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The Idea of Europe

Catriona Seth
Rotraud von Kulessa

55. What Are Europeans Like?

Texte intégral

1In his Amusing and Moral Letters (1767) Louis-Antoine Caraccioli allows himself to make some observations on the manners of his times in an epistolary form. For him Europe cannot accommodate the high-mindedness of pride. A free life is too much liked there for those who despise the human race to be held in any regard. One of his characters distinguishes the behaviour of Europeans by finding an apposite animal to represent the inhabitants of different nations.

2Midnight is striking, and I am now leaving Lord *** with whom I have had supper. He has just travelled through Europe which he has viewed cooly, in accordance with the character of his nation. He is nonetheless very witty, and could even pass for a Frenchman, if his physiognomy did not herald a foreigner. He claims that, apart from a few nuances, the manners of all Europeans resemble each other.

3He compares the French to squirrels, the Italians to foxes, the Germans to camels, the English to leopards, and to elephants the Spanish.

4Louis-Antoine Caraccioli,
Amusing and Moral Letters (1767).

Read the free text in the original language (1767 edition):​books?id=rm0PAAAAQAAJ&printsec=frontcover


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