At Lyons I saw a Macinoise girl of fashion, or fortune, in this dress; her lace was fine, her gown silk, and her shoulder-straps of silver; and, as her head had much more of the bon gout than the bon ton, I thought her the most inviting object I had seen in that city, my delicate landlady at Nismes always excepted. I think France cannot produce such another woman for beauty as Madame Seigny.
I bought a large quantity of the Macon lace, at about eight-pence English a yard, which, at a little distance, cannot easily be distinguished from fine old pointe.
Between St. George and Macon, at a time we wanted our breakfast, we came to a spot where two high roads cross each other, and found there a little cabbin, not unlike the Iron House, as to whim, but this was built, sides, top, and bottom, with sawed boards; and as a little bit of a board hung out at the door informed us they sold wine, I went in, and asked the mistress permission to boil my tea-kettle, and to be permitted to eat our breakfast in her pretty cabbin? The woman was knitting; she laid down her work, rose up, and with the ease and address of a woman of the first fashion, said we did her honour, that her house, such as it was, and every thing in it, were at our service; she then sent a girl to a farmer’s hard by, for milk, and to a village a quarter of a league distant, for hot bread; and while we breakfasted, her conversation and good breeding made up a principal part of the repas; she had my horse too brought to the back part of her cabbin, where he was well fed from a portable manger. I bought of her two bottles of white wine, not much inferior to, and much wholesomer than, Champaigne, and she charged me for the whole, milk, bread, fire, conversation, and wine, thirty six sols, about seventeen pence English! Though this gentlewoman, for so I must call her, and so I believe she is, lived in such a small hut, she seemed to be in good circumstances, and had liqueurs, tea, and a great variety of bons choses to sell. This was the only public house, (if it maybe called by that name,) during my whole journey out and in, where I found perfect civility; not that the publicans in general have not civility in their possession, but they will not, either from pride or design, produce it, particularly to strangers. My wooden-house landlady indeed, was a prodigy; and it must be confessed, that no woman of the lower order in England, nor even of the middling class, have any share of that ease and urbanity which is so common among the lower order of the people of this kingdom: but the woman I now speak of, had not, you will perceive, the least design even upon my purse; I made no previous agreement with her for my good fare, and she scorned to take any advantage of my confidence; and I shewed my sense of it, by giving her little maid eight times more than she ever received for such services before—an English shilling.