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A TOUR,

&c.

CHAPTER I.

Departure from Paris-Fromenteau--Essonne-Forest, Town, and

Palace of Fontainebleau-Family Breakfast-Nemours-Fontenay--Montargis-- Briare--The Loire--Cosne--Pouilly-The VinesFrench Landscape Scenery and Country Towns-Nevers.

ON

N the 12th of July, accompanied by my friend, Mr. Haüssermann, I set out from Paris on a journey to Milan. We travelled, extra poste, in an English-built calèche, taking the high road of Fontainebleau.

Ville-juif and Fromenteau are the two first relays.The road from the latter place runs in a straight line, nearly as far as the eye can reach, through a fine country. A line of woody heights to the right hand and another to the left reminded us of those at Thorpe and Crown Point, near my native city. The landscape, however, though

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considerably less verdant, is on a much more extensive scale than ours. The fields are open, and the rye and oat harvest in them had already commenced.

Essonne is agreeably situated on the river of that name; but, as usual with French towns of this (I had almost said every other) class, the principal thoroughfare has a slovenly and poverty-struck appearance.

It presents a long street of large dilapidated bouses; the midst of which, if we may believe the inscription over the door-way, is a Salon des Muses. But, in spite of their directive power, the men are rude loungers, the females dirty, the children balf naked, and the beggars exceedingly troublesome. The banks of the river serve as a general theatre of operations for the washer-women, who with their flat mallets thump the linen into quite as good condition as their compatriotes do in Paris. At the top of the hill is a newly-erected shrine and figure of Notre-Dame-des-Champs. There are several manufacturing establishments* near Essonne, said to be in a very prosperous state, and their shew of business accords with the favourable report concerning them. The view of ridges covered with vines and with grain of all kinds, would have been yet more pleasing but for the burning heats that had parched up the vegetation of a chalky soil.

Proceeding to Ponthierry over high grounds, you have the Seine winding below you through a fertile valley, the populousness of which is indicated by numerous spires and habitations. Now and then a chateau looks

For cotton-thread spinning, calico printing, &c.

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