Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Hodge-Podge
Author: Frances Maria Lavinia Rossetti
Date of publication: 1843 May 20; 1843 May 27; 1843 June 3; 1843 July 12; 1843 July 23; 1843 August 12; 1843 August 15

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

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Note: Each issue consists of one page inscribed front and back. Each side contains two columns separated by a vertical line.
Hodge-podge; or Weekly Efforts

No. 1 RF May 20 th 1843
On Conceit
Conceit, we are probably all ready to confess, is “a monster of so frightful mien, that to be hated needs but to be seen”: but perhaps we have also observed that those most subject to its attacks are often apparently unconscious of its presence, especially as its approach is insidious, and it gains upon us with a stealthy step under the borrowed garb of generous soul-stirring emulative Love of Praise, till it has grasped us in its cold and withering embrace

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and hurried us down the hill of self-complacency to the torpid regions of Ignorance and Contempt.

Death of Paul and Virginia. a ballad

  • I see, I see the ship
  • Which to my arms returns
  • My well beloved Virginia;
  • Oh! how my bosom burns!

  • And now it nears the land;
  • Had I but wings to soar,
  • O’er intervening space
  • And all my soul outpour!

  • Then would be no delay
  • 10Of hours before we meet
  • This moment I’d take flight,
  • The next be at her feet.

  • Thus from the hill spoke Paul
  • Distant eight miles or more
  • From the wave beaten land
  • To which he long'd to soar.

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Transcribed Note (page [2]):

Paul and Virginia

  • He hastily descends
  • And swift as roe runs on:
  • Ah! little does he deem
  • 20His happiness all gone.

  • Scarce has he reach’d the shore,
  • When ‘fore his bursting eyes
  • The corse of his Virginia
  • On tossing billow lies.

  • The ship had suffer’d wreck
  • And all his hopes were fled:
  • With anguish torn, and stunn’d
  • He contemplates the dead.

  • He utters not a word,
  • 30No sigh his bosom heaves;
  • To join her angel spirit
  • His own its body leaves!

  • One grave contains them both;
  • And o’er their relics rise
  • Two palm trees closely join’d
  • And tending tow’rds the skies.

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Transcribed Note (page [2]):

Joan d'Arc

My dearest Daughter
As you are desirous to know my opinion of Joan d’Arc, I will tell you that I consider her as probably the most extra-ordinary female character ever recorded in history. I think it must ever remain a problem whether or not she was supernaturally inspired, though without allowing her to have been so, it is almost impossible to account for her deeds, which would equally have had the impress of miraculous, had she been born in a higher rank of like. Her purity, her undaunted bearing, her disinterested patriotism were calculated to elicit the highest admiration, and her having died the ignominious death of a witch must rest ever as a blot on the fair plume of the Duke of Bedford.
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Hodge-Podge; or Weekly Efforts

No. 2 RF May 27 th, 1843
Hymn for Ascension Day
  • Hail to the Saviour, God of heav’n and earth!
  • This not the day that dawn’d upon his birth,
  • His birth stupendous, lowly though it seem’d,
  • When He the son of humble Joseph deem’d,
  • From [?] abodes of Paradise come down;
  • Laying aside His bright eternal crown.
  • On that blest day by angel voices sung
  • Th’ empyrean realm with Hallelujah [strong?];
  • Struck with astonishment celestial choirs
  • 10Turn’d to glad rhapsody their thrilling lyres
  • Hymning the Son, Redeemer of [man's?] race

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  • And magnifying God the Father’s grace!
  • Another theme this day we celebrate
  • A God ascending we commemorate,
  • Who rose sublime, pois’d on the wings of wind,
  • A cloud His throne. Him judge of all mankind,
  • An age to come, and unborn race shall see,
  • And seeing, to the rocks and mountains flee,
  • In semblance like descend with seraph band,
  • 20And raise the dead to life from sea and land.
  • This globe dissolving, hark! creation’s groan!
  • See monarchs trembling on their tott’ring throne;
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Transcribed Note (page [4]):


  • Of Christ the sign behold, floating in space
  • Fixing the eyes of all the human race!
  • They who in life with joy embrac’d his cross
  • Shall triumph then; the rest shall suffer loss.

If we cannot do all that we would, let us do what we can.

Taking this for my motto, I will hint how it may be profitably applied in various cases. In regard to health and pleasure, if it is out of our power to repair to the sea side, or to the country where no sea rolls its billows, if we cannot enjoy in

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full perfection the beauties of rural scenery, the variety of rural sounds from the cock’s shrill clarion to the deep lowing of the tardy moving cow. Though it be not our’s to inhale the peculiar fragrance and freshness of the flowery spring in scenes where it pours forth its gems in all their beauty and profusion; and though unhappily it be our’s to dwell in London’s smoky smithy streets where each fair window plant is blighted in its youth, where the air has lost its freshness and its purity, where all that once was white puts on a dingy hue, where no harmonious sound salutes your ear, but all is crash and dash, squeak and creak, where
Transcribed Footnote (page [4]):

To be continued

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Hodge-Podge; or Weekly Efforts

No. 3 RFJune 3 rd, 1843
Continued from No. 2

the din and hurry of life impress each face you meet with a look of anxiety and exhaustion; where childhood has an aspect of supernatural intelligence and sedateness, and old age is doubly old and parched: even supposing we cannot leave this [populous?] money hunting city (which however my conscience forces me to confess, with all its faults has advantages and endearing points not to be met with elsewhere) still we may find content and pleasure within

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its precincts if we think proper to seek for them. For instance, if instead of sitting grumbling at home, and [reviving?] our health by sedentary habits the consequences of which we often attribute to want of country-air and sea-bathing, we rise from our beds when the sun appearing in the east cries shame upon our sluggishness, and after a thorough ablution in water from our cisterns, we sally forth into the Regent’s Park, and ascending Primrose hill, not less a veritable hill because a cockney one, while the pure air as yet untainted
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Transcribed Note (page [6]):

Reflections continued

by the hot smithy smoke of the chimney-pot city, we shall find our spirits renovated, and our appetite sharpened; we shall enjoy our breakfast though not consisting of home baked bread, own-dairy butter, self-skimmed cream, and eggs laid by our own pet hen. If we next turn our mind to intellectual delight what a field for its enjoyment shall we find in London. Not to mention the flow of soul to be enjoyed in the company of probably many more friends there than you could scrape

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together in the country; not to speak of the many appurtenances of science here to be found as it were at your elbow, and there sought for in vain; let us contemplate the stream of pure enjoyment flowing to the mind from such institutions as public libraries, exhibitions of pictures geological and botanical societies, museums, and natural monuments. To conclude, let it be impressed on young and old that true happiness as far as this mortal life is concerned, is a citizen of the world, and resides in town and country, court and cottage!
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Hodge-Podge; or Weekly Efforts

July 12 rd, 1843 RF Paris
La Madeleine
This new church is very handsome, it fronts La Place de la Concorde, is entered by folding doors of bronze on which are represented illustrations of the commandments. Under the 8 th you see the death of Abel; under the 4 th David’s child by Bathsheba lying lifeless &c. My husband and myself admired them much. The interior of the church is adorned with figures in white stone, some larger than life representing saints; one, of the Virgin and child, was adorned with gold crowns, and immediately under it an altar with crucifix, candles, and flowers. Above towards the ceiling are paintings the figures as large as life,

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and illustrating parts of the New Testament. On Sunday I accompanied Ma dme Not to high mass which was performed with ceremonies quite new to me. In the course of it priests went round with velvet bags to make a collection, to which many contributed. Other priests entered bearing on a kind of bier carried on the shoulders of two, a large round loaf of bread, which after it has been blessed at the altar was cut up and carried about in baskets which being handed to the congregation, whoever chose took a piece which they eat; M dme Not handed me some. I also observed a priest descend from the altar and pass through the congregation, carrying in his hands two small glass phials and also a little bit of wax taper over them. I suppose
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they contained holy water. The service was performed with great splendour; the dresses of the priests very rich, a number of young men and boys robed in white with red or blue sashes, the boys occupied in moving candlesticks, or singing, the young men swinging censors which they did sometimes standing in a row in front of the altar, and throwing them up on high in concert and in a peculiar manner. The music produced the effect of an organ, but I understand proceeded from small musical instruments held in the hand of invisible players. The singing was fine, but as I thought of too operatic a character, deficient in devotional solemnity. I observed two or three priests in their usual dress among the congregation.—My impression

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from the whole service was, that it is too theatrical, and has to me at least too much of the appearance of a mere show. It seems as if the priests and the congregation were carrying on two different parts, one nearly indipendent of the other. It is difficult here to realize the idea of social worship. As far as I could discern the worshippers were either looking about at the rest of the congregation, contemplating with an eye of curiosity what [was?] going on at the altar, or devoutly absorbed in some private prayers of their own. Perhaps I am prejudiced as a Protestant, but to me it failed to convey the idea which I think is the only just one, of every individual in the church forming a part of a whole engaged in one consentaneous worship of the Creator of heaven and earth.—
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Hodge-Podge; or Weekly Efforts

July 23 rd, 1843 RF Paris
Editorial Description: An unclosed left bracket in red ink precedes the date and extends into the left-hand column of the main text
Manuscript Addition: 1038
Editorial Description: Pencil notation in top right-hand corner.
Editorial Description: Unintelligible deletion in top right-hand corner
Manuscript Addition: 315
Editorial Description: Written in the space created by the ornamental line break that follows "A Morning Hymn." The number is enclosed within a box that is open at the left margin.
Editorial Description: In the left-hand column, an unclosed right bracket in red ink follows the word, "Invalides."
Editorial Description: In the right-hand column, an unclosed left bracket in red ink precedes the sentence beginning, "On leaving the chapel we proceeded to the Pantheon . . . ."
A Morning Hymn for the tune of ‘Glory to the Thee my God this night’

  • Glorty to Thee my God this morn;
  • For sleep profound & rising dawn;
  • Thanks be to Thee whose fiat made
  • THe glorious sun, & dark’ning shade.
  • Shine in my soul throughout this day,
  • And keep me in the narrow way,
  • Oh Thou of Righteousness the Sun
  • With Father, Spirit, God in One!
  • Though not with visual orb I gaze,
  • 10Through this gross mist of wordly haze,
  • Grant with the eye of soul I may,
  • Track Thy bless’d steps this coming day;
  • Let me in fancy ever hear,
  • Thy precepts mild, Thy accents dear,
  • And hearing, let them be to me,
  • The rule of life, the road to Thee.—

The morning's amusement at Paris, of Aug st. 8 th 1843

We entered la chapelle des Invalides, and found ranged on each side banners taken in war, many pierced and torn by bullets. I searched narrowly for an English one, but if one was there, I at least escaped the mortification of discovering it. There are

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six horse tail standards, brought we conjecture from Egypt. Over the high altar is a painting representing the Creation, which produces a very fine effect. Over a small lateral altar is a representation all in white of the Virgin and child; painted (I suppose) so as to appear coming out of a recess, I was much pleased with it! I observed that the seats for the Invalides were made very comfortably with a kneeling board, and all covered, back as well as seat with stuffed leather. On leaving the chapel we proceeded to the Pantheon where we promised ourselves the sight of monuments, statues, busts &c. erected in honour of the great men of France; but great was our disappointment to find indeed a fine building worthy of the noble purpose for which it is professedly erected, but as yet, though the guide told us it has been built 80 years, almost entirely destitute of the memorials with which it ought to abound. The only record it yet offers to the eye of the visitor is contained in four tablets inscribed with
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Manuscript Addition: 1039
Editorial Description: Pencil notation in top left-hand corner.
Manuscript Addition: In the left column, an unclosed right bracket in red ink follows the sentence that ends, "bare headed Emperor."
the names of those who perished in the Revolution of July 1830. The cupola is adorned with a fine painting representing the dynasties of France; poor Napoleon who with his son was originally [placed?] in the exalted station, was, we were informed by the guide, obliged to cede his proud elevation to Louis XVIII th, who has usurped his place in the picture. However in a compartment below, his claim to glory is admitted, for a radiant figure of immortality is embracing and leading upward the robed and bare headed Emperor. We ended our morning’s ride by entering the curious and ancient church of S t. Etienne, close by the Pantheon. This church contains a number of fine paintings; two I particularly admired, were the wise men's offering to Our Saviour; and S t. Stephen addressing the Jews. There is also a curious old tomb of S te. Genévieve in which I think the inscription says she was buried in 573; there is also likewise a full length figure representing her dying, and surrounded by a number of clay figures as large as life grieving around her. We found

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several devotees men and women kneeling and praying round this monument, on which were placed a great number of wreaths, and I believe little lighted tapers. Here I read a Latin toblet erected to the memory of Blaise Pascal, and one to a certain — Whiston, who as far as I could make out the Latin, was converted from heresy to Popery by Bossuet. I conjecture he was an English Protestant. I greatly admired a beautifully carved wooden pulpit, supported by a crouching wooden giant; also a carved stone stair case which is in the interior of the church, and leads up to a stone figure of Our Saviour between two angels. The painted windows are [?] and beautiful, but so full of subjects that it would require great attention and considerable time to decypher them. On the whole we were well satisfied with our excursion, though we should have been much more so had the Pantheon answered our expectations; the outer inscription speaking of la reconnaissance de la Patrie, would naturally lead us to expect some inward demonstration of it.

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Hodge-Podge; or Weekly Efforts

August 12 th. 1843 RF Paris
Visit to “Le Jardin des Plantes”

Our zoological gardens must indeed yield the palm to this colossal institution, or rather there are few points of comparison between the two. As far as my cursory observation extended I think our English gardnes contain the greatest number and variety of living animals; I observed one which we have not, a beautiful species of African gazelle; but then in regard to accommodation the Parisian beasts are far better off [?] having more space allowed them for food and exercise than their fellow prisoners in the Regents’ Park. This is not without a disadvantage to the lookers–on, who are thus prevented from making so close an inspection. The French Jardin is not a mere place of amusement; they comprise every facility and requisite for the study of natural history, botany,

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mineralogy, and comparative anatomy. Resident professors who each receive 6000 francs yearly besides house, wood &c. and who deliver regular lectures in their respective departments. Trees and plants of every description botannically arranged. Large hot houses for exotics; and a most extensive and beautiful museum. All these means of instruction open gratis to every one without distinction. During our most agreeable but short visit yesterday, we had little more than time to glance at the various beautiful and interesting objects. We ascended a winding walk through what appears to the eye a solid mass of vegetation forming a little hill, from the top of which is an extensive view of Paris. Below it we passed a fine cedar of Lebanon planted by Jussieux 105 years ago; and I observed a very pretty pink aquatic flower. Every thing is kept in the nicest order. At the entrace to the gardens is a fine monument to Cuvier, with sculptured animals, and in the Museum we saw
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his statue in robes, with his hand resting on a globe which one of his fingers penetrates; also a statue of Jussieu. Among the fossils are several from England, and also a picture from the same place of Fingal’s cave in Staffa. We were much struck with the la rge collection of fishes, on which we heard a lecture. The stuffed animals are beautiful; we saw some pretty little lions which from their size must have enjoyed life but for a brief space, and also two small elephants, which I suppose can have numbered only a few days. A magnificent stuffed eagle caught our attention, also a number of crocodiles large and small; a beautiful set of armadillos one in particular with a back carved as it were in ivory, a collection of bird’s nests and eggs, also wonderful habitations formed by insects; a set of the different classes of mushrooms or funguses modelled in wax, and so beautifuly done that I mistook them for the work of nature;

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and was astonished that it should have been found possible to preserve them in such a state of perfection. I also noticed specimens of the waters of various countries preserved in bottles, with labels indicating the native land of each. The rooms have plenty of light and air, are kept with the greatest order and cleanliness; the floors laid down symetrically and resplendent with wax, though persons of every grade pass freely through them; the conduct of thse various visitors exceedingly good, no rude pushing, and emulation to be [foremost?], great appearance of interest and intelligence in the least educated class.—

  • To fill this bit, what shall I say?
  • Why write and write and write away
  • And having thus fill’d up a line
  • Claim inspiration from the nine,
  • And trust they’ll help to fill one more;
  • Then rack [?] my fancy, gravely pore
  • On mem’ry call with loud appeal,
  • Bid her of past times burst the seal,
  • Unroll of history the page,
  • 10Describe the hero, paint the sage
  • Deduce from facts a moral use
  • Instead of wond’ring like a goose;
  • But hold—for I’ve attain’d my scope
  • The space is fill’d, you’ll own, I hope. —
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Hodge-Podge; or Weekly Efforts

August 15 th. 1843 RF Paris
Père La Chaise

This morning we resolved to visit this renowned cemetery and accordingly proceeding to the Boulevards we entered an omnibus which carried us as far as the Colonnade la Victoire, where alighting we had an intensely hot walk up the long Rue de la Roquette which leads to the gate of the burial ground. The upper part of the street is occupied by the makers of tomb stones, funeral wreaths, inscriptions, figures, crosses, and all the sad etcetera of death, and also of flowering plants in pots to place about the graves. Many women were sitting outside the shops making wreaths of the flowers called everlastings, in the middle of which are often woven letters or mottos in black, such as Souvenir, my mother sister &c. We passed by two prisons, opposite each

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other, one correctional, for juvenile offenders, the other for the confinement of criminals condemned to the gallies. Entering Père la Chaise we proceeded up a long avenue of which I think there are three lined with trees meeting in an arch above, and forming a shade doubly delightful after the burning walk up to the long street. On each side are the graves with monuments of various descriptions, some surmounted by short pillars in white or black marble with inscriptions, and the ground planted with flowers; many high tombs with bronze doors in front made with carved open work so that on looking through you see a miniature chapel just large enough for a person to stand or kneel in, and fitted up with marble altar, crucifix, candles or chandeliers, vases of artificial flowers, holy water, votive wreaths, inscriptions on a black ground
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such as; à mon père; à ma chère sæur; à mon meilleur ami mon époux; à mon épouse &c. In almost all are tablets with the name and age of the deceased; and in several, pots of natural flowers, paintings, portraits, knots of white ribbon, a chair, and a book. From many of the tombs a sweet smell is exhaled [?] bythe roses and other sweet flowers planted around, and affording by their vigour and freshness a beautiful proof that the dead though lost to sight still live in the memory of those who loved them on earth; a daily test, far more gratifying than the most magnificent and costly monument which raised perhaps by pride and vanity, may never more be visited by true and enduring affection. We inadvertently neglected to inquire for the tomb of Eloisa and Abelard, which I much regret; but saw that of Casimir Perier which consists of a lofty pedestal with the figures of Fortitude and Justice, sur–

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mounted by a statue in bronze of the deceased. The monument is first encircled by iron rails hung with wreaths of everlastings, and then, around an ample area, a green hedge. The whole forms a commemorative monument to his principles and genius erected, as an inscription announces, by the Ville de Paris. I was much pleased by simplicity and feeling expressed on a plain tablet of marble laid flat over one of the graves; on one side is written “J’attends ma mère”; opposite, “J'ai rejoint ma fille” this is the whole, the names of the deceased are not added. On another of the flat tombstones two arms seem to force their way out of the grave beneath; they are made of bronze one muscular to denote the husband, the other smooth and delicate with a gilt bracelet for the wife, their hands are clasped, and underneath is inscribed, “Nous serons réunis”.
The cemetery is very large, and affords a fine and extensive view of Paris and its environs; it contains a small chapel of the plainest description. Many profitable hours might be passed in this beautiful city of the dead, where D r. Mason told us it now costs 2000 francs to be buried.—
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Source File: 5-1843.rad.xml
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