Forgot your password?  

Resources for students & teachers

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.
you are not acquainted with Sir Thomas Gascoyne, a gentleman of fashion, well known in England, and now in the same auberge with you.”  I confessed that I had seen, and conversed with Sir Thomas Gascoyne there, and that it was very true, he was to me, and I to him, utter strangers; but I observed, that Sir Thomas had been ten years upon his travels, and that I had lived fourteen years in retirement before he set out, and therefore that was but a weak circumstance of my being an impostor; I observed too, that impostors travelled singly, not with a wife and children; and that though I by no means wished to force his money out of his pocket, I coveted much to remove all suspicions of my being an adventurer, for many obvious reasons.  This reply opened a glimpse of generosity, though sullied with arrogance and pride.  “I should be sorry (said he) to see a countryman, who is an honest man, in want of money; and therefore, as I think it is probable you are Mr. Thicknesse, I will, when you want your note changed, change it;” adding, however, that “he thanked God! if he lost the money, he could afford it.”  I then told him, he had put it in my power to convince him I was Mr. Thicknesse, by declining, as I did, the boon he offered me; I declined it, indeed, with an honest indignation, because I am sure he did not doubt my being Mr. Thicknesse, and that he, not I, was the REAL PRETENDER.  I had before told him, that I had some letters in my pocket written by a Spanish Gentleman of fashion, whose hand-writing must be well known in that town;—­but to this he observed, that there was not a Moor in Spain who could not write Spanish;—­he further remarked, that if I was Mr. Thicknesse, I had, in a publication of my travels, spoke of Sir John Lambert, a Parisian Banker, in very unhandsome terms, and, for aught he knew, I might take the same liberty with his name, in future.  I acknowledged that his charge was very true, and that his suggestion might be so; that I should always speak and publish such truths as I thought proper, either for the information of others, or the satisfaction of myself.  Mr. Wombwell, however, acknowledged, that Mr. Curtoys, to whom I shewed Lord Rochford’s letter to me, ought to have been quite satisfied whether I was, or was not an impostor; but I still left him under real or pretended doubts, with a resolution to live upon bread and water, or the bounty of a taylor, my honest landlord; for, tho’ a Spaniard, I am sure he had that perception, and that humanity too, which Mess.  Curtoys and Wombwell have not, or artfully concealed from me:  yet, in spite of all the unkind behaviour of the latter, I could not help shewing him my share of vanity too; I therefore sent him a letter, and enclosed therein others written to me by the late Lord Holland, the Duke of Richmond, Lord Oxford, and many other people of rank; and desired him to give me credit, at least, for that which he could lose nothing by—­that of my being, if I was an impostor, an ingenuous one.  He sent the letters, handsomely sealed up, back again, without any answer; and there finished for ever, our correspondence, unless he should renew it.

Follow Us on Facebook