A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 eBook

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.
pictures were hung for sale, I walked in, and after examining them, and asking a few questions; but none that had the least tendency to want of decorum, the master of the shop turned to his wife, (a very pretty woman, and dressed even to a plumed head)—­shew Monsieur the little miniature, said he; she then opened a drawer and took out a book, (I think it was her mass-book) and brought me a picture, so indecent, that I defy the most debauched imagination to conceive any thing more so; yet she gave it me with a seeming decent face, and only observed that it was bien fait.  After examining it with more attention than I should, had I received it from the hands of her husband, I returned it to her prayer-book, made my bow, and was retiring; but the husband called to me, and said, he had a magazine hard by, where there was a very large collection of pictures of great value, and that his wife would attend me.  My curiosity was heightened in more respects than one:  I therefore accepted the offer, and was conducted up two pair of stairs in a house not far off, where I found a long suite of rooms, in which were a large number of pictures, and some, I believe, of great value.  But I was a little surprised on entering into the furthermost apartment, as that had in it an elegant chintz bed, the curtains of which were festooned, and the foliages held up by the paintings of two naked women, as large as life, and as indecent as nakedness could be painted; they were painted, and well painted too, on boards, and cut out in human shape; that at first I did not know whether I saw the shadow or the substance; however, as this room was covered with pictures, I began to examine them also, with the fair attendant at my elbow; but in the whole collection I do not remember there was one picture which would not have brought a blush in the face of an English Lady, even of the most easy virtue.  Yet, all this while, when I asked the price of the several parts and pieces, she answered me with a gravity of countenance, as if she attended me to sell her goods like other shopkeepers, and in the way of business; however, before I left the room, I could not, I thought, do less than ask her—­her own price.  She told me, she was worth nothing; and immediately invited me to take a peep through a convex glass at a picture which was laid under, on the table, for that purpose:—­it was a picture of so wicked a tendency, that the painter ought to have been put upon a pillory, and the exhibitor in the stocks.  The Lady observed to me again, that it was well painted; but, on the contrary, the only merit it had, was, being quite otherwise, I therefore told her, that the subject and idea only was good; the execution bad.

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A Year's Journey through France and Part of Spain, 1777 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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