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[1] A Count Koningsmarke.

[2] The period referred to was in 1830.

[3] Hortense.

[4] When the term juste milieu was first used by the King, and adopted by his followers, Lafayette said in the Chamber, that "he very well understood what a juste milieu meant, in any particular case; it meant neither more nor less than the truth, in that particular case: but as to a political party's always taking a middle course, under the pretence of being in a juste milieu, he should liken it to a discreet man's laying down the proposition that four and four make eight, and a fool's crying out, 'Sir, you are wrong, for four and four make ten;' whereupon the advocate for the juste milieu on system, would be obliged to say, 'Gentlemen, you are equally in extremes, four and four make nine.'" It is the fashion to say Lafayette wanted esprit. This was much the cleverest thing the writer ever heard in the French Chambers, and, generally, he knew few men who said more witty things in a neat and unpretending manner than General Lafayette. Indeed this was the bias of his mind, which was little given to profound reflections, though distinguished for a fort bon sens.

[5] Louis-Philippe has been more singularly favoured by purely fortuitous events than, probably, ever fell to the fortune of one in his situation. The death of the Duke of Reichstadt, the arrest and peculiar position of the Duchess of Berri, the failure of the different attempts to assassinate and seize him, and the sudden death of the young Napoleon Bonaparte, in Italy (the son of Louis), are among the number.

[6] He is since dead.

[7] No such exposure has ever been made; and the writer understood, some time before he quitted France, that the information received from America proved to be so unsatisfactory, that the attempt was abandoned. The writer, in managing his part of the discussion, confined himself principally to the state of New York, being in possession of more documents in reference to his own state, than to any other. Official accounts, since published, have confirmed the accuracy of his calculations; the actual returns varying but a few sous a head from his own estimates, which were in so much too liberal, or against his own side of the question.

[8] See my Letter to General Lafayette, published by Baudry, Paris.

[9] General Lafayette took the republican professions of the King too literally, at first, and he did not always observe the ménagement, perhaps, that one seated on a throne, even though it be a popular one, is apt to expect. In 1830 he told the writer the King had, that morning, said, that some about him called the General a "maire du palais." On being asked if the King appeared to entertain the same notion, his answer was, "Well, he professes not to do so; but then I think he has tant soit peu of the same feeling." This was ticklish ground to stand on with a sovereign, and, perhaps, a case without a parallel in France, since the days of Hugues Capet. A few weeks later, General Lafayette related another conversation held with Louis-Philippe, on the subject of his own unceremonious dismissal from office. "You shall be named honorary Commander-in-chief of the National Guards, for life," said the King. "Sire, how would you like to be an honorary king?" It is quite apparent that such a friendship could not last for ever.

[10] I once asked General Lafayette his opinion of the nerve of the Duc d'Orleans (Egalité). He laughed, and said the King had made an appeal to him quite lately, on the same subject. "And the answer?" "I told his Majesty that I believed his father was a brave man; but, you may be sure, I was glad be did not ask me if I thought he was an honest one, too."

[11] Was Mr. Jefferson himself free from a similar charge?

[12] It appeared subsequently, by means of a public prosecution, that Vidocq, with a party of his followers, were among the revolters, disguised as countrymen. A government that has an intimation of the existence of a plot to effect its own overthrow, has an unquestionable right to employ spies to counteract the scheme; but if it proceed so far as to use incentives to revolt, it exceeds its legitimate powers.

[13] "We are now separated by a rivulet of blood."

[14] The writer has had a hundred occasions to learn, since his return to America, how much truth is perverted in crossing the Atlantic, and how little is really known of even prominent European facts, on this side of the water. It has suited some one to say, that Lafayette resigned the office of commander-in-chief of the National Guards, and the fact is thus stated in most of our publications. The office was suppressed without consulting him, and, it was his impression, at the instigation of the Allied Powers. Something like an awkward explanation and a permission to resign was subsequently attempted.

[15] This word has a very different signification in Italian, from that which we have given it, in English. It means a garden in the country; the house not being necessarily any part of it, although there is usually a casino or pavilion.

[16] This ancient family still exists, though much shorn of its splendour, by the alienation of its estates, in consequence of the marriage of Charlotte de Montmorency, heiress of the eldest line, with a Prince of Condé, two centuries since. By this union, the estates and chateaux of Chantilly, Ecouen, etc., ancient possessions of the house, passed into a junior branch of the royal family. In this manner Enghien, a seigneurie of the Montmorencies, came to be the title of a prince of the blood, in the person of the unfortunate descendant of Charlotte of that name. At the present time, besides the Duc de Montmorency, the Duc de Laval-Montmorency, the Duc de Luxembourg, the Prince de Bauffremont, the Prince de Tancarville, and one or two more, are members of this family, and most of them are, or were before the late revolution, peers of France. The writer knew, at Paris, a Colonel de Montmorency, an Irishman by birth, who claimed to be the head of this celebrated family, as a descendant of a cadet who followed the Conqueror into England. There are two Irish peers, who have also pretensions of the same sort, though the French branches of the family look coolly on the claim. The title of "First Christian Baron," is not derived from antiquity, ancient as the house unquestionably is, but from the circumstance that the barony of Montmorency, from its local position, in sight of Paris, aided by the great power of the family, rendered the barons the first in importance to their sovereign. The family of Talleyrand-Perigord is so ancient, that, in the middle ages, when a King demanded of its head, "Who made you Count de Perigord?" he was asked, by way of reply, "Who made you King of France?"—God! I think I should have hesitated on the score of taste about establishing myself in a house of the Montmorencies, but Jonathan has usually no such scruples. Our own residence was but temporary, the hotel being public.

[17] In New York, the writer has a house with two drawing-rooms, a dining-room, eight bed-rooms, dressing-rooms, four good servants' rooms, with excellent cellars, cisterns, wells, baths, water-closets, etc. for the same money that he had an apartment in Paris, of one drawing-room, a cabinet, four small and inferior bed-rooms, dining-room, and ante-chamber; the kitchens, offices, cellars, etc. being altogether in favour of the New York residence. In Paris, water was bought in addition, and a tax of forty dollars a year was paid for inhabiting an apartment or a certain amount of rent; a tax that was quite independent of the taxes on the house, doors, and windows, which in both cases were paid by the landlord.

[18] This affair of the jewels of the Princess of Orange is one proof, among many others, of the influence of the vilest portion of mankind over their fellow-creatures. It suited the convenience and views of some miscreant who pandered for the press (and the world is full of them), to throw out a hint that the Prince of Orange had been guilty of purloining the jewels to pay his gambling debts, and the ignorant, the credulous, and the wonder-mongers, believed a charge of this nature, against a frank and generous soldier! It was a charge, that, in the nature of things, could only be disproved by detecting the robber, and one that a prince and a gentleman would scarcely stoop to deny. Accident favoured the truth. The jewels have, oddly enough, been discovered in New York, and the robber punished. Now, the wretch who first started this groundless calumny against the Prince of Orange, belongs exactly to that school whose members impart to America more than half her notions of the distinguished men of Europe.

[19] One hears of occasionally discovering good pictures in the streets, an event that actually once occurred to the writer. Shortly after the revolution of 1830, in passing through the Carrousel, he bought a female portrait, that was covered with dirt, but not materially injured. Finding it beautifully painted, curiosity led him to question the man who had sold it. This person affirmed that it was a portrait of the wife of David Teniers painted by himself. He was not believed, of course, and the thing was forgotten, until two picture-dealers, who accidentally saw it, at different times, affirmed that it was by Teniers, though neither knew the original of the likeness. On examining the catalogues, the writer found that such a picture had existed in Paris, before the revolution, and that it was now lost. But this picture was square, while that was oval and much larger. The dealer was questioned again, on the appearance of the picture, without giving him any clue to the object, and he explained the matter at once, by saying that it had once been oval, but the canvass getting an injury, he had reduced it to its present form. Since then, an engraving has been discovered that scarce leaves a doubt as to the originality of the portrait.

[20] A few months before this, a friend, not a Frenchman, called on the writer at Paris. He began to make inquiries on the subject of American Parliamentary Law, that were entirely out of the track of his usual conversations, and finally submitted a series of written questions to be answered. When the subject was disposed of, the writer asked his friend the object of these unusual investigations, and was told that they were for the use of a leading Deputy, who was thoroughly juste milieu. Surprised at the name, the writer expressed his wonder that the application had not been made to a certain agent of the American government, whose name had already figured before the public, as authority for statistical and political facts against him. The answer was, in substance, that those facts were intended for effect!

[21] This excludes Lichtenstein, Monaco, and Greece.

[22] Pronounced Ro-ban-sown. The writer once went to return the call of Mr. Robinson, at Paris. The porter denied that such a person lived in the hotel. "But here is his card; Mr. Robinson, N——, Rue ----." "Bah," looking at the card, "ceci est Monsieur Ro-ban-sown; c'est autre chose. Sans doute, Monsieur a entendu parler du célèbre Ro-ban-sown?"

[23] Extract from the unpublished manuscript of these letters: "You have lately been at Richmond Hill," said Mr. ——; "did you admire the view, as much as is the fashion?" "To be frank with you, I did not. The Park struck me as being an indifferent specimen of your parks; and the view, though containing an exquisite bit in the fore-ground, I think, as a whole, is both tame and confused." "You are not alone in your opinion, though I think otherwise. Canova walked with me on the terrace, without seeming to be conscious there was anything unusual to be seen. He scarcely regarded the celebrated view a second time. Did you know him?" "He was dead before I came to Europe." "Poor Canova!—I met him in Paris, in 1815, in a ludicrous dilemma. It rained, and I was crossing the Carrousel in a fiacre, when I saw Canova stealing along near the walls, covered in a cloak, and apparently uncertain how to proceed. I drove near him, and offered him a seat. He was agitated, and appeared like a man who had stolen goods about him. The amount of it was, that they were distributing the pictures to their former owners, and having an order to receive "la Madonna della Seggiola," he had laid hands on the prize, and, in his eagerness to make sure of it, was carrying it off, under his cloak. He was afraid of being discovered and mobbed, and so I drove home with him to his hotel." I think Mr. —— named this particular picture, though I have somewhere heard it was never brought to Paris, having been sent to Sicily for security: it might, therefore, have been another painting.

[24] Aachen, in German. In French it is pronounced Ais-la-Chapelle.

[25] Duke.

[26] Arch-Duke.

[27] As respects France, the result has shown the impolicy of the temporizing system. The French Government, finding such a disposition to compliance in the agents that were placed near it, by America, has quite reasonably inferred that the mass at home acted on the same temporizing and selfish policy, and has treated a solemn compact, that contains a tardy and very insufficient reparation, for some of the greatest outrages that were ever committed by one civilized nation on the rights of another, as a matter quite within its own control. This consequence was foreseen by the writer, and foretold, in a letter that was written in 1832, and published as far back as the year 1833. It was only necessary to be on the spot, and to witness the contempt and indifference engendered by this miserable policy, to predict the events which have since occurred. The accidental situation of Europe has favoured us, and we owe the tardy reparation that has been received more to Russia than to ourselves.

[28] The French writers, to make the most of their witness, exaggerated a little; for, at that time, Mr. Harris had never filled any higher diplomatic station than that of one left chargé des affaires of the legation at St. Petersburg, during the absence of Mr. Adams at Ghent. Shortly after the publication of this letter, however, he was appointed by the President and the Senate of the United States of America to represent it at the King of the French, as if expressly to give value to his testimony.

[29] In 1833, the writer was in discourse with a person who had filled one of the highest political situations in Europe, and he was asked who represented the United States at the court of ——. On being told, this person paused, and then resumed, "I am surprised that your government should employ that man. He has always endeavoured to ingratiate himself in my favour, by depreciating everything in his own country." But why name a solitary instance? Deputies, members of parliament, peers of France and of England, and public men of half the nations of Europe, have substantially expressed to the writer the same opinion, under one circumstance or another, in, perhaps, fifty different instances.

[30] Behind the houses; so termed, from the vines standing on lower land than the hill, behind the village.

[31] Until the revolution of 1830, the writer never met but one noisy woman in Paris. Since that period, however, one hears a little more of the tintamarre of the comptoir.

[32] The Americans are a singularly good-natured people, and probably submit to more impositions, that are presented as appeals to the spirit of accommodation, than any other people on earth. The writer has frequently ridden miles in torture to accommodate a trunk, and the steam-boats manage matters so to accommodate everybody, that everybody is put to inconvenience. All this is done, with the most indomitable kindness and good nature, on all sides, the people daily, nay hourly exhibiting, in all their public relations, the truth of the axiom, "that what is everybody's business, is nobody's business."

[33] It is not easy for the writer to speak of many personal incidents, lest the motive might be mistaken, in a country where there are so many always disposed to attach a base one if they can; but, it is so creditable to the advanced state of European civilization and intelligence, that, at any hazard, he will here say, that even his small pretensions to literary reputation frequently were of great service to him, and, in no instance, even in those countries whose prejudices be had openly opposed, had he any reason to believe it was of any personal disadvantage. This feeling prevailed at the English custom-houses, at the bureaux all over the Continent, and frequently even at the inns. In one instance, in Italy, an apartment that had been denied, was subsequently offered to him on his own terms, on this account; and, on the present occasion, the proprietor of the Chateau de Piel, who resided at Geneva, sent a handsome expression of his regret that his agent should have thought it necessary to deny the application of a gentleman of his pursuits. Even the cow-chaser paid a similar homage to letters. In short, let the truth be said, the only country in which the writer has found his pursuits a disadvantage, is his own.

[34] The manner in which the English language is becoming corrupted in America, as well as in England, is a matter of serious regret. Some accidental circumstance induced the Manhattanese to call a certain enclosure the Park. This name, probably, at first was appropriate enough, as there might have been an intention really to form a park, though the enclosure is now scarcely large enough to be termed a paddock. This name, however, has extended to the enclosures in other areas, and we have already, in vulgar parlance, St. John's Park, Washington Park, and least though not last, Duane-street Park, an enclosure of the shape of, and not much larger than, a cocked-hat. The site of an ancient fort on the water has been converted into a promenade, and has well enough been called the Battery. But other similar promenades are projected, and the name is extended to them! Thus in the Manhattanese dialect, any enclosure in a town, off the water, that is a park, and any similar enclosure, on the water, a battery! The worthy aldermen may call this English, but it will not be easy to persuade any but their constituents to believe them.

[35] Since his return, the author can say the same of Rhenish wines; though the tavern wines of Germany are usually much better than the tavern wines of France.

[36] This was the opinion of the writer, while in Europe. Since his return, he has seen much reason to confirm it. Last year, in a free conversation with a foreign diplomatic agent on the state of public feeling in regard to certain political measures, the diplomate affirmed that, according to his experience, the talent, property, and respectability of the country were all against the government. This is the worn-out cant of England; and yet, when reform has been brought to the touchstone, its greatest opponents have been found among the parvenus. On being requested to mention individuals, the diplomatic man in question named three New York merchants, all of whom are foreigners by birth, neither of whom can speak good English, neither of whom could influence a vote—neither of whom had, probably, ever read the constitution or could understand it if he had read it, and neither of whom was, in principle, any more than an every-day common-place reflection of the antiquated notions of the class to which he belonged in other nations, and in which he had been, educated, and under the influence of which he had arrived here.

[37] This unfortunate gentleman was no relation of the family of Lafayette, his proper appellation being that of M. Calémard. Fayette, so far as I can discover, is an old French word, or perhaps a provincial word, that signifies a sort of hedge, and has been frequently used as a territorial appellation, like de la Haie.

[38] The southern parts of Europe form an exception.

[39] Your common-place logicians argue from these sentiments that distinctions are natural, and ought to be maintained. These philosophers forget that human laws are intended to restrain the natural propensities, and that this argument would be just as applicable to the right of a strong man to knock down a weak one, and to take the bread from his mouth, as it is to the institution of exclusive political privileges.

[40] The peculiar coldness of our manners, which are too apt to pass suddenly from the repulsive to the familiar, has often been commented on, but can only be appreciated by those who have been accustomed to a different. Two or three days after the return of the writer from his journey in Europe (which had lasted nearly eight years), a public dinner was given, in New York, to a distinguished naval officer, and he was invited to attend it, as a guest. Here he met a crowd, one half of whom he knew personally. Without a single exception, those of his acquaintances who did speak to him (two-thirds did not), addressed him as if they had seen him the week before, and so cold and constrained did every man's manner seem, that he had great difficulty in persuading himself there was not something wrong. He could not believe, however, that he was especially invited to be neglected, and he tried to revive his old impressions; but the chill was so thorough, that he found it impossible to sit out the dinner.

[41] The American government, soon after the date of this letter, appointed Mr. Harris to be chargé d'affaires at Paris.

[42] Has it not? Have we not been treated by France, in the affair of the treaty, in a manner she would not have treated any second-rate power of Europe.

[43] Berne, Soleure, Zurich, Lucerne, Schweitz, Unterwalden, Uri, Glarus, Tessino, Valais, Vaud, Geneva, Basle, Schaffhausen, Argovie, Thourgovie, Zug, Fribourg, St. Gall, Appenzell, and the Grisons. They are named here without reference to their rank or antiquity.

[44] Basle is now divided into what are called "Basle town" and "Basle country;" or the city population and the rural. Before the late changes, the former ruled the latter.

[45] The population of New York, to-day, is about 2,200,000, or not greatly inferior to that of Scotland; and superior to that of Hanover, or Wurtemberg, or Denmark, or Saxony, all of which are kingdoms. The increase of population in the United States, at present, the immigration included, is not far from 500,000 souls annually, which is equal to the addition of an average state each year! The western speculations find their solution in this fact.

[46] Recent facts have confirmed this opinion.

[47] This was written before the recent events in Texas, which give a new aspect to the question.

James Fenimore Cooper

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