Brookes’ Universal Gazetteer, page 311
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freecom of the press—the second dissolving the
chamber of deputies, which had never assem-
bled—and the third abrogating the most important
rights of the elective franchise.—This, however,
was the last act of his misrule. A revolution en-
sued The people were victorious. The govern-
ment of Charles was overturned, and himself left
to drag out the remains of his days in ignominious
and unpitied banishment; while the sceptre was
placed in the hands of a constitutional monarch,
Louis Philippe I.—formerly the duke of Orleans.
This revolution has already had a powerful influ-
ence on other states, and promises to open the
way to the most important changes on the conti-
nent of Europe. A distinguishing feature of the
present order of government is its perfect tolera-
tion in religious matters. The religion ofthe sov-
ereign and the court is the Roman Catholic, but
the teachers of all other sects of Christians are
now supported by government. A considerable
number of priests have recently separated them-
selves from the Romish pale, and the number of
Protestants is increasing daily.

France exhibits an imposing picture of physical,
moral, and social power, which the philosopher
and philanthropist will view with mingled feelings
of hope and fear ; with hope, that she will hence-
forward be as assiduous to acquire glory in pursu-
ing the arts of peace, and the attainments of so-
cial order, as she has heretofore heen in the pur-
suit of conquest and pi’.itical aggrandisement;
and with fear, lest intrigue, priestcraft, and sel-
fish ambition should again obtain an ascendancy,
and predominate over the rights and interests ofthe
people.

It is not easy for American readers to acquire
any just knowledge of the character of the
French. English travellers have written much
upon this nation, but they are not to be trusted.
The French people in many respects occupy the
first rank among the European nations. The in-
fluence of this country may be compared to that
of ancient Greece over the civilized world. The
French language is the language of courts and
ambassadors, and almost a common medium of
intercourse among the different members of the
groat European family. This universality of
their language with the affability and agreeable
manners of the people their courtesy to strangers,
the cincentrition of men of science and litera-
ture :ro:n a", quarters at their capital, no less than
geographic".! position of the country, all combine
to rer. far France more immediately central in
point :-f influence and example than any other
nation in v_e world. It was a true saying of
Nape-be* r. t rot a revolution in France is a revolu-
tion in Ecrrp?.'

The French ore slender, active, well-propor-
tioned, and rather shorter ihan their neighbours.
Their eyes me hair are black, and their complex-
ion brown or -all: w. which it has been thought,
gave rise to tit- trotom of painting the face among
the laiies. The w — en in France are celebrated
more
for their re T-ro'ty and wit, than for personal
beauty. Tne srtvr r pe -ple are very attentive
to the exerc-s.es canting, fencing, and riding,
in all which —ey ■generally excel in point of
gracefulness.

Nothing appears t: the French more odious than
uniformity, on which account the changes among
them are so frequent, that it is impossible to de-
scribe any particular dress as that which is adopt-
ed as a standard. Notwithstanding the fickleness
of fashion at Paris, and other large cities of the
empire, the great mass of the people in distant
provinces, always faithful to ancient manners,
smile, under the enormously large hat, at the new
modes which rise and fall almost every day
among their more polished compatriots.

Paris sets the fashions of all Europe, and an
immense trade in articles of dress and new pat-
terns is carried on by tailors, mantua-makers, and
milliners. Every week has its new female fash-
ions, and every month its new male fashions ; all
say they, for the good of trade.

Bmtal battles, quarrels, and noisy drunken
fellows, are nuisances seldom met with. The
lower class of people behave to each other writh
a surprising degree of civility. The unhappy
females who roam the streets at nights, are nei-
ther obtrusive, rude, nor riotous. At the theatres,
the tranquillity if the audience is seldom inter-
rupted : people go
for the wise purpose of being
pleased, and with the good-humoured disposition
to be satisfied. Thdse places of amusement are,
doubtless, much indebted for their tranquility to
the national sobriety of the French.

Politeness and good manners may be traced,
though in different portions, through every rank.
This however, does not form a more remarkable
and distinguishing feature in the French nation-
al character, than the vivacity, impetuosity, and
fickleness, for which the ancient, as well as the
modern inhabitants of Paris, have been noted.

Sunday is but slightly observed in France, at
any season; and very slightly indeed in harvest.
Some go to church for about an hour ; but, be-
fore and after no great marks of Sabbath are per-
ceptible. This is to be regretted : a day of rest
is at least an excellent political regulation ; good
for man and beast; but in France all the theatres
and places of amusement are open, and more
frequented than on any other day in the week.

The scrupulous honesty of the lower and mid-
dling classes in restoring any lost property to its
owner, is worthy of particular remark. The
postilions, coachmen, servants, &c. may general
ly be trusted with confidence. The tradesmen
also, though they ask more than they mean to
take for their goods, would cheerfully and unask
ed,restoreto you your purse, umbrella, cane,or any
thing you might have left in their shop by acci-
dent, and this, if not reclaimed for a considerable
time.

The temperate mode of life pursued by the
French, their geographical position and agricul-
tural pursuits, exempt them from any great vari-
ety and severity of disease. The fact is f xein





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Brookes' Universal Gazetteer of the World (1850)


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