The Clarkes of Graiguenoe Park

North Book

The Journal of an 18th Century Tourist

Edited by Frances Kay


Samuel Vernon was my great-great-great-great grandfather. Born into England’s landed gentry, Samuel owned an estate in Occleston, Cheshire. Family tradition records that he was a keen horticulturist who was the first person to grow pines in that county.

In 1766, when he was 26 years old he set off on a tour of northern Europe with his good friend Edward Bridge. They travelled through France as far south as Paris (where Samuel made a special detour to visit the small town of Vernon) and then on to those countries now known as Belgium, Holland and Germany.

Putting 1766 into a historical context, Samuel and Edward were travelling a decade before the American War of Independence, and some 25 years before the French Revolution. George III was King of England, Louis XV was on the French throne ……. and Napoleon was merely a gleam in his father’s eyes……

During the 18th Century it was considered an important cultural and educational experience for young men of the aristocracy to undertake a “Grand Tour” of Europe. These tours usually lasted several months, and were accompanied by a tutor. Samuel did not belong to that class, and the length of his tour, a mere two months, probably reflects his more restricted financial situation. The route he and his friend followed was not one of the ones commonly followed by 18th Century tourists.

Why then did they go that way? Why did they do the tour? The journal gives no direct answers. One person reading the diary noted the great interest Samuel took in all things military, and suggested that perhaps he was a spy! My own opinion is more prosaic - that he was motivated by youthful curiosity. He and Edward were travelling three years after the end of the Seven Years War with France - a war that would have dominated his youth. Troops and how towns were fortified would have been a topic of common interest to any young man travelling at that time.

Samuel and Edward would have kept notes whilst they were travelling, and then made a neat copy after they got home. Samuel’s intention in writing the journal was to provide an account of his impressions and experiences for the enjoyment of his friends, rather as we might today share our holiday photographs with our friends.

Written in black ink on the leather cover of the journal are the words ‘North Book’. This suggests to me that there was also a ‘South Book’, and very likely it would have been a record of a visit to southern France and Italy. Perhaps this journal will come to light as a result of the North Book being published.

With regard to the spelling, I have transcribed the journal as it is written. Samuel Johnson’s famous dictionary had been published in 1755, but spelling was not yet standardised, and often depended on the writer’s own pronunciation.

The journal paints a colourful panorama of what it was like in northern Europe at that time. From a personal perspective I was interested to discover what sort of man my ancestor was. His personality emerges from the pages. He was educated, and intellectual. This was the Age of Enlightenment, and scientific rationalism shaped Samuel’s opinion. He was never sentimental, and seldom emotional, but he reacted strongly to what he saw as superstition in the religious observances of Catholic countries. His patriotism was strong, his interests wide. I suspect he was rather prudish, but I particularly enjoy his dry sense of humour.

Samuel Vernon married Jane Hall in 1770. Many years later, one of their daughters married the son of Samuel’s old travelling companion, Edward Bridge. After Jane died (in 1775) Samuel married Mary Hunter, with whom he had one son, who later inherited the estate and frittered away the property…….so the story goes!

Samuel died in Chester, in 1808. He was 68 years old.

Frances Kay
14th December, 2001

The North Book may not be reproduced without the permission of Frances Kay.


E. B's and S. V's Observations [1]

Anno 1766

Sailed from Dover on Wednesday the 23rd of April and landed at Calais after a disagreeable tedious passage) about 10 o'clock in the evening. The Gates being shut, we were denied admittance by the officers on Guard and obliged to lodge at a poor ordinary house without the Walls.

Next morning we were employed in seeing a place so often spoke of in our national history. We found it a good town. The principal church is a handsome building, with fine paintings and other decorations.

The Garrison consisted of about two thousand well looking soldiers.

We left Calais in the afternoon, and got that night to the small strong town called Gravelines, passing through a flat cultivated country, having banks all the way to the left hand between us and the sea, the way being very near the sea coast.

Gravelines has one tolerable church and an English nunnery. Leaving Graveline we passed on the 25th through a flat poor country (still very near the sea) to Dunkirk, going through the small fortifications of Mardyke about a mile short of Dunkirk, from which to the sea and from whence to the town runs a navigable canal.

It should have been before observed that we found the Irish Brigade in Garrison at Graveline consisting of about eight hundred men, the uniform of that corps was red faced with black.

Dunkirk we found a large good town with an excellent quay, sufficient for a vast deal of shipping: the Bason destroyed by treaty, very large and fine, surrounded in a great measure by large stong barracks, capable of holding a numorous garrison, and the Bason (when repaired) may afford shelter for a considerable fleet of Men of War. Jetties run a considerable way into the sea and were strongly defended by batteries, all which are demolished but the materials are carefully laid by in heaps, and may be replaced on the occasion of any future ruptures, though not without much labour and expence.

We saw here two good churches finely ornamented, in one of them a canopy for the Host, very grand, and many good paintings: in the other, (which is a handsome gothick structure) is amongst other pictures one representing the story of St George, a celebrated piece.

We saw nothing particular in the monasteries and nunneries.

There were two regiments of foot soldiers, one of which wore blue uniforms, faced with white, the other white faced with red, both wore hats with white lace, one with small white cockades, the other without any.

In the evening about five o'clock we saw a grand religious procession, in which went a great number of priests, with pictures elevated, and the Host carried under a kind of canopy shaped something like a chinese temple with four supporters all of silver , or gilt borne by the same number of priests, many others carried lighted wax tapers. At certain small distances, the parsons who composed the procession and all the spectators, kneeled down for about half a minute, during the repetition of short prayers, and while walking continued singing hymns. We learnt that it was what happened very seldom and done for the benefit of some sick persons in town.

After this we walked into the country on the banks of a broad canal, on the sides of which are the town gardens.

This canal leads to Borg, through which we passed the next day. It is a small well built town, with fortifications and garrison.

From thence to Mont Cassel we went through a flat rich country, well cultivated. That town stands on the summit of a hill which commands very extensive and delightfull prospects of the adjacent country on every side, whose appearnace was at that time extremely pleasing, the fields being all in compleat verdure, the trees in blossom and shurbs bursting out into leaf, all conspired to the advantage of the scene.

By the road side are many good orchards planted with various kinds of fruit trees, of which the cherries, and pears seemed best and most numerous. Mont Cassel is a small town without any fortifications. On the way we observed several crucifixes set up about fifteen feet high with the image of Christ, not ill done, an angel is represented catching the blood which flowed from the wound in his side.

Wherever different roads met we observed generally a small building two or three yards square having within an image of the virgin Mary, or some other, at which passengers, of that country, kneel down and pay their devotions.

The next place we came to is called Bailleud, a small town wherein they shew nothing but the garden belonging to the Capuchin Fryers, and that is little worth notice.

From thence we went through a flat country abounding with the richest pastures we had ever seen, to the River Lis, which we crossed in a manner new to us. It was by a boat seventeen yards long and five yards broad. Our carriage drove upon it (it being close to the waters edge) and in two minutes the boat, carriage and all together were (by means of a strong rope) on the other side of the stream and the carriage drove off it with the same ease it went on. From that river to the town called Armentieres we passed through a fine grove of trees about half a mile in length. The town is neat and small but not fortified. We proceeded from Armentieres through an exceeding pretty country to Lisle[2].

All the way from Dunkirk to Lisle is upon a raised road of good breadth, and laid with a pavement (wide enough for two or three carriages) as even as the new laid streets of Westminster, in which manner the towns we saw in Flanders had their streets paved.

The forms in passing the Guards at all the garrisoned towns are rather disagreeable and detaining. However, by giving the value of a shilling or two much trouble is prevented, and you generally are permitted to pass (by means of that powerfull argument) without having your baggage examined, after you leave Calais, but there it is unavoidable.

Lisle is a very large place, and so extreamly well built, that no town in England (London excepted) is any way to be compared with it. The streets are very broad and all the publick edifices fine, the churches (like what we had before seen) richly ornamented, the publick squares are spacious and noble; the houses of the principal people built round courts like Northumberland House, Charing Cross, London.

Here are near ten thousand men kept in garrison. They had the appearance of very good troops. The officers seemed genteel men. We saw here variety of uniforms worn by the different regiments: Of the Horse some wore green, some blue with yellow waistcoats, breeches and stockings; the Foot were in white, white faced with black and other trimmings. The soldiers were in general neat and clean, all powdered, and seemed under exact discipline. The Horse had trumpets, the Foot drums, fifes and french horns, besides a band of musick to each, or most of the regiments. We saw great numbers of those troops drawn up both at the Relief of Guard (when their musick attended) and in exercise, wherein they seemed regular and exact. Their horses are smaller than ours and in course inferiour, but the Foot, appear (at least) equal to the best British we had ever seen. It was a matter of surprise to us at first, not without some degree of disgust, to see the officers where and whenever they met pay their compliments to each other by kissing each other on each cheeck.

After being agreeably entertained with seeing the horse and foot soldiers drawn up under arms in the great square before the windows of our inn, we walked to the Citadel which is esteemed the handsomest and the strongest in Europe, and indeed it so far exceeds our power of description that it is only barely for the refreshment of our memories that we attempt to describe it, not indeed that more was intended by these slight remarks than that, and inspection of a very few of the particular friends of each of us.

At our entrance into the Cidadel we were received at the Gates by the Guard and one of the centinels fixed his bayonet and went with us to the Governor's Lodge, who genteely gave us leave to be conducted round by the same centinel. On its ramparts are fine rows of trees, between which we walked and overlooked all the ditches, and numerous batteries of cannon, and mortars; without and within are barracks for a numorous garrison besides lodges and neat gardens for the Governor and other officers, and the arsenal. We had farther permission to see the inside of that place of arms, wherein are arms for a large body of men. However we observed an officer closely watched our motions to discover or prevent our making any paricular remarks: on our way back to the town we passed through what is called the Esplanade (or Publick Walks) which are elegant, lieing between the town and Citadel and commanding good views of both.

From thence we passed by the great Magasine, a lofty extensive building, containing four hundred windows. Just by it is a handsome convent. This day being Sunday we went into the best churches, where we saw the appearance of much devotion, though as little regard shown the duty of the day in all other parts of the town as can well be imagined: musick playing in every street, and many houses; passing of every kind of carriage, as well for the uses of business as pleasure; and many shops, though not all, kept open, in the evening according to the custom of Roman Catholick countries.

A comedy was performed at the theatre, much like one of our operas. The musick was pretty, but our ignorance of the language prevented our forming an opinion of the merit of the play: the theatre differs from the English ones in several respects, the stage boxes running nearly the whole length of the stage, the pit had not seats (being there called the parterre) so that all in it were obliged to stand the whole time. The prompter spoke with his head through a trap door in the front part of the stage just before the musick. His appearance in this posture and situation (and indeed it was very plain) seemed odd to us.

There are no signes hung out, nor did we see a single beggar in the streets of Lisle, regulations these which surely do honour to its majestrates.

On the 28th of April about five o'clock in the morning we left Lisle and came through a very fruitfull rather than pleasant country to Douay, leaving the Fort of Descarpe within sight on the right hand within a mile of the town.

Douay is a good town strongly fortified. The Parliament of Artois is held here. It sits in a large old building. Here are severall good churches, and relegious houses, of these the principal is St Peter's Church, a modern structure, and by far the best architecture we had seen in Flanders. It has a fine dome open within to the top and at the West End a tower of an enormous breadth and strength, but very low in proportion. It appears of ancient date. The English convent is an elegant building. The market is wide neat and handsome.

As soon as we left Douay we entered into an exceeding fine open country, with pleasant and extensive prospects over numerous villages, and large tracts of arable land. What added to the beauty was the road being planted on each side with lofty lime trees for many miles. Before we reached Cambray we left a little on our right a large handsome abbey situated in a most agreeable valley. Cambray is capital of the Cambresis, a province which the French took from the Spaniards the last century, and have kept it ever since, as they did their other conquests from that nation in the Netherlands. It is an Arch Bishops Sea, and the center of the Cambrick manufactory, a large and strong city situated in a fine fruitfull country.

The town is inferiour to Lisle in its buildings, rather seeming a place on the decline than in that flourishing state which the center of such a manufactory might be supposed to be in.

All the religious buildings are large, the cathedral is vastly so, and has in it a great number of images and monuments, amongst the last is an ancient one of elegant workmanship over Maximi Liano, the first Arch Bishop of this place. It gave us pleasure to see a plain one erected in memory of Tennilon the deservedly admired author of the Adventures of Tolomachus and other works. The choir part of this cathedral is ornamented in a most costly manner and the pillars lined with veined marble, where with the floor of it is laid.

We were much pleased with the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which is very noble and contains beautiful and valuable paintings, amongst these are severall upon the passion and death of Christ, done in imitation of Baso: relievo and deception is so good that till we touched the canvas, our eyes could scarce satisfie us of the paint not being real figures. Adjoining this church is an handsome convent belonging to the Benedictine monks.

The Arch Bishops Palace is large and stands just by the Cathedral, in whose steeples we were told there were forty bells, the heaviest weighing fifteen and the next fourteen thousand pounds weight.

After seeing the churches and best streets we went to see the Citadel, but not finding its appearance near equal to that at Lisle and evening drawing on we contented ourselves with walking on the outside without asking permission to go within it.

There were Garrisons in Douay and in Cambray but not numerous ones, these places being at a distance from the Barrier.

The houses in the country in Flanders differ no more from those in England than ours in different counties do from each other. They build with both brick and stone, the former of which is nearly the colour of the latter. Their free stone is much like the Bath stone in England, soft when dug from the quarries and grows hard by exposion to the air, but it soon looses its colour and becomes almost black. Their houses are covered with tiles, slates or thatch indifferently as with us in Brittain.

We did not observe half a dosen gentlemen's houses in the country in all the way from Dunkirk to Cambray (just beyond where the Netherlands end). To this we attribute the goodness of the towns wherein every man of property places the safety of his person and effects, by reason of the devastation to which the unfortified places are liable to from the scouting parties and foragers of each army both of enimies and friends, whenever this rich county becomes (as it has so often been) the theatre of war.

The men of this country seem strong and robust, but we cannot agree with those who have spoke in favour of the persons of the women, who we thought very plain, both of the ordinary and genteel rank.

There is not at present any material difference in the dress of the men there from those of our own country. The women wear no hats, but walk with long hooded cloaks, or veils, which appeared to us who were not used to such methods far from pleasing; in other respects the gentlewomen who we saw in full dress at the comedy at Lisle wore cloaths much like ours in England.

The roads in the Netherlands are extreamly good often raised greatly above the natural level and generally wide enough for several carriages to drive abreast; up the middle is a very wide, even pavement, so that wet weather never makes it bad travelling, or dry, disagreeably dusty.

On the 29th we left Cambray about sun rising, and went through an open country something like our Northhamptonshire, but pleasanter, and leaving the Netherlands again entered the Province of Picardi after having travelled more than one hundred miles in the former, in all which way we did not see one acre of barren land or ten acres of poor crops of grass or any kind of grain.

A few miles south of Cambray we left in sight upon our left the largest abbey we had seen.

The first town we came to after leaving Cambray was Peronne, a small place with slight fortifications. At night we reached an inconsiderable town called Roye, having gone through a fine, open, arable country.

Leaving Roye we entered a fine road having a row of large apple trees on each side for five or six miles in length. At the end of it is a large country seat belonging to Monsr. Choiseul, a kinsman to the Duke of that name who is Prime Minister of France, the country now began to be less open having more woods and inclosures interspersed with gentlemen's seats. Having crossed a narrow part of the province of Picardy we came into the Isle of France, so called from its being nearly surrounded with rivers. Soon after noon we got to the little town called Pont St Mascence and there passed ye River .…[3] a fair, clear stream with a large handsome bridge.

We immediately entered into the Royal Forest named after this town. It covers a large tract of country, we went about seven miles in crossing through it. It abounds with great plenty of different kinds of game, for whose preservation there is law, whereby any person attempting to destroy any of it is condemned to the gallies. About a mile south of this forest lies Sonlis, a Bishop's See, the town is large but straggling. It appears to have manufactories of hats, cutlery and lace. The Cathedral is a large handsome gothick structure, and has one of the best spires in France. Here are besides some other good churches, and severall religious communities. The Publick Walks are upon the old ruinous fortifications and are very pleasant, commanding fine prospects of the country round about and of severall good gardens belonging to the city.

We observed many stone walls near the town as partitions of inclosure, up to almost all of these espaliers were fixed and vines planted.

On the first of May we left Sonlis at six o'clock in the morning and very soon came into another of the Royal Forests whose extent we are told is very great, but did not go more in it than two miles. This part of the country abounds with elegant gentlemen's houses, but the land is not near so rich as in the Netherlands. It bottoms upon chalk, and the soil seems of no great depth.

The roads all the way (to) Paris were much the same as those described in the Netherlands, and having in some places, where the way lay through low marshy grounds, been raised a vast height, must have cost large sums of money. 'Till within few years past here were numerous turnpikes upon these roads, but of late the government has undertaken the repairs of them, and eased travellers from that impost.

A principal reason why these roads keep so good is there being very few heavy carriages used upon them, the trade of this part of France being very trifling and in flanders the Canals render such carriages unnecessary.

About two miles short of Paris we passed by the Royal Bakery, from whence the King's household is supplied with bread. Leaving St Denis within sight on the right hand, we entered Paris about two o'clock and passing through severall streets much like those in the city of London, beyond the Exchange, came to the Pont Neuf (or the new bridge) lieing over the River Seine of which we had a fine prospect, and of the buildings on each side, as well as of the quays which far exceed those in London, but the bridge (though boasted of there) is no way equal to any in London. Upon this bridge stands a good equestrian statue of Henry the fourth of France, a monarch who was not only an ornament to France, but to human nature and deservedly stiled Henry the Great. Here is likewise at one end a fountain (the best if not the only one in Paris) called the Fountain of the Samaritans, because it represents that story as told in the new Testament, by severall good figures.

Between this bridge and another called the Pont Royal, which are in sight of each other, stand by the side of the river (though at a sufficient distance from it to allow great room for quays, and for the passage of severall carriages abreast) the prodigious Palaces of the Louvre and Tuileries adjoin each other, by perhaps the longest gallery in the world. These buildings so far exceed anything in England that we had no conception equal to them. The gardens of the latter are laid out(according to the taste of the times they were done in) with vast magnificence, with long, shady walks, groves, beds of flowers, and ornamented with many statues cut in white marble by the best masters, these are mostly historical. We were charmed with the representation of Eaneas carrying his father, having his wife and little son walking by him, through the flames of Troy, mentioned by Virgil.

The gardens are the Mall of Paris and are equally free to all well dressed people, but no others are permitted to pass ye guard that does duty at the entrance, which is just at the foot of the Pont Royal, on the northern side the river.

The River Seine is about as large at Paris, as the Dee is, above the bridge at Chester, but the water is neither fine or wholesome, a circumstance very unfortuante to the Parisians, because they have little or no other to use. It is sold in the streets out of buckets, carried slung over the shoulders of poor men who get their bread by it.

Many vessels, not carrying masts or sails (for the river is too serpentine to admit such as do) and great fleets of timber and other wood pass up and down the river. By means of these fleets the city is supplied with fuel, which is produced by the neighbouring forests, there being no pitcoal found in that part of Europe.

The first publick entertainment we went to was an opera much like ours at the Hay Market Theatre in London. The theatre in which the operas are shown is within the Palace of Tuileries. It seems longer than the before named in London but not wider, the form not being so circular. It is elegantly gilt and painted, the seenery dresses, and dances are equal to the best we had ever seen, though we thought the musick inferiour to ours in England. The pit (or parterre) in this theatre (and we found it is generally so in France) like that at Lisle, has no seats which is probably to enable it to hold a greater number of people, however it is far from agreeable. The boxes and galleries are very little different from our own.

On the 3rd of May I left Paris to go down to Vernon in Normandy. Soon after I got out of town I came upon a common planted with groves of trees and there saw a considerable body of soldiers reviewed. The men made a fine appearance, the variety of their regimentals made an agreeable diversity, some being in white, some in blue, and some in scarlet uniforms.

I had from hence a fine view of the superb buildings wherewith the neighbourhood of Paris is ornamented. I soon arrived at the neat town of St Germains only remarkable for its palace. From this place to Mantes is by far the most agreeable road I ever saw. On the right hand we passed all along on the foot of an hill whose sides were covered with vineyards and cornfields, beautifully intermixed. On the left hand was a tract of meadow land between our road and the River Seine which having received a large stream or two since its leaving Paris, is become a large river, and of which I had delightfull prospects frequently as well as of its fertile banks, whereon stand many elegant houses, gardens, and plantations.

Mantes is a well built town, on the Seine, over which it has a noble bridge. The great church is a large gothick building, has many images of the Virgin just at the entrance and seemed good, but it being the time of high mass (on a Saturday) and a very full congregation, I forbore disturbing it any further, particularly as by neglecting the holy water, which stands in a small kind of stone bason, just within the door of most Roman Catholick Churches, I must show myself to be of another religion.

A little beyond Mantes the country becomes more hilly, and in a few miles the hills confine the river so much as to allow but little room for meadowing. The valley opens again on the southern side before you come to Vernon which is situated in a rich vale on the south side the River Seine, whose waves wash its walls. Here is a bridge over this river upwards of four hundred yards long. A few of the arches at the end next the town are repaired in the modern manner but the other part is of wood upon stone piers, and seems to be of very great antiquity and strength; at the farther end of the bridge stood the castle upon whose foundations are now built vast warehouses for corn and meal. It stood at the foot of a steep craggy hill, which rises immediately from the river on the northern side. This castle was anciently the residence of the Lords of the town, one of whom with a numerous attendance of armed men attended William Duke of Normandy when he conquered England and afterwards settled at Shipbrooke in Cheshire, but what remained of its ruins were removed when the warehouses were erected: From the middle of the bridge the view is truly delightfull. On one side you see the town with a hill covered with wood rising behind it at some distance (perhaps half a mile off). On the other side (above where the castle stood) a steep hill seems almost to hang over the river, being in some places covered with shrubs and verdure in others nothing but bare rock. Looking downwards the river Seine appears above and below for a considerable distance. It is broad and smooth and has five or six small islands within sight all planted with trees, except one, which has only naked verdure. It was a most agreeable evening when I saw this beauteous scene and the singing of many nightingales added to the entertainment.

There are large mills built upon this bridge whose wheels are moved by the flow through the arches without any poundage of the water. The wheels are of uncommon form, their breadth is nearly equal to the expansion of the arches they stand in. They turn upright beams of great length and strength in order to move the stones, for the mills are built upon the bridge and are a vast height above the stream.

Vernon has the greatest appearance of antiquity of any town I was ever in. It has been surrounded by strong walls which are now fine ruins, having the remains of magnificence What have best stood the hand of time, are two of the gates, and one round tower of considerable height and diameter and seems a peice of strong neat architecture. The principal houses are in general most antique structures and seem to threaten the lives of the inhabitants. There are however some few modern good buildings. Many of the old ones are built of wood. I thought I saw more timber edifices in this town than I had seen in all the way I had passed. In France, the houses are lofty and the streets narrow.

On the south east side of the town (just without the gate) is a stone erection, like an ancient triumphal arch having on each side a range of balastrades. It seems to have been very handsome, but is now greatly decayed by time.

The principal churches are those of Notre Dame & Geneveve, the latter has a spire, is an ancient gothick building and has a good sized organ. It appears gloomy within, the glass of the windows being painted with dark colours, and its pillars are heavy. The Church of Notre Dame, by far the best in town, is built in the cathedral fashion. The middle part (or great isle) however is pewed and the best so I had seen any on the continant. In the upper end opposite to the pulpit, under the center of the roof is the tomb of William de Vernon, who founded most of, or every religious building in town. The very great antiquity of this tomb renders it difficult to ascertain what kind of stone or marble it is of. The effigies are engraved not raised) on the top, the face and hands are fixed in, being of brighter coloured stone than the rest.

Doctor Vernon, Rector of St George Bloomsbury in London, sent over an artist out of England to engrave a plate representing this tomb which was accordingly done, and we are now possessed of etchings. The people of Vernon reverence the memory of this said William, and every man in England whose name is Vernon, pleases himself with the belief, or hope, that he is descended from him.

The inscription upon the tomb is in old French, and much defaced, however an English translation has been attempted, whereby we find an excellent character of this Prince who died a very few years before the Normans subdued England.

On the back of the town are large walks planted with groves of trees, from hence I saw two very handsome country seats, with fine woods surrounding them. At the end of one of those walks is a large stone bason, into which a fountain discharges a good deal of water, from whence it flows out and runs through the streets of the town.

Here is a Monastery of Cordaliers, their church is old and not handsome. There are a few tolerable pictures in it, besides one representing an inspired maid, which pleased me very much. In every church in Vernon are many very ancient monuments and inscriptions generally much defaced by time.

On my return to Paris I stopped at St Germains and there saw the old palace wherein Lewis the fourteeth was born, and which was lent by that Prince to his kinsman James the 2nd to reside in after his abdication of the British throne. It is a very large building surrounding a spacious court. It however appeared to me to have something of a gloominess, rather bespeaking the residence of a deposed monarch than of a reigning sovereign. The forest is extensive and the gardens large and well kept. The Grand Terrace commands a noble view of the country round it, and of the River Seine (here remarkably serpentine) which runs below in a wide fruitfull valley, so surrounded by small hills as to be quite theatrical, only opening a little to the east, was it not that one of those hills covers Paris from the sights surely no prospect in the world could exceed this. When I walked on this terrace I could not forbear reflecting that I then was treading the same ground so long and often trod by men of our country in those melancholy inactive hours spent here in attendance here upon their exiled Prince.

To describe the numerous buildings which the Religion of many and probably the pride of more have caused to be erected in Paris, and which we saw there could fill a volume and much exceed the intention of these slight remarks, and also the power of the observers. So we shall content ourselves with the mention of a few of the most material things we saw, and with drawing parallels, and comparisons now and then between this capital and that of our native country.

Paris is without doubt considerably less than London, but if we reflect on the great advantages the latter enjoys, and only imagine those advantages to cease at London, or be felt at Paris, we should soon expect Paris to become the greater place. First the River Thames bringing vessels of all burdens up to the city is of infinitely more use to it than the Seine is to the other. The smallness and crookedness of this last river, and its great distance from the sea, rendering it of very little use to commerce. In the next place the British court being held at St James's is of unspeakable benefit to London, whereas that of France being at Versailles is the same to Paris as the other would be to London if kept at Windsor or at Richmond, for notwithstanding that the King has the magnificent palaces of the Louvre and Tuillieres within the city of Paris he never spent a night there since he came to the crown, and is but very seldom seen there at all.

The streets of Paris are narrow in proportion to the height of the houses, which are five, six or seven stories from the ground. The windows reaching almost from the top to the bottoms of the rooms, they open generally like double doors, and have mostly a little collonade fenced with iron rails before each.

Foot passengers have nothing like the conveniencies in Paris, as in London, there being no spaces flagged or posted out as we have, so that walking is disagreeable and dangerous, the stones being very slippery and the passing and repassing of many kinds of carriages perpetually, many accidents are doubtless occasioned thereby, but as none of those circumstances are suffered to appear in the publick prints the less notice is taken of them.

The coaches and chariots of the genteel people are very neatly gilded and many have enamelled pannels, they all hang upon leather as it were cradle ways. The use we make of steel springs being neglected amongst the French, their method of hanging their carriages has one material advantage which to them (in a city whose streets are so narrow) is a most necessary one. It is that they can turn in much less compass than ours. The post chaises kept for hire are the most uneasy clumsy vehicles that can well be imagined. We had the testimony of weary limbs often repeated to impress the remembrance of them. They usually run with three horses, sometimes all abreast, sometimes one to lead and the other two abreast following. The leader is generally so bad as to be rather a hindrance, than of any assistance to the others. Their horses are much inferiour to ours, though generally stallions.

The town house (Hotel De Ville) is not to be compared to our Royal

Exchange. Before it is an open space, not worthy the idea we annex to the word square, where the publik executions are; it is called the Greve, a dreadfull name, by reason of the cruel treatment there inflicted on those who are guilty, or who the Government chuse to have thought so, which is much the same thing in absolute monarchies; Happy England! Where the meanest as well as the highest subject has all the advantages in case of tryal that the wisdom of man could contrive for the defence of liberty; France has no Habeas Corpus Law, no Grand Juries, no personal security, Slaves, Slaves.

When there is to be an execution at the Greve, a scaffold is erected for the purpose and removed immediately afterwards. If the person condemned is suspected of a design to speak to the people what his judges do not chuse should be heard, he is brought gagged, as was the case with General Count Lally who suffered whilst we were there, and what made the justness of his sentence more doubtfull was an ordonance issued at the same time forbidding any person to say, publish or write any thing in his defence, after his death. Once more let us congratulate ourselves that we are Englishmen, subjects to a country where no tearing to pieces by horses, no breaking on the wheel are practiced, and we proceed in our remarks, broke off by these digressions.

The streets of Paris are lighted in a different manner from ours in England. A cord is fastened across the street, twelve foot high. To the middle of the cord is fixed a pulley and to that pulley a large glass lamp, much like what we call lanthorns. In the evenings the lamp is let down by means of the pulley in the very center of the street, to the ground, and a small tallow candle put into it, which we were informed seldom lasted, in winter above an hour or two, at most, after midnight. However any disorders committed after that time are severely punished. It is felony to cut the cord that supports this lamp or lanthorn, perhaps more properly called by the latter name. This method of lighting is very inconvenient because during the time the man is employed in it the middle of the street is so taken up by him that all carriages are obliged to drive near the walls, to the great danger of people on foot (as was before observed), who have nothing to secure themselves from being drove over.

Paris having no court end of town (as they say in London) differs not so much one part from another as London does, but has very large handsome buildings in every part of it.

Near the Gardens of the Tuilleries is what is called the Place of Lewis the Fifteenth, a grand square not yet compleated. The buildings (all new erections) are quite noble. In the center is an excessive fine equestrian statue of that monarch.

Not far from the Place of Lewis the Fifteenth is the Place of Conquests, accounted the finest in Paris. It is large and spacious not unlike the Circus at Bath in England. In the middle is a statue of Lewis the Fourteenth, almost gigantick. The numerous inscriptions represent him as equal to Alexander the Great.

We thought the Publick Walks of Paris to exceed those in London.

The great old Cathedral of Notre Dame has two heavy towers at the West End. It is not unlike Westminster Abbey, though we thought rather inferiour to it. The Church of Notre Dame has indeed a profusion of rich ornaments, as statues, pictures, plate, jewels, relects, etc., but we give the preference to the monuments at Westminster. The middle isle of Notre Dame was (when we saw it) separated from the rest by hangings of black cloth, reaching from bottom to top, as mourning for the late Dauphin, the mourning within side very elegant, and there stood in the middle of this isle something erected in honour of the deceased like a chinese temple (richly gilded) it reached two thirds of the whole buildings height. In the middle of it a bason of white marble was elevated, seeming to contain holy water. We learnt that this isle only is sometimes lighted with seven thousand tapers at once.

As you enter this great church on the West End just within the great door you are struck with beholding close by you an enormous statue of the christian giant St. Christopher, as carrying Christ over a river. It is much more frightfull than pleasing, probably more so than it would be owing to the gloominess of the entrance.

Religious Processions are so very common here as to have little reverence paid to them. On holidays you meet them in almost any street. In general a crucifix is carried aloft by the priest, who leads the procession, and after him proceed many others with lighted tapers, relects etc. They sing or rather howl solemn hymns, as they pass along and are assisted by a kind of instrument of uncommon form which sounds not unlike our bassoon but more hollow and dismal.

There is something very solemn in the service at the burial of the dead. We went to see the internment of Count Gage, a nobleman of Irish extraction. There went a grand procession of priests and mourners to the Church of St Sulpice (one of the finest in Paris) wherein the corps was deposited in a vault. The altar piece was elegantly covered with black cloth and silver lace. Before it the corps was set down and immediately surrounded with many wax candles in tall silver sticks. The funeral dirge was sung in the deepest tone of voice, rendered more dismal by the instruments before named, all the priests except two or three sitting during the whole time this service lasted, which was about fifteen minutes. That ended, the coffin was carried from the altar to the vault, and there laid, afterwards the friends of the dead man went one by one to the coffin and with a brush dipt in holy water sprinkled it. So concluded this ceremony just in the dusk of the evening.

They do not carry a corps upon a bier, as we do, but sling the coffin in cords, and carry close to the ground.

The riches of the churches (if the value is equal to what is pretended) is excessive great in gold, silver and jewels of many kinds. These may sometime be used as a dernier resort on some extraordinary exegencey of state, and as to the numerous sacred relects of the bones of apostles, and martyrs, pieces of the cross etc, they might be left them to boast of when the riches were turned to other purposes than pomp and shew.

The Sorbonne a kind of students colledge built by Cardinal Richlieu is a large handsome building surrounding a court. The church is very fine, having a large Dome, the walls within have many nitches with good statues in them. In the isle just before the grand altar is the monument erected over the remains of the Cardinal. He is represented in a dying posture upon a bed of state supported by Religion. At his feet the Sciences are finely represented by a weeping female and mourning the loss of this extraordinary man. The effigies are said to be like in features to what the Cardinals were when living. Upon the whole this is a finer piece of sculpture than we could have imagined it in the power of man to execute.

The Palace Royal, now the town residence of the Duke of Orleans, stands at no great distance from the Louvre. It has gardens free to all well dressed people, but they are inferiour to those of the Tuillieres. The apartments of this Palace are very grand and gilded in a very extraordinary manner. In these rooms and galleries are one of the largest and best collections of paintings in the world. We had the pleasure of twice seeing them, but do not pretend once to describe them.

The Royal Hospital of Invalids is one of the largest edifices in the whole city. It has several quadrangles, the largest of them with its piazzas, is very noble. Here usefullness, plainess, beauty and greatness are happily united. It affords relief to between three and four thousand infirm soldiers. The church is one of the most admired in the kingdom, and sure no building much more deserves it. The high altar is more magnificent than any we had seen. The dome is the finest in Paris, but not equal to that at St Pauls in London in point of size, but then it is beautifully adorned and gilded and is by that means a vast ornament to the city. Before the hospital is a large court having a wide ditch (broad enough to be used as a garden) and double walls with large gates. On the inner wall are planted severall pieces of brass cannon and mortars, purely for shew, for they can be of no other use than like those in St James Park to be fired on publick rejoicing days.

A little out of town beyond the Invalids Hospital, is the Military School. It covers a large space but we observed nothing there worth particular notice, except the riding school, and the studd of horses, consisting of great numbers from different parts of France and other countries. Of these the arabians and those from the Province of Normandy seemed best, there being none of English breed amongst them.

The gates of Paris seem to have no other intention but to serve as triumphal arches in commemoration of victories obtained by the French arms. Of these that of St Dennis is most noticed. It is very large and grand, but the representations are so replete with flattery and bombast that they are rather digusting than entertaining to a British beholder.

Place Royal is the largest square in the city, though neither equal to Lincolns Inn Fields or Grosevenor Square London. It is built all round upon handsome piazzas, the middle is railed out with iron palisadoes, and has in the centre a noble equestrian statue of Lewis the thirteenth.

Just behind Place Royal our coach (which we hired by the week during our stay) drove into what they call the Grand Boulvard. It consists of a grove of six rows of lofty lime and elm trees. Between the middle rows is a broad road for carriages, and between the others are ways for people on foot. Here it is that the Parisians go out for air. These groves nearly surround the whole city, and are extremly pleasant. On one side you see the town, on the other the adjacent country covered with pleasure gardens and orchards. We looked on this as the finest ornament of the place and admired it the more for its novelty, having nothing of the kind (comparatively speaking in our own country). We were no less surprised at the sight of so large a concourse of people as we saw as we went along it.

The old Palace of Luxemburgh is a vast building in a quadrangular form. The apartments have many good paintings but the most noted are those in the great gallery, representing the life of Mary de Medicis, wife of Henry the Fourth and mother of Lewis the Thirteenth of France. These pieces are the work of Rubens and numbered amongst the most capital performances in Europe.

It deserves to be remarked to the honour of the great in France that they are very free in letting their collections of paintings, statues and every kind of curiosity be seen by genteel people without any difficulty, with permission to take copies, if desired.

We went one evening to the gardens of St Cloud, which are about five miles from Paris. The woods there are cut into avenues and vistas, affording shady walks, they are on the side of a hill washed by the River Seine. Part of these gardens are inclosed and made something like our Vauxhall in England, but far from equal to it, in any respect. The people of Paris resort thither very much on Sundays and Thursday evenings during the summer season. We there saw some very pretty fire works played off, and a ball.

The colledge founded by Cardinal Mazarine is something like the Sorbonne. It lies on the opposite side of the Seine fronting the Louvre. In the chappel the Cardinal lies interred and over him a handsome monument, the effigies are represented in white marble (as pretended very like him) kneeling in his robes, upon a kind of pedestal or tomb, at whose foot are three figures as large as life in bronze to express Prudence, Plenty and Fidelity. It was matter of much pleasure to be upon the spot and to see the monuments where are deposited the bodies of two such wonderfull men as the Cardinals Richlieu and Mazarine were, to whose vast abilities France owes so much of its power and greatness.

The Bastile is a large old castle, now used as a state prison. Inferiour to the Tower in London, it stands on the eastern side of the town.

The last thing we saw in Paris worth mentioning was the Chappel of the barefooted Carmelite nuns, which is remarkable for its paintings and statues. We thought this one of the most elegant sights we saw in Paris. This order of nuns are very ridged in their religious discipline, so much so as to draw the pity of every unprejudiced beholder. It led us to consider the absurdity of such austerities and that brought us to condemn them as rather repugnant to true religion than beneficial to it, for if the sum of practical rational religion is the paying of proper adoration and homage to the Supreme Being in abstinence from ill and in the habitual use of moral and social virtue, then surely such mortifications are not religion. If this be the case how vain are these boasted acts of supererogation, and shall it appear that such a retirement is destructive of those amiable virtues, only practicable in active life, it will then seem that monastick morosity has nothing of Christianity in it.

Reasoning in this matter is of no use in France, because many (if not most) of those very people who cruelly immure their children in that manner, do not even believe in that religion, which is the pretended origin of it. They are motives of family policy (as far as we could learn) and not those of piety, that support this horrid custom. These people can reconcile themselves to destine part of their offspring to a perpetual melancholy celibacy, only to prevent their having any part of their father's fortune taken from the elder branch of the family, without regard to reason, justice or humanity.

The Parisians are civil to strangers. They seem very vain especially in regard to the greatness of their country and the grandeur of their monarch. The arms of France are scarce ever out of sight as you pass the streets. They adorn almost every shop and place you see. The same temper shows itself in many other instances here. It seems happily interwoven into the minds of those whose misfortune it is to be governed by so absolute a monarchy.

The houses (hotels) of the nobility and persons of large fortune are fine buildings, generally surrounding courts, the entrance mostly through handsome arched gateways.

About twelve miles south west of Paris lies Versailles where the French king lives, and keeps his court. We went thither on the morning of the 13th of May, and first saw the gardens, going by the Orangery, which like all the rest is amasingly superb. In these gardens all that the best designers could plan out, and the most ingenious arts could execute have been exerted to render them perhaps the greatest master pieces of art any where to be met with. The vastest number of fountains, cascades, ornamental buildings, statues, water pieces, woods, lawns etc conspire to that end. Nature does not seem indeed to have lent any great share of her assistance to aid these wonderfull works of art. The palace, which commands a noble view of the gardens, is reckond the finest in Christendom. The extent and grandeur of this edifice are truly astonishing, the furniture of the apartments is equal in costliness to the palace itself and as much surpassed our expectancy as it is said to do any thing of the kind in Europe. The gallery is beyond our best power of description. If we might however presume to find any fault it would be with its great lightness, for one side being as much taken up with windows as their necessary piers allow and the wall opposite being covered with looking glass, it appears very glareing. We could conceive no building more elegant than the Royal Chappel. The King's two bed rooms are extreamly rich; that used by him in winter has all embroiderd furniture, the summer room has plain purple silk, the opposite side of the palace (from the gardens) is of vast extent, including its wings, wherein the principal officers of state reside.

Three miles from Versailles stands the beautifull little Palace of Marli, not far from whence is that wonderfull machine which furnishes the numerous water works in the gardens of Versailles with water. This machine stands upon the River Seine and throws up water many hundred feet perpendicular to the top of a hill, where it discharges it into a great reservoir, from whence it is conveyed in lead pipes. It is supposed that the machine of Marli has no equal, its first movements are fourteen huge water wheels. The annual expence of repairs and attendance upon it are said to cost the King more than twenty five thousand pound sterling. We do not much wonder at the greatness of the sum considering the thing itself. Surely no less a man than such as Lewis the 14th would ever have undertaken the erection, or less than the mechanical genius of M. de. Ville have had art enough to contrive and execute this surprising piece of work, and which answers its great intention so well as this does.

The noble stables at Versailles ought not to be omitted in our little remarks. They would in another country or at another place have the appearance of a royal palace. They contained, when we went through them, about five hundred horses, many of them English.

There are two numerous bodies of guards on duty at Versailles; of these the Swiss are about fourteen hundred very fine fellows, in scarlet uniforms, with blue lappels, and white lace; the others, called the household troops of France wear blue uniforms with red cuffs and broad white lace. As you pass through the apartments at Versailles you see in most of them some of these guards (not as standing centry) but as loitering under arms, owing to the fearfullness and jealousy of the King, for which he has been remarkable, ever since that desparate attempt made upon his life by the enthusiastical Damien.

All the palaces and other buildings in and about Paris are of stone very soft and easy to the impression of the mason's chisel. Its colour too is good, but it is not reckoned durable, insomuch as to make it believed that in a century or two there will remain not one of Lewis the 14th edifices in being.

On the 16th of May we went from Paris, and had a pleasant drive through an open country to Desmartin a small poor town at the extremity of the Isle of France. It stands on a hill and has an extensive prospect over all the country as far as Paris, from whence it is about twenty five miles distant.

That evening we went forward about seventeen miles further and lodged at a small country place, having passed through the little town of Nantell. The road was such as we had before we reached Paris, paved and planted with trees on each side. We travelled all the day just within the limits of the Isle of France bordering upon the Province of Champagne.

On the 17th we breakfasted at a small town called Villers Costerak where the old Duke de Choiseul has the palace of his country residence, with fine woods and gardens. As soon as we got out of this town, we came into the large forest of Retz. We passed about seven miles in that forest and then came into a fine open arable country from whence descending into a charming valley, washed by the River Aysne,[4] arrived at the city of Soissons. It stands on the banks of the river, whereon are large shady walks. The place is pretty large and tolerably well built. It is surrounded by ancient fortifications, of no other use than for walks, that purpose they answer most agreeably, the prospect they afford of the river and valley beyond being very pretty. We saw nothing in the churches remarkable, though the Cathedral and one other are large gothick buildings, one chapple indeed belonging to the many religious houses in town, has its roof of one entire stone arch, without any other covering.

Leaving Soissons and passing through an inconsiderable town or two we came to Fismes, the first place we saw in the Province of Champagne, but it too is little worth mentioning. It is situated in a hilly country, but the hills are rather moderate ascents than lofty mountains, their sides facing the southern aspect are most covered with Vineyards, the other parts with corn. We were amused for many miles in this country with seeing great quantities of game as we passed along the road.

On the 18th of May (being Whitsunday) we arrived at Rheims about eleven o'clock in the morning. This city was the Civitas Rhemorum of the Romans. It is now the See of an Arch Bishop who crowns the Kings of France always in the Cathedral here. He is the first Duke and Prelate of the Kingdom.

The Cathedral is an edifice of extraordinary magnificence. The West End is of the most beautifull architecture with figures in relievo. The towers are at this end, and of uncommon constructure; they seem allmost like as one range of arches, raised upon another from bottom to top, each higher range lessening from the size of that it stands on in the most elegant proportion. The height of these towers is very great. The inside is very grand, and most richly ornamented with marble, tapestry, gilded railes, etc., particularly at the grand altar where the monarchs are crowned. The rich cabinet of rarities contains many relicks.

In this city are many churches, convents, abbeys and nunneries. The steeples of the Abbey of St Nicaise are celebrated for the beauty and lightness of the architecture. The church is the largest in town next to the Cathedral. The church of St Remy's Abbey is a neat building. That saints tomb is curious. We were there shown the phial of oil used at the coronation of their kings, and they are weak enough to believe (or absurd enough to pretend to believe) it was brought down from heaven, and that by looking at it they can tell whether their sovereign be in a good, or bad state of health.

The publick walks are remarkably good, for besides those on the walls (which surround the whole city, and are near three miles in circumference, having extensive views over the fine province of Champagne, whereof this city is the capital) there are very extensive agreeable ones without the gates, on the north side the town upon the banks of a small river. They are planted with groves of trees, and kept as neat and even as can be desired.

The walls are ancient and strong with deep wide ditches, but not being furnished with outworks could not sustain a siege.

The great square called Place Royal, is very lately built and is one of the handsomest things we had seen. In the Center is a fine new pedestrian statue of the King, put up anno 1765. The pedistal is very tall and is of the best white marble. The statue is brass, and the figures below it are of the same metal, and as we thought, very good. They seem to represent Peace by a wolf and a lamb, sleeping together, the flourishing state of commerce by a merchant sitting on bales of goods, with money at his feet, the power of the kingdom by a woman leading, and governing, a lyon by the hair, and the fruitfulness of the province by a cornucopea overflowing with grapes, and other fruit. All the figures are as large as nature. We only surmised the meaning of these representations not having them explained to us.

The town house is a considerable building. In a niche in the front is a small equestrian statue of the last monarch of France. The inscriptions under these several statues are disgustingly flattering.

There is a handsome modern gate leading towards the publick walks, it was erected in honour of the king in the year 1744.

Here are severall good streets, whose houses are built on piazzas, much like the rows at Chester in England.

A remarkable Roman antiquity was dug up (or rather discovered by digging) about ninety years since. It consists of three arches, and had been the northern gate of the city. Whether it was erected by Julius Caesar or by Julian called the Apostate it is not entirely agreed by the antiquarians, most probably it was by Caesar. The central arch is twelve feet wide, and more than thirty high. On the top the seasons are represented, and the sides roman armour engraved. The right hand arch has the figures of Romulus and Remus sucking the wolf, the other shews you Jupiter in the embraces of Leda with Cupid holding a torch. The feathers of the swan are very natural and well preserved, as indeed is the whole of this much and deservedly admired piece of antiquity. The pillars are of the corinthian order and extreamly neat.

The sick and infirm are well taken care of herein hospitals (called hotells Dieu) like our infirmaries, they are attended by nuns, who administer food, and medicine, and wait on these poor people with compassionate tenderness.

Rheims is a very large city, the streets broad and well built. The houses are not so high as in the other towns we had seen in France. This gives the streets a more light, pleasant look. There went a religious procession from the Abby of St Remy into the country the evening we were there. The great, old, fat Abbot marched in much pomp, attended by many other priests and a vast concourse of people. A large red banner proceeded the crucifix whereon was a picture of the saint, and another banner with a representation of some other of their worthies.

From Rheims we went to Rethel, a small town on the banks of the River Aysne, which is here but a small stream, this town being many miles from Soisson, whither this river goes, from thence to Pont St Maxence, and is at length lost in the Seine.

Rethel is said to have been originally a Roman fort, built in their gallic expiditions. It is now an old town not worth notice for anything, but some remains of a castle on an eminence just above the town, which are all that are now in being there of the Roman's works.

The roads are here made with gravel, and but indifferent. On the way from hence to Mezieres we observed amongst the stones laid down for the repairs of the roads, many kinds that would make no bad figures in the collections of a virtuoso in another country; some were like honey combs, some like petrified bunches of ash coloured liver wort leaves, others like moss, besides great variety of different kinds to us uncommon.

Mesieres is situated on the banks of the Meaze. The river divides and cuts the town into three parts, all which are very strongly fortified. These separate divisions seem as if they might each be defended independent of the other, or two, or all of them together. The town itself is not large or well built. Not a mile north of Mesieres is Cherliville. It is likewise on the Mease whereon it stands agreeably. This town is small, but very well built. The handsome market place surrounds a large area with a fountain in the middle throwing a good deal of water a considerable hieght. Here are not any defensible fortifications, and in case Mesieres was to be beseiged might stand an ill chance of destruction to prevent its affording shelter to the besiegers. The gates answering the Cardinal Points deservs notice for their architecture, as do the town mills, and soldiers barracks, for their respective usefullness, and size. The general construction of the houses is brick with stone corners. Those in the great square, grand place, are built upon arched piazzas.

We were in severall of the best looking churches without seeing anything particular except one altar raised on elegant lofty pillars of the corinthian order made of veined marble.

The Capuchins have a neat fruitfull garden here. It appeared to us from what we remarked in different places that this order of monasticks seem sensible that no amusement is so befitting a life of religious retirement as that of gardening.

This town is the property of the Prince of Conti. Its inhabitants seemed well employed in the severall manufactories of cutlery, firearms, and stockens.

Numerous garrisons are kept in the two last named towns. The soldiers we saw wore blue uniforms, with yellow lappels, white waistcoasts and breeches, others with white coats faced with yellow, and some dragoons in plain green cloaths.

Soon after we left Charleville we came into a hilly country covered with coppice woods for severall miles, descending from these, we entered a large plain, and went over the spot where a battle was fought between the French, and Allies in the reign of Lewis the 14th wherein the former were worsted. At the end of this plain is the small town, or rather fortress of Recroix, strongly fortified. We passed under the walls without entering the place. The ramparts are adorned with large trees. This lies at the northern extremity of Champagne.

The roads hereabouts are bad. We luckily escaped severall overturns by quitting our chaise, in many of the worst places, when we had our carriage to lift up again when thrown over, or to support by holding with all our power at the wheels.

Two miles from Recroix we entered the large Forest of Ardennes. We found it very hilly, and covered with thick woods, but saw no good timber, the way shockingly bad, which brought us to a wretched town in a poor narrow valley, surrounded with craggy rocks. On the summit of one of the largest of them, (which hangs over the town on the eastern side) are the ruins of the castle seemingly very ancient. The place is in the territory of Leige [5], and is called Couvan.

As we are now quitting France it may not be improper to make a few general observations such as did not fall under the head of any particular description. The towns of France are remarkably populous, the country on the other hand very thinly peopled, probably by reason of there being but few persons of midling fortune (we mean from two hundred to two thousand per annum income sterling) in this country. Therefore those with fortunes below affluence, and above necessity, reside in the towns for their greater convenience, which gives those places the good appearance they have, and the number of those who on the countrary can support genteel life in the country is so small as to make the country appear almost deserted by gentry. As to the common sort of people we were frequently at a loss to guess where sufficient numbers resided for the culture of the lands.

All ranks of people seem remarkably fond of dress and shew. The publick accommodations we found very tolerable, much more ageeable than we expected. Makeing proper allowances for the different mode of national cookery that prevails in that country, and our own, we cannot help being of opinion that our countryman Dr Smollet [6] made use of second inns as he passed through France, whether by choice, or for want of better recommendation we presume not to determine, but this we dare venture to say that if he had made use of such houses as we did, they would have prevented the doctor the many vexatious disagreements he had with landlords, and ostlers, and his readers the trouble of finding such unentertaining accounts of them.

The country between Couvan and Charlemont, which was the next town on our way is mountainous and the vallies are not well cultivated. In some parts the rocks afford romantick views. Under one of the steepest we fired a pistol and had the report seemingly much louder than usual, but without any echo.

The fortress of Charlmont is exceedingly strong both by art and nature, it is situated on a steep hill on the River Mease, is but a small place, and only remarkable for its fortifications (whereof we could only obtain an outside view), belonging to France, and reckoned as strong as any the French are masters of. Below Charlmont at the foot of the hill lies the small town of Givet commanded by the ramparts of the former. It is divided into two parts by the Mease, having a curious bridge of boats so contrived as to rise and fall as the river does. The boats are each fastened by an anchor, and therefore easily removed or repaired. This place has some slight walls, not defensible, being entirely overlooked and commanded by Charlmont. When we entered this town, a file of grenadiers with fixed bayonetts surrounded our carriage, and conducted us to our inn having obliged us to give our names, and country in writing to the officer on guard (which we were indeed at severall other places required to do, though never so guarded as at Givet) whereof report is made to the Governor, very strict garrison duty being observed here, it being at the edge of the frontier.

The way to Denant is extreamly pleasant, sometimes you have views over a large extent of country, sometimes the River Mease appears for a great way together, overhung with rocks or woods. On its banks a few miles above Denant Baron Freÿr has a charmingly situated country seat, with pretty gardens and plantations. The Road near the town is overhung with rocks which looked as if they were ready to fall on our heads. In one place the road was cut through a rock which hung on both sides two hundred feet above us at least, with a dreadfull appearance. The town is a long poor place with some ruinous fortifications. It is built close to the side of the River, and backwards a steep mountain rises immediately from whose foot to the river there is barely room for the width of a narrow street, the opposite side the river has hills almost as steep, so that the heat of the sun is so much reflected as to make this place but an uncomfortable situation.

Though it is not more than twelve English miles from Charlemont to Denant, the road lies in the territories of three severall powers: first France has Givet, and a small extent on this side it; then the Dominions of the Empress Queen posses severall miles of the road; and lastly Denant belongs to the Prince Bishop of Leige.

The way from Denant to Namur we found agreeably diversified with elegant and romantick prospects. It lies mostly on the banks of the River Mease, whereon stand many handsome seats. Vast quantities of different kinds of standard fruit trees are propogated in this country; some hops and a few potatoes are grown here, the first of the latter kind we had seen on the continent. We likewise saw some few vineyards.

Soon after we left Denant we observed on the hills above us on each side the river the remains of very ancient and considerable fortifications. Our chaise driver (who strove to be very intelligeble) told us that they had been castles built by the Saracens, but from what we judged of the architecture, and doubting much whether ever the Saracens erected anything in this country, we imagined them to have been the works of the Romans.

About the midway between these towns, we saw the very great iron works called La Roch, where iron is refined from its ore much in the same manner by furnaces and forges as in Britain. Indeed tradition tells us that the manufactory of iron was first brought into England out of that part of Europe we are speaking of. These works are in the territory of Namur and subject to the Empress Queen.

Namur stands on the Mease at the conflux of that river, and the Tambre. It has handsome bridges over both, with large mills on the latter. A hill rises just behind the town on which are very strong fortifications, as are likewise those between the town and the river. This town is large and well built. The best church is an elegant building, handsomely adorned with pictures, images and organs. The barracks for the soldiers are lofty buildings surrounding a considerable area. Namur, though belonging to the Empress, is at present garrisoned by four thousand Dutch troops, as a barrier town, pursuant to the Treaty of Ryswick. The soldiers we saw there wore two different uniforms, viz. blue with white lace, and blue with red cuffs and lappels, and the same kind of lace.

We left Namur about five o'clock in the morning of the 24th of May, taking a large boat, with a neat cabbin to carry us down the Mease to Leige. We saw little for near two hours for the thick fog we were in, but it vanished about seven o'clock, and we had afterwards as pleasant a sail down the stream as can be imagined, the hanging rocks which in many places came close to the water, the fine meadows and vineyard, and the numerous villages we passed by varied the scene most agreeably.

In the midway between Namur and Leige is Huys a small well built town on both sides the river, with a noble bridge under whose arches we sailed. Here is an abbey the neatest modern building we had seen of the kind, its church has a spire at one end, and a dome at the other. Besides this there are two good churches. The situation of Huys is not unlike that of Denant, but the hills do not approach the river so near which gives this town the advantage of a more open exposure. This town is subject to Leige.

This morning we frequently fired pistols, shot under the rocks, and had the report much enlarged and repeated by the echo. At noon we had sounds of a more solemn kind, for it thundered very hard with great lightnings, and heavy rains. A little below Huys we stopt to see an allum work where a great deal of that commodity is refined, the materials are raised in the neighbouring mountains and are here boiled in lead pans with iron bottoms, much in the same manner as salt is made in England.

About five miles short of Leige, we passed by the country palace of the Bishop and saw that prince at the windows. It is a large neat edifice and stands in full view of this noble river, on whose banks opposite is a well built village, having behind it large vineyards, behind the palace there seemed to be good gardens.

Leige is a large city, but its buildings are irregular and the streets narrow and dirty, the latter is oweing to the quantities of pitcoal which are carried along them, that most usefull article abounding in this neighbourhood. The Mease runs through the middle of the town, and has a handsome bridge over it. The Palace of the Prince Bishop is an extensive building in quadrangular form, with piazzas on the inside. The front would make a good figure had it a sufficient area, but it and the Cathedral stand so near each other as to hurt the views of both. That church has nothing in it worth particular notice, but its chandeliers, and that by having little glass tinged with dark colours in its windows they give its inside a more pleasant light look than many of the other great churches we had seen. The steeple with its gilded pinnacles are pretty enough.

At the back of the town on the side of a hill stands a college of English Jesuits, where we were civilly entertained. They have good buildings and library, besides a room furnished with variety of instruments used in experimental philosophy. Behind the college are their large fruitfull gardens rising one height above another up the hill. The highest part is a bowling green from whence you command fine prospects of the city, river and adjacent country. We were there shewn the spot whereon the Duke of Marlborough encamped when he took this place from the French. In this garden they have likewise a summer house and an aviary. It is from the seads [7] of the summer house that the best view is commanded.

The Cordeliers have a monastery a little out of town where they are so strict in their discipline as never to tast any kind of animal food, unless in case of extream sickness, and then no more than a little chicken. Here is also an English nunnery and many other religious buildings. Indeed this place seems more bigotted to church government than any we had seen. Probably was it less so, its inhabitants would be more happy. It is often called the paradise of priests, the purgatory of men, and hell of women, who have here great drudgery imposed upon them.

When superstition masks its horrid face under the specious veil of religion it miserably leads captive the faculties of the human soul. Of this we saw a glaring proof during our stay at Leige. We happened to be there on Trinity Sunday on which day there is annually a grand religious procession in honour of St Hubert, for the kindness of that saint in securing the safety of those persons from the hydrophobea who are so unfortunate to be bit by mad dogs, wherewith this country is often troubled. The person bit goes immediately to a religious house some leagues from hence, and is there confined about a month, and has an horizontal cut made (by way of distinguishing mark) on the forehead. Having no medicine openly applyd, the poor devotee is made to believe that his cure is effected by the miraculous influence of the saint, and the infallibility thereof adds weight to the assertion (but what need of that whose men dare not think for themselves, or at least dare not own they do so). We have no doubt but that a nostrum is given to the patients in their meat or drink or mixed in the salve which is applyd to heal the cut of the face, however that be its concealment gives a fine pretence for a miracle, and is celebrated this day with extraordinary pomp. The procession began with soldiers on horseback, blowing trumpets, and beating kettle drums. After them went the cross followed by the persons who had been bit within the preceding twelve months (their number seemed to us to be about three hundred) distinguished by a fillet bound over the cut on their foreheads, after them the image of Hubert richly dressed born aloft by a kind of bier by four Capuchin Fryers. Next went a rich canopy with a priest under it carrying and at certain distances elevating the Host to which every beholder is obliged to bend the knee, or run the hazard of blows and insults from the bigotted multitude. These absurd observances make the holy religion of Christ the scorn of infidels, and occasion that to appear as a disgrace to reason, which in its native purity can make the noblest appeal to it, and stand its determination with the highest title to success.

St Paul's is next to the Cathedral, the best church in this city, having good cloisters. St James's too is pretty large. The town house is worth seeing, its rooms are well furnished with tapestry and pictures, and ornamented with stucco and gilding.

The women of Leige wear large black veils, which cover not only their heads, but great part of their bodies. They seem nothing more than plain pieces of silk or crape according to the ability of the wearer. These are thrown over the head, and hang down on each side, and behind, thereby serveing the purpose of both hat and cloak. To us who were unused to see them, they were far from pleasing.

Leige stands low, having hills before and behind it. Those facing the south are covered with numerous vineyards, and produce a poor small wine, the others are planted with fruit trees, and hops.

The Prince Bishop keeps a small body of troops in pay. We learnt that his dominions allow him the expence of a thousand men, but he has not actually half the number and what there are, are poor shaby old fellows in general. Their uniform is blue lined with red, and red waistcoats.

We found that road between that city and Spa (usually called the German Spa, though geography has not entirely determined whether to place this principality in Germany or the Netherlands, though mostly accounted in the latter) is over hills, and through vallies. The latter are tolerably fruitfull, and have wild cherries, and gooseberries growing in them, but small as is generally the case with wild fruits.

Spa is a very small town, and till within these very few years was a poor despicable place, but the resort of people from severall nations hither, (of which England sends most) has been the cause of building many lodging houses, ball rooms, billiard rooms, and other conveniences. The situation is low at the foot of a hill faceing near due south. The famous Pahon Spring is in the middle of the town, and in the open street, arched over with stone. It is really no more in appearance than an ordinary well. The taste of its waters is well known in England. We had little other pleasure in drinking a few glasses on the spot, but for the remembrance hereafter of having done so.

Within a mile and a half of the town amongst the hills are severall other springs possessing medicinal virtues, and are used according to the complaints or the degrees of the complaints of patients. The Pahon waters are thought far the strongest of all these. The others have no buildings about them than for one man to live at each, and to provide shelter in case of rain, beside which there is adjoining to each a walk shaded with trees. The keeper of one of these wells told us that wolves come down frequently in the winter season and make dreadfull howlings in the night time.

The hill that rises immediately behind the town is covered with woods, wherein are winding walks quite to the top. They are shady and in some places afford pretty prospects of the valley beneath, in these the principal (I had almost said the only) beauty of the place consists.

It was early in the season for using these waters when we were there, however we found very agreeable company of our own nation, besides many German counts and French gentry. During the months of July and August this little place is thought the epitome of Europe, where you may see people of every nation assembled together, such is the fame of the waters here.

On one side of the town the Capuchins have a house and garden, which it is the fashion to see (tho' very little worth it) and to make a charitable donation to those fathers, who like the rest of their order, live as idle drones upon the labours of other men, it being repugnant to their statutes to have any wordly possessions.

After leaving the spa the first place we came to was the poor wretched town of Limburgh surrounded by old ruinous fortifications. The Empress Queen is its sovereign and keeps a few invalid soldiers in it. Those we saw were in white uniforms. The road to this place was over hills little cultivated, chiefly covered with furze and brush wood.

Soon after we left Limburgh, the country improved greatly and continued to do so all the way to Aix La Chapelle, which stands in a pleasant fruitfull country. It is pretty large and well built, with wide streets. Being a free imperial city it is under the government of its own majistrates. A sufficient number of soldiers are kept here to quell any popular tumult and to preserve the place from being plundered by a banditti, but the town has no fortifications to sustain a seige, though walled round.

It happened when we were there at Aix to be the day of their grand annual procession. It began with each respective trade carrying before its artificers the image of their patron, as St Christopher by the clothiers, Crispin by the shoemakers, and so on of all the rest. We were surprised at the many branches of employ there appeared to be, and at the number of handicraft people in each. After these went (in the procession) each religious order carrying their banners, pictures, images and relicks in great abundance, some of the priests wore very rich vestments. Upon the whole it was by far the best procession we saw abroad.

The noted hotbaths are many small ones under the same roof, each in its own little room, with conveniencies for the bathers. The springs from whence they are supplyd rise at a distance from the town, and conveyed in lead pipes, the heat of those waters is surprisingly great, far exceeding the Bath waters in England.

The Cathedral church is of uncommon form, the body of it is circular having a stone gallery. Its isles extend on each side out of the center. It is stored with much gold, silver and other riches. They say there that it was built by the Emperor Charlemagne, and shewed us where his remains are deposited, just in the middle of this church. This great man died here, and they make a vast rout about his memory in Aix. In the grand procession we saw a gigantick statue of that Emperor about the streets, as if walking, a person under it made use of springs, or some such contrivance whereby the head and eyes moved as if alive.

The cloisters belonging to the Cathedral (when we were there) were full of milleners and toymens shops, which we found continue there during the hotbath season.

The dress and appearance of the people in this part of Germany is so like the British that we could remark no other material distinction than that of the women here wearing black veils instead of hats, otherwise we seemed as if amongst our own country people, and observed many words in their language to have something like English in meaning and pronunciation.

A manufactory of neat fire arms is carried on in this city.

Maestricht was the next town we visited. It is a pretty neat well built place, about as large as Aix La chapelle. It is situated on the River Mease about fifteen miles below Leige, and has a bridge over the river. There is a small town on the opposite side, which belongs to Leige, but Maestrict is in the hands of the Dutch, who had there about five hundred men, horse and foot in garrison. In time of war a more considerable force is kept here. The fortifications are very strong. We were told that it required those many thousands to defend this town and the fort of St Peter, (which lies a little to the south of the town, having a subterraneous communication with it) in case of a seige.

Here are two large squares, in one stands the town house, in the other the great church and grand guard, this last is planted with double rows of trees, with good walks and before the grand guard are some brass cannon. The ramparts are very pretty to walk upon. The troops we found here made a good appearance, their uniforms were blue lined with red, and red cuffs. Soon after we got from under the cannon of Maestricht, we came upon the field of battle of La Felt, where the allies under the Duke of Cumberland were beaten by the French, headed by Marshal Saxe, just before the conclusion of the Peace of Aix la chapelle. That action was followed by the surrender of Maestricht, though that (in honour of Saxe) was rather a condition of the treaty, than the consequence of the action at La Felt. We could not help lamenting (upon sight of so many places where our brave countrymen laid down their lives as at Lisle, Leige, ReCroix, Namur and La Felt) the destructive policy of continental wars, allways hurtfull, never advantageous (as we judge) to great Brittain.

About ten miles further we passed through the small town called Tongres [8], surrounded by a wall and ditch, but has neither strength, size or beauty. The country from thence to St Trond is very rich and fruitfull, and belongs to the Bishop of Leige. We observed on the road side severall moles of earth which we supposed must have been raised by the Romans over the bodies of some dead officers, as was the custom of those people. We call those moles by the names of barrows or burns.

St Tron (or Trong) [9] has a wide market place, and two neat churches. A few miles from thence we entered the dominions of Austria in the Netherlands. We now got into good paved roads such we had before seen in the Netherlands about Lisle. These were the more agreeable to us after having travelled two hundred miles or more in very bad ones. We soon arrived at Tirlemont. Just before we entered the town, we passed by three remarkable barrows or burns, like those mentioned before, but larger, they stand in a row, near each other. [10]

Tirelmont is a town seemingly on the decline, having probably been sometime more considerable than it is at present. We walked round its ancient ruinous walls, and found them between two and three miles in circumference. There is a large space between them and the present buildings, this together with the number of religious houses (greater in proportion than any place we saw) gave us reason to conclude that it sometime has been a large town. Its situation is rather low, with a brook running by, which seems as if it might easily be turned into sluices, and thereby lay the grounds about the town under water, were it judged necessary to keep up the fortifications, however it is quite neglected at present. We saw there no good publick buildings.

On the first of June we got early to Louvan, and found it a considerable town with good private and publick buildings. Here is a handsome college said to contain six hundred students besides professors and instructors. The Jesuit church and college are neat and spacious, the great church is a good building. The town house seems very ancient, and the architecture remarkably neat.

Louvan has an English nunnery amongst its other religious buildings and communities. From the number of English nuns and Jesuits in allmost every considerable town through which we passed in this country, and from what we heard of other places we were really astonished to think where in England such numbers are sent from, and concerned that such principles should prevail in so many people upon our island, the number far exceeds what we could have imagined.

Louvan is famous for its beer. It is a pleasant small liquor, more of a whey colour than any malt liquor we have in England.

This part of the Netherlands we found as rich as any of the other parts described in the former part of these remarks. Its fertility so far exceeds any country we ever saw, that it appeared to us as if designed by Providence as a Grainery for all the countries round it. There remain no traces of the destruction its frequent wars have exposed it to, except its being destitute of gentlemens houses in the open country, may be called such. It is now probable that it may long enjoy the blessings of peace for the good understanding, brought about by the great change in politicks a few years since between France and Austria, seems to promise it, and this country by its situation can have little to fear from the contentions of any other powers.

From Louvan we had but a short journey to Brussels. Brussels is a large handsome city. Its streets are spacious, and the houses and publick buildings very good. It is healthfully and pleasantly situated, partly in a valley, and partly on a small hill. This is the capital of the Austrian Netherlands, and the fineness of the place makes it deserving to be (what it once was) the seat of Empire. Prince Charles of Lorrain, uncle to the present Emperor of Germany, is the Governour of all this country, and keeps a court here little inferior to that of a king.

The Cathedral is little inferior to any we saw. Its outward form is a good deal like that of Notre Dame at Paris, having two towers at the loest end, and a slender spire in the middle, but we thought this a lighter building. The inside is enriched with very costly ornaments nearly the same kinds with what we had seen in other great churches. The best picture is by Rubens representing the delivery of the key by Christ to St Peter. What we admired next was a small portrait of a lady fixed to the top of a monument. In the great isle are fine large statues of the twelve apostles. In the choir is a good monument over the remains of a Duke of Brabant, and his dutchess who was an English princess, besides this there are severall others over great persons.

We were dissappointed in our expectancy of seeing a fine park at Brussels, for it hardly deserves the name, being rather like a shady wood enclosed with a wall. It is small and shaped very irregularly. The few deer in it would starve for want of grass were they not supplied with more than this park affords them. Here the soldiers of the garrison are exercised every fine day. We saw great numbers of these troops under arms. They made a good appearance, both in their persons and manuvres. They wore white uniforms with red cuffs and lappels, and white scolloped lace.

A large palace has adjoined to the park, but it suffered so much by fire some years since, that it never was used after, and is now a magnificent ruin.[11] The palace wherein the Prince now resides was formerly named the House of Pleasure. The Emperor Charles the fifth is said to have retired hither after having resigned the Spanish crown to his son. It has no great external beauty, but its inside is reckoned amongst the most elegant in regard to furniture and ornaments of many kinds, particularly one room which is full of japan work, chinese images, and noble jarrs.

The cabinet of natural and artificial curiosities pleased us more than anything we had seen since we came abroad. Here are preserved the skins of many kinds of rare birds in full feather, those of beasts and fishes all stuffed, shells, fossels, petrifactions and minerals, the implements used and method of using, in most handicraft imployments, neatly made in miniature, and a thousand other things very judiciously disposed in a large delightfull room gave us that entertainment that is of most agreeable kind.

The gardens belonging to this palace are not large. They are on the side of a bank, of which the most is made, that its small extent will allow. There are avaries, stoves, green houses, frames for forceing fruits, melonry and plenty of exotic plants. It is a neat, well kept, fruitfull garden.

In the streets of this city are many fountains always playing. Some of these have uncommon devices, that called the Fountain of the Virgins has the statues thereon of four women each standing on a niche, the waters spout through the nipples of the breasts. Another has a representation that will not bear description though it affords much entertainment to the common country people who come hither.[12]

The Empress Queen keeps several thousand men in garrison at Brussells, but the ramparts have very little strength, and indeed the extent of the place is so great that had it ever so good fortifications no less than a large army (such as ought not to take shelter in any town) would be sufficient to defend it.

We saw into several handsome churches, but having said so much of the Cathedral, and observing nothing remarkable in any of the others (though good in themselves) shall make no further mention of them, or of any other of the religious buildings.

We were shewn an ancient arsenal containing a deal of antique armour, formerly belonging to various emperors and princes, which were it worth what is pretended would be very extraordinary, and indeed be that as it will the whole is a curious sight well worthy of every travellers sight. Besides the armour and other matters, they shew you the skins of severall horses (stuffed) that had carried great men in battle. They are well preserved, and a human hide, tanned into white leather, whose strong contexture satisfied us of what we had often heard, that human skins are (except those of the rhinoceros and elephant) stronger than those of most other animals. In the arsenal we underwent the ceremony of being touched on our heads and shoulders by the sword of the Emperor Charles the fifth as a charm to secure our matrimonial felicity, and who dares doubt the efficacy of it.

The common hackney coaches of this city far exceed those of London or Paris both as to the goodness of horses and neatness of carriages.

The theatre is at best equal in beauty to any in London or Paris. What we call the Pit in England is there divided into two parts, that part next the stage has seats like our pits, only they are all on a level, the back part has no seats, but is open like the French parterres, the sceenery is good. We observed that the prompter stood with his head just through the floor of the stage in the same manner as we saw at Lisle.

The town house is a good building. It is most remarkable for its tall, neat spire, whose architecture is admired. It stands in an open market place, which is surrounded with handsome houses.

The canal is as beautifull as it is usefull. It communicates with the River Schold above Antwerp and has depth sufficient to bring up vessels of near one hundred tons burthen.

In our way from Brussells to Mochlin[13] we passed through a small place that has sometime been fortified, a large castle and several gates still remain pretty entire.

It is a common case with travellers to be disappointed by sometimes expecting too much in what they are to see, and at others to find great beauties where none were expected. One reason why it is so may be the great difference in the tastes of men, however we had a proof of it at Mochlin. We had been taught to expect something remarkably pretty, but did not find it to answer. It is indeed a neat place, with wide clean streets, but we saw nothing there worth mentioning except the tower to the great church, which is vast height, and without dispute a handsome erection.

This town has a lace manufactory, and had during the last war a foundery for the casting of brass cannon.

We found a small garrison of Austrian troops in white uniforms with black cuffs and lappels, but the fortifications are too old and ruinous to be defensible.

During our short stay at Mochlin we saw a great religious procession, of which we only make mention upon account of its having one absurdity additional to the many former ones we had observed. It was that the Host was guarded by a body of armed soldiers as if the consecrated elements needed human defence.

All the road from Brussells to Antwerp lies through as rich a country as any we saw in the Netherlands.

We found Antwerp to exceed our expectancy as much as Mochlin fell short of it. It is of considerable extent, and very remarkable for the width, eveness and cleaness of its streets, as well as for the goodness of all its buildings.

The city has been of consequence severall centuries and was once (till robbed of its trade by the Dutch) one of the most considerable commercial places in Europe. It formerly received great improvements from the Dukes of Brabant, and since then from the monarchs of Spain, when all this province now called Spanish Brabant was under the dominion of that power.

The churches are numerous and extraordinary for their architecture and ornaments. In these connoissieurs in the arts of sculpture and painting might find entertainment for a long time in admiring the works of the best masters. It is really wonderfull that Vandyke, Rubens and other the most celebrated hands could ever execute the many pieces shewn here and in other places as their performances.

The remains of Rubens are deposited in St James's Church, wherein are many of his works, as well as in those of Notre Dame, and belonging to the Dominicans and severall others. The quantities of real or pretended massy silver is very great. We presume not to give any more than a general description of these matters, it so far exceeds our power to be particular. The pleasure we had in viewing these ornaments was somewhat abated by one of the representations that we could by no means reconcile to any scheme of religion with the slightest pretence of rationality. It was a statue of God the Father. This piece is however much admired by those who can imagine the omnipotent being (purely spiritual) representable in corporeal form.

In St James's Church yard is a grand piece of rock work, and sculpture to imitate Mount Calvary at Jerusalem.[14] We were told that the artist made three severall journeys thither before he could accomplish this much admired work.

To all the artifical ornaments wherewith these devotees adorn their churches they make additional ones of nature by planting many tubs up and down with ever green shrubs in them, such as myrtles, lauristines and some others. These have a very pleasing effect.

The tower or steeple of the great church is at once the tallest and neatest we had ever seen, its architecture is very beautifull. It is one hundred and fifty five yards high, having six hundred and twenty two steps, which rise almost to the top. We were well repaid for the fatigue of assending 515 of these steps, by the finest prospect we had of the town and Citadell (the Citadell is very strong, and lies on the north side the city) of the beautifull River Schold, which is here very large, and washes the town on the west side, besides an extensive view over a large tract of this rich country. From hence we saw the several steeples and towers of Mochlin, Louvan, Bergen op Zoom, Breda, Ghent, and some others, and in very clear weather Brussells may be seen, but could not by the naked eye, when we were there.

It is not so much to be wondered at that this city has such a number of valuable paintings when it is known that an Academy of the Art has been established a great number of years. The celebrated Rubens was at the head of it during his life time, and it is kept up to this day. The rooms appropriated to this purpose are in what is called the Bourse (which when Antwerp flourished as a mercantile place was the Exchange, and is still a neat large building in a quadrangular form). We there were shewn many excellent pieces, though we know how much of the pictures value is in the name of the painter, and notwithstanding what we had so lately seen in the many churches and palaces we had visited within a few weeks still we were nearly as well pleased here with the works of less eminent hands as with those of Rubens, Vandyke, Quintin Matsys or Martin de Voss.

The Magasine of the city contains several gigantick and monstrous images fixed upon carriages which are drawn in state round the town on some publick rejoicing days, when probably they may serve well enough to please and astonish the populace, however we saw nothing there worth description.

Antwerp is regularly fortified, perhaps the ramparts are not however so strong as beautifull. They are planted with fine large trees, whose shade make the walks between them very agreeable. From them are pretty prospects of the city river and country all round. The breadth of the River Schold seems not less here than the Thames is at London.

The town house is remarked for the architecture of its front. It has a pretty good area before it.

We thought upon the whole we never saw a place where a traveller can spend a few days more worth his while than at Antwerp and those who are lovers of pictures and statues might be well entertained considerably longer.

By the great number of handsome coaches we saw, we imagined that there reside many people of considerable property, though it is confessed that it has lost much of the wealth it formerly was possessed of. A manufactory of lace is carried on here as at Mochlin and Brussells.

This city by us called Antwerp is by the Dutch called Antwerper and by the French Anvors, from whence we judge that those families now in England of the names of Danvers and Davors originally came from thence, as probably the Flemings did out of Flanders etc. The modern date of sir names is well known, and were mostly taken at first from the places of residence, or the occupation of the persons.

Antwerp belongs to the Empress Queen, we saw but few troops there.

On the 6th of June we went to Bergen op Zoom. The way for five or six miles after our leaving Antwerp was through a rich country but afterwards became sandy and barren, being near the Scheld which is here rather an arm of the sea, and probably once covered the ground we went over. About the midway between those towns the teretory of Holland begins.

Bergen op Zoom is a pretty neat small town. Though we had seen so many towns remarked for the strength of their fortifications still we found these here to exceed the best of them, so much as to make our surprise almost equal to what it would have been had we seen none before. They exceed any persons description who is not skilled in things of that kind. There is not any Citadel.

This town lies not far from the River Scheld, from whence sluices are cut, and add greatly to the strength of the fortifications. One of the cuts comes up into the town on the western side, and carries up vessels of considerable burthen. Here are good quays and a large magazine. We observed no other building of consequence.

When we were at Bergen op Zoom we found the streets gaudily ornamented with triumphal arches, garlands of all colours (particularly orange) and many other devices, out of compliment to the young Prince Statholder who had been for some days visiting the place, and inspecting the military works, as well as reviewing the troops in garrison, which consist of between two and three thousand men, in time of peace. When the French took this town they found near eight thousand, but less than fifteen thousand are not sufficient to defend it as it ought. That number well officered and provided might tire the attempts of an hundred and fifty thousand as good soldiers as any in Europe, in case of a siege.

The church and great part of the town on the western side were destroyed by the French bombardment; the whole is now neatly rebuilt.

It is but an indifferent road from Bergen op Zoom to Breda. We passed through several small towns all whose streets were ornamented as those before named. The Prince of Orange having passed through them the day before, travelling the same rout that we were, it was lucky for us to be a little behind him. Between these towns we went over large tracts of barren land consisting of a greater number of acres than we expected to have seen had we travelled through all the United Provinces, however when we got near Breda the country began to wear a better face, and found the town itself situated in a rich tract of low ground, surrounded by numerous gardens.

Breda is a good well built town and presented us with all that neatness for which this country is so remarkable. Indeed we saw it to advantage the Prince being there. On that occasion the town was very full of people of all ranks. He has a palace here built in form of a castle having towers on the corners. It has handsome gardens and groves of trees, and is surrounded by ditches. It stands just within the ramparts, on the north side of the town. We saw variety of the Dutch soldiers, the body guards are dressed much like the Enlish Yeomen of the Guard, the Dragoons wore blue uniforms faced with red (as did most of the foot) and were in white faced with blue, these last were attending upon the person of the Prince of Orange. The Dutch give their troops very good regimentals. We thought the foot of France and the horse of Holland the best troops in appearance of any we saw during our little tour.

Breda is well fortified, its ditches are wider and better filled with water than any we had see elsewhere. The great church and its steeple are well worth notice.

We proceeded next to Gorcum. The way lay through a flat country abounding so much with water, that were it not for the numerous drains the whole would be an entire morass, and some parts are little better in spite of all the care the industrious inhabitants take to cut issues for the water to pass off. The methods made use of principally are wind engines which raise up the water out of the lessor drains into the larger ones and into the navigable canals. These are in many places higher considerably than the grounds about, therefore when the banks break (which sometimes happens) the devastation is dreadfull. Many hundred lives have been lost frequently thereby, not to mention cattle houses and even whole villages.

Gorcum lies on the north banks of the great River Mease, which we crossed in a small boat. It is about half a mile across. The town is pretty and has fortifications of no great strength with a small garrison, from whence we went to Vounan another small town, and just beyond it passed over that branch of the Rhine that runs down to and is lost in the many canals near Leyden. It is near as large as the Thames, though only a part of that river, which differs in this from most rivers in the world. Instead of being largest near its conflux with the sea, it divides into several branches and loses its name, and its waters in a very extraordinary manner, which is attributed to the shock of an earthquake, many centuries ago, probably no body knows when if ever.

We found Utrecht very large and extreamly well built. Canals run up the principal streets with rows of trees planted besides. This gives them a most pleasing appearance. There cannot surely be a neater town in the world than this. The streets and houses are kept as clean as can be imagined. The inhabitants do not suffer any kind of dirt to remain an instant. They are washing the outsides of their houses, their windows, and even the stones in the streets almost perpetually. The canals in the streets afford ample supplies of water for those purposes. The same regard to cleanliness appears in all the shops and within the houses.

Utrecht has walls round it and handsome gates, but such as afford no defence. The publick walks are long and shady, but have neither extraordinary width or prospects.

This city is supplied plentifully with excellent provisions. When we were there, though it was in June, we saw plenty of fine turbots, soles, cod and many other sorts of fish, poultry, garden stuff and fruit in abundance, and very good, nor is the butcher's meat inferiour to the fish and fowls. In walking the streets of this town backwards and forwards we seemed in our own eyes the only idle persons in them. Every one you meet seems fully employed. Business appears here in all that spirit that is the very essence of it.

We were shewn the garden of Mynheer Mullen, reckoned one of the best in Holland. The grottoes of shell work and rock work, the numerous statues, stoves, green houses, and mellonries together with many curious exotic plants and flowers were very amusing, but the tall cutt hedges, arbours and fountains are entirely in what we call in England the old taste, now generally exploded in Brittain. The lemon and orange trees in that garden are remarkably fine and fruitfull.

In our walks about the town we saw many other very good gardens ornamented with summer houses, and other decorations. Gardening has been a favourite amusement of this people for many ages. It is wonderfull that it was so long neglected in our own country particularly when we learn that London was supply'd with its best garden stuff from Holland so lately as in the reign of Queen Elizabeth.

The publick buildings in Utrecht are inadequate to the private ones. We saw but one church worth notice and that has been formerly three times as large as it is now. The tower stands at fifty yards distance from the body of the church, though by the appearance of the ruins there is no doubt of their having joined originally. This tower is no otherways worth mention but for its height. The town house is but an ordinary building. A statue of justice is placed in a niche over the door.

We embarked on the canal at seven o'clock in the morning of the 10th of June and had a most pleasing sail down to Amsterdam. It is amazing to see the great number of elegant houses we passed by on each side. In this short tract of twenty four miles we saw four times more good gardens than we had seen all the time we were in France. As we approached near Amsterdam the canal became very broad. We landed just by a large bridge. Our first views of this great city had the appearance as of many spires, houses and trees rising out of the midst of water.

The morning after our arrival we walked about the streets till the hour the merchants meet upon the Exchange and then attended there. We thought it as large and much more crowded that that at London, though the building itself is not to be compared to several of the same kind in England. The Dutch pretend that they exceed us not only in the numbers but likewise in the properties of the Change attendants. We could be no judges of that, but are pretty certain that no other in Europe is any ways equal to either of them. The crowd we met with upon Change was most uncomfortable great to us who had no business to transact there. We thought ourselves poor, idle fellows in an amazing mob of wealth and industry.

There are only two churches in Amsterdam worth seeing, these are called the old and new. They are both large and plain buildings with very little ornaments, the putting up of pictures being repugnant to Calvinism, the present established religion of this country. We could not help remarking in one church two or three great models of line of battle ships hung up in one of the aisles.

The Stat. House is in fact the only publick edifice that does honour to this city. It is indeed a very large and beautifull building. Its use and ornaments are as observable as its size. The grand galleries, and the severall rooms of justice, as well as many of the publick offices are floored with marble, and hung with variety of good emblematical pieces of sculpture, and painting as of Justice, Commerce, councills, executions, Moses's communicating the divine laws, Solomans choice of wisdom and many others. On the floor in the middle of the great gallery is a representation of the Zodiac, the circle upon the marble is twenty two feet diameter, that as well as the other circles, lines, constellations etc., are of brass.

We saw there in one of the chambers of justice the four Burgo Masters who are the principal majistrates. The President is chosen for two years and the other three annually. They wear wigs and bands like our judges in England and appear in much state. As Amsterdam is an extreamly rich so it is a very large city, its form is nearly like a crescent with its concavity adjoining to the harbour which is large and commodious, and when we saw it had some hundred sail of vessels in it. On the eastern side a considerable number of capital ships of war are laid up, and preserved in the neatest order. Just by stand the Arsenal and Storehouses.

This place has canals up every principal street planted on each side with rows of trees (as described at Utrecht). By means of these conveniences the vast business here is carried on with ease and dispatch. Perhaps the merchants here have as much profit by their inland trade as by their foreign commerce, because the great continental rivers empty themselves into the sea in this neighbourhood, which makes these people the doers of all the business up the country.

As these waters are the souces of wealth, so they are of security to this city from the attacks of its potent neighours, for by cutting the banks they at any time can, and in Lewis the Fourteenth's time of France did cover the country with water for severall miles round, so that when that monarch saw Amsterdam at a distance in the middle as it were of a monstrous lake, said he must provide an army of ducks to take it. Happily for them large men of war cannot approach the town with their guns and stores aboard. Possessed with these advantages they neither have, or need any fortifications, here. However we cannot help thinking that this place is not without danger of destruction in case of violent inundation though the inhabitants seem free from any such fears.

We saw the Physick Garden, abounding with a great assortment of botanic trees and plants, and provided with many stoves and other conveniencies for the preservation of those that are natives of warmer climates. Near the Physick Garden are some publick walks called the Plantage, but we did not find them much frequented by genteel people.

In Amsterdam the banking and exchange business of a considerable part of Europe is carried on, by which means great wealth is acquired. This too occasions the place to be the residence of many Jews. It is computed that more than thirty thousand have lived there since the conclusion of the last war. They have three synogogues, and possess no inconsiderable part of the town.

Many of the hackney coaches go without wheels, being fixed on sledges and dragged about the streets by single horses, not more than a foot from the ground. There were no plays, or other publick entertainments during our stay in Amsterdam.

There are four publick buildings for the conveniencey of those who choose to keep their horses in the same manner as in the livery stables in London, with this addition that a rideing school adjoins each. The city is but ill supply'd with fuel, turf is chiefly burnt by the inhabitants.

We went one morning to Sardam, a town that lies on the opposite side the bay, at four miles distance. The wind was so contrary that we were upwards of two hours in going across, but returned in half the time. This is a great place for ship building and has likewise severall other manufactories. There are numerous saw mills for cutting planks, for the shipwrights. It seemed to us as if one of these mills, or rather wind engines, can cutt as much plank in windy weather, as twelve or fourteen pairs of sawyers. Their use is prohibited in England. Besides them as many corn oil and paper mills. It is reckond that you may from one point of view count one hundred and fifty of these edifices. Great as the numbers are, they are not much to be wondered at, considereding the great trade of the country and that its flatness prevents the use of any water movements.

Sardam stands on the side of a river that there discharges itself into the bay. The town is of great length, but narrow, being divided its whole length by the river, and consists of little more than a single street on each side. It is a very neat place. Every house almost has its little garden. Vast business is carried on in it. The situation is in what they call North Holland.

We went one evening to a place called Nichte Recht,[15] a country village about nine miles south east of Amsterdam where Mynheer Danial Muilman has a country house to which he took us in his carriage. That gentleman honoured us with very genteel entertainment. His house is elegant, and his gardens fruitfull and extensive. Near this is a house now called Petersburgh because Peter the Great Czar of Muscovy made it the place of his summer residence during his stay in Holland.[16]

On the 15th of June we left Amsterdam and went down the Canal to Haarlem which we found a very neat place, like all other Dutch towns we were in. The organ in the great church is generally allowed to have few if any equals for size, beauty or goodness. We heard it play at divine service. The wood of Haarlem is much spoke of in this country, but we saw no more in it than is to be seen in most parks in England.

We took a carriage and went down about six miles northward to a small town called Beverwyck, in order to see a little of the western side of north Holland. We saw many handsome country houses in its neighbourhood with good gardens and plantations. We returned to Haarlem in the evening and dined next day at Leyden.

That city is reckoned the second in Holland. It is large and extreamly well built, and pleased us more than any place we had before seen belonging to the States General. There is an university with about four hundred students. The celebrated Doctor Boerhave established it as a place for the study of physick. The college is no way remarkable. Adjoining it is the botanick garden, well stored with exotic plants. There are also rooms wherein the skins of many beasts, birds and fishes and insects are preserved and likewise some roman antiquities in the statuary way. At a little distance from thence are the rooms of anatomy where we saw great variety of skeletons and other things treated of by that science, many of them more frightfull than pleasing to us whose want of knowledge in the profession deprived us of the power of makeing them of use to us. What struck us most were the skins of several criminals which had been flayd, after that tanned and stuffed, the natural colour being preserved, artificial eyes were placed, and they erect in the middle of the room quite naked, excepting a fierce laced hat on the head of each, and a pipe in the mouth, as if smoking. Their appearances were really horrible.

In the middle of the town stands a small hill, or rather a bank, accounted the highest spot in Holland, and in course commands good prospects. Its top is surrounded with a brick wall and embrasures. We were told that the garrison defended this place bravely when beseiged by the Spaniards, however what do now remain don't deserve the name of fortifications.

The gates of Leyden are elegant, noble erections.

We took boat upon the canal and went from thence to the Hague, passing in our way through some good villages and by very many handsome houses and gardens.

The evening we got to the Hague we went to the French Comedy, and there saw many ladies, who seemed to be, by their attendants, of distinguis'd quality, and several foreign ministers. The play house itself is but an indifferent one, much like that at Lisle.

Next morning we took a walk about a mile and half into the country to a small palace of retirement belonging to the Prince of Orange, called the House in the Wood. We found in the apartments much neatness and elegance, without magnificence. The wood wherein the palace stands is of considerable extent, reaching from the palace to the town, and seems to run a long way beyond on the other side. As it is the largest so it seems to have the best timber in it of any kind we saw in Holland. There are good walks in it, and roads for carriages.

We went in the evening down to a small fishing town called Scheveling and had there a full prospect of the German ocean. This town lies about two miles west from the Hague, on our thither we called and saw the gardens belonging to Count Bentinck, remarkable for an orangery. The road from the Hague to Scheveling is planted on each side with a fine row of trees like a grove.

The Hague though only called a village is very large and far more elegant and beautifull as to it private buildings than any place we saw on the continent. The width and nobleness of the streets were not nearly equal'd by any we had been in before. It has not however publick buildings proportionably fine. The Statholders Palace is not very conspicuous amongst the private houses that surround it, though in another place it would merit notice.

There are about two thousand soldiers generally in the Hague. Those we saw appeared to be good troops.

This town is surrounded by rich pastures and by woods and is accounted the best situation in all Holland. It is a place of but little trade, oweing its grandeur to the Assembly of the States, and general residence of the Prince of Orange, and of consequence much resorted to by persons of distinction, as well as foreign ministers and travellers.

We took a walk to Ryswick near two miles east by north from the Hague, in order to see the spot where a famous treaty of peace was concluded in the last century. The ministers met in an old stone palace of the Statholders, a building on no other account worth seeing or mentioning.

On the 20th of June we left the Hague, and in a hour got to the city of Delft, just such another trading Dutch place as several already described. From thence we still followed the canal, and in two hours more arrived at Rotterdam. That city is situated on the River Mease, whose breadth and depth afford it all the advantages of a sea port. It is a place of great commerce employing many vessels of all burthens. The town itself is much like Amsterdam, and though not so large we still thought a prettier place. There are marine arsenals, and some men of warr laid up, but the unwillingness of the people belonging to them to shew them led us to imagine them not much worth seeing.

The Exchange is large, neat and elegant, and has a good appearance of merchants. The Stathouse is a poor, mean edifice by no means answerable to the goodness of the town.

A few of the principle merchants here vie with each other in the grandeur of their equipages, however those belonging to Mynheer Elzevier far outshine the rest. There are probably few sovereign princes who have so many rich carriages and such harness. It is wonderfull to observe the expence he puts himself to in the indulgence of this foible. Besides great variety of the richest kinds of wheel carriages gilt, he has sledges for running on the ice in winter, which like the others are of the best workmanship. Each vehicle has harness whose outside is covered with different kinds of plain or flowered silks, all emboidered or laced with silver or gold, no two sets alike except in costliness. These are however manifest exceptions to the general rule of Dutch merchants, who are most of them miserably covetous and indeed those who appear profuse in one article are generally penurious in every other. It is no uncommon thing for a Dutch man to expend more money annually in his garden than in all the other charges of his family joined together. It seems from what we could learn from those we conversed with on the spot that the happiness of these men arises not from the comfortable enjoyment, but from the nominal possession of wealth. Their satisfaction springs not from the conscious virtue of having employed part of their vast wealth in makeing their families and freinds happy during their own lives, but in hoarding the whole till their decease, that their sordid pride may be indulged by the reported possession of three, four or five millions of guilders, whilst perhaps all their expences may not amount to two hundred pounds sterling per annum.

As there is no maxim of economy more just that that fortunes may be saved as well as got, so it is not surprizing to find these people so rich, the most beneficial commerce and the greatest frugality being handed down from generation to generation. To prevent however or rather to check, this vast increase of wealth in families, the Dutch have amongst many others purely republican a law whereby the possessions of every man are divided share and share alike, amongst his children, or nearest relations, after his decease, so that the wretch who has denied himself the comforts of riches in his life, has not a power of the disposal of them at his death. Horrid as this law must seem to English men it is probably well adapted to the genius of those who are governed by it, which is indeed (most likely) generally the case of all laws, however prepostorous they may seem to persons of other countries and other dispositions, as it has been observed by our ingenious country man Mr King in his essay on our own constitution.

In Holland bankruptcy is reckond amongst the most contemptible of crimes and the appellation given to men without employment is an expression of indolence, as we say in England such a one is a gentleman, there they saw he is an idleman.

The Dutch have a singular method to prevent a man spending his substance. It is this, the friends of the spendthrift make attestation before the States that such a one daily lessens his fortune and must in course become burthensome to his relations. If the allegations appear true they grant out a commission to take possession of all he is worth, only allowing him such a stipend. Publick notice is given of this proceeding, and if any person gives him credit afterwards his money will be lost. Thus the fear of shame preserves many a man's fortune, whose prudence would not. A wife too may be put under commission by her husband. The reason given for the law is, though they confessed (when we professed the argument) that every man has a natural right to do what he will or pleases with his own, still that no one has a right to spend other people's property, which say they, he certainly does, who becomes chargeable to his relations and friends for support.

With such laws, customs and dispositions this people hath acquired prodigious wealth, however these regulations (if such they may be called) are perhaps better calculated for private emolument than publick benefit. The government of the States General not being esteemed rich, and their navy which a century agoe disputed with Brittain the sovereingnty of the sea is now reduced to a low ebb, the men of warr lie useless in ye harbours without their masters having a power to man any considerable numbers of them.

The grand security of this country lies in the jealousy of its powerfull neighbours, who cannot agree about the division of these provinces, because each wishes to posses the whole of them. Mean while relying upon this, these politick people keep their power in the East Indies, from whence flows their wealth, and where they are probably stronger than every other European power joined together.

In the great market place at Rotterdam is a brown (bronze?) statue of Erasmus fixed on a marble pedestal. He is represented as dressed in a gown lined with ermine, with a cap on his head, and as holding a folio volume in the right hand, turning the leaves over with the left. Not far from thence we were shewn a small old house wherein he was born. We were told by a gentleman of the place, that he was almost illiterate at twenty years old, though he afterwards attained a more accurate knowledge of the Latin language, than perhaps any modern has hitherto arrived at.

This city has a great trade with England. It is computed that more English than Dutch ships enter the harbour. When we were there we saw several large British vessels taking in Palatine, and other German emigrants, in order to convey them over to our American plantations. These poor people are mostly Lutherans, and being miserably enslaved in their own countries, they steal away and come down hither in great numbers at this season annually and find ships here ready to take them on board. This transportation amounts to several thousands one year with another. It pleased us to observe the great regard these poor creatures shewed to the duties of religion, by attending publick prayers on board their ships upon deck, with great seeming devotion and in singing hymms, that last part was performed astonishingly well. On Sundays they have sermons preached to them. It is remarked that there is scarce an instance of any disorders being committed amongst them by these people though they sometimes stay a considerable time here waiting for the completion of the ships compliments, so much more powerfully does religion operate upon these poor sufferers for it, than upon those who are so happy as to enjoy an uninterrupted observance of it.

As sobriety is the amiable virtue of the French, so industry and neatness are characterisks of the Dutch.

The women of Holland are as remarkable for their complexions as the French are for the reverse. This difference may be in part, but is not entirely owing to nature, for the French never wear any kind of hat, but walk in the full sun without cover, and by that means become almost tawny, while the Dutch use the shelter of large bonnets. There is a deal of elegance in the features of many of the Holland women but not that sensibility so pleasing in the countenances of our fair country women. The Dutch dress is clumsey and aukward, at least it appeared so to us, who were unaccustomed to such habits. The great height of the stays seem to thrust up the shoulders almost to the ears and the little round hoops make every woman appear as if encircled by a barrel.

We observed in the Roman Catholick countries through which we passed that Sunday seems rather a day of generall festivity than devotion. In Holland its outward observance is more regular, but in the houses cards etc are as much used on that day as any other. It is a remark to the honour of Brittain that the inhabitants of no country in Europe keep that sacred day so well as those on our island.

Holland is the only country in which we ever saw storks. Those birds are doubtless sent by Providence to prevent the too great increase of snails and other reptiles that breed in so moist a country. Their size rather exceeds that of our herons. Their feathers are mostly white, except those of the wings, which are black. The legs and necks are long, the bills and legs are red. There is not any flesh or feathers appearing on the thighs, so that they seem as if standing on a long red peg, with a joint in the middle. These birds come in March, and retire in September. It is probable that they live the rest of the year in Egypt, it being remarked that birds of that kind arrive in that country in September and leave it March. The wetness of the ground in Egypt after the overflowing of the Nile, probably occasions the same kind of food to be produced for storks there at that season as are in Holland during the spring and summer months, and they are most likely as serviceable to the inhabitants of one country as to those of the other. They breed here making their nests on the tops of flatt chimnies, which are covered with a flagg on purpose, many in each village to encourage them, but we seldom saw more than one or two nests in a place.

The Dutch take remarkable care of the poor infirm and orphans of their land, for whose severall benefits hospitals are erected in every considerable town. However what is generally reported in England that there are no common beggars in Holland is not a fact, though there are indeed but very few to be seen.

On the 24th of June we left Rotterdam and after crossing the River Mease took a carriage on the opposite side, and drove down to Helvoetsluys. In the way we passed through pretty rich arable land, and crossed two or three large rivers.

Helvoetsluys is but a small place, though its situation as a port is advantageous. It has a bason wherein forty or fifty men of war may lie with entire safety from storms. There were not more than fourteen when we were at helvoet, the largest of 74 guns. On the eastern side the bason are storehouses for the navy, wherein we saw a good deal of materials for the fitting out these vessels, particularly brass and iron cannon.

We saw there a man of war dismantling and another lay off the harbour in order to sail in a few days with presents to the Algerines.

Fortifications surround the town, and bason and command the entrance of the harbour.

On the 25th of June we embarked on board the packet at Helvoet at four o'clock in the afternoon and had a pleasant sail with a fair wind till after midnight when the wind changed, became squalley and the sea ran high, so as to make the remainder of the passage disagrreable and tedious. However we landed safely at Harwich on the 26th at half past two in the afternoon.

The Route in English Miles

From Dover


To Calais by sea


To Graveline


To Dunkirk


To Lisle


To Douay


To Cambray


To Roye


To Sonlis


To Paris


To Vernon


Back again through Manty & St Germains


To St Cloud and back


To Versailles


Back by Marli


To Desmartin


To Soisson


To Tismes


To Rheims


To Rethel


To Cherliville


To Recrois


To Charelmont


To Denant


To Namur


To Leige, by water


To Spa


To Aix la Chapelle


To Maestritcht


To Tongres


To Tarlemont


To Louvan


To Brussells


To Mochlin


To Antwerp


To Bergen op Zoom


To Breda


To Gorcum


To Utrecht


To Amsterdam by Water


To Sardam & back


To Nitcht Rhechte & back


To Haarlem by water


To Beverwych & back


To Leyden by water


To The Hague by water


To Scheveling & back


To Ryswick & back


To Rotterdam by water


To Helvoetsluys


To Harwich by sea


Total Miles Travelled 1139

[1] Edward Bridge and Samuel Vernon

[2] Lille

[3] The river would be the Oise

[4] the River Aisne

[5] Liège

[6] Tobias Smolletts Travels Through France and Italy was published in May 1766. It is unlikely that Vernon would have had the opportunity to read the book till he returned to England in June 1766.

[7] Seats?

[8] now known as Tongeren

[9] now known as Sint-Truiden

[10] these three barrows are on the road leading into the town now known as Tienen.

[11] Palais de Coudenberg, burned down in 1731

[12] the fountain Vernon is referring to is probably the Manneken Pis

[13] Mechelen

[14] the Calvary Rock is in the church yard at St Pauls, not St Jamess

[15] Negtevecht

[16] destroyed in the time of Napoleon