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* Je viens vous parler d'un de mes amis et compagnons—de D'Arblay.” “Je connais cette affaire,” dit le Premier Consul, d'un ton qui marquait plus de bienveillance que je n'osais l'espérer, ou du moins qu'on ne me l'avait fait craindre.
« Je vous assure," me dit le lendemain M. de Lafayette, “que vous avez près du Premier Consul de bons amis qui lui avaient déjà parlé de votre affaire. Il m'a paru, dès le premier instant, plutôt disposé en votre faveur que fâché contre vous.
Il a écouté avec attention et bonté tout ce que j'ai eu à dire, a rendu justice à votre loyauté; et, sur ce que je lui ai parlé de la crainte qu'on vous avait inspirée relativement à l'impression fâcheuse qui pouvait lui rester sur cette affaire, m'a répondu positivement, que cela ne nuirait en aucune manière à vos droits acquis, et qu'il ne considérerait dans cette démarche que le mari de' Cecilia.”'
J'espère que tu ne seras pas très mécontente de la manière dont finit cette affaire, qui m'a donné beaucoup de chagrin. Je crois même pouvoir t'ajouter en confidence que je ne suis pas, peut-être, fort éloigné d'avoir ma retraite.
Viens donc me trouver, ma bonne amie. Comment se porte Maria ?
Pourras-tu t'arranger pour venir avec elle? ou bien préfères-tu venir à Douvre avec Alex., sous la garde d'un de tes frères, pour t'y embarquer et arriver à Calais, où j'irais t'attendre ? Cet arrangement serait bien plus selon mon cœur; mais outre que je voudrais bien que tu eusses un homme, dans le passage, cela serait bien plus cher. Ne manque pas surtout de prendre un passeport de Monsieur Otto, et de te munir non seulement de nos actes de mariage, mais de celui de naissance de notre cher petit, le tout;
bien légalisé par la signature non seulement du juge de paix, mais d'un notaire public.
Madame d'Arblay to Doctor Burney.
March 30, 1802. Now, indeed, my dearest father, I am in an excess of hurry not to be exceeded by even any of yours. I have a letter from M. d'Arblay, to tell me he has already taken us an apartment, and he dates from the 5th of April, in Paris, where he has reasons for remaining some time, before we go to his good uncle, at Joigny.
I am to take the little sweet child with me you saw here one day, Mlle. de Chavagnac, whose father, le Comte de Chavagnac, has desired her restoration. My kind Mrs. Lock is almost in affliction at parting with her, though glad of an opportunity of sending her with friends the poor thing knows and loves.
I fear, I have so very much to do here, that I shall have a very, very short enjoyment of my beloved father at Chelsea; but I shall get there as soon as possible, and stay there to my last moment. I have a thousand things, and very curious ones, to tell you; but I must defer them for vive voix. I am really bewildered and almost trembling with hurry, and with what I am going, to undertake! Yet through all, I bless God every moment of my life that M. d'Arblay went not to that pestilential climate!
I do all-all I can to keep up my courage-or rather, to make up; and when I feel faltering, I think of St. Domingo! Every body that knows St. Domingo now owns that he had hardly a chance for safety, independ
ent of tempests in the voyage, and massacres in the mountains. May I but be able to console him for all he has sacrificed to my peace and happiness! and no privation will be severe, so that at our stated period, Michaelmas twelvemonth, we return to my country, and to my dearest father, whom Heaven bless and preserve, prays his dutiful, affectionate and grateful, and devoted daughter,
P.S. Monsieur de Lally has put off his journey; I shall therefore not wait for him, but set out with my two children.
(Addressed to Dr. Burney.)
I SEIZE, at length, upon the largest paper I can procure, to begin to my beloved father some account of our journey, and if I am able, I mean to keep him a brief journal of my proceedings during this destined year or eighteen months' separation,-secure of his kindest interest in all that I may have to relate, and certain he will be anxious to know how I go on in a strange land : 'tis my only way now of communicating with him, and I must draw from it one of my dearest worldly comforts, the hopes of seeing his loved hand with some return.
Thursday, April 15, 1802. William and John conducted my little boy and me in excellent time to the inn in Piccadilly, where we met my kind Mrs. Lock, and dear little Adrienne de
Chavagnac. The parting there was brief and hurried ; and I set off on my grand expedition, with my two dear
young charges, exactly at five o'clock,
Paris, April 15, 1802. “ The book-keeper came to me eagerly, crying " vite, vite, Madame, prenez votre place dans la diligence, car voici un Monsieur Anglais, qui surement va prendre la meilleure !"-en effet, ce Monsieur Anglais did not disap, point his expectations, or much raise mine; for he not only took the best place, but contrived to ameliorate it by the little scruple with which he made every other worse, from the unbridled expansion in which he indulged his dear person, by putting out his elbows against his next, and his knees and feet against his opposite neighbour. He seemed prepared to look upon all around him with a sort of sulky haughtiness, pompously announcing himself as a commander of distinction who had long served at Gibraltar and various places, who had travelled thence through France, and from France to Italy, who was a native of Scotland, and of proud, though unnamed genealogy; and was now going to Paris purposely to behold the First Consul, to whom he meant to claim an introduction through Mr. Jackson. His burnt complexion, Scotch accent, large bony face and figure, and high and distant demeanour, made me easily conceive and believe him a highland chief, I never heard his name, but I think him a gentleman born, though not gently bred.
The next to mention is a Madame Raymond or Grammont, for I heard not distinctly which, who seemed very much a gentlewoman, and who was returning to France, too uncertain of the state of her affairs to know
whether she might rest there or not. She had only one defect to prevent my taking much interest in her; this was, not merely an avoidance, but a horror of being touched by either of my children; who, poor little souls, restless and fatigued by the confinement they endured, both tried to fling themselves upon every passenger in turn; and though by every one they were sent back to their sole prop, they were by no one repulsed with such hasty displeasure as by this old lady, who seemed as fearful of having the petticoat of her gown, which was stiff, round, and bulging, as if lined with parchment, deranged, as if she had been attired in a hoop for Court. : The third person was a Madame Blaizeau, who seemed an exceeding good sort of a woman, gay, voluble, good humoured, and merry. All we had of amusement sprung from her sallies, which were uttered less from a desire of pleasing others, her very natural character having none of the high polish bestowed by the Graces, than from a jovial spirit of enjoyment which made them produce pleasure to herself. She soon and frankly acquainted us she had left France to be a governess to some young ladies before the Revolution, and under the patronage, as I think, of the Duke of Dorset; she had been courted, she told us, by an English gentleman farmer, but he would not change his religion for her, nor she for him, and so, when every thing was bought for her wedding, they broke off the connexion; and she afterwards married a French
She had seen a portrait, set richly in diamonds, of the King, prepared for a present to the First Consul; and described its superb ornaments and magnificence, in a way to leave no doubt of the fact. She