Page:The life of Matthew Flinders.djvu/460

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361
THE CAPTIVITY MODIFIED

I walked out to visit my neighbour, whom I had not seen for near a week. I met the whole family going out in the following order: First, Madame, with her youngest daughter, about six years old, in a palankin with M. Boistel walking by the side of it. Next, Mademoiselle Aimee, about 16, mounted astride upon an ass, with her younger sister, about 7, behind her, also astride. Third, Mademoiselle her sister, about 15, mounted upon M. Boistel's horse, also astride; and two or three black servants carrying an umbrella, lanthorn, etc., bringing up the rear. The two young ladies had stockings on to-day,[1] and for what I know drawers also; they seemed to have occasion for them. Madame stopped on seeing me, and I paid my compliments and made the usual enquiries. She said they were taking a promenade, going to visit a neighbour, and on they set. I could perceive that the two young ladies were a little ashamed of meeting me, and were cautious to keep their coats well down to their ankles, which was no easy thing. I stood looking after and admiring the procession some time; considering it a fair specimen of the manner in which the gentry of the island, who are not very well provided with conveyances, make visits in the country. I wished much to be able to make a sketch of the procession. It would have been as good, with the title of 'Going to See our Neighbour' under it, as the Vicar of Wakefield's family 'Going to Church.'"

He was much interested in an inspection of the Mesnil estate, where Laperouse had resided when as an officer of the French navy he had visited Ile-de-France, and which in conjunction with another French officer he purchased. It was here, though Flinders does not seem

  1. On a previous day, mentioned in the journal, they had worn none.