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Church of St. Jacques.


Dieppe. This town is of great antiquity, with an excellent harbour, formed by the river Arques, capable of containing many, as well as large vessels. The houses are chiefly very old, and antique of fashion. The Norman cap is worn almost universally by the lower order of females, formed very high up, and having long single or double lappets flowing down, with the hair gathered into a heap behind; large pendant gold ear-rings are very common; and tawdry huge gold clasps, and necklaces: red petticoats are also predominant, with the heavy clattering wooden shoes called sabots. I visited their venerable gothic church of St. Jacques, which, it being Sunday, was very crowded. The walls are, in places, richly ornamented with sculptured saints, lions, devices, &c., the first and second altars adorned with all the usual gold and silver accessories for the celebration of the Mass, surmounted with wooden Madonnas wretchedly carved, and in still worse taste, bedaubed with paint and finery, displaying the motto "Regina Coeli,"* or some other of the customary Roman Catholic addresses to the Virgin. This venerable edifice, so solemn, so spacious, fills the mind with awe and reverence: far otherwise the various accompaniments of the church service, and the accessories of the Catholic rites. Throughout the ceremony, Le Suisse,' an amphi

Queen of Heaven.

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bious or dubious creature, who seems to combine the civil, military, and ecclesiastical, character in his own person, parades up and down, and round about the church. He wears a blue military coat, carries a beadle's, or constable's, silver-headed long staff; has a sort of a surplice thrown over him, and bears a most important sword. In one of the dark confessionals you see a few old and young, making a thousand genuflections to a wretched daub of a picture, before which are burning some dozen bits of tallow candles. A little further on there hangs up, like a child's toy, a model of a ship, or other trifling er voto offering; and at one of the privileged altars there is an inscription, purporting that Pope Pius VI, out of his special affection for the church of St. Jacques, had obtained from heaven the grace, and thus announces it, that whenever a priest should celebrate, in that church, mass, for the repose of a soul that had died in the Catholic faith, then does the Pope promise, that through his intercession with Jesus Christ, such soul should be instantly released from Purgatory. In my walk before dinner, I met the funeral of a child. The priest and attendants, bareheaded, carried an elevated crucifix; the body was borne behind, covered with a white linen cloth, strewed with flowers; the female mourners (they were poor people) wore very large red cloaks. Arrived at the church-yard, the service was ex

French Diligence.


tremely short, in Latin, as usual, and finished by all the parties concerned sprinkling the grave with holy water, by a particular brush for that purpose.

In 1694, this town was bombarded, and materially injured, by an English squadron, under the command of Admiral Lord Berkeley. About the same period, we may remember that Calais, Havre, St. Malo, and Dunkirk, were similarly attacked, and which attacks arose from the incessant contests between our William and Louis Quatorze. The usual distinction of a Catholic country strikes the traveller even before he touches the shore; viz. the erection of a cross, with the Savior transfixed, as large as, and painted to imitate, life.

Mounted the diligence for Rouen. The rules of the French stage-coaches are worthy of English imitation. The three front seats in the intérieur are numbered 1, 5, 2; the three back, 3, 6, 4, and price affixed. Thus the two taking places first claim the two corner front seats:-the next two the two corner back seats :-the next two the front, and back, middle places:-so with the cabriolet, and the imperiale, or roof of the coach, where there is permission to sit, when not occupied by luggage. In securing a place for a distant day, a paper is always given, conveying general directions, acknowledging the earnest deposited,


French Diligence.

and specifying the place engaged. All disputes are thus rendered impossible, and the conducteurs have the authority of government to superintend, order, and arrange all matters. These men are in general extremely civil, and communicative, and may be relied upon, without trouble on the part of the passenger, to claim only what they are fairly entitled to for themselves and postillions. A French diligence is, perhaps, one of the most clumsy, heavy, cumbersome vehicles that can be seen; yet these disadvantages are more than coun◄ terbalanced by its comparative safety; and to be overturned by them is as rare an occurrence as a similar accident to a York waggon with us. They are of various shapes and sizes; some contain ten insides, having seats lengthways, with three windows a-side, certainly not bigger than pigeon holes. I have heard of others containing nine inside;their condition must be uncommonly comfortable who travel all day and night on the middle bench, compelled thus to sit bolt upright so many hours, and nothing to recline upon, back or front! But it is in the harnessing, &c. of the animals that the English superiority is so very manifest. These Norman horses are smaller than ours, generally in good condition, amazingly sturdy, and are almost all chevaux entiers. Put in two abreast, headed by three, or vice versa, or in every other way, kept together, yet allowed to roam a yard apart, by

French Diligence.


bits of ropes, leather, or chain; the clumsiest collars, with great projecting wooden wings, occasionally painted, and sheep-skins attached, reaching half way down the back, then a cloth down to the crupper, and a net over all, and nose also, with bells and tufts innumerable; thus, and even more disfigured, the creatures perform their accustomed labours with great perseverance, and apparent good-will, trotting down hill with such a waggon on their backs, yet never missing their feet; sometimes inclined to frisk or play, and now and then neighing most merrily. The postillon with cocked hat, waggoner's blue frock, immense bunching pig-tail, and enormous jack-boots, completes this strange appearance. So trifling is the bit of cord with which he guides the animals, that it may be doubted, whether any English coachman could take his place; while his application of his long whip, to announce his arrival, by cracking it loudly over his head, is equally dexterous and peculiar. It is, however, to be observed, that many improvements have taken place in these matters since the frequent intercourse of the English on the continent: the diligences are lighter, the horses better harnessed, the conveyance much speedier. The carts seem most strangely and awkwardly long, and, I presume, that their number of horses is, contrary to our rules, unlimited, since I have seen eleven horses, placed lengthways. I was,

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