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.
man till the next morning, when I owned, I was not sufficiently cunning in the art of music to get my bread by it; and that I had unfortunately been bred to a worse profession, that of arms; and if I got time enough to Barcelona to enter a volunteer in the Walloon guards, and go to Algiers, perhaps I might get from his Catholic Majesty, by my services, more than I could acquire from his Britannic—­something to live upon in my old age:  but I had no better encouragement from this Frenchman as an adventurer in arms, than in music; he assured me, that Spain was a vilain pays, and that France was the only country in the world for a voyageur.  But as I found that France was the only country he had voyaged in, and then never above twenty leagues from that spot, I thanked him for his advice, and determined to proceed; for though it is fifteen miles from Montpellier, we are not got out of the latitude of the Moschettos.

On the road here, we met an infinite number of carts and horses, loaded with ripe grapes; the gatherers generally held some large bunches (for they were the large red grape) in their hands, to present to travellers; and we had some from people, who would not even stay to receive a trifling acknowledgment for their generosity and politeness.

Nothing could be more beautiful than the prospects which every way surrounded us, when we came within three or four miles of this town; both sides of the road were covered with thyme and lavender shrubs, which perfumed the air; the sea breeze, and the hot sun, made both agreeable; and the day was so clear and fine, that the snow upon the Alps made them appear as if they were only ten leagues from us; and I could have been persuaded that we were within a few hours drive of the Pyrenees; yet the nearest of them was at least a hundred miles distant.

The great Canal of Languedoc has a communication with this town, where covered boats, neatly fitted up for passengers, are continually passing up and down that wonderful and artificial navigation.  It is a convenient port to ship wine at; but the people have the reputation of playing tricks with it, before and after it is put on board; and this opinion is a great baulk to the trade it is so happily situated to carry on, and of great benefit to the free port of Nice.

LETTER XIV.

PERPIGNAN.

DEAR SIR,

Before I leave this kingdom, and enter into that of Spain, let me trouble you with a letter on a subject which, though no ways interesting to yourself, may be very much so to a young Gentleman of your acquaintance at Oxford, for whose happiness I, as well as you, am a little anxious.  It is to apprize you, and to warn him, when he travels, to avoid the gins and man-traps fixed all over this country; traps,

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