At the three Kings at Foussart, suspecting there was a cat behind the bed in wait for my bird, I found, instead thereof, a little narrow door, which was artfully hid, and which opened into another room; and as I am sure the man is a cheat, I suspect too, that upon a good occasion, he would have made some use of his little door.
Foussart is a small place, consisting only of three or four public houses. From thence to Morret, is three leagues, on which road is erected a noble pillar of oriental marble, in memory of the marriage of Lewis the XVth. Soon after we passed this monument, we entered into the delightful forest of Fontainbleau; and passing three leagues to the center of it, we arrived at that ancient royal palace: it stands very low, and is surrounded by a great many fine pieces of water, which, however, render the apartments very damp. The King and royal family had been there six weeks, and were gone but ten days, and with them, all the furniture of the palace was also gone, except glasses, and a few pictures, of no great value. In a long, gallery are placed, on each side of the wall, a great number of stags’ heads, carved in wood, and upon them are fixed the horns of stags and bucks, killed by the late, and former Kings; some of which are very outre, others singularly large and beautiful.
Fontainbleau is a good town, stands adjacent to the palace; and as the gardens, park, &c. are always open, it is a delightful summer residence. We staid a few days there, to enjoy the shady walks, and to see the humours of a great annual fair, which commenced the day after we arrived. All sorts of things are sold at this fair; but the principal business is done in the wine way, many thousand pieces of the inferior Burgundy wine being brought to this market.
We made two little days’ journey from Fontainbleau to Paris, a town I entered with concern, and shall leave with pleasure.—As I had formerly been of some service to Faucaut who keeps the Hotel d’York, when he lived in Rue de Mauvais Garcon I went to this famous Hotel, which would have been more in character, if he had given it the name of his former street, and called it, L’Hotel de Mauvais Garcon for it is an hospital of bugs and vermin: the fellow has got the second-hand beds of Madame Pompadour, upon his first floor, which he modestly asks thirty louis d’ors a month for! All the rest of the apartments are pigeon-holes, filled with fleas, bugs, and dirt; and should a fire happen, there is no way of escaping. Nothing should be more particularly attended to in Paris than the security from fire, where so many, and such a variety of strangers, and their servants, are shut up at night, within one Porte Cochere.