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sembling an ill-shaped chariot, only with the door ing astride on a little ass, with short petticoats, opening before instead of the side; three horses and a great head-dress of blue wool. * * draw it, one between the shafts, and the other two on each side, on one of which the postillion rides, and drives too.* This vehicle will, upon occasion,
TO MR. WEST. go fourscore miles a day, but Mr. Walpole, being in no hurry, chooses to make easy journeys of it,
Paris, April 12, 1739. and they are easy ones indeed; for the motion is
Enfin donc me voici à Paris. Mr. Walpole is much like that of a sedan; we go about six miles gone out to supper at Lord Conway's, and here I an hour, and commonly change horses at the end remain alone, though invited too. Do not think of it. It is true they are no very graceful steeds, I make a merit of writing to you preferably to a but they go well, and through roads which they good supper; for these three days we have been say are bad for France, but to me they seem gra- here, have actually given me an aversion to eating vel walks and bowling-greens; in short, it would in general. If hunger be the best sauce to meat, be the finest travelling in the world, were it not for the French are certainly the worst cooks in the the inns, which are mostly terrible places indeed. world; for what tables we have seen have been But to describe our progress somewhat more regu- so delicately served, and so profusely, that, after larly, we came into Boulogne when it was almost rising from one of them, one imagines it impossidark, and went out pretty early on Tuesday morn- ble ever to eat again. And now, if I tell you all I ing; so that all I can say about it is, that it is a have in my head, you will believe me mad; mais large, old, fortified town, with more English in it n'importe, couruge, allons! for if I wait till my than French. On Tuesday we were to go to Abbé- head grow clear and settle a little, you may stay ville, seventeen leagues, or fifty-one short English long enough for a letter. Six days have we been miles; but by the way we dined at Moutreuil, coming hither, which other people do in two: they much to our hearts' content, on stinking mutton, have not been disagreeable ones: through a fine, cutlets, addled eggs, and ditch water. Madame open country, admirable roads, and in an easy the hostess made her appearance in long lappets conveyance; the inns not absolutely intolerable, of bone lace, and a sack of linsey-woolsey. We and images quite unusual presenting themselves supped and lodged pretty well at Abbéville, and on all hands. At Amiens we saw the fine cathehad time to see a little of it before we came out dral, and eat paté de perdir: passed through the this morning. There are seventeen convents in park of Chantilly by the Duke of Bourbon's pait, out of which we saw the chapels of the Minims, lace, which we only beheld as we passed; broke and the Carmelite nuns. We are now come fur- down at Lausarche; stopped at St. Denis, saw all ther thirty miles to Amiens, the chief city of the 'the beautiful monuments of the kings of France, province of Picardy. We have seen the Cathe- and the vast treasures of the abbey, rubies, and dral, which is just what that of Canterbury must emeralds as big as small eggs, crucifixes and vows, have been before the Reformation. It is about the crowns and reliquaires, of inestimable value; but same size, a huge Gothic building, beset on the of all their curiosities the thing the most to our outside with thousands of small statues, and with tastes, and which they indeed do the justice to in adorned with beautiful painted windows, and a esteem the glory of their collection, was a vase of vast number of chapels dressed out in all their an entire onyx, measuring at least five inches over, finery of altar-pieces, embroidery gilding, and mar- three deep, and of great thickness. It is at least ble. Over the high altar are preserved, in a very two thousand years cld, the beauty of the stone large wrought shrine of massy gold, the relics of and sculpture upon it (representing the mysteries St. Firmin, their patron saint. We went also to of Bacchus) beyond expression admirable; we the chapels of the Jesuits and Ursuline nuns, the have dreamed of it ever since. The jolly old Belatter of which is very richly adorned. To-morrow nedictine, that showed us the treasures, had in his we shall lie at Clermont, and next day reach Paris. youth been ten years a soldier; he laughed at all
The country we have passed through hitherto has the relics, was very full of stories, and mighty been flat, open, but agreeably diversified with vil- obliging. On Saturday evening we got to Paris, lages, fields well cultivated, and little rivers. On and were driving through the streets a long while every hillock is a wind-mill, a crucifix, or a Virgin before we knew where we were. The minute we Mary dressed in flowers, and a sarcenet robe; came, voilà Milors Holdernesse, Conway, and his one sces not many people or carriages on the road; brother; all stayed supper, and till two o'clock in now and then indeed you meet a strolling friar, a the morning, for here nobody ever sleeps; it is not countryman with his great muff, or a woman rid- the way. Next day go to dine at my Lord Hol
dernesse's, there was the Abbé Prevôt, author of • This was before the introduction of post-chaises here, or it Cleveland, and several other pieces much esteem. #ould not have appeared a circumstance worthy notice. ed: the rest were English. At night we went to the Pandore; a spectacle literally, for it is nothing losophc Marié, and here they performed as well but a beautiful piece of machinery of three scenes. in comedy ; there is a Mademoiselle Quinaut, The first represents the chaos, and by degrees the somewhat in Mrs. Clive's way, and a Monsieur separation of the elements: the second, the temple Grandval, in the nature of Wilks, who is the of Jupiter, and the giving of the box to Pandora : genteelest thing in the world. There are several the third the opening of the box, and all the mis- more would be much admired in England, and chiefs that ensued. An absurd design, but exe- many (whom we have not seen) much celebrated cuted in the highest perfection, and that in one of here. Great part of our time is spent in seeing the finest theatres in the world; it is the grande churches and palaces full of fine pictures, &c, the sales des machines in the Palais des Tuilleries. quarter of which is not yet exhausted. For my Next day dined at Lord Waldegrave's; then to part I could entertain myself this month merely the opera. Imagine to yourself for the drama four with the common streets and the people in them. acts* entirely unconnected with each other, each founded on some little history, skilfully taken out of an ancient author, e.g. Ovid’s Metamorphoses,
TO MR. WEST. &c. and with great address converted into a French piece of gallantry. For instance, that
Paris, May 22, 1739. which I saw, called the Ballet de la Pair, had its After the little particulars aforesaid I should first act built upon the story of Nireus. Homer have proceeded to a journal of our transactions having said that he was the handsomest man of his for this week past, should have carried you post time, the poet, imagining such a one could not want from hence to Versailles, hurried you through the a mistress, has given him one. These two come in gardens to Trianon, back again to Paris, so away and sing sentiment in lamentable strains, neither to Chantilly. But the fatigue is perhaps more than air nor recitative; only, to one's great joy, they you can bear, and moreover I think I have reason are every now and then interrupted by a dance, to stomach your last piece of gravity. Supposing or (to one's great sorrow) by a chorus that borders you were in your soberest mood, I am sorry you the stage from one end to the other, and screams, should think me capable of ever being so dissipé, past all power of simile to represent. The second so evaporé, as not to be in a condition of relishing act was Baucis and Philemon. Baucis is a beau- any thing you could say to me. And now, if you tiful young shepherdess, and Philemon her swain. have a mind to make your peace with me, Jupiter falls in love with her, but nothing will prevail ye from your megrims and your melancholies, and upon her; so it is all mighty well, and the chorus (for exercise is good for you) throw away your sing and dance the praises of Constancy. The two night-cap, call for your jack-boots, and set out with other acts were about Iphis and lanthe, and the me, last Saturday evening, for Versailles-and so judgment of Paris. Imagine, I say, all this trans- at eight o'clock, passing through a road speckled acted by cracked voices, trilling divisions upon with vines, and villas, and hares, and partridges, two notes and a half, accompanied by an orchestra we arrive at the great avenue, flanked on either of humstrums, and a whole house more attentive hand, with a double row of trees about half a mile than if Farinelli sung, and you will almost have long, and with the palace itself to terminate the formed a just notion of the thing. Our astonish-view; facin " which, on each side of you, is placed ment at their absurdity you can never conceive; a semi-circle of very handsome buildings, which we had enough to do to express it by screaming an form the stables. These we will not enter into, hour louder than the whole dramatis personæ. We because you know we are no jockies. Well! and have also seen twice the Comedie Fruncoise; first, is this the great front of Versailles ? What a huge the Mahomet Second, a tragedy that has had a heap of littleness! It is composed, as it were of great run of late; and the thing itself does not three courts, all open to the eye at once, and grawant its beauties, but the actors are beyond mea- dually diminishing till you come to the royal apartsure delightful. Mademoiselle Gausin (M. Vol- ments, which on this side present but half a dozen taire's Zara) has with a charming (though little) windows and a balcony. This last is all that can person, the most pathetic tone of voice, the finest be called a front, for the rest is only great wings. expression in her face, and most proper action The hue of all this mass is black, dirty red, and imaginable. There is also a Dufrêne, who did yellow; the first proceeding from stone changed by the chief character, a handsome man and a pro- age; the second, from a mixture of brick; and the digious fine actor. The second we saw the Phi- last from a profusion of tarnished gilding. You
can not see a more disagreeable tout-ensemble; The French opera has only three acts, but often a pro
and, to finish the matter, it is all stuck over in Jogue on a different subject, which (as Mr. Walpole informs many places with small busts of a tawny hue beme, who saw it at the same time) was the case in this
every two windows. We pass through this representation.
to go into the garden, and here the case is indeed
altered; nothing can be vaster and more magnifi- are both esteemed, and lately come out.
This day cent than the back front; before it a very spacious se'ennight we go to Rheims. terrace spreads itself, adorned with two large basins; these are bordered and lined (as most of the others) with white marble, with handsome statues
TO HIS MOTHER. of bronze reclined on their edges. From hence
Rheims, June 21, N. S. 1739. you descend a huge flight of steps into a semi-cir- We have now been settled almost three weeks cle formed by woods that are cut all round into in this city, which is more considerable upon acniches, which are filled with beautiful copies of all count of its size and antiquity, than from the numthe famous antique statues in white marble. Just ber of its inhabitants, or any advantages of comin the midst is the basin of Latona; she and her merce. There is little in it worth a stranger's cuchildren are standing on the top of a rock in the riosity, besides the cathedral church, which is a middle, on the sides of which are the peasants, vast Gothic building of a surprising beauty and some half, some totally changed into frogs, all which lightness, all covered over with a profusion of little throw out water at her in great plenty. From this statues, and other ornaments. It is here the kings place runs on the great alley, which brings you of France are crowned by the archbishop of into a complete round, where is the basin of A pol- Rheims, who is the first peer, and the primate of lo, the biggest in the gardens. He is rising in his the kingdom. The holy vessel made use of on car out of the water, surrounded by nymphs and that occasion, which contains the oil, is kept in the tritons, all in bronze, and finely executed; and church of St. Nicasius hard by, and is believed to these, as they play, raise a perfect storm about himn; have been brought by an angel from heaven at the beyond this is the great canal, a prodigious long coronation of Clovis, the first Christian king. The piece of water, that terminates the whole. All streets in general have but a melancholy aspect, this you have at one coup d'oeil in entering the the houses all old; the public walks run along the garden, which is truly great. I can not say as side of a great moat under the ramparts, where much of the general taste of the place; every thing one hears a continual croaking of frogs; the counyou behold savours too much of art; all is forced, try round about is one great plain covered with all is constrained about you; statues and vases vines, which at this time of the year afford no vesowed every where without distinction; sugar-loaves pleasing prospect, as being not above a foot high. and mince-pies of yew; scrawl-work of box, and What pleasures the place denies to the sight, it little squirting jets-d'eau, besides a great sameness makes up to the palate; since you have nothing to in the walks, can not help striking one at first drink but the best champaigne in the world, and sight, not to mention the silliest of labyrinths, and all sorts of provisions equally good. As to other all Æsop's fables in water; since these were de- pleasures, there is not that freedom of conversation signed in usum Delphini only. Here then we among the people of fashion here, that one sees in walk by moonlight, and hear the ladies and the other parts of France; for though they are not nightingales sing. Next morning, being Whit- very numerous in this place, and consequently sunday, make ready to go to the Installation of must live a good deal together, yet they never come nine knights du Saint Esprit, Cambis is one:* to any great familiarity with one another. As my high mass is celebrated with music, great crowd, lord Conway had spent a good part of his time much incense, king, queen, dauphin, mesdames, among them, his brother, and we with him, were cardinals, and court! knights arrayed by his ma- soon introduced into all their assemblies. As soon jesty; reverences before the altar, not bows, but as you enter, the lady of the house presents each curtsies; stiff hams; much tittering among the of you a card, and offers you a party at quadrille; ladies; trumpets, kettle-drums, and fifes. My dear you sit down, and play forty deals without interWest, I am vastly delighted with Trianon, all of mission, excepting one quarter of an hour, when us with Chantilly ; if you would know why, you every body rises to eat of what they call the goutmust have patience, for I can hold my pen no long- er, which supplies the place of our tea, and is a er, except to tell you that I saw Britannicus last service of wine, fruits, cream, sweetmeats, crawnight; all the characters, particularly Agrippina fish, and cheese. People take what they like and and Nero done to perfection; to-morrow Phædra sit down again to play; after that, they make little and Hippolytus. We are making you a little parties to go to the walks together, and then all bundle of petite pieces; there is nothing in them, the company retire to their separate habitations. but they are acting at present; there are two Cre- Very seldom any suppers or dinners are given; billon's Letters, and Amusemens sur le langage and this is the manner they live among one another; des Bêtes, said to be one Bougeant, a Jesuit ; they not so much out of any aversion they have to plea
sure, as out of a sort of formality they have con• The Comte de Cambis was lately returned from his em. tracted by not being much frequented by peobassy in England
ple who have lived at Paris. It is sure they do
not hate gaiety any more than the rest of their when he comes over every three years to hold that country-people, and can enter into diversions, that assembly as governor of the province. A quarter are once proposed, with a good grace enough; for of a mile out of the town is a famous abbey of instance, the other evening we happened to be got Carthusians, which we are just returned from seetogether in a company of eighteen people, men and ing. In their chapel are the tombs of the ancient women of the best fashion here, at a garden in the dukes of Burgundy, that were so powerful, till, at - town, to walk; when one of the ladies bethought the death of Charles the Bold, the last of them, herself of asking, why should not we sup here ? this part of his dominions was united by Louis Immediately the cloth was laid by the side of a XI. to the crown of France. To-morrow we are fountain under the trees, and a very elegant sup- to pay a visit to the abbot of the Cistercians, who per served up: after which another said, Come, lives a few leagues off, and who uses to receive all let us sing; and directly began herself. From strangers with great civility; his abbey is one of singing we insensibly fell to dancing, and singing the richest in the kingdom; he keeps open house in a round: when somebody mentioned the vio- always, and lives with great magnificence. We lins, and immediately a company of them was or- have seen enough of this town already, to make us dered. Minuets were begun in the open air, and regret the time we spent at Rheims; it is full of then some country-dances, which held till four people of condition, who seem to form a much more o'clock next morning: at which hour the gayest agreeable society than we found in Champaigne; lady there proposed, that such as were weary but as we shall stay here but two or three days should get into their coaches, and the rest of them longer, it is not worth while to be introduced into should dance before them with the music in the their houses. On Monday or Tuesday we are to van;
and in this manner we paraded through all set out for Lyons, which is two days' journey disthe principal streets of the city, and waked every tant, and from thence you shall hear again from body in it. Mr. Walpole had a mind to make a me. custom of the thing, and would have given a ball in the same manner next week, but the women did not come into it; so I believe it will drop, and they
TO MR. WEST. will return to their dull cards, and usual formalities. We are not to stay above a month longer
Lyons, Sep. 18, N. S. 1739. here, and shall then go to Dijon, the chief city of Scavez vous bien, mon cher ami, que je vous Burgundy, a very splendid and a very gay town; hais, que je vous deteste ? voila, des termes un peu at least such is the present design.
fortes; and that will save me, upon a just computation, a page of paper and six drops of ink; which, if I confined myself to reproaches of a more mode
rate nature, I should be obliged to employ in using TO HIS FATHER.
you according to your deserts. What! to let any Dijon, Friday, Sept. 11, N. S. 1739. body reside three months at Rheims, and write but We have made three short days' journey of it once to them? Please to consult Tully de Amicit. from Rheims hither, where we arrived the night page 5, line 25, and you will find it said in express before last. The road we have passed through has terms, “ Ad amicum inter Remos relegatum mense been extremely agreeable: it runs through the uno quinquies scriptum esto;” nothing more plain, most fertile part of Champaigne, by the side of the or less liable to false interpretations. Now beriver Marne, with a chain of hills on each hand at cause, I suppose, it will give you pain to know we some distance, entirely covered with woods and are in being, I take this opportunity to tell you that vineyards, and every now and then the ruins of we are at the ancient and celebrated Lugdunum, some old castle on their tops: we lay at St. Dizier a city situated upon the confluence of the Rhône the first night, and at Langres the second, and got and Saône, (Arar, I should say) two people, who, hither the next evening, time enough to have a full though of tempers extremely unlike, think fit to view of this city on entering it. It lies in a very join hands here, and make a little party to travel extensive plain covered with vines and corn, and to the Mediterranean in company; the lady comes consequently is plentifully supplied with both. I gliding along through the fruitful plains of Burneed not tell you that it is the chief city of Bur- gundy, incredibili lenitate, ita ut oculis in utrain gundy, nor that it is of great antiquity; consider- partem fuit judicari non possit ; the gentleman ing which, one should imagine it ought to be larger runs all rough and roaring down from the mounthan one finds it. However, what it wants in ex- tains of Switzerland to meet her; and with all her tent is made up in beauty and cleanliness, and in soft airs she likes him never the worse : she goes rich convents and churches, most of which we have through the middle of the city in state, and he seen. The palace of the States is a magnificent passes incog. without the walls, but waits for her new building, where the duke of Bourbon is lodged a little below. The houses here are so high, and the streets so narrow, as would be sufficient to ren
Jam mens prætrepidans avet vagari: der Lyons the dismallest place in the world; but Jam læui studio pedes vigescunt. the number of people, and the face of commerce However, so long as I am not deprived of your diffused about it, are, at least, as sufficient to make correspondence, so long shall I always find some it the liveliest. Between these two sufficiencies pleasure in being at home. And, setting all vain you will be in doubt what to think of it; so we curiosity aside, whe the fit is over, and my reason shall leave the city, and proceed to its environs, begins to come to herself, I have several other powwhich are beautiful beyond expression: it is sur-erful motives which might easily cure me of my rounded with mountains, and those mountains all restless inclinations. Amongst these, my mother's bedropped and bespeckled with houses, gardens, ill state of health is not the least, which was the and plantations of the rich Bourgeois, who have reason of our going to Tunbridge; so that you can from thence a prospect of the city in the vale below not expect much description or amusement from on one hand, on the other the rich plains of the thence. Nor indeed is there much room for either; Lyonnois, with the rivers winding among them, for all diversions there may be reduced to two artiand the Alps, with the mountains of Dauphine, to cles, gaming and going to church. They were bound the view. All yesterday morning we were pleased to publish certain Tunbrigiana this season; busied in climbing up Mount Fourviere, where but such ana! I believe there were never so many the ancient city stood perched at such a height, vile little verses put together before. So much for that nothing but the hopes of gain could certainly Tunbridge. London affords me as little to say. ever persuade their neighbours to pay them a visit
. What! so huge a town as London? Yes, consider Here are the ruins of the emperor's palaces, that only how I live in that town. I never go into the resided here, that is to say, Augustus and Severus: gay or high world, and consequently receive no they consist in nothing but great masses of old thing from thence to brighten my imagination. wall
, that have only their quality to make them The busy world I leave to the busy; and am rerespected. In a vineyard of the Minims are re- solved never to talk politics till I can act at the mains of a theatre; the fathers, whom they belong same time. To tell old stories, or prate of old to, hold them in no esteem at all, and would have books, seems a little musty; and toujours, chapon showed us their sacristy and chapel instead of them. bouilli
, won't do. However
, for want of better The Ursuline Nuns have in their garden some fare, take another little mouthful of my poetry. Roman baths, but we having the misfortune to be men, and heretics, they did not think proper to ad- O meæ jucunda comes quietis! mit us.
Quæ fere regrotum solita es levare
Pectus, et sensim, ah! nimis ingruentes magnificent aqueduct, said to be erected by An
Fallere curas : tony, when his legions were quartered here : there
Quid canes ? quanto Lyra dic furore are many other parts of it dispersed up and down
Gesties, quando hâc reducem sodalem! the country, for it brought the water from a river
Glauciam' gaudere simul videbis many leagues off in La Forez. Here are remains
Meque sub umbrâ ? too of Agrippa's seven great roads which met at Lyons; in some places they liv twelve feet deep in the ground. In short, a thousand matters that
TO HIS MOTHER. you shall not know, till you give me a description of the Pais de Tombridge, and the effect its waters
Lyons, Oct. 13, N. S. 1739. have upon you.
It is now almost five weeks since I left Dijon, one of the gayest and most agreeable little cities of France, for Lyons, its reverse in all these par
ticulars. It is the second in the kingdom in bigFROM MR. WEST.
ness and rank; the streets excessively narrow and
Temple, Sept. 28, 1739. nasty; the houses immensely high and large; If wishes could turn to realities, I would fling (that, for instance, where we are lodged, has twendown my law books, and sup with you to-night. ty-five rooms on a floor, and that for five stories ;) But, alas! here I am doomed to fix, while you are it swarms with inhabitants like Paris itself, but fluttering from city to city, and enjoying all the chiefly a mercantile people too much given up to pleasures which a gay climate can afford. It is commerce to think of their own, much less of a out of the power of my heart to envy your good stranger's diversions. We have no acquaintance fortune, yet I can not help indulging a few natural in the town, but such English as happen to be desires; as for example, to take a walk with you on the banks of the Rhone, and to be climbing up * He gives Mr. Gray the name of Glaucias frequently in Mount Fourviere;
his Latin verse, as Mr. Gray calls him Favonius.