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cause, as I have already hinted, they were beginning to run to seed before we knew they were eatable.
Madame d’Arblay to Doctor Burney.
Bookham, April, 1794. What a charming letter was your last, my dearest father! How full of interesting anecdote and enlivening detail! The meeting with Mrs. Thrale, so surrounded by her family, made me breathless; and while you were conversing with the Signor, and left me in doubt whether you advanced to her or not, I almost gasped with impatience and revived old feel. ings, which, presently, you reanimated to almost all their original energy. How like my dearest father to find all his kindness rekindled when her ready hand once more invited it! I heard her voice in so Why here's Dr. Burney as young as ever!” and my dear father in his parrying answers. No scene could have been related to me more interesting or more welcome. My heart and hand, I am sure, would have met her in the same manner. The friendship was too pleasant in its first stage, and too strong in its texture, to be ever obliterated, though it has been tarnished and clouded. I wish few things more earnestly than again to meet her.
Miss T-must, I am sure, have been gratified by what
you said to her of her reverend protégés, the emigrant French priests: and how sincerely I congratulate you upon the noble success your indefatigable measures and cares in their favour have produced! I did not know Dean Marley was made a bishop. I am
very glad to hear it at the same moment that I hear of his beneficence.
I am almost ashamed to use the word fortunate in speaking of Toulon. Yet, good Heaven, what an escape from how useless a sacrifice must I ever look back to Mr. Pitt's not accepting M. d'Arblay's, services ! For I never could buoy myself up with those sanguine expectations of the constitutional spirit of all the south of France, that made M. d'Arblay believe the risk, be whatever the personal event, well worth running for his unhappy country.
Adieu, dearest Sir! with a thousand thanks for your "heart dear" letter.
Ever, most affectionately,
F. D’A. Think of our horticultural shock last week, when Mrs. Bailey, our landlady, “entreated M. d'Arblay not to spoil her fruit-trees !”-trees he had been pruning with his utmost skill and strength. However, he has consulted your “Millar” thereupon, and finds out she is very ignorant, which he has gently intimated to her.
Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.
Bookham, May 9, 1794. How kind is my dearest Father, and how straight to my heart comes his kindness! The Chanterelles and Mandoline have vibrated to that of M. d'Arblay. “The Cunning Man”* he is reading with great pleasure, and, from its simplicity, and his remembrance of
* Dr. Barney's translation (in verse) of Rousseau's Devin du Village.'
the French, with as much facility as prose. It will be an exceeding good lesson with his Mandoline.
How often- how often-do I regret that my beloved father cannot for some time de suite see the sun rise and set with a character so formed to become every way dear to him!-so replete with every resource for cheerful solitude and happy retirement !-so very like himself in disposition, humour, and taste, that the day never passes in which I do not, in its course, exclaim, “How you remind me of my father ?"
We were anxious that Mr. L should have an interview with Mrs. Schwellenberg, as M. d'Arblay had been informed that some one had told the King he had "served in America against England, as secretary to M. de Lafayette.” Who could have invented such a complete falsehood? M. d'Arblay begged Mr. L-simply and roundly to make known, first, that he never was in America ; secondly, that he had never any connexion with M. de Lafayette but as his equal, except with respect alone to military precedence; and thirdly, that, having been an officer in the Royal Artillery from twelve years of age, he had never served any man whatever (officially) but his King.
Is not this news from the Continent as well as from the West Indies very excellent ? We wanted to make ourselves Tower and Park guns for a little rejoicing. However, not having cannon or powder, M. d'A. has contented himself with only making me another new walk in our orchard, which must serve instead.
I forgot to mention in my late letters that I have seen good Mr. Hoole. I heard he had visited our worthy neighbours, the clergyman and his wife; and Mrs. Cooke meant to oblige me by discouraging him
from calling. I desired her to rectify that mistake if he came again ; for my resolute declining of all new acquaintance, to avoid dress, &c., is very remote from involving seclusion from old friends. He accordingly presented himself soon after, and I was very glad to see him. As he spoke French with as much difficulty as M. d'Arblay speaks English, M. d'A., on hearing he had translated Ariosto and Tasso, attacked him in Italian, but was much surprised to find himself not even understood. How very different to know and to speak a language! M. d'A. is himself an instance, for he hesitates in pronouncing “How do do?" yet he wants no assistance in reading Hume, or even a newspaper,
which is far more difficult, because more diffuse, and subject to local cant.
I see your name, my dearest father, with generals, statesmen, monarchs, and Charles Fox, in a collection of bons mots! I am dying for the work. If you have it, I beseech a peep at it by some opportunity. I will carefully return it.
From Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney after his first visit to her at Bookham.
Bookham, August, '94. It is just a week since I had the greatest gratification of its kind I ever, I think, experienced :--so kind a thought, so sweet a surprise as was my dearest father's visit! How softly and soothingly it has rested upon my mind ever since !
“Abdolomine"* has no regret but that his garden was not in better order; he was a little piqué, he con
* Name of a gardener in a drama of Fontenelle's.
fesses, that you said it was not rery neat-and, to be shor !--but his passion is to do great works : he undertakes with pleasure, pursues with energy, and finishes with spirit; but, then, all is over! He thinks the business once done always done ; and to repair, and amend, and weed, and cleanse,-0, these are drudgeries insupportable to him !
However, you should have seen the place before he began his operations, to do him justice; there was then nothing else but mauvaises herbes; now, you must at least allow there is a mixture of flowers and grain! I wish you
had seen him yesterday, mowing down our hedge--with his sabre, and with an air and attitudes so military, that, if he had been hewing down other legions than those he encountered—i. e. of spidershe could scarcely have had a mien more tremendous, or have demanded an arm more mighty. Heaven knows, I am “the most contente personne in the world” to see his sabre so employed !
You spirited me on in all ways; for this week past I have taken tightly to the grand ouvrage.* If I go on so a little longer, I doubt not but M. d'Arblay will begin settling where to have a new shelf for arranging it! which is already in his rumination for Metastasio ; I imagine you now seriously resuming that work; I hope to see further sample ere long.
We think with very great pleasure of accepting my mother's and your kind invitation for a few days. I hope and mean, if possible, to bring with me also a little sample of something less in the dolorous style than what always causes your poor shoulders a little shrug.f Mr. and Mrs. Lock were very sorry to have missed
* Camilla,' then lately begun.