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you blush for me. A failure upon those points only, can bring disgrace; upon mere cabal or want of dramatic powers, it can only cause disappointment.
I hope, therefore, my dearest father, in thinking this over you will cease to nourish such terrors and disgust at an essay so natural, and rather say to yourself, with an internal smile, “ After all, 'tis but like father like child; for to what walk do I confine myself? She took my example in writing—she takes it in ranging. Why then, after all, should I lock her
in one paddock, well as she has fed there, if she says she finds nothing more to nibble; while I find all the earth unequal to my ambition, and mount the skies to content it? Come on, then, poor Fah! the world has acknowledged you my offspring, and I will disencourage you no more. Leap the pales of your paddock-let us pursue our career; and, while you frisk from novel to comedy, I, quitting Music and Prose, will try a race with Poetry and the Stars." I am sure my
dear father will not infer, from this appeal, I mean to parallel our works. -No one more truly measures her own inferiority, which, with respect to yours, has always been my pride. I only mean to show, that if my muse loves a little variety, she has an hereditary claim to try it.
Madame d'Arblay to Doctor Burney.
West Hamble, November 7, 1800. I THINK it very long not to hear at least of you, my dearest padre. My tranquil and happy security, alas ! has been broken in upon by severe conflicts since I
wrote to my dearest father last, which I would not communicate while yet pending, but must now briefly
My partner, the truest of partners, has been erased from the list of emigrants nearly a year; and in that period has been much pressed and much blamed by his remaining friends in France, by every opportunity through which they could send to him, for not immediately returning, and seeing if anything could be yet saved from the wreck of his own and family's fortune; but he held steady to his original purpose never to revisit his own country till it was at peace with this ; till a letter came from his beloved uncle himself, conveyed to him through Hambro', which shook all the firmness of his resolution, and has kept him, since its receipt, in a state of fermentation, from doubts and difficulties, and crossing wishes and interests, that has much affected his health as well as tranquillity.
All, however, now, is at least decided; for a few days since he received a letter from M. Lajard, who is returned to Paris, with information from his uncle's eldest son, that some of his small property is yet unsold, to about the amount of 10001., and can still be saved from sequestration if he will immediately go over and claim it; or, if that is impossible, if he will send his procuration to his uncle, from some country not at war with France.
This ended all his internal contest; and he is gone this very morning to town to procure a passport and a passage
in some vessel bound to Holland. So unused are we to part, never yet for a week having been separated during the eight years of our union, that our first idea was going together, and taking our Alex.; and certain I am nothing would do
me such material and mental good as so complete a change of scene; but the great expense of the voyage and journey, and the inclement season for our little boy, at length finally settled us to pray only for a speedy meeting. But I did not give it up till late last night, and am far from quite reconciled to relinquishing it even now.
He has no intention to go to France, or he would make an effort to pass by Calais, which would delightfully shorten the passage; but he merely means to remain at the Hague while he sends over his procuration, and learns how soon he may hope to reap its fruits.
I can write upon nothing else just now, my dearest father; the misfortune of this call at such a boisterous, dangerous season, will oppress and alarm me, in defiance of all I can oppose of hope ; yet the measure is so reasonable, so natural, I could no longer try to combat it. Adieu, dearest Sir. If any news of him reaches me before his return, I will not enjoy it five minutes previous to communicating it to my dear father. He hopes at all events to be able to embrace you, and beg your benediction before he departs, which nothing but the very unlikely chance of meeting a vessel just sailing for Holland immediately can prevent. He is well—and, oh, what a support to me!
Madame d'Arblay to Doctor Burney.
13th December, 1800. Your commission is arrived just as I am going to , write to my dear Chevalier, I hope for the last letter
upon this separation. But he is not certain yet of his return. What a dreadful fright the “True Briton’ gave me one day last week of a new mouvement in Paris ! God keep all quiet there!--but him—and may he be restless till he quits it !
I was going to begin a letter to you the other day, in the fulness of my heart, to exult, with you, on a testimony of respect and veneration which are so highly honourable, paid to the wisdom and authority of our dear Dr. Johnson, by the Lord Chancellor, in his reprimand to Mr. Sheridan.
I hope you had the same words I read. I was really lifted up by them. The Chancellor gave in the Doctor's language the rebuke he could not, perhaps, give to an M. P., and so powerful an antagonist as Mr. Sheridan, in his own. But I have been much grieved for the loss of my faithful as well as honoured friend, Mrs. Chapone, and very sorry for good Mr. Langton.
How is our Blue Club cut up! But Sir William Pepys told me it was dead while living; all such society as that we formerly belonged to, and enjoyed, being positively over.
Madame d' Arblay to Doctor Burney.
West Hamble, 16th December, 1800. He is returned, my dearest father, already! My joy and surprise are so great I seem in a dream. I have just this moment a letter from him, written at Gravesend.
What he has been able to arrange as to his affairs, I know not; and just now cannot care, so great is my thankfulness for his safety and return. He waits in
the river for his passport, and will, when he obtains it, hasten, I need not say, to West Hamble.
This blessed news my dearest father will, I am sure, be glad to receive; I am sure, too, of the joy of my dear, affectionate Fanny. He will be here, I hope, to keep his son's sixth birthday, on Thursday. He is well, he says, but horribly fatigued. Heaven bless and preserve you, dearest Sir. Your ever dutiful and affectionate,
Madame ďArblay to Dr. Burney.
West Hamble, September 1, 1801. My dearest-kindest-cruellest father!- That so long and so interesting, and so dear a letter should give me so great a disappointment! and that fish so admirable should want its best sauce! Indeed, I cannot help a little repining, though when I think of damps and rheumatisms, I am frightened out of murmuring: for in this lone cottage I would not have you indisposed for the universe. But 'tis very provocas-yet I have so much to be thankful for, and so thankful I feel for that much, that I am ashamed of seeming discontented . I don't know what for to do! ...
And the carpet! how kind a thought! Goodness me! as Lady Hales used to say, I don't know what for to do more and more! But a carpet we have—though not yet spread, as the chimney is unfinished, and room incomplete. Charles brought us the tapis so that, in fact, we have yet bought nothing for our best room-and meant for our own share—to buy a table ... and if my dearest father will be so goodand so naughty at once, as to crown our salle d'Audience