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embellished with a large board, upgn which 15 recorded, in yellow characters, as usual, the superior advantages of this house over every other hotel in Havre. Upon our arrival, we were ushered up a large dirty staircase into a lofty room, upon the sirst floor, all the windows of which were open, divided, as they always are in France, in the middle, like folding doors; the floor was tiled,, a deal table, some common rush chairs, two very sine pier glasses, and chandeliers to correspond, composed our motley furniture. I found it to be a good specimen of French inns, in general. Wo were followed by our hostess, the porter, two cooks, with caps on their heads, which had once been white,^and large knives in their hands, who were succeeded by two chamber-maids, all looking in the greatest hurry and confusion, and all talking together, with a velocity, and vehemence, which rendered the faculty of hearing almost a misfortune. They appeared highly delighted to see us, talked of our dress, Sir Sidney Smith, the blockade, the noble English} the peace, and a train of etceteras. At length we obtained a little cessation, of which we immediately seized the advantage, by directing them to show us to our bed-rooms, to procure abundance of water hot and cold, to get us a good breakfast as soon as posiible, and to prepare a good dinner for us at four o'clock. Amidst a peel of tongue?, this clamorous proceflion retired, - 1 ... ,-. t. \, '-'
'CHAP. H-=J ^N-JRANOE. 25
After we had performed our necessary ablutions^ and bad enjoyed the luxury of fresh linen, we fat down to some excellent coffee, accompanied with boiled milk, long delicious rolls, and tolerably good butter, but found no knives upon the table v which, by the by, every traveller in France is presumed to carry with him : having mislaid my own, I requested the maid to bring me one. The person of this damsel, would certainly have suffered by a comparison with those fragrant flowers, to which young poets resemble their beloved mistresses; as soon as I had .preferred my. prayer, she very deliberately drew from her pocket a large -clasp knife, which after she had wiped on her apron, she presented to me, with a « voila monsieur." I received -this dainty present, with every mark of due obligation, accompanied, at the same time, with a resolution not to use it, particularly as my companions (for we had two other English gentlemen with us) had directed her to bring some others to them. This delicate instrument w*aS as savory as its mistress, amongst the various ^ agrancies which ic emitted, garlic seemed \q have the mastery.
About twelve o'clock we wjnt to the hall of the municipality, to procure «fjr passports for the interior, and found it crowds witn people upon the fame errand. We made our way through them into a very -handsome artfVroom, and thence* by «v sittfe furthw .perseverance, into an inner room, where the mayor and his officers were seated at a large table covered with green cloth. To show what reliance is to be placed upon the communications of English newspapers, I shall mention the following circumstance my companion had left England, without a passport, owing to the repeated assurances of both the ministerial and opposition prints, and also of a person liigh in administration, that none were necessary.
The sirst question propounded to us by the secretary was, "citizens, where are your passports?" I had furnished myself with one ; but upon hearing this question, 1 was determined not to produce it, from an apprehension that I should cover my friend, who had none, with suspicion, so we answered, that in England they were not required of frenchmen, and that we had lest our country with official assurances that they would not be demanded of us here.
They replied to us, by reading a decree, which •rigorously required them of foreigners, entering upon the territories of the republic, and they assured us, that this regulation was at that moment reciprocal with every other power, and with England in particular. The decree of course closed the argument. We next addressed ourselves to their politeness (forgetting that the revolution had made fad inroads upon it) and requested them, as we had been mifled, and had no other views of visiting the country, but those <P.f pleasure, and improvement, that they would he
CHAP. H.J „ IK FRANCE.
pleased to grant us our passports for the interior. To' thiraddress, these high authorities, who seemed not much given to " the melting mood," after making up a physiognomy, as severe, and as iron bound as their coast, laconically observed, that the laws of the republic must be enforced, that'they should write to our ambassador to know who we werej a^d thaf in the mean time they would make out our passports for the town, the barriers of which we were not to pass. Accordingly, a litde fat gentleman, in a black coat, silled up these official instruments, which were copied into their books,, and both signed by us; be then commenced our "signalercent," which is a regular' descriptive portrait osthe head of the peirson who has, thus the honor of sitting to the municipal portrait painters of the departement de la Seine inferieure.
This portrait is intended, as will be immediately anticipated, to afford encreased facilities cf all na. tional guards* marechaussees, thief takers, &c. for placing in "durance vile" the unfortunate originals should he violate the laws.
The signalement is added in the margin, to the passport, and also registered in the municipal records,which, from'their size, appeared to contain a greater number of heads and faces, thus depicted, than arty museum Or gallery I ever beheld.
How correct the likenesses in general are, I leave to the judgment of others, after I have informedtlieiH, that the hazle eyes of my friend were described "y eux bteus" in this masterly delineation.
If the dead march in Saul had been playing Before us all the way, we could not have marched more gravely, or rather sulkily, to,our inn. Before us, we had the heavy prospect of spending about ten days ia. this town, not very celebrated for either beauty, or cleanliness, until the municipality could receive an account of us, from our ambassador, who knew nomore of us than they did. The other English gentlemen were in the-same predicament.
However we determined to pursue the old adage, that what is without remedy, should be without regret, and, English like, jjrew very merry over a good dinner, consisting of soups, and meat, and fowls, and sish, and vegetables (for such is the order of a French dinner) confectionary and a desert, accompanied with good Burgundy, and excellent Champaign. Our misfortunes must plead our excuse, if the dinner is considered extravagant. Unde Toby went to sleep when he was unhappy; we solicited consolation in another way. Our signalements afforded us much diversion, which at length was a little augmented by a plan which I mentioned, as likely to furnish us with the means of our liberation. After dinner I waited upon a young gentleman who was under the care of a very respectable merchant, to whom I had the good fortune to have letteus of introduction. Through his means I. was introduced to Mons. de la M-—~»