DEDICATORY LETTER TO M. ARETZ, TAILOR, ETC. 27, RUE RICHELIEU, PARIS.
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,M. A. TITMARSH. ADVERTISEMENT TO THE FIRST EDITION.
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.
AN INVASION OF FRANCE.
"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....