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spect, it could not have been better placed. The mountains rife proudly around, and give their rough frame to this exquifite little picture.

Crofs the Garonne, by a new bridge of one fine arch, built of hard blue limeftone. Medlars, plumbs, cherries, maples in every hedge, with vines trained.Stop at Laureffe; after which the mountains almoft clofe, and leave only a narrow vale, the Garonne and the road occupying fome portion of it. Immenfe quantities of poultry in all this country; moft of it the people falt and keep in greafe. We tafted a foup made of the leg of a goofe thus kept, and it was not nearly fo bad as I expected.

Every crop here is backward, and betrays a want (of fun; no wonder, for we have been long travelling on the banks of a rapid river, and must now be very high, though ftill apparently in vales. The mountains, in paffing on, grow more interesting. Their beauty, to northern eyes, is very fingular; the black and dreary profpects which our mountains offer are known to every one; but here the climate cloaths them with verdure, and the highest fummits in fight are covered with wood; there is fnow on ftill higher ridges.

Quit the Garonne fome leagues before Sirpe, where the river Nefte falls into it. The road to Bagnere is along this river, in a very narrow valley, at one end of which is built the town of Luchon, the termination of our journey; which to me has been one of the most agreeable I ever undertook; the good humour and good fense of my companions are well calculated for travelling; one renders a journey pleasing, and the other inftructive.-Having now croffed the kingdom, and been in many French inns, I fhall in general obferve, that they are on an average better in two refpects, and worse in all the reft, than those in England.. We have lived better in point of, eating and drinking beyond a question, than we fhould have done in going from London to the Highlands of Scotland, at double the expence. But if in England the best of every thing is ordered, without any attention to the expence, we fhould for double the money have lived better than we have done in France; the common cookery of the French gives great advantage. It is true, they roaft every thing to a chip, if they are not cautioned but they give such a number and variety of dishes, that if you do not like fome, there are others to please your palate. The defert at a French inn has no rival at an English one; nor are the liqueurs to be defpifed.We sometimes have met with bad wine, but upon the whole, far better than fuch port as English inns give. Beds are better in France; in England they are good only at good inns; and we have none of that torment, which is fo perplexing in England, to have the fheets aired; for we never trouble our heads about them, doubtless on account of the climate.. After these two points, all is a blank. You have no parlour to eat in ; only a room with two, three, or four beds. Apartments badly fitted up; the walls white-washed; or paper of different

different forts in the fame room; or tapestry so old, as to be a fit nidus for moths and spiders; and the furniture fuch, that an English innkeeper would light his fire with it. For a table, you have every where a board laid on cross bars, which are fo conveniently contrived, as to leave room for your legs only at the end.Oak chairs with rufh bottoms, and the back universally a direct perpendicular, that defies all idea of refl after fatigue. Doors give mufic as well as entrance; the wind whistles through their chinks; and hinges grate difcord. Windows admit rain as well as light; when fhut they are not eafy to open; and when open not easy to fhut. Mops, brooms, and fcrubbing-brushes are not in the catalogue of the neceffaries of a French inn. Bells there are none; the fille must always be bawled for; and when the appears, is neither neat, well dreffed, nor handfome. The kitchen is black with fmoke; the mafter commonly the cook, and the lefs you fee of the cooking, the more likely you are to have a ftomach to your dinner; but this is not peculiar to France. Copper utenfils always in great plenty, but not always well tinned. The mistress rarely claffes civility or attention to her guests among the requifites of her trade.—30 miles. The 28th. Having been now ten days fixed in our lodgings, which the Count 、de la Rochefoucauld's friends had provided for us; it is time to minute a few particulars of our life here. Monf. Lazowski and myself have two good rooms on a ground floor, with beds in them, and a fervant's, room, for 4liv. (3s. 6d.) a-day. We are fo unaccustomed in England to live in our bed-chambers, that it is at firft aukward in France to find that people live no where else: At all the inns I have been in, it has been always in bed-rooms; and here I find, that every body, let his rank be what it may, lives in his bed-chamber. This is novel; our Englifh cuftom is far more convenient, as well as more pleafing. But this habit I class with the œconomy of the French. The day after we came, I was introduced to the La Rochefoucauld party, with whom we have lived; it consists of the duke and dutchefs de la Rochefoucauld, 'daughter of the duke de Chabot ; her brother, the prince de Laon and his princefs, the daughter of the duke de Montmorenci; the count de Chabot, another brother of the dutchefs de la Rochefoucauld; the marquis D'Aubourval, who, with my two fellow-travellers and myself, make a party of nine at dinner and fupper. A traiteur ferves our table at 4 liv. a head for the two meals, two courfes and a good thing that is in fupper one and a defert: the whole 'very well ferved, with every defert, and at feafon the wine feparate, at 6. (3d.) a bottle. With difficulty the Count's groom found a ftable. Hay is little fhort of 51. English per ton; oats much the fame price as in England, but not fo good: ftraw dear, and fo fcarce, that very often there is no litter at all.

The States of Languedoc are building a large and handfome bathing house, to contain various feparate cells, with baths, and a large common room, with two arcades

arcades to walk in, free from fun and rain. The prefent baths are horrible holes; the patients lie up to their chins in hot fulphureous water, which, with the beastly dens they are placed in, one would think fufficient to cause as many diftempers as they cure. They are reforted to for cutaneous eruptions. The life led here has very little variety. Those who bathe or drink the waters, do it at half after five or fix in the morning; but my friend and myself are early in the mountains, which are here ftupendous; we wander among them to admire the wild and beautiful fcenes which are to be met with in almost every direction. The whole region of the Pyrenees is of a nature and aspect so totally different from every thing that I had been accustomed to, that these excurfions were productive of much amusement. Cultivation is here carried to a confiderable perfection in several articles, especially in the irrigation of meadows: we seek out the most intelligent peasants, and have many and long conversations with those who understand French, which however is not the case with all, for the language of the country is a mixture of Catalan, Provençal, and French.This, with examining the minerals (an article for which the duke de la Rochefoucauld likes to accompany us, as he poffeffes a confiderable knowledge in that branch of natural history), and with noting the plants with which we are acquainted, ferves well to keep our time employed fufficiently to our taste. The ramble of the morning finished, we return in time to drefs for dinner, at half after twelve or one: then adjourn to the drawing-room of madam de la Rochefoucauld, or the countess of Grandval alternately, the only ladies who have ments large enough to contain the whole company. None are excluded; as the first thing done, by every person who arrives, is to pay a morning visit to each party already in the place; the vifit is returned, and then every body is of course acquainted at these affemblies, which laft till the evening is cool enough for walking. There is nothing in them but cards, trick-track, chefs, and fometimes mufic; but the great feature is cards: I need not add, that I absented myfelf often from thefe parties, which are ever mortally infipid to me in England, and not lefs fo in France. In the evening, the company splits into different parties, for their promenade, which lasts till half an hour after eight; fupper is ferved at nine: there is, after it, an hour's conversation in the chamber of one of our ladies; and this is the best part of the day,—for the chat is free, lively, and unaffected; and uninterrupted, unless on a poft-day, when the duke has fuch packets of papers and pamphlets, that they turn us all into politicians. All the world are in bed by eleven. In this arrangement of the day, no circumftance is so objectionable as that of dining at noon, the confequence of eating no breakfast; for as the ceremony of dreffing is kept up, you must be at home from any morning's excurfion by twelve o'clock. This fingle circumftance, if adhered to, would be fufficient to destroy any pursuits, except the




moft frivolous. Dividing the day exactly in halves, deftroys it for any expedition, enquiry, or bufinefs that demands feven or eight hours attention, uninterrupted by any calls to the table or the toilette: calls which, after fatigue or exertion, are obeyed with refreshment and with pleasure. We drefs for dinner in England with propriety, as the rest of the day is dedicated to ease, to converfe, and relaxation: but by doing it at noon, too much time is loft. What is a man good for after his filk breeches and stockings are on, his hat under his arm, and his head bien poudré?-Can he botanize in a watered meadow ?—Can he clamber the rocks to mineralize ?-Can he farm with the peafant and the ploughman? He is in order for the converfation of the ladies, which to be fure is in every country, but particularly in France, where the women are highly cultivated, an excellent employment; but it is an employment that never relishes better than after a day spent in active toil or animated purfuit; in fomething that has enlarged the fphere of our conceptions, or added to the ftores of our knowledge. I am induced to make this obfervation, because the noon dinners are cuftomary all over France, except by perfons of confiderable fashion at Paris. They cannot be treated with too much ridicule or severity, for they are absolutely hoftile to every view of fcience, to every fpirited exertion, and to every useful purfuit in life.

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Living in this way, however, with feveral perfons of the first fashion in the kingdom, is an object to a foreigner folicitous to remark the manners and character of the nation. I have every reafon to be pleafed with the experiment, as it affords me a conftant opportunity to enjoy the advantages of an unaf-" fected and polished society, in which an invariable sweetness of difpofition, mildnefs of character, and what in English we emphatically call good temper, eminently prevails :-feeming to arife—at least I conjecture it, from a thousand little nameless and peculiar circumftances; not refulting entirely from the per-fonal character of the individuals, but apparently holding of the national one.Befide the perfons I have named, there are among others at our affemblies, the marquis and marchionefs de Hautfort; the duke and dutchefs de Ville (this dutchefs is among the good order of beings); the chevalier de Peyrac; Mons. l'Abbé Bastard; baron de Serres; viscountefs Duhamel; the bishops of Croire and Montauban; Monf. de la Marche; the baron de Montagu, a chefs player; the chevalier de Cheyron; and Monf. de Bellecomb, who commanded in Pondicherry, and was taken by the English. There are alfo about half a dozen young officers, and three or four abbées.

If I may hazard a remark on the converfation of French affemblies, from what I have known here, I fhould praife them for equanimity but condemn them for infipidity. All vigour of thought feems fo excluded from expreffion, that characters of ability and of inanity meet nearly on a par: tame and


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elegant, uninterefting and polite, the mingled mafs of communicated ideas has powers neither to offend nor inftruct; where there is much polish of character there is little argument; and if you neither argue nor difcufs, what is converfation ?-Good temper, and habitual ease, are the first ingredients in private fociety; but wit, knowledge, or originality, muft break their even furface into fome inequality of feeling, or converfation is like a journey on an endless flat.

Of the rural beauties we have to comtemplate, the valley of Larbouffe, in a nook of which the town of Luchon is fituated, is the principal, with its furrounding accompanyment of mountain. The range that bounds it to the north, is bare of wood but covered with cultivation; and a large village, about three parts of its height, is perched on a steep, that almoft makes the unaccustomed eye tremble with apprehenfion, that the village, church, and people will come tumbling into the valley. Villages thus perched, like eagles nefts on rocks, are a general circumftance in the Pyrenees, which appear to be wonderfully peopled. The mountain, that forms the western wall of the valley, is of a prodigious magnitude. Watered meadow and cultivation rife more than one-third the height. A foreft of oak and beech forms a noble belt above it; higher ftill is a region of ling; and above all fnow. From whatever point viewed, this mountain is commanding from its magnitude, and beautiful from its luxuriant foliage. The range which clofes in the valley to the eaft is of a character different from the others; it has more variety, more cultivation, villages, forefts, glens, and cafcades. That of Gouzat, which turns a mill as foon as it falls from the mountain, is romantic, with every accompany ment neceffary to give a high degree of picturesque beauty. There are features in that of Montauban, which Claude Loraine would not have failed transfufing on his canvafs; and the view of the vale from the chefnut rock is gay and animated. The termination of our valley to the fouth is ftriking; the river Nefte pours in inceffant cafcades over rocks that feem an eternal refiftance. The eminence in the centre of a small vale, on which is an old tower, is a wild and romantic fpot; the roar of the waters beneath unites in effect with the mountains, whofe towering forefts, finishing in fnow, give an awful grandeur, a gloomy greatness to the scene; and feem to raise a barrier of feparation between the kingdoms, too formidable even for armies to pafs. But what are rocks, and mountains, and fnow, when oppofed to human ambition ?-In the receffes of the pendent woods, the bears find their habitation, and on the rocks above, the eagles have their nefts. All around is great; the fublime of nature, with impofing majefty, impreffes awe upon the mind; attention is rivetted to the spot; and imagination, with all its excursive powers, feeks not to wander beyond the scene.

Deepens the murmurs of the falling floods,
And breathes a browner horror o'er the woods.

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