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Ias3. This large lustre, is surrounded with plates of the thickest French glass, sixed in squares of ironi and discharges a prodigious light, in dark nights. A forriace of coal was formerly used, but this has been judiciously superseded by the present invention; Round the lantern, is a gallery with an iron balustrade, the view from this elevation upon the beach, the entrance of the Seine, Honsteur(where our Henry III. is said to have fought the French armies, and to have distinguished himself by his valor) the distant hills of Lower Normandy, and the ocean, is truly grand. It brought to my mind that beautisul description of Shakespeare— . .
. The murmuring surge
Th»t on the unnumbered idle pebbles chafes.,
We did not visit the other tower,as it was uniform with this. The woman who has the charge of the light, was very good humoured, and very talkative, she seemed delighted to show us every thing, and said she preferred seeing Englishmen in her tower as friends, to the view she frequently had of them from it as enemies, alluding to the long, and masterly blockade of this port by a squadron of English frigates. She carried us to her little museum, as she called it, where she had arranged, very neatly, a. considerable collection of foflils, shells and petrefactions. Here she showed Hs with great animation, two British cannon balls, which during the. blockade, had yery nearly, rendered her husband and ^erself, as cokl and as silent as any . of the petrefactions in her cpllection. In this little cabinet was her bed, where, amidst the war of winds and waves, she told us she flept as found as a consul. .
In the basins of Havre, we saw several rafts, on.ee so much talked of, constructed for the real, or ostensible purpose of conveying the invading legions of France, to the shores of Great-Britain. I expected to have seen an immense floating platform, but the vessels which we saw, were made like brigs of an unusual breadth, with two low masts. The sincerity of this project has been much disputed, but that the French government expended considerable sums upon the scheme, I have ho doubt.
I must not omit to mention, the admirah'e mode, which they have here, and in most parts of France, os constructing their carts. They are placed upon 'very high wheels, the load is generally arranged so as to create an equipoise, and is raised by an axle, fastened near the shafts.! I was informed by a merchant, th?.t a single horse can draw with ease thirtysix hundred weight, in one os these carts. These smitRals have a very formidable appearance, owing to CHAP. IV.] IN FRANCE. 41
a strange custom which the French have, of covering the collar, with an entire sheep's skin, which gives them the appearance of having an enormous shagg^mane.'
At night, we settled our bills which amounted to» forty Hvres each. A considerable charge in this country, but we had lived well, and had not thought it worth our while, on account of the probable shortness of our stay, to bargain forour lodging, and beard, a plan generally proper to be used by those, who mean to remain for some length of time, in any placs. in France.
Cheap travelling to Paris.—Diligences—French Post-. till ions.—Spanish Postillions.—Norman Horses,~Balbec.—Natives of Caux.—Ivetot—Return of Religion.Santerre.—Jacoh'm.—The Mustard Pot.—National Property.
BEFORE I proceed on rny journey, I must be* leave to present a very cheap mode of travelling to Paris, from Havre, to those who have more time at their command than I had. It was given to me by. a respectable gentleman, and an old traveljer.
l itxts bat ft.'i^i:?! Me h,itsq Us nod'-,r btn Sels. From Havt^ toHonfleurysby-thepaslage-boat 10 ,<Fronp Honfleur to Pohtaudemar, by land - 3 -FromjPontandeinar to Labouille . , - . !**,S
From Labouille to Rouen i by water .! A- !. ut* 12 ►From Rouen to Rolleboise, by land '-»..'" :-;-6 From Rolleboise to Pontoise, by water -. • - 30 From Pontoise to Paris, by land ': ...r,:k . 30 . This progress, however is tedious and uncertain. -At day-break we seated ourselves in the diligence. All the carriages^ of this description have the appearance of being the result of the earliest efforts in the art of coach building. A more uncouth clumsy-machine can scarcely be imagined- In the front:is . a .cabriolet sixed to the body of the coach, for the accommodation of three passengers,, who are :protected from the rain above, by the projecting roof of the coach, aniin front by two heavy curtains <>flleather, well oiled, and smelling somewhat offensively,' fastened to the roof. The inside, which is capacious* and lofty, and will hold six people with great comfort, is lined with leather padded, and surrounded with lit— , tle pockets, in which the travellers deposit their :bread, snuff, night caps and pocket handkerchiefs, which generally enjoy each others company in the fame delicate depositary. From the roof depends a large net work, which is generally crowded with hate, svtordsrand band boxes, .the whole i hi coavcsti-. ca As. 1^.] >aai»Biii«JE. *S
eiit, and when all parties are seated and arranged, < the accommodations are by no means unpleasant. Upon thfi; roof, on, the outside, is the imperial, which is generally silled with six or seven persons more, and a heap of luggage, which latter also oceii. pies the basket, and generally presents a pile, half as high again as the coach, which is secured by ropes and chains, tightened by a large iron windlass, which also constitutes another appendage of this moving mass. The body of the carriage rests upon large thongs of leather, fastened to heavy blocks of wood, ]
• instead of springs, and the whole is drawn by seven rhorles. Thethree firstare fastened to the cross bar,the
• rest are in pairs, all in rope harness and tackling. The near horse of the three sirst, is mounted by the postil
i lion, in his great jack boots, which are always placed, - with much ceremony, like two tubs, on the,,right. side of his Rosinante, just before he ascends. These curious protectors of his legs, are composed of Woed, b and iron hoops, softened within by stufsing, and give him all the dignity of riding in a pair of upright portmanteaus. * With a long lash whip in his hand, a dirty night cap and an old cocked hat upon his head, 'hallooing alternately gauche, a droit," and a few occasional sacre dieiis, which seem always properly applied, and perfectly understood, the merry postilhon drives along his cattiei I must not fail to I do justice to the scientisic stall with which be managos