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his soldiers the fertile plains of Italy, and encouraged them to persevere: others assert that he led his army into Italy by Mount St. Bernard. This is a discussion into which I am not qualified to enter ; but General Melville, a gentleman of learning, probity, and great professional merit, in his way to Italy, where he now is, endeavoured to trace the route of the Carthagenian army with great attention ; and imagines he has been successful in his researches. He has also ascertained the spots on which some of the most memorable battles were fought, by carefully comparing the description of Polybius, and other authors, with the fields of battle, and has detected many mistakes, which have prevailed on this curious subject; every where supporting his own hypothesis by arguments which none but one who has carefully perused the various authors, and examined the ground with a soldier's eye, could adduce. The same gentleman has likewise made some observations relating to the arms of the ancient Romans, and their tactics in general, which are equally new and ingenious, and which, it is hoped, he will in due time give to the public.
We arrived at the inn at Aiguebelle just in time to avoid an excessive storm of thunder and rain, which lasted with great violence through the whole night. Those who have never heard thunder in a very mountainous country, can form no idea of the loudness, repetition, and length of the peals we heard this night. Many of the inhabitants of those mountains have never seen better houses than their own huts, or any other country than the Alps. What a rugged, boisterous piece of work must they take this world to be!
I fancy you have by this time had enough of mountains and valleys, so if you please we shall skip over Montmelian to Chamberry, where we arrived the same day on which we left Aiguebelle. To-morrow we shall sleep at Geneva. I did not expect much sleep this night from the thoughts of it, and therefore have sat up almost till day, break writing this letter.
Besancon. The duke of Hamilton went some weeks ago to visit an acquaintance in one of the provinces of France. As I inclined rather to pass that time at Geneva, we agreed to meet at Paris, whither Jack and I are thus far on our way. I must now fairly confess that I found myself so happy with my kind friends the Genevois, that I could not spare an hour from their company to write to you or any correspondent, unless on indispensable business. I might also plead, that you yourself have been in some measure the cause of my being seduced from my pen. In your last letter, which I found waiting for me at the posthouse of Geneva, you mention a late publication in terms that gave me a curiosity to see it; and an English gentleman, who had the only copy which has as yet reached that city, was so obliging as to lend it me. The hours which I usually allot to sleep, were all I had in my power to pass alone; and they were very considerably abridged by this admirable performance. The extensive reading there displayed, the perspicuity with which historical facts are related, the new light in which many of them are placed, the depth of the reflections, and the dignity and nervous force of the language, all announce the hand of a master. If the author lives to complete his arduous undertaking, he will do more to dissipate the historical darkness which overshadows the middle ages, give a clearer History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and fill up, in a more satisfactory manner, the long interval between ancient and modern history, than all the writers who have preceded him. This accounts for my long silence. You see I resume my pen
opportunity, after the causes I have assigned for it are removed, which ought to give the more weight to my apology.
As I have frequently been at Lyons, I chose, on this occasion, to return to Paris by Franche Comté and Champagne. We accordingly set out very early yesterday
morning, and were by no means in high spirits when we left Geneva, and passed along the side of the lake, through the Pais de Vaud. The beauties of that country, though they astonish at first sight, yet, like the characters of the inhabitants, they improve on intimacy. Every time I have looked at the lake of Geneva, and its delightful environs, I have discovered something new to admire. As I entered the canton of Bern, I often turned about, and at last withdrew my eyes from those favourite objects, with an emotion similar to what you feel on taking leave of a friend, whom you have reason to think you
shall ver see again.
The first place we came to, on entering France from the canton of Bern, is a poor little town on an hill; I forget its name.
While the postillion stopped to put something to rights about the harness, I stepped into a shop where they sold wooden shoes ; and in the course of my conversation with a peasant, who had just purchased a pair for himself, and another for his wife, he said, “ les Bernois sont bien à leur aise, monsieur, pendant que nous autres François vivons tres durement, et cependant les Bernois sont des hérétiques.' Voilà,' said an old
• woman, who sat in a corner reading her breviary; voilà,' said she, taking off her spectacles, and laying her beads on the book, ce que je trouve incompréhensible.'
This was, however, at the extremity of France, and in a province lately acquired; for it must be confessed, that it is not common for the French to imagine that any country whatever has the advantage of theirs in any one circumstance; and they certainly are not so apt to grumble as some of their neighbours, who have less reason. When I was last at Geneva, a French hairdresserentreat you not to shewt his to your friend fond of people of quality, that he thinks there is no life out of their company. He would pshaw, and curse my poor peasants, and old women, and hairdressers, and accuse me of being too fond of such 'low company.
As for the old women, I am much mistaken if there
Let me who is so
are not at least as many to be found of both sexes in high life as in low ; for the others, I declare I have no particular affection, but I am fond of strokes of nature and character, and must look for them where they are to be found. I introduce the present hairdresser to your acquaintance, because, if I am not mistaken, he spoke the sentiments of his whole nation, high and low. You shall judge. This young fellow attended me every morning while I remained at Geneva ; he had been a year or two at London ; and while he dressed my hair, his tongue generally moved as quick as his fingers. He was full of his remarks upon London, and the fine people whose hair he pretended to have dressed. • Do you not think,' said I, that people may live very happily in that country?" . Mais pour cela oui, monsieur.' • Do you think, then, they are happy ? « Pour cela, non, monsieur.' "Can
6 you guess at the reason why they are not, though they have so much reason to be so ?' « Oui, monsieur, elle est toute simple.' "Pray what is the reason they are not happy ?
• C'est, qu'ils ne sont pas destinés à l'etre.' A very genteel young man, a Genevois, happened to call on me, for two minutes, while this friseur was with
The young gentleman had passed some time at Paris, and was dressed exactly in the Parisian taste.
. He has much the air of one of your countrymen,' said I to the Frenchman, as soon as the other had left the room.
« Mon Dieu ! quelle différence,' cried the friseur. • For my part, I can see none,' said I. Monsieur,' resumed he, . soyez persuadé qu'aucun Genevois ne sera jamais pris pour un François.' " There are certainly some
. petil-maitres to be found in this town,' said I. 6 Pardonnez moi,' replied he, ' ils ne sont que petit-maîtres manqués.' • Did you ever see an Englishman,' said I, who
6 might pass for a Frenchman ?" a
• Jamais de la vie, mon. sieur !' replied he, with an accent of astonishment.
Suppose him,' said I, ' a man of quality ?" « N'importe.'
< But,' continued I, suppose he had lived several years at Paris, that he was naturally very handsome, and well made, that he had been educated by the best French dancing-master, his clothes made by the best French tailor, and his hair dressed by the most eminent friseur in Paris ?" « C'est beaucoup, monsieur, mais ce n'est pas assez.
" What l'exclaimed I, would you still know him to be an Englishman ?? • Assurément, monsieur.'
• What! before he spoke?' « Au premier coup d'oeil, monsieur.' • The devil
« C'est que mes. sieurs les Anglois ont un air—une manière de se présenter -un-que sais-je moi-vous m'entendez bien, monsieur -un certain air si Gau
Quel air, maraud ?" • Enfin un air qui est charmant, si vous voulez, monsieur,' said he rapidly, ' mais que le diable m'emporte si c'est l'air François.'
Tomorrow I shall take a view of this town, and proceed immediately after breakfast to Paris; meanwhile I wish you very heartily good night.
I made a longer stay at Besançon than I intended, and
MADE am now about to inform you what detained me. The morning after the date of my last, as I returned to the inn from the parade, where I had been to see the troops, I met a servant of the marquis de F-, who ran up to me the moment he knew me, and, in a breath, told me, that his master was at Besançon ; that he had been exceedingly ill, and thought, by the physicians, in great danger; but his complaint having terminated in an ague, they had now the strongest hopes of his recovery. I desired to be conducted immediately to him.
I found the marquis alone ; pale, languid, and greatly emaciated. He expressed, however, equal pleasure and