Agrippa, who was the constructor of most of these noble monuments of Roman grandeur, would not permit the Lyonoise to erect any monument among them to his memory; and yet, his memory is, in a very particular manner, preserved to this day in the very heart of the city, for in the front of a house on the quay de Villeroy, is a medallion of baked earth, which, I think, perfectly resembles him; sure I am it is an unquestionable antique; it is a little disfigured indeed, and disgraced by his name being written upon it in modern characters. But there is another monument of Agrippa here; it is part of the epitaph of an officer or soldier of the third cohort, whose duty it was to take an account of the expence of each day for the subsistence of the troops employed to work on the high-ways, and this officer was called A. Rationibus Agrippae.
There are an infinite number of Roman inscriptions preserved at Lyons, among which is the following singular one:
DIIS INIQVIS QUI ANIMVLAM
I have already told you of a modern monument erected by the Lyonoise, and now, with grief and concern, I must tell you of an ancient one which they have demolished! it was a most beautiful structure, called the tomb of the Two Lovers; that, however, was a mistake; it was the tomb of a brother and sister named Amandas, or Amans, for near where it stood was lately found the following monumental inscription:
ET MEMORIAE AETERNAE OLIAE TRIBVTAE
FEMINAE SANCTISSIME ARVESCIVS
AMANDVS FRATER SORORI KARISSMAE
SIBIQVE AMANTISSIMAE P.C. ET
SVB OSCIA DEDICAVIT.
I have seen a beautiful drawing of this fine monument, which stood near the high road, a little without the town; the barbarian Bourgeoises threw it down about seventy years ago, to search for treasure.
But enough of antiquities; and therefore I will tell you truly my sentiments with respect to the south of France, which is, that Lyons is quite southward enough for an Englishman, who will, if he goes farther, have many wants which cannot be supplied. After quitting Lyons, he will find neither good butter, milk, or cream. At Lyons, every thing, which man can wish for, is in perfection; it is indeed a rich, noble, and plentiful town, abounding with every thing that is good, and more finery than even in Paris itself. They have a good theatre, and some tolerable actors; among whom is the handsomest Frenchman I ever beheld, and, a little stiffness excepted, a good actor.
Any young gentleman traveller, particularly of the English nation, who is desirous of replenishing his purse, cannot, even in Paris, find more convenient occasions to throw himself in fortune’s way, than at the city of Lyons.
An English Lady, and two or three gentlemen, have lately been so fortunate there, as to find lodgings at a great Hotel, gratis; and I desire you will particularly recommend a long stay at Lyons to my Oxonian friend; where he may see the world without looking out at a window.