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Perils of Travelling-Invasion of Ireland—Dr. Burney's Lines to
Madame d'Arblay-Her drama of Cerulia-Illness of Lord Orford - Dr. Burney's poem
Vaccination School founded by Mr. Burke for the sons of French emigrants -His funeral-Character of Edmund Burke News of M. d'Arblay's relatives-Etruria_Visit to Lichfield—Dr. James, inventor of the Fever powder—Visit to Dr. Herschel-Conversations on Astronomy-Letter of Lafayette-Removal of M. and Madame d’Arblay to their new house–Visit from the Princess d'Henin and M. de Lally Tolendal - Madame d'Arblay visits the Royal Family--The mutiny and the honest sailor-Admiral Duncan's victory-Interview with the Queen -Conversation with her Majesty—The Princess and the King -The Prince of Orange-Prince Ernest (King of Hanover)
-Miss Farren Mrs. Siddons and Sadler's Wells-Prince William (William IV.)-Condescension of the Royal Family.
Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.
Bookham, January 8, 97 I was extremely vexed at missing our uncertain post yesterday, and losing, unavoidably, another to-day, before I return my dearest father our united thanks for the kind and sweet fortnight passed under his roof.
Our adventures in coming back were better adapted to our departure than our arrival, for they were rather rueful. One of the horses did not like his business, and wanted to be off, and we were stopped by his gambols continually, and, if I had not been a soldier's wife, I should have been terribly alarmed; but my soldier does not like to see himself disgraced in his other half, and so I was fain to keep up my courage, till, at length, after we had passed Fetcham, the frisky animal plunged till he fastened the shaft against a hedge, and then, little Betty beginning to scream, I inquired of the postilion if we had not better alight. If it were not, he said, for the dirt, yes. The dirt then was defied, and I prevailed, though with difficulty, upon my chieftain to consent to a general dismounting. And he then found it was not too soon, for the horse became inexorable to all menace, caress, chastisement, or harangue, and was obliged to be lousened.
Meanwhile, Betty, Bab, and I trudged on, vainly looking back for our vehicle, till we reached our little home
-a mile and a half. Here we found good fires, though not a morsel of food; this, however, was soon procured, and our walking apparel changed for drier raiment; and I sent forth our nearest cottager, and a young butcher, and a boy, towards Fetcham, to aid the vehicle, or its contents, for
my Chevalier had stayed on account of our chattels : and about two hours after the chaise arrived, with one horse, and pushed by its hirer, while it was half dragged by its driver. But all came safe ; and we drank a dish of tea, and ate a mutton-chop, and kissed our little darling, and forgot all else of our journey but the pleasure we had had at Chelsea with my dearest father and dear Salkin.
And just now I received a letter from our Susanna, which tells me the invasion has been made in a part of Ireland where all is so loyal there can be no apprehension from any such attempt ; but she adds, that if it had happened in the north everything might have been feared. Heaven send the invaders far from all the points of the Irish compass ! and that's an Irish wish for expression, though not for meaning. All the intelligence she gathers is encouraging, with regard to the spirit and loyalty of all that surround her. But Mr. Brabazon is in much uneasiness for his wife, whose situation is critical, and he hesitates whether or not to convey her to Dublin, as a place of more security than her own habitation. What a period this for the usual journey of our invaluable Susan !
Madame d'Arblay to Dr. Burney.
Bookham, January 26, '97. How is it, my dearest, kindest father, you have made me so in love with my own tears that no laughter ever
gave my heart such pleasure as those I have shed-even plentifully over these sweet lines? How do they endear to me my little books—which, with the utmost truth, I can aver, never, in all their circle of success, have procured me any satisfaction I can put on a par
your approbation of them! My little boy will be proud hereafter, however poor a gentleman now, to read such lines, addressed by such a grandfather to his mother. M. d'Arblay himself could not keep the tears within his eyes -hard as is his heart—when he perused what so much touched me. He confesses your English grows upon him; and he does not much wonder if I, like Mr. Courtney, class it with the very first class—though I cannot boast quite as disinterested a generosity as that democratical friend.
By the way, I hope soon to receive some copies of some of the early effusions of my partner. After he had left you yesterday, he saw a lady formerly very high in his good graces, who told him she had brought over with her, in her flight from her unhappy country, several of his juvenile pieces; and he begged them for his hermit. She thought him, probably, horribly John Bullified, yet promised to look them out. Indeed, she asked him if he did not find her bien changée ? and he replied, “ Ma foi, je ne peux pas vous le cacher."
I delight in the reference my dearest father has made to the Queen's trust for her daughters in his most sweet lines. I am quite enchanted to hear of the two hundred additionals to my very favourite poem on Astronomy, or rather its history. Yet I am provoked you have found no scattered verses to help on; for so many could never have been completed and refined without many more sketched and imagined—at least, not if you compose like anybody else. Pope had always myriads
half-finished, and dispersed, for future parts, while he corrected and polished the preceding. Dr. Johnson told me that.
I am very glad indeed you proceed with this design, which is likely, according to the best of my judgment, such as it is, to add very considerably to the stock of literature, and in a walk perhaps the most unhackneyed. To conduct to any science by a path strewed over with flowers is giving beauty to labour, and making study a luxury.
When left alone the other day with the “poor gentleman,” in the interval of our sports I took it into my mind to look at a certain melancholy ditty of four acts, which I had once an idea of bringing forth upon the stage, and which you may remember Kemble had accepted,* but which I withdrew before he had time to show it to Sheridan, from preferring to make trial of Edwy and Elgiva,' because it was more dramatic—but which • Edwy and Elgiva,' I must always aver, never was acted. This other piece you have seen, and it lost you, you told me, a night's rest—which, in the spirit of the black men in the funeral, made me all the gayer. However, upon this re-perusal, after near three years' interment, I feel fixed never to assay it for representation. I shall therefore restore it to its first form, that of a tale in dialogue, and only revise and endeavour to make it readable for a fire-side. And this will be my immediate occupation in my episodical moments taken from my two companions and my maisonnette : for since · Camilla 'I have devoted myself, as yet, wholly to them, as the solace of the fatigue that my engagement with time occasioned me an engagement which I earnestly hope never more to make; for the fright and anxiety attending it can scarce be repaid.