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A Residence in France During the Years 1792, 1793,

Voila ste maudite nation qui s'empare de tout


We

have been so much confined the last twelve months, that we were glad to ride yesterday in spite of the cold; and our hosts having procured asses for the females of the party, accompanied us themselves on foot.-- During our ramble, we entered into conversation with two old men and a boy, who were at work in an open field near the road. They told us, they had not strength to labour, because they had not their usual quantity of bread--that their good lady, whose chateau we saw at a distance, had been guillotined, or else they should have wanted for nothing--_"Et ste pauvre Javotte la n'auroit pas travaille quant elle est qualsiment prete a mourir."_ ["And our poor Javotte there would not have had to work when she is almost in her grave."]--_"Mon dieu,"_ (says one of the old men, who had not yet spoke,) _"Je donnerais bien ma portion de sa terre pour la ravoir notre bonne dame."_ ["God knows, I would willingly give up my share of her estate to have our good lady amongst us again."]--_"Ah pour ca oui,"_ (returned the other,) _"mais j'crois que nous n'aurons ni l'une l'autre, voila ste maudite nation qui s'empare de tout."_ ["Ah truly, but I fancy we shall have neither one nor the other, for this cursed nation gets hold of every thing."]

While they were going on in this style, a berline and four cabriolets, with three-coloured flags at the windows, and a whole troop of national guard, passed along the road. _"Vive la Republique!"_--"Vive la Nation!"

cried our peasants, in an instant; and as soon as the cavalcade was out of sight, _"Voyez ste gueusaille la, quel train, c'est vraiment quelque depute de la Convention--ces brigands la, ils ne manquent de rien, ils vivent comme des rois, et nous autres nous sommes cent sois plus miserables que jamais."_ ["See there what a figure they make, those beggarly fellows--it's some deputy of the convention I take it. The thieves want for nothing, they live like so many kings, and we are all a hundred times worse off than ever."]--_"Tais toi, tais tois,"_ ["Be quiet, I tell you."] (says the old man, who seemed the least garrulous of the two.)--_"Ne crains rien,_ ["Never fear."] (replied the first,) _c'est de braves gens;_ these ladies and gentlemen I'm sure are good people; they have not the look of patriots."--And with this compliment to ourselves, and the externals of patriotism, we took our leave of them.

I found, however, by this little conversation, that some of the peasants still believe they are to have the lands of the gentry divided amongst them, according to a decree for that purpose. The lady, whom they lamented, and whose estate they expected to share, was the Marquise de B____, who had really left the country before the revolution, and had gone to drink some of the German mineral waters, but not returning within the time afterwards prescribed, was declared an emigrant. By means of a friend, she got an application made to Chabot, (then in high popularity,) who for an hundred thousand livres procured a passport from the Executive Council to enter France. Upon the faith of this she ventured to return, and was in consequence, notwithstanding her passport, executed as an emigrant.

Mrs. D____, who is not yet well enough for such an expedition, and is, besides, unaccustomed to our montures, remained at home. We found she had been much alarmed during our absence, every house in the village having been searched, by order of the district, for corn, and two of the horses taken to the next post to convey the retinue of the Deputy we had seen in the morning. Every thing, however, was tranquil on our arrival, and rejoicing it was no worse, though Mons. ____ seemed to be under great apprehension for his horses, we sat down to what in France is called a late dinner.


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