About a quarter of a mile without this town, stands a royal convent, richly endowed, and delightfully situated; the walls of which take in near twenty acres of land, well planted on the banks of a river; and here I left my two daughters, to perfect themselves in the French language, as there was not one person within the convent, nor that I could find, within the town, who could speak a word of English. And here I must not omit to tell you, how much I was overcome with the generosity of this virtuous, and I must add amiable, society of religieux. Upon my first inquiry about their price for board, lodging, washing, cloaths, and in short, every thing the children did, or might want, they required a sum much beyond the limits of my scanty income to give; but before we left them, they became acquainted with some circumstances, which induced them to express their concern that the price I had offered (not half what they had demanded) could not be taken. We therefore retired, and had almost fixed the children in a cheaper convent, but much inferior in all respects, within the town, when we received a polite letter from the Lady Abbess, to say, that after consulting with her sister-hood, they had come to a resolution to take the children at our own price, rather than not shew how much they wished to oblige us. Upon this occasion, we were all admitted within the walls of the convent; and I had the pleasure of seeing my two daughters joined to an elegant troop of about forty genteel children, and of leaving them under the care of the same number of religieux. And yet these good people knew nothing of us, but what we ourselves communicated to them, not being known, nor knowing any person in the town.—The Lady-Abbess of this convent is a woman of high rank, about twenty-four years of age, and possesses as large a share of beauty as any reasonable woman, even on the outside of a convent, could wish for.
Auxerre is a good town, pleasantly situated, and in a plentiful and cheap country.
From Auxerre to Ioigni is five leagues. The Petit bel Vue on the banks of the river is very pleasantly situated, but a dreadful one within side, in every respect, being a mixture of dirt, ignorance, and imposition; but it is the only inn for travellers, and therefore travellers should avoid it. In order to put my old hostess in good humour, I called early for a bottle of Champaigne; and in order to put me into a bad humour, she charged me the next day for two; but I charged her with Mons. Le Connetable, who behaved like a gentleman, though I think he was only a marchand de tonneau: but then he was a wine not beer cooper, who hooped the old Lady’s barrel.
Where-ever I was ill-used or imposed upon, I always sent a pretty heavy packet by the post, after I had run down a hundred miles or two, by way of draw-back, upon my host, and recompence to the King’s high road; for in France,