A Day Like This

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The Independent Online
26 April 1764 Leopold Mozart writes to a friend in Salzburg: 'Whoever has too much money should just take a journey from Paris to London, for his purse will certainly be lightened. We had the honour of spending four louis d'or in Calais. In Dover, it is even worse when you land - you find yourself surrounded by 30 to 40 people who are all 'your most obedient servant' who want to snatch your luggage from your own servants in order to carry it to the inn, after which they must be paid what they demand. My second servant was an Italian called Porta, who has done this journey eight times already - all my friends in Paris advised me to take him. It was a very good thing too, for he arranged everything well and did all the bargaining. In London everyone seems to me to be in fancy dress and you cannot imagine what my wife and my little girl look like in English hats.'