Thomas Pennington.

A journey into various parts of Europe, and a residence in them during the years 1818, 1819, 1820, and 1821 : with notes, historical and classical : and memoirs of the grand dukes of the House of Medici, of the dynasties of the kings of Naples, and of the dukes of Milan (Volume 1) online

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Online LibraryThomas PenningtonA journey into various parts of Europe, and a residence in them during the years 1818, 1819, 1820, and 1821 : with notes, historical and classical : and memoirs of the grand dukes of the House of Medici, of the dynasties of the kings of Naples, and of the dukes of Milan (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 51)
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PENNINGTON, THOMAS. A Journey into Various Parts of Europe;. . .
1818-1821; with . . . memoirs of the Grand Dukes of the House of Medici;
of the Dynasties of the Kings of Naples; and of the Dukes of Milan. 2 vols,
8vo, orig. green cl. and paper labels; pp.xv+724; 692, indexed, uncut and
[largely unopened, spines faded, covers only si. worn. Geo. B. Whittaker,
'1825. y^a^ ' ^ >4






1818, 1819, 1820, and 1821 ;









Quid verum atque decens euro. — Hok.

Da facilem Cursum, atque audacibus annua C(splls,— ViB.



M D C C C X X V.






Flattery would be as painful to me to give, as I
am persuaded it would be to your Majesty to receive ; but
truth is not flattery, and the dignified retirement in which you
have lived, and exercised the private virtues of life since the
decease of your Royal Consort, reflect even more honour and
lustre on you than your high birth and descent. You now.
Madam, feel the benefit of the talents given your Majesty by
nature, and accompHshments derived from the excellent educa-
tion given you by your Royal Parents, our late much revered
Sovereigns ; for of all things the most to be dreaded by Prince
and Subject, is a life of idleness. I feel. Madam, I own,
both pride and gratification in being permitted the honour of
laying this little sketch at the feet of a Princess of the illustri-
ous House of Brunswick, (sister of the Monarch who so ably
wields the Sceptre of this Empire,) not less honourable by Its
antiquity, than estimable by its virtues ;— a House for which
I have an hereditary love and respect. What Great Britain
has lost, Wirtemberg has gained ; and whilst we lament the
absence of the Princess Royal of England from her native


land, we rejoice at the happiness and prosperity of the Queen
Dowager of Wirtemberg. The attentions with which your
Majesty honoured Mrs. Carter, my late much revered and
esteemed relative, and which were extended to me during
my short stay in Stutgard, demand my utmost gratitude,
and have made a lasting impression on my mind.

I avail myself, Madam, of the gracious permission granted
me by your Majesty, of dedicating these Travels to you —
the fruit of my observations during three years' journejdng and
residence on the Continent. Conscious of many defects, I
must rely on your Majesty*'s indulgence to make allowance for
them ; but should it fortunately serve for a little relaxation
in the beautiful shades and elegant retirement of Lud^vigs-
burg, my ambition wiU be highly gratified. That your
Majesty may long enjoy the comforts of that circle of whicli
you are the ornament, is the wish of liim, who has the honour
to be, with every sentiment of gi-atitude and respect.

Your Majesty"'s most dutiful

and obhged humble servant,
















The journey described in these sheets was undertaken
from the following motives : — The writer of them had
an opportunity, possessed but by few of his profes-
sion, and was tempted to make use of it by re-visit-
ing the scenes of his early life, with additional ones,
ever interesting to the classic traveller. He was also
no less anxious to see the change produced by a
number of years, and the various places distinguished
in the late awful conflict, and most of them marked,
alas ! in some way by the fatal ravages of war. In
this he has been completely gratified, and also has
had the much-superior gratification of finding univer-
sally on the continent, that all are rejoiced that the
din of war has ceased, and hail the restoration of
peace as likely to be lasting as it was glorious. The
inhabitants, now turning their swords into plough-
shares, have leisure, which, it is hoped, they will


make use of, to attend to the sacred duties of reli-
gion too much neglected in the conflict of contend-
ing nations. The writer also enjoyed an additional
pleasure, which, he confesses (he hopes with honest
pride), was highly gratifying, in universally finding
his countrymen respected, and looked up to imder
providence as the authors of that peace and comfort
which the continent now enjoys. In this journey he
was accompanied by his nearest and dearest relatives,
which had its comfort and its alloys : if he had the
pleasure of those most dear to him to assist him with
their remarks, enliven him with their conversation,
and entertain him with their sallies, yet was he often
obliged to desist from seeing some interesting object,
(which ought not to have been omitted by the inqui-
sitive traveller,) in justice to the various interests
and pursuits of a large family, consisting chiefly of
females and tender infants, which, in kindness and
humanity he was bound to consult, especially as they
had gratified his wishes in accompanying him in this
journey. The early and late hours, bad roads, and
difficult accommodations, which are alike disregarded
by the male traveller, whom no inconveniences deter
from seeing every thing worthy of observation, are an
insuperable objection to the female and infant tra-


veller: this will account for the writer of this not
seeing every thing in the different towns and neigh-
bourhood so completely as he wished ; however, what
he has seen, he has endeavoured to see with an im-
partial eye, and describe with an impartial pen — how
he has succeeded must be left to the judgment of the

In his remarks on religion, he has endeavoured to
be liberal and impartial. Educated with his two bro-
thers early in life by his excellent parents (on the
limited income of a country beneficed clergyman) for
the sacred profession, who were assisted in that task by
his late venerable relation, Mrs. E. Carter, whose lite-
rary fame, " asre perennius," is yet much subordinate
to her great humility, unaffected piety, and sincere
attachment to the religious principles in which she
was brought up, it might perhaps be forgiven him if
he was partial to our religious establishment, espe-
cially when it is considered that his immediate pro-
genitors, and all his near relatives, not only were of
this profession, but all have reaped its patronage,
which he gratefully acknowledges. But the writer is
partial to it from a much higher motive, from early
having imbibed and attentively considered its piety,
simplicity, candour, and humility; from its endea-


vouring to enforce the truths as they " are in Christ
Jesus." Its professors are not expected to beUeve
impHcitly all that they read, or is told them ; but to
read, search, and examine dihgently, *' whether these
things are so." It can be no wonder then that he is
firm in the religious principles which he has imbibed,
as being the nearest possible to the Scriptures, and
from which he hopes never to deviate ; and when the
Popish rehgion is considered as composed of tenets
not warranted in Scripture, of superstition, grimace,
empty ceremonies, the truth of which assertion all who
have been in Roman Catholic countries must confess,
the contrast is so great, that it can be no wonder that
the purity and simplicity of the Protestant religion
should strike us with additional force. At the same time
the writer must repeat the remarks which he has made,
that he with pleasure has observed unaffected piety and
devotion in many of these deluded people. Their minis-
ters are many of them attentive to the sacred duties
of their profession, and appear persuaded of the doc-
trines which they teach, if they are not, wo be to them as
hypocrites ! There is one essential difference in favour
of the Protestant traveller— he is now no longer obliged,
as formerly, to comply with the external forms of
adoration, when induced by curiosity to attend their


worship, but is left unmolested, if he preserve that
quiet and decorum which all ought in every exercise
of religion. The utmost liberality every where pre-
vails, and he has the additional comfort (instead of
persecution as formerly) of finding places of public
worship in almost all the great towns for himself and
Protestant brethren. May we not humbly hope that
the time is coming when all our deluded brethren will
be brought at length to acknowledge the truth as it
is in Christ Jesus, unsophisticated by the art of man,
undisguised by idolatrous superstition .'

AVith regard to the sketch itself, the writer has
given an account of things as they occurred. Having
resided some time in Florence, and having access to
an excellent library, he was induced to give some
account of the family of Medici, as every thing in
that city must remind the stranger of that liberal and
munificent race; he has also, for a similar reason,
given brief memoirs of the Kings of Naples. Con-
scious of many imperfections in this Journal, he trusts
to the liberahty of the reader for indulgence ; one
thing he has studiously avoided — to wound the feel-
ings of any one in this publication — " Hie murus
aheneus esto." The great advantage of keeping a
journal is obvious, as we are reminded by it of the


scenes we pass through never to return. Life,
at the longest, is but short, and must be made the
most of, and traveUing must be considered as part of
a journey through life, Happy are they who make
their knowledge, acquired either by books or travel-
ling, subservient to the cause of morality and reli-
gion ; they will have the comfort of reflecting, in the
decline of life, that the time past in this manner has
not been one of pleasure only but of lasting profit,
which will endure unto the end.

In the public libraries, which are generally to be
found in the large towns in France and Italy, the
writer was obliged to accommodate himself to their
hours, which was sometimes attended with incon-
venience, when he wished to consult books, and made
but a short stay in the place. Owing to this, he often
was obhged to write down things on the spur of the
moment, without, perhaps, being so accurate as he
wished ; so that he fears they will sometimes appear,
instead of a regular well-digested account, rather
" farrago libelli."

After having twice crossed the Alps and Pyrenees,
and the Apennines five times, he returns to his native
country to pass the remainder of the life which it
s hall please the Almighty to allot him, in the exercise


of his clerical duties with pleasure and comfort, con-
sidering it incumbent upon him to exercise them with
double diligence and attention, as having observed
with gratitude the essential difference between the
English clergy and those of other nations, so that
they cannot be too thankful for the blessings they
enjoy in their native soil. Every English traveller,
indeed, must be convinced, that, in spite of all the
inconveniences of fog and cold *, and the changeable
climate of England, there is no country like it in Eu-
rope, or perhaps in the world; and that though it
cannot boast of the fine Italian sky, or its vaunted
climate, or the noble lakes and grand mountain sce-
nery of Switzerland, yet it possesses more solid ad-
vantages, in an excellent constitution, a learned and
enlightened, and, it is to be hoped, a religious peo-
ple. When we see the fine provincial towns abroad,
lofty houses, noble windows and doors, the compari-
son with our own towns is certainly disadvantageous ;

* England, with all thy faults, f love thee still.
• * * * Tho' thy clime

Be fickle, and thy year most part deformed
With dripping- rain, or withered by a frost,
Yet would I not exchange thy sullen skies.
And fields witiiout a flower, for M'armer France
With all her vines ; nor for Ausonia's groves,
Or golden fruitage, and her myrtle-bowers.



but when, on the other hand, it is considered with
what advantage we travel, without the impediment of
gates, passport, or police, who would not prefer these
solid advantages to the temporary sight of fine towns
and noble buildings ? And with regard to the com-
forts of life, such as a cheerful fire, clean rooms, and
mechanical conveniences, these are to be found in
scarcely any country but England, and the English
traveller will be much disappointed if he expect to
find them when distant from his native shore. Other
deprivations also are not wanting ; for the continental
traveller, instead of travelling with English comfort,
setting out at eight or nine in the morning, and per-
forming a journey of sixty or seventy miles with ease
in a postchaise, and arriving in good time at an inn,
in which he will find excellent accommodations, on
the contrary, must submit to many inconveniences,
setting out often three or four hours before light in a
cold winter's morning, travelling five or six hours to
a scanty breakfast, and not finishing a hard but slow
day's journey (chiefly a foot-pace) till after dark,
when, hungry and exhausted, he can only perhaps get
eggs and bread for his supper, in a wretched inn,
or rather cabaret ; and with difficulty find decent beds
and detached rooms — this frequently happens, espe-


cially in mountain travelling. These deprivations,
added to many inconveniences, will, it is hoped, put
a stop to that mad spirit of emigration which has taken
such fast hold of our countrymen, inducing them to
submit to every imposition, and spend vast sums ia
foreign countries which are so much wanted in their
own, when they cannot be too thankful for the bless-
ings and comforts which they enjoy in their native

It is hoped that the hasty attempts at some trans-
lations will be pardoned, when the old saying is con-
sidered, " Poeta nascitur non fit."

Rectory House, Thorley,
May 13, 1825.




Departure from Calais — ^Interesting- Meeting — Shifts of a Traveller-—
Vernon, Mantes, Rouen — Dilapidatory Scene at St. Germains — Arrival
at Paris.

The awful contest which had agitated Europe so
many years, and prevented his countrymen enjoying the
variety of Continental travelling, being happily termi-
nated, the writer of this sketch, determining to avail
himself of the present pacific state of affairs, and revisit
with his family those scenes from which he had for-
merly derived such pleasure, embarked at Dover,
July the 1st, 1818. A fair wind landed the travellers
safely in less than three hours at Monsieur Le Croq's
Hotel de Bourbon, and that venerable Aubergiste,
distinguished by his urbanity and travelling inform-
ation, soon supplied them with a convenient coach for
Paris, by the way of Normandy, for the following

Vol. I. B


The chief difFcrence we found in the appearance of
the country during our long absence from the continent,
was the scarcity of monks, who used to swarm in
every corner ; and the astonishing prevalence of Eng-
lish customs and language was such, that you might
almost imagine yourself in your own country, was
it not for the height of the houses and the different
style in which they are built.

Boulogne was so crowded with English as to re-
semble an English town. Its lofty tower erected by
Bonaparte, whether from pride* or political artf,
and still unfinished, was seen for many miles J.

The situation of Montreuil must ever be interesting,
and the articles of life in its neighbourhood are re-
markably reasonable §.

At Abbeville, the writer of this sketch had the
unexpected pleasure of meeting a near and much
loved relative 11 with his amiable consort; a relative
not more connected with him by the ties of blood,
than the strongest friendship ; who is so deservedly
esteemed as a divine and scholar, that it would be as
superfluous as perhaps indelicate to add his humble


Inimemor struis domos. — Hor. Sat., lib. 2. Od. IS.

+ Turribus altis, magnas territat urbes. — Vir. .^n., lib. 4.

X Saniers presented the melancholy prospect of tjic ravages of the
French Revolution. Its noble Benedictine Convent being- no\v a magazine
for the forage of Englisli soldiers.

§ Eggs, three shillings per hundred ; bread, seven farthings per pound ;
butter, tcnpcnce ; meat, threepence ; hares, tenpencc each, and other
thing's in proportion.

II The Rev. ^lontag-u Pennington, A-'icar of Xortlibnurno, and perpetual
Curate of St. George's Chapel, Deal.


voice on the occasion. An unexpected meeting be-
tween such near relatives, about to be separated for
some time, was, as the reader may well imagine, parti-
cularly interesting.

The next day a division of parties took place, one
setting off for England, and the other for Dieppe.

The Palace of Eu *, long the residence of the
Ponthi^vre and Orleans families f, is neglected and
unfurnished ; but the latter is expected once more to
reside there, to the comfort and benefit of the inhabi-
tants of the town.

We found Dieppe a scene of bustle and confusion,
occupied in landing the passengers from the packets,
and were glad to leave it for

Rouen j;, which besides its grandeur and antiquity,
and beautiful situation, must ever interest the traveller
from its having been the last scene of the gallant but
unfortunate Jeanne d'Arc, who fell a victim to the
cruel policy of the Duke of Bedford § , Regent of France,
who caused her to be burnt in the market-place. Her
statue cannot fail of being regarded by the English
with interest.

* Ell was the favourite residence of the celebrated Madcinolselle Mont-

t The Due d'Orleans, who made so considerable a figure in the revolu-
tion, under the name of Ei^alite, and perished miserably a victim to its
horrors (1), married the only dang'hter of the Due de Penthievre, a
Princess disting'uished by her virtues and misfortunes.

J Henry III. fixed his abode in this city, in 15S8, when obliged to
leave Chartres by the intrigues of the Leaguers. — Esprit dc la Ligue.

§ This priuce, who is interred in the (Cathedral, is called from French
conceit, " Prorex Noymannioi," viceroy oi' Norma ndi/, Louis XL was

0) Necis aiUfices arte porire sua.



Henri IV., King of France, was very partial to
this city. On the staircase of the Bourse is the follow-
ing inscription : —

jMes Amis
Soyez jiioy bons Sujets
Et je vous serai bon Roy
Et le melleur Roy
Que vous ayez eu !
Henri IV., aux Edierins de Rouen. — October 16, 1595.

Rouen* was taken and pillaged by the Royalists,
Catharine of Medicis being at their head, in 1562,
after a spirited resistance of one month, by Montgom-
mery the commander, against very unequal forces.

In this siege there is a curious anecdote of an officer
named Francois Civil, who owed his life to the fidelity
of his servant, who, searching for his body in order
to inter it, was quitting the ground in despair, when
he observed, by the light of the moon, a diamond ring
on a hand not covered with earth ; approaching nearer,
he knew that it was his master, by the ring. Great
was his joy ; but greater, when, taking the body to
inter it, he found it warm. He took it to the hospital
to be examined by the surgeons, who were so occu-
pied by the number of wounded, that they paid no
attention to a dead man, as they thought him. On

advised by his servile courtiers to destroy bis monument wbich was so
disgfraccful to the French: " Rather," says the kingf, "let us suffer the
ashes of a prince to rest in peace, of whom, if he were living, the bravest
of us would be afraid ; a noble monument on the contrary should be
erected to his memory." — Rapin, vol. 4. — Happy would it have been for
this king-, if all his actions had agreed with this. — Ed. Here also is buried,
Henry, son of Henry H., King of England, and the heart of Richard I.
* Rouen was the birth-placeof that distinguished historian Pere Daniel,
and Fontenelle and Corneille.


this, the valet, like the good Samaritan, took on himself
the sole care of his master, and by his attention he
almost immediately recovered, or at least was in a
convalescent state. Soon after, the city was taken,
and the house in which was Civil, was broken into,
and he, in that weak state, thrown out of the window.
He fortunately fell on a heap of dung, unhurt by the
fall, but was obliged to remain there, without provi-
sions, without assistance, and without remedies, till
he was conveyed privately by his relations out of the
city, where, with great care, he recovered. De Thou
says, " after so many kinds of deaths, at the time I
am writing an account of this event, forty years since
it took place, this officer is still living*."

The situation of Rouen, in which they reckon
100,000 inhabitants, is very fine ; and from Mont St.
Catharine, about a mile from the city, you have a
noble view of it, the Seine, and beautiful environs.

Of all the roads from Calais to Paris, that by the
way of Normandy is much the finest. From Ptouen
it is a perfect garden, recalling to our minds the beau-
tiful description of the Gardens of Alcinous —

Oyp(,vaJ y.oci ^otai xoci ixYiXexi a.y'ka.oKapojoi
^ rs yXuxepaci xoci sXaioci rrjXcQoojGcci.

Odyss. Lib. 7.

abounding in cherries, apples, pears, plums, and
apricots : the Seine also adds not a little to the
beauty of it. The inns in general are tolerable ; but
at Gaillon we were obliged to exercise our patience,

* Esprit de la Ligue.


having wretched accommodation ; — an old tin broken
coffee-pot, without a lid, was our tea-pot, and two or
three broken cups were all that the house furnished ;
no butter, and bad bread, and hardly a table * sound
enough to contain this bad fare. But this was but the
beginning of this kind of deprivations ; we were to be
inured to greater in our proposed extensive journey.

Gaillon, instead of the splendour and hospitality
of an archbishop, as his palace was formerly here,
presents the miserable spectacle of a depot for Ga-
lerians, 500 of whom were here ; but it must be ac-
knowledged, that many of them were employed in
useful works.

Vernon, which is beautifully situated on the Seine,
is distinguished by having afforded refuge to its king,
Henri III., when driven from Paris and Chartres by
the factious Due de Guise ; and the village of Rosni f,
some miles from it, reminded us of his gallant suc-
cessor, Henri IV., whose friend and minister. Sully,
was Baron and Marquis Rosni.

Mantes, which is likewise finely situated on the
river, is distinguished by having been some time the

* 'J'his reminds us of the straits to which tlic Trojuiis were reduced;
Et adorea liha per turhaiu
Siibiciunt epulis.
Etiaui menses consumunus iiiquit JuUis.

iEN. lib. 7.
•I- Henri IV., after the glorious battle of Ivri, passed the nig-ht at this
castle, and being' asked at siip))er i)y his captains, wliat name he would
irive to this battle, this great monarch ans\vercd, with liis usual piety and
liumility, " The battle of the Alnn"glity, to whom alone belonaeth the
irlory of it." Wliat wonder is it, that the arms of such a priucc should be
crowned with success ?


residence of Henri IV., and there was a plot formed
by the league and third party, as it v;as called, in
1792, to seize on his person, but it miscarried. Here
also, in 1593, was holden the assembly for Henri's
conversion, which paved his way to the throne.

The comfortable appearance of the male and female
peasants struck us no less than their costume, which
was interesting and pleasing, particularly that of the

At Prossy, near St. Germain's, Edward III. formed
an encampment in 1346, when he invaded France ;

Online LibraryThomas PenningtonA journey into various parts of Europe, and a residence in them during the years 1818, 1819, 1820, and 1821 : with notes, historical and classical : and memoirs of the grand dukes of the House of Medici, of the dynasties of the kings of Naples, and of the dukes of Milan (Volume 1) → online text (page 1 of 51)