As To Calvin, His Crystalline Clearness Of Mind,
His Calm, Cold Logic, His Severe Vehemence Are French, Also.
day, a French system of theology is the strongest and most coercive
over the strongest of countries - Scotland and America; and yet shallow
thinkers flippantly say the French are incapable of religious ideas.
After Madame M. and I had finished the Pantheon we drove to the
Conciergerie; for I wanted to see the prison of the hapless Marie
Antoinette. That restless architectural mania, which never lets any
thing alone here, is rapidly modernizing it; the scaffoldings are up,
and workmen busy in making it as little historical as possible.
Nevertheless, the old, gloomy arched gateway, and the characteristic
peaked Norman towers, still remain; and we stopped our carriage the
other side of the Seine, to get a good look at it. We drove to the
door, and tried to go in, but were told that we could not without an
order from somebody or other. (I forget who;) so we were obliged to
content ourselves with an outside view.
So we went to take another view of Notre Dame; the very same Notre
Dame whose bells in the good old days could be rung by the waving of
Michael Scott's wand: -
"Him listed but his wand to wave
The bells should ring in Notre Dame."
I had been over it once before with Mrs. C., and sitting in a dark
corner, with my head against a cold, stone pillar, had heard vespers,
all in the most approved style of the poetic.
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