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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.
other company, though it is the general practice in the southern parts of France.  Upon entering the house, where this Maitre Cuisinier and prime minister of the kitchen presided, I began to conceive but an indifferent opinion of the Major’s judgment; the house, the kitchen, the cook, were, in appearance, all against it; yet, in spite of all, I never sat down to so good a supper; and should be sorry to sit often at table, where such a one was set before me.  I will not—­nay, I cannot tell you what we had; but you will be surprised to know what we paid,—­what think you of three livres each? when I assure you, such a supper, if it were to be procured in London, could not be provided for a guinea a head! and we were only seven who sat down to it.

I must not omit to tell you, that all the second day’s voyage we heard much talk of the danger there would be in passing the Bridge of Pont St. Esprit; and that many horses and men landed some miles before we arrived there, choosing rather to walk or ride in the hot sun, than swim through so much danger.  Yet the truth is, there was none; and, I believe, seldom is any.  The Patron of the barge, indeed, made a great noise, and affected to shew how much skill was necessary to guide it through the main arch, for I think the bridge consists of thirty; yet the current itself must carry every thing through that approaches it, and he must have skill, indeed, who could avoid it.  There was not in the least degree any fall; but yet, it passed through with such violence, that we run half a league in a minute; and very soon after landed at the town of Pont.  St. Esprit, which has nothing in it very remarkable, but this long bridge, the good cook, and the first olive tree we had seen.

This is Lower Languedoc, you know, and the province in which ten thousand pounds were lately distributed by the sagacious Chancellor of England, among an hundred French peasants; and though I was weak enough to think it my property, I am not wicked enough to envy them their good fortune.  If the decision made one man wretched; it made the hearts of many glad; and I should be pleased to drink a bottle of wine with any of my fortunate cousins, and will if I can find them out; for they are my cousins; and I would shake an honest cousin by the hand tho’ he were in wooden shoes, with more pleasure than I would the honest Chancellor, who put them so unexpectedly upon a better footing.  I think, by the laws of England, no money is to be transported into other kingdoms; by the JUSTICE of it, it may, and is;—­if so, law and justice are still at variance; which puts me in mind of what a great man once said upon reading the confirmation of a decree in the House of Lords, from an Irish appeal:—­“It is (said he) so very absurd, inconsistent, and intricate, that, in truth, I am afraid it is really made according to law.”

LETTER IX.

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