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“The aspect of the country all the way from Toulon to Hyeres, and thence hither, is hilly. Toulon is surrounded with hills, much of it is cultivated in terraces. The vine appears to be the principal crop, with ridges of wheat between the rows, which are either double or treble. The olives are planted round the fields, or so as not to prevent the growth of the vine. The olive is a graceful looking tree, rather resembling a pear tree in growth, and a laburnum in leaf. The land appears to be divided into small lots; and on each of them is a neat stone-coloured house, with green Venetian blinds. They look quite like villas, standing as they do a little distance apart, and with the olive and other trees interspersed; the whole has the appearance of a garden, with their neat looking cottages in the midst. Compared with our hinds or small farm houses, these look greatly superior: much more of the appearance both of comfort and ornament. On every hand, we see evidences that this is indeed a south land; and what is more, it abounds with springs of water; indeed, at Toulon, I think the abundance of water pleased me more than any thing else. There are a great many public fountains in the streets and squares, ornamented with curious or elegant devices, all spouting out water, clear as crystal, and the waste water runs down the streets in streams, and must tend very greatly to the cleanliness, coolness, and healthiness of
Most of them are covered with moss, and several have beautiful jets, &c., &c.
“First Month 21st. To-day I went to Marseilles, and, immediately on arrival, to the post-office, where I found three letters, &c., waiting for me; these were truly acceptable, and it was most gratifying to have good accounts from home.
I was astonished to find myself overcome, even to tears, by the emotion they produced. In reading the expressions of sympathy and kind interest of my relatives,
I had difficulty in concealing my emotion in the cafe, where I happened to be; and had to reserve two letters for another opportunity. Such is the melting power of charity, especially of that charity which cometh from above.
24th. Called upon two of the gentlemen to whom I had letters of introduction, and was kindly received ; one of them talked in French, entered into my plans, and gave useful information. The other I was pleased to find is a Protestant, he invited me to come and see the Protestant ministers, of whom there are three, all living together in the same house with himself. They asked me if I had seen the minister at Toulon; and on my answering that I had no introduction there, they said, Oh! your being a Protestant is a sufficient introduction. I liked the feeling of religious sensibility which seemed to prevail here.
" --27th. First day. Accompanied by Captain Blues, we visited what English vessels we could find in the harbour with tracts. There were only about six or eight. We were well received, and, in some instances, they appeared grateful.
“ First Month 31st. I find Marseilles rather too cold. I wait a few days for letters before I proceed to Nismes and Congenies, to pay a visit to the Friends there.
“ Second Month 1st. Paid a visit to the principal Protestant minister of this place, who received me kindly. At his suggestion, I bought two Italian Testaments to sell, if opportunity presents, in Italy. His wife is an English woman: and they both received me very cordially. They inquired respecting the increase of Roman Catholics in England. They desired me to use their name, with their Christian regards, with the Protestant minister at Nismes. They say there is a pious Protestant minister at Naples,
“2nd. Took the diligence to Nismes. This ancient city contains many antiquities. There is a large amphi
theatre, formerly used for the combats of wild beasts and gladiators. It is built of massive blocks of granite, some of which are eighteen feet long. On all sides are rising seats. to the height of seventy feet, said to be capable of holding 23,000 persons. It is sufficiently perfect to admit of persons walking round, at its highest elevation. Its greatest length is four hundred and forty feet.”
Before leaving Marseilles, he writes, “I have received your very acceptable letter. I was beginning to be very impatient, for I find Marseilles very cold, and wish to get away into Italy. There is a cold wind off the high land here, that is dry and cutting, that is in the shade. In the sun it is much tempered by his rays. The thermometer, in the shade, at eight, A, M., has ranged 34° to 41°; whilst at Hyeres, where it is more sheltered, it was warm enough for me to have a very pleasant bathe in the sea. the coast of Portugal, and at Gibraltar, it stood at about 54° in the forenoon; nearly twenty degrees higher than it is here.
" Second Month 5th. Came to Congenies last night, and was most kindly received by Louis Majolier and family. They speedily got my luggage from the inn, and made me take up my quarters under their hospitable roof.
8th. I am now leading quite a country life, visiting the vineyards of my friends, reading whilst basking in the sun, and reclining on the turf. Visited three schools in the village.
9th. Went to Nismes to see Christine Majolier, daughter of Louis, who has resided seventeen years in England, but came home on account of her health. She is governess to the daughter of a physician, at Nismeg.
10th. First day. Called upon several members of our Religious Society. At the forenoon meeting, there were present fifteen men, twenty women, and eight infants.
As they have no servants, the presence of infants, though inconvenient, seems a necessary evil. The deportment of Friends was serious and becoming, and our friend L. M. appeared in testimony; at some length; and I thought, with good effect. In the afternoon, there were only twelve persons present. The meeting held about an hour.
" It is mournful to observe the indifference of the male population of France, to the duty of attending public worship. Four women to one man, even in the Protestant congregations. It seems to have infected all classes, Protestants as well as Catholics.
“I went to Codagnan, to visit a few Friends there; two of them are decided Friends, and one of them is a minister.
“ Second Month 11th. Took tea this evening with the Wesleyan Missionary stationed here, a young man of the name of Ocart. They have a congregation of about 100 persons. He preaches also at several of the adjacent villages. They have access, once in three weeks, to the large new Protestant Chapel, or Temple, as it is called. It appears there are sixteen of their Missionaries in France, three of whom preach to the English,-the rest to the French. They have also two in Spain. In answer to my inquiries, he informed me that the Protestant minister gives a New Testament to every child who communicates, for the first time, and a Bible to every couple, when they are married. He complains of the worldly spirit of the people, who urge, as an excuse for the desecration of the Sabbath, that they must work in the fore part at least of that day, in order to provide for their families. He said they were like the Gentiles of old, whose thoughts were chiefly centred on What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and wherewithal shall we be clothed ?!”
To his sister, he writes, “I find that thy opinion of this climate is much nearer the truth than mine. Like some
other Englishmen, who think there is nothing good out of their own country, my anticipations were much too low; having, however, this pleasing consequence, that I am most agreeably disappointed. I expected to find it warmer, but still to be winter, and to have what I supposed to be the invariable concomitant of winter, damp days, cloudy weather, and abundance of rain. Judge, then, of my surprise, to find the roads covered with dust, the wells dry, the brooks without water, the land suffering from drought, a cloudless sky, and the thermometer from 96° to 102°, in the middle of the day. I think I have only seen it rain three times since we crossed the Bay of Biscay; and my umbrella has never been unfurled. The thermometer varies from day to day, ranging from 34° to 58°, at three A. M., in the shade, and from 77° to 102° in the sun at noon.
“The air is sometimes cold, especially out of the sun; but it is always dry. Indeed, its dryness renders it too keen, when the thermometer is very low. Couldest thou be here when the grapes are ripe, the sight of them would afford thee a rich treat. Almost every field is planted with vines, and the crop is represented as most prodigious ; especially beautiful in the morning, when covered with dew drops, and sparkling in the sunbeams. They bring them from the fields and vineyards to the winepress, in carts and waggons, so heavily laden that the road is strewed with what are shaken off. Besides the crop of grapes, they generally get one of wheat in the season, from the under growth; and another crop of olives from the same field; crops
in all. The vines are cultivated with the spade and dug three or four times in the year. Of course this requires a number of labourers, and, accordingly, we find the country thickly studded with villages. From a little eminence near Congenies, it is said, that in a clear day, we can count no less than thirty-four. Yet one cannot but