Be careful that your sheets are well aired, otherwise you will find them often, not only damp, but perfectly wet.—Frenchmen in general do not consider wet or damp sheets dangerous, I am sure French Aubergistes do not.
Young men who travel into France with a view of gaining the language, should always eat at the table d’Hote.—There is generally at these tables, an officer, or a priest, and though there may be none but people of a middling degree, they will shew every kind of attention and preference to a stranger.
It is necessary to carry your own pillows with you; in some inns they have them; but in villages, bourgs, &c. none are to be had.
In the wine provinces, at all the table d’Hotes, they always provide the common wine, as we do small beer; wine is never paid for separately, unless it is of a quality above the vin du Pays; and when you call for better, know the price before you drink it.
When fine cambrick handkerchiefs, &c. are given to be washed, take care they are not trimmed round two inches narrower, to make borders to Madame la Blanchisseuse’s night caps: this is a little douceur which they think themselves entitled to, from my Lord Anglois, whom they are sure is tres riche, and consequently ought to be plundered by the poor.
Whenever you want honest information, get it from a French officer, or a priest, provided they are on the wrong side of forty; but in general, avoid all acquaintance with either, on the right side of thirty.
Where you propose to stay any time, be very cautious with whom you make an acquaintance, as there are always a number of officious forward Frenchmen, and English adventurers, ready to offer you their services, from whom you will find it very difficult to disengage yourself, after you have found more agreeable company.—Frenchmen of real fashion, are very circumspect, and will not fall in love with you at first sight; but a designing knave will exercise every species of flattery, in order to fix himself upon you for his dinner, or what else he can get, and will be with you before you are up, and after you are in bed.
Wherever there is any cabinet of curiosities, medals, pictures, &c. to be seen, never make any scruple to send a card, desiring permission to view them; the request is flattering to a Frenchman, and you will never be refused; and besides this you will in all probability thereby gain a valuable acquaintance.—It is generally men of sense and philosophy, who make such collections, and you will find the collector of them, perhaps, the most pleasing part of the cabinet.