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'What Roman strength Turbìa showed

In ruin, by the mountain road;
How like a gem beneath, the city
Of little Monaco, basking, glowed.'

HERE it lies, a striking object if


you are yachting about in the neighbouring Mediterranean waters, the ancient citadel on the immemorial rock, Monaco. Instead of yachting, you are perhaps one of the gay crowd, who every day sail from Nice to Monaco, in the boat which M. Blanc has lately chartered from the Messageries Impériales. Or if you are travelling on the Corniche road between Nice and Mentone, the most glorious bit of the whole Riviera, you obtain a peculiarly beautiful view, that of the laureate's lines above; the time-worn castle, the rock projecting into the sea, the towers, the fortifications, the little port, the quiet bay. If you are mounted on a mule or are a fair pedestrian, you can descend from the road below Turbia, but in an ordinary carriage, owing to the steepness of the pass you round by way of Mentone. By-and-by the road will be constructed which is provided for by treaty, and in course of time the railway will be carried on to Genoa. That sunny curve of coast between Nice and Mentone, fringed by the intensest blue of all blue seas, and backed by the snowy height of the maritime Alps, is veritably la petite Afrique, and is thronged with all those beauties which Goethe so musically describes in Mignon's song. In the ancient principality of Monaco, the smallest of all European states, Monaco was the capital and Mentone the principal town of the small dominion, and when we add the village of Roccabruna, we have made up the whole of the little principality prior to its dismemberment. Roccabruna is a little village a few miles from Mentone, where you may still detect the remains of a ruined castle and towers. It is embowered in a forest of citrons, golden fruits amid their odorous snows, which constitute both the


charm and the wealth of the region. Between Monaco and Mentone there has always been considerable rivalry. Monaco prided itself on being the abode of a long line of princes, and 'the seat of government,' if we may apply that stately phrase to the capital of Lilliput. Mentone opposed to this ancient grandeur the flush of its modern prosperity; for Monaco is at times comparatively bleak and exposed, and Nice does not escape the mistral. But Mentone gaily blossoms deep into the winter amid the gardens of lemons and olives, and beautiful villas are springing up around, where English comforts are superadded to tho luxuries of the Italian landscape. In 1847 Mentone openly threw oft its allegiance, and the story is for all the world-so do things come over and over again-like some narrative in Thucydides of a revolving city. It made itself a free town under the protectorate of Sardinia, and Sardinia, which proverbially looked upon Italy as an artichoke to be swallowed leaf by leaf, was fast engulfing this particular leaf. But then came the cession of Nice and Savoy, in which Mentone and Roccabruna were virtually made over to France, and their disloyalty has forfeited their nationality, and now Monaco is becoming more prosperous than she has ever been. It will soon be the most famous little nook of Europe. Remarkable for its matchless climate and situation, remarkable for its ancient and romantic history, it is adding to all this that factitious renown which belongs to Hamburg or Baden-Baden. As part and parcel of the public law of Europe, Monaco is an independent, and sovereign or semi-sovereign state. The ancient flag is still floating on the ancient fortress, a shield en échequier supported by two monks. The name of the place is assigned to the word 'Monachus;' but though a legend is

cited in support of this, such a derivation is most insecure.

The name of the place is, as a matter of fact, much more ancient, and the history of the place goes far back into a dim antiquity, whither, I believe, few archæologists will venture to follow. In the days when mythology was accepted as veritable, and, like Sir Roger de Coverley, worthy people derived a great deal of valuable information from the end of the Latin dictionary, it would at once be accepted as fact that the place was founded by Hercules during the course of his numerous adventures. That accomplished gentleman, the editor of Murray's red book on North Italy, says, that it is frequently mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary, and gives Lucan's accurate but somewhat pompous description of the situation of the place. It would not be difficult to cap this quotation. There are passages about it in Petronius Arbiter and Silius Italicus, not to mention also Ammianus Marcellinus. And I suppose most schoolboys recollect the Virgilian lines

Aggeribus socer Alpinis atque arce Menaci · Descendens.'

An important chapter in the history of imperial Rome is concerned with the fortunes of maritime Liguria. At Monaco there are very genuine and most unmistakeable Roman remains, which the tourist, as a rule, hardly cares very diligently to study, or even to read about. The Ligurian race still retains very much of the purity and independence of a very decided national character, but in Monaco this is very much mixed up with a Provençal element, just as at Genoa it is very much mixed up with a Lombard element. In the tenth century a gallant chief took an active part in the expulsion of the Saracens from this region and from Provence. In consequence of this the dominion of Monaco was granted to him by the Emperor Otho. In the middle ages we find Carlo Grimaldi the sovereign of a dominion which escaped the lot of becoming a fief of the empire. For nearly eight centuries the princes of the Grimaldi line reigned over their little terri

tory. At the commencement of the eighteenth century the male line of the Grimaldis became extinct. It was said that a rightful heir was to be found in the ancient and noble house of Grimaldi at Genoa, and other claimants have been spoken of in other quarters. The daughter of the last prince, Antonio Grimaldi, had married into the French family of Thorigny. The history of this transfer is highly curious. It belongs partly to the region of the scandalous memoirs, and partly to the veritable history of Louis XIV., and might be treated with that happy mixture of truth and fiction of which Scribe's Verre d'eau is the first and the most amusing instance that comes to mind.

We will, however, adjust our historical notions a little more accurately presently. I am just now rather anxious that my readers should seize upon the salient features of the place. The day before yesterday I received an admirable letter from an old college friend, who, having heard that I was busy with this paper, has, in writing to me, indulged in a vein of reminiscence. I must quote some of his letter. And thankfully consider, my friends, how few letters now-a-days will bear quotation. People don't read letters, they only send messages. When people had to pay a great deal for postage they liked to receive something worth the paying for; but the modern system of cheap postage is fast putting an end to the possibility of many more bulky works of Memoirs and Correspondence.' 'I shall not easily forget my first view of Monaco,' writes my Fidus Achates. 'I started from Nice by vetturino, at 7 A.M., a November day, while it was still dusk, and as we crossed the Pont Neuf, the promontory of Antibes, stretched out in the grey morning light, showed only as a black line, darker than the deep colour of the sea, while in the background we could just see the outlines of the Estrelles mountains; but as we mounted the hill on the Genoa road, and the distant mountains towards the Col di Tenda came in view, the sun lit up the snowy peaks with the most exquisitely soft hue,

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and when at the Quatre Chemins, a turn in the road brought us within sight of Antibes, it all stood out sharp and clear in the still morning, while beyond the promontory was seen a black dot in the Bay of Cannes, which we recognized as the island of Les Marquerites, where was confined that mysterious individual, the Man in the Iron Mask. Below us lay Villefranche, with its quaint little town and large natural harbour, the sea gaining in colour as the sun rose-now blue-now green-as we looked out far upon its wide expanse or cast our eyes immediately beneath the rocky cliffs; while here and there a little shallow inlet showed us, even from the height at which we stood, how marvellously clear the water was: and so on and on, passing Eza, that quaint little village, former stronghold of pirates, perched on a rock, as if to say, Come if you dare; and now scarce a hundred villagers live there, quite out of the world, staring when pic-nic parties adventure thither from Nice and Mentone, and scramble about and enjoy themselves as only English people do, in simple wonderment as to what can be found in their little village to excite such curiosity. Eza stands quite away from the high road, lying below it, and there is no passable carriage road to it. On past Eza, winding round the mountain side, the Corniche road seems hanging in the air-now on the side of a hill at the bottom of which lies the seaand has little protection in the way of parapet; and nervous people often get alarmed as a lumbering diligence comes tearing along and driving you to the very edge, that it may pass. "Ah," said the conducteur of a diligence to me as we sharply rounded a corner on this road, "Voila mon coin. That is the only place where I ever broke down in all the twenty years that I have travelled between Nice and Genoa. Mille tonnerres, but the postilion-he drank one, two, three petit verres, and then one more and then another before we set out, he did not care where we went-and as we turned the corner we met the other diligence. Mon Dieu, it was lucky we were coming from Genoa and were on the side


next the hill! We went right into that corner, and smash went the wheel, and down we came." "Anybody hurt?" I mildly asked. “No, not a scratch, at least not to me. Some of the people inside were cut by the glass of the windows, and were knocked about, but nobody killed." Well, I got on to Turbia, the highest point which the road reaches then a new view breaks upon one. In the distance is a point stretching out into the sea, at the end of which is Bordighera, city of palms. A short distance on this side of it we see the fortifications of Ventemiglia, and we begin to realise that we are approaching Italy, and then we begin to descend. Beneath the mountains on our right we see a miniature city, immediately beneath a rock-standing on a rocky promontory, to the very edge of which the little town is built, so that a morning bath might be taken by dropping over the side of the parapet which runs along the street on either side of the town. Below it a little bay forms a natural harbour, likewise in miniature. More of a city than a town it is, for there is the public square and the palace of the prince, while cannon show their muzzles from the wall, and then without the town, on the Mentone side, is that large white building which we are told is the Casino. Altogether it looks like a toy city, and from the height all seems so small that we should not have been surprised, on descending to it, to see a Lilliputian race as its inhabitants. It is a bright, sunny little place, but too much exposed to make a pleasant residence. The garden at the ex-. tremity of the town seawards is very pretty, neat gravel walks and pleasant seats, and cacti of singular form and growth. The little army of the Prince numbers I know not how many, but it must be small, and brought to mind Dumas' story of the petty German states, in which his inquiry for the army met with the response, that the infantry was on duty, but the cavalry died yesterday; a further inquiry leading to the discovery that one of the latter and two of the former constituted a standing army of three men. After


strolling about the town, I paid a visit to the Casino, a handsome building standing in a garden and situated near the sea; an excellent band was performing operatic music -a spacious reading-room, well supplied with newspapers, was surrounded with luxurious seats, while beyond was the fatal chamber to which all this served for decoy, where two long green tables are surrounded by anxious faces, and no sound is heard in the pauses of the music but the croupier's monotonous cry.'

So far Achates. Being in a lazy mood, I am well content that he should do some of the description for me, particularly the poetical part, and I am sure he does it very nicely. Presently, however, I must supplement some additional particulars to his sketch. Non cuivis homini contingit adire Monachum, as, I think, one of the local writers classically remarks. You see it is a place where one may spend a great deal of money-particularly if one goes to the Casino-and hardly make any. There are a few wretched individuals who hope to make money, very seedy looking,' who are onlookers at the game, and marking the play on cards, and making a system by which they hope to cheat Fortune out of her own. Monaco has long been noted for its willingness to eat and unwillingness to work. Accordingly, the Italian saying goes

'Son Monaco, sopra un scolio
Non semina e non raccoglio

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'She is too beautiful to do anything,' explanatorily observes one of her great admirers. The appellation of the people is Monagasques; the fair sex have a very pretty and ingenious name coined for them, which is held to be literally descriptive, Monacoquette.' I dare say, my well-read friends, that you will remember little notices of Monaco in your reading. Smollett has such, and so has Addison, and Madame de Sévigné and Madame de Genlis. But, after all, these are old-fashioned notions, and the altered state of things requires that they should be set right according to the modern standard.

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The English, you know, have taken possession of all this seaboard. They are swallows who fly over the sea, and fix their sheltered nests in this region for the winter months that are no winter here. As it is always interesting to know the candid opinion of foreigners respecting us English, and as that opinion is often inaccurately reported, let me cite two impartial foreign opinions respecting the behaviour of the English on this coast. The English,' says M. Louis Roubandi, 'little expansive in general, are those who take the least part in the annual fusion of foreigners and the inhabitants of Nice. Those who in their own country receive us with so much kindness and an almost Oriental hospitality-those who command our esteem while they conciliate our affection and confidence, are no longer the same when once they place their feet on the Continent. Whether it is suspicion or national pride, all their familiarity at once ceases. It is hard for them to form a serious connection with any stranger. But one ought also to say, that when they admit you to their intimacy, it is cordial, sincere, and lasting.' 'Ils y vivent,' says the Chevalier Bertolotti of our people at Nice; 'absolument comme s'ils étaient à Brigton (i. e. Brighton). Pendant la journée ils font des promenades, à pied, à cheval, en voiture. Le soir ils se réunissent entre eux, lisent le Galignani, parlent politique, prennent le thé ou portent des toasts, mais le tout à leur manière, et presque toujours sans fusion de société étrangère.' Nice is at present the head-quarters-although the enormous prices have driven hundreds away lately-and from Nice they swarm in all the region round about.' The persevering English are constantly discovering new places in this district, and adding them to the geographical atlas. In 1855 an adventurous Englishman discovered, in the climatological sense, Mentone, the chief town of the ancient dominion of Monaco. A baronet-so runs the legend told by grateful natives-stayed here one day for a time as he travelled on with his family to Genoa. He called


for dinner. His wish received attention. He demanded beds. Attention arose to astonishment. declared his intention of not going further, but spending some months there. Astonishment arose to the wildest excitement and amazement. 'Ont-ils de drôles d'idées, ces Anglais! Ne pas aller a Gênes, quand on est venu à change de Nice a Menton!' observed the disgusted postilion. Sir Reginald's clear eyes had distinguished the great advantages of the place. He stayed there, and wrote for friends to join him. There was soon a colony of a dozen families, and the colony has been increasing ever since. This season the English have populated Bordighiera, where the palm is found in tropic beauty and abundance. Next year a swarm will probably settle down upon San Remo. Multitudes make a momentary pause at Monaco in their flight, but scarcely any spend more than a night or two at the place. The London doctors will give the preference to any other point on the coast. Those who come will be of two very different classes of people. The first will consist of the very limited class of historical and archæological students who come to study the scenery of a very quaint and remarkable history, and the second class of those who, tired with the Eden-like simplicity, quietude, and beauty of this heaven-blessed region, seek out the solitary corner where Temptation, in its most flagrant forms, is to be encountered. There will be always those who sing with Don Cæsar de Bazan

• Au risque être suspendu
Vive le fruit defendu.'

You have probably seen, Achates, a recent number of the Edinburgh Review,' in which you no doubt skimmed through an article on the Journal of the Marquis Dangeau, and the 'Memoirs of the Duc de St. Simon." The paper will perhaps do something towards reviving a taste for the better class of French memoirs. These voluminous worksthe edition of each which I have been using is in twenty volumesgive detailed accounts of the break

in the Monaco dynasty, when, by failure of male heirs, the succession devolved, through marriage, on the French Matignon family. I cannot say that I fully agree with the estimate which the reviewer has formed of the Duc de St. Simon. Without disputing the fact that St. Simon was a thorough gentleman among people who, in the best sense of the word, were very much the reverse, with a hatred of everything which was mean and abject, I think that a careful examination of some of the details might have shown the reviewer that St. Simon might be both very spiteful and very inexact. The reviewer has followed St. Simon too implicitly in his depreciation of Dangeau, and it must be remembered that St. Simon saw Dangeau with prejudiced eyes, and when Dangeau was in the decay of old age. I do not like the settled hostility and dislike with which St. Simon speaks of the Princes of Monaco and everything belonging to their land and line. La souveraineté d'une roche,' sneers St. Simon, 'du milieu de laquelle on peut pour ainsi dire cracher hors de ses etroites limits.' The dominion of Monaco was certainly much better than this at the time when it included Roccabruna and Mentone. In the same coarse vein he sneers at Lewis I. of Monaco, who, he says, was as round as a cask and had an aldermanic protube rance. The poor prince had been a gallant though young fellow in his day, and had been a rival of our Charles II. for the love of Hortense Mancini. St. Simon says that it was on the marriage of this prince -then Duc de Valentinois-to Marie de Lorraine, that the father-in-law, M. le Grand-the name under which le grand écuyer is always knownobtained for M. de Monaco and his children the rank of a foreign prince, 'à quoi ils n'avaient jamais osé songer jusque là.' It was this which gave them the tabouret, the coveted privilege of sitting down in the presence of royalty. Before this St. Simon asserts that the proper title was only Lord of Monaco. This seems to be an error. The title of Sovereign Prince had been acknowledged by Charles V. and Philip II.,

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