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Philip Thicknesse
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 140 pages of information about A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777.
which a thorough knowledge of Latin and Greek, combined even with father and mother’s wit, will not be sufficient to preserve him from, unless he is first shewn the manner in which they are set.  These traps are not made to catch the legs, but to ruin the fortunes and break the hearts of those who unfortunately step into them.  Their baits are artful, designing, wicked men, and profligate, abandoned, and prostitute women.  Paris abounds with them, as well as Lyons, and all the great towns between London and Rome; and are principally set to catch the young Englishman of fortune from the age of eighteen to five and twenty; and what is worse, an honest, sensible, generous young man, is always in most danger of setting his foot into them.  You suspect already, that these traps are made only of paper, and ivory, and that cards and dice are the destructive engines I mean.  Do you know that there are a set of men and women, in Paris and Lyons, who live elegantly by lying in wait and by catching every bird of passage?—­but particularly the English gold-finch.  I have seen and heard of such wicked artifices of these people, and the fatal consequences to the unfortunate young men they have ensnared, that I really think I could never enjoy a single hour of contentment, if I had a large fortune, while a son of mine was making what is called the tour of Europe.  The minute one of these young men arrive, either at Paris or Lyons, some laquais de place, who is paid for it, gives the earliest notice to one of the confederacy, and he is instantly way-laid by a French Marquis, or an English Chevalier d’Industrie, who, with a most insinuating address, makes him believe, he is no sooner arrived at Paris than he has found a sincere friend.  The Chevalier shews him what is most worthy of notice in Paris, attends him to Versailles and Marly, cautions him against being acquainted with the honest part of the French nation, and introduces him to the knaves only of his own and this country; carries him to see French Ladies of the first distinction, (and such who certainly live in that style) and makes the young man giddy with joy.  But alas! it is but a short-lived one!—­he is invited; to sup with the Countess; and is entertained not only voluptuously, but they play after supper, and he wins too.  What can be more delightful to a young man, in a strange country, than to be flattered by the French, courted by the English, entertained by the Countess, and cheered with success?—­Nay, he flatters himself, from the particular attention the Countess shews him, above all other men admitted to her toilet, that she has even some tendre for his person:—­just at this critical moment, a Toyman arrives, to shew Madame la Comtesse a new fashioned trinket; she likes it, but has not money enough in her pocket to pay for it:—­here is a fine opportunity to make
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