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I shall conclude this letter with an anecdote of Cobler's à cobler's family of this town.--About a quarter
family: of a league from Chamberry, a fine chateau, just built, attracted our notice. The master of which goes by the name of Jaques Mar (for he has no title), and is the son of a cobler. In childhood, having quitted his country, he travelled into Spain (in as humble an equipage as many of his comrades who thrive on Pont-Neuf). Being arrived at Madrid, he had the good fortune to recommend himself as a marmiton in the Queen's kitchen; where, in process of time, he was promoted to be Chef de la Cuisine ; and at length, fortune pushing hinron, he became Entreprenneur de la Cuisine; in which capacity he had a fixed monthly allowance to provide vićtualing for all the household. Mean time, a brother of Jaques Mar's (who, to seek his fortune in England, had quitted Chamberry about the same time) died in London, having realized ten thousand livres a year, which he bequeathed to his brother. Fame does not give so accurate an account of the rise and progress of this Mar, as of Jaques. All I can learn is, that he served a London merchant (during his youth) who traded on the seas, and that at length he became considerable, and carried on commerce on his own bottom.--The Entreprenneur, Jaques Mar, planned and built the before-mentioned chateau, to which he is retired, with a yearly income in the whole of forty thousand livres *. He is not above fortyfive years old; is at present a widower, his wife
* Near 2000 1. English money.
being lately dead, by whom he has two or three children. His cousin-german continues the familystall, furnishing to the necessities of the foles and heels of his neighbours, with as much humility as if there had been no chateau in the family.
Adieu. The post passes through here to-morrow morning, which will give you this lecter; uninteo resting as it is, you will be glad to hear we have got thus far, free from accident, and accompanied by fine weather.
I am, as ever, most affectionately, yours, &C.
Sept. 29th, 1775. L ERE we are at Aiguebelle, and here are we IT to sleep. We quitted Chamberry this morning, and had purposed leaving that town yesterday, but were obliged to postpone our departure, noć having been able to procure what is called, a good chaise and horses, to convey us to Turin, until this morning: when a voiturin presented himself with horses and chaise for our approbation. It seems we were particularly lucky, for this voiturin is supposed to have one of the best chaises and the best horses at Chamberry ;—but after those of England, or even of France, it is not an easy matter to reconcile one's self to a machine, which seems constructed for the purpose of overturning its contents. It is so extremely high and narrow, as to totter on plain ground; has but two wheels; it's shafts are tied over the back of the horse, after the
two extremities have been forced as near to each other as cords can bring them. The consequence of these shafts being raised up so high is, that the body of the chaise leans back; fo judge of the easy situation of those who are thus happily conveyed. Nothing like a spring to mitigate one's sufferings; but jolt upon jolt—now, by the unevenness of the road, losing the equilibrium on one fide, till by a sudden rise one trembles for fear of being turned topsy-turvy on the other. The horse rode by the poftilion, is tied on with ropes to the side of the chaise, the shafts occupying the whole breadth. By the frequent breaking of these ropes, the chaise is stopped inceffantly to put them again in order. For this machine and three horses, including one for our courier, we are to pay fix louis and an half; and the voiturin is to convey our baggage and his chaise and horses over the mountain *; (I certainly need not inforın you, that there is no putting more than a pair of horses to a carriage in these roads.)-From Chamberry to Mont. Montme
lian, in melian the road is narrow, but not dangerous; and Savoy. the country fertile. The town and citadel of Montmelian (the latter now in ruins) are situated upon a high and very steep mountain, on the sides of which the vine is cultivated which yields that beverage so much esteemed; and fo frequently mentioned by the Italian voyage writers t. The inn is
* Mount Cennis.
☆ It is remarkable, that these vines have scarce any earth to grow out of. I do not believe that 12 cart loads could be collected from 15 acres of mountain on the western fide of Montmelian.
not in the town, it is half a league on this fides and was formerly a nobleman's chateau. But poor and humble must have been the times, when the great occupied such houses. An English farmer would not be thought unreasonable, were he to coniplain loudly of his landlord's having deftined hiin such an habitation on his estate.
The ascent is so steep from the inn, that we walked it up. Having gained the top, the country we had left behind appeared very charming; the river Isere washing the feet of the mountains, which from the bottom to the town of Montmelian are entirely covered with vines. The town is crowned by the citadel, now sufficiently ruinous to be a fine object of view. Higher again, and on all sides, rise up mountains, fome quite bare and barren, others clothed with wood; and great beds of snow in the clefts of rocks, forming a strong contrast with the green pinęs. From Montmelian to Aiguebelle, after passing the mountain abovementioned, the road lies in a very narrow valley, which winds inceffantly; there is no room in many places, but for the road and the river, the moun. tains on each side approaching close to each other. The course of the river is frequently turned by the stones that have fallen into it, and the road is in many places impeded by vast fragments of rock that have rolled down from the adjacent mountains. Within a league or two of Aiguebelle the prospect opens, the country is well cultivated and peopled, and several villages appear on both sides,
half half hid in trees; the fpires of their churches, covered all over with tin, gliften amidst the forests of firs. Several ruined towers, mostly of a square form, crowning the brows of the mountains, seem placed there on purpose for the view.
Aiguebelle lies in a bottom closely surrounded by mountains, whose tops are covered with eternal snows, which the peasants firmly believe have never melted since their first fall after the creation of the world. This is but a poor ftraggling village. The water here is delicious; it is clear, light, and sparkles. in the glass like Champaign. The inhabitants pretend, this village has acquired its name from the quality of the fine fountain that rises in it. The ing is tolerable; there are a few Sardinian cavalry quartered here. A female, who belonged to the troop, particularly attracted my attention; she was dressed in the regimental uniform; a man's coat of blue cloth, faced with scarlet, and silver buttons ; the skirts very long; a petticoat, buttoned before and behind, of the same materials, covering a small hoop beneath it. On her head a brown peruke, which I think is called à Ramilie, with a queue reaching down almost to her heels. In person, extremely tall; her face long and pale, her nose aquiline, and to crown the whole, an exceeding fierce cocked laced hat.--M- is gone to see the remains of the village of Randan, which was de- Village of
Randan. stroyed a few years since in a wonderful manner; the Curé of the parish accompanies him: if the account he brings me proves in any degree curious, I shall certainly retail it to you.