soon after we quitted Bonn the weather cleared up, and it could not be more favorable for viewing the delightful prospect which presented itself to our sight during the whole drive from Bonn to Coblentz. We were all very much pleased with it. We got here before 4 and notwithstanding a Prince of Prussia, a nephew of the reigning King preceded us and had possession of the best rooms at the Inn, the Trevesche Hoff, we are very well accomodated. This day is the anniversary of the Kings birth and rejoicings are taking place on the occasion.
In the square opposite our Inn we saw a fire balloon go up, which performed its part very well—it was quickly out of sight after diminishing to a speck to our eyes. It was not large enough to carry any thing up with it. We now hear fire works which we should have gone to see if Mary had not had a cold, which I suppose she caught yesterday. Since we have been here our landlord conducted us to the house of his brother in law, who has a most splendid collection of glass most beautifully engraved. The same gentleman has also some fine ancient medals, and figures cut in ivory very well worthy of attention.
The fortifications of Ehrenbrestein which overlook this town are nearly completed, and are said to be much stronger than they were before they were destroyed by the French. Nothing can be prettier than the entrance to this town. Close to it the Moselle forms a junction with the Rhine and the country is beautiful. We shall stay here till Monday Morning. On that night we propose being at Mayence, and on tuesday at Frankfort. We shall probably stay at Frankfort till thursday when we shall proceed to Manheim, Heidelberg, Carlsruhe, and thence to Switzerland.—We have not yet met with any accident or disappointment—a bolt and a piece of Iron in the coach have snapped in the rough roads which we have lately travelled [—Shuman]1 will put all to rights.—[...] I remain
Yrs. with great affection
I open my letter to say that Mary has received here a letter from Harriet, and your mother one from Henrietta—These are the first that we have received and they have given us great pleasure. After you receive this you must direct to Geneva.
Coblentz Sunday 4 August 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet,
I this morning dispatched a long letter to you from this place, and in which I informed you that Mary had received Harriet’s Letter of the 22d July and your mother one from Henrietta of the same date. We shall all be anxious to hear about Henrietta, and we trust that the joyful news of her safety will fly to us with all possible speed. This day being sunday we were all very smartly dressed. We had a Caleche at the door about 11 oClock, and set off to see the Lions about this place. Ehrenbrestien3 is a small place on the other side of the Rhine immediately opposite to Coblentz. The river is crossed on a bridge of boats which has been substituted for a Pont Volant, which Ralph and I left here in 1817. The rock is exceedingly high and precipitate at Ehrenbrestien, and on this rock naturally so strong an immense sum of money has been spent to erect fortifications which are considered almost impregnable. They told us that 13 millions of dollars, about two millions sterling, would not pay it. We had obtained a card of admission to the works and although the road is constructed with great skill and with a gradual ascent the horses had hard work to drag us up to within three fourths of the top: the other fourth we walked, and this with the fatigue of going about the works was about as much as your mother could without rest manage.
We were very well pleased with the inspection of the works, but much more so with the delightful prospect which we enjoyed over the Mosselle, The Rhine, and surrounding country from the great height to which we had reached. The view is altogether enchanting, and it was impossible to have a much more favorable day for seeing it. From Ehrenbrestien we descended to the level of the water, and again mounted to a singular garden of an old gentleman, a priest, from which we not only had the same view as from the works on the heights, but also that of the works themselves which are a grand object. We were admitted into the house of the old gentleman and saw a number of curiosities which he had collected. In his collection he had a few good pictures. While we were walking in his garden he came to us and saluted us. Our guide told us he could understand French though he could not speak it. I tried in my imperfect language, and Miss Lancey in her better French, to express our thanks and pleasure. The old gentleman’s manner was courteous, but he could say nothing that we could understand. From this place we again crossed the Rhine and rode up to some new works constructing on the Coblentz side near to the place where a convent formerly stood; the building still remains, and the hill takes its name from it. It is called the Chartreuse. By this time the usual craving for food came on, and we returned to the Inn to eat bread and butter and grapes. Before dinner Birtha and I sallied forth for a walk through the town, in which we lost ourselves, and were sometime before we could find our way home. After dinner we had another walk to the bridge which crosses the Moselle, very near to the place where that river falls into the Rhine. The view from it is very beautiful, and it was heightened this evening by the reflection of the setting sun in the water. We leave Coblentz to-morrow morning at ½ past eight, immediately after breakfast.
We left Coblentz at the time fixed upon, and travelled all day without stopping. At ½ past 8 or 9 oClock we arrived at Frankfort. The distance must be about 80 miles. The indefatigable Shuman preceded us on horseback after starting us from every stage, and owing to some privileges which he told us he possessed as a Courier we had horses, when other travellers who were at the post house before us were obliged to wait. One party, English I believe, that we passed on the road did not arrive at Frankfort till 3 in the morning. We had provided ourselves with a smoaked tongue and plenty of bread so that we fared very well except in the article of drink for we had nothing but a little meagre wine on the road. The Rhenish wine is not a favourite with any of us, nor have we a much greater liking for the French wine. The ride from Coblentz to Mayence was in every respect delightful. The country is very beautiful, and the road most excellent. A part of it is now making and many men are at work upon it. The stone is of a slaty kind. Pieces of about a foot square are built up edgewise, and small fragments of the same are laid upon the top to fill up the interstices, and over the whole road dirt or mould is laid. The usual precautions for draining are used as a deep trench is sunk in the rock on one side, for the whole foundation is a rock, to take off the water. On the side of the Rhine for miles together, stone pillars are sunk on which there rests a stout wooden railing to prevent accidents. On the other side there are mile stones every ⅛ of a german mile to tell the respective distances between the places you are travelling. I was pleased to see so great an improvement under the Prussian Government. The uniformity in the apparatus for travelling post all the way we have come is quite surprising. The same description of Postillions, of horses and of harness every where. We never have more than one postillion for our four horses. The horses always have rope traces, and the leaders traces are at least four yards long. None of the horses have blinkers, but they do not appear to mind seeing the formidable vehicle behind them. They are generally fat though not what we should call in good condition. They have all long tails which is very agreeable to my eye. It is miserable bad taste to cut off the horses tails as we do. We are at a comfortable Inn at Frankfort, but not at the one we intended to go to, that being full.
Tuesday 6th. [August]1
Neither Shuman nor any of us are the worse for our long day’s journey yesterday. This morning before breakfast Birtha and I sallied forth to reconnoitre the town. We got on pretty well considering her great love of looking at the windows of every shop. Caps, Toys and Jewellery are what chiefly attract her notice. Frankfort is a very good town but the shops do not appear to be very well furnished with goods. Next month will be the fair and perhaps that may be the reason that their stocks are now low. After breakfast I went to one of Hammersley’s correspondents for some money, and was most politely treated by the gentleman1 with whom I transacted my business. He asked me whether I was the member of Parliament of my name, and when he was informed I was, he had a great deal to say about English affairs, of which he appeared to know much as well as of the language. He offered me his box at the Play house which I accepted. He introduced me at the Cassino which is like one of our Clubs where the English papers are taken in; and as I had fasted for a week without hearing a word of English news, I was delighted in getting a little here. We went to the play at night. We saw a tragedy in which a ghost was a principal character, but we could not make out any thing of the plot. On our return home your mother requested the waiter to send Shuman to us, and he was questioned about the characters in the play as expressed in the bill, he referred us to the Waiter as being more able to give us information; the waiter was accordingly summoned, who knew nothing of the matter and referred us once more to Shuman. All we know is that the tragedy was a very deep one. Father daughter, and lover all died, but why we cannot tell. We suspect the terrible ghost whose face was as white as chalk to have had some hand in bringing about the dreadful catastrophe, but I dare not say so too positively for fear I should see her terrible face grinning at me in my dreams. There was no farce; the play was over before 9 oClock.1 We have just finished our tea, and the females have all retired to bed, to which you must wish me also to go by this time, so good night.
Immediately after breakfast to day we had a calesh, with a dashing coachman in livery, with silver lace round his hat and a cockade in it, to go to Hombourg the residence of our Princess Elizabeth.2 It is about 2 hours ride from here. The Princess left her Chateau this morning for Baden, and when we were admitted into her bed room it could hardly be said to be quite arranged since she left it. The Chateau is a desolate, comfortless looking place, outside, but the interior, particularly that part with which the princess has to do, is much more to the taste of an englishman. The garden and all the offices about the Chateau, look very miserable. Even the Landgrave’s rooms are very much in want of a little paint. The Princess we are told has a house at Frankfort. The town of Homburg, if it deserve the name of a town, is a poor wretched looking place, and it is difficult to understand what inducement the princess could have to leave England for such a place as she now chiefly lives in. In the road from here to Hombourg, as well as in the 2 or 3 last days of our journey, we have been surprised at the immense quantity of apples and walnuts which we have seen on the trees at the road side. It is almost impossible that the inhabitants of these districts can consume them all. All other fruit is almost equally abundant, while at Homburg we saw a girl with a large basket of green gages. As I could not speak her language I put a small piece of money in her hands and made signs to her to give me fruit for it. She filled Miss Lancey’s, Mary’s, Birtha’s and my hands with green gages, when I refused to take any more having a greater quantity than we could eat—the piece of money was a 3 Kreutzer’s piece, of the value of one penny English. Your mother was not very well and could not assist us in the eating, or we should probably have eaten them all between us, as it was, we were obliged to drop the last half dozen in the road.
On our return to Frankfort we had a little shopping. If I learn nothing else in my travels I shall become a very good judge of the quality of silks and ribbons.—I am generally the principal negotiator on account of my superior knowledge in the money of the country. In Frankfort we have had the third change of the money since we left Holland, and as soon as I am perfect in knowing this, we shall change again.
I have been at the Cassino again this afternoon, and have been reading some of the debates in Parliament. Nothing very important appears to have passed in my absence. On our return to day your mother had a letter from your Aunt Fanny, the only letter we have received here. We are very sorry to hear that your uncle Moses has been so very ill—he suffered dreadfully—I pray that he may now have a long interval of ease and enjoyment.
We are very comfortably lodged here, and have very good dinners; but nothing has equalled, or will equal, during our journey, the water Soutjies in Holland. They were excellent. I asked for them every day till I had them, and then I feasted on them 3 days out of the time we were in Holland. To morrow we go to Darmstadt.
I this morning met Col. Dalrymple,1 a member on the ministerial side of the house, on the stairs of the Hotel. We had never spoken to each other before, but in a country at some distance from our own we readily fell into conversation. From the want of a foreigner as his servant, he had been exposed to many vexatious delays, and had also had all his luggage overhauled on the frontiers of Germany by the Custom house officers. We were better off; not having been detained one single moment. The Coll. followed us to Darmstadt on his way to the Tyrol and Italy, and is now in the house with us. Before leaving Frankfort I left the Hotel to call on Mr. Koch, who had been so civil to me on my first arrival, for the purpose of thanking him, and taking my leave of him. I met him on the way, coming to call on me—he accompanied me home, and expressed regret at our going so soon—he wished me to put off my departure for a day or two, to which I could not consent. He was well acquainted with the places to which we were going, and furnished me with some useful information.—
Set off for Darmstadt at 12, and arrived in time for an early dinner. A good Auberge “Au Raisins”. After dinner saw the pictures and curiosities in the Palace of the Grand Duke, as well as his horses and carriages. All very grand and courtly. The appearance of the town made a very different impression on me to what it did 5 years ago. I believe that the new buildings, to which it is indebted for all its beauty, were then in an unfinished state, now they are quite completed. The theatre has only been opened twice since its completion. An opera was performed in it last night, and the town was so full in consequence, that more than 200 persons eat and drank at this Inn. More than 80 beds were provided out of the house by the landlord of this Inn only, so that it is well we did not come here yesterday. Amongst the curiosities at the Palace is a superb gold or silver dish with a great number of Turquoises, chrysolites, topazes etc. set in it, which they estimate to be of £10,000 value. Amongst the pictures, there is one very fine one, a venus, by Titian; and two or 3 very excellent by Rembrandt.
They have a public walk here which has suffered greatly by a storm, accompanied with hail, about 2 months ago. Six hundred trees were blown down in the neighbourhood, and 150 in this walk. A great many windows were broken, and much more damage done. They have had many storms of late.
Friday  Augt. 18221
From Darmstadt to Heidelberg the ride is thro’ a beautiful country. We reached the latter place and a very good Inn the Cour de Portugal in time for an early dinner. After dinner, we were sallying forth to view the ruins of the Castle when we saw Mr. John Hobhouse who had just arrived with his two sisters and brother. We were surprised to meet each other. They all drank tea with us and we gave to each other an account of our travels. They had been over nearly the same ground as ourselves with the exception of Holland, and intended to go into Switzerland. It is probable that we shall again cross each others path.1 The Castle of Heidelberg is in a most beautiful situation, and commands a fine view of the surrounding country. A French artist who has taken up his abode in a small room near the principal front, pointed out many of the beauties of the work within and without the ruins. He has been employing himself in copying every part with the most persevering industry for 10 years and says he shall probably remain here 10 years longer before he shall have accomplished his undertaking. When I was here in 1817 I saw the same man at work—he is a perfect enthusiast, and considers himself bound to guard these magnificent ruins from depredation. From what he shewed us of his work I should judge that he is possessed of great talents in his profession.—
There is a college here at which there are about 600 students, but from the accounts we received as much idleness prevails in it as in similar places in England. The general appearance of the young men is far from prepossessing—it was slovenly if not dirty. Many of them had pipes in the streets, and many of them were playing at billiards at a coffee house with an eagerness which gave me the idea it was their chief pursuit.
Carlsruhe Sunday Morng.
I did not write yesterday because one of my eyes was very much hurt by the long whip of our German postillion, and it was thought advisable to nurse it for a day. It is much better this morning but still weak and inflamed. We came a little out of the way from Heidelberg to see the celebrated garden of the Grand Duke of Baden at Schwetzingen—it is really very beautiful and princely. It has the requisite quantity of fountains, Temples, Statues, arbours, and orange trees. We thought it by far the most beautiful garden that we had seen in our travels. Part, and a considerable part of the road we travelled to day very bad and sandy. We saw many men employed in constructing a new one near that part which was most defective. Carlsruhe a pretty place. All the streets which cross the principal one terminate in the great square in which is the King’s palace and as they are all at an angle of the proper number of degrees, they all have the centre of the palace as the object in view. This has a very pretty effect. The palace itself is very grand, and is superbly finished and furnished within side. The view from the tower in the centre after mounting 180 steps is very beautiful. Carlsruhe was built in a forest one half, the half behind the palace, still remains. A part of it is laid out in garden and roads are cut in the remainder in the same lines as the walks all terminating in the same manner as the streets in the tower in the center of the palace.
I had left this last part of my paper for your mother who wished to write to you to say that she was much pleased with your writing to her to Amsterdam, tho’ she has not yet had your letter, but she is so unwell, principally from a low fit which I hope is only the consequence of more than usual exertion, that she will defer writing till she is a little recovered. All the rest of the party are well and the chief symptom they give of it is an incessant craving for food. It is well that abundance prevails here as well as in our Island or we should run a risk of being stoned for our excessive consumption. We think of you all often, and I shall be glad when I may legitimately wish to be again amongst you. Mortimers birth day was yesterday. We drank his health in Burgundy at Carlsruhe. You have all our dear love.
Baden Monday Morning 12 August 1822
I dispatched one of my long letters to you from Carlsruhe yesterday morning, soon after which we left it for this place. Our ride was a very pleasant one through a lovely country not very unlike that which you have the good fortune to live in. The hills are numerous, beautifully grouped, and covered with wood to the summits. On reaching Baden we found Shuman in the street who communicated the mortifying intelligence to us that he had been at several inns, but that the town was so full he could not procure beds for us at any one of them. In our distress we were contented to put up with any thing we could get, and were obliged to seek the accomodation which an inn little better than a public house could afford.
I bore every thing very well till the tea equipage appeared, and from the effects of the taste of the tea, and the appearance of the old chipped earthenware cups with pewter tea spoons, I could not recover till I had fairly turned my back upon the house. The whole party behaved very well under the circumstances in which we were placed—we all slept tolerably well, but were not a little rejoiced when we found lodgings at a private house this morning. We are now very comfortably accomodated, and are in the proper temper for enjoying the beautiful scenery by which this place is surrounded. There are hot springs in this town similar to those of Bath, and from the feeling of heat excited on my finger, I should think at least as hot. The medicinal property of the waters, and the beautiful country in which they are situated, attract many visitors to Baden, and at this season of the year the place is generally crowded. They have Theatre, Promenades, Ball rooms, &c. &c. but none of the houses that I have seen are either grand or even large, yet from one of the equipages which passed our door last night with two outriders and four horses, the servants being in scarlet liveries, we conclude that if royalty itself is not in the place, we have at least the family of a Grand Duke amongst us.—Horses are seldom seen in carts in this country, all the work done with those useful vehicles is done with oxen.—They draw from the horns, and two are generally working together. Their heads are kept close together by means of a piece of wood which is tied fast to their horns, and from which the traces proceed. This custom prevails every where that we have been in Germany. I cannot help thinking that our Gloucestershire mode of letting the oxen draw with collars is more commodious to the animal, and more effectual for the exertion of his strength.
Thursday 15 Augt
I have not written for 3 days, because on each of those days we have been actively employed. On Tuesday we had, what Mary has chosen to call a cart, but what was really a small barouche, to convey us to Gernsbach and Forbach on the banks of the Murg. It was a cloudy looking morning and to provide against accidents, not only was the head such as are usually affixed to barouches, up, but there was some cumbersome iron work in front and across, over which a leather covering was strapped with a dozen buckles. The weather was uncommonly hot, and five of us were very closely stowed inside, and close to the backs of Mary and Miss Lancey sat Mrs. Cleaver and Shuman. It appeared impossible to pack seven people of our size into a smaller space, and we felt the heat inexpressibly oppressive. We did contrive, after the first shower, (which was a very violent one, and which obliged us to add Mrs. Cleaver to our number inside, and to draw the leather curtain close around us,) to get rid of a part of the top covering, which relieved us a very little indeed. The carriage was not of the most elegant description, and was so dirty, particularly outside, that it appeared probable that not a drop of water had touched it for a twelve-month, except that which fell in the form of rain from above. In this smart equipage we were drawn by three horses thro’ the most beautiful country you have ever seen to the above places, at the former of which we dined, and after making a complete day of it returned to Baden, most of us completely tired.—
Yesterday we had another fagging day. We left Baden directly after breakfast and did not stop till past 9 at night ½ at Fribourg. It was not so much the distance we travelled, as the great heat of the day which made this journey so fatiguing, but we had the satisfaction of arriving at a very good Inn and of having served up to us immediately after our arrival a most excellent dinner, of which it was almost impossible not to eat too much, notwithstanding we had had plenty of bread and some good peaches and pears during the day. This morning we breakfasted at Fribourg and had an opportunity of hearing mass performed at the Cathedral, which was filled with people in the very peculiar dress of the country. We could not have had a better opportunity of seeing the people to advantage, because it was un jour de fete (the ascension of the virgin) and every body seemed to have their best clothes on. For these two days we have been travelling in the country of large hats—the women’s particularly are of an immense size. There has been a great desire in our party to find the place and shop where these large hats are sold, but hitherto without success. We are assured that the shops for these kind of hats are only opened on market days, and as the form and colour vary with the place the dames are sadly afraid that they shall not be able to get one exactly to please their fancy. After breakfast we hired a carriage to drive about the beautiful environs of Fribourg, but had little pleasure on account of the great heat of the weather —we only returned from this ride to commence our journey to this place where we arrived in time for a six oClock dinner. Our Inn, Les trois Rois, has a delightful view of the Rhine, which washes the side of the house, but we are not otherwise much prepossessed in favour of Bale, though it must be confessed that we have not yet had a fair opportunity of seeing it. We took a walk after dinner, when it was nearly dark, through some of its narrow and gloomy streets, but we shall find to morrow probably that chance led us to wander thro’ the worst part of the town. The ride from Baden to Bale is through a very beautiful country.
We yesterday saw Bale to more advantage than the preceding evening. The activity and bustle of a market day are always interesting, yet much cannot be said in favor of the town of Bale. The noble river, (The Rhine) which runs through it is a fine object, and there is something to engage ones attention in the Cathedral, from its being the burying place of Erasmus—from its great age, and from its having been formerly devoted to the Catholic worship. We remained all day yesterday at Bale because it was necessary to set out early in the morning to reach this place, (Waldshut), at night, and we were told there was no other decent place at which we could sleep on the road to Schaffhausen. After seeing Waldshut we are very much disposed to refuse the title of decent place to it. We are in an upper story in a gloomy disagreeable looking Inn, none of the lower appartments are used as bed rooms. The bed room is our sitting room, and your mother is at this moment undressing and nearly ready to step into bed.—She has just communicated the agreeable intelligence to me that in the girls room the fleas are jumping about in merry mood, I suppose they will do the same in our beds. We have white washed walls, no curtains to our beds, and not a morsel of carpet in the room; but we are close to Switzerland, we ride every day through a beautiful country, and our tour must be regularly and chearfully performed. We are told that we shall get into much better quarters tomorrow. We have agreed to start at 6 oClock in the morning, the same hour at which we commenced our journey this morning.—We have been obliged to change our mode of travelling, for no post horses can be got here in Switzerland. I have agreed with a man to furnish me with 5 horses at 50 francs a day, and he is to go all through the country with me if he is civil and accomodating.—If he is not, I have inserted a clause in our written agreement which will enable me to get rid of him. The fifth horse is no longer rode by Shuman, as he is turned coachman, and drives it in a light 4 wheeled chaise, for the use of which I am to pay no more in addition to the above sum. This chaise will be of use to take us to places where the carriage cannot go, and we have the liberty to put two of the horses into it instead of one when we shall be disposed so to do. Our journey of to day has not been less than 12 leagues[,] more than 36 miles.—
Mary bears the little difficulties we encounter very well, and so do all the party. Your mother has much to put up with in the cooking and wine. Neither are to her taste, and the latter particularly she thinks very poor, and almost always acid. Miss Lancey is a very good traveller, and Birtha is very much influenced by the opinion of those about her. You may immediately prevent her from eating any dish by speaking disparagingly of it. I am very much of her disposition in this respect. Mrs. Cleaver bears all chearfully—I believe she is pleased with her journey, and she is of incalculable use to us; for somehow or other she makes them understand what we like, and always obtains what she wants. Without her we should leave half our things behind us; she is general packer and superintends bed making, airing of linen &c. &c.— With Shuman too we have every reason to be satisfied.
Sunday 18 Aug:
We were all in the carriage at the appointed time this morning, well pleased to escape from Waldshut, and its accomodations. We went half our journey before breakfast, and stopped at a place on the road to take that essential meal. The place to which we were taken was even worse than that at Waldshut, but we were hungry had some good eggs with our bad tea, coffee and bread butter, and so all went down. We then again proceeded on our journey.
Before one we arrived at the spot about 2 miles from Schaffhausen from which there is a deviation from the straight road, to arrive at the celebrated fall of the Rhine. We sent the carriage on to Schaffhausen, took the small chaise with us, and proceeded with a guide, who met us on the road, to the fall. The day was particularly fine, rather too hot, but after a walk of about a mile we arrived within view of the Cascade, which for beauty and grandeur far exceeded our expectation. We were taken to various stations, in order to see it in all the best points of view, and hardly knew which to prefer. That which is nearest to the fall, and to the white foam, which it raises to a great height, is on the whole the best, but to arrive at it you must cross the Rhine in a boat. We had an opportunity of witnessing the dexterity with which the boatmen manage their boats on this rapid stream. The fall at Schaffhausen is one of the finest things we have seen. After feasting our eyes with the view, and our ears with the sound, we were not sorry on our arrival at a very comfortable Inn to find a good dinner ready for us, to which we all sat down with a proper appetite. Schaffhausen appears to be a clean and pretty town, but it is very dull to day, the shops being shut up. Waldshut is a catholic town, this is protestant, and sunday is much more strictly kept in protestant than in catholic towns. We find by the public book at the Inn that the Hobhouses left Schaffhausen for Zurich on the 16th. they came from Stutgard, and did not pass either thro’ Baden or Bale. To morrow we shall commence our travels at the early hour of six for Zurich—the distance is not very great. The women appear to be differently dressed in almost every place we come to. The peasant women look very well at a little distance, from the gay colours of their clothes, but when you come near to them, you see that the clothes are so full, thick, and heavy, that it is impossible to call them becoming. We have a charming variety of head dresses daily offered to our view, which particularly excite the attention of the girls. Here as well as in Germany I am mute to every one but to my own family. I see no one to whom I could speak but landlords and waiters, and they all speak french as badly nearly as myself, so that I can get very little information from them.
Here we are at Zurich after a very hot ride. We arrived at 2 oClock, and found every thing agreeable to us; a good inn, an excellent dinner, and a fine view of the river Limmat, which runs from the lake of Zurich to the Rhine. We have a tolerable view of the lake itself, and the whole line of the Glaciers are in full majesty before us. Their white and rugged tops glittering in the sun, are a fine object, and we are told that we could not have had a more favourable day for seeing them. We remain here to morrow; which we do for several reasons, but the principal one is that Miss Lancey has been very unwell since yesterday evening. Immediately after our arrival here she went to bed, and we are in hopes that the medicine which we have administered will remove her complaint by to-morrow. The day after to-morrow we shall go on a little expedition for 2 or 3 days, and shall afterwards return again to Zurich.
The five horses which I keep for my own use, have done their 3 days successive work very well;—to-morrow will be a day of rest to them, for a pair only will be required to take us about the town, which will be only gentle exercise for them. Your mother is very busy in making an old bonnet look like a new by putting a new covering of silk over it; the materials were bought at Bale. Birtha is busy painting and drawing; and Mary has just entered from Miss Launcey’s room and has not yet settled to her employment. She was stripped yesterday evening, and a rigid search was made by Mrs. Cleaver for the enemies by which she has lately been tormented,—the search was a successful one, five fleas were found, taken prisoners, and executed without trial. Since this rigorous measure has been pursued the depredations have ceased, but she assures us that she has been feasted upon in a way we little conceive.
A day of intolerable heat. For the greatest part of the day we have been close prisoners, contented with the charming prospect from the window of L’Epee. After dinner we had a short drive to the opposite side of the lake, and saw to great advantage the reflection of the sun from the distant glaciers. We had some trouble on our return to find the tomb of Lavater. He was assasinated near his own house, at the period when the French first entered this country, after the French Revolution, but he does not seem to have left a lively impression on the remembrance of the generality of his countrymen. It is supposed that he was killed by one of his own townsmen, and that the French had no hand in his murder. We at length found out his burying place, over which his name only is recorded. We also saw his house, and the place where he met his death—the house is rather of a mean appearance.
Miss Lancey is better to day,—she is weak from the effects of the medicine which she took. We are longing to hear of you all, which we calculate on doing when we arrive at Berne, as I have written to the Post master at Geneva to forward any letters which he may have for me to that place. I calculate on being there in about a week.
Friday 23 Augt Rapperschwyl on the borders of the lake of Zurich
It is time that this letter should be finished and therefore I now set about it with the intention of dispatching it to you tomorrow from Zurich. On wednesday morning we left Zurich and had a delightful ride to this place. There was a fair in the town, and much the same merry making going on as at one of our country fairs. After getting our dinner we were glad to quit the noise and bustle at the Inn to proceed a short stage on our journey, but by so doing we ran some risk of not getting beds for the night. When we were within a couple of miles of Kathbrun,1 the place we were going to, we met Shuman returning with the dismal intelligence that at neither Inn could he get beds, so we immediately turned round and went to a small village which we had before passed, and where we found accomodation, such as it was, for the night. We were obliged to be satisfied with sanded floors, and execrable tea, which had never been in China, but it was for a short time only. On thursday morning at six oClock we were again en route and breakfasted at Wesen, nearly surrounded by huge rocks, and on the borders of the Lake of Wallenstat. All the Inns at these country places are nearly of the same description, they are all too very much addicted to impose on poor and rich travellers. Shuman makes as good a fight as possible for us, but we do not wholly escape the thievish propensities of these virtuous men of the mountains.—We were induced to go to the Lake of Wallenstadt by the account given of its beauty by Sismond, whose book2 I have already mentioned to you. We entirely agree with him in his admiration of this lake. The rocks are enormously high, and on one side quite perpendicular. The navigation is said to be rather dangerous in stormy weather, and the boatmen are subjected to particular regulations by the Government in order to prevent accidents. The weather was very fine till we had got to the other end of the lake, a voyage of about 3 hours, but before we got to the Inn, the thunder began to roll, and the black clouds indicated that a violent storm of rain was coming on. It fell in torrents soon after, but the place was so shockingly bad, and our noses were so dreadfully offended, that we were glad to put ourselves into two of the dirtiest carriages you have ever seen to go to Sargans, a distance of about 3 leagues. The carriage your mother rode in was in the shape of a coach, but could only have been built by a common wheelwright—it did not hang on any springs, but was suspended by leather braces to the wooden carriage: I calculate its age to be about 100 years. Mary and I rode in a low pheaton with one horse, the man who drove us sitting almost in our laps. It was so dirty that for sometime we feared to touch the back of it, but we gently relaxed from our severe humor, and notwithstanding the continued rain actually fell asleep. We passed thro’ a beautiful country which was very much obscured by the clouds, they were very much below the surrounding hills. At Sargans we got very comfortable lodgings, and a very good dinner. This morning at 6 we left it to return to Wallenstat, and in the same order, except that your mother and Mary changed places. It had rained all night, and from the appearance of the clouds it was very doubtful whether the day would be wet or dry. It proved the latter, and it would be impossible to say how very much we were delighted with the country both in our drive to the Lake, and in our voyage upon it. The lake was much more rough than when we were before upon it, there was a little wind, and the waves beat against the flat bottom of our boat. Your mother recollected every thing that had been said about this same lake, and expected that we should be exposed to some of the represented hasards, but we landed in perfect safety, and soon after getting in the carriage made the best of our way to this place.
I have just heard from Shuman with great concern of Lord Londonderry’s death.1 It appears as a paragraph in a German paper. I cannot help recollecting his excellent temper and gentlemanly manners, and though not a friend I believe to the best liberties of the country, yet I cannot help thinking that his adversaries have been hardly just to him. We all unite in dear love
Ever Yr. affectionate father
[The following is written by Mrs Ricardo in the margins of the letter.]
My dear Osman and Ht. —
We naturally fancy ourselves forgotten, when we neither write or are written to, and as I cannot bear the idea of it, I have opened your fathers letter to avail myself of the blank spots I may find, for tho’ my heart is large and abounds in Affection for you both, and to be absent from you, divided by such Space, such immense Space, is, to ascertain the value of such Affection, yet I could not fill a sheet of paper with the expressions of such feelings. I therefore cannot write to either of you but in this manner, your father is so amply gifted with the power of entertaining you with our travels, and is so indefatigable in the task, that it would be folly in me to attempt any thing. I have told him all I want to say—and he begs me to add a line more, to tell you of the shock we have had this morng. in hearing of the death of Lord London-derry,—we have not seen a paper since we were at Frankfort and of course have been in perfect ignorance of what passes in our own London—we have heard more particularly since we came back here of the manner of his death, it is distressing to us all, but I fancy I have a sympathetic string in my formation which vibrates to every feeling of what poor Lord L— suffered—My usual bad spirits (of which I have had a rather serious attack) has been the only drawback to my enjoyment of the novelty of the present moment: we bear our privations (tho not many) very well,—but I feel I shall enjoy an english dinner, and a glass of wholesome wine, when I return: I have always abused every traveler who could condescend to write of eating and drinking, but a six weeks fasting has brought me to consider these things worth a more favorable and lenient temper:—but indeed we have little to complain of.—
We are just returnd to Zurich,—and before we got out of our carriage, Shuman (who came on before us to order dinner)—was big with the intelligence that a relation, an Uncle of Mr. Ricardo’s had been here, gone up the Mountains, and woud be at Berne, on Wednesday—Uncle, Uncle, what Uncle! we exclaimed to each other not much delighted at the idea, of a Delvalle.1 —ah the girls exclaimed tis an Uncle of ours you mean Shuman,—aye yes, an Uncle of yours. So up we trotted to our 3rd Storey, settling all the way that it was Uncle Jack,2 —but Shuman (who is not very clear in his language) appeared, and I began again with my questions, when he said, his Courier is here—the Courier was summond immediately. You have forestall’d me and guessed before this whom the Uncle proved:—no less than your brother3 my dear Ht. —we shall follow him in his course to-morrow—but tis a great chance if we meet unless he remains at Berne for us: You have my sweet Mortimer with you, give him a hundred kisses for me, tell him too, that I should write to him, but he hears every thing from you—where is David? I long to know about him, in short I get very fidgety in this long silence.—
ever my O. and H. Yr. affect. P.
I long to have your letter my dr. Osman.
Zurich Saturday 24th. Augt 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet,
I dispatched the letter, which I finished last night at Rapperschwyl, from this place to day. Since finishing that letter I have read in a French paper the particulars of Lord Londonderry’s death. I read them with great regret—I would much rather if he were to die that it had been in the course of nature; he must have been in a miserable state of mind to make him determine on the rash act by which his existence was terminated. I am very desirous of seeing the French papers, (to get an English one is out of the question), but I enquire after them in vain. With the exception of the paper to which I have just referred I have not been able to get one since I left Frankfort.
On our arrival here to day we heard of Mr. Mallory’s having enquired after us—he has now preceded us to Zug and Lucerne, and if he does not travel at a very slow pace I fear we shall not overtake him, while he continues in Switzerland. It rained almost the whole of last night, but the clouds kindly dispersed this morning, and gave us an opportunity of enjoying our ride from Rapperschwyl to this place. Those who visit Zurich should not fail to stop at the pretty, clean, well furnished Inn in the village of Meylen, on the banks of the lake, where we breakfasted this morning. Nothing can be prettier—It is our Box Hill, with the further addition of a beautiful lake. Zurich appeared equally delightful in our view on this second visit as it did the first. I confess I am very sensible to the pleasures afforded by a comfortable Inn. I am not proof against bad smells, dirty beds, and disgusting food. In one place they were going to make a hash for us of a piece of meat which had been boiled for soup, and had been laid by probably for a day or two— and the rest of our dinner was to be a couple of fowls which were alive at the time we ordered it—but Shuman rejected the meat with disdain, and we immediately departed, and rode 10 miles more before we took our principal meal. Shuman assures us that we shall not be so badly off in any other part of our journey—I hope he may be right.
I was obliged to day to carry on a very vehement dispute in French and I am happy to say I came off victorious. At Bale I had obtained 223 Ecus for £50.—I had occasion for £50 more here, and as it was possible I might not be here in business hours, I requested our landlord at Zurich to apply to Hammersley’s correspondent with the bill and get me Swiss money. I did return to day in business hours and mine host handed me over 212½ Ecus making a difference of 10½ Ecus on £50 or £2. 7. 6. I enquired why I had so little and he said he could get no more from the Banker. I immediately called on the Banker, (Hammersley’s correspondent) to enquire the reason of this, when I found that the landlord had never applied to him for money, and that he was ready to give me 218 Ecus. I then returned to the Inn and begged to have my bill back again or 5½ more Ecus. For a long time I could get neither, the landlord insisting that he had got no more from his banker. I requested him to call on his banker and get back my bill—he said that it was already sent off to London—I finally insisted on knowing the name and address of his banker that I might apply to him,—this he would not give me, and at last seeing I was very firm he gave me the five Ecus and a half. And yet people say I am easy, and that any child may impose on me. In this instance I have proved that I am much calumniated.
We have seen here a model of a great part of Switzerland, with all the roads, lakes, towns, and mountains, a very interesting object. We could trace with great accuracy the route which we had already taken as well as a great part of that which we are to take. By studying the map I have become well acquainted with the geography of the country and can speak with our coachman of the places we are to go to as glibly as if I had often visited them.
Lucerne, 27 Augt
My journal is often interrupted for a day or two, owing to our eccentric movements amongst the mountains. When we go these little excursions we are obliged to leave the carriage and almost all our baggage, behind us, which travel by a more level road to the places which we finally reach. On sunday we left Zurich for Zug where we dined. The carriage took us this stage. From Zug we had a delightful swim on the lake of the same name, to Art, where we slept. From Art we started the next day, 5 of us in a Caleche, for Schiwitz, where we breakfasted, and soon after proceeded to Brunnen, intending to go by the Lake of Waldstetter to Fluellen, and Altorf, where we proposed sleeping; but all our plans were defeated by the weather, which proved very unfavorable to us for two days. On sunday it rained before we got to Zug, but we were in the carriage, and had nothing to regret, except a thick atmosphere which prevented us from seeing to advantage from the Albis (which we had great trouble to climb with the assistance of six horses) the beautiful country which surrounded us. Just before going into the boat at Zug, we went to see a Convent in which there are real living nuns, and were overtaken by a violent storm of rain, from which our umbrellas did not well protect us, and the consequence was a partial wetting. It remained fine while we were on the lake, but we were obliged to hang up the shawls for curtains to conceal the ladies from our male eyes, whilst they made some changes in their dress, and interposed flannels between the wet part of their clothes, and their own lovely persons. This little disaster caused a greater sensation than it ought to have done. Travellers in a mountainous country are particularly exposed to these accidents—they should take as many precautions against them as they can, and should remedy them in the best manner they are able when they do occur, but after all if a wetting cannot be prevented nor remedied, it should be patiently submitted to. At Art we had tolerably good beds. We left it at six oClock the next morning in a pelting rain, which obliged us to draw the leather curtains of our caleche as close as possible. We saw little of an object in which we all felt great interest, the ruins of Goldau, caused 16 years ago by the fall of a part of a mountain, the Roseberg. A vast space is covered over with large blocks of stone, which buried every thing beneath them. These blocks are of all sizes, some of enormous bulk, and lie in heaps one piled upon another. An accurate account of this dreadful calamity has been published, and some of the particulars have been noticed in Sismond’s book.1 I have bought the original pamphlet which relates many wonderful escapes, as well as many deaths; it also gives an account of great devastations of property. Brunnen is a lovely spot at one end of the lake of Waldstatter. We did not intend originally to stay there but when the weather proved so bad we had to make our choice between Schwitz and Brunnen, and determined to leave the former for the latter because in Mr. Sharp’s paper of hints which he kindly gave me, he remarked that he had passed 3 days at Brunnen. “Brunnen then” we said, “must be the place to which to give the preference”. We very much regretted this determination afterwards, because of all the places to which we had been, in no one was the accomodation so bad as at Brunnen. The beds the hardest and the dirtiest we had ever slept in,—the food scarcely eatable. It was here that I became quite satisfied I was a bad traveller, for I submit to the deprivations to which travellers are exposed with a very bad grace. I should be contented to gratify my sense of seeing without giving any other of my senses particular gratifications, but the misfortune is that I cannot maintain them in a state of neutrality—they are daily and hourly annoyed in these visits to the mountains. I am ashamed to say how much I feel the annoyances to which they are exposed.—
Brunnen is a very small place, with hardly a decent person in it. After dinner Shuman came in and said that Major Fox, a swiss gentleman, who had been in the English service, was at the door, and hearing that some English travellers were at the Inn, wished to pay his respects to them. He was of course admitted. He told me that he was receiving half pay from England, that he had been in one of the Swiss regiments in the British service for many years. He had served in Egypt and in Sicily; had been prisoner to the Turks seven months, had left his own country at 16 years of age had been absent from it 24 years and had returned to it 6 years ago,—his name he said was Fuchs, which was Fox in English—that he had lately purchased a house in his native canton which he was now repairing—he had a wife and 3 or 4 children. He said he was passionately fond of the English and of English manners, and could scarcely reconcile himself to the coarse and unsociable people amongst whom he was now thrown. I fear the Major is not over rich—his appearance and the interior of his house give evident proofs of it. His manners were gentlemanly and his conversation liberal and intelligent. He offered to shew me a pretty view near the Inn, to which I accompanied him. This walk led us near to his house, into which he begged me to enter. He introduced me to his wife, a lively and agreeable german woman, speaking English well, and a warm admirer of England, as well as her husband. She had been with him while he was in the army serving, and did not appear at all delighted with the retired life to which she was now doomed. The Major brought me an English book from a room above stairs to shew me in the Calendar of Officers in the British service some account of himself. He was mentioned with great praise as having behaved gallantly on various occasions. I took my leave of this couple with many compliments on both sides. Mrs. Fuchs however thought she had not done enough, and soon after called with her husband on your mother, who was much pleased with her. They regretted, they said, that their house was not in a more finished state that they might offer us beds, for they were sure we should find those very bad which we were about to occupy. I can easily conceive that the sight of a stranger with whom they can have a little conversation must be a great treat to persons situated as Mr. and Mrs. Fuchs are—the situation of their house is beautiful but there is nothing else to reconcile them to a life of such extreme seclusion as theirs must necessarily be. Shuman and Mr. Fuchs immediately that they saw each other were sure that it was not for the first time. It appears that Shuman was in Egypt with the Army and was servant to Mr. Pestalozzi a brother officer of Mr. Fuchs, at which time Mr. Fuchs had frequently seen him.—
This morning the weather was fine and we rowed on the lake to Wm. Tells chapel. The wild scenery about this lake is beyond description beautiful. We returned to Brunnen to breakfast and immediately after proceeded by water to Lucerne. We are now in comfortable quarters but I fear shall soon be again amongst the mountains, and forced to be contented with mountain fare. Whether we shall or not will depend on the weather to-morrow. There are two ways of going to Meyringhen from Lucerne, one over a part of the lake, and then over a mountain which is impassable for a carriage of any description; the other, the regular carriage road to Berne, Thoun, and then by Charabancs and by water. Mary is very desirous of going over the mountain, but the difficulty is how to get your mother over. I thought this difficulty insurmountable, but it appears I was mistaken. We had a horse brought to the door the other evening with a large saddle in the form of a chair which is usually used by ladies on which the man was confident your mother could ride with great ease. She accordingly got upon it, but as I foresaw it was absolutely impossible. She had no seat whatever, and could not have rode 20 yards without falling or bringing the saddle round. The next expedient was to carry your mother in a chair;—to have 4 men, and to employ 2 and 2 alternately. I thought this impossible, but after consulting the best authorities I am obliged to give up my opinion, for I am assured by every body I ask that it is not only practicable, but easy; and constantly had recourse to. If then the weather is fine to morrow we shall go this mountain excursion. I confess I undertake it with reluctance for I see other difficulties besides the one I have mentioned. We shall be particularly exposed to the weather, and shall have no retreat from it if it be bad. What will become of us if one of the storms so usual in this country should overtake us while we are passing the mountain? I believe it will quite spoil our tempers, if no more serious consequences result from it. But Mary has set her heart on this expedition, and we will undertake it if appearances are favorable at starting.
Thursday, Eveng. Meyringhen
We hesitated till the last moment whether we should go by the mountain or the valley road to this place, but at last we decided on the mountain road altho’ it had rained all night and appearances were by no means favorable. We sent Shuman with the carriage, took a guide at Lucerne, and went, by the lake, to Alpnach. We had two heavy showers while on the lake, but we were in a good boat, and were very well protected from the weather. From Alpnach we had 3 leagues to go to Sarnen where we slept, and considering the description of town, for it is a very small one, had very tolerable accomodation. You should have seen us in our carriages; they were of a miserable description, much like those which I once before described to you. Our host at Sarnen was a good humored fellow—he told us his whole history, and asked whether we should like to hear his daughter sing to us. We could not but accede to such a proposal, and accordingly his daughter, a girl about 14 or 15, accompanied by 3 of her sisters, soon after entered the room, and entertained us with her whole budget of songs. Each of the children came up to me to shake hands with me as they entered the room, which it appears is the fashion of the country. The girls sung very agreeably, and their delighted father stood outside the door, which was ajar, and every now and then joined them with his stentorian voice. The mother and two younger children were of the party within the room. The little ones had bon bons given them by Birtha, and the singers had a fee of 6 francs, with which they appeared highly delighted. The room, by the bye was a very small one, and in addition to the numerous company in it, was furnished with two beds. We left our good humored, and reasonable charging, host of La Croix, at 6 oClock this morning in two char a-bancs and with two led horses. We passed over a very stony road, and soon reached a tremendous hill which was the beginning of the ascent of the mountains. We proceeded, many of us walking, 3 or 4 miles in the same course, until we arrived at Lungren, where we were to breakfast, and where the more difficult part of the ascent commences. It is impossible to do justice to the beauty of the country through which we passed, as well before going up the mountain as in the passage of it. At Lungren the led horses as well as the horses which had drawn us from Sarnen, were saddled and we proceeded in the following order. Birtha, Mary, Mrs. Cleaver, Miss Lancey and myself on horseback—4 men on foot—3 to attend the horses and one to blow an instrument which produced a sound like a french horn. By another path your mother proceeded in her chair, with four men and her guide—she was carried by two only at one time, and they made very light of their load at starting, but when we met them on the mountain, which we did in about an hour, they declared they had carried many ladies over the mountain but never one so heavy before. Indeed it was a most tremendous undertaking, and I only wonder how men can be found who will undertake and perform it. The passage of the mountain took us nearly four hours to perform—it is by no means a high one, and with horses that are used to the work by no means a difficult task. It is not very steep, but amazingly stony—the stones too are of an immense size, and nothing can exceed the sagacity of the horses in putting their feet down in the most favorable spots for their own security. The weather was beautiful when we set out, and continued so till within one hour of the termination of our ride, when the clouds gathered and a heavy fall of rain commenced, which wetted all of us more or less, except your mother, who was well protected against its assaults on all sides. Immediately on our arrival at the Inn the girls changed their clothes, and we are none of us the worse for our expedition. Meyringhen is a lovely spot—it has also a very decent inn, not one of the least of its recommendations. We are surrounded by waterfalls, one of which in particular is very picturesque and beautiful, but I am sorry to say it has continued raining ever since we have been here, and there is a bad prospect for us for to-morrow. Your mother was delighted with the men for the care they took of her, and for the exertions they used in her service, and in the warmth of her heart gave them 12 francs, in addition to their regular charge, for drink money. I must say they deserved all they got, but her fee should not have exceeded 6 francs. I paid 18 franks for each horse for the day, 9 for coming, and 9 for the return home, with an additional fee for drink money.
God bless you both and believe me Ever yr. affectionate father
I forgot to mention a curious object we saw near Sarnen, at a church, in Sachsten.1 St. Nicholas de Flue is a man famous in the history of Switzerland. At a time when the greatest dissensions prevailed amongst the leaders of parties and the country was plunged into a civil war, he descended from his hermitage in the mountains and by his exhortations and preaching settled all disputes, and restored peace and harmony to his country. He was a very pious, and austere man, contented with the coarsest food and clothing. After his task was executed he again retired to his hermitage. The Church at Sachsten is named after him and in a case which they open in it is a figure representing him. Part of the clothing of the figure is said to be a portion of the coarse garment which he actually wore. Over the Altar in a glass case, with a handsome robe thrown over it but not in such a way as entirely to hide it, is a skeleton which it is affirmed is the actual skeleton of the pious St. Nicholas. In his ghastly skull are stuck two precious stones in the places in which there once were eyes. Do you not think that this is a strange exhibition? Not stranger however than one at Zug at a chapel near the convent where there are a very large number of pigeon holes, in each of which is a human skull. Every one is ticketed for the purpose of pointing out whose skull it is.
The near relations of a dead person think they are performing a pious work in digging up the bones of their friends, and thus preserving their skulls. To some the arms of the family are attached. In what a variety of ways human weakness, folly, and vanity shew themselves!
Your mother and the girls desire their dear love to you.
We have recd. all your letters—we rejoice that Hena. is safe in bed. Three fourths of another letter are written to you which will be dispatched in a day or two yrs. ever
Berne 2 Sepr. 1822
Interlaken 30 Augt. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet,
My last letter to you is yet in my pocket and yet I begin another to you. I am afraid you find these epistles of mine very dry and unentertaining but once more I say to you I do not require you to read them and then the only penalty which I shall impose upon you is the postage; this however will not be a very slight one. The beauty of this country very far exceeds my expectation. Nothing I think can exceed in loveliness the place from which I am now writing. We are in a rich valley surrounded by the grandest mountains I have ever seen. In an opening between two of them, but at a considerably greater distance, there towers above them all the “Jangfrauw”, a mountain covered with eternal snow which this delightful evening has been glittering in the sun in a degree of beauty which I cannot attempt to describe. We have the lake of Brienz behind us, and the lake of Thun a little way off before us, and the two are connected by an impetuous river which runs from the former to the latter. From a hill not very high near the Inn we had a fine view of both lakes, and the river which connects them. If this place is beautiful so is the road to it from Meyringhen. To the right and left of us were innumerable waterfalls, but by far the most beautiful near Meyringhen, is the Rheinbach. To see this cascade in perfection you must go close up to it, and the effect is then very grand indeed. If we were pleased with this waterfall we were much more so with that of Giesbach, which falls into the lake of Brientz and looks quite insignificant from the water. We landed, and mounted up a very tolerable hill, mountain I should call it if I were not in this country, and saw this beautiful cascade to the greatest advantage. No drawing, or description can do justice to it. We stood under a projection of the rock and the foaming water just cleared our heads in falling from the top of it. We could just see the distant objects thro’ the sheet of water which tumbled before us. If we had remained long in this spot we should have been as wet with the spray as we had been exposed to a shower of rain. In a book which is kept by the Minstrels of this fairy spot we saw the name of Mr. Mallory as having been there yesterday so that it is still possible we may meet at Berne at which place we shall be in a very few days.
Our course lay over the lake of Brientz. We were rowed by two men and a woman. Women row on most of the lakes, and I assure you row very well. The lady who helped us forward to day worked very hard, and as she set the fashion, Mary was tempted to follow it. She received many compliments for her good rowing. I enquired after La belle batteliere Elizabeth,1 but was told that she had quite ceased to be belle. Our batteliere of to day never had been belle—she was however very good tempered; she laughed at my jokes, and spoke french with me. It was difficult to say which of the two spoke the worst.—
Our guide is very attentive and obliging. He knows a great deal of this country, and has a name for every mountain and for every cascade. He is not very young, and we think him very like the Duke of Wellington—he is older than the Duke I should think by five years, yet he can manage a good days walking as he proved when we crossed the Brunik. The poor man is sadly distressed at this moment for a barber to take off his beard—we met him in our afternoon’s walk, and he told us he had been in search of one, but had not been so fortunate as to succeed in his search. The perpetual subject of plague and anxiety continues to be the fleas. Mary continues to be their prime favourite but your mother is not wholly disregarded by them. Every evening a search takes place and three or four are generally found about each of their persons or clothes. Before I knew of their new attachment to your mother I thought of providing myself with a paring of Mary’s nail as a security against their attacks on my person, but now I have a better guarantee against their depredations. At this moment I am writing your mother is pursuing the chace,—but she has been unfortunate for she has more than once started the game, but no activity of hers could enable her to be in at the death. Hurra! I have better news— she has just killed one and as the pursuit is not closed she may do more havoc before she goes to bed.—
Birtha has eaten chocolate drops till she can eat no more— she has now taken to sugar drops something like our barley sugar of which she has a fresh supply at every large town we go to. She is also getting off honey which is a standing dish at our breakfast table. Her liking for the fruit and cakes continues undiminished.
Saturday 31 Augt—Lauterbrun
We have this day seen much of the beauty of Switzerland, in the valleys of Grindelwald, and Lauterbruin. Both these vallies are very narrow, with immense rocks on each side, and with impetuous torrents, for rivers, running through the low ground. At Grindelwald you approach the Glaciers, which appear so close to you that you would think you could throw a stone on the ice. When there, we determined to go to the ice, and instead of ascending we had to descend to come in contact with it. A man was on the spot with an axe, with which he detached large pieces of ice from the immense mass to present to us. In the mass the ice looked dirty, but in the small fragments it was as clear as crystal. The day was warm, but we were sensible of cold when at a little distance from this sea of ice.
From Grindlewald we went to Lauterbrun by going round the mountains, and so getting from one valley to another, but in doing so we had to descend to the low ground from which we had ascended in going from Interlacken to Grindlewald. Another road lies over the mountain, “The Wenghen Alp”, from which, in a clear day, an extensive view may be had of the chain of glaciers. If the weather had been favorable I do not think I should have attempted this toilsome journey of seven hours, but as it was cloudy, with a slight fall of rain (now and then), it would have been labour bestowed without any sensible object. Laterbrun is a lovely place. The fall of the Staubach is seen from it and is within ten minutes walk of the Inn. I had heard much of this fall, perhaps too much for it fell short of my expectations. The height from which the water falls is immense, but it falls nearly perpendicular, and the body of water falling is very much dispersed in its fall, and descends like rain. We stood a little way from it for 2 or 3 minutes, and were as wet from the spray as if we had been in the rain for a much longer time. I do not think it is to be compared for beauty to the Geirsbach1 on the banks of the lake of Brientz, or to the Rheinback2 near Meyringhen.
After our journey of to day I said we might as well pack up and return home, for it was impossible that Switzerland could have any new beauty to offer us, but I recollected we had not seen Mont Blanc, and I agreed to proceed in our tour to see that prince of mountains before our return. We are all very well except your mother—she is suffering from one of her low fits from which I hope she will soon recover. Poor Birtha cannot get to sleep again if she wakes while in bed, but the reason is that she never wakes till she is called in the morning to get up. It is a standing joke with me to lament over her bad nights, from her inability to go to sleep again after waking. She is very merry, and would bring the contents of a Swiss shop with her to England if she had money to buy it and room to take it with her. I must add another condition of which neither she nor any of them appear to think, it is this, if his majesty’s custom house officers would agree to let the things pass, which they certainly will not do.
Sunday evening 1st. Septr.
It rained violently this morning at 7—the time at which we projected rising for the purpose of going further into the valley of Laterbrune. The unpropitious weather made us give up our design and take an hours more rest. Immediately after breakfast we left Laterbrune in a very damp and gloomy atmosphere, but without rain, for Interlaken. When we arrived we furnished ourselves with a basket of provisions, consisting of bread, ham, wine, and cake, and proceeded to the lake of Thoun in a couple of Char-a-bancs a distance of about half a league and then stepped into a covered boat, and had a four hours row on this beautiful lake till we arrived at the town of Thoun which is at the other extremity of the lake. The charge for the boat is 12 francs all but a few sols[,] a very heavy expence for a single traveller who happens not to be very rich. One such addressed me when I was stepping in the boat and asked my permission to take a place in it, which I readily granted. He told us he was a Prussian and had been on foot through a great part of Switzerland—he had had two companions but they quitted him to take a different route that morning. He was an unassuming well behaved man, and from his conversation, altho his dress was not very good, I should think a gentleman. We told him of our having seen a german play1 and of our desire to know what the story was. By our description he soon recognised the tragedy and gave us a satisfactory and minute account of it. Our friend took leave of us at Thoun. When we arrived at this town we were in some perplexity on account of a shower which greeted us as our boat touched the land. The Inn was at some little distance and your mother was not well prepared for walking, for she was dressed much in the same way as the grave digger in Hamlet. Over her gown she had her silk furred pelisse—and over that her large driving great coat. Under these circumstances I thought it prudent to despatch our guide whom we called the Duke on account of his resemblance to the Duke of Wellington for a carriage of some sort, and he with as much expedition as a youth of 16, altho’ he is not less than 60 years of age made his appearance with an old fashioned coach in which the ladies were conveyed en masse to the Inn. The chief reason which made us quit Inter-laken for Thoun to day was the expectation of hearing from all our dear friends in England for Shuman had promised to get our letters at Berne and dispatch them to Thoun to meet us on our arrival there. We found a delightful packet. One from you my dear Osman for which I thank you much and assure you most sincerely that I felt great pleasure and interest in reading it; two from you my dear Harriet, to Mary. Two from Henrietta to her mother. Two from your aunt Fanny. One from your Uncle Moses and one from your aunt Rachel, but that which we most wanted and which gave us most delight was one from Clutterbuck with the joyful intelligence that Henrietta was safely in bed with a girl and that there was every prospect of her doing well. This has relieved us all from a portion of anxiety, but has made us wish very ardently for another letter to confirm the good intelligence of her doing well. We heard with pleasure of your uncle Moses being a little better, but I am very far from easy on his account; the attacks upon his shattered frame have been so frequent of late, and his power of resistance so much enfeebled that I cannot but be seriously apprehensive for the consequences. We were very glad to hear that you, Harriet and Mortimer were well. We learned also with pleasure that David had landed safely at Brighton from Dieppe. I trust I shall continue to hear good news from you all. And so it is settled that you and Harriet are to commence your travels in October. As you are to be absent for a long time I hope we shall meet at Paris if we do not meet in London. With respect to our movements I can say nothing with certainty. My own inclination would lead me, strongly, to direct my steps towards home, after seeing what is further to be seen in Switzerland, about the Lake of Geneva, and I do not think I can be prevailed upon to cross the Simplon into Italy, but I will not say positively I will not, for I find I cannot always resist the united wishes of the party when expressed in a certain way, and I may possibly not be more able to cope with them now than on former occasions. If we do not go across the Simplon the next letters from our friends, provided they are written soon after receiving this, should be directed to Lyons,—and those written at a later period, to Paris, but with this uncertainty hanging over my head I can not give any more precise directions.—As you intend visiting Switzerland I think it right to say that there are 3 or 4 excursions amongst the mountains, from the different towns, which cannot be well accomplished in your own carriage. If you are adventurous, like to climb the mountains, and do not mind getting wet occasionally, a very good way is to hire a guide who furnishes horses. You will pay so much a day for each horse, [ ]1 francs, I believe, and on horseback he would take you to all the interesting places. We met two adventurous Scotch women who were travelling in this way. They hired a guide and horses at Thoun, went to Interlacken, Lauterbruin, crossed the mountains to Grindlewald and many other places. We met them at Art—they were then going up the Rhigi, which I found they accomplished, for I afterwards met their guide at Meyringhen, who was, he told me, on his way back to Thoun, after having seen the ladies safe at Lucerne, and across the Rhigi. Thoun is a very comfortable place. Good night.
Berne. Monday 2. Sepr. 1822
We left Thoun soon after breakfast in a carriage drawn by 3 horses, a covered carriage with 3 seats, and each seat could conveniently accomodate 3 such as your mother. We agreed it would contain all my family with Harriet in the bargain; and we also agreed that we might admit her although we excluded Clutterbuck and Anthony Austin because they would be obliged to stay at home to take care of the children. I never rode in so complete a family carriage. We are now at Berne which is a very good town. The Inn at which we are appears to me a very good one; we are not in the best part of it altho’ we have very good beds and large rooms. Your mother is not pleased with it, and therefore if we can not remove for the better to-morrow we shall not stay here so long as we intended.
In your letter you say that you wrote to me and directed your letter to Amsterdam and that you did not pay the postage because you thought my privelege would carry the letter thro’ England, this letter I shall never receive, and after a reasonable time the Post Office will return it to you. I was fast getting rid of the conceit which I am accused of having, for I have now no pretty things said to me—I hear nothing but sober, sad, sedate truth, and I should have come home a very improved person, if Harriet had not now done, as she always does, every thing in her power to spoil me. She in her letter to Mary tells me the pretty things that others say of me, and you in your letter tell me those which Harriet herself says. But I am amongst a simple people, I have caught a little of the simplicity of their manners, and I am determined not to be corrupted.
Lausanne Friday 6 Sepr.
We did not leave Berne till yesterday morning. The town continued very full of company all the time we stayed in it. We walked through every part of the town and frequently visited the bears, which are kept in the ditch or fosse of the fortifications in the same manner as they are kept in the Jardin de Plantes at Paris. There are two old bears in one pit, and two young ones in another. They are constantly eating bread which is thrown to them by the people looking at them. Mary never visited them without buying a large loaf—the bears stand on their hind legs with their mouths open, and with very little dexterity it is easy to throw the bread right into them. Berne is I believe the name of bear in the Swiss language—A bear is in the Arms of this Canton—and it is said that the spot on which the town is built was a forest in which there was a great number of bears. We had the pleasure of seeing a grand market day at Berne. Cows, Oxen, Sheep, Horses, Pigs, Greens, fruit and all manner of merchandise were exposed for sale in innumerable quantities, and the streets were as full of people as they could hold. It was an interesting sight, but there was nothing which held out any particular temptation to us except the drawings of Swiss costumes and manners, but they are intolerably dear. We spent a little money upon them but I am doubtful whether we shall be able to get them into England without paying a heavy duty. One day we went to Hofwyl the establishment of Mr. Fellenberg— we saw nothing there but a clean and well ordered school.1
Yesterday was a grand annual festival at Berne, to return thanks to God for the harvest—it was in the nature of our fasts. The gates are kept shut on that day, and were only opened to us in consequence of a formal application the day before to the Police. We breakfasted at Morat, and after breakfast I determined to walk on towards the next stage a distance of 12 miles where we were to dine and sleep. I agreed to walk very slow until the carriage overtook me. They set off so long after me that they did not come in sight till after I had walked 5 miles. Shuman reached me on horseback just before I saw them and told me he was going to get the gates of the town which was just before us opened for the carriage, as the fast extended to this town as well as to Berne. I was at the foot of a hill and did not think it quite fair to get in the carriage till we were at the top of it, accordingly I walked to the top of it, and entered the town expecting the carriage immediately to follow me. After waiting some short time I thought it prudent to enquire whether the carriage could go to Lausanne without passing through the town and I was assured it could not. I waited a further time and then thought it right to go out of the town by the gate I had come in. I enquired after the coach and found it had gone outside the town. I immediately followed but was only in time to see it before me, too far for me either to be heard if I called after it or to reach it by running. The consequence was that I had to walk the remainder of the way under a burning sun and which I did as fast as I could as I foresaw your mother would be in a fine fuss when she discovered that I was behind and not before her. I arrived very soon after them at Payerne and just before I entered the town met the landlord of the Inn and Shuman in a Char-a-banc which your mother had sent to meet me. I suffered no inconvenience from my walk—ate a very hearty dinner and passed as good a night as I usually do, but your mother was full of a thousand fears for me, and anticipated fever, bilious attacks and all manner of ills, entirely forgetting that I often take walks nearly as long with Mr. Mill, and in weather quite as hot.
We like the appearance of Lausanne, but are much disappointed at finding the Inns so full that we are obliged to put up with apartments in a private house, in which the beds do not appear so soft as we could wish them to be. We have had a walk out in search of Gibbon’s house. Mary and I could not bear to come home without finding it and as we were sent from one place to another by the different people we asked and a good way from the town we have not walked less than 3 miles, and are yet in doubt whether we have found it. If it be the house we were shewn as his it is after all very little way from the Inn, but as it was dark before we came home we gave up our pursuit with the determination of resuming it to-morrow. We shall to-morrow also seek for Mrs. Maxwell’s house and call and ask how she does after her confinement. We intend leaving Lausanne for Geneva on monday next. With the united love of us all believe me ever most affectionately yrs.
Geneva 9th. Septr. 1822
My Dear Osman
On our arrival at Secheron, the Inn close to this town, this morning I found a very feeling letter left for me by Mr. Mallory2 giving me a hasty account of the death of his mother, and of the grief into which he was plunged in consequence of this melancholy intelligence. The letter was dated yesterday, from the same Inn at which I received it, and it informed me that Mr. Mallory was going to return immediately to England. The master of the house informed me that he set out on his journey yesterday—a melancholy journey it will be. Soon after my arrival I received several letters which had arrived at Geneva for1 me amongst others one from you giving me further details of the unforeseen illness and death of Mrs. Mallory. We are all very much grieved at this sad event.— Poor Harriet must have been very much shocked and distressed by the melancholy news which you had to communicate to her, and her long journey after the intelligence must have been a very anxious one. Pray give all our kind love to her,—tell her we heartily sympathise with her, and hope that on this occasion she will exercise her good sense, and bear calmly a misfortune for which there is no remedy. We feel very much too for Miss Mallory—the loss to her is a very severe one. When you see Mr. Mallory pray give my kind remembrances to him. Thank him in my name for his letter. I hope we shall meet under happier circumstances than those which would have attended our meeting here if I had arrived one day sooner at Geneva.—
It was very kind of you to write to me when you did. I was glad to hear that David and Mortimer were well. From the first I received a letter to day giving me an account of the continued misbehaviour of Darby—I shall write immediately to David to dismiss him from my service—he is I am convinced a very worthless fellow.2 —We are glad to hear that Mortimer has been enjoying himself—he is very much indebted to your and Harriet’s kindness; and so indeed are your mother and I for the care you have taken of him. We also found a second letter from Clutterbuck giving a good account of Henrietta’s progress, so that we are quite easy respecting the health of all our absent children, for we had also 2 letters from Sylla, one to your mother the other to Mary, giving us the very best news about herself and children.—
I am glad to hear that you feel interest in the letters which I send to you. I will immediately after writing this recommence my task, but as you intend leaving England I will cease writing as soon as I know the time that you are to set out, and that you can no longer receive the letters which are addressed to you.—In my last I told you of the different wishes of the party respecting extending our journey to Italy: Your mother has joined the party opposed to me and therefore I remain in a minority of one. Under these circumstances I have been obliged to yield and consequently the Italian journey is resolved upon. We shall probably be at Milan in a fortnight, at Florence a week or fortnight after, and in a few days from that time we shall be at Turin. We propose entering Italy by the Simplon and leaving it by Mont Cenis. From Turin we shall make the best of our way to Paris through Lyons. From what I have said you will be able to judge to what places to direct to me—I shall certainly make enquiries after letters at all the places which I have mentioned above, and it may be proper to say to you by way of information that letters come with much greater expedition if you write Via Paris upon them.
We called upon Captn. and Mrs. Maxwell at Lausanne, but as I find since I began the sentence, that Mary has given Harriet an account of our visit to them, I shall not trouble you with a repetition. The Capn. dined with us yesterday and was exceedingly kind and agreeable.—
The arrangement which Mr. Wakefield proposes to make with the tenants at Bromesberrow is quite agreeable to me.
I am sorry that the Etonians have been defeated by the Harrow boys at Cricket—I have no doubt that Mr. S. Barret1 makes the most of this when he wishes for a little triumph over Mortimer: I suppose there is no chance now of seeing Mr. Barrett on the continent.
This place is full of English,—it is with great difficulty we can find room in the Inns in this part of Switzerland—many families have applied in vain at this house since we arrived, and the yard is full of English carriages. The party of the Perkins (brewers) travel in great force—they have two very elegant carriages brimfull—we are always crossing each other, and I fear we are still following the same course.
I have not yet seen Mr. Dumont but I have enquired after him, I find he is at his country house a little way from Geneva, I intend calling upon him to morrow.
Your mother and the girls are quite well—I am much as usual—they tell me I am growing fat, I can myself perceive no symptoms of it. Give my dear love to Harriet and believe me ever your affectionate father
Geneva 15 Sepr. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriett,
I hope this letter will find Harriett reconciled to the loss which she has lately sustained.—It is useless to lament over those misfortunes for which there is no remedy;—we must whether we will or no submit to them, and the sooner we accomodate ourselves to our new circumstances the wiser we shew ourselves to be.
It is a long time since I have written any account of our proceedings, and to keep up the chain of my narrative I must go back to Lausanne where I was on saturday the 7th. when I dispatched my last folio sheet2 to you. We were very much pleased with the country about Lausanne, but from what we could see of the houses which many of our countrymen inhabit, we felt no wish to take up our residence about that town, even for the short space of six months. From what we heard from Capn. Maxwell, as well as from what we saw about his house, we are convinced they are all very deficient in comforts. No carpets, scarcely any knives or spoons, a very scanty supply of furniture, and withal very dear, make a residence in Lausanne, for a short period, little desirable. It is at Lausanne that Mr. John Kemble3 has taken up his residence, and I understand that his house is generally open on wednesday evenings, to which most of the English who visit the town are invited. As I knew Mr. Kemble in London,4 I intended calling upon him, but I met him on sunday morning in his carriage, going to church with Mrs. Kemble, and I stopped and spoke to him. He looks old but in good health,—he told me he was going on the wednesday following to commence his journey to Italy, where he should remain during the winter. Mary, Birtha, Miss Lancey and I had a very hot and fatiguing walk to a hill close to Lausanne called the Signal from which we enjoyed a very fine view of the Lake of Geneva, and of the hills which surround it. We also visited Gibbon’s House and garden which is an object of great interest to the English, but which is not distinguished by any particular beauty. On monday morning we left Lausanne for Geneva. At about six miles before we arrived at Geneva we passed thro’ the village or town of Copet. You will remember that Copet was the residence of Mr. Necker, and of his celebrated daughter, Madame de Stael. The Chateau is very near the town, and is so close to the road as to be easily seen by those who pass by it. The Duke de Broglie and his family are now at Copet, and it was a matter of discussion between your mother and me whether I ought to call on him. I was afraid of being intrusive,—that, and being one of so large a party determined me not to call, so we proceeded to Geneva, or rather to Secheron, which is about an english mile on the Lausanne side of it. The town of Geneva is remarkable for its ugliness rather than for its beauty. The Upper part of the town is very tolerable, and the public walks are in a pleasant situation,—moreover the rapid and beautiful river, the Rhone, runs through it, which can never fail to be an interesting object.—
On tuesday we had a caleche and the ladies proceeded on a regular shopping expedition. On enquiring for the house of the best jeweller we were shewn to a miserable alley, and in that alley we had to mount a miserable staircase to the fourth story. Here was the magazin of Mr. Bautte,1 which was well worth seeing, for it contained a very extensive and valuable assortment of gold watches, musical boxes, chains, rings, bracelets &c. &c. I need not say that your mother left a greater weight of gold behind her than what she received in exchange. The Genevese shine very much in their watches and trinkets—they consider these as their staple commodities —they are almost the only ones which they export. I called on Mr. Dumont, who is living at this time of the year, a little way out of town, but he was from home—he was gone to Copet and was expected home at night. I left my name, and the next morning, wednesday, soon after breakfast, I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Dumont at Secheron. He was as friendly and agreeable as I could wish him to be—he fixed a day for me to dine with him that he might introduce me to some of the distinguished men at Geneva such as Mr. Simond, the author of the tour in Switzerland,2 Mr. Sismondi the historian,3 Monsr. De la Rive, a clever man and able chemist,4 Professor Prevost,5 Monsr. Rossi,6 and several others. I am to meet these gentlemen on tuesday next. Monsr. de la Rive had been in England 3 or 4 years ago when I met him at Mr. Blakes. Walking with Mr. Dumont in Geneva we met this gentleman; he immediately recognised me, and pressed me strongly to dine with him that day, to which I readily consented. I had a great deal of trouble to fulfil my engagement as he lived out of town, and I found it very difficult to get a carriage to convey me there, and when this difficulty was got over, another, almost insuperable, offered itself in the inability of the coachman to find the place to which I was going. I reached the place at last but full ¾ of an hour after the time specified. I was not however the last, so I was reconciled to the misfortunes of my journey. At Monsr. De la Rive’s there was a large party consisting chiefly of his relations by marriage both male and female. Several of the gentlemen were of great reputation for talents. Among them were Dr. Bruttini1 and his son, and Mr. Simond. In the rapidity of French conversation I found I could not understand much, but Mr. Simond who sat next to me spoke English, and I had a good deal of conversation with him—I liked him very much and was glad to make his acquaintance. In his book of travels he has very ably supported many of the disputed, but which I think the correct principles of Political Economy. Mr. Simond was born at Lyons. During the Revolution he lost his father and brother, (I believe) by the guillotine. Since that time, till lately, he has been in America. He was married to a relation either of Mr. Jeffrey or Mr. Jeffrey’s wife,1 but he a little while ago, became a widower, and is now again married to a Genevese Lady, which I suppose has determined him to settle in this place. He has been made a citizen and in due time will no doubt be chosen a member of the representative council. I had an opportunity at Monsr. De la Rive to see the etiquette of a Swiss dinner. We had a great variety of dishes, but with my English habits I did not quite approve of the order in which they were eaten. I cannot quite approve either of having only one knife and fork allotted to each person, and I should have been more pleased if we had not risen from table before I could dispose of the things which were in my plate—I was obliged to leave a couple of nice chocolate drops behind me. Ladies and gentlemen rose at the same moment. After taking coffee, which makes its appearance soon after dinner, I left Monsr De la Rive, to fulfil another engagement which I had contracted to drink tea with Dr. Maunoir, and where I was to meet your mother and the girls. They had arrived just before me, but Dr. Maunoir had been sent for to a patient, out of Geneva, so that I did not see him, but we were most hospitably entertained by Mrs. Maunoir, who is a very friendly and agreeably woman. You know I believe that Mr. and Mrs. Maunoir are the parents of Mrs. M’Niven and Mrs. Sumner. Mrs. M’Niven you have seen in Brook Street, and have, as well as ourselves, admired her for her beauty and agreeable manners.2 At Mr. Maunoirs we met Mr. Dumont, the Duke of San Carlos, his son in law, Mr. Simond, and one or two ladies whose names are to me unknown: we had an opportunity here of seeing a Genevan soiree. Mr. Dumont has made it his study to make me comfortable, he walked with me into the town to shew me every thing worth seeing, and put off an engagement that he might accompany us to Chamouny. We left Geneva together on thursday morning and went thro’ a beautiful country, too beautiful for any further commendation of mine to St. Martin. We alighted two or 3 times on the road to walk thro’ spots from which the views appear most lovely. At St. Martin we slept at a very indifferent inn but the best in that neighbourhood. Mont Blanc shews itself in great majesty to those who view it from St. Martin. The weather was delightful, not a cloud to be seen, and the effect of the setting of the sun on this grand mountain can no where perhaps be seen to greater advantage than at St. Martin. We watched the reflection of the last rays, from the summit of snow, with great interest and delight. We met here young Hobhouse,1 he had left his brother and sisters at Milan on their way to Rome, and intended himself after seeing Chamouny to bend his steps towards home. At St. Martin Miss Lancey felt very unwell, from the effects as she thought of the sun during our journey, and went immediately on our arrival there to bed. The next morning she was up and ready to join us in our expedition to Chamouny, but she was evidently not in a fit state to undergo the fatigue, —we persuaded her to remain at St. Martin with Mrs. Cleaver till our return. The business was so arranged. Your mother, Mary, and Birtha went in one Charabanc, and Mr. Dumont and I in another; Shuman was on horseback. We came in our own carriage to St. Martin but it was impossible to proceed further in it on the roads which we were then to pass. I never travelled on worse—they were not deep and heavy, but over fragments of rocks jumbled together in all manner of forms, they were moreover on the edge of precipices, and through the beds of rivers. My surprise was how the horses could draw us out of the holes into which we were frequently sunk, and how the apparently frail carriages in which we were placed could bear the jumbling to which we were exposed. As for any real danger we were exposed to none, and after a few hours shaking, and a very bad breakfast at Servoz, we arrived safely at Chamouny. The country thro’ which we passed was if possible still more beautiful than that thro’ which we had travelled the day before. At Chamouny we had to express our disapprobation very strongly to Shuman for taking us to a different Inn to that which we had directed him to. I do not believe it was very much inferior to the other but he had no right to exercise any discretion on the subject, he should have followed orders. We were the more displeased with him on account of the many stories which he told us— he saw that we were really angry, and nothing could exceed the attentions which he paid to us, anticipating every possible want, till he again succeeded in putting us in good humor with him. Being deprived of the services of Mrs. Cleaver he had many opportunities of doing little services for us, which he was not generally called upon to do, and not one of which he neglected. Having enquired at the other Inn whether he had been there at all, for we suspected his whole story to be false, and having found he had, tho’ he quitted it without any good reason, we were won upon by his good humour and kindness, and are again as before. At Chamouny the entertainment was tolerably good considering the place. After dinner we had a walk and ascended a few hundred paces the mountain called The Breven. Chamouny is at the foot of Mont Blanc and is a magnificent spot for the view of that mountain, and the others by which it is surrounded. Several glaciers descending from Mont Blanc are in sight at Chamouny. We made our arrangements for ascending the Montanvert the next day, part of the Mont Blanc, took our tea and went early to bed.
We rose on saturday morning at 5 oClock, and at a little after six, immediately after breakfast, we all, with the exception of your mother, who stayed at the Inn crossed our mules, and commenced our ascent of the mountain. It is impossible that animals with loads on their backs could make their way on a more rugged path—it was like mounting decayed worn out stairs, and was more like dancing up a mountain than walking up one. After two hours and a half of hard work we reached the summit, and were gratified by the view of the mer de glace the finest glacier of Mont Blanc. We alighted from our mules, and descended to the Ice, on which we walked some way. It is impossible to give an idea of a glacier by description—it must be seen to be understood or conceived. The name of a sea of ice is very justly applied, for it appears like a rough sea, with immense high waves, suddenly frozen and fixed. The cavities between the waves are frightful, and the rents and chasms so deep that it makes one tremble to look over them. Dangerous as this sea of ice is many people traverse it for many leagues to see a small spot of green which is called the garden and which is surrounded by ice. The circumstance which makes this glacier particularly beautiful, independently of its extent, is the high and grand rocks by which it is surrounded, and which are here seen to great advantage. Young Hobhouse was ascending the mountain at the same time as we were, but he was on foot. After regaling ourselves with the provisions which we had taken up with us, and drinking some of the sour wine which was in the same basket, and which I had afterwards reason to repent, we commenced our descent on foot, for even the mules can not be trusted to go down with persons on their backs, and a very fatiguing journey we found it. We were nearly 3 hours performing our difficult task, and all of us were astonished at the perseverance and good humor of Mr. Dumont. He is a very bulky heavy man, and the effort to him must have been a very painful one. We however all accomplished the business without more fatigue than might be expected, took our dinner soon after our descent, and commenced our journey homewards over the same rough road which we had passed the day before. We arrived at St. Martin just after dark, and had the satisfaction of finding Miss Lancey very much improved from her indisposition. The Inn was as full of English as it could hold. A very large party, the Perkinses, were obliged to sleep on mattresses spread for them in the general eating room.
On Sunday morning we left St. Martin, at 7 oClock, and arrived at Geneva about 3. Mr. Dumont was a great acquisition to us. We could not have a more agreeable companion, nor one more chearful and communicative. I always liked and admired Mr. Dumont, but my regard, admiration, and respect, for him have been very much increased since I have seen him at Geneva, where he holds a very distinguished place as a philosopher and legislator. There is a great deal of playfulness about him, and you would have been highly amused to have heard one or two of his conversations with Birtha, in which she was as much at her ease as if she had been speaking to one of her own age. I believe the two girls are favorites with him; they will be glad to renew their acquaintance with him in the Spring, when we may hope to see him in London. He has another work nearly ready for the press, and which will probably be published before the end of the year.1
At Geneva, on our return from Chamouny, we found the Inn here full of English, amongst whom were some of my acquaintance. The first that I met with were Mr. Norman and Mr. Cowell, two very agreeable young men, members of the Polit. Economy Club.2 Secondly I met young Currie who introduced me to Sir Ch. Smith a young man about his own age and whose father was partner in Mr. Currie’s Senr’s. house.3 Sir Ch. is travelling over the Continent with his mother and sisters—they are a very large party, occupy two carriages, and want too many beds to make it safe to follow them too closely. I asked all these gentlemen to drink tea with me last night, they accepted the invitation, and made themselves very agreeable. Young Currie left Secheron this morning for Bale on his way to Brussells and London, the rest set out about the same time for Italy, they have the start of us two days, for we shall follow on wednesday. Mr. Dumont called upon me to day to accompany me in a visit to Copet, to see the Duke and Madame de Broglie, a distance of about 6 miles. We found Monsr. Sismondi with the Duke. Nothing could exceed the kindness of the reception we met with both from the Duke and Duchess—we were asked to stay dinner which we readily consented to do, and I came home confirmed in my liking for the Duke, and quite charmed with his wife. She is a very pleasing, unaffected and affable woman.1 The conversation turned on the state of England, and on many of the principles of Political Economy, to which Madame de Broglie listened with the greatest attention, and occasionally made an observation, or asked a question, in the most agreeable manner. I felt the greatest gratitude to her for making me feel so much at my ease. I must not say any thing more in her praise, or you will suspect that one of her principal merits in my eyes was the paying attentions to me.
Mr. Sismondi is a very agreeable man, but he differs greatly from me on the principles of Polit. Economy. I had a powerful advocate on my side in the Duke, and between us we often posed Mr. Sismondi, and made him confess that, though he could not immediately answer our arguments, he felt satisfied that they were answerable. Mr. Dumont did not take a leading part in the discussion, but evidently leaned to our side. While I was there the Duchess received a letter from Geneva, containing intelligence of the success obtained by the Turks over the Greeks; the whole party lamented over this news as if it had been of a personal misfortune to themselves, and appeared to consider it as all over with the liberty of Europe. They in some degree recovered afterwards from these desponding forebodings, in which I did not at any one moment participate, and we had some pleasant conversation about England, the state of parties there, the degree of liberty enjoyed by the English &c. &c. A gentleman, a clergyman I believe in the neighbourhood, dined with us. There was also a lady present, who was seated at the bottom of the table. She was most strangely dressed in green, with a head of hair like a mop, and without a cap. I did not hear the sound of her voice—she was rather advanced in years than otherwise. It was not till I was on my return home with Mr. Dumont that I heard who this lady was. I learned with surprise that she was an English woman,1 who had been enthusiastically attached to Mad. de Staël, and had lived with her during her life. She was now residing with Madme. Broglie, and had transferred her affection to Madame’s 3 children. Madame Broglie’s brother, young Roca, a boy of about 10 years of age,2 dined with us also—his countenance does not give indication of an intelligent mind, but of one of a very contrary description. The poor boy tumbled out of a window a few months ago, but it is not supposed that he has received any injury from his fall. He has a very large head, and really appears to be top heavy. After dinner 2 out of the 3 children came into the room, and very soon after accompanied us into the drawing room, and made as great a noise there as ever I heard made by English children. Mr. Sismondi put his hands up to his ears, and gave every indication of being greatly annoyed. I think I have given you a very full account of my visit, but I have still a very few words to say about the house. It is large, but there is nothing that we in England should call elegant about its outward appearance. The staircase is whitewashed, I expected to see it stuccoed, papered, or painted. I passed thro’ an antiroom which had a brick floor, up stairs, to a billiard room, and from that to the Salon. The Salon was furnished handsomely, but in the old fashioned way. The chairs and sofas had silk cushions and backs. There was an oil painting of Madame de Stael hanging in this room, and said to be very like her;—there was also a bust of M. Necker. The library is a large and handsome, though a plain, room, on the ground floor.—There is a full length statue in it ofM. Necker in a Roman cloak in the act of making a speech; it is the work of a German, but is not I think a pleasing performance. The grounds are rather pretty; walks under avenues of trees &c. &c. but I saw nothing that could be called a garden. The situation is not particularly pretty, for tho’ it overlooks the lake there are a number of houses between the lake and it, on the tops of which the view also extends. Thus ends my story.
We have received a letter to day from Henrietta dated the 29 Augt. we are delighted to hear she has already made such progress in her recovery and that her baby is thriving.
Your mother, Mary, and Birtha join with me in kind love to you both.—
Yrs. ever affectte. father
19 Sepr. 1822. Martigny
My Dear Osman and Harriet,
I continue writing to you as if I was sure of your receiving my letters, when it is possible that you may be set off for France before you receive them. The worst however that can happen is a little unnecessary trouble, to me, and the expence of postage, to you, so that I shall continue writing till I hear that you have actually left your home, or are about leaving it, before you can receive the letter that I am to address to you.
I dined with Mr. Dumont on tuesday, and passed a very agreeable day. The company consisted of Mr. Bellort,1 The Duc de Broglie, Mr. Simond, Mons. Sismondi, Mons. De La Rive, and Mr. Romilly, the eldest son of the late Sir Saml. Romilly.2 After dinner Monsr. Prevost joined our party. The greatest kindness and attention was paid to me by all these gentlemen, and I shall always have reason to think with pleasure of my visit to Geneva. Mr. Dumont gave us an excellent dinner, and was as usual in excellent spirits, and contributed much to the gaiety of the party. The conversation was a good deal on subjects of Political Economy, on which it was not necessary for me to say much, as the Duke so completely agrees in opinion with me, and speaks so well, that he made a much better stand, for the principles which are common to both of us, than I could have made, if their defence had been left solely to me. It is also to be observed that there was great competition for the “parole”, and very great difficulty in obtaining it: Monsr. Sismondi and the Duke made what might be called short speeches. Mr. Simond speaking of the Duke to me did justice to his talents, but said he was rather too much like a professor. Mr. Simond also pointed out to my notice the equipage of the Duke, which was waiting to convey him home at the hour when we were near breaking up,—it was the shabbiest set out I ever saw, and I am persuaded could only be hired for the day in the little town near to which is his chateau. Horses, coachman, and carriage were all alike—they were as bad as a bad hackney coach. Mr. Simond thought they were the property of the Duke, and begged me to notice that Dukes were not very particular in this country—he observed that many of the nobility in France were miserably poor, not worth perhaps £500 pr. Annm., but this he said was not the case with the Duke de Broglie, who was very well off. I rode in the Duke’s carriage from Mr. Dumont’s to Geneva—he expressed his wish that we might again meet at Paris, which is highly probable.
Young Romilly has been for fifteen months at Geneva, and means to stay here some time longer. It will be a happy thing if this retirement should wean him from the dangerous habit in which he has indulged, and enable him to preserve the wreck of the fortune which his unfortunate father bequeathed to him.—He is a pleasing young man. I wish he had some rational pursuit in which he could feel interested.—
It was our intention to leave Secheron at 6 oClock yesterday morning, and for that purpose we rose soon after 5. We waited for the horses, after we were ready, for nearly two hours; there was some mistake, wilful or accidental in some quarter, this however did not prevent us from reaching St. Maurice at night, but it retarded it till after dark, and the country through which we passed was too beautiful to make it an object of indifference to us.
We travelled a great way by the bank of the lake of Geneva, an excellent road for which we are indebted to the French, and through the usual lovely country. At Meillerie we left the carriage, and ascended, with some caution, to the rocks above that place, and bearing the same name. These rocks are immortalised by the beautiful description given of them by Rousseau in his Nouvelle Heloise. Mr. Dumont says that no description can be more accurate, nor more eloquently written—he appears to know the whole of the descriptive part of the letter of St. Preux, written from that place, by rote.—The spot is an enchanting one, and I, who have not one grain of romance in my composition, was fully sensible of its beauties.
To my disappointment I found at the bottom of this page the beginning of a letter from your mother to your aunt Fanny;—after a little consideration it was settled that her lines should be sacrificed, and I proceed on the mutilated sheet.
As we arrived late last night and I had not seen the entrance to St. Maurice, and as I wished much to see Bex, which was a little way out of our direct route, I got up early this morning, and walked to Bex, and back, a distance altogether of about 6 miles, before breakfast. I enjoyed it very much, and did not come to my breakfast with the worst appetite for this little wholesome exertion. The inns at St. Maurice, and here at Martigny, are of a worse description than those which are in the large towns of Switzerland, but they are by no means bad, and we have nothing to complain of. From St. Maurice here the ride is very pleasant, and the Pissevache, a cascade, which we passed on the road, is well worth seeing. The water falls in a beautiful form from a height of more than 200 feet, and you are treated with plenty of foam, and vapour, which has the appearance of fine dust. It was my intention to go from here directly to the Simplon, and so to Italy, but at your mother’s request we are to make a diversion of two or 3 days for the purpose of going up the Grand St. Bernard, the convent on the top having made a great impression on her imagination. We proceed to-morrow in Charabancs for five hours, which will take us to the foot of the mountain:—then we shall, 5 of us, ascend on mules, and your mother will be carried once more by men. We are to sleep, or rather lodge for the night, on the top of St. Bernard, and are to return the next day to this place. The day following we shall proceed on our tour. After seeing the lakes about Como, we intend going to Milan, and from thence to the places which I before mentioned to you. Since we have been at Martigny, Mary, Birtha, and I, have mounted a high hill, close to the town, on which are the ruins of a Castle, and from which an extensive view may be enjoyed. But this is not all we have done, we have had a mule saddled, and we fairly placed your mother upon it, and she has been parading about, the mule led by one man, and supported on each side by two more. She soon got courage enough to dismiss one of her side attendants, but nothing could induce her to part with the other. There was a pretty large heap of sand and rubbish in one place, which we chose, to represent a mountain, and over this mountain she and her mule were doomed to pass. This trial decided that the ascent of St. Bernard on mule back was not very practicable, for it very much disturbed the center of gravity, and great use was made of the side prop.
The weather is, and has been, delightful,—on the score of health we have nothing to complain of, Miss Lancey is recovered though not very strong, and incapable of bearing great exertion.—Mary keeps her sickness off very well, and Birtha is seldom, if ever, troubled with it. The latter continues to have a great liking for bon-bons, notwithstanding that her mother appears to me to have pursued the course with her said to be practiced by grocers with their apprentices, giving them free permission to eat as much as they please that they may at once get cloyed with sweets;—the experiment has not succeeded with Birtha. The vendange, or grape harvest, has generally commenced. The grapes are excellent in quality, but they tell me not particularly abundant in quantity—they are quite ripe, and we enjoy the eating of them very much.
Sunday Night 22 Sepr. Bryg
Our formidable expedition up to the Grand St. Bernard has been accomplished. We left Martigny, at six oClock on friday, in two Charabancs,—the morning was dull and cloudy, and we had not proceeded far before it began to rain, which continued with little intermission till we arrived at Lidde, a distance of 5 leagues from Martigny. Here we had to wait 2 hours to refresh the mules, which we had brought with us; and we took the same opportunity for refreshing ourselves, as we had had no breakfast before our journey. The rain continuing, we considered the propriety of continuing our expedition, but my companions were too eager to see the convent and the monks at the top of the mountain to allow any obstacle to prevent them from proceeding; accordingly 6 porters were engaged to carry your mother, and as she proved quite as heavy as they expected, they petitioned for two more to assist them. At 2, we started, Mary, Miss Lancey, Birtha, Mrs. Cleaver, and I, on mules, and your mother in her arm chair, with her 8 chairmen in livery. Her attendants had nothing uniform but the colour of their coats, for some were short, others tall; some old, others young—there were also among them the gay and the serious; the noisy and the quiet. We were also accompanied by two of our country men, whom we met at Lidde;—Mr. Smith son of Mr. Wm. Smith, member for Norwich, and with whom you are well acquainted, was one of them; and Mr. Allen, a gentleman with whom Mr. Smith was travelling the other. The rain very soon recommenced, and it became on the mountain one of the most unpleasant days I had ever been out in—cold, wet and very foggy. As the mules could walk much faster than the porters, they all went on with their riders, except my mule and I. We stayed behind to accompany your mother, and Mary very soon after joined our party. To get up this mountain is by no means a difficult task, it being neither steep, nor the path particularly obstructed by large stones, yet the state of the weather, and the great length of the journey, made your mother heartily repent having undertaken it. The distance we had to travel from Lidde is computed to be about 12 English miles, and much of it is at the side of precipices, to which your mother has a great antipathy. The last half hour of our journey was the most disagreeable, because it was nearly dark when we performed it and we were involved in so thick a fog that we could see only a few yards before us. Danger there was none, but to your mother’s imagination there appeared a good deal, particularly as this part of our journey was over ground more rough and steep than any of the preceding part. The equestrian portion of our party had arrived some time before us, and had given information of our approach, so that we were greatly relieved when we saw the lights from the convent, which we soon found were approaching towards us. It was about half past 7 when our party entered the convent, and never did the contrast of a warm room, with a blazing fire in the hearth, to a cold bleak moor, appear to so much advantage in my eyes. Your mother’s upper Benjamin, and Pelisse were soon taken off, and we were all quickly seated round the fire of our hospitable hosts. Two only appeared, (their whole number is 8), and nothing could exceed the attention and politeness which they shewed to us. Their dress is very unlike the dress we generally suppose monks to wear, but yet it was very different from any of our own. It was of cloth, not unlike that of Polish jews. A cloth cap covered the head, which they took off to salute us. Their conversation was very chearful and agreeable, and if I had not met them in the situation in which I found them I should have thought they had mixed much in society. The language they speak is French, and the subjects on which we spoke were various. Many questions of course were asked respecting their manner of living,—their time of rising and going to bed,—the inconvenience they felt from the cold,—their dogs, servants &ca.,—to all which they readily answered: Their age I should judge to be about 32.
Half an hour, or perhaps a little more, after our arrival, we sat down to supper with our two hospitable entertainers— there was only one gentleman more present, an Irishman, besides those who had ascended in our party. The monks told us they regretted that it must be a day of penance to us, as it was one of their fast days, and they could not have meat at table. Our first course consisted of Soup, made of greens without meat, of potatoes, and a large dish of poached or rather of stewed eggs;—the second, of a large dish of little puffs, cream, and stewed prunes; the whole was very nicely dressed, and altho’ we could have wished for something more solid, we supped very well on this light fare. Some cheese and plenty of wine constituted the rest of our repast. At ten oClock we separated for the night, an hour unusually late for the monks, as their hour for bed is 9 oClock; they always rise, winter and summer, at ½ past 4.—The next morning we saw their dogs, very fine animals, and heard many stories of their sagacity in discovering people who are overwhelmed with cold and fatigue, and incapable of proceeding on their journey. We also saw their chapel, and their collection of minerals, and Roman antiquities. We, men, saw also the Refectory, but the women were not admitted. After eating our breakfast with our new friends, we left them at 9 oClock, very much pleased with them, and with the kind entertainment we had received.
Our journey to Lidde was far more pleasant, or rather far less unpleasant, than it had been the day preceding, from Lidde;—it was not so cold,—there was very little fog, and tho’ we had rain, it was only occasional, and we had intervals of sun shine. Our journey was also much more expeditious —the mules did it in 3 hours, and the porters in less than 4. I was happy to see your mother once more safe at Lidde. We remained there only so long as was necessary to put the mules in a condition to take us in our charabancs to Martigny, which we were anxious to reach before dusk, as the road is on the side of precipices, and over some very awkward wooden bridges.—I promised to pay the drivers well if they accomplished this, which they did, but we were once very nearly overturned by too sharp a turn of the charabanc on the side of an immense block of granite. The ride from Lidde to Martigny is very beautiful—it lies on the banks of the Dranse for a very considerable way, a river which is famous for the unfortunate accident which occurred in its course three or four years ago. The innundation of the valley of the Bugne will long be remembered.
We left Martigny early this morning, and arrived here at 6 oClock. We are close to the foot of the Simplon, and several mountains covered with snow, are in view here, on all sides of us;—to-morrow we hope to sleep at Domo D’Ossola.
Domo D’Ossola, Monday eveng.
We commenced our journey at the time appointed, in one of the finest days imaginable for travelling. We have all been delighted, and astonished with the grandeur of the scenery thro which we have passed, and the victory of art over nature, in the fine road of the Simplon, which is in every part perfect, from Bryg to Domo D’Ossola. We have no road in England which surpasses it, and when we reflect on the difficulties which the Engineers must have encountered in making it, from the situation to which they were confined, the innumerable rocks which they had to remove, or through which they had to work, it must be pronounced one of the greatest works of modern times. For this road the traveller is indebted to Bonaparte, and while it exists it will be a monument of his genious. I am happy to say that it is not falling into decay, but is kept up in its original perfect state, in every part. If I were happy in describing scenery, I should chuse that thro’ which we have thus travelled as my subject, but I know better than to meddle with it, further than by saying that it is amongst the very finest I have seen since I commenced my travels. That part which lies on the Italian side is quite terrific, —the rocks being so lofty; the precipices so perpendicular, and near the road; and the fall of water so rapid, and thro’ such deep ravines. We took a second breakfast at Simplon, and reached this place in time for a seven oClock dinner. We had 8 horses to our carriage to draw us up the mountain, which was not on account of the steepness of the road, but because of the immense length of the hill, we were more than 7 hours reaching the top. At Simplon, we saw for the 3d. time 2 young poles who have been travelling thro’ Switzerland and were on their way to Italy. The first time I saw them was at Liddes—they had just descended from St. Bernard when we were going to ascend to it. We bowed on meeting again, and one of them addressed me, and asked me whether he was mistaken in believing me to be the author of a work on Polit. Economy. On my telling him he was not mistaken, he said he had wished much to be introduced to me—that he had been in London, knew Mr. Lefevre,1 who had promised to take him to my house, but he had learned with regret, that I was then in the country. He told me further that he had been a pupil of M. Say in Paris, who had recommended him to read my book, and who had a great respect for me. You may be sure that I was pleased at the manner in which he addressed me, but not so much overcome as was Gil Blas when he was addressed by a stranger in a similar manner at the time he commenced his travels. The young Poles were in truth very nice young men, and I did not fail to make them tell me their names—I did more, I requested them to write them on paper, which they did.1 I am glad that my favorite science will not want some one to defend it, even in Poland—I confidently expect that it will make great progress in the next 30 years. To morrow we shall go to Baveno and Laveno in our way to Como, and shall make a little tour by the Italian Lakes before we go to Milan. Your mother, Mary and Birtha desire their kind love. Believe me ever
Yr. affectionate father
Como 25 Sepr. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet.
I dispatched my last letter to you from Domo D’Ossola yesterday morning, immediately after which we left that place for Baveno, which is on the Lake Major. On our arrival there the carriage was immediately embarked in a large boat for Laveno and we followed in a smaller one, landing in our way on Isla Bella in that lake, on which there is a very handsome palace belonging to the Count Boromeo. We were shewn the palace and garden, which are both very magnificent, and must have cost an immense sum of money. The count is a nobleman of great rank and fortune—we were told that he had 15 country houses and estates, besides a house at Milan. The whole lake belongs to him. He was himself at the Palace, and was in one of the rooms through which we passed. We had the honor of receiving his compliments, and paying ours to him.
We intended to visit another Island in the lake, Isla Madre, on which he has another handsome house and garden, but we thought it better not to deviate further from the straight course, and to make the best of our way to Laveno.
The lake is very beautiful—it is studded with small picturesque looking towns, but they are not very beautiful or commodious when you arrive at them: Laveno, for example, looks as pretty as the rest at a distance, but it is a miserable place and the Inn very poor and mean. All my old feelings came over me at the sight of a dirty waiter brick floors to our bed room, and sundry other things which always fill me with disgust. Although I say so much against the Inn, I must say a great deal in favor of the civility and liberality of the landlord. My money was exhausted, and I had nothing to pay my way but sovereigns, and bills, for which I could only get cash at Milan or some large town. I requested him to take my sovereigns at what price he pleased, and to furnish me with money to get on to Como, and Milan. He said he knew nothing of the value of our money, but he would lend me any number of francs I pleased to have, which I might repay to a friend of his at Milan—I borrowed four hundred. Do you not think that this was very handsome behaviour to a perfect stranger? The weather was not altogether good yesterday, but to day it was very bad. We left Laveno in a heavy rain, but which became a great deal more heavy, accompanied with thunder and lightning, while we were going to Varese to breakfast. Varese is a place of some little consequence, and accordingly there are good Inns in it. We were well treated, but were obliged again to set out in the rain to Como, which continued without interruption till our arrival there, when the weather cleared up and we had a beautiful warm evening. We were tempted after dinner to go on the lake—it was beautiful and delightful—we did not proceed far, but far enough to see at no great distance the house of the late Queen of England. We mean to visit it to-morrow, as well as one or two other handsome seats on this lake. We intend sleeping at Cadenobia on the lake, but at a considerable distance from Como. From Cadenobia we shall make an excursion to the lake of Lugano, and hope to return on the same night to Cadenobia. The next evening we shall be at Como, and the following morning at Milan. I asked the boatmen whether the Princess of Wales was much esteemed and respected at Como; they said she was, before Mr. Bergami was introduced into her house and society, but that after that, she no longer enjoyed the good opinion of the people of Como.1 Your mother did not behave very well on the water to day—the weather was as I told you beautiful, yet there was a little ripling of the waves, and she was full of alarm and fear. Mary behaved very ill too, but not exactly in the same way; —she had no fear, but she sat with her bonnet untied, and let it fall in the water. In a minute we were many yards beyond it, and had to turn the boat to go after the bonnet, which we recovered, but thoroughly soaked. I believe I never told you that at the Hague I sported a black silk neckcloth, and at Zurich a straw hat:—the black neckcloth has been worn, with very few exceptions, ever since I had it, and so has the hat. My chief view in buying the hat, which cost me about 10/-, was to save my black hat, which I wanted to last till I got to Paris, but I have been singularly unlucky, for never was a poor hat so illused as my black one—it travels on the roof of the coach sometimes, and at others inside, but it seldom fails of being squeezed together as if it were a cap instead of a hat. It has been thrice to the hatters, (the last time to day,) and always comes home with an appearance of freshness;—it shall last till I arrive at Paris. My straw hat did not give satisfaction to your mother, because it was not good enough, and therefore unknown to me she bought me another out of her own money, and presented it to me. I have taken great care of the new one hitherto, but the old straw has had so many wettings that I left it behind at Laveno to day, and am now sporting my Swiss Leghorn.—
Cadenobia 26 Sepr. 1822
We commenced our voyage on the lake, this morning, under favorable circumstances, the weather being very fair, but we had not been long on the water before a heavy rain came on, accompanied by thunder and lightning, from which the awning over the boat did not entirely shelter us. There was also a little wind, which blew from an unfavorable quarter for us, and made some of the reaches of the lake very rough. We landed here at ½ past 4, after seeing the late Queen of England’s residence, but without having accomplished the principal object of our journey. We were prevented from doing this, by the boatmen, who declared that the wind was too unfavorable to go across the lake to the Duke of Serbolini’s Palace, which we wished much to see; the grounds are visible from this Hotel, being exactly opposite to it. I suspect that the boatmen had predetermined not to take me there, that they might be employed another day, and I suspect also that the master of this house is in league with the boatmen to deceive me, with a view to make me keep his rooms longer than I intended, but the latter will be mistaken whatever success may attend the boatmen’s endeavors. Your mother has a great antipathy to lakes,—she fancies the boats unsafe, the men unskilful, and the wind to blow from the mountains in blasts, she is therefore never at her ease while on one of these little seas. Her fears are confirmed, if they have not been created, by the “Travellers Guide”, which we have brought with us. The bad weather to day very much interrupted our enjoyment; we nevertheless endeavoured to solace ourselves with bread and Parmesan cheese, grapes, peaches, and figs, of which we had brought an abundant quantity with us. We could not have had less than 100 figs, which are here very small, but delicious, and very cheap. I do not know how many I ate, but I confess to a dozen; the rest regaled chiefly on the other fruit. We looked at the Queen’s house with some interest. It is not a particularly handsome house, though there are many things to admire about it. It has a deserted and forlorn look from having been so long uninhabited—its situation is beautiful, the principal front being washed by the waters of the lake. We walked in the garden, which is full of Orange and lemon trees, growing with great luxuriance, and bearing an abundant quantity of fruit. Your mother and Mary had a great longing to get possession of a lemon each to take with them to England, and having obtained the consent of the woman who shewed the house and garden, they had great difficulty in making a choice amidst the quantity which surrounded them,—they decided at last, and are now bearing their prizes with them, but whether they will bear them to London is a very doubtful thing.
We are now in a very poor Inn, which has strongly recalled to all our minds the comforts of Gatcomb;—I long to be again at home, but not enough so to make me disagreeable to my companions, except on such occasions as the present, when the Inn is more than usually uncomfortable. Yesterday evening the weather was exceedingly hot—to day it is so cold that we have indulged in the luxury of a fire, so you see that this vaunted climate is almost as uncertain as our own.
Como 27 Sepr.
I finished last night by telling you of the uncertainty of this climate—this is farther proved by the weather of to day, which has been lovely beyond any thing I ever saw. I now know what is meant by an Italian sky, it is one so clear, so totally free from clouds and fog, that the outline of every mountain and hill is most perfectly defined—they appear to touch and to make the same plane with the blue vault which surrounds them. It is now so warm that we are sitting with both windows open, altho’ it is night and we have candles before us. The moon is shining beautifully, which adds greatly to the loveliness of the scene. Our plans for to day have been frustrated, principally because we could not see the fine views from the Duke of Serbolinni’s grounds yesterday; we therefore gave up our intention of going to Lugano, and after seeing the Dukes grounds and the Villa Pliniana to day we returned to Como. Mr. Sharp said that the views from the Dukes grounds were exquisite, and we quite agree with him.1 There is nothing particular to see in the Villa Pliniana, but a fountain which ebbs and flows at different times of the day, and which I believe has never been accounted for. This fountain existed in the time of Pliny, and forms the subject of one of his letters;—the description he then gave of it would be an accurate description at this moment. The passage of the letter relating to the fountain is written in large letters on a stone in one of the great halls. The situation of the Villa is very beautiful, but the villa itself is in a sad state of delapidation—Your mother and Mary both wished to have the Villa and a large sum of money to put it in good condition—they fancied it was precisely the spot for them to shew their taste upon. Both the Plinies were I believe born at Como. Como is not a large nor a very fine town, though I very much admire the Cathedral which is in it; it appears to be built entirely of marble, and a great deal of work must have been bestowed on the ornamental parts of it, both inside and out. There is also a handsome church outside the gates, and I observed a hospital in which there were a great many beds very clean and neat. At Como I was in danger of being again a beggar, and I therefore tried to negotiate a £50 bill with a tradesman in the town, which I did on as fair terms as I could expect. I tried to do the same thing at Domo D’Ossola, with a man who called himself a banker, but who appeared to me to ask very unfair terms, and which are proved to be so by the terms on which I have got the money here at Como. Poor Mary is again in great distress—the Italian fleas have been waiting for her, and have attacked her with very keen appetites. She fears that she shall be entirely devoured, and that what the Swiss fleas have left of her will not be more than sufficient to satiate the voraciousness of the numerous Italian host.—
Milan, Saturday eveng.
On getting up we were much disappointed at seeing the weather greatly changed, and the rain descending very fast; this however did not prevent us from setting off at nine oClock for Milan a journey of 4 hours and a half during which the rain only ceased the last half hour. Mrs. Cleaver and Shuman have most reason to dread these rainy days when travelling—the former contrives to defend herself pretty well with the aid of a great coat and an umbrella, but Shuman never fails to get wet through. His boots will I think hold a gallon of water, and they are open at top as if on purpose to receive it. It is surprising how little a wetting discomposes him, he often lets his clothes dry upon him, but I cannot think he does it with impunity. On the whole I am sure it is bad policy to have a carriage which opens, for it can never be shut so tight as to keep out a heavy rain—we are often soaked inside. In this country in rainy weather, you meet every man, woman, and child, with an umbrella,—they seem terribly afraid of rain;—the beggar without shoes is seen with an umbrella—the boatman on the lake of Como contrives to set up an awning over his head so that he may continue his rowing and at the same time be protected from the rain. The umbrellas themselves are curious things—some of thick oil’d skin, with cane, instead of whale bone; others of an immense size, of silk. The latter forcibly recalled poor Mr. Smith1 to my recollection, who bought one when he was in Italy with a very gay border, which he used to display in the streets of London. I am now the possessor of just such an one, I purchased it at Como for 24 francs. On our arrival at Milan we found Shuman at a different Hotel from that to which he was desired to go—I thought the one at which we found him very good, but your mother’s imagination had pourtrayed the other to her as much superior, and she could not conceal her discontent either from Shuman or the master of the house. Shuman was really not to blame this time, as he was at Chamouny. He insisted on Mary and I going with him to the other Hotel to see the only rooms which he could get, they were very inferior, and in a miserable situation in the house. We then went with him to The Albergo Real, another good inn,2 —there was no room for us there, and just as the master was telling us this whom should we see coming down the stairs but your mother and Miss Lancey,—they had left the carriage, unpacked, with Mrs. Cleaver in it, to see if they could not find other apartments better than those we had;—when this was found impossible, good humor was restored, and we were well satisfied with the rooms first appointed to us. Shuman behaved admirably, he was thoroughly wet, yet not an impatient word escaped him;—his first wish really appeared to be to make us comfortable.—
For some days I have been very much plagued by a swelling in my ear, happily in my deaf one. It has been very painful at times. I thought it right to consult the first surgeon of our party, your mother; and she immediately commenced energetic measures; her first operation was squeezing and pressing the afflicted parts, which I bore with all the fortitude in my power;—the second was to attach three leaches as near to the inside of my ear as they would go—these conjoint operations have wonderfully relieved me, I am now free from pain, and have no apprehension of its returning. After the leaches were withdrawn the bleeding continued so long as to excite some alarm in my surgeon, but her skill was not exhausted, and she applied pressure to the wound, and made a good case of it.
We have yet seen but very little of Milan,—it is the most important place we have been in since we left Amsterdam,— the streets are full of people, bustle, and business. Nothing can exceed the beauty of the Cathedral, particularly outside —it excites one’s astonishment that such a building could be projected and the erecting of it accomplished by a people inhabiting so small a territory—the work is immense from the number of statues, and the beautiful gothic ornaments, which adorn it. It is however not in a finished state, though it is evident that much has been done to it of late years; that much has been done by Bonaparte, who has left marks of his power and genius in every place through which we have travelled.
For 3 days we have been incessantly employed in seeing the lions of Milan, and, in half an hour, for it is now 7 oClock in the morning, we shall quit it for Brescia, where we propose sleeping to night. We have been to the Marionettes, a play by figures, which is ingeniously managed, (the speakers are of course behind the scenes) but after half an hour it becomes very dull and stupid. We were at the Opera last night, which appears to be well got up. The house is very handsome and the scenery and dresses very good. I should think the singing, too, good, but on this point it is proper that I should express myself with extreme diffidence. We have been very much pleased with the Brera, a public institution for the encouragement of the arts and sciences, in which there are some fine old pictures, and many good statues and casts. The Cathedral is a very fine building—I have been at top, and under it. The top is very interesting, from the beauty of the marble, the fineness of the sculpture, and the immense number of statues and ornaments even to the very top;—and the bottom is equally so on account of the magnificent tomb of St. Charles of Borromée:—the small chapel in which it is, is lined with silver, beautifully carved and cast, and in which the whole history of the Saint is related. The cost of the whole is said to be £200,000. We visited the place where Bonaparte had begun to erect a new gate, as the termination to the grand Simplon road, and to serve as one of the posts or gates of the town;—what there is of it is very grand indeed, and the sculpture, all ready to put up, very beautiful. The subject of the sculpture relates to the victories obtained by Bonaparte over Austria, at Marengo and at Ulm—it is quite finished, but will of course never be put up. The man who shewed it to us said that the work had already cost 2 millions of francs, and required 2 millions more to finish it;—he said it would be finished, but of course other sculpture would be got ready and used for it. The Bibliotheca Ambrosiana is interesting for pictures, and also for some statues, but above all for the cartoon of the school of Athens.1 The famous picture of Leonardo da Vinci of which we have such fine engravings, is to be seen, in a very bad condition, painted on the wall of the refectory of the Marie de Grazie—it is very much admired, but I should prefer the copy by the Chevalier Brossi,2 which is in a perfect condition, on canvas, in the Brera. We saw also the Monastere Maggiore—the church of Notre Dame de Celso—the Church of St. Laurent, which was an ancient Roman temple; (a row of Columns which formed the Portico are still standing), all of which are well deserving of observation. We did not fail to go on the3 on Sunday evening to see the gay equipages of the place, but there were not a great many to be seen—we were told that many of the great families were out of town. At Milan we met again the two young Poles of whom I before wrote4 —I asked them to drink tea with me—they came, and appeared to me to be well informed young men. Yesterday evening, at the Opera Mr. Cowell and Mr. Norman came into our box—they had just arrived at Milan, having been detained by some informality in the passport of young Mr. Norman, whom they were obliged to leave some leagues behind them, and come themselves to solicit the Government here to overlook the informality—they had much difficulty in accomplishing their object.
Brescia 2 Octr.
We arrived here at ½ past 3, and shall to-morrow proceed to Verona. The Congress is about meeting in that town, and I am a little fearful that we may find some difficulty in getting lodging for the night. This is rather a large town, with many good houses in it, and several large churches. An immense quantity of the public wealth is disposed of in all catholic countries in the building of churches—no expence appears to be spared in this. The roads from Milan to Brescia are exceedingly good—they are very level, and the country is justly called the plains of Lombardy. The soil appears to be very fruitful, and irrigation is carried to great perfection. The breed of oxen is uncommonly fine—we have seen to day a great number of very beautiful animals of a large size.
Verona 3 Octr
We arrived here at about 2 oClock, and were lucky in finding just room for us, and no more, at the “Cour Imperiale”. The Inn appears to be a very good one. Messengers from all parts are arriving daily to secure good quarters for the numerous persons who will be here during the sitting of the congress. The only Englishman I have seen is Lord George Cavendish,1 who arrived, with his family, about ½ past 5 oClock. Since our arrival we have been sauntering about the town, viewing the shops, buildings &c. &c. The town is large, and abounds, as well as Milan, with goldsmiths and jewellers shops. Where they all find customers I am at a loss to conceive. These jewellers congregate a great deal together, for a great majority of their shops are close to each other’s, in the same street. Sausage shops are also very conspicuous and numerous in Italy. I mentioned to Mr. Dumont that I thought I should like Bologna sausages, when he told me they were made of the flesh of asses,—this very much diminished my appetite for them, which he declared was a great reflection on me. What pretension, he asked, had I to be ranked amongst philosophers if I disliked a thing merely on account of its name, or of its being made of flesh which I had not been accustomed to eat—was not the ass a clean feeding animal?—did he not live wholly on vegetables? on what pretence then would I refuse to eat his flesh if it was good and relishing? He knew the sausages were made of asses meat, and he liked them the better for it. I could not answer his argument, but I am not yet reconciled to eating Asses flesh, tho’ I suspect that he knows nothing about the matter, and that he was dealing in fiction. At Milan I tasted a bit of sausage, and if it were made of beef or veal I should not wish to eat it again; it was so little to my taste; but I suspect that the real Bologna is something very different. I shall certainly try the real Bologna when at Bologna.
We all hope that our dear Harriet is quite well, we often think and talk of both of you. There are many faces in real life, and many in pictures, that the girls have pronounced to be like Harriett’s, but this is not uncommon with them,— they have seen many that are like you Osman, some like David, others like Sylla—they have in short made the round of the family. This however only shews how much they love you all, and how constantly you are all in their thoughts. God bless you.
Yr. affect. te father
Verona 4th. Octr. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet,
I finished my letter to you last night, and dispatched it this morning, since which nothing has occurred which can properly be said to be worth recording; yet to persevere in the good custom of addressing you every day when I have an opportunity I must scribble a few lines. We visited this morning that fine piece of antiquity in this town, the amphitheatre,—we had often seen drawings and models of it, but as on former occasions, the ideas which they had excited fell far short of those which we felt on seeing the original. The interior of this theatre is in a perfect state, and I believe is kept up at some expence by the Government. We did not fail to pay our accustomed devoirs to the cathedrals and churches, in all of which there are pictures and statues worthy of notice. I shall however only mention two pictures, whose merits are proved by their having been selected as worthy to adorn the walls of the Louvre for 18 years;—they were returned at the peace when the restitution of the fine specimens of the arts were made to the different countries from which they had been taken. One of these pictures is by Titian and is in the Cathedral; the other, by Paul Veronese, is in the Church of St. George.
We also saw a very fine private collection, belonging to a merchant, and another to an amateur, who is also rich in a fine collection of fossils, (chiefly impressions of fishes), and which were all obtained from the hills in this country. There is a large collection of Roman antiquities in the Museum of this town, to which we paid a flying visit. The romantic of our party had a great desire to visit the tomb of Juliet, (Romeo’s Juliet) and tho’ our guide told us it had been destroyed by fire, and nothing but the ruins remained, we did not fail to go to it. We saw nothing but a decayed stone trough, which they said was the coffin of Juliet, and we, as in duty bound, believed it. A house, not in the best part of the town, was pointed out to us as the house of the Capulets, to which we also gave implicit faith: It is now used for some ignoble purpose.
At our Inn this morning I met Col. Dalrymple whom I had not seen since I left Frankfort. He came to this place through Germany and the Tyrol: We mutually communicated to each other the principal events which had occurred to us since we last met; he had no particular incident to relate but the illness of Mrs. D’s maid, which obliged him to leave her on the road as soon as she had so far recovered as to be in a state of convalescence. At the Cathedral I met LordG. Cavendish, who communicated as much public news to me as he was possessed of; his information did not confirm that which I had received at Milan, of Mr. Canning’s being on his way to Verona to be present at the Congress about to be held by the Allied Powers.
You would have been very much pleased with our appearance in the Streets of Verona yesterday and to day, we were all so dashing. Mary and Birtha wore their new silk gowns which were made for them by a most extravagant dress maker at Milan. Your mother had also her new silk gown made at Amsterdam, but not worn till this occasion. They all three had new bonnets too, and Miss Lancey was dressed like a bride all in white. As for myself I had my new silk neckhandkerchief on, with my shirt collar properly pulled out, and my black hat was made to look as well as a good English brush could make it look. Our equipage was not most elegant, for our coachman was dressed like a sailor, with jacket and trowsers; our footman, the valet de place, had but one eye but that was a most expressive one, and he did not fail to shew us how much it was capable of performing. The language he addressed to us was a mixture of Italian and French, we understood about half and guessed the meaning of the other half. Our carriage was a worn out caleche with two long tailed blacks—they took to gibbing before Birtha and Mary could get out of the carriage and I was very much afraid that they would have been overturned in the Inn yard.
I have now given you a faithful account of the events at Verona,—we shall leave it to-morrow morning for Venice, at 6 oClock; when we arrive there I shall resume my pen.
Venice 6th. Octr.
We arrived here yesterday evening at 6 oClock, after a hard day’s work in the way of travelling, for we were not less than 12 hours on our way. The last 6 miles we came in a boat, and were landed at the Hotel de Grand Bretagne, of which after one night’s experience we have reason to speak well.
The appearance of Venice is very remarkable but I shall not attempt to give you any description of it. I took a short walk last night over the bridge The Rialto and I did not come home with a very pleasing impression of the place from the appearance of the numerous courts and alleys, for streets there are none, which I had traversed. This morning however I sallied forth again by myself at 7 oClock, and walked, or rather sauntered about, for nearly two hours before breakfast when I found that my impression of last night had been an erroneous one, for after traversing a few courts and alleys no better than those of last night I found myself in the Place of St. Mark a large open space surrounded by grand and magnificent buildings. I entered the great church of St. Marc, it differs essentially from any of the churches into which we have yet been. The whole of the vaulted roof is gilt and painted, the pavement is mosaic and looks like harlequin’s jacket, for there are a greater variety of colours, and the pieces of marble are no larger than the patches in his coat. The Gondolas are incessantly passing before our windows,—they are managed with inconceivable dexterity.—Many of them are rowed by one man in each—he rows standing and pushes the oar instead of pulling it he always rows from one side and yet contrives to give the boat what direction he pleases and to turn it whichever way he chuses. We have just finished our breakfast and shall be ready presently to commence our peregrinations about the town which will of course be performed in the carriage of the place, a gondola.
Venice 7 Octr.
We have seen some very fine things here. The Churches of the Jesuits, of St. Jean, and the Cathedral San Marco, are all very fine and grand. St. Jean has some beautiful sculpture chiefly by Banasso and is a magnificent church: at the Jesuits there is the finest marble, and at both there are some fine pictures by Paul Veronese, Titian, Tintoretto, Palma &c., but perhaps there is no place where there are to be seen finer pictures by these masters than at the Palace, where the Doges of the former government used to reside. One by Titian in particular, “the triumph of faith” is very fine. We had some curiosity to see the chamber of the Inquisition, and the state prisons attached to it, and which were both in the palace. There is nothing interesting about the Inquisitor’s room, but the dungeons are dismal indeed. We descended to them by a trap door which was raised for the purpose, and went into many of them. It appears almost incredible that human beings could exist for any length of time in them, yet we were told that a prisoner was liberated by the French who had been confined in one of these dungeons 18 years. The transition from bad air and darkness, to good air and light was too sudden for him and he died in a few days after regaining his liberty. There were drawings on the walls of one cell, and some writing in large Roman letters, which were executed notwithstanding the almost no light which entered the dungeon, by two other unfortunate prisoners. We were told they were two princes of Carrara who were afterwards executed. In another Cell we saw the marks of blood on the wall which they told us was caused by the decapitation of a prisoner. We stood on “the bridge of sighs” over which many an unfortunate man has been led to execution. The heart sickened at the view of these wretched abodes, and we could not help rejoicing that the abominable system of Government which deemed such places necessary to its existence had fallen never to rise again.—
We have been to day to see the bead manufactory, and were edified by viewing the whole process of bead making; —beads are here very good and very cheap,—it is impossible to resist good and cheap things, and consequently all my companions were large purchasers. From the bead manufactory we went to the gold chain manufactory, and here again all the purse strings were undrawn, except mine. You know that the fine gold chain of Venice is famous all over the world,—it is wonderful how such minute work can be so accurately executed. It is chiefly done by women—they have a strong light thrown on their work, and all wear spectacles while at work;—they generally lose the use of their eyes as they advance in years. We were a long while in our Gondola to-day: travelling in these boats is by no means unpleasant, but we had many narrow and uninteresting canals to traverse. There is only one grand broad canal in Venice, and most of the good houses are on its banks. We saw that in which Lord Byron resided,—it is very large, but not very comfortable looking. We found young Hibbert here, he has been sitting with us for sometime this evening, and has been amusing us very much by an account of his travels, and with many odd remarks concerning them. He is with an elder brother; they have come to Venice from the Rhine, by the Tyrol, and intend in a few days to go to Milan; and from thence, as fast as he can travel, to England. We have seen the names of the Duckworths, and Mr. and Mrs. Park, in several of the books; they have been at Venice and were going on to Rome. Mr. Park has probably left them, as he, as well as the elder Hibbert, who is in the law, must hasten to London before the meeting of the Courts.—
Bologna 10 Octr.
On Tuesday we were busily employed in viewing some of the objects worthy of attention in Venice, of which there are so many that we might have stayed there a month and yet not have exhausted them all. We went to the Palace Manfrini in which there is a beautiful collection of pictures,—they as well as all the others we have seen are chiefly the productions of Titian, Paul Veronese, Tintoretto, Palma &c. One of Titian in this collection is worth at least 10000 ducats, Prince Eugene offered that sum for it. But the masterpieces of Titian are in the public exhibitions,—The Academy, The Library, The Palace &c. The same thing may be said of the works of Paul Veronese, Tintoretto &c. I am no judge of painting but these pictures appear to me to be perfect. We also saw more churches, all magnificent, all adorned with the greatest variety of marble and most richly gilt. The whole party were quite exhausted with the fatigue of seeing sights altho’ they had not a step to walk, for the gondola landed us at every place to which we went. In the evening the two Hibberts drank tea with us, and made us laugh heartily at their jokes. The youngest of the two is very entertaining and as he is a great talker and gives his tongue great license often succeeds in saying good things.—
There were no letters at Venice—we have received none since we left Geneva, we are anxiously desirous of hearing from and of you all—we know not whether you have determined to quit England or not. If you do go abroad we hope to meet you in Paris; we shall probably be there in 7 weeks from this time, but in an expedition such as mine it is impossible to speak of my movements with any certainty. We left Venice yesterday morning so early as 5 oClock in a boat (the only way of quitting Venice) for Fusina but owing to some misunderstanding between Shuman and the boatman they took us to Mestre another place on Terra Firma, which delayed us full ¾ of an hour as we had the additional journey by water from Mestre to Fusina. When at Fusina, a miserable place, we had to wait till the baggage was fixed on the carriage, which we had left behind us, so that we did not get fairly “en route” till ½ past seven. We arrived at Padua at ½ past ten to breakfast, and then had a long day of travelling to enable us to get to Ferrara at night,—we got there about eight but at one time I thought we were going to have a real adventure for the leaders to our carriage were a pair of wretched animals particularly one of them who could by no means be prevailed upon to pull an ounce. If he was whipped he kicked and flew sideways, but never forwards. We had to pass over a long piece of new road made entirely with sand, over which the most able horses would have found it difficult to drag us, as it was we came to a stand still and even when we all dismounted with the exception of your mother the carriage could only proceed a few yards at a time. This happened too just as it was getting dark, with steep slopes on each side of the road, and a broad ferry to pass: Shuman was gone on before, and the terror which his sword was calculated to inspire, and with which he has only within this day or two armed himself, was entirely lost to us. In this critical conjuncture we met two post horses returning they were immediately pressed into our service, and the sluggards dismissed and we were enabled to proceed with a fair degree of expedition. Our good fortune did not end here for an English carriage came up to us, which was travelling from and to the same place as ourselves, so that we at once got protection against robbers, if any such there be in these parts, as well as the power of proceeding in our journey. We found dinner ready for us on our arrival at Ferrara, soon after eating which we betook ourselves to bed. I was in bed in five minutes after entering my room, and in ten was fast asleep and did not awake till early in the morning. We rose at seven, had a walk about the town, which is very large and has many splendid but deserted palaces, breakfasted and immediately after departed for this place, where we arrived before 2 oClock. Bologna is a very fine town—the houses are large and commodious, and it abounds with handsome churches—we should have thought them very handsome if we had not so lately seen the very magnificent ones of Venice. This afternoon the troops have been drawn out and the street thronged with people, we asked the reason of this preparation and were told that the Grand Duke of Tuscany was expected every moment to arrive in the town. I waited to see his highness but all I saw were 3 carriages, not very handsome ones with six post horses to each as they passed the soldiers presented arms, and the travellers passed on without taking any notice of the salute, to the Inn, which was very near the place, and where they will pass the night. We shall stay here to morrow and on saturday we start for Florence where we hope to arrive on sunday in reasonable time.—
Bologna 11 Octr.
There are some very fine pictures at Bologna but of a different school from those which we saw at Venice. Here there are few to be seen of Titian, Tintoretto, Paul Veronese and Palma, but many of the school of Bologna of Guido; of Louis, Annibal, and Augustin Carraci; of Franche and of their masters and scholars. There is a Samson and Fortune by Guido which seem the perfection of the art. In the Academy there is only one picture by Raphael, St. Cecilia; nothing can be more lovely. In a private collection we saw two Corregio’s, one of which is stated to be the best in Italy; it is Jesus Christ with a number of children like Cupids or Cherubs about him; twelve thousand pounds (300,000 francs) are asked for this picture, and £8000 have been bid by a Russian ambassador—this is the statement made to us. The churches here cannot vie with those in Venice for beauty or ornament. The town is very good, and the houses very large, but the shops make no shew and appear to have little in them to tempt purchasers. The prison is in a busy part of the town and the prisoners are at the grating of the window—they are vociferous in demanding charity from those who pass, and have always one or two boys in the street who follow you and reiterate their demand—this is a great nuisance. This morning at ½ past 7 the Grand Duke of Tuscany, who was on his way to Verona, was in one of the Churches with his Duchess at Mass. Chance led your mother and me to the spot about the same time, and we had an excellent opportunity of seeing them: The Duke was in uniform and had only a few officers to attend him—Immediately after Mass he quitted the town.
Florence Sunday 13 Octr.
We had a hard day’s work of it yesterday to reach Florence in one day from Bologna. We were induced by various considerations not to sleep on the road, we knew that there was no Inn which could afford us even tolerable accomodation, and we also knew that there were many travellers at Bologna going to Florence who might possibly get there before us and occupy all the good rooms at the Hotel to which we wished to go. For the[se] reasons we determined to start at 4 oClock in the morning and to get up at 3. Mrs. Cleaver made a mistake of an hour in the time, and called us all at two consequently we were all ready before 3 but notwithstanding we sent after the horses we could not get off till ¼ before 4. We had the Appenines to cross, and after the first stage were obliged sometimes to have 6 horses to the carriage, sometimes 4 horses and 2 bullocks, and at other-times 4 horses and 4 bullocks, to get us up the hills. We lost no time on the road and tho’ the distance is probably under 70 miles we did not arrive till near 8 oClock in the evening. To be sure we met with some cross accidents the last stage, both drags became broken and were of no use to us. We had not a bit of spare rope, and the postillion was obliged to tye the chain to the wheel with his pocket handkerchief. It was necessary twice to have recourse to this expedient, besides which we had to stop to light one of [the] candles in the carriage lamp because there is an ordinance that no carriage shall appear in the town without a light at night. Our lamp had no candle in it—none could be procured but a very thin tallow one which the spring forced through the hole of the lamp like a rocket. After much delay and difficulty a piece of candle was lighted and stuck in the lamp, but in such a way that it speedily went out and we entered the capital of the Duke of Tuscany’s states without a light. This infringement of the ordinance has not subjected us to any inconvenience. On our arrival at Schneider’s, a most excellent hotel, (I know no better any where) we found a good dinner quite ready for us and every accomodation we could desire. There was great danger of our suffering to day from eating too much, but no such evil has occurred to us. We had a miserable breakfast at a bad public house on the road, and after that had nothing but grapes till the hour at which we arrived at Florence. The good dinner and a good night’s rest did wonders for the whole party, and we rose this morning quite prepared to enjoy ourselves in this delightful town. We had a carriage at the door at eleven and after going into one of the principal churches we went to a large room at the British Ambassador’s1 house which is fitted up as a chapel, and at which two clergymen did duty: The service was well performed and a very good sermon was preached on behalf of a fund for the relief of the poor in this town. A collection was made at the door. In this chapel there were about 150 English, rather more women than men, but I knew none amongst them but Mr. and Mrs. Peploe,2 and one of the Duke of Bedford’s sons. Mr. and Mrs. Peploe have been before us all the way we have travelled—we have constantly seen their names in the travellers’ books, but they had so much the start of us that I had no idea we should come up with them;—they are going on to Rome. I find that we are near neighbours at the Inn. Mr. Peploe called upon me before dinner, and has afforded me employment for the whole evening, by sending me above a dozen English newspapers which just supply the gap in my knowledge of news since I left Geneva. Before dinner we rode a little about the town and walked in the public garden, which is well worthy of notice if on account of the numerous statues alone which it contains, but it has other claims to attention. After dinner we rode to Bello Sguardo a little way out of town. It is a high hill from which you have an excellent bird’s eye view of the whole town of Florence, of the surrounding country thickly planted with houses, and of the Appenines at no great distance. On the hill there was a party of German young men who sang several songs of their country, which they did very well, and to the great entertainment of the ladies. After this we rode in the fashionable drive of sunday evening and met a number of carriages: among them that of one of the younger branches of the Ducal family with six horses. The stars began to twinkle before we got home. We are well provided with a laquay de Place who is to shew us every thing worth seeing—he says we ought to stay at least 20 days—so we shall probably remain here half that time. We have been much pleased at finding one letter here, it is from your uncle M. and from your Aunt F.,1 we are glad to find he is much better. He informs us that Clutterbuck has got Harnish,2 I am very glad of it 1st: because he and Hena. both wished to have it, and 2dly: on my own account as it is so much nearer to Gatcomb than Widcomb is.
God bless you my dear children—I long to hear of you both. Your mother and the girls send their kind love.
Florence 17h. Octr. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriett,
I sent you a letter from this place on monday last, since which we have visited almost all the fine things in this town. We have been to the Gallery 2 or 3 times, to the Palaces Pitti, and another a little way out of the town, belonging to the Grand Duke. The gallery, besides the Venus de Medici, and many other beautiful statues, is very rich in pictures by the best masters. Both the Gallery and the Duke’s palace contain some of the chef d’uvres of Titian, Raphael, Andrea del Sarto, Guido, &c. &c.; the palace particularly is full of the finest pictures, and is altogether a place well deserving of the name of palace. The rooms are large, elegant and beautifully ornamented. The tables alone in it must be worth a fortune being of mosaic in the hardest stone, a manufacture peculiar to this place, and supported at the expence of the Grand Duke. We went to the manufactory and were highly pleased with the ingenious method of cutting the hardest stone into the most minute and exact fragments according to the pattern of the work which the workmen are employed upon. We have also seen many of the churches which are well worthy of attention, one, St. Laurent, has the chapel of the Medici in it, and contains two monuments of the family by Michel Angelo. That part of the Chapel which is finished is very beautiful; they are now at work upon it, but it will require many years and an immense sum to be expended upon it before it will be finished. Another church, St. Croix, contains the Tomb of Michel Angelo himself. The bust upon it of himself is his own work, and there are 3 figures as large as life, at the foot of the tomb, executed most beautifully by his scholars;—these figures represent Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture mourning the loss of the great proficient in these 3 sciences. We have also seen the tombs of Machiavel and of Gallileo.—1
Mr. Peploe is very kind in furnishing me with the English papers by which I see what is going on in my own country. Col. Dalrymple, and Lord G. Cavendish, have followed us to this place. The gallery, which is a place of great resort, is every day full of English but I do not see, any except those whom I have named, that I know. We were last night at the Opera— it is a pretty house but we did not think much of the singers, and never before saw such a thick legged set of dancers in our lives. The house was but thinly attended. This evening the Opera will be performed in another house, and as some singers that have just come from Rome are to perform, there is a great demand for places.—
We have received one letter since we have been here— that one puts us quite at ease respecting you all, but we regret that we have not heard more directly from some of you. We wish particularly to know something of your plans and hope to hear from you at some of the places to which we are soon going.—We surely cannot be so unlucky as not to meet and pass sometime together, either in Paris or in England. I wish much to hear too of Mr. Mallory’s arrival in England.
Birtha has had a very slight indisposition to day, but we flatter ourselves that the very simple medicine which we have administered to her has already removed it,—she is just gone to bed very much better. Your mother and Mary are quite well;—they know much better than I how to deal with the Florence shop keepers,—they do not hesitate to bid them 20, 30, and 40 pct. less for their goods than they ask, and they frequently succeed in obtaining the abatement. The usual employment in the evening is threading of beads;—great progress is making in this work by all the parties concerned in it.
Florence 18th. Octr.
Mary and I went up to the top of the Cathedral to day, a very difficult journey on account of the height. There is a very good view of the town and of the surrounding country from the top, and nothing surprised me more than the immense number of houses which are spread all over the country. When this expedition was ended we went into several workshops, where the figures in marble and Alabaster are made. Many of them are very beautiful, and we were tempted to lay out a little of our money upon them.1 Birtha is quite well to day. In a newspaper which I saw to day I observed the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Clutterbuck announced at Weymouth, and also of Mr. Ricardo. What Mr. Ricardo? I conclude it is you. If so, you are not set out for Paris.
Florence 19 Octr.
We have been to day at Feisoli,1 a place at a little distance from Florence and situated on a high hill. We went in a Caleche to the spot where the steepest part of the hill commenced when your mother and the girls in turn got into a carriage made of basketwork and resembling a sugar baker’s basket. This was on a sledge and was drawn by bullocks to the top of the hill. There is nothing particular in the place except its age—it is more ancient than Florence. There is an extensive prospect from the top. This whole evening there have been incessant arrivals of travellers at this Inn—it has long been quite full, and the overflowings sent to the other houses. We shall make room for the Prince of Sweden on tuesday, we intend to depart on that day, and we hear that he is expected to arrive at that time—I hope he will not find his rooms the worse for our having occupied them.
[This entry may be supplemented by a passage from Ricardo’s letter to J. H. Wilkinson, dated Florence, 16 Oct. 1822 (cp. above, p. 119) in which he explains why he is not going on the ‘further journey towards the Nonpareil of cities—the city of Rome’:
‘We are now occupying excellent rooms in Mr. Schneider’s Hotel, they have been very lately occupied by the Crown prince of Sweden, the son of the ci-devant Bernadotte; this young man is gone to Rome, and proposed being absent only one fortnight. The master of the House has been speaking to us this evening and hoping that he may not be under the necessity of removing us to another set of apartments, which he would be obliged to do if the Crown Prince returned. On my remarking to him that a fortnight seemed a very short time for a journey from Florence to Rome and back, if every thing in Rome that was worth seeing was to be looked at, he said, that by travelling night and day 2 days were sufficient for the journey, and in ten days every thing might be viewed. On hearing him say this I almost regretted that I had resolved to go no further than this place, but then I immediately recollected that I was not the Crown Prince, nor Priscilla the Crown Princess, and that we were altogether too weighty a concern to move with the expedition which Mr. Schneider had spoken of. Florence then will be the furthest extent of our journey, although on our return homewards we shall occasionally deviate a little from the straight, and therefore the nearest way. We shall, for example, go a little too much west to see Leghorn, and shall make another deviation, in the same direction, that we may also visit Genoa, but from Genoa I am not aware that we shall be tempted either to the right or to the left.’]
Sunday 20 Octr.
We had a ride on the Cassini1 this evening—The Grand Duke’s son and some other parts of his family were there in coaches in six; the leaders were rode by Postillions in large cocked hats. A great part of the rest of the company that were in carriages consisted of English, a great many of that nation being here at this moment. There were not many that we knew.
Sunday is a gay day on the Continent altho’ the shops are shut. On that evening I believe the Opera is better attended than on any other. The fashionables of Florence are still in the country, this is the season in which they go round to collect their rents, arising chiefly from the produce of the vineyards. I was sorry to hear this morning from Mr. Peploe that those concerned with the land in England were as badly off as ever,—he told me that wheat was very low, and cattle nearly as much depressed, and that sheep were almost unsaleable. It is strange that this depression should continue so long,—it will have its remedy at last, but many may be ruined in the interval.
Thursday 24 Octr. Pisa
We employed monday, the last day of our stay at Florence, in looking at the old palace, and shopping—we intended to go once more to the gallery but had the mortification to find when we were at the door that it was shut on account of its being a holiday, so that we could not take our leave of the Venus. We had a very clever valet de Place at Florence who was anxious to be remembered by us, and to be employed by any of our friends who might visit that town—he was very civil and obliging, and should you go to Florence remember to send for Tommasso Massani if you have occasion to employ a valet de place. We finished the day by an insipid ride to the Cassini. Early on tuesday morning but not before breakfast we left Florence for Leghorn and arrived there before dark. The first appearance of Leghorn is pleasing, the principal street being wide, and the shops good, but before I came away I had a much less pleasing impression of it. The inhabitants seem to live in the streets and they are a very motley race—few if any genteel people crossed our path, but the beggars were innumerable, and in advancing their claims to your charity each had some dreadful personal deformity to expose. The harbour is an excellent one and the pier which encloses it on one side is a work very creditable to the town. The sea view is good—that with the number of ships in and about the port could not fail to be interesting. There is not much to see at Leghorn.—The Promenade, or evening ride of the inhabitants, is very dull, on a barren heath—it would be supremely so were it not for the view of the sea on one side of it. We visited the Synagogue which is a very beautiful one;—we saw a manufactory of coral beads, in which a number of people were employed in cutting, rounding, and polishing pieces of coral and fitting them for necklaces. We also saw the English Burying Ground in which we were very much interested. It is full of very handsome monuments the inscriptions on which are mostly written in English. We saw Smollett’s and his wife’s, but that which mostly attracted our attention was Francis Horners, who died here at Pisa and was buried there. It was raised by his father and is very handsome. There is a Basso Relievo of the deceased upon it which is I think like him. The inscription on one side is in English and on the other in Latin—it describes, and I believe justly, his talents and virtues, and states that the monument was erected by his father. I never saw a handsomer Burying ground—one could almost wish to die near Leghorn to get in so neat a place and amongst so much good company. It is not absolutely kept for the English only other protestants are buried there—I saw a stone recording the death of one of the family of Simonde Sismondi a citizen of Geneva.
We left Leghorn without much regret this morning immediately after breakfast for Pisa, a distance of two posts or 16 miles. We passed through Pisa on our way to Leghorn, but only changed horses in the town; to day we have had an opportunity of seeing it. Every body has heard of the Inclined Tower of Pisa, it is very handsome and very old (probably 4 or 5 hundred years old) and has a very striking effect. The Cathedral is a very grand building—it was built at a period of the greatest glory of Pisa, and contains many precious monuments which it conquered from Egypt and other countries. It is very large, very costly, and is decorated with the works of some of the great masters in Sculpture, and Painting. There is a beautiful burying ground near it, built in the form of superb Cloisters, with exquisitely worked gothic arches, as light as possible, all round it. It is called Campo Santo because the earth in the center was brought from Jerusalem. This ground, or rather the covered walk all around it is enriched by a vast number of antiquities from Rome, Athens, Egypt, and other places in the form of Sarcophaguses, Busts, Inscriptions, Columns, Capitals &c. In a comparatively small spot of ground the things most worthy of notice are to be seen at Pisa, for in addition to the Burying Ground, the Cathedral, and the Tower, is the Baptistery, also a very old building, containing many remains of Antiquity. The Town of Pisa is handsome, but I dare say is dull.— There are many beggars in it—The shops are but indifferent and are very inferior to those of Leghorn. In the latter town there are shops that would not disgrace the best parts of London. In both places there is the usual abundance of Jewellers and Goldsmiths shops—it is quite surprising where they all find a market to dispose of their goods. Since we have left Florence we have quitted many of the comforts which Mr. Schneider’s Inn afforded—we have come again to brick floors, and rooms up 3 pair of stairs—I shall be contented however if we do not degenerate still further.
We are all terribly bit by Mosquitoes—particularly Mrs. Cleaver, after her Birtha has suffered most. Most of the beds have curtains for the purpose of keeping these annoying insects from the beds at night—they are very useful for that object. The weather continues to be delightful—in the middle of the day it is very hot, and in no part of it is it so cold as to make any of us wish for a fire. I hear however that for two or 3 months the weather is intensely cold in Florence.
Genoa 29 Octr.
Many days have elapsed since I began this letter, it is time it should be finished and dispatched. I prophesied that our entertainment at Inns would degenerate but I had no idea it would become so bad as it afterwards proved. We left Pisa on friday morning early for Luca, but owing to the rain, and the necessity there was for our getting on to a tolerable sleeping place, if we left Luca, we saw nothing of the town. We proceeded as expeditiously as we could to Sarzane a miserable Inn but not so bad as one we were afterwards doomed to. In going to Sarzane your mother to avoid the heels of a horse which she thought was about to kick her made a rapid retrograde movement and fell very nearly under the heels of another horse against which the hostile intentions of the first horse were evidently directed. She had a miraculous escape and suffered no other injury but a great fright, and a few very inconsiderable bruises. We did not reach Sarzane till six oClock, and soon after us a young French officer with handsomely curled mustachios arrived at the same Inn in a single horse chaise which he had hired at Leghorn to convey him to Genoa. As the eating room was a general one we were forced to be with each other, and soon fell into conversation. He t[old u]s1 that he had been Aid de Camp to Napoleon, was still in the French Kings Guard and that he had been travelling into Greece and Constantinople, and had only lately been liberated from the Lazaretto at Leghorn where he had been performing Quarantine for 40 days. He of course had much to say about Napoleon and the French armies, he had himself been in many engagements, and had been wounded five times. He had been at the battles of Moskwa, Leipsic, and Waterloo, and at one of them had received the decoration of the Legion of Honour on the field of battle—he had also had conferred upon him the order of the cross of Malta which no one can obtain who cannot shew that he is descended from a family which has been noble for 500 years. This information we did not get from him at the time, but on our subsequent acquaintance for we were often thrown together after our first meeting.1 The rain descended in torrents all friday night. We left Sarzane with six horses to our carriage at six oClock on Saturday morning and before 7 found ourselves on the bank of an impetuous torrent which had been very much increased by the previous rain. The count Arnaud for such if my ears did not deceive me he told me was his name, was in his cabriolet behind us, and here we had to stay above an hour for the men said it was not safe to cross till the waters had subsided. A little while before we crossed the Count and his carriage were put aboard a boat, and with some difficulty were rowed against the rapid stream to the other side. When there the horse was put to his carriage and he had to drive through a very rapid current and on very uneven ground. When the men returned with the boat a larger one was prepared for us. With the assistance of more than a dozen men, half of whom were constantly in the water, our carriage was embarked and we crossed the first stream;—the boat went back for the six horses and postillions, and having joined us we were dragged over the bed of the river for a considerable way, and then through the rapid current of which I have before spoken. We performed this in safety, and flattered ourselves that all our difficulties were at an end, but this was far from being the case. We got without much difficulty over a rough road to Spezia a town on the sea shore in the Gulf of Genoa, where we breakfasted; and a miserable breakfast it was for every thing was so bad and so dirty that we could hardly swallow what we put in our mouths.
From Spezia we set off with our six horses and had some steep hills to mount but the road was good, was quite new and was still in progress of making. We had heard a great deal of the new road which had been making to Genoa, and were made to believe that with the exception of a small portion the whole of the road was excellent. After travelling in this way nearly an hour our difficulties commenced. It is impossible to describe the places thro which the carriage passed—I expected every moment that the carriage would fall to pieces. We dashed through torrents, and up the opposite banks of them with as much rapidity as the horses would take us, for it was necessary on these occasions to give an impetus to the carriage to overcome the obstacle. After we had proceeded in this way about an hour we met 3 carriages in one of which was an English family. The driver of one of these came up to the side of mine, and informed me that the road we had to pass was a great deal worse than that which we had passed, and so we found it. We walked over a great part of it, and had a dozen men accompany us to prop the carriage first on one side, then on the other, to prevent it overturning. I cannot now understand how the carriage escaped destruction,—the whole road appeared like the bed of a river with large blocks of stone lying in every part of it. The Count who had also breakfasted at Spezia, joined us in the worst part of the road, and walked with us over the roughest part. When we got to Borghetto it was five oClock, altho’ we had come a very inconsiderable distance, and we were all inclined to go on when we saw the miserable place to which we should be doomed if we stayed there. Luckily there were no horses at which we had reason the next morning to rejoice when we saw the torrent we had to go through. It is impossible to conceive a place so bad as that in which we passed the night having the name of an Inn. The old woman who waited upon us was the filthiest of creatures—you should have seen the colour of the sugar they brought out of a closet —the manner in which she wiped the plates with her hand, and flattened the salt in the salt cellar with the same dirty instrument. The dinner was miserable—the fowls were killed before Mrs. Cleaver’s face, in the garret where they were also cooked—they were put into the soup, feathers and all, to facilitate the picking off the feathers afterwards. Not a door in the house could be closed, nor a window without a pane of glass out, and the beds, how can they be described! Your mother, Mary, and Miss Lancey could not be prevailed on to lie down on them. Birtha and I, with many wry faces, did. At six oClock the next morng. we were in the carriage and the count who had been our constant companion and who cared less for these difficulties than any of us close behind us. In about an hour we came to another impetuous stream thro’ which we had to pass. We found a dozen men there ready to assist us, and it was judged prudent to get out of the carriage, and trust ourselves to the care of the men. I got on one of their backs, and was soon at the other side. The girls were taken up and followed me, and last of all came your mother on the hands of two strong but dirty fellows whom she hugged round the neck to the danger of their lives. She was so frightened that she could not keep her eyes open and was astonished when we called to her to open her eyes and descend from her triumphal seat as she was safe on the right side of the torrent. Mrs. Cleaver resolutely kept her seat on the box behind to take care of our goods and chattels, and the word being given and all the men at their post the carriage descended on a rapidly inclined plane, more like stairs than a plane, altho’ many pickaxes had been employed to smooth it, to the river, and the horses urged by their drivers to exert themselves to draw it forward, when just as it got to the middle of the stream, the traces of the leaders broke, and the carriage with the wheel horses only were left. All was confusion at this moment, the men made the greatest exertions to force the carriage forward, but it was impossible—they therefore kept it steady till the other four horses were again adjusted to it, when after a jolt which Mrs. Cleaver had much difficulty to sit the carriage got safely to the other side. Here the road improved but was very hilly and we had difficulties of another kind to contend with of which I must give you an account in my next; suffice it now to say that we are all well in an excellent Inn at Genoa, with which town we are very much pleased.—On thursday we shall leave Genoa for Turin.—Yr. mother and sisters desire their kind love.—
Ever My dear Osman and Ht. Yr. affectionate father
Genoa 30 Octr. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet
I sent you a letter yesterday from this place in which I gave you an account of our journey to Genoa but I said nothing of the difficulties which attended our entry into that town. Two days before we arrived there had been heavy rains, which caused such an accumulation of water that the rivers could not carry it off. Much damage was done to the town by the water raising the pavement, entering the houses, but above all by destroying 3 bridges which rendered it impossible for any carriage to enter Genoa from Pisa, the place we came from. When we arrived in the suburbs of Genoa at ½ past 8 at night, we had our choice either to go back the last stage, again to meet all the vexation which a night’s lodging in all alehouse occasions, or to walk 4 miles on foot into Genoa. After much consultation we resolved on the latter, and having got two guides who received their instructions from Shuman but to whom we could not speak a word that they could understand we set out on our journey with our night things in a bundle leaving Shuman with the carriage and all our valuables. We took the precaution of ordering a chair and four porters to follow us that your mother might be carried part of the way. We very soon arrived at the place where the first bridge was broken and in order to cross the water we were obliged to go on a narrow ridge of shingles which the tide from the sea had washed up, and which at a little distance appeared a very formidable undertaking as the sea washed over it at various places. On a nearer approach it was evident, that the only penalty we could pay for going over this ridge was the having our feet wetted, which was a trifle which we did not then think of regarding. The ridge was soon passed and we got to a broad dry path, and then thought the rest of the way would be plain sailing. We had had nothing since breakfast, were very hungry, and were going to an Inn where nothing was prepared for us, and therefore after holding another council it was judged expedient that I should go forward with one of the guides, and leave the other to conduct the rest. Birtha accompanied me and we proceeded without accident over the temporary bridge which had been substituted for the second one carried away. I had agreed with your mother that we would meet at the Hotel Royale which had been recommended to us by our new friend the Count St. Arnaud. When I told my guide to go to this Hotel he always answered, “oui” but I was sure he did not understand me, and therefore I stopped a man in the street and asked him if he could speak French, he said he could. I requested him then to ask my guide where he was going to conduct me, he did so and the guide answered that he had been directed by the Courier to take me to the Hotel de la Ville. I altered his destination and insisted on his going to the Hotel Royale. He took me to a dark place and was going up the staircase when I stopped him being assured that could not be a good Inn. I was again obliged to seek for a man who could speak French and found him in a Coffee house, who assured me there was no such Hotel as the Hotel Royale. I enquired which was the best in the Town and was told it was the Hotel de Londra—to this hotel he directed my guide, but there was not a room to be had at this Hotel, and therefore I determined on going to the Hotel de la Villa. When I arrived there they had just enough room left for us, but the apartments were dull. I was glad to accept them and immediately ordered dinner and sent a man to meet the ladies as I feared they like I would be seeking for the Hotel Royale. My messenger had not been gone above a quarter of an hour before Birtha and I were rejoiced to see them by the light of the moon coming across the yard and up the Inn stairs. In a minute they were in the room attended by three men who were all demanding a recompence for the important services which they had rendered. I soon satisfied them and dismissed them, and then listened to the history which the ladies had to give me. Your mother was completely knocked up— no chair had come near them—the guide I had left them proved to be drunk they said, and in approaching the temporary bridge had led them through all the slime and mud which had been left in that quarter by the inundation. Your mother shewed her legs and petticoats, they were covered with mud, at least half way up, and to that depth she had waded through it. They describe their situation as being very hazardous and disagreeable, every step they took was through mud a foot deep, and with so uneven a bottom that they could hardly keep their feet. Mary could not keep hers and fell. In this situation they called for assistance, and had two men who came to afford it; one of whom spoke a little French but they say he was tipsy as well as the other man, and treated them with great familiarity. After they got clear of the mud they had the same difficulty as I had had in their endeavors to find an Inn which had no existence but they soon desisted from the attempt and fortunately came to the Hotel de Villa without having met my messenger. We had immediately a large pan of hot water and washed all their feet,—your mother declared she would go to bed directly and would not eat any thing but the beds were not ready and by the time they were a very excellent dinner was served up. We at last prevailed on your mother to sit down with us, and afterwards to eat a little and drink two or 3 glasses of madeira —she got surprisingly better for this nourishment and soon after went to bed with a full expectation of being very ill the next day. Nothing of the kind happened—she slept very well and felt no other ill effects from her exertions but a little stiffness which soon after went off. Their walk was one of about 2 hours—they had been up all the preceding night— had had no other meal but a miserable breakfast, and did not dine till 11 or half past 11. I am one who always think that people in health can bear more in the way of fatigue than they themselves imagine, but I did not expect that your mother could do what she did with so little inconvenience. The girls were tired but their spirits did not fail them and when they got safe to the Inn made a jest of the misfortunes they had encountered. We are now happily in the regular road again, and shall probably have no other adventure before we arrive in England. The next morning finding that the windows had a miserable aspect on a dull yard, and that we could not get a better situation in that Inn though it was one of the best in Genoa, your mother and I went out in search of better accomodation and very soon succeeded in getting excellent apartments in the Croix de Malte where we have been very well treated. All the good Inns are in the same street; the back part of them, which is the best, have all a fine view of the sea, and of the harbour of Genoa, which is an interesting one because it is well filled with ships and a great deal of business and activity prevails among them. Soon after we were settled at the Croix de Malte our new friend the Comte de St. Arnaud arrived there—he stayed two nights and left it for Turin early this morning—we shall follow him to-morrow. He passed a good deal of his time with us while here, and is certainly a very agreeable man;—his fault is that he stays too long at night; he did not take his leave till near 12 oClock. He and I have had many warm disputes but with perfect good humor. He is an enthusiast, in love with every thing French—he speaks disparagingly of the skill of the English Army and of the Duke of Wellington, but allows that they are brave and valiant. He thinks that the victory of Waterloo added nothing to our laurels, and is firmly persuaded that had Bonaparte carried his threat of invading us into execution that the French army would have been in possession of London, and England would have become a province of France. He thinks we acted a very cruel and ungenerous part in condemning Napoleon to waste his existence at St. Helena—we ought he says to have given him not only liberty, but protection. You see that many subjects of contention were started between us, which I was obliged to defend as well as I could in bad French; he speaks his language with great elegance, and made many eloquent harangues on the gallantry, skill, and power of the French. He appears to me to have received an excellent soldier’s-education, and to be possessed of great quickness and good talents. His person is handsome and I dare say he is generally thought a very agreeable man by the ladies. He knows a great number of tricks on the cards, which he shews with great adroitness. He is a good juggler, and after swallowing balls, which he makes of bread, he would fain persuade you that he makes them come out of the decanter or candle. I have only to add that in his manners he is a perfect gentleman. So much for the Count.—
I found Lady Mildmay with her sons and daughters1 here— I heard they were going to Florence, and I therefore thought it right, particularly as I had some little acquaintance with her, to call and inform her what sort of a road she was about to encounter;—she appeared to consider my visit and intentions as very friendly, but as she had made her arrangements to leave Genoa to day, she did not think it advisable to alter her plans. Lady Mildmay told me she had left the Maxwells at Milan, and that they must now be at Florence.
Genoa pleases me very much—there are some beautiful streets and palaces in it;—the shops are in very narrow lanes, thro which carriages could not well pass, but these lanes are thronged with well dressed people, who all appear to be active and in pursuit of some object of business. The goldsmith’s shops here, as well as in all other places, are very numerous, and contain many pretty things in the way of gold chains, coral, necklaces, ear-rings &c. &c. Worked muslins are good and reasonable here, and beaver hats cannot be said to be dear. I found it was requiring too much of mine to make it last till I arrived at Paris, accordingly I bargained for one of the best that are made here. The contract was struck at 15 shillings English, and I assure you it is a very pretty piece of goods. Genoa is not in the usual route of English travellers, and consequently very few of our countrymen are to be found here. When the new road is finished and made all equally good with the first few stages from Genoa it will I have no doubt be much travelled upon, as Genoa is really one of the most interesting towns in Italy. We leave it to-morrow morning for Turin where we hope to arrive on friday evening. On monday we shall I hope, be on our way from Turin to Paris. The Count says the journey will take us 10 days to perform I shall be content if we do it in 15. Good night.
Alexandria 31 Octr. 1822
We left Genoa at 6 oClock this morning that we might have time to arrive at a large town and a decent Inn. In the first object we have succeeded, but not in the second. We have had a dinner served up of which we could eat very sparingly, for there was nothing good. We passed by the famous plain of Marengo where Napoleon gained his first great victory after being made First Consul of France: there appears plenty of room for the manoeuvring of armies. A great part of the road between Genoa and this place is bad, but there are many men employed in mending it in some places and making a new road in others, so that in a year or two it may not altogether be deserving of a bad name. On the appenines which we crossed there were many places on the road on which the hills at the side had slipped but many were employed in throwing the superfluous soil over the precipice on the other side.
Turin 3d. Novr.
Thank you my dear Osman for your kind and excellent letter—I received it on my arrival here;—the only information in it which did not give me pleasure is that concerning our dear Harriet, I am sorry to hear that she continues low and out of spirits. I hope she will soon be entirely herself again,—she is young and must reconcile herself to the order of nature; however kind and good our parents are, we shall naturally have to deplore their loss, but our regrets are unavailing and we should as quickly as possible return to the enjoyment of the good things of which we remain possessed. I cannot be sorry at your not going abroad before we return, as now we shall have much more chance of seeing you for a reasonable time—We shall not only pay you a visit, but shall hope to receive a long one from you,—we expect very much to enjoy the company of you all after the long privation which we have suffered. Your account, Osman, of Mortimer and his shooting was very gratifying to us, because you placed him so to the life before us, with his 6 rabbits which he had slaughtered. I am very glad that you have been pleased with his company and that he has contributed to enliven Harriet. We arrived here on friday and found a large packet of letters—we had letters direct from every one of the family except from the above named Mortimer, who is a little idle urchin. From Henrietta, Sylla and David all our news was satisfactory—it was the same from Frank who talks of meeting us in Paris, (which I hope he may do), and from Samson who is already in Paris. The only unpleasant intelligence which any of these letters conveyed was that of the death of two children, who were killed by a pile of bricks prepared for my stable.1 There was one letter indeed which gave us pain, and that was a joint one from your Uncle Moses and Aunt Fanny—it is evident from every word in it that your uncles health is in a more precarious state than ever and I cannot help regretting that he is going to reside at Brighton, at a distance from all those kind and affectionate friends who are at all times so ready to do every thing in their power to lighten his misfortune by sharing it. What can they do for him when he is at Brighton—they may go now and then to see him but how different is that from the daily attention which he has hitherto received. It is possible that the air of Brighton may be of use to him and may enable him to recover a tolerable portion of health, if so we shall have nothing to regret, for health is the first of blessings.—I have recd. here also a kind and excellent letter from Mrs. Smith which has given us great satisfaction. It is the picture of a sensible well regulated mind, fully alive to the magnitude of her loss, but not opposing herself to those consolations which time, and the possession of valuable friends, afford. I am very much obliged to her indeed for writing me this letter, perhaps I am a little influenced by the kind expressions of regard which she uses towards us.
We leave Turin to-morrow with the intention of sleeping at Suze;—the next day we shall cross Mont Cenis, and the day following reach Chamberry. In two days after that we shall be at Lyons where we shall stay one day after which we shall proceed with as much dispatch as is convenient to Paris.—
We were glad to quit Alexandria, which we did before it was light, and arrived on friday before 4 oClock in the afternoon at this place. We met our new friend the Count in a cabriolet who came to tell us that the large Inn was full, but the next in size and its equal in goodness had excellent rooms which he had secured for us—he had written me a letter which he was then taking to the first post from Turin that it might be given to me there, but we had travelled faster than he expected, and as I have already told you we met him. Circumstances have thrown this young man and ourselves very much together—rather more perhaps than I could wish because he is a stranger to me and all I know of him is from himself. If he had been properly introduced and his character was certified to me to be as good, as from my observation of him I believe it to be, I should consider his company as a very great acquisition. He is so lively, so clever, so full of humor, so perfectly at his ease, so enthusiastic in favor of every thing French, and shews so clearly every feeling of his mind in every thing he says that his company is most agreeable. By degrees we became acquainted with his whole history. His grandmother was dame d’honneur to Marie Antoinette, and emigrated with his father at the beginning of the Revolution. The old lady preserved all her dislike to the New Regime till the day of her death, but his father returned to France when it became possessed of a stable Government. The old lady was prevailed on to return in 1810, but always reproached the young man for serving under Napoleon. His father is dead, and [h]is mother is in the possession of a handsome house in Paris, and of a handsome revenue if I understood him right, not less than 8 or 10 thousand pounds sterling pr. Annm. He will be our companion to day and to morrow—he is on his way to Suze and Paris, but at Suze we take different roads he goes over Mont Genevre to Bissancon, we go over Mont Cenis to Chamberry. Tis a great pity that he has not some active employment; when at Paris he will have nothing to do but to go to the Theatres and ride in the Bois de Boulogne, and join other young men as idle as himself. His age is about 25 or 26.—
Turin is a very nice town, you can go from one end of it to the other in rainy weather without wetting your shoes, as the path for foot passengers is wholly under lofty arcades. The shops are handsome and well stocked, with the usual abundance of jewellers. The king’s palace is a very large building, we are uncertain whether we can get permission to go over it. We took a ride yesterday to Sparga1 a handsome church on a very high eminence a few miles distant from the town in which is contained the burial place of the Kings of Sardinia. This receptacle of tombs is comparatively of modern construction and is very grand. It is wholly constructed of marble and contains very handsome monuments of some 4 or 5 kings with their wives and children. It will soon be full, if the future kings follow the example of one of their predecessors;—he had no less than 3 wives, all of whom are buried close to him. At night we went to the Opera, to see Agnese, which I thought, and the audience thought so too, was well performed. The part of the father of Agnese was by a Monsr. Duval, a frenchman, on whom much applause was very justly bestowed. Here, as in Frankfort, not a light illumined the Audience part of the house. The ballet was good, but the female dancers had remarkably thick legs. Can this be thought a female beauty? for we have observed the same distinguishing quality in the female dancers of Florence. Your mother and Mary both wrote yesterday.—Mary may have told you much of what I tell you now but that is not my fault and is the penalty you must bear for having various correspondents from the same party.—God bless you. Ever Yr. affte. father
Chamberry 5th. Novr. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet
On Sunday we saw the King’s Palace at Turin which is very extensive and superb: We also rode to, what the Count called, the Hyde Park of Turin, the Promenade, but there was little to be seen there; we met no carriages, and no genteel people on foot. On Monday morng. we left Turin, immediately after breakfast, for Susa, where we were tolerably lodged till the next morning at 6 oClock, at which hour we were in the carriage commencing our ascent of Mont Cenis. We breakfasted very indifferently on the top of the mountain, and reached St. Michel just as night was closing in. We were decently lodged and fed at the Hotel de Londres, and at 7 oClock this morning proceeded on our journey: we got to Chamberry at ½ past 5, and are now by a good fire at a tolerable Inn at Chamberry. The ride from Susa to this place is beautiful; the mountains are very grand and sublime; perhaps it was impossible to see them in more favorable weather than that in which we viewed them, the sun shining beautifully, the atmosphere free from clouds, and the trees finely variegated. We had had some apprehension of finding the mountains covered with snow, and of being obstructed by it in our passage over them, but we found the road quite free from snow, altho’ there was abundance of it on the summit of the mountains. The Mount Cenis road is of the same description as that of the Simplon; an immense sum of money must have been expended on it, in making the ascent so gradual, and in fortifying it by stone walls wherever it required it: such roads are creditable to the age in which we live.
In no part of our journey was it of such great importance to us to have fine weather as now that we are making a rapid movement to Paris. If we should have rain or snow for many days together we should be undone, for our carriage is by no means water tight, and Mrs. Cleaver is constantly exposed to all the rigor of the weather. Hitherto we have been most fortunate; the three last days were as fine as possible, and there is every appearance of the fine weather continuing. At Susa we took leave of the Count, as we were going different roads, though both to Paris. He bowed gracefully to the young ladies and shook hands with me; but to your mother he was particularly complimentary, as he took her hand and carried it to his lips. She was not prepared for this ceremony, and did not go through her part of it with so much grace as the Count. She should have kept a serious countenance, instead of which she laughed and looked foolish. After passing some time in France she will do better.
Lyons 7 Novr.
We arrived here after a hard day’s journey of about 80 miles, yesterday evening. The Hotel de l’Europe is a very comfortable Inn with a civil and obliging landlord. I entered Lyon without money and with an exhausted exchequer in bills. I was without credit and unknown. I endeavored to get money from a banker here by a display of my Passport, which gave me my most distinguishing title; a letter with some complimentary expressions of their confidence in me from Messrs. Delessert; and lastly certificates of a large sum of French Stock being in my name; but without success— they would not give me a shilling.—My good natured landlord came to my relief in my difficulties and advanced me 2000 francs, which I am to repay in Paris.
We had a coach this morning and went to some distance from the town on a high hill called Fourvieres to see an extensive prospect. From this hill there is a fine view of the country and of the town of Lyons and also of the two rivers the Saone and the Rhone, which both run through Lyons, and form a junction at a very small distance from it. Lyons is a large town, and some parts of it are very handsome, but there are others also which are very ordinary. We have of course visited the Silk Shops and your mother has made some considerable purchases—that is to say, in my view, considerable for I am not yet accustomed to these shopping concerns. We have been gratified at Lyons by the receipt of a large packet of letters which conveys to us good news of all our friends. I ought to except you, my dear Osman, for I learn with concern that you have come rather violently in contact with the heels of a horse, and have hurt your foot as well as put one of your fingers out. This is a bad affair but I hope will not be a lasting one, and that before you receive this you will be free from all the consequences which immediately attended it.
We were much gratified with the improved accounts which we have received of your Uncle M’s1 health, it really appears as if the air of Brighton had a powerful effect on his constitution.—
From Turin to Lyons is about 270 miles, if not 300. We came this distance in 4 days and Shuman performed the journey on horseback, seemingly with as much facility as we performed it in the carriage. We have had one day’s rest, and to-morrow we begin again; we are about 340 miles from Paris.
Macon 9 Novr.
We left Lyon at 10 oClock, and arrived here at 5. The fine weather has left us, and we have had frequent showers during the day. Just before we quitted Lyons the Count arrived there; he had met with many cross accidents, such as stages setting off without him—riding horses to overtake the coach which fell with him &c. &c.; he appeared very much fatigued, and very much to require rest. I believe he said that he had not been in bed since we parted, that is to say since tuesday morning. We left him at Lyons.
I have just found out that in the bags given me by the landlord of the Inn at Lyons there are 2320 instead of 2000 francs consequently I am indebted to him in addition to the bill which I gave him on Messrs. Delessert for 2000 francs, 320 francs. I have just been writing to him to inform him of his mistake, and to beg for his directions to whom to pay the 320 francs.
Shall we meet Mr. Mallory while we are in France? If he is going to Italy he will probably pursue the course in a contrary direction which we are taking. I shall be glad to meet him. We are to be early risers to-morrow morning as it is agreed that we are to set off at 6 oClock precisely, which means a quarter before. Mrs. Cleaver calls us all—she is always the last of us in bed and the first up—she will never allow any one to call her and yet she is sure to wake at the time necessary to get up herself and rouse all of us. I fear she often pays the penalty for this alertness of a restless night. She is invaluable to us in every respect, and she gets on with her French so well as to know at least as much as you Osman knew when you addressed my French coachman in 1817. “Toute de suite” is very often in her mouth—she knows a great many of the most familiar and useful phrases.
Autun 11th. Novr. 1822. 7 oClock morng.
We set off from Macon at the time fixed upon, but I have nothing to record of the day’s journey except that the Postillions often called upon us to exchange horses with the travellers we met, to which I invariably consented—your mother making some mental ejaculation, as I could see by her countenance, such as “you are imposed upon by every body” “It is a shame to be made such a tool of” &c. &c. My rule is, and it ought to be the rule of a political economist to save every portion of labour which does not produce pleasure or gratification to some one human being, and consistently with this rule I am obliged to consent to exchange horses. I have some other exceptions to make; except that the weather was dreadfully bad—very wet, very cold, very windy, and very dirty: except that our breakfast was a very bad one, and except that we performed a long day’s journey for a winter’s day—13½ French posts. We arrived at Autun about 6, to a very tolerable Inn but your mother could not divest herself of the idea that it was not the best in the place and that never fails to discompose her for the first half hour. We can this morning speak of this Inn “La Poste”, and which I verily believe to be the best, from experience, and I must say that we had a very clean good dinner and very soft beds. Mrs. Cleaver’s watch played her a bad trick at Macon, and told her it was 5 oClock when it was only 3. Mrs. Cleaver herself got up between 2 and 3, and she roused us all at the latter hour. When the mistake was discovered which was very soon we all except your mother tried to go to sleep again, but she had got through some of the most difficult parts of the ceremony of dressing, and would not lie down.
Your mother begs me to say to you my dear Harriet that she made a great but an unintentional omission in her letter to you from Turin, in not desiring to be most kindly remembered to your sister, about whom she feels great interest,—she begs me to supply her omission now, and I request you on my part to assure your sister of my kindest wishes. In all the places through which I pass, I fancy you both and endeavor to enter into what I think will be your different feelings. I believe that you my dear Harriet are a good traveller and can put up with the ordinary fare of travellers with a good grace;—you my dear Osman, I fancy a little more difficult, something about my standard. In the large towns in which you may chance to stay for a week or fortnight, or perhaps for a month or two you will sometimes be at a loss for amusement. Newspapers are not so numerous, nor so easily to be got at, as in England. I believe books may be hired. To be sure you have the eternal Opera, but we always get tired of eternal things, and of operas sooner than other eternal things. Riding on horseback is not so usual, nor are there the same temptations to it as in England. I am speaking of the towns in which we have been and not of Paris. To hear the Count you can never be in want of amusement in Paris,—every thing in Paris, and indeed in France, according to him, is perfect; and yet I strongly suspect that this same Count, amidst all these superlatively fine things, is sometimes himself dreadfully ennuyé. The chief pleasure of travelling is in my opinion and if I am not guilty of a bull after it is over, in the recollection of the different circumstances with which it was attended. Even the vexatious ones are amusing in the recollection. We often laugh at and amuse ourselves with all the little incidents which occurred at Borghetto, and yet at the time they occasioned serious looks, and were very difficult to bear without thinking of the folly of leaving one’s comfortable home, for such miserable entertainment. I am glad I am approaching fast to the pleasant part of the travelling expedition, I mean the recollection part. If ever I am caught again playing such youthful pranks I shall have completely forgotten all the disagreables which I have lately suffered.
Sens. 12 Novr.
Yesterday we had an unpleasant journey, the weather continuing unfavorable. At ½ past 5 we got to Avallon, where we dined and slept. Avallon is a place at which Napoleon passed a night in his memorable journey from Elba to Paris. He lodged at the very Inn at which we stopt, and slept in the very same bed that your mother and I occupied. In the adjoining room were his officers on guard, and in one next to that Gen. Bertrand slept. Napoleon only rested there one night. Shuman says that he carried dispatches to Napoleon from Paris and delivered them into his own hand at this little Inn of Avallon. The landlady says Napoleon was very affable and conversed freely with her—she appears to be a great admirer of the late Emperor and observed that many people doubted whether he was really dead. We left Avallon at 6 oClock this morning and at half after five halted for the night at Sens, in a very respectable and comfortable Inn—your mother finds it very cold and she is constantly supplying the grate with fuel, and being very cold she is dissatisfied with the Inn and is in a hurry to get out of it.
The last few days have been very fatiguing ones and the whole party more or less feel the effects of this rapid and incessant travelling. They go to bed early enough but the few hours sleep they get before midnight they reckon as nothing and generally estimate the length of the night by the hour at which they are obliged to rise. It will now soon be over— we are within 80 English miles of Paris and we might with ease get there to morrow if we had nothing to detain us on the road, but your mother has a particular wish to see Fontainbleau. We are however going to make the attempt to see this Palace, and yet get to Paris at night—Shuman says it is very practicable if we leave this place at 6 oClock in the morning.
Paris. 14th. Novr. 1822
We saw Fontainbleau yesterday and afterwards proceeded with all haste to Paris. Fontainbleau is a very grand Palace, but there is nothing particularly interesting about it except its having been the place at which Napoleon signed his first abdication, and to which he came in his journey from Elba to Paris on his miraculous return from that Island. An inscription on brass is engraved on the table on which the abdication was signed. It is a small and mean table. Fontainbleau was also the residence at different times of poor Marie Antoinette,—we saw her suite of rooms, and the bed on which she had often slept. There is one other circumstance worth mentioning connected with the Palace of Fontainbleau, it was the residence or rather the prison of the present Pope during the last year and a half of the reign of Napoleon.
We arrived in Paris soon after 5.—We had given particular instructions to Shuman respecting the place at which we chose to have lodgings and he was successful in finding excellent rooms for us there. We are at the Hotel de Wagram, in the Rue de la Paix, and every one of the party is satisfied. The charge for lodging is dearer than at Florence or Genoa, and about twice the usual expence of lodging generally in the road we have travelled, but then the rooms are elegantly furnished and we are in the best situation.
I expected fully to have plenty of letters here. We have only received one and that is from Mortimer—it is dated thursday, but in what week or month the thursday is in he leaves me to guess. The letter is otherwise very satisfactory, it speaks highly of you for your kindness to him.—
This morning has been very wet, it is now clearing up, and I hope to be able to walk out presently, while the ladies are busy shopping. I have already engaged a carriage and a valet —I hope the carriage will be rather smarter than the sky blue in which you used to ride with me when we were together at Paris,1 or it will not entirely satisfy your mother.—
I have not seen or heard any thing of Samson or Frank2 since I have been here, and I therefore conclude that they are not here. If they were the obvious way of letting me know it would have been by a letter directed to me at the Post Office.—
Well then I am now happily within a very few days journey of my own home, and of the home of the individuals who are dear to me—this is a happy circumstance and as soon as my companions have had a reasonable stay at Paris I shall be again amongst you all. Pray write immediately for I long to hear of and from you.
Your mother and the girls desire their dear love. Ever Yr. affectionate father
Paris 23 Novr. 1822
My Dear Osman and Harriet
Our correspondence is now drawing to a close, and this letter, or one that may follow it, will be probably the last which you will receive from me before we meet. Yesterday I received your letter, my dear Osman, and I am very sorry to hear that you are likely to pay so heavy a penalty for the freaks of Old Consul as you describe. I should hope however that you are miscalculating, and that you will have your finger restored to its proper shape and make. You beg of me to be just and when we visit you to stay as long at Bromesberrow as at Sylla’s or Henrietta’s. If I were disposed to be guilty of injustice in that way it would be on the other side, for at Bromesberrow I always consider I have two of my own children to visit; at Bradley or Bath I visit only one. I have a great regard for Clutterbuck and the Austins, but Harriet has consented to be, is, and always shall be my own dear child. Have no fears then that I shall not be inclined to give to your house the greatest portion of time which I shall have at my disposal. You have not told me to which house, yours or Henrietta’s, we shall bend our steps first; Sylla is between you both and therefore we must take her in our way from Gatcomb to Bath, or from Bath to Gatcomb. It is possible that it may be most convenient to Henrietta, or to you, that we should begin our course in the opposite point to which you live and to us it is a matter of no consequence, I therefore wish you to consult with your sisters, and then write to me to Brook Street how you have arranged it. We shall probably stay here till the 4th. Decr. on which day I think we shall commence our journey to England. I hope to find Harriet in good health and spirits, and prepared to correct the girls of any bad habits which they may have acquired.
I am sorry you can give me no better account of the farmers—theirs is a pitiable situation and for the present I see no relief for them but in the liberality of their landlords, who are themselves in a state of suffering and not very able to afford assistance to others.
I had not heard of any rumours of a dissolution of parliament, nor do I believe such an event probable. In the present discontented state of the landed gentlemen the minister will find it equally difficult either to manage the present parliament or any other that may be chosen in its place. I expect to be the object of much personal attack next session but I comfort myself with the reflection that truth will prevail at last, and justice will in the end be done to my motives and opinions.
I am glad to hear a favorable account of Mrs. Smiths health and spirits from various quarters—she has given me a satisfactory account of them in an excellent letter which I received from her,—that account is repeated by you, and was confirmed last night by Miss Anne Bayley, who, with her sister, was seated in the next box to us at the French opera—we did not before know that any of the family were in Paris. Miss Bayley told us they were going to stay sometime here—they expect their sister Sarah to join them1 —We shall see them again on monday when they will dine with us at our Hotel. I have received a letter from Mortimer since I have been at Paris, but his mother and Birtha are loud in their complaints of his neglect of them.
I shall be very sorry if the report you have heard respecting the loss of the Barretts in consequence of a law suit being decided against them should prove correct, £30,000 is a large sum to lose, and must be severely felt by them in the present depressed state of West India property.—2
I am indeed much surprised that Thomas should quit your place for A. Austin’s—I think he will repent it—I suppose that the business and bustle of a town had some charms for him, and induced him to quit the retirement of Bromesberrow.—
Remember we shall fully depend on seeing you both at Brook Street as soon as it will suit you to quit the country.—
I sincerely hope that Miss Mallory may make a good choice of her future place of residence,—Worcester would have many advantages as being comparatively near to you, but she is after all the best judge of what will make her happy, and I hope she will prove so in this instance;—pray give my kind regards to her.
I shall have a story to tell you about the Count,1 of whom I have spoken in my former letters—it will be sufficient to say now that I cannot find any one who knows any thing of him, and I strongly suspect he is not what he represented himself to be. Our intercourse in Paris has been confined to two morning calls—we have not seen him now for a week, and I hope and trust that we shall see him no more.
I have delivered the various letters at Paris given me by Baron de Stael and Mr. Bennet,2 and have been very kindly received by those gentlemen I have seen to whom they were addressed. The Baron himself arrived in Paris yesterday and immediately called upon me. I need not say that he was as kind as possible—I shall dine with him and the Duke3 next week—the Duke also arrived yesterday, but I have not yet seen him. To-morrow I dine with Monsr. Delessert—I mean to limit myself to these two visits.—
We met Samson the day after our arrival here—he was leading a sad melancholy life, having very important business to manage in very stormy times, without a friend to consult with. Our company has I believe afforded him real comfort and his has been equally agreeable to us. We seldom see him till dinner after which he accompanies us to the Theatre or passes the evening with us at home. We have been very gay, as far as going to “Spectacles” can make us gay—but I am happy to say we have nearly finished the tour. Two hours every morning are employed in trying on bodies and fitting dresses—We begin at 8. After breakfast there is a regular course of shopping, then commences sight seeing—about 4 we have a walk amongst the gay folks of the Thullieries and at ½ past 5 we dine.—
Your mother has received Harriett’s letter and has derived great pleasure from it—she desires her kind love to you both—her hands are very full of business—I hope it will all end well.—Mary and Birtha have bonnets half a yard in width, they do not look badly in them.—Having kept up to my late practice of informing you of all the news which concerns us I must conclude with assuring you that I am your affectionate father
This letter must not be sent the usual round. I do not want my affection for Harriet to excite jealousy in any quarter, tho’ perhaps it would be impossible for either Clutterbuck or Austin to be jealous because I did not think of them as my own children.
[1 ]Letter of 20 May 1822, above, IX, 196.
[2 ]See letter to Mill, 6 July 1822, above, IX, 208.
[3 ]Cp. above, V, 223, n. 2.
[4 ]The first expenditure entered in Ricardo’s pocket-book on 13 July is 600 francs for ‘Carriage’. This would be the deposit into the French Customs of a third of the value of the carriage, most of which was returned on leaving France.
[1 ]Above, IX, 196.
[2 ]See below, pp. 199, 260, 266.
[3 ]See above, IX, 212–13 and below, p. 181.
[4 ]See below, p. 289–90.
[5 ]See below, p. 324–5 ff.
[1 ]Below, pp. 246, 296. The MS, a well-worn copy in Ricardo’s handwriting, is in R.P.
[2 ]This was a French translation from the German; as noted by Sharp, there were two editions, ‘one in 4 Vol. and one in a single volume. In the latter the Mineralogy, Geology and Botany are omitted’.
[3 ]See below, pp. 239 and 255 and cp. pp. 270 n. and 271.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘James Mill Esqr. / East India House / London’, and redirected ‘Church Cottage / Dorking’; redirected by Mill ‘Osman Ricardo Esq / Ledbury / Glostershire’. Posted in Antwerp.
[2 ]MS torn.
[1 ]George Matthew Fortescue (1791–1877), son of Earl Fortescue and nephew of Lord Grenville. His elder brother, Lord Ebrington, was Whig M.P. for Tavistock.
[2 ]L. Quillac was the proprietor of the Hotel Dessin at Calais. (There is in R.P. a bill of Ricardo’s previous visit there in 1817.)
[1 ]‘almost’ is del. here.
[1 ]MS torn.
[1 ]MS torn here and below.
[1 ]William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester (1776–1834), brother-inlaw of George IV; was a supporter of Queen Caroline during her Trial.—The following is an entry dated 15 Dec. 1820 in J. L. Mallet’s MS Diary: ‘The Duke of Gloucester has been lately in Gloucestershire on a visit to Lord Ducie, at that beautiful place called Spring Park. Mr Ricardo dined there one day (he is a neighbour) and was much noticed by the Duke, who put the conversation on the subject of Mr Ricardo’s plan for paying off the national debts, (not the most popular of his schemes): the Duke seemed to understand the details very well; but observed that he had one strong objection to it; namely that if Ministers could get rid of the burthen of the debt in any way, they would very soon involve the country in new wars. This is really very well for a man who goes at Carleton House by the nickname of Silly Billy’.
[2 ]Tory M.P. for Sandwich.
[3 ]MS torn here and below.
[1 ]Commander of a ship at Trafalgar; later he commanded the allied fleets at Navarino.
[2 ]MS torn.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England’. Posted at the Hague.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr. / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Amsterdam.
[2 ]In MS, by a mistake, ‘21’.
[3 ]By Kotzebue; the character referred to is ‘Mr Solomon’.
[1 ]Some of the persons mentioned can be identified from two letters to Ricardo: one from B. L. Suasso, The Hague, 21 Dec. 1821, asking for an additional grant to Hannah Ricardo; the other from Abm. Lopes Suasso, The Hague, 24 Nov. 1820, praying for a new grant to the ‘unhappy Sabethaz Ricardo’. From these and other letters in R.P., A. L. Suasso appears to have been entrusted with the payment of Ricardo’s allowances to his poor relations in Holland.
[2 ]Omitted in MS.
[1 ]Rebecca (1769–1841), youngest daughter of David Israel Ricardo (who died in 1778, an uncle of the economist), was widow of Daniel Da Costa, who had died on 25 Feb. 1822.
[1 ]Isaac Da Costa (1798–1860), poet and theologian. He was now in the course of becoming a convert to Christianity and on 20 Oct. 1822 was baptized at Leyden, together with his wife and his cousin Abraham Capadose. See a curious account of the event in Conversion de M. le docteur [Abraham] Capadose, israélite portugais [by himself], ‘publiée par les Sociétés des amis d’Israel de Toulouse et de Neuchatel’, Toulouse, Cadaux, 1837.
[1 ]Fanny, Mrs Ricardo’s sister.
[2 ]Henrietta Clutterbuck, Ricardo’s daughter.
[1 ]Addressed ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr. / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Coblenz.
[2 ]Immanuel Capadose, whom his nephew describes as ‘l’un des premiers médecins de la Hollande, homme de lettres et à juste titre estimé des premières familles, possédant la confiance publique, tant comme médecin qu’à raison de ses relations sociales’. Having no children, he had adopted his nephew Abraham as his son and successor; but he turned him out of his house when the latter was baptized. See the Conversion (cited above, p. 207, n.), pp. 7, 33.
[1 ]Should be ‘before dinner’.
[2 ]Should probably be ‘is shewn a sort of’.
[1 ]MS torn here and below.
[1 ]MS torn by removing two seals, here and below.
[2 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Carlsruhe.
[1 ]In MS, by a slip, ‘July’.
[1 ]Christian Friedrich Koch (named below, p. 226), partner in the house of Gogel, Koch & Co., who had been the earliest exporters of Hock to England and were now the leading wine merchants in Frankfort, doing also an extensive remittance business. Koch himself had visited England and later became British Consul in Frankfort; his extravagant mode of living is said to have seriously impaired the resources of the firm. (See A. Dietz, Frankfurter Handelsgeschichte, Frankfort, 1925, vol. iv, part ii, pp. 554–60 and vol. v, part ii, p. 660. I am indebted for this reference to Dr E. Rosenbaum.)
[1 ]The piece performed at the Frankfort Schauspielhaus on 6 Aug. 1822 was ‘Die Ahnfrau’ (‘The Ancestress’), by Franz Grillparzer; a gruesome tragedy which answers closely enough to Ricardo’s description. (See A. Bing, Rückblicke auf die Geschichte des Frankfurter Stadttheaters, Frankfort, 1892, p. 130. I am indebted for this information to Prof. E. Beutler of the Frankfurter Goethehaus.)
[2 ]Daughter of George III, married to the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg in 1818.
[1 ]A. J. Dalrymple, M.P. for Appleby.
[1 ]In MS, by a mistake, ‘8’.
[1 ]Cp. J. C. Hobhouse’s Diary, 9 Aug. 1822: ‘Arrived at Heidelberg, where we met Ricardo and family. “Alors beaucoup d’embrassements de part et d’autre”’. (In Recollections of a Long Life, by Lord Broughton, ed. by Lady Dorchester, 1910, vol. iii, p. 1.)
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqre.. / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Zurich.
[2 ]L. Simond, Switzerland; or, A Journal of a Tour and Residence in that Country, in the Years 1817, 1818, and 1819..., 2 vols., London, Murray, 1822 (French ed., Voyage en Suisse..., 2 vols., Paris, Treuttel & Würtz, 1822).
[1 ]Lord Londonderry (i.e. Lord Castlereagh) had committed suicide on 12 August.
[1 ]Ricardo’s relatives on his mother’s side.
[2 ]Jacob Ricardo.
[3 ]Henry Mallory, an officer in the 11th Light Dragoons.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Berne.
[1 ]Simond’s Switzerland, vol. 1, p. 191 ff.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr. / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Lausanne.
[1 ]See L. Simond, Switzerland, London, 1822, vol. 1, p. 267. Ricardo adopts the spelling of this, the English, edition.
[1 ]At Frankfort; see above, p. 223–4.
[1 ]MS torn.
[1 ]Several enthusiastic accounts of Fellenberg’s school had been published in England. See, e.g., Brougham’s statement in ‘Third Report from the Select Committee on the Education of the Lower Orders’, p. 194 ff. (in Parliamentary Papers, 1818, vol. iv); and the articles in the Edinburgh Review, Dec. 1818 and Oct. 1819 (by L. Simond).
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England / (via Paris)’ and marked ‘Private’. Posted at Geneva. This letter does not form part of the series; cp. the opening of the second paragraph of the next letter.
[2 ]Brother of Osman’s wife.
[1 ]MS reads ‘from’.
[2 ]Darby was the gamekeeper at Gatcomb Park (as appears from a statement of account of Ricardo’s agent, George Wathen, who had to deal with Darby’s misconduct and with the troubles attending his dismissal: entries from 19 Aug. to 7 Nov. 1822. MS in R.P.).
[1 ]Samuel Moulton Barrett (1787–1837), Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s uncle Sam, was M.P. for Richmond in Yorkshire and ‘one of Mr. Hume’s phalanx’, according to the radical Electors’ Remembrancer of 1822. His relatives, the Barretts of Hope End, near Ledbury, were Osman Ricardo’s country neighbours. (See The Family of the Barrett, A Colonial Romance, by Jeannette Marks, New York, 1938, pp. 327–9, 461.)
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England / By Paris’. Posted in Geneva.
[2 ]Letter VIII.
[3 ]John Philip Kemble, the actor; he died in 1823 at Lausanne, in his 66th year.
[4 ]A letter from Kemble to Ricardo, dated 5 Feb. 1808, referring to a stock transaction, ends ‘With a thousand thanks for your so kindly accepting me as a client’. (MS in R.P.)
[1 ]Jean-François Bautte, a famous watchmaker and jeweller of Geneva, whose atelier was one of the sights of the town.
[2 ]Louis Simond (1767–1831), a French merchant who had made a large fortune in America and was now settled in Geneva, where he became naturalized in 1822. He was the author of several books of travel (which he wrote in English or French and then himself translated into the other language), including Switzerland; or, A Journal of a Tour and Residence in that Country, 2 vols., London, Murray, 1822, and contributed a number of articles to the Edinburgh Review.
[3 ]J.-C.-L. Simonde de Sismondi (1773–1842), the historian and economist.
[4 ]Charles-Gaspard de la Rive (1770–1834), F.R.S., studied medicine at Edinburgh, practised in London and returned in 1799 to Geneva, where he was now a magistrate and hon. professor of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Academy.
[5 ]Pierre Prévost (1751–1839), F.R.S., professor of Physics at the Geneva Academy and writer on many subjects, including finance; he translated into French Malthus’s Population, 1809 and 1823, and Mrs Marcet’s Conversations on Political Economy, 1817.
[6 ]Pellegrino Rossi (1787–1848), at this time a refugee from Italy and professor of Roman Law at the Academy, had not yet turned to political economy; he succeeded J. B. Say as professor of Political Economy at the Collège de France in 1833, published his Cours d’économie politique, 4 vols., Paris, 1840–51, and was assassinated in Rome when Prime Minister to Pius IX in 1848.
[1 ]Possibly Pierre Butini (1759–1838) a Genevan physician of great repute. 15 Sept. 1822
[1 ]Francis Jeffrey had married in 1813 Charlotte Wilkes, of New York, a niece of Simond’s wife.
[2 ]Jean-Pierre Maunoir (1768–1861), a celebrated surgeon and oculist, was professor of Anatomy at Geneva. From his marriage with an English lady, Miss Campbell, he had three daughters, ‘two of them at least of acknowledged beauty, simple and unaffected’; one was married to Charles Richard Sumner, who was now Chaplain to the King and afterwards Bishop of Winchester; the other, ‘brilliant in conversation, a first rate player on the harp, and exceedingly clever with her pencil’, to Charles McNiven, of Perrysfield, near Godstone, Surrey. (See G. H. Sumner, Life ofC. R. Sumner, D.D. Bishop of Winchester, London, 1876, p. 15.)
[1 ]Edward Hobhouse; see Lord Broughton’s Recollections, vol. ii, p. 190. 15 Sept. 1822
[1 ]Traité des preuves judiciaires, ‘Ouvrage extrait des manuscrits de M. Jérémie Bentham, jurisconsulte anglais, par Ét. Dumont, membre du conseil représentatif et souverain de Genève’, Paris, Bossange, 1823, 2 vols.
[2 ]George Warde Norman (1797–1882), a director of the Bank of England from 1821 to 1872, and John Welsford Cowell (ca. 1795–1867); both were original members of the club and writers of currency pamphlets.
[3 ]Curries, Raikes & Co., bankers in Cornhill. 15 Sept. 1822
[1 ]Albertine (1797–1838), daughter of Madame de Staël, married to the Duc de Broglie in 1816.
[1 ]Miss Fanny Randall.
[2 ]The half-witted child of Madame de Staël and Albert Rocca, a Swiss officer whom she had secretly married in her old age. 16 Sept. 1822
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England / via Paris’. Postmark of Como (although Ricardo at the beginning of the next letter says it was despatched from Domodossola).
[1 ]Pierre-François Bellot (1776–1836), hon. professor of Civil and Commercial Law at the Academy.
[2 ]William Romilly (1798–1855). 19 Sept. 1822
[1 ]Probably John George Shaw-Lefevre (1797–1879), senior wrangler at Cambridge in 1818, Fellow of Trinity College, member of the Political Economy Club. 23 Sept. 1822
[1 ]In the pocket-book which Ricardo had on his tour (and which is preserved in the box containing his papers) there is a loose scrap of paper on which the names ‘Kunatt. Rulikowski.’ are written in pencil (not by Ricardo) and gone over in ink. The former is no doubt Stanislaw Kunatt (1799–1866), who translated Ricardo’s Principles into Polish in 1826–27. He had graduated in law at the University of Warsaw, and in 1820 Count Skarbek, the Professor of Political Economy, had obtained for him a government scholarship for studying abroad during three years. On his return to Warsaw in 1823 he became Professor of Commerce and Statistics; but he was compelled to emigrate after the collapse of the insurrection of 1831 and died an exile in Paris. (See biographical articles, in Polish, in Great Illustrated Encyclopaedia and in Annals of the Historical-Literary Society, Paris, 1866.) As to Rulikowski, there were several young noblemen of that name who travelled abroad about this time; they all became officers in the Polish army and afterwards settled down as landlords, but they did not contribute to the defence or progress of Ricardo’s favourite science. The present representative of the family regards Kajetan Rulikowski (born 1798) as the most probable companion of Kunatt. (I am indebted to Dr Oskar Lange of Cracow for the above information.)
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Verona.
[1 ]In the Trial of Queen Caroline the main charge had been her intimate relation with Bartolomeo Bergami, an Italian servant, during her residence abroad when Princess of Wales. 25 Sept. 1822
[1 ]In the paper of hints, which he had given to Ricardo, Sharp says: ‘Do not omit going to Bellagio just across the Lake to see the Duke of Serbelloni’s grounds for the views. These are exquisite’.
[1 ]Thomas Smith, who had died in June 1822.
[2 ]Sharp’s suggestion for Milan was ‘Go to the Albergo reale. The Albergo Italia also a good Inn’. (Cp. above, p. 296, n.)
[1 ]Sharp’s paper reads ‘Bibliotheca ambrosiana, for pictures, and also some statues of M. Angelo, but above all the Cartoon of the School of Athens’. Sharp’s hints are followed faithfully throughout the visit to Milan.
[2 ]G. Bossi.
[3 ]The page of the MS ends here; a word is omitted, but Sharp’s paper of hints supplies it: ‘Go to the Corso about sunset on a Sunday’.
[4 ]Above, pp. 289–90. 2 Oct. 1822
[1 ]Whig M.P. for Derbyshire.
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Florence.
[1 ]Written ‘Ambassord’s’.
[2 ]Samuel Peploe, of Garnstone House, Herefordshire (see Burke’s Peerage, 1908, p. 417). He is mentioned in Mallet’s MS Diary, entry of 23 May 1821, as ‘a Mr. Peplow of Herefordshire, a considerable Person in that County and a sensible man’ whom Whishaw had met at Ricardo’s house a few days before.
[1 ]Moses and Fanny.
[2 ]Harnish or Hardenhuish Park, near Chippenham, Wiltshire. 13 Oct. 1822
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England / Via Paris’. Posted in Genoa.
[1 ]In a letter to J. H. Wilkinson from Florence, 16 Dec. 1822, Ricardo after referring to his visit to the palace of the Grand Duke makes this comment: ‘I am astonished at finding such buildings and collections in a place like Florence which has so incessantly been a prey to civil dissentions, and has suffered so much from foreign war. Most of the palaces and churches were built or commenced during such periods, and the most valuable collections had their beginning at the same time.’ 17 Oct. 1822
[1 ]A note of the works in alabaster and marble bought by Ricardo from the studio of Vincenzo Bonelli in Florence, dated 21 Oct. 1822, mentions a Mercury and Hebe, Canova’s Perseus, a Diana, a Venus and several cups and vases, besides the busts of Ricardo mentioned above, p. 53 and n.; the total expense was 47½ louis. A letter from the London agents Bingham Richards & Co (27 Aug. 1823) announced the despatch to Gatcomb of the two cases of ‘Sculpture from Florence’ only a few days before Ricardo’s death. (MSS in R.P.)
[1 ]MS torn.
[1 ]This remarkable character, whose name Ricardo gives below, was Arnaud Jacques Le Roy (1798–1854), self-styled comte de Saint-Arnaud; under this name he made subsequently much noise in the world as the Minister of War who organized Louis Napoleon’s coup d’état of 2 Dec. 1852; he ended as Marshal of France and supreme commander in the Crimea where he died a few days after the battle of the Alma. But in 1822 his battles, his wounds and his honours existed only in his imagination. The son of a revolutionary cobbler who became a prefect under Napoleon, he had been at college till 1814; after a brief career in the French army, having been dismissed for misbehaviour, he had gone to Greece as a volunteer and now disappointed was travelling home on subsidies obtained from the French Consuls under false pretences (see the details of the story, which identify him beyond doubt, in Quatrelles L’Epine, Le Maréchal de Saint-Arnaud d’après sa correspondance et des documents inédits, Paris, Plon, 1928, vol. i, pp. 1–34). Ricardo in the progress of his journey will swallow some more of Saint-Arnaud’s stories, though not quite unsuspiciously (cp. p. 337), until in Paris he will be undeceived(p. 351). 29 Oct. 1822
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Turin.
[1 ]Jane Lady Mildmay, mother of sixteen children and owner of immense properties in land. (See Cobbett’s Rural Rides, ed. G.D.H. Cole, 1926, vol. i, p. 36.) 30 Oct. 1822
[1 ]At this time the stable and coach-houses of Ricardo’s house in Upper Brook Street, which were in Lees Mews, were being rebuilt. (See statement of account of the contractor, D. Jonathan, for £550, in R.P.)
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr / Ledbury / England’. Posted in Paris.
[1 ]In 1817 (cp. above, VII, 168).
[2 ]Ricardo’s brothers. 14 Nov. 1822
[1 ]Addressed: ‘Osman Ricardo Esqr. / Ledbury / Herefordshire’. This letter does not form part of the series: cp. its postscript.
[1 ]The Miss Bayleys referred to, Sarah (1783–1868), Elizabeth (1787–1846) and Ann (1789–1859) were daughters of Thomas Bayley, of Booth Hall, a Manchester merchant. (See The Family of Bayley of Manchester and Hope, by Ernest Axon, Manchester, for the Author, 1894, pp. 43–5; this is an enlarged version of a paper in Transactions of the Lancashire and Cheshire Antiquarian Society, vol. vii, 1889.) They were nonconformists and had been introduced to the Ricardos by the Smiths of Easton Grey, in whose letters they are often mentioned (MSS in R.P.).
[2 ]In 1822, as the result of twenty years’ litigation, a mortgage of £30,092 was attached to the estates of the Barrett family in Jamaica: the lawsuit arose from an inheritance, a part of which (concerning the testator’s right to dispose of 92 slaves and 50 steers) had been challenged. Cp. above, p. 267 n. and see The Family of the Barrett, A Colonial Romance, by Jeannette Marks, New York, 1938, pp. 269, 347.
[1 ]Saint-Arnaud; see above, p. 325.
[2 ]Henry Grey Bennet, M.P.
[3 ]The Duc de Broglie. 23 Nov. 1822