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Travels Through France And Italy

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hearty contempt for the ignorance, folly, and presumption which
characterise the generality, I cannot but respect the talents of
many great men, who have eminently distinguished themselves in
every art and science: these I shall always revere and esteem as
creatures of a superior species, produced, for the wise purposes
of providence, among the refuse of mankind. It would be absurd to
conclude that the Welch or Highlanders are a gigantic people,
because those mountains may have produced a few individuals near
seven feet high. It would be equally absurd to suppose the French
are a nation of philosophers, because France has given birth to a
Des Cartes, a Maupertuis, a Reaumur, and a Buffon.

I shall not even deny, that the French are by no means deficient
in natural capacity; but they are at the same time remarkable for
a natural levity, which hinders their youth from cultivating that
capacity. This is reinforced by the most preposterous education,
and the example of a giddy people, engaged in the most frivolous
pursuits. A Frenchman is by some Jesuit, or other monk, taught to
read his mother tongue, and to say his prayers in a language he
does not understand. He learns to dance and to fence, by the
masters of those noble sciences. He becomes a compleat
connoisseur in dressing hair, and in adorning his own person,
under the hands and instructions of his barber and valet de
chambre. If he learns to play upon the flute or the fiddle, he is
altogether irresistible. But he piques himself upon being
polished above the natives of any other country by his
conversation with the fair sex. In the course of this
communication, with which he is indulged from his tender years,
he learns like a parrot, by rote, the whole circle of French
compliments, which you know are a set of phrases ridiculous even
to a proverb; and these he throws out indiscriminately to all
women, without distinction in the exercise of that kind of
address, which is here distinguished by the name of gallantry: it
is no more than his making love to every woman who will give him
the hearing. It is an exercise, by the repetition of which he
becomes very pert, very familiar, and very impertinent. Modesty,
or diffidence, I have already said, is utterly unknown among
them, and therefore I wonder there should be a term to express
it in their language.

If I was obliged to define politeness, I should call it, the art
of making one's self agreeable. I think it an art that
necessarily implies a sense of decorum, and a delicacy of
sentiment. These are qualities, of which (as far as I have been
able to observe) a Frenchman has no idea; therefore he never can
be deemed polite, except by those persons among whom they are as
little understood. His first aim is to adorn his own person with
what he calls fine cloaths, that is the frippery of the fashion.
It is no wonder that the heart of a female, unimproved by reason,
and untinctured with natural good sense, should flutter at the
sight of such a gaudy thing, among the number of her admirers:
this impression is enforced by fustian compliments, which her own
vanity interprets in a literal sense, and still more confirmed by
the assiduous attention of the gallant, who, indeed, has nothing
else to mind. A Frenchman in consequence of his mingling with the
females from his infancy, not only becomes acquainted with all
their customs and humours; but grows wonderfully alert in
performing a thousand little offices, which are overlooked by
other men, whose time hath been spent in making more valuable
acquisitions. He enters, without ceremony, a lady's bed-chamber,
while she is in bed, reaches her whatever she wants, airs her
shift, and helps to put it on. He attends at her toilette,
regulates the distribution of her patches, and advises where to
lay on the paint. If he visits her when she is dressed, and
perceives the least impropriety in her coeffure, he insists upon
adjusting it with his own hands: if he sees a curl, or even a
single hair amiss, he produces his comb, his scissars, and
pomatum, and sets it to rights with the dexterity of a professed
friseur. He 'squires her to every place she visits, either on
business, or pleasure; and, by dedicating his whole time to her,
renders himself necessary to her occasions. This I take to be the
most agreeable side of his character: let us view him on the
quarter of impertinence. A Frenchman pries into all your secrets
with the most impudent and importunate curiosity, and then
discloses them without remorse. If you are indisposed, he
questions you about the symptoms of your disorder, with more
freedom than your physician would presume to use; very often in
the grossest terms. He then proposes his remedy (for they are all
quacks), he prepares it without your knowledge, and worries you
with solicitation to take it, without paying the least regard to
the opinion of those whom you have chosen to take care of your
health. Let you be ever so ill, or averse to company, he forces
himself at all times into your bed-chamber, and if it is
necessary to give him a peremptory refusal, he is affronted. I
have known one of those petit maitres insist upon paying regular
visits twice a day to a poor gentleman who was delirious; and he
conversed with him on different subjects, till he was in his
last agonies. This attendance is not the effect of attachment, or
regard, but of sheer vanity, that he may afterwards boast of his
charity and humane disposition: though, of all the people I have
ever known, I think the French are the least capable of feeling
for the distresses of their fellow creatures. Their hearts are
not susceptible of deep impressions; and, such is their levity,
that the imagination has not time to brood long over any
disagreeable idea, or sensation. As a Frenchman piques himself on
his gallantry, he no sooner makes a conquest of a female's heart,
than he exposes her character, for the gratification of his
vanity. Nay, if he should miscarry in his schemes, he will forge
letters and stories, to the ruin of the lady's reputation. This
is a species of perfidy which one would think should render them
odious and detestable to the whole sex; but the case is
otherwise. I beg your pardon, Madam; but women are never better
pleased, than when they see one another exposed; and every
individual has such confidence in her own superior charms and
discretion, that she thinks she can fix the most volatile, and
reform the most treacherous lover.

If a Frenchman is admitted into your family, and distinguished by
repeated marks of your friendship and regard, the first return he
makes for your civilities is to make love to your wife, if she is
handsome; if not, to your sister, or daughter, or niece. If he
suffers a repulse from your wife, or attempts in vain to debauch
your sister, or your daughter, or your niece, he will, rather
than not play the traitor with his gallantry, make his addresses
to your grandmother; and ten to one, but in one shape or another,
he will find means to ruin the peace of a family, in which he has
been so kindly entertained. What he cannot accomplish by dint of
compliment, and personal attendance, he will endeavour to effect,
by reinforcing these with billets-doux, songs, and verses, of
which he always makes a provision for such purposes. If he is
detected in these efforts of treachery, and reproached with his
ingratitude, he impudently declares, that what he had done was no
more than simple gallantry, considered in France as an
indispensible duty on every man who pretended to good breeding.
Nay, he will even affirm, that his endeavours to corrupt your
wife, or your daughter, were the most genuine proofs he could
give of his particular regard for your family.

If a Frenchman is capable of real friendship, it must certainly
be the most disagreeable present he can possibly make to a man of
a true English character, You know, Madam, we are naturally
taciturn, soon tired of impertinence, and much subject to fits of
disgust. Your French friend intrudes upon you at all hours: he
stuns you with his loquacity: he teases you with impertinent
questions about your domestic and private affairs: he attempts to
meddle in all your concerns; and forces his advice upon you with
the most unwearied importunity: he asks the price of every thing
you wear, and, so sure as you tell him undervalues it, without
hesitation: he affirms it is in a bad taste, ill-contrived, ill-made;
that you have been imposed upon both with respect to the
fashion and the price; that the marquise of this, or the countess
of that, has one that is perfectly elegant, quite in the bon ton,
and yet it cost her little more than you gave for a thing that
nobody would wear.

If there were five hundred dishes at table, a Frenchman will eat
of all of them, and then complain he has no appetite. This I have
several times remarked. A friend of mine gained a considerable
wager upon an experiment of this kind: the petit maitre ate of
fourteen different plats, besides the dessert; then disparaged
the cook, declaring he was no better than a marmiton, or

The French have the most ridiculous fondness for their hair, and
this I believe they inherit from their remote ancestors. The
first race of French kings were distinguished by their long hair,
and certainly the people of this country consider it as an
indispensible ornament. A Frenchman will sooner part with his
religion than with his hair, which, indeed, no consideration will
induce him to forego. I know a gentleman afflicted with a
continual head-ach, and a defluxion on his eyes, who was told by
his physician that the best chance he had for being cured, would
be to have his head close shaved, and bathed every day in cold
water. "How (cried he) cut my hair? Mr. Doctor, your most humble
servant!" He dismissed his physician, lost his eye-sight, and
almost his senses, and is now led about with his hair in a bag,
and a piece of green silk hanging like a screen before his face.
Count Saxe, and other military writers have demonstrated the
absurdity of a soldier's wearing a long head of hair;
nevertheless, every soldier in this country wears a long queue,
which makes a delicate mark on his white cloathing; and this
ridiculous foppery has descended even to the lowest class of
people. The decrotteur, who cleans your shoes at the corner of
the Pont Neuf, has a tail of this kind hanging down to his rump,
and even the peasant who drives an ass loaded with dung, wears
his hair en queue, though, perhaps, he has neither shirt nor
breeches. This is the ornament upon which he bestows much time
and pains, and in the exhibition of which he finds full
gratification for his vanity. Considering the harsh features of
the common people in this country, their diminutive stature,
their grimaces, and that long appendage, they have no small
resemblance to large baboons walking upright; and perhaps this
similitude has helped to entail upon them the ridicule of their

A French friend tires out your patience with long visits; and,
far from taking the most palpable hints to withdraw, when he
perceives you uneasy he observes you are low-spirited, and
therefore he will keep you company. This perseverance shews that
he must either be void of penetration, or that his disposition
must be truly diabolical. Rather than be tormented with such a
fiend, a man had better turn him out of doors, even though at the
hazard of being run thro' the body.

The French are generally counted insincere, and taxed with want
of generosity. But I think these reproaches are not well founded.
High-flown professions of friendship and attachment constitute
the language of common compliment in this country, and are never
supposed to be understood in the literal acceptation of the
words; and, if their acts of generosity are but very rare, we
ought to ascribe that rarity, not so much to a deficiency of
generous sentiments, as to their vanity and ostentation, which
engrossing all their funds, utterly disable them from exerting
the virtues of beneficence. Vanity, indeed, predominates among
all ranks, to such a degree, that they are the greatest egotists
in the world; and the most insignificant individual talks in
company with the same conceit and arrogance, as a person of the
greatest importance. Neither conscious poverty nor disgrace will
restrain him in the least either from assuming his full share of
the conversation, or making big addresses to the finest lady,
whom he has the smallest opportunity to approach: nor is he
restrained by any other consideration whatsoever. It is all one
to him whether he himself has a wife of his own, or the lady a
husband; whether she is designed for the cloister, or pre-ingaged
to his best friend and benefactor. He takes it for granted that
his addresses cannot but be acceptable; and, if he meets with a
repulse, he condemns her taste; but never doubts his own

I have a great many things to say of their military character,
and their punctilios of honour, which last are equally absurd and
pernicious; but as this letter has run to an unconscionable
length, I shall defer them till another opportunity. Mean-while,
I have the honour to be, with very particular esteem--Madam, Your
most obedient servant.


To MR. M--

LYONS, October 19, 1763.

DEAR SIR,--I was favoured with yours at Paris, and look upon your
reproaches as the proof of your friendship. The truth is, I
considered all the letters I have hitherto written on the subject
of my travels, as written to your society in general, though they
have been addressed to one individual of it; and if they contain
any thing that can either amuse or inform, I desire that
henceforth all I send may be freely perused by all the members.

With respect to my health, about which you so kindly enquire, I
have nothing new to communicate. I had reason to think that my
bathing in the sea at Boulogne produced a good effect, in
strengthening my relaxed fibres. You know how subject I was to
colds in England; that I could not stir abroad after sun-set, nor
expose myself to the smallest damp, nor walk till the least
moisture appeared on my skin, without being laid up for ten days
or a fortnight. At Paris, however, I went out every day, with my
hat under my arm, though the weather was wet and cold: I walked
in the garden at Versailles even after it was dark, with my head
uncovered, on a cold evening, when the ground was far from being
dry: nay, at Marli, I sauntered above a mile through damp alleys,
and wet grass: and from none of these risques did I feel the
least inconvenience.

In one of our excursions we visited the manufacture for
porcelain, which the king of France has established at the
village of St. Cloud, on the road to Versailles, and which is,
indeed, a noble monument of his munificence. It is a very large
building, both commodious and magnificent, where a great number
of artists are employed, and where this elegant superfluity is
carried to as great perfection as it ever was at Dresden. Yet,
after all, I know not whether the porcelain made at Chelsea may
not vie with the productions either of Dresden, or St. Cloud. If
it falls short of either, it is not in the design, painting,
enamel, or other ornaments, but only in the composition of the
metal, and the method of managing it in the furnace. Our
porcelain seems to be a partial vitrification of levigated flint
and fine pipe clay, mixed together in a certain proportion; and
if the pieces are not removed from the fire in the very critical
moment, they will be either too little, or too much vitrified. In
the first case, I apprehend they will not acquire a proper degree
of cohesion; they will be apt to be corroded, discoloured, and to
crumble, like the first essays that were made at Chelsea; in the
second case, they will be little better than imperfect glass.

There are three methods of travelling from Paris to Lyons, which,
by the shortest road is a journey of about three hundred and
sixty miles. One is by the diligence, or stagecoach, which
performs it in five days; and every passenger pays one hundred
livres, in consideration of which, he not only has a seat in the
carriage, but is maintained on the road. The inconveniences
attending this way of travelling are these. You are crouded into
the carriage, to the number of eight persons, so as to sit very
uneasy, and sometimes run the risque of being stifled among very
indifferent company. You are hurried out of bed, at four, three,
nay often at two o'clock in the morning. You are obliged to eat
in the French way, which is very disagreeable to an English
palate; and, at Chalons, you must embark upon the Saone in a
boat, which conveys you to Lyons, so that the two last days of
your journey are by water. All these were insurmountable
objections to me, who am in such a bad state of health, troubled
with an asthmatic cough, spitting, slow fever, and restlessness,
which demands a continual change of place, as well as free air,
and room for motion. I was this day visited by two young
gentlemen, sons of Mr. Guastaldi, late minister from Genoa at
London. I had seen them at Paris, at the house of the dutchess of
Douglas. They came hither, with their conductor, in the
diligence, and assured me, that nothing could be more
disagreeable than their situation in that carriage.

Another way of travelling in this country is to hire a coach and
four horses; and this method I was inclined to take: but when I
went to the bureau, where alone these voitures are to be had, I
was given to understand, that it would cost me six-and-twenty
guineas, and travel so slow that I should be ten days upon the
road. These carriages are let by the same persons who farm the
diligence; and for this they have an exclusive privilege, which
makes them very saucy and insolent. When I mentioned my servant,
they gave me to understand, that I must pay two loui'dores more
for his seat upon the coach box. As I could not relish these
terms, nor brook the thoughts of being so long upon the road, I
had recourse to the third method, which is going post.

In England you know I should have had nothing to do, but to hire
a couple of post-chaises from stage to stage, with two horses in
each; but here the case is quite otherwise. The post is farmed
from the king, who lays travellers under contribution for his own
benefit, and has published a set of oppressive ordonnances, which
no stranger nor native dares transgress. The postmaster finds
nothing but horses and guides: the carriage you yourself must
provide. If there are four persons within the carriage, you are
obliged to have six horses, and two postillions; and if your
servant sits on the outside, either before or behind, you must
pay for a seventh. You pay double for the first stage from Paris,
and twice double for passing through Fontainbleau when the court
is there, as well as at coming to Lyons, and at leaving this
city. These are called royal posts, and are undoubtedly a
scandalous imposition.

There are two post roads from Paris to Lyons, one of sixty-five
posts, by the way of Moulins; the other of fifty-nine, by the way
of Dijon in Burgundy. This last I chose, partly to save sixty
livres, and partly to see the wine harvest of Burgundy, which, I
was told, was a season of mirth and jollity among all ranks of
people. I hired a very good coach for ten loui'dores to Lyons,
and set out from Paris on the thirteenth instant, with six
horses, two postillions, and my own servant on horseback. We made
no stop at Fontainbleau, though the court was there; but lay at
Moret, which is one stage further, a very paltry little town
where, however, we found good accommodation.

I shall not pretend to describe the castle or palace of
Fontainbleau, of which I had only a glimpse in passing; but the
forest, in the middle of which it stands, is a noble chace of
great extent, beautifully wild and romantic, well stored with
game of all sorts, and abounding with excellent timber. It put me
in mind of the New Forest in Hampshire; but the hills, rocks, and
mountains, with which it is diversified, render it more

The people of this country dine at noon, and travellers always
find an ordinary prepared at every auberge, or public-house, on
the road. Here they sit down promiscuously, and dine at so much a
head. The usual price is thirty sols for dinner, and forty for
supper, including lodging; for this moderate expence they have
two courses and a dessert. If you eat in your own apartment, you
pay, instead of forty sols, three, and in some places, four
livres ahead. I and my family could not well dispense with our
tea and toast in the morning, and had no stomach to eat at noon.
For my own part, I hate French cookery, and abominate garlick,
with which all their ragouts, in this part of the country, are
highly seasoned: we therefore formed a different plan of living
upon the road. Before we left Paris, we laid in a stock of tea,
chocolate, cured neats' tongues, and saucissons, or Bologna
sausages, both of which we found in great perfection in that
capital, where, indeed, there are excellent provisions of all
sorts. About ten in the morning we stopped to breakfast at some
auberge, where we always found bread, butter, and milk. In the
mean time, we ordered a poulard or two to be roasted, and these,
wrapped in a napkin, were put into the boot of the coach,
together with bread, wine, and water. About two or three in the
afternoon, while the horses were changing, we laid a cloth upon
our knees, and producing our store, with a few earthen plates,
discussed our short meal without further ceremony. This was
followed by a dessert of grapes and other fruit, which we had
also provided. I must own I found these transient refreshments
much more agreeable than any regular meal I ate upon the road.
The wine commonly used in Burgundy is so weak and thin, that you
would not drink it in England. The very best which they sell at
Dijon, the capital of the province, for three livres a bottle, is
in strength, and even in flavour, greatly inferior to what I have
drank in London. I believe all the first growth is either
consumed in the houses of the noblesse, or sent abroad to foreign
markets. I have drank excellent Burgundy at Brussels for a florin
a bottle; that is, little more than twenty pence sterling.

The country from the forest of Fontainbleau to the Lyonnois,
through which we passed, is rather agreeable than fertile, being
part of Champagne and the dutchy of Burgundy, watered by three
pleasant pastoral rivers, the Seine, the Yonne, and the Saone.
The flat country is laid out chiefly for corn; but produces more
rye than wheat. Almost all the ground seems to be ploughed up, so
that there is little or nothing lying fallow. There are very few
inclosures, scarce any meadow ground, and, so far as I could
observe, a great scarcity of cattle. We sometimes found it very
difficult to procure half a pint of milk for our tea. In
Burgundy I saw a peasant ploughing the ground with a jack-ass, a
lean cow, and a he-goat, yoked together. It is generally
observed, that a great number of black cattle are bred and fed on
the mountains of Burgundy, which are the highest lands in France;
but I saw very few. The peasants in France are so wretchedly
poor, and so much oppressed by their landlords, that they cannot
afford to inclose their grounds, or give a proper respite to
their lands; or to stock their farms with a sufficient number of
black cattle to produce the necessary manure, without which
agriculture can never be carried to any degree of perfection.
Indeed, whatever efforts a few individuals may make for the
benefit of their own estates, husbandry in France will never be
generally improved, until the farmer is free and independent.

From the frequency of towns and villages, I should imagine this
country is very populous; yet it must be owned, that the towns
are in general thinly inhabited. I saw a good number of country
seats and plantations near tile banks of the rivers, on each
side; and a great many convents, sweetly situated, on rising
grounds, where the air is most pure, and the prospect most
agreeable. It is surprising to see how happy the founders of
those religious houses have been in their choice of situations,
all the world over.

In passing through this country, I was very much struck with the
sight of large ripe clusters of grapes, entwined with the briars
and thorns of common hedges on the wayside. The mountains of
Burgundy are covered with vines from the bottom to the top, and
seem to be raised by nature on purpose to extend the surface, and
to expose it the more advantageously to the rays of the sun. The
vandange was but just begun, and the people were employed in
gathering the grapes; but I saw no signs of festivity among them.
Perhaps their joy was a little damped by the bad prospect of
their harvest; for they complained that the weather had been so
unfavourable as to hinder the grapes from ripening. I thought,
indeed, there was something uncomfortable in seeing the vintage
thus retarded till the beginning of winter: for, in some parts, I
found the weather extremely cold; particularly at a place called
Maison-neuve, where we lay, there was a hard frost, and in the
morning the pools were covered with a thick crust of ice. My
personal adventures on the road were such as will not bear a
recital. They consisted of petty disputes with landladies, post-
masters, and postillions. The highways seem to be perfectly safe.
We did not find that any robberies were ever committed, although
we did not see one of the marechaussee from Paris to Lyons. You
know the marechaussee are a body of troopers well mounted,
maintained in France as safe-guards to the public roads. It is a
reproach upon England that some such patrol is not appointed for
the protection of travellers.

At Sens in Champagne, my servant, who had rode on before to
bespeak fresh horses, told me, that the domestic of another
company had been provided before him, altho' it was not his turn,
as he had arrived later at the post. Provoked at this partiality,
I resolved to chide the post-master, and accordingly addressed
myself to a person who stood at the door of the auberge. He was a
jolly figure, fat and fair, dressed in an odd kind of garb, with
a gold laced cap on his head, and a cambric handkerchief pinned
to his middle. The sight of such a fantastic petit maitre, in the
character of a post-master, increased my spleen. I called to him
with an air of authority, mixed with indignation, and when he
came up to the coach, asked in a peremptory tone, if he did not
understand the king's ordonnance concerning the regulation of the
posts? He laid his hand upon his breast; but before he could make
any answer, I pulled out the post-book, and began to read, with
great vociferation, the article which orders, that the traveller
who comes first shall be first served. By this time the fresh
horses being put to the carriage, and the postillions mounted,
the coach set off all of a sudden, with uncommon speed. I
imagined the post-master had given the fellows a signal to be
gone, and, in this persuasion, thrusting my head out at the
window, I bestowed some epithets upon him, which must have
sounded very harsh in the ears of a Frenchman. We stopped for a
refreshment at a little town called Joigne-ville, where (by the
bye) I was scandalously imposed upon, and even abused by a virago
of a landlady; then proceeding to the next stage, I was given to
understand we could not be supplied with fresh horses. Here I
perceived at the door of the inn, the same person whom I had
reproached at Sens. He came up to the coach, and told me, that
notwithstanding what the guides had said, I should have fresh
horses in a few minutes. I imagined he was master both of this
house and the auberge at Sens, between which he passed and
repassed occasionally; and that he was now desirous of making me
amends for the affront he had put upon me at the other place.
Observing that one of the trunks behind was a little displaced,
he assisted my servant in adjusting it: then he entered into
conversation with me, and gave me to understand, that in a post-chaise,
which we had passed, was an English gentleman on his
return from Italy. I wanted to know who he was, and when he said
he could not tell, I asked him, in a very abrupt manner, why he
had not enquired of his servant. He shrugged
up his shoulders, and retired to the inn door. Having waited
about half an hour, I beckoned to him, and when he approached,
upbraided him with having told me that I should be supplied with
fresh horses in a few minutes: he seemed shocked, and answered,
that he thought he had reason for what he said, observing, that
it was as disagreeable to him as to me to wait for a relay. As it
began to rain, I pulled up the glass in his face, and he withdrew
again to the door, seemingly ruffled at my deportment. In a
little time the horses arrived, and three of them were
immediately put to a very handsome post-chaise, into which he
stepped, and set out, accompanied by a man in a rich livery on
horseback. Astonished at this circumstance, I asked the hostler
who he was, and he replied, that he was a man of fashion (un
seigneur) who lived in the neighbourhood of Auxerre. I was much
mortified to find that I had treated a nobleman so scurvily, and
scolded my own people for not having more penetration than
myself. I dare say he did not fail to descant upon the brutal
behaviour of the Englishman; and that my mistake served with him
to confirm the national reproach of bluntness, and ill breeding,
under which we lie in this country. The truth is, I was that day
more than usually peevish, from the bad weather, as well as from
the dread of a fit of the asthma, with which I was threatened:
and I dare say my appearance seemed as uncouth to him, as his
travelling dress appeared to me. I had a grey mourning frock
under a wide great coat, a bob wig without powder, a very large
laced hat, and a meagre, wrinkled, discontented countenance.

The fourth night of our journey we lay at Macon, and the next day
passed through the Lyonnois, which is a fine country, full of
towns, villages, and gentlemen's houses. In passing through the
Maconnois, we saw a great many fields of Indian corn, which grows
to the height of six or seven feet: it is made into flour for the
use of the common people, and goes by the name of Turkey wheat.
Here likewise, as well as in Dauphine, they raise a vast quantity
of very large pompions, with the contents of which they thicken
their soup and ragouts.

As we travelled only while the sun was up, on account of my ill
health, and the post horses in France are in bad order, we seldom
exceeded twenty leagues a day.

I was directed to a lodging-house at Lyons, which being full they
shewed us to a tavern, where I was led up three pair of stairs,
to an apartment consisting of three paltry chambers, for which
the people demanded twelve livres a day: for dinner and supper
they asked thirty-two, besides three livres for my servant; so
that my daily expence would have amounted to about forty-seven
livres, exclusive of breakfast and coffee in the afternoon. I was
so provoked at this extortion, that, without answering one word,
I drove to another auberge, where I now am, and pay at the rate
of two-and-thirty livres a day, for which I am very badly lodged,
and but very indifferently entertained. I mention these
circumstances to give you an idea of the imposition to which
strangers are subject in this country. It must be owned, however,
that in the article of eating, I might save half the money by
going to the public ordinary; but this is a scheme of oeconomy,
which (exclusive of other disagreeable circumstances) neither my
own health, nor that of my wife permits me to embrace. My journey
from Paris to Lyons, including the hire of the coach, and all
expences on the road, has cost me, within a few shillings, forty
loui'dores. From Paris our baggage (though not plombe) was not
once examined till we arrived in this city, at the gate of which
we were questioned by one of the searchers, who, being tipt with
half a crown, allowed us to proceed without further enquiry,

I purposed to stay in Lyons until I should receive some letters I
expected from London, to be forwarded by my banker at Paris: but
the enormous expence of living in this manner has determined me
to set out in a day or two for Montpellier, although that place
is a good way out of the road to Nice. My reasons for taking that
route I shall communicate in my next. Mean-while, I am ever,--
Dear Sir, Your affectionate and obliged humble servant.


MONTPELLIER, November 5, 1763.

DEAR SIR,--The city of Lyons has been so often and so
circumstantially described, that I cannot pretend to say any
thing new on the subject. Indeed, I know very little of it, but
what I have read in books; as I had but one day to make a tour of
the streets, squares, and other remarkable places. The bridge
over the Rhone seems to be so slightly built, that I should
imagine it would be one day carried away by that rapid river;
especially as the arches are so small, that, after great rains
they are sometimes bouchees, or stopped up; that is, they do not
admit a sufficient passage for the encreased body of the water.
In order to remedy this dangerous defect, in some measure, they
found an artist some years ago, who has removed a middle pier,
and thrown two arches into one. This alteration they looked upon
as a masterpiece in architecture, though there is many a common
mason in England, who would have undertaken and performed the
work, without valuing himself much upon the enterprize. This
bridge, as well as that of St. Esprit, is built, not in a strait
line across the river, but with a curve, which forms a convexity
to oppose the current. Such a bend is certainly calculated for
the better resisting the general impetuosity of the stream, and
has no bad effect to the eye.

Lyons is a great, populous, and flourishing city but I am
surprised to find it is counted a healthy place, and that the air
of it is esteemed favourable to pulmonic disorders. It is
situated on the confluence of two large rivers, from which there
must be a great evaporation, as well as from the low marshy
grounds, which these rivers often overflow. This must render the
air moist, frouzy, and even putrid, if it was not well ventilated
by winds from the mountains of Swisserland; and in the latter end
of autumn, it must be subject to fogs. The morning we set out
from thence, the whole city and adjacent plains were covered with
so thick a fog, that we could not distinguish from the coach the
head of the foremost mule that drew it. Lyons is said to be very
hot in summer, and very cold in winter; therefore I imagine must
abound with inflammatory and intermittent disorders in the spring
and fall of the year.

My reasons for going to Montpellier, which is out of the strait
road to Nice, were these. Having no acquaintance nor
correspondents in the South of France, I had desired my credit
might be sent to the same house to which my heavy baggage was
consigned. I expected to find my baggage at Cette, which is the
sea-port of Montpellier; and there I also hoped to find a vessel,
in which I might be transported by sea to Nice, without further
trouble. I longed to try what effect the boasted air of
Montpellier would have upon my constitution; and I had a great
desire to see the famous monuments of antiquity in and about the
ancient city of Nismes, which is about eight leagues short of

At the inn where we lodged, I found a return berline, belonging
to Avignon, with three mules, which are the animals commonly used
for carriages in this country. This I hired for five loui'dores.
The coach was large, commodious, and well-fitted; the mules were
strong and in good order; and the driver, whose name was Joseph,
appeared to be a sober, sagacious, intelligent fellow, perfectly
well acquainted with every place in the South of France. He told
me he was owner of the coach, but I afterwards learned, he was no
other than a hired servant. I likewise detected him in some
knavery, in the course of our journey; and plainly perceived he
had a fellow-feeling with the inn-keepers on the road; but, in
other respects, he was very obliging, serviceable, and even
entertaining. There are some knavish practices of this kind, at
which a traveller will do well to shut his eyes, for his own ease
and convenience. He will be lucky if he has to do with a sensible
knave, like Joseph, who understood his interest too well to be
guilty of very flagrant pieces of imposition.

A man, impatient to be at his journey's end, will find this a
most disagreeable way of travelling. In summer it must be quite
intolerable. The mules are very sure, but very slow. The journey
seldom exceeds eight leagues, about four and twenty miles a day:
and as those people have certain fixed stages, you are sometimes
obliged to rise in a morning before day; a circumstance very
grievous to persons in ill health. These inconveniences, however,
were over-balanced by other agreemens. We no, sooner quitted
Lyons, than we got into summer weather, and travelling through a
most romantic country, along the banks of the Rhone, had
opportunities (from the slowness of our pace) to contemplate its
beauties at leisure.

The rapidity of the Rhone is, in a great measure, owing to its
being confined within steep banks on each side. These are formed
almost through its whole course, by a double chain of mountains,
which rise with all abrupt ascent from both banks of the river.
The mountains are covered with vineyards, interspersed with small
summer-houses, and in many places they are crowned with churches,
chapels, and convents, which add greatly to the romantic beauty
of the prospect. The highroad, as far as Avignon, lies along the
side of the river, which runs almost in a straight line, and
affords great convenience for inland commerce. Travellers, bound
to the southern parts of France, generally embark in the
diligence at Lyons, and glide down this river with great
velocity, passing a great number of towns and villages on each
side, where they find ordinaries every day at dinner and supper.
In good weather, there is no danger in this method of travelling,
'till you come to the Pont St. Esprit, where the stream runs
through the arches with such rapidity, that the boat is sometimes
overset. But those passengers who are under any apprehension are
landed above-bridge, and taken in again, after the boat has
passed, just in the same manner as at London Bridge. The boats
that go up the river are drawn against the stream by oxen, which
swim through one of the arches of this bridge, the driver sitting
between the horns of the foremost beast. We set out from Lyons
early on Monday morning, and as a robbery had been a few days
before committed in that neighbourhood, I ordered my servant to
load my musquetoon with a charge of eight balls. By the bye, this
piece did not fail to attract the curiosity and admiration of the
people in every place through which we passed. The carriage no
sooner halted, than a crowd immediately surrounded the man to
view the blunderbuss, which they dignified with the title of
petit canon. At Nuys in Burgundy, he fired it in the air, and the
whole mob dispersed, and scampered off like a flock of sheep. In
our journey hither, we generally set out in a morning at eight
o'clock, and travelled 'till noon, when the mules were put up and
rested a couple of hours. During this halt, Joseph went to
dinner, and we went to breakfast, after which we ordered
provision for our refreshment in the coach, which we took about
three or four in the afternoon, halting for that purpose, by the
side of some transparent brook, which afforded excellent water to
mix with our wine. In this country I was almost poisoned with
garlic, which they mix in their ragouts, and all their sauces;
nay, the smell of it perfumes the very chambers, as well as every
person you approach. I was also very sick of been ficas, grives,
or thrushes, and other little birds, which are served up twice a
day at all ordinaries on the road. They make their appearance in
vine-leaves, and are always half raw, in which condition the
French choose to eat them, rather than run the risque of losing
the juice by over-roasting.

The peasants on the South of France are poorly clad, and look as
if they were half-starved, diminutive, swarthy, and meagre; and
yet the common people who travel, live luxuriously on the road.
Every carrier and mule-driver has two meals a day, consisting
each of a couple of courses and a dessert, with tolerable small
wine. That which is called hermitage, and grows in this province
of Dauphine, is sold on the spot for three livres a bottle. The
common draught, which you have at meals in this country, is
remarkably strong, though in flavour much inferior to that of
Burgundy. The accommodation is tolerable, though they demand
(even in this cheap country) the exorbitant price of four livres
a head for every meal, of those who choose to eat in their own
apartments. I insisted, however, upon paying them with three,
which they received, though not without murmuring and seeming
discontented. In this journey, we found plenty of good mutton,
pork, poultry, and game, including the red partridge, which is
near twice as big as the partridge of England. Their hares are
likewise surprisingly large and juicy. We saw great flocks of
black turkeys feeding in the fields, but no black cattle; and
milk was so scarce, that sometimes we were obliged to drink our
tea without it.

One day perceiving a meadow on the side of the road, full of a
flower which I took to be the crocus, I desired my servant to
alight and pull some of them. He delivered the musquetoon to
Joseph, who began to tamper with it, and off it went with a
prodigious report, augmented by an eccho from the mountains that
skirted the road. The mules were so frightened, that they went
off at the gallop; and Joseph, for some minutes, could neither
manage the reins, nor open his mouth. At length he recollected
himself, and the cattle were stopt, by the assistance of the
servant, to whom he delivered the musquetoon, with a significant
shake of the head. Then alighting from the box, he examined the
heads of his three mules, and kissed each of them in his turn.
Finding they had received no damage,
he came up to the coach, with a pale visage and staring eyes, and
said it was God's mercy he had not killed his beasts. I answered,
that it was a greater mercy he had not killed his passengers; for
the muzzle of the piece might have been directed our way as well
as any other, and in that case Joseph might have been hanged for
murder. "I had as good be hanged (said he) for murder, as be
ruined by the loss of my cattle." This adventure made such an
impression upon him, that he recounted it to every person we met;
nor would he ever touch the blunderbuss from that day. I was
often diverted with the conversation of this fellow, who was very
arch and very communicative. Every afternoon, he used to stand
upon the foot-board, at the side of the coach, and discourse with
us an hour together. Passing by the gibbet of Valencia, which
stands very near the high-road, we saw one body hanging quite
naked, and another lying broken on the wheel. I recollected, that
Mandrin had suffered in this place, and calling to Joseph to
mount the foot-board, asked if he had ever seen that famous
adventurer. At mention of the name of Mandrin, the tear started
in Joseph's eye, he discharged a deep sigh, or rather groan, and
told me he was his dear friend. I was a little startled at this
declaration; however, I concealed my thoughts, and began to ask
questions about the character and exploits of a man who had made
such noise in the world.

He told me, Mandrin was a native of Valencia, of mean extraction:
that he had served as a soldier in the army, and afterwards acted
as maltotier, or tax-gatherer: that at length he turned
contrebandier, or smuggler, and by his superior qualities, raised
himself to the command of a formidable gang, consisting of five
hundred persons well armed with carbines and pistols. He had
fifty horses for his troopers, and three hundred mules for the
carriage of his merchandize. His head-quarters were in Savoy: but
he made incursions into Dauphine, and set the marechaussee at
defiance. He maintained several bloody skirmishes with these
troopers, as well as with other regular detachments, and in all
those actions signalized himself by his courage and conduct.
Coming up at one time with fifty of the marechaussee who were in
quest of him, he told them very calmly, he had occasion for their
horses and acoutrements, and desired them to dismount. At that
instant his gang appeared, and the troopers complied with his
request, without making the least opposition. Joseph said he was
as generous as he was brave, and never molested travellers, nor
did the least injury to the poor; but, on the contrary, relieved
them very often. He used to oblige the gentlemen in the country
to take his merchandize, his tobacco, brandy, and muslins, at his
own price; and, in the same manner, he laid the open towns under
contribution. When he had no merchandize, he borrowed money off
them upon the credit of what he should bring when he was better
provided. He was at last betrayed, by his wench, to the colonel
of a French regiment, who went with a detachment in the night to
the place where he lay in Savoy, and surprized him in a wood-house,
while his people were absent in different parts of the
country. For this intrusion, the court of France made an apology
to the king of Sardinia, in whose territories he was taken.
Mandrin being conveyed to Valencia, his native place, was for
some time permitted to go abroad, under a strong guard, with
chains upon his legs; and here he conversed freely with all sorts
of people, flattering himself with the hopes of a pardon, in
which, however, he was disappointed. An order came from court to
bring him to his trial, when he was found guilty, and condemned
to be broke on the wheel. Joseph said he drank a bottle of wine
with him the night before his execution. He bore his fate with
great resolution, observing that if the letter which he had
written to the King had been delivered, he certainly should have
obtained his Majesty's pardon. His executioner was one of his own
gang, who was pardoned on condition of performing this office.
You know, that criminals broke upon the wheel are first
strangled, unless the sentence imports, that they shall be broke
alive. As Mandrin had not been guilty of cruelty in the course of
his delinquency, he was indulged with this favour. Speaking to
the executioner, whom he had formerly commanded, "Joseph (dit
il), je ne veux pas que tu me touche, jusqu'a ce que je sois roid
mort," "Joseph," said he, "thou shalt not touch me till I am
quite dead."--Our driver had no sooner pronounced these words,
than I was struck with a suspicion, that he himself was the
executioner of his friend Mandrin. On that suspicion, I
exclaimed, "Ah! ah! Joseph!" The fellow blushed up to the eyes,
and said, Oui, son nom etoit Joseph aussi bien que le mien, "Yes,
he was called Joseph, as I am." I did not think proper to
prosecute the inquiry; but did not much relish the nature of
Joseph's connexions. The truth is, he had very much the looks of
a ruffian; though, I must own, his behaviour was very obliging
and submissive.

On the fifth day of our journey, in the morning, we passed the
famous bridge at St. Esprit, which to be sure is a great
curiosity, from its length, and the number of its arches: but
these arches are too small: the passage above is too narrow; and
the whole appears to be too slight, considering the force and
impetuosity of the river. It is not comparable to the bridge at
Westminster, either for beauty or solidity. Here we entered
Languedoc, and were stopped to have our baggage examined; but the
searcher, being tipped with a three-livre piece, allowed it to
pass. Before we leave Dauphine, I must observe, that I was not a
little surprized to see figs and chestnuts growing in the open
fields, at the discretion of every passenger. It was this day I
saw the famous Pont du Garde; but as I cannot possibly include,
in this letter, a description of that beautiful bridge, and of
the other antiquities belonging to Nismes, I will defer it till
the next opportunity, being, in the mean time, with equal truth
and affection,--Dear Sir, Your obliged humble Servant.


MONTPELLIER, November 10, 1763.

DEAR SIR,--By the Pont St. Esprit we entered the province of
Languedoc, and breakfasted at Bagniole, which is a little paltry
town; from whence, however, there is an excellent road through a
mountain, made at a great expence, and extending about four
leagues. About five in the afternoon, I had the first glimpse of
the famous Pont du Garde, which stands on the right hand, about
the distance of a league from the post-road to Nismes, and about
three leagues from that city. I would not willingly pass for a
false enthusiast in taste; but I cannot help observing, that from
the first distant view of this noble monument, till we came near
enough to see it perfectly, I felt the strongest emotions of
impatience that I had ever known; and obliged our driver to put
his mules to the full gallop, in the apprehension that it would
be dark before we reached the place. I expected to find the
building, in some measure, ruinous; but was agreeably
disappointed, to see it look as fresh as the bridge at
Westminster. The climate is either so pure and dry, or the free-stone,
with which it is built, so hard, that the very angles of
them remain as acute as if they had been cut last year. Indeed,
some large stones have dropped out of the arches; but the whole
is admirably preserved, and presents the eye with a piece of
architecture, so unaffectedly elegant, so simple, and majestic,
that I will defy the most phlegmatic and stupid spectator to
behold it without admiration. It was raised in the Augustan age,
by the Roman colony of Nismes, to convey a stream of water
between two mountains, for the use of that city. It stands over
the river Gardon, which is a beautiful pastoral stream, brawling
among rocks, which form a number of pretty natural cascades, and
overshadowed on each side with trees and shrubs, which greatly
add to the rural beauties of the scene. It rises in the Cevennes,
and the sand of it produces gold, as we learn from Mr. Reaumur,
in his essay on this subject, inserted in the French Memoirs, for
the year 1718. If I lived at Nismes, or Avignon (which last city
is within four short leagues of it) I should take pleasure in
forming parties to come hither, in summer, to dine under one of
the arches of the Pont du Garde, on a cold collation.

This work consists of three bridges, or tire of arches, one above
another; the first of six, the second of eleven, and the third of
thirty-six. The height, comprehending the aqueduct on the top,
amounts to 174 feet three inches: the length between the two
mountains, which it unites, extends to 723. The order of
architecture is the Tuscan, but the symmetry of it is
inconceivable. By scooping the bases of the pilasters, of the
second tire of arches, they had made a passage for foot-travellers:
but though the antients far excelled us in beauty,
they certainly fell short of the moderns in point of conveniency.
The citizens of Avignon have, in this particular, improved the
Roman work with a new bridge, by apposition, constructed on the
same plan with that of the lower tire of arches, of which indeed
it seems to be a part, affording a broad and commodious passage
over the river, to horses and carriages of all kinds. The
aqueduct, for the continuance of which this superb work was
raised, conveyed a stream of sweet water from the fountain of
Eure, near the city of Uzes, and extended near six leagues in

In approaching Nismes, you see the ruins of a Roman tower, built
on the summit of a hill, which over-looks the city. It seems to
have been intended, at first, as a watch, or signal-tower,
though, in the sequel, it was used as a fortress: what remains of
it, is about ninety feet high; the architecture of the Doric
order. I no sooner alighted at the inn, than I was presented with
a pamphlet, containing an account of Nismes and its antiquities,
which every stranger buys. There are persons too who attend in
order to shew the town,
and you will always be accosted by some shabby antiquarian, who
presents you with medals for sale, assuring you they are genuine
antiques, and were dug out of the ruins of the Roman temple and
baths. All those fellows are cheats; and they have often laid
under contribution raw English travellers, who had more money
than discretion. To such they sell the vilest and most common
trash: but when they meet with a connoisseur, they produce some
medals which are really valuable and curious.

Nismes, antiently called Nemausis, was originally a colony of
Romans, settled by Augustus Caesar, after the battle of Actium.
It is still of considerable extent, and said to contain twelve
thousand families; but the number seems, by this account, to be
greatly exaggerated. Certain it is, the city must have been
formerly very extensive, as appears from the circuit of the
antient walls, the remains of which are still to be seen. Its
present size is not one third of its former extent. Its temples,
baths, statues, towers, basilica, and amphitheatre, prove it to
have been a city of great opulence and magnificence. At present,
the remains of these antiquities are all that make it respectable
or remarkable; though here are manufactures of silk and wool,
carried on with good success. The water necessary for these works
is supplied by a source at the foot of the rock, upon which the
tower is placed; and here were discovered the ruins of Roman
baths, which had been formed and adorned with equal taste and
magnificence. Among the rubbish they found a vast profusion of
columns, vases, capitals, cornices, inscriptions, medals,
statues, and among other things, the finger of a colossal statue
in bronze, which, according to the rules of proportion, must have
been fifteen feet high. From these particulars, it appears that
the edifices must have been spacious and magnificent. Part of a
tesselated pavement still remains. The antient pavement of the
bath is still intire; all the rubbish has been cleared away; and
the baths, in a great measure, restored on the old plan, though
they are not at present used for any thing but ornament. The
water is collected into two vast reservoirs, and a canal built
and lined with hewn stone. There are three handsome bridges
thrown over this vast canal. It contains a great body of
excellent water, which by pipes and other small branching canals,
traverses the town, and is converted to many different purposes
of oeconomy and manufacture. Between the Roman bath and these
great canals, the ground is agreeably laid out in pleasure-walks.
for the recreation of the inhabitants. Here are likewise
ornaments of architecture, which savour much more of French
foppery, than of the simplicity and greatness of the antients. It
is very surprizing, that this fountain should produce such a
great body of water, as fills the basin of the source, the Roman
basin, two large deep canals three hundred feet in length, two
vast basins that make part of the great canal, which is eighteen
hundred feet long. eighteen feet deep, and forty-eight feet
broad. When I saw it, there was in it about eight or nine feet of
water, transparent as crystal. It must be observed, however, for
the honour of French cleanliness, that in the Roman basin,
through which this noble stream of water passes, I perceived two
washerwomen at work upon children's clouts and dirty linnen.
Surprized, and much disgusted at this filthy phaenomenon, I asked
by what means, and by whose permission, those dirty hags had got
down into the basin, in order to contaminate the water at its
fountain-head; and understood they belonged to the commandant of
the place, who had keys of the subterranean passage.

Fronting the Roman baths are the ruins of an antient temple,
which, according to tradition, was dedicated to Diana: but it has
been observed by connoisseurs, that all the antient temples of
this goddess were of the Ionic order; whereas, this is partly
Corinthian, and partly composite. It is about seventy foot long,
and six and thirty in breadth, arched above, and built of large
blocks of stone,
exactly joined together without any cement. The walls are still
standing, with three great tabernacles at the further end,
fronting the entrance. On each side, there are niches in the
intercolumniation of the walls, together with pedestals and
shafts of pillars, cornices, and an entablature, which indicate
the former magnificence of the building. It was destroyed during
the civil war that raged in the reign of Henry III. of France.

It is amazing, that the successive irruptions of barbarous
nations, of Goths, Vandals, and Moors; of fanatic croisards,
still more sanguinary and illiberal than those Barbarians, should
have spared this temple, as well as two other still more noble
monuments of architecture, that to this day adorn the city of
Nismes: I mean the amphitheatre and the edifice, called Maison
Carree--The former of these is counted the finest monument of the
kind, now extant; and was built in the reign of Antoninus Pius,
who contributed a large sum of money towards its erection. It is
of an oval figure, one thousand and eighty feet in circumference,
capacious enough to hold twenty thousand spectators. The
architecture is of the Tuscan order, sixty feet high, composed of
two open galleries, built one over another, consisting each of
threescore arcades. The entrance into the arena was by four great
gates, with porticos; and the seats, of which there were thirty,
rising one above another, consisted of great blocks of stone,
many of which still remain. Over the north gate, appear two
bulls, in alto-relievo, extremely well executed, emblems which,
according to the custom of the Romans, signified that the
amphitheatre was erected at the expence of the people. There are
in other parts of it some work in bas-relief, and heads or busts
but indifferently carved. It stands in the lower part of the
town, and strikes the spectator with awe and veneration. The
external architecture is almost intire in its whole circuit; but
the arena is filled up with houses--This amphitheatre was
fortified as a citadel by the Visigoths, in the beginning of the
sixth century. They raised within it a castle, two towers of
which are still extant; and they surrounded it with a broad and
deep fossee, which was filled up in the thirteenth century. In
all the subsequent wars to which this city was exposed, it served
as the last resort of the citizens, and sustained a great number
of successive attacks; so that its preservation is almost
miraculous. It is likely, however, to suffer much more from the
Gothic avarice of its own citizens, some of whom are mutilating
it every day, for the sake of the stones, which they employ in
their own private buildings. It is surprizing, that the King's
authority has not been exerted to put an end to such sacrilegious

If the amphitheatre strikes you with an idea of greatness, the
Maison Carree enchants you with the most exquisite beauties of
architecture and sculpture. This is an edifice, supposed formerly
to have been erected by Adrian, who actually built a basilica in
this city, though no vestiges of it remain: but the following
inscription, which was discovered on the front of it, plainly
proves, that it was built by the inhabitants of Nismes, in honour
of Caius and Lucius Caesar, the grandchildren of Augustus by his
daughter Julia, the wife of Agrippa.


To Caius and Lucius Caesar, sons of Augustus, consuls elect,
Princes of the Roman youth.

This beautiful edifice, which stands upon a pediment six feet
high, is eighty-two feet long, thirty-five broad, and thirty-seven
high, without reckoning the pediment. The body of it is
adorned with twenty columns engaged in the wall, and the
peristyle, which is open, with ten detached pillars that support
the entablature. They are all of the Corinthian order, fluted and
embellished with capitals of the most exquisite sculpture, the
frize and cornice are much admired, and the foliage is esteemed
inimitable. The proportions of the building are so happily
united, as to give it an air of majesty and grandeur, which the
most indifferent spectator cannot behold without emotion. A man
needs not be a connoisseur in architecture, to enjoy these
beauties. They are indeed so exquisite that you may return to
them every day with a fresh appetite for seven years together.
What renders them the more curious, they are still entire, and
very little affected, either by the ravages of time, or the havoc
of war. Cardinal Alberoni declared, that it was a jewel that
deserved a cover of gold to preserve it from external injuries.
An Italian painter, perceiving a small part of the roof repaired
by modern French masonry, tore his hair, and exclaimed in a rage,
"Zounds! what do I see? harlequin's hat on the head of Augustus!"

Without all doubt it is ravishingly beautiful. The whole world
cannot parallel it; and I am astonished to see it standing
entire, like the effects of inchantment, after such a succession
of ages, every one more barbarous than another. The history of
the antiquities of Nismes takes notice of a grotesque statue,
representing two female bodies and legs, united under the head of
an old man; but, as it does not inform us where it is kept, I did
not see it.

The whole country of Languedoc is shaded with olive trees, the
fruit of which begins to ripen, and appears as black as sloes;
those they pickle are pulled green, and steeped for some time in
a lye made of quick lime or wood ashes, which extracts the bitter
taste, and makes the fruit tender. Without this preparation it is
not eatable. Under the olive and fig trees, they plant corn and
vines, so that there is not an inch of ground unlaboured: but
here are no open fields, meadows, or cattle to be seen. The
ground is overloaded; and the produce of it crowded to such a
degree, as to have a bad effect upon the eye, impressing the
traveller with the ideas of indigence and rapacity. The heat in
summer is so excessive, that cattle would find no green forage,
every blade of grass being parched up and destroyed. The weather
was extremely hot when we entered Montpellier, and put up at the
Cheval Blanc, counted the best auberge in the place, tho' in fact
it is a most wretched hovel, the habitation of darkness, dirt,
and imposition. Here I was obliged to pay four livres a meal for
every person in my family, and two livres at night for every bed,
though all in the same room: one would imagine that the further
we advance to the southward the living is the dearer, though in
fact every article of housekeeping is cheaper in Languedoc than
many other provinces of France. This imposition is owing to the
concourse of English who come hither, and, like simple birds of
passage, allow themselves to be plucked by the people of the
country, who know their weak side, and make their attacks
accordingly. They affect to believe, that all the travellers of
our country are grand seigneurs, immensely rich and incredibly
generous; and we are silly enough to encourage this opinion, by
submitting quietly to the most ridiculous extortion, as well as
by committing acts of the most absurd extravagance. This folly of
the English, together with a concourse of people from different
quarters, who come hither for the re-establishment of their
health, has rendered Montpellier one of the dearest places in the
South of France. The city, which is but small, stands upon a
rising ground fronting the Mediterranean, which is about three
leagues to the southward: on the other side is an agreeable
plain, extending about the same distance towards the mountains of
the Cevennes. The town is reckoned well built, and what the
French call bien percee; yet the streets are in general narrow,
and the houses dark. The air is counted salutary in catarrhous
consumptions, from its dryness and elasticity: but too sharp in
cases of pulmonary imposthumes.

It was at Montpellier that we saw for the first time any signs of
that gaiety and mirth for which the people of this country are
celebrated. In all other places through which we passed since our
departure from Lyons, we saw nothing but marks of poverty and
chagrin. We entered Montpellier on a Sunday, when the people were
all dressed in their best apparel. The streets were crowded; and
a great number of the better sort of both sexes sat upon stone
seats at their doors, conversing with great mirth and
familiarity. These conversations lasted the greatest part of the
night; and many of them were improved with musick both vocal and
instrumental: next day we were visited by the English residing in
the place, who always pay this mark of respect to new comers.
They consist of four or five families, among whom I could pass
the winter very agreeably, if the state of my health and other
reasons did not call me away.

Mr. L-- had arrived two days before me, troubled with the same
asthmatic disorder, under which I have laboured so long. He told
me he had been in quest of me ever since he left England. Upon
comparing notes, I found he had stopped at the door of a country
inn in Picardy, and drank a glass of wine and water, while I was
at dinner up stairs; nay, he had even spoke to my servant, and
asked who was his master, and the man, not knowing him, replied,
he was a gentleman from Chelsea. He had walked by the door of the
house where I lodged at Paris, twenty times, while I was in that
city; and the very day before he arrived at Montpellier, he had
passed our coach on the road.

The garrison of this city consists of two battalions, one of
which is the Irish regiment of Berwick, commanded by lieutenant
colonel Tents, a gentleman with whom we contracted an
acquaintance at Boulogne. He treats us with great politeness, and
indeed does every thing in his power to make the place agreeable
to us. The duke of Fitz-James, the governor, is expected here in
a little time. We have already a tolerable concert twice a week;
there will be a comedy in the winter; and the states of Provence
assemble in January, so that Montpellier will be extremely gay
and brilliant. These very circumstances would determine me to
leave it. I have not health to enjoy these pleasures: I cannot
bear a croud of company such as pours in upon us unexpectedly at
all hours; and I foresee, that in staying at Montpellier, I
should be led into an expence, which I can ill afford. I have
therefore forwarded the letter I received from general P--n, to
Mr. B--d, our consul at Nice, signifying my intention of going
thither, and explaining the kind of accommodation I would choose
to have at that place.

The day after our arrival, I procured tolerable lodgings in the
High Street, for which I pay fifty sols, something more than two
shillings per day; and I am furnished with two meals a day by a
traiteur for ten livres: but he finds neither the wine nor the
dessert; and indeed we are but indifferently served. Those
families who reside here find their account in keeping house.
Every traveller who comes to this, or any other, town in France
with a design to stay longer than a day or two, ought to write
beforehand to his correspondent to procure furnished lodgings, to
which he may be driven immediately, without being under the
necessity of lying in an execrable inn; for all the inns of this
country are execrable.

My baggage is not yet arrived by the canal of Languedoc; but that
gives me no disturbance, as it is consigned to the care of Mr.
Ray, an English merchant and banker of this place; a gentleman of
great probity and worth, from whom I have received repeated marks
of uncommon friendship and hospitality.

The next time you hear of me will be from Nice: mean-while, I
remain always,--Dear Sir, Your affectionate humble servant.


MONTPELLIER, November 12.

DEAR DOCTOR--I flattered myself with the hope of much amusement
during my short stay at Montpellier.--The University, the
Botanical Garden, the State of
Physic in this part of the world, and the information I received
of a curious collection of manuscripts, among which I hoped to
find something for our friend Dr. H--r; all these particulars
promised a rich fund of entertainment, which, however, I cannot

A few days after my arrival, it began to rain with a southerly
wind, and continued without ceasing the best part of a week,
leaving the air so loaded with vapours, that there was no walking
after sun-set; without being wetted by the dew almost to the
skin. I have always found a cold and damp atmosphere the most
unfavourable of any to my constitution. My asthmatical disorder.
which had not given me much disturbance since I left Boulogne,
became now very troublesome, attended with fever, cough spitting,
and lowness of spirits; and I wasted visibly every day. I was
favoured with the advice of Dr. Fitzmaurice, a very worthy
sensible physician settled in this place: but I had the curiosity
to know the opinion of the celebrated professor F--, who is the
Boerhaave of Montpellier. The account I had of his private
character and personal deportment, from some English people to
whom he was well known, left me no desire to converse with him:
but I resolved to consult with him on paper. This great lanthorn
of medicine is become very rich and very insolent; and in
proportion as his wealth increases, he is said to grow the more
rapacious. He piques himself upon being very slovenly, very
blunt, and very unmannerly; and perhaps to these qualifications
be owes his reputation rather than to any superior skill in
medicine. I have known them succeed in our own country; and seen
a doctor's parts estimated by his brutality and presumption.

F-- is in his person and address not unlike our old acquaintance
Dr. Sm--ie; he stoops much, dodges along, and affects to speak
the Patois, which is a corruption of the old Provencial tongue,
spoken by the vulgar in Languedoc and Provence. Notwithstanding
his great age and great wealth, he will still scramble up two
pair of stairs for a fee of six livres; and without a fee he will
give his advice to no person whatsoever.

He is said to have great practice in the venereal branch and to
be frequented by persons of both sexes infected with this
distemper, not only from every part of France, but also from
Spain, Italy, Germany, and England. I need say nothing of the
Montpellier method of cure, which is well known at London; but I
have some reason to think the great professor F--, has, like the
famous Mrs. Mapp, the bone-setter, cured many patients that were
never diseased.

Be that as it may, I sent my valet de place, who was his townsman
and acquaintance, to his house, with the following case, and a

Annum aetatis, post quadragesimum, tertium, Temperamentum
humidum, crassum, pituitarepletum, catarrhis saepissime
profligatum. Catarrhus, febre, anxietate et dyspnoea, nunquam non
comitatus. Irritatio membranae piuitariae trachaealis, tussim
initio aridam, siliquosam, deinde vero excreationem copiosam
excitat: sputum albumini ovi simillimum.

Accedente febre, urina pallida, limpida: ad akmen flagrante,
colorem rubrum, subflavum induit: coctione peracta, sedimentum
lateritium deponit.

Appetitus raro deest: digestio segnior sed secura, non autem sine
ructu perfecta. Alvus plerumque stipata: excretio intestinalis
minima, ratione ingestorum habita. Pulsus frequens, vacillans,
exilis, quandoquidem etiam intermittens.

Febre una extincta, non deficit altera. Aliaque et eadem statim
nascitur. Aer paulo frigidior, vel humidior, vestimentum
inusitatum indutum; exercitatio paulullum nimia; ambulatio,
equitatio, in quovis vehiculo jactatio; haec omnia novos motus
suscitant. Systema nervosum maxime irritabile, organos patitur.
Ostiola in cute hiantia, materiei perspirabili, exitum
praebentia, clauduntur. Materies obstructa cumulatur; sanguine
aliisque humoribus circumagitur: fit plethora. Natura opprimi
nolens, excessus huius expulsionem conatur. Febris nova
accenditur. Pars oneris, in membranam trachaealem laxatam ac
debilitatam transfertur. Glandulae pituitariae turgentes bronchia
comprimunt. Liber aeri transitus negatur: hinc respiratio
difficilis. Hac vero translatione febris minuitur: interdiu
remittitur. Dyspnoea autem aliaque symptomata vere
hypochondriaca, recedere nolunt. Vespere febris exacerbatur.
Calor, inquietudo, anxietas et asthma, per noctem grassantur. Ita
quotidie res agitur, donec. Vis vitae paulatim crisim efficit.
Seminis joctura, sive in somniis effusi, seu in gremio veneris
ejaculati, inter causas horum malorum nec non numeretur.

Quibusdam abhinc annis, exercitationibus juvenilibus subito
remissis, in vitam sedentariam lapsum. Animo in studia severiora
converso, fibre gradatim laxabantur. Inter legendum, et
scribendum inclinato corpore in pectus malum, ruebat. Morbo
ingruenti affectio scorbutica auxilium tulit. Invasio prima
nimium aspernata. Venientibus hostibus non occursum. Cunctando
res non restituta. Remedia convenientia stomachus perhorrescebat.
Gravescente dyspnoea phlebotomia frustra tentata. Sanguinis
missione vis vitae diminuta: fiebat pulsitis debilior, respiratio
difficilior. In pejus ruunt omnia. Febris anomala in febriculam
continuam mutata. Dyspnoea confirmata. Fibrarum compages soluta.
Valetudo penitus eversa.

His agitatus furiis, aeger ad mare provolat: in fluctus se
precipitem, dat: periculum factum spem non fefellit: decies
iteratum, felix faustumque evasit. Elater novus fibris
conciliatur. Febricula fugatur. Acris dyspnoea solvitur.
Beneficium dextra ripa partum, sinistra perditum. Superficie
corporis, aquae marine frigore et pondere, compressa et
contracta, interstitia fibrarum occluduntur: particulis
incrementi novis partes abrasas reficientibus, locus non datur.
Nutritio corporis, via pristina clausa, qua data porta ruit: in
membranam pulmonum, minus firmatam facile fertur, et glandulis
per sputum rejicitur.

Hieme pluviosa, regnante dolores renovantur; tametsi tempore
sereno equitatio profuit. Aestate morbus vix ullum
progrediebatur. Autumno, valetudine plus declinata, thermis
Bathoniensibus solatium haud frustra quaesitum. Aqua ista mire
medicata, externe aeque ac interne adhibita, malis levamen
attulit. Hiems altera, frigida, horrida, diuturna, innocua tamen
successit. Vere novo casus atrox diras procellas animo immisit:
toto corpore, tota mente tumultuatur. Patria relicta, tristitia,
sollecitudo, indignatio, et saevissima recordatio sequuntur.
Inimici priores furore inveterato revertuntur. Rediit febris
hectica: rediit asthma cum anxietate, tusse et dolore lateris

Desperatis denique rebus, iterum ad mare, veluti ad anceps
remedium recurritur. Balneum hoc semper benignum. Dolor statim
avolat. Tertio die febris, retrocessit. Immersio quotidiana
antemeridiana, ad vices quinquaginta repetita, symptomata
graviora subjugavit.-- Manet vero tabes pituitaria: manet
temperamentum in catarrhos proclive. Corpus macrescit. Vires

The professor's eyes sparkled at sight of the fee; and he desired
the servant to call next morning for his opinion of the case,
which accordingly I received in these words:

"On voit par cette relation que monsieur le consultant dont on
n'a pas juge a propos de dire l'age, mais qui nous paroit etre
adulte et d'un age passablement avance, a ete sujet cy devant a
des rhumes frequens accompagnes de fievre; on ne detaille point
(aucune epoque), on parle dans la relation d'asthme auquel il a
ete sujet, de scorbut ou affection scorbutique dont on ne dit pas
les symptomes. On nous fait scavoir qu'il s'est bien trouve de
l'immersion dans l'eau de la mer, et des eaux de Bath.

"On dit a present qu'il a une fievre pituitaire sans dire depuis
combien de temps. Qu'il lui reste toujours son temperament enclin
aux catharres. Que le corps maigrit, et que les forces se
perdent. On ne dit point s'il y a des exacerbations dans cette
fievre ou non, si le malade a appetit ou non, s'il tousse ou non,
s'il crache ou non, en un mot on n'entre dans aucun detail sur
ces objets, sur quoi le conseil soussigne estime que monsieur le
consultant est en fievre lente, et que vraisemblable le poumon
souffre de quelque tubercules qui peut-etre sont en fonte, ce que
nous aurions determine si dans la relation on avoit marque les
qualites de crachats.

"La cause fonchere de cette maladie doit etre imputee a une
lymphe epaisse et acrimonieuse, qui donne occasion a des
tubercules au pomon, qui etant mis on fonte fournissent au sang
des particules acres et le rendent tout acrimonieux.

"Les vues que l'on doit avoir dans ce cas sent de procurer des
bonnes digestions (quoique dans la relation ou ne dit pas un mot
sur les digestions) de jetter un douce detrempe dans la masse du
sang, d'en ebasser l'acrimonie et de l'adoucir, de diviser fort
doucement a lymphe, et de deterger le poumon, lui procurant meme
du calme suppose que la toux l'inquiete, quoique cependant on ne
dit pas un mot sur la toux dans la relation. C'est pourquoi on le
purgera avec 3 onces de manne, dissoutes dans un verre de
decoction de 3 dragmes de polypode de chesne, on passera ensuite
a des bouillons qui seront faits avec un petit poulet, la chair,
le sang, le coeur et le foye d'une tortue de grandeur mediocre
c'est a dire du poid de 8 a 12 onces avec sa coquille, une
poignee de chicoree amere de jardin, et une pincee de feuilles de
lierre terrestre vertes on seches. Ayant pris ces bouillons 15
matins on se purgera comme auparavant, pour en venir a des
bouillons qui seront faits avec la moitie d'un mou de veau, une
poignee de pimprenelle de jardin, et une dragme de racine
d'angelique concassee.

Ayant pris ces bouillons 15 matins, on se purgera somme
auparavant pour en venir an lait d'anesse que l'on prendra le
matin a jeun, a la dose de 12 a 16 onces y ajoutant un cuilleree
de sucre rape, on prendra ce lait le matin a jeun observant de
prendre pendant son usage de deux jours l'un un moment avant le
lait un bolus fait avec 15 grains de craye de Braincon en poudre
fine, 20 grains de corail prepare, 8 grains d'antihectique de
poterius, et ce qu'il faut de syrop de lierre terrestre, mais les
jour on ou ne prendra pas le bolus on prendra un moment avant le
lait 3 on 4 gouttes de bon baume de Canada detrempees dans un
demi cuilleree de syrop de lierre terrestre. Si le corps maigrit
de plus en plus, je suis d'avis que pendant l'usage du lait
d'anesse on soupe tous les soirs avec une soupe au lait de vache.

"On continuera l'usage du lait d'anesse tant, que le malade
pourra le supporter, ne le purgeant que par necessite et toujours
avec la medecine ordonnee.

"Au reste, si monsieur le consultant ne passe les nuits bien
calmes, il prendra chaque soir a l'heure de sommeil six grains
des pilules de cynoglosse, dent il augmentera la dose d'un grain
de plus toutes les fois que la dose du jour precedent, n'aura pas
ete suffisante pour lui faire passer la nuit bien calme.

"Si les malade tousse il usera soit de jour soit de nuit par
petites cuillerees a casse d'un looch, qui sera fait avec un once
de syrop de violat et un dragme de blanc de baleine.

"Si les crachats sent epais et qu'il crache difficilement, en ce
cas il prendra une ou deux fois le jour, demi dragme de blanc de
baleine reduit on poudre avec un pen de sucre candit qu'il
avalera avec une cuilleree d'eau.

"Enfin il doit observer un bon regime de vivre, c'est pourquoi il
fera toujours gras et seulement en soupes, bouilli et roti, il ne
mangera pas les herbes des soupes, et on salera peu son pot, il
se privera du beuf, cochon, chair noir, oiseaux d'eau, ragouts,
fritures, patisseries, alimens sales, epices, vinaigres, salades,
fruits, cruds, et autres crudites, alimens grossiers, ou de
difficille digestion, la boisson sera de l'eau tant soit peu
rougee de bon vin au diner seulement, et il ne prendra a souper
qu'une soupe.

le 11 Novembre.
Professeur en l'universite honoraire.

Receu vingt et quatre livres.

I thought it was a little extraordinary that a learned professor
should reply in his mother tongue, to a case put in Latin: but I
was much more surprised, as you will also be, at reading his
answer, from which I was obliged to conclude, either that he did
not understand Latin; or that he had not taken the trouble to
read my memoire. I shall not make any remarks upon the stile of
his prescription, replete as it is with a disgusting repetition
of low expressions: but I could not but, in justice to myself,
point out to him the passages in my case which he had overlooked.
Accordingly, having marked them with letters, I sent it back,
with the following billet.

"Apparement Mons. F-- n'a pas donne beaucoup d'attention au
memoire de ma sante que j'ai on l'honneur de lui presenter--
'Monsieur le consultant (dit il) dont on n'a pas juge it propos
de dire l'age.'--Mais on voit dans le memoire a No. 1. 'Annum
aetatis post quadragesimum tertium.'

"Mr. F-- dit que 'je n'ai pas marque aucune epoque. Mais a No. 2
du memoire il trouvera ces mots. 'Quibusdam abbinc annis.' J'ai
meme detaille le progres de la maladie pour trois ans

"Mons. F-- observe, 'On no dit point s'il y a des exacerbations
dans cette fievre ou non.' Qu'il. Regarde la lettre B, il verra,
Vespere febris exacerbatur. Calor, inquietudo, anxietas et asthma
per noctem grassantur.'

"Mons. F-- remarque, 'On ne dit point si le malade a appetit ou
non, s'il tousse ou non, s'il crache ou non, en un mot on n'entre
dans aucun detail sur ces objets.' Mais on voit toutes ces
circonstances detaillees dans la memoire a lettre A, 'Irritatio
membranae trachaealis tussim, initio aridam, siliquosam, deinde
vero excreationem copiosam excitat. Sputum albumini ovi
simillimum. Appetitus raro deest. Digestio segnior sed secura.'

"Mons. F-- observe encore, 'qu'on ne dit pas un mot sur la toux
dans la relation.' Mais j'ai dit encore a No. 3 de memoire,
'rediit febris hectica; rediit asthma cum anxietate, tusse et
dolore lateris lancinante.'

"Au reste, je ne puis pas me persuader qu'il y ait des tubercules
au poumon, parce que j'ai ne jamais crache de pus, ni autre chose
que de la pituite qui a beaucoup de ressemblance au blanc des
oeufs. Sputum albumini ovi simillimum. Il me paroit done que ma
maladie doit son origine a la suspension de l'exercice du corps,
au grand attachement d'esprit, et a une vie sedentaire qui a
relache le sisteme fibreux; et qu'a present on pent l'appeller
tubes pituitaria, non tubes purulenta. J'espere que Mons. Faura
la bonte de faire revision du memoire, et de m'en dire encore son

Considering the nature of the case, you see I could not treat him
more civilly. I desired the servant to ask when he should return
for an answer, and whether he expected another fee. He desired
him to come next morning, and, as the fellow assured me, gave him
to understand, that whatever monsieur might solicit, should be for
his (the servant's) advantage. In all probability he did not
expect another gratification, to which, indeed, he had no title.
Mons. F-- was undoubtedly much mortified to find himself detected
in such flagrant instances of unjustifiable negligence, arid like
all other persons in the same ungracious dilemma, instead of
justifying himself by reason or argument, had recourse to
recrimination. In the paper which he sent me next day, he
insisted in general that he had carefully perused the case (which
you will perceive was a self-evident untruth); he said the theory
it contained was idle; that he was sure it could not be written
by a physician; that, with respect to the disorder, he was still
of the same opinion; and adhered to his former prescription; but
if I had any doubts I might come to his house, and he would
resolve them.

I wrapt up twelve livres in the following note, and sent it to
his house.

"C'est ne pas sans raison que monsieur F-- jouit d'une si grande
reputation. Je n'ai plus de doutes, graces a Dieu et a monsieur
F--e. " "It is not without reason that monsieur Fizes enjoys such
a large share of reputation. I have no doubts remaining; thank
Heaven and monsieur Fizes."

To this I received for answer. "Monsieur n'a plus de doutes: j'en
suis charme. Receu douze livres. F--, &c." "Sir, you have no
doubts remaining; I am very glad of it. Received twelve livres.
Fizes, &c."

Instead of keeping his promise to the valet, he put the money in
his pocket; and the fellow returned in a rage, exclaiming that he
was un gros cheval de carosse, a great coach-horse.

I shall make no other comment upon the medicines, and the regimen
which this great Doctor prescribed; but that he certainly mistook
the case: that upon the supposition I actually laboured under a
purulent discharge from the lungs, his remedies savour strongly
of the old woman; and that there is a total blank with respect to
the article of exercise, which you know is so essential in all
pulmonary disorders. But after having perused my remarks upon his
first prescription, he could not possibly suppose that I had
tubercules, and was spitting up pus; therefore his persisting in
recommending the same medicines he had prescribed on that
supposition, was a flagrant absurdity.--If, for example, there
was no vomica in the lungs; and the business was to attenuate the
lymph, what could be more preposterous than to advise the chalk
of Briancon, coral, antihecticum poterii, and the balm of Canada?
As for the turtle-soupe, it is a good restorative and balsamic;
but, I apprehend, will tend to thicken rather than attenuate the
phlegm. He mentions not a syllable of the air, though it is
universally allowed, that the climate of Montpellier is
pernicious to ulcerated lungs; and here I cannot help recounting
a small adventure which our doctor had with a son of Mr. O--d,
merchant in the city of London. I had it from Mrs. St--e who was
on the spot. The young gentleman, being consumptive, consulted
Mr. F--, who continued visiting and prescribing for him a whole
month. At length, perceiving that he grew daily worse, "Doctor
(said he) I take your prescriptions punctually; but, instead of
being the better for them, I have now not an hour's remission
from the fever in the four-and-twenty.--I cannot conceive the
meaning of it." F--, who perceived he had not long to live, told
him the reason was very plain: the air of Montpellier was too
sharp for his lungs, which required a softer climate. "Then
you're a sordid villain (cried the young man) for allowing me to
stay here till my constitution is irretrievable." He set out
immediately for Tholouse, and in a few weeks died in the
neighbourhood of that city.

I observe that the physicians in this country pay no regard to
the state of the solids in chronical disorders, that exercise and
the cold bath are never prescribed, that they seem to think the
scurvy is entirely an English disease; and that, in all
appearance, they often confound the symptoms of it, with those of
the venereal distemper. Perhaps I may be more particular on this
subject in a subsequent letter. In the mean time, I am ever,--
Dear Sir, Yours sincerely.


NICE, December 6, 1763.

DEAR SIR,--The inhabitants of Montpellier are sociable, gay, and
good-tempered. They have a spirit of commerce, and have erected
several considerable manufactures, in the neighbourhood of the
city. People assemble every day to take the air on the esplanade,
where there is a very good walk, just without the gate of the
citadel: but, on the other side of the town, there is another
still more agreeable, called the peirou, from whence there is a
prospect of the Mediterranean on one side, and of the Cevennes on
the other. Here is a good equestrian statue of Louis XIV,
fronting one gate of the city, which is built in form of a
triumphal arch, in honour of the same monarch. Immediately under
the pierou is the physic garden, and near it an arcade just
finished for an aqueduct, to convey a stream of water to the
upper parts of the city. Perhaps I should have thought this a
neat piece of work, if I had not seen the Pont du Garde: but,
after having viewed the Roman arches, I could not look upon this
but with pity and contempt. It is a wonder how the architect
could be so fantastically modern, having such a noble model, as
it were, before his eyes.

There are many protestants at this place, as well as at Nismes,
and they are no longer molested on the score of religion. They
have their conventicles in the country, where they assemble
privately for worship. These are well known; and detachments are
sent out every Sunday to intercept them; but the officer has
always private directions to take another route. Whether this
indulgence comes from the wisdom and lenity of the government, or
is purchased with money of the commanding officer, I cannot
determine: but certain it is, the laws of France punish capitally
every protestant minister convicted of having performed the
functions of his ministry in this kingdom; and one was hanged
about two years ago, in the neighbourhood of Montauban.

The markets in Montpellier are well supplied with fish, poultry,
butcher's meat, and game, at reasonable rates. The wine of the
country is strong and harsh, and never drank, but when mixed with
water. Burgundy is dear, and so is the sweet wine of Frontignan,
though made in the neighbourhood of Cette. You know it is famous
all over Europe, and so are the liqueurs, or drams of various
sorts, compounded and distilled at Montpellier. Cette is the sea-port,
about four leagues from that city: but the canal of
Languedoc comes up within a mile of it; and is indeed a great
curiosity: a work in all respects worthy of a Colbert, under
whose auspices it was finished. When I find such a general
tribute of respect and veneration paid to the memory of that
great man, I am astonished to see so few monuments of public
utility left by other ministers. One would imagine, that even the
desire of praise would prompt a much greater number to exert
themselves for the glory and advantage of their country; yet in
my opinion, the French have been ungrateful to Colbert, in the
same proportion as they have over-rated the character of his
master. Through all France one meets with statues and triumphal
arches erected to Louis XIV, in consequence of his victories; by
which, likewise, he acquired the title of Louis le Grand. But how
were those victories obtained? Not by any personal merit of
Louis. It was Colbert who improved his finances, and enabled him
to pay his army. It was Louvois that provided all the necessaries
of war. It was a Conde, a Turenne, a Luxemburg, a Vendome, who
fought his battles; and his first conquests, for which he was
deified by the pen of adulation, were obtained almost without
bloodshed, over weak, dispirited, divided, and defenceless
nations. It was Colbert that improved the marine, instituted
manufactures, encouraged commerce, undertook works of public
utility, and patronized the arts and sciences. But Louis (you
will say) had the merit of choosing and supporting those
ministers, and those generals. I answer, no. He found Colbert and
Louvois already chosen: he found Conde and Turenne in the very
zenith of military reputation. Luxemburg was Conde's pupil; and
Vendome, a prince of the blood, who at first obtained the command
of armies in consequence of his high birth, and happened to turn
out a man of genius. The same Louis had the sagacity to revoke
the edict of Nantz; to entrust his armies to a Tallard, a
Villeroy, and a Marsin. He had the humanity to ravage the
country, burn the towns, and massacre the people of the
Palatinate. He had the patriotism to impoverish and depopulate
his own kingdom, in order to prosecute schemes of the most
lawless ambition. He had the Consolation to beg a peace from
those he had provoked to war by the most outrageous insolence;
and he had the glory to espouse Mrs. Maintenon in her old age,
the widow of the buffoon Scarron. Without all doubt, it was from
irony he acquired the title le Grand.

Having received a favourable answer from Mr. B--, the English
consul at Nice, and recommended the care of my heavy baggage to
Mr. Ray, who undertook to send it by sea from Cette to
Villefranche, I hired a coach and mules for seven loui'dores, and
set out from Montpellier on the 13th of November, the weather
being agreeable, though the air was cold and frosty. In other
respects there were no signs of winter: the olives were now ripe,
and appeared on each side of the road as black as sloes; and the
corn was already half a foot high. On the second day of our
journey, we passed the Rhone on a bridge of boats at Buccaire,
and lay on the other side at Tarrascone. Next day we put up at a
wretched place called Orgon, where, however, we were regaled with
an excellent supper; and among other delicacies, with a dish of
green pease. Provence is a pleasant country, well cultivated; but
the inns are not so good here as in Languedoc, and few of them
are provided with a certain convenience which an English
traveller can very ill dispense with. Those you find are
generally on the tops of houses, exceedingly nasty; and so much
exposed to the weather, that a valetudinarian cannot use them
without hazard of his life. At Nismes in Languedoc, where we
found the Temple of Cloacina in a most shocking condition, the
servant-maid told me her mistress had caused it to be made on
purpose for the English travellers; but now she was very sorry
for what she had done, as all the French who frequented her
house, instead of using the seat, left their offerings on the
floor, which she was obliged to have cleaned three or four times
a day. This is a degree of beastliness, which would appear
detestable even in the capital of North-Britain. On the fourth
day of our pilgrimage, we lay in the suburbs of Aix, but did not
enter the city, which I had a great curiosity to see. The
villainous asthma baulked me of that satisfaction. I was pinched
with the cold, and impatient to reach a warmer climate. Our next
stage was at a paltry village, where we were poorly entertained.
I looked so ill in the morning, that the good woman of the house,
who was big with child, took me by the hand at parting, and even
shed tears, praying fervently that God would restore me to my
health. This was the only instance of sympathy, compassion, or
goodness of heart, that I had met with among the publicans of
France. Indeed at Valencia, our landlady, understanding I was
travelling to Montpellier for my health would have dissuaded me
from going thither; and exhorted me, in particular, to beware of
the physicians, who were all a pack of assassins. She advised me
to eat fricassees of chickens, and white meat, and to take a good
bouillon every morning.

A bouillon is an universal remedy among the good people of
France; insomuch, that they have no idea of any person's dying,
after having swallowed un bon bouillon. One of the English
gentlemen, who were robbed and murdered about thirty years ago
between Calais and Boulogne, being brought to the post-house of
Boulogne with some signs of life, this remedy was immediately
administered. "What surprises me greatly, (said the post-master,
speaking of this melancholy story to a friend of mine, two years
after it happened) I made an excellent bouillon, and poured it
down his throat with my own hands, and yet he did not recover."
Now, in all probability, this bouillon it was that stopped his
breath. When I was a very young man, I remember to have seen a
person suffocated by such impertinent officiousness. A young man
of uncommon parts and erudition, very well esteemed at the
university of G--ow was found early one morning in a subterranean
vault among the ruins of an old archiepiscopal palace, with his
throat cut from ear to ear. Being conveyed to a public-house in
the neighbourhood, he made signs for pen, ink, and paper, and in
all probability would have explained the cause of this terrible
catastrophe, when an old woman, seeing the windpipe, which was
cut, sticking out of the wound, and mistaking it for the gullet,
by way of giving him a cordial to support his spirits, poured
into it, through a small funnel, a glass of burnt brandy, which
him in the tenth part of a minute. The gash was so hideous, and
formed by so many repeated strokes of a razor, that the surgeons
believed he could not possibly be the perpetrator himself;
nevertheless this was certainly the case.

At Brignolles, where we dined, I was obliged to quarrel with the
landlady, and threaten to leave her house, before she would
indulge us with any sort of flesh-meat. It was meagre day, and
she had made her provision accordingly. She even hinted some
dissatisfaction at having heretics in her house: but, as I was
not disposed to eat stinking fish, with ragouts of eggs and
onions, I insisted upon a leg of mutton, and a brace of fine
partridges, which I found in the larder. Next day, when we set
out in the morning from Luc, it blew a north-westerly wind so
extremely cold and biting, that even a flannel wrapper could not
keep me tolerably warm in the coach. Whether the cold had put our
coachman in a bad humour, or he had some other cause of
resentment against himself, I know not; but we had not gone above
a quarter of a mile, when he drove the carriage full against the
corner of a garden wall, and broke the axle-tree, so that we were
obliged to return to the inn on foot, and wait a whole day, until
a new piece could be made and adjusted. The wind that blew, is
called Maestral, in the Provencial dialect, and indeed is the
severest that ever I felt. At this inn, we met with a young
French officer who had been a prisoner in England, and spoke our
language pretty well. He told me, that such a wind did not blow
above twice or three times in a winter, and was never of long
continuance, that in general, the weather was very mild and
agreeable during the winter months; that living was very cheap in
this part of Provence, which afforded great plenty of game. Here,
too, I found a young Irish recollet, in his way from Rome to his
own country. He complained, that he was almost starved by the
inhospitable disposition of the French people; and that the
regular clergy, in particular, had treated him with the most
cruel disdain. I relieved his necessities, and gave him a letter
to a gentleman of his own country at Montpellier.

When I rose in the morning, and opened a window that looked into
the garden, I thought myself either in a dream, or bewitched. All
the trees were cloathed with snow, and all the country covered at
least a foot thick. "This cannot be the south of France, (said I
to myself) it must be the Highlands of Scotland!" At a wretched
town called Muy, where we dined, I had a warm dispute with our
landlord, which, however, did not terminate to my satisfaction. I
sent on the mules before, to the next stage, resolving to take
post-horses, and bespoke them accordingly of the aubergiste, who
was, at the same time, inn-keeper and post-master. We were
ushered into the common eating-room, and had a very indifferent
dinner; after which, I sent a loui'dore to be changed, in order
to pay the reckoning. The landlord, instead of giving the full
change, deducted three livres a head for dinner, and sent in the
rest of the money by my servant. Provoked more at his ill
manners, than at his extortion, I ferreted him out of a bed-chamber,
where he had concealed himself, and obliged him to
restore the full change, from which I paid him at the rate of two
livres a head. He refused to take the money, which I threw down
on the table; and the horses being ready, stepped into the coach,
ordering the postillions to drive on. Here I had certainly
reckoned without my host. The fellows declared they would not
budge, until I should pay their master; and as I threatened them
with manual chastisement, they alighted, and disappeared in a
twinkling. I was now so incensed, that though I could hardly
breathe; though the afternoon was far advanced, and the street
covered with wet snow, I walked to the consul of the town, and
made my complaint in form. This magistrate, who seemed to be a
taylor, accompanied me to the inn, where by this time the whole
town was assembled, and endeavoured to persuade me to compromise
the affair. I said, as he was the magistrate, I would stand to
his award. He answered, "that he would not presume to determine
what I was to pay." I have already paid him a reasonable price
for his dinner, (said I) and now I demand post-horses according
to the king's ordonnance. The aubergiste said the horses were
ready, but the guides were run away; and he could not find others
to go in their place. I argued with great vehemence, offering to
leave a loui'dore for the poor of the parish, provided the consul
would oblige the rascal to do his duty. The consul shrugged up
his shoulders, and declared it was not in his power. This was a
lie, but I perceived he had no mind to disoblige the publican. If
the mules had not been sent away, I should certainly have not
only payed what I thought proper, but corrected the landlord into
the bargain, for his insolence and extortion; but now I was
entirely at his mercy, and as the consul continued to exhort me
in very humble terms, to comply with his demands, I thought
proper to acquiesce. Then the postillions immediately appeared:
the crowd seemed to exult in the triumph of the aubergiste; and I
was obliged to travel in the night, in very severe weather, after
all the fatigue and mortification I had undergone.

We lay at Frejus, which was the Forum Julianum of the antients,
and still boasts of some remains of antiquity; particularly the
ruins of an amphitheatre, and an aqueduct. The first we passed in
the dark, and next morning the weather was so cold that I could
not walk abroad to see it. The town is at present very
inconsiderable, and indeed in a ruinous condition. Nevertheless,
we were very well lodged at the post-house, and treated with more
politeness than we had met with in any other part of France.

As we had a very high mountain to ascend in the morning, I
ordered the mules on before to the next post, and hired six
horses for the coach. At the east end of Frejus, we saw close to
the road on our left-hand, the arcades of the antient aqueduct,
and the ruins of some Roman edifices, which seemed to have been
temples. There was nothing striking in the architecture of the
aqueduct. The arches are small and low, without either grace or
ornament, and seem to have been calculated for mere utility.

The mountain of Esterelles, which is eight miles over, was
formerly frequented by a gang of desperate banditti, who are now
happily exterminated: the road is very good, but in some places
very steep and bordered by precipices. The mountain is covered
with pines, and the laurus cerasus, the fruit of which being now
ripe, made a most romantic appearance through the snow that lay
upon the branches. The cherries were so large that I at first
mistook them for dwarf oranges. I think they are counted
poisonous in England, but here the people eat them without
hesitation. In the middle of the mountain is the post-house,
where we dined in a room so cold, that the bare remembrance of it
makes my teeth chatter. After dinner I chanced to look into
another chamber that fronted the south, where the sun shone; and
opening a window perceived, within a yard of my hand, a large
tree loaded with oranges, many of which were ripe. You may judge
what my astonishment was to find Winter in all his rigour
reigning on one side of the house, and Summer in all her glory
on the other. Certain it is, the middle of this mountain seemed
to be the boundary of the cold weather. As we proceeded slowly in
the afternoon we were quite enchanted. This side of the hill is a
natural plantation of the most agreeable ever-greens, pines,
firs, laurel, cypress, sweet myrtle, tamarisc, box, and juniper,
interspersed with sweet marjoram, lavender, thyme, wild thyme,
and sage. On the right-hand the ground shoots up into agreeable
cones, between which you have delightful vistas of the
Mediterranean, which washes the foot of the rock; and between two
divisions of the mountains, there is a bottom watered by a
charming stream, which greatly adds to the rural beauties of the

This night we passed at Cannes, a little fishing town, agreeably
situated on the beach of the sea, and in the same place lodged
Monsieur Nadeau d'Etrueil, the
unfortunate French governor of Guadeloupe, condemned to be
imprisoned for life in one of the isles Marguerite, which lie
within a mile of this coast.

Next day we journeyed by the way of Antibes, a small maritime
town, tolerably well fortified; and passing the little river
Loup, over a stone-bridge, arrived about noon at the village of
St. Laurent, the extremity of France, where we passed the Var,
after our baggage had undergone examination. From Cannes to this
village the road lies along the sea-side; and sure nothing can be
more delightful. Though in the morning there was a frost upon the
ground, the sun was as warm as it is in May in England. The sea
was quite smooth, and the beach formed of white polished pebbles;
on the left-hand the country was covered with green olives, and
the side of the road planted with large trees of sweet myrtle
growing wild like the hawthorns in England. From Antibes we had
the first view of Nice, lying on the opposite side of the bay,
and making a very agreeable appearance. The author of the Grand
Tour says, that from Antibes to Nice the roads are very bad,
through rugged mountains bordered with precipices On the left,
and by the sea to the right; whereas, in fact, there is neither
precipice nor mountain near it.

The Var, which divides the county of Nice from Provence, is no
other than a torrent fed chiefly by the snow that melts on the
maritime Alps, from which it takes its origin. In the summer it
is swelled to a dangerous height, and this is also the case after
heavy rains: but at present the middle of it is quite dry, and
the water divided into two or three narrow streams, which,
however, are both deep and rapid. This river has been absurdly
enough by some supposed the Rubicon, in all probability from the
description of that river in the Pharsalia of Lucan, who makes it
the boundary betwixt Gaul and Italy--

--et Gallica certus
Limes ab Ausoniis disterminat arva colonis.

A sure Frontier that parts the Gallic plains
From the rich meadows of th' Ansonian swains.

whereas, in fact, the Rubicon, now called Pisatello, runs between
Ravenna and Rimini.--But to return to the Var. At the village of
St. Laurent, famous for its Muscadine wines, there is a set of
guides always in attendance to conduct you in your passage over
the river. Six of those fellows, tucked up above the middle, with
long poles in their hands, took charge of our coach, and by many
windings guided it safe to the opposite shore. Indeed there was
no occasion for any; but it is a sort of a perquisite, and I did
not choose to run any risque, how small soever it might be, for
the sake of saving half a crown, with which they were satisfied.
If you do not gratify the searchers at St. Laurent with the same
sum, they will rummage your trunks, and turn all your cloaths
topsy turvy. And here, once for all, I would advise every
traveller who consults his own case and convenience, to be
liberal of his money to all that sort of people; and even to wink
at the imposition of aubergistes on the road, unless it be very
flagrant. So sure as you enter into disputes with them, you will
be put to a great deal of trouble, and fret yourself to no manner
of purpose. I have travelled with oeconomists in England, who
declared they would rather give away a crown than allow
themselves to be cheated of a farthing. This is a good maxim, but
requires a great share of resolution and self-denial to put it in
practice. In one excursion of about two hundred miles my fellow-traveller
was in a passion, and of consequence very bad company
from one end of the journey to the other. He was incessantly
scolding either at landlords, landladies, waiters, hostlers, or
postilions. We had bad horses, and bad chaises; set out from
every stage with the curses of the people; and at this expence I
saved about ten shillings in the whole journey. For such a paltry
consideration, he was contented to be miserable himself, and to
make every other person unhappy with whom he had any concern.
When I came last from Bath it rained so hard, that the postilion
who drove the chaise was wet to the skin before we had gone a
couple of miles. When we arrived at the Devises, I gave him two
shillings instead of one, out of pure compassion. The consequence
of this liberality was, that in the next stage we seemed rather
to fly than to travel upon solid ground. I continued my bounty to
the second driver, and indeed through the whole journey, and
found myself accommodated in a very different manner from what I
had experienced before. I had elegant chaises, with excellent
horses; and the postilions of their own accord used such
diligence, that although the roads were broken by the rain, I
travelled at the rate of twelve miles an hour; and my
extraordinary expence from Bath to London, amounted precisely to
six shillings.

The river Var falls into the Mediterranean a little below St.
Laurent, about four miles to the westward of Nice. Within the
memory of persons now living, there have been three wooden
bridges thrown over it, and as often destroyed in consequence of
the jealousy subsisting between the kings of France and Sardinia;
this river being the boundary of their dominions on the side of
Provence. However, this is a consideration that ought not to
interfere with the other advantages that would accrue to both
kingdoms from such a convenience. If there was a bridge over the
Var, and a post-road made from Nice to Genoa, I am very confident
that all those strangers who now pass the Alps in their way to
and from Italy, would choose this road as infinitely more safe,
commodious, and agreeable. This would also be the case with all
those who hire felucas from Marseilles or Antibes, and expose
themselves to the dangers and inconveniences of travelling by sea
in an open boat.

In the afternoon we arrived at Nice, where we found Mr. M--e, the
English gentleman whom I had seen at Boulogne, and advised to
come hither. He had followed my advice, and reached Nice about a
month before my arrival, with his lady, child, and an old
gouvernante. He had travelled with his own post-chaise and
horses, and is now lodged just without one of the gates of the
city, in the house of the count de V--n, for which he pays five
loui'dores a month. I could hire one much better in the
neighbourhood of London, for the same money. Unless you will
submit to this extortion, and hire a whole house for a length of
time, you will find no ready-furnished lodgings at Nice. After
having stewed a week in a paltry inn, I have taken a ground floor
for ten months at the rate of four hundred livres a year, that is
twenty pounds sterling, for the Piedmontese livre is about an
English shilling. The apartments are large, lofty, and commodious
enough, with two small gardens, in which there is plenty of
sallad, and a great number of oranges and lemons: but as it
required some time to provide furniture, our consul Mr. B--d, one
of the best natured and most friendly men in the world, has lent
me his lodgings, which are charmingly situated by the sea-side,
and open upon a terrace, that runs parallel to the beach, forming
part of the town wall. Mr. B--d himself lives at Villa Franca,
which is divided from Nice by a single mountain, on the top of
which there is a small fort, called the castle of Montalban.
Immediately after our arrival we were visited by one Mr. de
Martines, a most agreeable young fellow, a lieutenant in the
Swiss regiment, which is here in garrison. He is a Protestant,
extremely fond of our nation, and understands our language
tolerably well. He was particularly recommended to our
acquaintance by general P-- and his lady; we are happy in his
conversation; find him wonderfully obliging, and extremely
serviceable on many occasions. We have likewise made acquaintance
with some other individuals, particularly with Mr. St. Pierre,
junior, who is a considerable merchant, and consul for Naples. He
is a well-bred, sensible young man, speaks English, is an
excellent performer on the lute and mandolin, and has a pretty
collection of books. In a word, I hope we shall pass the winter
agreeably enough, especially if Mr. M--e should hold out; but I am
afraid he is too far gone in a consumption to recover. He spent
the last winter at Nismes, and consulted F-- at Montpellier. I
was impatient to see the prescription, and found it almost
verbatim the same he had sent to me; although I am persuaded
there is a very essential difference between our disorders. Mr.
M--e has been long afflicted with violent spasms, colliquative
sweats, prostration of appetite, and a disorder in his bowels. He
is likewise jaundiced all over, and I am confident his liver is
unsound. He tried the tortoise soup, which he said in a fortnight
stuffed him up with phlegm. This gentleman has got a smattering
of physic, and I am afraid tampers with his own constitution, by
means of Brookes's Practice of Physic, and some dispensatories,
which he is continually poring over. I beg pardon for this

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