From Bonne we intended to have taken the high road to Dijon; but being informed that there was another, though not much frequented, by way of Autun, and that that town, which was a Roman colony, still contained many curious monuments worthy of notice, we pursued the latter, which twisted in between a vast variety of small, but fertile valleys, watered with brooks, bounded by romantic hills, and some high mountains, most of which were covered with vines, which did produce the most delicious red wine in the world; I say did produce, for the high gout and flavour of the Burgundy grape has for many years failed, and perhaps so as never to return again. We, however, missed the road to Autun, and, after four leagues’ journey through a most delightful country, we arrived at a miserable auberge in a dirty village called Yozy, which stands upon the margin of a large forest, in which, some years since, the diligence from Lyons to Paris was attacked by a banditti, and the whole party of travellers were murdered: ever since that fatal day, a guard of the Marechaussee always escort the diligence through this deep and dreadful forest, (so they called it), and we were persuaded it was right to take a couple of the Marechaussee, and did so; but as we found the forest by no means so long, deep, or dreadful, as it had been represented, we suspected that the advice given us, was more for the sake of the men who guarded us, than from any regard to us, two men could have made no great resistance against a banditti; and a single man would hardly have meddled with us.
The next day we passed thro’ Arnay-le-Duc, a pretty country village, three leagues from Yozy, and it being their annual fair-day, we had an opportunity of seeing all the peasantry, dressed in their best, and much chearfulness, not only in the town, but upon the road before we arrived, and after we passed it. Amongst the rest of the company, were a bear and a monkey, or rather what Buffon calls the maggot. I desired the shew-man to permit my maggot, as he was the least, the youngest, and the stranger, to pay a visit to Mons. Maggot, the elder, who embraced the young gentleman in a manner which astonished and delighted every body, myself only excepted; but as my young gentleman seemed totally indifferent about the old one, I suspected he had really met his father, and I could not help moralizing a little.
From Arnay-le-Duc we passed through Maupas, Salou, Rouvray, Quisse la forge, and Vermanton to Auxerre, the town where the French nobleman was said to live, whom Dr. Smollett treated so very roughly, and who, in return, was so polite as to help to tie the Doctor’s baggage behind his coach!