Pièce 54 - Récit par James Forbes de sa visite à Saint-Germain-en-Laye

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Récit par James Forbes de sa visite à Saint-Germain-en-Laye


  • 1803-1804 (Production)

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1 document sur support papier

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(1749 - 1819)

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« [p. 365] We proceeded from Marli to St. Germains, along the banks of the Seine, winding at the foot of the hills, which we ascended on approaching the town. It is situated on a lofty eminence, and, with its palace, which, when seen at a great distance, presents a grand and striking object ; but, on a nearer view, we found it a desolate and ruined pile. It once contained numerous apartments superbly furnished for the court of a voluptuous monarch, and was assigned by Louis XIV to James the Second when he had abdicated the English crown, and sought an asylum in a foreign country. Here this infatuated prince maintained [p. 366] the shadowy appearance of royalty, and after some fruitless attempts to recover his lost empire, closed his lamentable life.
The palace stands on a noble terrace, and its domain is connected with the extensive forest of St. Germain. The view from hence is the boast of France, and extends over a tract of country far as the eye can reach, finely varied, and watered by tle Seine in its circuitous course to Paris ; which crowns the whole. But I prefer the woody hills and more confined views from
St. Cloud.
At an hotel near the palace we partook of a cold déjeuné ; and then, entering the forest, proceeded near two miles through one of its boldest avenues to a ci-devant convent, now appropriated to a more useful college for the education of youth. Here we alighted about one o'clock, and passed the rest of the day with our interesting party. While dinner was preparing the master attended us through the different parts of the college ; [p. 367] the courts and gardens contribute to the health and exercise of the youth, the cloisters to their winter recreations, and the halls make excellent school-rooms : the cells of the monks are now neatly papered and fitted up for the elder students ; each of whom has a separate dormitory ; the younger sleep in a large airy apartment with one of the masters ; and the whole appears to be under a well regulated arrangement. We found the boys disposed in due order in the principal school, where two of the first class delivered orations in favour of the Abbé Sicard and his benevolent institution. »

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James Forbes, Letters from France, written in the years 1803 and 1804, Londres, J. White, 1806, t. I, p. 365-367. http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k102083m/f373.image

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