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and it is a great pleasure to me that Mr. Lock believes it too, 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 in
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, 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. I entreat you to let me know how poor Mrs. Burke supports herself in this most desolate state, and who remains to console her when Mrs. Crewe will be far off.
Our cottage is now in the act of being rough cast. Its ever imprudent and téméraire builder made himself very ill t’other day, by going from the violent heat of extreme hard work in his garden to drink out of a freshdrawn pail of well-water, and dash the same over his face. A dreadful headache ensued; and two days' confinement, with James's powders, have but just reinstated him. In vain I represent he has no right now to make so free with himself-he has such a habit of disdaining all care and precaution, that, though he gives me the fairest promises, I find them of no avail. Mr. Angerstein went to see his field lately, and looked everywhere for him, having heard he was there; but he was not immediately to be known, while digging with all his might and main, without coat or waistcoat, and in his green leather cap.
Imagine my surprise the other day, my dearest Padre, at receiving a visit from Mr. and Mrs. Barbauld! We had never visited, and only met one evening at Mr. Bur
rows's, by appointment, whither I was carried to meet her by Mrs. Chapone. They are at Dorking, on a visit to Dr. Aikin, her brother, who is there at a lodging for his health. I received them with great pleasure, for I think highly both of her talents and her character, and he seems a very gentle, good sort of man.
I am told, by a French priest who occasionally visits M. d'Arblay, that the commanding officer at Dorking says he knows you very well, but I cannot make out his
Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.
Bookham, August 10, '97. My dearest Father will, I know, be grieved at any grief of M. d’Arblay's, though he will be glad his own truly interesting letter should have arrived by the same post. You know, I believe, with what cruel impatience and uncertainty my dear companion has waited for some news of his family, and how terribly his expectations were disappointed upon a summons to town some few months since, when the hope of intelligence carried him thither under all the torment of his recently wounded foot, which he could not then put to the ground; no tidings, however, could he procure, nor has he 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.
He hears, too, that M. de Narbonne is well and safe, and still in Switzerland, where he lives, says the letter, “ très modestement, obscurément, et tranquillement," with a chosen small society forced into similar retreat. This is consolatory, for the long and unaccountable silence of this his beloved friend had frequently filled him with the utmost uneasiness,
The little property of which the late Chevalier d'Arblay died possessed, this same letter says, has been“ vendu pour la nation," because his next heir was an émigré ; 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
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 letter is written from Switzerland by a person who passed through Joigny, from Paris, at the request of M. d'Arblay, to inquire the fate of his family, and to make known his own.
The commission, though so lately executed, was given before the birth of our little Alex. The letter adds that no words can express the tender joy of this excellent uncle and his wife in hearing M. d'Arblay was alive and well.
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, 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
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 for
tuneless, 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. No one was allowed to lay down his arms and retire."
A gentleman born in the same town as M. d'A., Joigny, has this morning found a conductor to bring him to our Hermitage. He confirms the account that all in that little town has been suffered to remain quiet, his own relations there still existing undisturbed. M. d'Arblay is gone to accompany him back as far as Ewell. He has been evidently much relieved by the visit, and the power of talking over, with an old townsman as well as countryman, early scenes and connexions. It is a fortunately timed rencounter, and I doubt not but he will return less sad.
F. D'A. 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, 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, nay, not even one moment wavering or hesitating,--you