THE DIARY AND LETTERS OF MADAME D'ARBLAY (FRANCES BURNEY.)
WITH NOTES BY W. C. WARD, AND PREFACED BY LORD MACAULAY'S ESSAY.
IN THREE VOLUMES.
VOL. 2. (1787-1792.)
WITH AN ENGRAVING OF GEORGE III., QUEEN CHARLOTTE, AND THEIR FAMILY.
LONDON: VIZETELLY & CO., 16, HENRIETTA STREET, COVENT GARDEN. 1891.
PRINTED BY J. S. VIRTUE & COMPANY, LONDON, CITY ROAD.
10. (1787) COURT DUTIES AT ST. JAMES'S AND WINDSOR —9-48
The Queen's Birthday Drawing Room—A Serious Dilemma—Counsels of a Court Official—Mr. Turbulent's Anxiety to Introduce Mr. Wellbred—Colonel Wellbred is received at Tea—Eccentric Mr. Bryant—Mr. Turbulent in a New Character—Bantering a Princess- -Mr. Turbulent meets with a Rebuff—A Surprise at the Play—The King's Birthday—The Equerries: Colonel Manners—The Duchess de Polignac at Windsor—Colonel Manners' Musical Accomplishments- -Mrs. Schwellenberg's "Lump of Leather"—Mrs. Schwellenberg's Frogs—Mr. Turbulent's Antics.
11 (1787-8) COURT DUTIES: SOME VARIATIONS IN THEIR ROUTINE—49-85
Meeting of the two Princes—Bunbury, the Caricaturist—Mrs. Siddons proves disappointing on near acquaintance—Mr. Fairly's Bereavement—Troublesome Mr. Turbulent—A Conceited Parson—Mr. Turbulent becomes a Nuisance—Dr. Herschel and his Sister—Gay and Entertaining Mr. Bunbury—The Prince of Wales at Windsor again—False Rumours of Miss Burney's Resignation—Tyrannical Mrs. Schwellenberg—Mrs. Schwellenberg's Capriciousness—New Year's Day—Chatty Mr. Bryant again—Dr. Johnson's Letters to Mrs. Thrale discussed—A Pair of Paragons—Mr. Turbulent's Self Condemnation—Miss Burney among her Old Friends—Some Trivial Court Incidents.
12 (1788) THE TRIAL OF WARREN HASTINGS—86-153
Westminster Hall at the opening of the Hastings Trial—Warren Hastings appears at the Bar—The Lord Chancellor's Speech—The Reading of the Charges commenced—An Old Acquaintance—William Windham, Esq., M.P.—Windham inveighs against Warren Hastings- -Miss Burney Battles for the Accused—A Wearied M.P.—Mr. Crutchley reappears—Mr. Windham discusses the Impeachment- -Windham affects to commiserate Hastings—Miss Burney is again present at Hastings's Trial—Burke's Speech in support of the Charges—Further Conversation with Mr. Windham—Miss Fuzilier likely to become Mrs. Fairly—The Hastings Trial again: Mr. Fox in a Rage—Mrs. Crewe, Mr. Burke and Mr. Windham—Miss Burney's Unbiassed Sentiments—Burke and Sheridan meet with Cold Receptions—At Windsor again—Death of Mrs. Delany—The
Hastings Trial and Mr. Windham again—"The Queen is so kind"— Personal Resemblance between Windham and Hastings—Death of Young Lady Mulgrave—Again at Windsor—Another Meeting with Mr. Crutchley—Mr. Turbulent's troublesome Pleasantries—Colonel Fairly and Second Attachments.
13. (1788) ROYAL VISIT TO CHELTENHAM—154—219
The Royal Party and their Suite—Loyalty not Damped by the Rain- -Arrival at Fauconberg Hall—The Tea-Table Difficulty—A t'ete-'a-t'ete wit" Colonel Fairly—The King's Gentlemen and the Queen's Ladies—Royalty Crowded at Fauconberg Hall—At the wells—Conversation and Flirtation with Colonel Fairly—Miss Burney meets an old Friend—Colonel Fairly again—A Visit to miss Palmer—"Original Love Letters"—The Founder of Sunday Schools criticised—On the Walks—An Unexpected Visitor— Courts and Court Life—The Vindictive Baretti—speculations upon Colonel Fairly's Re-marrying—Colonel Fairly again presents Himself—The Colonel and the "Original Love Letters"—The Gout and the Love Letters again—A Dinner with Colonel Fairly and Miss Planta—Royal Concern for the Colonel's Gout—young Republicans Converted—The Princes' Animal Spirits—The Duke of York: Royal Visit to the Theatre—An uncourtly visitor—Mr. Fairly reads "Akenside" to Miss Burney—The Doctor's Embarrassment—From Grave to Gay—A Visit to Worcester—The Queen and Mr. Fairly—Mr. Fairly Moralizes—Major Price is tired of Retirement—The Return to Windsor—At Windsor again: The Canon and Mrs. Schwellenberg— Compliments from a famous Foreign Astronomer—The Prince eyes miss Burney curiously—Colonel manners's Beating—mr. Fairly is Discussed by his Brother Equerries—Baron Trenck: Mr. Turbulent's Raillery—Amiable Mrs. Schwellenberg again—A Royal Joke—Colonel Goldsworthy's Breach of Etiquette—Illness of Mrs. Schwellenberg- -General Grenville's Regiment at Drill.
14. (1788-9) THE KING'S ILLNESS—220-299
Uncertain State of the King's Health—The King complains of Want of Sleep—Distress of the Queen—First Outburst of the King's Delirium—An Anxious Night—The King's Delirious Condition-The King refuses to see Dr. Warren—The Queen's anxiety to hear Dr. Warren's opinion—The Queen removes to more distant Apartments—A Visit from Mr. Fairly—The King's Night Watchers—A Change in Miss Burney's Duties—Mr. Fairly Succeeds in Soothing the King—New Arrangements—The Princess Augusta's Birthday— Strange Behaviour of the First Gentleman in Europe—Stringent New Regulations—Mrs. Schwellenberg is back again—Public Prayers for the King decided upon—Sir Lucas Pepys On the King's Condition- Further Changes at the Lodge—Mr. Fairly and the Learned Ladies— Reports on the King's Condition—Mr. Fairly thinks the King
needs Stricter Management—Mr. Fairly wants a Change—Removal of the King to Kew determined upon—A Privy Council held—The Removal to Kew—A Mysterious Visitor—The King's Arrival—The Arrangements at Kew Palace—A Regency hinted at—Mr. Fairly's Kind Offices—Mrs. Schwellenberg's Parlour—A new Physician Summoned—Mrs. Schwellenberg's Opinion of Mr. Fairly—The King's varying Condition—Dr. Willis and his Son—Learning in Women—The Queen and Mr. Fairly's Visits-A Melancholy Birthday—Mr. Fairly on Fans—Mr. Fairly continues his Visits: the Queen again Remarks upon them—The Search for Mr. Fairly—Miss Burney's Alarm on being chased by the King—A Royal Salute and Royal Confidences— Curiosity regarding Miss Burney's meeting with the King—The Regency Bill—Infinitely Licentious!—Miss Burney is taxed with Visiting Gentlemen—Improvement in the King's Health—Mr. Fairly and Mr. Windham—The King continues to improve—The King's Health is completely Restored.
15. (1789) THE KING'S RECOVERY: ROYAL VISIT TO WEYMOUTH—300-333
The King's Reappearance—An Airing and its Consequences— Illuminations on the King's Recovery—Mr. Fairly on Miss Burney's Duties—A Visit from Miss Fuzilier—A Command from Her Majesty- -Colonel Manners mystifies Mrs. Schwellenberg—The Sailor Prince—Loyal Reception of the King in the New Forest—The Royal journey to Weymouth—Welcome to Weymouth—The Royal Plunge with Musical honours—"You must Kneel, Sir!"—Royal doings in and about Weymouth—A Patient Audience—A Fatiguing but Pleasant Day—Lulworth Castle—The Royal Party at the Assembly Rooms—A journey to Exeter and Saltram—May "One" come in?—An Excursion to Plymouth Dockyard—A Visit to a Seventy-four—A Day at Mount Edgecumbe—Mr. Fairly on a Court Life—A Brief Sojourn at Longleat—Tottenham Court: Return to Windsor.
16. (1789-90) MR. FAIRLY'S MARRIAGE: THE HASTINGS TRIAL—334-365
Rumours of Mr. Fairly's impending Marriage—A Royal Visit to the Theatre: jammed in the Crowd—In the Manager's Box—Mr. Fairly's Marriage imminent—Court Duties discussed—Mr. Fairly's Strange Wedding—Renewal of the Hastings Trial: A Political Impromptu—An Illbred Earl of Chesterfield—Miss Burney in a New Capacity—The long-forgotten Tragedy: Miss Burnei again as Reader—Colonel Manners in his Senatorial Capacity—A Conversation with Mr. Windham at the Hastings Trial—A Glimpse of Mrs. Piozzi—Captain Burney wants a Ship to go to Court—Captain Burney and Mr. Windham—Mr. Windham speaks on a Legal Point—An Emphatic Peroration-An Aptitude for Logic and for Greek—More Talk with Mr. Windham.
17. (1790-1) MISS BURNEY RESIGNS HER PLACE AT COURT—366-409
A Melancholy Confession—Captain Burney's Laconic Letter and Interview—Burke's Speech on the French Revolution—An Awkward Meeting—A New Visit from Mrs. Fairly—One Tragedy Finished and Another Commenced—Miss Burney's Resignation Memorial—Mr. Windham Intervenes—An Amusing Interview with Mr. Boswell—Ill, Unsettled, and Unhappy—A Medical Opinion on Miss Burney's Condition—Miss Burney breaks the Matter to the Queen—The Memorial and Explanatory Note—The Keeper of the Robes' Consternation—Leave of Absence is Suggested—A Royal Gift to the Master of the Horse—Conferences with the Queen—Miss Burney determines on Seclusion—The Hastings Trial Resumed: The Accused makes his Defence—Mr. Windham is Congratulated on his Silence— Miss Burney makes her Report—Prince William insists on the King's Health being Drunk—The Queen's Health—The Procession to the Ball-room: Absence of the Princes—Boswell's Life of johnson—The Close of Miss Burney's Court Duties—Miss Burney's Successor: A Pension from the Queen—Leavetakings—Farewell to Kew—The Final Parting.
18. (1791-2) REGAINED LIBERTY—410-468
Released from Duty—A Western journey: Farnham Castle—A Party of French Fugitives—Winchester Cathedral—Stonehenge, Wilton, and Milton Abbey—Lyme and Sidmouth—Sidmouth Loyalty—Powderham Castle and Collumpton Church—Glastonbury Abbey—Wells Cathedral—Bath Revisited—A Visit from Lady Spencer—Bath Sunday Schools—Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire—Bishop Percy—The Duchess of Devonshire again—Dr. Burney's Conversation with Mr. Burke: Remarks by Miss Burney—Literary Recreation—Sir Joshua Reynoldsls Blindness—Among Old Friends—A Summons from the Queen—Mr. Hastings's Defence—Diverse Views—Mr. Law's Speech Discussed—Mr. Windham on the French National Assembly—"A Barbarous Business!"—Death of Sir Joshua Reynolds—Mr. Windham twitted on his Lack of Compassion—A Point of Ceremonial—Mrs. Schwellenberg and Mlle. Jacobi—A Long Talk with the King and Queen—Madame de Genlis: a Woeful Change—The Weeping Beauty Again—Madame de la Fite and Mrs. Hastings—The Impetuous Orator- -Mimicry of Dr. Johnson—The King's Birthday—Mr. Hastings's Speech—A Well-preserved Beauty—The Burkes—Burke's Conversational Powers—A Wild Irish Girl—Erskine's Egotism— Caen-wood—-An Adventure with Mrs. Crewe—An Invitation from Arthur Young.
SECTION 10. (1787)
COURT DUTIES AT ST. JAMES'S AND WINDSOR.
THE QUEEN'S BIRTHDAY DRAWING ROOM.
January. Go back to the 16th, when I went to town, accompanied only by Mr. de Luc. I saw my dear father the next morning, who gave me a poem on the queen's birthday, to present. It was very pretty; but I felt very awkward in offering it to her, as it was from so near a relation, and without any particular reason or motive. Mr. Smelt came and stayed with me almost all the morning, and soothed and solaced me by his charming converse. The rest of the day was devoted to milliners, mantua-makers, and such artificers, and you may easily conjecture how great must be my fatigue. Nevertheless, when, in the midst of these wasteful toils, the Princess Augusta entered my room, and asked me, from the queen, if I should wish to see the ball the next day, I preferred running the risk of that new fatigue, to declining an honour so offered: especially as the Princess Augusta was herself to open the ball.
A chance question this night from the queen, whom I now again attended as usual, fortunately relieved me from my embarrassment about the poem. She inquired of me if my father was still writing? "A little," I answered, and the next morning, Thursday, the 18th, when the birth-day was kept, I found her all sweetness and serenity; mumbled out my own little compliment, which she received as graciously as if she had understood and heard it; and then,
when she was dressed, I followed her through the great rooms, to get rid of the wardrobe woman, and there taking the poem from my pocket, I said "I told your majesty that my father had written a little!—and here—the little is!"
She took it from me with a smile and a curtsey, and I ran off. She never has named it since; but she has spoken of my father with much sweetness and complacency. The modest dignity of the queen, upon all subjects of panegyric, is truly royal and noble.
I had now, a second time, the ceremony of being entirely new dressed. I then went to St. James's, where the queen gave a very gracious approbation of my gewgaws, and called upon the king to bestow the same; which his constant goodhumour makes a matter of great ease to him.
The queen's dress, being for her own birthday, was extremely simple, the style of dress considered. The king was quite superb, and the Princesses Augusta and Elizabeth were ornamented with much brilliancy.
Not only the princess royal was missed at this exhibition, but also the Prince of Wales. He wrote, however, his congratulations to the queen, though the coldness then subsisting between him and his majesty occasioned his absence from Court. I fear it was severely felt by his royal mother, though she appeared composed and content.
The two princesses spoke very kind words, also, about my frippery on this festival; and Princess Augusta laid her positive commands upon me that I should change my gown before I went to the lord chamberlain's box, where only my head could be seen. The counsel proved as useful as the consideration was amiable.
When the queen was attired, the Duchess of Ancaster was admitted to the dressing room, where she stayed, in conversation with their majesties and the princesses, till it was time to summon the bed-chamber women. During this, I had the office of holding the queen's train. I knew, for me, it was a great honour, yet it made me feel, once more, so like a mute upon the stage, that I could scarce believe myself only performing my own real character.
Mrs. Stainforth and I had some time to stand upon the stairs before the opening of the doors. We joined Mrs. Fielding and her daughters, and all entered together, but the crowd parted us - they all ran on, and got in as they could, and I Page 11
remained alone by the door. They soon found me out, and made signs to me, which I saw not, and then they sent me messages that they had kept room for me just by them. I had received orders from the queen to go out at the end of the second country dance ; I thought, therefore, that as I now was seated by the door, I had better be content, and stay where I could make my exit in a moment, and without trouble or disturbance. A queer-looking old lady sat next me, and I spoke to her now and then, by way of seeming to belong to somebody. She did not appear to know whether it were advisable for her to answer me or not, seeing me alone, and with high head ornaments; but as I had no plan but to save appearances to the surrounders, I was perfectly satisfied that my very concise propositions should meet with yet more laconic replies.
Before we parted, however, finding me quiet and inoffensive, she became voluntarily sociable, and I felt so much at home, by being still in a part of the palace, that I needed nothing further than just so much notice as not to seem an object to be avoided.
The sight which called me to that spot perfectly answered all my expectations: the air, manner, and countenance of the queen, as she goes round the circle, are truly graceful and engaging: I thought I could understand, by the motion of her lips, and the expression of her face, even at the height and distance of the chamberlain's box, the gracious and pleasant speeches she made to all whom she approached. With my glass, you know, I can see just as other people see with the naked eye.
The princesses looked extremely lovely, and the whole Court was in the utmost splendour.
A SERIOUS DILEMMA.
At the appointed moment I slipped through the door, leaving my old lady utterly astonished at my sudden departure, and I passed, alone and quietly, to Mr. Rhamus's apartment, which was appropriated for the company to wait in. Here I desired a servant I met with to call my man: he was not to be found. I went down the stairs, and made them call him aloud, by my name; all to no purpose. Then the chairmen were called, but called also in vain!
What to do I knew not ; though I was still in a part of the Page 12
palace, it was separated by many courts, avenues, passages, and alleys, from the queen's or my own apartments- and though I had so lately passed them, I could not remember the way, nor at that late hour could I have walked, dressed as I then was, and the ground wet with recent rain, even if I had had a servant: I had therefore ordered the chair allotted me for these days; but chair and chairmen and footmen were alike out of the way.
My fright lest the queen should wait for me was very serious. I believe there are state apartments through which she passes, and therefore I had no chance to know when she retired from the ball-room. Yet could I not stir, and was forced to return to the room whence I came, in order to wait for John, that I might be out of the way of the cold winds which infested the hall.
I now found a young clergyman, standing by the fire. I suppose my anxiety was visible, for he instantly inquired if he could assist me. I declined his offer, but walked up and down, making frequent questions about my chair and John.
He then very civilly said, "You seem distressed, ma'am; would you permit me the honour to see for your chair, or, if it is not come, as you seem hurried, would you trust me to see you home?"
I thanked him, but could not accept his services. He was sorry, he said, that I refused him, but could not wonder, as he was a stranger. I made some apologising answer, and remained in that unpleasant situation till, at length, a hackneychair was procured me. My new acquaintance would take no denial to handing me to the chair. When I got in, I told the men to carry me to the palace.
"We are there now!" cried they; "what part of the palace?"
I was now in a distress the most extraordinary : I really knew not my own direction! I had always gone to my apartment in a chair, and had been carried by chairmen officially appointed; and, except that it was in St. James's palace, I knew nothing of my own situation.
"Near the park," I told them, and saw my new esquire look utterly amazed at me.
"Ma'am," said he, " half the palace is in the park."
"I don't know how to direct," cried I, in the greatest embarrassment, "but it is somewhere between Pall Mall and the park." Page 13
"I know where the lady lives well enough," cried one of the chairmen, "'tis in St. James's street."
"No, no," cried I, "'tis in St. James's palace."
"Up with the chair!" cried the other man, "I know best—'tis in South Audley-street; I know the lady well enough."
Think what a situation at the moment! I found they had both been drinking the queen's health till they knew not what they said and could with difficulty stand. Yet they lifted me up, and though I called in the most terrible fright to be let out, they carried me down the steps.
I now actually screamed for help, believing they would carry me off to South Audley-street; and now my good genius, who had waited patiently in the crowd, forcibly stopped the chairmen, who abused him violently, and opened the door himself, and I ran back to the hall.
You may imagine how earnestly I returned my thanks for this most seasonable assistance, without which I should almost have died with terror, for where they might have taken or dropped me, or how or where left me, who could say?
He begged me to go again upstairs, but my apprehension about the queen prevented me. I knew she was to have nobody but me, and that her jewels, though few, were to be intrusted back to the queen's house to no other hands. I must, I said, go, be it in what manner it might. All I could devise was to summon Mr. Rhamus, the page. I had never seen him, but my attendance upon the queen would be an apology for the application, and I determined to put myself under his immediate protection.
Mr. Rhamus was nowhere to be found ; he was already supposed to be gone to the queen's house, to wait the arrival of his majesty. This news redoubled my fear; and now my new acquaintance desired me to employ him in making inquiries for me as to the direction I wanted.
It was almost ridiculous, in the midst of my distress, to be thus at a loss for an address to myself! I felt averse to speaking my name amongst so many listeners, and only told him he would much oblige me by finding out a direction to Mrs. Haggerdorn's rooms. He went upstairs ; and returning, said he could now direct the chairmen, if I did not fear trusting them.
I did fear—I even shook with fear; yet my horror of disappointing the queen upon such a night prevailed over all my reluctance, and I ventured once more into the chair, thanking this excellent Samaritan, and begging him to give the direction very particularly.
Imagine, however, my gratitude and my relief, when, instead of hearing the direction, I heard only these words, " Follow me." And then did this truly benevolent young man himself play the footman, in walking by the side of the chair till we came to an alley, when he bid them turn; but they answered him with an oath, and ran on with me, till the poles ran against a wall, for they had entered a passage in which there was no outlet! I would fain have got out, but they would not hear me; they would only pull the chair back, and go on another way. But my guardian angel told them to follow him, or not, at their peril ; and then walked before the chair.
We next came to a court where we were stopped by the sentinels. They said they had orders not to admit any hackney chairs. The chairmen vowed they would make way; I called out aloud to be set down; the sentinels said they would run their bayonets through the first man that attempted to dispute their orders. I then screamed out again to be set down, and my new and good friend peremptorily forced them to stop, and opening the door with violence, offered me his arm, saying, "You had better trust yourself with me, ma'am!"
Most thankfully I now accepted what so fruitlessly I had declined, and I held by his arm, and we walked on together, but neither of us knew whither, nor the right way from the wrong 1 It was really a terrible situation.
The chairmen followed us, clamorous for money, and full of abuse. They demanded half a crown - my companion refused to listen to such an imposition : my shaking hand could find no purse, and I begged him to pay them what they asked, that they might leave us. He did ; and when they were gone, I shook less, and was able to pay that one part of the debt I was now contracting.
We wandered about, heaven knows where, in a way the most alarming and horrible to myself imaginable: for I never knew where I was.—It was midnight. I concluded the queen waiting for me.—It was wet. My head was full dressed. I was under the care of a total stranger; and I knew not which side to take, wherever we came. Inquiries were vain. The sentinels alone were in sight, and they are so continually changed that they knew no more of Mrs. Haggerdorn than if she had never resided here.
At length I spied a door open, and I begged to enter it at a venture, for information. Fortunately a person stood in the passage who instantly spoke to me by my name; I never
heard that sound with more glee: to me he was a stranger, but I suppose he had seen me in some of the apartments. I begged him to direct me straight to the queen's rooms: he did ; and I then took leave of my most humane new friend, with a thousand acknowledgments for his benevolence and services.
Was it not a strange business ? I can never say what an agony Of fright it cost me at the time, nor ever be sufficiently grateful for the kind assistance, so providentially afforded me.'
COUNSELS OF A COURT OFFICIAL.
The general directions and counsel of Mr. Smelt, which I have scrupulously observed ever since, were, in abridgment, these:-
That I should see nobody at all but by appointment. This, as he well said, would obviate, not only numerous personal inconveniences to myself, but prevent alike surprises from those I had no leave to admit, and repetitions of visits from others who might inadvertently come too often. He advised me to tell this to my father, and beg it might be spread, as a settled part of my situation, among all who inquired for me.
That I should see no fresh person whatsoever without an immediate permission from the queen, nor any party, even amongst those already authorised, without apprising her of such a plan.
That I should never go out without an immediate application to her, so that no possible inquiry for me might occasion surprise or disappointment.
These, and other similar ties, perhaps, had my spirits been better, I might less readily have acceded to : as it was, I would have bound myself to as many more.
At length, however, even then, I was startled when Mr. Smelt, with some earnestness, said, "And, with respect to your parties, such as you may occasionally have here, you have but one rule for keeping all things smooth, and all partisans unoffended, at a distance—which is, to have no men—none!
I stared a little, and made no answer.
"Yes," cried he, "Mr. Locke may be admitted; but him only. Your father, you know, is of course."
Still I was silent: after a pause of some length, he plumply Yet with an evidently affected unmeaningness, said, "Mr. Cambridge— as to Mr. Cambridge—"
I stopped him short at once; I dared not trust to what
might follow, and eagerly called Out, "Mr. Cambridge, Sir, I cannot exclude! So much friendship and kindness I owe, and have long owed him, that he would go about howling at my ingratitude, could I seem so suddenly to forget it!"
My impetuosity in uttering this surprised, but silenced him; he said not a word more, nor did I.
MR. TURBULENT's ANXIETY TO INTRODUCE MR. WELLBRED. Windsor, Sunday, Jan. 28.-I was too ill to go to church. I was now, indeed, rarely well enough for anything but absolute and unavoidable duties ; and those were still painfully and forcibly performed.
I had only Miss Planta for my guest, and when she went to the princesses I retired for a quiet and solitary evening to my own room. But here, while reading, I was interrupted by a tat-tat at my door. I opened it and saw Mr. Turbulent. . . . He came forward, and began a gay and animated conversation, with a flow of spirits and good humour which I had never observed in him before.
His darling colonel(230) was the subject that he still harped upon; but it was only with a civil and amusing raillery, not, as before, with an overpowering vehemence to conquer. Probably, however, the change in myself might be as observable as in him,— since I now ceased to look upon him with that distance and coldness which hitherto he had uniformly found in me.
I must give you a little specimen of him in this new dress.
After some general talk,
"When, ma'am," he said, "am I to have the honour of introducing Colonel Wellbred to you?"
"Indeed, I have not settled that entirely!"
"Reflect a little, then, ma'am, and tell me. I only wish to know when."
"Indeed to tell you that is somewhat more than I am able to do; I must find it out myself, first."
" Well, ma'am, make the inquiry as speedily as possible, I beg. What say you to now? shall I call him up?
"No, no,—pray let him alone."
"But will you not, at least, tell me your reasons for this conduct?"
"Why, frankly, then, if you will hear them and be quiet, I will confess them."
I then told him, that I had so little time to myself, that to gain even a single evening was to gain a treasure; and that I had no chance but this. "Not," said I, "that I wish to avoid him, but to break the custom of constantly meeting with the equerries."
"But it is impossible to break the custom, ma'am; it has been so always: the tea-table has been the time of uniting the company, ever since the king came to Windsor."
" Well, but everything now is upon a new construction. I am not positively bound to do everything Mrs. Haggerdorn did, and his having drank tea with her will not make him conclude he must also drink tea with me."
No, no, that is true, I allow. Nothing that belonged to her can bring conclusions round to you. But still, why begin with Colonel Wellbred? You did not treat Colonel Goldsworthy so?"
"I had not the power of beginning with him. I did what I could, I assure you."
"Major Price, ma'am?—I never heard you avoided him."
"No; but I knew him before I came, and he knew much of my family, and indeed I am truly sorry that I shall now see no more of him. But Colonel Wellbred and I are mutually strangers."
"All people are so at first, every acquaintance must have a beginning."
"But this, if you are quiet, we are most willing should have none."
"Not he, ma'am—he is not so willing; he wishes to come. He asked me, to-day, if I had spoke about it."
I disclaimed believing this; but he persisted in asserting it, adding "For he said if I had spoke he would come."
"He is very condescending," cried I, "but I am satisfied he would not think of it at all, if you did not put it in his head."
"Upon my honour, You are mistaken; we talk just as much of it down there as up here."
"you would much oblige me if you would not talk of it,- neither there nor here."
"Let me end it, then, by bringing him at once!"
"No, no, leave us both alone: he has his resources and his engagements as much as I have; we both are best as we now are."
"But what can he say, ma'am? Consider his confusion and disgrace! It is well known, in the world, the private life that the royal family live at Windsor, and who are the attendants that belong to them; and when Colonel Wellbred quits his waiting—three months' waiting and is asked how he likes Miss Burney, he must answer he has never seen her! And what, ma'am, has Colonel Wellbred done to merit such a mortification?"
It was impossible not to laugh at such a statement of the case; and again he requested to bring him directly. "One quarter of an hour will content me ; I only wish to introduce him—for the sake of his credit in the world; and when once you have met, you need meet no more; no consequences whatever need be drawn to the detriment of your solitude."
I begged him to desist, and let us both rest.
"But have you, yourself, ma'am, no curiosity—no desire to see Colonel Wellbred?"
"None in the world."
"If, then, hereafter you admit any other equerry—"
"No, no, I intend to carry the new construction throughout."
"Or if you suffer anyone else to bring you Colonel Wellbred."
"Depend upon it I have no such intention."
"But if any other more eloquent man prevails—"
" Be assured there is no danger."
"Will you, at least, promise I shall be present at the meet—?"
" There will be no meeting."
"You are certainly, then, afraid of him?"
I denied this, and, hearing the king's supper called, he took his leave ; though not before I very seriously told him that, however amusing all this might be as pure badinage, I Should be very earnestly vexed if he took any steps in the matter without my consent.
COLONEL WELLBRED IS RECEIVED AT TEA.
Feb. 2.-MISS Planta came to tea, and we went together to the eating-parlour, which we found quite empty. Mr. Turbulent's studious table was all deserted, and his books laid waste; but in a very few minutes he entered again, with his arms spread wide, his face all glee, and his voice all triumph, calling out,
"Mr. Smelt and Colonel Wellbred desire leave to wait upon miss Burney to tea!"
A little provoked at this determined victory over my will and my wish, I remained silent,- but Miss Planta broke forth into open upbraidings:
"Upon my word, Mr. Turbulent, this is really abominable it is all your own doing—and if I was Miss Burney I would not bear it!" and much more, till he fairly gave her to understand she had nothing to do with the matter.
Then, turning to me, "What am I to say, ma'am? am I to tell Colonel Wellbred you hesitate?" He protested he came upon the embassy fairly employed.
"Not fairly, I am sure, Mr. Turbulent The whole is a device and contrivance of your own! Colonel Wellbred would have been as quiet as myself, had you left him alone."
"Don't throw it all upon me, ma'am; 'tis Mr. Smelt. But what are they to think of this delay? are they to suppose it requires deliberation whether or not you can admit a gentleman to your tea-table?"
I begged him to tell me, at least, how it had passed, and in what manner he had brought his scheme about. But he would give me no satisfaction; he only said "You refuse to receive him, ma'am?— shall I go and tell him you refuse to receive him?"
This was enough -. he waited no fuller consent, but ran off. Miss Planta began a good-natured repining for me. I determined to fetch some work before they arrived; and in coming for it to my own room, I saw Mr. Turbulent, not yet gone downstairs. I really believe, by the strong marks of laughter on his countenance, that he had stopped to compose himself before he could venture to appear in the equerryroom!
I looked at him reproachfully, and passed on; he shook his head at me in return, and hied downstairs. I had but just time to rejoin Miss Planta when he led the way to the two Other gentlemen: entering first, with the most earnest curiosity, to watch the scene. Mr. Smelt followed, introducing the colonel.
I could almost have laughed, so ridiculous had the behaviour of Mr. Turbulent, joined to his presence and watchfulness, rendered this meeting; and I saw in Colonel Wellbred the most evident marks of similar sensations: for he coloured
violently on his entrance, and seemed in an embarrassment that, to any one who knew not the previous tricks of Mr. Turbulent, must have appeared really distressing. And, in truth, Mr. Smelt himself, little imagining what had preceded the interview, was so much struck with his manner and looks, that he conceived him to be afraid of poor little me, and observed, afterwards, with what "blushing diffidence" he had begun the acquaintance!
I, who saw the true cause through the effect, felt more provoked than ever with Mr. Turbulent, since I was now quite satisfied he had been as busy with the colonel about me, as with me about the colonel.
He is tall, his figure is very elegant, and his face very handsome: he is sensible, well-bred, modest, and intelligent. I had always been told he was very amiable and accomplished, and the whole of his appearance confirmed the report.
The discourse was almost all Mr. Smelt's, the colonel was silent and reserved, and Mr. Turbulent had resolved to be a mere watchman. The king entered early and stayed late, and took away with him, on retiring, all the gentlemen.
Feb. 3.-As the tea hour approached, to-day, Mr. Turbulent grew very restless. I saw what was passing in his mind, and therefore forbore ordering tea; but presently, and suddenly, as if from some instant impulse, he gravely came up to me, and said
"Shall I go and call the colonel, ma'am?"
"No, sir!" was my johnsonian reply.
"What, ma'am!—won't you give him a little tea?" "No, no, no!—I beg you will be at rest!"
He shrugged his shoulders, and walked away; and Mr. Smelt, smiling, said, "Will you give us any?"
"O yes, surely cried I, and was going away to ring for the man.
I believe I have already mentioned that I had no bell at all, except in my bedroom, and that only for my maid, whom I was obliged to summon first, like Smart's monkey—
"Here, Betty!—Nan!— Go, call the maid, to call the man!"
For Mrs. Haggerdorn had done without, twenty-six years, by always keeping her servant in waiting at the door. I could never endure inflicting such a hardship, and therefore had always to run to my bedroom, and wait the progress of the maid's arrival, and then of her search of the man, ere ever
I could give him an order. A mighty tiresome and inconvenient ceremony. Mr Turbulent insisted upon saving me this trouble, and went 'out himself to speak to John. But you will believe me a little amazed, when, in a very few minutes, he returned again, accompanied by his colonel! My surprise brought the colour both into my own cheeks and those of my guests. Mr. Smelt looked pleased; and Mr. Turbulent, though I saw he was half afraid of what he was doing, could by no means restrain a most exulting smile, which was constantly in play during the whole evening.
Mr. Smelt instantly opened a conversation, with an ease and good breeding which drew every one into sharing it. The colonel was far less reserved and silent, and I found him very pleasing, very unassuming, extremely attentive, and sensible and obliging. The moment, however, that we mutually joined in the discourse, Mr. Turbulent came to my side, and seating himself there, whispered that he begged my pardon for the step he had taken. I made him no answer, but talked on with the colonel and Mr. Smelt. He. then whispered me again, "I am now certain of your forgiveness, since I see your approbation!" And when still I said nothing, he interrupted every speech to the colonel with another little whisper, saying that his end was obtained, and he was now quite happy, since he saw he had obliged me!
At length he proceeded so far, with so positive a determination to be answered, that he absolutely compelled me to say I forgave him, lest he should go on till the colonel heard him.
ECCENTRIC MR. BRYANT.
Feb. 9-This morning, soon after my breakfast, the princess royal came to fetch me to the queen. She talked of Mrs. Delany all the way, and in terms of affection that can never fail to raise her in the minds of all who hear her. The queen was alone; and told me she had been so much struck with the Duke of Suffolk's letter to his son, in the Paston collection,(231)
that she wished to hear my opinion of it. She then condescended to read it to me. It is indeed both instructive and interesting. She was so gracious, when she dismissed me, as to lend me the book, desiring me to have it sent back to her apartment when I went to dinner.
I had invited Mr. Bryant to dinner. He came an hour before, and I could not read "Paston," but rejoiced the more in his living intelligence. We talked upon the "Jew's Letters," which he had lent me. Have I mentioned them? They are a mighty well written defence of the Mosaic law and mission, and as orthodox for Christians as for Jews, with regard to their main tenor, which is to refute the infidel doctrine of Voltaire up to the time of our Saviour.
Before our dinner we were joined by 'Mr. Smelt ; and the conversation was then very good. The same subject was continued, except where it was interrupted by Mr. Bryant's speaking of his own works, which was very frequently, and with a droll sort of simplicity that had a mixture of nature and of humour extremely amusing. He told us, very frankly his manner of writing; he confessed that what he first committed to paper seldom could be printed without variation or correction, even to a single line: he copied everything over, he said, himself, and three transcribings were the fewest he could ever make do; but, generally, nothing went from him to the press under seven.
Mr. Turbulent and Miss Planta came to dinner, and it was very cheerful. Ere it was over John told me somebody wanted me. I desired they might be shewn to my room till the things were removed; but, as these were some time taking away, I called John to let me know who it was. "The princess royal, ma'am," was his answer, with perfect ease.
Up I started, ashamed and eager, and flew to her royal highness instantly : and I found her calmly and quietly waiting, shut up in my room, without any candles, and almost wholly in the dark, except from the light of the fire! I made all possible apologies, and doubled and trebled them upon her Smilingly saying "I would not let them tell you who it was, nor hurry you, for I know 'tis so disagreeable to be called Page 23
away in the middle of dinner." And then, to reconcile me to the little accident, she took hold of both my hands.
She came to me from the queen, about the "Paston Letters," which John had not carried to the right page.
Very soon after came the king, who entered into a gay disquisition with Mr. Bryant upon his school achievements to which he answered with a readiness and simplicity highly entertaining.
"You are an Etonian, Mr. Bryant," said the king, "but pray, for what were you most famous at school?"
We all expected, from the celebrity of his scholarship, to hear him answer his Latin Exercises but no such thing.
"Cudgelling, Sir. I was most famous for that."
While a general laugh followed this speech, he very gravely proceeded to particularize his feats though unless you could see the diminutive figure, the weak, thin, feeble, little frame, whence issued the proclamation of his prowess, you can but very Inadequately judge the comic effect of his big talk.
"Your majesty, sir, knows General Conway? I broke his head for him, sir."
The shout which ensued did not at all interfere with the steadiness of his further detail.
"And there's another man, Sir, a great stout fellow, Sir, as ever you saw—Dr. Gibbon, of the Temple: I broke his head too, sir.—I don't know if he remembers it."
The king, afterwards, inquired after his present family, meaning his dogs, which he is famed for breeding and preserving.
"Why, sir," he answered, "I have now only twelve. Once, I recollect, when your majesty was so gracious as to ask me about them, I happened to have twenty-two; and so I told you, sir. Upon my word, Sir, it made me very uneasy afterwards when I came to reflect upon it: I was afraid your majesty might think I presumed to joke!"
The king then asked him for some account of the Marlborough family, with which he is very particularly connected and desired to know which among the young Lady Spencers was his favourite.
"Upon my word, sir, I like them all! Lady Elizabeth is a charming young lady—I believe, Sir, I am most in her favour; I don't know why, Sir. But I happened to write a letter to the duke, sir, that she took a fancy to; I don't know the reason, sir, but she begged it. I don't know what was in the letter,
sir-I could never find out; but she took a prodigious fancy to it, sir."
The king laughed heartily, and supposed there might be some compliments to herself in it.
"Upon my word' sir," cried he, "I am afraid your majesty will think I was in love with her! but indeed, sir, I don't know what was in the letter."
The converse went on in the same style, and the king was so much entertained by Mr. Bryant, that he stayed almost the whole evening,
MR TURBULENT IN A NEW CHARACTER.
Friday, Feb. 16.-The instant I was left alone with Mr. Turbulent he demanded to know my "project for his happiness;" and he made his claim in a tone so determined, that I saw it would be fruitless to attempt evasion or delay.
"Your captivity, then, sir," cried I-"for such I must call your regarding your attendance to be indispensable is at an end: the equerry-coach is now wholly in your power. I have spoken myself upon the subject to the queen, as you bid—at least, braved me to do; and I have now her consent to discharging you from all necessity of travelling in our coach."(232)
He looked extremely provoked, and asked if I really meant to inform him I did not choose his company? I laughed the question off, and used a world of civil argument to persuade him I had only done him a good office: but I was fain to make the whole debate as sportive as possible, as I saw him disposed to be seriously affronted.
A long debate ensued. I had been, he protested, excessively ill-natured to him. "What an impression," cried he, "must this make upon the queen! After travelling, with apparent content, six years With that oyster Mrs. Haggerdorn—now—now that travelling is become really agreeable—in that coach —I am to be turned out of it! How must it disgrace me in her opinion!"
She was too partial, I said, to "that oyster," to look upon the matter in such a degrading light nor would she think of it
at all, but as an accidental matter. I then added, that the reason that he had hitherto been destined to the female coach was, that Mrs. Schwellenberg and Mrs. Haggerdorn were always afraid of travelling by themselves; but that as I had more courage, there was no need of such slavery.
"Slavery!"—repeated he, with an emphasis that almost startled me,—"Slavery is pleasure—is happiness—when directed by our wishes!"
And then, with a sudden motion that made me quite jump, he cast himself at my feet, on both his knees—
"Your slave," he cried, "I am content to be! your slave I am ready to live and die!"
I begged him to rise, and be a little less rhapsodic. "I have emancipated you," I cried; "do not, therefore, throw away the freedom you have been six years sighing to obtain. You are now your own agent—a volunteer—"
"If I am," cried he, impetuously, "I dedicate myself to you!—A volunteer, ma'am, remember that! I dedicate myself to you, therefore, of my own accord, for every journey! You shall not get rid of me these twenty years."
I tried to get myself away-but he would not let me move and he began, with still increasing violence of manner, a most fervent protestation that he would not be set aside, and that he devoted himself to me entirely. And, to say the simple truth, ridiculous as all this was, I really began to grow a little frightened by his vehemence and his posture - till, at last, in the midst of an almost furious vow, in which he dedicated himself to me for ever, he relieved me, by suddenly calling upon Jupiter, Juno, Mars, and Hercules, and every god, and every goddess, to witness his oath. And then, content with his sublimity, he arose.
Was it not a curious scene? and have I not a curious fellow traveller for my little journeys? Monday, Feb. 19.-This morning I Proposed to my fellow travellers that we should begin our journey on foot. The wonderment with which they heard a proposal so new was diverting : but they all agreed to it; and though they declared that my predecessor, Mrs. Haggerdorn, would have thought the person fit for Bedlam who should have suggested such plan, no one could find any real objection, and off we set, ordering the coach to proceed slowly after us.
The weather was delightful, and the enterprise served to shorten and enliven the expedition, and pleased them all, Page 26
Mr. Turbulent began, almost immediately, an attack about his colonel : upon quite a new ground, yet as restless and earnest as upon the old one. He now reproached my attention to him, protesting I talked to him continually, and spun out into an hour's discourse what might have been said in three minutes.
"And was it my spinning?" I could not forbear saying.
"Yes, ma'am: for you might have dropped it."
"How?—by not answering when spoken to?"
"by not talking to him, ma'am, more than to any one else."
"And pray, Mr. Turbulent, solve me, then, this difficulty; what choice has a poor female with whom she may converse? Must she not, in company as in dancing, take up with those Who choose to take up with her?"
He was staggered by this question, and while he wavered how to answer it, I pursued my little advantage—
"No man, Mr. Turbulent, has any cause to be flattered that a woman talks with him, while it is only in reply; for though he may come, go, address or neglect, and do as he will,— she, let her think and wish what she may, must only follow as he leads."
He protested, with great warmth, he never heard any thing so proudly said in Ins life. But I would not retract.
"And now, ma'am," he continued, "how wondrous intimate you are grown! After such averseness to a meeting—such struggles to avoid him; what am I to think of the sincerity of that pretended reluctance?"
"You must think the truth," said I, "that it was not the colonel, but the equerry, I wished to avoid; that it was not the individual, but the official necessity of receiving company, that I wished to escape."
BANTERING A PRINCESS.
March 1.- With all the various humours in which I had already seen Mr. Turbulent, he gave me this evening a surprise, by his behaviour to one of the princesses, nearly the same that I had experienced from him myself. The Princess Augusta came, during coffee, for a knotting shuttle of the queen's. While she was speaking to me, he stood behind and exclaimed, 'a demi voix, as if to himself, "Comme elle est jolie ce soir, son Altesse Royale!" And then, seeing her blush extremely, he clasped his hands, in high pretended confusion,
and hiding his head, called Out, "Que ferai-je? The princess has heard me!"
"Pray, Mr. Turbulent," cried she, hastily, "what play are you to read to-night?"
"You shall choose, ma'am; either 'La Coquette corrige,' or—" [he named another I have forgotten.]
"O no!" cried she, "that last is shocking! don't let me hear that!"
"I understand you, ma'am. You fix, then, upon 'La Coquette?' 'La Coquette' is your royal highness's taste?"
"No, indeed, I am sure I did not say that."
"Yes, ma'am, by implication. And certainly, therefore, I will read it, to please your royal highness!"
"No, pray don't; for I like none of them."
"None of them, ma'am?"
"No, none;—no French plays at all!" And away she was running, with a droll air, that acknowledged she had said something to provoke him.
"This is a declaration, ma'am, I must beg you to explain!" cried he, gliding adroitly between the princess and the door, and shutting it With his back.
"No, no, I can't explain it;—so pray, Mr. Turbulent, do open the door."
"Not for the world, ma'am, with such a stain uncleared upon your royal highness's taste and feeling!"
She told him she positively could not stay, and begged him to let her pass instantly. But he would hear her no more than he has heard me, protesting he was too much shocked for her, to suffer her to depart without clearing her own credit!
He conquered at last, and thus forced to speak, she turned round to us and said, "Well—if I must, then—I will appeal to these ladies, who understand such things far better than I do, and ask them if it is not true about these French plays, that they are all so like to one another, that to hear them in this manner every night is enough to tire one?"
"Pray, then, madam," cried he, "if French plays have the misfortune to displease you, what national plays have the honour Of your preference?"
I saw he meant something that she understood better than me, for she blushed again, and called out "Pray open the door at once! I can stay no longer; do let me go, Mr. Turbulent!" Page 28
"Not till you have answered that question, ma'am' what country has plays to your royal highness's taste?"
"Miss Burney," cried she impatiently, yet laughing, "pray do you take him away!—Pull him!"
He bowed to me very invitingly for the office but I frankly answered her, "Indeed, ma'am, I dare not undertake him! I cannot manage him at all."
"The country! the country! Princess Augusta! name the happy country!" was all she could gain.
"Order him away, Miss Burney," cried she. "It is your room: order him away from the door."
"Name it, ma'am, name it!" exclaimed he; "name but the chosen nation!"
And then, fixing her with the most provoking eyes, "Est-ce la Danemarc?" he cried.
She coloured violently, and quite angry with him, called out, "Mr. Turbulent, how can you be such a fool!" And now I found . . . the prince royal of Denmark was in his meaning, and in her understanding!
He bowed to the ground, in gratitude for the term "fool," but added with pretended Submission to her will, "Very well, ma'am, s'il ne faut lire que les comdies Danoises."
" Do let me go!" cried she, seriously; and then he made way, with a profound bow as she passed, saying, "Very well, ma'am, 'La Coquette,' then? your royal highness chooses 'La Coquette corrige?'"
"Corrige? That never was done!" cried she, with all her sweet good-humour, the moment she got out - and off she ran, like lightning, to the queen's apartments.
What say you to Mr. Turbulent now?
For my part, I was greatly surprised. I had not imagined any man, but the king or Prince of Wales, had ever ventured at a badinage of this sort with any of the princesses; nor do I suppose any other man ever did. Mr. Turbulent is so great a favourite with all the royal family that he safely ventures upon whatever he pleases, and doubtless they find, in his courage and his rhodomontading, a novelty extremely amusing to them.
MR. TURBULENT MEETS WITH A REBUFF.
March—I must now, rather reluctantly I own, come to recite a quarrel, a very serious quarrel, in which I have been involved with my most extraordinary fellow-traveller. One evening at Windsor Miss Planta left the room, while I was
winding some silk. I was content to stay and finish the skein, though my remaining companion was in a humour too flighty to induce me to continue with him a moment longer. Indeed I had avoided pretty successfully all tte—tetes with him since the time when his eccentric genius led to such eccentric conduct in our long conference in the last month.
This time, however, when I had done my work, he protested I should stay and chat with him. I pleaded business—letters— hurry—all in vain: he would listen to nothing, and when I tried to move was so tumultuous in his opposition, that I was obliged to re-seat myself to appease him.
A flow of compliments followed, every one of which I liked less and less; but his spirits seemed uncontrollable, and, I suppose, ran away with all that ought to check them. I laughed and rallied as long as I possibly could, and tried to keep him in order, by not seeming to suppose he wanted aid for that purpose: yet still, every time I tried to rise, he stopped me, and uttered at last Such expressions of homage—so like what Shakspeare says of the school-boy, who makes "a sonnet on his mistress' eyebrow," which is always his favourite theme—that I told him his real compliment was all to my temper, in imagining it could brook such mockery.
This brought him once more on his knees, with such a volley of asseverations of his sincerity, uttered with such fervour and eloquence, that I really felt uneasy, and used every possible means to get away from him, rallying him however all the time, and disguising the consciousness I felt of my inability to quit him. More and more vehement, however, he grew, till I could be no longer passive, but forcibly rising, protested I would not stay another minute. But you may easily imagine my astonishment and provocation, when, hastily rising himself, he violently seized hold of me, and compelled me to return to my chair, with a force and a freedom that gave me as much surprise as offence.
All now became serious. Raillery, good-humour, and even pretended ease and unconcern, were at an end. The positive displeasure I felt I made positively known; and the voice manner, and looks with which I insisted upon an immediate' release were so changed from what he had ever heard or observed in me before, that I saw him quite thunderstruck with the alteration; and all his own violence subsiding, he begged my pardon with the mildest humility.
He had made me too angry to grant it, and I only desired
him to let me instantly go to my room. He ceased all personal opposition, but going to the door, planted himself before it, and said, "Not in wrath! I cannot let you go away in wrath!"
"You must, sir," cried I, "for I am in wrath!" He began a thousand apologies, and as many promises of the most submissive behaviour in future; but I stopped them all, with a peremptory declaration that every minute he detained me made me but the more seriously angry. His vehemence now was all changed into strong alarm, and he opened the door, profoundly bowing, but not speaking, as I passed him.
I am sure I need not dwell upon the uncomfortable sensations I felt, in a check so rude and violent to the gaiety and entertainment of an acquaintance which had promised me my best amusement during our winter campaigns. I was now to begin upon quite a new system, and instead of encouraging, as hitherto I had done, everything that could lead to vivacity and spirit, I was fain to determine upon the most distant and even forbidding demeanour with the only life of our parties, that he might not again forget himself.
This disagreeable conduct I put into immediate practice. I stayed in my own room till I heard every one assembled in the next : I was then obliged to prepare for joining them, but before I opened the door a gentle rap at it made me call out "Who's there?" and Mr. Turbulent looked in.
I hastily said I was coming instantly, but he advanced softly into the room, entreating forgiveness at every step. I made no other answer than desiring he would go, and saying I should follow. He went back to the door, and, dropping on one knee, said, "Miss Burney! surely you cannot be seriously angry?-'tis so impossible you should think I meant to offend you!"
I said nothing, and did not look near him, but opened the door, from which he retreated to make way for me, rising a little mortified, and exclaiming, "Can you then have such real ill-nature? How little I suspected it in you!"
"'Tis you," cried I, as I passed on, "that are ill-natured!"
I meant for forcing me into anger; but I left him to make the meaning out, and walked into the next room. He did not immediately follow, and he then appeared so much disconcerted that I saw Miss Planta incessantly eyeing him, to find out what was the matter. I assumed an unconcern I did not Page 31
feel for I was really both provoked and sorry, foreseeing what a breach this folly must make in the comfort of my Windsor expeditions,
He sat down a little aloof, and entered into no conversation all the evening; but just as tea was over, the hunt of the next being mentioned he suddenly, asked Miss Planta to request leave for him of the queen to ride out with the party.
"I shall not see the queen," cried she; "you had much better ask Miss Burney."
This was very awkward. I was in no humour to act for him at this time, nor could he muster courage to desire it; but upon Miss Planta's looking at each of us with some surprise, and repeating her amendment to his proposal, he faintly said, "Would Miss Burney be so good as to take that trouble?"
An opportunity offering favourably, I spoke at night to the queen, and she gave leave for his attending the chase. I intended to send this permission to Miss Planta, but I had scarce returned to my own room from her majesty, before a rap at my door was followed by his appearance. He stood quite aloof, looking grave and contrite. I Immediately called out "I have spoken, sir, to the queen, and you have her leave to go." He bowed very profoundly, and thanked me, and was retreating, but came back again, and advancing, assumed an air of less humility, and exclaimed, "Allons donc, Mademoiselle, j'espre que vous n'tes plus si mchante qu'hier au soir!"
I said nothing; he came nearer, and, bowing upon his own hand, held it out for mine, with a look of most respectful Supplication. I had no intention of cutting the matter so short, yet from shame to sustain resentment, I was compelled to hold out a finger: he took it with a look of great gratitude, and very reverently touching the tip of my glove with his lip, instantly let it go, and very solemnly said, "Soyez sr que je n'ai jamais eu la moindre ide de vous offenser." and then he thanked me again for his licence, and went his way.
A SURPRISE AT THE PLAY.
I had the pleasure of two or three visits from Mr. Bryant, whose loyal regard for the king and queen makes him eagerly accept every invitation, from the hope of seeing them in my room; and one of the days they both came in to speak to him, and were accompanied by the two eldest princesses, who stood
chatting with me by the door the whole time, and saying comical things upon royal personages in tragedies, particularly Princess Augusta, who has a great deal of sport in her disposition. She very gravely asserted she thought some of those princes on the stage looked really quite as well as some she knew off it.
Once about this time I went to a play myself, which surely I may live long enough and never forget. It was "Seduction," a very clever piece, but containing a dreadful picture of vice and dissipation in high life, written by Mr. Miles Andrews, with an epilogue—O, such an epilogue! I was listening to it with uncommon attention, from a compliment paid in it to Mrs. Montagu, among other female writers; but imagine what became of my attention when I suddenly was struck with these lines, or something like them:—
Let sweet Cecilia gain your just applause, Whose every passion yields to Reason's laws."
To hear, wholly unprepared and unsuspicious, such lines in a theatre—seated in a royal box—and with the whole royal family and their suite immediately opposite me—was it not a singular circumstance? To describe my embarrassment would be impossible. My whole head was leaning forward, with my opera glass in my hand, examining Miss Farren, who spoke the epilogue. Instantly I shrank back, so astonished and so ashamed of my public situation, that I was almost ready to take to my heels and run, for it seemed as if I were there purposely in that conspicuous place—
"To list attentive to my own applause."
The king immediately raised his opera-glass to look at me, laughing heartily—the queen's presently took the same direction—all the princesses looked up, and all the attendants, and all the maids of honour!
I protest I was never more at a loss what to do with myself: nobody was in the front row with me but Miss Goldsworthy, who instantly seeing how I was disconcerted, prudently and good-naturedly forbore taking any notice of me. I sat as far back as I could, and kept my fan against the exposed profile for the rest of the night, never once leaning forward, nor using my glass.
None of the royal family spoke to me on this matter till a few days after; but I heard from Mrs. Delany they had all declared
themselves sorry for the confusion it had caused me. And some time after the queen could not forbear saying, "I hope, Miss Burney, YOU minded the epilogue the other night?"
And the king, very comically, said, "I took a peep at you!—I could not help that. I wanted to see how you looked when your father first discovered your writing—and now I think I know!"
THE KING's BIRTHDAY.
St. James's Palace, June 4-Take a little of the humours of this day, with respect to myself, as they have arisen. I quitted my downy pillow at half-past six o'clock, for bad habits in sickness have lost me half an hour of every morning; and then, according to an etiquette I discovered but on Friday night, I was quite new dressed: for I find that, on the king's birthday, and on the queen's, both real and nominal, two new attires, one half, the other full dressed, are expected from all attendants that come into the royal presence.
This first labour was happily achieved in such good time, that I was just seated to my breakfast—a delicate bit of roll half-eaten, and a promising dish of tea well stirred—when I received my summons to attend the queen.
She was only with her wardrobe-woman, and accepted most graciously a little murmuring congratulation upon the- day, which I ventured to whisper while she looked another way. Fortunately for me, she is always quick in conceiving what is meant, and never wastes time in demanding what is said. She told me she had bespoke Miss Planta to attend at the grand toilette at St. James's, as she saw my strength still diminished by my late illness. Indeed it still is, though in all other respects I am perfectly well.
The queen wore a very beautiful dress, of a new manufacture, of worked muslin, thin, fine, and clear, as the chambery gauze. I attended her from the blue closet, in which she dresses, through the rooms that lead to the breakfast apartment. In One of these while she stopped for her hair-dresser to finish her head-dress, the king joined her. She spoke to him in German, and he kissed her hand.
The three elder princesses came in soon after: they all went up, with congratulatory smiles and curtsies, to their royal father, who kissed them very affectionately; they then, as usual every Morning, kissed the queen's hand. The door was thrown open Page 34
to the breakfast-room, which is a noble apartment, fitted up with some of Vandyke's best works; and the instant the king, who led the way, entered, I was surprised by a sudden sound of music, and found that a band of musicians were stationed there to welcome him. The princesses followed, but Princess Elizabeth turned round to me to say she could hardly bear the sound: it was the first morning of her coming down to breakfast for many months, as she had had that repast in her own room ever since her dangerous illness. It overcame her, she said, more than the dressing, more than the early rising, more than the whole of the hurry and fatigue of all the rest of a public birthday. She loves the king most tenderly; and there is a something in receiving any person who is loved, by sudden music, that I can easily conceive to be very trying to the nerves.
Princess Augusta came back to cheer and counsel her; she begged her to look out at the window, to divert her thoughts, and said she would place her where the sound might be less affecting to her.
A lively "How d'ye do, Miss Burney? I hope you are quite well now?" from the sweet Princess Mary, who was entering the ante-room, made me turn from her two charming sisters; she passed on to the breakfast, soon followed by Princess Sophia, and then a train of their governesses, Miss Goldsworthy, Mademoiselle Montmoulin, and Miss Gomme, all in full dress, with fans. We reciprocated little civilities, and I had then the pleasure to see little Princess Amelia, with Mrs. Cheveley, who brought up the rear. Never, in tale or fable, were there six sister princesses more lovely.
As I had been extremely distressed upon the queen's birthday, in January, where to go or how to act, and could obtain no information from my coadjutrix, I now resolved to ask for directions from the queen herself; and she readily gave them, in a manner to make this day far more comfortable to me than the last. She bade me dress as fast as I could, and go to St. James', by eleven o'clock; but first come into the room to her. Then followed my grand toilette. The hair-dresser was waiting for me, and he went to work first, and I second, with all our might and main. When my adorning tasks were accomplished, I went to the blue closet. No one was there, I then hesitated whether to go back or seek the queen. I have a dislike insuperable to entering a royal presence, except by an
immediate Summons: however, the directions I had had prevailed, and I- went into the adjoining apartment. There stood Madame de la Fite! she was talking in a low voice with M. de Luc. They told me the queen was in the next room, and on I went.
She was seated at a glass, and the hair-dresser was putting on her jewels, while a clergyman in his canonicals was standing near and talking to her. I imagined him some bishop unknown to me, and stopped; the queen looked round, and called out "it's Miss Burney!—come in, Miss Burney." in I came, curtseying respectfully to a bow from the canonicals, but I found not out till he answered something said by the queen, that it was no other than Mr. Turbulent.
Madame de la Fite then presented herself at the door (which was open for air) of the ante-room. The queen bowed to her, and said she would see her presently: she retired, and her majesty, in a significant low voice, said to me, "Do go to her, and keep her there a little!" I obeyed, and being now in no fright nor hurry, entered into conversation with her sociably and comfortably.
I then went to St. James's. The queen was most brilliant in attire; and when she was arrayed, Mr. West(233) was allowed to enter the dressing-room, in order to give his opinion of the disposition -of her jewels, which indeed were arranged with great taste and effect.
The three princesses, Princess Royal, Augusta, and Elizabeth, were all very splendidly decorated, and looked beautiful. They are indeed uncommonly handsome, each in their different Way-the princess royal for figure, the Princess Augusta for countenance, and the Princess Elizabeth for face.
THE EQUERRIES: COLONEL MANNERS.
Friday, June 8-This day we came to Windsor for the Summer, during which we only go to town for a Drawing-room once a fortnight, and to Kew in the way. Mrs. Schwellenberg remained in town, not well enough to move.
The house now was quite full, the king having ordered a party to it for the Whitsun holidays. This party was Colonel
Manners, the equerry in waiting; Colonel Ramsden, a good-humoured and well-bred old officer of the king's household; Colonels Wellbred and Goldsworthy, and General Bud.
Colonel Ramsden is gentle and pleasing, but very silent; General Bud is always cheerful, but rises not above a second; Colonel Hotham has a shyness that looks haughty, and therefore distances; Colonel Goldsworthy reserves his sport and humour for particular days and particular favourites; and Colonel Wellbred draws back into himself unless the conversation promises either instruction or quiet pleasure; nor would any one of these, during the whole time, speak at all, but to a next neighbour, nor even then, except when that neighbour suited his fancy.
You must not, however, imagine we had no public speakers; M. del Campo harangued aloud to whoever was willing to listen, and Colonel Manners did the same, without even waiting for that proviso. Colonel Manners, however, I must introduce to you by a few specimens: he is so often, in common with all the equerries, to appear on the scene, that I wish you to make a particular acquaintance with him.
One evening, when we were all, as usual, assembled, he began a discourse upon the conclusion of his waiting, which finishes with the end of June:—"Now I don't think," cried he, "that it's well managed: here we're all in waiting for three months at a time, and then for nine months there's nothing!"
"Cry your mercy!" cried Colonel Goldsworthy, "if three months- -three whole months—are not enough for you, pray take a few more from mine to make up your market!"
"No, no, I don't mean that;—but why can't we have our waitings month by month?—would not that be better?"
"I think not!—we should then have no time unbroken."
"Well, but would not that be better than what it is now? Why, we're here so long, that when one goes away nobody knows one!— one has quite to make a new acquaintance! Why, when I first come out of waiting, I never know where to find anybody!"
The Ascot races were held at this time; the royal family were to be at them one or two of the days. Colonel Manners earnestly pressed Miss Port to be there. Colonel Goldsworthy said it was quite immaterial to him who was there, for when he was attending royalty he never presumed to think of any private comfort.
"Well, I don't see that!" cried Colonel Manners,—"for if
I was you, and not in my turn for waiting, I should go about just as I liked;—but now, as for me, as it happens to be my own turn, Why I think it right to be civil to the king."
We all looked round;—but Colonel Goldsworthy broke forth aloud— "Civil, quotha?" cried he; "Ha! ha! civil, forsooth!—You're mighty condescending!—the first equerry I ever heard talk of his civility to the king!—'Duty,' and 'respect,' and 'humble reverence,'—those are words we are used to,—but here come you with Your civility!——Commend me to such affability!"
you see he is not spared; but Colonel Goldsworthy is the wag professed of their community, and privileged to say what he pleases. The other, with the most perfect good-humour, accepted the joke, without dreaming of taking offence at the sarcasm.
Another evening the king sent for Colonel Ramsden to play at backgammon.
"Happy, happy man!" exclaimed Colonel Goldsworthy, exultingly; but scarce had he uttered the words ere he was summoned to follow himself. "What! already!" cried he,—"without even my tea! Why this is worse and worse!—no peace in Israel!—only one half hour allowed for comfort, and now that's swallowed! Well, I must go;—make my complaints aside, and my bows and smiles in full face!"
Off he went, but presently, in a great rage, came back, and, while he drank a hot dish of tea which I instantly presented him, kept railing at his stars for ever bringing him under a royal roof. "If it had not been for a puppy," cried he, "I had never got off even to scald my throat in this manner But they've just got a dear little new ugly dog: so one puppy gave Way to t'other, and I just left them to kiss and hug it, while I stole off to drink this tea! But this is too much!—-no peace for a moment!— no peace in Israel!"
When this was passed, Colonel Wellbred renewed some of the conversation of the preceding day with me; and, just as he named Dr. Herschel Colonel Manners broke forth with his dissenting opinions. "I don't give up to Dr. Herschel at all," cried he; "he is all system; and so they are all: and if they can but make out their systems, they don't care a pin for anything else. As to Herschel, I liked him well enough till he came to his volcanoes in the moon, and then I gave him up, I saw he was just like the rest. How should he know anything Of the matter? There's no such thing as pretending to measure, at such a distance as that?"
Colonel Wellbred, to whom I looked for an answer, instead of making any, waited in quiet silence till he had exhausted all he had to say upon the subject, and then, turning to me, made some inquiry about the Terrace, and went on to other general matters. But, some time after, when all were engaged, and this topic seemed quite passed, he calmly began, in general terms, to lament that the wisest and best of people were always so little honoured or understood in their own time, and added that he had no doubt but Sir Isaac Newton had been as much scoffed and laughed at formerly as Herschel was now; but concluded, in return, Herschel, hereafter, would be as highly reverenced as Sir Isaac was at present. . . .
We had then some discourse upon dress and fashions. Virtuosos being next named, Colonel Manners inveighed against them quite violently, protesting they all wanted common honour and honesty; and to complete the happy subject, he instanced, in particular, Sir William Hamilton, who, he declared, had absolutely robbed both the king and state of Naples!
After this, somebody related that, upon the heat in the air being mentioned to Dr. Heberden, he had answered that he supposed it proceeded from the last eruption in the volcano in the moon: "Ay," cried Colonel Manners, "I suppose he knows as much of the matter as the rest of them: if you put a candle at the end of a telescope, and let him look at it, he'll say, what an eruption there is in the moon! I mean if Dr, Herschel would do it to him; I don't say he would think so from such a person as me."
"But Mr. Bryant himself has seen this volcano from the telescope."
"Why, I don't mind Mr. Bryant any more than Dr. Heberden: he's just as credulous as t'other."
I wanted to ask by what criterion he settled these points in so superior a manner:—but I thought it best to imitate the silence of Colonel Wellbred, who constantly called a new subject, upon every pause, to avoid all argument and discussion while the good-humoured Colonel Manners was just as ready to start forward in the new subject, as he had been in that which had been set aside.
One other evening I invited Madame de la Fite: but it did not prove the same thing; they have all a really most undue dislike of her, and shirk her conversation and fly to one another, to discourse on hunting and horses.
THE DUCHESS DE POLIGNAC AT WINDSOR.
The following Sunday, June 17, I was tempted to go on the Terrace, in order to se the celebrated Madame de Polignac,(234) and her daughter, Madame de Guiche. They were to be presented, with the Duke de Polignac, to their majesties, upon the Terrace. Their rank entitled them to this distinction; and the Duchess of Ancaster, to whom they had been extremely courteous abroad, came to Windsor to introduce them. They were accompanied to the Terrace by Mrs. Harcourt and the general 'with whom they were also well acquainted.
They went to the place of rendezvous at six o'clock; the royal party followed about seven, and was very brilliant upon the occasion. The king and queen led the way, and the Prince of Wales, who came purposely to honour the interview, appeared at it also, in the king's Windsor uniform. Lady Weymouth was in waiting upon the queen. The Duchess of Ancaster, Lady Charlotte Bertie, and Lady Elizabeth Waldegrave, with some other ladies, I think, attended: but the two eldest princesses, to the very great detriment of the scenery, were ill, and remained at home. Princess Elizabeth and Mary were alone in the queen's suite.
I went with Miss Port and Mrs. and Miss Heberden. The crowd was so great, it was difficult to move. Their majesties and their train occupied a large space, and their attendants
had no easy task in keeping them from being incommoded by the pressing of the people. They stopped to converse with these noble travellers for more than an hour. Madame la Duchesse de Polignac is a very well-looking woman, and Madame de Guiche is very pretty. There were other ladies and gentlemen in their party. But I was much amused by their dress, which they meant should be entirely 'a l'Angloise—for which purpose they had put on plain undress gowns, with close ordinary black silk bonnets! I am sure they must have been quite confused when they saw the queen and princesses, with their ladies, who were all dressed with uncommon care, and very splendidly.
But I was glad, at least, they should all witness, and report, the reconciliation of the king and the Prince of Wales, who frequently spoke together, and were both in good spirits.
COLONEL MANNERS' MUSICAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS.
Miss Port and myself had, afterwards, an extremely risible evening with Colonels Goldsworthy, Wellbred, and Manners the rest were summoned away to the king, or retired to their own apartments. Colonel Wellbred began the sport, undesignedly, by telling me something new relative to Dr. Herschel's volcanoes. This was enough for Colonel Manners, who declared aloud his utter contempt for such pretended discoveries. He was deaf to all that could be said in answer, and protested he wondered how any man of common sense could ever listen to such a pack of stuff.
Mr. de Luc's opinion upon the subject being then mentioned—he exclaimed, very disdainfully, "O, as to Mr. de Luc, he's another man for a system himself, and I'd no more trust him than anybody: if you was only to make a little bonfire, and put it upon a hill a little way off, you might make him take it for a volcano directly!—And Herschel's not a bit better. Those sort of philosophers are the easiest taken in in the world." Our next topic was still more ludicrous. Colonel Manners asked me if I had not heard something, very harmonious at church in the morning? I answered I was too far off, if he meant from himself.
"Yes," said he; "I was singing with Colonel Wellbred; and he said he was my second.—How did I do that song?"
"Song?—Mercy!" exclaimed Colonel Goldsworthy, "a song at church!—why it was the 104th Psalm!"
"But how did I do it, Wellbred; for I never tried at it before?"
"why—pretty well," answered Colonel Wellbred, very composedly; "Only now and then you run me a little into 'God save the king.'"
This dryness discomposed every muscle but of Colonel Manners, who replied, with great simplicity, "Why, that's because that's the tune I know best!"
"At least," cried I, "'twas a happy mistake to make so near their majesties."
"But: pray, now, Colonel Wellbred, tell me sincerely)—could you really make out what I was singing?"
"O yes," answered Colonel Wellbred; "with the words."
"Well, but pray, now, what do you call my voice?"
"Well, and is that a good voice?"
There was no resisting,-even the quiet Colonel Wellbred could not resist laughing out here. But Colonel Manners, quite at his ease, continued his self-discussion.
"I do think, now, if I was to have a person to play over a thing to me again and again, and then let me sing it, and stop me every time I was wrong, I do think I should be able to sing 'God save the king' as well as some ladies do, that have always people to show them."
"You have a good chance then here," cried I, "of singing some pieces of Handel, for I am sure you hear them again and again!"
"Yes, but that is not the thing for though I hear them do it' so often over, they don't stop for me to sing it after them, and then to set me right. Now I'll try if you'll know what this is."
He then began humming aloud, "My soul praise," etc., so very horribly, that I really found all decorum at an end, and laughed, with Miss Port, 'a qui mieux mieux. Too much engaged to mind this, he very innocently, when he had done, applied to us all round for our opinions.
Miss Port begged him to sing another, and asked for that he had spouted the other day, "Care, thou bane of love and joy."
He instantly complied; and went on, in such shocking, discordant and unmeaning sounds, that nothing in a farce could be more risible: in defiance however of all interruptions, he Continued till he had finished one stanza; when Colonel Goldsworthy loudly called out,—"There,—there's enough!—have mercy!"
"Well, then, now I'll try something else."
"O, no!" cried Colonel Goldsworthy, hastily, "thank you, thank you for this,-but I won't trouble you for more—I'll not bear another word."
Colonel Wellbred then, with an affected seriousness, begged to know, since he took to singing, what he should do for a shake, which was absolutely indispensable.
"A shake?" he repeated, "what do you mean?"
"Why—a shake with the voice, such as singers make."
"Why, how must I do it?"
"O, really, I cannot tell you."
"Why, then, I'll try myself—is it so?"
And he began such a harsh hoarse noise, that Colonel Goldsworthy exclaimed, between every other sound,—"No, no,—no more!" While Colonel Wellbred professed teaching him, and gave such ridiculous lessons and directions,-now to stop short, now to swell,-now to sink the voice, etc., etc., that, between the master and the scholar, we were almost demolished.
MRS. SCHWELLENBERG'S "LUMP OF LEATHER."
Tuesday, June 19.-We were scarcely all arranged at tea when Colonel Manners eagerly said, "Pray, Mrs. Schwellenberg, have you lost anything?"
"Me?—no, not I
"Well, then, that's very odd! for I found something that had your name writ upon it."
"My name? and where did you find that?"
"Why—it was something I found in my bed."
"In your bed?—O, very well! that is reelly comeecal?"
"And pray what was it?" cried Miss Port.
"Why—a great large, clumsy lump of leather."
"Of leadder, sir?—of leadder? What was that for me?"
"Why, ma'am, it was so big and so heavy, it was as much as I could do to lift it!"
"Well, that was nothing from me! when it was so heavy, you might let it alone!"
"But, ma'am, Colonel Wellbred said it was somewhat of yours."
"Of mine?—O, ver well! Colonel Wellbred might not say such thing! I know nothing, Sir, from your leadder, nor from your bed, sir,—not I!"
"Well, ma'am, then your maid does. Colonel Wellbred says he supposes it was she."
"Upon my vord! Colonel Wellbred might not say such things from my maid! I won't not have it so!"
"O yes, ma'am; Colonel Wellbred says she often does SO. He says she's a very gay lady."
She was quite too much amazed to speak: one of her maids, Mrs. Arline, is a poor humble thing, that would not venture to jest, I believe, with the kitchen maid, and the other has never before been at Windsor.
"But what was it?" cried Miss Port.
"Why, I tell you—a great, large lump of leather, with 'Madame Schwellenberg' wrote upon it. However, I've ordered it to be sold."
"To be sold? How will you have it sold, Sir? You might tell me that, when you please."
"Why, by auction, ma'am."
"By auction, Sir? What, when it had my name upon it? Upon my vord!—how come you to do dat, sir? Will you tell me, once?"
"Why, I did it for the benefit of my man, ma'am, that he might have the money."
"But for what is your man to have it, when it is mine?"
"Because, ma'am, it frightened him so."
"O, ver well! Do you rob, sir? Do you take what is not your own, but others', sir, because your man is frightened?"
"O yes, ma'am! We military men take all we can get!"
"What! in the king's house, Sir!"
"Why then, ma'am, what business had it in my bed? My room's my castle: nobody has a right there. My bed must be my treasury; and here they put me a thing into it big enough to be a bed itself."——
"O! vell! (much alarmed) it might be my bed-case, then!" (Whenever Mrs. Schwellenberg travels, she carries her bed in a large black leather case, behind her servants' carriage.)
" Very likely, ma'am."
"Then, sir," very angrily, "how Come you by it?"
"Why, I'll tell you, ma'am. I was just going to bed; so MY servant took one candle, and I had the other. I had just had my hair done, and my curls were just rolled up, and he
was going away; but I turned about, by accident, and I saw a great lump in my bed; so I thought it was my clothes. 'What do you put them there for?' says I. 'Sir,' says he, 'it looks as if there was a drunken man in the bed.' 'A drunken man?' says I; 'Take the poker, then, and knock him on the head!'"
"Knock him on the head?" interrupted Mrs. Schwellenberg, "What! when it might be some innocent person? Fie! Colonel Manners. I thought you had been too good-natured for such thing—to poker the people in the king's house!"
"Then what business have they to get into my bed, ma'am? So then my man looked nearer, and he said, 'Sir, why, here's your night-cap and here's the pillow!—and here's a great, large lump of leather!' 'Shovel it all out!' says I. 'Sir,' says he, 'It's Madame Schwellenberg's! here's her name on it.' 'Well, then,' says I, 'sell it, to-morrow, to the saddler.'"
"What! when you knew it was mine, sir? Upon my vord, you been ver good!" (bowing very low). "Well, ma'am, it's all Colonel Wellbred, I dare say; so, suppose you and I were to take the law of him?"
"Not I, sir!" (Scornfully).
"Well, but let's write him a letter, then, and frighten him: let's tell him it's sold, and he must make it good. You and I'll do it together."
"No, sir; you might do it yourself. I am not so familiar to write to gentlemens."
"Why then, you shall only sign it, and I'll frank it."
Here the entrance of some new person stopped the discussion.
Happy in his success, he began, the next day, a new device: he made an attack in politics, and said, he did not doubt but Mr. Hastings would come to be hanged; though, he assured us, afterwards, he was firmly his friend, and believed no such thing.(236)
Even with this not satisfied, he next told her that he had just heard Mr. Burke was in Windsor. Mr. Burke is the name
in the world most obnoxious, both for his Reform bill,(237) which deeply affected all the household, and for his prosecution of Mr. Hastings; she therefore declaimed against him very warmly.