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againft it; their beds are fheep-fkins, and their doors fo finall that they crawl in. I faw no place for fire, but they have it, fince they drefs here the fich of their fheep, and in the night fometimes keep off the bears, by whirling fire-brands; four of them belong ing to the flock mentioned above lie here. Viewed their flock very carefully, and by means of our guide and interpreter, made fome inquiries of the fhepherds, which they answered readily, and very civilly. A Spaniard at Venafque, a city in the Pyrenees, gives 600 livres French, (the livre is 10d. Engl.) a year, for the pafturage of this flock of 2000 fheep. In the winter he fends them into the lower parts of Catalonia, a journey of 12 or 13 days, and when fnow is melted enough in the fpring, they are conducted back again. They are the whole year kept in motion, and moving from fpot to fpot, which is owing to the great range they every where have of pafture. They are always in the open air, never houfed or under cover, and never taste of any food but what they can find on the hills.
Four thepherds, and from four to fix large Spanish dogs have the care of this flock: the latter are in France called of the Pyrenees breed; they are black and white, of the fize of a large wolf, a large head and neck, armed with collars stuck with iron spikes. No wolf can ftand against them; but Bears are more potent adverfaries. If a bear can reach a tree he is fafe; he rifes on his hind legs, with his back to the tree, and fets the dogs at defiance. In the night the fhepherds rely entirely on their dogs, but on hearing them bark are ready with fire-arms, as the dogs rarely bark if a bear is not at hand. I was furprized to find that they are fed only with bread and milk. The head fhepherd is paid 120 livres 2 year, wages and bread; others 80 livres and bread. But they are allowed to keep goats, of which they have many, which they milk every day;
VOL. VII. No 37
their food is milk and bread, except the flesh of fuch fheep or lambs as ac cidents give them. The head thepherd keeps on the mountain top, or an elevated fpot, from whence he can the better fee around while the flock traverses the declivities. In doing this the fheep are expofed to great danger in places that are ftoney: for by walking among the rocks, and efpecially the goats, they move the frones, which, rolling down the hills, acquire an accelerated force, enough to knock a man down, and sheep are often killed by them: yet we faw how alert they were to avoid fuch ftones, and cautiously on their guard against them. Examine the fheep attentive, ly. They are in general polled, but fome have horns; which in the rams turn backwards behind the ears, and project half a circle forward; the ewes horns turn also behind the ears, but do not project: the legs white or reddifh; fpeckled faces, fome white fome reddish: they would weigh fat, I reckon, on an average, from 15lb. to 18 lb. a quarter. Some tails fhort, fome left long. A few black sheep among them: fome with a very little tuft of wool on their forehead. On the whole, they resemble those on the South Downs: their legs are as short as thofe of that breed: a point which merits obfervation, as they travel fo much and fo well. Their fhape is very good; round ribs and flat strait backs; and would with us be reckon, ed handsome sheep; all in good order and flesh. In order to be still better 'acquainted with them, I defired one of the fhepherds to catch a ram for me to feel, and examine the wool, which I found very thick and good, of the carding fort, as may be fuppofed. I took a fpecimen of it, and alfo of a hoggit, or lamb of last year. In regard to the mellow foftnefs under the fkin, which, in Mr. Bakewell's opinion, is a ftrong indication of a good breed, with a difpofition to fatten, he had it in a much fuperior de
altogether fo pleafant as Mr Walker. Thefe mountains are chiefly rocks of micaceous fchiftus, but there are large detached fragments of granite. Pafs the frontier line which divides France and Spain; and rifing on the mountains, fee the Spanish valley of Aran with the river, Garronne winding through it in a beautiful manner. The town of Bofofte is at the foot of the mountains, where is the Spanifh cuftom-house. Mules imported into Spain pay here 16 livres. A. four year old horse the fame. A fix year old one 13 ditto. An ox 5. And a fheep 1 1-half fol. This vale of Aran is nicely cultivated, and with out any fallows. They out any fallows. Nothing fcarcely can be finer than the view of the valley from heights fo great as to render the most common objects interefting; the road leads under trees, whofe arching boughs prefent at every ten paces new landfkips. The woods here are thick, and prefent fine maffes of shade; the rocks large, and every outline bold; and the verdant vale, that is fpread far below at your feet, has all the features of beauty in contrast with the fublimity of the furrounding mountains. Defcend into this vale, and bait at our first Spanish inn. No hay, no corn, no meat, no windows: but cheap; eggs and bread, and fome trout for 15 fous. (7d. English.)
gree to many of our English breeds, to the full as much fo as the South Downs, which are, for that point, the best short-woolled theep which I know in England. The fleece was on his back, and weighed, as I guessed, about Slb. English, but the average they fay of the flock is from four to five, as I calculated by reducing the Catalonian pound of 12 oz. to ours of 16, and is all fold to the French. This ram had the wool of the back part of his neck tied clofe, and the upper tuft tied a fecond knot by way of ornament, nor do they ever fhear this part of the fleece for that reafon: we faw feveral in the flock with this fpecies of decoration. They faid that this ram would fell in Catalonia for 20 livres. A circumftance which cannot be too much commend ed, and deferves univerfal imitation, is the extreme docility they accuftom them to. When I defired the fhepherd to catch one of his rams, I fuppofed he would do it with his crook; or probably not be able to do it at all; but he walked into the flock, and fingling out a ram and a goat bid them follow him, which they did immediately, and he talked to them while they were obeying him, holding out his hand as if to give them fomething. By this method he brought me the ram, which I caught, and held without difficulty.
Having fatisfied ourselves with our examination of this flock, we returned to the direct road for Vielle, which quits the river above described about a fmall league from Bagnere; it enters foon after one of the most wooded regions of the Pyrenees, and at the fame time the most romantic. The road is fo bad that no horse but thofe of the mountains could pass it, but. our mules trod fecurely amidst rolling ftones on the edges of precipices of a tremendous depth; but fure-footed as they are, they are not free from ftumbling; and when they happen to trip a little in thofe fituations, they electrify their riders in a manner not
Follow from hence the Garronne, which is already a fine river, but very rapid on it they float many trees to their faw-mills, to cut into boards; we faw many at work. The vale is narrow, but the hills to the left are cultivated high up. No fallows. They have little wheat, but a great deal of rye, and much better barley than in the French mountains: instead of fallows they have maize and millet, and many more potatoes than in the French mountains: haricots (French beans) alfo, and a little hemp. Saw two fields of vetches and fquare pease. The fmall potatoes they give to their pigs, which do very well on them; and the leaves to their cows, but af
fert that they refuse the roots. Buck- er arable lands are fold for 5 or 600 wheat alfo takes the place of fallow; livres, the fides of the hills propormany crops of it were good, and fome as fine as poffible.
The whole valley of Aran is well cultivated and highly peopled; it is eight hours long, or about 40 miles English, and has in it 32 villages. Thefe villages, or rather little towns, have a very pretty appearance, the walls being well built, and the houfes all well flated; but on entering these towns the fpectacle changes at once; we' found them the abodes of poverty and wretchedness; not one window of glafs to be seen in a whole town; fcarcely any chimnies, both ground floor and the chambers vomiting the smoke out of the windows.
Arrive at Vielle, the capital of this valley, and the paffage from this part of France to Barcelona; a circumftance which has given fome trifling refources to it. Informed here, that we could not go into Spain without a pafsport; waited therefore on the governor, who prefides over the whole valley and its 32 towns: his houfe was the only one we had seen with glass windows. He is a lieutenant-colonel, and Knight of Calatrava; in his anteroom is the king's picture with a canopy of state over it. The governor received us with the Spanish formelity, and affured us, that a few months ago there was an order to fend every reigner, found without a pafsport, to the troops iuch orders fhew pretty well the number of foreigners here: on each fide of his bed was a brace of piftols, and a crucifix in the middle: we did not afk in which he put the most confidence.
tionably, and the higher lands not more than 100. Their crops of all forts vary from 2 1-half to 3 quarters English the acre. Hay harvest no where begun. They have no fpecies of manufactures, but fpinning and weaving for the private ufe of every family. The price of labour 10 fous a day and food; women for hoeing, &c. 2 1-half fous and food.
The mountains belong, as in the French Pyrenees, to the parishes; each inhabitant has a right to cut what wood he pleafes for fuel and repairs, in the woods affigned for that purpose; others are let by leafe at public auction for the benefit of the parish, the trees to be cut being marked ; and, in ral, the police of their woods is better than on the French fide. When woods are cut they are preferved for the next growth. Their mountainpastures not used by themselves they let to the owners of large flocks, who bring them from the lower part of Catalonia, as with the French mountains; these flocks rife to 4000 fheep, the rent, in general, being from 5 to 7 fous a head for the fummer food. Every inhabitant poffeffes cattle, which he keeps in the common mountains in what quantity he pleases; but others, who do not belong to the parish, pay 5 fo- to 7 fous a head for the sheep, and 10 fous for a cow; which difproportion they explain, by faying, that sheep must have a much greater range. In fummer they make cheese, which we tafted and found good. In winter their cattle are kept at home, and their cows fed on buck-wheat straw, which they affert to be good food; alfo that of maize and millet, and a little hay; moft of it being affigned to their mules. They have good sheep, but all are sent to Saragofa or Barcelona. Have fcarce any oxen; what few they kill, they falt for winter.
Made inquiries concerning their agriculture. They have no farmers. Every one cultivates his own land, which is never fallowed. A journal of meadow fells in the valley for 800 livres, irrigated, but by no means fo well as in French mountains, nearly an arpent of Paris, which is fomething more than an English acre. The low
Taxes are light; the whole which the town is affeffed at, being only 2700 C 2 livres,
livres, which they pay by the rent of their woods and paitures let: but if calculated by tailles, houses, &c. and including every thing, the amount would be about three livres a year, on a journal of 600 livres value. This is the proportion of an acre of land worth 30l. paying 3s. a year in lieu of land and all other taxes. When the principles of a government tend to defpotifm, and the very pictures of kings are treated with reverence, the confequence is light taxation. The only effectual means of infuring a great revenue, is to extend the principles and the exercise of liberty: the change is, and ever will be, as much for the benefit of the prince as of the fubject.
At Bagnere de Luchon we were told that the inn at Vielle was good. We found the lower floor a ftable, from which we mounted to a black kitchen, and through that to a bakingroom with a large batch of loaves making for an oven which was heating to receive them. In this room were two beds for all the travellers that might come: if too numerous, ftraw is Spread on the floor, and you may reft as you can. No glafs to the windows; and large hole in the ceiling to clamber into the garret above it, where the windows are without fhutters to keep out either rain or wind. One of the beds was occupied, fo my companion laid on a table. The houfe, however, afforded eggs for an omelet, good bread, thick wine, brandy, and fowls killed after we arrived. The people very dirty, but civil.
July 11th. Reach Sculló; the inn fo bad, that our guide would not permit us to enter it, fo he went to the houfe of the Cúre. A fcene followed fo new to English eyes, that we could not refrain from laughing very heartily. Not a pane of glafs in the whole town, but our reverend hoft had a chimney in his kitchen. He ran to the river to catch trout; a man brought us fome chickens, which were put to death on the fpot.-For light they kindled fplin
ters of pitch-pine, and two merry wenches, with three or four men, collected to ftare at us, as well as we at them, were prefently bufy in fatisfying our hunger. They gave us red wine fo dreadfully putrid from the borachio, that I could not touch it; and brandy, but poifoned with anifeed. What then. to do? A bottle of excellent rich white wine came forth, refembling good mountain, and all was well: but when we came to examine our beds, there was only one. My friend would again do the honours, and infifted on my taking it: he made his on a table; and what with bugs, fleas, rats, and mice, flept not. I was not attacked, and though the bed and a pavement might be ranked in the fame clafs of foftness, fatigue converted it to down. This town and its inhabitants are, to the eye, equally wretched: the fmokeholes inftead of chimneys--the total want of glafs windows, the chearfulnefs of which, to the eye, is known only by the want-the drefs of the women all in black, with cloth of the fame colour about their heads, and hanging half down their backs-no fhoes-no ftockings-the effect upon the whole difmal-favage as the rocks and mountains.
In above an hundred miles in Catalonia, we have seen but two houses that appeared, decidedly, to be gentlemen's; one, the governor's at Vielle, and the other in the town of Poeblar, and in the fame line of country, not more than one acre probably in 200 is cultivated. Thus far, therefore, we have experienced an entire difappointment in the expectation of finding this province a garden.
In this diftrict not one acre in an hundred cultivated; all rocks, fhrubs, and weeds, with patches of wretched oats on the mountain fides. The road leads up one which is all of stone, covered with rofemary, box, brambles, &c. At the top break at once on the view of a deep vale, or rather glen, at the bottom of which a muddy river
has fpoiled the little land which might have been cultivated. The hills are fteep, and all is cultivated there that could be fo, but the quantity very fmall.
Defcend into a very rich vale, and to the town of Paous: crofs the river Sagrée by a most commodious ferryboat, much better contrived and executed for carriage and horfes than any I have feen in England. I have crofted the Thames, the Severn, the Trent, and other rivers, but never faw any horfes forced to leap through a narrow cut in the fide of the boat, but I expected them to be lamed, and have been prefent when others have, with the greatest difficulty, been whipt in. A carriage may be driven in and out of this ferry-boat without taking off a horfe, or any perfon moving from his feat. It croffes the river by a great rope paffing against a lanthern wheel, which is long enough to allow for the fpreading of the river in the highest floods. Every thing now changes the features. The vale on comparifon with thofe we have feen is wide, and alfo flat, and water plentifully conducted in canals, which pafs every quarter, fo as to be let into the field of every proprietor. Having paffed above 100 miles of dreary mountain, this vale, fo great was the contraft, had the appearance of enchantment. The care and attention given to irrigation, cannot be exceeded. The land is prepared for it, by levelling with a nicety as curious as for making a bowling-green, and this (conducting the water excepted, which is common to every one) is the only expence this general level is divided into oblong beds, from 6 to 8 feet wide, by little ridges of fine mould, drawn up nicely with a rake every time the ground is fown, in order that the water may not fpread over too much at once, in which cafe the irrigation would be unequal; there would be too much of a current at the part where the water enters; a circumftance of no great importance in
watering grafs-land, but which would be mifchievous in arable: fmall trenches take the water from the carrier-canals, and paffing by the ends of those beds, the farmer opens them at pleasure to diftribute the water where wanted. As foon as the land is fown it is watered, and periodically, till the plants are up; moderately while they are young; but every day, and fometimes twice a day, when full grown: the effect is furprifing, and infinitely exceeds that of the very richest manures that can be fpread upon any land. The rapidity of vegetation is fo great, that there are but few crops which demand all the Summer for coming to perfection: I believe hemp is the only one : that plant is now 5 to 7 feet in height, and of fo thick a luxuriance that nothing can be imagined finer. The rye ftubbles are ploughed and fown with French beans, which are up and watered. After hemp wheat is the crop. At Paous we faw many perfons winding filk; the cocoons were in warm water, and wound off by a well-contrived reel, fomething different from thofe ufed in France.
Prices.-Bread, 3 fous, lb. of 12oz.
Pork, 15 fous the lb. of 48 cz. Bottle of fweet wh. wine, 5 fous. red 2 fous. Here they were threshing, by dri ving mules around on a circular floor of earth in the open air; a girl drove three mules round, and four men attended for turning, moving away the ftraw, and fupplying the floor with corn. Their crops are all brought home by mules or affes with panniers: met feveral; they each carried fix great fheaves, equal to twenty common English ones: where roads are bad, this is the only way in which it can be done.
July 16th. Approach Barcelona: buildings many and good; numerous villas, and within two or three miles. They fpread to the right and left, and are feen all over the country. The