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MASONS AND GARDENERS.
of his soul—love and negligence reigned throughout the household. We rang the bells, and sacre dieu'd, but all in vain, we suffered great inconvenience, but who could be angry f In the course of our walks, and conversations, with the workmen, whom we met, we found that most of the masons, and gardeners of Rouen, had fought in the memorable, bloody, and decisive battle of Marengo, at which it appears that a great part of the military of France, within four or five hundred miles of the capital, were present. The change they presented was worthy of observation; we saw men sunbrowned in campaigns, and enured to all the ferocity of war, at the sound of peace assuming all the tranquil habits of ingenious industry, or rustic simplicity. Some of them were occupied in forming the shapeless stone into graceful embellishments for elegant houses, and others in disposing, with botanic taste, the fragrant parterre. After spending four very delightful days in this agreeable city,. I bade adieu to my
very worthy companion, captain W. C , whose intention it
was to spend some time here, and those friends, from whom I had received great attention and hospitalities, and wishing
the amiable Madame P many happy years, and receiving
from her the same assurances of civility, about seven o'clock in the evening I seated myself in the diligence for Paris, and in a comfortable corner of it, after we had passed the pave, resigned myself to sleep..
CHAP. CHAPTER VIII.
Early dinner. — Mante. — Frost. — Duke de Sully.—approach the Capital. — Norman Barrier. — Paris. — Hdtel de Rouen. — Palais Royal.
A.T day break, the appearance of the country in all directions was delightful. The faint eastern blush of early morn, threw a mild, refreshing light over the moist and dew-dripping scenery.
The spirit of our immortal bard, awaking from the bosom of nature, seemed to exclaim—
'," , " . . . Look love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds, in yonder east;
Night's candles are burnt out; and jocund Day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
About eight o'clock in the morning, we arrived at Mante, a picturesque town, built upon a fertile mountain, at the base of which the Seine flowed along, rippling against its many islands of beautiful poplars. At this hour, upon our alighting at the inn, we found a regular dinner ready, consisting of soups, meats, fowls, and confectionary. To the no small surprsie of the host, I expressed a wish to have some breakfast, and at length, after much difficulty, procured some coffee and rolls.
The .' -, • EARLY DINNER.
The rest of the party, with great composure, tucked their napkins in the buttonholes of their waistcoats, and applied themselves to the good things before them, with very active address. What a happy race of people! ready for every thing, and at all times; they scarcely know the meaning of inconvenience.
In the midst of difficulty, they find accommodation; with them, every thing seems in harmony. After paying thirty sols for my repast, a charge which announced our approach to the capital, I walked on, and made my way to the bridge over another winding of the Seine, at the bottom of the town; which is a light, and elegant structure. The houses along the sides of the river are handsome, and delightfully situated. The principal church is a fine gothic building, but is rapidly hastening to decay; some of its pinnacles are destroyed, and all its windows broken in.
A small chapel, in the street opposite, which had an appearance of considerable elegance, was converted into a slaughterhouse. Embosomed in woods, on the other side of the bridge, is a fine chateau, formerly belonging to the count d'Adhemar; here, while enjoying the enchanting prospect about me, I heard the jingling approach of our heavy diligence, in which, having reseated myself, we proceeded upon a fine high road, through thick rows of walnut, cherry, mulberry, and apple tree?, for several miles, on each side of which, were vineyards, upon whose promising vintage, the frost had committed sad devastation. For a vast extent, they appeared blackened and burnt up. It was said that France sustained a loss of two millions sterling, by this unusual visitation.
L In 7* DUKE DE SULLY. — APPROACH THE CAPITAL.
Chap. In the course of our journey, I experienced In the conduct of VI j j.
t___J_ one of our two female companions, an occurrence, allied to that, which is related by Sterne, of Madame de Rambouillet, by which he very justly illustrates the happy ease, with which the french ladies prevent themselves from ever suffering by inconvenient notions of delicacy.
A few miles from Mante, on the borders of the Seine, we passed one of the venerable. chateaus of the celebrated duke de Sully, the faithful, able, and upright minister, of Henry IV of France, one of those great geniuses, who only at distant a?ras of time, are permitted to shine out amongst the race of men. Historians unite in observing that the duke performed all the duties of an active and upright minister, under a master, who exercised all the offices of a great and good king; after whose unhappy fate, this excellent man retired from the busy scenes of the world, and covered with time and honours expired in the eighty-second year of his age in the year 1641, at his castle of Villebon. The house is plain, and large. The grounds are disposed after the fashion of ancient times.
As we approached the capital, the country looked very rich and luxuriant. We passed through the forest of St. Gcrmains, where there is a noble palace, built upon a lofty mountain. The forest abounds with game, and formerly afforded the delights of the chase to the royal Nimrods of France. Its numerous green alleys are between two and three miles long, and in the form of radii unite in a centre. The forest and park extend to the barrier, through which, we immediately entered the town of St. Germains, distant from Paris about twelve miles,
which is a large and populous place, and in former periods, during the royal residence, was rich and flourishing, but having participated in the blessings of the revolution, presents an appearance of considerable poverty, and squalid decay. Here we changed horses for the last post, and ran down a fine, broad paved, royal road through rows of stately elms, upon an inclined plane, until the distant, and wide, but clear display of majestic domes, awful towers, and lofty spires, informed us that we approached the capital. I could not help comparing them with their cloud-capped brethren of London, over whose dim-discovered heads, a floating mass of unhealthy smoke, for ever suspends its heavy length of gloom. Our carriage stopped at the Norman Barrier, which is the grand entrance to Paris, and here presents a magnificent prospect to the eye. The barrier is formed of two very large, and noble military stone lodges, having porticoes, on all sides, supported by massy doric pillars. These buildings were given to the nation, by the national, assembly in the year 1792, and are separated from each other, by a range of iron gates, adorned with republican emblems. Upon a gentle declivity; through quadruple rows of elms, at the distance of a mile and, a half, the gigantic statues of la Place de la Concorde (ci-devant, de la Revolution) appear; beyond which, the gardens, and the palace of the Thuilleries, upon the centre tower of which, the tricoloured flag was waving, form the back, scene of this splendid spectacle. Before we entered la Place de la Concorde, we passed on each side* of us, the beautiful, and favourite walks of the parisians, called les Champs Elysees, and afterwards, on our left, the
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