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After a rapid excurfion, with my friend Lazowfki, to fee many things, but too haftily to form any correct idea, fpent the evening at his brother's, where I had the pleasure of meeting Monf. de Brouffonet, fecretary to the royal fociety of agriculture, and Monf. Defmaret, both of the academy of sciences. As Monfieur Lazowski is well informed in the manufactures of France, in the police of which he enjoys a poft of confideration, and as the other gentlemen have paid much attention to agriculture, the conversation was in no flight degree inftructive, and I regretted that a very early departure from Paris would not let me, promife myfelf a further enjoyment fo congenial with my feelings, as the company of men, whofe converfation thewed a marked attention to objects of national importance. On the breaking up of the party, went with Count Alexander de la Rochefoucauld poft to Versailles, to be prefent at the fête of the day following (Whitfunday). Slept at the Duke de Liancourt's hotel.

The 27th. Breakfasted with him at his apartments in the palace, which are annexed to his office of grand master of the wardrobe, one of the principal in the court of France. Here I found the duke furrounded by a circle of noblemen, among whom was the Duke de la Rochefoucauld, well known for his attention to natural history; I was introduced to him, as he is going to Bagnere de Luchon in the Pyrenees, where I am to have the honour of being in his party.

The ceremony of the day was, the king's invefting the Duke of Berri, fon of the Count D'Artois, with the cordon blue. The queen's band was in the chapel where the ceremony was performed, but the mufical effect was thin and weak. During the fervice the king was feated between his two brothers, and feemed by his carriage and inattention to wifh himself a hunting. He would certainly have been as well employed as in hearing afterwards from his throne a feudal oath of chivalry, I fuppofe, or fome such nonsense, administered to a boy of ten years old. Seeing so much pompous folly I imagined it was the dauphin, and afked a lady of fashion near me; at which he laughed in my face, as if I had been guilty of the moft egregious idiotism: nothing could be done in a worfe manner; for the ftifling of her expreffion only marked it the more. I applied to Monf. de la Rochefoucauld to learn what grofs abfurdity I had been guilty of fo unwittingly; when, forfooth, it was because dauphin, as all the world knows in France, has the cordon blue put around him as foon as he is born. So unpardonable was it for a foreigner to be ignorant of fuch an important part of French hiftory, as that of giving a babe a blue flobbering bib inftead of a white one! After this ceremony was finifhed, the king and the knights walked in a fort of proceffion to a fmall apartment in which he dined, faluting the queen as they paffed.

There appeared to be more eafe and familiarity than form in this part of the ceremony; her majefty, who, by the way, is the most beautiful woman I faw to-day, received them with a variety of expreffion. On fome the fimiled; to others fhe talked; a few feemed to have the honour of being more in her intimacy. Her return to fome was formal, and to others diftant. To the gallant Suffrein it was refpectful and benign. The ceremony of the king's dining in public is more odd than fplendid. The queen fat by him with a cover before her, but ate nothing; converting with the duke of Orleans, and the Duke of Liancourt, who flood behind her chair. To me it would have been a moft uncomfortable meal, and were I a fovereign, I would fweep away three-fourths of thefe flupid forms; if kings do not dine like other people, they lofe much of the pleasure of life; their station is very well calculated to deprive them of much, and they fubmit to nonfenfical cuftoms, the fole tendency of which is to leffen


the remainder. The only comfortable or amufing dinner is a table of ten or twelve covers for the people whom they like; travellers tell us that this was the mode of the late King of Pruffia, who knew the value of life too well to facrifice it to empty forms on one hand, or to a monaftic referve on the other.


The palace of Verfailles, one of the objects of which report had given me the greatest expectation, is not in the leaft ftriking: I view it without emotion: the impreflion it makes is nothing. What can compenfate the want of unity? From whatever point viewed, it appears an affemblage of buildings; a fplendid quarter of a town, but not a fine edifice; an objection from which the garden front is not free, though by far the moft beautiful.-The great gallery is the finest room I have feen; the other apartments are nothing; but the pictures and ftatues are well known to be a capital collection. The whole palace, except the chapel, feems to be open to all the world; we pufhed. through an amazing croud of all forts of people to fee the proceffion, many of them not. very well dreffed, whence it appears, that no queftions are afked. But the officers at the door of the apartment in which the king dined, made a diftinction, and would not permit all to enter promifcuoufly.

Travellers fpeak much, even very late ones, of the remarkable intereft the French take in all that perfonally concerns their king, fhewing by the eagernefs of their attention not curiofity only, but love. Where, how, and in whom thofe gentlemen difcovered this I know not.-It is either mifreprefentation, or the people are changed in a few years more than is credible. Dine at Paris, and in the evening the Duchefs of Liancourt, who feems to be one of the beft of women, carried me to the opera at St. Cloud, where alfo we viewed the palace which the queen is building; it is large, but there is much in the front that does not please me.--20 miles.

The 28th. Finding my mare fufficiently recovered for a journey, a point of importance to a traveller fo weak in cavalry as myfelf, I left Paris, accompanying the Count de la Rochefoucauld and my friend Lazowfki, and commencing a journey that is to cross the whole kingdom to the Pyrenees. The road to Orleans is one of the greatest that leads from Paris; I expected, therefore, to have my former impreffion of the little traffic near that city removed; but on the contrary it was confirmed; it is a defert compared with thofe around London. In ten miles we met not one stage or diligence; only two meffageries, and very few chaifes; not a tenth of what would have been met had we been leaving London at the fame hour. Knowing how great, rich, and important a city Paris is, this circumftance perplexes me much. Should it afterwards be confirmed, conclufions in abundance are to be drawn.

For a few miles, the fcene is every where fcattered with the fhafts of quarries, the ftone drawn up by lanthorn wheels of a great diameter. The country diverfified; and its greatest want to please the eye is a river; woods generally in view; the proportion of the French territory covered by this production for want of coals, must be prodigious, for it has been the fame all the way from Calais. At Arpajon, the Maréchal Duke de Mouchy has a small houfe, which has nothing to recommend it.20 miles.

The 29th. To Eftamps is partly through a flat country, the beginning of the fa mous Pays de Beauce. To Toury, flat and difagreeable, only two or three gentle men's feats in fight.31 miles.

The 30th. One univerfal flat, uninclofed, uninterefting, and even tedious, though small towns and villages are every where in fight; the features that might compound a landscape are not brought together. This Pays de Beauce contains, by reputation, the cream of French hufhandry; the foil excellent; but the management all fallow. Pafs

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Pafs through part of the forest of Orleans belonging to the duke of that name; it is one of the largest in France.

From the fteeple of the cathedral at Orleans, the profpect is very fine. The town large, and its fuburbs, of fingle ftreets, extend near a league. The vast range of country, that fpreads on every fide, is an unbounded plain, through which the magnificent Loire bends his ftately way, in fight for fourteen leagues; the whole scattered with rich meadows, vineyards, gardens, and forests. The population must be very great; for, befide the city, which contains near forty thoufand people, the number of fmaller towns and villages ftrewed thickly over the plain is fuch as to render the whole scene animated. The cathedral, from which we had this noble profpect, is a fine building, the choir raised by Henry IV. The new church is a pleafing edifice; the bridge a noble structure of ftone, and the first experiment of the flat arch made in France, where it is now fo fashionable. It contains nine, and is four hundred and ten feet long, and forty-five wide. To hear fome Englishmen talk, one would fuppofe there was not a fine bridge in all France; not the firft, nor the last error I hope that travelling will remove. There are many barges and boats at the quay, built upon the river in the Bourbonnois, &c. loaded with wood, brandy, wine, and other goods; on arriving at Nantes, the veffels are broken up and fold with the cargo. Great numbers built with fpruce fir. A boat goes from hence to that city, when demanded by fix paffengers, each paying a louis-d'or: they lie on fhore every night, and reach Nantes in four days and an half. The principal street leading to the bridge is a fine one all busy and alive, for the trade is brisk here. Admire the fine acacias fcattered about the town.- -20 miles.

The 31ft. On leaving it, enter foon the miferable province of Sologne, which the French writers call the trifte Sologne. Through all this country they have had fevere fpring frofts, for the leaves of the walnuts are black and cut off. I fhould not have expected this unequivocal mark of a bad climate after paffing the Loire. To La Ferté Lowendahl, a dead flat of hungry fand gravel, with much heath. The poor people, who cultivate the foil here, are metayers, that is, men who hire the land without ability to stock it; the proprietor is forced to provide cattle and feed, and he and his tenant divide the produce; a miferable fyftem, that perpetuates poverty and excludes inftruction. At La Ferté is a handfome chateau of the Marquis de Coix, with feveral canals, and a great command of water. To Nonant-le-Fuzelier, a ftrange mixture of fand and water. Much inclofed, and the houses and cottages of wood filled between the ftuds with clay or bricks, and covered not with flate but tile, with fome barns boarded like thofe in Suffolk-rows of pollards in fome of the hedges; an excellent road of fand; the general features of a woodland country; all combined to give a ftrong resemblance to many parts of England; but the husbandry is fo little like that of England, that the leaft attention to it destroyed every notion of fimilarity.-27 The fame wretched country continues to La Loge; the fields are scenes of pitiable management, as the houfes are of mifery. Yet all this country highly improveable, if they knew what to do with it: the property, perhaps, of fome of these glittering beings, who figured in the proceffion the other day at Verfailles. Heaven grant me patience while I fee a country thus neglected-and forgive me the oaths I fwear at the abfence and ignorance of the poffeffors.-Enter the generality of Bourges, and foon after a foreft of oak belonging to the Count d'Artois; the trees are dying at top, before they attain any fize. There the miferable Sologne ends; the first view of Verson and



its vicinity is fine. A noble vale fpreads at your feet, through which the river Cheere leads, feen in feveral places to the diftance of fome leagues; a bright fun burnished the water, like a string 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 houses, 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 fpinning. We drank there excellent Sancere wine, of a deep colour, rich flavour, and good body, 2cs. the bottle; but in the country ten. An extenfive profpect before we arrived at Chateauroux where we viewed the manufactures.40 miles.

The 3d. Within about three miles of Argenton come upon a fine fcene, beautiful, yet with bold features; a narrow vale bounded on every fide 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 rising out of a wood.

At Argenton, walk up a rock that hangs almoft over the town. It is a delicious fcene. A natural ledge of perpendicular rock puflies forward abruptly over the vale, which is half a mile broad, and two or three long: at one end clofed 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 inclofures of a lovely verdure, and a fine river winds through it, with an outline that leaves nothing to wifh. The venerable fragments of a castle'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 clafs of fociety was involved in commotion, and the lower ranks were worse flaves than at prefent.

The general face of the country, from Verson to Argenton, is an uninteresting flat with many heaths of ling. No appearance of population, and even towns are thin, The husbandry poor and miferable. By the circumftances to which I could give attention I conceive them to be honest and induftrious; they feem 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.



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

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The 5th. The country improves in beauty greatly; pafs a vale, where a causeway ftops the water of a fmall 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 seen 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 Bailies, offers a beautiful view; and the approach to the town prefents a landfcape fancifully grouped of rock, and wood, and water. To Limoge, país another artificial lake between culti vated ills; beyond are wilder heights, but mixed with pleasant vales; ftill another lake more beautiful than the former, with a fine accompaniment of wood; acrofs a mountain of chefnut copfe, which commands a fcene 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 house 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 exccrable 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 station, and some traces of its antiquity are ftill remaining. It is ill built, with narrow and crooked fireets, the houses high and difagreeable. They are raifed 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 beft 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 higheft fpot in the town, where it falls into a bafon fifteen feet diameter, cut out of one piece of granite; thence the water is let into refervoirs, closed by fluices, which are opened for watering the streets, or in cafe of fires.

The cathedral is ancient, and the roof of stone; there are some arabesque ornaments cut in stone, as light, airy, and elegant as any modern house can boast, whose decorations are in the fame taste.

The prefent bishop has erected a large and handfome palace, and his garden is the fineft 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 present the gayeft and most animated affemblage of villas, farms, vines, hanging meadows, and chefnuts blended fo fortunately as to compofe a fcene 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 demonftrations of joy for a victory that brought his noble guest a prifoner, might be perfonally unpleasant to him, the bifhop proposed to the intendant to poftpone the ceremony for a few days, in order that he might not meet it fo abruptly;

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