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rounding it. It is now a very clean and pretty town, and so orderly that there was no more tumult or even noise in the market-place, where the people were so close together as to form a continual crowd, than in the byestreets leading to the country, where scarcely a passenger was to be seen. This is certainly a remark which, I believe, could never be made in England.
When we returned to the hotel, I found all my fellow-travellers had been to the custom-house! I had quite forgotten, or rather neglected to enquire the hour for this formality, and was beginning to alarm myself lest I was out of rule, when a young man, a commissary, I heard, of the hotel, came to me and asked if had anything contraband to the laws of the Republic. I answered as I had done before. Mais, Madame, avez-vous quelque chose de neuf ?" « Oui, Monsieur." -" Quelques jupons?” “Beaucoup, Monsieur.”_ " Quelques bas de coton ?" “ Plusieurs, Monsieur."
Eh bien ! Madame, tout cela sera saisi."-" Mais, Monsieur ! quand ce n'est pas du tout pour vendre, seulement pour porter?” “C'est égal, Madame, tout ça sera saisi.”—“Eh! mais que faut-il donc faire ?" “ Il faut, Madame, payer généreusement; et si vous êtes bien sûre qu'il n'y a rien à vendre, alors peut-être"
I entreated him to take charge himself as to what was right and generous, and he readily undertook to go through the ceremony for me without my appearing. I was so much frightened, and so happy not to be called upon personally, that I thought myself very cheaply off in his after-demand of a guinea and a half. I had two and a half to pay afterwards for additional luggage.
We found reigning through Calais a general joy and satisfaction at the restoration of Dimanche and abolition
of Décade. I had a good deal of conversation with the maid of the inn, a tall, fair, extremely pretty woman, and she talked much upon this subject, and the delight it occasioned, and the obligation all France was under to the Premier Consul for restoring religion and worship.
Sunday, April 18. We set off for Paris at five o'clock in the morning. The country broad, flat, or barrenly steep—without trees, without buildings, and scarcely inhabited-exhibited a change from the fertile fields, and beautiful woods and gardens, and civilization of Kent, so sudden and unpleasant that I only lamented the fatigue of my position, which regularly impeded my making use of this chasm of pleasure and observation for repose. This part of France must certainly be the least frequented, for we rarely met a single carriage, and the villages, few and distant, seemed to have no intercourse with each other. Dimanche, indeed, might occasion this stiffness, for we saw, at almost all the villages, neat and clean peasants going to or coming from mass, and seeming indescribably elated and happy by the public permission of divine worship on its originally appointed day.
I was struck with the change in Madame Raymond, who joined us in the morning from another hotel. Her hoop was no more visible; her petticoats were as lank, or more so, than her neighbours'; and her distancing the children was not only at an end, but she prevented me from renewing any of my cautions to them, of not incommoding her; and when we were together a few moments, before we were joined by the rest, she told me, with a significant smile, not to tutor the children about her any more, as she only
avoided them from having something of consequence to take care of, which was removed. I then saw she meant some English lace or muslin, which she had carried in a petticoat, and, since the Custom-house examination was over, had now packed in her trunk.
Poor lady! I fear this little merchandise was all her hope of succour on her arrival! She is amongst the emigrants who have twice or thrice returned, but not yet been able to rest in their own country.
What most in the course of this journey struck me, was the satisfaction of all the country people, with whom I could converse, at the restoration of the Dimanche ; and the boasts they now ventured to make of having never kept the Décade, except during the dreadful reign of Robespierre, when not to oppose any of his severest decrees was insufficient for safety, it was essential even to existence to observe them with every parade of the warmest approval.
The horrible stories from every one of that period of wanton as well as political cruelty, I must have judged exaggerated, either through the mist of fear or the heats of resentment, but that, though the details had innumerable modifications, there was but one voice for the excess of barbarity.
At a little hamlet near Clermont, where we rested some time, two good old women told us that this was the happiest day ('twas Sunday) of their lives; that they had lost le bon Dieu for these last ten years, but that Bonaparte had now found him! In another cottage we were told the villagers had kept their own Curé all this time concealed, and though privately and with fright, they had thereby saved their souls through the whole of the bad times ! And in another, some
poor creatures said they were now content with their destiny, be it what it might, since they should be happy, at least, in the world to come; but that while denied going to mass, they had all their sufferings aggravated by knowing that they must lose their souls hereafter, besides all that they had to endure here!
O my dearest father! that there can have existed wretches of such diabolical wickedness as to have snatched, torn, from the toiling indigent every ray even of future hope! Various of these little conversations extremely touched me; nor was I unmoved, though not with such painful emotion, on the sight of the Sunday night dance, in a little village through which we passed, where there seemed two or three hundred peasants engaged in that pastime; all clean and very gaily dressed, yet all so decent and well behaved, that, but for the poor old fiddlers, we might have driven on, and not have perceived the rustic ball.
Here ends the account of my journey, and if it has ainused my dearest father, it will be a true delight to me to have scribbled it. My next letter brings me to the capital, and to the only person who can console me for my always lamented absence from himself.
Witness, F. D'ARBLAY.
Letter of Madame d'Arblay to Miss Planta, describing her recent Journey-Popularity of Bonaparte-Visits and Visitors--La Maison à Vendre at the Théâtre Feydeau-Mrs. Damer and Miss B-A Party to the Opera Buffa-Assembly at Madame d'Henin's Character of Madame de Staël-Note from her to Madame d'Arblay-Her reply--La Folie de Chartres--A Visit from Madame de la Fayette-Visit to the Tuileries—Etiquette in the Palace-M. d'Arblay's old Comrades-- Waiting for the First Consul—The Prince of Orange-Second Consul, CambacérèsBonaparte at the Tuileries—The Review—The First Consul receiving a Petition-M. d'Arblay's relatives at Joigny-Louis Bonaparte-Madame de Souza--Sir Sidney Smith.