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Make my compliments to all my friends; and if your fingers will let you, write to me, or let your maid write, if it be troublesome to you. I am, dear Madam, Your most affectionate hun ble servant,
SAM, JOHNSON. Nov. 16, 1775.
TO THE SAME.
" DEAR MADAM,
“Some weeks ago I wrote to you, to tell you that I was just come home from a ramble, and hoped that I should have beard from you. I am afraid winter has laid hold on your fingers, and binders you
from writing. However, let somebody write, if you cannot, and tell me how you do, and a little of what has happened at Lichfield among our friends. I hope you are all well.
When I was in France, I thought myself growing young, but um afraid that cold weather will take part of my new vigour from me. Let us, how ever, take care of ourselves, and lose no part of our health by negligence.
I never knew whether you received the Commentary on the New Testament, and the Travels, and the glasses,
Do, my dear love, write to me; and do not let us forget each other. This is the season of good w hes, and I wish you all good. I have 110t lately seen Mr. Porter, nor heard of him. Is be with
you. Be pleased to make my compliments to Mrs. Adey, and Mrs. Cobb, and all my friends; and when I can do any good, let me know. I am, dear Madam,
“ Your's most affectionately,
“ Sam. JOHNson. December, 1776.
It is to be regretted, that he did not write an account of his travels in France; for as he is reported to have once said, that “ he could write the Life of a Broomstick," so, notwithstanding so many former travellers hage exhausted almost every subject for remark in that great kingdom, his very accurate observation, and peculiar vigour of thought and illustration, would have produced a valuable work. During his visit to it, which lasted but about iwc months, he wrote notes or minutes of what he saw. He promised to shew me them, but I neglected to put him in mind of it: and the greatest part of them has been lost, or, perhaps, destroyed in a precipitate burning of his papers a few days before his death, which must ever be lamented. One small paper-book, however, entitled “ FRANCE II,” has been preserved, and is in my possession. It is a diurnal register of his life and observations, from the both of October to the 4th of November, inclusive, being twenty-six days, and shows an extraordinary attention to various minute particulars. Being the only memorial of this tour that remains, my readers, I am confident, will peruse it with pleasure, though his notes are very short, and evidently written only to assist his own recollection,
Oct. 10. Tuesday. We saw the Ecole Militaire, in which one hundred and fifty young boys are educated for the army. They have arms of different sizes, according to the age ;-flints of wood. The building is very large, but nothing fine except the council room. The French have large squares in the windows;-they make good iron palisades. Their meals are gross.
We visited the Observatory, a large building of a great height. The upper stones of the parapet very large, but not cramped with iron. The flat on the top is very extensive; but on the insulated part there is no parapet. Though it was broad enough, I did not care to go upon it. Maps were printing in one of the rooms.
We walked to a small convent of the Fathers of the Oratory. In the reading-desk of the refectory lay the lives of the Saints.
Oct. 11. Wednesday. We went to see Hotel de Challois, a house not very large, but very elegant. One of the rooms was gilt to a degree that I never saw before. The upper part for servants and their masters was pretty.
Thence we went to Mr. Monville's, a house divided into small apartments, furnished with effeminate and minute elegance.-Porphyry.
Thence we went to St. Roque's church, which is very large : the lower part of the pillars incrusted with marble.—Three chapels behiud the high altar;—the last a mass of low arches.- Altars, I believe, ali round.
We passed through Place de Vendôme, a fine square, about as big as Hanover-Square.--Inhabited by the high families.-Lewis XIV, on horseback in the iniddle.
Monville is the son of a farmer-general. In the house of Chatlois is a room furnished with japan, fitted np in Europe.
We dined with Boccage, the Marquis Blanchetti, and his lady.—The sweetmeats taken by the Marchioness Blanchetti, after observing that they were dear. Mr. Le Roy, Count Manucci, the Abbé, the Prior, and Father Wilson, who staid with me till I took him home in the coach.
Batbiani is gone.
The French have no laws for the maintenance of their poor.-Mouk not necessarily a priest.–Benedictines rise at four;-are at church an hour and half; at church again half an hour before, half an hour after, dinner; and again from half an hour after seven to eight. They may sleep eight hours.-Bodily labour wanted in monasteries.
The poor taken to hospitals, and miserably kept.-Monks in the convent fifteen :-accounted poor.
Oct. 12. Thursday. We went to the Gobelios.- Tapestry makes a good picture ;-—imitates fleshi exactly.-One piece with a gold ground;the birds not exactly coloured.-Thence we went to the King's cabine! ;very neat, not, perhaps, perfect.-Gold ore.-Candles of the candletree. Seeds.--Woods. Thence to Gagnier's house, where I saw rooms, bice, furnished with a profusion of wealth and elegance which I never had seen before.—Vases.--Pictures.—The dragon china. The lustre said to be of chrystal, and to have cost 3,5001.- The whole furniture said to have cost 125,0001.-Damask hangiugs covered with pictures.-Porphyry:- This house struck me- -Then we waited on the ladies to Monville's.—Captain Irwin with us. Spain. County towns all beggars.-At Dijou he could not find the way to Orleans.-Cross roads of France very bad.-Five Soldiers.-Woman-Soldiers escaped.
- The colonel would not lose five men for the death of one woman.The magi-trate cannot seize a soldier but by the Colonel's permission. Good ion at Nismes.-Moors of Barbary fond of Englishmen.–Gibraltar eminently healthy; it has beef from Barbary. There is a large garden. -Soldiers sometimes fall from the rock.
Oct. 13. Friday. I staid at home all day, only went to find the prior, who was not at home.-I read something in Camus.- Nes admiror, neo multum laudo.
Oct. 14. Saturday. We went to the house of Mr. Argenson, which was almost wainscotted with looking-glasses, and covered with gold.The ladies' closet wainscotted with large squares of glass over painted paper. They always place mirrors to reflect their rooms.
Then we went to Julien's, the Treasurer of the Clergy :-30,0001. a year.-The house has no very large room, but is set with mirrors, and covered with gold.- Books of wood here, and in another library.
At D*********'s I looked into the books in the lady's closet, and, in contempt, shewed them to Mr. T.-Prince Titi; Bibl. des Fées, and other books.-She was offended, and shut up, as we heard afterwards, her apartment.
Then went to Julien Le Roy, the King's watch-maker, a mau of character in his business, who shewed a small clock made to find the longitude. A decent mnan.
Afterwards we saw the Palais Marchand, and the Courts of Justice, civil and criminal.—Queries on the Sellette.- This building has the old Gothic passages, and a great appearance of antiquity.Three hundred prisoners sometimes in the gaol.
Much disturbed; hope no ill will be.
Jo the afternoon I visited Mr. Freron the journalist. He spoke Latin very scantily, but seemed to understand me.-His house not splendid, but of commodious size.-His family, wife, son, and daughter, not elevated but decent. I was pleased with my reception.-He is to translate my books, which I am to send him with notes.
Oct. 15. Sunday. At Choisi, a royal palace on the banks of the Seine, about 7 m. from Paris.-The terrace noble along the river. The rooms numerous and grand, but not discriminated from other palaces.The chapel beautiful, but small.-China globes.--Iolaid tables.--Labyrinth.-Sivking table.-Toilet tables.
Oct. 16. Monday. The Palais Royal very grand, large, and lofty.A very great collection of pictures.--Three of Raphael.--Two Holy No. 6.
Family.-One small piece of M. Angelo.-One room of Rubens.-I thought the pictures of Raphael fine.
The Thuilleries.-Statues.-Venus.-£n. and Anchises in his arms. Nilus.- Many more. The walks not open to mean persons.-Chairs at night hired for two sous a piece.-Pont tournant.
Austin nuos.-Grate. - Mrs. Fermor, Abbess. She knew Pope, and thought him disagreeable.-Mrs.bas many books ;-has seen life. Their frontlet disagreeable.-Their hood._Their life easy.-Rise about five; hour and half in chapel.-Dine at ten - Another hour and half at chapel; half an hour about three, and half an hour more at seven :-four hours in chapel.--A large garden.-Thirteen pensioners. Teacher complained.
At the Boulevards saw nothing, yet was glad to be there.-Ropedancing and farce.-Egg dance.
N. [Note.] Near Paris, whether on week-days or Sundays, the roads empty. Oct. 17. Tuesday. At the Palais Marchand I bought A snuff-box
6 Table book
15 Scissars 3 p (pair)
63-2 12 6 We heard the lawyers plead.-N. As many killed at Paris as there are days in the year.--Chambre de question. --Tournelle at the Palais Marchmod.-An old venerable building.
The Palais Bourbon, belonging to the Prince of Condé. Only ove small wing shewn ;-lofty ;-splendid;-gold and glass. The battles of the great Condé are painted in one of the rooms. The present prioce a grandsire at thirty-nine.
The sight of palaces, and other great buildings, leaves no very disliuct images, unless to those who talk of them. As I entered, my wife was in my mind : she would bave been pleased. Having now nobody to please, I am little pleased.
N. In France there is no middle rank.
So many shops open, that Sunday is little distinguished at Paris.The palaces of Louvre and Thuilleries granted ont in lodgings.
In the Palais de Bourbon, gilt globes of metal at the fire place.
Oct. 18. Weduesday. We went to Fontainebleau, which we found a large mean town, crowded with people. The forest thick with woods, very extensive.-Manucci secured us lodgings. The appearance of the country pleasant.-No hills, few streams, only one hedge. I remember uo chupels nor crosses on the road.-Pavement still, and rows of trees.
N. Nobody but mean people walk in Paris.
Oct. 19. Thursday. At Court, we saw the apartments - the King's bed-chamber and council-chamber extremely splendid.-Persons of all ranks in the external rooms through which the family passes;—servants and masters.-Brunet with us the second time,
The introductor came to us ;-civil to me.-Presenting.-1 had scruples.-Not necessary.-We went and saw the King and Queen at dinoer. -We saw the other ladies at dinner.Madame Elizabeth, with the Princess of Guinené. At night we went to a comedy.-I neither saw oor heard.--Drunken women.-Mrs. Th. preferred one to the other.
Oct. 20. Friday. We saw the Queeu mount in the forest.-Brown habit; rode aside; one tady rode aside_The Queen's horse light grey; -martingale.-She galloped.-We then went to the apartments, and admired them. Then wandered through the palace.--In the passages, stalls, and shops.-Painting in Fresco by a great master, worn out.-We saw the Kiog's horses and dogs. The dogs almost all English.-Degenerate.
The horses not much commended. The stables cool; the kennel filthy.
At night the ladies went to the opera. I refused, but should have been welcome.
The King fed himself with his left hand as we.
Saturday, 21: In the night I got round, -We came home to Paris.I think we did not see the chapel.-Tree broken by the wind.—The French chairs made all of boards painted.
N. Soldiers at the court of justice.—Soldiers not amenable to the magistrates.-Dijon woman.
Faggots in the palace. Every thing slovenly, except in the chief rooms. Trees in the roads, some tall, none old, many very young and small,
Women's saddles seem ill made. Queen's bridle woven with silver. Tags to strike the horse.
Sunday, Oct. 22. To Versailles, a mean town. Carriages of busi, ness passing.–Mean shops against the wall. -Our way lay through Sêve, where the China manufacture, Wooden bridge at Sêve, in the Versailles. The palace of great extent,- The front long; I saw it not perfectly.-The Menagerie. Cygnets dark; their black feet: on the ground : tame.-Halycons, or gulls.--Stag and bind, young.–Avinry, very large : the net, wire.-Black Stag of China, small.-Rhinoceros, the horn broken and pared away, which, I suppose, will grow; the basis, I think, four jaches across; the skin folds like loose cloth doubled over his body, and across bis hips; a vast animal, though young; as big, pero haps, as four oxen,-The young elephaot, with his tusks just appearing. -The brown bear put out his paws ;-all very tame.-The lion. The tigers I did not well view.-The camel, or dromedary with two bunches called the Huguin, taller than any horse. Two camels with one bunch. Among the birds was a pelican, win, being let out, went to a fountain,