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London. As a specimen, I fet down the following note of wines, now fent to me.
Burgundy, one dozen, at four livres
Three bottles vin de Grave, at three
Three bottles vin de Chables, at fifteen
Amounting to two louis d'ors, fourteen
The vin de Grave is the white wine of our favourite Bourdeaux or Claret, very pleasant and salutary, though I know not if it is at all imported to our country. The fmall wine called Shables is a white Burgundy, very refreshing, and ferves, I think, with advantage, for small beer-I was happy to meet with a countryman, and very old acquaintance, Chevalier Macgregor-To him I owe a great fhare of the amufements, comforts, and information I have enjoyed, during my refidence here. At an unlucky and early period of his life, he was obliged to retire from his native country. He engaged in the French fervice, and has diftinguished himself, little to his advantage, though honoured with a badge of merit. If he could have reconciled himself to make a profeffion of the Catholic religion, his advancements in the fervice would certainly have been confiderable.
24th September. This day 1 entertained a fmall and choice party of friends at la Rapè, near the Boulevards, and on the fide of the river-It is a house in high vogue for dreffing a luxurious dish, called Matellot It is a kind of fish Olio, compofed of eels, carp, &c. with a high seasoned and favoury fauce-I own I have a vulgar tafte, and like what in Scotland we call fish and fauce, if well made, much better-We had other
nice dishes, and very good wine-We difcovered an evident defign to impofe upon us as Englishmen; but my honest friend Macgregor restrained them within moderate bounds-We were well diverted with fome circumstances which I fet down-Our landlord affured us we fhould have dinner on the table, dans une bonne demi heur-After waiting an hour and an half, we called -the waiter, fomewhat a wit, and very much a knave, affured us that dinner fhould be ferved in a minute but he added pertly, une minute ici eft composè d'une bonne quart d'heur. Our friend the Chevalier had before hand fo correctly fixed the rates of every article in our bill of entertainment, that the house had no extraordinary advantage to expect-The mettled waiter, however, tried to remedy this grievance, by whifpering to me that we might have a bottle of excellent Champaigne -I demanded the price-To which he gave an evasive answer—I then faid aloud, " Afk Monfieur le Cheva"lier if we shall have a bottle of Champaigne, with"out fettling the price." The answer was laconic and decifive" Non." The lively waiter replied "Monfieur, cela eft fort diftin&t." So we had our enter tainment for a very moderate reckoning. When I paid the bill, my friend defired me to give the waiter no more than 12 fous. However, I gave him two livres, which he received very thankfully, and acknowledged that he always had four times more from the English and Irish, than from his own countrymen-There are delightful walks at the Palais Royal, furrounded with rich, at leaft fplendid fhops, containing all forts of wares. It will be a monument to the memory of the prefent Duke of Orleans, and a great revenue to his family. Here I was conducted one evening, to see a very fingular fpecies of dramatic entertainment, performed by a company, called Les Petites comediens, de fon alteffee, the Duke's fon. The Royal Theatre has an exclusive right to exhibit plays-At this Theatre they have fallen upon a very curious artifice ta
elude the privilege-The actors who appear on their ftage, do not speak one word; their lips move, and they go on with correfponding action and attitudes. But every word of the play is uttered with furprifing propriety and character by perfons behind the scenes. The play was near over before this fingularity was dif covered to me, and others of our party. The whole was fo ftrangely managed, that we could have worn the visible actors were alfo the speakers.
The Bibliotheque Royal is a grand building, filled with books, manufcripts, bufts, medals, paintings. The Guard Meuble de Roy is another great building, which contains all the fine, rich, and curious fuperfuities of the monarch.
Here we faw, in great variety, armour, arms, ftatues, bufts, Chinese figures, tapestries, and several cabinets of precious flones richly ornamented-a mafs of valuable and fplendid property, ufelefs to the owner, and only amusing to others--The king was ignorant of these precious ftores, till the emperor, who eagerly went about to fee every thing during his late visit here, informed him of its exiftence, curiofity, and value;— it is now open to be seen on one particular day of every month.-A company of us obtained a special warrant from the proper officer for accefs to it.Though I was at ne small expence for fashionable articles of dress, and kept a handfome carriage, I felt too old and aukward to afpire at, what is called, the best company and high life.---Yet I renewed old acquaintances, and made fome agreeable new ones, both French and Britifh-My old acquaintance, Mr. Colbert, now bishop of Rodez, received, and treated me with many marks of liberal kindnefs. He is a man of fuperior talents, and highly esteemed in France.
At this time, Ld B1 bishop of D-y was at Paris ;--he honoured me with very obliging attentions-He is an extraordinary man, and appears to me remarkably pleasant, fpirited, and intelligent-He
has made the tour of Europe mostly on horfeback-He must be very kind and hofpitable to his clergy; one day at dinner he asked his principal fervant,-"how ma"ny hogfheads of claret did we ufe laft year?" The anfwer was, "Sixteen, please your Lordship."-Such instances prove the great benefit of dignities with high revenues in the church of Chrift, and how much it is advanced and improved fince the days of the apoftles.
I became acquainted with feveral English travellers of diftinction, particularly Mr. H-ly, and Mr. Fs, fenfible and well-informed gentlemen, and both lately from the East Indies. I had the pleasure to be fometimes in company with Lord John Murray, the oldest general in the British fervice, paft eighty, the finest and most agreeable figure of an old man of fashion I ever beheld.
Somebody of my acquaintance informed the famous old natural philofopher, Monfieur Buffon, that I had a dog begot by a wild fox on a terrier bitch in the mountains of Scotland; He fignified, by a message, his defire to be fatisfied as to the truth of this matter. I was not able to wait on him, as I intended; but I communicated to him the grounds of my belief." That the "original owner, a person of credit, affured me of the "fact:-I ftated his fiercenefs and furly temper, and his "conftant practice in the early part of every spring, to "commit fome depredation on young poultry, and to "hide his prey, till reftrained by fevere correction, as "indications of his parentage-That the figure of this "dog was very fingular, with a ftriking and hand"fome resemblance to the fox, in fhape and colour, "and other circumftances."-Had he lived to publish a new work, I fuppofe my dog would have made a figure in Natural History. At coffeehouses, and other places of public refort, this creature drew many curious perfons to converse with me-For fome hours in the forenoon, I had levees even from persons of distinction to vifit him, and I began to apprehend, that if I had
ftaid longer at Paris, he would have introduced me to too much good company of both sexes.
I have heard many fevere complaints against the Parifian tradesmen and inn-keepers for undue advantages upon ftrangers, of which I did not experience one inftance. Mr. Mary my banker, used me in the most liberal and candid manner; from my bookfeller Laureat, Rue Turrennou, I made many purchases of books, maps, &c. at very moderate prices. His wife, remarkably handfome, as well as good humoured and polite, furprised me indeed; when I made fome compliment on her beauty and blooming looks, she told me she was the mother of twenty children. My merchant taylor, was Henry Mitman, Rue de Sien; he ferved me unexceptionably. Mr. Courhon, au Palais Marchand, fupplied me with very fine, and indeed, coftly laced ruffles, without any fort of impofition. I had several wigs a la mode, from Monfieur at half the price they would have coft either at Edinburgh or London. I must not omit fincere acknowledgements to my landlord and hoftefs at the hotel, for their civil treatment and moderate charge. In fhort, I am convinced, that no traveller is in danger of being impofed upon at Paris, if he is at due pains to inform himself concerning the character of the persons with whom he deals. Dealers at random with tradesmen and fhopkeepers, are no doubt in hazard of being cheated, but always in a more polite and obliging manner than any where else.
Though I believe Paris is the most agreeable place of refidence for young and gay people, or even for literary men in perfect health; yet I do not think it a proper place for valitudinarians. While there, I found my health declining-The air cannot be wholesome, where one is offended, in almost every quarter, with difagreeable or bad smells-This, I believe is occafioned by the narrow dirty streets, and the univerfal practice of frying cookeries, which about dinner time of day, in feveral quarters, is almost fuffocating.
To be continued.