Essays Of Travel, By Robert Louis Stevenson


































































































 -   He certainly has claims to be considered the
most remarkable spendthrift on record.  How he set about it, in a - Page 190
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He Certainly Has Claims To Be Considered The Most Remarkable Spendthrift On Record.

How he set about it, in a place where there are no luxuries for sale, and where the board at the best inn comes to little more than a shilling a day, is a problem for the wise.

His son, ruined as the family was, went as far as Paris to sow his wild oats; and so the cases of father and son mark an epoch in the history of centralisation in France. Not until the latter had got into the train was the work of Richelieu complete.

It is a people of lace-makers. The women sit in the streets by groups of five or six; and the noise of the bobbins is audible from one group to another. Now and then you will hear one woman clattering off prayers for the edification of the others at their work. They wear gaudy shawls, white caps with a gay ribbon about the head, and sometimes a black felt brigand hat above the cap; and so they give the street colour and brightness and a foreign air. A while ago, when England largely supplied herself from this district with the lace called torchon, it was not unusual to earn five francs a day; and five francs in Monastier is worth a pound in London. Now, from a change in the market, it takes a clever and industrious work-woman to earn from three to four in the week, or less than an eighth of what she made easily a few years ago.

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