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A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain,

A YEAR'S JOURNEY THROUGH FRANCE, AND PART OF SPAIN.

by

PHILIP THICKNESSE.

VOLUME II

Dublin Printed by J. Williams, (No. 21.) Skinner-Row.

M,DCC,LXXVII.

A

JOURNEY, &c.

LETTER XXXIV.

NISMES

SIR,

I am very certain that a man may travel twice through Spain, and half through France, before he sees a woman of so much beauty, elegance, and breeding, as the mistress of the house I lodge in near this city. I was directed to the house, and recommended to the lady, as a lodger; but both were so fine, and superior in all respects to any thing I had seen out of Paris, that I began to suspect I had been imposed upon. The lady who received me appeared to be (it was candle-light) about eighteen, a tall, elegant figure, a beautiful face, and an address inferior to none: I concluded she was the daughter, till she informed me, that _Mons. Saigny_, her husband, was gone to _Avignon_. What added, perhaps, to this lady's beauty in my eyes, or rather ears, was her misfortune,--she could not speak louder than a gentle whisper. After seeing her sumptuous apartments, I told her I would not ask what her price was, but tell her what I could afford only to give; and observed, that as it was winter, and the snow upon the ground, perhaps she had better take my price than have none. She instantly took me by the hand and said, she had so much respect for the English nation, that my price was her's; and with a still softer whisper, and close to my ear, said, I might come in as soon as I pleased--"_Quand vous voudrez, Monsieur_," said she. We accordingly took possession of the finest apartments, and the best beds I ever lay on. The next day, I saw a genteel stripling about the house, in a white suit of cloaths, dressed _en militaire_, and began to suspect the virtue of my fair hostess, not perceiving for some hours that it was my hostess herself; in the afternoon she made us a visit in this horrid dress,--(for horrid she appeared in my eyes)--her cloaths were white, with red cuffs and scarlet _lappels_; and she held in her straddling lap a large black muff, as big as a porridge-pot. By this visit she lost all that respect her superlative beauty had so justly entitled her to, and I determined she should visit me no more in man's apparel. When I went into the town I mentioned this circumstance, and there I learnt, that the real wife of _Mons. Saigny_ had parted from him, and that the lady, my hostess, was his mistress. The next day, however, the master arrived; and after being full and finely dressed, he made me a visit, and proffers of every attention in his power: he told me he had injured his fortune, and that he was not rich; but that he had served in the army, and was a gentleman: he had been bred a protestant, but had just embraced the true faith, in order to qualify himself for an employment about the court of the Pope's _Legate_ at _Avignon_. After many expressions of regard, he asked me to dine with him the next day; but I observed that as he was not rich, and as I paid but a small rent


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