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think of with murmuring or regret. He has the happiness to be placed amongst extremely worthy people; and those who are his chefs in office treat him with every possible mark of consideration and feeling.
We continue steady to our little cell at Passy, which is retired, quiet, and quite to ourselves, with a magnificent view of Paris from one side, and a beautiful one of the country on the other. It is unfurnished indeed, unpapered, and every way unfinished; for our workmen, in the indispensable repairs which preceded our entering it, ran us up bills that compelled us to turn them adrift, and leave every thing at a stand, when three rooms only were made just habitable.
Dr. Burney to Madame d'Arblay.
July 12, 1805.
Your brother, Dr. Charles, and I, have had the honour last Tuesday of dining with the Prince of Wales at Lord Melbourne's, at the particular desire of H.R.H. He is so good-humoured and gracious to those against whom he has no party prejudice, that it is impossible not to be flattered by his politeness and condescension. I was astonished to find him, amidst such constant dissipation, possessed of so much learning, wit, knowledge of books in general, discrimination of character, as well as original humour. He quoted Homer in Greek to my son as readily as if the beauties of Dryden or Pope had been under consideration. And as to music, he is an excellent critic; has an enlarged taste-admiring whatever is good in its kind, of whatever age or country the composers or performers
may be; without, however, being insensible to the superior genius and learning necessary to some kinds of music more than others.
The conversation was general and lively, in which several of the company, 'consisting of eighteen or twenty, took a share, till towards the heel of the evening, or rather the toe of the morning; for we did not rise from table till one o'clock, when Lady Melbourne being returned from the opera with her daughters, coffee was ordered ; during which H.R.H. took me aside and talked exclusively about music near half an hour, and as long with your brother concerning Greek literature. He is a most excellent mimic of well-known characters: had we been in the dark any one would have sworn that Dr. Parr and Kemble were in the
Besides being possessed of a great fund of original humour, and good humour, he may with truth be said to have as much wit as Charles II., with much more learning-for his merry majesty could spell no better than the bourgeois gentil-homme.
Dr. Burney to Madame d'Arblay.
June 12, 1808. MY DEAR FANNY,
The complaint made in one of two short notes I have received, of letters never answered, old Charles returns, as his account of family affairs, he finds, has never reached you. Indeed, for the last two or three years, I have had nothing good to say of own self, and I peremptorily charged all the rest of the family to say nothing bad on the subject of health, for I never understood the kindness of alarming distant
friends with accounts of severe illness, as we may be recovered or dead before the information reaches them.
Last autumn I had an alarming seizure in my left hand; and, mine being 'pronounced a Bath case, on Christmas Eve I set out for that city, extremely weak and dispirited-put myself under the care of Dr. Parry, and after remaining there three months I found my hand much more alive, and my general health considerably amended.
During my invalidity at Bath I had an unexpected visit from your Streatham friend, of whom I had lost sight for more than ten years. I saw very few people, but none of an evening nor of a morning, on the days my hand was pumped on. When her name was sent in I was much surprised, but desired she might be admitted; and I received her as an old friend with whom I had spent much time very happily, and never wished to quarrel. She still looks well, but is grave, and candour itself; though still she says good things, and writes admirable notes and letters, I am told, to my granddaughters C. and M., of whom she is very fond. We shook hands very cordially, and avoided any allusion to our long separation and its cause; the Caro Sposo still lives, but is such an object from the gout that the account of his sufferings made me pity him sincerely; he wished, she told me, "to see his old and worthy friend,” and, un beau matin, I could not refuse compliance with his wish. She nurses him with great affection and tenderness, never goes out or has company when he is in pain. God bless you and yours, prays
Your very affectionate Padre.
Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney, Chelsea.
ce 16 Septembre, 1807. MY MOST DEAR FATHER,
I have just received a kind offer to send a few lines to the spot whence my most ardent wishes are to receive many, but whence the handwriting that most of all I sigh to behold has not blessed my sight since the return of Madame de Cadignan. Nor have I ever heard whether the last six letters I have written have as yet been received. Two of them were antiques that had waited three or four years some opportunity; a third was concerning the Institute, and M. le Breton's wish to see you installed one of the foreign members and correspondents; the two last were to reach you through a voyage by America, and therefore may not yet be arrived. I do not count the few lines sent by Maria, though to obtain even a smaller mite myself would fill me with joy and thankfulness.
21 Août, 1808.—The expected opportunity for which I had strung this lamentable list of unacknowledged claims, nearly a twelvemonth since, failed; another at this moment offers—may it prove more propitious! Could it but rebound to me with news of your health, such as it conveys from hence of ours, how should I bless it! But an intercourse such as that must wait for other blessings than mine—the blessings of peace - and those, the whole wounded universe would surely join to hail. My paper is so stinted, and my time so limited, that I can begin no regular account of our proceedings, which, indeed, have but little varied since we lost Maria. O that any one could give me
here the history of yours! I am in such terrible. arrears of all such knowledge that I know not who will ever undertake to pay me. My last intelligence was that you were well, my dearest father, and that the family at large, in that at least, imitated you. But details-none, none reach me! I have a bitter anxiety of suspense upon some subjects very near my heart. Not even the loved names of
of my family now reach me; Esther, James, Charles, Charlotte, Sally, with all their younger selves, and Richard and his boys, all are sounds strange to my ears, and my
beloved friends of Norbury are banished thence with the same rigour! I am sad, sad indeed, at this deprivation ; though in all else I am still and constantly happy, for in my two faithful companions I tind sympathy in all my feelings, and food, sweet food for all my hopes.
Madame d’Arblay to Dr. Burney.
September, 1808. After being so long robbed of all means of writing to my beloved father, I seize, with nearly as much surprise as gratitude, a second opportunity of addressing him almost before the first can have brought my hand to his sight. When will some occasion offer to bring me back-not my revenge, but my first and most coveted satisfaction ? With how much more spirit, also, should I write, if I knew what were received of what already I have scrawled! Volumes, however, must have been told you, of what in other times I should have written, by Maria. For myself, when once a re