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The Paris Sketch Book of Mr. M. A. Titmarsh   By: (1811-1863)

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By William Makepeace Thackeray

Estes And Lauriat, Boston, Publishers



An Invasion of France

A Caution to Travellers

The Fêtes of July

On the French School of Painting

The Painter's Bargain


On some French Fashionable Novels

A Gambler's Death

Napoleon and his System

The Story of Mary Ancel

Beatrice Merger

Caricatures and Lithography in Paris

Little Poinsinet

The Devil's Wager

Madame Sand and the new Apocalypse

The Case of Peytel

Four Imitations of Béranger

French Dramas and Melodramas

Meditations at Versailles





SIR, It becomes every man in his station to acknowledge and praise virtue wheresoever he may find it, and to point it out for the admiration and example of his fellow men.

Some months since, when you presented to the writer of these pages a small account for coats and pantaloons manufactured by you, and when you were met by a statement from your creditor, that an immediate settlement of your bill would be extremely inconvenient to him; your reply was, "Mon Dieu, Sir, let not that annoy you; if you want money, as a gentleman often does in a strange country, I have a thousand franc note at my house which is quite at your service."

History or experience, Sir, makes us acquainted with so few actions that can be compared to yours, an offer like this from a stranger and a tailor seems to me so astonishing, that you must pardon me for thus making your virtue public, and acquainting the English nation with your merit and your name. Let me add, Sir, that you live on the first floor; that your clothes and fit are excellent, and your charges moderate and just; and, as a humble tribute of my admiration, permit me to lay these volumes at your feet.

Your obliged, faithful servant,



About half of the sketches in these volumes have already appeared in print, in various periodical works. A part of the text of one tale, and the plots of two others, have been borrowed from French originals; the other stories, which are, in the main, true, have been written upon facts and characters that came within the Author's observation during a residence in Paris.

As the remaining papers relate to public events which occurred during the same period, or to Parisian Art and Literature, he has ventured to give his publication the title which it bears.

LONDON, July 1, 1840.


"Caesar venit in Galliam summâ diligentiâ."

About twelve o'clock, just as the bell of the packet is tolling a farewell to London Bridge, and warning off the blackguard boys with the newspapers, who have been shoving Times, Herald, Penny Paul Pry, Penny Satirist, Flare up, and other abominations, into your face just as the bell has tolled, and the Jews, strangers, people taking leave of their families, and blackguard boys aforesaid, are making a rush for the narrow plank which conducts from the paddle box of the "Emerald" steamboat unto the quay you perceive, staggering down Thames Street, those two hackney coaches, for the arrival of which you have been praying, trembling, hoping, despairing, swearing sw , I beg your pardon, I believe the word is not used in polite company and transpiring, for the last half hour. Yes, at last, the two coaches draw near, and from thence an awful number of trunks, children, carpet bags, nursery maids, hat boxes, band boxes, bonnet boxes, desks, cloaks, and an affectionate wife, are discharged on the quay.

"Elizabeth, take care of Miss Jane," screams that worthy woman, who has been for a fortnight employed in getting this tremendous body of troops and baggage into marching order. "Hicks! Hicks! for heaven's sake mind the babies!" "George Edward, sir, if you go near that porter with the trunk, he will tumble down and kill you, you naughty boy! My love, DO take the cloaks and umbrellas, and give a hand to Fanny and Lucy; and I wish you would speak to the hackney coachmen, dear, they want fifteen shillings, and count the packages, love twenty seven packages, and bring little Flo; where's little Flo? Flo! Flo!" (Flo comes sneaking in; she has been speaking a few parting words to a one eyed terrier, that sneaks off similarly, landward... Continue reading book >>

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