Letters from France, written in the years 1803 & 1804; Including a particular account of Verdun, and the situation of the British captives in that city Volume 1

 
9781150676185: Letters from France, written in the years 1803 & 1804; Including a particular account of Verdun, and the situation of the British captives in that city Volume 1

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1806 edition. Excerpt: ...all partake of this sable hue. Besides the numerous waggons filled with coals, we met many hundred females laden with large baskets, full of this fuel, fastened on their backs by a leather strap tied round the forehead; and often saw carts of coals, drawn by six dogs, containing at least half a chaldron: they sell on the spot for about fourteen florins a ton. We refreshed the horses at a small place called Cavelen, on the banks of the Renel, a rivulet which, in this place, formerly divided the French and Austrian Netherlands, and on crossing the bridge we entered the most northern part of French Flanders, which now extends, indeed, to the borders of Dutch Brabant, while the French influence predominates throughout the Bata-vian republic. An uninteresting open country, bare of trees but fertile in corn, brought us about noon to Valenciennes, which is situated on the Escaut, fifty leagues from Paris; the fortifications of the town and citadel were completed by Vauban. Louis the Fourteenth took it from the Spaniards in 1677, and it was finally ceded to France by the treaty of Nimuguen. This town, so often the seat of war, is now recovering, by slow degrees, from the siege it sustained by the duke of York in 1793, when almost every house sustained more or less damage, and the whole town exhibited a sad scene of demolition. It offers now but very little to attract attention: the large square, and the public buildings around it, present an handsome appearance, but the houses and streets are, in general, of an uncomfortable aspect. The staple manufactories of lace, woollen cloth, and linen of all descriptions, are on the revival; but it will be long ere Valenciennes recovers its former wealth and splendour. Troissard the historian, and Wat-teau the...

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