Ere the soil is poor!-- "From Ormes, (near Chatellerault), as far as
Poitiers," writes a lady, "there is a good deal of ground which
brings in nothing, and from Poitiers to my residence (in Limousin)
25,000 arpents of ground consist wholly of heath and sea-grass. The
peasantry live on rye, of which they do not remove the bran, and which
is as black and heavy as lead.--In Poitou, and here, they plow up only
the skin of the ground with a miserable little plow without wheels. . .
From Poitiers to Montmorillon it is nine leagues, equal to sixteen of
Paris, and I assure you that I have seen but four men on the road, and,
between Montmorillon and my own house, which is four leagues, but three;
and then only at a distance, not having met one on the road. You need
not be surprised at this in such a country. . . Marriage takes place as
early as with the grand seigniors," doubtless for fear of the militia.
"But the population of the country is no greater because almost every
infant dies. Mothers having scarcely any milk, their infan