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and utility, does the country owe to its cultivation. A very thin super-stratum of light-coloured mould over a basis of brown crumbling stone, seems to prove that it is the sun's heat, and not the earth's richness, that constitutes the great desideratum to the vineyard. The vine dressers were at work on the slopes and in the dells on each side of our road; and the temperature to wbich these poor creatures were exposed, must have pretty much resembled that of a fiery furnace. Of the vin de Pouilly we tasted on the spot a very relishable specimen at mine host's of the Swan (the post-house, kept by M. Passot). It is a white wine, of generous quality and agreeable favour, resembling Champagne: forty sous the bottle. In consequence of the increased and increasing demand, they are, as we are informed, manufacturing in Burgundy from the light white wines of that district, an article wbich they bave succeeded in substituting, and in many instances doubtless in passing off, for genuine Champagne. The labouring class (and we seldom see any other), are “ steeped in poverty to the very lips.” It has already been incidentally remarked that the female cottagers wear no stockings, and for the most part no shoes, Even those whose garments are in other respects decent, sitting in groups before the door of their dwellings, make a display of naked legs far more striking than engaging. At Pouilly we noticerl, in a gateway leading into the street, a coffin resting on a bier: it was a mere shell of planks, with a white cloth partially thrown over, and a cross at the head of it. Nobody stood near to guard the remains.

Proceeding onwards in the direction of Nevers, we have the Loire still close on our left, spreading forth her shallow waters tbrough a vast expanse, in the midst

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of which the Collines de Berri, a lofty range of wooded hills, similar in their contour to those of Malvern, but of greater magnitude, form another striking feature of the prospect. The next place we pass through is La Charité, situated on the bank of the river, and at the bottom of a ridge of vines. Looking back upon it, we were ready to exclaim in the language of Cowper

“God made the country and Man made the town." A badly built, and, it is not too strong a term to say, a beggarly place, it offers in its immediate locality and the surrounding objects, some of the most lovely and engaging scenery. Further on, the little town of Pougues stands at the foot of a very elevated line of heights, over which our road passes; and ascending it on foot, we were much more than compensated for the steepness of the walk, by the bold and brilliant prospect afforded us from the summit, whence the eye ranges round a circle of not less than fifty miles in diameter :

“ The sun had lost his rage ! his downward orb

“ Shed nothing more than animating warmth,” and was brilliantly reflected in the wave of the broadly winding Loire, whilst the grand range of country glowed with its effulgence.

Besides that staple article of cultivation, the vine—the paysage has here the advantage of being well wooded, and the whole wears an aspect at once commanding and delightful. The droning sounds of the bag-pipe struck upon our ear, and we quickly traced them to a peasant returning from labour, accompanied by his wife and children, passing towards Pougues, along a path below usa The general character of the view from this point reminded us of the vale of Evesham-perhaps more extensive, and certainly less rich in the evidences of productive industry and of social comfort and competency.

On our arrival at Nevers, we hastened ere evening had completely drawn her gradual dusky veil over the objects of our curiosity, to perambulate the principal streets of that city. We saw the cathedral, which is not a large building; the clock tower is the only part of the exterior that is particularly deserving of remark. As far as the scanty remnant of day light enabled us to judge, the inside appeared to be finely constructed; but its pavements and altars were in a very dirty state. As well in this church as in the parochial one of Saint Peter, we observed persons, chiefly females, kneeling at various altars in the absence of the officiating clergy.There is, I do not doubt, a spirit of piety in these private services. Pity that so sacred a feeling should not in its impulses be guided towards the adoption of a purer system of Christian worship.

The old castle of the Counts of Nemours (now the Mairie or town-house) still presents in the peculiarities of its turrets and bow windows, a façade well calculated to interest the architectural antiquary. A large ci-derant monastery furnished excellent barracks and stables for the troopers of the Huitième Regiment de Dragons. The public walk is well laid out in shady avenues, suited to this warm climate. Near it a great crucifix has been erected, since the Restoration, on the site of an ancient one destroyed at the commencement of the Revolution.At the back of the cross, on an elevated platform, approached by a flight of stone steps, is a group of figures in painted sculpture, within a small recess, intended to

represent our Saviour's tomb. It personifies a Dead Christ surrounded by the Virgin, St. John, Joseph of Arimathea, Mary Magdalen, &c. The figures øre the size of life, and well enough executed. Guided by the light of a lamp that hung in the shrine, I ascended the stair-case at night, and saw several devotees prostrate before this renovated object of Romish adoration. The priests are straining every nerve--they are putting every wheel within wheel of the great ecclesiastico-political machine in motion, in order to recover the plenitude of their influence over the people; and the policy of the present Reign seems but too favourable to their designs. It appears equally certain, however, that the state of public feeling on these matters in France is not such as to promise them entire success. In conversing as well with persons in respectable stations of life, as with intelligent individuals among the lower class, we have found much profession of regard for Religion joined to sentiments extremely adverse to the reintroduction of monastic institutions, to the increase of sacerdotal power, and to the doctrines and practices of the emissaries of the Vatican.

12

CHAPTER II.

The Bourbonnois-Sterne's Journey-Moulins-La Palisse-Saint Martin d'Estrèaur-Pacaudiere-Saint Germain (EspinasseRoanne.

July 15th.

W E left Nevers* at four in the morning. Already as we crossed the Loire, the sun-beams were brightening the sombre turrets of the place, whose antiquity is marked by the form of various local objects, that render it interesting, as thus beheld retrospectively at a distance. The foundations of a new bridge bave been laid near the old wooden one; but the work is not continued. We have seen indeed from Calais hitherto no new public buildings going on, unless crucifixes, nunneries, and “boly sepul. ebres," are to be reckoned under that denomination.

The country now becomes more enclosed. The vine for a time disappears; and we find ourselves in a corn district, much resembling the finest parts of Norfolk. Oxen of a large size are used for the plough and the team; they draw by a yoke fixed conjointly to the horns of each animal. In sight of our next post, Magny, the landscape opens a little, still however resembling England, and yet more closely assimilating with Normandy.

* Among other manufactories, this place “has large foundries for cannon, shot, and anchors for the navy. At no great distance from the forges are the iron mines, which form the source of the commercial prosperity of Nevers.”-Reichard-Guide, vol. ii.

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