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B0L3EC. —NATIVES OF CAUX. 35
All the household of our inn looked clean, happy, and Chap. sprightly. IV'
This is the principal town of the province of Caux, the women of which dress their heads in a very peculiar, and in my humble opinion, unbecoming manner. I made a hasty sketch of one of them who entered the yard of the inn with apples for sale.
Such a promontory of cap and lace I never before belield. She had been at a village marriage that morning, and was bedecked in all her finery. The people of this province are industrious and rich, and consequently respectable. At the theatre at Rouen I afterwards saw, in one. of the front boxes, a lady from this country, dressed after its fashion; the effect was so singular that it immediately induced me to distinguish her, from the rest of the audience, but her appearance seemed to excite no curiosity with any other person. Our breakfast cost us each fifteen sous, to which may be added two sols more, for the maids, who waited upon us with cheerful smiles, and habited in the full cushvois costume, and which also entitled us to kisses and curtsies. I beg leave to oppose our breakfast charge to the rumours which prevailed in England, that this part of France was then in a state of famine. From this town, the road was beautifully lined with beech, chesnut, and apple trees. The rich yellow of the rape seed which overspread the surface of many of the fields on each side, was very animating to the eye. f From this vegetable the country people express oil, and of the pulp of it make cakes, which the norman horses will fatten upon. We had an early
F 2 dinner
Chap. dinner at Ivetot, five leagues distant from Bolbec. In ancient n periods this miserable town was once the capital of a separate kingdom. In our dining room were three beds, or rather we dined in the bed room. I use the former expression out of compliment to the pride of our little host, who replied with some loftiness to one of our companions, who, upon entering the room, and seeing so many accommodations for repose, exclaimed, with the sharpness of appetite, " my good "host, we want to eat, and not to sleep;" gentlemen, " said "our mortified little maitre d'hotel, this chamber is the dining "room, and it is thought a very good one." From its appearance I should have believed him, had he sworn that it was the state room of the palace of this ancient principality, of which this wretched town was once the capital. It reminded me of an anecdote related by an ancient english lady of fashion, when she first paid her respects to James I, soon after his accession to the crown of England. She mentions in her memoir, that his royal drawing room was so very dirty, that after the levee she was obliged to recur to her comb for relief. In plain truth, James I and his court were lousy.
Our master of tho house was both cook and waiter. At dinner, amongst several other dishes, we had some stewed beef, I requested to be favoured with a little mustard, our host very solemnly replied, "I am very sorry, citizen, but I have none, "if you had been fortunate enough to have been here about "three weeks since, you might have had some." It was more than I wished, so I ate my beef very contentedly without it. With our desert we had a species of cake called brioche,
composed RETURN OF RELIGION. SANTERRE.
composed of egg, flour, and water; it is in high estimation in France.
It was in this town only that I saw a specimen of that forlorn wretchedness and importunity, which have hecn said to constitute the general nuisance of this country.
In the shop of a brazier here, was exposed, a new leaden crucifix, about two feet and a half high, for sale; it had been cast preparatory to the rcinauguration of the archbishop of Rouen, which was to take place upon the next Sunday week, in the great cathedral of that city.
In consequence of the restoration of religion, the beggars, who have in general considerable cleverness, and know how to turn new circumstances to advantage, had just learnt a fresh mode of soliciting money, by repeating the Lord's Prayer in French and Latin. We were treated with this sort of importunate piety for near a mile, after we left Ivetot.
I have before mentioned, that the barbarous jargon of the revolution is rapidly passing away. It is only here and there, that its slimy track remains. The time is not very distant when Frenchmen wished to be known by the name of Jacobins; it is now become an appellation of reproach, even amongst the surviving aborigines of the revolution. As an instance of it, a naval officer of rank and intelligence, who joined us at Ivetot, informed us, that he had occasion, upon some matters of business, to meet Santerre a few days before; that inhuman and vulgar revolutionist, who commanded the national guards when they surrounded the scaffold during the execution of their monarch. In the course of their conversation,