To meadows, woods, and fountains Our tender flocks I'll lead; In meads beneath the mountains My love shall see them feed.
Our simple narrow mansion Will suit our station well; There's room for heart expansion And peace and joy to dwell.
BABY D'ARBLAY. THE WITHDRAWN TRAGEDY.
(From Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney) Hermitage, Bookham, May 13, 1795. As you say, 'tis pity M. d'A. and his rib should have conceived such an antipathy to the petit monsieur! O if you could see him now! My mother would be satisfied, for his little cheeks are beginning to favour of the trumpeter's, and Esther would be satisfied, for he eats like an embryo alderman. He enters into all we think, say, mean, and wish ! His eyes are sure to sympathise in all our affairs and all our feelings. We find some kind reason for every smile he bestows upon us, and some generous and disinterested Motive for every grave look. Page 94
If he wants to be danced, we see he has discovered that his gaiety is exhilarating to us ; if he refuses to be moved, we take notice that he fears to fatigue us. If he will not be quieted without singing, we delight in his early got for les beaux arts. If he is immovable to all we can devise to divert him, we are edified by the grand sirieux of his dignity and philosophy: if he makes the house ring with loud acclaim because his food, at first call, does not come ready warm into his mouth, we hold up our hands with admiration at his vivacity.
Your conversation with Mr. Cumberland astonished me. I certainly think his experience of stage effect, and his interest with players, so important, as almost instantly to wish putting his sincerity to the proof. How has he got these two characters- -one, of Sir Fretful Plagiary, detesting all works but those he owns, and all authors but himself—the other, of a man too perfect even to know or conceive the vices of the world, such as he is painted by Goldsmith in "Retaliation?" And which of these characters is true?(121)
I am not at all without thoughts of a future revise of "Edwy and Elgiva," for which I formed a plan on the first night, from what occurred by the representation. And let me own to you, when you commend my "bearing so well a theatrical drubbing," I am by no means enabled to boast I bear it with conviction of my utter failure. The piece was certainly not
heard, and therefore not really judged. The audience finished with an unmixed applause on hearing it was withdrawn for alterations, and I have considered myself in the publicly accepted situation of having at my own option to let the piece die, or attempt its resuscitation,-its reform, as Mr. Cumberland calls it. However, I have not given one moment to the matter since my return to the Hermitage. F. D'A.
PS-I should he very glad to hear good news of the revival of Mr. Burke. Have you ever seen him since this fatality in his family? I am glad, nevertheless with all my heart, of Mr. Hastings's honourable acquittal.
(Madame d'Arblay to Mrs.—.) Bookham, June 15, '95, Let me hasten to tell you something of myself that I shall be very sorry you should hear from any other, as your too susceptible mind would be hurt again, and that would grieve me quite to the heart.
I have a long work, which a long time has been in hand, that I mean to publish soon—in about a year. Should it succeed, like 'Evelina' and 'Cecilia,' it may be a little portion to our Bambino. We wish, therefore, to print it for ourselves in this hope; but the expenses of the press are so enormous, so raised by these late Acts, that it is out of all question for us to afford it. We have, therefore, been led by degrees to listen to counsel of some friends, and to print it by subscription. This is in many—many ways unpleasant and unpalatable to us both; but the real chance of real use and benefit to Our little darling overcomes all scruples, and therefore, to work we go!
You will feel, I dare believe, all I could write on this Subject; I once rejected such a plan, formed for me by Mr. Burke, where books were to be kept by ladies, not booksellers,—the Duchess of Devonshire, Mrs. Boscawen, and Mrs. Crewe; but I was an individual then, and had no cares of times to come: now, thank heaven! this is not the case;—and when I look at my little boy's dear, innocent, yet intelligent face, I defy any pursuit to be painful that may lead to his good. Page 96
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, June 18, '95. All our deliberations made, even after your discouraging calculations, we still mean to hazard the publishing by subscription. And, indeed, I had previously determined, when I. changed my state, to set aside all my innate and original abhorrences, and to regard and use as resources, myself, what had always been considered as such by others. Without this idea, and this resolution, our hermitage must have been madness. . . .
I like well the idea of giving no name at all,-why should not I have my mystery as well as "Udolpho?"(122)—but, " now, don't fly, Dr. Burney! I own I do not like calling it a novel; it gives so simply the notion of a mere love-story, that I recoil a little from it. I mean this work to be sketches of characters and morals put in action,-not a romance. I remember the word " novel " was long in the way of 'Cecilia,' as I was told at the queen's house; and it was not permitted to be read by the princesses till sanctioned by a bishop's recommendation,—the late Dr. Ross of Exeter.
Will you then suffer mon amour Propre to be saved by the proposals running thus?—Proposals for printing by subscription, in six volumes duodecimo, a new work by the author of "Evelina" and "Cecilia."
How grieved I am you do not like my heroine's name!(123) the prettiest in nature! I remember how many people did not like that of "Evelina," and called it "affected" and "missish," till they read the book, and then they got accustomed in a few pages, and afterwards it was much approved. I must leave this for the present untouched ; for the force of the name attached by the idea of the character, in the author's mind, is such, that I should not know how to sustain it by any other for a long while. In "Cecilia" and "Evelina" 'twas the same: the names of all the personages annexed, with me, all the ideas I put in motion with them. The work is so far advanced, that the personages are all, to me, as so many actual acquaintances, whose memoirs and
opinions I am committing to paper. I will make it the best I can, my dearest father. I will neither be indolent, nor negligent, nor avaricious. I can never half answer the expectations that seem excited. I must try to forget them, or I shall be in a continual quivering.
Mrs. Cooke, my excellent neighbour, came in Just now to read me a paragraph of a letter from Mrs. Leigh, of Oxfordshire, her sister. . . . After much of civility about the new work and its author, it finishes thus:—"Mr. Hastings I saw just now: I told him what was going forward; he gave a great jump, and exclaimed, 'Well, then, now I can serve her, thank Heaven, and I will! I will write to Anderson to engage Scotland, and I will attack the East Indies myself!'" F. D'A.
P.S.-The Bambino is half a year old this day. N.B.-I have not heard the Park or Tower guns. I imagine the wind did not set right.
AN INVITATION TO THE HERMITAGE.
(Madame d"Arblay to the Comte de Narbonne.(124)] Bookham, 26th December, 1795. What a letter, to terminate so long and painful a silence! It has penetrated us with sorrowing and indignant feelings. Unknown to M. d'Arblay whose grief and horror are upon point of making him quite ill, I venture this address to his most beloved friend; and before I seal it I will give him the option to burn or underwrite it. I shall be brief in what I have to propose: sincerity need not be loquacious, and M. de Narbonne is too kind to demand phrases for ceremony.
Should your present laudable but melancholy plan fail, and should nothing better offer, or till something can be arranged, will you dear Sir, condescend to share the poverty of our hermitage? Will you take a little cell under our rustic roof, and fare as we fare? What to us two hermits is cheerful and happy, will to you, indeed, be miserable but it will be some solace to the goodness of your heart to witness our contentment;—to dig with M. d'A. in the garden will be of service to
Page 98 your health; to muse sometimes with me in the parlour will be a relaxation to your mind. You will not blush to own your little godson. Come, then, and give him your blessing; relieve the wounded feelings of his father—oblige his mother—and turn hermit at Bookham, till brighter suns invite you elsewhere. F. D'ARPLAY.
You will have terrible dinners, alas !—but your godson comes in for the dessert.(125)
PRESENTATION OF "CAMILLA" AT WINDSOR.
[During the years 1794 and 1795, Madame d'Arblay finished and prepared for the press her third novel, "Camilla," which was published partly by subscription in 1796 the dowager Duchess of Leinster, the Hon. Mrs. Boscawen, Mrs. Crewe, and Mrs. Locke, kindly keeping lists, and receiving the names of subscribers.
This work having been dedicated by permission to the queen, the authoress was desirous of presenting the first copy to her majesty, and made a journey to Windsor for that honour.)
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, July 10, 1796. If I had as much of time as of matter, my dear father, what an immense letter should I write you ! But I have still so many book oddments of accounts, examinations, directions, and little household affairs to arrange, that, with baby-kissing, included, I expect I can give you to-day only part the first of an excursion which I mean to comprise in four parts: so here begins.
The books were ready at eleven or twelve, but not so the tailor! The three Miss Thrales came to a short but cordial hand-shaking at the last minute, by appointment; and at about half-past three we set forward. I had written the day before to my worthy old friend Mrs. Agnew, the housekeeper, erst, of my revered Mrs. Delany, to secure us rooms for one
page 99, day and night, and to Miss Planta to make known I could
not set out till late.
When we came into Windsor at seven o'clock, the way to Mrs. Agnew's was so intricate that we could not find it, till one of the king's footmen recollecting me, I imagined, came forward, a volunteer, and walked by the side of the chaise to show the postilion the house.—N.B. No bad omen to worldly augurers.
Arrived, Mrs. Agnew came forth with faithful attachment, to conduct us to our destined lodgings. I wrote hastily to Miss Planta, to announce to the queen that I was waiting the honour of her majesty's commands ; and then began preparing for my appearance the next morning, when I expected a summons - but Miss Planta came instantly herself from the queen, with orders of immediate attendance, as her majesty would see me directly! The king was just gone upon the Terrace, but her majesty did not walk that evening.
Mrs. Agnew was my maid, Miss Planta my arranger; my landlord, who was a hairdresser, came to my head, and M. d'Arblay was general superintendent. The haste and the joy went hand in hand, and I was soon equipped, though shocked at my own precipitance in sending before I was already visible. Who, however, could have expected such prompt admission? and in an evening?
M. d'Arblay helped to carry the books as far as to the gates. My lodgings were as near to them as possible. At our first entry towards the Queen's lodge we encountered Dr. Fisher and his lady: the sight of me there, in a dress announcing indisputably whither I was hieing, was such an Astonishment, that they looked at me rather as a recollected spectre than a renewed acquaintance. When we came to the iron rails poor Miss Planta, in much fidget, begged to take the books from M. d'Arblay, terrified, I imagine, lest French feet should contaminate the gravel within!—while he, innocent of her fears, was insisting upon carrying them as far as to the house, till he saw I took part with Miss Planta, and he was then compelled to let us lug in ten volumes as we could.
The king was already returned from the Terrace, the page told us." O, then," said Miss Planta, "you are too late!" However, I went into my old dining-parlour; while she said she would see if any one could obtain the queen's commands for another time. I did not stay five minutes Page 100
ruminating upon the dinners, "gone where the chickens," etc., when Miss Planta return and told me the queen would see me instantly.
The queen was In her dressing-room, and with only the Princess Elizabeth. Her reception was the Most gracious. yet, when she saw my emotion in thus meeting her again; she herself was by no means quite unmoved. I presented my little—yet not small— offering, upon one knee placing them, as she directed, upon a table by her side, and expressing, as well as I could, my devoted gratitude for her invariable goodness to me. She then began a conversation, in her old style, upon various things and people, with all her former graciousness of manner, which soon, as she perceived my strong sense of her indulgence, grew into even all its former kindness. Particulars I have now no room for ; but when in about half an hour, she said, "How long do you intend to stay here, Madame d'Arblay?" and I answered, "We have no intentions, ma'am," she repeated, laughing, "You have no intentions!—Well, then, if you can come again to-morrow Morning, you shall see the princesses."
She then said she would not detain me at present; encouraged by all that had passed, I asked if I might presume to put at the door of the king's apartment a copy of MY little work. She hesitated, but with smiles the most propitious;. then told me to fetch the books - and whispered something to the Princess Elizabeth, who left the room by another door at the same moment that I retired for the other set. Almost immediately upon my return to the queen and the Princess Elizabeth, the king entered the apartment, and entered it to receive himself my little offering.
"Madame d'Arblay," said her majesty, "tells me that Mrs. Boscawen is to have the third set; but the first—Your majesty will excuse me—is mine."
This was not, you will believe, thrown away upon me. The king, smiling, said, "Mrs Boscawen, I hear, has been very zealous."
I confirmed this. and the Princess Elizabeth eagerly called out, "Yes, sir! and while Mrs. Boscawen kept a copy for Madame d'Arblay, the Duchess of Beaufort kept one for Mrs. Boscawen."
This led to a little discourse upon the business, in which the king's countenance seemed to speak a benign interest; and the queen then said, Page 101
"This book was begun here, sir." Which already I had mentioned.
"And what did you write Of it here?" cried he. "How far did You go?—Did You finish any part? or only form the skeleton?"
"Just that, sir," I answered; "the skeleton was formed here, but nothing was completed. I worked it up in my little cottage."
"And about what time did You give to it?"
"All my time, sir; from the Period I planned publishing it, I devoted myself to it wholly. I had no episode but a little baby. My subject grew Upon me, and increased my materials to a bulk that I am afraid will be more laborious to wade through for the reader than for the writer."
"Are you much frightened cried he, smiling, "as much frightened as you were before?"
"I have hardly had time to know yet, sir. I received the fair sheets Of the last volume only last night. I have, therefore, had no leisure for fear. And sure I am, happen what May to the book from the critics, it can never cause me pain in any proportion with the pleasure and happiness I owe to it." I /am sure I spoke most sincerely and he looked kindly to believe me.
He asked if Mr. Locke had seen it; and when I said no, he seemed comically pleased, as if desirous to have it in its first state. He asked next if Dr. Burney had overlooked it; and, upon the same answer, looked with the same satisfaction. He did not imagine how it would have passed Current with my dearest father: he appeared Only to be glad it would be a genuine work: but, laughingly, said, "So you kept it quite snug?"
"Not intentionally, sir, but from my situation and my haste; I should else have been very happy to have consulted my father and Mr. Locke; but I had so much, to the last moment, to write, that I literally had not a moment to hear what could be said. The work is longer by the whole fifth Volume than I had first planned; and I am almost ashamed to look at its size, and afraid my readers would have been more obliged to me if I had left so much out than for putting So much in."
He laughed and inquired who corrected my proofs? 'Only myself," I answered.
"Why, some authors have told me," cried he, "that they
are the last to do that work for themselves. They know so well by heart what ought to be, that they run on without seeing what is. They have told me, besides, that a mere plodding head is best and surest for that work ; and that the livelier the imagination, the less it should be trusted to."
I must not go on thus minutely, or my four parts will be forty. But a full half-hour of graciousness, I could almost call kindness, was accorded me, though the king came from the concert to grant it ; and it broke up by the queen saying, "I have told Madame d'Arblay that, if she can come again to-morrow, she shall see the princesses."
The king bowed gently to my grateful obeisance for this offer, and told me I should not know the Princess Amelia, she was so much grown, adding, "She is taller than you!"
I expressed warmly my delight in the permission of Seeing their royal highnesses, and their majesties returned to the concert-room. The Princess Elizabeth stayed, -and flew up to me, crying, "How glad I am to see you here again, my dear Miss Burney!—I beg your pardon,—Madame d'Arblay I mean -but I always call all my friends by their maiden names when I first see them after they are married."
I warmly now opened upon my happiness in this return to all their sights, and the condescension and sweetness with which it was granted me - and confessed I could hardly behave prettily and properly at my first entrance after so long an absence. "O, I assure you I felt for you!" cried she; "I thought you must be agitated ; it was so natural to you to come here-to mamma!"
You will believe, my dearest father, how light-hearted and full of glee I went back to my expecting companion: Miss Planta accompanied me, and stayed the greatest part of the little remaining evening, promising to let me know at what hour I should wait upon their royal highnesses.
A CONVERSATION WITH THE QUEEN.
The next morning, at eight or nine o'clock, my old footman, Moss, came with Mlle, Jacobi's compliments to M. and Madame d'Arblay, and an invitation to dine at the Queen's lodge.
Miss Planta arrived at ten, with her majesty's commands that I should be at the Queen's lodge at twelve. I stayed meanwhile, with good Mrs. Agnew, and M. d'Arblay made
acquaintance with her worthy husband, who is a skilful and famous botanist, and lately made gardener to the queen for Frogmore - so M. d'Arblay consulted him about our cabbages! and so, if they have not now a high flavour, we are hopeless.
At eleven M. d'Arblay again ventured to esquire me to the rails round the lodge, whence I showed him my ci-devant apartment, which he languished to view nearer. I made a visit to Mlle. Jacobi, who is a very good creature, and with whom I remained very comfortably till her majesty and the princesses returned from Frogmore, where they had passed two or three hours. Almost immediately I was summoned to the queen by one of the pages.
She was just seated to her hair-dresser. She conversed upon various public and general topics till the friseur was dismissed, and then I was honoured with an audience, quite alone, for a full hour and a half. During this, nothing could be more gracious than her whole manner, and The particulars, as there was no pause, would fill a duodecimo volume at least. Among them was Mr. Windham, whom she named with great favour; and gave me the opportunity of expressing my delight upon his belonging to the government. We had so often conversed about him during the accounts I had related of Mr. Hastings's trial, that there was much to say upon the acquisition to the administration, and my former round assertions of his goodness of heart and honour. She inquired how you did, my dearest father, with an air of great kindness and, when I said well, looked pleased, as she answered, "I was afraid he was ill, for I saw him but twice last year at our music."
She then gave me an account of the removal of the concert to the Haymarket since the time I was admitted to it. She then talked of some books and authors, but found me wholly in the Clouds as to all that is new. She then said, "What a very pretty book Dr. Burney has brought out upon Metastasio! I am very much pleased with it. Pray (smiling) what will he bring out next?"
"As yet, madam, I don't know of any new plan."
"But he will bring out something else?"
"Most probably, but he will rest a little first, I fancy."
"Has he nothing in hand?"
"Not that I now know of, madam."
"O but he soon will!" cried she, again smiling. Page 104
"He has so active a mind, ma'am, that I believe it quite impossible to him to be utterly idle , but, indeed, I know of no present design being positively formed."
We had then some discourse upon the new connexion at Norbury park—the Fitzgeralds, etc.; and from this she led to various topics of our former conferences, both in persons and things, and gave me a full description of her new house at Frogmore, its fitting up, and the share of each princess in its decoration. She spoke with delight of its quiet and ease, and her enjoyment of its complete retirement. "I spend," she cried, "there almost constantly all my mornings. I rarely come home but just before dinner, merely to dress, but to-day I came sooner."
This was said in a manner so flattering, I could scarce forbear the air of thanking her , however, I checked the expression, though I could not the inference which urged it.
WITH THE PRINCESs ROYAL AND PRINCESS AUGUSTA.
At two o'clock the Princess Elizabeth appeared. "Is the princess royal ready?" said the queen. She answered, "Yes:" and her majesty then told me I might go to her, adding, "You know the way, Madame d'Arblay." And, thus licensed, I went to the apartment of her royal highness up stairs. She was just quitting it, She received me most graciously, and told me she was going to sit for her picture, if I would come and stay with her while she sat. Miss Bab Planta was in attendance, to read during this period. The princess royal ordered me a chair facing her; and another for Miss Bab and her book, which, however, was never opened. The painter was Mr. Dupont.(1266) She was very gay and very charming, full of lively discourse and amiable condescension.
In about an hour the Princess Augusta came in : she addressed me with her usual sweetness, and, when she had looked at her sister's portrait, said, "Madame d'Arblay, when the princess royal can spare you, I hope you will come to me," as she left the room. I did not flout her; and when I had been an hour with the princess royal, she told me she would
keep me no longer from Augusta, and Miss Planta came to conduct me to the latter. This lovely princess received me quite alone ; Miss Planta only shut me in - and she then made me sit by her, and kept me in most bewitching discourse more than an hour. She has a gaiety, a charm about her, that is quite resistless: and much of true, genuine, and very original humour. She related to me the history of all the feats, and exploits, and dangers, and escapes of her brothers during last year; rejoicing in their safety, yet softly adding, "Though these trials and difficulties did them a great deal of good."
We talked a little of France, and she inquired of me what I knew of the late unhappy queen, through M. d'Arblay ; and spoke of her with the most virtuous discrimination between her foibles and her really great qualities, with her most barbarous end. .She then dwelt upon Madame Royale, saying, in her unaffected manner, " It's very odd one never hears what sort of girl she is." I told her all I had gathered from M. d'Arblay. She next spoke of my Bambino, indulging me in recounting his faits et gestes; and never moved till the princess royal came to summon her. They were all to return to Frogmore to dinner. "We have detained Madame d'Arblay between us the whole morning," said the princess royal, with a gracious smile. "Yes," cried Princess Augusta, "and I am afraid I have bored her to death; but when once I begin upon my poor brothers, I can never stop without telling all my little bits of glory." She then outstayed the princess royal to tell me that, when she was at Plymouth, at church, she saw so many officers' wives, and sisters, and mothers, helping their maimed husbands, or brothers, or sons, that she could not forbear whispering to the queen, "Mamma, how lucky it is Ernest is just come so seasonably with that wound in his face! I should have been quite shocked, else, not to have had one little bit of glory among ourselves!"
When forced away from this sweet creature, I went to Mlle. Jacobi, who said, "But where is M. d'Arblay?" Finding it too late for me to go to my lodging to dress before dinner I wrote him a word, which immediately brought him to the Queen's lodge : and there I shall leave my dear father the pleasure of seeing us, mentally, at dinner, at my ancient table,-both invited by the queen's commands. Miss Gomme was asked to meet me, and the repast was extremely pleasant.
A PRESENT FROM THE KING AND QUEEN.
just before we assembled to dinner Mlle. Jacobi desired to speak with me alone, and, taking me to another room, presented me with a folded little packet, saying, "The queen ordered me to put this into your hands, and said, 'Tell Madame d'Arblay it is from us both."' It was a hundred guineas. I was confounded, and nearly sorry, so little was such a mark of their goodness in my thoughts. She added that the king, as soon as he came from the chapel in the morning, went to the queen's dressing-room just before he set out for the levee, and put into her hands fifty guineas, saying, "This is for my set!" The queen answered, "I shall do exactly the same for mine," and made up the packet herself. "'Tis only,' she said, 'for the paper, tell Madame d'Arblay, nothing for the trouble!'" meaning she accepted that.
The manner of this was so more than gracious, so kind, in the words us both, that indeed the money at the time was quite nothing in the scale of my gratification ; it was even less, for it almost pained me. However, a delightful thought that in a few minutes occurred made all light and blithesome. "We will come, then," I cried, "once a year to Windsor, to walk the Terrace, and see the king, queen, and sweet princesses. This will enable us, and I shall never again look forward to so long a deprivation of their sight." This, with my gratitude for their great goodness, was what I could not refrain commissioning her to report.
CURIOSITY REGARDING M. D'ARBLAY.
Our dinner was extremely cheerful; all my old friends were highly curious to see M. d'Arblay, who was in spirits, and, as he could address them in French, and at his ease, did not seem much disapproved of by them. I went to my lodging afterwards to dress, where I told my monsieur this last and unexpected stroke, which gave him exactly my sensations, and we returned to tea. We had hopes of the Terrace, as my monsieur was quite eager to see all this beloved royal House. The weather, however, was very unpromising. The king came from the lodge during our absence; but soon after we were in the levee three royal coaches arrived from Frogmore: in the first was the queen, the Princesses Royal and Augusta, and some lady in waiting. M. d'Arblay stood beside me Page 107
at a window to see them; her majesty looked up and bowed to me, and, upon her alighting, she looked up again. This, I am sure, was to see M. d'Arblay, who could not be doubted, as he wore his croix the whole time he was at Windsor. The princesses bowed also, and the four younger, who followed, all severally kissed their hands to me, and fixed their eyes on my companion with an equal expression of kindness and curiosity ; he therefore saw them perfectly.
THE KING APPROVES THE DEDICATION OF "CAMILLA."
In a few minutes a page came to say, "The princesses desire to see Madame d'Arblay," and he conducted me to the apartment of the Princess Elizabeth, which is the most elegantly and fancifully ornamented of any in the lodge, as she has most delight and most taste in producing good effects.
Here the fair owner of the chamber received me, encircled with the Princesses Mary and Amelia, and no attendant. They were exactly as I had left them—kind, condescending, open, and delightful; and the goodness of the queen, in sparing them all to me thus, without any allay of ceremony, or gne of listening Mutes, I felt most deeply.
They were all very gay, and I not very sad, so we enjoyed A perfectly easy and even merry half-hour in divers discourses, in which they recounted to me who had been most anxious about "the book," and doubted not its great success, as everybody was so eager about it. "And I must tell you one thing," Cried the Princess Elizabeth; "the king is very much pleased with the dedication."
This was, you will be sure, a very touching hearing to me; And Princess Mary exclaimed, "And he is very difficult!"
"O, yes, he's hardly ever pleased with a dedication," cried one of the princesses. "He almost always thinks them so fulsome."
"I was resolved I would tell it you," cried Princess Elizabeth.
Can you imagine anything more amiable than this pleasure in giving pleasure?
A DELICIOUS CHAT WITH THE PRINCESSES.
Soon after the Princess Augusta came in, smiling and lovely. Princess royal next appeared Princess Augusta sat down, and charged me to take a chair next her. Princess Page 108
royal did not stay long, and soon returned to summon her sister Augusta downstairs, as the concert was begun : but she replied she could not come yet : and the princess royal went alone. We had really a most delicious chat then.
They made a thousand inquiries about my book, and when and where it was written, etc., and how I stood as to fright and fidget. I answered all with openness, and frankly related my motives for the publication. Everything of housekeeping, I told them, was nearly doubled in price at the end of the first year and half of our marriage, and we found it impossible to continue so near our friends and the capital with our limited income, though M. d'A. had accommodated himself completely, and even happily, to every species of economy, and though my dearest father had capitally assisted us ; I then, therefore, determined upon adopting a plan I had formerly rejected, of publishing by subscription. I told them the former history of that plan, as Mr. Burke's, and many particulars that seemed extremely to interest them. My garden, our way of life, our house, our Bambino,-all were inquired after and related. I repeatedly told them the strong desire M. d'Arblay had to be regaled with a sight of all their House -a House to which I stood so every way indebted,-,and they looked kindly concerned that the weather admitted no prospect of the Terrace.
I mentioned to the Princess Augusta my recent new obligation to their majesties, and my amaze and even shame at their goodness.
"O, I am sure," cried she, "they were very happy to have it in their power."
"Yes, and we were so glad!"
"So glad!" echoed each of the others.
"How enchanted should I have been," cried I, "to have presented my little book to each of your royal highnesses if I had dared! or if, after her majesty has looked it over, I might hope for such a permission, how proud and how happy it would make me!"
"O, I daresay you may," cried the Princess Augusta, eagerly. I then intimated how deeply I should feel such an honour, if it might be asked, after her majesty had read it - and the Princess Elizabeth gracefully undertook the office. She related to me, in a most pleasant manner, the whole of her own recent transaction, its rise and cause and progress, in "The Page 109
Birth of Love:"(127) but I must here abridge, or never have done. I told them all my scheme for coming again next July, which they sweetly seconded. Princess Amelia assured me she had not forgotten me ; and when another summons came for the concert, Princess Augusta, comically sitting still and holding me by her side, called out, "Do you little ones go!"
But they loitered also, and we went on, on, on, with our chat,- -they as unwilling as myself to break it up,-till staying longer was impossible ; and then, in parting, they all expressed the kindest pleasure in our newly-adopted plan of a yearly visit.
"And pray," cried Princess Elizabeth, "write again immediately!"
"O, no," cried Princess Augusta, "wait half a year—to rest; and then—increase your family—all ways!"
"The queen," said Princess Elizabeth, "consulted me which way she should read 'Camilla-' whether quick, at once, or comfortably at Weymouth: so I answered, 'Why, mamma, I think, as you will be so much interested in the book, Madame d'Arblay would be most pleased you should read it now at once, quick, that nobody may be mentioning the events before You come to them - and then again at Weymouth, slow and comfortably.'"
In going, the sweet Princess Augusta loitered last but her youngest sister, Amelia, who came to take my hand when the rest were departed, and assure me she should never forget Me.
We spent the remnant of Wednesday evening with my old friends, determining to quit Windsor the next day, if the weather did not promise a view of the royal family upon the Terrace for M. d'Arblay.
THE KING NOTICES M. D'ARBLAY.
Thursday morning was lowering, and we determined upon departing, after only visiting some of my former acquaintances. 'We met Miss Planta in our way to the lodge, and took leave; but when we arrived at Mlle. Jacobi's we found that the queen expected we should stay for the chance of the Terrace, and had told Mlle. Jacobi to again invite us to dinner. . . .
We left the friendly Miss Goldsworthy for other visits;—first to good old Mrs. Planta; next to the very respectable Page 110
Dr. Fisher and his wife. The former insisted upon doing the honours himself of St. George's cathedral to M. d'Arblay which occasioned his seeing that beautiful antique building to the utmost advantage. Dr. Fisher then accompanied us to a spot to show M. d'Arblay Eton in the best view.
Dinner passed as before, but the evening lowered, and hopes of the Terrace were weak, when the Duke and Duchess of York arrived. This seemed to determine against us, as they told us the duchess never went upon the Terrace but in the finest weather, and the royal family did not choose to leave her. We were hesitating therefore whether to set off for Rose Dale, when Mlle. Jacobi gave an intimation to me that the king, herself, and the Princess Amelia, would walk on the Terrace. Thither instantly we hastened, and were joined by Dr. and Mrs. Fisher. The evening was so raw and cold that there was very little company, and scarce any expectation of the royal family - and when we had been there about half an hour the musicians retreated, and everybody was preparing to follow, when a messenger suddenly came forward, helter skelter, running after the horns and clarionets, and hallooing to them to return. This brought back the straggling parties, and the king, Duke of York, and six princesses soon appeared.
I have never yet seen M. d'Arblay agitated as at this moment ; he could scarce keep his steadiness, or even his ground. The recollections, he has since told me, that rushed upon his mind of his own king and royal House were so violent and so painful as almost to disorder him. His majesty was accompanied by the duke, and Lord Beaulieu, Lord Walsingham, and General Manners; the princesses were attended by Lady Charlotte Bruce, some other lady, and Miss Goldsworthy: The king stopped to speak to the Bishop of Norwich and some others at the entrance, and then walked on towards us, who were at the further end. As he approached, the princess royal said, loud enough to be heard by Mrs. Fisher, "Madame d'Arblay, sir;" and instantly he came on a step, and then stopped and addressed me, and, after a word or two of the weather, he said, "Is that M. d'Arblay?" and most graciously bowed to him and entered into a little conversation; demanding how long he had been in England, how long in the country, etc., and with a sweetness, an air of wishing us well, that will never, never be erased from our hearts. Page 111
M. d'Arblay recovered himself immediately Upon this address, and answered with as much firmness as respect.
Upon the king's bowing and leaving US, the commander-in- chief(128) most courteously bowed also to M. d'Arblay, and the princesses all came up to speak to me, and to curtsy to him ; and the Princess Elizabeth cried, "I've got leave! and mamma says she won't wait to read it first!"
After this the king and duke never passed without taking off their hats, and the princesses gave me a smile and a curtsy at every turn: Lord Walsingbam came to speak to me, and Mr. Fairly, and General Manners, who regretted that more of our old tea-party were not there to meet me once more.
THE KING AND QUEEN ON "CAMILLA."
As soon as they all re-entered the lodge we followed to take leave of Mlle. Jacobi; but, Upon moving towards the passage, the princess royal appeared, saying, "Madame d'Arblay, I come to waylay you!" and made me follow her to the dressing-room, whence the voice of the queen, as the door opened, called out, in mild accents, "Come in, Madame d'Arblay!"
Her majesty was seated at the upper end of the room, with the Duchess of York (129) on her right, and the Princesses Sophia and Amelia on her left. She made me advance, and said, "I have just been telling the Duchess of York that I find her royal highness's name the first Upon this list,"—producing "Camilla."
"Indeed," said the duchess, bowing to me, "I was so very impatient to read it, I could not but try to get it as early as possible. I am very eager for it, indeed!"
"I have read," said the queen, "but fifty pages yet; but I am in great uneasiness for that Poor little girl that I am afraid will get the small-pox! and I am sadly afraid that sweet little other girl will not keep her fortune! but I won't Peep! I read quite fair. But I must tell Madame d'Arblay I know a country gentleman, in Mecklenburg, exactly the very character of that good old man the Uncle!" She seemed to speak as if delighted to meet him upon paper.
The king now came in, and I could not forbear making up
to him, to pour forth some part of my full heart for his goodness! He tried to turn away, but it was smilingly; and I had courage to pursue him, for I could not help it. He then slightly bowed it off, and asked the queen to repeat what she had said upon the book.
"O, your majesty," she cried, "I must not anticipate!" yet told him of her pleasure in finding an old acquaintance.
"Well!" cried the king archly, " and what other characters have you seized?"
"None," I protested, "from life."
"O!" cried he, shaking his head, "you must have some!"
"Indeed your majesty will find none!" I cried.
"But they may be a little better, or a little worse," he answered, "but still, if they are not like somebody, how can they play their parts?"
"O, yes, sir," I cried, "as far as general nature goes, or as characters belong to classes, I have certainly tried to take them. But no individuals!"
My account must be endless if I do not now curtail. The Duke of York, the other princesses, General Manners, and all the rest of the group, made way to the room soon after, upon hearing the cheerfulness of the voice of the king, whose .graciousness raised me into spirits that set me quite at my ease. He talked much upon the book, and then of Mrs. Delany, and then of various others that my sight brought to his recollection, and all with a freedom and goodness that enabled me to answer without difficulty or embarrassment, and that produced two or three hearty laughs from the Duke of York.
ANECDOTE OF THE DUCHESS OF YORK.
After various other topics, the queen said, "Duchess, Madame d'Arblay is aunt of the pretty little boy (130) you were so good to."
The duchess understood her so immediately that I fancy this was not new to her. She bowed to me again, very smilingly, upon the acknowledgments this encouraged me to offer; and the king asked an explanation.
"Sir," said the duchess, "I was upon the road near Dorking, and I saw a little gig overturned, and a little boy was taken out, and sat down upon the road. I told them to Page 113
stop and ask if the little boy was hurt, and they said yes .- and I asked where he was to go, and they said to a village just a few miles off; so I took him into my coach, Sir, and carried him home."
"And the benedictions, madam," cried I, "of all his family have followed you ever since!"
"And he said your royal highness called him a very pretty boy," cried the queen, laughing, to whom I had related it.
"Indeed, what he said is very true," answered she, nodding.
"Yes; he said," quoth I, again to the queen, "that he saw the duchess liked him."
This again the queen repeated and the duchess again nodded, and pointedly repeated, "It is very true."
"He was a very fine boy-a very fine boy indeed!" cried the king; "what is become of him?"
I was a little distressed in answering, "He is in Ireland, sir."
"In Ireland ! What does he do in Ireland? what does he go there for?"
"His father took him, Sir," I was forced to answer.
"And what does his father take him to Ireland for?"
"Because-he is an Irishman, Sir!" I answered, half laughing.
When at length, every one deigning me a bow of leavetaking, their majesties, and sons and daughters, retired to the adjoining room, the Princess Amelia loitered to shake hands, and the Princess Augusta returned for the same condescension, reminding me of my purpose for next year. While this was passing, the princess royal had repaired to the apartment of Mlle. Jacobi, where she had held a little Conversation with M. d'Arblay.
A VISIT TO MRS. BOSCAWEN.
We finished the evening very cheerfully with Mlle. Jacobi and Mlle. Montmoulin, whom she invited to meet us, and the next morning left Windsor and visited Rose Dale.(131) Mrs. Boscawen received us very sweetly, and the little offering as if not at all her due, Mrs. Levison Gower was with her, and showed us Thomson's temple. Mrs. Boscawen spoke of my
dearest father with her Usual true sense Of how to Speak of him. She invited us to dinner, but we were anxious to return to our Bambino, and M. d'Arblay had, all this time, only fought off being ill with his remnant of cold. Nevertheless, when we came to Twickenham, my good old friend Mr. Cambridge was so cordial and so earnest that we could not resist him, and were pressed in to staying dinner. . . .
At a little before eleven we arrived at our dear cottage, and to our sleeping Bambino.
THE RELATIVE SUCCESS OF MADAME D'ARBLAY'S NOVELS.
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, Friday, October, 1796. I meant to have begun with our thanks for my dear kind father's indulgence of our extreme curiosity and interest in the sight of the reviews. I am quite happy in what I have escaped of greater severity, though my mate cannot bear that the palm should be contested by "Evelina" and "Cecilia;" his partiality rates the last as so much the highest; so does the newspaper I have mentioned, of which I long to send you a copy. But those immense men, whose single praise was fame and security—who established, by a word, the two elder sisters-are now silent, Johnson and Sir Joshua are no more, and Mr. Burke is ill, or otherwise engrossed; yet, even without their powerful influence, to which I owe such unspeakable obligation, the essential success of "Camilla" exceeds that of the elders. The sale is truly astonishing. Charles has just sent to me that five hundred only remain of four thousand, and it has appeared scarcely three months.
The first edition of "Evelina" was of eight hundred, the second of five hundred, and the third of a thousand. What the following have been I have never heard, The sale from that period became more flourishing than the publisher cared to announce. Of "Cecilia" the first edition was reckoned enormous at two thousand and as a part of payment Was reserved for it, I remember our dear Daddy Crisp thought it very unfair. It was printed, like this, in July, and sold in October, to every one's wonder. Here, however, the sale's increased in rapidity more than a third. Charles says,—
"Now heed no more what critics thought 'em, Since this you know, all people bought 'em."
A CONTEMPLATED COTTAGE.
We have resumed our original plan, and are going immediately to build a little cottage for ourselves. We shall make it as small and as cheap as will accord with its being warm and comfortable. We have relinquished, however, the very kind offer of Mr. Locke, which he has renewed, for his park. We mean to make this a property saleable or letable for our Alex, and in Mr. Locke's park we could not encroach any tenant, if the Youth's circumstances, profession, or inclination .should make him not choose the spot for his own residence. M. dArblay, therefore, has fixed upon a field of Mr. Locke's, which he will rent, and of which Mr. Locke will grant him a lease of ninety years. By this means, we shall leave the little Alex a little property, besides what will be in the funds, and a property likely to rise in value, as the situation of the field is remarkably beautiful. It is in the valley, between Mr. Locke's park and Dorking, and where land is so scarce, that there is not another possessor within many miles who would part, upon any terms, with half-an-acre. My kindest father will come and give it, I trust, his benediction. I am now almost jealous of Bookham for having received it.
Imagine but the ecstasy of M. d'Arblay in training, all his own way, an entire new garden. He dreams now of cabbage-walks, potato-beds, bean-perfumes, and peas-blossoms. My mother should send him a little sketch to help his flower-garden, which will be his second favourite object.
THE PRINCESS ROYAL'S FIRST INTERVIEW WITH HER FIANCE.
(Madame d'Arblay to Mrs. Locke.) 1796. A private letter from Windsor tells me the Prince of Wurtemberg has much pleased in the royal House, by his manner and address upon his interview, but that the poor Princess royal was almost dead with terror, and agitation, and affright, at the first meeting.(132) She could not utter a word, The queen was obliged to speak her answers. The prince said he hoped this first would be the last disturbance his page 116
presence would ever occasion her. She then tried to recover, and so far conquered her tumult as to attempt joining In a general discourse from time to time. He paid his court successfully, I am told, to the sisters, who all determine to like him; and the princess royal is quite revived in her spirits again, now this tremendous opening sight is over.
You will be pleased, and my dearest Mr. Locke, at the style of my summons: 'tis so openly from the queen herself, Indeed, she has behaved like an angel to me, from the trying time to her of my marriage with a Frenchman. "So odd, you know," as Lady Inchiquin said.
OPINIONS OF THE REVIEWS ON "CAMILLA."
(Dr. Burney to Madame d'Arblay.) November, 1796. . . .The "Monthly Review" has come in to-day, and it does not satisfy me, or raise my spirits, or anything but my indignation. James has read the remarks in it on "Camilla," and we are all dissatisfied. Perhaps a few of the verbal criticisms may be worth your attention in the second edition; but these have been picked out and displayed with no friendly view, and without necessity, in a work of such length and intrinsic sterling worth. J'enrage! Morbleu!
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, November, 1796. I had intended writing to my dearest father by a return of goods, but I find it impossible to defer the overflowings of my heart at his most kind and generous indignation with the reviewer. What censure can ever so much hurt as such compensation can heal? And, in fact, the praise is so strong that, were it neatly put together, the writer might challenge my best enthusiasts to find it insufficient. The truth, however, is, that the criticisms come forward, and the panegyric is entangled, and so blended with blame as to lose almost all effect, The reviews, however, as they have not made, will not, I trust, mar me. "Evelina" made its way all by itself; it was well spoken of, indeed, in all the reviews, compared with general novels, but it was undistinguished by any quotation, and only put in the Monthly Catalogue, and only allowed
short single paragraph. It was circulated only by the general public till it reached, through that unbiassed medium, Dr. Johnson and Mr. Burke, and thence it wanted no patron.
Nov. 14.-Upon a second reading of the Monthly Review upon "Camilla," I am in far better humour with it, and willing to confess to the criticisms, if I may claim by that concession any right to the eulogies. They are stronger and more important, upon re-perusal, than I had imagined, in the panic of a first survey and an unprepared-for disappointment in anything like severity from so friendly an editor. The recommendation, at the conclusion, of the book as a warning guide to youth, would recompense me, upon the least reflection, for whatever strictures Might precede it. I hope my kind father has not suffered his generous—and to me most cordial—indignation against the reviewer to interfere with his intended answer to the affectionate letter of Dr. Griffiths.(133
DEATH OF MADAME D'ARBLAY'S STEPMOTHER.
(Madame d'Arblay to Mrs. Phillips.) Bookham, November 7, 1796. Yes, -my beloved Susan safe landed at Dublin was indeed all-sufficient for some time; nor, indeed, could I even read any more for many minutes. That, and the single sentence at the end, "My Norbury is with me"—completely overset ne, though only with joy. After your actual safety, nothing could so much touch me as the picture I Instantly viewed of Norbury in Your arms. Yet I shall hope for more detail hereafter.
The last letter I had from you addressed to myself shows me your own sentiment of the fatal event(134) which so speedily followed your departure, and which my dear father has himself announced to you, though probably the newspapers will anticipate his letter. I am very sorry, now, I did not write sooner; but while you were still in England, and travelling so slowly, I had always lurking ideas that disqualified me from writing to Ireland.
The minute I received, from Sally, by our dearest father's desire the last tidings I set out for Chelsea. I was much Shocked by the news, long as it has been but natural to look
forward to it. My better part spoke even before myself upon the propriety of my instant journey, and promised me a faithful nursing attendance during my absence.
I went in a chaise, to lose no time - but the uncertainty how I might find my poor father made me arrive with a nervous seizure upon my voice that rendered it as husky as Mr. Rishton's.
While I settled with the postilion, Sally, James, Charlotte, and Marianne, came to me. Esther and Charles had been there the preceding day ; they were sent to as soon as the event had happened. My dearest father received me with extreme kindness, but though far, far more calm and quiet than I could expect, he was much shaken, and often very faint. However, in the course of the evening, he suffered me to read to him various passages from various books, such as conversation introduced; and as his nature is as pure from affectation as from falsehood, encouraged in himself, as well as permitted in us, whatever could lead to cheerfulness.
Let me not forget to record one thing that was truly generous in my poor mother's last voluntary exertions. She charged Sally and her maid both not to call my father when she appeared to be dying; and not disturb him if her death should happen in the night, nor to let him hear it till he arose at his usual time. I feel sensibly the kindness of this sparing consideration.
Yet not so would I be used! O never should I forgive the misjudged prudence that should rob me of one little instant of remaining life in one who was truly dear to me'; Nevertheless, I shall not be surprised to have his first shock succeeded by a sorrow it did not excite, and I fear he will require much watching and vigilance to be kept as well as I have quitted him.
THE FRENCH EMIGRES AT NORBURY.
(Madame d'Arblay to Mrs. Phillips.) Bookham, December 25, 1796. You will have heard that the Princesse d'Henin and M. de Lally have spent a few days at Norbury Park. We went every evening regularly to meet them, and they yet contrive to grow higher and higher in our best opinions and affections; they force that last word; none other is adequate to such regard as they excite. Page 119
M. de Lally read us a pleading for migrs of all descriptions, to the people and government of France, for their re-instalment in their native land, that exceeds in eloquence, argument, taste, feeling, and every power of oratory and truth united, anything I ever remember to have read. It is so affecting in many places, that I was almost ill from restraining My nearly convulsive emotions. My dear and honoured partner gives me, perhaps, an interest in such a subject beyond what is mere natural due and effect, therefore I cannot be sure such will be its universal success; yet I shall be nothing less than Surprised to live to see his statue erected in his own country, at the expense of his own restored exiles. 'Tis, indeed, a wonderful performance. And he was so easy, So gay, so unassuming, yet free from condescension, that I almost worshipped him. M. d'Arblay cut me off a bit of the coat in which he read his pleading, and I shall preserve it, labelled!
The princess was all that was amiable and attractive, and she loves my Susanna so tenderly, that her voice was always caressing when she named her. She would go to Ireland, she repeatedly said, on purpose to see you, were her fortune less miserably cramped. The journey, voyage, time, difficulties, and ,sea-sickness, would be nothing for obstacles. You have made, there, that rare and exquisite acquisition-an ardent friend for life.
DR. BURNEY'S DEPRESSED STATE.
I have not heard very lately of my dearest father; all accounts speak of his being very much lower in spirits than When I left him. I sometimes am ready to return to him, for my whole heart yearns to devote itself to him - but the babe, and the babe's father—and there is no going en famille uninvited—and my dear father does not feel equal to making the invitation.
One of the Tichfield dear girls seems to be constantly with Sally, to aid the passing hours, but Our poor father wants something more than cheerfulness and affection, though nothing without them could do; he wants some one to find out pursuits—to entice him into reading, by bringing books, or starting subjects; some one to lead him to talk of what he thinks, or to forget what he thinks of, by adroitly talking of what may catch other attention. Even where deep sorrow is impossible, a gloomy void must rest in the total breaking up such a long and such a fast connexion. Page 120
I must always grieve at your absence at such a period. our Esther has SO much to do in her own family, and fears so much the cold of Chelsea, that she can be only of day and occasional use, and it is nights and mornings that call for the confidential companion that might best revive him, He is more amiable, more himself, if possible, than ever. God long preserve him to bless us all!
COVETOUS OF PERSONAL DISTINCTION.
Your old acquaintance, Miss —, has been passing ten days in this neighbourhood. She is become very pleasingly formed in manners, wherever she wishes to oblige, and all her roughnesses and ruggednesses are worn off. I believe the mischief done by her education, and its wants, not cured, if curable au fond; but much amended to all, and apparently done away completely to many. What really rests is a habit of exclusively consulting just what she likes best, not what would be or prove best for others. She thinks, indeed, but little of anything except with reference to herself, and what gives her an air, and will give her a character, for inconstancy, that is in fact the mere result of seeking her own gratification alike in meeting or avoiding her connexions. If she saw this, she has understanding sufficient to work it out of her; but she weighs nothing sufficiently to dive into her own self. She knows she is a very clever girl, and she is neither well contented with others, nor happy in herself, but where this is evidently acknowledged.
We spent an evening together at Norbury Park ; she was shown all Mr. William's pictures and drawings. I knew her expectations of an attention she had no chance of exciting and therefore devoted myself to looking them over with her yet, though Mr. Locke himself led the way to see them, and explained several, and though Amelia addressed her with the utmost sweetness, and Mrs. Locke with perfect good breeding, I could not draw from her one word relative to the evening, or the family, except that she did not think she had heard Mr. William's voice once. A person so young, and with such good parts, that can take no pleasure but in personal distinction, which is all her visit can have wanted, will soon cut all real improvement short, by confining herself to such society alone as elevates herself. There she will always make a capital figure, for her conversation is sprightly and enter- Page 121
taining, and her heart and principles are both good : she has many excellent qualities, and various resources in herself; but she is good enough to make me lament that she is not modest enough to be yet better.
BABY D'ARBLAY AGAIN ; AND OTHER MATTERS.
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, NOV. 29, 1796. My little man waits for your lessons to get on in elocution: he has made no further advance but that of calling out, as he saw our two watches hung on two opposite hooks over the chamber chimney-piece, "Watch, papa,—watch, mamma;" so, though his first speech is English, the idiom is French. We agree this is to avoid any heartburning in his parents. He is at this moment so exquisitely enchanted with a little penny trumpet, and finding he can produce such harmony his own self, that he is blowing and laughing till he can hardly stand. If you could see his little swelling cheeks you would not accuse yourself of a misnomer in calling him cherub. I try to impress him with an idea of pleasure in going to see grandpapa, but the short visit to Bookham is forgotten, and the permanent engraving remains, and all his concurrence consists in pointing up to the print over the chimney-piece, and giving it one of his concise little bows.
Are not people a little revived in the political world by this unexampled honour paid to Mr. Pitt?(135) Mr. Locke has subscribed 3000 pounds.
How you rejoiced me by what you say of poor Mr. Burke for I had seen the paragraph of his death with most exceeding great concern.
The Irish reports, are, I trust, exaggerated; few things come quite plainly from Hibernia: yet what a time, in all respects, to transport thither, as you too well term it, our beloved Susan! She writes serenely, and Norbury seems to
repay a world of sufferings : it is delightful to see her SO satisfied there, at least; but they have all, she says, got the brogue.
Our building is to be resumed the 1st of March; it will then soon be done, as it is only of lath and plaster, and the roof and wood-work are already prepared.' My indefatigable superintendent goes every morning for two, three, or four hours to his field, to work at a sunk fence that 'IS to protect his garden from our cow. I have sent Mrs. Boscawen, through Miss Cambridge, a history of our plan. The dwelling is destined by M. d'Arblay to be called the Camilla cottage.
(95) "Memoires of Dr. Burney," vol. iii. pp. 224-5.
(96) "Memoirs of Dr. Burney," vol. iii., pp. 210-11.
(97) In the "Memoirs of Dr. Burney" Madame d'Arblay writes that "Before the answer of Mr. Pitt to the memorial could be returned, the attempt upon Toulon proved abortive." Mr, Pitt must certainly have been in no hurry to reply; for the memorial was sent to him about the commencement of October, and Toulon was not evacuated by the English until the 18th of December.-ED.
(98) A character in "Cecilia."-ED.
(99) The well-known novelist.-ED. (100) The cottage which Fanny and her husband contemplated building, was not actually commenced until after the publication of "Camilla," in 1796.-ED.
(101) The fund which Mrs. Crewe was exerting herself to raise for the benefit of the French emigrant clergy.-ED.
(102) Mrs. Crewe had been urging Dr. Burney to engage his daughter to contribute, by her pen, to the relief of the emigrant clergy. Fanny accordingly wrote an "Address to the Ladies of Great Britain," in the form of a short pamphlet, which was published by Cadell, and which appears to have had the desired effect.-ED.
(103) Alas for Dr. Burney's hopes! Toulon was successfully defended until the middle of December, when the vigorous measures of the besiegers, inspired by the genius Of Young Buonaparte, resulted in the complete triumph of the Republicans. On the 17th of December they carried by storm Fort Eguillette and the heights of Faron. From these positions their artillery commanded the harbour, and, further defence of the town being thereby rendered impracticable, its instant evacuation was resolved upon by the allies. An attempt to burn the French war-ships in the harbour, before abandoning the place, was only partially successful. On the 18th and 19th the troops embarked. Vast numbers of fugitives were taken on board the retreating fleet, but a large proportion of the unfortunate Toulonnais remained, to experience the cruel vengeance of the Republicans-ED.
(104) The execution of Marie Antoinette, October 16, 1793.-ED.
(105) He was born on the 18th of December 1794.-ED.
(106) Goldsmith has drawn the character of Richard Burke in "Retaliation," as follows:—
"Here lies honest Richard, whose fate I must Sigh at; Alaq, that such frolic should now be so quiet! What spirits were his! what wit and what whim! Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb; Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball; Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all. In short, so provoking a devil was Dick, That we wish'd him full ten times a day at old Nick, But, missing his mirth and agreeable vein, As often we wish'd to have Dick back again."-ED.
(107) George Canning, who was not yet twenty-four years of age, had just entered Parliament as member for Newport. He had formerly been a Whig and an associate of Fox and Sheridan, but the excesses of the French ,Revolution appear to have driven him, as they had driven Burke and Windham, over to the opposite camp. He took his seat as a Tory and a supporter of Mr. Pitt, and a Tory he remained to the end of his days. Canning's maiden speech, to which Fanny refers, was delivered January 31, in a debate on the treaty between Great Britain and the King of Sardinia. By this treaty, which was signed April 25, 1793, it was agreed that the two contracting parties should make common cause in the war against the French Republic; that England should pay to the King of Sardinia an annual subsidy of 200,000 pounds, to enable him to maintain the war; and that England should not conclude peace without providing for the restoration to Sardinia of the territories which had been torn from it by the Republic. In the debate of January 31, 1794, Fox vigorously attacked the treaty, while Canning, who spoke later, defended it in an able and well-received maiden speech.-ED.
(108) Talleyrand's intrigues had made him an object of suspicion to both parties. He was detested by the royalists of the first emigration, had been dcrt d'accusation by the Convention, and was regarded by the English government as a dangerous person. In January 1794, he received an order from the government to quit England within five days, and he embarked in consequence, for the United States, February 3.-ED.
(109) "London, 1794.-Madame,—Had it been possible I would have had the honour of seeing you this morning , but the utter impossibility of doing so has deprived me of the last pleasure that I might have had in Europe. Permit me, madame, to thank you again for all your kindness, and to ask a little place in your memory, and let me tell you, I shall never cease, while I live, to offer my vows for your welfare, and for that of the captain and your children. You will have a very zealous servant in America; I shall not return to Europe without coming to Surrey: everything of value to my intellect or my heart is there.
"Kindly present my compliments to the captain." (110) "London, March 2, 1794. Farewell, my dear d'Arblay: I leave your country till the time when it will no longer be governed by the petty passions of men. Then I will return; not, indeed, to busy myself with public affairs, for I have long since abandoned them for ever; but to see the excellent inhabitants of Surrey. I hope to know enough English to understand Madame d'Arblay; for the next four months, I shall do nothing but study it: and, to acquaint myself with the beauties of the language, I take 'Evelina' and 'Cecilia,' both for study and pleasure. I wish You, my dear friend, all kinds of happiness, and you are in the way to fulfil all my wishes.
"I do not know how long I shall remain in America. If there were a prospect of the re-establishment of reason and stability in our unhappy country, I should return; if Europe goes to pieces in the coming campaign, I will prepare a refuge in America for all our friends.
"Farewell. My respects to Madame d'Arblay and Mrs. Phillips. I ask of you and I promise you a lifelong friendship."
(The date at the head Of this letter Is evidently incorrect— probably a slip of the writer's. Talleyrand embarked February 3.-ED.
(111) Lafayette's brilliant services in the cause of liberty had not secured him from the usual fate of moderate revolutionists at this period. In the early days of the Revolution, he was the hero of the French people; in 1792, denounced by Robespirre and the jacobins, he was compelled to seek safety in flying from France. He escaped the guillotine, indeed, but fell into the hands of the Austrians, was cast into prison, and did not gain his liberty till September, 1797.-ED.
(112) This was Dr. Burney's first meeting with Mrs. Piozzi since her marriage. It occurred at one of Salomon's celebrated concerts, where the doctor, with surprise, perceived Piozzi among the audience, not knowing that he had returned from Italy. He entered into a cordial conversation with the Signor, and inquired after his wife. "Piozzi, turning round, pointed to a sofa, on which, to his infinite joy, Dr. Burney beheld Mrs. Thrale Piozzi, seated in the midst of her daughters, the four Miss Thrales," those young ladies (at least, the three elder, for Cecilia had been abroad with Mr. and Mrs. Piozzi) having made up their minds by this time to accept the inevitable, and to be reconciled to their mother." See "Memoirs of Dr. Burney," vol. iii. p. 198.-ED.
(113) Written after the Doctor's first visit to Bookham.
(114) Name of a gardener in a drama of Fontenelle's.
(115) The novel of "Camilla," then lately begun.
(116) "Memoirs of the Life and Writings of Metastasio," a work which Dr. Burney was then engaged upon, and which was published in three Volumes, 8vo in 1796.-ED.
(117) "Edwy and Elgiva," a tragedy by Madame d'Arblay.
(118) Edmund Burke's only son, Richard, died August 2, 1794.-ED
(119) "Edwy and Elgiva," produced by Sheridan at Drury-lane, March 21, 1795; it was acted but once, and never printed.-ED.
(120) Warren Hastings was acquitted of all the charges, April 23, 1795.
(121) Both characters, to some extent, were true. Goldsmith's portrait of Cumberland, though flattering, is not, we fancy, without a slight undercurrent of irony. Here are the lines from "Retaliation."
"Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts, The Terence of England, the mender of hearts; A flattering painter, who made it his care To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are. His gallants are all faultless, his women divine, And Comedy wonders at being so fine: Like a tragedy-queen he has dizen'd her out, Or rather like Tragedy giving a rout. His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd Of virtues and feelings, that Folly grows proud And coxcombs, alike in their failings atone: Adopting his portraits, are pleas'd with their own, Say, where has our poet this malady caught? Or wherefore his characters thus without fault? Say, was it that, mainly directing his view To find out men's virtues, and finding them few, Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf, He grew lazy at last, and drew from himself?"-ED.
(122) The novels of Mrs. Radcliffe were now at the height of their popularity. "The Mysteries of Udolpho," perhaps the most powerful of her works, had recently been published, to the intense delight of all lovers of the thrilling and romantic.-ED.
(123) The name was then "Ariella," changed afterwards to "Camilla."
(124) Written during his embarrassments from the French Revolution, and answer to a letter expressing bitter disappointment from repeated losses.
(125) M. de Narbonne, in reply, expressed, in lively terms, his gratitude for Madame d'Arblay's invitation, and his pleasure in receiving it. But he declined the proposal. He was not, he said, wholly without resources, or without hopes for the future, and circumstances made it desirable that he should reside at present near the French frontier.-ED.
(126) Gainsborough Dupont, a nephew of the great Gainsborough. He was a portrait-painter of some merit, and an excellent mezzo- tint engraver. some of his best plates were engraved after paintings by Gainsborough. Mr Dupont died in 1797.-ED.
(127) " The Birth of Love;" a poem: with engravings, from designs by her royal highness the Princess Elizabeth.
(128) i.e., the Duke of York, second son of the king. He had been appointed field-marshal and commander-in-chief early in 1795.-ED.
(129) The Duchess of York was daughter to the King of Prussia.- ED.
(130) Susan's little son, Norbury Phillips.-ED.
(131) Rose Dale, Richmond, Surrey. This place was formerly the residence of the poet Thomson, and afterwards became the property of the Honourable Mrs. Boscawen.
(132) The princess royal was married, May 18, 1797, to Frederick William, hereditary prince of Wurtemberg.-ED.
(133) Editor and proprietor of the "Monthly Review."
(134) The death of Dr. Burney's second wife.
(135) Fanny alludes to the so-called "loyalty loan," proposed and carried by Mr Pitt, to meet the expenses of the war. "Pitt evinced his own Public spirit, when he relied on and appealed to the public spirit of the People. He announced a loan of 18,000,000 pounds, at five per cent., to be taken at 112 pounds , 10 shillings, for every 100 pounds stock, and with an option to the proprietors to he paid off at par within two years after a treaty of peace."-(Stanhope's "Life of Pitt," vol. ii., P. 389.) The loan was taken up by the Public with extraordinary eagerness, 5,000,000 pounds being subscribed on the first day of issue (December 1, 1796).-ED. .'
(136) They had commenced building the cottage in October. Fanny writes, November 29: "Our cottage building stops now, from the shortness of the days, till the beginning of March. The foundation is laid, and it will then be run up with great speed. The well, at length, is finished, and it is a hundred and odd feet deep. The water is said to be excellent, but M. d'Arblay has had it now stopped to prevent accidents from hazardous boys, who, when the field is empty of owners, will be amusing themselves there. He has just completed his grand plantations; part of which are in evergreens, part in firewood for future time, and part in an orchard."-ED.
Page 123 SECTION 21. (1797-8)
"CAMILLA" COTTAGE. SUNDRY VISITS TO THE ROYAL FAMILY.
[Fanny's pen portraits of the princesses are as fascinating as Gainsborough's paintings of them. Their truly amiable characters and sweet dispositions are nowhere more pleasantly illustrated than in the following section of the "Diary." A list of their names, with the dates of their births and deaths, may be useful to the reader.
1. Charlotte, princess royal. born 1767: Queen of Wirtemburg: died 1828.
2. Augusta, Fanny's favourite, as she well deserved to be. Born 1768 : never married : died 1840.
3. Elizabeth, the artist of the family. Born 1770 : married the hereditary prince (afterwards, in 1820, Landgrave) of Hesse- Homburg in 18 18, and settled in Germany: died 1840.
4. Mary. Born 1776 : married her cousin, William Frederick, Duke of Gloucester, in 1816: died 1857.
5. Sophia, born 1777: died 1848.
6. Amelia, born 1783. Her health first gave way in 1798 (see p. 180): she died, unmarried, at Windsor, in 1810. A few days before her death she gave her poor blind, old father, a ring containing a scrap of her hair ; saying only, as she pressed it into his hand, "Remember me!" The poor king's anguish brought on a fresh attack of insanity, from which he never recovered.-ED.]
A DISAGREEABLE JOURNEY HoME.
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, January 3, '97. WAS extremely vexed at missing our uncertain post yesterday, and losing, unavoidably, another to-day, before I return my dearest father our united thanks for the kind and sweet fortnight passed under his roof. Our adventures in coming back were better adapted to our departure than our
arrival, for they were rather rueful. One of the horses did not like his business, and wanted to be off, and we were stopped by his gambols continually , and, if I had not been a soldier's wife, I should have been terribly alarmed; but my soldier does not like to see himself disgraced in his other half, and so I was fain to keep up my courage, till, at length, after we had passed Fetcham, the frisky animal plunged till he fastened the shaft against a hedge, and then, little Betty beginning to scream, I inquired of the postilion if we had not better alight. If it were not, he said, for the dirt, yes. The dirt then was defied, and I prevailed, though with difficulty, upon my chieftain to consent to a general dismounting. And he then found it was not too soon, for the horse became inexorable to all menace, caress, chastisement, or harangue, and was obliged to be loosened.
Meanwhile, Betty, Bab, and I trudged on, vainly looking back for our vehicle, till we reached our little home—a mile and a half. Here we found good fires, though not a morsel of food; this however, was soon procured, and our walking apparel changed for drier raiment; and I sent forth our nearest cottager, and a young butcher, and a boy, towards Fetcham, to aid the vehicle, or its contents, for my chevalier had stayed on account of our chattels: and about two hours after the chaise arrived, with one horse, and pushed by its hirer, while it was half dragged by its driver. But all came safe; and we drank a dish of tea, and ate a mutton chop, and kissed our little darling, and forgot all else of our journey hut the pleasure we had had at Chelsea with my dearest father and dear Sally.
And just now I received a letter from our Susanna, which tells me the invasion(137) has been made in a part of Ireland
Page 125 .
where all is so loyal there can be no apprehension from any such attempt ; but she adds, that if it had happened in the north everything might have been feared. Heaven send the invaders far from all the points of the Irish compass! and that's an Irish wish for expression, though not for meaning. All the intelligence she gathers is encouraging, with regard to the spirit and loyalty of all that surround her. But Mr. Brabazon is in much uneasiness for his wife, whose situation is critical, and he hesitates whether or not to convey her to Dublin, as a place of more security than her own habitation. What a period this for the usual journey of our invaluable Susan!
BURKE's FUNERAL AT BEACONSFIELD.
(Dr. Burney to Madame d'Arblay.) Saturday Night, July 22, 1797. I was invited to poor Mr. Burke's funeral,(138) by Mrs. Crewe and two notes from Beaconsfield. Malone and I went to Bulstrode together in my car, this day sevennight, with two horses added to mine. Mrs. Crewe had invited me thither when she went down first. We found the Duke of Portland there; and the Duke of Devonshire and Windham came to dinner. The chancellor and speaker of the House of Commons could not leave London till four o'clock, but arrived a little after seven. We all set off together for Beaconsfield, where we found the rest of the pall-bearers—Lord Fitzwilliam, Lord Inchiquin, and Sir Gilbert Eliot, with Drs. King and Lawrence, Lord North, Dudley North, and many of the deceased's private friends, though by his repeated injunction the funeral was to be very private. We had all hatbands, scarfs, and gloves; and he left a list to whom rings of remembrance are to be sent, among whom my name occurred, and a jeweller has been here for my measure. I went back to Bulstrode, by invitation, with the two dukes, the chancellor, and speaker, Windham, Malone, and Secretary King. I ,stayed there till Sunday evening, and got home just before the dreadful storm. The duke was extremely civil and hospitable,—
pressed me much to stay longer and go with them, the chancellor, speaker, Windham, and Mrs. Crewe, to Pinn, to see the school, founded by Mr. Burke, for the male children of French emigrant nobles; but I could not with prudence stay, having a couple of ladies waiting for me in London, and two extra horses with me.
So much for poor Mr. Burke, certainly one of the greatest men of the present century; and I think I might say the best orator and statesman of modern times. He had his passions and prejudices to which I did not subscribe - but I always admired his great abilities, friendship, and urbanity - and it would be ungrateful in you and me, to whom he was certainly partial, not to feel and lament his loss.
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, July 27, '97. I was surprised, and almost frightened, though at the same time gratified, to find you assisted in paying the last honours to Mr. Burke. How sincerely I sympathise in all you say of that truly great man! That his enemies say he was not perfect is nothing compared with his immense superiority over almost all those who are merely exempted from his peculiar defects. That he was upright in heart, even where he acted wrong, I do truly believe; and that he asserted nothing he had not persuaded himself to be true, from Mr. Hastings's being the most rapacious of villains, to the king's being incurably insane. He was as generous as kind, and as liberal in his sentiments as he was luminous in intellect and extraordinary in abilities and eloquence. Though free from all little vanity, high above envy, and glowing with zeal to exalt talents and merit in others, he had, I believe a consciousness of his own greatness, that shut out those occasional and useful self-doubts which keep our judgment in order, by calling our motives and our passions to account.
DEATH OF M. D'ARBLAY'S BROTHER.
(Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.) Bookham, August 10, '97. You know, I believe, with what cruel impatience and uncertainty my dear companion has waited for some news Of his family ; no tidings, however, could be procure, nor has Page 127
ever heard from any part of it till last Saturday morning, when two letters arrived by the same post, with information of the death of his only brother.
impossible as it has long been to look back to France without fears amounting even to expectation of horrors, he had never ceased cherishing hopes some favourable turn would, in the end, unite him with this last branch of his house; the shock, therefore, has been terribly severe, and has cast a gloom upon his mind and spirits which nothing but his kind anxiety to avoid involving mine can at present suppress. He is now the last of a family of seventeen, and not one relation of his own name now remains but his own little English son. His father was the only son of an only son, which drives all affinity on the paternal side into fourth and fifth kinsmen.
On the maternal side, however, he has the happiness to hear that an uncle, who is inexpressibly dear to him, who was his guardian and best friend through life, still lives, and has been permitted to remain unmolested in his own house, at Joigny, where he is now in perfect health, save from rheumatic .attacks, which though painful are not dangerous. A son, too, of this gentleman, who was placed as a commissaire-de-guerre by M. d'Arblay during the period of his belonging to the war committee, still holds the same situation, which is very lucrative, and which M. d'A. had concluded would have been withdrawn as soon as his own flight from France was known.
The little property of which the late Chevalier d'Arblay died possessed, this same letter says, has been "vendu pour la nation,"(139) because his next heir was an migr; though there is a little niece, Mlle. Girardin, daughter of an only sister, who is in France, and upon whom the succession was settled, if her uncles died without immediate heirs.
Some little matter, however, what we know not, has been reserved by being bought in by this respectable uncle, who sends M. d'Arblay word he has saved him what he may yet live upon, if he can find means to return without personal risk, and who solicits to again see him with urgent fondness, in which he is joined by his aunt with as much warmth as if she, also, was his relation by blood, not alliance.
The late chevalier, my M. d'A. says, was a man of the softest manners and most exalted honour ; and he was so tall and so thin, he was often nicknamed Don Quixote, but he was so completely aristocratic with regard to the Revolution, Page 128
at its very commencement, that M. d'A. has heard nothing yet with such unspeakable astonishment as the news that he died, near Spain, of his wounds from a battle in which he had fought for the Republic. "How strange," says M. d'A., "is our destiny! that that Republic which I quitted, determined to be rather an hewer of wood and drawer of water all my life than serve, he should die for." The secret history of this may some day come out, but it is now inexplicable, for the mere fact, without the smallest comment, is all that has reached us, In the period, indeed, in which M. d'A. left France, there were but three steps possible for those who had been bred to arms-flight, the guillotine, or fighting for the Republic, "The former this brother," M. d'A. says, "had not energy of character to undertake in the desperate manner in which he risked it himself, friendless and fortuneless, to live in exile as he could. The guillotine no one could elect; and the continuing in the service, though in a cause he detested, was, probably, his hard compulsion." . . .
Our new habitation will very considerably indeed exceed our first intentions and expectations. I suppose it has ever been so, and so ever must be ; for we sought as well as determined to keep within bounds, and M. d'A. still thinks he has done it - however, I am more aware of our tricks upon travellers than to enter into the same delusion.
The pleasure, however, he has taken in this edifice is my first joy, for it has constantly shown me his heart has invariably held to those first feelings which, before our union, determined him upon settling in England. O! if you knew how he has been assailed, by temptations of every sort that either ambition, or interest, or friendship could dictate, to change his plan,-and how his heart sometimes yearns towards those he yet can love in his native soil, while his firmness still remains unshaken,— you would not wonder I make light of even extravagance in a point that shows him thus fixed to make this object a part of the whole system of his future life.
FROM CREWE HALL TO CHELSEA.
(Dr. Burney to Madame d'Arblay.) Friday Night, September 13, 1797. My dear Fanny,-Where did I leave off?—hang me if I know!—I believe I told you, or all when with YOU, Of the Chester and Liverpool journey and voyage. On Saturday Page 129
26th August, the day month from leaving London, M. le prsident de Frondeville and I left Crewe Hall on our way back. The dear Mrs. Crewe kindly set us in our way as far as Etruria. We visited Trentham Hall, in Staffordshire, the famous seat of the Marquis of Stafford,—a very fine place—fine piece of water—fine hanging woods,—the valley of Tempe—and the river Trent running through the garden. Mrs C. introduced us to the marchioness, who did us the honour of showing us the house herself; it has lately been improved and enlarged by Wyatt:—fine pictures, library, etc.
After a luncheon here, we went to Etruria, which I had never seen. Old Mr. Wedgwood is dead, and his son and successor not at home ; but we went to the pottery manufacture, and saw the whole process of forming the beautiful things which are dispersed all over the universe from this place. Mrs. C. offered to send you a little hand churn for your breakfast butter ; but I should have broke it to pieces, and durst not accept of it. But if it would be of any use, when you have a cow, I will get you one at the Wedgwood ware-house in London. Here we parted.
The president and I got to Lichfield by about ten o'clock that night. In the morning, before my companion was up, I strolled about the city with one of the waiters, in search of Frank Barber,' who I had been told lived there; but on ,inquiry I was told his residence was in a village three or four miles off. I however soon found the house where dear Dr. Johnson was born, and his father's shop. The house is stuccoed, has five sash-windows in front, and pillars before it. It is the best house thereabouts, near St. Mary's Church, in a broad street, and is now a grocer's shop.
I went next to the Garrick house, which has been lately repaired, stuccoed, enlarged, and sashed. Peter Garrick, David's eldest brother, died about two years ago, leaving all his Possessions to the apothecary that had attended him. But the will was disputed and set aside not long since, it having appeared at a trial that the testator was insane at the time the will was made; so that Mrs. Doxie, Garrick's sister, a widow with a numerous family, recovered the house and -_30,000, She now lives in it with her family, and has been able to set up a carriage. The inhabitants of Lichfield were so pleased
with the decision of the court on the trial, that they illuminated the streets, and had public rejoicings on the occasion.
After examining this house well, I tried to find the residence of Dr. James, inventor of the admirable fever powders, which have so often saved the life of our dear Susey, and others without number. But the ungrateful inhabitants knew nothing about him. . . .
The cathedral, which has been lately thoroughly repaired internally, is the most complete and beautiful Gothic building I ever saw. The outside was trs mal trait by the fanatics of the last century; but there are three beautiful spires still standing, and more than fifty whole-length figures of saints in their original niches. The choir is exquisitely beautiful. A fine new organ is erected, and was well played, and I never heard the cathedral service so well performed to that instrument only before. The services and anthems were middle-aged music, neither too old and dry, nor too modern and light ; the voices subdued, and exquisitely softened and sweetened by the building,
While the lessons were reading, which I could not hear, I looked for monuments, and found a beautiful one to Garrick, and another just by it to Johnson; the former erected by Mrs. Garrick, who has been daily abused for not erecting one to her husband in Westminster Abbey ; but sure that was a debt due to him from the public, and that due from his widow best paid here.(141) Johnson's has been erected by his friends:—both are beautiful, and alike in every particular.
There is a monument here to Johnson's first patron, Mr. Walmsley, whose amplitude of learning and copiousness of communication were such, that our revered friend said, "it might be doubted whether a day passed in which he had not some advantage from his friendship." There is a monument likewise to Lady M. W. Montagu, and to the father of Mr. Addison, etc.
We left Lichfield about two o'clock, and reached Daventry that night, stopping a little at Coventry to look at the great church and Peeping Tom. Next day got to St. Albans time enough to look 'It the church and neighbouring ruins. Next morning breakfasted at Barnet, where my car met me, and got to Chelsea by three o'clock, leaving my agreeable compagnon de voyage, M. le prsident, at his apartments in town. . . .
AT DR. HERSCHEL'S.
(Dr. Burney to Madame d'Arblay.) Chelsea College, Thursday, September 28. My dear Fanny,—I read your letter pen in hand, and shall try to answer it by to-day's post. But first let me tell you that it was very unlikely to find me at home, for on Tuesday I went to Lord Chesterfield's at Bailie's, and arrived there in very good time for a four o'clock dinner - when, behold ! I was informed by the porter that " both my lord and lady were in town, and did not return till Saturday ! " Lord Chesterfield had unexpectedly been obliged to go to town by indisposition. Though I was asked to alight and take refreshment, I departed immediately, intending to dine and lie at Windsor, to be near Dr. Herschel, with whom a visit had been arranged by letter. But as I was now at liberty to make that visit at any time of the day I pleased, I drove through Slough in my way to Windsor, in order to ask at Dr. Herschel's door when my visit would be least inconvenient to him—that night or next morning. The good soul was at dinner, but came to the door himself, to press me to alight immediately and partake of his family repast - and this he did so heartily that I could not resist. I was introduced to the family at table, four ladies, and a little boy about the age and size of Martin.(142) I was quite shocked at seeing so many females: I expected (not knowing Herschel was married) only to have found Miss Herschel. . . . I expressed my concern and shame at disturbing them at this time of the day ; told my story, at which they were so cruel as to rejoice, and went so far as to say they rejoiced at the accident which had brought me there, and hoped I would send my carriage away, and take a bed with them. They were sorry they had no stables for my horses. I thought it necessary, You may, be sure, to faire la petite bouche, ,but in spite of my blushes I was obliged to submit to my trunk being taken in and the car sent to the inn just by. . . .
Your health was drunk after dinner (put that int.) your pocket); and after much social conversation and a few hearty laughs, the ladies proposed to take a walk, in order, I believe, to leave Herschel and me together. We walked and talked
round his great telescopes till it grew damp and dusk, then retreated into his study to philosophise. I had a string of questions ready to ask, and astronomical difficulties to solve, which, with looking at curious books and instruments, filled up the time charmingly till tea, which being drank with the ladies, we two retired again to the starry. Now having paved the way, we began to talk of my poetical plan, and he pressed me to read what I had done.(143) Heaven help his head! my eight books, of from four hundred to eight hundred and twenty lines, would require two or three days to read.