After Waterloo: Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819
Major W. E Frye

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Reminiscences of European Travel 1815-1819





Member of the Institute of France





The knowledge of Major Frye's manuscript and the privilege of publishing it
for the first time I owe to the kindness of two French ladies, the Misses
G----. Their father, a well known artist and critic, used to spend the
summer months at Saint Germain-en-Laye together with his wife, who was an
English woman by birth. They had been for a long time intimately acquainted
with Major Frye, who lived and ended his life in that quiet town. The
Major's hostess, Mme. de W----, after his death in 1858, brought the
manuscript to Mrs. G---- and gave it to her in memory of her friend. It was
duly preserved in the G---- family, but remained unnoticed. The Misses
G---- rediscovered it in 1907, when it had been lying in a cupboard for
upwards of half a century. On their showing it to me I thought it was
interesting for many reasons, and worthy of introduction to the public. I
hope the reader will share my opinion, which is also that of several
English scholars and men of letters, to whom I communicated extracts from
the manuscript.

The reminiscences are in the form of letters addressed to a correspondent
who, however, is never named and of whose health, family and private
circumstances not the slightest mention is to be found. So I am inclined to
believe that he never existed, and that Major Frye chose to imitate
President de Brosses and others who thus recorded their travelling
experiences in epistolary form.

The manuscript--which will eventually be deposited in a public library--is
entirely in Major Frye's large and legible hand; at some later time it was
evidently revised by himself, but many names which I have endeavoured to
complete were left in blank or only indicated by initials. There are three
folio volumes, bound in paper boards. In this edition it has been thought
advisable to leave out a certain number of pages devoted to theatricals, of
which Major Frye was a great votary, and also some lengthy descriptions of
landscapes, museums and churches, the interest of which to modern readers
does not correspond to the space occupied by them. For the information
contained in the footnotes I am indebted to many correspondents, English,
French, Swiss, Belgian and Italian, to whom I here express my hearty
thanks. I am under special obligation to Sir Charles Dilke, Mr Oscar
Browning, Professor Novati, Professor Corrado Ricci, Commandant
Esperandieu, Professor Cumont, Professor Stilling and Mr Hoechberg.

Major Frye's tombstone is in the cemetery of Saint Germain, and reads thus:
"To the memory of Major William Edward Frye, who departed this life the 9th
day of October, 1858." On the same stone has been added in French:
"Perceval Edmond Litchfield, decede le 15 Avril, 1888." About P.E.
Litchfield I know nothing; he must have been the Major's intimate friend
during the last period of his life.

* * * * *

W.E. Frye was born Oct. 29, 1784, and received his education at Eton
(1797-9) in the time of the French Revolution. "The system was," he says,
"to drill into the heads of the boys strong aristocratic principles and
hatred of democracy and of the French in particular." The effect produced
on the youth was the reverse of that intended. From 1799 to 1822 he
belonged to the British army: here is an abstract of his services:

Ensign, 2nd Foot, 5th August, 1799.
Lieutenant, 2nd Foot, 7th March, 1800.
Half-pay, 4th Foot, 14th April, 1808.
Lieutenant, 24th Foot, 8th December, 1804.
Captain, 56th Foot, 18th April, 1805.
3rd Ceylon Regt., 15th Feb., 1810.
Half-pay, 3rd Foot, 7th March, 1816.
4th Foot, 24th Feb., 1820.
Brevet-Major, 12th August, 1819.
Sold out, 15th August, 1822.

In 1799, Frye took a part in the British Expedition to Holland. In 1801 he
was in Egypt with Lord Abercrombie's army and received the medal for war
service. His career in India lasted six years and gave him occasion to
visit the three presidencies and Ceylon. In 1814 he returned on furlough to
Europe and was in Brussels during the Waterloo campaign. The subsequent
years--1815 to 1819--he employed visiting Western Europe, as appears from
his reminiscences. I have read letters of his which prove that he lived in
Paris from 1830 to 1832. Later, about 1848, he took an apartment in Saint
Germain, and died there in 1858.

Major Frye was a very distinguished linguist; besides knowing Greek and
Latin, he understood almost all European languages, and was capable of
writing correctly in French, Italian and German. The Misses G---- have
shown me a rare book published by him at Paris in 1844 under the following

"Trois chants de l'Edda. Vaftrudnismal, Thrymsquidal, Skirnisfor, traduits
en vers francais, accompagnes de notes explicatives des mythes et
allegories, et suivis d'autres poemes par W.E. Frye, ancien major
d'infanterie au service d'Angleterre, membre de l'Academie des Arcadiens de
Rome. Se vend a Paris, pour l'auteur, chez Heideloff & Cie, Libraires, 18
Rue des Filles St. Thomas. 1844" (In 8vo, xii, 115 pp.)

At the end of that volume are translations by Major Frye of several
Northern poems--in German, Italian and English verse--from the Danish and
the Swedish; then come two sonnets in French verse, the one in honour of
Lafayette, the other about the Duke of Orleans, whose premature death he
compares with that of the Northern hero of the Edda, Balder. A part of
Frye's translation of the Edda, before appearing in book form, had been
published in _l'Echo de la Litterature et des Beaux Arts_, a periodical
edited by the Major's friend, M. de Belenet.

Frye loved poetry, though his ideas on the subject were rather those of the
eighteenth century than our own. It is interesting to find an English
officer reading Voltaire, Gessner, Ariosto, and quoting them from memory
(which explains that some of his quotations had to be corrected). The
sentimental vein of Rousseau's generation still flows and vibrates in him,
as when he says that he has never been able to read the letters of Wolmar
to St Preux in Rousseau's _Nouvelle Heloise_ without shedding tears. German
minor poetry, now quite forgotten, attracted him almost as much as the
great pages of Schiller, Buerger, and Goethe. The Misses G. possess a
manuscript translation in three volumes, in the Major's own hand, of
Wieland's _Agathodemon_ done into English. This he evidently intended to
publish, as he had written the title-page which is worded as follows:

"Agathodemon, a philosophical romance translated from the German of Wieland
by W.E. Frye, member of the Academy degli Arcadi in Rome, and of the Royal
Society of Northern Antiquarians of Copenhagen, ex-major of infantry in His
British Majesty's service."

Frye describes with accuracy, and shows much appreciation of fine scenery
and architecture. His judgements in painting and sculpture are sincere,
though often betraying the autodidact and amateur. He loved music,
especially Rossini's operas which were then beginning their long career of
triumph. Theatricals of all sorts, especially ballets, had a great
attraction for him and elicited his enthusiastic comments. In comparing
tragedies and comedies which he had seen performed in different countries,
he gave repeated proofs of his knowledge and critical insight. We can take
him as a good example of that intelligent class of English travellers whose
intercourse with the Continental _litterati_ has so well contributed to
establish the good reputation of British culture and refined appreciation
of the arts.

The chief interest of Frye's reminiscences lies, however, in quite another
direction. He was a friend of liberty, a friend of France, an admirer of
Napoleon, and a hater of the Tory regime which brought about Napoleon's
downfall. "France's attempts at European domination, in the Napoleonic era,
are graciously described as but so many efforts towards spreading the light
of civilization over Europe." These words, written about a quite recent
work and a propos of the "Entente cordiale," apply perfectly to Frye's
reminiscences. Travelling immediately before and after the Emperor's
collapse, he found that everywhere, excepting in Tuscany, the French
domination was regretted, because the ideals of liberty and equality had
shone and vanished with the tricolour flag. He admires the French people,
though not the _Ultras_ and bigots, and has fine words of praise for the
French army: "Yes, the French soldier is a fine fellow. I have served
against them in Holland and in Egypt, and I will never flinch from
rendering justice to their exemplary conduct and lofty valour." He takes
trouble to refute the exaggerated reports which were then circulated all
over Europe about the cruelties and vandalism practised by the French: "If
the French since the Revolution have not always fought for liberty, they
have done so invariably for science; and wherever they carried their
victorious arms abuses were abolished, ameliorations of all kinds followed
and the arts of life were improved. Our government, since the accession of
George III, has never raised its arm except in favour of old abuses, to
uphold despotism and unfair privileges or to establish commercial

Sometimes, indeed, speaking of his own country and its government, Major
Frye uses very hard words, which might seem unpatriotic if we did not know,
from many other memoirs and letters, to what a terrible strain orthodox
Toryism, coupled with bigotry and hypocrisy, had put the patience of
liberal Englishmen at that period. He called the British government "the
most dangerous, artful, and determined enemy of all liberty,"--"England,"
he says, "has been always ready to lend a hand to crush liberty, to
perpetuate abuses and to rivet the fetters of monarchical, feudal and
ecclesiastical tyranny." And later on he inveighs against the English
merchants, who "contributed with their gold to uphold the corrupt system of
Pitt and to carry on unjust, unreasonable and liberticide wars."

Whatever may be the final judgement of history on the Tory principles in
politics in the days of the Congress of Vienna, Major Frye's love of
liberty and intellectual progress entitle him to the sympathy of those who
share his generous feelings and do not consider that personal freedom and
individual rights are articles for home use only. Since Frye wrote, the
whole of Europe, excepting perhaps Russia, has reaped the benefits of the
French Revolution, and reduced, if not suppressed, what the Major called
"kingcraft and priestcraft." He did not attempt to divine the future, but
the history of Europe in the nineteenth century has been largely in
accordance with his desires and hopes. It is not a small merit for a
writer, in the midst of one of the most rabid reactions that the world has
known, to have clung with such tenacity to ideals, the complete victory of
which may now be contemplated in the near future.





MAY-JUNE, 1815

Passage from Ceylon to England--Napoleon's return--Ostend--Bruges
--Ghent--The King of France at Mass--Alost--Bruxelles--The Duke of
Wellington very confident--Feelings of the Belgians--Good conduct of
British troops--Monuments in Bruxelles--Theatricals--Genappe and
Namur--Complaints against the Prussian troops--Mons--Major-General
Adam--Tournay--A French deserter--General Clinton's division--Cavalry
review--The Duke de Berri--Back to Bruxelles--Unjust opinions about
Napoleon and the French--Battle at Ligny--The day of Waterloo in
Bruxelles--Visit to the battlefield--Terrible condition of the
wounded--Kindness of the Bruxellois.


From Bruxelles to Liege--A priest's declamation against the French
Revolution--Maastricht--Aix-la-Chapelle--Imperial relics--Napoleon
regretted--Klingmann's "Faust"--A Tyrolese beauty--Cologne--Difficulties
about a passport--The Cathedral--King-craft and priest-craft--The
Rhine--Bonn and Godesberg--Goethe's "Goetz von Berlichingen"--The Seven
Mountains--German women--Andernach--Ehrenbreitstein--German hatred against
France--Coblentz--Intrigues of the Bourbon princes in Coblentz--Mayence--
Bieberich--Conduct of the Allies towards Napoleon--Frankfort on the
Mayn--An anecdote about Lord Stewart and Lafayette--German poetry--The
question of Alsace and Lorraine--Return to Bruxelles--Napoleon's surrender.


From Bruxelles to Paris--Restoration of Louis XVIII--The officers of the
allied armies--The Palais Royal--The Louvre--Protest of the author against
the proposed despoiling of the French Museums--Unjust strictures against
Napoleon's military policy--The _cant_ about revolutionary robberies--The
Grand Opera--Monuments in Paris--The Champs Elysees--Saint-Cloud--The
Hotel des Invalides--The Luxembourg--General Labedoyere--Priests and
emigrants--Prussian Plunder--Handsome behaviour of the English
officers--Reminiscences of Eton--Versailles.


From Paris to Bruxelles--Visiting the plains of Waterloo--The Duke de Berri
at Lille--Beauvais--Return to Paris--Remarks on the French theatre
--Talma--Mlle Duchesnois--Mlle Georges--French alexandrine verse--The Abbe
Delille--The Opera Comique.


From Paris to Milan through Dijon, Chalon-sur-Saone, Lyons, Geneva and the
Simplon--Auxerre--Dijon--Napoleon at Chalon-sur-Saone--The army of the
Loire--Macon--French _grisettes_--Lyons--Monuments and theatricals--
Geneva--Character and opinions of the Genevois--Voltaire's chateau at
Ferney--The chevalier Zadera--From Geneva to Milan--Crossing the
Simplon--Arona--The theatres in Milan--Rossini--Monuments in Milan--Art
encouraged by the French--Mr Eustace's bigotry--Return to Switzerland
--Clarens and Vevey--Lausanne--Society in Lausanne--Return to Paris--The
Louvre stripped--Death of Marshal Ney.




Ball at Cambray, attended by the Duke of Wellington--An Adventure between
Saint Quentin and Compiegne--Paris revisited--Colonel Wardle and Mrs
Wallis--Society in Paris--The Sourds-Muets--The Cemetery of Pere La
Chaise--Apathy of the French people--The priests--Marriage of the Duke de


Journey from Paris to Lausanne--Besancon--French refugees in Lausanne
--Francois Lamarque--General Espinassy--Bordas--Gautier--Michau--M. de
Laharpe--Mlle Michaud--Levade, a Protestant minister--Chambery--Aix
--Details about M. de Boigne's career in India--English Toryism and
intolerance--Valley of Maurienne--Passage across Mont Cenis and arrival at


Journey from Turin to Bologna--Asti--Schiller and Alfieri--Italian
_cuisine_--The _vetturini_--Marengo--Piacenza--The Trebbia--Parma--The
Empress Maria Louisa--Modena--Bologna--The University--The Marescalchi
Gallery--Character of the Bolognese.


Journey across the Appennines to Florence--Tuscan idioms and
customs--Monuments and galleries at Florence--The Cascino--Churches--
Theatres--Popularity of the Grand Duke--Napoleon's downfall not
regretted--Academies in Florence.


Journey from Florence to Rome--Sienna--Radicofani--Bolsena--Montefiascone
wine--Viterbo--Baccano--The Roman Campagna--The papal _douans_--Monuments
and Museums in Rome--Intolerance of the Catholic Christians--The Tiber and
the bridges--Character of the Romans--The _Palazzi_ and _Ville_--Canova's
atelier--Theatricals--An execution in Rome.


From Rome to Naples--Albano--Velletri--The Marshes--Terracina--Mola di
Gaeta--Capua--The streets of Naples--Monuments and Museums--Visit to
Pompeii and ascent to Vesuvius--Dangerous ventures--Puzzuoli and
Baiae--Theatres at Naples--Pulcinello--Return to Rome--Tivoli.



From Rome to Florence--Sismondi the historian--Reminiscences of
India--Lucca--Princess Elisa Baciqochi--Pisa--The Campo Santo--Leghorn--
Hebrews in Leghorn--Lord Dillon--The story of a lost glove--From Florence
to Lausanne by Milan, Turin and across Mont Cenis--Lombardy in winter--The
Hospice of Mont Cenis.




Journey from Lausanne to Clermont-Ferrand--A wretched conveyance--The
first dish of frogs--Society in Clermont-Ferrand--General de Vergennes--
Cleansing the town--Return to Lausanne--A zealous priest--Journey to Bern
and back to Lausanne--Avenches--Lake Morat--Lake Neufchatel--The Diet in
Bern--Character of the Bernois--A beautiful Milanese lady.



Journey from Lausanne to Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples--Residence at
Naples--The theatre of San Carlo--Rossini's operas--Gaming in Naples--The
_Lazzaroni_--Public writers--Carbonarism--Return to Rome--Christmas eve at
Santa Maria Maggiore--Mme Dionigi--Theatricals--Society in Rome--The papal
government--Lucien Bonaparte, prince of Canino--Louis Napoleon, ex-King of
Holland--Pope Pius VII--Thorwaldsen--Granet--The Holy Week in Rome--The
Duchess of Devonshire--From Rome to Florence by the Perugia road.



Journey from Florence to Pisa and from thence by the Appennines to
Genoa--Massa--Carrara--Genoa--Monuments and works of art--The
Genoese--Return to Florence--Journey from Florence through Bologna and
Ferrara to Venice--Monument to Ariosto in Ferrara--A description of
Venice--Padua--Vicenza--Verona--Cremona--Return to Milan--The Scala
theatre--Verona again--From Verona to Innspruck.



Innspruck--Tyrol and the Tyrolese--From Innspruck to Munich--Monuments and
churches--Theatricals--Journey from Munich to Vienna on a floss--Trouble
with a passport--Complicated system of Austrian money--Description of
Vienna--The Prater--The theatres--Schiller's _Joan of Arc_--A
_Kinderballet_--The young Napoleon at Schoenbrunn--Journey from Vienna to



The splendid city of Prague--The German expression, "To give the basket"--
Journey from Prague to Dresden--Journey from Dresden to Berlin--A
description of Berlin--The Prussian Army--Theatricals--Peasants talk about
Napoleon--Prussians and French should be allies--Absurd policy of the
English Tories--Journey from Berlin to Dresden--A description of
Dresden--The battle of Dresden in 1813--Clubs at Dresden--Theatricals--
German beds--Saxon scholars--The picture gallery--Tobacco an ally of
Legitimacy--Saxon women--Meissen--Unjust policy of Europe towards the King
of Saxony.



Journey from Dresden to Leipzig--The University of Leipzig--Liberal
spirit--The English disliked in Saxony--The English Government hostile to
liberty--Journey to Frankfort--From Frankfort to Metz and Paris--A.F.
Lemaitre--_Bon voyage_ to the Allies--Return to England.

* * * * *


MAY-JUNE, 1815

Passage from Ceylon to England--Napoleon's return--Ostend--Bruges--Ghent--
The King of France at Mass--Alost--Bruxelles--The Duke of Wellington very
confident--Feelings of the Belgians--Good conduct of British
troops--Monuments in Bruxelles--Theatricals--Genappe and Namur--Complaints
against the Prussian troops--Mons--Major-General Adam--Tournay--A French
deserter--General Clinton's division--Cavalry review--The Duke de
Berri--Back to Bruxelles--Unjust opinions about Napoleon and the
French--Battle at Ligny--The day of Waterloo in Bruxelles--Visit to the
battlefield--Terrible condition of the wounded--Kindness of the Bruxellois.

BRUXELLES, May 1, 1815.

I proceed to the fulfilment of my promise, to give you from time to time
the details of my tour, and my reflections on the circumstances that occur
at this momentous crisis.

To me, who have spent the greatest part of my life out of Europe, the whole
scene is so new that I am quite bewildered with it; and you will, I am
afraid, as I write on the impulse of the moment, find my ideas at times
rather incoherently put together. What changes have taken place in Europe
within the last two years! and how great were those which occurred during
the interval of my passage from Ceylon last year, which island I quitted
about the time that we received in that part of the world intelligence of
the battle of Leipsic! Having had a long passage from distant Taprobane, it
was only on my arrival at the Cape of Good Hope, that I learned, to my
utter astonishment, the news of the capitulation of Paris to the allied
powers, and of the overthrow of the power and dynasty of Napoleon. I
recollect that at the Cape there was great rejoicing and jubilee on this
occasion; but I confess, as to myself, I did not see any reason for giving
vent to this extravagant joy; and I must have had even at that time somehow
or other a presentiment of what would soon happen, as in communicating this
intelligence to a friend in India I made use of these words: "get a court
dress made, my good friend, and a big wig, ruffled shirt, and hair-powder,
and stick an old-fashioned sword by your side, for, depend on it, old
fashions will come into play again; the most arbitrary and aristocratic
notions will be revived and terrible machinations will be framed against
the liberties of Europe."

Of course at the Cape we only heard one side of the question; and I began
to be almost convinced that it was as necessary for humanity, as for the
repose of Europe, that the giant should be put down; and I was consoled
when it was effected, ostensibly, at least, by the voice of the people.

I had scarcely been three months in England, when the return of Napoleon
from Elba, and the extraordinary dislocation of the Bourbons from the
throne of France, summoned Europe again to arms; the crusade is preached at
Vienna, and behold! his Grace of Wellington appointed the Godfrey of the
holy league. I had reason, about six weeks before the news of this event
reached London, from some conversation I had with an intelligent friend,
who had just returned from a tour on the Continent, to suppose that the
slightest combination against the Bourbons would prove successful, from
their injudicious conduct and from the temper of the people; but I never
could have supposed that the return of the man of Elba would be hailed with
such unparalleled and unanimous acclamation. As I had long ago wished for
an opportunity of visiting the continent of Europe, which had never before
occurred to me, I eagerly embraced the offer made to me by my friend
Major-General Wilson, formerly Lieut.-Governor of Ceylon,[1] to accompany
him on a military tour through the country about to be the theatre of war.
Though I had never before visited the Continent (except with the British
army in the invasion of Holland in 1799, when I began my military career),
yet I was not wholly unprepared for travelling, having united to a
classical, as well as military education, a tolerable knowledge of history,
and a partial acquirement of the principal modern European languages, which
I had begun to learn when very young and which I kept up during my leisure
hours in India, which, like those of Don Quixote, were many. I preferred
this study infinitely to that of the Asiatic languages, for which I never
felt any taste, as I dislike bombast, hyperbole and exaggeration; and
though an ardent admirer of the Muses, I never could find pleasure in what
Voltaire terms "le bon style oriental, ou l'on fait danser les montagnes et
les collines," and I prefer the amatory effusions of Ovid to those of the
great King Solomon himself.

The war will no doubt commence in Belgium, and of course the Emperor
Napoleon will be the assailant, for it cannot be supposed that after the
act of ban passed against him by the Amphictyons of Vienna he will remain
tranquil, and not strike the first blow, which may render him master of
Belgium and its resources.

We embarked at Ramsgate on the first of May for Ostend on board of a small
vessel bound thither. Our fellow passengers were two officers of dragoons,
several commissaries with their servants, horses, etc. After a passage of
twenty-four hours, we entered the harbour of Ostend at one o'clock the
following day. Ostend, once so flourishing and opulent, has long since
fallen into decay; its usual dullness is however just now interrupted by
the bustle of troops landing to join the allied army. Cavalry, infantry,
artillery, horses, guns, stores, etc., are landed every minute. The quays
are the only parts of this city which can boast of handsome buildings; the
fortifications seem to be much out of repair; in fact, the aggrandizement
of Antwerp occasioned necessarily the deterioration of Ostend.

The General and myself went to put up at the _Tete d'Or_, the only inn
where we could procure beds; and we embarked early next morning at the
embouchure of the canal on board of a _treckschuyt_ which conveyed us in
three hours to Bruges.

The landscape between Ostend and Bruges is extremely monotonous, it being a
uniformly flat country; yet it is pleasing to the eye at this season of the
year from the verdure of the plains, which are all appropriated to
pasturage, and from the appearance of the different villages and towns, of
which the eye can embrace a considerable number. There is a good road on
the banks of the canal, and the troops, on their line of march, enlivened
much the scene. Bruges, formerly the grand mart and emporium of the
commerce of the East, not only for the Low Countries, but for all the North
of Europe, seems, if we may judge from the state of the buildings and the
stillness that prevails, to be also in a state of decline. We however had
only time to visit the _Hotel de Ville_ and to remark the immense height of
the steeple on the _Grande Place_. We observed a number of pretty women in
the streets and in the shops employed in lace making. Bruges has been at
all times renowned for the beauty of the female sex, and this brought to my
recollection a passage in Schiller's tragedy of the _Maid of Orleans_,
wherein the Duke of Burgundy says that the greatest boast of Bruges is the
beauty of its women.

Another _treckschuyt_ was to start at twelve o'clock for Ghent; but we
preferred going by land and General Wilson hired a carriage for that
purpose. The distance is about thirty miles. The road from Bruges to Ghent
or Gand is perfectly straight, lined with trees and paved like a street.
The country is quite flat, and though there is nothing to bound the
horizon, the trees on each side of the road intercept the view.

We arrived at Ghent about six in the afternoon of the 4th and had some
difficulty in finding room, as the different hotels were filled with
officers of the allied army; but at length, after many ineffectual
applications at several, we obtained admission at the _Hotel de Flandre_,
where we took possession of a double-bedded room, the only one unoccupied.

Gand seems to be a very neat, clean and handsome city, with an air of
magnificence about it. The _Grande Place_ is very striking, and the
promenades are aligned with trees. We inspected the exterior of several
public buildings and visited the interior of several churches. In the
cathedral we had the honour of seeing at High Mass his most Christian
Majesty, Monsieur and the Comte de Blacas, Vicomte de Chateaubriand and
others, composing the Court of _notre Pere de Gand_, as Louis XVIII is
humorously termed by the French, from his having fixed his head-quarters
here. A great many French officers who have followed his fortunes are also
here, but they seem principally to belong to the Gardes du Corps. A number
of military attended the service in the cathedral in order to witness the
devotions of the Bourbon family. Monsieur has all the appearance of a worn
out debauchee, and to see him with a missal in his hand and the strange
contrite face he assumes, is truly ridiculous. These princes, instigated no
doubt by the priests, make a great parade of their sanctity, for which
however those who are acquainted with their character will not give them
much credit. But religious cant is the order of the day _intra et extra
Iliacos muros_, abroad as well as in England. The King of France takes the
lead, having in view no doubt the advice of Buckingham to Richard III:

A pray'r book in your hand, my Lord, were well,
For on that ground I'll make an holy descant.

and M. de Chateaubriand will no doubt trumpet forth the devotion and
Christian humility of his master. Those, however, who are at all acquainted
with this prince's habits, and are not interested in palliating or
concealing them, insinuate that his devotions at the table are more sincere
than at the altar and that, like the Giant Margutte in the Morgante
Maggiore of Pulci, he places more faith and reliance on a cappone lesso
ossia arrosto than on the consecrated but less substantial wafer.[2]

After contemplating this edifying spectacle, we returned to our inn, and
the next morning after breakfast we set out on our journey to Bruxelles.
The road is exactly similar to that between Bruges and Gand, but the
country appears to be richer and more diversified, and many country houses
were observable on the road side. We passed thus several neat villages. At
one o'clock we stopped at Alost to refresh our horses and dine. At the
table d'hote were a number of French officers belonging to the Gardes du
Corps. On entering into conversation with one of them, I found that he as
well as several others of them had served under Napoleon, and had even been
patronised and promoted by him; but I suppose that being the sons of the
ancient _noblesse_ they thought that gratitude to a _parvenu_ like him was
rather too plebeian a virtue. Some of them, however, with whom I conversed
after dinner seemed to regret the step they had taken. "If we are
successful," said they, "it can only be by means of the Allied Armies, and
who knows what conditions they may impose on France? If we should be
unsuccessful, we are exiled probably for life from our country." During
dinner, two pretty looking girls with musical instruments entered the hall,
and regaled our ears with singing some romances, among which were _Dunois
le Troubadour_ and _La Sentinelle_. They sang with much taste and feeling.
I surmise this is not the only profession they exercise, if I might judge
from the _doux yeux_ they occasionally directed to some of the officers.
These girls did not at least seem by their demeanour as if likely to incur
the anathema of Rinaldo in the _Orlando Furioso_:

meritamente muoro Una crudele,

but rather more disposed to

dar vita all'amator fidele.[3]

Alost is a neat, clean town or large village, and the same description will
serve for all the towns and villages in Brabant and Flanders, as they are
built on the same plan. We arrived at Bruxelles late in the evening and put
up at the _Hotel d'Angleterre_.

This morning, the General and myself went to pay our respects to the _Gran
Capitano_ of the _Holy League_, and we left our cards. He is, I hear, very
confident of the result of the campaign, and no doubt he has for him the
prayers of all the pious in England against those atheistical fellows the
French; and these prayers will surely elicit a "host of angels" to come
down to aid in the destruction of the Pandemonium of Paris where Satan's
lieutenant sits enthroned. The reflecting people here are astonished that
Napoleon does not begin the attack. The inhabitants of Belgium are in
general, from all that I can hear or see, not at all pleased with the
present order of things, and they much lament the being severed from
France. The two people, the Belgians and Hollanders, do not seem to
amalgamate; and the former, though they render ample justice to the
moderation, good sense, and beneficent intentions of the present monarch,
who is personally respected by every one, yet do not disguise their wish to
be reunited to France and do not hesitate to avow their attachment to the
Emperor Napoleon. This union does not please the Hollanders either, on
other grounds. They complain that their interests have been sacrificed
entirely to those of the house of Orange, and they say that from the
readiness they displayed in shaking off the yoke of France, and the great
weight they thereby threw into the scale, they were entitled to the
restitution of all their colonies in Asia, Africa, and America. The
colonies of the Cape of Good Hope and Ceylon are what they most regret; for
these colonies in particular furnished ample employment and the means of
provision for the cadets of patrician families. If you tell them they have
acquired the Belgic provinces as an indemnification, they answer: "So much
the worse for us, for now the patronage of the colonial offices must be
divided between us and the Belgians."

The preparations for the grand conflict about to take place are carried on
with unabating activity; the conscription is rigorously enforced and every
youth capable of bearing arms is enrolled. Almost all the officers of the
Belgian army and a great proportion of the soldiery have served with the
French and have been participators of their laurels; one cannot therefore
suppose that they are actuated by any very devouring zeal against their
former commander; nor have I found amongst the shop-keepers or respectable
people with whom I have conversed, and who have been falsely represented as
having suffered much from the tyranny of Napoleon, any who dislike either
his person or government, and certainly none either high or low express the
cannibal wish that I heard some English country gentlemen and London
merchants utter for the destruction of Paris and of the French people, nor
would it be easy to find here men of the _humane_ and _generous_ sentiments
professed by some of our aldermen and contractors when they welcomed with
ferocious acclamations of joy and were ready to embrace the Baschkir or
Cossack who told them that he had slaughtered so many French with his own
hand; nor would the ladies here be so eager to kiss old Blucher as was the
case in London.

This city is filled with British and Hanoverian troops. Their conduct is
exemplary, nor is any complaint made against them. The Highland regiments
are however the favourites of the Bruxellois, and the inhabitants give them
the preference as lodgers. They are extremely well behaved (they say, when
speaking of the Highlanders) and they cheerfully assist the different
families on whom they are quartered in their household labour. This
reflects a good deal of credit on the gallant sons of Caledonia. Their
superior morality to those of the same class either in England or in
Ireland must strike every observer, and must, in spite of all that the
_Obscuranten_ or _Chevaliers de l'Eteignoir_ and others who wish to check
the progress of the human mind may urge to the contrary, be mainly
attributed to the general prevalence of education _a la portee de tout le
monde_. Wherever the people are enlightened there is less crime; ignorance
was never yet the safeguard of virtue. As for myself I honour and esteem
the Scottish nation and I must say that I have found more liberal ideas and
more sound philosophy among individuals of that nation than among those of
any other, and it is a tribute I owe to them loudly to proclaim my
sentiments; for though personal gratitude may seem to influence me a little
on this subject, yet I should never think of putting forth my opinion in
public, were it not founded on an impartial observation of the character of
this enterprising and persevering people. A woman who had some Highlanders
quartered in her house told me in speaking of them: "Monsieur, ce sont de
si bonnes gens; ils sont doux comme des agneaux." "Ils n'en seront pas
moins des lions an jour du combat," was my reply.

I have amused myself with visiting most of the remarkable objects here, but
you must not expect from me a detail of what you will find in every
description book. You wish to have my ideas on the subjects that most
strike me individually, and those you shall have; but it would be very
absurd and presumptuous in me to attempt to give a _catalogue raisonne_ of
buildings and pictures and statues, or to set up as a connoisseur when I
know nothing either of sculpture, of architecture or painting; nor am I
desirous of imitating the young Englishman, who, in writing to his father
from Italy, described so much in detail, and so scientifically, every
production, or staple, peculiar to the cities which he happened to visit,
that he wrote like a cheese-monger from Parma, like a silk mercer from
Leghorn, like an olive and oil merchant from Lucca, like a picture dealer
from Florence, and like an antiquarian from Rome.


The _Hotel d'Angleterre_ where we are lodged is within four minutes walk
from the finest part of the city, where the Parc and Royal Palace is
situated. The Parc is not large, but is tastefully laid out in the Dutch
style, and is the fashionable promenade for the _beau monde_ of Bruxelles.
The women, without being strikingly handsome, have much grace; their air,
manner and dress are perfectly _a la francaise_. A good cafe and restaurant
is in the centre of one of the sides, and the buildings on the quadrangle
environing the Parc, which form the palace and other tenements are superb.
The next place I went to see was the _Hotel de Ville_ and its tower of
immense height. It is a fine Gothic building, but that which should be the
central entrance is not directly in the centre of the edifice, so that one
wing of it appears considerably larger than the other, which gives it an
awkward and irregular appearance. On the Place or Square as we should call
it, where the _Hotel de Ville_ stands, is held the fruit and vegetable
market, and a finer one or more plentifully supplied I never beheld. This
_Place_ is interesting to the historian as being the spot where Counts
Egmont and Hoorn suffered decapitation in the reign of Philip II of Spain,
by order of the Duke of Alva, who witnessed the execution from a window of
one of the houses. The conduct of these noblemen at the place of execution
was so dignified that even the ferocious duke could not avoid wiping his
eyes, hardened as his heart was by religious and political fanaticism; and
though he held them in abhorrence as rebels and traitors a tear did fall
for them down his iron cheek. How fortunate for the liberties of Holland
that William the Taciturn did not also fall into the claws of that Moloch
Philip! I next visited the museum and picture gallery, where I witnessed
the annual exposition of the modern school of painting. The specimens I saw
pleased me much, particularly because the subjects were well chosen from
history and the mythology, which to me is far more agreeable than the
subjects of the paintings of the old Flemish school; but I am told often
that I know nothing about painting, so I shall make no further remarks but
content myself with sending you a catalogue, with the pictures marked
therein which made most impression on me. With respect to the churches of
Brussels those of Ste. Gudule and of the Capuchins are the finest and most
remarkable. In the former is the Temptation of Adam by the Serpent, richly
carved in wood in figures as large as life grouped round the pulpit.[4]

The _Place du Sablon_ is very striking from the space it occupies, and on
it is a fountain erected by Lord Bruce.[5] The fountains which are to be
met with in various parts of the city are highly ornamental, and among them
I must not omit to mention a singularly grotesque one which is held in
great veneration by the lower orders of the Bruxellois and is by them
regarded as a sort of Palladium to the city. It is the figure of a little
boy who is at _peace_, according to the late Lord Melville's[6]
pronunciation of the words, and who spouts out his water incessantly,
reckless of decorum and putting modesty to the blush. What would our
vice-hunters say to this? He is a Sabbath breaker in the bargain and
continues his occupation on Sundays as well as other days and _in fine_ he
rejoices in the name of _Mannekenpis_.

The ramparts, or rather site of the ramparts (for the fortifications of
Bruxelles no longer exist), form an agreeable promenade; but the favourite
resort of all the world at Bruxelles in the afternoon is the _Attee verte_.
Here all classes meet; here the rich display their equipages and horses;
and the lower orders assemble at the innumerable _guinguettes_ which are to
be met with here, in order to play at bowls, dominoes, smoke and drink
beer, of which there is an excellent sort called _Bitterman._ The avenues
on each side of the carriage road are occupied by pedestrians, and on one
side of the road is the canal, covered at all times with barges and boats
decked with flags and streamers. At the cabarets are benches and tables in
the open air under the trees; and here are to be seen the artisan, the
bargeman and the peasant taking their afternoon _delassement_, and groups
of men, women and children drinking beer and smoking. These groups reminded
me much of those one sees so often in the old Flemish pictures, with this
difference, that the old costume of the people is almost entirely left off.
Female minstrels with guitars stroll about singing French romances and
collecting contributions from this cheerful, laughter-loving people. The
dark walk, as it is called, near the park is a favourite walk of the upper
classes in the evening. There his Grace of Wellington is sometimes to be
seen with a fair lady under his arm. He generally dresses in plain clothes,
to the astonishment of all the foreign officers. He is said to be as
successful in the fields of Idalia as in those of Bellona, and the ladies
whom he honours with his attentions suffer not a little in their
reputations in the opinion of the _comperes_ and _commeres_ of Bruxelles.

I have only been twice to the theatre since I have been here. The _Salle de
Spectacle_ is indifferent, but they have an excellent company of comedians.
The representations are in French. I saw the _Festin de Pierre_ of
Corneille exceedingly well performed. The actors who did the parts of Don
Juan and Sganarelle were excellent, and the scene with M. Dimanche, wherein
he demands payment of his bill, was admirably given. I have also seen the
_Plaideurs_ of Racine, a very favourite piece of mine; every actor played
his part most correctly, and the scene between the Comtesse de Pimbeche and
Chicaneau and L'Intime wherein the latter, disguised as a _Bailli_, offers
himself to be kicked by the former, was given in very superior style. The
scene of the trial of the dog, with the orations of Petit Jean as
_demandeur_ and L'Intime as _defenseur_, were played with good effect. I
never recollect having witnessed a theatrical piece which afforded me
greater amusement.

NAMUR, May 12.

We left Brussels yesterday afternoon, and having obtained passports to
visit the military posts we went to Genappe, a small village half-way
between Bruxelles and Namur, where we brought to for the night at a small
but comfortable inn called _Le Roi d'Espagne_. Two battalions of the
regiment Nassau-Usingen are quartered in Genappe. We arrived at Namur this
morning at nine o'clock and put up at the _Hotel d'Arenberg_. On the road
we stopped at a peasant's house to drink coffee; and we were entertained by
our hostess with complaints against the Prussians, who commit, as she said,
all sorts of exactions on the peasantry on whom they are quartered. Not
content with exacting three meals a day, when they were only entitled to
two, and for which they are bound to give their rations, they sell these,
and appropriate the money to their own use; then the demand for brandy and
_schnapps_ is increasing. But what can be expected from an army whose
leader encourages them in all their excesses? Blucher by all accounts is a
vandal and is actuated by a most vindictive spirit. The Prussians reproach
the Belgians with being in the French interest; how can they expect it to
be otherwise? They have prospered under French domination, and certainly
the conduct of the Prussians is not calculated to inspire them with any
love towards themselves nor veneration for the Sovereign who has such
all-devouring allies. I asked this woman why she did not complain to the
officers. She answered! "Helas, Monsieur, c'est inutile; on donne toujours
la meme reponse: '_Nichts verstehn_,'" for it appears when these complaints
are made the Prussian officers pretend not to understand French.

Namur is now the head-quarters of Marshal Blucher, who is in the enjoyment
of divers _noms de guerre_, such as "Marshall Vorwaerts," "Der alte Teufel."
On the high road, about two miles and a half before we reached Namur, we
met with a party of Prussian lancers, who were returning from a foraging
excursion. They were singing some warlike song or hymn, which was
singularly impressive. It brought to my recollection the description of the
Rhenish bands in the _Lay of the Last Minstrel_:

Who as they move, in rugged verse
Songs of Teutonic feuds rehearse.

The Prussian cavalry seem to be composed of fine-looking young men, and I
admire the genuine military simplicity of their dress, to which might be
most aptly applied the words of Xenophon when describing the costume of the
younger Cyrus: [Greek: _En tae Persikae stolae ouden ti hubrsmenae_][7] in
substituting merely the word [Greek: _Prussikae_] for [Greek: _Persikae_].
One sees in it none of those absurd ornaments and meretricious foppery
which give to our cavalry officers the appearance of Astley's men.[8]

The situation of Namur is exceedingly picturesque, particularly when viewed
from the heights which tower above the town, whereon stood the citadel
which was demolished by order of Joseph II, as were the fortifications of
all the frontier fortresses. The present Belgian Government however mean to
reconstruct them, and Namur in particular, the citadel of which, from the
natural strength of its position, is too important a post to be neglected.
The town itself is situated on the confluent of the Sambre and Meuse and
lies in a valley completely commanded and protected by the citadel. The
churches are splendid, and there is an appearance of opulence in the shops.
The inhabitants, from its being a frontier town, are of course much alarmed
at the approaching contest, for they will probably suffer from both
parties. We heard at the inn and in the shops which we visited the same
complaints against the Prussians. The country in the environs of this place
is exceedingly diversified, and it presents the first mountain scenery we
have yet met with. The banks of the Meuse hereabouts present either an
abrupt precipice or coteaux covered with vines gently sloping to the
water's edge. Namur is distant thirty-four miles from Brussels, and there
is water conveyance on the Meuse from here to Liege and Maastricht.

MONS, May 14.

We started yesterday morning at four o'clock from Namur. The whole road
between Namur and Mons presents a fine, rich open country abounding in
wheat, but not many trees. We stopped to breakfast at Fleurus, at an inn
where there were some Prussian officers. One of them, a lieutenant in the
2nd West Prussian Regiment, had the kindness to conduct us to see the field
of battle where the French under Jourdan defeated the Austrians in 1794. It
is at a very short distance from the town; he explained the position of the
two armies in a manner perfectly clear and satisfactory to us. The Prussian
officers all seem very eager for the commencement of hostilities, and their
only fear is now that all these mighty preparations will end in nothing;
viz., either that the French people, alarmed at the magnitude of the
preparations against them, will compel the Emperor Napoleon to abdicate, or
that the Allies will grow cool and, under the influence of Austria, bring
about a negotiation which may end in a recognition of the Imperial title
and dynasty. They would compound for a defeat at first, provided the war
were likely to be prolonged. In the meantime, reinforcements continue to
arrive daily for their army. We hear but little news of the intentions or
movements of the other Allies; it being forbidden to enter into political
discussions, it is difficult to ascertain the true state of affairs.

We continued our journey through Charleroy and Binch to this place. At a
small village between Binch and Mons we were stopped by a sentinel at a
Prussian outpost and our passports demanded. Neither the sentinel, however,
nor the sergeant, nor any of the soldiers present, could read or understand
French, in which language the passport was drawn up; but the sergeant told
me that the officers were in a house about a quarter of a mile distant and
that he would conduct me thither, but that he himself could not presume to
let us pass, from not knowing the tenor of our passport. I went accordingly
with the sergeant to this house, There I found the officer commanding the
piquet and several others sitting at table, carousing with beer and tobacco
and nearly invisible from the clouds of smoke which pervaded the room. I
explained to the officer who we were and requested him to put on the
passport his _visa_ in the German language, so that the non-commissioned
officers at the various posts through which we might pass would be able to
understand it and let us pass without hindrance. This he did accordingly
and we proceeded on our journey.

We arrived here in the evening and put up at the _Hotel Royal_. We found at
Charleroy, Binch and here, a number of people employed in repairing and
reconstructing the fortifications. Men, women and boys are all put in
requisition to accelerate this object, as it is the intention of the
Belgian Government to put all the frontier fortresses in the most complete
state of defence. On ascending one of the steeples this morning we had a
fine view of the surrounding country and of the height of Genappe, which
are close to Mons and memorable for the brilliant victory gained by
Dumouriez over the Austrians in 1792. The landscape presents an undulating
campaign country, gentle slopes and alternate plains covered with corn, as
far as the eye can reach, and interspersed with villages and farmhouses. In
Mons is a very large splendid shop or warehouse of millinery, perfumery,
jewellery, etc. It is called _La Toilette de Venus_, and is served by a
very pretty girl, who, I have no doubt from her simpering look and eloquent
eyes, would have no objection to be a sedulous priestess at the altar of
the Goddess of Amathus. A battalion of Hollanders--a very fine body of
men--marched into this place yesterday evening; the rest of the garrison is
composed of Belgians, chiefly conscripts.

LEUZE, May 15.

Yesterday morning we left Mons and proceeded to Ath to breakfast. A
multitude of people were employed there also at the fortifications. The
garrison of Ath is composed of Hanoverians. Ath reminded me of the wars of
King William III and my Uncle Toby's sieges.[9] There was so little
remarkable to be seen at Ath that we proceeded to this place shortly after
breakfast and arrived at one o'clock, it being only ten miles distance
between Ath and Leuze. We took up our quarters with Major-General Adam, who
commands the Light Brigade of General Sir H. Clinton's division. This
brigade is quartered here and in the adjacent farmhouses. General Adam,
though he has attained his rank at a very early age, is far more fitted for
it than many of our older generals, some of whom (I speak from experience)
have few ideas beyond the fixing of a button or lappel, or polishing a
belt, and who place the whole _Ars recondita_ of military discipline in
pipe-clay, heel-ball and the goose step. Fortunately for this army, the
Duke of Wellington has too much good sense to be a martinet and the good
old times are gone by, thank God, when a soldier used to be sentenced to
two or three hundred lashes for having a dirty belt or being without a
_queue_. To the Duke of York also is humanity much indebted for his
endeavours to check the frequency of corporal punishment. The Duke of York,
with all his zeal for the service, never loses sight of the comfort of the
soldier and is indefatigable in his exertions to ameliorate his conditions.
We had a pleasant dinner party at General Adam's, and at night I went to
sleep at the house occupied by Captain C., one of the aides-de-camp of the
General,[10] an active, intelligent officer who had formerly served in the
marines, which service he had quitted in order to enter the regular army.

May 16.

Yesterday morning we paid a visit to Tournay, which is distant from Leuze
about ten miles, and we breakfasted at the _Signe d'Or_. We then proceeded
to pay our respects to the Commandant General V.[11] The garrison consists
of Belgians. General V. had been some time in England as a prisoner of war.
He was made prisoner, I think he said, at Batavia. He received us very
politely, and not only gave us permission to visit the works of the
citadel, but sent a sergeant to accompany us. The new citadel is building
on the site of the old one, and, like it, is to be a regular pentagon. The
fortifications of the city itself are not to be reconstructed; these of the
citadel, which will be very strong, rendering them superfluous. The
sergeant was a native of Wuertemberg and had served in the army of his own
country and in that of France in most of the campaigns under Napoleon. He
was a fine old veteran, and very intelligent, for he explained to us the
nature of the works with great perspicuity. With true Suabian dignity he
refused a five franc piece which I offered him as a slight remuneration for
the trouble he had taken, and as he seemed, I thought, rather offended at
the offer, I felt myself bound to apologize. From the number of workmen
employed in repairing the citadel, it will not be long before it is placed
in a respectable state of defence. Tournay is a large handsome city and the
spacious quais on the banks of the Scheld which runs through it add much to
the neatness of its appearance. It is only ten miles distant from Lille,
but all communication from France is stopped. We learned that some of the
Hanoverians had been deserting. In return we met with a young French hussar
who had come over to the Allies. He seemed to be an impudent sort of
fellow, and said, with the utmost _sang-froid_, that the reason he deserted
was that he had not been made an officer as he was promised, and he hoped
that Louis XVIII would be more sensible of his merits than the Emperor
Napoleon. We returned to Leuze to dinner in the afternoon. This morning we
went to assist at a review of General Clinton's division, on a plain called
_Le Paturage_, about seven miles distant from Leuze. The Light Brigade and
the Hanoverian Brigades form this division. The manoeuvres were performed
with tolerable precision, but they were chiefly confined to advancing in
line, retiring by alternate companies covered by light infantry and change
of position on one of the flanks by _echelon_. The British troops were
perfect; the Hanoverians not so, they being for the most part new levies.
In one of the _echelon_ movements, when the line was to be formed on the
left company of the left battalion, a Hanoverian battalion, instead of
preserving its parallelism, was making a terrible diversion to its right,
when a thundering voice from the commander of the brigade to the commandant
of the battalion: "_Mein Gott, Herr Major, wo gehn Sie hin?_" roused him
from his reverie; when he must have perceived, had he wheeled up into line,
the fearful interval he had left between his own and the next battalion on
the left.

After the review had finished we repaired to the chateau of the Prince de
Ligne, then occupied by Lieut.-General Sir H. Clinton, to partake of a
breakfast given by him and his lady. On the breaking up of the breakfast
party, General Wilson and myself remained at the chateau to dine with
General Adam _al fresco_ in the garden under the trees. The palace and
garden of the Prince de Ligne are both very magnificent. The latter is of
great extent, but too regular, too much in the Dutch taste to please me.
Little or no furniture is in the palace; but there are some family pictures
and a theatre fitted up in one of the halls for the purpose of private
theatricals. In the garden is a monument erected by the late Prince de
Ligne to one of his sons, Charles by name, who was killed in the Russian
service at the siege of Ismail. The present prince is a minor and resides
at Bruxelles.


We left Leuze yesterday afternoon and arrived here at seven in the evening
in order to be present at the cavalry review the next morning. We partook
of an elegant supper given to us by our friend, Major Grant of the 18th
Hussars, and we were much entertained and enlivened by the effusions of his
brilliant genius and inexhaustible wit. The whole cavalry of the British
army passed in review this morning before the Duke of Wellington, who was
there with all his staff and received the salutes of all the corps like
Godfrey, _con volto placido e composto_. It was a very brilliant spectacle.
The Duke de Berri was present. I think I never beheld so ignoble and
disagreeable a countenance as this prince possesses. I thought to myself
that he had much better have stayed away from this review; for he must be
insensible to all patriotism who could take pleasure in contemplating a
foreign force about to enter and ravage his own country. We learn that the
Duchess d'Angouleme is to have a review of the _fideles_ very shortly. She
is certainly much more warlike than the males of that family; this
disposition is increased by her religious fanaticism. This renders her, of
course, a most dangerous person to meddle with politics; but great
allowances must be made for her feelings, which must naturally be
embittered by the recollection of so much suffering during the Revolution
and of the barbarous and inhuman treatment experienced by her father and

I observed a peculiarity in this part of the country, viz., that there are
villages lying close to each other in some of which French is spoken, in
others Flemish; and that, with some few exceptions, the inhabitants of
neighbouring villages are reciprocally unintelligible. General Wilson does
not intend to return to Bruxelles. I shall accompany him as far as Gand and
then return to Bruxelles to await the issue of the contest.


I took leave of General Wilson at Gand on the 22nd of last month and
immediately returned here, where I have been ever since. I have shifted my
quarters to a less expensive hotel and am now lodged at the _Hotel de la
Paix_. We get an excellent dinner at the table d'hote for one and a half
francs, wine not included; this is paid for extra, and is generally at the
price of three francs per bottle. This hotel is very neatly fitted up and
is very near the _Hotel de Ville_. At the table d'hote I frequently meet
Prussian officers who on coming in to visit Bruxelles put up here. We have
just learned the proceedings of the _Champ de Mai_ at Paris, by which it
appears that Napoleon is solemnly recognized and confirmed as Emperor of
the French. This intelligence sent a young Prussian officer, who sat next
to me, in a transport of joy, for this makes the war certain. The Prussians
seem determined to revenge themselves for the humiliation they suffered
from the French during the time they occupied their country, and I
sincerely pity by anticipation the fate of the French peasants upon whom
these gentlemen may chance to be quartered. Terrible will be the first
shock of battle, and it may be daily expected, and dreadful will be the
consequences to the poor inhabitants of the seat of war. Cannot this war be
avoided? I am not politician enough to foresee the consequences of allowing
Napoleon to keep quiet and undisturbed possession of the throne of France;
but the consequences of a defeat on the part of the Allies will be the loss
of Belgium and the probable annihilation of the British army; certainly the
dissolution of the coalition, for the minor German powers, and very likely
Austria also, would be induced to make a separate peace. We can clearly see
that Napoleon has not now the power he formerly possessed and that the
Republican party, into whose hands he has thrown himself, seem disposed not
only to remain at peace, but to shackle him in every possible manner. It is
evident, too, that his last success was owing to the dislike of the people
to the Bourbons from their injudicious and treacherous conduct; and the
threats and impossible language held by the priests and emigrants towards
the holders of property paved the way for the success of his enterprise and
enabled him to achieve a triumph unparalleled in history.

On the contrary, by forcing him to go to war, should he gain the first
victory, Belgium will be re-united to France, all the resources of that
country brought into the scale against the Allies; Napoleon will be more
popular than ever, the Republican party will be put to silence, the
enthusiasm of the army will rise beyond all restraint, and, in a word,
Napoleon will be himself again. The other Allies can do little without the
assistance of England, and our finances are by no means in a state to bear
such intolerable drains.

As to the Prussians, on minute enquiry I do not find that they were so
ill-treated by the French as is generally believed, and that, except the
burden of having troops quartered on them (no small annoyance, I allow),
they had not much reason to complain. The quartering of the troops on them
and the payment of the war contributions was the necessary consequence of
the occupation of their country by an enemy; but I have just been reading a
German work, written by a native of Berlin, shortly after the entry of the
French troops in that city after the battle of Jena in 1806. This work is
entitled _Vertraute Briefe aus Berlin_, and in it the author distinctly
declares that the discipline observed by the French troops during the
occupation of Berlin was highly strict and praiseworthy, and that the few
excesses that took place were committed by the troops of the Rhenish
Confederation; and he adds that the inhabitants preferred having a French
soldier quartered on them to a Westphalian, Bavarian or Wuertembergher.
Further, the troops that behaved with the greatest oppression and insolence
towards the burghers were those belonging to a corps composed of native
Prussians, raised for the service of Napoleon by the Prince of
Isenburg.[12] In his recruiting address the prince invites the Prussian
youth to enter into the service of the invincible Napoleon, and tells him
that to the soldier of Napoleon everything is permitted. The regiment was
soon fitted up and the soldiers began to put in practice in good earnest
the theory of the _affiche_. They committed excesses of all sorts; and one
officer in particular behaved so brutally and infamously to a poor tailor
on whom he was quartered, and to whom, before he entered the French
service, he was under the greatest obligations, that General Hulin, the
commandant of the place at Berlin during the French occupation, was obliged
to cashier him publicly on the parade and to cause his epaulettes to be
torn from his coat in order to mark the disgust and indignation that he and
all the French officers felt at the base ingratitude of this man.

This work, "Vertraute Briefe" (confidential letters), contains much curious
matter and very interesting anecdotes respecting the corruption, venality
and depravation that prevailed in the Prussian Court and army previous to
the war in 1806. Let this suffice to show that the Prussians have not so
much reason to complain against the French as they pretend to have;
besides, the conduct of the Prussian Government itself was so vacillating
and contradictory that they had themselves only to blame for what they
suffered. They should have supported Austria in 1805. But the fact is that
the vanity and the _amour propre_ of the Prussian military were so hurt at
the humiliation they experienced at and after the battle of Jena that it
was this that has embittered them so much against the French.

Let it not, however, be supposed for a moment that I seek to excuse or
palliate the conduct of Napoleon towards Prussia. I have always thought it
not only unjust but impolitic. Impolitic, because Prussia was, and ought
always to be, the obvious and natural ally of France, and Napoleon, instead
of endeavouring to crush that power, should have aggrandized her and made
her the paramount power in Germany. It was in fact his obvious policy to
cede Hanover in perpetuity to Prussia, and have rendered thereby the breach
between the Houses of Brandenburgh and Hanover irreparable and
irreconcilable. This would have thrown Prussia necessarily into the arms
of France, in whose system she must then have moved, and all British
influence on the Continent would have been effectually put an end to.
Another prime fault of Napoleon was that he did not crush and dismember
Austria in 1809 as he had it in his power to do; and by so doing he would
have merited and obtained the thanks and good will of all Germany for
having overturned so despotic and light-fearing a Government. But he has
paid dearly for these errors. Instead of destroying a despotic power
(Austria), he chose rather to crush an enlightened and liberal nation, for
such I esteem the Prussian nation, and I always separate the Prussian
people from their Government. The latter fell, and fell unpitied, after one
battle; but it has been almost miraculously restored by the unparalleled
exertions and energies of the burghers and people. May this be a lesson to
the Government! and may the King of Prussia not prove ungrateful!

Troops continue to arrive here daily, and now that the ceremony of the
_Champ de Mai_ is over, we may expect that Napoleon will repair to his army
and commence operations.

June 17.

Napoleon arrived at Maubeuge on the 18th and the grand conflict has begun.
The Prussians were attacked on the 14th and 15th at Ligny and driven from
their position.[13] They are said to have suffered immense loss and to be
retreating with the utmost confusion. Our turn comes next. The thunder of
the cannon was heard here distinctly the most part of yesterday and some
part of our army must have been engaged. Our troops have all marched out of
Bruxelles in the direction of the frontier. In the affair with the
Prussians we learn that the Duke of Brunswick was killed and that Blucher
narrowly escaped being made prisoner.

June 18.

The grand conflict has begun with us. It is now four o'clock p.m. The issue
is not known. The roar of the cannon continues unabated. All is bustle,
confusion and uncertainty in this city. Cars with wounded are coming in
continually. The general opinion is that our army will be compelled to
retreat to Antwerp, and it is even expected that the French will be in
Bruxelles to-night. All the towns-people are on the ramparts listening to
the sound of the cannon. This city has been in the greatest alarm and
agitation since the 16th, when a violent cannonade was heard during the
afternoon. From what I have been able to collect, the French attacked the
Prussians on the 14th, and a desperate conflict took place on that day, and
the whole of the 15th,[14] when the whole of the Prussian army at Ligny,
Fleurus and Charleroy was totally defeated and driven from its position; a
dislocation of our troops took place early in the morning of the 16th, and
our advanced guard, consisting of the Highland Brigade and two Battalions
of Nassau-Usingen, fell in with the advanced guard of the French Army
commanded by Marshal Ney near Quatre-Bras, and made such a gallant defence
against his corps d'armee as to keep it in check the whole day and enable
itself to fall back in good order to its present position with the rest of
the army, about ten miles in front of Bruxelles. Indeed, I am informed that
nothing could exceed the admirable conduct of the corps above mentioned.
Yesterday we heard no cannonade, but this afternoon it has been unceasing
and still continues. All the caricatures and satires against Napoleon have
disappeared from the windows and stalls. The shops are all shut, the
English families flying to Antwerp; and the proclamation of the Baron de
Capellen[15] to the inhabitants, wherein he exhorts them to be tranquil and
assures them that the Bureaux of Government have not yet quitted Bruxelles,
only serves to increase the confusion and consternation. The inhabitants in
general wish well to the arms of Napoleon, but they know that the retreat
of the English Army must necessarily take place through their town; that
our troops will perhaps endeavour to make a stand, and that the
consequences will be terrible to the inhabitants, from the houses being
liable to be burned or pillaged by friend or foe. All the baggage of our
Army and all the military Bureaux have received orders to repair and are
now on their march to Antwerp, and the road thither is so covered and
blocked up by waggons that the retreat of our Army will be much impeded
thereby. Probably my next letter may be dated from a French prison.


Judge, my friend, of my astonishment and that of almost everybody in this
city, at the news which was circulated here early on the morning of the
19th, and has been daily confirmed, viz., that the French Army had been
completely defeated and was in full flight, leaving behind it 220 pieces of
cannon and all its baggage, waggons and _munitions de guerre_. I have not
been able to collect all the particulars, but you will no doubt hear enough
of it, for I am sure it will be _said_ or _sung_ by all the partisans of
the British ministry and all the Tories of the United Kingdom for months
and years to come; for further details, therefore, I shall refer you to the
Gazette. The following, however, you may consider as a tolerably fair
precis of what took place. The attack began on the 18th about ten
o'clock[16] and raged furiously along the whole line, but principally at
Hougoumont, a large _Metairie_ on the right of our position, which was
occupied by our troops, and from which all the efforts of the enemy could
not dislodge them. The slaughter was terrible in this quarter. From twelve
o'clock till evening several desperate charges of cavalry and infantry were
made on the rest of our line. Both sides fought with the utmost courage and
obstinacy, and were prodigal of life in the extreme. But it is generally
supposed that our army must have succumbed towards the evening had it not
been for the arrival of Bulow's division of Prussians, followed closely by
Blucher and the rest of the army, which had rallied with uncommon celerity.
These moved on the right flank of the French, and decided the fortune of
the day by a charge which was seconded by a general charge from the whole
of the English line on the centre and left of the French. Seeing themselves
thus turned, a panic, it is said, spread among the young Guard of the
French army, and a cry of "_Sauve qui peut! nous sommes trahis!_" spread
like wildfire. The flight became universal; the old Guard alone remained,
refused quarter and perished like Leonidas and his Spartans. The Prussian
cavalry being fresh pursued the enemy all night, _l'epee dans les reins_,
and it may be conceived from their previous disposition that they would not
be very merciful to the vanquished. Indeed, on the 15th, it is said that
the French were not very merciful to them. It was like the combat of
Achilles and Hector.

No thought but rage and never ceasing strife
Till death extinguish rage and thought and life.

France will now call out to Napoleon as Augustus did to Varus, "Give me
back my legions!" The loss on both sides was very great, but it must have
been prodigious on the side of the French. The whole Allied Army is in full
pursuit. Several friends and acquaintances of mine perished in this battle,
viz., Lieut.-General Sir T. Picton, Colonel Sir H. Ellis and Colonel

June 22.

This morning I went to visit the field of battle, which is a little beyond
the village of Waterloo, on the plateau of Mont St Jean; but on arrival
there the sight was too horrible to behold. I felt sick in the stomach and
was obliged to return. The multitude of carcases, the heaps of wounded men
with mangled limbs unable to move, and perishing from not having their
wounds dressed or from hunger, as the Allies were, of course, obliged to
take their surgeons and waggons with them, formed a spectacle I shall never
forget. The wounded, both of the Allies and the French, remain in an
equally deplorable state.

At Hougoumont, where there is an orchard, every tree is pierced with
bullets. The barns are all burned down, and in the court-yard it is said
they have been obliged to burn upwards of a thousand carcases, an awful
holocaust to the War-Demon.

As nothing is more distressing than the sight of human misery when we are
unable to silence it, I returned as speedily as possible to Bruxelles with
Cowper's lines in my head:

War is a game, which, were their subjects wise,
Kings should not play at.

I hope this battle will, at any rate, lead to a speedy peace.

June 28.

We have no other news from the Allied Army, except that they are moving
forward with all possible celerity in the direction of Paris. You may form
a guess of the slaughter and of the misery that the wounded must have
suffered, and the many that must have perished from hunger and thirst, when
I tell you that all the carriages in Bruxelles, even elegant private
equipages, landaulets, barouches and berlines, have been put in requisition
to remove the wounded men from the field of battle to the hospitals, and
that they are yet far from being all brought in. The medical practitioners
of the city have been put in requisition, and are ordered to make
domiciliary visits at every house (for each habitation has three or four
soldiers in it) in order to dress the wounds of the patients. The
Bruxellois, the women in particular, have testified the utmost humanity
towards the poor sufferers. It was suggested by some humane person that
they who went to see the field of battle from motives of curiosity would do
well to take with them bread, wine and other refreshments to distribute
among the wounded, and most people did so. For my part I shall not go a
second time. Napoleon, it is said, narrowly escaped being taken. His
carriage fell into the hands of the Allies, and was escorted in triumph
into Bruxelles by a detachment of dragoons. So confident was Napoleon of
success that printed proclamations were found in the carriage dated from
"Our Imperial Palace at Laecken," announcing his victory and the liberation
of Belgium from the insatiable coalition, and wherein he calls on the
Belgians to re-unite with their old companions in arms in order to reap the
fruits of their victory. This was certainly rather premature, and reminds
me of an anecdote of a Spanish officer at the siege of Gibraltar, related
by Drinkwater in his narrative of that siege.[17] When the British garrison
made a sortie, they carried the advanced Spanish lines and destroyed all
their preparations; the Spanish officer on guard at the outermost post was
killed, but on the table of his guard room was found his guard report
filled up and signed, stating that "nothing extraordinary had happened
since guard-mounting."

Mr L. of Northumberland, having proposed to me to make a tour with him to
Aix-la-Chapelle and the banks of the Rhine, I shall start with him in a day
or two.

[1] Sir Wiltshire Wilson (1762-1842), Commander of the Royal Artillery in
Ceylon, 1810-1815.--Ed.

[2] Pulci, _Morgante_, canto XVIII, ottava 114-115. The Giant Morgante
meets the villain Margutte and asks him if he be a Christian or a
Saracen. Margutte answers that he cares not, but only believes in
boiled or in roasted capon:

Rispose allor Margutte: A dirtel tosto
Io non credo pio al nero ch'all' azzurro.
Ma nel cappone, o lesso, o vuogll arrosto....

[3] Ariosto, _Orlando Furioso_, iv, 63, f.--ED.

[4] A work of H, Verbruggen of Antwerp (1677).--ED.

[5] Lord Bruce, Earl of Ailesbury, caused this fountain to be erected in
1751, as a token of gratitude to the town of Bruxelles where he had
lived in exile.--E.D.

[6] Henry Dundas, Viscount Melville (1741-1811), elevated to the peerage in

[7] Xenophon, _Education of Cyrus_, II, 4, 4.--ED.

[8] Astley's Amphitheatre, near Westminster Bridge.--ED.

[9] Uncle Toby, in Laurence Sterne's _Tristram Shandy_.--ED.

[10] Lieutenant R.P. Campbell, aide-de-camp to Major-General Adam.--ED.

[11] In May, 1815, the officer commanding-in-chief at Tournai was
General-Major A.C. Van Diermen.--ED.

[12] Karl Friedrich Ludwig Moritz, Fuerst zu Ysenburg-Bierstein (1766-1820),
took service with Austria (1784), with Prussia (1804), and later with
Napoleon (1806), who commissioned him as brigadier-general. The
shameless conduct of this officer is exposed by B. Poten, _Allgemeine
Deutsche Biographie_, vol. XLIV, p. 611.--ED.

[13] The battle at Ligny was fought on June 16.--ED.

[14] The facts and dates here given are of course inaccurate; but this
proves that Major Frye wrote his text in the very midst of the crisis,
and that his manuscript has not been tampered with.--ED.

[15] Baron van Capellen, a Dutch statesman, was governor-general of the
Belgian provinces, residing at Bruxelles. He was afterwards
governor-general of Dutch India. Born in 1778, he died in 1848. His
memoirs have been published in French by Baron Sirtema de Grovestins
(1852), and contain an interesting passage on that momentous day,
18th June, 1815.--ED.

[16] Not before half past eleven.--ED.

[17] John Drinkwater, also called Bethune (1762-1844), published a
well-known _History of the Siege of Gibraltar, 1779-1783_.--ED.


From Bruxelles to Liege--A priest's declamation against the French
Revolution--Maastricht--Aix-la-Chapelle--Imperial relics--Napoleon
regretted--Klingmann's "Faust"--A Tyrolese beauty--Cologne--Difficulties
about a passport--The Cathedral--King-craft and priest-craft--The
Rhine--Bonn and Godesberg--Goethe's "Goetz von Berlichingen"--The Seven
Mountains--German women--Andernach--Ehrenbreitstein--German hatred against
France--Coblentz--Intrigues of the Bourbon princes in Coblentz--Mayence--
Bieberich--Conduct of the Allies towards Napoleon--Frankfort on the
Mayn--An anecdote about Lord Stewart and Lafayette--German poetry--The
question of Alsace and Lorraine--Return to Bruxelles--Napoleon's surrender.

LIEGE, June 26.

Mr L. and myself started together in the diligence from Bruxelles at seven
o'clock in the evening of the 24th inst. and arrived here yesterday morning
at twelve o'clock. I experienced considerable difficulty in procuring a
passport to quit Bruxelles, my name having been included in that of General
Wilson, which he carried back with him to England. Our Ambassador was
absent, and I was bandied about from bureau to bureau without success; so
that I began at last to think that I should be necessitated to remain at
Bruxelles all my life, when fortunately it occurred to Mr L. that he was
intimately acquainted with the English Consul, and he kindly undertook to
procure me one and succeeded. On arrival here we put up at the _Pommelette
d'Or_. The price of a place in the diligence from Bruxelles to Liege is
fifteen franks. We passed thro' Louvain, but too late to see anything. The
country about Liege is extremely striking and picturesque; the river Meuse
flows thro' the city, and the banks of the river outside the town are very
_riants_ and agreeable. Liege is a large, well-built city, but rather
gloomy as to its appearance, and lies in a hollow completely surrounded by
lofty hills. The remains of its ancient citadel stand on a height which
completely commands the city; on another height stands a monastery, a
magnificent building. There are a great many coal-pits in the vicinity of
Liege, and a great commerce of coals is carried on between this city and
Holland by the _treckschuyte_ on the Meuse. We visited the ancient
Episcopal palace and the Churches. The Palace is completely dismantled.
This city suffered much during the revolt of the Belgian provinces against
the Emperor Joseph II, and having distinguished itself by the obstinacy of
its defence, it was treated with great rigour by the Austrian Government.
The fortifications were blown up, and nothing now remains on the site of
the old citadel but a large barrack. I remained two whole hours on this
height to contemplate the beauties of the expanse below. The banks of the
river, which meanders much in these parts, and the numerous _maisons de
campagne_ with the public promenades and allees lined with trees,
exhilarate the scene of the environs, for the city itself is dull enough.
Several pretty villas are situated also on the heights, and were I to dwell
here I should choose one of them and seldom descend into the valley and
city below,

Where narrow cares and strife and envy dwell.

Liege, however sombre in its appearance, is a place of much opulence and
commerce. A Belgian garrison does duty here. At the inn, after dinner, I
fell into conversation with a Belgian priest, and as I was dressed in black
he fancied I was one of the cloth, and he asked me if I were a Belgian, for
that I spoke French with a Belgian accent; "Apparemment Monsieur est
ecclesiastique?--Monsieur, je suis ne Anglais et protestant." He then began
to talk about and declaim against the French Revolution, for that is the
doctrine now constantly dinned into the ears of all those who take orders;
and he concluded by saying that things would never go on well in Europe
until they restored to God the things they had taken from Him. I told him
that I differed from him very much, for that the sale of the Church domains
and of the lands and funds belonging to the suppressed ecclesiastical
establishments had contributed much to the improvement of agriculture and
to the comfort of the peasantry, whose situation was thereby much
ameliorated; and that they were now in a state of affluence compared with
what they were before the French Revolution. I added: "Enfin, Monsieur,
Dieu n'a pas besoin des choses terrestres." On my saying this he did not
chuse to continue the conversation, but calling for a bottle of wine drank
it all himself with the zest of a Tartuffe. I believe that he was surprised
to find that an Englishman should not coincide with his sentiments, for I
observe all the adherents of the ancient regime of feudality and
superstition have an idea that we are anxious for the re-establishment of
all those abuses as they themselves are, and it must be confessed that the
conduct of our Government has been such as to authorize them fully in
forming such conjectures, and that we shall be their staunch auxiliaries in
endeavouring to arrest and retrograde the progress of the human mind. In
fact, I soon perceived that my friend was not overloaded with wit and that
he was one of those priests so well described by Metastasio:

Il di cui sapere
Sta nel nostro ignorar....

MAASTRICHT, 27th June.

This morning, after a promenade on the banks of the Meuse--for I am fond of
rivers and woods (_flumina amo silvasque inglorius_)--we embarked on a
_treckschuyt_ and arrived here after a passage of four hours. The scenery
on the banks of the Meuse all the way from Liege to Maastricht is highly
diversified and extremely romantic; but here at Maastricht this ceases and
the dull uniformity of the Dutch landscape begins. When on the ramparts of
the city to the North and West an immense plain as far as the eye can reach
presents itself to view; a few trees and sandhills form the only relief to
the picture. The town itself is neat, clean and dull, like all Dutch towns.
The fortifications are strong and well worth inspection. The most
remarkable thing in the neighbourhood of Maastricht is the Montagne de St
Pierre, which from having been much excavated for the purpose of procuring
stone, forms a labyrinth of a most intricate nature. I advise every
traveller to visit it, and if he has a classical imagination he may fancy
himself in the labyrinth of Crete.


We started in the morning of the 28th from Maastricht in the diligence for
Aix-la-Chapelle and arrived here at twelve o'clock, putting up at Van
Guelpen's Hotel, _Zum Pfaelzischen Hofe_ (a la Cour palatine), which I
recommend as an excellent inn and the hosts as very good people. The price
of our journey from Liege to Maastricht in the water-diligence was 2-1/2
franks, and from Maastricht to Aix-la-Chapelle by land was 7 franks the
person. The road from Maastricht to this place is not very good, but the
country at a short distance from Maastricht becomes picturesque, much
diversified by hill and dale and well wooded. As the Meuse forms the
boundary between the Belgic and Prussian territory, we enter the latter
sooner after leaving Maastricht. I find my friend L. a most agreeable
travelling companion; travelling seems to be his passion, as it is mine;
and fortune has so far favoured me in this particular, that my professional
duties and private affairs have led me to visit the four quarters of the
globe. After dinner, on the first day of our arrival here, we went to visit
the _Hotel de Ville_, before which stands on a pedestal in a bason an
ancient bronze statue of Charlemagne. It has nothing to recommend it but
its antiquity. The _Hotel de Ville_ is similar to other Gothic buildings
used for the same purpose. In the great hall thereof there is a large
picture representing the ambassadors of all the powers who assisted at the
signing of the treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle in 1742; and a full length
portrait of the present King of Prussia, as master of the city, occupies
the place where once stood that of Napoleon, its late lord. We next went to
see the Cathedral and sat down on the throne on which the German Caesars
used to be crowned. We viewed likewise the various costly articles of
plate, the gifts of pious princes. The most remarkable things among them
are several superb dresses of gold and silver embroidery, so thickly laid
on that they are of exceeding weight. These dresses form part of the
wardrobe of the Virgin Mary. Next to be seen is a case or chest of massy
silver, adorned with innumerable precious stones of great value; which case
contains the bones or ashes of Charlemagne. His right arm bone is however
preserved separate in a glass case. The sword of this prince too, and the
Imperial crown is to be seen here. The sacristan next proceeded to show to
us the other relics, but having begun with the exhibition of a rag dipped
in the sweat of Jesus Christ and a nail of the Holy Cross, we began to
think we had seen enough and went away perfectly satisfied. There is no
other monument in honour of Charlemagne, but a plain stone on the floor of
the Church with the simple inscription "Carolo Magno." On going out of the
city thro' one of the gates, and at a short distance from it, we ascended
the mountain or rather hill called the Louisberg on which are built a
Ridotto and Cafe, as also a Column erected in honour of Napoleon with a
suitable inscription; the inscription is effaced and is about to be
replaced by another in the German language in commemoration of the downfall
of the _Tyrant_, as the Coalition are pleased to call him. This Tyrant is
however extremely regretted by the inhabitants of Aix-la-Chapelle and not
without reason, for he was a great benefactor to them and continually
embellished the city, confirming and increasing its privileges. The
inhabitants are not at all pleased with their new masters; for the
behaviour of the Prussian military has been so insulting and overbearing
towards the burghers and students that it is, I am told, a common
exclamation among the latter, alluding to the Prussians having stiled
themselves their deliverers: _De nostris liberatoribus, Domine, libera
nos_. Indeed, I can evidently discern that they are not particularly
pleased at the result of the battle of Waterloo.

In the evening I went to the theatre, which has the most inconvenient form
imaginable, being a rectangle. As anti-Gallicanism is the order of the day,
only German dramas are allowed to be performed and this night it was the
tragedy of Faust, or Dr Faustus as we term him in England, not the Faust of
Goethe, which is not meant for nor at all adapted to the stage, but a drama
of that name written by Klingmann.[18] It is a strange wild piece, quite in
the German style and full of horrors and diableries. In this piece the
sublime and terrible border close on the ridiculous; for instance the Devil
and Faust come to drink in a beer-schenk or ale-house. 'Tis true the Devil
is incognito at the time and is called "der Fremde" or "the Stranger"; it
is only towards the conclusion of the piece that he discovers himself to be
Satan.... The actor who played the part of the Stranger had something in
his physiognomy very terrific and awe-inspiring. In another scene, which to
us would appear laughable and absurd, but which pleases a German audience,
three women in masks come on the stage to meet Faust, in a churchyard, and
on unmasking display three skeleton heads.

Poor Faust had stipulated to give his soul to the Devil for aiding him in
the attainment of his desires; the Devil on his part agrees to allow him to
commit four deadly sins before he shall call on him to fulfil his contract.
Faust, in the sequel, kills his wife and his father-in-law. Satan then
claims him. Faust pleads in arrest of judgement, that he has only committed
two crimes out of the four for which he had agreed; and that there
consequently remained two others for him to commit before he could be
claimed. The Devil in rejoinder informs him that his wife was with child at
the time he killed her, which constituted the third crime, and that the
very act of making a contract with the Devil for his soul forms the fourth.
Faust, overwhelmed with confusion, has not a word to say; and Satan seizing
him by the hair of his head, carries him off in triumph. This piece is
written in iambics of ten syllables and the versification appeared to me
correct and harmonious, and the sentiments forcible and poetical; this
fully compensated for the bizarrerie of the story itself, which, by the
bye, with all the reproach thrown by the adherents of the classic taste on
those of the romantic, is scarcely more _outre_ than the introduction of
Death ([Greek: _thanatos_]) as a dramatic personage in the _Alcestis_ of

There is at Aix-la-Chapelle at one of the hotels a Faro Bank; it is open
like the gates of Hell _noctes atque dies_ and gaming goes forward without
intermission; this seems, indeed, to be the only occupation of the
strangers who visit these baths. There is near this hotel a sort of Place
or Quadrangle with arcades under which are shops and stalls. At one of
these shops I met with the most beautiful girl I ever beheld, a Tyrolese by
birth and the daughter of a print-seller. She was from the Italian Tyrol;
Roveredo, I think she said, was her birthplace. She united much grace and
manner with her beauty, on account of which I could not avoid complimenting
her in her native tongue, which she seemed pleased to hear. Her eyes and
eyebrows brought to my recollection the description of those of Alcina:

Sotto due negri e sottilissimi archi,
Son due neri occhi, anzi, due chiari soli,
Pietosi a riguardare, a mover parchi,
Intorno a cui par che Amor scherzi e voli.[19]

Two black and slender arches rise above
Two clear black eyes, say suns of radiant light;
Which ever softly beam and slowly move;
Round these appears to sport in frolic flight,
Hence scattering all his shafts, the little Love.

--_Trans_. W.S. ROSE.

We then proceeded to look at the suburb of this city called Bortscheid, by
far the finest part of the city and at some elevation above it. It commands
an extensive view. We also visited the various bath establishments; the
taste of the water had some resemblance to that of Harrogate, and is good
in bilious, scrofulous and cutaneous complaints. On our return to the hotel
we learned the news of the capitulation of Paris to the Allied powers. It
is said to be purely a military convention by which the French army is to
evacuate Paris and retire behind the Loire. There is no talk and no other
intelligence about Napoleon, except that he had been compelled by the two
Houses of Legislature to abdicate the throne. We are still in the dark as
to the intentions of the Allies. I regret much that my friend and fellow
traveller L. is obliged to return to Bruxelles and cannot accompany me to
Cologne, to which place I am impatient to go and to pay my respects to old
father Rhine, so renowned in history.


I left Aix-la-Chapelle on the morning of the 2nd of July and arrived at
Cologne about six o'clock in the evening, putting up at the Inn _Zum
heiligen Geist_ (Holy Ghost), which is situated on the banks of the river.
The price of the journey in the diligence is 18 franks. On the road hither
lies Juliers, a large and strongly fortified town surrounded by a marsh. It
must be very important as a military post. The road after quitting Juliers
runs for the most part thro' a forest, and has been much improved and
enlarged by the French; before they improved it, it was almost impassable
in wet weather. We met on the road several Prussian waggons and
reinforcements on their march to Bruxelles. Two of my fellow travellers in
the diligence were very intelligent young men belonging to respectable
families in Cologne and were returning thither; they likewise complained
much of the overbearing demeanour of the Prussian military towards the

Cologne is a large, but very dull looking city, as dull as Liege; it would
seem as if all towns and cities under ecclesiastical domination were dull
or rendered so by the prohibition of the most innocent amusements. The
fortifications are out of repair; but the Prussian Government intend to
make Cologne a place of great strength. The name of the village on the
opposite of the river is Deutz, and in the time of the French occupation
there was a _tete-de-pont_. The next morning I was obliged to appear before
the police, and afterwards before the _Commandant de la Place_, in order to
have my passport examined and _vise_. At the bureau of the police it was
remarked to me that my passport was not _en regle_, the features of the
bearer not being therein specified. I replied that it was not my fault;
that it was given to me in that shape by the English Consul at Bruxelles
and that it was not my province to give to the Consul any directions as to
its form and tenor. The Commissary of Police then asked me what business I
was about in travelling, and the following conversation took place: "Was
haben Sie fuer Geschaefte?"--"Keine; ich reise nur um Vergnuegen's Willen."--"
Sonderbar!"--"Worin liegt das Sonderbare, dass man reist um ein schoenes
Land zu sehen?"[20]--He made no answer to this, but one of his coadjutors
standing by him said in a loud whisper, "Ein Herumreiser," which means an
adventurer or person who travels about for no good,--in a word, a
suspicious character. I then said with the utmost calm and indifference:
"Gentlemen, as soon as you shall have finished all your commentaries on the
subject of my passport, pray be so good as to inform me what I am to do,
whether I may go on to Mayence and Frankfort as is my intention, or return
to Bruxelles." The Commissary, after a slight hesitation, signed the _visa_
and I then carried it to the bureau of the Commandant, whose secretary
signed it without hesitation, merely asking me if I were a military man.

In the afternoon I went to visit the Dome or Cathedral. It is a fine
specimen of Gothic architecture, but singular enough the steeple is not yet
finished. In this Cathedral the most remarkable thing is the Chapel of the
Three Kings, wherein is deposited a massy gold chest inlaid with precious
stones of all sorts and of great value, containing the bones of the
identical three Kings (it is said) who came from the East to worship the
infant Jesus at Bethlehem. The Scriptures say it was three wise men or
Magi. The legend however calls them Kings and gives them Gothic names. Let
schoolmen and theologians reconcile this difference: _ce n'est point notre
affaire_. To me it appears that when the German tribes embraced
Christianity and enrolled themselves under the banner of St Peter, it was
thought but fair to allow them to give vent to a little nationality and to
blend their old traditions with the new-fangled doctrine, and no doubt the
Sovereign Pontiffs thought that the people could never be made to believe
too much; the same policy is practised by the Jesuit missionaries in China,
where in order to flatter the national vanity and bend it to their purposes
they represent Jesus Christ as being a great personal friend and
correspondent of Confucius.

To return to these monarchs, wise men or Magi: their _sculls_ are kept
separate to the rest of the bones and each _scull_ bears a crown of gold.
But if you are fond of miracles, legends, and details of relics, come with
me to the Church of St Ursula in this city, and see the proof positive of
the miraculous legend of the eleven thousand Virgins who suffered martyrdom
in this city, in the time of Attila; the bones of all of whom are carefully
preserved here and adorn the interior walls of the Church in the guise of
arms arranged in an armoury. Eleven thousand sculls, each bearing a golden
or gilt crown, grin horribly on the spectator from the upper part of the
interior walls of the church, where they are placed in a row. What a fine
subject this would make for a ballad in the style of Buerger to suppose that
on a particular night in the year, at the midnight hour when mortals in
slumbers are bound, the bones all descending from the walls where they are
arranged, forming themselves into bodies, clapping on their heads and
dancing a skeleton dance round the Ghost of Attila! The people of Cologne,
in the time of the ecclesiastical Electorate, had the reputation of being
extremely superstitious, and no doubt there were many who implicitly
believe this pious tale; indeed, who could refuse their assent to its
authenticity, on beholding the proof positive in the sculls and bones?

I recollect that in the History of the Compere Mathiew[21] the Pere Jean
rates mightily the natives of Cologne for their bigotry and superstition
and for the bad reception they gave to him and to his philosophy. That
people are happier from a blind belief, as some pretend, appears to me
extremely problematical. For my part, under no circumstances can I think
bliss to consist in ignorance; nor have I felt any particular discomfort in
having learned at a very early age to put under my feet, as Lucretius
expresses it, the _strepitum Acherontis avari_. On the contrary, it has
made me a perfect cosmopolitan, extinguished all absurd national and
religious prejudices, and rendered me at home wherever I travel; and I meet
the Catholic, the Lutheran, the Moslem, the Jew, the Hindou and the Guebre
as a brother. _Quo me cunque ferat tempestas, deferor hospes_.[22] Let me
add one word more to obviate any misrepresentation of my sentiments from
some malignant Pharisee, that tho' I am no friend to King-craft and
Priest-craft, and cannot endure that religion should ever be blended with
politics, yet I am a great admirer of the beautiful and consoling
philosophy or theosophy of Jesus Christ which inculcates the equality of
Mankind, and represents the Creator of the universe, the Author of all
being, as the universal Father of the human race.

Cologne derives its name from _Colonia_, as it was a Roman Colony planted
here to protect the left bank of the Rhine from the incursions of the
German hordes. It is here that the grand and original manufactory of the
far-famed _Eau de Cologne_ is to be seen. The _Eau de Cologne_ is a
sovereign remedy for all kinds of disorders, and if the _affiches_ of the
proprietor, Jean-Marie Farina, be worthy of credit, he is as formidable a
check to old Pluto as ever Aesculapius was. The sale of this water is

On my return to the inn, I met with a Dutch clergyman who was travelling
with his pupils, three very fine boys, the sons of a Dutch lady of rank. He
was to conduct them to the University of Neuwied, on the right bank of the
Rhine, in order to place them there for their education. The young men seem
to have profited much from their studies. Their tutor seemed to be a
well-informed man and of liberal ideas; he preferred speaking German to
French, as he said he had not much facility in expressing himself in the
latter language. He said if I were going his way he would be happy to have
the pleasure of my company, to which I very willingly acceded, and we
agreed to start the next morning early so as to arrive at Bonn to
breakfast, and then to go on to Godesberg, where he proposed to remain a
few days.

From the windows of our inn we have a fine view of the river, and I have
not omitted doing hommage to old Father Rhine by taking up some of his
water in the hollow of my hand to drink. The Rhine of later years has been
considered the guardian of Germany against the hostile incursions of the
French, and Schiller represents this river as a Swiss vigilant on his post,
yet in spite of his vigilance and fidelity unable to prevent his restless
neighbour from forcing his safeguard. The following are the lines of
Schiller where the river speaks in a distich:

Treu wie dem Schwfeizer gebuehrt bewach'ich Germaniens Grenze,
Aber der Gallier huepft ueber den duldenden Strom.

In vain my stream I interpose
To guard Germania's realm from foes;
The nimble Gauls my cares deride
And often leap on t'other side.

GODESBERG, 4th July.

The distance from Cologne to Bonn is 18 miles and Godesberg is three miles
further. We stopped to breakfast at Bonn and after breakfast made a
promenade thro' the city. Bonn is a handsome, clean, well-built and
cheerful looking city and the houses are good and solid.

The Electoral Palace is a superb building, but is not occupied and is
falling rapidly to decay. From the terrace in the garden belonging to this
Palace, which impends over the Rhine, you have a fine view of this noble
river. This Palace was at one time made use of as a barrack by the French,
and since the secularization of the Ecclesiastical Electorates it has not
been thought worth while to embellish or even repair it. There is a Roman
antiquity in this town called the _Altar of Victory_, erected on the Place
St Remi, but remarkable for nothing but its antiquity; it seems to be a
common Roman altar.[23] The road from Bonn to Godesberg is three miles in
length and thro' a superb avenue of horse-chesnut trees; but before you
arrive at Godesberg, there is on the left side of the road a curious
specimen of Gothic architecture called _Hochkreutz_, very like Waltham
cross in appearance, but much higher and in better preservation; it was
erected by some feudal Baron to expiate a homicide. The castle of Godesberg
is situated on an eminence and commands a fine prospect; it is now a mass
of rums and the walls only remain. It derives its name of Godesberg or
Goetzenberg from the circumstance of its having been formerly the site of a
temple of Minerva built in the time of the Romans, and thence called
Goetzenberg by the Christians, _Goetze_ in German signifying an idol.

On the plain at the foot of the hill of Godesberg and at the distance of an
eighth of a mile from the river, a shelving cornfield intervening, stand
three large hotels and a ridotto, all striking edifices. To the south of
these is situated a large wood. These hotels are always full of company in
the summer and autumn: they come here to drink the mineral waters, a
species of Seltzer, the spring of which is about a quarter of a mile
distant from the hotels. The hotel at which we put up bears the name of
_Die schoene Aussicht_ (la Belle Vue) and well does it deserve the name; for
it commands a fine view of the reaches of the river, north and south.
Directly on the opposite bank, abruptly rising, is the superb and
magnificent chain of mountains called the _Sieben Gebirge_ or Seven
Mountains. On the summit of these mountains tower the remains of Gothic
castles or keeps, still majestic, tho' in ruins, and frowning on the plains
below; they bring to one's recollection the legends and chronicles of the
Middle Ages. They bear terrible awe-inspiring names such as Drachenfels,
Loewenberg; the highest of them is called Drachenfels or the Rock of Dragons
and on it stood the Burg or Chateau of a Feudal Count or _Raubgraf_, who
was the terror of the surrounding country, and has given rise to a very
interesting romance called _The Knights of the Seven Mountains_. This
feudal tyrant used to commit all sorts of depredations and descend into the
plains below, in order to intercept the convoys of merchandize passing
between Aix-la-Chapelle and Frankfort. It was to check these abuses and
oppressions that was instituted the famous Secret Tribunal _Das heimliche
Gericht_, the various Governments in Germany being then too weak to protect
their subjects or to punish these depredations. This secret tribunal, from
the summary punishments it inflicted, the mysterious obscurity in which it
was enveloped, and the impossibility of escaping from its pursuit, became
the terror of all Germany. They had agents and combinations everywhere, and
exercised such a system of espionage as to give to their proceedings an
appearance of supernatural agency. A simple accusation was sufficient for
them to act upon, provided the accuser solemnly swore to the truth of it
without reserve, and consented to undergo the same punishment as the
accused was subjected to, in case the accusation should be false; till this
solemnity was gone through, no pursuit was instituted against the offender.
There was scarcely ever an instance of a false accusation, for it was well
known that no power could screen the delator from the exemplary punishment
that awaited him; and there were no means of escaping from the omniscience
and omnipotence of the secret tribunal.

To return to Godesberg, it is a most beautiful spot and much agreeable
society is here to be met with. The families of distinction of the
environing country come here for the purpose of recreation and drinking the
mineral waters. We sit down usually sixty to dinner, and I observe some
very fine women among them. On Sunday there is a ball at the ridotto. The
promenades in the environs are exceedingly romantic, and this place is the
favourite resort of many new married couples who come here to pass the
honeymoon. The scenery of the surrounding country is so picturesque and
beautiful as to require the pencil of an Ariosto or Wieland to do justice
to it:

Ne se tutto cercato avessi il mondo
Vedria di questo un pin gen til paese.[24]

And, had he ranged the universal world,
Would not have seen a lovelier in his round.

--_Trans_. W.S. ROSE.

To the researches of the naturalist and mineralogist the Seven Mountains
offer inexhaustible resources. The living and accommodation of the three
hotels are very reasonable. For one and a half florins you have an
excellent and plentiful dinner at the table d'hote, including a bottle of
Moselle wine and Seltzer water at discretion; by paying extra you can have
the Rhine wines of different growths and crops and French wines of all

I am much pleased with the little I have seen of the German women. They
appear to be extremely well educated. I observe many of them in their
morning walks with a book in their hand either of poetry or a novel.
Schiller is the favourite poet among them and Augustus Lafontaine the
favourite novel writer.[25] He is a very agreeable author were he not so
prolix; yet we English have no right to complain of this fault, since there
is no novel in all Germany to compare in point of prolixity with Clarissa,
Sit Charles Grandison, or Tom Jones. The great fault of Augustus Lafontaine
is that of including in one novel the history of two or three generations.
A beautiful and very interesting tale of his, however, is entirely free
from this defect and is founded on a fact. It is called _Dankbarkeit und
Liebe_ (Gratitude and Love). There is more real pathos in this novelette
than in the _Nouvelle Heloise_ of Rousseau.


After a _sejour_ of three days at Godesberg, we left that delightful
residence and proceeded to Neuwied to deposit the boys. We stopped,
however, for an hour or two at Andernach, which is situated in a beautiful
valley on the left bank. We viewed the remains of the palace of the Kings
of Austrasia and the church where the body of the Emperor Valentinian is
preserved embalmed.

Andernach is remarkable for being the exact spot where Julius Caesar first
crossed the Rhine to make war on the German nations. Directly opposite
Neuwied, which is on the right bank, stands close to the village of
Weissenthurm the monument erected to the French General Hoche. We crossed
over to Neuwied in a boat. Neuwied is a regular, well-built town, but
rather of a sombre melancholy appearance and is only remarkable for its
university. Science could not chuse a more tranquil abode. This University
has been ameliorated lately by its present sovereign the King of Prussia.
It was not the interest of Napoleon to favour any establishment on the
right bank at the expence of those on the left, the former being out of his
territory. At Neuwied I took leave of my agreeable fellow travellers, as
they intended to remain there and I to go on to Ehrenbreitstein. An
opportunity presented itself the same afternoon of which I profited. I met
with an Austrian Captain of Infantry and his lady at the inn where I
stopped who were going to Ehrenbreitstein in their _caleche_, and they were
so kind as to offer me a place in it. I found them both extremely
agreeable; both were from Austria proper. He had left the Austrian service
some time ago and had since entered into the Russian service; from that he
was lately transferred, together with the battalion to which he belonged,
into the service of Prussia and placed on the retired list of the latter
with a very small pension. He did not seem at all satisfied with this
arrangement. He had served in several campaigns against the French in
Germany, Italy and France, and was well conversant in French and Italian

We stopped _en passant_ at a _maison de plaisance_ and superb English
garden belonging to the Duke of Nassau-Weilburg. The house is in the style
of a cottage _orne_, but very roomy and tastefully fitted up; but nothing
can be more diversified and picturesque than the manner in which the garden
is laid out. The ground being much broken favours this; and in one part of
it is a ravine or valley so romantic and savage, that you would fancy
yourself in Tinian or Juan Fernandez. We arrived late in the evening in the
Thal Ehrenbreitstein, which lies at the foot of the gigantic hill fortress
of that name, which frowns over it and seems as if it threatened to fall
and crush it. My friends landed me at the inn _Zum weissen Pferd_ (the
White Horse), where there is most excellent accommodation. Just opposite
Ehrenbreitstein, on the left bank, is Coblentz; a superb flying bridge,
which passes in three minutes, keeps up the communication between the two

Early the next morning, I ascended the stupendous rock of Ehrenbreitstein,
which has a great resemblance to the hill forts in India, such as Gooty,
Nundydroog, etc. It is a place of immense natural strength, but the
fortifications were destroyed by the French, who did not chuse to have so
formidable a neighbour so close to their frontier, as the Rhine then was.
The Prussian Government, however, to whom it now belongs, seem too fully
aware of its importance not to reconstruct the fortifications with as
little delay as possible. Ehrenbreitstein completely commands all the
adjacent country and enfilades the embouchure of the Moselle which flows
into the Rhine at Coblentz, where there is an elegant stone bridge across
the Moselle. Troops without intermission continue to pass over the flying
bridge bound to France, from the different German states, viz., Saxons,
Hessians, Prussians, etc., so that one might apply to this scene Anna
Comnena's expression relative to the Crusades, and say that all Germany is
torn up from its foundation and precipitated upon France. I suppose no less
than 70,000 men have passed within these few days. The German papers,
particularly the _Rheinische Mercur_, continue to fulminate against France
and the war yell resounds with as much fury as ever. From the number of
troops that continue to pass it would seem as if the Allies did not mean to
content themselves with the abdication of Napoleon, but will endeavour to
dismember France. The Prussian officers seem to speak very confidently that
Alsace and Lorraine will be severed from France and reunited to the
Germanic body, to which, they say, every country ought to belong where the
German language is spoken, and they are continually citing the words of an
old song:

Wo ist das deutsche Vaterland?....
Wo man die deutsche Zunge spricht,
Da ist das deutsche Vaterland.[26]

In English: "Where is the country of the Germans? Where the German language
is spoken, there is the country of the Germans!"

Coblentz is a clean handsome city, but there is nothing very remarkable in
it except a fine and spacious "Place." But in the neighbourhood stands the
_Chartreuse_, situated on an eminence commanding a fine view of the whole
_Thalweg_. This _Chartreuse_ is one English mile distant from the town and
my friend the Austrian Captain had the goodness to conduct me thither. It
is a fine large building, but is falling rapidly to decay, being
appropriated to no purpose whatever. The country is beautiful in the


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