It is a pity that pretty women, at least, do not know, that the simplicity of a Quaker’s head-dress, is superior to all that art can contrive: and those who remember the elegant Miss Fide, a woman of that persuasion, will subscribe to the truth of my assertion. And it is still a greater pity, that plain women do not know, that the more they adorn and artify their heads, the more conspicuous they make their natural defects.
At Challons sur la Soane, (for there is another town of the same name in Champaigne) I had the honor of a visit from Mons. le Baron Shortall, a gentleman of an ancient family, rather in distress at this time, by being kept out of six and thirty thousand a year, his legal property in Ireland; but as the Baron made his visit ala-mode de capuchin Friar, without knocking, and when only the female part of my family were in the apartment, he was dismissed rather abruptly for a man of his high rank and great fortune in expectation. This dismission, however, did not dismay him; he rallied again, with the reinforcement of Madame la Baroness, daughter, as he positively affirmed, of Mons. le Prince de Monaco; but as I had forbad his being shewn up, he desired me to come down, a summons curiosity induced me to obey. Never, surely, were two people of fashion in a more pitiable plight! he was in a russet brown black suit of cloaths; Madame la Baroness in much the same colour, wrapt up in a tattered black silk capuchin; and I knew not which to admire most, their folly or their impudence; for surely never did an adventurer set out with less capabilities about him; his whole story was so flagrant a fib, that in spite of the very respectable certificates of My Lord Mayor, John Wilkes, and Mr. Alderman Bull, I was obliged to tell him plainly, that I did not believe him to be a gentleman, nor his wife to be a relation of the Prince of Monaco. All this he took in good part, and then assured me they were both very hungry, and without meat or money; I therefore ordered a dinner at twenty sols a head; and, as I sat by while they eat it, I had reason to believe that he told me one plain truth, for in truth they eat as if they had never eaten before. After dinner the Baron did me the honour to consult with me how he should get down to Lyons? I recommended to him to proceed by water; but, said he, my dear Sir, I have no money;—an evil I did not chuse to redress; and, after several unsuccessful attempts at my purse, and some at my person,—he whispered me that even six livres would be acceptable; but I held out, and got off, by proposing that the Baroness should write a letter to the Prince her father, to whom I had the honour to be known, and that I would carry him the letter,