I. Language. Money. Passports. Custom-House.
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
English 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 becom¬
ing acquainted with the most interesting characteristics of Paris.
Money. The decimal Monetary System of France is extreme¬
ly convenient in keeping accounts. The Banque de France
issues Banknotes of 5000, 1000, 500, 200, 100, 50, 25, 20, 10,
and 5 francs. The French Gold coins are of the value of 100,
50, 40, 20, 10, and 5 francs; Silver coins of 5, 2, 1, !/2, and '/5
franc; Copper of 10, 5, 2, and 1 centime (100 centimes =
1 franc). '<So«' is the old name, still in common use, for 5 cen¬
times; thus, a 5-franc piece is sometimes termed 'une piece de
cent sous', 2 fr. = 40 sous, 1 fr. = 20 sous, '/2 fr- = 10 sous.
Italian, Belgian, and Swiss gold and silver coins are also received
at their full value ; but the only foreign copper coins current in
France are those of Italy, and occasionally the English penny and
halfpenny, which nearly correspond to the 10 and 5 centime piece
English banknotes, gold, and even silver are generally received
at the full value, except at the shops of the money-changers,
where a trifling deduction is made. The table at the beginning of
the book shows the comparative value of the French, English, and
American currencies, when at par. The list of coins in circulation
in Germany will be acceptable to travellers bound for the Rhine.
The currency of Switzerland is the same as that of France.
Foreign bills of exchange on Paris, before being presented for
payment, must be furnished with a stamp of 5c. per 100 fr.. to be
procured at the Timbre National, Rue de la Banque 13, or at any of
the tobacconists' shops.