Sir John Lauder.

Publications of the Scottish History Society, Volume 36 Journals of Sir John Lauder Lord Fountainhall with His Observations on Public Affairs and Other Memoranda 1665-1676 online

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whils playing on the drum, whiles sounding the trumpet, that his subjects
may sie whow weill hes wersed in all these warlike, brave, martiall
excercises. The invention of the keetle drume we have from the Germans who
makes great use of it.

The father of this present King also, Lowis the 13, could exactly frame and
make a gun, and much more a pistol, with all the appartenances of it, as
also canons wt all other sort of Artillerie; for he was a great engineer.

There are amongs the French nobility some great deall richer then any
subject of our Kings; for the greatest subject of the King of Englands is
the Duc of Ormond, or the Earle of Northumberland, nether of which tho hath
above 30,000 pounds sterling, which make some 300,000 livres in french
money, which is ordinar for a peir in France. The last of which, to wit, my
Lord Northumberland, by reason of that great power and influence he hath in
the north of England, his oune country, the parliament of England of old
hath found it not a miss to discharge him the ever going their, and that
for the avoiding and eviting of insurrectiones which, if he ware amongs
them, he could at his pleasure raise. Surely this restraint neids not be
tedious to him since he is confined in a beautiful prison, to wit, London;
yea he may go thorow all the world save only Northumberland, he may come to
Scotland whilkes benorth Northumberland be sea.[140] It may be it might be
telling Scotland that by sick another act they layd a constrainct on that
house of Huntly, the Cock of the north. If so, the French Jesuits sould not
have such raison to boast (as we have heard them), and the papists sould
not have so great footing in the north as they have.

[140] I have not traced the authority for this statement.

We most not forgett the drolleries we have had wt our host Mr. Daillé when
I would have heard him at the _gardé robe_, to sport my selfe whiles, I
would have come up upon him or he had bein weill begun and prayed him to
make hast by reason I was exceedingly straitned when they would have bein
no such thing, wheiron he would have raisen of the stooll or he had bein
halfe done and up wt his breecks, it may be whiles wt something in them.

In our soups, which we got once every day, and which we have descryved
already, such was Madames frugality that the one halfe of it she usually
made of whiter bread, and that was turned to my syde of the board, the
other halfe or a better part she made of the braner, like our rye loaves,
and that was for hir and hir husband.

The bread ordinarly used heir they bake it in the forme of our great
cheeses, some of them 12 pence, others 10 souse, others for 8. Thess for 10
souse are as big again as our 6 penie loaves, and some of them as fine.

There comes no vine out of France to forreine country, save that which they
brimstone a litle, other wise it could not keip on the sea, but it would
spoil. Its true the wine works much of it out againe, yet this makes that
wine much more unwholsome and heady then that we drink in the country wheir
it growes at hand. We have very strick laws against the adulterating of
wines, and I have heard the English confess that they wished they had the
like, yet the most do this for keiping of it; yea their hardly wine in any
cabaret of Paris that is otherwise.

Hearing a bel of some convent ringing and ronging on a tyme in that same
very faschion that we beginne our great or last bel to the preaching, I
demanding what it meint, they told me it was for some person that was
expiring, and that they cailed it _l'agonie_. That the custome was that any
who ware at the point of death and neir departing they cause send to any
religious house they please, not forgetting money, to ring a Agonie that
all that hears, knowing what it means, to wit, that a brother or sister is
departing, may help them wt their prayers, since then they may be
steadable, which surely seimes to be wery laudable, and it nay be not amiss
that it ware in custome wt us. The Church of England hath it, and on the
ringing any peaple that are weill disposed they assemble themselfes in the
Church to pray. In France also they ring upon the death of any person to
show the hearers, called _le trespas_, that some persone is dead. The same
they have in England, wt which we was beguiled that night we lay at Anick,
for about 2 howers of the morning the toune bel ronging on the death of one
Richard Charleton, I taking it to be the 5 howers bel we rose in hast, on
wt our cloaths, and so got no more sleip that night.

Their was nothing we could render Mr. Daillé pensive and melancholick so
soon wt as to fall in discourse of Mr. Douglas. He hes told me his mind of
him severall tymes, that he ever had a evill opinion of him; that he never
heard him pray in his tyme; all 16 month he was wt him, he was not 3 or 4
tymes at Quatre Piquet [the church],[141] and when he went it was to mock;
that he was a violent, passionate man; that he spak disdainefully of all
persones; that he took the place of all the other Scotsmen, that he had no
religion, wt a 100 sick like.

[141] Interlined.

Its in wery great use heir for the bridegroomes to give rich gifts to the
brides, especially amongs thess of condition; as a purse wt a 100 pistols
in it, and this she may dispose on as she pleaseth to put hir selfe bravely
in the faschion against hir marriage. We have heard of a conseillers sone
in Poictiers who gave in a burse 10000 livres in gold. Yet I am of the mind
that he would not have bein content if she had wared all this on hir
marriage cloaths and other things concerning it, as on bracelets and rings.
The parents also of the parties usually gives the new married folk gifts as
rich plenishing, silver work, and sicklike.

In parties appealls heir from a inferior to a superior, if it appear that
they ware justly condemned, and that they have wrongously and rashly
appealed, they condeime them unto a fine called heir Amende, which the
Judge temperes according to the ability of the persones and nature of the
businesse: the fine its converted ether to the use of the poor or the
repairing of the palais.

The Jurisdiction of thess they call Consuls in France is to decide
controversies arising betuixt marchand and marchand. Their power is such
that their sentence is wtout appeall, and they may ordaine him whom they
find in the wrong to execute the samen wtin the space of 24 howers, which
give they feill to do they may incarcerate them. Thus J. Ogilvie at

Even the wery papists heir punisheth greivously the sine of blasphemy and
horrid swearing. Mr. Daillé saw him selfe at Bordeaux a procureurs clerk
for his incorrigibleness in his horrid swearing after many reproofes get
his tongue boored thorow wt a hot iron.

The present bischop of Poictiers is a reasonable, learned man, they say. On
a tyme a preist came to gett collation from him, the bischop, according to
the custome, demanding of him if he know Latin, if he had learned his
Rhetorick, read his philosophy, studied the scooll Divinity and the Canon
Law, etc., the preist replied _quau copois_,[142], which in the Dialect of
bas Poictou (which differes from that they speak in Gascoigne, from that in
Limosin, from that in Bretagne, tho all 4 be but bastard French) signifies
_une peu_. The bischop thought it a very doulld[143] answer, and that he
bit to be but a ignorant fellow. He begines to try him on some of them, but
try him wheir he will he findes him better wersed then himselfe. Thus he
dismissed him wt a ample commendation; and severall preists, efter hearing
of this, when he demanded if they had studied sick and sick things, they
ware sure to reply _cacopois_. He never examined them further, crying, go
your wayes, go your wayes, they that answers _cacopois_ are weill

[142] Perhaps _quelque peu_.

[143] Stupid, from doule, a fool.

We have sein sewerall English Books translated in French, as the Practise
of Piety, the late kings [Greek: eikon basilikae], Sidneyes Arcadia, wt

We have sein the plume whilk they dry and make the plumdamy[144] of.

[144] Dried plum, prune.

The habit of the Carmelites is just opposite to that of the Jacobines,[145]
who goe wt a long white robe beneath and a black above. The Carmes wt a
black beneath and a white above. The Augustines are all in black, the
Fullions all in white.

[145] Jacobins, Dominicans, so called from the church of St. Jacques in
Paris, granted to the order, near which they built their convent.
The convent gave its name to the club of the Jacobins at the
French Revolution, which had its quarters there.

Its very rare to sy any of the women religious, they are so keipt up, yet
on a tyme as I was standing wt some others heir in the mouth of a litle
lane their came furth 2 nunnes, in the name of the rest, wt a litle box
demanding our charity. Each of us gave them something: the one of them was
not a lass of 20 years.

Mr. Daillé loves fisch dearly, and generally, I observe, that amongs 10
Frenchmen their sall be 9 that wil præfer fisch to flech, and thinks the
one much more delicat to the pallate then the other. The fisch they make
greatest cont of are that they call the sardine, which seimes to be our
sandell, and which we saw first at Saumur, and that they call _le solle_,
which differs not from our fluck[146] but seimes to be the same. The French
termes it _le perdrix de la mer_, the patridge of the sea, because as the
pertridge is the most delicious of birds, so it of fisches. Mr. Daillé and
his wife perceaving that we cared not for any sort of fisches, after they
would not have fisches once in the moneth.

[146] Flounder.

We cannot forget a story or 2 we have heard of Capuchines. On a tyme as a
Capuchin, as he was travelling to a certain village a little about a dayes
journy from Poictiers, he rencontred a gentlemen who was going to the same
place, whence they went on thegither. On their way they came to a little
brook, over which their was no dry passage, and which would take a man mid
leg. The Capuchin could easily overcome this difficulty for, being bare
legged, he had no more ado but to truce up his gowen and pass over; the
gentleman could not wt such ease, whence the Capucyn offers to carry him
over on his back. When he was in the mides of the burn the Capucyn demanded
him if he had any mony on him. The man, thinking to gratify the Capucyn,
replied that he had as much as would bear both their charges. Wheiron the
Capucyn replied, If so, then, Sir, I can carry you no further, for by the
institution of our order I can carry no mony, and wt that he did let him
fall wt a plasch in the mides of the burn. _Quoeritur_, whither he would
have spleeted[147] on the regular obedience of their order if he carried
the man having mony on him wholly throw the water.

[147] Split, spleeted on, departed from.

At another tyme a Capucyn travelling all alone fand a pistoll laying on the
way. On which arose a conflict betuixt the flesch and the spirit, that same
man as a Capuchin and as another man. On the one hand he reasoned that for
him to take it up it would be a mortell sine; on the other hand, that to
leive it was a folly, since their was nobody their to testify against him.
Yet he left it, and as he was a litle way from it the flesch prevailed, he
returned and took it up, but be a miracle it turned to a serpent in his
hand and bit him.

Enquiring on a tyme at Madame Daillé and others whow the murders perpetrate
by that fellow that lived at the port St. Lazare came to be discovered, I
was informed that after he had committed these villanies on marchands and
others for the space of 10 years and above, the house began to be hanted wt
apparitions and spirits, whence be thought it was tyme for him to quatte
it, so that he sould it for litle thing, and retired to the country
himselfe. He that had bought the house amongs others reformations he was
making on it, he was causing lay a underseller wt stone, whilk while they
are digging to do, they find dead bodies, which breeds suspicion of the
truthe, wheirupon they apprehend him who, after a fainte deniall, confesses
it; and as they are carrieing him to Paris to receave condigne punishment,
they not garding him weell, some sayes he put handes in himselfe, others
that his complices in the crime, fearing that he might discover them, to
prevent it they layd wait for him and made him away by the way, for dead
folk speaks none.

On the 22 of Septembre 1665 parted from this for Paris 4 of our society,
Mr. Patrick, David and Alex'r Humes, wt Colinton. We 3 that ware left
behind hired horses and put them the lenth of Bonnévette, 3 leagues from
Poictiers (it was built by admiral Chabot[148] in Francis the firsts time,
and he is designed in the story Admirall de Bonnivette). By this we bothe
gratified our commorades and stanched our oune curiosity we had to sie that
house. It's its fatality to stand unfinished; by reason of whilk together
wt its lack of furniture it infinitly comes short of Richelieu. It may be
it may yeeld nothing to it in its bastiments, for its all built of a brave
stone, veill cut, which gives a lustre to the exterior. Yet we discovered
the building many wayes irregular, as in its chimlies, 4 on the one side
and but 3 on the other. That same irregularity was to found in the vindows.
In that which theirs up of it theirs roome to lodge a king and his palace.
Al the chambres are dismantled, wtout plenishing save only one in which we
fand som wery weill done pictures, as the present Kings wt the Queens,
Cardinal Mazarin's (who was a Sicilian, a hatmakers sone) and others. The
thing we most noticed heir was a magnifick stair or trumpket most curiously
done, and wt a great deall of artifice, wt great steps of cut stone, the
lenth of which I measured and fand 20 foot. I saw also a very pretty
spatious hall, which made us notice it, and particularly Colinton, who told
me that Colinton hous had not a hall that was worth, whence he would take
the pattern of that. We fand it thre score 12 foot long, and iust the halfe
of it broad, thats to say 36. Above the chimly of the roome are written in
a large broad the 10 commandements.

[148] Philippe de Chabot, amiral de Brion. Guillaume Gouffier, amiral
da Bonnivet, was another of Francis I's admirals.

Heir we bade adieu to our commorads, they forward to Micbo that night, 2
leagues beyond Bonnevette, to morrow being to dine at Richelieu and lay at
Loudun; we back to Poictiers.

Its like that we on their intreaties had gone forward to Richelieu if we
had bein weill monted; but seing us all 3 so ill monted it minded us of
that profane, debaucht beschop Lesly, who the last tyme the bischops ware
in Scotland (when Spootswood was Archbischop) was bischop of the Isles. He
on a tyme riding with the King from Stirveling to Edinburgh he was wery ill
monted, so that he did nothing but curse wtin him selfe all the way. A
gentleman of the company coming up to him, and seing him wt a wery
discontented, ill looking countenance demanded, Whow is it, whow goes it wt
you, my Lord? He answered, Was not the Dewill a fooll man, was he not a
fooll? The other demanding wheirin, he replied, If he had but sett Job on
the horse I am on, he had cursed God to his face. Let any man read his
thoughts from that.

The richness of France is not much to be wondred at, since to lay asyde the
great cities wt their trafficks, as Tours in silkes. Bordeaux wt Holland
wares of all sorts, Marseilles wt all that the Levant affordes, etc., their
is not such a pitty city in France which hath not its propre traffick as
Partenay[149] in its stuffes, Chatteleraut in its oil of olives, its
plumdamies and other commodities which, by its river of Vienne, it impartes
to all places that standes on the Loier.

[149] A town in Poitou.

In France heir they know not that distinction our Civil Law makes betuixt
Tutors and Curators, for they call all curators, of which tho they have a
distinction, which agries weill wt the Civil Law, for these that are given
to on wtin the age of 14 they call _curateurs au persones et biens_, which
are really the Justinianean tutors who are given _principaliter ad tuendam
personam pupilli_ and _consequenter tantum res_; thes that [are] given to
them that are past their 14, but wtin their 25, they call _curateurs du
causes_, consequentialy to that, _quod curatores certoe rei vel causoe dari
possunt_, and wtout the auctority of thir the minors can do nothing, which
tends any wayes to. the deteriorating their estat, as selling, woodsetting
or any wayes alienating.

What concernes the consent of parents in the marriage of their children,
the French law ordaines that a man wtin the age of 28, a woman wtin 25 sall
not have the power of disposing themselfes in marriage wtout the consent of
their parents. If they be past this age, and their parents wil not yet
dispose of them, then and in that case at the instance of the Judge, and
his auctority interveening they may marry tho their parents oppose.

When the friends of a pupil or minor meits to choose him a curator, by the
law of France they are responsible to the pupill if ether the party nominat
be unfitting, or behave himself fraudulently and do damnage, and be found
to be not _solvendo_.

At Bourges in Berry theirs no church of the religion, since, notwtstanding
its a considerable toune, their are none of the religion their, but one
family, consisting of a old woman and hir 2 daughters, both whores; the one
of them on hir deathbed turned Catholick when Mr. Grahame was their.

Its a very pleasant place they say, situate on a river just like the Clin
heir; they call it the Endre.

Heir taught the renouned Cuiacius,[150] whom they call their yet[151] but a
drunken fellow. His daughter was the arrantest whore in Bourges. Its not
above 4 or 5 years since she died, whence I coniecture she might be comed
to good years or she died.

[150] Jacques Cujas, eminent jurist, 1522-1590.

[151] i.e. 'still speak of there as.'

This university is famous for many others learned men, as Douell,[152]
Hotoman,[153] Duarene,[154] Vulteius, etc.

[152] Possibly Douat, author of _Une centaines d'anagrammes_.
Paris, 1647.

[153] Francois Hotman, celebrated jurist, 1524-1590.

[154] Francois Duaren, jurist, 1509-1559.

The posterity of the poor Waldenses are to be sein stil in Piedmont,
Merindol, and the rest of Savoy, as also of the Albigenses in Carcasson,
Beziers and other places of Narbon. They are never 10 years in quietness
and eas wtout some persecution stirred against, whence they are so stript
of all their goods and being that they are necessitate to implore almes of
the protestant churches of France. About 12 years ago a contribution was
gathered for them, which amounted to neir 400,000 livres, which was not

The principall trafick of Geneva is in all goldsmiths work. The best
_montres_ of France are made their, so that in all places of France they
demand Geneva _montres_, and strangers if they come to Geneva they buy
usually 3 or 4 to distribute amongs their friends when their are at home.

In the mor southren provences of France to my admiration I fand they had
and eated upright[155] cheries 2 tymes of the year, end of May and
beginning of June, a little after which they are ordinar wt ourselfes, and
also again in Octobre. On a day at the beginning of that moneth at dinner
Mr. Daillé profered to make me eat of novelties, wheiron he demanded me
what fruits I eated in the beginning of the year. I replied I had eaten
asparagus, cherries and strawberries. You sall eat of cherries yet, said
he, and wt that we got a plate full of parfait cherries, tho they had not
so natural a tast as the others, by reason of the cold season, and the want
of warmness which the others enioy. They had bein but gathered that same
day; they are a sort of bigaro;[156] when the others are ripe they are not
yet flourished.

[155] Perhaps standard. Compare 'upright bur,' Jamieson's _Dict_.

[156] Bigarade is a bitter orange. This may mean a bitter cherry.

The most usuall names that women are baptized wt heir be Elizabeth,
Radegonde, Susanne, Marguerite and Madleine. The familiar denomination they
give the Elizabeths is babie, thus they call J. Ogilvies daughter at
Orleans; that for Marguerite is Gotton, thus they call Madame Daillé and
hir litle daughter. Thess of the religion, usually gives ther daughters
names out of the bible, as Sarah, Rachel, Leah, etc. They have also a way
of deducing women names out of the mens, as from Charles, Charlotte, from
Lowis, Lowisse, from Paul, Pauline, from Jean, Jeane. Thir be much more
frequent amongs the baser sort then the gentility, just as it is wt the
names of Bessie, Barbary, Alison and others wt us.

A camel or Dromedary would be as much gazed on in France for strangers as
they would be in Scotland. In Italy they have some, but few, for they are
properly Asiatick wares, doing as much service to the Persian, Arabian and
others Oriental nations acknowledging the great Tartar chain as the silly,
dul asse and the strong, robust mule does to the French. The camel,
according to report indeniable, because a tall, hy beast it most couch and
lay doune on its forward feet to receave its burden, which if it find to
heavy it wil not stir til they ease it of some of it; if it find it
portable it recoveres its feet immediatly.

There comes severall Jewes to France, especially as professing physick, in
which usually they are profondly skilled. Mr. Daillé know on that turned
protestant at Loudun. Another, a very learned man, who turned Catholik at
Montpeliers, who a year after observing a great nombre of peaple that lived
very devotly and honestly, that ioined not wt the Church of Rome, having
informed himself of the protestants beleife, he became of the Religion,
publishing a manifesto or Apology wheirin he professes the main thing whey
he quites the Catholick religion for is because he can never liberate their
tennet wheirby they teach that we most really and carnally eat our God in
the Sacrament, from uniustice, absurdity and implication.[157]

[157] Implication perhaps means confusion of ideas.

The Laws of Spaine, as also of Portugal, strikes wery sore against Jewes
that will not turne Christians, to wit, to burning them quick, which hath
bein practicate sewerall tymes. On the other hand a Jew thats Christian if
at Constantinople he is wery fair to be brunt also. Whence may be read
Gods heavy judgement following that cursed nation. Yet Holland, that sink
of all religions, permits them their synagogues and the publick excercise
of their religion. They rigorously observe their sabath, our Saturdy, so
that they make ready no meat on that day. If the wind sould blow of their
hat they almost judge it a sin and a breach of the sabath to follow it and
take it up. Their was a Jew wt us in the 1662 year of God that professed at
least to turne Christian, and communicated in the Abby Church.

We may deservedly say, _omnia sunt venalia Gallis_, for what art their not
but its to be sold publickly. Not so much as rosted aples ready drest,
_chastans_,[158] _poirs_, rosted geese cut unto its percels, but they are
crieng publicklie, and really I looked upon it as a wery good custome, for
he that ether cannot or wil not buy a whole goose he'el buy it may be a

[158] Chestnuts.

The prices of their meats waries according to the tymes of the year. The
ordinars of some we have already mentioned; for a capon they wil get whiles
20 sous, whiles but 14 or 12.

Theirs a fellow also that goes wt a barrel of vinegar on his back, crieng
it thorow the toune; another in that same posture fresch oil, others
moustard, others wt a maille[159] to cleave wood, also poor women wt their
asses loadened wt 2 barrels of water crying, _Il y a l'eau fresche_. At
Paris its fellows that carryes 2 buckets tied to a ordinar punchion
gir,[160] wtin which they march crieng _de l'eau_, which seimed a litle
strange to us at first, we not crying it so at home. Also theirs to be
heard women wt a great web of linnen on their shoulder, a el[161] wand in
their hand, crieng their fine _toile_. Theirs also poor fellows that goes
up and doune wt their hurle barrows in which they carrie their sharping
stone to sharp axes or gullies to any bodie that employes him.

[159] Mell, mallet, beetle.

[160] Hoop.

[161] An el.

Their came a Charlatan or Mountebanck to Poictiers the Septembre we was

Online LibrarySir John LauderPublications of the Scottish History Society, Volume 36 Journals of Sir John Lauder Lord Fountainhall with His Observations on Public Affairs and Other Memoranda 1665-1676 → online text (page 10 of 36)