« AnteriorContinuar »
burthen cannot enter; but small
are very few parts either of the coasting vessels, feluccas, and town or suburbs where they could open boats, are commonly to be be more comfortably situated. met with in it. On the side of the On leaving the Place de la Reharbour are several good ware publique to go to the ramparts houses, which, since the peace, you see the Paglion, the suburbs, are again open to merchandise. and the cha of hills which
The port is very commodious to stretches from North to South, those who are fond of-swimming; forining a semicircle. Advancing but the entrance into it I think onwards you have a delightful per
more so. The months of Decem- spective of the sea and coast as · ber and January are not too cold far as Antibes, which is peculiarly
for, bathing: on the contrary, I beautiful by the light of the moon, never omitted the
opportunity when her pale and sombre beans, when it was in my power. There streaming through the dusky are boats and men at the part, waste, quiver on the wave, and whom you engage, at a louis per tint the adjacent bills with a soothmonth, for this purpose; but as my association of liglit and shade. the shore is rather dangerous, it is I visited Nice at a very unfavourdifficult to embark, either behind able moment, and write rather to the Croix de Marbre, or elsewhere. describe the marks of barbarian You must therefore put up with fury than the ingenuity of the arinconvenience of riding or walking chitect. The rage of the revoluto the harbour. With respect to tion, carried to an almost inconmere bathing, ladies should ven-'ceivable excess, has scarcely left ture in with great caution, and any hotel or mansion of grandeur never stoop without taking hold without marks of degradation. of a rope when a wave passes them. The houses in the suburbs of the Here is no convenience for that Croix de Marbre, and on the side salutary purpose, those, therefore, of the road leading to the Var, as who are willing to try, must adopt well as a variety of buildings in the plan proposed, or run the risk the town, have all shared the saine of receding with a wave, which, fate. on account of the rapid descent of Nice has been continually inthe coast, retires with equal ce- volved in a succession of misforherity and strength.
tunes. In the years 1919, 1618, A handsome terrace supports and 1611, but principally in July and consolidates the banks which and August 1504, the villages of oppuse the inroads of the sea, and, St. Martin, Bolena, Belvidere, Veforming a delightful walk for the manson, &c. were rearly destroyed inhabitants, may be considered by an earthquake. It is said that among the principal embellish- the shock was so great that it ments of the place. The lodgings stopped the course of the Vesubia situated on the terrace are not very for some hours; that chasms opened numerous, but command an ex- large enough to receive entire tensive view of the Mediterranean. mountains, and that others fell in The terrace often exhibits a con- with a frightful crash. Since then course of the beau monde of Nice. the bottoin of the port of VilleThe English families seldoin re- franche is observed to be lowered. side in this quarter, though there The misfortunes of the town terminated in 1748 for a while, stantly occupied in providing for and day after day iinprovements the subsistence of their families, in became inore general, obliterat- cultivating their fields, or watching ing, in some degree, the scenes of their tlocks. Nothing can equal misery and devastation she had their persevering patience at work: been so often dooined to witness. na obstacle disheartens them; and But in the year 1799, and epidemic they bear with equal firmaness bodisease visited the town, and car- dily fatigue and mental ansiety. ried off a sixth part of the popu. Fashion has not extended her imlation. The tirst cause of the dis- perious dominion over them, for ease was the continual motion of they still 'retain the dress and the troops: without exaggera. manners of their forefathers, tion, a million passed through Wheqever a traveller arrives in Nice in the course of the revola- any one of their villages, let him tion. It is well known that the be ever so little known to then, amies were frequently in want of they hasten to welcome him, and every thing. Bad nourishment invite' him to partake of their fruand bad clothing were soon fol- gal repast. They often gire up lowed by the most distressing con. their beds to strangers, and ra sequences. The hospitals which every respect present, us with an were crowded could not accommo- einblem of ancient hospitality. date all the sick, a circumstance But this character only applies io which obliged the inhabitants to the inhabitants of the interior of lodge them in private houses; in- the country: towards the frontiers fection was by this means soon of Piedmont they are irascible, propagated, and every house be- and subject to gusts of passion came a lazaretto,
which frequently produce very desperate conflicts. When they
cannot find einployment at home THE Nissards differ in their where there are neither commerce manners from the inhabitants of nor manufactures, they seek sub. Provence and Italy. Sordid in- sistence in foreign countries. terest and unprincipled selfishness, Those who can afford to buy a potwithstanding the allegations of little merchandise, hawk it about many travellers, are by no means the country, until they aeqnire the characteristics of every class of enough wealth to begin shop-keepthis people. The Nissards are in ing. With such small beginnings, general mild, humane, peaceable, by arrangement and economy, and complaisant. They are gay, some of them have left fortunes lively, and pleasant in company: which their industrious children in one word their manners on the have augmented to immense prowhole are interesting, and conge- perty, even to millions sterling. nial with the mildness of the cli- There are many instances of this mate. The inhabitants of the kind, and two are well known at country, though poor, and as it Lyons and Marseilles: one is the were sequestered from the world, house of Folosan, the other is the are civil, and perfect strangers to family of Bruni, two members of tbe vices engendered by luxury, which were presidents of the sea and to the violent passions which cond chamber of the parliament agitate the great. They are one of Aix before the revolution.
It is from the northern district The forced sobriety and labonr of that so many of them emigrate these people recall to mind the with their organs, cymbals, and assuetus malo Ligur of Virgil. magic lanterns, to amuse the peo- It is probable that the state of ple and children over all Europe. these unfortunate Ligurians has After an absence of eight or ten undergone little or no change years, the greater part of them during the lapse of two hundred return with some little savings, years. In the greater number of which assist them to enlarge their the small towns and villages situfields, to buy cattle, and get mar- ated in the interior part of the ried. Tired of a wandering and country, and among the mounlaborious life, they return to finish tains, the peasants have neither their days under the humble roof clocks, sun-dials, nor barometers that gave them birth, far from the of any description; the crowing of noise and tumult of towns. It is the cock, and the position of the there that they relate to their chil- stars, regulate the hours of the dren what has most attracted their night, and the course of the sun attention in their travels. It might those of the day. The inhabitbe supposed they would contractants, by their observations of the some of the vices prevalent in great planets, will tell you the hour with towns; they retain, however, their nearly as much precision as if it former simplicity of manners and were indicated by a clock. They industry. They consider their pre- also predict with a great degree of sent situation happy when they certainty the changes of the weacompare it with the fatiguing life ther. Passing most of their time they have led to attain it. Even in the fields, and being endowed their little vanity is gratified in with a quick sight and retentive being considered the richest of the memory, they collect a number of hamlet, respected by all, and look- little facts, which enable them to . ed upon as the oracles of the coun- acquire a kind of confused foretry. These advantages turn the sight, that resembles in a great heads of the young peasants, and measure that instinctive presage make them sigh for an organ and of approaching changes of weather a magic lantern.
which we observe in animals. By The inhabitants, particularly this, and the assistance of some those on the coast, live very fri- local circumstances, such as a fog gally: a small quantity of bread at a certain hour, and on a certain (for lately the pound of twelve , part of the horizon, a cloud of a ounces has been sold from four to particular colour on the top of six sols), with some fruit, herbs, some mountain, or the flight or and vegetables, generally compose chirping of birds, they can progtheir food : sometimes they have nosticate the alterations of weather a little salt-fish, very rarely any as well, if not better, than any fresh, and still more rarely meat. meteorologist. The effects of this mode of living With respect to the persons and on their persons are very visible : anpearance of the Nissards, they
and dark. They are of a good tection. They pronounce the final
a stature, and well made, but for the syllables in a singing tone. Bemost part thin: The women are fore Julius Caesar, three different neither ugly nor pretty ; neither idioms were known in Gaul. 1. dark nor fair; most of them are of The Cantabric, of which there are an intermediate complexion. Their yet traces in Biscay. 2. The Belsociety would be more agreeable gic, which is a root of the Gerwere their understandings better 3. The Celtic, which was cultivated, and the French lan- employed from the Mediterranean guage a little more familiar. There to the British Channel, are, however, many exceptions to The Celtic was used in Prothis in several of the towns, parti- vence till the fourth century, by cularly at Nice. They dress nearly which time the Phocæans had gein the same manner as in other nerally made known the Greek parts of France: some of them language, and the Romans had still wear fringed caps, which be- introduced the Latin. The Celtic come them very well, and to which idiom became softer by this mix, a stranger is soon accustomed. In ture, but less pure, The Goths, their dress they appear to prefer Huns, Vandals, Lombards, and white to other colours. I recol, other barbarians, introduced their lect going to the cathedral of particular idioms, so that, about Nice on a holiday, and on enter, the tenth century, a language ing my eyes were quite dazzled composed of all these jargons took with a display of snowy white the name of Provençal. From which is rarely to be seen else- the tenth to the seventeenth cegwhere. This habit, which is ex- turies, the African, the Arragon, pensive in large towns, is here Spanish, and Italian expressions, very soitable to the climate, where gradually crept in. The emperor they have frequently six months of Julian said the Gauls croaked like without rain,
crows, and the inhabitants of Dra. The language of Nice, and of guinan have to this day a guttural that part of the department con- pronunciation. At Grasse the lantiguous to the Var, is the dialect guage is cadenced. of Provence, mixed with a number The French language is not so of words derived from the Italian. generally used in the department This patois is not unintelligible of the Maritime Alps as could be to the inhabitants of Marseilles, wished : every where, except in though that of Monaco, at the that part of the country belongdistance of four leagues from Nice, ing to the diocese of Glandeves, is entirely so. The patois of Mo- the Italian is used for education : naco differs from that of Menton ; hence even some of those employ, each of them is composed of the ed in public situations write bad dialects of Provence, Liguria, and French. As people go regularly Piedmont; bụt the idioms of the to inass and sermons, it might be two latter predominate. A few useful to direct the ministers of Spanish words have crept into worship to deliver their instruc.them, which might have been ex- tions in French. Even at Monaco
pected, as the Spaniards kept a the Italian is preferred, though garrison at Monaco, while that the French have been there upprincipality was under their pro- . wards of one hundred and bfiy
years. It is, however, probable under the shade of a wild fig-tree, that the French language will and meditated on the weakness ultimately obtain universal recep- and infirmities of the human race. tion, as all the proclamations and • Several towns and villages in orders of government are now pub- this department have a saint eclelished in it.
brated for the cure of some disease. The Nissards are fervent in The inhabitants of Monaco possess their devotion; and though not St. Roman, who cures quartan fealtogether exempt from supersti- vers; other fevers are not under tion, are less credulous than the his controul. St. Devote is the inhabitants of other places in the patron of the town, and in truth same department. I extract from his name, and the fame of his mithe author of a Tour through the racles, have not a little contributed Maritime Alps, the following ac- to its welfare. An orator composes count of the devotion of the inha- an annual panegyric. I was prebitants of Monaco.Having wit- sent at that delivered last year. nessed their religious ceremonies It would be difficult to form an during the whole day, which were idea of the absurd fictions deliverperformed with great fervour, after ed from the pulpit. These holivespers there was a grand proces- days are not always appropriated sion round the square which is to devotion. While some are before the church. Two beings, praying, others are seeking less sick with the palsy, were dragged holy amusements, not forgetting about by their friends and rela- dancing, without which these tions; and, beside the fatigues of people could not exist. In genea long journey, they were exposed 'ral they have not much religion; with their heads bare to the but this is not the only instruction scorching rays of the sun, which in which they are deficient. Wheoccasioned the most violent per- ther it proceeds from a want of spiration. They continued this taste for the sciences, literature, excessive exercise for a long time, and the arts, or whether they have in confident expectation of a mi- not the means of procuring inracle being worked. However, struction, I cannot determine ; the Holy Virgin was not pleased though I imagine that both of to use her intercession, though I these causes operate. All branches am far from disputing her influ- of knowledge are here in their inence; nor, what was still more fancy. Their favourite study is singular, did these extreme mea- jurisprudence, which, before the sures produce any favourable or conquest, opened the way to plaunfavourable crisis. While some ces of emolument.' accompanied the procession, others Before I take leave of this subin the church were imploring the ject I ought to observe, in justice Virgin : women and children were to the Nissards, that I never witseen prostrated before the altar, nessed any thing in their worship stretching forth their supplicating deviating from the strictest dehands, and rending heaven with cency and most fervid devotion, their cries to the philosophic eye monly performed in other Catho“
This scene being as All the religious ceremonies comof reason as the wretches dragged lic countries are scrupulously oba about at the procession, I retreated served at Nice; and though the