A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 eBook

Philip Thicknesse
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777.
lost a great part of its former power:  it, however, still keeps an awe upon all who live within its verge.  I never saw a town in which trade is carried on with more spirit and industry; the indolent disposition of the Spaniards of Castile, and other provinces, has not extended ever into this part of Spain.  They have here a very fine theatre; but those who perform upon the stage are the refuse of the people, and are too bad to be called by the name of actors.  They have neither libraries nor pictures worthy of much notice, though they boast of one or two paintings in their churches by natives of the town, Francois Guirro, and John Arnau.  In the custom-house hangs a full-length of the present King, so execrable, that one would wonder it was not put, with the painter, into the Inquisition, as a libel on royalty and the arts.  I am told, at La Fete Dieu there are some processions of the most ridiculous nature.  The fertility of the earth in and about the town is wonderful; the minute one crop is off the earth, another is put in; no part of the year puts a stop to vegetation.  In the coldest weather, the market abounds with a great variety of the choicest flowers; yet their sweets cannot over-power the intolerable smell which salt fish, and stinking fish united, diffuse over all that part of the city; and rich as the inhabitants are, you will see the legs, wings, breasts, and entrails of fowls, in the market, cut up as joints of meat are in other countries, to be sold separately:  nor could I find in this great city either oil, olives, or wine, that were tolerable.  I paid a guinea a day at the Fontain d’Or for my table; yet every thing was so dirty, that I always made my dinner from the dessert; nor was there any other place but the stable of this dirty inn to put up my horse, where I paid twelve livres a week for straw only; and whoever lodges at this inn, must pay five shillings a day for their dinner, whether they dine there or not.

Catalonia is undoubtedly the best cultivated, the richest, and most industrious province, or principality, in Spain; and the King, who has the SUN FOR HIS HAT, (for it always shines in some part of his dominions) has nothing to boast of, equal to Catalonia.

As I have almost as much abhorrence to the Moors, as even the Spaniards themselves, (having visited that coast two or three times, many years ago) you may be sure I was grieved to meet, every time I went out, so many maimed and wounded officers and soldiers, who were not long returned from the unsuccessful expedition to Algiers.  There are no troops in the world more steady than the Spaniards; it was not for want of bravery they miscarried, but there was some sad mismanagement; and had the Moors followed their blows, not a man of them would have returned.  My servant, (a French deserter) who was upon that expedition, says, Gen. O’Reilly was the first who landed, and the last who embarked;—­but it is the

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