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without; and I send you both our dear friend Dr. Johnson's Rasselas.'
This is sad news from Dunkirk, at which our own Jacobins will insolently triumph. Everything in France seems to move in a regular progression from bad to
After near five years' struggle and anarchy, no man alive, with a grain of modesty, would venture to predict how or when the evils of that country will be terminated. In the mean time the peace and comfort of every civilised part of the globe is threatened with similar calamities.
Your mother and Sarah join their compliments to M. d'Arblay, and love to yourself, with those of
Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.
Bookham, September 29th, 1793. WHEN I received the last letter of my dearest father, and for some hours after, I was the happiest of all human beings. I make no exception, for I think none possible: not a wish remained to me; not a thought of sorming
This was just the period—is it not always so ?--for a blow of sorrow to reverse the whole scene: accordingly, that evening M. d'Arblay communicated to me his desire of going to Toulon.
He had intended retiring from public life: his services and his sufferings in his severe and long career, repaid by exile and confiscation, and for ever embittered to his memory by the murder of his Sovereign, had justly satisfied the claims of his conscience and honour; and led him, without a single self-reproach, to seek a quiet retreat in domestic society: but the second declaration
of Lord Hood no sooner reached this little obscure dwelling, - no sooner had he read the words Louis XVII. and the Constitution to which he had sworn united, than his military ardour rekindled, his loyalty was all up in arms, and every sense of duty carried him back to wars and dangers.
I dare not speak of myself, except to say that I have forborne to oppose him with a single solicitation : all the felicity of this our chosen and loved retirement would effectually be annulled by the smallest suspicion that it was enjoyed at the expense of any duty; and therefore, since he is persuaded it is right to go, I acquiesce.
He is now writing an offer of his services, which I am to convey to Windsor, and which he means to convey himself to Mr. Pitt. As I am sure it will interest my dear father, I will copy it for him.
This total break into all my tranquillity incapacitates me from attempting at this moment to compose any address for the poor suffering clergy; but, as nothing could give me greater comfort than contributing the smallest mite in their favour, I beseech my dear father to let me know in what manner I should try—whether as a letter, and to whom; or how: besides, I know so little what has already been said, that I am at a loss where to look, or where to shun; yet I would gladly make any experiment in my possible power, and M. d’Arblay particularly wishes it.
How flattering and kind Mrs. Crewe! and how delightful to me what is said by Mr. Burke! I entreat you to take the first opportunity to thank them warmly, and to assure them their kindness of remembrance is a true joy to me, and to return my most grateful thanks to the very amiable Mrs. Burke.
I have had congratulatory letters every day this week.
Miss Ellerker has written, and begs to be introduced to M. d'Arblay.
Are we not coming into high fashion ? Ah! if peace would come without, what could equal my peace within ?
Let me not forget to say that even M. De Luc sends me his felicitations, in an ardent letter of friendly kindness written by his excellent wife, and his joy for M. d'Arblay in the late affair of Toulon and acknowledgment of the Constitution.
My dearest father, before this tremendous project broke into our domestic economy, M. d'Arblay had been employed in a little composition, which, being all in his power, he destined to lay at your feet, as a mark of his pleasure in your attention to his horticultural pursuit. He has just finished copying it for you, and to-morrow it goes by the stage.
Your hint of a book from time to time enchanted him : it seems to me the only present he accepts entirely without pain. He has just requested me to return to Mrs. Lock herself a cadeau she had brought us. If it had been an old court-calendar, or an almanac, or anything in the shape of a brochure, he would have received it with his best bow and smile.
This Toulon business finally determines our deferring the maisonette till the spring. Heaven grant it may be deferred no longer! Mr. Lock says it will be nearly as soon ready as if begun in the autumn, for it will be better to have it aired and inhabited before the winter seizes it. If the mémoire which M. d'Arblay is now writing is fiuished in time, it shall accompany the little packet; if not, we will send it by the first opportunity.
Meanwhile, M. d'Arblay makes a point of our indulging ourselves with the gratification of subscribing one guinea to your fund, and Mrs. Lock begs you will trust
her and insert her subscription in your list, and Miss Lock and Miss Amelia Lock. Mr. Lock is charmed with your plan. M. d'Arblay means to obtain you Lady Burrel and Mrs. Benn. If you think I can write to any purpose, tell me a litile hint how and of what, dearest sir; for I am in the dark as to what may remain yet unsaid. Otherwise, heavy as is my heart just now, I could work for them and your plan.
Adieu, dearest, dearest sir: ever and ever most affectionately, most dutifully yours,
Dr. Burney to Madame d'Arblay.
October 4th, 1793. Dear FANNY,- This is a terrible coup, so soon after your union; but I honour M. d'Arblay for offering his service on so great an occasion, and you for giving way to what seems an indispensable duty. Common-place reflections on the vicissitudes of human affairs would afford you little consolation. The stroke is new to your situation, and so will be the fortitude necessary on the occasion. However, to military men, who, like M. D'Arblay, have been but just united to the object of their choice, and begun to domesticate, it is no uncommon thing for their tranquillity to be disturbed by " the trumpet's loud clangor.” Whether the offer is accepted or not, the having made it will endear him to those embarked in the same cause among his country. men, and elevate him in the general opinion of the English public. This consideration I am
sure will afford you a satisfaction the most likely to enable you to support the anxiety and pain of absence.
I have no doubt of the offer being taken well at
Windsor, and of its conciliating effects. If his Majesty and the Ministry have any settled plan for accepting or rejecting similar offers I know not; but it seems very likely that Toulon will be regarded as the rallying point for French royalists of all sects and denominations. The restoration of the constitution of 1791 being the condition proposed by the natives themselves, and the proposition having been acceded to by Lord Hood, removes all scruples and difficulties for loyal constitutionalists at least; and is the only chance which those can ever have of being restored to their country and possessions, who wish to place some intermediate power between the King and the mob, to prevent his being dragged in a month's time to the scaffold, like poor Louis XVI.
If monarchy, however limited, is to triumph over anarchy, and brutal savage tyranny over the property and lives of the wretched inhabitants of France, it seems most likely to be accomplished in the southern provinces, from the stand that has been made at Toulon.
I shall be very anxious to know how the proposition of M. d'Arblay has been received; and, if accepted, on what conditions, and when and how the voyage is to be performed; I should hope in a stout man of war; and that M. de Narbonne will be of the party, being so united in friendship and political principles.
Has M. d'Arblay ever been at Toulon? It is supposed to be so well fortified, both by art and nature, on the land side, that, if not impregnable, the taking it by the regicides will require so much time that it is hoped an army of counter-revolutionists will be assembled from the side of Savoy, sufficient to raise the siege, if unity of measures and action prevail between the