450J  LISTER, Martin (1638?-1712)

A Journey To Paris In The Year 1698

London: printed for Jacob Tonson at the Judges-Head near the Inner-Temple-Gate in Fleetstreet, and at Gray’s-Inn-Gate in Gray’s-Inn-Lane , 1699.                 $1,800

Octavo  7 ½ x 4 ¾ inches  A4, B-QR4 or [6],248pp, with 6 plates (3 folding) with the 3pp. of advertisements bound in. Second Edition.   A very good example, occasional light toning, else a clean, crisp copy in handsome period binding. With a later gold stamp of Saint Pauls School.{NH} dated C G fund 1893 the award book plate for the Valpey Prize June/6/1933 to Charles Tiffany Richardson (12 May 1880–31 July 1967) [RICHARDSON–Charles Tiffany of Glen Cove, formerly of Lattingtown, LI and Greenwich, CT on July 11, 2003 age 86. Class of 1935 Saint Paul’s School, Concord, NH, class of 1939 Harvard graduate, Phi Beta Kappa, WWII Captain US Navy. Former partner of Auerbach, Pollack and Richardson in Panama.]

As well as two earlier signatures on the title page, Robert Throckmorton, 3rd Baronet of Coughton (1662-1720) and Bibli Neston Mostlike the Library of William Fermor, 1st Baron Leominster (1648–1711)

  This is an account of the author’s travels to Paris, overflowing with observations of natural history collections, estates and libraries of Parisian society and commentary on science, art, food, wine, medicine, and more.      “Late in 1697, William Bentinck, Lord Portland, was sent on a diplomatic mission to Paris, and Lister accompanied him as physician. His duties left him ample time to meet and talk with other intellectuals, to see their collections and gardens, and to explore the city. He was there for six months and shortly after his return published A Journey to Paris in the Year 1698 (1699). The book ran to three editions within a year, but was lampooned by William King for its supposed triviality. In fact, it is a unique first-hand account of Parisian scientific society, and a useful description of the city and its life.” (ODNB) 

Wing L-2526, see also Waller 19912; Welcome III, 529; Osler 3252; Dawson 4304; Manchester 1488; Cushing L300.

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But why do you trouble us with a Journey to Paris, a place so well known to every body here? For very good Reason, to spare the often telling my Tale at my return. But we know al∣ready all you can say, or can read it in the Present State of France, and Description of Paris; two Books to be had in every Shop in London; ‘Tis right, so you may; and I advise you not to neglect them, if you have a mind to judge well of the Grandeur of the Court of France, and the immense Greatness of the City of Paris. These were Spectacles I did in∣deed put on, but I found they did not fit my sight, I had a mind to see with∣out them; and in Matters of this Na∣ture, as vast Cities and vast Palaces, I did not care much to use Microscopes or Mag∣nifying Glasses.

                                        AMERICAN NATURAL HISTORY 

On Page 72 

Lister writes “I was not better pleased with any Visit I made, than with that of F. Plumier, whom I found in his Cell in the Con∣vent of the Minimes. He came home in the Sieur Ponti’s Squadron, and brought with him several Books in Folio of Designs and Paintings of Plants, Birds, Fishes, and Infects of the West-Indies; all done by himself very accurately. He is a very understanding Man in several parts of Natural History, but especially in Bota∣nique. he had been formerly in America, at his return Printed, at the King’s Charge, a Book of American Plants in Folio. This Book was so well approved of, that he was sent again thither at the King’s Charge, and returned after several years

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wandring about the Islands with this Cargo. He was more than once Ship∣wrackt, and lost his Specimens of all things, but preserved his Papers, as ha∣ving fortunately lodged them in other Ves∣sels; so that the things themselves I did not see. He had designed and Dissected a Crocodile; one of the Sea Tortoises; a Viper, and well described the Dissecti∣ons.

His Birds also were well understood, and very well painted in their proper colours. I took notice of 3 sorts of Owles, one with Horns, all distinct Species from our European. Several of the Hawk Kind and Falcons of very beautiful Plumage; and one of those, which was Coal black as a Raven. Also (which I longed to see) there was one Species of the Swallow Kind, very distinct from the 4 Species we have in Europe.

Amongst the Fish there were two new Species of American Trouts, well known by the Fleshy Fin near the Tail.

Amongst the Insects there was a Scolo∣pendra of a foot and an half long, and proportionably broad.

Amongst other things, I saw there a large Dictionary and Grammar of the

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Algonquin Tongue, one of the Nations of the West-Indies. The Fugitive Jesuit, who writ it, dwelt amongst them 20 years. Here it also saw a History, with large and accurate Descriptions of the Quadrupeds of that part of the West-Indies by the same Author.


Until the Nature of the Effluvia is bet∣ter known, no very satisfactory Account can be given of the most common Phoe∣nomena of the Loadstone, ex. gr. why it does not draw to it all Bodies alike? why a great Loadstone, though weak, extends its vertue much farther, than a small one, though strong? Why a Load∣stone communicates its vertue to Iron, as soon as it touches it, nay even at some distance, and gives it the properties of a Loadstone.

The Truth is, the Earth’s being a great Magnet seems to me a meer Vision and Fable; for this reason, because it is not Iron. ‘Tis true, Iron Mine is the most common of all Minerals, and found al∣most in all places; but it holds not any proportion with the rest of the Fossils of  

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the Earth; and is not, at a guess, as a million to other Fossils; This seems evi∣dent to any one, who has well consider∣ed the Chalky Mountains and Cliffs, the high Rag-stone Mountains and Lime Stone Cliffs, the several Quarries and Pits sunk in∣to the Bowels of the Earth for Coal, and Lead, &c. how little Iron there is to be found in comparison of other Matters. Add to this, that very little of that very Iron Mine, which is to be found any where, is Magnetick, or capable of obe∣dience to the Magnet, till it is calcined: Whence therefore should all those Magne∣tick Effluvia arise, which are supposed every where plentifully to incompass the Earth? And why should they be sup∣posed to be every where wandring in the Air, since ’tis evident, they make haste to return to the Stone that emitted them, and are as afraid to leave it, as the Child the Mother before it can go?….

Here are many of this Species. Also other large Turbinated Stones, which come near some of the West-India Kinds of Mu∣sic Shells, of which Genus yet there are none in the European Seas.

These Layers of Stone mixt with Shell-figured bodies, are at certain distances in the Rock, and other Rocks void of Shells interposed.

Fanciful Men may think what they please of this matter; sure I am, until the History of Nature, and more parti∣cularly that of Minerals and Fossils is better lookt into, and more accurately distinguisht, all Reasoning is in vain. It is to be observed, where Men are most in the dark, there Impudence reigns most, as upon this Subject: They are not con∣tent fairly to dissent, but to insult every body else. In like manner upon the Sub∣ject of Mineral Waters; How many Scriblers have there been, without any knowledge of Fossils?


*The Disease of the Dysentery being one of the most common in Paris,*the most celebrated Drug for its cure is now the Hypopecouana; though I never once made use of it to any of our People, but cured them all as soon, and as well with our usual Remedies. Indeed they have great need of it here, for the poorer sort of People, through ill Diet, this Wa∣ter, and Herbs, are very subject to it; This Root is said to cure it with as much certainty, and as readily, as the Jesuits Powder an Ague; Of this most of the Physicians and Apothecaries agreed. They give it in Powder from 10 grains to 40, which is the largest Dose. It most commonly Vomits, and sometimes Purges, but both gently. ‘Tis sold here from 20 to 50 Crowns a Pound. They divide it into 4 sorts, according to its goodness.

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*Another popular Disease here is the Stone; and there are Men well practised in the Cutting for it. There are also two Hospitals, where great numbers are cut yearly, as La Charite, and Hostel-Dieu, in both of these there are Wired Chests full of Stones cut from Human Bodies; and in the Chest of La Charite is one, which exceeds all belief; it was cut from a Monk, who died in the very Operation; it is as big as a Childs Head. It is but the Mo∣del or Patern of the Stone which is kept in the Chest; which has this Inscription on it.  

Figure & grosseur de la pierre, pesant 51 ounces, qui font trois livres trois ounces, qui a esté tirée dans cet Hospital au mois de Juin 1690, & que l’ou conserve dans le couvent de la Charité.

But that which I shall here most insist upon is the new way, practised by Pere Jaques, a Monk. About the 20th of April he cut in the Hostel-Dieu 10 in less than an hours time: The 3d day after, all were hearty and without pain but one.

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He cuts both by the grand and little Appareil; in both he boldly thrusts in a broad Lancet or Stilleto into the middle of the Muscle of the Thigh near the Anus, till he joins the Catheter or Staff, or the Stone betwixt his Fingers; then he wi∣dens the incision of the Blader in pro∣portion to the Stone with a Silver Oval Hoop; if that will not do, he thrusts in his 4 Fingers, and tears it wider; then with the Ducks Bill he draws it out.

I see him cut a second time in the Ho∣stel-Dieu; and he performed it upon 9 Persons in 3 quarters of an hour, very dexterously. He seemed to venture at all; and put me into some disorder with the cruelty of the Operation; and a stouter Englishman than my self. How∣ever I visited them all in their Beds, and found them more amazed, than in pain.

Pere Jaques cut also his way in the other Hospital La Charite, much about the same time, 11 at twice. Here Monsieur Mar∣shal, the best of the Surgeons for this Operation now in Paris, harangu’d against him before the Governors, who coldly answered, they would be determined by the Event, which way was best.

                                                     FOOD & DRINK

The Wines follow, and Water to Drink.

*The Wines about Paris are very small, yet good in their Kind; those de Surene are excellent some years; but in all the Taverns they have a way to make them into the fashion of Champagne and Bur∣gundy.

The Tax upon Wines is now so great, that whereas before the War they drank them by Retail at 5d. the Quart, they now sell them at 15d. the Quart and dearer, which has inhansed the Rates of all Commodities, and Workmens Wages; and also has caused many thousand pri∣vate Families to lay in Wines in their Cellars at the cheapest hand, which used to have none before.

The Wines of Burgundy and Champagne are most valued; and indeed, not with∣out reason; for they are light and easie upon the Stomach, and give little distur∣bance to the Brain, if drawn from the Hogshead, or loose botled after their fashion.

The most esteemed are Vin de Bonne of Burgundy, a red Wine; which is Dolce Pi∣quante in some measure, to me it seemed the very best of Wine I met with.

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Volne, a pale Champagne, but exceed∣ing brisk upon the Palate. This is said to grow upon the very borders of Bur∣gundy, and to participate of the Excel∣lency of both Counties.

There is another sort of Wine, called Vin de Rheims, this is also a pale or gray Wine; it is harsh; as all Champagne Wines are.

The White Wines of value are those of Mascon in Burgundy.

Mulso in Champagne, a small and not unpleasant White Wine.

Chabri is a quick and sharp White Wine well esteemed.

In March I tasted the White Wines called Condrieu, and d’Arbois, but found them both in the Must, thick and white as our Wines use to be, when they first come from the Canaries; very sweet, and yet not without a grateful flavour; they clear towards Summer, and abate much of the flavour and sweet taste. Those Wines thus in the Must are called in the Prints Vin des Liqueurs.

There is a preparation or rather stif∣ling of the White Wine in the Must, used in Burgundy and elsewhere, which they call Vin Bouru; it gives a sweet taste, and it is foul to the Eye; those also are called Vin des Liqueurs. This is only drunk a Glass

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in a morning, as an equivalent to Brandy.

Vin de Turene en Anjou of two years old, was one of the best White Wines I drunk in Paris.

Gannetin from Dauphine: This is a very pale and thin White Wine, very like the Verde of Florence, sweet, and of a very pleasant flavour, especially while it is Des Liqueurs.

The Red Wines of Burgundy, Des qua∣tres feuilles, as they say, or of 4 years old, are rare, but they are esteemed much more wholesom, and are permitted to the Sick, in some cases, to drink of; they are fine, and have a rough, but sound taste; not prickt, as I expected. This Term Des quatre feuilles, is used also to Volne, or any other sort of Wine which is kept any time.

There are also in esteem stronger Wines at Paris, as Camp de Perdris.

Coste Bruslee, both Red Wines from Dauphine, of very good taste, and hot upon the Stomach.

De l’Hermitage upon the Rosne.

But the most excellent Wines for strength and flavour are the Red and White St. Laurence, a Town betwixt Tou∣lon and Nice in Provence. This is a most delicious Muscat. These are of those sorts

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of Wines, which the Romans called Vinum passum, that were made of half Sun dried Grapes: for the Grapes (especially the White Muscadine Grapes) being usually sooner ripe, than the common Grapes of the Country, called Esperan, viz. the lat∣ter end of August, (as I have seen them in the Vintage at Vic, Mirabel, and Fron∣tiniac, 3 Towns near the Sea in Langue∣doc, where this sort of Wine is made) they twist the Bunches of Grapes, so breaking the Stalks of them, that they receive no longer any nourishment from the Vine, but hang down and dry in the then violently hot Sun, and are in few days almost turned into Raisins of the Sun; hence, from this insolation, the flavour of the Grape is exceedingly height∣ned, and the strength and oiliness, and thick Body of the Wine is mightily im∣proved. I think the Red St. Lauren was the most delicious Wine I ever tasted in my life.

Besides these, here are also the White Wines of Orleans, Bourdeaux Claret, and those Excellent Wines from Cahors: also Cabreton, White and Red, from about Bayone, strong and delicious Wines: and all sorts of Spanish Wines, as Sack, Palme, Mountaine Malaga, Red and White, She∣ries, and indeed the French are, of late,

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very desirous to drink of the strongest Wines.

These and many more sorts of Strong waters, and strong Wines, both of France and Italy and Spain, are wont to be brought in, at the latter end of the De∣sert in all great Feasts, and they drink freely of them; Which Custom is new: when I was formerly in France, I remem∣ber nothing of it. But it is the long War that has introduced them, the No∣bility and Gentry suffering much in those tedious Campagnes, applied them∣selves to these Liquors to support the Dif∣ficulties and Fatigues of Weather and Watchings; and at their return to Paris, introduced them to their Tables. Sure I am, the Parisians, both Men and Wo∣men, are strangely altered in their Con∣stitutions and Habit of Body; from lean and slender, they are become fat and corpulent, the Women especially: Which, in my Opinion, can proceed from nothing so much as the daily drinking strong Liquors.

*Add to these Drinks the daily use of Coffee with Sugar, Tea and Chocolate, which now is as much in use in Private Houses in Paris, as with us in London: And these Sugar’d Liquors also add con∣siderably to their Corpulency.

I must not forget, that amongst the Drinks that are in use in Paris, Cyder from Normandy is one. The best I drank of that Kind, was of the colour of Cla∣ret, reddish or brown; The Apple, that it was made of, was called Frequins, which is round and yellow, but so bitter, that it is not to be eaten; and yet the Cyder that is made of it, is as sweet as any new Wine. It keeps many years good, and mends of its colour and taste. I drank it often at a Private House of a Norman Gentleman, of whose Growth it was; otherwise, if I had not have to the contrary, I could not have believed, but that it had been mixt with Sugar.

There are also very many publick Coffee-houses, where Tea also and Choco∣late may be had, and all the Strongwa∣ters and Wine above-mentioned; and innumerable Alehouses. I wonder at the great change of this Sober Nation, in this particular; but Luxury like a Whirlpool draws into it the Extravagances of other People.

‘Twas Necessity, and the want of Wine, (either naturally, as in a great part of Persia and the Indies; or from their Re∣ligion,

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as in Turkey,) that put Men upon the invention of those Liquors of Coffee and Tea: Chocalate, indeed, was found out by the poor starved Indians, as Ale was with us. But what else but a Wan∣ton Luxury could dispose these People, who abound in Excellent Wines, the most cordial and generous of all Drinks, to ape the necessity of others.

Mighty things, indeed, are said of these Drinks, according to the Humour and Fancy of the Drinkers. I rather be∣lieve they are permitted by Gods Provi∣dence for the lessening the number of Mankind by shortning Life, as a sort of silent Plague. Those that plead for Cho∣colate, say, it gives them a good Sto∣mach, if taken two hours before Dinner. Right! who doubts it? you say you are much more hungry having drunk Cho∣colate, than you had been if you had drunk none; that is, your Stomach is faint, craving and feels hollow and empty, and you cannot stay long for your Dinner. Things that pass thus soon out of the Stomach, I suspect are little welcome there, and Nature makes haste to get shut of them. There are many things of this sort which impose upon us by procuring a false hunger.