Venice Map
Sette Comuni
Dr Barrett


During the years 1836-1860, Mereweather recorded in a book of Memoranda quotations in poetry and prose from various authors. He also wrote down his own thoughts, poems and narratives.

In the summer months of 1844, Mereweather visited Normandy and Paris. The following notes, in diary form, cover pages 166-197. Paragraph breaks have been inserted. Various illustrations have been added.

A Diary kept during a visit to France in 1844

April 14th 1844. On board the James Watt steamer plying twixt London and Havre. Very sick "the pains of death got hold of me".

15th. Arrived in Havre about noon. As we sailed up the quays, the perspective of the various streets debouching towards the water very curious. Aiken’s hotel, clean but expensive.

Le Havre de Grâce
Steel engraving by W. Miller after a picture by C. Stanfield, published in Stanfield's Coast Scenery, 1836

16th. Went to Caen viâ Honfleur. A fine country in the first verdure of spring.

Honfleur, from Meyer's Universum, c. 1839

17th. Went to Bayeux and back by the Diligence. A quiet monastic looking town with a cathedral in advanced Norman style. 2 painted windows, one very good, the termination of choir circular, the Lady chapel plain, the nave ornamented with rich pannelling. Exterior imposing, a centre tower surmounted by a dome of later architecture but of very good effect, moulding very good, canopies of niches very elaborate, two fine porches; there is however in the interior a gaudy marble screen of modern date separating the nave from chancel which destroys much of the imposing effect of the rest. I also observed a gay sarcophagus-shaped tomb of various marbles as I supposed, but on nearer examination, it turned out to be of wood.

Nearly all the early churches which I have hitherto seen are impaired if not spoilt as to effect by modern innovations: gaudy altar pieces, flimsy-looking glories highly guilt, poor paintings though by no means without exception, tawdrily framed looking glasses hung up on each side of the altars, dirty virgins with still dirtier babies in their arms, dressed out in satin robes begrimed with dust and time, offend the eye, requiring something more in keeping with the solemnity of a building erected by masterminds of the 12th and 13th centuries.

18th. Stayed in Caen and visited not a few churches. St Pierre is the principal church. It is without transepts, superb flying buttresses, the interior is very good, the nave and aisles are free from pannelling but the Lady chapel and the two adjoining chapels on each side have the richest ceilings that can be imagined; they are loaded with fretwork and have long pendent bosses like stalactites of 3 feet in length and elaborately ornamented. This church may be considered of equal interest with the Cathedral of Bayeux and is alone worthy of a visit to Normandy.

St Sauveur is an old church. It is equally divided by some arches running from W to E so that it seems to have two naves. One of these arches is extraordinary for its dimensions and boldness.

L’Abbaye St Etienne is a fine building of the pure early Norman style built by William the Conqueror about 1080. Its architecture is well worthy of study, the style being very severe and comparatively unornamented. What is introduced, however, by way of ornament produces a great effect. The view from the nave into the lantern of the centre tower is worthy of very great admiration.

The church of St Jean contains exquisite coping to the triforium gallery. The Lady chapel, in place of the Virgin and Child, contains a group of stone statues representing the Ascension. As a strong light is thrown on this group from a concealed window above, the figures have a good effect.

The church of Vaucelles has the exterior of its N. transept shaped like a gable, very richly ornamented.

The church of St Nicholas is very early in the Romanesque style. The E. end is curious. It is now turned into a shut house. In the Rue des Capuchins, there is an extraordinary frontage to two attics in an old house of humble appearance. This frontage is rich in ornament and contains figures in relief as at Chester.

19th. Descended the Orne (the Caen river) in a steamer. Passed several boats laden with gravel. Aimed at the mouth, we steered NE and after a rough passage of two hours entered the port of Havre. Wrote to Ann.

20th. Ascended the Seine to Rouen in the steamer La Normandie. There is so much fine scenery in this route as to make it desirable to go thus to Paris. La Normandie was honoured by being chosen to be the bearer of Napoleon’s remains from Havre to Paris.

The steamer "La Normandie"
Drawing by Antoine-Léon Morel-Fatio in Voyage de Paris à la mer par Rouen et le Havre (by Jules Janin), Paris n.d. (1847)

21st. Saw High Mass performed at the Cathedral and St Ouen. Went over the Gallery of pictures which for the most part were very poor and visited the Museum of Antiquities which contains some great curiosities. Among others is a document of William the Conqueror, to which is attached his cross not his name, a convincing proof that he could not write. Rouen is a most interesting city for the architect or antiquary. Perhaps no city can be pointed out containing three such churches as the Cathedral, St Ouen and St Maclou. Memorials of the remote past meet the eye of the traveller wherever he walks. Here Joan of Arc was burnt, here were born Peter Corneille and Fontenelle.

Rouen, from Meyer's Universum, c. 1839

[21st. continued] Rouen is especially a commercial town; its cotton manufactures give it the deserved name of the Manchester of France. This traffic joined to the narrowness of the streets fills the town with an indescribable bustle. Rouen however has not an antiquated appearance from the river, for on that side the old houses are masked by new and costly mansions lining the quays.

I visited many other churches here each of which has its peculiar interest attached to it though altogether inferior to the three just mentioned. St Godard and St Patrice should be visited on account of the painted windows. The church of St Gervais is by no means to be omitted. It is one of the oldest memorials of Christianity: the chancel was erected about the 8th century over a crypt which had been excavated some 5 or 6 centuries earlier for the sake of private worship during the persecutions of the faithful. The church of the Madeleine is a classical building executed with boldness, simplicity and taste. I saw also the old Hôtel du Bourg-theroulde in the court of which are some curious bas reliefs on the subject of Henry 8th and Francis 1st.

I have said nothing in detail of the Cathedral, St Ouen and St Maclou because books on books have been published giving the minutest information concerning them. My feelings on entering them were those of intense admiration. The most incredible patience is everywhere visible in the execution of elaborate details. The eye becomes dazzled and even fatigued with the ornamental work and thus unconsciously reproves the extreme floridity of style. Some of the porches of these churches exemplify this. All the churches which I have yet seen have an apsidal termination which adds much to the effect. They have also a clean wide passage between the back of the High Altar and the Lady Chapel. Everything is however disfigured by the gaudy emblems of Romanist worship and also by additions made at comparatively modern period, such as screens and pulpits. One is reminded of Harlequin’s hat on the head of Augustus.

The English architect should visit the churches of Normandy to enlarge his mind and give himself grand ideas of his noble art in a theoretical point of view, but I doubt if he will gain much practical benefit from it, for if we except perhaps the mouldings and tracery, what details of a Norman church could be introduced into a country where Commerce begets a calculating temperament which destroys sudden and great emotions of the mind and where Puritanism continually points out to us how the glory of Heaven may be enjoyed at the slightest possible self-denial, at the slightest possible expense.

22nd. Left Rouen and went to Paris by railroad. A most picturesque line of road with the Seine continually winding on the right or left. Arrived in Paris after dark. Much embarrassed by my luggage. Dined in the Palais Royal with a lady whom I met in the train.

Rolleboise near Bonnières, halfway between Rouen and Paris
Drawing by Antoine-Léon Morel-Fatio in Voyage de Paris à la mer par Rouen et le Havre (by Jules Janin), Paris n.d. (1847)

The 2,646-metre-long railway tunnel, opened for traffic in 1843, was the longest in the world. The train in the picture is heading towards Paris.

[22nd. continued] Arrived in Paris after dark. Much embarrassed by my luggage. Dined in the Palais Royal with a lady whom I met in the train.

L'Embarcadère de la Place de l'Europe (or des Batignolles)
Lithograph from the 1840s

This terminus, located some 200 metres north-west of the present Gare Saint-Lazare, was inaugurated in 1837; it served lines from Paris to Saint Germain, Versailles, and Rouen.

23rd. Went into lodgings at No 7 Rue de Tournon close to the Luxembourg.

24th. Wrote home. Dined au Palais Royal for 1 Franc 80 centimes.

25th. Felt ill. Dined near my lodgings for 2 frs 70 cents.

26th. Went to the Artesian well at Grenelle, a great undertaking which required 7 years for completion, also to the Abattoir, to the Champ de Mars. Dined at the Hôtel de Lille, 4frs 50 cents.

27th. Went round the Cité and the isle Louviers, to the frightful Morgue.

La Morgue, from Meyer's Universum, c. 1844

[27th. continued] Dined at a traiteur’s for 21 sous. Called on Lovett who was not to be seen. Went au soir to the Café des Aveugles, a strange place.

28th. Went to the church St Roch and the Madeleine, a glorious place. Dined at the Palais Royal, 2 frs 20 cts.

29th. Went to the Jardin des Plantes, Hôtel de Ville, Place Bastille. Dined at Rue Louvois, 1 fr. 30 cts.

30th. Called on the Rev. J. Lovett, 19 Rue Marboeuf, who gives me no hopes of my doing anything here as a tutor; also on M. F. Monod, 90 Faubourg St Martin, Protestant Pasteur Président; also on M. Forster, engraver, 4 Rue St Dominique D’Enfer. I had letters of introduction to all these. Rue Louvois 1 fr. 30 cts.

May 1st. Called on the Thatchers. Went with Mr Giles, Bisdy and Halket to Drakes, the horse dealers, Boulevard de Madeleine, also to the Jockey Club. Saw some fine fireworks au soir in the Tuileries. Rue Louvois 1 fr 30 cts.

2nd. Arc d’Etoile, Bois de Boulogne, Palais Royal 2 frs 10 cts.

3rd. Louvre, Opéra Comique. P. R. 1fr. 70 cts.

4th. Dined at Palais Royal, 2 frs 10 cts.

5th. Went with Mr and Mrs Giles and an American gentleman named Quinby to Versailles. The great and small waters played, a very great sight. Dined at L’Hôtel D’Europe, 3frs 50 cts.

6th. Went with Mr Giles and another to the church St Etienne du Mont, the Panthéon and St Sulpice. There is a fine view from the summit of the Panthéon, Palais Royal 2 frs 10 cts.

7th. Went with the Giles to the Champs Elysées to look for lodging. Dined in the Rue Fauvart[?] in the English style, boiled beef, haunch of mutton, half and half; strange company present. 2 frs 50 cts.

8th. Called on Madame Berthon née Violett, No 52 Rue de Notre Dame de Lorette, Quartier St Georges. Found that her Father had died on Tuesday last and she was at Bordeaux. Saw the two little girls, such pretty ones. Went over Montmartre to breathe a little fresh air. Dined at the Rosbif 1.50. [This was perhaps Au Rosbif, an English restaurant shown in later guidebooks as situated at 3 Rue de la Bourse, 2nd arr.]

Montmartre, view westward, c. 1850

9th. Went over the Marine Gallery, a most pleasing collection of models of ships. After that went with Mr Giles, Harvoerd and another to the Hôtel de Cluny where there is a most valuable collection of antique furniture of every description, besides a fine chapel every way worthy of a visit. Went also to Palais des Thermes. Palais Royal 2 frs.

Née Amerd[?] en Portland Square, alors Matthews, Grove, Weston near Bath, ensuite Giles, Penton Cottage, Andover.

11th. Went with Mr Giles to put his dog Jerry in an infirmary in the Champs Elysées, then went with him and Handfort to St Denis where there is a glorious Cathedral with such painted glass, also fine vaults containing the cenotaphs of the monarchs of France. Came back in a cart. Mr Giles and his lady dined with me at the Trois Frères Provençaux in the Palais Royal. We had Potage Printanier, then Rognons de mouton au vin de Champagne, then Bifteck à la Sauce Tomate and pommes de terre cuites, then poulet au cresson and a salade and lastly une omelette soufflée. For this I paid as by agreement 15 francs. I had also some strawberries 3 frs, 1 bottle of iced Champagne 7 frs, 1 Bottle Burgundy 6 frs, waiter 1½ fr., making altogether 32½ frs.

The "Trois Frères Provençaux" restaurant in Palais Royal
Steel engraving by J.B.Allen after a picture by Eugène Lami, c. 1840

[11th. continued] Had a letter from M.A.B. No end of misery.

12th. Went to Mass alone at St Roch’s; puis over the apartments at the Palais Royal, those apartments, where such great events have been enacted, and which are hung round with most interesting historical paintings; then to the Picture Gallery of the Luxembourg; also the Chamber of Peers; also the chambre à coucher of de Medicis. Went to the Palais Royal Theatre, good acting but broad equivoques. Rosbif 1 fr. 50 cts.

13th. Spent all the morning with Mrs Giles, Giles having gone to St Cloud. Wrote in her room a letter to M.A.B and posted it. Walked in the Tuileries, one sou. Rosbif 1fr. 60 cts.

14th. Went with Mr Giles to look for lodgings. Agreed to go to No 2 Rue de l’Oratoire, Champs Elysées, belonging to a Madame Trallet de St Arnaud. Dined with him at the Rosbif, 1 fr. 30 cts.

15th. Accompanied Mr Giles to his new apartments and took tea with him. Walked home with Mr Harvoerd.

16th. Paid my bill at 7 Rue de Tournon, 38 frs 40 cts. Strolled in the Luxembourg Gardens and talked to a lady living in the Rue Neuve de l’Antin. Changed my quarters to 2 Rue de l’Oratoire, Champs Elysées. Dined at the Rosbif, 1 fr. 30 cts, and then went to the Théâtre Français to see the Bourgeois Gentilhomme. It was nicely played and fully came up to my expectations. The Turkish ceremony was however absurd and seemed to be considered so by the audience.

17th. In all the horrors of having my room furnished. Went to the Rue de Tournon and dined at the Rosbif, 1fr. 30 cts.

18th. Went to the chapel at Marboeuf. A long sermon quantity-quality. Went to the Val de Grace chapel. Fine ceiling.

19th. A very wet day. Went to the Rue de Tournon. Heard a sermon in a church in the evening. The preacher continued for 40 minutes extemporaneously with great fluency and some grace.

Tuesday 21st. The payment of my month’s rent at the Champs Elysées being from today.

Sunday 25th [should be 26th]. Went with Mrs Giles to mass at St Roch. It being the feast of the Pentecost the mass was very fine. Called at the Rue de Tournon for letters. Went to the Cathedral Notre Dame, three things worth noticing: curious reliefs in the aisles of the chancel, a nice font in a chapel on the North side of the chancel and the West circular window very fine.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame
Steel engraving by J. H. LeKeux after a picture by T. Allom from France Illustrated, 1840

[26th. continued] Went to St Roch again, then heard a mass at the Madeleine. In the evening went to Notre Dame de Lorette with Mrs Giles, the singing was very good and the sermon (in grace) was very superior. Had a letter from home.

June 1st. Went to St Cloud a most enchanting place on the borders of the Seine. Strolled about the Park but did not go into the Palace. Dined at the Tête Noire.

2nd. Attended service at the Madeleine.

4th. Spent the greatest part of the day at the Bibliothèque du Roi which is well worthy of attention. Saw an extraordinary Zodiac brought from Denderah supposed to have composed a ceiling, also a sun dial from Delos.

Le Zodiaque de Dendérah
Aquatint, published in Essai de Cosmographie, c. 1820

The zodiac is a bas-relief on a
sandstone slab from the ceiling of the Hathor temple at Denderah in Upper Egypt. The slab measures a little over 2.5 by 2.5 metres. It was moved to Paris in 1821 to be installed in the Royal Library in Rue Richelieu. It is now in the Louvre.

[4th. continued] Saw magnificent cameos and intaglios, gemmed cups, suits of armour belonging to Louis 13 and other kings. Valuable prints by Albert Durer [Albrecht Dürer]. Autograph letters of Louis 14, Duchesse de Vallière, Madame de Maintenon. The following is a letter by Dr Franklin: "M. Franklin n’oublie jamais aucune Partie où Me Helvétius doit être. Il croit même que s’il étoit engagé d’aller à Paradis ce matin, il ferait supplication d’être permis de rester sur terre jusqu’à une heure & demie pour recevoir l’Embassade qu’elle a bien voulu lui promettre en la rencontrant chez M. Turgot."

Went to the Odéon in the evening. Sat in the Stalles d’Orchestre. Saw the Antigone of Sophocles performed. Was amazed with joy at the way the tragedy was got up. The curtain descended, more antique, the chorus was composed of 28 (in two bodies of 14 each) and a choroegus. The translation was by [Paul] Meurice & [Auguste] Vacquerie, the music by Mendessholm [Mendelssohn]. The cast was as follows: Creon: Bocage; Hemon: Milon; Tiresias: Bouvière; Chorège: Darcourt; Messager or ’Άγγελος : Achilles; Soldat: Quelus; Antigone: Bourbier; Ismene: Volet; Eurydice: Dupont. Antigone’s acting was perfect, so was Creon’s. Volet was a beautiful creature. The wail of the pipe was introduced in the choruses with fine effect. Altogether it was a grand exhibition.

7th. Went to the Bicêtre a species of Union workhouse on a gigantic scale. It contains about 4000 persons all men, chiefly old men. There are a large number of lunatics (aliénés), also idiots. The inmates have three meals a day; breakfast consisting of soup & bread, lunch stewed fruits, and dinner, at four, soup bread & wine. They are allowed to work at trades the produce of which is sold in the city, and the money is brought back to the individual who does not pay any portion of it to the establishment. They have a change of shirts every 8 days, stockings every 15. The water is raised from a gigantic well of 200 feet in depth in large vessels by means of a wheel worked by about 30 of the inmates in relays of 1 hour each, they receiving pay for this work: thus a man working in 3 relays a day that is for 3 hours, receives about 6 sous. Many who work at this are lunatics, idiots, and blind.

The infirmary appropriated solely to the inmates is divided in two wards, one surgical, the other medical. The countenances of some of the sick resembled strongly those terrible but true studies of Zurbarán. On Sunday the inmates are allowed to go out a little way to see their friends. Two priests are attached to the establishment and several physicians & surgeons. The linen is mended at the Salpêtrière, a neighbouring sister institution appropriated to females. E Method in every branch of this wonderful charity seems carried to perfection.

Hospice de Bicêtre
Drawing by T. Nash, engraved by Miss Byrne, c. 1830

"A visit to this hospital cannot but be highly gratifying to every lover of humanity. … The public are admitted on Thursdays and Sundays, from 12 till 4; but strangers are readily admitted on applying with passport at the porter's lodge, … ." (Galignani's New Paris Guide, Paris, 1846, p. 415)

[7th. continued] Returning to Paris I wandered through some old streets in the vicinity of the Rue St Martin, La Rue des trois Maures, La Rue [Mathurin-]Régnier &c. Posted a letter to M.B.

8th. Called on Mad. Berthon who was out, also on the Thatchers with whom I sat for two hours.

9th. Went to the shoemaker’s about my boots, then to St Roch and saw a great procession, first the banner of the Virgin, then young girls who have lately been confirmed, then a very full military band and then the host under a crimson canopy with four ostrich plumes. The procession moved round the church 3 times and the service ended by the band playing an air adapted from I Puritani. Went to a Bal at the Chaumières, Boulevard Parnasse. Many handsome young men were there, chiefly students, and many nice women.

11th. Went with Mr Giles to Bercy in an omnibus, then walked along the banks of the Seine through Carrières & Charenton which are full of pretty villas with beautiful gardens looking out on the river. Here is the confluence of the Marne and the Seine. Crossed the bridge to l’Alfort where there is a Veterinary school.

Confluence of the Seine and the Marne
Engraving by J. C. Armytage after a picture by J. M. W. Turner, published in The Rivers of France, London, 1837

L’École nationale vétérinaire d’Alfort
was founded by Claude Bourgelat in 1766. It is the oldest veterinary school still situated on its original site.

Walked to Vincennes, a most interesting mass of buildings both as regards architecture and historical associations. Returned to Paris in an omnibus. This tour will well repay those who may undertake it.

12th. Rode to the Rue de Tournon and got a letter from M.B. with rather better news. Received a kind note from Mad. Berthon. Walked from Rue de Tournon to the Salpêtrière, an enormous hospital containing 6400 beds and killing 4½ oxen daily. Old women are the inmates as well as others who are ill, blind or lunatics. They boil their linen in huge vats for 14 hours before they wash it. Thence rode to the Hôtel Dieu, the largest hospital of Paris containing 800 sick. Everyone is admitted here without reference to department or country. The Bicêtre and Salpêtrière are limited to natives of the department of the Seine.

Dr Pinel at the Salpêtrière
Drawing by Tony Robert-Fleury, photogravure from c. 1870

[12th. continued] Looked into the Morgue and saw a horrible sight. Three bodies were extended on the metal beds in all the grim solemnity of death. One was a woman with her face black by decomposition, her breasts & shoulders livid and the lover extremities beginning to change. Another was a man whose wan features and protruding ribs seemed to hint that death agreeably interrupted his poverty. The placidity of his countenance made me think that his spirit at parting was well pleased at leaving the uncomfortable tenement by which it had so long been embarrassed. The third was the body of a powerful man who from his scarred body and battered face must have been brutally assassinated. The other two had been drowned.

13th. Took tea with Mad. Berthon née Violett. She looks pale and harassed and, being in mourning on account of her Father’s death, had a so much more haggard appearance.

14th. Walked along the line of Barrières extending from the Barrière de Neuilly to the Barrière de Combat and visited the grand sewer of Montfaucon whence the matière fécale of the metropolis is deposited and eventually mixed with soil by hundreds of labourers to be sold as manure. The effluvia were so great that I was ill during the rest of the day.

16th. Went to Service at the Ambassador’s chapel. One franc was demanded on entrance. The Service was nicely performed. Bishop Luscombe preached.

17th. Paid Mr Giles 40 frs, 20 for my room & 20 for 4 weeks’ board.

20th. Went to the Museums of the School of Medicine and of Dupuytren. Saw in the first an examination in Chemistry going on. The celebrated Orfila was one of the Examiners. He has one of the finest heads I ever saw. The Dupuytren Museum is remarkable for a very large number of models of syphilitic cases the disgusting and sickening appearance of which can only be surpassed by their exquisite formations.

26th. Attended some lectures at the Sorbonne. The battle of Pharsalia was well described by Mr Rosseeuw St Hilaire. Mr Jules Simon discoursed learnedly on the existence & attributes of a Deity while he played with his gold neck chain and played with his black ringlets.

A Dénouement.

27th. Took tea with Mad. Berthon.

28th. Sorbonne again. Geruzez on French eloquence. Called on Miss James, 9 Rue des Saussayes.

29th. Went over a sort of boarding school establishment at 57 Rue Clichy. I had some idea of going there for a month, but did not like the place.

July 1st. Left Mr Giles for No 11 Avenue Fortunée [rue Balzac].

2nd. Sorbonne.

3rd. Sorbonne A snarling letter from home.

5th. Answered Ann’s letter. Went to Courbevoie in a Diligence, thence walked to Suresnes and returned by way of Puteaux. Dined at 7 and afterwards went to the Salle Vincennes.

8th. Found that the Vacation had commenced at the Sorbonne. Ordered some cloth boots at No 53 Rue St André des Arts for 13 frs. Bought Voltaire’s and Catherine’s letters, Quintus Curtius and the Sibylline Oracles, all for 15 sous in the Rue de Cluny. Asked the price of a skull - 12 frs - didn’t buy it. Took Mrs Giles to the Mabile ball. Giles went with Sir John Malcolm to Franconi’s. Had a letter from E.B.: all right.

9th. Wrote to Anne. Dined with Mrs Giles. Took tea with the Malcolms.

10th. Took Mrs Giles to the Académie de Musique. Robert le Diable was the piece. Scenery excessively good, but the orchestra had not so powerful an effect as I anticipated from the number of musicians.

Académie royale de musique
Drawing by J. Nash, engraved by Fenner Sears & Co.
under the superintendence of Charles Heath, published in Paris and its Environs Displayed in a Series of Picturesque Views, London 1829 

11th. Went over the chapel St Ferdinand, a beautiful little gem erected to the memory of the Duc D’Orléans. The reclining statue of the Duke is very good. His countenance resembles much the portraits of our Saviour. There is a most interesting picture of his death in a little room behind the altar. Ascended the Arc de Triomphe and saw the sun set. The Malcolms went also. Took the Miss Malcolms to a ball (the little Tivoli) and had great fun.

12th Went with Mrs Giles and Miss Malcolm to the statue and picture gallery of the Louvre. Such pictures. Such a head of Jesus by Guido.

The Grand Gallery of the Louvre
Drawing by Thomas Allom, engraved by J. B. Allen, c. 1840

16th. Received a letter from Mr H. Fyson with an order for £10 on a M. Tourasse, 20 Rue St Fiacre, Boulevard Poissonière. Moved to No 2 Rue de l’Oratoire.

17th. Went in the evening to the Académie de Musique to see Der Freischutz and Lady Henriette. The singing in the former was third rate; the dancing in the latter excellent. Handed the Miss Griveux into a carriage.

18th. Went to the Mabilles. Had a letter from A. Fyson.

19th. Received 252 frs from a Mr Tourasse, 20 Rue St Fiacre, Boulevard Poissonière.

20th. Took a long walk by St Denis, Montmorency, Enghien and back to St Denis by the borders of the Seine. Had an old soldier as companion. All the country very pretty.

22nd. Went to St Germain en Laye with Mr and Mrs Giles by railroad. The only thing worthy of notice is a terrace of very great length commanding a very fine view of the valley of the Seine. James II kept a court here for 12 years. Dined in the Palais Royal and took tea with the Malcolms. Left them at 11 and walked all round town seeing the Bude light in the Place du Carrousel.

25th. Went with Mr and Mrs Giles to Fontainebleau, to Corbeil by railroad and thence by Diligence, four hours altogether. Put up at a clean inn called L’aigle noir. Went over the chateau which is never inhabited. Walked over the grounds which are nicely kept. Walked alone in the forest after moonrise.

Fontainebleau vers le Jardin
Drawing by A. Pugin Junr, engraved by B. Winkles, published in Paris and its Environs Displayed in a Series of Picturesque Views, London 1829 

26th. Went in a sort of Whitechapel cart for a four hours’ ride through the forest which abounds in extraordinary scenery. Immense stones are piled up one above another so as to look like artificial rock work done by giants. Some of the trees are 4 and 500 years old. The oaks there are particularly well grown. Dined and returned at nightfall.

27th. Went over the Chamber of Deputies. The reception hall with the statues of Bailly and Mirabeau is perfectly fine. These two statues put one in mind of the wolf and the lamb.

28th. Went with Sir John Malcolm and Plummer to bathe. Went with Mr and Mrs Giles and the Malcolms to St Cloud to see the grandes Eaux play. They please me much more than those of Versailles. Walked home by moonlight.

St Cloud, Vue des Cascades, from France en Miniature, c. 1850

29th. The great day of the fête [Les Trois Glorieuses of 1830], the 27th having only masses for the dead and the 28th distribution to the poor. The banks of the Seine were crowded with spectators from the Pont des Invalides to the Pont Neuf to see jousts on the water, boat racing, climbing up maypoles. The Champs Elysées were filled with shows in front of which were stages on which danced most grotesque masques.

At ¼ to 8 there was a grand concert in front of the Tuileries. The king and royal family sat at a window. The Marseillaise was played twice. After that came some very magnificent fireworks and then the illuminations in the Champs Elysées extending from the Place de la Concorde to the triumphal Arch. The coup d’oeil was wonderful not to be forgotten easily.

Tourney on the Seine during the July Fêtes
Engraving by J. T. Willimore after a picture by Eugène Lami, c. 1840

August 4th. Went to a concert with Mrs Giles at the Exposition. There were 400 musicians preceded over by Strauss. The effect was tremendous. The overture of the Gazza Ladra was played as also of Semiramis. La chasse du jeune Henri was very nicely played.

7th. Rose early and went by railroad to Corbeil, a very dull town. Breakfasted and strolled on the heights overlooking the valley of the river. Returned by steamer to the Place de Grève [de l’Hôtel de Ville]. The river from Corbeil to Paris is sufficiently uninteresting and by no means repays the traveller. Went after my return to Franconi’s where I saw a horse leap over the backs of two others.

9th. Rode on horseback in the Bois de Boulogne with the Malcolms and Mr and Mrs Giles. Danced at the Hamiltons au soir.

12th. Went with Mr Giles, Sir J. Malcolm and Plummer first to the Marché du Vieux Linge, Rue du Temple, then to Romainville, then by railroad to Meudon, an exquisitely pretty place with a palace; thence walked to Sèvres and St Cloud and returned by Diligence.


15th. Took Mrs Giles to the Théâtre Français. The pieces were the Phèdre of Racine and the Fourberies de Scapin. Rachel took the part of Phèdre, Got of Scapin. Rachel was thin and weak having lately given birth to a child. She used great action, more so perhaps than would be pleasing to English. I hardly considered her preferable to Bourbier in Antigone. She was extremely well supported. The catastrophe related by the angelos "A peine nous sortions &c." was not so good as I expected. Got got through his Scapin admirably.
François Jules Edmond Got

Photograph by Emile Bondonneau,
Photographie Valois, Paris

18th. Dined at the Palais Royal with Mr and Mrs Giles and then got on the Banquette of the Diligence to Havre where I arrived next morning at 6.

19th. Set sail at 3 and got very sick in no time. A man died on board from sea-sickness.

20th. Arrived in Southampton at 8, breakfasted at the Vine. Had my luggage passed and travelled to Bristol by the Celerity coach. I could hardly imagine a succession of more beautiful scenery than that between Southampton and Bristol.