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the miferable Sologne ends; the first view of Verfon and its vicinity is fine. A noble vale spreads at your feet, through which the river Cheere leads, feen in feveral places to the distance of fome leagues, a bright fun burnished the water, like a ftring of lakes amidst the fhade of a vaft woodland. See Bourges to the left. 18 miles.

The 2d. Pafs the rivers Cheere and Lave; the bridges well built; the ftream fine, and with the wood, buildings, boats, and adjoining hills, form an animated fcene. Several new houfes, and buildings of good ftone in Verfon; the place , appears thriving, and doubtlefs owes much to the navigation. We are now in Berri, a province governed by a provincial affembly, confequently the roads good, and made without corvées. Vatan is a little town that fubfifts chiefly by spinning. We drank there excellent Sancere wine, of a deep colour, rich flavour, and good body, 20. the bottle; but in the country 10. An extenfive prospect before we arrived at Chateauroux where we viewed the manufactures.

40 miles..

The 3d. Within about three miles of Argenton come upon a fine scene, beautiful, yet with bold features; a narrow vale bounded on every side with hills covered with wood, all of which are immediately under the eye, without a level acre, except the bottom of the vale, through which a river flows, by an old caftle picturesquely fituated to the right; and to the left, a tower rifing out of a wood.. At Argenton, walk up a rock that hangs almost over the town. It is a delicious fcene. A natural ledge of perpendicular rock pushes forward abruptly over the vale, which is half a mile broad, and two or three long: at one end closed by hills, and at the other filled by the town with vineyards rifing above it; the furrounding scene that hems in the vale is high enough for relief; vineyards, rocks or hills covered with wood. The vale cut into inclosures of a lovely verdure, and a fine river winds through it, with an outline that leaves nothing to wish. The venerable fragments of a caftle's ruins, near the point of view, are well adapted to awaken reflections on the triumph of the arts of peace over the barbarous ravages of the feudal ages, when every class of society was involved in commotion, and the lower ranks were worfe flaves than at prefent.

The general face of the country, from Verfon to Argenton, is an uninteresting flat with many heaths of ling. No appearance of population, and even towns are thin. The husbandry poor and the people miferable. By the circumstances to which I could give attention I conceive them to be honest and industrious; they seem clean; are civil, and have good countenances. They appear to me as if they would improve their country, if they formed the part of a fyftem, the principles of which tended to national profperity.- 18 miles.

The 4th. Pass an inclosed country, which would have a better appearance if the oaks had not loft their foliage by infects, whofe webs hang over the buds

buds. They are but now coming into leaf again. Crofs a ftream which feparates Berri from La Marche; chefnuts appear at the fame time; they are spread over all the fields, and yield the food of the poor. A variety of hill and dale, with fine woods, but little figns of population. Lizards for the first time alfo. There feems a connection relative to climate between the chefnuts and these harmless animals. They are very numerous, and fome of them near a foot long. Sleep at La Ville au Brun.-24 miles.

The 5th. The country improves in beauty greatly; pafs a vale, where a causeway stops the water of a small rivulet and fwells it into a lake, that forms one feature of a delicious fcene. The indented outlines and the fwells margined with wood are beautiful; the hills on every fide in unifon; one now covered with ling the prophetic eye of tafte may imagine lawn. Nothing is wanted to render the scene a garden, but to clear away rubbish.

The general face of the country, for 16 miles, by far the most beautiful I have feen in France; it is thickly inclofed, and full of wood; the umbrageous foliage of the chefnuts gives the fame beautiful verdure to the hills, as watered meadows (feen for the first time to day) to the vales. Distant mountainous ridges form the back ground, and make the whole interefting. The declivity of country, as we go down to Baffies, offers a beautiful view; and the approach to the town, prefents a landscape fancifully grouped of rock, and wood, and water. To Limoge, pafs another artificial lake between cultivated hills; beyond are wilder heights, but mixed with pleasant vales; ftill another lake more beautiful than the former, with a fine accompanyment of wood; across a mountain of chefnut copfe, which commands a scene of a character different from any I have viewed either in France or England, a great range of hill and dale all covered with foreft, and bounded by diftant mountains. Not a veftige of any human refidence; no village: no houfe or hut, no fmoke to raife the idea of a peopled country; an American fcene; wild enough for the tomohawk of the favage. Stop at an execrable auberge, called Maifon Rouge, where we intended to fleep; but, on examination, found every appearance fo forbidding, and fo beggarly an account of a larder, that we paffed on to Limoge. The roads through all this country, are truly noble, far beyond any thing I have feen in France or elsewhere.. 44 miles.

The 6th. View Limoge, and examine its manufactures. It was certainly a Roman ftation, and fome traces of its antiquity are ftill remaining. It is ill built, with narrow and crooked ftreets, the houfes high and difagreeable. They are raised of granite, or wood with lath and plaifter, which faves lime, an expenfive article here, being brought from a distance of twelve leagues; the roofs are of pantiles, with projecting eaves, and almost flat; a fure proof we have quitted the region of heavy fnows. The best of their public works is a noble fountain,


the water conducted three quarters of a league by an arched aqueduct, brought under the bed of a rock 60 feet deep to the highest spot in the town, where it falls into a bafon 15 feet diameter, cut out of one piece of granite; thence the water is let into reservoirs, closed by fluices, which are opened for watering the ftreets, or in cafe of fires.

The cathedral is ancient, and the roof of ftone; there are fome arabesque ornaments cut in ftone, as light, airy, and elegant as any modern house can boast, whofe decorations are in the fame tafte.

The present bishop has erected a large and handsome palace, and his garden is the finest object to be seen at Limoge, for it commands a landscape hardly to be equalled for beauty: it would be idle to give any other description than just enough to induce travellers to view it. A river winds through a vale, furrounded by hills that prefent the gayeft and most animated affemblage of villas, farms, vines, hanging meadows, and chefnuts blended fo fortunately as to compose a scene truly fmiling. This bishop is a friend of the count de la Rochefoucauld's family; he invited us to dine, and gave us a very handsome entertainment. Lord Macartney, when a prifoner in France, after the Grenades were taken, spent some time with him; there was an inftance of French politeness fhewn to his lordship, that marks the urbanity of this people. The order came from court to fing Te Deum on the very day that Lord Macartney was to arrive. Conceiving that the public demonstrations of joy for a victory that brought his noble guest a prisoner, might be perfonally unpleasant to him, the bishop proposed to the intendant to poftpone the ceremony for a few days, in order that he might not meet it fo abruptly; this was inftantly acceded to, and conducted in fuch a manner afterwards as to mark as much attention to Lord Macartney's feelings as to their own. The bishop told me, that Lord Macartney spoke French better than he could have conceived poffible for a foreigner, had he not heard him; better than many well educated Frenchmen.

The poft of intendant here was rendered celebrated by being filled by that friend of mankind, Turgot, whose well earned reputation in this province placed him at the head of the French finances, as may be very agreeably learned, in that production of equal truth and elegance, his life by the marquis of Condorcet. The character which Turgot left here is confiderable. The noble roads we have paffed, fo much exceeding any other I have seen in France, were amongst his good works; an epithet due to them because not made by corvées. There is here a fociety of agriculture, which owes its origin to the fame diftinguished patriot: but in that most unlucky path of French exertion he was able to do nothing evils too radically fixed were in the way of the attempt. This fociety does like other focieties,-they meet, converfe, offer premiums, and publish nonfenfe. This is not of much confequence, for the people, in


ftead of reading their memoirs, are not able to read at all. They can however fee; and if a farm was established in that good cultivation which they ought to copy, fomething would be prefented from which they might learn. I asked particularly if the members of this fociety had land in their own hands, from which it might be judged if they knew any thing of the matter themselves: I was affured that they had; but the converfation prefently explained it: they had metayers around their country-feats, and this was confidered as farming their own lands, fo that they affume fomething of a merit from the identical circumftance, which is the curfe and ruin of the whole country. In the agricultural converfations we have had on the journey from Orleans, I have not found one person who feemed fenfible of the mischief of this fyftem.

The 7th. No chefnuts for a league before we reach Piere Buffiere, they fay because the bafis of the country is a hard granite; and they affert also at Limoge, that in this granite there grow neither vines, wheat, nor chefnuts, but that on the fofter granites these plants thrive well: it is true, that chefnuts and this granite appeared together when we entered Limofin, The road has been incomparably fine, and much more like the well kept alleys of a garden than a common high way. See for the first time old towers, that appear numerous in this country.—33 miles.

The 8th. Pafs an extraordinary fpectacle for English eyes, of many houfes too good to be called cottages, without any glafs windows. Some miles to the right is Pompadour, where the King has a stud; there are all kinds of horses, but chiefly Arabian, Turkish, and English. Three years ago four Arabians were imported, which had been procured at the expence of 72,000 livrés (31491.) the price of covering a mare is only three livres to the groom; the owners are permitted to fell their colts as they pleafe, but if these come up to the standard height, the King's officers have the preference, provided they give the price offered by others. These horfes are not faddled till fix years old. They pafture all day, but at night are confined on account of wolves, which are fo common as to be a great plague to the people. A horfe of fix years old, a little more than four feet fix inches high, is fold for 70l. ; and 151. has been offered for a colt of one year old. Pafs Uzarch; dine at Douzenac; between which place and Brive meet the first maize, or Indian corn.

The beauty of the country, through the 34 miles from St. George to Brive, is fo various, and in every respect fo ftriking and interefting, that I shall attempt no particular description, but obferve in general, that I am much in doubt, whether there be any thing comparable to it either in England or Ireland. It is not that a fine view breaks now and then upon the eye to compensate the traveller for the dulness of a much longer diftrict; but a quick fucceffion of landfcapes, many of which would be rendered famous in England, by the resort of

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travellers to view them. The country is all hill or valley; the hills are very high, and would be called with us mountains, if waste and covered with heath; but being cultivated to the very tops, their magnitude is leffened to the eye. Their forms are various: they fwell in beautiful femi-globes; they project in abrupt maffes, which inclofe deep glens: they expand into amphitheatres of cultivation that rise in gradation to the eye: in fome places toffed into a thousand inequalities of furface; in others the eye repofes on scenes of the fofteft verdure. Add to this, the rich robe with which nature's bounteous hand has dreffed the flopes, with hanging woods of chefnut. And whether the vales open their verdant bofoms, and admit the fun to illumine the rivers in their comparative repofe; or whether they be closed in deep glens, that afford a paffage with difficulty to the water rolling over their rocky beds, and dazzling the with the luftre of cafcades; in every cafe the features are interesting and characteristic of the fcenery. Some views of fingular beauty rivetted us to the fpots; that of the town of Uzarch, covering a conical hill, rifing in the hollow of an amphitheatre of wood, and furrounded at its feet by a noble river, is unique. Derry in Ireland has fomething of its form, but wants fome of its richeft features. The water-fcenes from the town itself, and immediately after paffing it, are delicious. The immenfe view from the defcent to Douzenach is equally magnificent. To all this is added the finest road in the world, every where formed in the perfect manner, and kept in the highest preservation, like the well ordered alley of a garden, without duft, fand, ftones, or inequality, firm and level, of pounded granite, and traced with fuch a perpetual command of profpect, that had the engineer no other object in view, he could not have exe


cuted it with a more finished taste.

The view of Brive, from the hill is fo fine, that it gives the expectation of a beautiful little town, and the gaiety of the environs encourages the idea; but on entering, fuch a contraft is found as difgufts completely. Clofe, ill built, crooked, dirty, ftinking streets, exclude the fun, and almoft the air from every habitation, except a few tolerable ones on the promenade. 34 miles..

The 9th. Enter a different country, with the new province of Quercy, which is a part of Guienne; not near fo beautiful as Limofin, but, to make amends, it is far better cultivated. Thanks to maize, which does wonders! Pafs Noailles, on the fummit of a high hill, the chateau of the Marshal Duke of that name.Enter a calcareous country, and lofe chefnuts at the fame time.

In going down to Souillac, there is a profpect that muft univerfally pleafe: it is a bird's-eye view of a delicious little valley, funk deep amongft fome very bold hills that inclofe it; a margin of wild mountain contrafts the extreme beauty of the level furface below, a fcene of cultivation fcattered with fine walnut trees; nothing can apparently exceed the exuberant fertility of this fpot.



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