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Thames at London; and the number of large fhips lying in it, makes it, I fuppofe, the richeft water view that France has to boaft. From hence to the Dordonne, a noble river, though much inferior to the Garonne, which we cross by another ferry that lets at 6000 liv. Reach Cavignac.-20 miles.

-The 29th. To Barbefieux, fituated in a beautiful country, finely diverfified and wooded; the marquifate of which, with the chateau, belongs to the duke de la Rochefoucauld, whom we met here; he inherits this eftate from the famous Louvois, the minifter of Louis XIV. In this thirty-feven miles of country, lying between the great rivers Garonne, Dordonne, and Charente, and confequently in one of the beft parts of France for markets, the quantity of wafte land is furprifing; it is the predominant feature the whole way. Much of these waftes belonged to the prince de Soubife, who would not fell any part of them. Thus it is whenever you ftumble on a Grand Seigneur, even one that was worth millions, you are fure to find his property defert. The duke of Bouillon's, and this prince's are two of the greatest properties in France; and all the figns I have yet feen of their greatness, are waftes, landes, deferts, fern, ling. Go to their refidence, wherever it may. be, and you would probably find them in the midst of a foreft, very well peopled with deer, wild boars, and wolves. Oh! if I was the legislator of France for a day, I would make fuch great lords skip again. We fupped with the duke de la Rochefoucauld; the provincial affembly of Saintonge is foon to meet, and this nobleman, being the prefident, is waiting for their affembling.

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The 30th. Through a chalk country, well wooded, though without inclofures to Angoulême; the approach to that town is fine; the country around being beautiful with the fine river Charente, here navigable, flowing through it, the effect ftriking.- -25 miles.

The 31ft. Quitting Angoulême, pass through a country almoft covered with vines, and across a noble wood belonging to the duchefs d'Anville, mother of the duke de la Rochefoucauld, to Verteul, a chateau of the fame Lady, built in 1459, where we found every thing that travellers could with in a hospitable manfion. The Emperor Charles V. was entertained here by Anne de Polignac, widow of Francis II. count de la Rochefoucauld, and that prince, faid aloud, n'avoir jamais été en maison qui fentit mieux fa grande vertu honnêteté & feigneurie que celle la. It is excellently kept; in thorough repair, fully furnished, and all in order, which merits praife, confidering that the family rarely are here for more than a few days in a year, having many other and more confiderable feats in different parts of the kingdom. If this juft attention to the interefts of pofte

* I can affure the reader, that thefe fentiments were thofe of the moment; the events that have taken place almost induced me to ftrike many fuch paffages out, but it is fairer to all parties to leave them.

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rity was more general, we should not fee the melancholy fpectacle of ruined chateaus in fo many parts of France. In the gallery is a range of portraits from the tenth century; by one of which it appears, that this eftate came by a Mademoiselle la Rochefoucauld, in 1470. The park, woods, and river Charente here are fine the laft abounds greatly in carp, tench, and perch. It is at any time eafy to get from 50 to 100 brace of fish that weigh from three to 10 lb. each: we had a brace of carp for fupper, the fweeteft, without exception, ever tafted. If I pitched my tent in France, I fhould choose it to be by a river that gave fuch fish. Nothing provokes one fo in a country refidence as a lake, a river, or -the fea within view of the windows, and a dinner every day without fish, which is fo common in England.27 miles.

SEPTEMBER Ift. Pafs Caudec, Ruffec, Maifons-Blanches, and Chaunay. At the first of these places, view a very fine flour-mill built by the late count de Broglio, brother of the marechal de Broglio, one of the ableft and most active officers in the French fervice. In his private capacity, his undertakings were of a national kind; this mill, an iron forge, and the project of a navigation, proved, that he had a difpofition for every exertion that could, according to the prevalent ideas of the times, benefit his country; that is to fay, in every way except the one in which it would have been effective-practical agriculture., This day's journey has been, with fome exceptions, through a poor, dull, and difagreeable country.35 miles.

The 2d. Poitou, from what I fee of it, is an unimproved, poor, and ugly country. It seems to want communication, demand, and activity of all kinds nor does it, on an average, yield the half of what it might. The lower part of the province is much richer and better.

Arrive at Poitiers, which is one of the worst built towns I have feen in France; very large and irregular,, but containing fcarcely any thing worthy of notice, except the cathedral, which is well built, and very well kept.-The finest thing by far in the town is the promenade, which is the most extenfive I have feen; it occupies a confiderable space of ground, with gravelled walks, &c. excellently kept.

12 miles.

The 3d. A white chalky country to Chateaurault, open, and thinly peopled, though not without country-feats. That town has fome animation, owing to its navigable river, which falls into the Loire. There is a confiderable cutlery manufacture: we were no fooner arrived, than our apartment was full of the wives and daughters of manufacturers, each with her box of knives, fciffars, toys, &c. and with fo much civil folicitude to have fomething bought, that had we wanted nothing it would have been impoffible to let fo much urgency prove It is remarkable, as the fabrics made here are cheap, that there is fcarcely any divifion of labour in this manufacture; it is in the hands of diftinct



tinct and unconnected workmen, who go through every branch on their own account, and without affiftance, except from their families.—25 miles.

The 4th. Pafs a better country, with many chateaus, to Les Ormes, where we stopped to see the feat built by the late count de Voyer d'Argenfon. This chateau is a large handsome edifice of stone, with two very confiderable wings for offices and ftrangers' apartments: the entrance is into a neat vestibule, at the end of which is the faloon, a circular marble room, extremely elegant and well furnished: in the drawing-room are paintings of the four French victories of the war of 1744: in every apartment there is a ftrong difpofition to English furniture and modes. This pleafing refidence belongs at present to the count d'Argenfon. The late count who built it formed with the present duke of Grafton, in England, the scheme of a very agreeable party. The duke was to go over with his horses and pack of fox-hounds, and live here for fome months, with a number of friends. It originated in the propofal to hunt French wolves with English fox-dogs. Nothing could be better planned than the fcheme, for Les Ormes is large enough to have contained a numerous party; but the count's death destroyed the plan. This is a fort of intercourse between the nobility of two kingdoms, which I am furprised does not take place fometimes; it would vary the common fcenes of life very agreeably, and be productive of fome of the advantages of travelling in the most eligible way.23 miles.

The 5th. Through a dead flat and unpleasant country, but on the finest road I have feen in France-nor'does it feem poffible that any fhould be finer; not arifing from great exertions, as in Languedoc, but from being laid flat with admirable materials. Chateaus are fcattered every where in this part of Touraine; but farm houfes and cottages thin, till you come in fight of the Loire, the banks of which feem one continued village. The vale, through which that river flows, may be three miles over; a dead level of burnt ruffèt meadow.

The entrance of Tours is truly magnificent, by a new street of large houses, built of hewn white ftone, with regular fronts. This fine ftreet, which is wide, and with foot pavements on each fide, is cut in a trait line through the whole city to the new bridge, of fifteen flat arches, each of feventy-five feet fpan. It is altogether a noble exertion for the decoration of a provincial Some houfes remain yet to be built, the fronts of which are done; fome reverend fathers are fatisfied with their old hàbitations, and do not choose the expence of filling up the elegant defign of the Tours projectors; they ought, however, to be unroofted if they will not comply, for fronts without houfes behind them have a ridiculous appearance. From the tower of the cathedral there is an extenfive view of the adjacent country; but the Loire,



for fo confiderable a river, and for being boafted, as the moft -beautiful in Europe, exhibits fuch a breadth of fhoals and fands as to be almost fubverfive of beauty. In the chapel of the old palace of Louis XI. Les Pleffis les Tours, are three pictures which deserve the travellers notice; a holy family, St. Catharine, and the daughter of Herod; they feem to be of the beft age of Italian art. There is a very fine promenade here; long and admirably fhaded by four rows of noble and lofty elms, which for fhelter against a burning fun can have no fuperior; parallel with it is another on the rampart of the old walls, which looks down on the adjacent gardens; but these walks, of which the inhabitants have long boafted, are at prefent objects of melancholy; the corporation has offered the trees to fale, and I was affured they would be cut down the enfuing winter. One would not wonder at an English corporation facrificing the ladies' walk for plenty of turtle, venifon, and madeira; but that a French one should have fo little gallantry, is inexcufable.

The 9th. The count de la Rochefoucauld having a feverish complaint when he arrived here, which prevented our proceeding on the journey, it became the fecond day a confirmed fever; the best phyfician of the place was called in, whofe conduct I liked much, for he had recourfe to very little phyfick, but much attention to keep his apartment cool and airy; and feemed to have great confidence in leaving nature to throw off the malady that oppressed her. Who is it that fays there is a great difference between a good phyfician and a bad one; yet very little between a good one and none at all?

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Among other excurfions, I took a ride on the banks of the Loire towards Saumur, and found the country the fame as near Tours; but the chateaus not fo numerous or good. Where the chalk hills advance perpendicularly towards the river, they prefent a moft fingular fpectacle of uncommon habitations; for a great number of houfes are cut out of the white rock, fronted with masonry, and holes cut above for chimnies, fo that you fometimes know not where the house is from which you see the smoke iffuing. These cavern-houses are in fome places in tires one above another. Some with little fcraps of gardens have a pretty effect. In general, the proprietors occupy them; but many are let at 10, 12, and 15 liv. a year. The people I talked with feemed well fatisfied with their habitations, as good and comfortable: a proof of the drynefs of the cliIn England the rheumatifm would be the chief inhabitant. Walked to the Benedictine convent of Marmoutier, of which the cardinal de Rohan, at prefent here, is abbot.

The ioth. Nature, or the Tours doctor, having recovered the count, we fet forward on our journey. The road to Chanteloup is made on an embankment, that fe cures a large level tract from floods. The country more uninterefting than I could have thought it poffible for the vicinity of a great river to be.-View Chanteloup,

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the magnificent feat of the late duke de Choifeul. It is fituated on ar ifing ground, at fome diftance from the Loire, which in winter, or after great floods, is a fine object, but at prefent is fcarcely feen. The ground-floor in front confifts of seven rooms: the dining-room of about thirty by twenty, and the drawing-room thirty by thirty-three: the library is feventy-two by twenty, but now fitted up by the prefent poffeffor, the duke de Penthievre, with very beautiful tapestry from the Gobelins.-In the pleafure-ground, on a hill commanding a very extenfive profpect, is a Chinese pagoda, 120 feet high, built by the duke, in commemoration of the perfons who visited him in his exile. On the walls of the firft room in it their names are engraved on marble tablets. The number and rank of the perfons do honour to the duke and to themselves. The idea was a happy one. The foreft you look down on from this building is very extenfive; they fay eleven leagues across: ridings are cut pointing to the pagoda; and when the duke was alive, these glades had the mischievous animation of a vaft hunt, fupported fo liberally as to ruin the master of it, and transferred the property of this noble eftate and refidence from his family to the last hands I should wish to fee it in-a prince of the blood. Great lords love too much an environ of foreft, boars, and huntfmen, inftead of marking their refidence by the accompanyment of neat and well cultivated farms, clean cottages, and happy peasants. In fuch a method of fhewing their magnificence, rearing forefts, gilding domes, or bidding afpiring columns rife, might be wanting; but they would have, instead of them, erections of comfort, establishments of eafe, and plantations of felicity: and their harvest, instead of the flesh of boars, would be in the voice of chearful gratitude-they would fee public profperity flourish on its beft bafis of private happiness.-As a farmer, there is one feature which fhews the duke had fome merit; he built a noble cow-house; a platform leads along the middle, between two rows of mangers, with ftalls for feventy-two, and another apartment, not fo large, for others, and for calves. He imported 120 very fine Swifs cows, and visited them with his company every day, as they were kept conftantly tied up. To this I may add the best built fheephouse I have seen in France: and I thought I faw from the pagoda part of the farm better laid out and ploughed than common in the country, fo that he probably imported fome ploughmen.-This has merit in it; but it was all the merit of banishment. Chanteloup would neither have been built nor decorated, nor furnished, if the duke had not been exiled. It was the fame with the duke d'Aguillon. Thefe minifters would have fent the country to the devil before they would have reared fuch edifices, or formed fuch establishments, if they had not both been fent from Verfailles. View the manufacture of steel at Amboise, established by the duke de Choifeul. Vineyards the chief feature of agriculture.37 miles.


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