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.

Before I leave Calais, let me remind you, that an English guinea is worth more than a Louis d’or; and observe, that the first question my friend Mons. Dessein, at the Hotel D’Angleterre will put to you, (after he has made his bow, and given you a side look, as a cock does at a barley-corn) is, whether you have any guineas to change? because he gets by each guinea, full weight, ten Sols.  By this hint, you will conclude, he will not, upon your return, ask you for your French Gold; but in this too you will be mistaken, for he finds an advantage in that also; he will, not indeed give you guineas, but, in lieu thereof, he has always a large quantity of Birmingham Shillings, to truck with you for your Louis d’ors.  I am afraid, when Lord North took into consideration the state of the gold coin, he did not know, that the better state it is put into in England, is the surest means of transporting it into France, and other countries; and that scarce a single guinea which travellers carry with them to France, (and many hundred go every week) ever returns to England:  Beside this, the quantity of gold carried over to the ports of Dunkirk, Boulogne, and Calais, by the Smugglers, who always pay ready money, is incredible; but as money, and matters of that kind, are what I have but little concern in, I will not enlarge upon a subject no way interesting to me, and shall only observe, that my landlord, Mons. Dessein, who was behind-hand with the world ten years ago, is now become one of the richest men in Calais, has built a little Theatre in his garden, and has united the profitable business of a Banker, to that of a Publican; and by studying the Gout of the English nation, and changing their gold into French currency, has made, they say, a Demi Plumb.

Notwithstanding the contiguity of Calais to England, and the great quantity of poultry, vegetables, game, &c. which are bought up every market-day, and conveyed to your coast, I am inclined to believe, there are not many parts of France where a man, who has but little money, can make it go further than in this town; nor is there any town in England, where the fishery is conducted with so much industry.

Yesterday I visited my unfortunate daughter, at the convent at Ardres;—­but why do I say unfortunate?  She is unfortunate only, in the eyes of the world, not in her own; nor indeed in mine, because she assured me she is happy.  I left her here, you know, ten years ago, by way of education, and learning the language; but the small-pox, which seized her soon after, made such havock on a face, rather favoured by nature, that she desired to hide it from the world, and spend her life in that retirement, which I had chosen only to qualify her for the world.  I left her a child; I found her a sensible woman; full of affection and duty; and her mangled and seamed face, so softened by an easy mind, and

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