Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/152

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but before the ball we were regaled with an unexpected sight which much astonished us.

Before we had even cast our anchor, we were surrounded by a host of small boats containing women bringing fruit, and who climbed up the ship's sides as though they had been sailor boys. Many of the women were young and pretty, and did not sell fruit. In spite of orders they stormed our vessel, and, as the sailors favoured them, they were soon all over the ship,—except in the gun-room there were women everywhere; we could not help laughing at this strange invasion.

The fête given by M. de Caqueray was a very grand one, and the ladies appeared to me charming, for it was so long since I had seen any.

I was not quite so enthusiastic about the city of Corunna which these beautiful ladies and damsels inhabited. I had just left the United States, a new country where the towns were all new and where the greatest cleanliness prevailed even in the most humble habitation; where noth-