I. Language. Money. Expenses. Season. Passports.
Language. For those who wish to derive instruction as well
as pleasure from a visit to Paris, the most attractive treasury of
art and industry in the world, some acquaintance with French is
indispensable. The metropolis of France, it is true, possesses Eng¬
lish hotels, English professional men, English 'valets de place',
and English shops; but the visitor who is dependent upon these is
necessarily deprived of many opportunities of becoming acquainted
with the most interesting characteristics of the place.
Monet. The decimal Monetary System of France is extremely
convenient in keeping accounts. The Banque de France issues
Banknotes of 5000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, and 50 francs, and
these are the only banknotes current in France. The French
Oold coins are of the value of 100, 50, 40, 20, 10, and 5 francs;
Silver coins of 5, 2, 1, and l/iiTa.nc; Bronze of 10, 5, 2, and
1 centime (100 centimes = 1 franc). 'Sou' is the old name, still
in common use, for 5 centimes; thus, a 5-franc piece is sometimes
called 'une piece de cent sous', 2 fr. = 40 sous, 1 fr. = 20 sous,
i/2 fr. = 10 sous. Italian, Belgian, Roumanian, and Swiss gold coins
are also received at their full value, and the Austrian gold pieces
of 4 and 8 florins are worth exactly 10 and 20 fr. respectively.
Belgian, Swiss, and Greek silver coins (except Swiss coins with the
seated figure of Helvetia) are also current at full value; but Italian
silver coins, with the exception of 5-lira pieces, should be refused.
The stranger should also be on his guard against counterfeit silver
coins, and should refuse obsolete coins such as those with heads of
Louis Philippe or of Napoleon without the laurel wreath. The only
foreign copper coins current in France are those of Italy, but others
are frequently accepted without demur.
English banknotes, gold, and even silver aTe generally received
at the full value. The table at the beginning of the book shows the
comparative value of the French, English, American, and German
currencies, when at par. The currency of Belgium, Switzerland,
Italy, and Greece is the same as that of France.
The traveller should always be provided with small change
(petite monnaie), as otherwise he may be put to inconvenience in
giving gratuities, purchasing catalogues, etc.
Expbnsbs. The cost of a visit to Paris depends of course
on the tastes and habits of the traveller. If he selects a hotel of a