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grass and moss, presenting a beautiful image of nature. Seats have been erected, where visitants may repose in the shade, and enjoy the coolness and the murmur of this little water-fall.
The plants of the garden all bear labels, designating their generic and specific names. A veteran attendant, who seemed well acquainted with all the members of the numerous family committed to his care, conducted us through the alleys and the green-houses, plucking one flower after another, till each of our party had a fine bouquet. Here the palm-tree spread its branches, though its fruit had been nipped by the unusually severe frost of the last winter. Here also the black pepper was seen clinging to the sunny wall, sheltered from the winds, and finding a tropical climate. Among the other most curious plants, were all the varieties of coffee in full bearing. That from Mocha is a beautiful shrub, six or eight feet in height, finely proportioned and of peculiar foilage. An orange tree was observed which had been engrafted with the lemon, and which was then bearing six different kinds of fruit. One of the productions was a twin monster, half orange and half citron, growing on the same stem. A profusion of Japan roses spread their gorgeous petals to the sun, and many a bud was just starting into life.
The walks of the Garden are open to the public, and connected with the spacious boulevards which encircle the walls of the town, form one of the most delightful promenades imaginable, affording a wide prospect of the mountains on one side, and of the sea on the other. A refuge from the noise and bustle of crowded streets, and from the heat of fervid
skies, is here provided at a trifling expense. In these secluded retreats, the naturalist may indulge in his favourite pursuits, and the man of business recreate his mind, after the cares and labours of the day. All classes of the community are interested in institutions of this description, which are to be found in almost every village in France, and which I hope may ere long be as extensively introduced into the United States,
ROUTE TO NICE-LE LUC-DRAGUIGNAN-FREJUS-CANNES -ANTIBES-ARRIVAL AT NICE-SKETCH OF THE TOWN.
March, 1826.—At 4 o'clock on the morning of the 17th, we left Toulon in the coach for Le Luc, distant about forty miles to the north-east. The scenery, the weather, and the conversation of our fellow-passengers all conspired to render the ride agreeable, although it afforded few incidents worthy of record. For the whole distance the road traverses a fertile vale from five to ten miles in breadth, bounded on the left by a ridge of porphyritic hills, and on the right by a succession of highlands, which stretch along the coast of the Mediterranean. The soil is of a reddish complexion, and appears to be extremely productive. Groves of olives, vineyards, and fields of grain, enlivened by the bloom of the peach and almond, extended on all sides as far as the eye could reach, forming a rich and varied landscape. The mode of cultivating wheat is somewhat peculiar. It is sown in rows, and innumerable companies of females were busy in stirring the ground about the roots, and in plucking up the superfluous stalks. The peasantry in this part of France, have dark, hard, and severe faces, but are gentle in their manners, and industrious in their habits.
The towns, villages, and insulated buildings scattered along the road, are uniformly mean in appearance, though some of them are romantically situated, being perched upon the very summits of the hills, apparently accessible only to the birds. Such is the location of the village, appropriately called Hauteville, seated upon the pinnacle of a mountain, and incorporated with the rocks, hundreds of feet above our heads. It is said to be the oldest place in Provence, and to have been founded at a period, when it was customary to build upon the most elevated ground, partly for salubrity of air, and partly for purposes of defence. A better reason can be assigned for erecting churches and other religious edifices upon high places. In France the practice almost universally prevails, and numerous chapels and convents were this day
seen, hanging like the nest of the eagle in the topmost crags of the mountains.
Passing the old towns of Solier, Cuers, and several unimportant villages, we reached Le Luc at 1 o'clock in the afternoon, expecting there to meet the coach from Aix, to take us forward towards Nice. But it was ascertained, that it would be necessary to wait till the next day, and then incur the risk of not obtaining a passage. A traveller in this part of France is subjected to many inconveniences. The public conveyances are bad, and the miserable dirty huts called taverns are execrable. Strange as it may seem, at the town of Le Luc, standing at the junction of two great roads, and containing three thousand inhabitants, there is not a single hotel, where a person can rest with comfort.
Reduced to the alternative of taking lodgings in a hovel, or of making a diversion of half a day's ride from a direct course, the latter was preferred; and after partaking of a déjeuné, which was of a piece with the rest of the inn, we continued our journey to Draguignan, fifteen or twenty miles to the north, and about the same distance from the sea. The scenery here became extremely picturesque, consisting of mountains clothed with forests, and valleys green with olives and corn. In one place an extensive grove of pines was observed-the first that had been seen in France. The weather was as mild, and the season as forward, as it is in NewYork on the first of May. Groups of peasants of both sexes were every where seen throwing up the soil with spades, forks, and a kind of pick-axe, preparing it for the cultivation of the vine. In the south of France, almost every process in agriculture is effected by manual labour; and the greater part of the drudgery is performed by females, who have too much of the coarseness of the other sex. I do not recollect to have seen a plough between Paris and the Mediterranean.
Crossing the classical river Argens, mentioned in one of the epistles of Cicero, a pretty stream foaming over a bed of rocks, and winding for several miles up a deep, rural vale, we arrived just at twilight under the walls of Draguignan, a large handsome town, hidden among the hills. It is the seat of the Prefecture for the Department of the Var; and as much formality was required in entering its gates, as in landing upon the quay at Calais. Our passports were demanded by a circle of police officers, who on spelling out our names and country, eyed us with as much attention and
seemed as much surprised, as if we had come from the South Sea Islands. They probably had never seen an American before. They however seemed pleased with the novelty, and treated us with much politeness. The wonder spread in whispers through the crowd, and even boys gathered about the custom-house to see how we looked.
The comforts of a good hotel consoled us for the pains that had been taken to find it, and the luxury of a dish of tea and a clean bed soothed all the vexations, which the irregularities of the coaches had created. A long ramble on the following morning satisfied us, that Draguignan itself is not unworthy of the traveller's notice. Its ancient ramparts are washed by a pretty stream, which winds through a green vale opening between two long ranges of olive-clad hills. In the centre of the town, is a curious insulated mount, composed of argillaceous slate, covered with green sod, and crowned by an old fantastic tower seventy or eighty feet in height. From an inscription on its exterior wall, it appears to have been erected in 1661; but for what purpose, it is difficult to conjecture. The eminence on which it stands overlooks the antique stone houses and tiled roofs of Draguignan, as well as a wide extent of the surrounding country. Even this town, though nature has spontaneously embellished its environs with plants and flowers, boasts of its Botanic = Garden, which is arranged with taste and skill. Here too - are found boulevards, promenades, areas and fountains, presenting a miniature picture of the metropolis. The ten thousand inhabitants rely chiefly upon official patronage and the manufacture of sweet oil for support.
At three o'clock in the afternoon of the same day, we set out for Frejus, situated upon the shore of the Mediterranean, at the distance of twenty miles. The capacious vehicle was of an odd construction, and might perhaps be termed a sociable. Its body was ten or twelve feet in length, and its two seats ran longitudinally along the sides, so that the passengers sat facing one another, and were almost compelled to talk. A coarse military officer, who appeared to be a foreigner and in a state of intoxication, was of the party, and behaved with much rudeness, often bursting out into peals of loud laughter, and dangling his heavy sword to the annoyance of his neighbours. Few instances of such vulgar deportment had been observed, even among the lowest classes, in any part of France; and a court-martial of bootblacks in
Paris would have cashiered this mercenary for ungentlemanly and unofficer-like conduct.
Between the foot of the hills, in the midst of which Draguignan is situated, and the Mediterranean, spreads a broad alluvial plain, watered by the Argens, and almost on a level with the Its meagre, sandy soil is comparatively barren, lying unenclosed and untilled, presenting a striking contrast with the green, luxuriant glades that had been left behind. Along the way were seen numerous shepherds, shepherdesses, and swineherds, whose large flocks of black sheep, and droves of pigs were grazing the common, less under the care of the master than of his watchful dog. But the solitary waste was unenlivened by the music of the pastoral pipe; and longbearded old men in red caps, or squalid girls, with sun-burnt faces and without shoes or stockings, afforded but a sorry exemplification of those pictures of love and innocence portrayed by Theocritus and Virgil.
We reached Frejus at 7 o'clock in the evening, and took lodgings at the same hotel, in which Napoleon remained three days, while on his way to the Island of Elba. The house is now in a dilapidated condition, and its undulating floors look as if they had been rocked by an earthquake. An attentive landlord showed us into his best apartments, which had evidently seen more prosperous days, and were an emblem both of the town itself and of the fortunes of the imperial exile, who had once been their tenant. The decayed walls were hung with silken tapestry, rich and beautiful in its prime, but now in tatters, according well with unhinged tables, defaced mirrors, and shattered sofas.
After a short walk by moonlight, which was found too dim to disclose the outlines and the ruins of this old Roman town, I turned into one of the canopied couches of our chamber, which happened to be the self same bed, in which the dethroned monarch had thrice slept. There was no proof positive that even the pillows and clothes had been changed, since they gave a temporary repose to the cares of the imperial fugitive. What an opportunity was here afforded to dream of the follies of ambition and the phantoms of power, the vicissitudes and vanities of human life!
"I had a dream, but 'twas not all a dream."
The inspiration of the pillow called up the splendid pageants