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Salisbury, in order to judge how far inferior it might be to this at Dijon, which is said to be three hundred and seventy-five French feet in elevation, besides another in the same city of three hundred. I suppose however that these steeples were hidden by some high buildings; for I only saw one, which was neat, but could not be that which they describe as "à coup sur la plus belle flêche qui soit en Europe." I should have taken it to be about one hundred and eighty, or perhaps two hundred feet high. I would willingly have passed a day or two at Dijon,-but we dined, and hurried on.
Towards evening we passed through the finest avenue of poplars I ever saw; indeed, almost the finest avenue of trees of any description that I have seen: its length could not be less than three miles, and its line perfectly straight; the trees not less than two feet in diameter, of amazing height, and planted at equal distances. We were now entering the Jura Mountains, and passed at midnight a most frightful-looking town called Salins, built apparently before architecture was invented. Here four horses dragged us with difficulty up. the hill by which the road passes: and we were thence jolted over an infamously stony way, quarrelling all the while with rascally
postillions, till we arrived in the morning at Pontarlier, where we breakfasted.
The frontiers of Switzerland were now not far before us, and the country was beginning to assume a Swiss aspect. The road ran through deep defiles, amidst lofty pine-covered mountains, their sides gushing with springs, while the summit of a Swiss mountain, crested with snow, rose in the distance. We arrived at Jougne, where is the last French custom-house. It is a place that seems designed by nature for a frontier-town, an immense perpendicular wall of rocks enclosing it to the north and south, and through them being the only visible inlet and oulet. The number of travellers via Jougne is generally small; but there happened this day to have been more posting than usual. Consequently, no postillion being procurable, the post-master, after some delay, agreed to drive us. He appeared, forming one of the most ludicrous figures imaginable. He was a tall, well-looking, fat man, clothed in a nankeen jacket and trowsers, without waistcoat or neckcloth, and his shirt-bosom open. Over his trowsers he had put on a pair of leggings, which, in consequence of certain straps being deficient, were curiously laced with string; and on his head he wore an enormous flat straw-hat. Altogether, previously to casing his lower limbs
in leather, he looked like a caricature of a West Indian planter in the Jamaica dog-days; and when mounted, even the natives stopped to eye him with surprise, particularly after a heavy shower had added numberless shades of colour to his nankeen habiliments. He drove rapidly down the rocky steep which leads from Jougne, to a flat slip at the foot of the hills belonging to France: here a stone marks the boundaries of the two countries, and the air I breathed in passing it seemed more pure and free.
In place of arguing with lovers of monarchy, such as are the French,-I should like to lead them through the borders of France and Switzerland. In the rich, luxuriant provinces of the former, the poverty of the inhabitants contrasted strongly with the wealth of the soil: in the latter, comparatively poor in natural productions, the people seemed easy and independent. The country wore an English appearance; and the physiognomy of the Swiss themselves, I thought, resembled the English much more than it did that of their neighbours. Instead of the wide, neglected roads we passed over in France, the ways were here only of sufficient width, but in excellent order, and running between well-cut hedges and comfortable looking houses. Indeed, excepting the wilder features, the whole, both in cultivation
and general aspect, bore a close resemblance to England.
It was not long ere we entered upon a most charming, a most grand stretch of landscape, to whose features I cannot pretend to do the remotest justice in description. Behind us, forming part of a circle to the right and left, were the dark hills we had passed, with their black waving fringe of wood. Below, lay the fertile plain of the Pays de Vaud; beyond which, the Lake of Neufchatel extended till it mingled with the horizon: while, to the right of the Lake, the huge mountains of Savoy rose in every fantastic form, here mixing with the clouds, there glittering in the sun, their summits all covered with snow, except where an enormous brown peak projected in parts from the white masses, having been either cleared by the winds, or being too steep to receive the general mantle of its fellows. At one o'clock we reached Orbe, and stopped at the William Tell, whose statue adorns the market-place. I know not whether the fine prospects, &c. &c. were additional stimulants, but certainly I had an excellent appetite for a good dinner, and an equally good glass of wine.
Here we were delayed by want of horses, in consequence of the great number of English on the road, and were obliged at last to make two
stages with tired ones. These brought us to Lausanne, a delightful-looking town, with numerous charming country-seats around it, and the noble lake at its foot. The road hence took the entire north side of this magnificent expanse of water; and the hills which bounded it were covered with vines, growing on little terraces, which form their sides, as it were, into so many staircases, every little patch of ground being taken advantage of. The wind was high, and the lake seemed fretting and swelling as in imitation of the ocean. I have heard that there are sometimes pretty violent storms upon its surface; and that while such were raging, it was an especial delight of Lord Byron to sail upon it.
We now crossed the " arrowy Rhone," not far from the place at which it falls into the lake, and, as it is said, traverses it without mixing with its waters. The road turning to the left, we entered the valley of the river, for whose "blue rushing," and the road beside it, the lofty mountains in some parts barely leave room. Near St. Maurice, a magnificent cascade is formed by the Salanche, a less important river, which falls in a vast sheet of foam and spray from a perpendicular height of about three hundred feet. Here we were in the Vallais, and stopped to breakfast at Sion, the