George Heath's Journal of his trip to France in 1810
Extracts of the following journal were published in Records of the Heath Family in 1913. The following is a full transcription of George Heath's actual journal.
G.Heath Temple London
Papa’s Journal in France in 1810
[line in pencil, difficult to read.
Mitre fr Lires
Obelisk 180 22.Bare
Mittrode de Laforiel
Vide Medicine operation de Sabatien - / Saivey/
Plymouth 10th August 1810
On the West, the mouth of the River Tamar[?], under the name of the Haineage and on the Mouth of the River Plim under the name of the Calwater bound a Promontory around the Point of which are situated Plymouth Mill Pairon Stonyhouse and Plymouth Docks.
The Eastern Harbour or Catwater at the Entrance of which is Plymouth is appropriated to Merchant ships and the [Hawisaze?] [mades?] many miles above the Dock is destined to Ship of War.
Plymouth itself is a dirty irregular town possessing not one feature to distinguish it from other sea Port Towns but the Docks at two miles distance is of itself [indes—land?] of the Dock Yard almost equal in extent and far surpassing in regularity and beauty the old Town.
The Dock Yard is extensive and contains Docks for building and dry Docks for repairing Ships of the largest size. A Rope path 1200 feet long the Smiths shop where the Anchors are made by hammering [jointed?] iron bars together until the anchor is formed are among the most curious parts of this immense yard. May hours are necessary to heat the unformed Anchor before it is taken out of the furnace.
The Mast Shop is also very worthy of notice in [which?] masts for ships of all [Retn?] are always ready. About 3,000 men are in the whole employed.
Opposite the Dock on the other side of the [Hanseage?] is Mt Edgecombe (in Cornwall) a most beautiful promontory finely wooded in which the Noble Seat of the Earl is situated. It is certainly peculiar to Plymouth that while on one side of its chief Harbour all the business of War is in its highest [Vigosn?] the other side should be one of the most picturesque in England.
Tuesday 14th August 1810
Built in a [Ravine, Ronsive?] dry at low water, about 20 vessels, mostly Prussian and American, embankment and quays. Town very old. Houses resemble those in old Town in England such as Chester Etc. Abundance of trout, one of 4lb sells generally for about 30 sols. Butter 8 or 10 sols.
Wednesday 15th August 1810
Waggons with 2 large wheels 7 or 8 ft diameter, Wagggon about 15 feet long and the loading balanced 5 or 6 horses the usual team. Storehouses, sheepskins used as an ornament on their collars.
Thursday 16th August 1810
Breakfasted with Mackenzie, walked a short distance into the Country. Harvest getting good crops of Barley. Very fine fields of Hemp.
Attended at the Commissary and afterwards on the Mayor for my Passport. If the French Customs no these occasions are vexatious it will be acknowledged that the Conduct of those employed [renders?] it as little so as possible from the time of my reaching the Port to this moment all the Authorities have behaved not only to be but to all the Passengers in the most attentive manner. One would think by their behaviour that you were doing them a great favour by applying to them, yet they have the power and I fear almost with impunity to [use, put?] people to a great [Instead?].
Dined with Mr M. and some French [Gend?] Nothing is so difficult as to get from this place. The Diligence goes about 60 miles a day. But there is no certainty of place as it may be filled at [Rennes, Rouen?] There is no other mode but travelling Post and in order to do this you must buy a carriage or lease one for they only find Horses.
Friday 17th August 1810
Bought Voiture of Mr M for 10 gr, reached Belille [Belle-Isle-en-Terre?] 4 posts [mifa?]. Miserable village inn, silver spoons and forks, 4 beds in one room. Bretton French Catalans always refractory even before Revolution, distinct from the rest of France.
Saturday 18th August 1810
First stage to [Chatelaudren?] [anciently?] fortified, moats &c, very [ancient, austere?] [environs?] Fountain in the Market Place. Next stage [untilred?] road. Flax, Hemp ble’noir, Furze, Brooms. St Brieuc, all at a distance rather pretty. Imperial Ecole Marine. Cathedral St.[Brieuc?] Corn threshing in fields. Walked on past St.Brieuc, all asleep. A voiture passed me after waiting about 2 hours I enquired and found that it has passed, went back and just by St Brieux met a boy with a poney hired it for 2 livres. He ran on to the village 2 leagues off and got me and poney and then flogged and blackguarded it on to Lamballe in 2 hours. 5 leagues, he ran the whole way. [went?] a hand [cauth?] as well as a [Bean?] 13 [handstuff?] would permit. A bit o rope for a bridle. The boy was aged 16 and it was not his time to be a soldier for 2 years. He had been twice to St.Brieuc that morning, 2 leagues each time and did as much every day. Here are material for soldiers.
Country gets more fertile towards Lamballe, well cultivated. Harvest getting in everywhere. Women threshing and reaping. Lamballe the 1st [becu?] place 8 leagues from St.Malo, the sea always visible on the left until this place.
Not one cross road from Morlaix to Lamballe.
Near Lamballe the first cross road to St.Malvos
Very small sheep chiefly black.
Sleep at Bron
Sunday 19th August 1810
At a small village call Bedes we found that the part of the Axle which goes into the Wheel was broke and it was amazing how we escaped to Sunday morning but we got a blacksmith who cobbled it. All the village surrounded in but on the ringing of a bell they all ran to join the Procession to Mass. First a man ringing two Bells, then one carrying a silver cross and little [draping?] then the children with candles, priest, then all the men and last the women.
Galville[?] did not extend to Bretagne as the states then paid their quota of taxes to the King laying them on as they [choose, drove?] The land now is not so productive as then, for they then sewed salt as manure but now tax on salt generally makes it too dear.
Not very loyal.
Reached Rennes about 2 o’clock for the first time. I [mean, never?] in the inhabitable world since I began travelling. The city the capital of Brittany is large and very well built. The streets at right angles, the homes large and proffering great appearances of groups of public buildings. The is a height all them and a proportion in windows and which gives the French towns of a modern date a great [superior?] over the cities of a similar [Bath?] in England, where our houses are all small. I knew no town, Bath excepted, that has so good an appearance ever as Rennes, and the Hotel de Ville is a large regular building. Centre and two wings and in centre a painting of the Emperor and a Roman statue [‘Lycand' crossed out] Costume antique but not Proportions, the [lyr, leg?] too large and long. Imonphson Max. Potentiss, Napolio, Imp. Gall. Rex. Ital.
Germanic Conf. Protect.
Their faces are open and - - of Liberty - - stands, among some rows and small trees planted also here for the first time since entering France I found gambling going on the Sunday afternoon, a game by pushing a ball among little nails but I did not understand it.
We went to the Cathedral, very bad, desolate within, without ornament, Altar with four red common marble pillars not nearly so splendid as those of our Church which I went into in the centre of the Town. Near the Cathedral is a House now belonging to the Bishop, which was a sort of museum. It is now in great want of repair. Behind the Cathedral is a public garden or Walk called Mount Tabor, avenue of trees and forming altogether a very promenade for this city. Contiguous to it though, I don't suppose open every day, is the Botanic Garden of very considerable extent, kept in excellent order, the principal walk is ornamented with large trees. From the appearance of the Green Hot Houses I also think the Exotic to be the most [deertive?] in this collection. From a terrace at the end there is a charming view of the surrounding country.
Palace of the Parliament deserted, a large [monstrous?] building. B. pulled off his hat out of respect to one of the Presidents who resisted the illegal decree of the King.
Hotel de France very good. The new Cathedral was commenced before the Revolution. The front is finished but there it stops. Two towers of considerable height at a distance resemble the usual Gothic Cathedrals but on approaching, the Order is Roman, Ionic the lower and Corinthian above.
The inhabitants are soliciting to have it finished. Several of the churches seeming abandoned.
Monday 20th August 1810
- - repaired, reached Vitrie, a very old town. Wheel again broke and kept at Vitrie the whole day. Market. Cows, small. To 54 to 60 f. and a rather large the still smaller [steers, them?] are smallest 75 F very good - - smoking pipe, very fine 5 or 6 f. 10lbs of hay 450 lbs not [fat?] 100 to 120 F. Oxens trained [brained?] there about 100 lbs, 4 or 5 years 350 to 400 F the pair.
A little black kind of nut of a spiked irregular triangular form, the fruit of an aquatic plant which grows in the ponds in [bought?] and eaten. To me it tasted like the chestnut, not more than anything else. Macre. The vulgar name I could hear no more about.
Small horses, 13 to 14 hands at about 3 [guesses?] 3 years old.
Went to the Castle which belongs to the Duc de la [Trienasielles?] the celebrated Duc de la [Parthenon?] was the last possessor who inhabited it, and he was only once here, during the Revolution. It was partly occupied by Prisoners and some [Apar?] soldiers etc. At present quite in ruins, but some of the rooms interesting, a little Closet with painted panels and latin mottos. At present [Lumati?] confined in one tower, only two at [present?]. Old fortified town, moat and some of the walls and bastions still remaining. Extreme old town, not one modern house. No street straight, no more that 8 or 9 ft &c. House touch at top. Walks under houses, like Chester. Great market for thread , and [cotton?] goods, very bad and very dear.
Church, gothic, rather good. 3 aisles. Remains of good painted windows. Stone pulpit outside. Inhabitants did not know for what, it formed part of a [tten?] buttresses.
About 5 we good our voiture repaired by having an entire new axle behind, and proceeded 2 stages to Laval.
Near Vitre there is a very fine sheet of water, the Banks of which are beautifully wooded. It formerly belonged to the Prince of [Talmont?] and now to the Government who have granted to the Hospital of Rennes.
Nothing can be more beautiful than this part of the country, from the great quantity of wood which it abounds. It gives a richness to the prospects which we would want in England.
Laval is a very considerable town and celebrated for its manufacture of linen. It is like all the rest very old, afforded in very indifferent accommodation. It is the capital of the Department de la Maysonne[?]
Tuesday 21st August 1810
Set off at 6. Breakfasted Ribay [Erbree?], good roads, the country and weather charming, abundance of wood.
From Robay to Pres-en-Paris the country descends and affords a most extensive and rich prospect country.
We now enter Normandy, for no one here talks of the Department but of the old Province, and soon reached Alençon, a well built town, wide airy and extensive. It is situated in the midst of an extensive plain. The contrast here is very great for hitherto all has been [enclosing?] but in Normandy all is open plains, every inch cultivated as in our Common Fields. I as yet had seen nothing that I could not have mistaken for England. But here I was delighted with the novelty as well as the beauty and luxuriance. From Alençon to the next Post Town the drive is like through an orchard. On each side of the road as well as all over the place are fine Apple and Pear trees, bent to the ground with fruit, no hedges intervene and all the land underneath the orchard is covered with grain of every sort which is now rapidly getting in. It is a delicious evening, I never in my life felt the sensation of abundance my feelings? partook of the religious as I looked around, for a while I forgot England and thought it impossible that the Natives o this could be otherwise than happy.
Alençon famous for Lace, called Point D'Alençon, and Linen for sheets and shirts. And horses there in here very year in February a Fair of the finest horses in Normandy, and some fetch as much as 7,000 Liv, about 300 sterling. It lasts 15 days. The Pastures about it also produced very fine cattle and these and the horses form as surprising contrast with these which we saw only the day before in Brittany which are of the most diminutive breeds.
Two leagues are the famous Horses du Pin, from [such?] the most famous breed of Norman Horses is got.
Slept at Merle sur Larche [Le Mele-sur-Sarthe?].
Wednesday 22nd August 1810
Started early and reached la Luene in the evening. The axle of the front wheel broke and let us down about ½ a league from La Quene. Most fortunately a cart passing took out our luggage and we walked to our Auberge. Leaving Mele the country still continued orchard and [corn?] but not so beautiful as the Plain of Alençon and before we reached Montagne [Montagne-au-Perche] it became a completely open country of arable land without the relief of hedges or a sufficiency of fruit trees to make it pleasant. This continued so long that I was glad when between Tillières and Nonancourt a [had, road?] of less fertile land and more hilly first gave me the view of a vineyard, there are not many and have been only attempted here about 20 years. The wine they make is very bad. After Nonancourt the country still continues an extensive plain without enclosures and without many trees except the row of Elms that now line the road, and from the straightness of which they form a vista.
Montagne sit in the midst of the Plain is a clean town.
St Marchain a village.
Vemeinl has the finest church externally that I have yet seen in France, square towers, very high, of very enriched Gothic, with a small round Fretwork tower rising from it. Here is also a [Telysaplin?] Station, it must[?] work, they are quite different from outs [small drawing.]
Celebrated for leather and hosiery and very recently there has been established a Manufacture of [Divinity, Dentistry?]
Houdan – commerce in Wool, very considerable.
Maiolles which was just before [Hundan?] is a small village only remarkable because the Pave commences [with, will?] continues to Paris. Nothing can equal the Road from Alencon to the Pave, the best I have ever seen considering the distance.
Near Alencon we passed an Obelisk, between St Marchain and which has been thrown down and between Moncourant, Reux I have not been able to learn their history, on the last there is no description but on one of the stones of the one thrown down we were told when too late that there was an English transcription, the Bretons on their March to Paris during the Revolution overthrew all there and some are now rebuilt by the express order of the Emperor.
Thursday 23rd August 1810
Could not got the fore axle until near five in the evening the country still continues open, arable, now and then a mile of the road shaded with Elms, on entering the Barrieres of Versailles the vista commences, [not visible at top of page – ‘the old palace' ?] is now under repair, even in the dusk its vastness and splendour astonished me. It was dark before we reached Paris. There was no room at Hotel de Richelieu so went to Hotel D'Anbridie[[?] where I was [bybitten?] for the night. Leeper and myself supped at the Palais Royal. It struck me to be more like Vauxhall than any thing else that I had seen. The light at the same time proceeding only from [Studhopes, Mudhopes?] apartment.
Aug.10th. Plymouth, and the next entry is Morlaix, and so through Rennes, Vitre, Laval, etc., to Paris.
Friday 24th August. 1810
Called on Mons. Denon; it is impossible to do justice to his politeness, he have me a ticket for the Museum, appointed an hour to introduce me to the Minister of the Police. In my walk I had passed the Thuileries, the new Triumphal Arch and the Louvre, and although I knew them well by plan, pictures, etc., yet my surprise was great at the first sight; so much dose the magnificence of this part of Paris surpass everything I had conceived, but what can equal the Musee Napoleon, which at present contains everything of value almost that is known in the world. The Picture Gallery is wonderful, one part is at present occupied by the Exposition of the year, for which prizes are to be given by the Emperor. One by David, of enormous size, represents the coronation by the Emperor of the Empress. The composition is very fine; but the light seems to me much too diffused, and there is a want of breadth, but I had no time to look at the pictures of the Gallery with any attention. Mr.D. then introduced me to the Duc de Rovigo, and to avoid my being at all troubled with the Regulations of the Police, most kindly invited me to take an apartment in his hotel, an offer I could not resist when so hospitably pressed.
Saturday 25th August. 1810
Breakfasted with Leeper on the Boulevard Ital; went to the Luxembourg. The gardens, like those of the Thuileries, are partly a grove of horse chestnuts with abundance of seats, chairs, etc., and partly in parterres, with a circle of superb orange trees and marble statues, chiefly copied from the antique, dispersed among them. The palace itself I cannot like, the masonry is too like brickwork, and there is a want of bold projecting parts to give it architectural vigour; it is, however, very extensive, and like the other palaces of the Government, has undergone a complete repair, even the outside renewed. In my walk through St.Germain I was surprised to see the extent of garden that many of the hotels possessed, not like our little strip in London, but many of half-an-acre or more.
The extent of Mr.Denon's talents are not known to us; we look on him only as the editor of a splendid work, and the present Director of French taste, but that he is most eminently qualified, not only by his manner, but my his education, is not within our knowledge. He etches most boldly in the Painter's style, and if I may judge of his talent for modelling from a whole length of the Emperor now before me, he rivals Flaxman in dignified simplicity.
In the evening went to Theatre Francais, and was much delighted with a new piece called Les deux gendres; the versification is evidently fluent and spirited, and at present is very popular. I was not a little pleased to find how well I could comprehend it.
Sunday 26th August 1810
I have seen the Emperor and Empress. He is not the least like any of the portraits we have of him in England, that keen piercing look, that deepsunk eye, that greatness of character that made it impossible not to admire it as a countenance, indicative of everything that he has done, is now obliterated in fat; his face is round and plump. I had an excellent view of them, they rode alone in an open landau through the park of St.Cloud, and I kept close to the carriage for more than a mile; he was in blue regimentals with broad white facings with a small cross of the Legion of Honour suspended from a button hole on the left side: he had no hat on: countenance placid, and when he spoke to the Empress, it was with a smile; he bowed to the people, but very slightly, and I think not gracefully. I never was more surprised, that on seeing him, so different is he from what I had figured him; the Empress is young and seemingly a good figure; her chief beauty is in complexion, which is fair; she was dressed in purple silk with nothing on her head but a tiara of pearl. Drawn by four greys,, preceded only by an outrider. An officer of the Imperial Guard on each side, but so as not to impede the view, and then eight Guards; next came four more open carriages, filled with scarlet and embroidery. I went in a cabriolet to St.Cloud; it is the “Empress day,” so called because she gives the fete in honour of St.Louis
The Seine becomes meandering and rural in its character after leaving Paris, the hills covered with woods and vineyards rising almost directly from the water on the other shore, while the pretty village of Passy is on the high ground on this side, renders the view extremely pretty. My cabriolet was not allowed by the Horse Guards to pass the Bridge of St.Cloud, being a hack. The Seine is here, I think, twice as broad as at Paris (about the breadth at Barnes). The grounds are fine, rising on the side of the hill with the river at the bottom; there are two gates at this end, and the Guards would not permit anyone to enter
The avenue, perhaps near a mile long, was illuminated by lamps placed on wooden frames on each side at small distances in the shape of pyramids, but the great feature of the fete was the waters being lighted. I must acknowledge that when I found that the main avenue was lined on one side for a considerable way with booths, and that on the other, roundabouts and other child's play were permitted, I did not expect much, even from the water, but I was agreeably surprized, for it formed altogether the most splendid artificial scene that could be imagined. The Cascade is, I imagine, near 100-ft high, and the water comes down in three separate streams, the centre proceeds from the urn of a river god, and the other two from vases; the water falls over in steps, perhaps about twelve, into a great bason, from which in entire sheets it falls by three steps into a canal of no great length. On each side of the three upper cascades, on each step, there is a small fountain between the streams, others running on a lower surface. Lion's heads, frogs, river monster, etc., are besides, throwing out prodigious volumes of water in all directions, and in the canal itself there are about sixteen fountains, two of which at the further end are of some height. Imagine this to be illuminated by many thousands lamps, each lamp a small pan of tallow with a wick as big as a torch, which give as much light not only on the parts where there is no water, but everywhere under the water, so that every part of the cascade pours over rows of lamps, and give the whole a most curious and splendid effect.
On each of the canals wooden pilasters were raised and illuminated with festoons of coloured lamps between and to connect these with the cascade lamps imitating [crazy trees?] were placed very happily, this Coup d'Oeil was surprising. Lamps also all round the edge of the water, There are many fountains and cascades about the grounds which were all the at work and lighted but the great Jet d'Eau which is not far from the Cascade attracted most attention. It falls into basons surrounded by trees. It is supposed to be the highest known, or (second highest) and ascends with such force that it does not descend as a stream but in a rain, which extends like smoke a considerable way, in the direction of the wind. I stood in it and was thankful for its refreshing loveliness. I don't wonder at the Emperor's fondness for this Palace when you consider what he owes to the scene in the Orangery.
* * * * *
There was a Court in the evening, carriages and four, Court dresses covered with embroidery, footmen, as much so, were arriving at the time I left.
It was about 6 p.m., (before the waters were lighted.) that the Emperor rode through the Park as before mentioned. The people cried “Vive l'Empereur! Vive Marie Louise!” but after I got through the crowd at the cascade, not many followed, so that I kept close and had an excellent view.
Monday 27th August 1810
Saw St Sulphie, L'Ecole de Medicine, Port St Louis which has been quite repaired. Ludovico Mayne, instead of the Inscription in gistins Orf small Elen Feur to the life where the funeral procession is, are omitted in the drawing a female on the near - - a God on the further. Went to Theatre de Varietes, are excellent size and pretty theatre, about 400l at our prices.
Tuesday 28th August 1810
The Boulevards form altogether the finest street perhaps in the world. The Variety Elyseum of the of the buildings, the width = the Frieze then crowds of company, find them a character unknown to any other Capital. The Canal D'Ororcg[?] is brought to Paris and already supplanting many fountains. They are forming a bason where the ditch of the Bastille was, which will join the Seine. Pont D'Amterldy much prettier than Pont des Arts. Garden of Plants a beautiful superb place.
Notre Dame, very plain inside and a new brass railing gilt, lately put up dividing the Choir from the rest of the church.
La Morgue. Two dead bodies – suicide.
Palais de Justice – dined at [Beaumillions?] the most splendid Café.
Jardin des Thuileries. Tivoli L3 5sols. A very pretty garden. Larger then Vauxhall, but not nearly so well lighted up or so splendid. Some part of the garden is in the English style. Among the shrubs there were a few lamps, just enough to light the dark but leaving a very pleasant gloom. The part illuminated in the walks between regular rows of trees. Enough for money.[?] Three bands of music, dancing, cotillion, the first thing girls, very well dressed danced, conjuror; in another part a paltry puppet show, in another a beast in an old embroidered coat and wig, talking nonsense, and imitating cats, pigs, laughing, etc., on a violin. Yet crowds surrounded all these, not children, but old and young, from red ribbands downwards, roundabouts, swings, etc., then rope-dancing, a Montgolfier let off , and in conclusion, a very fine display of fireworks, best I ever saw, splendid, an irregular one, imitative of the destruction of a town; confusion, both of noises, explosions and lights, very fine; all going out, the Avenue lighted with Bengal lights which continued, 10 or 12 of them. Company did not seem very select though perhaps 100 Red Ribbands but on coming back found 20 or 30 carriages. A man walked down a rope in the middle of fireworks with two flags, This was a fete extraordinaire. Women much more decent than in London, not that open attack Theatre Francais, Open quite free. Company in theatre quite undressed.
U. thought near 100 new fountains, all with sculpture. Sculpture, everywhere from the largest building to the smallest clock. Fine [Carts?] in every coffeehouse.
Necessary to have work for the many who fail in an Art to ensure the chance of eminent genius.
Compensation on pulling down buildings. Survey and 1/3 more price. [and?] compensation for loss of business when local clearing the [Fronts?] of all the fine buildings. Law relating to repairing homes by government.
Wednesday 29th August 1810
Called on Madame D'Arblay. To the Exposition. [Bewer and Descoyen?] are certainly fine. Large engravings from fine pictures of old Masters. L'Aubijon Comique Melodrama, very middling. All the Theatre dirty.
Thursday 30th August 1810
Met W. Parry at Café Valois, dined at Very. Feydeau Andrillon, very pretty Opera. Mr St Aubni a very naïve Actress, reminds me in Person of Mrs Mallhewry. The band is excellent. Theatre very well resembling the others in style, very full.
For the first time I found out the roulette tables, and lost 12 francs.
Friday 31st August 1810
Jardin des Plantes. Pantheon. Dined at Verys. 30, 40 in the evening.
Saturday 1st September 1810.
Breakfast with Mons.D. Walked with Underwood to the Hotel de Ville, Isle St. Louis, La Cite and Invalids, dined with him at his hotel. After walked in the boulevards. The Boulevard Ital are the most fashionable, crowds are walking there, and indeed all along in the evening or sitting in the chairs which line the boulevards, at the price of 2 sous each.
Sunday 2nd September 1810
Breakfast with Mrs. Harvey. Mrs H paints remarkably well, a thing not uncommon with ladies here. At the Museum and at the Monuments there are always more girls drawing than men. Wrote to Ann. Trente et quarante in the evening. Won 5 louis.
Monday 3rd September 1810
The same course. Won 13 louis. These tables must be very profitable as the Bank occupies a splendid suite of apartments, part of which are only open in the evening after eleven, when a ball is given gratis to the players. An Italian scoundrel thrust himself in to play for me, and after he had won with my money, he wanted to share the profit. I insisted on the contrary, and the Chef, as they call him, of the police of this table, soon settled the affair in my favour. The perfect order of the tables here is very surprising, there is very high play, but not a word is spoken; sometimes an internal “Sacré” from a loser, but nothing further; the whole is under the strict view of the police, and the people concerned are prohibited from replying even to insults from the players.
Tuesday 4th September 1810
Went with Mr.D. to Sèvres, of which he is Director; the manufacture, both in form and ornament, seems to me to be beyond rivalry; the greater part is given away by the Emperor, and the collection is said to be very thin at present, he having given away almost all on his late marriage. Vases of all sizes, of the most correct taste, are round about; and one, not yet fired, measures 5-ft, in diameter, and is moulded from the celebrated one which Pius VI gave to the Emperor, which is in the vestibule of the Museum.. Busts of the Emperor as large as life in biscuit, and a portrait on an oval plate, of Christ, without a metal plate, 3-ft by 2-ft., the head size of life. They are now preparing a china column imitating the Vendome column, about 10-ft high. I was much pleased with the affability of Mr.D. to all the persons concerned in this splendid establishment. The column is not in the proportion of the Trajan, being of somewhat larger diameter, and the base smaller. Mr.D. first suggested this to the Emperor as a column by the moderns to the ancients, i.e. the Emperor to Charlmagne, and to be cast in iron. His Majesty altered the plan, and suggested their using the cannon taken in the campaign. Mr.D. says he has now three great works on hand, the Obelisk on the Pont Neuf, more than 200-ft high, and an elephant 50-ft high, at the Eastern extremity of the city. The Pont de Jéna is also under his direction.
I found my way into another gaming house in Palais Royal this evening, much more select and more splendidly fitted up. As a stranger, I was admitted, but otherwise a ticket is necessary.
Wednesday 5th September 1810
Went to a sitting of the [Mter?] Institute held in the Amphitheatre of the Palais des Arts. Merlin de Donay was President, St.[Ang?] were received as Members in the Class of Belles Lettres, the first is a tragic writer, the latter has translated Ovid, They each read a long oration and each received an Answer almost as long. The Members are in a costume of black embroided with Green, about 90 present, among whom were Cardinal Maivry, Abbe Licard, David, Denon, Boifry D Anjlas, Leginer, Martin of the [Corendomes?] so this evening? Old Le Mercier, author of Tableau de Paris &c.
Thursday 6th September 1810
Breakfast with Babey. Went to Mr Langleys at the Biblioteque. He is the greatest Orientalist here and has all the English books on the subject. Dined with Warden. A damned bad diner.
Friday 7th September 1810
Dined at a Restaranteur in the Tuilleries[?] and went to see the Bayadères at the Opera. The beauty of the scenery, the perfection of the costumes the uniform splendour with the corps de ballet and chorus, make this altogether the most enchanting opera. I counted near 100 dancers and chorus on the stage at once, all of whom are good dancers and singers. Mme. Branchi sang delightfully.
Saturday 8th September 1810
Bibliothèque Nationale, which occupies the united hotels of [Colbert and Louvois?] is a most splendid collection, the manuscripts are many, of them most curious and valuable. I examined some Chinese superbly painted and some very fine Missals. There are here also many bibles bound in ivory very curiously carved, and in metal set with precious stones. I also saw the Virgil brought from the Vatican and a volume of [Meinda?] in the handwriting of Louis XIV. The facilities to this library are admirable . Anybody may go in at certain hours and to people who are known, books are also lent. The Museum of Antiques are valuable though they do not seem to be numerous. Many fine [Gems?] and Cameos are among them. The [Dodonean?] Jupiter, [Apollioni?] of Augustus &c. A large silver shield is called Scipio's.
Before dinner went to Vigier's baths, which are very pretty externally, but very paltry within, a very small closet with large copper kettle, for a bath, no thermometer, and no person to rub you dry; it is, however, cheap enough, about 1s. Some people eat while in the bath; the man asked me if I wished it; there are in this one 140 baths, always tolerably full, half men, half women. 1400 baths have been taken in one day, and there are three others on the river, equal in size; besides this, they abound all over the town.
Sunday 9th September 1810
Guyet and myself took a cabriolet to the Barrière du Trône, distinguished by two large columns but which are unfinished, the lower part of the shaft being left in the block seemingly to be sculptured [amaridestally?]. The avenue from hence to Vincennes is now of small trees, the Revolution having destroyed almost all the old ones. Vincennes itself is curious but the Chateau is not picturesque. This is the present State Prison. On the open ground before the gate there is a Park of Artillery, and a Mortar Battery for the practice of the young Officers of Artillery. The Bois de Vincennes is merely an Oak copse, is cut every 7 years. It is enough at present to give a shade to the pedestrians. We dined very badly at Charenton, a village on the Marne, just before it joins the Seine. It is a sort of Chelsea, to which the Parisians, not of high life, go to eat fried gudgeons, etc. The walk from Charenton to Paris by the side of the Seine in a most heavenly evening, was delightful. There is a Benry[?], a very fine country house with a Park and avenue of fine Horse Chestnuts. We then went round the Boulevards, which, as usual, were crowded, to the Café Turque. We could hardly gain admission.
Monday 11th September 1810.
Went to the Jardin des Plantes with Mons. D. and Madame D. [Houchen?] A model of the Elephant is made about 3ft high from which the great one at Portes St Antoine will be built in bronze. Nothing can be better arranged than the Beasts, Birds etc in the Collection with the exception of the Lions &c which are in very bad Dens[?]. For the rest they are in little enclosures among which there are walks and the buildings which give shelter to the animals are a rustic style, the Collection of Minerals is very great and perfectly arranged. A line of rooms are filled with stuffed birds, beasts, butterflys, shells &c in the most excellent preservation. Among them is the is the male elephant which died here some time since, the Hippopotamus, Giraffe, Elk etc. Dined with Mr H. and Mr Denon.
Tuesday 12th September 1810
Went to l'Étoile, where the great triumphal arch is going on, though at present not more than 10-ft out of the ground. Walked round the Barrier to that of Montmatre. There is nothing remarkable. One is well enough, resembling a Temple of the Tuscan Order with Pillars all round. X. The gardens of Monceaux[?] seem beautiful in the English Style and a Temple which half projects into the road, is something like the Temple at Tivoli, only of a heavy Ionic Order. This from the map is the Barrier de Chartres though at present [short?]
X – de Courcilles.
Wednesday 13th September 1810
I fooled away the morning on a French novel ‘Les Deux Boynes.” Dined with Carter. In the course of the morning however, I went with [him, Tia?] to the Palais Royal, along the Boulevards to fix on points of view, also the Fountain of Innocents.
September 14th. Went to Montmarte with Underwood and Carter, this is a
very curious Hill arising close to the Barriers and formed of a species of blue
Earth. Under that a fine Plaster which is used in building Paris.
The view of Paris hence is compleat, it is too much like a map to be picturesque . St.Cloud, St Germaine and a great extent of country around are visible.
Close to the Barrier des Martyrs, they are building an Abattoir, ie, a most extensive slaughtering place for cattle, it will cover some acres of ground, it were well if London would follow the example and by that means avoid the disgraceful scenes of bullock driving &c, which are unknown here.
Went to the Panorama of [Wajram?] it made me melancholy to think what was lost by this battle, it is well done, the Plan was given by Denon from sketches made at the time.
Saturday 15th September 1810
Went to Penjaud and drew for 100 louis at 19:75 francs and after with [Babey?] to the Canal de [L'Orang, L'Orsureg?]. The Basin is very fine, but the Canal itself much too narrow for any extensive navigation, the Barrier of Villette at the end is in an excellent situation and when the trees on the banks are grown it will be a very fine spot. We followed the aqueduct which goes off to the west to supply the N.W. part of Paris as far as Rue Paisonniere.
Went to Hospital St.Louis, a large but very old building situated very airily, about 8 or 900 patients, the woman at the Gates [s d?] were in it.
Sunday 16th September 1810
Received Ann's letter, dated 5th September. After breakfasting with Babey we went to see the model of the Languedoc Canal. It did not much interest me, as one canal is very much ike another. It is, however, on a large scale and is said to accurate in detail and measure. Thence we went round the whole of the south Boulevards. They are quite different from the north, being merely a road planted with trees. These are better on the other side and indeed form a perfect arch over the footpath in vista
Unit about 1770 these Boulevards ended at Rue D'[Enfer?] but then they were continued from a part a little back of Rue D'Enfer on to the Saltpetriere, and from the Barrier D'Enfer the new wallin 1786 was made on the edge of the Boulevard and this is the only part where the old Barriers were not extended.
This Boulevard is quite [infrequented?] the part near the Invalids is skirted with many charming houses and gardens and just at the at the end of the Boulevard, near Pont d'Austerlitz, there are an abundance many of taverns with gardens, which are much frequented by the lower orders; in the garden is a place for dancing, and a sort of orchestra for a brace of fiddles; the crowds here on Sunday evenings are prodigious; they pass through the house, buy a piece of meat and a bottle of wine, and then get a table in sight of the dancers. Returned along the north side of the river home.
Monday 17th September 1810
First to the Horse Races at the Champ de Mars, they were as bad as I expected, indeed it was no race as one horse out of two (the number that ran) distance the other easily. I saw them afterwards, they were hardly fit for common hunters in England. The race was for 1000 fcs. The Champs de Mars recalled strongly to my mind the early scenes of the Revolution, it forms an excellent course, and though not large, many thousands can see the horses [houses?] all round. With Guyet I then went along the Barriers from l'Ecole Militaire to Mont Rouge, where I dined with his family.
Wednesday 19th September, 1810
Went with Underwood to the Palais Legulatif and Luxembourg to fix upon views, he did not like them.
Thursday 20th September 1810
With Guyet to Malmaison, it is merely a house, and externally a very shabby one, the inside is most beautifully fitted up with great taste and splendour. Except a gallery for pictures, which forms a wing, there is no large room in it; the library, which is the largest, being only about 40-ft long. This library is the prettiest room I ever saw, the roof slightly arched and painted in fresco, and the room is divided in three by projecting mahogany pillars on marble slabs. This was the study of Buonaparte, and who knows what plans were laid here? The room next to it was the Council Chamber, very small, but well furnished.
[hand drawn plan of Malmaison] [image page 54]
Above is a very handsome bed of muslin, with [pacts?] like an English bed, the colour of the wall, pink and covered with the same muslin in draperies from this [leads?] another and then a series of dressing rooms &c. I remarked Wertalls[?] two little prints of the Cottage Girl and Company. The floor of the Gallery is very fine, of Rosewood and Walnut wood beautifully mixed. Among the pictures are 4 Clauds, brought, I believe from Capel. They did not strike me as equal to some we have in England. A statue of [Hela?] by Canova pleased me.
The Garden is quite English and very pretty, and the Hothouse, fitted up I believe by Kennedy is compleat.
We then went to Marly which is visible from Malmaison. The works are extensive, 14 wheels of 36ft above the surface and at the same time by means of immense iron connected bars put in motion other [pencips?] which are at the reservoir. By this the water is at last carried to Chateau St. Eau. At the commencement of the Aqueduct and thence to Versailles. X
To St.Germain, a fine old castle, with moats, the terrace is magnificent, extending along the top of a hill and commanding a most extensive prospect, while the Seine runs beneath. It is nothing like Richmond, a total want of wood and a dreary chalky character from which villages in a plain entirely are sheltered.
The Palace is converted to a school of [Reintation?] i.e. Cavalry and Colonel Brunel, Denon's nephew, and who is also a Baron, is second in command.
The Palace of Marly is now pulled down, from this that the 2 houses at the Entrance to the Champs Elysee are taken.
X – 64 pumps on the river. 79 at the 1st Resevoir and 82 at the upper. There 225 pumps run the water more than 500.
About 300 inches of water [fonterier?] in 24 hours when at its greatest power.
Friday 21st September 1810
Sat at home in the morning, dined at Rue Courtte[?] and in the evening called at Mr D'Houchen's where I met Prince Piginatelli, Corsin, and Mr Damartin[?]
Sunday 23rd September 1810
Breakfasted with Warden, Went to the Museum to see the parade, the Imperial Guard, including the Dutch and Portuguese regiment, in all more than 6000 men, formed in six lines within the Place des Thuilleries, and three regiments of horse in the Carrousel. At 12 the Emperor, on his white horse, followed at a short distance by the Marshals, Aides-de-camp, etc., went through the lines. He stopped and talked with the commanding officer of each battalion, and received papers from several, which he delivered to a Marshal, he rode past the Dutch without stopping, he then dismounted and manoeuvred the Portuguese a considerable time, they performed very well; he then drew them up three sides of a square, and delivered them their Eagles, I suppose he made a speech, for they cheered several times; after this, he drew up the Dutch and spoke to them, and they cheered him, the rest then filed past him.
He looks well on horseback, but I did not observe any particular grace in his riding, on foot he is absolutely fat, he was dressed in dark green with white facings, quite plain. He seemed very familiar with those around him, among whom were Bessières and Devoust. The Empress sat at a window, a piece of crimson velvet was put out of it, to say that she was there. In the evening I went to the Opera, and at the end of the 1st Act the Emperor and Empress came. He came to the front and made an awkward stiff bow to the house, she followed and made a half courtesy; the difference between the elegance of the entrée of the Family (i.e., English Royal) when they went in London, and this, forcibly struck me. The audience cheered him on entering, but not on quitting, when he repeated his bow.
Monday 24th September 1810
I looked in at the Criminal Court, a man and woman were on trial for a theft. They sat on the left of the Judges in a box with several officers. They were examined and badgered [wart smelly, orally?] and when they called witnesses, they were again confronted with them, the Judge undertook the whole. The Court is merely a room, 3 Judges sat, the substitute of the [Prosecutor Imperial?] and but one person on the other side who I suppose was Counsel. No wigs.
I saw Sainte Chapelle, the glass is most beautiful and the architecture interesting, the most light, elegant. At present it contains the [diclarues?] of the Empire.
I then went to the Luxembourg, the apartments of the [tenant, Senate?] are very superb, particularly the Salle de Senal[?]
[hand drawn plan]
Sale de Roeberry
The Throne is under a Cupola supported by cariatyds all gilt and the whole range of rooms fitted up and furnished in the most splendid style. In the evening went to Mrs Robertson with Warden.
Tuesday 25th September 1810
I dedicated the greater part of the morning to the examination of the pictures of the Flemish, Dutch, German School and also of the Antiques.
Dined at Nandel with Lupee.
Wednesday 26th September 1810
Went to see the model of the Arch at l'Étoile; it will be about 130-ft high, the proportions very grand, built of stone which come from Burgandy, which is very hard and takes a polish like marble. Afterwards went to the Bois de Boulogne, which has been very much destroyed by the Revolution, returned by the Barrier de Passy. Dined with Warden and Mrs Robertson and staid until 10.
Thursday 27th September 1810
Went with Babey to the Conservatoire des Arts and Metiers, a collection of models of the [Marhards?] Instruments used in the manufacturing &c. They are not of curious merit, and not kept in very good order. Some shops of chemists, Porcelain &c. in miniature which belonged formerly tot eh Duc de Orleons are pretty but useless. This collection in the Monastery of St. Martin where it occupies two galleries which the Monks had just finished before the Revolution, a very fine staircase lead up to them. Warden set off this evening for America.
Friday 28th September 1810
Went to the Cour Criminelle, in form it is merely a large room
[Hand drawn plan of court]
A young man was tried for attempting to strangle a woman he had slept with and robbing her. After asking of the Prisoner who is seated along with some Gendarmes his name, age, place of birth and abode. The Jury promise to give a true verdict, the Griffier then reads what they call the Act of Accusation which contains the whole History of the Transaction, the Evidence of all the Witnesses and the Deposition of the Prisoner at his previous appearance before the Police and whatever admissions he has made, by whatever means procured are used against him. The Prosecutor General then shortly states the substance and the Judge calls the Witnesses reserving the [prisoner?] for the last. The Counsel have nothing to do with the Witnesses, the Judge undertaking the examination and at the end of the Testimony of each Witness, he interrogates the Prisoner and actually frightens him into a confession of distinct facts or at least a confusion which leaves the [impression? Importance?] of crime. The style is worse than any cross examination of witnesses frequently consisting of the most severe abuse. After all the Witnesses are done the Prosecutor General again speaks, and the Defence Counsel replies. The Judge then sums up, or in this case, rather made a violent speech against the prisoner. As the theft was not [carried out, complete?] but the attempt was, the - -
[page ripped out of diary]
Saturday 30th September 1810
Went to Versailles. The front of the City is very irregular and bad, but that to the Garden the most magnificent that can be imagined. A centre and two wings, but the wings are placed far back, which prevents their being too principal. The repairs are proceeding with greatest rapidity. The public apartments are entirely lined with red and white marble, and the ceilings are painted by le Brun. The great Gallery is superbly fitted up with looking-glasses. The petits appartements are white and gold, but the whole is, of course, quite out of repair. The Emperor intends to re-instate everything exactly as it was, Fromentin excepted. The garden is very large and very regular, and the waters the most splendid in the world; they are at present out of repair. The Grand Canal, which during the Revolution had almost become a field, has been cleaned and filled, about two years back. In the Bosquets there is an artificial rock in which is placed a group of Apollo and the Graces, and two groups of horses. This was the whim of the last Queen, the Apollo is of an older date by Girardon.
This is the Bain d'Apollon. Another group by Girardon of l'Enlèvement de Proserpine is in another bosquet, called the Colonnade, from a circular double row of marble columns which surround it.
The Great Trianon is very fine, the columns Languèdoc marble; it has been recently fitted and furnished, the Gallery contains some very fine pictures. A set of chairs of Beauvais tapestry, of birds and landscapes, delighted me.
The little Trianon, the seat of the pleasures of Marie Antoinette, which since was a Restauranteur, is now the property of the Empress, and is prettily but plainly furnished. The garden is beautiful, and quite English.
Plan of Versailles
Wednesday 3rd October 1810
[G.H. writes Sept. 3rd. ]
Went to L'Odeon and heard La Vedova Cappicizzo of Grigliclini[??] the music is charming, but the corps not very good. Me Covica is principal singer and is very tolerable but not what might be expected in the Metropolis of France. The truth is that the great Opera swallows up everything else, and is supported by the Government at a great expense.
This Theatre is the prettiest in Paris, it was built lately.
Denon returned to Paris.
Friday 5th October 1810
Went with Denon to David's, and saw his new picture of the Emperor delivering the colours to the army; like all his pictures it is too theatrical. Berthier has the attitude of a tragedian taking an oath, and another officer is balanced on one toe. The whole is confused, very splendidly coloured, but the principal light, instead of falling on the Emperor, is a mass of standards in the centre.
Mr Revoils Picture of the Interview between [Fral? 1st?] and Charles V is beautiful for composition, drawing and finish. I have never seen its equal. A fine model of a General by Mr Paiquier we also saw.
Dined with Parry at the [Rocha?] &c, Cancale with Sir H.T.Tichbourne, his son and another gentleman.
Sunday 7th October 1810
To the Luxembourg, still dissatisfied, the figure and character of David's Brutus, it is a man [hid and hittering, like a?] there is a little error in the putting furniture of the most elegant kind and forms in the Age of Brutus.
The Opera in the evening. I saw from the orchestra the [Devon?] du Village by Roupean, very much pleased, the music is charming. 90 in the orchestra.
Tuesday 9th October 1810
With Lupee to St Denis and Montmorceney, with neither was I much pleased.
Saturday 13 October 1810
Dined with Mr.D.Houchen, Cousine[?], Le Mercier, etc.
Monday 15th October 1810
With Mrs. Robertson and Col.Burr.
Tuesday 16th October 1810
With M. [Hautrie?] M.Serrurier and Babey.
Wednesday 17th October 1810
With Babey and then went to see Figaro.
Friday 19th October 1810
Savonnirie, Gobelins, Glass manufactury with Babey. Bad workmen at latter.
Saturday 20th October 1810
With Babey. Palais de [Hinne?], Abbaye de Clugny. To top of Pantheon, and saw the lodging of Marat, and small room where he was stabbed.
Bread - 3
Beef - 12
Mutton - 12
Pork - 15
Veal - 14
Butter - 36
Eggs – 1.2
Fowel, fine - .45
Turkey - 100
Hare - 100
2 Partridge - 40
Sugar - 105
Tea 16lb -
Milk, jar -10
Candle lb - 13
Wax l. 4 - 4
Soap lb - 24
Oil lb - 36
Sunday 21st October 1810
Went with M.Denon to the Museum to see such of the pictures as were hung. Revoil's still charm me, and some small cabinet pictures by Laurent are beautiful. Thence we went over the Thuilleries, which is furnished magnificently. Most of the rooms are hung with Lyons silk of blue and gold, or purple and gold, but the bedroom of the Empress is the most superb. The room and bed are of crimson velvet richly embroidered, but the toilet table, glass, and dressing glass are of silver gilt, and of the most finished work, they cost about 25000 l, and were a present form the good city of Paris on the marriage.
Monday 22nd October 1810
To the observatory with Guyet. Jardin des Plantes and Morgue, where there was a body.
Sunday 28th October 1810
To the Quarries at [Montmartre, Minilmonca?] which are very extensive, hollowed for a league through the hill. Pres St Gervais, Belleville and Bois de Rouncainville. The country and prospects are prettier than any I have seen in the neighbourhood of Paris.
Near the Barrier de Combats I paid a livre to see dog-fighting, bear baited, wolf ditto, and a bull ditto. The bear was much the best; but a most wanton piece of barbarity was the turning of three poor asses on a dozen mastiffs, who almost killed them.
Pencil notes at end of dairy.
Please to attend on Mr A Cooper of St Thomas's Hospital, request ..
Please to ask Mr A Cooper to reserve a [Drapership, Dressership?] for me for the winter of 1811. Please to enquire of Hoby, Boot-maker, if he has ever received payment for this last articles with which he furnished [me?] this morning was left with Mrs Stroud of the Virginia Coffee House. Babey Ret Boot
1st gallery, 2nd Loges 4.40
3rd Logia & Logis de ceinture 3.30
2nd Gallery 1.-0
1st Logia – 2nd in face decant
Same – orchestra & Amphitheatre 7.50
Bajuiner 2nd de Cole
3rd in face
3rd de Cole
Parterre 4th & 5th
In face 3.60
Amphitheatre de 4th 3.60
L'Odeon H - F
L'Avant Scene 5 – 5
1st Loges en face 5 – 3
“ de Cole 4 – 3
Rey de Champer 4 – 3
Orchestra 1st Gallery 3 – 2.50
2nd Loges 3 – 2.5
4th Grilles du Ceinteur 2 – 2
3rd Logis 1.30 – 1.50
Amphitheatre de 3rd 1 – 1
Parterre 1.50 – 1.25
August 7th - 70 Leatherhead
10 co Mrs Collinson
17th [Ellen?] do Leatherhead
19th Self to Mrs Small
19 Eleen to Leatherhead
DENON DOMINIQUE VIVANT, BAREN DE. 1747-1825
Artist and Archeologist, was born at Chalon sur Saone. At first studied law,
but always showed a preference for art and literature. Was a favourite in
society, owing to his agreeable manners and exceptional powers of conversation.
Gained the favour of Louis XV., who entrusted him with the collection and
arrangement of a cabinet of medals and antique gems for Madame de Pompadour, and
subsequently appointed him attaché to the French Embassy in St.Petersburg. On
the accession of Louis XVI., Denon was transferred to Sweden, but soon returned
to Paris. In 1775 was sent to Switzerland, visited Voltaire at Ferney, whose
portrait he took and published. During a residence of seven years at Naples he
carefully studied the ancient monuments and perfected himself in etching and
mezzotint engraving. Later on he resided for some years at Venice, and visited
Florence, Bologna and Switzerland. While there he heard that his property had
been confiscated, and his name placed on the list of the proscribed, and with
characteristic courage he resolved at once to return to Paris. His situation was
critical, but he found support and protection in the friendship of the painter
David, who obtained for him a commission to furnish designs for republican
costumes. This he did to the satisfaction of the Revolutionists, and his name
was removed from the list of emigrants. When the terrors of the Revolution were
over, Denon was one of the numerous band of eminent men who found a congenial
resort in the house of Madame le Beauharnais. Here he formed the acquaintance of
Bonaparte, to whose fortunes he attached himself with the happy instinct of one
who was always quick to discern the coming power. By special invitation of the
General he joined the expedition to Egypt, where he made numerous sketches of
the monuments of ancient arts, sometimes under the very fire of the enemy. In
1802 he published his “Voyage dans la basse et la haute Egypte,” a work which
crowned his reputation both as an archeologist and as artist. In 1804 he was
appointed by Napoleon to the important office of Director-General of Museums,
which he filled greatly to the benefit of art and artists until the restoration
of 1815, when he had to retire. He was a devoted friend of Napoleon, whom he
accompanied in his expeditions to Austria, Spain and Poland, taking sketches
with his wonted fearlessness on the various battle-fields, and guiding the
conqueror in his choice of spoils of art from the various cities which were
pillaged. After his retirement he worked on a great history of ancient and
modern art, profusely illustrated, which was unfinished at his death in 1825. It
was finished in 1829.
I am fortunate in possessing some relics of this eminent man. Viz:
A Chinese cabinet, formerly his property.
An Indian ink drawing of the artist standing up and sketching in Egypt.
His portrait in a small bronze medallion.
These were all left to me by D.D.H. G.H.
G.HEATH'S PASSPORT SIGNED BY NAPOLEON.
In 1810 G.Heath was very anxious to see all the art treasures which had been carried to the Louvre, from all Europe. And so he got some kind of rather nominal, (I fancy rather than serious commission, probably from the R.A.; and through Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, he got an introduction to Mr.Denon, the head of the department, and permission to pass into France. He went over for his long vacation. But when he wanted to return for the first day of Term, he was told that the Emperor thought his ministers too lax in allowing passages to and for into England, and had determined to sign all passports himself. And the Minister told him that if the passport should be presented for signature when the Emperor was in a bad humour, he would throw it under the table, and no one would ever dare to present it again. So he was advised to wait till papers ready for signing should be called for, which advice he took, and it was duly signed on October 31st, 1810. He did not embark till November 19th. How long he was getting to Westminster Hall I do not know, but he must have lost the best part of his Term. The story is illustrative of the way in which Napoleon meddled with the details of administration, and also of the fear of him which prevailed among his Ministers. D.D.H.
Passports signed by Napoleon in favour of Englishmen are exceedingly rare, and a few years ago, when Lady D.Nevill's second series of recollections appeared, it was stated in a footnote that such a document, now in possession of ……., was believed to be unique. I at once wrote to the Editor informing him that he was mistaken, as I also possessed one. He replied by expressing his surprise, and asked for details, which I sent him. G.H.
July 23rd. 1810.
My Dear Sir,
I enclose a letter from M.Denon to Mr.Heath acquainting him that he has permission to proceed to Paris, and telling him what steps are necessary for him to take. M.Denon was in the country when my letter reached him, he makes an apology for having delayed the answer, but why the letter itself, dated May 14th did not arrive till July 23rd does not appear.
I am, my dear Sir,
Your Faithful Servant.
The last entry in the journal is rather more than a month before the date on the passport, of which interesting document, now in my possession, I subjoin a copy.
No.51. PASSE-PORT IMPERIAL
Coat of Arms
Napoléon, Empereur des Français, Roi d'Italie, Protecteur de la Confédération du Rhin. Médiateur de la Confédération Suisse.
Nous avons autorisé et autorisons Le Sr.Heath (George) profession d'Avocat, natif de Londres, départment d------- démeurant à Londres à se rendre en Angleterre ----- et lui permetions, à cet effet, de s'embaraquer sur un Batiment pourvu de licence, dans le port de Dunkerque.
Au Palais de Fontainebleau le 31st Octobre, 1810.
de la Police générals,
Le duc de Rovigo
Le Ministre Secrétaire d'Etat,
Le Duc de Bassano
Agé de 31 ans.
Taille d'un métre 70 centimétres.
Signature de Porteur
Dans les Villes où il existe un Commissaire général de Police, le porteur est tenu de se présenter devant lui, pour faire viser son Passe-port.
Vu par le commissaire de police de la ville de Dunkerque, le 14 Obre., 1810,
poujr aller à Ostende.
Vu bon pour embarquer abord du navire le Jeune Pierre de licence.
Dunkerque, le 19 9bre, 1810
Vu de nouveau pour aller à Boulogne, le 19 9bre, 1810
H.E.MALDEN ON THE PASSPORT.
After the rupture of the peace of Ameins, 1803, when war was renewed between
England and Napoleon, the English travelling in France were, when possible,
arrested by Napoleon's orders and treated as prisoners of war. No Englishman
could go into the Emperor's dominions, which in 1810 included Holland, (and of
course Belgium), without risk of being so treated. Your grandfather got over
somehow. Plenty of small vessels and even rowing boats in the Straits of Dover,
plied across in spite of war, because smuggling was so enormously profitable. To
get out of France, it would have been no use to have an English Passport. To
have shown such a thing would have been a certain prelude to imprisonment; all
intercourse was forbidden by Napoleon. I have forgotten the wording of the
passport, but it was, I suppose, a permission to travel in France, or rather in
the Emperor's dominions, and among his allies and dependants in Germany.
Everybody had to have his “papers” in order to satisfy the police and
military people that he was not a spy nor a trader in English goods. By means of
this passport he would get to the sea coast from Paris, and there, (it was at
Dunkirk I believe), find a smuggler to take him over. What I want to know is how
he crossed over when he went to Paris? We were at war in 1810 with everyone from
Brest to St.Petersburg, all the coast was an enemy's country. The actual
crossing would be easy enough, a mere matter of money and discomfort in a
smuggling smack, but when he landed, no English passport would be of any use, --
as I said – dangerous in itself. How did he get to Paris? Had he arranged for a
French friend to meet him I wonder.
ENTRIES IN OLD ALMANACS BY GEORGE HEATH.
1816. April 24th Went to Gill's Hill 28th. Ditto to
May 21st. Paperhangers began.
June 8th. Took Jane to Gill's Hill. (Jane R.Dunbar – Mrs.Sneyd).
July 12th. Corbould ?18 18s. for picts
Oct.22nd. Jane went to Dorking, Norfolk. (She met Capt. Sneyd. Her future husband, on the coach this journey).
Dec. 19th. D.D.H. Scarlet fever.
1825. Jan.18th. To London.
Mar.3rd. D. came home, measles.
Mar.24th. Julia measles; 28th – very ill; 29th – better.
April 25th. Private road begun to Kitlands.
Sept. 1st. Pond finished.
1826. April 26th. Ann Hare married. (Cousin to Mrs.Heath).
1830. Jan. 21. D. entered at Temple
April 30th. First stone of new room (Kitlands drawing room).
Nov.22nd. Out with the mob. Swing riot in Dorking