A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 eBook

Philip Thicknesse
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777.
but had General Cope previously rode through the ranks, and apprised the troops with the manner of their fighting, and assured them how feeble the effect of such weapons would be upon men armed with musket and bayonet, which is exactly the truth, not a man would have retired; yet, trim-tram, they all ran, and the General, it is said, gave the earliest notice of his own defeat!  But I should have observed, above, that the laws of France being different, in different provinces, have the contrary effect in the southern parts, to what they were intended.  The Seigneur on whose land a murdered body is found, is obliged to pay the expence of bringing the criminal to justice.  Some of these lordships are very small; and the prosecuting a murderer to punishment, would cost the lord of the manor more than his whole year’s income; it becomes his interest, therefore, to hide the dead body, rather than pursue the living villain; and, as whoever has property, be it ever so small, has peasants about him who will be glad to obtain his favour, he is sure that when any of these peasants see a murdered body, they will give him the earliest notice, and the same night the body is for ever hid, and no enquiry is made after the offender.  I saw hang on the road side, a family of nine, a man, his wife, and seven children, who had lived many years by murder and robberies; and I am persuaded that road murders are very common in France; yet people of any condition may nevertheless, travel through France with great safety, and always obtain a guard of the Marechaussee, through woods or forests, or where they apprehend there is any danger.

P.S. The following method of buying and selling the wine of this province, may be useful to you.

To have good Burgundy, that is, wine de la premiere tete, as they term it, you must buy it from 400 to 700 livres.  There are wines still dearer, up to 1000 or 1200 livres; but it is allowed, that beyond 700 livres, the quality is not in proportion to the price; and that it is in great measure a matter of fancy.

The carriage of a queue of wine from Dijon to Dunkirk, or to any frontier town near England, costs an hundred livres, something more than four sols a bottle; but if sent in the bottle, the carriage will be just double.  The price of the bottles, hampers, package, &c. will again increase the expence to six sols a bottle more; so that wine which at first cost 600 livres, or 25 sols a bottle, will, when delivered at Dunkirk, be worth 29 sols a bottle, if bought in cask; if in bottles, 39 sols.—­Now add to this the freight, duties, &c. to London; and as many pounds sterling as all these expences amount to upon a queue of wine, just so many French sols must be charged to the price of every bottle.  The reduction of French sols to English sterling money is very plain, and of course the price of the best burgundy delivered in London, easily calculated.

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A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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