The town abounds with apothecaries’ shops, and I met a great many physical faces; so that if the air is not good, I conclude the physic is, and therefore laid out two sols for a pennyworth of ointment of marsh-mallows which alleviated a little the extreme misery we all were in, during our stay at this celebrated city. If, however, it still has a reputation for the cure of a particular disorder, perhaps that may arise from the impurity of the air,—and that the air which is so prone to engender verdigris, may wage war with other subtile poisons; yet, as I found some of my countrymen there, who had taken a longer trial of the air, and more of the physic, than I had occasion for, who neither admired one, nor found benefit from the other, I will not recommend Montpellier as having any peculiar excellencies within its walls, but good wine, and some good actors. It is a dear town, even to the natives, and a very imposing one to strangers; and therefore I shall soon leave it, and proceed southward.
Perhaps you will expect me to say something of the Sweets which this town is so famed for: there are indeed some sweet shops of that sort; and they are bien places. At these shops they have ladies’ silk pockets, sachels for their shifts, letter cases, and a multitude of things of that kind, quilted and larded with something, which does indeed give them a most pleasing and lasting perfume. At these shops too, beside excellent lavender water, essence of bergamot, &c. they sell eau de jasmin de pourri, de cedre, de girofle, sans pareille, de mille fleurs, de zephir, de oiellet, de sultan and a hundred other sorts; but the essence of bergamot is above all, as a single drop is sufficient to perfume a handkerchief; and so it ought to be, for it is very dear.
I was very impatient till I had drove my horse from the British to the Mediterranean coast, and looked upon a sea from that land which I had often, with longing eyes, viewed from the sea, in the year 1745, when I was on board the Russel, with Admiral Medley. I have now compleatly crossed this mighty kingdom and great continent, and it was for that reason I visited Cette. This pretty little sea-port, though it is out of my way to Barcelona, yet it proves to be in the way for my poor horse; as I found here a Spanish bark, upon which I put part of my baggage. I was obliged to have it, however, opened and examined at the Custom-house; and as the officer found in it a bass viol, two guittars, a fiddle, and some other musical instruments, he very naturally concluded I was a musician, and very kindly intimated to me his apprehensions, that I should meet with but very little encouragement in Spain: as I had not any better reason to assign for going there, but to fiddle, I did not undeceive this good-natured