Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]



cially to the beautiful Établissemens des Buins,

which are found more particularly in the POLISH STATISTICS.-A recent account of

Pyrenean region. Under these circumstances, the population of Poland gives the following business flags, and that which took us to Paris particulars relative to the inhabitants of the

could not be completed ; and so, having been country – The greater part of the land is in frequently solicited to pass a few days with the hands of about 5,000 families, consisting

old and cherished acquaintances in of 25,000 individuals of both sexes; these

Southern France, constitute the high nobility. The class imme

“Since all the world is gone." I observed, diately attached to them comprises about

“ let us go too-let us breathe for a short 170,000 persons; these form the lesser nobility, time the strengthening air of the Swiss most of whom possess a small piece of land, mountains, and imbibe on our way thither the though the generality of them are said to regard not less invigorating draughts which spring the cultivation of it as degrading. It is from

from the renewal of the associations of early among this class that the functionaries are

friendship.” taken, and they also supply the higher nobility

Nothing was necessary but to make our own with many of their servants. The Roman Catholic ecclesiastics consist of 4,600 members, bourhood of Lyons the time of our departure :

arrangements, and to telegraph to the neigh2,218 of whom are priests, 1808 monks, and

and this we did on the same day that we left 521 nuns. Hitherto the clergy have had the

Paris by the evening express, preferring at privilege of tithing the whole of the natural productions of the kingdom, without respect to

this season a night journey. As we wended

our way southwards day dawned about 3 a.m., the creed of the proprietors. The number of

and before 5 every object was bathed in sunthe population engaged in trades and manu

light. factures is estimated at about 930,000,

The country for many miles before reaching of whom more than 580,000 are Jews. A

Lyons wears an aspect of great richness; the large proportion of these are under the direct

undulating hill-sides, and even the lofty emiinfluence of the high nobility : 228 of the

nences of the Côte d'Or, are covered with vines, towns they occupy of the 453 contained in the

while the more level country is verdant with kingdom are the property of single individuals,

crops and foliage. and the municipal and judicial institutions are,

The station was reached about 7 a.m.,

and in fact, under the direct patronage of the great there, accompanied by a young Englishman, proprietors. Of course, the influence of the

we found the carriage of our host awaiting nobility is still greater over the rural popula

ns, and were swiftly conveyed to his country tion, the total number of whom is estimated at

residence. The sun shone brilliantly over the 3,270,000, which


be subdivided into 1,277,500 small farmers, 522,000 peasant towards the sea.

grim landscape through which the Saone flows proprietors, plus 28,000 Jews, and the remain

After reaching the confluence with the der is made up of labourers, who are described Rhone, its brother (the Saone being a La, and a3 merely serfs of the great nobles, or vagabonds, and whose condition is exceedingly

. tion, and in a few minutes found ourselves with.

the Rhone a Le), we turned in another direcwretched. This state of things is in course of in the lodge-gates and at the hospitable doors of alteration or amendment.

a large country mansion. Even at that early A FEW DAYS AT LYONS.

hour life was astir; family groups were driving

into the city ; young ladies taking their mornThe Paris Season was advancing, and the ing exercise, and peasant women, shaded by summer heat was already oppressive. Though large straw hats, were vending fruits and the gardens of the Tuileries presented their gay vegetables, which they carried on large barrows, attractions, and the stream of vehicles rolled as to parties who chatted in groups at the open usual past the Arc de l'Etoile and along the doors. Avenue de l'Impératrice on their way to the “ Aro monsieur and madame at home ?” we lake, the verdure, the shade, and the cooling inquired. fresliness of the Bois de Boulogne, still the Oh yes; you will see them directly—pray commonly laughing capital was beginning to walk in. Does madame require anything! appear somewhat dull. Paris, to say the truth, Madame must ask for all that she requires. is moving out of town, and the Emperor having Madame must do just as she would do at set the example of a sojourn at Fontainebleau, home !" followed by an excursion to the baths of Vichy, All this was said in a few seconds while his loyal subjects are rapidly making it the finding our way to our apartments, and in fashiou to speed away to the country, and espe- the purest French, by a young woman with


a remarkably sweet voice and pleasant coun- lectual domestic life; and though that life may tenance, and who, as we afterwards found, differ from ours, why should we criticise, – has been so fortunate as to have been in the why not admire it, when it has the power of family five years.

awakening and fostering the more generous Dressed with great neatness and simplicity, affections, the loftiest and the holiest aspiraand marked by a total absence of crinoline, tions ? and being of the pure peasant race, she re- Here we find the father and mother of a minded me of the servants of former years—a family, surrounded with grown-up sons and race, alas ! now almost extinct, even in the daughters who occupy three châlets on the same remote towns of our island. On the landing estate, and at convenient distances for the exwe received a hearty greeting from our hostess, change of family kindlinesses and courtesies. and having been saluted on both cheeks, we The rising generation revel among the flowers, proceeded to inspect our apartments and learn or run at the sound of grandpapa's voice, who, their capabilities. They consist of a suite of though he evidently finds in them the delight three rooms, prettily-furnished and most exqui- of his declining years, does not spoil the little sitely clean ; a boudoir, which leads out on a people. trellised terrace ; a sleeping room, where two Two English youths, domiciled with one of small beds under the same canopy occupy about the members of the family group for the pura space equal to that filled by an English four- pose of learning the language, are pleased to poster ; and a dressing-room, where an ample join in a game of cricket, and seem more desupply of water and towels, and even the luxury sirous of teaching Euglish to the children, or of a sponge bath, awaited us. Breakfast, we to the young ladies of their circle, than to press were informed, was at 12, “would we take on their own studies, which might hasten their tea, or coffee, or chocolate previously ?" We return home, so pleasant do they find their had been unable to obtain anything during the present life. night; the buffets being somewhat distant from The greatest heat of the day being past, the arrival platforms, it is almost impossible we drive, about 4 p.m., over a succession of with short stoppages to reach them in time for bridges along the spacious quays, upwards of refreshment, as we found to our cost, for after twenty miles in length and of immense width, paying the exorbitant sum of two francs for which line the banks of the Rhone and the cups of coffee, as they were served very hot, Saone. Everywhere these walks, planted with we were unable to drink them before summoned trees, protected by wicker fences from injury, away.

and of which the growth is encouraged by We were therefore grateful when the same copious waterings, are kept in excellent order ; smiling damsel who had so cordially prof- and sprinkled freely from a hose, which lays fered her services reappeared with a breakfast the dust without turning it into mud, they consisting of café au lait, dry toast, butter, form agreeable and sheltered resorts. But American biscuits, and new-laid eggs. Th still they are insufficient for the recreation meal was brought to us in the boudoir, it being of a city of 300,000 inhabitants ; and a beauthe custom of the country to partake of this tiful and already extensive park laid out with first slight repast in private, leaving the guests shrubs and Aowers, and artificial waters, is and the family equally free to assemble in the about to be still further increased for their salons at the regular hours, or as much earlier enjoyment. as they may find it convenient. At the midday Here the Cricket Club holds its weekly meetmeal (corresponding to an English luncheon, ings, and the youths of three nations--about but somewhat more elaborate) several hot dishes one hundred French, thirty English, and two of meat, followed by salad, cheese, butter, and German—assemble together for exercise in the wine, are introduced, and the collation is con- game, which has been received with great cluded with tea, which is now much more used favour in this country. than formerly in France, and generally found Our attention was directed to a pretty chalet in private families to be of very excellent used as a restaurant, and where, from the quality.

attractions of the situation, public entertain" What lovely scenery !

I observed to my ments are sometimes given. husband ; “the view from this elevation, the

“There is a little tale connected with that sight of such gorgeous flowers, the song of house,” said our friend, “which I must tell birds, and the general beauty of the surround- you, and afterwards we will go there. In ings will, I think, suffice to keep me in good September last I was dining there, and prehumour during the time of our stay.” But, siding over the Grand Conseil : it was a very as though nature were not sufficiently prodigal, wet day, and the rain had been falling heavily there is the added charm of harmonious, intel- | during the previous night. We learnt with horror that a young and beautiful child of mother ; yet we thanked God in our hearts little more than a year old had been found that He had not suffered His little one to with its limbs tied together, evidently drugged perish,—that sorrow is thus occasionally temwith opium, and exposed to the inclemency of pered with joy; and that “evil is overcome the weather on the borders of the lake, and by good.” had been picked up by one of the gardeners Late dinner, at which the members of the at early morning. The maternal heart had various married branches of the family usually evidently revolted at the last moment from the assembled, was served on our return ; and at crime about to be committed, and, like the its close, as is usual on the Continent, ladies young Moses, the babe had been left in the and gentlemen leave the table together. Then hope that some happy turn of fortune might follow the pleasant evenings spent in the air; possibly save his little life.

The child was where, sitting beneath a roomy verandah, the brought to this, the nearest asylum, till mea- family receive visits from the neighbouring sures could be adopted for its protection ; but gentry : a general hilarity prevails. Coffee the mistress of the house, the mother of several and iced syrups are the only refreshinents prochildren, touched with its innocence and help- vided. A handsome little Shetland pony, a lessness, immediately offered, if the consent of present to the children, who ride it quite her husband could be obtained, to adopt the fearlessly, usually makes its appearance at this infant and bring it up as her own. To this hour. Purchased in London, it has now been arrangement the worthy host had immediately some months in France, and is reconciled to consented, and we (the gentlemen) having the change of domicile of which at first it expressed a wish to see the child, he was seemed sensible. It now comes with pleasure brought in for our inspection. He has not the to be noticed, or to be fed with bread or appearance of being the offspring of common sugar, and is evidently well acquainted with people, and his delicate features and com- its juvenile riders. plexion partake more of the Swiss or English than of the French type.

The town of Lyons shows everywhere signs Our hearts very pardonably warmed as the of great activity and extensive commercial babe was handed about from one strong arm relations ; while it has very much increased in to another; and I having set on foot a sub- size, it has been greatly improved and emscription on his behalf, the amount collected, bellished within the last twenty years, and the soon realised a sum of upwards of 500 francs. country houses, which are for the most part This I have placed in the savings bank for him; beautifully situated on the surrounding emibut before doing so it was necessary to give nences, stretch out in all directions for many him a name. “We must not forget the pro- miles. prietor, M. Grand,” I observed, “who has so The rate of wages has very much risen generously taken the initiative in this act of of late, and mechanics and artizans now earn benevolence, and as Grand harmonises with from two and a half to five francs a day. Conseil, let us call him Grand Conseil ; and by Women also are paid more than formerly for this designation accordingly he is known. And labour or machine-work, the rate varying from now I have told my story you shall see bim two to two and a half francs per diem. yourselves, with your own eyes, and judge highly paid artizans partake of meat daily; the whether he has any appearance of being a pea- poorer people usually once a week, their comsant's child."

mon diet consisting of coffee, bread, butter, The boy, evidently a great favourite, was cheese, and vegetables—the latter occasionally playing on the grass in front of the house, seasoned with bacon. Extreme destitution surrounded by the servants of the establish- | happily appears to be unknown. ment: proper measures have been taken to The ancient Roman station, now occupied secure him to the parents who adopted him ; by the Church of Notre Dame de la Fourrière, yet it would seem that they entertain fears abounds in antiquities, and there, as well as in that he may some day be taken away from the bed of the Rhone, numerous specimens them.

now in the Museum of the town have been His somewhat pensive features lighted with a found. smile of intelligence at the sight of his patron, Among the more recent treasures brought who took him in his arms with the greatest to light here is the head of a female in tenderness, and begged us to notice the traits bronze, which was originally plated with silver. to which he had previously called our atten- It is of exquisite workmanship, and the trustion. Sad and solemn were our thoughts tees were so fortunate as to purchase it from about that great sin which must still lie upon the finders, who were not aware of its merits, the conscience most probably of some wretched for the very moderate sum of four hundred


[ocr errors]

francs. Gold and jewelled ornaments of con- facturing and mercantile city bids fair to sursiderable value are also displayed in locked pass any and every similar display in the cases, and among the more recent discoveries world. is a large and well-executed mosaic pave- Under the same roof are placed, in a handment, which covered the floor of an apart- some modern structure, the Exchange, the ment.

Chamber of Commerce, and the Council of PrudLike many Italian towns, the Roman sta- hommes; in this last, nineteen twentieths of tion stood on a lofty eminence, overlooking the disputes between masters and workmen the Saone, which flowed through the valley, are amicably settled. beneath ; it was supplied with water by an The Court cousists of an equal number aqueduct, bringing the possibly purer waters of elected masters and workmen, having for of some mountain stream from a considerable their president a manufacturer. All this and distance. The remains of this gigantic work much more had we visited, and, above all, can be traced, spanning the valley now occupied we had seen genuine French country lifeby the village of Oullins, and thence climbing seen it under the happiest circumstances, in the hill, where, on the summit, a long line of the midst of a charming family circle, who did ivy-clad arches are to be seen in tolerable pre- not allow our presence to interfere with their servation, and the ruins are traceable for a usual mode of life.

distance of from fifteen to twenty miles. Under 1, the guidance of our good friends, we visited Our host, a self-made man, at my request,

the remains, both of the valley and also of gave me a brief account of his life, and of the bill.

the events which had led to his present posiThe laundresses seem to have almost undis- tion. His father, an officer of the old French puted possession of the stream, and the walls army in the time of the Republic, found himof their dwellings, constructed frequently of self, like others of the same standing, an obhammered clay, rest against the brickwork ject of dislike to the rising men of the army of former days. A very difficult road leads of the First Consul. To avoid jealousies, it to the higher aqueduct, but the strong and was the policy of Napoleon Bonaparte to handsome Norman horses which conveyed us place officers of this class to defend the garriworked their upward way courageously, while sons, and thus the earliest recollections of our each turn of the steep ascent revealed new friend went back to a time when his father beauties in the landscape. From the swnmit commanded a fortress in Piedmont. A child the mountains of the Côte d'Or, the Lyonese of the army, he was educated at the expense chain, the Jura, and even Mont Blanc and the State at the military college of St. Omer, the Alps, are seen in fine weather.

“ where,” he said, “I was so ill-disciplined disturbed solitude enabled us to enjoy the full that I invariably took part in the revolts of beauty of the prospect, and to meditate awhile the pupils, which at that time were not unfreon the fate of that great nation which once ruled the destinies of the then known world, At sixteen he received a cadetship and and whose works will certainly survive most of entered the army; but that did not last, and our modern structures. Brambles and tangled his mother, a widow, the two almost wanting herbage, interblended with the most brilliantly bread, he was glad to enter a house in Paris

tinted wild flowers, creep round the feet of connected with the shawl manufactory, and to !' the gigantic ruins, and through each opening a receive in payment for his services his board

varied landscape is to be seen. A fine picture and lodging. The male population of the of this portion of the aqueduct was some years country exhausted by the drains of the army, since made by Harding, while the guest of our the youth, half-clerk, half-warehouseman, had hospitable entertainers.

to work hard early and late, and on the reconBut we had visited the principal objects of struction of the army he immediately threw interest, both in the town and country; passing up his situation. The slender pittance of the quays and bridges, we had admired the hand mother was expended to refit him for the prosome modern streets, and enjoyed the grateful fession which all the circumstances of his life, shade of those narrower ways where the sun's as well as his military education, appeared to rays scarcely penetrate between the lofty point out as his proper vocation, and he rehouses; we had specially noticed the refreshing turned to it with all the ardour and hopefulinfluence diffused around by sparkling foun- ness of inexperience. “ But God,” he said, tains rising to a considerable height from the “ had not so ordained it, and in His goodmidst of parterres of flowers and verdure; we ness He again led me back from the warlike had spent some time amidst the varied collection of art manufactures, which in this manu- Thrown adrift once more by the battle of


Au un



« AnteriorContinuar »