BOULOGNE, June 13, 1765.

DEAR SIR, - I am at last in a situation to indulge my view with a sight of Britain, after an absence of two years; and indeed you cannot imagine what pleasure I feel while I survey the white cliffs of Dover, at this distance. Not that I am at all affected by the nescia qua dulcedine natalis soli, of Horace. That seems to be a kind of fanaticism founded on the prejudices of education, which induces a Laplander to place the terrestrial paradise among the snows of Norway, and a Swiss to prefer the barren mountains of Solleure to the fruitful plains of Lombardy. I am attached to my country, because it is the land of liberty, cleanliness, and convenience: but I love it still more tenderly, as the scene of all my interesting connexions; as the habitation of my friends, for whose conversation, correspondence, and esteem, I wish alone to live.

Our journey hither from Lyons produced neither accident nor adventure worth notice; but abundance of little vexations, which may be termed the Plagues of Posting. At Lyons, where we stayed only a few days, I found a return-coach, which I hired to Paris for six loui'dores. It was a fine roomy carriage, elegantly furnished, and made for travelling; so strong and solid in all its parts, that there was no danger of its being shaken to pieces by the roughness of the road: but its weight and solidity occasioned so much friction between the wheels and the axle-tree, that we ran the risque of being set on fire three or four times a day. Upon a just comparison of all circumstances posting is much more easy, convenient, and reasonable in England than in France. The English carriages, horses, harness, and roads are much better; and the postilions more obliging and alert. The reason is plain and obvious. If I am ill-used at the post-house in England, I can be accommodated elsewhere. The publicans on the road are sensible of this, and therefore they vie with each other in giving satisfaction to travellers. But in France, where the post is monopolized, the post-masters and postilions, knowing that the traveller depends intirely upon them, are the more negligent and remiss in their duty, as well as the more encouraged to insolence and imposition. Indeed the stranger seems to be left intirely at the mercy of those fellows, except in large towns, where he may have recourse to the magistrate or commanding officer. The post stands very often by itself in a lone country situation, or in a paultry village, where the post-master is the principal inhabitant; and in such a case, if you should be ill-treated, by being supplied with bad horses; if you should be delayed on frivolous pretences, in order to extort money; if the postilions should drive at a waggon pace, with a view to provoke your impatience; or should you in any shape be insulted by them or their masters; and I know not any redress you can have, except by a formal complaint to the comptroller of the posts, who is generally one of the ministers of state, and pays little or no regard to any such representations. I know an English gentleman, the brother of an earl, who wrote a letter of complaint to the Duc de Villars, governor of Provence, against the post-master of Antibes, who had insulted and imposed upon him. The duke answered his letter, promising to take order that the grievance should be redressed; and never thought of it after. Another great inconvenience which attends posting in France, is that if you are retarded by any accident, you cannot in many parts of the kingdom find a lodging, without perhaps travelling two or three posts farther than you would choose to go, to the prejudice of your health, and even the hazard of your life; whereas on any part of the post-road in England, you will meet with tolerable accommodation at every stage. Through the whole south of France, except in large cities, the inns are cold, damp, dark, dismal, and dirty; the landlords equally disobliging and rapacious; the servants aukward, sluttish, and slothful; and the postilions lazy, lounging, greedy, and impertinent. If you chide them for lingering, they will continue to delay you the longer: if you chastise them with sword, cane, cudgel, or horse-whip, they will either disappear entirely, and leave you without resource; or they will find means to take vengeance by overturning your carriage. The best method I know of travelling with any degree of comfort, is to allow yourself to become the dupe of imposition, and stimulate their endeavours by extraordinary gratifications. I laid down a resolution (and kept it) to give no more than four and twenty sols per post between the two postilions; but I am now persuaded that for three-pence a post more, I should have been much better served, and should have performed the journey with much greater pleasure. We met with no adventures upon the road worth reciting. The first day we were retarded about two hours by the dutchess D - lle, and her son the duc de R - f - t, who by virtue of an order from the minister, had anticipated all the horses at the post. They accosted my servant, and asked if his master was a lord? He thought proper to answer in the affirmative, upon which the duke declared that he must certainly be of French extraction, inasmuch as he observed the lilies of France in his arms on the coach. This young nobleman spoke a little English. He asked whence we had come; and understanding we had been in Italy, desired to know whether the man liked France or Italy best? Upon his giving France the preference, he clapped him on the shoulder, and said he was a lad of good taste. The dutchess asked if her son spoke English well, and seemed mightily pleased when my man assured her he did. They were much more free and condescending with my servant than with myself; for, though we saluted them in passing, and were even supposed to be persons of quality, they did not open their lips, while we stood close by them at the inn-door, till their horses were changed. They were going to Geneva; and their equipage consisted of three coaches and six, with five domestics a-horseback. The dutchess was a tall, thin, raw-boned woman, with her head close shaved. This delay obliged us to lie two posts short of Macon, at a solitary auberge called Maison Blanche, which had nothing white about it, but the name. The Lionnois is one of the most agreeable and best-cultivated countries I ever beheld, diversified with hill, dale, wood, and water, laid out in extensive corn-fields and rich meadows, well stocked with black cattle, and adorned with a surprising number of towns, villages, villas, and convents, generally situated on the brows of gently swelling hills, so that they appear to the greatest advantage. What contributes in a great measure to the beauty of this, and the Maconnois, is the charming pastoral Soame, which from the city of Chalons winds its silent course so smooth and gentle, that one can scarce discern which way its current flows. It is this placid appearance that tempts so many people to bathe in it at Lions, where a good number of individuals are drowned every summer: whereas there is no instance of any persons thus perishing in the Rhone, the rapidity of it deterring every body from bathing in its stream. Next night we passed at Beaune where we found nothing good but the wine, for which we paid forty sols the bottle. At Chalons our axle-tree took fire; an accident which detained us so long, that it was ten before we arrived at Auxerre, where we lay. In all probability we must have lodged in the coach, had not we been content to take four horses, and pay for six, two posts successively. The alternative was, either to proceed with four on those terms, or stay till the other horses should come in and be refreshed. In such an emergency, I would advise the traveller to put up with the four, and he will find the postilions so much upon their mettle, that those stages will be performed sooner than the others in which you have the full complement.

There was an English gentleman laid up at Auxerre with a broken arm, to whom I sent my compliments, with offers of service; but his servant told my man that he did not choose to see any company, and had no occasion for my service. This sort of reserve seems peculiar to the English disposition. When two natives of any other country chance to meet abroad, they run into each other's embrace like old friends, even though they have never heard of one another till that moment; whereas two Englishmen in the same situation maintain a mutual reserve and diffidence, and keep without the sphere of each other's attraction, like two bodies endowed with a repulsive power. We only stopped to change horses at Dijon, the capital of Burgundy, which is a venerable old city; but we passed part of a day at Sens, and visited a manufacture of that stuff we call Manchester velvet, which is here made and dyed to great perfection, under the direction of English workmen, who have been seduced from their own country. At Fontainebleau. we went to see the palace, or as it is called, the castle, which though an irregular pile of building, affords a great deal of lodging, and contains some very noble apartments, particularly the hall of audience, with the king's and queen's chambers, upon which the ornaments of carving and gilding are lavished with profusion rather than propriety. Here are some rich parterres of flower-garden, and a noble orangerie, which, however, we did not greatly admire, after having lived among the natural orange groves of Italy. Hitherto we had enjoyed fine summer weather, and I found myself so well, that I imagined my health was intirely restored: but betwixt Fontainebleau and Paris, we were overtaken by a black storm of rain, sleet, and hail, which seemed to reinstate winter in all its rigour; for the cold weather continues to this day. There was no resisting this attack. I caught cold immediately; and this was reinforced at Paris, where I stayed but three days. The same man, (Pascal Sellier, rue Guenegaud, fauxbourg St. Germain) who owned the coach that brought us from Lyons, supplied me with a returned berline to Boulogne, for six loui'dores, and we came hither by easy journeys. The first night we lodged at Breteuil, where we found an elegant inn, and very good accommodation. But the next we were forced to take up our quarters, at the house where we had formerly passed a very disagreeable night at Abbeville. I am now in tolerable lodging, where I shall remain a few weeks, merely for the sake of a little repose; then I shall gladly tempt that invidious straight which still divides you from - Yours,


A Short List of Works, mainly on Travel in France and Italy during the Eighteenth Century, referred to in connection with the Introduction.

ADDISON, JOSEPH. Remarks on Several Parts of Italy. London, 1705.

ANCONE, ALESSANDRO D'. Saggio di una bibliografia ragionata dei Viaggi in Italia. 1895.

ANDREWS, Dr. JOHN. Letters to a Young Gentleman in setting out for France. London, 1784.

ARCHENHOLTZ, J. W. VON. Tableau de l'Angleterre et de l'Italie. 3 vols. Gotha, 1788.

ARDOUIN-DUMAZET Voyage en France. Treizieme serie. La Provence Maritime. Paris, 1898.

ASTRUC, JEAN. Memoires pour servir a l'histoire de la Faculte de Medicine de Montpellier, 1767.

BABEAU, ANTOINE. Voyageurs en France. Paris, 1885.

BALLY, L. E. Souvenirs de Nice. 1860.

BARETTI, G. M. Account of the Manners and Customs of Italy. 2 vols. London, 1770.

BASTIDE, CHARLES. John Locke. Ses theories politiques en Angleterre. Paris, 1907.

BECKFORD, WILLIAM. Italy, Spain, and Portugal. By the author of "Vathek." London, 1834; new ed. 1840.

BERCHTOLD, LEOPOLD. An Essay to direct the Inquiries of Patriotic Travellers. 2 vols. London, 1789.

BOULOGNE-SUR-MER et la region Boulonnaise. Ouvrage offert par la ville aux membres de l'Association Francaise. 2 vols. 1899.

BRETON DE LA MARTINIERE, J. Voyage en Piemont. Paris, 1803.

BROSSES, CHARLES DE. Lettres familieres ecrites d'Italie. 1740.

BURTON, JOHN HILL. The Scot Abroad. 2 vols. Edinburgh. 1864.

CASANOVA DE SEINGALT, JACQUES. Memoires ecrits par lui-meme. 6 vols. Bruxelles, 1879.

CLEMENT, PIERRE. L'Italie en 1671. Paris, 1867. 12mo.


CRAIG, G. DUNCAN. Mie jour; or Provencal Legend, Life, Language, and Literature. London, 1877.

DAVIS, Dr. I. B. Ancient and Modern History of Nice. London, 1807.

DEJOB, C. Madame de Stael et l'Italie. Paris, 1890.

DEMPSTER, C. L. H. The Maritime Alps and their Sea-Board. London, 1885.

DORAN, DR. JOHN. Mann and Manners at the Court of Florence. London, 1876.

DRAMARD, E. Bibliographie du Boulonnais, Calaisis, etc. Paris, 1869.

DUTENS, L. Itineraire des Routes. First edition, 1775.

EVELYN, JOHN. Diary, edited by H. B. Wheatley. 4 vols. London, 1879.

FERBER, G. G. Travels through Italy, translated by R. E. Raspe. London, 1776.

FODERE, FRANCOIS EMILE. Voyage aux Alpes Maritimes. 2 vols. Paris, 1821.

FORSYTH, JOSEPH. Remarks on Antiquities, Arts, and Letters, during an Excursion in Italy in the year 1S02 and 1803. London, 1812; 4th Edition, I835.

GARDNER, EDMUND G. The Story of Florence. London, 1900.

GERMAIN, M. A. Histoire de la Commune de Montpellier. 3 vols. Montpellier, 1853.

GIOFFREDO, PIETRO. Storia delle Alpi Marittime . . . libri xxvi. Ed. Gazzera. 1836.

GOETHE. Autobiography, Tour in Italy, Miscellaneous Travels, and Wilhelm Meister's Travels (Bohn).

GROSLEY, PIERRE JEAN. Nouveaux Memoires sur l'Italie. London, 1764. New Observations on Italy. Translated by Thomas Nugent. 1769.

HARE, AUGUSTUS J. C. The Rivieras. 1897.

HILLARD, G. S. Six Months in Italy. Boston, 1853; 7th edition, 1863.

JEFFERYS, THOMAS. Description of the Maritime Parts of France. With Maps. 1761.

JOANNE, ADOLPHE. Provence, Alpes Maritimes. Paris, 1881 (Bibliog., p. xxvii).

JONES (of Nayland), WILLIAM. Observations in a Journey to Paris. London, 1777.

KOTZEBUE, A. F. F. VON. Travels through Italy in 1804 and 1805. 4 vols. London, 1807.

LALANDE, J. J. DE. Voyage en Italie. 6 vols. 12mo. 1768.

LEE, EDWIN. Nice et son climat. Paris, 1863.

LENOTRE, G. Paris revolutionnaire. Paris, 1895.

LENTHERIC, CHARLES. La Provence Maritime, ancienne et moderne. Paris, 1880. Les voies antiques de la Region du Rhone. Avignon, 1882.

LUCHAIRE, A. Hist. des Instit. Monarchiques de la France. 2 vols. 1891.

MAUGHAM, H. N. The Book of Italian Travel. London, 1903.

MERCIER, M. New Pictures of Paris. London, I8OO.

METRIVIER, H. Monaco et ses Princes. 2 vols. I862.

MILLINGEN, J. G. Sketches of Ancient and Modern Boulogne. London, 1826.

MONTAIGNE, MICHEL DE. Journal du Voyage en Italie (Querlon). Rome, 1774.


MONTFAUCON. Travels of the Learned Dr. Montfaucon from Paris through Italy. London, 1712.

MOORE, DR. JOHN. A View of Society and Manners in France (2 vols., 1779), and in Italy (2 vols., 1781)

NASH, JAMES. Guide to Nice, 1884.

NORTHALL, JOHN. Travels through Italy. London, 1766.

NUGENT, THOMAS. The Grand Tour. 3rd edition. 4 vols. 1778.

PALLIARI, LEA. Notices historiques sur le comte et la ville de Nice. Nice, 1875.

PETHERICK, E, A. Catalogue of the York Gate Library. An Index to the Literature of Geography. London, 1881.

PIOZZI, HESTER LYNCH. Observations and Reflections made in the course of a Journey through France, Italy, and Germany. In 2 vols. London, 1789.

RAE, JOHN. Life of Adam Smith. London, 1885.

RICHARD, L'ABBE. Description historique et critique de l'Italie. 6 vols. Paris, 1768.

RICHARDERIE, BOUCHER DE LA. Bibliotheque des voyages. Paris, 1808.

RIGBY, DR. Letters from France in 1789, edited by Lady Eastlake. London, 1880.

ROSE, WILLIAM STEWART. Letters from the North of Italy to Henry Hallam. 2 vols. 1819.

ROUX, JOSEPH. Statistique des Alpes Maritimes. 2 vols. 1863.

RUFFINI, GIOVANNI, D. Doctor Antonio; a Tale. Paris, 1855.

SAYOUS, A. Le Dix-huitieme siecle a l'etranger. 2 vols. Paris, 1861.

SECCOMBE, THOMAS. Smollett's Travels, edited with bibliographical note, etc. By Thomas Seccombe (Works, Constable's Edition, vol. xi.). 1900.

SHARP, SAMUEL. Letters from Italy. London, 1769.

SHERLOCK, MARTIN. Letters from an English Traveller. (New English version.) 2 vols. 1802.

SMOLLETT, T. Travels through France and Italy. 2 vols. London, 1766.

SPALDING, WILLIAM. Italy and the Italian Islands. 3 vols. London, 1841.

STAEL, MME. DE. Corinne, ou l'Italie. 1807.

STARKE, MARIANA. Letters from Italy, 1792-1798. 9 vols. 1800. Travels on the Continent for the use of Travellers. 1800, 1820, 1824, etc.

STENDHAL. Rome, Naples, and Florence, in 1817. London, 1818.

STERNE, LAURENCE. A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy. By Mr. Yorick. 2 vols. London, 1768.

STOLBERZ, COUNT F. L. ZU. Travels through Germany, Switzerland, Italy, etc. Translated by Thomas Holcroft. 1796.

TAINE, HENRI. Voyage en Italie. 1866.

TALBOT, SIR R. Letters on the French Nation. London, 2 vols.1771, 12mo.

TEYSSEIRE, T. Monographie sur le climat de Nice. 1881.

THICKNESSE, PHILIP. Useful Hints to those who make the Tour of France in a Series of Letters. London, 1768. A year's Journey through France, etc. 2, vols. 1777.

TISSERAND, E. Chronique de Provence . . . de la cite de Nice, etc. 2 vols. Nice, 1862.


VIOLLET, PAUL. Hist. des Instit. polit. et administratifs de la France. 2 vols. Paris, 1890-98.

WHATLEY, STEPHEN. The Travels and Adventures of J. Massey. Translated from the French. 1743.

WILLIAMS, C. THEODORE. The Climate of the South of France. 1869.

WINCKELMANN, J. J. Lettres familieres. Amsterdam, 1781. Reflections on the Painting and Sculpture of the Greeks. Translated by H. Fuseli. London, 1765. Voyage en Italie de J. J. Barthelemy . . . avec des morceaux inedits de Winckelmann. 1801.

YOUNG, ARTHUR. Travels in France during 1787, 1788, 1789, edited by M. Betham-Edwards. 1889.

YOUNG, EDWARD. Sa vie et ses oeuvres, par W. Thomas. Paris, 1901.


Short Notes on one or two unfamiliar Words which Smollett helped to domesticate in England.

Berline. Swift and Chesterfield both use this for a heavy coach. The most famous berline was that used in the flight to Varennes. The name came from Brandenburg in the time of Frederick William.

Bize. Smollett's spelling of bise - the cutting N.N.E. wind which makes Geneva so beautiful, but intolerable in the winter.

Brasiere=brasero. A tray for hot charcoal used for warming rooms at Nice. Smollett practically introduced this word. Dried olives were often used as fuel.

Calesse, calash, caleche. A low two-wheeled carriage of light construction, with a movable folding hood; hence applied to a hood bonnet as in Mrs. Gaskell's Cranford.

Cassine. Latin casa, cassa, cassina; the Italian cassina, A small detached house in the fields, often whitewashed and of mean appearance. Smollett uses the word as an equivalent for summer cottage. Cf. bastide as used by Dumas. Cabane has practically replaced cassine in modern French. See Letter XXIV.

Cambiatura. The system of changing chaises every post, common in England, but unusual abroad except in Tuscany.

Cicisbeo. The word is used by Lady Mary Montagu in her Letters (17I8) as cecisbeo. Smollett's best account is in Letter XVII. See Introduction, p. xliii.

Conversazione. Gray uses the word for assembly in 1710, but Smollett, I believe, is about the first Englishman to define it properly.

Corinth. This was still used as a variant of currant, though adherence to it was probably rather pedantic on Smollett's part (cf. his use of "hough" for hoe). Boswell uses the modern form.

Corridore. This word was used by Evelyn, and the correct modern spelling given by Johnson in 1753; but Smollett as often adheres to the old form.

Douche. Italian doccia. Smollett is perhaps the first writer to explain the word and assign to it the now familiar French form (Letter XL).

Feluca. An Arab word to denote a coasting boat, oar or sail propelled. Nelson and Marryat write felucca. It was large enough to accommodate a post-chaise (Letter XXV).

Gabelle. Supposed to be derived from the Arabic kabala, the irksome tax on salt, from which few provinces in France were altogether free, swept away in 1790. Smollett describes the exaction in San Remo.

Garum. Used by Smollett for the rich fish sauce of the ancients, equivalent to a saumure, perhaps, in modern French cookery. In the Middle Ages the word is used both for a condiment and a beverage.

Improvisatore. A performer in the Commedia delle Arte, of which Smollett gives a brief admiring account in his description of Florence (Letter XXVII). For details of the various elements, the doti, generici, lazzi, etc., see Carlo Gozzi.

Liqueur. First used by Pope. "An affected, contemptible expression" (Johnson).

Macaroni. "The paste called macaroni" (Letter XXVI) was seen by Smollett in the neighbourhood of its origin near Genoa, which city formed the chief market.

Maestral. An old form of mistral, the very dry wind from the N.N.W., described by Smollett as the coldest he ever experienced.

Patois. See Letter XXII. ad fin.

Pietre commesse. A sort of inlaying with stones, analogous to the fineering of cabinets in wood (Letter XXVIII). Used by Evelyn in 1644.

Polenta. A meal ground from maize, which makes a good "pectoral" (Letter XXII).

Pomi carli. The most agreeable apples Smollett tasted, stated to come from the marquisate of Final, sold by the Emperor Charles VI. to the Genoese.

Preniac. A small white wine, mentioned in Letter IV., from Boulogne, as agreeable and very cheap.

Seafarot boots. Jack-boots or wading boots, worn by a Marquis of Savoy, and removed by means of a tug-of-war team and a rope coiled round the heel (see Letter XXVIII).

Sporcherie. With respect to delicacy and decorum you may peruse Dean Swift's description of the Yahoos, and then you will have some idea of the sporcherie that distinguishes the gallantry of Nice (Letter XVII). Ital. sporcheria, sporcizia.

Strappado or corda. Performed by hoisting the criminal by his hands tied behind his back and dropping him suddenly "with incredible pain" (Letter XX). See Introduction, p. xliv, and Christie, Etienne Dolet, 1899, P. 231.

Tartane. From Italian tartana, Arabic taridha; a similar word being used in Valencia and Grand Canary for a two-wheeled open cart. One of the commonest craft on the Mediterranean (cf. the topo of the Adriatic). For different types see Larousse's Nouveau Dictionnaire.

Tip. To "tip the wink" is found in Addison's Tatler (No. 86), but "to tip" in the sense of to gratify is not common before Smollett, who uses it more than once or twice in this sense (cf. Roderick Random, chap. xiv. ad fin.)

Valanches. For avalanches (dangers from to travellers, see Letter XXXVIII).

Villeggiatura. An early adaptation by Smollett of the Italian word for country retirement (Letter XXIX).


Currency of Savoy in the time of Smollett.

Ten bajocci=one paolo (6d.). 
Ten paoli=one scudo (six livres or about 5s.).
Two scudi=one zequin.
Two zequin=one louid'or.

Afterword. -I should be ungrateful were I not to create an epilogue for the express purpose of thanking M. Morel, H. S Spencer Scott, Dr. Norman Moore, W. P. Courtney, G. Whale, D. S. MacColl, Walter Sichel (there may be others), who have supplied hints for my annotations, and I should like further, if one might inscribe such a trifle, to inscribe this to that difficult critic, Mr. Arthur Vincent, who, when I told him I was about it, gave expression to the cordial regret that so well hidden a treasure of our literature (as he regarded the Travels) was to be "vulgarised."