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accomplished, and the most witty in Montpellier. They were not however alarmingly handsome, nor very well dressed. But their little mincing ways, mixed up with an extraordinary plain speaking, and prodigious matters of discourse, made us conclude ourselves in an assembly of Montpellier précieuses.* Our appearance incited them to new efforts of the ridiculous; but it was country work after all, and a poor imitation of our Parisian marvels. They began with being very deep on the wits, to let us see what company we had fallen into, and how intimate they were in that quarter. Upon which there ensued a pleasant conversation.

Some said, that all the world must grant
Ménage was mightily gallant; t
Chapelain perhaps was somewhat antic;
But Costar-Oh, the least pedantic!
Then as for Monsieur Scudéri,
Who for engaging looks but he?
Rich, valiant, a delightful man ;
And catch him badly drest who can.
His sister was a Venus: none
Deserv'd her, sure, but Pélisson.

They ran on, in the same manner, upon a number of others: and then from characterising their general merits, fell to criticising their works in particular. In Alaric and Moses, they saw nothing but judgment and conduct; in the Pucelle, nothing at all. The only thing they had a regard for in Sarracin, was the letter of M. de Ménage; and the preface of M. Pelisson was treated with ridicule. Voiture was even set down for a coarse fellow. As to romances, Cassandra was in esteem for the delicacy of the conversation; Cyrus and Clelia for grandeur of action, and the magnificence of the style. A thousand other things were said, more surprising than all the rest. On a sudden, a stir out-of-doors restored the subject of M. d'Aubignac. One of the ladies addressed another, who appeared to be Precieuse in chief:—

* Perhaps the modern word Exquisite, transferred to a female, and implying a romantic foppery in literary as well as personal pretensions, would very well answer to the Précieuse of Moliere and Chapelle. But there seems a violation of costume in not preserving the old word.

+ The opinions here expressed are about as correct as if we were to say, that Dr Bentley was a man of fashion, Cowley, a buffoon, &c. In the subsequent passage, not having the original by us, we are not sure, from some blurs in our manu. script, that every work is referred to, as it should be.

"This d'Aubignac, my dear. Is he
The Monsieur d'Aubignac that writes?
Why, he has written poetry!
I've seen a thing of his-Stay, let me see-
Affrights, Invites, Delights-Yes, yes, Delights;
Beginning with Delights-Yes, that was it.
Why, he must be a wit."

"Undoubtedly, my dear," replies the dame :
"One of the wits, and has a monstrous fame."
Then turning to another lady, "Madam, I
Have seen his letters, seal'd by the Academy.
I have a list of all the members, Madam;

And he goes first; which shews that he must lead 'em."

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Such a furious desire of laughter seized us at this sally, that we were obliged to quit the place abruptly, in order to go and burst at We made for our hotel through the crowd; who cut a very singular figure. It was impossible not to see

our ease.

In the old women and their faces
Strange attempts at airs and graces,
Though devoting to the rack
This irreverend d'Aubignac.

Some confessed, that, after all, the old lady was not so very old. Others averred, that she was too old by four or five years. Had it been under that mark, would not have been so bad. Others said, that ten or a dozen years since, the young women would have torn a man to pieces for behaving so; but that the world was much altered, and that for their parts they did not see much difference now-a-days between young and old. In short,

Had this chevalier d'Aubignac

By his pursuers been brought back,

'Twas plain there would have been no rack

For the irreverend d'Aubignac.

We had not been a quarter of an hour in our hotel when a fresh

clamour made us look out of window. The pursuers of the fugitives had returned. A gentleman was haranging the crowd at the door of the house we had left; and all the younger part of his audience sent up shouts of laughter. In a word, it turned out that the father of the young lady, being a capricious old fool, had picked a quarrel with a good match of his own approving between d'Aubignac and his daughter, much to the chagrin of the old lady as well as the young: upon which what does the good old gentlewoman, but go to bed with a sick voice, and pretend to be the daughter; while Mademoiselle, as lively as the aunt, puts on the latter's clothes, and rides off with the chevalier on the same horse! They were observed, not without astonishment; but the adventure of the struggle was thrown in, with many others, for nothing. A letter was left for the supposed young lady, who took to her bed accordingly. In the course of a dozen minutes all the girls in Montpellier were mad with laughter. The old women did not know quite so well how to behave; but the vivacity of the aunt was, upon the whole, very much admired, and it was easy to see that the chevalier would have no trouble in securing his prize. We longed to be able to tell him of the disposition in his favour; but he was now at a good distance; so we contented ourselves with wishing him joy in a bottle of Avignon.

Somehow the confusion at Montpellier had made us restless. We stopped only a few hours; and then set off for Massilargues, talking all the way

Of the gallant d'Aubignac,
Now upon an easy track
With his fair one at his back.
She, old hooded, and young faced,
Went with arm about his waist;

And in lanes he sometimes kiss'd her,
And in highways call'd her sister.

Such were our thoughts, thought being free; and ours were disposed to give up none of their privileges. But about half a league beyond Montpellier, we met a gentleman who had seen the fugitives. Their object was to get into the Papal territory; for which

purpose they had got another horse, and given up the old lady's riding-coat. So there was an end of our romance. We arrived before night at the house of M. de Cauvisson, who laughed heartily at our adventure. He took care, with his good cheer and his good beds, to settle our fatigue, and make us fresh for next morning; when being at such a little distance from Nismes, we could not refuse ourselves the pleasure of going out of the road to see the aqueduct and amphitheatres, two glorious remains of antiquity, and in wonderful preservation.

Having finished to our heart's content with Languedoc, we pushed on for Provence by the great meadow of Beaucaire, whey they keep the fair we have all heard of: and at an early hour the same day we beheld the celebrated city of Arles, which conducted us over its bridge of boats from Languedoc to Provence. It makes a glorious entrance. Its fine situation has drawn together almost all the nobility of the district; and the women are all trim, pretty, and piquant! They patch however to an excess, and are too vain of it. We saw them all in the place we put in, behaving themselves mighty prettily with the gentlemen of the town, who are very well shaped. The ladies, though we had not the pleasure of their acquaintance, gave us an opportunity of accosting them; and we may say without vanity, that in the course of a couple of hours we got on considerably, not perhaps without creating a little jealousy. In the evening we were invited to a party, where our progress was still greater. For all that, we did not stop over next morning. Our road was very troublesome, lying across the great plain actually covered with stones all the way as far as Salon, a little town which has nothing to shew but the tomb of Nostradamus. We slept there, or rather lay awake all night, an actress in the next room chusing to lie-in of two little performers.

(TO BE CONCLUDED.)

LONDON:

Publihesd by HUNT and CLARKE, York street, Covent garden: and sold by all Booksellers and Newsvenders in town and country.-Price 4d.

PRINTED BY C. H. REYNELL, BROAD STREET, GOLDEN SQUARE.

THE COMPANION.

No. XVI. WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 1828.

"Something alone yet not alone, to be wished, and only to be found, in a friend."-SIR WILLIAM TEMPLE.

NEW SPLENDOURS AT WINDSOR.

An evening paper has given us some beatific glimpses into a new quadrangle, which is being added to Windsor Castle. How it obtained them, is not very clear; seeing that measures have been taken" for the most rigid exclusion of prying curiosity!" The architect, it is said, has been ordered by the King, "under pain of his royal displeasure," not to allow any person whatever to see the interior of the new structure; and in consequence of this strong prohibition, my Lord Gambier," and even Bishops," have tried in vain to get admittance. We suppose the accounts have been brought away by some ecstatic upholsterer's man, or peeping glazier. We must fancy him in a fit of rapture, throwing out bits of description, and sentences too happy to go on :-" splendour and magnificence !"-" blue and gold!"-" Oh, the fillagree staircase!" And then they hold him down.

The following are the chief marvels that have transpired :—

"The silk hangings are wrought in pannels made on purpose." "The flowers and borders consist of a species of embroidery, never before seen in this country."-[" Different individuals were employed in the manufacture thereof; so that no one out of doors could see the toutensemble."]

"In his Majesty's bed-room there is a bath, the vapours of which, when heated, must prove rather an inconvenience." The bed is to be placed" in a recess opposite the fire-place."

16

VOL. I.

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