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THE CHARACTERISTICS.

“La nature montre partout la lutte de l'ombre et de la lumière.”_V. Hugo-Littérature et Philosophie mêlees.

“ The truth is, they be not the highest instances that give the securest information; as may be well expressed in the tale so common of the philosopher, that while he gazed upwards to the stars he fell into the water; for if he had looked down, he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the stars. So it cometh often to pass, that mean and small things discover great, better than great can discover the small.”--Bacon's Advancement.

CHARACTERISTICS.

POLITENESS.

Beggar like the Courtier in the time of Louis XV.

Arrival at Calais-Innkeeper at Rouen-Comparison between Hotel at Paris and Hotel in LondonMariners of Servants and Tradespeople in the two Countries Our idea of Civility—The manners, checquered in England by softness and insolence, are not sufficiently courteous and gentle in France You see no longer in France that noble air, that 'great manner,' as it was called, which you found formerly-Grace in the Creed of Père EnfantinExpression of old Ségur.

We have arrived in France. We have seen Paris—the epitome of France—now let us take within our view some of the characteristics of the French people! Many of those landmarks

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of manners in every nation which laws and circumstances will alter and efface; and many are those which law and circumstances will alter, will modify, but which they cannot efface :

I proceed to consider both. What, reader, should I say of the ancient reputation which France enjoyed for politeness ? ...

66 Je me recommande à vous, to me the other day by an old gentleman dressed in very tattered garments, who was thus soliciting a 'sou. The old man was a picture: his long grey hairs fell gracefully over his shoulders. Tall_he was so bent forward, as to take with a becoming air the position in which he had placed himself. One hand was pressed to his heart, the other held his hat. His voice, soft and plaintive, did not want a certain dignity. In that very attitude, and in that very voice, a nobleman of the ancient régime' might have solicited a pension from the Duc de Choiseul in the time of Louis XV. I confess that I was the more struck by the manner of the venerable suppliant from the contrast which it fornied with the demeanour of his countrymen in general: for it is rare, now a days, to meet a Frenchman, with the air which Lawrence Sterne was so enchanted with during the first month, and so wearied with at the ex

piration of the first year, which he spent in France. That look and gesture of the petit marquis,' that sort of studied elegance, which, at first affected by the court, became at last natural to the nation, exist no longer, except among two or three “grand seigneurs' in the Faubourg St. Germain, and as many beggars usually to be found on the Boulevards. To ask with grace, to beg with as little self-humility as possible; here perchance is the fundamental idea which led, in the two extremes of society, to the same results : but things vicious in their origin are sometimes agreeable in their practice.

“ Hail, ye small sweet courtesies of life, far smoother do ye make the road of it-like grace and beauty which beget inclinations at first sight, 'tis ye who open the door and let the stranger in.” I had the Sentimental Journey in my hand—it was open just at this passage, when I landed not very long ago on the quay of that town which Horace Walpole tells us caused him more astonishment than any other he had met with in his travels. I mean Calais. “ Hail, ye small sweet courtesies of life,” was I still muttering to myself as gently pushing by a spruce little man, who had already scratched my nose, and nearly poked out my eyes with cards of

I attempted to pass on

66 Hôtel

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