Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/153

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
129
OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


ing to excite disgust was ever seen, and there were no rags, and no beggars. At Corunna, I found old houses, mendicity at every corner, an atmosphere infected with smoke, and the smell of fried oil, and in fact all the innate dirtiness of people whose natural element is filth. Add to this the clatter of carts with wooden wheels, rumbling over the most uneven pavement in the world. Jean Jacques would have quitted Corunna an hour after he entered it, for he pretends that he was obliged to leave his lodgings in Paris simply because he heard a water carrier cry A Veau! in an unmusical voice.

As I had come from America, you may imagine that I was asked thousands of questions. The Duke of Medina-Celi, the colonel of a regiment then quartered in Corunna, asked as many questions as the Bailli in the Ingenu,[1] but otherwise he was a very agreeable young man. Spaniards and French were then good friends, for the two nations had allied their forces


  1. One of Voltaire's short stories,