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.
high for other boys, without a ladder, to cut me out again.  At length we arrived at the village, and at a posada, than which nothing could be more dreadful, after the day-light was gone; for beside the rudest mistress, and the dirtiest servants that can be conceived, there lay a poor Frenchman dying in the next room to us; nay, I may almost say, in the same room with us, for it could hardly be called a door which parted us.  This poor man, who had not a shilling in his pocket, had lain twenty days ill in that house; but was attended by the priests of the town with as much assiduity as if he had been a man of fashion:  he had been often exhorted by them, it seems, to confess, but had refused.  The night we came, he feared would be his last, and he determined to make his confession; I was in the room when he signified his desire so to do; and all the people were dismissed by the parish priest.  I returned to my room, and could now and then hear what the priest said:  but the sick man’s voice was too low:  his crimes however, I fear, were of an high nature, for we heard the priest say, with a voice of impatience and seeming horror, Adonde&mda
sh;­adonde—­adonde
?—­Where—­where—­where?

You may imagine, a bad supper, lighted by stinking oil, burning in an iron lamp hung against the side of a wall, (for there were no candles to be had) and while the sick man was receiving the last sacrament, would have been little relished had it been good; that our dirty straw beds were no very comfortable retreat; and that day-light the next morning was what we most wanted and wished for.  Indeed, I never spent a more miserable night; but it was amply made up to us by this day’s journey to Martory, for we coasted it along the sea, which sometimes washed the wheels of my chaise At others, we crossed over high head-lands, which afforded such extensive views over both elements, as abundantly overpaid us for the sufferings of the preceding evening.  The roads, indeed, over these head-lands were bad enough, in some places dangerous; but between walking and riding, with a steady horse, we got on very well.

On this coast, we found a village at every league, inhabited by rich fishermen, and wealthy ship-builders, and found all these artificers busy enough in their professions; in some places, there were an hundred men dragging in, by bodily strength, the Saine; at others, still more surprising, ships of two hundred tons were building on the dry land, where no tide rises to launch them!  These villages are built close to the sea; nothing intervenes between their houses and the ocean but their little gardens, in which, under the shade of their orange, lemon, and vine trees, which were loaded with fruit, sat the wives and daughters of the fishermen, making black silk lace.  Though I call them villages, and though they are in reality so, yet the houses were such, in general, as would make a good figure even in a fine city; for they were all well built, and many adorned on the outside with no contemptible paintings.

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