And now, as BAYES says, “let’s have a Dance.” ——
TRAVEL IN FRANCE.
GENERAL HINTS, &c.
If you travel post, when you approach the town, or bourg where you intend to lie, ask the post-boy, which house he recommends as the best? and never go to that, if there is any other.—Be previously informed what other inns there are in the same place. If you go according to the post-boy’s recommendation, the aubergiste gives him two or three livres, which he makes you pay the next morning. I know but one auberge between Marseilles and Paris, where this is not a constant practice, and that is at Vermanton, five leagues from Auxerre, where every English traveller will find a decent landlord, Monsieur Brunier, a St. Nicolas; good entertainment, and no imposition, and consequently an inn where no post-boy will drive, if he can avoid it.
If you take your own horses, they must be provided with head-pieces, and halters; the French stables never furnish any such things; and your servant must take care that the Garcon d’Ecurie does not buckle them so tight, that the horses cannot take a full bite, this being a common practice, to save hay.
If the Garcon d’Ecurie does not bring the halters properly rolled up, when he puts your horses to, he ought to have nothing given him, because they are so constantly accustomed to do it, that they cannot forget it, but in hopes you may too.
Direct your servant, not only to see your horses watered, and corn given them, but to stand by while they eat it: this is often necessary in England, and always in France.
If you eat at the table d’Hote, the price is fixed, and you cannot be imposed upon. If you eat in your own chamber, and order your own dinner or supper, it is as necessary to make a previous bargain with your host for it, as it would be to bargain with an itinerant Jew for a gold watch; the conscience and honour of a French Aubergiste, and a travelling Jew, are always to be considered alike; and it is very remarkable, that the publicans in France, are the only people who receive strangers with a cool indifference! and where this indifference is most shewn, there is most reason to be cautious.