Page images

Inuring .the early p?ji pf the night, we noa4e.hut little^^bdiin^, the dark shadowy fjpe of.l^ &4* e^in mist j ^f<?rp J*?» ffee fa-oti/p spread f stream pf silver light uipn the sea. 1"he soft stillness of this repose of nature was broken only by the rising pf the light wave against the head and iides of she vessel, and by the whistling of the helmsman, who, with she he}m between his knees, andhjs arms crp$ed, alternately watching the $qsftpsfs. and the fail, thus iei•vokedthe presence of the favoring breeze.

Leaving him, and some few os pur unfortunate comrades, to whom the motion of the sea was mpr,e novel than gratifying, v/e descended into the steerage, (for pur birthsjn the cabin were completely pccupi..ed by female^. . $s we were going down the ladder,' the appearance many recumbent persons, faintly'distinguishable by the light of a solitary taper, reminded us of a sloating catacomb; here, ci^wlirig under a. cot .which contained two .very corpulent ]^nfst?» upon.a spare cable, wrapt up ya. our'owe great coats, we resigned ourselves, to rest.

$he nexVday>wth9pt baTin£\msde much prp^ rgrtss in our little voyage, we arose, ax^ajembied Xfkmi the companion, which fof med.ourbreakfast tai ble; at dinner, w? were enabled to s^ead a hand'fpme table pf resreshrxifentS, to, wbdeh we incited alt our feHow passengers who were capable, qf partaking Qf them, many of whoin were prkp^h}g to'taketheir


fel. For this little act of common civility, we were afterwards abundantly repaid, by the thankfulness of all, and the serviceable attentions of some os our charming guests, when we landed; an instance of which I shall afterwards have occasion to mention. The wind flackened during the day, but in the evening it blew rather fresh, and about nine o'clock the next morning, after a night passed something in the same way as the former, we were awakened by being informed that we were within a league of Havre; news by no means disagreeable, astor the dead dullness of a sea calm.

The appearance os the coast was high, rugged, and rocky; to use a good marine expreffion, it lookid ironbound all along more. To the east, upon an elevated point os land, are two noble light houses, of "very beautiful construction, which I shall have occasion to describe hereafter.

At some little distance, we saw considerable flights of wild ducks. The town and bason lie round the high western point sirom the lights, below which there is a sine pebbled beach. The quays are to the right and left within the pier, upon the latter of which there is a small round tower. It was not the intention of our packet captant to go within the pier, for the purpose of saving the port-anchorage due's, which amount to eight pounds sterling, but a government, s boat came off, and ordered the vessel to hawl cloie'ujp , t| the ciuay, an order, which was given in rather a ge

Hi FRANCE.' ;,£l

| remptory manner.' Upon our turning the pier, we . saw as we warped up to the quaf, an immense mot"ley crowd, flocking down to view us. A panic ran throughout our poor fellow passengers. From the noise and confusion on shore, they expected that some recent revolution had occurred, and that they were upon the point of experiencing all the calamities, .which they had before fled from ; they looked pale and agitated upon- each other, like a timid and terrisied flock of sheep, when suddenly approached by their natural enemy the wolf. It turned out, however, that mere curiosity, excited by the display of English colors, had assembled this formidable rabble, and that the order which we received from .the government boat, was given for the purpose of compelling the captain to incur, and consequently to pay, the anchorage dues. In a moment we were beset by a parcel of men and boys, half naked, and in wooden shoes, who hallooing and « sacre dieuing" each other most unmercifully, began, without further ceremony, to seize upon every trunk within their reach, which they threw into their boats lying along side.

By a wellrtimed rap upon^ the knuckles of one of these marine functionaries, we prevented our luggage from sharing the same fate. It turned outi that therewas a competition for carrying our trunks on shore, for the sake of an immoderate premium, which they 'expected to receive, and which occasioned our being assailed in this violent manner, Our sellow gJuTens rous: .B^erjipgat .y&q hai^the {m^denae asidja^Bo,anity tO» charge. .dwqi..tw5 liyriris e$i% sqr.;copyfymg them tq jhe tending sitpps, a short, djft^nce .of about sifty yascjs. Upqn their. Jaoding, we,.were much pleased tq observe that the people Oiffer,ed them neither violence nor insult. They we/e received whh a.sullen silence, and a lane was made for them to pass into the.tpwn. The poor, old clergyman who .lywl survived the passage, was Jest on board, in the care of two benevolent persons, until he could he safely 3pd. cpnifortafely conveyed on shore. We soon afterwards followed our fellow paflengers in the captain's boat, by which plan we afforded these extor»tioi]£rs a piece of salutary information, very neceflary to be made known to them, that although we were English, we were not to be imposed upon. I could not help thinking it rather unworthy of our neighbors to exact from us such heavy port dues, when our pwn demands of a similar nature, are so very trifling. For such an impost, a vessel of the republic, upon its arrival in any of the English ports, would only pay a few.shilliiigs. Perhaps this difference will be equalised in some fcape, by the impending commercial treaty, otherwise, a considerable partial advantage will accrue to the French from their passige packets. : Upon our landing, and entering the streets, I was a .little struck with the appearance of the women, who i.were, habited Mi ,a coarse red camlet jacket,1 with * t^£%^miMfi}mng ffying sappers to their caps, and were rtiourire3' upon large heavy wooden shoes, upon each of which a 'worsted tuft was sixed, in'rude initiation' of a 'rose. "The appearance and clatter of 't1£e'se'sabots, as they are called, leave upon the mind an impression of "extreme poverty and wretchedness.

They are, however, more favored than the lower ••<ifder of females in Scotland. Upon a brisk sprightly chamber-maid entering my room one day at an inn in Glasgow, I heard a sound which resembled the pattering of some web.Footed bird, when in the act of climbing up the miry side of a pond. I looked down upon the feet of this bonny laffie, and found that their only covering was procured from the mud of the high street—adieu ! to the tender eulogies of the pastoral reed! I have never thought of a shepherdess since with pleasure.

I could not help observing the ease, dexterity, and swistness, with which a single man conveyed all our luggage, which was very heavy, to the custom-house, and afterwards to the inn, in a wheelbarrow, which differed from ours, only in being larger, and having two elastic handles of about nine feet long. At the custom-house, notwithstanding what the English pa* pers have said of the conduct observed here, we were very civilly treated, our boxes were only just opened, and some of our packages were not examined at all. Away we had them whirled, to the Hotel de la Paix, fee front of which looks upon the wet doefiv and U

« PreviousContinue »