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A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793,

And Eustace's regale of cheese and onions


it is not only Barrere and his colleagues who suppose the whole country bribeable--the notion is common to the French in general; and vanity adding to the omnipotence of gold, whenever they speak of a battle lost, or a town taken, they conclude it impossible to have occurred but through the venal treachery of their officers.--The English, I have observed, always judge differently, and would not think the national honour sustained by a supposition that their commanders were vulnerable only in the hand. If a general or an admiral happen to be unfortunate, it would be with the utmost reluctance that we should think of attributing his mischance to a cause so degrading; yet whoever has been used to French society will acknowledge, that the first suggestion on such events is _"nos officiers ont ete gagnes,"_ [Our officers were bought.] or _"sans la trahison ce ne seroit pas arrive."_ [This could not have happened without treachery.]--Pope's hyperbole of

"Just half the land would buy, and half be sold,"

is more than applicable here; for if we may credit the French themselves, the buyers are by no means so well proportioned to the sellers.

As I have no new political intelligence to comment upon, I shall finish my letter with a domestic adventure of the morning.--Our house was yesterday assigned as the quarters of some officers, who, with part of a regiment, were passing

this way to join the Northern army. As they spent the evening out, we saw nothing of them, but finding one was a Colonel, and the other a Captain, though we knew what republican colonels and captains might be, we thought it civil, or rather necessary, to send them an invitation to breakfast. We therefore ordered some milk coffee early, (for Frenchmen seldom take tea,) and were all assembled before the usual time to receive our military guests. As they did not, however, appear, we were ringing to enquire for them, when Mr. D____ entered from his morning walk, and desired us to be at ease on their account, for that in passing the kitchen, he had perceived the Captain fraternizing over some onions, bread, and beer, with our man; while the Colonel was in close conference with the cook, and watching a pan of soup, which was warming for his breakfast. We have learned since, that these heroes were very willing to accept of any thing the servants offered them, but could not be prevailed upon to approach us; though, you are to understand, this was not occasioned either by timidity or incivility, but by mere ignorance. --Mr. D____ says, the Marquise and I have not divested ourselves of aristocratic associations with our ideas of the military, and that our deshabilles this morning were unusually coquetish. Our projects of conquest were, however, all frustrated by the unlucky intervention of Bernardine's _soupe aux choux,_ [Cabbage-soup.] and Eustace's regale of cheese and onions.

"And with such beaux 'tis vain to be a belle."

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