John Griscom.

A year in Europe. Comprising a journal of observations in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Switzerland, the north of Italy, and Holland. In 1818 and 1819 (Volume 2) online

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Online LibraryJohn GriscomA year in Europe. Comprising a journal of observations in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Switzerland, the north of Italy, and Holland. In 1818 and 1819 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 40)
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LETTER XVIIL— Marseilles.— M. Cathalan.— Soda— hospital-
museum — coral — Bastides — quarantine — mistral — Aix — youthful
frowardness. Avignon — papal palace — horrors of the revolution
— influence of the Gospel — hotel des invahds — Petrarch and Laura
— fine country — stage company — Valence — Bonaparte — the Isere
— Vienne — Cote Rotie — state of society in the south of France. 5

LETTER XIX. — Lyons. — unexpected meeting — school of mutual
instruction — Coche du Soane — profuse breakfast — Macon — Cha-
lons sur Soane — hospital — Autun — Avallon — Auxerre — ViUeneuve
— Melun. Paris— climate and soil of south of France — personal
attractions — wine— chesnuts— condition of peasantry — morals —
amusements — Christianity 23

LETTER XX. — Paris— the Institute— society for public good — litho-
graphy — Cuvier's levees — influence of women — churches — St.
CeciUa's day — la charite — school of soWiers — Enfans trouves —
matemitd — education society — Brongniart — Boumon — births in
Paris — small pox — Abbe Sicard 38

LETTER XXL — Paris — Gay Lussac — craniology — Salpfetriere —

deaf and dumb Chaptal the Catacombs Gobelins Sevre

Porcelain — BerthoUet, a dinner — a breakfast — the tutoyer — Ba-
ron Humboldt — conservatory of arts — Notre Dame — hotel Dieu—
blind school — high uiubb — thp kin^ 56

LETTER XXII.— Paris— Duke de Liancourt— Lancasterian School
— Naivete — Humboldt — Marquis de la Fayette — royal observato-
ry — mint — prisons — garden of plants — hotel des invalids — house of
deputies — schools — medical students — anatomical museum — pro-
fessors — attractions of Paris — departure — Cambray, — smuggling
— Valenciennes — IVIons — Brussels — good inn 85

LETTER XXIII.— Brussels— the park— the Sabbath— French cha-
pel — museum — hospitals and prison— depravity — VUvorde — Ant-
werp. — Rubens — Quintin Matsys — commerce — painters — super-
stition — smoking — guessing — Dr. Somme — hospital and garden —
education — bulwarks — Breda — poor tax — Dntch manners — Gor-
cum — Utrecht — Christmas — costume — canals — Amsterdam. 116

LETTER XXIV. — Amsterdam — Holidays — cleanliness — the palace
skaiting — Sabbath — religious sects — fogs — botanic garden—work-
house — hospitals — Felix Meritis — conscription — schools — Broeck
— morals — Hjerlem. — organ — Van Marum — museum — Koster
— mirrors — gaping images 143

LETTER XXV. — Leyden — the university and professors — anatomi-
cal museum — observatory — cabinets — the poor — colony of Frede-
icksoord — Boerhaave — explosion — the Hag ue — palace — museum
chemical laboratory — Van Mechen — the DUigentia — Delft — Rot-
terdam — New- Year — anatomical collection — Erasmus Bata-

vian Society — beauty — canals — Maas sluys — Brille — Helvoetsluys
packets — passage to Harwich. ..- 16'?

LETTER XXVI. — Ipswich — Priscilla Wakefield — prison- — educa-
tion — taxes — Woodbridge — Bury — T. Clarkson — slavery — anti-
quities—the prison and tread-wheel — Cambridge — colleges —


river Cam — museum — Professors — Dr. Clarke's cabinet — chapel
of King's College — slalue of Newton — libraries — senate-house —
evening service — Plough Monday — numbers and discipline — exa-
mination — liobson — morality and influence of the University IS'J
LETTEK XXVII. — London — Peace Society — degrading exposure —
burglaries — hospitals — dispensaries — eating-houses — Bonaparte's
carriage— Thelwall— Guy's and St. Thomas' — lectures — Alder-
man Wood — maniacs — Charlatans — Dr. Marcet — servants — Dr.

Wollaston 214

LETTER XXVIII. — London — medical schools — Professor Milling-
ton — bank — mint — brewery — St. Stephen's Chapel — Croydon —
Carshalton — bleachery — oil mill — Wandsworth — missionary mu-
seum — St. Paul's Cathedral — the penal code — House of Peers —
Royal Institution — book trade — freedom of the press — bridges —

instrument makers 230

LETTER XXIX. — Departure from London — prejudice — candour in
travellers — Derby — china factory — infirmary — good roads — fine
scenery — Helper — Sir Richard Arkwright — Matlock Dale — Rut-
land Cavern — Chatsworth — Rutland moor — game laws — Sheffield 253
EETTER XXX. — Sheffield — manufactories — fortitude in distress
— new canal — J. Montgomery — news-room — Bnrnsley — Wake-
field — asylum for the insane — Ackworth School — Leeds — cloth
halls — factories — steam-wagon — Rawdon — cloth factory — employ-
ment of children — KirkstaJl Abbey — Dr. Moyse — Bramham Park

— York. 274

LETTER XXXI. — York — the Minster — Webster's lectures — the
prison — female benevolence — the Retreat — Lindley Murray — C.
Cappe — Lunatic Asylum — Society of York — Darlington —
manufactory of worsted — cattle market — beef — boarding school — ■
benefits of knowledge — Durham — New-Castt.e — colliery — Ro-
man wall — gaslights — Htciiiiy ana pnilosophical society — antiqua-
rians — castle — schools — factories— coal trade — Morpeth — rotten-
boroughs — A Inwick — castle — singular custom — ^Berwick — Scotch

agriculture — Scotch dialect 295

LETTER XXXII.— Edinburgh— Dr. Hope's lectures— the town-
boarding-houses — F. Jeffrey, Esq. — the courts — Walter Scott —
Advocate's library — ^judges — Sir H. M. W. — maintenance of the
poor — the University, and Professors — High School — sound prin-
ciples 320

lyETTER XXXIII.— Edinburgh— evening party— Mrs. Grant—
a Sultan — Dr. Brewster — literary pursuits — pulpit eloquence —
clergy — Episcopal chapel — Merchant Maiden School — T. Allan —
Royal Societj?^ — M'Kenzie — Dr. Barclay — deaf and dumb — hos-
pital — Craniology — Waverly novels— Reviews — blue stocking-
ghosts 338

LETTER XXXIV. — Holy-Rood House— Mary queen of Scots—
Wernerian Society— political parties — David Hume — Arthur's Seat
— Leith — manufactories — Craig Crook — High School — Heriot's
Hospital — bridewell — gaol — observatory — botanic garden — police

— various sects — castle 357

LETTER XXXV.— Dr. Murray— climate— New Lanark— Robert
Owen — his views of society — plans of reform — principles— objec-
tions 37r>

LETTER XXXVL— Clyde— Hamilton— female habits— Glasgow—
Dr. Chalmers — pauperism — Tron Church — Dr. C.'s sermon —
University — museum — R. Grahame — private society — factories —
Professors — canal — tambouring machine — gas manufactory — cha-



rity school — anecdote of Bums — bridewell — lunatic asylum —
benevolent effort — the populace — cathedral — supply of water —
Rob Roy steam-boat — port Glasg-OT7 — Greenock — ship-building —
Belfast 394

LETTER XXXVII.— Belfast.— cottag-es— begging — poor — Lan-
casterian school — prison — Linen Hall — stamping and glazing —
emigration — liteiary society — Marquis of Donegal — Academic
Institution — illiberality — Colerain — Portrush — Castle of Dunluce
— Bushmills — Giant's Causeway — Pleaskin — Ragherry— coal mine
Adam Morning — salmon fishery — Belfast — Lisburn — damask fac-
tory — Prospect-Hill — Lurgan — linen market — potatoes — Lough
Neagh — rural taste — Newry — Drogheda — beggars — duelling. . 42 1

LETTER XXXVIII.— Dublin.— Society of Friends— Post-office-
Nelson's pillar — alms house — Dublin Institution — Lunatic Asy-
lum — hospitals — lectures — Trinity College — vicinity — Dunleary
— Education Society — suppression of mendicity — Bank — machi-
nery for printing notes — Custom House — other buildings — Rotunda
— Swift's Hospital — deaf and dumb — public squares — passage to
England - • . 45"

LETTER XXXIX. — Regeneration of Ireland — importance of educa-
tion — Hol3'head — numerous fees — Paris copper mine — Bangor —
Conway — Nicholas Hooker — Sunday Schools — decent peasantry
—sudden riches — monkish legend — Chester — fine walk on its
wall — its antiquity — Eaton Hall — Liverpool — prison,and ladies'
committee — Kendal — Bishop Watson — Ambleside — W. Words-
worth — fine scenery — Ulls-water — Patterdale — Gowbarrow Park
— T. W.— Elizabeth Smith— Arthur's round table— Penritli-
Vale of Keswick — druidical temple — Robert Southey — conversa-
tion and opinions — Denvent- Water — W. Wordsworth — Kendal. 4C4

LETTER XL. — Kendal — Society of Friends — education — a blind
philosopher — remarkable boy — museum — Lancaster — tutoyer —
the castle — prison — executions — canals — schools — a Jack Ketch
— game — Manchester 314

LETTER XLI. — Manchester — Lancasterian School— mental arith-
metic — national school — materialism — Liverpool — trade and sci-
ence united — the docks — commerce and police— departure from

England 530

LETTER XLII.— Voyage to New- York 53?:


From the rapidity with which the press has followed the compositor,
various errors have escaped correction. Tlie reader is requested to rec-
tify the following with his pen or pencil. Others, it is presumed, will be
discovered, which the want of time prevents us from pointing out.


Page 32, first line of the note, for affords, read afford.
59, second line, for Diddington, read Deddington.

163, fourth line from the bottom, for wall^ read walls.

164, fourth line, for succeed, read succeeds.
164, fifth line, {or require, read requires.
194, twentieth line, (or when, read where.

205, tenth line from the bottom, for Leskard, read Leskeard.
212, fourteenth line from the bottom, for Ivey, read Ivy.
224, twelfth line from the bottom, for 6000, read 4000.

228, ninth line from the bottom, for 50,000, read 45,000.

229, sixteenth line, for she, read it.
234, tenth line, for 25.000, read 2,500.

234, ten til line from the bottom, for that place, read Brighton.

301, fifteenth line, for Juglano, read Juglans.

316, twelfth line from the bottom, for light, read direct light.

338, twelfth line, for St. Martins, read St. Martin.

353, sixth line from the bottom, for Jurin, read Jurine.

368, sixteenth line, for 1,200, read 12,000.


Page 35, eight line from the bottom, dele the, before two.

G9, eight line from the bottom, (and in other places,) for Brogniarl,

read Brongniart.
108, fifteenth line, for Blainville, read Majendie.
152, last line, for contained, read consisted of.

212, tenth line from the bottom, for do sometimes, read do not sometimes.
224, fifteenth line from the bottom, after will cost, insert the general

261, fifth line from the bottom, for city, read town.
298, seventh line, for eight first, read first eight.
326, seventh line from the bottom, for anecdotical, read anecdotal
409, fourteenth line, for inkles, read ingles.

509, second line from the bottom, for inspection, read inspiration .
515, ninth line from the bottom, for £9000, read ^19,000.


» g «


Lyons^ Wth month, (JVovem.) 8, 1818.

My dear ****%

On landing at Marseilles, our trunks were opened
and examined by the douaniers, and found " comme
il faut." We took up our quarters at " I'hotel des
Ambassadeurs," where we had a good table d'hote,
and a large and respectable looking company at din-
ner. Knowing no person here, and having no letters,
and yet wishing to become acquainted with some of
the citizens, as well as of the streets, I called on the
American consul, M. Cathalan, an elderly French
gentleman of much respectability, and introduced
myself as a travelling and inquisitive " Fredonian."*
Though it was nearly as late as possible for morning
hours, he had not been to breakfast, and having lately
been very unwell, and also his wife, (children he in-
formed me they had none) he seemed to regret that
I could not call again ; and gave me the address of
his agent J. D****. But one topic of conversation

* I would not be understood, as wishing to sanction the use of this as-
sumptive and unnecessary term.
Vol. II. 1


introducing another, he kept us half an hour, showed
us his paintings, an exquisite bust of Washington,
which he had crowned with a beautiful wreath of
the flower " immortel," (everlasting,) his books, his
maps, and wished me to stay and hear a long and ex-
cellent letter he had lately received from Thomas
Jefferson. But this, on account of the old gentle-
man's breakfast and my own time, I was obliged to
decline, and parted, after receiving from him some
useful hints relative to the various objects, the state
of science, &c. in Marseilles.

Our passports, which were taken from us in the
steamboat, it cost us some time and trouble to regain,
on account of the punctilious forms to which we were
subjected, and the number of persons in attendance
at the office, waiting each for his turn to answer to
the questions put to him relative to his residence^
destination, &;c.

4th. We called this morning on L******, an
apothecary, who is appointed to the professorship of
chemistry, in a medical school recently established
in Marseilles, and obtained from him a recommenda-
tion to the hospital. He informed me that the manu-
facture of Soda, from common salt, is carried on so
extensively near Marseilles, as almost entirely to pre-
vent the introduction of the vegetable soda, or barilla,
from Spain and other places. The salt is first treat-
ed with sulphuric acid, and the sulphate is then de-
composed by carbonate of lime and charcoal. The
muriatic acid is not preserved, but allowed to escape.
The hospital contains 325 patients, but there was
nothing extraordinary in the arrangement or condi-
tion of the wards. One fact I thought interesting.


Several respectable ladies of the city come twice a
week to the hospital, for the express and benevolent
purpose of combing the heads of the patients, and
spend many hours in this gratuitous and uninviting
task. I found in the hospital three or four Ameri-
cans, one of whom was intent upon his Bible ; and he
informed me, with an expression of much satisfac-
tion, that he was a member of the Marine Bible So-
ciety of New-York.

From the top of the hospital we had a good view
of the town ; but a still more extended one from the
summit of a hill on the southeast side, called mount
Bourbon, formerly mount Bonaparte. The names
of streets, columns, bridges, hills, &;c. change in all
parts of France, at every turn of the political weather-
cock. But these frequent changes help to keep
off the "demon cwwm," which a Frenchman holds
so much in dislike and terror. The beds of this hos-
pital are not remarkably clean, though they are most-
ly curtained. There are but six or eight of the sis-
ters of charity in the house, the nurses being hired
for the purpose.

The museum of paintings and antiquities has a
good deal to interest a stranger. Some of the paint-
ings are fine, but the light in which they are seen, is
very bad. The Roman antiquities, found near Mar-
seilles, consisting of statues, urns, medals, &c. are
numerous, and well preserved in this museum. There
is here also a pretty large collection of shells. Among
the rarities of the cabinet is a hydrocephalus skull,
nearly afoot in diameter. The library contains 60,000
volumes, and is supplied with modern publications.

I went into a manufactory of coral ornaments. This


material is found no where on the coast in such abun-
dance as in the gulf of Lj'ons. It is sawed into pie-
ces, filed, ground, bored, polished or carved into beads,
seals, ringlets, &c. chiefly by women. In grinding
and polishing such small pieces as fine beads, the
fingers are very much exposed to injury, and I could
not but compassionate those who had to perform it.
The soap manufactories of Marseilles are upon avast
scale, and a sufficient quantity of the article is made
in this place, as L****** informed me, to supply three
fourths of France. I visited one of these large es-
tablishments, but saw nothing in the process particu-
larly novel. The impure carbonate of soda, derived
from the decomposition of common salt, and olive oil
are the materials employed.

That part of the city of Marseilles, which is the
most modern, may be styled handsome. The street
called the Cours, is very wide, and has in the middle
of it a large passage, for foot passengers only, with a
row of majestic trees on both sides. The carriages
pass on each side, between the trees and the hou-
ses. The latter, as in Paris and Lyons, are very
high, but the superior width of the streets in Mar-
seilles gives it decidedly the advantage. There are
few streets on the European continent superior to the
Cours. Side pavements have been made in many ,of
the streets. Very good coflTee houses are found in
several parts of this town, but the restaurateurs are
greatly inferior to those of Paris. The public edifi-
ces possess but little to attract the curiosity of a tra-
veller. The Hotel de Ville, which serves also as a
custom house, is a fine building, the architecture of
which, as well as that of many other edifices, attesl


the great merit of Puget, one of the most distinguish
ed architects and painters of France, and a native of
Marseilles. The observatory is a building of simple
construction, but charmingly situated for observation;
and the contributions it has made to astronomy, un-
der the manngement of its present director, M. Pons,
especially in the discovery of comets, are an evidence
at once of his merits as an observer, and of the clear-
ness and serenity of the atmosphere of this region.

Marseilles is a busy place, though quite inferior, in
commercial activity, to New-Vork or Liverpool. One
meets frequently, in the streets, men dressed in the
costume of the Levant, with a large turban, long whis-
kers, and bag trowsers, like double petticoats, gather-
ed and tied under the knee.

The neighbourhood of the city, contains a great
number of summer residences,called Bastides, amount-
ing, according to common estimation, to at least 5000.
But though tliese improvements add greatly to thr
scenery, enjoyed from the eminences near the town,
the beauty of (he perspective is much diminished, by
the dry and desolate aspect of the high hills, which
environ the city, and adjacent gardens.

Of the stale of society here, I can say nothing, out
stay being too short, to seek for, or to accept of invi-
tations : but from the little we saw, and from the besi
information we obtained, the conclusion is unavoida-
ble, that licentiousness prevails to a great extent, and
that morals are at a very low ebb. In adverting
to the principal public walks of Marseilles, a French
writer observes: " EUe reunisscnt le beau mondc dc
Marseilles, tous les dimanches et fetes: on sait qu'il-
y-K que ces jours pour la promenade dans les villcs

Vol. II. 2


de commerce." The city is well watered. Fountains
of marble, of a neat construction, are pouring out con-
stant streams, in many of the streets, along which the
water flows in great abundance. An ancient aque-
duct, is still employed to bring water from a neigh-
bouring elevation. It passes over one of the princi-
pal streets.

From the extended commerce of Marseilles, it is
very much exposed to the introduction of pestilential
diseases, particularly the plague from Africa and the
Levant ; and the yellow fever from Spain and the
West-Indies. But the vigilance and energy with
which their quarantine regulations are enforced, have
generally preserved the city from infection, when
many of the neighbouring countries were suffering
from its ravages. The harbour is admirably fitted for
the strict execution of quarantine laws. The island
of Pomegue, in the outer harbour, has an excellent
position, for arresting vessels which enter. The crews
of infected ships, obtain provisions which are depo-
sited for them, in a particular place, and their money
is received, steeped in vinegar. They can see their
friends, only through a double grate, which prevents
all contact. Every violation of the quarantine, is pu-
nished with death. So secure are these regulations
considered, that the arrival of a vessel, in the outward
harbour, with the plague on board, gives no uneasi-
ness ; and vessels, which have been repulsed from all
other parts of the Mediterranean, have been received
here without difficulty. These rigorous and effectual
measures are the result of severe suffering. In the
year 1720, about one half the population of the city,
was cut off* by the plague. Marseilles is not so ex-


tensive in circumference, as Bordeaux and Lyons, but
its population, if stated correctly, is quite as great.
It has been noted, in some of the public documents,
as high as 1 10,000, but this appears to me to be much

The coast of the Mediterranean is infested, in the
summer and autumn, with innumerable swarms of
moschetos, which the French call " cousins." In the
evening, and during the night, their attacks are truly
formidable. No sleep can be enjoyed, and nothing
can defend the body from their venomous stings, either
in or out of the houses, but to shut the doors and win-
dows, and thus subject one's self, to" a stifling atmos-
phere, or, to surround the bed with curtains of thin
gauze. These curtains, the French denominate
*' cousinieres." We were not much troubled with
these insects, it being too late in the season ; but
from the accounts given of them, they are as great
an annoyance here, as on the sea board of the
United States. Scorpions are said to be not uncom-
mon in the south of France, entering the houses, and
even penetrating the bed-rooms. These are much
more dreadful than moschetoes, from the extremely
virulent nature of their sting.

The climate of this part of the Mediterranean, as
well as at Genoa, is acknowledged to be very change-
able. It is subject to a wind from the north-east,
which prevails throughout the whole of Provence, es-
pecially along the Rhone, and continues during the
greater part of the year. It is sometimes extremely
violent. In particular districts, the large trees are al-
most all inclined to the south-west, and are frequently
torn up by the roots. This wind is called the mis-


tral. Notwithstanding its violence, and its chilling ef-
fect upon the atmosphere, it is considered by the in-
liabitants, upon the whole, as extremely salutary, in
dispersing the noxious vapours which accumulate on
the borders of the sea and rivers. But it renders the
climate, as before stated, liable to sudden and fre-
quent variation of temperature ; making it necessary,
sometimes, to change garments, more than once, in
the course of the day.

We left Marseilles, at seven in the evening, in the
diligence, for Avignon. The roads were extremely
dusty, from the continuance of dry weather. As it
was dark when we arrived at Aix, (and we stopped
only to change horses,) we had no opportunity of no-
ticing the appearance of the town, further than that
the street, through which we passed, was wide, and
lined with double rows of high trees. This town ac-
cording to our printed guide, is exceedingly well

Online LibraryJohn GriscomA year in Europe. Comprising a journal of observations in England, Scotland, Ireland, France, Switzerland, the north of Italy, and Holland. In 1818 and 1819 (Volume 2) → online text (page 1 of 40)