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.

After examining every part of the bridge, above and below, I could not find the least traces of any ancient inscription, except three initial letters, C, P, A; but I found cut in demi relief very extraordinary kind of priapus, or rather group of them; the country people, for it is much effaced, imagine it to be dogs in pursuit of a hare; but if I may be permitted to imagine too perhaps, indeed, with no better judgment, might not the kind of representations be emblematical of the populousness, of the country? though more probably the wanton fancies of the master mason, or his journeymen; for they are too diminutive pieces of work to bear any proportion to the whole, and are therefore blemishes, not ornaments, even allowing that in those ages such kind of works were not considered in the light they would be in these days of more delicacy and refinement.

LETTER X.

NISMES.

I have now been here some time, and have employed most of it, in visiting daily the Maison Carree, the Amphitheatre, the Temple of Diana, and other Roman remains, which this town abounds with above all others in France, and which is all the town affords worthy of notice, (for it is but a very indifferent one.) The greater part of the inhabitants are Protestants, who meet publicly between two rocks, at a little distance from the city, every Sunday, sometimes not less than eighteen thousand, where their pastors, openly and audibly, perform divine service, according to the rites of the reformed church:  Such is the difference between the mild government of Louis the 16th, and that which was practised in the reign of his great grandfather.  But reason and philosophy have made more rapid strides in France, within these few years, than the arts and sciences.  It is, however, a great and mighty kingdom, blest with every convenience and comfort in life, as well as many luxuries, beside good wine; and good wine, drank in moderation (and here nobody drinks it otherwise) is not only an excellent cordial to the nerves, but I am persuaded it contributes to long life, and good health.  Here, where wine and eau de vie is so plenty, and so cheap too, you seldom meet a drunken peasant, and never see a gentleman (except he be a stranger) in that shameful situation.

Perhaps there is not, on any part of the Continent, a city or town which has been so frequently sacked by foreign invaders, nor so deeply stained with human blood, by civil and religious wars, as this:  every street and ancient building within its walls still exhibit many strong marks of the excesses committed by the hands of domestic as well as foreign barbarians, except only the Temple now called, and so called from its form, the Maison Carree, which has stood near eighteen hundred years, without receiving any other injuries than the injuries of time; and time has given it rather the face of age, than that of ruins,

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